Sunday Worship Service: 25 July 2021


Worship for today,  July 25, including special music for Prelude and Postlude!

Thanks to Abbi and Amaya Lee for sharing their musical gifts this morning.

Also, don’t forget that our Thanksgiving in July drive is coming to a close. You can continue to contribute food, essential items and monetary donations through the end of the month at the Parish House during regular office hours or by appointment. 

Next Sunday, August 1, we will celebrate our Bix Jazz Service with additional musical leadership by Pastor David McAdams. Please join us!

“Restaurant Rules”

As Illinois continues to open up and we get closer to a new “normal”, the council continues to revisit our guidelines for worshipping together in person. At our meeting on June 15, we decided to adjust what we currently do. As of June 27, we will follow essentially the same rules that have been in place for restaurants. As you enter the building and anytime to move about the space, masks are expected to be properly worn. During the service, while you are seated in your place, masks are optional. During the hymns, if you choose to sing, masks must be worn. Singing unmasked is still the aspect of worship most likely to  transmit Covid-19. 

We will also move back to communion during the service rather than at the end.  Worshippers will come forward by the center aisle, appropriately spaced and wearing a mask, to receive the elements.  Once you have received the elements, you are invited to step off the side, consume the wafer and juice, and dispose of the container. Replace your mask and continue down the side aisle to your pew.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris Lee


Donate to the Thanksgiving in July Drive

During the entire month of July, First Lutheran is participating in Churches United’s Thanksgiving in July Drive to help replenish the food banks in our area.

You may bring your items to the church where there are boxes in the Narthex below the bulletin board. On the bulletin board, there is a list of the food and other items that are needed. Also, there are two boxes in the Parish House entry where you may bring your donations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the Parish House office is open. If you would like to make a monetary donation, make your check out to First Lutheran Church; there is a container in the Narthex for monetary donations.

All food, essential items and monetary donations will be given to the food pantry at Church of Peace, Rock Island.

Order of Worship for Sunday, July 25, 2021

Prelude: “Amazing Grace,” -arr. Faber; Amaya Lee, piano.


Today is the first of five Sundays with gospel readings from John 6, the first four of which focus on Jesus as bread of life. Today Jesus feeds thousands of people with five loaves and two fish. What we have, what we bring to Jesus’ table, seems like it is not nearly enough to meet all the needs we see around us. But it is not the adequacy of our supplies or our skills that finally makes the difference: it is the power of Jesus working in the littlest and least to transform this world into the world God desires, a world where all the hungry are satisfied.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity,☩ one God, the God of manna, the God of miracles, the God of mercy.


Drawn to Christ and seeking God’s abundance, let us confess our sin.

God, our provider,

help us.

It is hard to believe there is enough to share. We question your ways when they differ from the ways of the world in which we live. We turn to our own understanding rather than trusting in you. We take offense at your teachings and your ways. Turn us again to you. Where else can we turn? Share with us the words of eternal life and feed us for life in the world.


Beloved people of God: in Jesus, the manna from heaven, you are fed and nourished. By Jesus, the worker of miracles, there is always more than enough. Through Jesus, ☩ the bread of life, you are shown God’s mercy: you are forgiven and loved into abundant life.


Opening Hymn: – ELW 533- “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty,”- vs. 1, 4, & 5.

Prayer of the Day

Gracious God, you have placed within the hearts of all your children a longing for your word and a hunger for your truth. Grant that we may know your Son to be the true bread of heaven and share this bread with all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

First Reading: 2 Kings 4:42-44

Today’s reading is part of a larger section of 2 Kings that describes the miracles of Elisha, the successor to Elijah. Here the prophet gives food to a hungry crowd. Though there is not enough food to go around, Elisha trusts God, who provides enough and even more to satisfy the need.

42A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to Elisha, the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give it to the people and let them eat.” 43But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” So he repeated, “Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’ ” 44He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

Second Reading: Ephesians 3

We have been rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, which surpasses all human knowledge. Because Christ dwells in our hearts, our lives are continuously strengthened and empowered by the ongoing presence of the Spirit.

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel: John 6:1-21

In John’s gospel, the miracles of Jesus are called “signs,” because they reveal the true character of God. As such, they remain within the mystery of God and cannot be brought under human control.

1Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
15When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

16When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 729- “The Church of Christ, in Every Age,” verses 1, 2, & 3.

Prayers of Intercession

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

We pray for the church. Bless the ministries of our neighboring congregations. Empower churches throughout the world and encourage missionaries who accompany global neighbors. Kindle in us a spirit of collaboration, that all people may know your loving works. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We pray for creation. Send rain to lands experiencing drought and come to the aid of those enduring sweltering heat. Nurture wheat and barley crops grown for the nourishment of your people and conserve aquatic habitats and fish populations. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We pray for those who govern. Cast out arrogance, selfishness, and corruption and instruct those who lead to practice compassion and humility. Inspire them with a vision of the common good and a commitment to ensure that all who hunger are fed. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We pray for those bowed down by heavy burdens: those who are unemployed or underemployed, those unable to find affordable housing, and those without health insurance. Console those who grieve and hear the cries of those who call to you for healing especially Lyndon Esping; Wayne Esping; Kurt Dasso; Richard Hotchkiss; John Westensee; Trenton Arnold; Marijane Cook; Nancy and Bob Bosco; Charysse and Adean Heritage; Bonnie Neu; Becky and Bill Hall; Randy McIntyre; Karen Bemowski; Marilyn Hubbard; Nancy Johnson; Helen Schubert, and all those we name before you aloud or in our hearts. Give them tangible signs of your steadfast love. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We pray for this assembly. Deepen our resolve to use what we have to serve those in need. When we worry that we do not have enough resources for ministry, assure us of your abundance. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We give thanks for those who have died. As you sustained them through all their days, so dwell in our hearts, that we may have the power to comprehend, with the apostle James, and all the saints, the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

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



Great Thanksgiving

The Lord’s Prayer

Communion Hymn: ELW 469 – “By Your Hand you Feed Your People.”

Communion Hymn: ELW 767 – “Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me.”

Prayer after Communion

Jesus, Bread of life, we receive from your table more than we could ever ask. As you nourish us in this meal we have received, strengthen us to love the world with your own life. In your name we pray.



The blessing of God, who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us, ☩ be upon you now and forever.


Sending Hymn: ELW 720- “We Are Called,” verses 1 & 3.


Go in peace. Christ is with you.

Thanks be to God.

Postlude: “Andante,” by Berr; Abbigail Lee, clarinet

Facebook link to July 25, 2021 Worship Service:

James, Apostle

Sunday, July 25, 2021

James and his brother John were the sons of Zebedee, fishermen by trade before their call from Jesus. He was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred, and his death is the only one recorded in scripture (Acts 12:1-2).


Image credits: loaves fishes; canned goods;; and Fire Pit, by Therese Guise

Music credits:

Pam Edwards: Pianist/ Organist

Amaya Lee: Piano

Abbigail Lee: Clarinet

Miriam Anderson: Vocalist

“Amazing Grace,” -arr. Faber (from Faber Piano Adventures). Used with permission under permission guidelines.

“Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty.” Text: Benjamin Schmolck, 1672 – 1737; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827 – 1878, alt.. Music: Joachim Neander, 1650 – 1680. Public domain.

“The Church of Christ, in Every Age.” Text: Fred Pratt Green, 1903 – 2000. Music: William Knapp, 1698 – 1768. Text copyright 1971 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“By Your Hand you Feed Your People.” Text: Susan R. Briehl, b. 1952. Music: Marty Haugen, b. 1950. Text and music copyright 2002 GIA Publications, inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me.” Text: Julie von Hausmann, 1825 – 1901; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship. Music: Friedrich Silcher, 1789 – 1860. Text copyright 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“We Are Called.” Text: David Haas, b. 1957. Music: David Haas. Text and music copyright 1988 GIA Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Andante,” by Berr, from Rubank Advanced Method for Clarinet, Vol. 1. by Voxman and Gower. Used with permission by Hal Leonard.

Sundays and Copyright 2021 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.