September 24, 2023
17th Sunday After Pentecost
8:30 am – Worship in Person
10:30 am – Worship in Person and via Zoom
Pastor Larry Smoose, Preaching
COVID Precautions During Worship
Masks Encouraged: The health and safety of all who worship with us is important. We realize that some individuals attending worship may have compromised immune systems. Therefore, it is important to remember that we all need to wear masks and maintain social distancing during worship. We will continue to run the exhaust fans and keep windows open to ensure adequate ventilation during the service.
Order of Worship for 9-24-23
For Our Children
We also have children’s bulletins each week for pre-readers and readers.
We Are a Congregation that Encounters Christ in Worship
Every Sunday morning we meet Christ in our community as we gather to hear the ancient stories of salvation and share a simple meal of bread and wine.
For Lutherans, worship stands at the center of our life of faith. Through God’s word, water, bread and prayer we are nurtured in faith and sent out into the world.
Connected with and central to everything we do, worship unites us in celebration, engages us in thoughtful dialogue and helps us grow in faith. It grounds us in our Christian and Lutheran roots, while demonstrating practical relevance for today’s world.
While some of the approaches to worship may differ from one ELCA congregation to another, we hold certain things in common. Central to our worship life is the presence of God through word and sacrament. The word proclaimed and the sacraments —both Holy Baptism and Holy Communion — are called the means of grace. We believe that Jesus Christ is present in these means through the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we describe worship as a “gathering around the means of grace.”
There is also a basic pattern for worship among Lutherans. We gather. We encounter God’s word. We share a meal at the Lord’s table. And we are sent into the world. But we do not think about worship so much in terms of what we do. Worship is fundamentally about what God is doing and our response to God’s action. Worship is an encounter with God, who saves us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
To read God’s word, we follow a lectionary that provides a three-year series of readings for Sunday starting with the season of Advent, four weeks before Christmas Day.
For each Sunday and festival, three readings and a psalm are suggested and include: a Gospel reading, an Old Testament reading, and a New Testament reading.
The Revised Common Lectionary is a work of The Consultation on Common Texts, an ecumenical consultation of liturgical scholars and denominational representatives from the United States and Canada.
Each year of the Revised Common Lectionary centers on one of the synoptic Gospels — Matthew, Mark and Luke. The Gospel of John is read periodically in all three years.
On November 28th we started using Lectionary Year C. If you wish, you can download scriptures for Year C.
On the night before his death, Jesus shared a meal of bread and wine with his disciples and told them that in this meal he was sharing his own self. He encouraged them to continue sharing this meal as a way of remembering him, so we follow this practice each week. As we gather for worship and share this meal each Sunday, Christ becomes present among us. All who wish to commune with Christ are invited to share this meal.
Each Sunday after a time of prayer, the presiding minister offers these words: “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” The congregation responds, “And also with you.” Then we greet each other with a sign of peace and the words “Peace be with you.”
Many of us walk around to speak to each other individually. In the past, we have shared handshakes and hugs. Because of concerns about COVID-19, the sign of peace now may often be a fist bump or just a wave, but we embrace this expression of reconciliation and our unity in Christ Jesus.
In the waters of baptism, we are joined to Jesus Christ. We experience it as a kind of rebirth or resurrection. Just as Christ was raised from death, so, in baptism, our self-centered, fearful nature is drowned and we are raised to eternal life with Christ. As Lutherans, we baptize children and adults of all ages, knowing that God claims us, not because of our accomplishments, but because of God’s unconditional love.
If you are interested in being baptized or having your child baptized, please contact the church so that we discuss this further with you.
Augustine, an ancient Christian teacher, said that the one who sings prays twice. We take music seriously knowing that it can enrich our prayer life and help us communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our services contain hymns, which we sing together as a congregation, and musical offerings from our choir and music director. Being a part of an ethnically rich community like Upper Darby, we try to include music from all over the world as a way of singing our praise.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America provides a system of colors for use by its congregations. The colors serve to adorn the worship space, and to call attention to the nature of the season or festival being celebrated. White, green, purple, red and gold are colors related to each of the liturgical seasons. Learn more about liturgical colors.