Special services

Service of Lament and Hope

Thank you for joining us for worship! Wherever you are, we invite you to create space for worship, both in your physical space and in your heart — perhaps light a candle or fill a bowl with water to remember your baptism, or grab a bible or hymnal, or do whatever helps you most to feel worshipful.

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Sunday, August 1, 2021 • Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Lori Benesch
Ushers: Crystal Callahan, Randy Plummer

Click here to see announcements and the prayer list.

The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.


Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, who upholds us through adversity, who consoles us in our sorrows, whose mercy endures forever.

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

READING: Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 

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

We lament before you, O God, Comforter in our distress, the losses that our congregation and this community have suffered. 

We have missed our weekly assembled worship, our sharing of bread and cup, our communal song, our greetings of peace; the full observances of Holy Week and the Three Days, Easter, Christmas, Pentecost, and Trinity; baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals; gatherings for education; fellowship shared over coffee each Sunday.

We mourn members, friends, and family who have died of COVID-19, and we lament with those still living with the effects of long COVID.

O God, we lament our losses, for they are many. Restore us, gracious God.
Restore us, gracious God

At this time, all are invited to use the paper provided to write out their laments from the last 16 months – the grief, anger, sadness, frustration, hurt, and whatever else may be on your heart. We will then move outside to pray and burn these things, releasing them into God’s care as an offering. Anyone joining us from home is also invited to participate by writing and then either tearing up their paper or carefully burning it while we sing.

We lament before you, O God, Sustainer of the universe, the tragedies that our world has experienced.

We lament the millions sickened; the countless dead; thousands unemployed; medical systems depleted; frontline workers exhausted; economic security threatened; government assistance inadequate; political discord escalated; despondency rampant; racial injustice intensified; communal engagements canceled, and all the many other burdens you know our hearts carry.

O God, we lament the world’s tragedies, for they are incalculable. Heal us, compassionate God.
Heal us, compassionate God. 

All are invited to add their piece of paper to the fire as we sing our song of lament.  (The song will be hummed through once, then all may sing the verses a capella)

SONG OF LAMENT (All Creation Sings 1050) Sometimes Our Only Song Is Weeping

The assembly returns to the sanctuary.

READING: Psalm 91 (Please read responsively)
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty—
you will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust.”

For God will rescue you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly plague.
God’s wings will cover you, and you will find refuge beneath them; God’s faithfulness will be your shield and defense.

You shall not fear any terror in the night, nor the arrow that flies by day;
nor the plague that stalks in the darkness, nor the sickness that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only have to look with your eyes, and you will see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your habitation,
no evil will befall you, nor shall affliction come near your dwelling.

For God will give the angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways.
Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion cub and viper; you will trample down the lion and the serpent.
I will deliver those who cling to me; I will uphold them, because they know my name.

They will call me, and I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue and honor them.
With long life will I satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

GOSPEL: John 14:18-21, 25-27
I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

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

Today, O God of the everlasting arms, we rejoice at the re-gathering of our congregation.

We praise you for Sunday worship in word and sacrament; for the presence of our neighbor; for infants, children, youth, adults, and the aged together; for communal song and live music; for fellowship; for Bible study; for service with one another for the wider community; for our life together on the path of discipleship.

O God, we rejoice at this re-gathering for baptismal life together.  Empower our church, faithful God.
Empower our church, faithful God

Just as wildfires on the prairie make space for new growth, we have faith that God will bring forth new life and transformation out of this time of grief and challenge.  Everyone gathered will receive a piece of paper that has wildflower seeds embedded in it; on this paper, you are invited to write your hopes for our future together moving forward from here.  Where do you sense God calling us to go and grow?  This paper can be planted or kept as a reminder of God’s faithful love. If anyone participating from home would like a piece of seed paper, please contact Pr. Day.

We pray, O God of safe harbor, for the emergence of a wholesome world: a world with health restored; mourners consoled; vaccines available; hospitals restocked; employment reinstated; poverty averted; sustenance shared; science respected; travel resumed; fear replaced with confidence; sorrow turned to joy.

O God, we pray for the emergence of a wholesome world. Renew the whole world, merciful God.
Renew the whole world, merciful God. 

Give us your peace, eternal God. 
Give us your peace, eternal God

SONG OF PRAISE (ELW 841) Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

Lift ev'ry voice and sing
till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise
high as the list'ning skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us;
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun
of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chast'ning rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet
come to the place for which our parents sighed?
We have come over a way
that with tears has been watered;
we have come, treading our path
through the blood of the slaughtered;
out from the gloomy past,
till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who has by thy might
led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places,
our God, where we met thee;
lest our hearts, drunk with the wine
of the world, we forget thee;
shadowed beneath thy hand,
may we forever stand
true to our God, true to our native land.

Rooted in Christ and sustained by the Spirit, we offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all of creation.
A brief silence.

You call your church to be the body of Christ. Awaken all the baptized to the gifts you provide for carrying out the work of ministry. Where the church is divided, knit us together and restore the unity of the faith. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You command the clouds above and cause the wind to blow in the heavens. Watch over deserts and wilderness places. Regenerate rainforests, defend species at risk of extinction, and strengthen the work of conservation organizations. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You summon leaders to respond to the needs of your people. Instill those who govern with patience when confronted with grievances and perseverance in seeking what promotes the well-being of the community. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You draw near to those who cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry, reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who are imprisoned (especially…). Rain down the true bread from heaven that gives life to the world. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You receive all who come seeking a sign of grace. Make this congregation a place of hospitality for those accustomed to rejection. To those who have felt excluded here or elsewhere, prepare us to welcome them in the name of Christ. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.You provide food that endures for eternal life. Sustain us each day with the bread of life until we are gathered with all the saints and feast together at your heavenly banquet. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

We lift these and all our prayers to you, O God, confident in the promise of your saving love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

There are many ways to make your offering:

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
  • Ask your bank about setting up automatic giving
  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

Let us pray. God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing. Fill us with good things at your table, that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up 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… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.


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.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

All are welcome at the Lord’s table, whether Lutheran or not.  Ushers will invite you up by household to take communion at the table. Wine and juice are available.

COMMUNION SONG (ELW 471) Let Us Break Bread Together

Let us break bread together on our knees;
let us break bread together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us drink wine together on our knees;
let us drink wine together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us praise God together on our knees;
let us praise God together on our knees!
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.


Let us pray.

Life-giving God, in the mystery of Christ’s resurrection you send light to conquer darkness, water to give new life, and the bread of life to nourish your people. Send us forth as witnesses to your redeeming power, that we may show your glory to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our living Lord.

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

SENDING SONG (ELW 839) Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God
with hearts and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who, from our mothers' arms,
has blest us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

Oh, may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
and keep us in all grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all harm
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son, and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven,
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heav'n adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.

DISMISSAL Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.

2 thoughts on “Service of Lament and Hope”

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