Sunday Worship Service: 15 November 2020


A reminder: Gospel Animals DVD/ Meal pickup will be this Saturday,
November 21st from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at First Evangelical
Lutheran Church.

Parish House Office Hours
The Parish House office will have limited regular hours as of this past
Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and
Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Please note, per the CDC recommendations regarding COVID-19,
masks are required in the Parish House, in addition to physical distancing
of at least 6 feet. A hand sanitizing station is set up inside the door
and we ask that you sanitize your hands upon entering the Parish
House. The Church remains closed except for recording online services.

Worship Survey
A survey has been sent to the congregation to help determine how we
proceed with worship through the winter months. You should have received it and some of you have returned it already, Thank you! Please make an effort to respond so that your opinion can help determine how we move forward with worship as a congregation.

Congregational Budget Meeting
Our annual fall congregational meeting to approve the budget will be
November 22 with a rain/postponement date of November 29. The
meeting will be in person, outdoors if possible. If necessary, we will
meet in the sanctuary in smaller groups to facilitate safety and participation. A zoom link will also be made available so you can meet and vote without even coming to the church!
You should have received your copy of the 2021 Annual budget for
your review. Please look over it carefully and come prepared with any
questions. If you would like to ask a question in advance or need clarification, please contact Mike McCalester.

Worship Service for Sunday, November 15, 2020

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, in whose image we are made, who claims us and calls us beloved. Amen.

Holy One,

we confess that we are not awake for you. We are not faithful in using your gifts. We forget the least of our siblings. We do not see your beautiful image in one another. We are infected by sin that divides your beloved community. Open our hearts to your coming, open our eyes to see you in our neighbor, open our hands to serve your creation. Amen.

Beloved, we are God’s children, and Jesus, our Beloved, opens the door to us. Through ☩ Jesus you are forgiven, by Jesus you are welcome, in Jesus you are called to rejoice! Let us live in the promises prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Amen.

Opening Hymn: ELW 710- “Let Streams of Living Justice,” all verses.

Prayer of the Day

Righteous God, our merciful master, you own the earth and all its peoples, and you give us all that we have. Inspire us to serve you with justice and wisdom, and prepare us for the joy of the day of your coming, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

First Reading: Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Zephaniah (like the prophet Amos in last week’s first reading) presents the day of the Lord as one of judgment and wrath. Descriptions of the last day in the New Testament include details taken from Old Testament accounts of the day of the Lord.

7Be silent before the Lord God!
  For the day of the Lord is at hand;
 the Lord has prepared a sacrifice,
  he has consecrated his guests.

12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
  and I will punish the people
 who rest complacently on their dregs,
  those who say in their hearts,
 “The Lord will not do good,
  nor will he do harm.”
13Their wealth shall be plundered,
  and their houses laid waste.
 Though they build houses,
  they shall not inhabit them;
 though they plant vineyards,
  they shall not drink wine from them.

14The great day of the Lord is near,
  near and hastening fast;
 the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter,
  the warrior cries aloud there.
15That day will be a day of wrath,
  a day of distress and anguish,
 a day of ruin and devastation,
  a day of darkness and gloom,
 a day of clouds and thick darkness,
  16a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
 against the fortified cities
  and against the lofty battlements.

17I will bring such distress upon people
  that they shall walk like the blind;
  because they have sinned against the Lord,
 their blood shall be poured out like dust,
  and their flesh like dung.
18Neither their silver nor their gold
  will be able to save them
  on the day of the Lord’s wrath;
 in the fire of his passion
  the whole earth shall be consumed;
 for a full, a terrible end
  he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Though we do not know and cannot calculate the day of Christ’s return, we live faithfully in the here and now as we anticipate the day when we will be given eternal salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 4But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; 5for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 6So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; 7for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus tells a parable about his second coming, indicating that it is not sufficient merely to maintain things as they are. Those who await his return should make good use of the gifts that God has provided them.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 730- “Lord our God, with Praise We Come,” verses 1 & 3.

Prayers of Intercession

Longing for Christ’s reign to come among us, we pray for the outpouring of God’s power on the church, the world, and all in need.

Lord of the church, ignite your people with the passion of your love. By the fire of your Holy Spirit, unify us across ministries, congregations, and denominations, and refine us to participate in your activity throughout the world. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Lord of creation, we stand in awe at the works of your hands and praise you for the beauty of nature (local places of natural beauty may be named). Bless the earth for your glory and restore its integrity where exploitation has caused ruin. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Lord of the nations, sound forth your justice in the ears of all leaders. Increase concern for those who are most vulnerable, especially as international leaders forge trade agreements and cooperate to end human rights abuses. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Lord of all in need, search out all who cry to you in distress. Scatter the heavy clouds of depression, chronic illness, unemployment, and loneliness with your radiant light. Send us as encouragement and signs of your healing. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Lord of every blessing, you Son’s blessing came to those living with poverty, grief, hunger, thirst, and persecution. Shape our vision of the saints to match his own. Awaken in us your call to serve all who suffer. Especially this day, we pray for Dolly Shirley, Mary Braden, Jeanna LaRue, Louise Larson, Karen Bemowski, and Dan Wolever. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Lord of the stranger, stir up holy restlessness in us to extend love to those at the margins. Release our desire for control and open us to learn from the perspectives of others. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Lord of the living and the dead, we give you thanks for all the saints at rest from their labors especially David Ashpaugh Jr.. Rouse us to live by their example, that saints yet to come may also know your love. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Receive our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, until that day when you gather all creation around your throne where you will reign forever and ever.


The Lord’s Prayer

Communion: ELW 785- “When Peace Like a River” (It is Well with My Soul),” sung by Brittany & Miriam Anderson.

Prayer after Communion

Lord Jesus, in this simple meal you have set a banquet. Sustain us on the journey, strengthen us to care for the least of your beloved children, and give us glad and generous hearts as we meet you on the way. Amen.


May the God of all creation, in whose image we are made, who claims us and calls us beloved, who strengthens us for service, give you reason to rejoice and be glad! The blessing of God, Sovereign, ☩ Savior, and Spirit, be with you today and always. Amen.

Sending: ELW 670- “Build Us Up, Lord,” all verses.


Beloved of God, go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The link to today’s worship service (Nov. 15) is here:

Image credits: Parable of the Talents, and Summary of Parable of Talents,

Music credits:

Pam Edwards: pianist/ organist. Song leaders: Brittany & Miriam Anderson.

“Let Streams of Living Justice.” Text: William Whitla, b. 1934. Music: Gustav Holst, 1874 – 1934. Text copyright 1989 William Whitla. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Lord our God, with Praise We Come.” Text: Petter Dass, 1647 – 1707; tr. Peter A. Sveeggen, 1881 – 1959, alt.. Music: Norwegian traditional, arr. hymnal version. Text copyright 1951 Augsburg Publishing House. Arr. copyright 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“When Peace Like a River” (It is Well with My Soul). Text: Horatio G. Spafford, 1828 – 1888. Music: Philip P. Bliss, 1838 – 1876. Public domain.

“Build Us Up, Lord.” Text: Mark Glaeser, b. 1956, and Donna Hanna, b. 1952. Music: Mark Glaeser and Donna Hanna. Text and music copyright 2003 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

Sundays and Copyright 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.