Welcome to ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It, and our ICYMI series will give you a brief snapshot of worship each week so that you can worship in your home, on the road, or wherever life takes you.
As we continue to try new things for this feature, we’re mixing up the format this week to make it more reflective of the rhythm of worship at Cross of Christ. Our basic worship order is based on worship patterns from Hebrew traditions and biblical accounts of the earliest Christians:
We GATHER with songs and prayer,
We HEAR God’s word,
We SHARE a meal of bread and wine,
We are SENT into the world to love and serve. Let us know how this format works for you.
Our Gathering hymn is Open now thy gates of beauty (ELW 533)
This week’s readings are:
10For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
1You are to be praised, O | God, in Zion;
to you shall vows | be fulfilled.
2To you, the one | who answers prayer,
to you all | flesh shall come.
3Our sins are strong- | er than we are,
but you blot out | our transgressions.
4Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your | courts to dwell there!
They will be satisfied by the beauty of your house, by the holiness | of your temple. R
5Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of | our salvation,
O hope of all the ends of the earth and of the oceans | far away.
6You make firm the mountains | by your power;
you are girded a- | bout with might.
7You still the roaring | of the seas,
the roaring of their waves, and the clamor | of the peoples.
8Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your | marvelous signs;
you make the dawn and the dusk to | sing for joy. R
9You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous; the river of God is | full of water.
You prepare the grain, for so you provide | for the earth.
10You drench the furrows and smooth | out the ridges;
with heavy rain you soften the ground and | bless its increase.
11You crown the year | with your goodness,
and your paths over- | flow with plenty.
12May the fields of the wilderness be | rich for grazing,
and the hills be | clothed with joy.
13May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak them- | selves with grain;
let them shout for | joy and sing. R
1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
This week’s Gospel text is from Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!”18“Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Pastor Dave’s Sermon Snapshot: Jesus tells a parable about scattering seeds as a way of drawing his listeners into a deeper conversation about how faith is spread and grown. The Parable of the Seeds reminds us that sharing the gospel is a partnership between God and God’s people. As with a farmer, Christians are called to plant seeds, but both rely on God for the miracle of growth. We will ponder this amazing invitation together this Sunday in worship, praying that the Lord will prepare our hearts to be “good soil” receptive to his word.
Our Hymn of the Day is As Rain from the Clouds (ELW 508)
Enjoy this rendition, again from handbell arrangers extraordinaire Larry and Carla Sue.
Prayers of the People – 7/16/17
We pray today to the Lord of plenty, who calls us to scatter seeds of his gracious word generously. Trusting in God’s mercy, we pray for the church, the world, and for all people everywhere according to their needs. Each petition ends, “Lord, in your mercy…” to which the Congregation responds “Hear our prayer.”
Let us pray: Gracious God, we give thanks for your living word that goes out and does not return empty. Make your church a joyful and faithful partner in accomplishing what you desire. Unite us in love, witness, and mission. Bless all who partner with us in sharing the gospel. Especially today we pray for the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Bishop Kirby Unti, and the synod staff. Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.
Creating God, we pray for land, creatures, and people suffering from drought, that gentle rain would bring them life and hope. We hold up to you the millions at risk of famine in East Africa due to prolonged drought conditions. Bless all lands, that mountains, hills, trees, oceans and all of creation might clap for joy. Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.
Prince of peace, we pray for all nations, especially those lands and people suffering the violence of war, terror, oppression and injustice. We ask your protection on exiles and refugees. Lead them home in peace and bless them with your fullness. Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.
Caring God, we remember before you victims of prejudice, racism, sexism, and all forms of hatred. Comfort and protect all who are threatened by evil. Change the hearts of perpetrators of hate and harm. Bring them justice, healing, and new life by the power of your Spirit. Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.
Healing Lord, we pray for those in need, and especially member of our family of faith whose needs are known to us, and who have asked for our public prayers, especially Cheryl Buettemeier, Phyllis Hahn, Claire Huehnerhoff, Mary Mehlum, Vernette Rae, and Marilyn Van Brero. Be near to them, and comfort them in their suffering and uncertainty. Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.
In thanksgiving for all who have died recently, for all who have blessed our lives and sparked our hope, especially Doug Dennison and Dot Matthews. Give comfort and confidence to all who mourn. Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.
Joining our voices with your faithful ones in every time and pace, we offer our prayers in the name of the Risen One, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Communion hymn is For the fruit of all creation (ELW 679)
On 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.
All are welcome to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.
And because there’s always something going on, the Announcements!
WELCOME TO WORSHIP! – With our beautiful Pacific Northwest flora in full bloom all around us, we hear Jesus speak about growing in faith through a parable about seeds this morning. May our hearts be “good soil” ready to receive God’s word for us today. Welcome to all as we gather in Jesus’ name in worship.
SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE – Our Summer Schedule runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend with one combined service at 10 am. The service style varies. Sometimes we worship more like our Traditional service offered at 9 am the rest of the year – as is the case with today’s worship. Other times summer Sundays are more like our Mosaic style, our casual 11 am service. Often there are elements of both, or a blend of the two. And from time to time during the summer we try some “holy experiments” and worship in completely unique and creative ways. That’s part of the fun of summer – being together and worshipping Jesus Christ in all kinds of styles. There are often fellowship and/or learning opportunities following the service as well.
SUMMER ADULT FAITH FORMATION – continues today as we make our way through 1 and 2 Peter, part of our summer series “The Life and Letters of the Apostle Peter”. Today we are considering 1 Peter Chapter 3. Summer Adult Faith Formation meets in the Library from 11:15 am to noon, following our single summer worship service at 10 am, concluding August 27. Please note – we will not meet July 30 due to our Summer Congregational Picnic scheduled for that day following worship.
SUMMER CHURCH PICNIC – Please join us on Sunday, July 30, immediately following the 10 am service for a time of fellowship, fried chicken, and fun. It’s our Summer Church Picnic, and you’re invited! To learn more contact Fellowship Team Coordinator Linda Capron.
PLEASE WEAR YOUR NAME TAGS – This summer as we worship together, you’ll do a kindness to other members with whom you might not usually worship by wearing your name tag. It also allows the Communion Assistants to commune you by name. If you need a name tag, please contact Office Administrator Judy Giseburt in the office at 425-746-7300 or email@example.com.
DEATH OF DOROTHY MATTHEWS – Former Cross of Christ member Dorothy Matthews passed away on July 3. Prayers are requested for her family. Information regarding a memorial service will be shared when it is available.
DEATH OF DOUG DENNISON – Please keep wife Ellie and daughter Laurie in your prayers following Doug’s death this past Monday. Service arrangements are pending.
SUMMERTIME IS OUTDOOR PROJECT TIME – A very faithful but small crew gathers at Cross of Christ nearly every Wednesday morning year round to help with outdoor projects, lawn care, and other needed tasks. During the summer, the landscaping needs are greater, and the weather allows us to get to some overdue projects. To paraphrase a well-known Bible verse, “The projects are plentiful, but the workers are few!” Could you help some Wednesdays? The team starts around 9 am, and wraps up by lunchtime. Projects vary from light gardening to lawn mowing to weed whacking to bush and tree trimming. Together we can be even better stewards of our beautiful campus, creating a well-kept and welcoming environment while enjoying the good weather and the good company.
TAKE A RIDE ON THE WILD SIDE! – LARKS is sponsoring an adventure on King County Metro bus starting at 10 am on July 18. Park your car in the SoundTrans park-and-ride area at Cross of Christ – north parking lot. We’ll learn how easy it is to get around on the bus, have the opportunity to purchase an ORCA card, and enjoy lunch near one of the stops downtown. Please bring your driver’s license or passport as proof of eligibility for a Senior Discount card. And the cost? Only $3! Sign up at the Information Desk. If you have any questions, please contact Sharen Stoll or Heidi Fine
BLAKE ISLAND TILLICUM EXCURSION – The Larks are planning an outing from Seattle’s Pier 54 to Blake Island on August 22. After an appetizer, the tour departs for a 45 minute boat ride to Blake Island and includes a Northwest Native American storytelling show and “Northwest Flavors” inspired buffet. You are free to explore the island until the return trip home. Check-in time at Pier 54 is 11 am, departure is 11:30 am, and the return to Seattle is 3:30 pm. The cost is $80.44 per person including the boat ride, meal, and entertainment. Please make your reservation payment to Heidi Fine. For more information please call or email Heidi – 425-885-6750 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A sign-up sheet will be at the Information Desk. We hope you can enjoy us for this great summer experience.
70th ANNIVERSARY BLESSINGS – Betty and Bill McConnell celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past Thursday, July 13. Their family requests prayers of thanksgiving as they mark this milestone.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – Will you be traveling this summer or otherwise unable to attend worship? Take a peek at a new feature on our blog: ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It, and it’s a brief roundup of our worship service each week that includes the readings, hymns, Pastor Dave’s Sermon Snapshot, the prayers, and announcements. You can find it linked on our Facebook page or at http://www.crossofchristbellevue.org/category/icymi-worship/.
Our sending hymn is The Spirit sends us forth to serve (ELW 551)
By God’s grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to
Grow in Faith
Share the Gospel
Serve others, and
Thanks be to God!