Christian Education

Stewards of Creation: Week 2

Training Disciples
Spring 2022: Stewards of Creation

Week 1: May 4, 2022, 6pm

The “Faith5” practice from the Faith Inkubators ministry is designed for use at home, to build up families in faith through sharing joys and concerns, reading scripture together, and blessing and praying for one another.  Below are the five steps that we will practice this evening. If you’re gathered at home with family, you can practice this, or if you live alone, you might call a friend or family member.

Step 1: Share your highs and lows
Listen attentively, especially to the person to your right – you will be praying for them later. If you did the Creation Appreciation activity last week, you might share this now too!

Step 2: Read a bible verse, passage, or story
At home you might choose something from the lectionary or another meaningful portion of scripture; tonight we will read from the creation stories in Genesis 1-2 and also Psalm 8.

Step 3: Talk about the bible reading
Tonight we’ll do this with words and an activity!
• What words or phrases catch your attention?
• How does this scripture connect with your highs and lows?
• What do you think it means to be made in God’s image?  What does it mean to you?
• What is stewardship – what does it mean to be a steward?

Take home (or stay home!) activity: Homemade Play-Dough
We are created in the image of our loving Creator!
You can find the recipe we used for making play-dough here.

To keep your play-dough soft and moldable, put it in a ziploc baggie and store it in an airtight container at room temperature (no need to refrigerate).  
Or, if you want to make more long-lasting art, mold your play-dough into the shape(s) you want and let it dry – once completely dry, you can apply a protective coating/varnish to keep it even longer.  You could make a cross to hang on your wall, a small pot/dish, a pendant, beads – the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination!

Step 4: Pray for one another
Starting with Pastor, we will each pray for the person on our right. It doesn’t need to be long or elaborate; it can be as simple as giving thanks for what they lifted up as their highs and asking God to care for them in whatever they listed as their lows

Step 5: Bless one another
Turning to the person on our left, we will mark the sign of the cross on their forehead as we bless them. Tonight, we will use this blessing:
[name], beloved child of God, you are made in the image of our Creator, called to be a faithful steward.


READING: Genesis 1:26-31, 2:4b-9, 15
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27 So God created humankind in God’s image,
    in the image of God they were created;
    people of all genders God created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2:4b In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the first human from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the human became a living being. 

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there God put the human who had been formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 The Lord God took the human and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

READING: Psalm 8
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;

what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,

all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Christian Education

Stewards of Creation: Week 1

Training Disciples
Spring 2022: Stewards of Creation

Week 1: April 27, 2022, 6pm

The “Faith5” practice from the Faith Inkubators ministry is designed for use at home, to build up families in faith through sharing joys and concerns, reading scripture together, and blessing and praying for one another.  Below are the five steps that we will practice this evening. If you’re gathered at home with family, you can practice this, or if you live alone, you might call a friend or family member.

Step 1: Share your highs and lows
Listen attentively, especially to the person to your right – you will be praying for them later

Step 2: Read a bible verse, passage, or story
At home you might choose something from the lectionary or another meaningful portion of scripture; tonight we will read Psalm 104 (below)

Step 3: Talk about the bible reading
What words or phrases catch your attention?
How does this scripture connect with your highs and lows?
What do you notice about what God is doing in this reading?
Related to our theme, how does this reading make you feel about creation?

Step 4: Pray for one another
Starting with Pastor, we will each pray for the person on our right. It doesn’t need to be long or elaborate; it can be as simple as giving thanks for what they lifted up as their highs and asking God to care for them in whatever they listed as their lows

Step 5: Bless one another
Turning to the person on our left, we will mark the sign of the cross on their forehead as we bless them. tonight, we will use this blessing:
[name], child of God, you are a beloved part of God’s creation

Take home (or stay home!) activity: Creation appreciation!

Notice something in creation this week and creatively make note of it. You can use the creation appreciation handout or another sheet of paper. Some fun ideas you could try:

  • draw what you see or make a pencil/chalk rubbing of it
  • try to trace the outline of your pet’s paw or the hand of someone in your household
  • use ink or paint to make a stamp out of something in creation
  • tape or glue your creation find to this page (not recommended for pets or other household members 😉)

READING: Psalm 104

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with majesty and splendor.

2 You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak and stretch out the heavens like a tent.

3 You lay the beams of your chambers in the waters above; you make the clouds your chariot; you ride on the wings of the wind.

4 You make the winds your messengers and flames of fire your servants.

5 You set the earth upon its foundations, so that from now until forever it shall never be moved.

6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.

7 At your rebuke the waters fled, scattered by your voice of thunder.

8 They went up into the mountains and descended down to the valleys, to the place where you assigned them.

9 You set the limits that they should not pass; never shall they return to cover the earth again.

10 You made the springs into rivers that flow between the mountains.

11 All the animals drink their fill from them, and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

12 Beside them the birds of the air make their nests; among the branches they lift their voice.

13 From your dwelling on high, you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your works.

14 You make grass grow for the cattle, and plants to serve humankind; that they may bring forth food from the earth,

15 wine to gladden human hearts, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are well supplied, the cedars of Lebanon that you planted,

17 in which the birds build their nests, while the stork makes the fir trees its dwelling

18 The high hills belong to the mountain goats, and the stony cliffs are a refuge for the badgers.

19 You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows the time of its setting.

20 You bring on darkness that it may be night, in which all the beasts of the forest prowl.

21 The lions roar for their prey seeking their food from God.

22 The sun rises, and they withdraw and lay themselves down in their dens.

23 People go forth to their work and to their labor until the evening.

24 How manifold are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, with its swarms too many to number, living things both small and great.

26 There go the ships to and fro, and Leviathan, which you made for the sport of it.

27 All of them look to you to give them their food in due season.

28 You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

29 When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

30 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; O Lord, rejoice in all your works.

32 You look at the earth and it trembles; you touch the mountains and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.

34 May these words of mine please God. I will rejoice in the Lord.35 Let sinfulness be consumed from the earth and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Hallelujah!

Special services

Easter Sunday Bulletin

Happy Easter! 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.

Please click below to support our ministry through your offering:


Sunday, April 17, 2022 • Easter Sunday
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Jon Knutson
Usher: Rick Fendrick
Communion assistant: Tracey Kracl
Bulletin slideshow: Crystal Callahan

Click here to see announcements and the prayer list.

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

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM 
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

In the waters of baptism, we have passed over from death to life with Jesus Christ, and we are a new creation. For this saving mystery, and for this water, let us bless God, who was, who is, and who is to come.

We thank you, God, for your river of life, flowing freely from your throne: through the earth, through the city, through every living thing. You rescued Noah and his family from the flood; You opened wide the sea for the Israelites. Now in these waters you flood us with mercy, and our sin is drowned forever. You open the gate of righteousness and we pass safely through. In Jesus Christ, you calm and trouble the waters. You nourish us and enclose us in safety. You call us forth and send us out. In lush and barren places, you are with us. You have become our salvation.

Now breathe upon this water and awaken your church once more. Claim us again as your beloved and holy people. Quench our thirst; cleanse our hearts; wipe away every tear. To you, our Beginning and our End, our Shepherd and Lamb, be honor, glory, praise, and thanksgiving, now and forever.
Amen.

GATHERING SONG (ELW 382Christ Is Risen! Alleluia!

Christ is risen! Alleluia! Risen our victorious head!
Sing his praises! Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead!
Gratefully our hearts adore him as his light once more appears;
bowing down in joy before him, rising up from griefs and tears.
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Risen our victorious head!
Sing his praises! Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead!

Christ is risen! All the sadness of our Lenten fast is o’er;
through the open gates of gladness he returns to life once more;
death and hell before him bending see him rise, the victor now,
angels on his steps attending, glory round his wounded brow. 
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Risen our victorious head!
Sing his praises! Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead!

Christ is risen! All the sorrow that last evening round him lay
now has found a glorious morrow in the rising of today.
See the grave its firstfruits giving, springing up from holy ground;
Christ was dead, but now is living; he was lost, but he is found. 
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Risen our victorious head!
Sing his praises! Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead!

Christ is risen! Henceforth never death or hell shall us enthrall.
We are Christ’s, in him forever we have triumphed over all.
All the doubting and dejection of our trembling hearts have ceased;
hail the day of resurrection! Let us rise and keep the feast. 
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Risen our victorious head!
Sing his praises! Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead!

GREETING
Alleluia!  Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!
Alleluia!  Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

KYRIE
In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above, and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house, and for all who offer here their worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
Amen.

CANTICLE OF PRAISE
This is the feast of victory for our God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
whose blood set us free to be people of God.
This is the feast of victory for our God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Power, riches, wisdom and strength,
and honor, blessing, and glory are his.
This is the feast of victory for our God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Sing with all the people of God,
and join in the hymn of all creation:
Blessing, honor, glory, and might
be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen.
This is the feast of victory for our God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
For the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign.
Alleluia.
This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.


Let us pray.

God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

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

FIRST READING: Acts 10:34-43
Peter began to speak to [the people]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 

We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

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

PSALM: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Give thanks to the Lord, for the  Lord is good; God’s mercy endures forever.
Let Israel now declare, “God’s mercy endures forever.”

The Lord is my strength and my song, and has become  my salvation.
Shouts of rejoicing and salvation echo in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!

The right hand of the Lord is exalted! The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!”
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. 

The Lord indeed punished me sorely, but did not hand me over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord.

“This is the gate of the Lord; here the righteous may enter.”
I give thanks to you, for you have answered me and you have become my salvation. 

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done; it is marvelous  in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

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

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Alleluia, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL: Luke 24:1-12
The holy gospel according to Luke.  
Glory to you, O Lord.

On the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

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

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 380) Hallelujah! Jesus Lives!

Hallelujah!  Jesus lives! 
He is now the Living One;
from the gloomy halls of death
Christ, the conquerer, has gone,
bright forerunner to the skies
of his people, yet to rise.

Jesus lives!  Why do you weep?
Why that sad and mournful sigh?
Christ who died our brother here
lives our brother still on high,
lives forever to bestow
blessings on his church below.

Jesus lives!  And thus, my soul, 
life eternal waits for you;
joined to Christ, your living head,
where he is, you shall be too;
with the Lord, at God’s right hand,
as a victor you shall stand.

Jesus lives!  Let all rejoice.
Praise him, ransomed of the earth.
Praise him in a nobler song,
cherubim of heav’nly birth.
Praise the victor king, whose sway
sin and death and hell obey.

Hallelujah!  Angels, sing!
Join with us in hymns of praise.
Let your chorus swell the strain
which our feebler voices raise:
Glory to our God above
and on earth his peace and love!

APOSTLES CREED

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.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
On this day of resurrection joy, let us offer our prayers for ourselves, our neighbors, and our world.
A brief silence.

Renewing God, the good news of your resurrection changed the world. Give church leaders and all the baptized the same excitement as the women at the tomb, and inspire us to share your abundant life. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

Sustaining God, your creation abounds with signs of new life in budding trees and newborn creatures. Provide fertile soil, ample sunlight, and nourishing rain for the growth of plants, and provide farmers with a plentiful harvest. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

Sheltering God, strengthen and sustain all who support vulnerable people across the world (especially). Empower government agencies and international organizations that provide for refugees and migrants forced to leave their homelands. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

Encouraging God, you do a new thing among us. We pray for those gripped by fear and anxiety or who suffer in any way (especially). Send us as your healing presence to places of hunger, pain, illness, or overwhelming sorrow. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

Surprising God, you offer endless ways for us to delight in your grace. Give this community of faith a sense of joy and wonder in exploring new avenues of faith formation, worship, and discipleship. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

Resurrecting God, you make us alive in Christ. Thank you for blessing us with faithful witnesses who now rest in you (especially). Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

We offer to you these petitions and those we carry in our hearts, trusting in your abundant and ever-present mercy.
Amen.

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

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
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)

OFFERING PRAYER
Living God, you gather the wolf and the lamb to feed together in your peaceable reign, and you welcome us all at your table. Reach out to us through this meal, and show us your wounded and risen body, that we may be nourished and believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

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.

PREFACE

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, heav’n and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.


THANKSGIVING AT THE TABLE
With this bread and cup… we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

O God of resurrection and new life… grace our table with your presence.
Come, Holy Spirit.

Reveal yourself to us… send us forth burning with justice, peace, and love.
Come, Holy Spirit.

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

COMMUNION
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 393) A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

A hymn of glory let us sing!
New hymns throughout the world shall ring:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,
ascends unto the throne of God.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The holy apostolic band
upon the Mount of Olives stand,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
and with his faithful foll’wers see
their Lord ascend in majesty.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

To whom the shining angels cry,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?”
Alleluia! Alleluia!
“This is the Savior!” thus they say,
“this is his glorious triumph day!”
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

“You see him now, ascending high
up to the portals of the sky.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!
“Hereafter Jesus you shall see
returning in great majesty.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
all praise to you let earth accord:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
You are, while endless ages run,
with Father and with Spirit one.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Let us pray.

We give you thanks, generous God, for in this bread and cup we have tasted the new heaven and earth where hunger and thirst are no more. Send us from this table as witnesses to the resurrection, that through our lives, all may know life in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

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

SENDING SONG (ELW 385Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing!

Good Christian friends, rejoice and sing!
Now is the triumph of our king!
To all the world glad news we bring:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The Lord of life is ris’n this day;
death’s mighty stone is rolled away;
let all the earth rejoice and say:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Praise we in songs of victory
that love, that life which cannot die,
and sing with hearts uplifted high:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Your name we bless, O risen Lord,
and sing today with one accord,
the life laid down, the life restored:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

BLESSING
God, the Author of life, Christ, the living Cornerstone, and the life-giving Spirit of adoption, bless you now and forever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Go in peace. Tell what God has done.
Thanks be to God.

Special services

Easter Vigil Bulletin

Thank you for joining us for worship this evening! As we prepare to worship, you’re encouraged to make space for worship in your home: candles you can light as the lights are turned up with each reading (six lights), perhaps some flowers or green plants, items or images that evoke the readings themselves (creation, the escape from Egypt, God’s abundant blessings, Daniel in the fiery furnace, the empty tomb)

Saturday, April 16, 2022 • Vigil of Easter
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organists: Betty Herde, Chrissi Bywater
Ushers: Randy Plummer, Ryan Callahan
Communion assistant: Chrissi Bywater
Bulletin slideshow: Jalaine Vavricek
Cross-bearer: Riah Callahan
Lights: Crystal Callahan


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

The historic Vigil of Easter on Saturday night is a means of keeping Sunday in the ancient way, by beginning a new day after sunset on the previous evening. We gather in silence around a new fire, remembering that Christ is our one true light. Just as the cross of Good Friday stood for Christ’s death, so now the paschal candle stands for the risen Christ. And we share this light with one another, as we are all illumined by Christ’s light in our baptism. The Easter Vigil is actually the origin of some of the practices which we now associate with Christmas Eve.

GREETING
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.

LIGHTING OF A NEW FIRE
Sisters and brothers in Christ, on this most holy night when our Savior Jesus Christ passed from death to life, we gather with the church throughout the world in vigil and prayer.  This is the passover of Jesus Christ.  Through light and the word, through water and oil, bread and wine, we proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection, share Christ’s triumph over sin and death, and await Christ’s coming again in glory.

Let us pray.

Eternal God, in Jesus Christ you have given the light of new life to all the world. Bless this new fire, and increase in us a desire to shine forth with the brightness of Christ’s rising, until we feast at the banquet of eternal light; through the Sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ our Lord.  
Amen.

Christ, yesterday and today, the beginning and the ending. To Christ belongs all time and all the ages; to Christ belongs glory and dominion now and forever. 
Amen.

The light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.

PROCESSION
The light of Christ. Thanks be to God.
The light of Christ. Thanks be to God.
The light of Christ. Thanks be to God.

EASTER PROCLAMATION
The chanted Easter proclamation is reminiscent of the thanksgiving at the table we give every Sunday and it is one of the church’s ancient songs.  This exultant prayer of thanksgiving comes down to us from the fourth century and calls on the whole earth to join Christians in the praise of God.  At the Jewish Passover meal, the youngest child asks, Why is this night different from all other nights?  And the answer comes: because “This is the night” of our salvation.

Rejoice, now, all heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne! Jesus Christ is risen!
Celebrate the divine mysteries with exultation;
and for so great a victory, sound the trumpet of salvation.
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your king!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes forever.
Rejoice, O holy church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

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 with full devotion of heart and mind and voice
we should praise the invisible God, and the only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord;
who, by his precious blood, redeemed us from bondage to the ancient sin.
For this indeed is the Paschal Feast in which the true Lamb is slain,
by whose blood the doorposts of the faithful are made holy.

This is the night 
This is the night
in which, in ancient times,
you delivered our forebears, the children of Israel,
and led them, dry-shod, through the sea.
This is the night
This is the night
in which the darkness of sin has been purged away by the rising brightness.
This is the night
This is the night
in which all who believe in Christ are rescued from evil and the gloom of sin,
are renewed in grace, and are restored to holiness.

This is the night
This is the night
in which, breaking the chains of death, Christ arises from hell in triumph.
O night truly blessed which alone was worthy to know
the time and hour in which Christ arose again from hell!

This is the night
This is the night
of which it is written: “The night is as clear as the day,”
and, “then shall my night be turned into day.”
The holiness of this night puts to flight the deeds of wickedness;
washes away sin; restores innocence to the fallen,
and joy to those who mourn; casts out hate; brings peace;
and humbles earthly pride.

Therefore, in this night of grace,
receive, O God, our praise and thanksgiving
for the light of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,
reflected in the burning of this candle.
We sing the glories of this pillar of fire,
the brightness of which is not diminished
even when its light is divided and borrowed.
For it is fed by the melting wax which the bees, your servants,
have made for the substance of this candle.
This is the night
This is the night
in which heaven and earth are joined—things human and things divine.

We, therefore, pray to you, O God,
that this candle, burning to the honor of your name,
will continue to vanquish the darkness of night
and be mingled with the lights of heaven.
May Christ the Morning Star find it burning,
that Morning Star who never sets,
that Morning Star who, rising from the grave,
faithfully sheds light on the whole human race.

And we pray, O God, rule, govern, and preserve
with your continual protection your whole church,
giving us peace in this time of our paschal rejoicing;
through the same Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray.

Eternal giver of life and light, this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ. Renew your church with the Spirit given us in baptism, that we may worship you in sincerity and truth and may shine as a light in the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

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

For millennia, humans have gathered around a fire to tell their ancestral stories, and the Vigil of Easter is the chance for the church to do so. These are the stories of our ancestors, our history as God’s people. As you hear these stories once again (or even for the first time), feel the connection to all the generations of the faithful who came before us, in whose hearts these same stories have lived.

FIRST READING: Genesis 1:1–2:4a
Video
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

FIRST PRAYER
Almighty God, you wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and yet more wonderfully restored it. In your mercy, let us share the divine life of the one who came to share our humanity, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Amen.

HYMN RESPONSE (ELW 363) Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain (verse 1)

Come, you faithful, raise the strain
of triumphant gladness!
God has brought forth Israel
into joy from sadness,
loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke
Jacob’s sons and daughters;
led them with unmoistened foot
through the Red Sea waters.

SECOND READING: Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
Video
As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.” The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 

The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

SECOND PRAYER
O God, whose wonderful deeds of old shine forth even to our own day: By the power of your mighty arm you once delivered your chosen people from slavery under Pharaoh, a sign for us of the salvation offered to everyone by the water of baptism. Grant that all the peoples of earth may partake in the salvation of the Israelites and together dance on the safe side of the sea, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

HYMN RESPONSE (ELW 363) Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain (verse 2)

‘Tis the spring of souls today:
Christ has burst his prison,
and from three days’ sleep in death
as a sun has risen.
All the winter of our sins, 
long and dark, is flying
from the Light to whom we give
laud and praise undying.

THIRD READING: Isaiah 55:1-11
Video
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; 
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! 
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, 
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 
Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. 
I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 
See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 
See, you shall call nations that you do not know, 
and nations that do not know you shall run to you, 
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 
let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; 
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, 
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways 
and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
For 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, 
so 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.

THIRD PRAYER
Holy God, you created all things by the power of your Word, and you renew the whole earth by your Spirit. Give now the water of life to all who thirst for you, that, rejoicing in your covenant of mercy, we may bring forth abundant fruit, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. 
Amen.

HYMN RESPONSE (ELW 363) Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain (verse 3)

Now the queen of seasons, bright
with the day of splendor,
with the royal feast of feasts
comes its joy to render;
comes to glad Jerusalem,
who with true affection
welcomes in unwearied strain
Jesus’ resurrection!

FOURTH READING: Daniel 3:1-29
Video
King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 

Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent for the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Accordingly, at this time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, shall fall down and worship the golden statue, and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary, and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. So the men were bound, still wearing their tunics, their trousers, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. Because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O king.” He replied, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them. Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.”

FOURTH PRAYER
Almighty and eternal God, the only hope of the world, by the proclamation of your prophets you declare to us the word of salvation. By the grace of your Spirit increase the devotion of all the baptized, that, strengthened by your presence, we may withstand hardship and sorrow and be united with your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

HYMN RESPONSE (ELW 363) Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain (verse 4)

Neither could the gates of death,
nor the tomb’s dark portal,
nor the watchers, nor the seal,
hold you as a mortal:
but today, among your own,
you appear, bestowing
your deep peace, which evermore
passes human knowing.

NEW TESTAMENT READING: Romans 6:3-11
Video
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (ELW 363) Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain (verse 5)

Alleluia! now we cry
to our Lord immortal,
who triumphant burst the bars
of the tomb’s dark portal;
Alleluia! with the Son
God the Father praising;
Alleluia! yet again 
to the Spirit raising.

GOSPEL: John 20:1-18
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

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

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 369) Christ the Lord is Risen Today! Alleluia!

Christ the Lord is ris’n today; Alleluia!
Christians, hasten on your way; Alleluia!
offer praise with love replete, Alleluia!
at the paschal victim’s feet.  Alleluia!

For the sheep the Lamb has bled, Alleluia!
sinless in the sinner’s stead.  Alleluia!
Christ the Lord is ris’n on high; Alleluia!
now he lives, no more to die.  Alleluia!

Christ, the victim undefiled, Alleluia!
God and sinners reconciled, Alleluia!
when contending death and life, Alleluia!
met in strange and awesome strife.  Alleluia!

Christians, on this holy day, Alleluia!
all your grateful homage pay; Alleluia!
Christ the Lord is ris’n on high; Alleluia!
now he lives, no more to die.  Alleluia!

AFFIRMATION OF BAPTISM AND WELCOME OF NEW MEMBERS
Dear friends, we give thanks for the gift of baptism and for these people, one with us in the body of Christ, who are making public affirmation of their baptism.

Let us pray.

Merciful God, we thank you for these siblings, whom you have made your own by water and the Word in baptism. You have called them to yourself, enlightened them with the gifts of your Spirit, and nourished them in the community of faith. Uphold your servants in the gifts and promises of baptism, and unite the hearts of all whom you have brought to new birth. We ask this in the name of Christ.
Amen.

I ask you to profess your faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the church.

Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?
I renounce them.

Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God?
I renounce them.

Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God?
I renounce them.

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

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
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.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
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.

You have made public profession of your faith. Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism: to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?

Those affirming their faith respond: I do, and I ask God to help and guide me.

People of God, do you promise to support these beloved siblings and to pray for them in their life in Christ?
We do, and we ask God to help and guide us.

Let us pray.

We give you thanks, O God, that through water and the Holy Spirit you give us new birth, cleanse us from sin, and raise us to eternal life.

The pastor lays hands on the head of each person in turn and blesses them

Let us rejoice with these siblings in Christ.
We rejoice with you in the life of baptism. Together we will give thanks and praise to God and proclaim the good news to all the world.

The assembly makes some noise to welcome these new siblings in Christ!

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
On this holiest of nights, we offer prayers for ourselves, our neighbors, and our world.
Silence for reflection

God of the ages, you have accompanied your people throughout history, delivering them from flood, fire, and famine. Inspire your church to tell the story of your unfailing love and presence. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

God of the cosmos, you declared your creation good. Make us mindful of the roles every plant and creature play in your creation and guide us in protecting and restoring our shared home. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

God of the nations, you desire justice in all lands. Raise up leaders who encourage us to step away from fear and distrust and increase our desire for collaborative peace. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

God of darkness, you keep watch as we labor through the night. Protect mothers in childbirth. Shelter all who have no safe place to lay their head. Give ample rest to any who cannot sleep due to fear, illness, or overwork (especially). Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

God of community, you knit your people together into one body through the waters of baptism. We pray for those newly baptized (especially). Kindle faith in each person and renew our zeal to live out our baptismal promises. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

God of new life, you welcome the faithful dead with open arms and the assurance of new life. We give thanks for those who have died (especially) and rejoice that they have found rest in you. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

We offer to you these petitions and those we carry in our hearts, trusting in your abundant and ever-present mercy.
Amen.

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

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
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)

OFFERING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Blessed are you, O God, ruler of heaven and earth. Day by day you shower us with blessings. As you have raised us to new life in Christ, give us glad and generous hearts, ready to praise you and to respond to those in need, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

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.

PREFACE

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, heav’n and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER / WORDS OF INSTITUTION
For as often as we eat… the Lord’s death until he comes:
Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

Therefore, O God… to share with us the great and promised feast.
Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Send now, we pray… receive our inheritance with all your saints in light.
Amen.  Come, Holy Spirit.

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
The risen Christ dwells with us here. All who are hungry, all who are thirsty, come.

COMMUNION
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 515) Break Now the Bread of Life

Break now the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
as once you broke the loaves beside the sea.
Beyond the sacred page I seek you, Lord;
my spirit waits for you, O living Word.

Bless your own word of truth, dear Lord, to me,
as when you blessed the bread by Galilee.
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
and I shall find my peace, my All-in-All!

You are the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
your holy word the truth that rescues me.
Give me to eat and live with you above;
teach me to love your truth, for you are love.

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Let us pray.

We give you thanks, generous God, for in this bread and cup we have tasted the new heaven and earth where hunger and thirst are no more. Send us from this table as witnesses to the resurrection, that through our lives, all may know life in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

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

SENDING SONG (ELW 342) Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss.  Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heav’nly king, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save.  Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
our salvation have procured; Alleluia!
now above the sky he’s king, Alleluia!
where the angels ever sing.  Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
praise eternal as his love; Alleluia!
praise him, all you heav’nly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Alleluia!

BLESSING
God, the Author of life, Christ, the living Cornerstone, and the life-giving Spirit of adoption, bless you now and forever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Go in peace. Tell what God has done.
Thanks be to God.

Special services

Good Friday Bulletin

Thank you for joining us for worship this evening. Wherever you are, we invite you to create space for worship, both in your physical space and in your heart. Your worship experience may be enriched by having a cross on hand that you can contemplate as this service unfolds.

Please consider making an offering to support the ministry of St. John’s Lutheran.

Friday, April 15, 2022 • Good Friday
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organists: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Lori Benesch
Usher: Jon Knutson
Prayer Assistant: Jon Knutson
Cross-bearer: Gavin Bywater
Bulletin slideshow: Crystal Callahan


We gather today in silence. Life and death stand side by side as we enter into Good Friday. In John’s passion account, Jesus reveals the power and glory of God, even as he is put on trial and sentenced to death. Standing with the disciples at the foot of the cross, we pray for the whole world in the ancient bidding prayer, as Christ’s death offers life to all. We gather in solemn devotion, but always with the promise that the tree around which we assemble is indeed a tree of life. We depart silently, and we anticipate the culmination of the Three Days in the Easter Vigil.

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

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray.

Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

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

FIRST READING: Isaiah 52:13—53:12
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate. Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away.

Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM 22
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors put their trust in you, they trusted, and you rescued them. 

They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
But as for me, I am a worm and not human, scorned by all and despised by the people.

All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips; they shake their heads.
“Trust in the Lord; let the Lord deliver; let God rescue him if God so delights in him.” 

Yet you are the one who drew me forth from the womb, and kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born; you were my God when I was still in my mother’s womb.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
Many young bulls encircle me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me. 

They open wide their jaws at me, like a slashing and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart within my breast is melting wax.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of death.
Packs of dogs close me in, a band of evildoers circles round me;
they pierce my hands and my feet. 

I can count all my bones while they stare at me and gloat.
They divide my garments among them; for my clothing, they cast lots.

But you, O Lord, be not far away; O my help, hasten to my aid.
Deliver me from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.

Save me from the lion’s mouth! From the horns of wild bulls you have rescued me.
I will declare your name to my people; in the midst of the assembly I will praise you. 

You who fear the Lord, give praise! All you of Jacob’s line, give glory. Stand in awe of the Lord, all you off-spring of Israel.
For the Lord does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither is the Lord‘s face hidden from them; but when they cry out, the Lord hears them.

From you comes my praise in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the sight of those who fear the Lord.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied, Let those who seek the Lord give praise! May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; all the families of nations shall bow before God.
For dominion belongs to the Lord, who rules over the nations. 

Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel before the Lord.
Their descendants shall serve the Lord, whom they shall proclaim to generations to come.

They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying to them, “The Lord has acted!”

SECOND READING: Hebrews 10:16-25
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,” he also adds,  “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Return to the Lord, your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

GOSPEL: John 18:1—19:42
The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Silence for reflection

HYMN RESPONSE (ELW 347) Go to Dark Gethsemane (verse 1)

Go to dark Gethsemane,
all who feel the tempter’s pow’r;
your Redeemer’s conflict see.
Watch with him one bitter hour;
turn not from his griefs away;
learn from Jesus Christ to pray.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed. Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”  After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. 

Silence for reflection

HYMN RESPONSE (ELW 347) Go to Dark Gethsemane (verse 2)

Follow to the judgment hall,
view the Lord of life arraigned;
oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs his soul sustained!
Shun not suff’ring, shame, or loss;
learn from him to bear the cross.

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. 

They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says,  “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Silence for reflection

HYMN RESPONSE (ELW 347) Go to Dark Gethsemane (verse 3)

Calv’ry’s mournful mountain climb;
there, adoring at his feet,
mark that miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete.
“It is finished!” hear him cry;
learn from Jesus Christ to die.

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Silence for reflection

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

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 337) Alas and Did My Savior Bleed

Alas! And did my Savior bleed,
and did my sov’reign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?

Was it for sins that I had done
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown,
and love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
and shut its glories in
when God, the mighty maker, died
for his own creatures’ sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear cross appears,
dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt my eyes to tears.

But tears of grief cannot repay
the debt of love I owe;
here, Lord, I give myself away:
‘tis all that I can do.

BIDDING PRAYER
Since the third century, Christians have gathered on Good Friday at the foot of the cross and there prayed the great intercessions.  It is as if the cross is in the center of all things, and as we stand with Mary and John at the cross, the bidding prayer opens us up to ever-widening circles of concern.  In these intercessions we ask God to look with mercy on every person and thing in the cosmos. (From “Worship Guidebook for Lent and the Three Days”)

Let us pray, brothers and sisters, for the holy church throughout the world.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you have shown your glory to all nations in Jesus Christ. By your Holy Spirit guide the church and gather it throughout the world. Help it to persevere in faith, proclaim your name, and bring the good news of salvation in Christ to all people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  
Amen.

Let us pray for Elizabeth and Brian, our bishops, for Day, our pastor, for all servants of the church, and for all the people of God.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, your Spirit guides the church and makes it holy. Strengthen and uphold our bishops, pastors, other ministers, and lay leaders. Keep them in health and safety for the good of the church, and help each of us in our various vocations to do faithfully the work to which you have called us. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those preparing for baptism.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you continue to bless the church. Increase the faith and understanding of those preparing for baptism. Give them new birth as your children, and keep them in the faith and communion of your holy church. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for our sisters and brothers who share our faith in Jesus Christ.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you give your church unity. Look with favor on all who follow Jesus your Son. Make all the baptized one in the fullness of faith, and keep us united in the fellowship of love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and your teaching to Moses. Hear our prayers that the people you called and elected as your own may receive the fulfillment of the covenant’s promises. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, gather into your embrace all those who call out to you under different names. Bring an end to inter-religious strife, and make us more faithful witnesses of the love made known to us in your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who do not believe in God.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you created humanity so that all may long to know you and find peace in you. Grant that all may recognize the signs of your love and grace in the world and in the lives of Christians, and gladly acknowledge you as the one true God. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for God’s creation.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you are the creator of a magnificent universe. Hold all the worlds in the arms of your care and bring all things to fulfillment in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who serve in public office.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you are the champion of the poor and oppressed. In your goodness, give wisdom to those in authority, so that all people may enjoy justice, peace, freedom, and a share in the goodness of your creation. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those in need.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you give strength to the weary and new courage to those who have lost heart. Heal the sick, comfort the dying, give safety to travelers, free those unjustly deprived of liberty, and deliver your world from falsehood, hunger, and disease. Hear the prayers of all who call on you in any trouble, that they may have the joy of receiving your help in their need. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Finally, let us pray for all those things for which our Lord would have us ask.
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.

PROCESSION OF THE CROSS
Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Once the cross has been carried in and placed at the front of the sanctuary, all are invited to come forward to make a sign of reverence.  Reverencing the cross may include actions like pausing before the cross, bowing, kneeling and praying before it, or touching it.  During this time, we hear the chanting of the solemn reproaches, which come to us from medieval liturgical poetry.  The text of the solemn reproaches is Christ’s lament against the church, therefore the music is appropriately solemn.  In this poem, the church takes into itself biblical accounts of both divine blessing and human failures, recognizing in these ancient stories that the bible is about us too.

SOLEMN REPROACHES
O my people, O my church, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me. I led you out of slavery into freedom, and delivered you through the waters of rebirth, but you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church, what have I done to you?
How have I offended you?  Answer me. 
I led you out of slavery into freedom,
and delivered you through the waters of rebirth, 
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior.

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
Forty years I led you through the desert,
feeding you with manna on the way;
I saved you from the time of trial
and gave you my body, the bread of heaven,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud and fire,
but you led me to the judgment hall of Pilate;
I guided you by the light of the Holy Spirit,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I planted you as my fairest vineyard,
but you brought forth bitter fruit;
I made you branches of the vine and never left your side,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I poured out saving water from the rock,
but you gave me vinegar to drink;
I poured out my life and gave you the new covenant in my blood, 
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I gave you a royal scepter,
but you gave me a crown of thorns;
I gave you the kingdom and crowned you with eternal life, 
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I struck down your enemies,
but you struck my head with a reed;
I gave you my peace,
but you draw the sword in my name, 
and you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I opened the waters to lead you to the promised land,
but you opened my side with a spear;
I washed your feet as a sign of my love,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I lifted you up to the heights,
but you lifted me high on a cross;
I raised you from death and prepared for you the tree of life,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I grafted you into my people Israel,
but you made them scapegoats for your own guilt,
and you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

O my people, O my church,
what more could I have done for you?
Answer me.
I came to you in the least of your brothers and sisters,
but I was hungry and you gave me no food,
thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you did not welcome me,
naked and you did not clothe me,
sick and in prison and you did not visit me,
and you have prepared a cross for your Savior. 

Holy, holy, holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Silence for reflection

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

SENDING SONG (ELW 342) There in God’s Garden

There in God's garden stands the Tree of Wisdom,
whose leaves hold forth the healing of the nations:
Tree of all knowledge, Tree of all compassion,
Tree of all beauty.

Its name is Jesus, name that says, “Our Savior!”
There on its branches see the scars of suffering;
see there the tendrils of our human selfhood
feed on its life-blood.

Thorns not its own are tangled in its foliage;
our greed has starved it, our despite has choked it.
Yet look! it lives! its grief has not destroyed it
nor fire consumed it.

See how its branches reach to us in welcome;
hear what the Voice says, “Come to me, ye weary!
Give me your sickness, give me all your sorrow,
I will give blessing.”

This is my ending, this my resurrection;
into your hands, Lord, I commit my spirit.
This have I searched for; now I can possess it.
This ground is holy.

All heav’n is singing, “Thanks to Christ whose passion
offers in mercy healing, strength, and pardon.
Peoples and nations, take it, take it freely!”
Amen! My Master!

All depart in silence.