5:00 p.m. Worship Service
May 26, 2019


One of the gifts we annually to my mother at Christmas was the “Fruit of the Month” club.  It was not just a gift to be received and remembered once a year at Christmas.  She was reminded 12 times a year that she was loved.  She would share the fruit with the ladies in her apartment building.  She would also call when that month’s fruit arrived to say ‘thank you’ and that would lead to a larger conversation and visit. 

 In this week’s texts we hear the theme of recent weeks repeating: the fruit of God’s Spirit is larger, not confined to one place, time, nor group.

Paul is led to cross a vast body of water to share such Good News.  There in that ‘foreign’ place people receive and care for him.

In the Gospel we hear that while God’s presence is seen most profoundly in Jesus, God is not confined only to Jesus.  Even after Jesus returns to the Father, God’s presence will remain in the world through the coming of the Holy Spirit.  John refers to that Spirit as the Advocate, one who speaks and acts on behalf of another.

Not just at Christmas nor just at Easter, but every month, every day God gifts us with the present of God’s presence.  God advocates for us to love one another as God has loved us.  Enjoy such fruit!

Prayers and best wishes to the Class of 2019 as they graduate May 28 from Cornell University.

Our one worship service on May 28 is at 5:00 pm, a spoken order of Holy Communion.


Bountiful God, you gather your people into your realm, and you promise us food from your tree of life. Nourish us with your word, that empowered by your Spirit we may love one another and the world you have made, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Acts 16:9-15
            Psalm 67
Revelation 21:10, 22--22:5
John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9

SERMON: “ Fruit of the Month ”

WORD OF THE WEEK  - from Revelation 21

On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

FIRST LESSON from Acts 16:9-15
During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

            11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home." And she prevailed upon us.

SECOND LESSON from Revelation 21:10, 22--22:5
And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
            22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day--and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

            22:1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

THE HOLY GOSPEL according to John 5:1-9

2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3 In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.[c] 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.  Now that day was a sabbath.






9:30 Services Begin

JUNE 2, 2019

In your life, when have you been less free because of money, time, duty, responsibilities or even marketplace constraints?

In the first lesson appointed for this Sunday, we meet a gifted young woman who is a slave.  That is hard to hear.   Her owners benefit from her gifts.  She discerns and speaks the truth to people so that they may more freely live into the future, yet she herself is not free.

Paul takes action to free her in the name of Jesus.  Good, we may say.  But there are consequences, as usually follow such liberation.  The owner, who feel the loss of the benefits they are deriving inhumanely from another, bring the liberator before the authorities.  The entitled owners are angry at the loss of their privilege which enables them to exploit another human.  They try successfully to stir up the authorities and the crowd to get a judgment against these ‘outsiders’, who are beaten and thrown in prison themselves.  But they are freed also.  God seems to be on the side of freedom.

In the Gospel Jesus prays that all may be one, not divided against one another.  Not slave and owner.  Not accounted by race nor height nor color of hair nor intelligence nor wealth.  Jesus prays that all may be one.

The church calendar brings us to this last Sunday of the Easter season.  The Good News of new life will extend into the future, even if we, unlike that slave girl, cannot see it clearly.  Yet, by God’s grace and love through the Cross and Resurrection, not just 2000 years ago, but today in our lives, we are gifted to be free from the slavery of sin and free for serving our neighbors.  Admittedly, while that is a truth of faith, it is also a human work in progress.

Our summer worship schedule begins June 2 with one worship service at 9:30 am each Sunday.


O God, form the minds of your faithful people into your one will. Make us love what you command and desire what you promise, that amid all the changes of this world, our hearts may be fixed where true joy is found, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Acts 16:16-34
   Psalm 97
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
John 17:20-26



SERMON: “The Whole Family”

WORD OF THE WEEK –  from John 17

[Jesus prayed:] 20"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one.

FIRST LESSON from Acts 16:16-34
One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, "These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation." 18She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour.
            19But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, "These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews 21and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe." 22The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

            25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. 27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted in a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." 29The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them outside and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31They answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

SECOND LESSON from Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

The ascended Christ, hidden from our sight, promises to come again. We eagerly pray "Come, Lord Jesus" with all who respond to this invitation.

"See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone's work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
            14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.
            16"It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."
            17The Spirit and the bride say, "Come."
            And let everyone who hears say, "Come."
            And let everyone who is thirsty come.
            Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
            20The one who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon.
"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
            21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.
THE HOLY GOSPEL according to John 17:20-26
[Jesus prayed:] 20"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

            25"Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."







June 9, 2019


Is being together good or not?

A Lutheran perspective may say, “it depends

A Lutheran perspective may ask, “Why are people together?” or “what are they together for?”, as well as “how are they conducting themselves while they are together?”.  Both motivation and behavior come under scrutiny in a Lutheran understanding of faith. 

We acknowledge that people being together is not always good. Both motive and conduct are held up to the light. 

History is filled with bad things that have happened when people got together to support each other in a screwy plan.  Then they aided each other in putting the plan into effect.

Peer pressure can lead people in dark directions.

The first lesson reminds us that God scattered people who came together to lift up themselves to be equal to God.  We still have people who build their own city towers so they can tower over others and be seen as God-like by others.  Not a good motive for coming together.

The Acts lesson notes just the reverse.  Diverse people are brought together as part of God’s purpose that all may see the previously ‘other’ as part of the one.  So that God’s love and grace, peace and justice, care and tending may be shared with all.

That is the real and present miracle of this day.  Not the wind and fire of old.  But God brings us together today so that our life-together may be in service to the world God so loves. 

Our thoughts, prayers, and best wishes are for those who receive the Rite of Affirmation/Confirmation of their baptism during the service on June 9:  Paula Carrillo, Erin Dobson, Emma Dodici, Dessi Furber, and Julia Wigh


God our creator, the resurrection of your Son offers life to all the peoples of earth. By your Holy Spirit, kindle in us the fire of your love, empowering our lives for service and our tongues for praise, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Genesis 11: 1-9
            Psalm 104:25-35
Acts 2:1-21
John 14:8-17 [25-27]



SERMON:  “What Kind of Together?”

WORD OF THE WEEK –  from Acts 2

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

FIRST LESSON from Genesis 11: 1-9

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." 5The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. 6And the LORD said, "Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another's speech." 8So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

SECOND LESSON from Acts 2: 1-21
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
            5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
            14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
            17'In the last days it will be, God declares,
            that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
                        and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
            and your young men shall see visions,
                        and your old men shall dream dreams.
            18Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
                        in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
                                    and they shall prophesy.
            19And I will show portents in the heaven above
                        and signs on the earth below,
                                    blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
            20The sun shall be turned to darkness
                        and the moon to blood,
                                    before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.

            21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' "

THE HOLY GOSPEL according to John 14:8-17 [25-27]
Philip said to [Jesus,] "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
            15"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you."

            25["I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."]