Sunday, November 9, 2014

Justice, Justice Sunday Worship

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 Justice, Justice Sunday
 November 9, 2014
10 am Holy Communion Service
Grace Evangelical Lutheran

Today’s Worship Participants: 
Pastor: Rev. Megan Rohrer
Music Director: Dorothy Clazie
Assisting Minister: Laurel
Reader: Mary Ann

Welcome to worship at Grace!
Welcome to long-time Lutherans, Christians from every tradition, and people new to faith. Welcome to all who have no church home, want to follow Christ, have doubts, or do not believe. Welcome to new visitors and old friends. Welcome to people of every age and size, color and culture, every sexual orientation and gender identity, socio-economic status, marital status, ability and challenge. Welcome to believers and questioners, and to questioning believers. This is a place where you are welcome to celebrate and sorrow, rejoice and recover.  This is a place where lives are made new.

Special Welcome to Newcomers
Welcome to our small community of faith.  While we are small in numbers, we have big hearts and a desire to grow.  In order to help you follow along, we have included all the materials you need for worship in this bulletin.

Please join us for worship any Sunday at 10am that you are able.  If you cannot join us in person, you can also join us online via live stream or by watching the archives of our worship and Bible Study that Doesn’t Suck anytime during the week at our website (, or on our mobile phone app, Bible Study that Doesn’t Suck, is available on Google Play and ITunes. 

If you have any questions about the service or about Grace, you can fill out the form in pew to let our pastor know you’d like to chat.  Or you can contact Pastor Megan Rohrer at

Prelude:    Handel: Allegro for Clarinet (Erin Dunning)

Greeting:   Water is poured into the baptismal font. 
The Grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.                                      C   And also with you.

Opening Hymn: Verses 1, 2 and 5

Prayer of the Day:
Just God, help us to float in the waters of baptism and to use our assurance that we are forgiven to advocate, pray and offer a hand up to those who are vulnerable and experiencing injustice.  And, remind us that no matter what, you love us and yearn for our best.  Amen.

First Reading: Amos 5:24

24But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.
L   Word of hope, word of life.                        Thanks be to God

Psalm  30 (read together)
I will extol you, God most high, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
You are my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
God most high, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the God most high, you faithful ones, and give thanks to God’s holy name.
For God’s anger is but for a moment; God’s favor is for a lifetime.  Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved.’  
By your favor, God most high, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed. To you, God most high, I cried, and made supplication:  ‘What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit?  Will the dust praise you?  Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O God, and be gracious to me!  God most high, be my helper!’
You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
My God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Artist of the Month: Laurel Kapros Rohrer
After several months of volunteering at the Hospitality Hour morning meal at St. Francis Lutheran Church, the city and the people of San Francisco have begun to look different to me.  St. Francis is in the Duboce Triangle neighborhood; it is quiet when volunteers arrive on Sunday mornings to prepare for the meal, but it quickly awakens into a busy, vibrant place.  It is this vibrancy of people and community that make St. Francis a place of sharing:  of food, of resources, of stories and of new ways of understanding each other. I remember coming to the city when I was younger, long before I moved here from my own small-town, and seeing people on the streets who seemed homeless and hungry, feeling a little scared and not knowing how to help.
            It’s still not always simple to find the answers or to see the people who might need some extra support. I’m learning that some ways to help are through a meal, a bowl of hot soup, a loaf of bread, a bag of toiletries. Other ways are through a smile, listening to what someone needs, respecting the simple act of sitting down and eating a meal, and recognizing yourself in others no matter where you are in life. Sometimes guests and volunteers alike tell bits of their own stories. They tell me where they came from, what San Francisco was like when they got here, who their friends are that they look out for. A group of school kids from a neighboring city came to help with food prep on a Saturday and got an impromptu San Francisco history lesson. A couple of volunteers discovered a shared love for the music of the rat pack. Connections are made over food. 
Every Sunday, many guests say ‘thank you’, tell us they like the meal and appreciate the volunteers.  It’s not always easy though, sometimes it’s a lot of work, and occasionally people, myself included, have not so good days. But even on a hard day, I can say, hey, everyone who came to the meal was fed. They had food so they could take their medication. They got warm on a cold day. A family with kids had bread, sandwiches and fruit to get them through the weekend.
So I do look at the people of this city a little differently since I’ve been volunteering at St. Francis. It has a greater impact on me when I hear some of the negative assumptions that are made about those that are marginally-housed, homeless, or hungry.  I try not to walk blindly through the streets or judge someone by how they look, dress or the fact that they are hungry. A true diversity of experiences makes up our Bay Area communities.  
            There can be enough food, energy and compassion to go around. But, in so many ways, we can’t do it alone. It takes a whole group of volunteers working together to sort the food, prep and serve the meals and to clean-up afterwards. It takes a church and a community being open and welcoming. Everyone’s story is important, but regardless of how they got here, why they might need a meal, everyone who is hungry deserves to be fed.
L   Word of hope, word of life.                        Thanks be to God

Special Music:  Angermann: The Lord never closes His eyes" (Hilda, Jeannie and Erin)

Gospel Reading:  Matthew 25:1-13
25“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘God most high, God most high, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
The gospel of the God most high.                         Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon: Silence for reflection follows the sermon.  The assembly stands to proclaim the word of God in song.  Resources used in today's sermon.

Hymn of the Day: Verses 2, 3 and 4

Prayers of Intercession
A    During this season of Pentecost, we pray that the Holy Spirit will bring understanding, inspiration and health to the church, the world and all people in their need.  A brief silence.

Creating God, help us repair broken relationships, to clean up our messes and debts and to ask for help when we need it. God in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Parent God, bless all who are parents, the family and staff of the Grace Infant Care Center and all who have created families.  Help us to become better at loving and receiving love from others.  God in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God, guide our civic leaders and enable them to be good stewards of public trust, resources and properties.  Be with our bishops Elizabeth and Mark, our pastor Megan and all the staff and leaders of our congregation.  God in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We give thanks for all who work in healing and caring professions.  Support doctors, nurses, partners, parents and friends who love and support others.  Provide healing and hope for those whose minds, bodies or spirits are in need of care.  Help us to live as fully as we can as we await the day all pain and suffering will end.   God in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For whom and what else do the people of Grace pray?
(Please offer - silently or aloud- petitions to God.  End spoken petitions with “God in your mercy.”)

P Our prayers rise like incense and are held by a loving God who yearns for us to be our best.  May we sleep well, worry less, and live convinced that God is on our side.    Amen.

The presiding minister and the assembly greet each other in the peace of the risen Christ.

P   The peace of Christ be with you always.                C   And also with you.

The people may greet one another with the sign of Christ’s peace, and may say, “Peace be with you” or similar words.    Then, the assembly is seated.

An offering is gathered for the mission of the church, including the care of those in need. 

Offertory: Lloyed Webber        " Pie Jesu"                                                                                        Translation: Merciful Jesus, who takest away the sin of the world Grant them rest                                     Jeannie and Hilda

Offering Prayer:
After the offering is gathered, the assembly stands.
A    Let us pray.   God, bless all that we have to offer.  May our financial support match the generosity of our lives.  Help us to be good stewards of our financial and emotional investments.  Amen.


P  It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise . . . we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

P   On the night in which he was betrayed, our God most high Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

The God most high’s Prayer:  (This version is from the New Zealand Prayer Book)
Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever. Amen.



Sending Hymn : Verses 1, 4 and 5

A:  Go in peace and serve our God.        C: Thanks be to God.

Postlude       Chopin           " Impromtu for clarinet

Please join us for coffee and refreshments downstairs in the Fellowship Hall.
To get to the Fellowship Hall, exit to the right of the communion railing at the front of the church.

You can find more information and find archived sermons and worship live streams at our website:  or on our blog:

·         November 27 – Thanksgiving:  A meal served for 300 individuals (mostly homeless or seniors) by Welcome at St. Francis Lutheran Church.
·        December 4 – 18  - Holden Evening Prayer, 6:30pm: Each Thursday night in Advent.

·        December 11-13 – West Coast LGBTQ Conference for Christian College Students

·        December 24 – Christmas Eve Service of Carols, 9:30pm

Scripture in this service is adapted from The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation, by Priests for Equality.  2009, Sheed & Ward. Kindle Edition. The traditional Lutheran liturgy is from Sundays and Copyright 2014 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #28429. Hymns used with permission for worship and podcast under  #A-723548.