September 24, 2023 † 9:00 AM

17th Sunday after Pentecost †

Whether this is your first time with us or your one thousand and first, we are glad that the Spirit has drawn you here today! Visitors are invited to sign the Guest Book near the front doors of the church and take home a welcome brochure to learn more about us.

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The late arriving workers based on Matthew 20:1-16


The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God

PRELUDE Andante from Sonata No. 3 Felix Mendelssohn

Deeper and Deeper Oswald J. Smith

Yeon Soh, Organ



All may make the sign of the cross, the sign that is marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.

Blessed be God,

the one who forms us,

☩ Jesus who bears the cross,

the Spirit who makes our joy complete.


Let us come before God in humility, confessing our sin.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Steadfast and faithful God,

you have revealed the ways of justice, yet we fail to follow you.

We are overwhelmed by the world’s violence and suffering.

We are afraid to risk what we have for the sake of others.

For the harm we have caused, known and unknown, forgive us.

For the unjust demands we place on ourselves, on others, and on your creation, forgive us.

For the ways we turn away from you and our neighbor, forgive us.

Lead us back to you and set us on the right path;

in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.


Beloved in Christ,

God’s justice stretches beyond all understanding.

God’s compassion is beyond compare.

In Jesus, God is always making a new way for us.

In ☩ Christ, you are already and always forgiven.


GATHERING HYMN Lord of Light ELW 688

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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.


Let us pray Almighty and eternal God, you show perpetual lovingkindness to us your servants. Because we cannot rely on our own abilities, grant us your merciful judgment, and train us to embody the generosity of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song

FIRST READING Exodus 16:2-15

Faced with hunger in the wilderness, the Israelites longed for life back in Egypt and wished they had never left. Then God miraculously and graciously gave them quails and manna to eat.

A reading from Exodus.

2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”

9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’ ” 10And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”
13In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.”

Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.

SECOND READING Philippians 1:21-30

Paul writes to the Philippians from prison. Though he is uncertain about the outcome of his imprisonment,
he is committed to the ministry of the gospel and calls on the Philippians to live lives that reflect and enhance
the gospel mission.

A reading from Philippians.

21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor
for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to
depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving
side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.



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GOSPEL Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus tells a parable about God’s generosity, challenging the common assumption that God rewards people according to what they have earned or deserve.

The Holy Gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said to the disciples: 1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

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

SERMON Pastor Jeff

HYMN OF THE DAY Commonwealth Is God’s Commandment ACS 1036

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I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living 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. Amen.


Remembering God’s faithful and generous work, we pray for the church, for creation, and for the needs of our neighbors.

A brief silence.

God who is patient and merciful, teach your church to invite and value all. Lead us to cultivate and nurture the challenging blessing of community. Inspire your church to choose justice and compassion over judgment. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who sends the wind and the sun, you know every worm and bush by name. Help us remember that even the humblest parts of creation are precious to you. Show us how best to heal the earth and care for its creatures. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who is ready to release the captives, impart your compassionate wisdom and humility to legislators, judges, members of the military, law enforcement and first responders. Give them courage to serve their communities and build systems that liberate. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who saves, direct your people who wander from you in times of despair or fear. Protect the rights of those who are oppressed or incarcerated, and shield your children from disasters. Encourage all who are sick or in pain, especially Carolyn, Paul, Michael, Maria, Bill, Mary, Charlie, Vontavian, Jim Sr., Barbara, Hazel, Benjamin, Gina, Garrett, Hope, and all those affected by addiction or mental illness. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who is slow to anger, assure us of the goodness of Jesus so that we have the same confidence as Paul in prison. Help us to see your abundance poured out through our diverse vocations, in service to the community in this congregation and beyond its doors. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

God who wipes away all tears, we give thanks for those you have called to the kingdom of heaven. Along with Joe Taxiera, we remember his wife Phyllis with our altar flowers. Just as she is united with you, we know we are united with all the saints in your spirit, holding us firm as we labor in this life and look to the life to come. 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. Amen.


The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.

OFFERING INVITATION (Gifts may be made online via debit or credit card using the QR code on the back of the bulletin)

ANTHEM Sing A Song Of Joy Richard Shephard

Chancel Choir

OF GIFTS Let the Vineyards

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Let us pray. God of power, God of plenty, all things belong to you. We bring your gifts to the table, that all might be fed. Form us into the body of your Beloved, Jesus Christ, our Savior.


God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ


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:



Welcoming God, you call us home to your table.

As we gather, we tell the stories of our family of faith, remembering how their journeys with you connect to our own, joining together with creation in a reflection of grace and courage.

We remember how your Spirit spoke through the prophets, blazing a trail toward liberation and new life. We remember how faithful leaders nurtured the gifts of their communities, always seeking to understand and share your Word. We remember how you sent your beloved Son to live among us, and through his death and resurrection, claimed us as beloved children too.

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.

And so we remember. Grant that in telling of this sacred story, in the breaking of bread and the communion with one another, we are opened to your Spirit. Bring us to share this holy meal, to encounter your love face-to-face. Amen.


Let us pray as Jesus taught us, each in the words or language of our choice.

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.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.


Bring your full, authentic selves to the grace of this table; for here, God promises to meet you with the fullness of love!


At this table, Christ is both host and meal, and offers himself to all who hunger and thirst for his presence.

We believe that he is truly present in this sacrament.

Come to the front, where bread is placed in your hand (you can request a gluten-free wafer), and where you receive wine by taking a cup from the tray (the cups in the center contain white grape juice).

If you do not wish to commune, you are welcome to come forward and receive a blessing.

If you need to receive communion in your seat, simply notify an usher.

No one is too young to receive this sacrament, though some families wish to give their children some instruction before they take their first communion. If a young child accompanies you, please indicate to the pastor whether they should receive bread or a blessing.


COMMUNION HYMNS God, Be the Love to Search and Keep Me ACS 1084

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God Bestows on Every Sense ACS 1069

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The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in God’s grace. Amen



Let us pray. Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your

love supporting us. Amen.

God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.



The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord’s face shine upon you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and ☩ give you peace. Amen.

SENDING HYMN Voices Raised to You ELW 845

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Go in peace. Proclaim God’s love!

Thanks be to God!

POSTLUDE Processional in D Major David N. Johnson

Yeon Soh, Organ

Thank you to those who helped with worship today…

Worship Assistant Kristen 

Lector Pat

Communion Presenters Darlene & Verle 

Ushers David & Janet

Altar Care Holly  & Linda 

Your financial gifts help us to grow, nurture, and
make disciples in Christ!
Gifts may be made online via debit or credit card
using this QR code.
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From Sundays and © 2023 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27028. New Revised Standard Version Bible, ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. CCLI#1313879. OneLicense # A-716488 September 24 – Hymn based 16th Pentecost.docx