Welcome to ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It; 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.
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.
Today is the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
We welcome Madeline Jo Verner into our family of faith!
Madeline, we welcome you into the Lord’s family, we receive you as a fellow member of the Body of Christ, child of the same loving creator, and a worker with us in the Kingdom of God.
Our Gathering song at our Traditional service is Rise Up, O Saints of God!
Prayer of the Day
Almighty and eternal God, your mercy and grace is limitless, and your lovingkindness never ending to us, your servants. Aware that we cannot rely on our own abilities, we ask you to grant us your merciful judgment, and train us to embody the generosity of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
This week’s readings are:
Jonah 3:10 – 4:11
10 God saw what they had done, that they had turned away from their evil lives. He did change his mind about them. What he said he would do to them he didn’t do.
4 1-2 Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, “God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That’s why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness!
3 “So, God, if you won’t kill them, kill me! I’m better off dead!”
4 God said, “What do you have to be angry about?”
5 But Jonah just left. He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together a makeshift shelter of leafy branches and sat there in the shade to see what would happen to the city.
6 God arranged for a broad-leafed tree to spring up. It grew over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased and enjoyed the shade. Life was looking up.
7-8 But then God sent a worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent a hot, blistering wind from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: “I’m better off dead!”
9 Then God said to Jonah, “What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?”
Jonah said, “Plenty of right. It’s made me angry enough to die!”
10-11 God said, “What’s this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted nor watered it. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can’t I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don’t yet know right from wrong, to say nothing of all the innocent animals?”
1 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27 Only, 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, 28 and 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. 29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
This week’s Gospel text is from Matthew 20:1-16
20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4 and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 And 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?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8 When 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.’ 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘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.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Pastor Dave’s Sermon Snapshot: “When God Is Too Generous”
In today’s gospel lesson, Jesus tells a parable that might make you respond, “Hey, that’s not fair!” God’s grace isn’t “fair” – it’s a whole lot better than that! Jesus concludes his Parable of the Vineyard Workers with well-known words, “The last shall be first, and the first, last.” God’s generosity and grace run counter to our sense of fairness and desire to get what we’re owed. Thank heavens for that!
Our Hymn of the Day in our Traditional service is Will You Let Me Be Your Servant
Prayers of the People – 9/24/17
Open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we pray for the church, the world, and all of God’s creation. Each petition will end, “Lord, in your mercy” to which the congregation responds, “Hear our prayer.” We observe a brief time of silence for preparation.
Lord of the Church, we pray for followers of your Son, Jesus Christ, here in this place and around the world. Unite us in one Spirit, striving with one mind to love you and love our neighbors in witness to our faith in you. Inspire us to be generous in all ways, and gracious to all people, especially those whom others might consider outsiders and late-comers, or who for many reasons are marginalized. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Lord of all, we long to live in harmony with others of different faiths and beliefs for the benefit of our communities, city, state, nation and world. Where we have common ground, stir us to partnerships that bring peace and promote prosperity and justice. We ask blessings upon our Inter-Faith Covenant partners of Temple B’nai Torah, Rabbi David Lipper and Cantor David Serkin-Poole, as they celebrate the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper this week and next. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Lord of creation, you stretched out the spangled heavens, scattered the stars, far-flung the galaxies, and gave birth to the universe. We thank and praise you for the gift of the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Help us tend to our home, the Earth, as grateful stewards and caretakers for ours and future generations. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Lord of life, with both mercy and justice you reign, showing faithfulness and kindness, often surprising us with your goodness and generosity. Guard those who suffer because of dishonest policies, corrupt government, or unfair labor practices. Protect victims of unjust systems. Embolden us to continue to confront racism, sexism, and prejudice of all kinds in all its forms. Bless those who work as advocates on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, the abused and the unwelcomed. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Lord of the hurting, grant grace and peace to all who worry, those who have been made to feel inferior, the lonely aged, and the disheartened young. Grant meaningful work to the unemployed. Guide the lost and wandering to safe harbors. Bless those dear to this congregation who have asked for public prayers: Anna Bero, Ben Fowler, Judy Giseburt, Phyllis Hahn, Claire Huehnerhoff, Mary Mehlum, Iris Schiffer, Vernette Rae, Corinne Riemer, and Marilyn Van Brero. Today we give you great thanks for the ministry of Pastor Judy Brennan. Empower and inspire her as she partners with us to provide care and comfort to these and all our members in their times of need. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Lord of infinite hope, we all who have recently entrusted loved ones into your eternal care, especially Mark, Emily, and the family of Cheryl Buettemeier whose Memorial Service will be held here on Saturday; Denise Fuentes, our bookkeeper, at the passing of her mother yesterday; and Julie Hockett and all others who mourn the death of Julie’s aunt, Bea Darlington. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Into your hands, gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting the power of Christ and the gifts of the Spirit.
The Communion song at our Traditional service is Salvation Unto Us Has Come
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!
INSTALLATION OF PASTOR JUDY BRENNAN – Today during both services, we officially install Pastor Judy as our Coordinator of Caring Ministries. In this part-time (10 hours wekly) role, Pastor Judy will be supporting our lay Caring Ministry leaders and volunteers, and working with Pastor Dave, to provide care for our members in need. We are thrilled to partner with her, and excited to welcome her to Cross of Christ!
ADULT FAITH FORMATION – Today we continue a Reformation-themed series, guided by Martin Luther’s Small Catechism (a copy of which will be provided to those who attend). This morning we will finish our look at the 10 Commandments. The next two weeks we will cover the Apostles’ Creed, then the Lord’s Prayer (October 15) and finally the Sacraments and Lutheran Worship (October 22). Adult Faith Formation will be on break October 29, as we enjoy Reformation Sunday and Oktoberfest. We meet from 10:15 to 10:55 am, in the Library. Please join us as together we “grow in faith!”
CHILDREN’S FAITH FORMATION – We invite kids ages 4-10 to join us in the Youth Room at 10:15 am. Our program is designed for children to be able to participate whenever they’re here, so drop-ins are welcome.
CHERYL BUETTEMEIER MEMORIAL – The Cross of Christ community is invited to a Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration of Life Saturday at 1 pm, followed by a dessert and coffee reception in the Fellowship Hall. Those willing to help with the reception by bringing items, serving, setting up and/or cleaning up following should contact Special Services Reception Committee Chair Gale Hill via email at email@example.com. Please continue to hold husband Mark and daughter Emily, and the entire Buettemeier family, friends, work colleagues, and fellow church members in your prayers during this time.
REFORMATION BANNER PANEL PROJECT – Thank you to all who donated fabric to this project. Thanks also to the artists, Heidi Fine and Wanda Magee, who have been working on it. Exciting news – it is complete and hanging the Narthex! We want to kindly acknowledge all who donated cloth which was used to make these beautiful panels. If you did, please check the sheet behind the Information Desk to ensure your name is there. If it is not, please let Pastor Dave know as soon as possible. Thank you.
LECTORS NEEDED! – Reading from God’s Word in worship is a central part of Lutheran worship. Hearing the lessons read by many different voices ads both variety and vitality to our services. Lately we’ve had lots of openings for lectors. Would you be willing to read on an upcoming Sunday? Please go to our website www.crossofchristbellevue.org and click on the “Volunteer” tab to sign up. Also, beginning this week, there is a “low tech” option – a signup sheet at the Information Desk. Thank you.
LUTHERANS RESPONDING TO VICTIMS OF HURRICANES – Lutheran Disaster Response and its affiliates are collaborating with community leaders, government officials, and other non-profit agencies to respond to the massive needs – both immediate and long-term – created by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The ELCA and Lutheran Disaster Response/Relief have a long history of caring for people impacted by natural disasters both domestically and abroad. Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response, designated for “Hurricane Response – United States” will be used entirely for these disasters. To learn more please visit the ELCA website at www.elca.org.
NATIONAL LUTHERAN CHOIR IN WASHINGTON FRIDAY – presenting a community-wide evening of singing in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. “Jesus Christ: Yesterday, Today and Forever” is a musical program celebrating a rich treasury of music – from early hymns to new works – expressing the journey of the Lutheran Church. Under the direction of Dr. David Cherwien, the 64-voice National Lutheran Choir is in concert at 7:30 pm on Friday at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle. The concert is free and open to the public. Info at: www.saintmarks.org. A freewill offering will be received to support Compass Housing Alliance and Imagine Housing. Fellow Lutheran and travel guru Rick Steves has agreed to match the offering at this event up to $20,000.
CONGREGATIONS FOR THE HOMELESS FUNDRAISING LUNCHEON – You are invited to the 8th Annual CFH Luncheon Thursday, October 5, 11 am to 1 pm, Bellevue Presbyterian Church. This year’s theme is “Homelessness to Housed – Transforming Lives.” Jon Fine, President and CEO of United Way of King County, is the keynote speaker. Luncheon and parking are complimentary, but please bring a giving spirit. The suggested minimum donation is $150, but all gifts are appreciated. If attending and wanting to be seated with fellow members, please list Cross of Christ as the Table Captain. To learn more, RSVP online, or make a donation, visit www.cfhomeless.org. Any questions please contact Nadine Bentsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NW WASHINGTON SYNOD WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION CONVENTION – October 7 from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm at Trinity Lutheran, Lynnwood. Rev. Heidi Fish, pastor of Celebration Lutheran, Anacortes, will lead a Bible study, “Dancing Through the Waters,” focusing on Miriam’s story and Exodus 15:20. For more information or to register, please visit www.lutheransnw.org/synod-women.
Our sending song in our Traditional service is Voices Raised to You
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!