THE GATHERING AT BLUFF PARK

Belong | Grow | Serve

The Gathering at Bluff Park is a new modern worshiping community in the heart of Bluff Park. We exist to gather friends around God's table to find belonging, grow in faith, and serve the world. At our core is the belief that we are at our best when we are gathered around the table together, sharing a meal, and listening for God's voice in our lives. At the Gathering, there is space for you to discover deeper communion with God, your community, and the world. Come join us!

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The Gathering Sunday Worship Service will be Live-Streamed Sundays starting at 11:00am CST

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Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 26, 2021

God Gathers Us Together

Welcome

Song: Glorious Day

Pastoral Greeting

We Listen for God’s Word

Song: Ever Be

Song: Called Me Higher”

Prayer and Scripture Reading

Acts 17:16-31

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,

‘For we too are his offspring.’

Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.”

The Word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

Sermon

“Religious or Faithful”

We Respond to God’s Word

Song: Reckless Love

The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

We Feast at God’s Table

Invitation, Confession, Pardon and Peace

Prayer of Confession

L: We have not believed you or trusted in your power.
ALL: Lord, help our unbelief.
L: We have stained our souls by our action and inaction.
ALL: Cleanse us, Lord.
L: We are broken by disease, bruised by the sins of others, weakened and unable to repair ourselves.
ALL: Heal us, Lord.
L: We ignore your call to center our lives in you, and so are deaf to the hopes and cries of the poor, the sick, the needy, and the earth.
ALL: Ground us, Lord!
L: When we confess our sinful ways, God abundantly pardons.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
ALL: In the name of Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven. Glory to God!

L: The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be always with you!
ALL: And also with you.

The Great Thanksgiving

L: The Lord be with you.
ALL: And also with you.

L: Lift up your hearts.
ALL: We lift them to you, Lord.

L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
ALL: It is right to praise you, Lord.

L: It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
Always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Holy Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is praised among all peoples.

Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven
who for ever sing this hymn to the glory of your name:

ALL: Holy, holy, holy, Lord,
God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full…
Full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes
In the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
Hosanna in the highest!

L: You are holy, Almighty One!
Blessed are you, Jesus Christ!
In the power of the Spirit
you created all things, blessed them, and called them good.
You called to yourself a people
To make your mercy and truth known in all the world.
We betrayed your calling;
ALL: You were faithful.
L: We wandered from the way;
ALL: You called us to return, and led us home.

L: And still we turned from your ways,
abused your creatures,
and made ourselves slaves to sin and death.

At the right time
you came and dwelt among us,
as one of us,
bringing good news to the poor,
healing the sick, raising the dead,
sharing table with the unrighteous,
and teaching the way that leads to life.

By your incarnation, life, suffering, execution and resurrection
You gave birth to your church,
delivered us from slavery
and made a new covenant with us
by water and the Spirit.

On the night of your betrayal, Lord Jesus,
you took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to your disciples and said,
“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
You did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant in my blood.”

Blessed Trinity, in remembrance of all you have done to save us,
we offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we sing (proclaim) the mystery of our faith:

ALL:
Christ has come among us. Christ has died.
Christ has risen. Christ abides with us.
Christ will come again.

L: Pour out your Spirit on us
Pour out your Spirit on these gifts
Make these gifts the body and blood of Christ
ALL: Make us, through them, Christ’s body alive in the world.

L: We thank you, Father!
ALL: Let Your Kingdom come.

L: Come, Lord Jesus!
ALL: Be our daily bread.

L: Holy Spirit!
ALL: Send us to the world.

L: Holy, Blessed Trinity!
ALL: One God forever and ever! Amen.

Tithes and Offerings

Communion

Song: Reckless Love

We are Sent Out to Love and Serve

Announcements

Benediction

Song: Glorious Day

Women’s Conference
Join us in the Chapel, October 16th, from 9am—4pm, as Bible teacher, Priscilla Shirer and worship artist, Anthony Evans lead us, via Simulcast, in this Bible teaching event! Register today to reserve your spot: bluffparkumc.org/event/womens-conference/

It’s Time To Stuff The Bus!
For this September’s annual Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank (Bundles) diaper drive, Bundles plans to stuff an actual bus with donated diapers, collecting more than 400,000. You can support both Bundles and BPUMC’s own Food Pantry diaper distribution. To make a monetary gift, write a check to BPUMC with “Bundles of Hope” written in the memo line. Bundles can take your dollars and stretch them even farther thanks to their membership in the National Diaper Bank organization. To donate diapers, place them in one of the collection boxes located throughout the church. Bundles needs size 6 and pullups (any size) the most. For more information email to Betsy Guy at betsydguy@att.net. You can also send a text to 205.542.6634.

Rise Against Hunger
Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable. On Sunday, October 17 from 1:00 – 7:00pm, members of BPUMC and Vestavia Hills UMC are joining together at the VHUMC Lighthouse Gym to pack 100,000 meals. Grab your Sunday School class, your small group, your best friend, and/or your family and sign up to volunteer for one of the two-hour shifts. There are jobs for everyone 5 years of age or older. For more information about the event, contact Bennie Vinson at bfvinson@bellsouth.net or 205-682-9966. Register here: https://bit.ly/3i5Nb66

Save the Dates!
The Adult Ministry Council has been hard at work bringing you new events this fall!  Some of the plans are still in process due to our current pandemic restrictions — updates will be provided as given to us by the Trustees and staff.

  • Church-wide Dinners! Plan on the second Sunday of every month for there to be a dinner on the grounds at Bluff Park UMC. Normally at 5:30 pm, our first dinner will be on October 10, 2021, and will be an outdoor “tailgate” dinner.
  • Faith Focus! Our Adult Vacation Bible School was such a big hit that we are planning on a monthly similar event at 10:00 am on the second Wednesday of each month. Starting on October 13, 2021, we will have a guest speaker in the Chapel along with music, fun, and fellowship. Lunch options TBA.
  • Wednesdays with Friends! For the fourth Wednesday of every month, we are putting together fun events, programs, or outings for adults in our church family and community. Information about each event will be announced monthly. Plan on the events to be held at 10:00 am.

Halloween 2021
We’re doing a Community Halloween Drive Thru again this year on Wednesday, October 27th from 6-7pm in the parking lot, and we need your help! First, we need a TON of individually wrapped peanut-free candy to make this event a success! Donate a bag or two (or five!) You can drop them off at our welcome desk in the Narthex on Sunday morning. We also need members and Sunday school classes to be at the event. Volunteers will do things like dress up in costumes and decorate their cars! For details email Melissa Hendon at mhendon@bpumc.org.

Thank you for supporting the ministry and mission of our church family! Click the link below to give online safely and secure through Realm

We would love to pray you. Submit a prayer request below and our team with be praying for you. You can also pray for other needs posted below.

Prayer List:

Jan Rogers, Preston Huddleston, Jenny Britain, Ann Gilliland and Gary Yates, Debra McCallum, Sally Holland, Donna Burson, Kaleigh Stokes, Jerry Thorn  Olivia Howard, Lisa Avant, Joan Davis, Gail Cooch, Wes and Allison Wells, Tina and Rick Hardy, AV Marlow, Sue Crunk, Bill and Peggy Fields, Linda Sanders, Frank Williams, Marvin Broome, Rochelle Kornegay, Butch Quinn, Pan Cahoon, Martha Flick, Sylvia Harper and her family, JB Dover, James Brooks, Peggy White, Jackie Teaford, Jackie Causey, Venice Russell, Mildred Stokes, Pam Parker, Kay Adams, Pat Westbrook, Gayle Pierce, Joan Cook, Butch Hopper, Joe Bains, Kandis Scudder, Chris Atkinson, Jackie Fort, Jamie Howell, Jo Ann Freeman, Jim Ketchersid, Juanita Knight, Peggy Williams, Myra Gray, Matt and Pat Reeder, Derilda Joiner, Maya Wright, David Walker, Carolin Platt, Roxie and Larry Langham, Dot Watterson, Wayne Freeman, Joe Thomas, Sue Crunk, Charlotte Word, Ann Rabb, Connie Steele.

Prayers for Our World:

For the Haitian people caught in the humanitarian crisis in their own country and those that have sought out a better life outside Haiti.

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Our Staff

Rev. Ross Furio

Associate Pastor

J.T. Mercer

Director of Student Ministries, Worship Leader for The Gathering

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