Belong | Grow | Serve

The Gathering at Bluff Park is a new modern worship 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 Worship Service is live-streamed every Sunday starting at 10:00am CST.


First Sunday of Advent
November 27, 2022


Welcome/Opening Prayer



Advent Wreath





Scripture Reading:

In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation;
neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!


“Coming Home to Peace”



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:

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 Prayer





Operational/Capital Campaign
Thank you to all of you who have made a commitment to the financial needs of our congregation. Funding is a real need, both for our ongoing ministries and programs as well as to retire our debt. We are daring to dream and are beginning to work to put our dreams into reality in the coming months as God leads! There is still time for you to make a pledge for our 2023 Operational Budget and to our 2023-2025 Capital Campaign to retire our debt. Commitment Cards are available in the Narthex and in the church office. You can also make your pledge online. May we all join together as we are blessed to be found faithful as God leads.

BPUMC Women’s Retreat
Black Friday is this week, don’t walk around the malls, shop the easy way! Think about the women in your life and treat them to a great experience with the women of BPUMC. Women, buy yourself a Christmas present. Get a weekend at The Women’s Retreat on Jan 21st and 22nd at Camp Sumatanga with this year’s theme called “The Well – Come – Surrender – Proclaim!” You’ll be giving a great spiritual experience, along with a ton of just plain fun. Great discussions, hiking, cupcake decorating, bonfires, and fellowship are on the agenda. Right now costs are $125 to $175. Early bird registration ends on Nov 30th, so shop early. Register with Realm and if you need assistance contact Amy Baird or Julie Adams

White Christmas Offering
Each Advent, our church takes up a special offering in support of Embrace Alabama Kids. This ministry began over 130 years ago as an orphanage. Today, it is one of the state’s most comprehensive and vital resources serving babies, children, youth, teen mothers, college students, and families. Your gift will provide them with homes for the holidays—and every day—embracing them in the powerful and unconditional love of God. Assign checks or envelopes to “White Christmas Offering” in morning worship throughout Advent, or drop off your gift in our Financial Office. The White Christmas Offering is sponsored by the Bluff Park United Appeal Fund.

Choral Worship Service
On Sunday morning December 11th @ 10:00am the Chancel Choir will present The Oratorio de Noël, Op. 12, by Camille Saint-Saëns, also known as his Christmas Oratorio. The service will feature five professional soloists, three of whom are Mr. DeWeese’s former students now singing professionally, Emily Yocum Black, soprano, Natalie Krumpansky, contralto, and Jacob Waid, baritone. The mezzo-soprano role will be sung by Dr. Emily Jaworski Koriath, voice faculty member at UAB, and Caleb Clark, local professional tenor from the Birmingham area. The work is scored in ten movements where the Chancel Choir will be singing on six of the movements. The work will be sung in English and will tell the story of the coming of the Christ Child from the account in the gospel of Luke. The soloist and choir will be accompanied by a professional string orchestra, harp and organ. This is an excellent time to invite family and friends to  our Sunday morning worship.

Children’s Christmas Pageant
The annual Children’s Christmas Pageant will be held next Sunday, December 4th from 5:00-5:30 in the Sanctuary! All are welcome to attend as the children of our church remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas!

Altar Flower Update
Beginning in January the cost of placing flowers in the Sanctuary will increase to $120. The increase is because the cost increased from our florist. Thank you to everyone who places flowers! They not only add beauty to our worship celebrations, but are also given to others by our flower ministry to help brighten their day!

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

Give Now

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:

Ronda Carlisle, The Family of Bill Fields, Langston Haygood, Odessa Harbor, Pat Reese, Gail Cooch, Nathan and Alice Chase, Jean McLemore, Rosemary Hill, The Family of Frances Bellows, Glen McGarity and his family, Sylvia Harper and the family of Horace Pate, Marjorie Dulin, Joe Black and his family, Marvin Broome and his family, Sandra Morgan and her family, Carol Westbrook and Elizabeth Davis and their family, Sheree Beavers and her family, Bruce Cooper, Jennifer Johnston, Ann Bice, The family of Patricia Shanlever, The people of Ukraine, Pan and Michele Cahoon, Mark and Becky Blankenship, Matt and Pat Reeder, Barbara Wilson, Betsy Delionback, Catherine Hallmark, Ann Gilliland, Lisa Avant, Mildred Stokes, Pam Parker, Gayle Pierce, Joan Cook, Kandis Scudder, Jamie Howell, Jim Ketchersid, Juanita Knight, Peggy Williams, Myra Gray, Maya Wright, David Walker, Roxie and Larry Langham, Dot Watterson, Pauline Hendricks, Charlotte Word, John McCrary, Connie Steele.

Prayers for Our World:

Matthew 22: 37-39: Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” As we enter a time of celebrations that centers around family and friends, let us remember that not all are blessed to look forward to these special times. Many are alone due to family estrangement, recent loss of a spouse or sibling, addictions that have led to separations from loved ones, incarceration, those who yearn to be with family but cannot due to military service, missionary work, or work schedules. Lord, help us to look with new eyes at our neighbors in need of friendship and inclusion and help us to open our hearts and homes to these brothers and sisters during this holy season and beyond.

Fill out the form and let us know that you are ready to take your next steps at Bluff Park UMC. We’d love to connect you with a pastor.

Members and guests, please fill out this form to help us keep track of online weekly worship attendance. Include the names of each member of your household who participated in online worship.

Please list the names of any others who are worshiping with you today.

Gathering Worship Staff

Rev. Ross Furio

Associate Pastor

Davis Haines

Director of Creative Worship

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