*Worship on September 30, 2018

Sep 28, 2018

*The two stories found in Mark’s gospel today may not seem to have much to do with a day of service, but Jesus’ word to the deaf man provides the connection:  “ephphatha,” meaning “be opened.”  The Syrophoenician woman opens Jesus to expand his ministry more broadly to people who are unlike him.  Then Jesus listens to a community who pleads on behalf of a man who was deaf, opening his ears and restoring connection.  When we are given the grace to truly hear and speak to the people around us, we are drawn into and blessed by those relationships and are often called to service by the needs we begin to comprehend.  May this day of service give the opportunity to both bless and receive blessing!

*Thank you to Mike K. for offering his gifts of music to lead the congregation this Sunday while Susan D. is away.

*Attendance Last Week (September 23):  8:30 am ~ 138;  11:00 am ~56

*This Week’s Lessons (September 30):  Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29;  Psalm 19:7-14;  James 5:13-20;  Mark 9:38-50

*Next Week’s Lessons (October 7):  Genesis 2:18-24;  Psalm 8;  Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12;  Mark 10:2-16

Altar Flowers:  The plant on the altar this week reminds us of the ways that we grow in Christ through worship in the gifts of water and word, bread and wine.  We welcome donations of floral arrangements as well to bring God’s creation indoors.  If you would like to donate flowers, sign up in the Flower Book found in the literature rack in the narthex or contact the church office to place your order.

Welcome to Our Visitors Today:  To thank you for coming, please pick up a BLC visitor mug containing more information about who we are from the shelf above the literature rack in the narthex.  Also, we encourage our members to take a mug to a new neighbor or friend as a way to introduce them to our church.

Childcare is available at BLC every Sunday morning for children through age 3.  The nursery is staffed by volunteers.  If you would like to volunteer, please contact the church office.  We strive to have two volunteers in the nursery each week.  Youth are welcome and encouraged to serve along with an adult.

Worship includes the weekly celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  Gathering regularly around Word and Sacrament is central to our identity as God’s people.  Christ comes to us in many ways, but we are assured of His presence in the bread and wine.  In the meal of Holy Communion, we receive a tangible reminder of God’s love and forgiveness and become the body of Christ for the world.

Hospitality at the Table of Our Lord:  The communion table is the place where we are united in the participation of receiving the sacrament when we gather for worship.  It is important that we are gracious hosts at this table, and for that reason we offer grape juice as an alternative to wine so that all people can receive both the bread and cup.  By offering gluten-free wafers and a non-alcoholic option for the cup, we are practicing the radical hospitality that Jesus offers to all of us, especially in the form of his own body and blood.  If you would prefer to receive juice instead of wine, please let the assisting minister or communion assistant know.  If you have any questions, please speak with Pastor Hoffman or Pastor Amy.

In Our Weekly Prayers during worship, we especially remember those who have a new or acute need for prayer.  Our monthly Prayer Letter names those with an ongoing need for prayer, including those who are homebound or with long-term health concerns.  Copies of the current Prayer Letter are available in the literature rack in the narthex.  If you have a name to add to our Prayer Letter, please email prayers@blcfairport.org or call the church office at 223-0634.