Pentecost Seventeen Worship Service | 9-24-23

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church


09-24-2023    10:00AM “Hybrid” Worship

+  We Rejoice in the Spirit  +


L   My friends, we are called to a life worthy of the gospel, a life in

which faith and hope and love abound, a life filled with knowledge

and discernment and the fruits of righteousness. Let us confess

our failure  and our sin in the presence of God and one another.

C Dear God, I confess that I want to get to heaven, but I don’t know if I want others to get to heaven.

Forgive me for thinking that I am less of a sinner and more of a Christian than others.

Forgive me for thinking that I have earned  or deserve your gift of salvation.

Forgive me for judging You about how You judge others.

O God, Your ways are not our ways… and I thank God for that!

This morning, deliver and restore me – just another sinner.

This morning, grant me the peace and joy of new life – as your child.

This morning, give me a fresh and new start – as a worker in your vineyard.  Amen.

L   Christian friends, God loves you too much to let you go! Through the humble obedience of (+) Christ Jesus, who went to the cross for your sake, you are forgiven and made whole. Thanks be to God that we are not given what we deserve, but the abundance of God’s grace. Place yourself under new management. All those who yield to God’s control will discover peace that endures, freedom to live, and wonder-working power. Start living your new life today!

OPENING SONG:  “AMAZING GRACE”                                   Tan #271

PRAYER OF THE DAY (together):                               

Lord, you surprise us again and again with your word of grace, not only to us, but also to others.

We are grateful that you are slow to anger, overflowing with mercy, and so full of compassion.

We pray that we may stand firm in your spirit, work side by side in your kingdom, and serve with willing hearts.

Help us to live a life that is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ and shows forth your generosity of love.  Amen.

+  We Rejoice in God’s Saving Word  +

FIRST READINGJONAH 3:10 – 4:11    Andrea Crawford
[The book ends with a question: “Should God not have pity on the city of Nineveh?” The prophet Jonah gave his answer several times. But you must give your own answer.]

3:10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

4:1 But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry.

4:2 He prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.

4:3 And now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

4:4 And the LORD said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

4:5 Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.

4:6 The LORD God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush.

4:7 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered.

4:8 When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

4:9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.”

4:10 Then the LORD said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night.

4:11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”


[In a prison cell and uncertain of his future, Paul doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He hopes that he, his readers back then, and you will strive to  live and die worthy of the gospel.]

1:21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

1:22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer.

1:23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better;

1:24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.

1:25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith,

1:26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

1:27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel,

1:28 and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing.

1:29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well–

1:30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

WOMEN’S DAY TEMPLE TALK: Our theme will be “Breaking the Chains of Silence!”       Queen Sutton     


“There is strength in the name of the Lord…

There is power in the name of the Lord…

There is hope in the name of the Lord…

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

HOLY GOSPEL:   MATTHEW 20:1-16     Dennis Fortune
[It’s the truth: God is unfair! Would you prefer that God should give you exactly what you deserve? Instead, God gave you Jesus…]

20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

20:2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

20:3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;

20:4 and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

20:5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.

20:6 And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’

20:7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’

20:8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’

20:9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

20:10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.

20:11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner,

20:12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’

20:13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?

20:14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.

20:15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

20:16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

THE SERMON:       Pastor Neil or Pastor Gwen

SONG RESPONSE: “O, HOW HE LOVES YOU AND ME”                      Tan #228

THE PRAYERS…  We pray for NEW LIFE in the Spirit and for the MISSION of the Church to the world!      Micah Gillum

+  We Rejoice in God’s Nourishing Meal  +

THE OFFERING…  May the Spirit of God within us guide us to grateful, generous, and fruitful discipleship!



“More about Jesus would I know, more of his grace to others show,

More of his saving fullness see, more of his love who died for me.



More about Jesus let me learn, more of his holy will discern;

Spirit of God, my Teacher be, showing the things of Christ to me.”

OFFERING PRAYER (see PHILIPPIANS 3:10-11) led by the Communion Assistant.        ?

Dear God, I want to know Christ inside and out. I want to experience the power of his resurrection and join him in his suffering. I want to be like him in his death and be raised like him from death. As I grow in the grace of Christ, make me strong in my faith, bold in my witness, and fervent in my servant-love. There is no better life than life in Christ!   Amen.


        L   The Lord be with you.             C   And also with you. 

        L   Lift up your hearts!       C   We lift them up in love for God!

        L   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.               C   It is right to give God our thanks and praise.

        L   We are the Body of Christ!       C   His Spirit is in us! Alleluia!

        L   [continues the Preface]… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

C   [singing…]   “Holy, holy, holy, holy, 

    holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!

    and we lift our hearts before you as a token of our love,

    holy, holy, holy, holy.

    Precious Jesus, precious Jesus, 

    We’re so glad that you redeemed us, precious Jesus…

    Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, 

    come and fill our hearts anew, O Holy Spirit…”

THE EUCHARISTIC WORDS by the Celebrant, who recalls and re-enacts Jesus’ Holy Meal.


COMMUNION AND BLESSINGSAll believers in Jesus Christ are welcome at the Lord’s Table! The wine may be received from the pouring chalice; we also have grape juice on the tray. You can receive God’s peace, power, and promises for true life!

COMMUNION SONGS:               Tan #529               Tan #345            

THE COMMUNION BLESSING by the Celebrant after all have communed.

POST-COMMUNION PRAYER by the Communion Assistant. ?

+  We Rejoice in Our Mission  +

THE BENEDICTION by the Pastor…We are sent forth to be and become the BODY OF CHRIST for the world!

CLOSING SONG: “WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN”                                                   Tan #594

Do you know the story of Jonah – how he spent three days and three nights inside a great fish for trying to escape God’s call to preach to Nineveh, the capital city of the ruthless empire of Assyria? After he was spit out of the fish he reluctantly went to Nineveh and preached. He was disappointed when they repented and received God’s mercy. When have you attempted to escape God’s call, to run away from something you know God is telling you to do? When have you tried to limit God’s mercy, especially when it comes to “those people”?

To whom is God wanting you to show mercy? Do you think you will go? Can anyone put limits on God’s mercy and forgiveness?

Upcoming Events

10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.