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Sunday Morning Worship 09 17 2023
Pam Smith
Pam Smith
Sunday, September 17, 2023


Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
A Service of Holy Communion
September 17, 2023



Martin Luther's Morning Prayer
Martin Luther / Carl Schalk

I thank you, heav'nly Father,
through Je-sus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
You kept me safely through the night,
and brought me to the morning light.
Be with me through this day, I pray,
and keep me safe from Satan's sway
that all I think or do or say
please only you, my Strength and Stay.
Into your hands I now commend
my body and soul until life's end.
Your angel keep me safe from harm
until I rest in Jesus' arm.
Amen, amen.


As the Deer
arr. Douglas E. Wagner


Come, let us sing to the Lord.
Let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.

Come, let us worship and bow down
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

For the Lord is our God
and we are the people of God’s pasture
and the sheep of God’s hand.


Blessed be God, Father, + Son and Holy Spirit.

In the presence of God and of one another, let us make our confession.

O God of steadfast love and faithfulness.Throughout time you have revealed your ways of justice, yet we fail to follow you.  We are overwhelmed by the world’s violence and suffering.  We cling to what we have, afraid to risk it for the sake of others.  For the harm we have caused, known and unknown, forgive us.  For the unjust demands that we place upon others and on your creation, forgive us.  For the ways we turn away from you and from our neighbor, forgive us.  Lead us back to you and set us on the right path for your name’s sake.  In the name of Jesus, our Savior.  Amen.

Beloved in Christ, God’s justice stretches beyond all that we can under-stand.  God’s compassion and mercy is beyond compare.  In Jesus, God shows us a new way and in him, we are forgiven +.  Amen.



Lift High the Cross
ELW 660 

    Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
   till all the world adore his sacred name.

Come, Christians, follow where our captain trod,
our king victorious, Christ, the Son of God.    Refrain

All newborn servants of the Crucified
bear on their brows the seal of him who died.    Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw us all to thee.    Refrain

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
praise to the Crucified for victory!    Refrain

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you. 

KYRIE     (p. 120)

In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,
and for our salvation,
let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,
for the well-being of the Church of God,
and for the unity of all,
let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house,
and for all who offer here their worship and praise,
let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
Amen, amen.

HYMN OF PRAISE     (p. 121)

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God’s people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you,
we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God’s people on earth.

Lord Jesus Christ,
only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God’s people on earth.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God’s people on earth.

Let us pray.
O Lord God, merciful judge, you are the inexhaustible fountain of forgiveness. Replace our hearts of stone with hearts that love and adore you, that we may delight in doing your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

+ WORD +  

FIRST READING:    Genesis 50:15-21
After Jacob’s death the brothers of Joseph begged for forgiveness for the crime they had done against him. You intended to do me harm, Joseph said, but God used this as an opportunity to do good and save many lives.

15Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers said, "What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?" 16So they approached Joseph, saying, "Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17'Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.' Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, "We are here as your slaves." 19But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones." In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM 103:1-13    (read responively by full verse)

 1Bless the LORD, O my soul,
 and all that is within me,
 bless his holy name.
 2Bless the LORD, O my soul,
 and do not forget all his benefits —
 3who forgives all your iniquity,
 who heals all your diseases,
 4who redeems your life from the Pit,
 who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
 5who satisfies you with good as long as you live
 so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
 6The LORD works vindication
 and justice for all who are oppressed.
 7He made known his ways to Moses,
 his acts to the people of Israel.
 8The LORD is merciful and gracious,
 slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
 9He will not always accuse,
 nor will he keep his anger forever.
 10He does not deal with us according to our sins,
 nor repay us according to our iniquities.
 11For as the heavens are high above the earth,
 so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
 12as far as the east is from the west,
 so far he removes our transgressions from us.
 13As a father has compassion for his children,
 so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him.

SECOND READING:   Romans 14:1-12
This Christian community has significant struggles with diversity. Here Paul helps us understand that despite different practices in worship and personal piety, we do not judge one another. All Christians belong to the Lord Jesus Christ who died for all of us and will judge each of us.

1Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. 2Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.
7We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11For it is written,
 "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
 and every tongue shall give praise to God."
12So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

The word of the Lord.       
Thanks be to God.


Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

GOSPEL:     Matthew 18:21-35
When Peter asks about the limits of forgiveness, Jesus responds with a parable that suggests human forgiveness should mirror the unlimited mercy of God.

The holy gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.  

21Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, 'Pay what you owe.' 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?' 34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.



God, When Human Bonds Are Broken
ELW 603 

God, when human bonds are broken
nd we lack the love or skill
to restore the hope of healing,
give us grace and make us still.

Through that stillness, with your Spirit
come into our world of stress,
for the sake of Christ forgiving
all the failures we confess.

You in us are bruised and broken:
hear us as we seek release
from the pain of earlier living;
set us free and grant us peace.

Send us, God of new beginnings,
humbly hopeful into life.
Use us as a means of blessing:
make us stronger, give us faith.

Give us faith to be more faithful,
give us hope to be more true,
give us love to go on learning:
God, encourage and renew!


We believe in one God,
   the Father, the Almighty,
   maker of heaven and earth,
   of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
  the only Son of God,
  eternally begotten of the Father,
  God from God, Light from Light,
  true God from true God,
  begotten, not made,
  of one Being with the Father;
  through him all things were made.
  For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven,
    was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary
    and became truly human.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
  who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
  who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
  who has spoken through the prophets.
  We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.   
  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
  We look for the resurrection of the dead,
  and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Remembering the caring and generous works of God, we pray for the church, creation, and the needs of our neighbors.

O Lord, Hear My Prayer
ELW 751

O Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my Prayer:
when I call, answer me. 

O Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my prayer:
come and listen to me.

We pray for the church. Bless the missions and ministries of diverse congregations, that they uplift the good news of salvation in ways that can be understood. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

We pray for creation. Send rain to lands experiencing drought and healing to rivers clogged with pollution. Enrich the soil for trees and plants. Protect the crops needed to feed those who hunger. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

We pray for all who govern. Encourage those in positions of power to lead with empathy, practice forgiveness, and care for those who struggle. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

We pray for our neighbors who face illness of any kind. For those strained financially; for all living with chronic pain, mental illness, the disease of addiction, particularly Arlene, Mabel, Mike, Anna Mae, Kaden, Michael, Julie, Carol, Anne, Lydia, Paul, Wil, Amy, Betty, Bob, Jane, Marian L., Scott, Ron, Flo, Doris, Dottie, Theresa, Marian, Tim, Betty, Henry, Mary, Greg, Ann Joyce, and Max or otherwise afraid or in harm’s way. Protect all who cry out for mercy. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

We pray for this congregation. Open our hearts to practice intentional invitation. Help us to forgive each other, practice patience, and choose welcome over judgment. Move us to care for those in our community seeking refuge and safety. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

     Other petitions may be offered.

We give thanks for the saints who died in faith. Show us how to live faithfully, creatively, and lovingly in your church and world. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

Remember us according to your steadfast love as we offer these and the prayers of our heart, trusting in your compassion made known through Jesus Christ.


Peace of Christ be with you all.
And also with you.

  + MEAL +  

You may place your offerings in the offering plate as it is passed during the service.  Alternatively, some are using for online giving or are using their bank’s online banking option.  Whichever way you choose to give, we are grateful for your stewardship and generosity.


Rain Down
by Jaime Cortez
Grace Choir


Let The VIneyards Be Fruitful
ELW 182

Let the vineyards be fruitful, Lord,
and fill to the brim our cup of blessing.
Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown,
that be  may be fed with the bread of life.
Gather the hopes and the dreams of all;
unite them with the prayers we offer now.
Grace our table with your presence,
and give us a foretaste of the feast to come.

Let us pray.
God of power, God of plenty, God of abundance, all things are yours.  We bring to you that which you have entrusted to us.  Use them so that all may be fed.  Shape us into the very body of Christ and use us for the sake of the world.  In the name of Jesus.



The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ; who on this day overcame death and the grave, and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life. And so, with all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

SANCTUS     (page 130)

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heav’n and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest,
hosanna in the highest.   


You are indeed holy, almighty and merciful God. You are most holy, and great is the majesty of your glory.

You so loved the world that you gave your only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish
but have eternal life.

We give you thanks for his coming into the world to fulfill for us your holy will and to accomplish all things for our salvation.

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Christ has died.
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again. 

Remembering, therefore, his salutary command, his life-giving passion and death, his glorious resurrection and ascension, and the promise of his coming again, we give thanks to you, O Lord God Almighty, not as we ought but as we are able; we ask you mercifully to accept our praise and thanksgiving and with your Word and Holy Spirit to bless us, your servants, and these your own gifts of bread and wine, so that we and all who share in the body and blood of Christ may be filled with heavenly blessing and grace, and, receiving the forgiveness of sin, may be formed to live as your holy people and be given our inheritance with all your saints.

To you, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory in your holy church, now and forever.                      Amen.           

Our Father, who art in heaven,
       hallowed be thy name,
               thy kingdom come,
               thy will be done,
                    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
     and forgive us our trespasses,
     as we forgive those
        who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
    and the power, and the glory,
    forever and ever.  Amen.

The baptized children of God are invited by the Lord to the Lord’s Table where we receive Jesus’ very body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine. We commune at the head of the aisle where we receive the host. Then to Pastor’s side  is first, a chalice for intinction and second, a common cup for drinking, and a third chalice of juice. Gluten free bread is available. If you wish to commune, but cannot come forward, let an usher know and Pastor will come to you. If you do not wish to commune, you are welcome to come forward to receive a blessing. You may wish to remain at the rail for a time of personal prayer following which you may return to your pew down the side aisle.

AGNUS DEI     (page 135)

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;
grant us peace.


Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup 
ELW 492

  Eat this bread, drink this cup. 
  Taste and see the goodness of God.
  Bread of life, cup of love,
  we rejoice in your presence.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
praise with heart and voice;
in my God I glory forever:
listen and rejoice!    Refrain

Look upon the Lord, be radiant,
never turn away.
God will save in ev'ry affliction,
hear us when we pray.   Refrain

Angels fold their wings around us,
guard through good and ill.
Those who seek the Lord will lack nothing;
taste, and have your fill.    Refrain


And now may the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ preserve us on to life everlasting.  


Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared
in the sight of ev’ry people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

O God, we give you thanks that you have set before us this feast, the body and blood of your Son. By your Spirit strengthen us to serve all in need and to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



In Thee Is Gladness
ELW 867

In thee is gladness amid all sadness,
Jesus, sunshine of my heart.
By thee are given the gifts of heaven,
thou the true redeemer art.
Our souls thou wakest; our bonds thou breakest.
Who trusts thee surely has built securely
and stands forever: Alleluia!
Our hearts are pining to see thy shining,
dying or living, to thee are cleaving;
naught can us sever: Alleluia!

Jesus is ours! We fear no powers,
not of earth or sin or death.
He sees and blesses in worst distresses;
he can change them with a breath.
Wherefore the story tell of his glory
with heart and voices; all heav'n rejoices
in him forever: Alleluia!
We shout for gladness, triumph o'er sadness,
love him and praise him and still shall raise him
glad hymns forever: Alleluia!


Go in peace.  Serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Liturgical Text and Music from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, © 2006, 2020, 2022 Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies License #SAS016761.  All rights reserved.

Martin Luther's Morning Prayer, Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546, Public domain, paraphrase by Carl Schalk © 2011 Carl Schalk, Music: Carl Schalk, 1929-2021, Music © 2011 Carl Schalk, Text and music admin Birnamwood Publications, div. MorningStar Music Publishers, Inc.  Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

Lift High the Cross, Text: George W. Kitchin, 1827-1912; rev. Michael R. Newbolt, 1874-1956. Music: Sydney H. Nicholson, 1875-1947  Text and music © 1974 Hope Publishing Company. Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

God, When Human Bonds Are Broken, Text: Fred Kaan, b. 1929, Text © 1989 Hope Publishing Company.  Music: William H. Monk, 1823-1889.  Public domain.

O Lord, Hear My Prayer, Text: Taizé Community, adapt.  Music Jacques Berthier, 1923-1994.  Text and music © 1982, 1991 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

Let the Vineyards Be Fruitful, Music: Richard W. Hillert, 1923-2010.  Text and music © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup, Text:and music Jeremy Young, b. 1948, refrain; With One Voice, stanzas, based on Ps. 34, Text and music © 1995 Augsburg Fortress. Text and music reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

In Thee Is Gladness, Text: Johann Lindemann, 1549-1631; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt... Music:  Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi, 1556-1622..  Public domain.