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Monday, June 30, 2014

Excerpt from With A Day Like Yours, Couldn't You Use a Little Grace


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May 9: FDA Approves Birth Control

On this day in 1960, the Food and Drug Administration announced it would approve the first oral contraceptive birth control.  While some faiths ask women to refrain from using contraception, Lutherans believe that God’s creating power is bigger than our personal medical choices.

While some people may use birth control as an excuse to indulge in unsafe behaviors, many women use birth control to regulate pain from their periods or to treat illnesses. 

Birth control, much like Viagra, uses hormones to regulate how private parts function.  Did you know that regardless of sex, hormones are the most prescribed medication in the US?

For some women, access to birth control is primarily about maintaining choice and the ability to make personal health decisions. 

In Biblical times, people believed that menstruating women were more like God, because blood was thought to be the creating tool to make life. 

Do you hear more about women being holy or evil when they are menstruating?

While science, religious organizations and society continue to work on improving communication and health options for families hoping to create or acquire children, today we celebrate the advancements in medicine that help women decrease pain and illness, while increasing their choice and health.

Prayer of the Day:  Creating God, help us to find ways to celebrate women, their rhythms of life and to honor their choices about health and family.  Support and protect the scientists and doctors that put their careers and lives on the line to help women.  Amen.

This is a day about choice, so I’ve decided to also offer prayer choices. Depending on your personal beliefs, you may choose to pray the prayer below.  If your faith is against birth control, or if you are opposed to abortion in all circumstances, skip to the biblical text of the day. 

God of health and healing, be with all women who feel shame or regret about choices they have made about having or not having a family.  Care for them and help them to feel your full forgiveness. 

Provide comfort for those who mourn children lost through abortion, miscarriage, untimely death, custody battles or who have run away.  Help these parents to find a light in their deep darkness and to find healthy ways to honor the memory of their lost children.

Bless the doctors and health care providers that provide controversial lifesaving treatment for mothers or who provide a dignified passing for children with severe complications.  May your will be done even when your continued creating, remaking and reforming our world looks different than we might expect. 

Be with everyone who lives with the pain of being unable to have a child.  We don’t know why it’s easy for some and impossibly hard for others.  But, we trust that you are always with us.

May the love of God overwhelm us, especially when we are unsure, or make the wrong choice.  Amen.

Biblical Text of the Day: Mark 5:24b-29
And a large crowd followed Jesus and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been menstruating for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but continual grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind Jesus in the crowd and touched Jesus’ cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch Jesus’ clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her bleeding stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 29, 2014 Worship Livestream and Bulletin

Worship video archive:
 

Pentecost 3
 June 29, 2014
10 am Holy Communion Service
Grace Evangelical Lutheran

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 (www.gracesf.com), 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 pastor@gracesf.com.

Prelude:              Prelude: "Ayre" Georg Philipp Telemann       

Greeting:  
Water is poured into the baptismal font. 
P   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.


Prayer of the Day:
God, you are with us even when everything in our lives falls apart.  Help us to find your comfort in our deepest pain and to support each other until we see the day when your justice triumphs over everything that is painful.

Welcome           



First Reading: Genesis 22:1-14
After these events, God tested Abraham.38 “Abraham!” God called. “Here I am,” Abraham replied. 2 “Take your son,” God said, “Your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, “Seeing.” Offer him there as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.” 3 Rising early the next morning, Abraham saddled a donkey and took along two workers and his son Isaac. Abraham chopped wood for the burnt offering, and started on the journey to the place God showed them. 4 On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 Then Abraham said to the workers, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there; we will worship and come back to you.” 6 Abraham took wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac to carry. In his own hands he carried the fire and the knife. Then the two of them went on alone. 7 Isaac said, “Father!” “Here I am, my child,” Abraham replied. “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “My child, God will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.” Then the two of them went on together.

9 When they arrived at the place God had pointed out, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged wood on it. Then he tied up his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill the child. 11 But the angel of God called to him from heaven: “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he replied. 12 “Do not raise your hand against the boy!” the angel said. “Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how deeply you revere God, since you did not refuse me your son, your only child.” 13 Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. He went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his child. 14 Abraham called the place “God Provides,” and so it is said to this day: “On this mountain God the most high provides.”

L   Word of hope, word of life.                        Thanks be to God


Psalm  13    (read responsively)
1 How long, God most high? will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my anguish, and wallow in despair all day long? How long will my enemy win over me?
3 Look at me! Answer me, God most high, my God!
Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed,” lest my foes rejoice when I fall.
5 I trust in your love; my heart rejoices in the deliverance you bring.
6 I’ll sing to you, God most high, for being so good to me.



Second Reading: Romans 6:12-23
12 So don’t let sin rule your mortal body and make you obey its lusts; 13 don’t offer the members of your body to sin as weapons of injustice any more. Rather, offer yourselves to God as people alive from the dead, and your bodies to God as weapons for justice. 14 Sin no longer has power over you, for you are now under grace, not under the Law. 15 Where does all this lead? Just because we are not under the Law but under grace, are we free to sin? By no means! 16 You must realize that when you offer yourselves to someone else in obedience, you are bound to obey that person, whether you subject yourself to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to justice.

17 Thanks be to God, that though once you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that rule of teaching imparted to you; 18 freed from your sin, you became forever committed to justice. 19 I use the following example from human affairs because of your weak human nature. Just as you used to enslave your bodies to impurity and licentiousness for their degradation, now make them stewards of justice for their sanctification. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you felt no need to work for justice. 21 What benefit did you enjoy from these things that you are now ashamed of, all of which lead to death? 22 But now that you are freed from sin and have offered yourselves to God in obedience, your benefit is that you are being made holy; your outcome is eternal life. 23 The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Savior.

L   Word of hope, word of life.                        Thanks be to God


Anthem:                                          Meditation on Hymntune: Slane -  "Be Thou My Vision"
Words: Eleanor H. Hull                 Music arr. Daniel Pinkston  

1.) Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that thou art: Thou my best thought both by day and by night, Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

 2.) Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word; I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my soul's shelter, and thou my high tower, Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.


Gospel Reading:  Matthew 10:40-42
40 “Those who welcome you also welcome me, and those who welcome me welcome the One who sent me. 41 “Those who welcome prophets just because they are prophets will receive the reward reserved for the prophets themselves; those who welcome holy people just because they are holy will receive the reward of the holy ones. 42 “The truth is, whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these lowly ones just for being a disciple will not lack a reward.”

The gospel of the Lord.                                Praise to you, O Christ.


Sermon              
Silence for reflection follows the sermon.  The assembly stands to proclaim the word of God in song.

 
Hymn of the Day:  Verses 1-4 


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.


Peace
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.


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

Offertory:           Offertory:  "Sing a New Song to the Lord"                 Edward Broughton

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.





Communion:

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 Lord 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 Lord’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.

Blessing

Announcements

Sending Hymn  

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

Postlude: "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" Hymntune: "Hymn to Joy"           Ludwig van Beethoven


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 Seasons.com. 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 OneLicense.net  #A-723548.

Announcements:
You can find more information and find archived sermons and worship live streams at our website: www.gracesf.com  or on our blog: www.sfgrace.blogspot.com

Upcoming Events and Dates: 
·        Every Wednesday – June 11-September 24, 6:30-8pm  – Summer Bible Movie Night: (@ St Paulus Lutheran 1541 Polk St) We will be watching the 10 part Bible Series created by the History channel.  You can come and join us or you can use our study guide questions that are posted online and watch at home each week.  The Bible series is available for streaming on Netflix.
·        September 6 - Beatles Mass, 7pm Eucharist
·        September 20 – Neighborhood Block Party: I will work with Sup. Katy Tang to see if we can get the street blocked off and invites local business to come and join us.  If this isn’t possible, we’ll have a party in our fellowship hall for our neighbors.
·        October 4 – Night Ministry Fundraiser: We will invite singing groups to come to grace to help us raise money for the Night Ministry.
·        November 8 – Welcome Fundraiser: An event to raise money to serve the homeless and hungry in our Sunset neighborhood.

·        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 6 – Beatles Mass: An event to raise money to serve the homeless and hungry in our Sunset neighborhood.

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Daily Grace Excerpt:


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June 25: Battle of Little Big Horn

On this day in 1876, Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeated U.S Army troops lead by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.  Despite treaties promising that Native Americans would own their sacred Pahá Sápa (called the Black Hills) “as long as the rivers run and grass grows and the trees bear leaves,” once gold was discovered the army began a violent campaign to take the land back.

Have you ever had someone break an agreement with you?

More than 10,000 Native Americans gathered at Little Bighorn, disobeying the US War Department’s orders to return to their reservations. Despite being outnumbered and losing earlier battles, Custer pressed on to the camp without waiting for reinforcements.

Custer had only 600 men when he tried to take on 3,000 Lakota, Dakota and Cheyenne warriors.  Custer and every soldier with him was killed in the battle.  Also called Custer’s Last Stand by some, this battle fed into the stereotypes that Native Americans were wild, uncontrollable killers.  As a result, the US government would increase their efforts to force the tribes onto reservations and seize the land promised to them without remuneration.

Have you ever felt the government was being unfair or breaking its own rules?

Jesus and the gospel writers believed that the Romans were hypocritical and named their writings “Good News.” More than a pithy title, the Good News was also the name of Ceasar’s newspaper.  By using the title, Jesus and the gospel writers are implying that real good news comes from God.

If God came to earth to bring justice, what do you think God should do first?

Our history is full of stories of betrayal and racist actions.  Today, spend some time “talking story” (as they say in Hawaii).  Ask an older relative to tell you stories about what their life was like when they were younger, read about history through the eyes of a minority group or share your memories with a loved one.

Prayer of the Day: God of wind and rain, help us to remember the stories that have shaped our ancestors.  Bless those who experience your sacredness in the rhythms of the earth and help us to make amends for the hypocrisies of our government.  Amen.

Biblical Text of the Day: Deuteronomy 30:1-5
When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curses that I have set before you, if you call them to mind among all the nations where the God most high, your God has driven you, 2and return to the God most high, your God, and you and your children obey God with all your heart and with all your soul, just as I am commanding you today, 3then the God most high, your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, gathering you again from all the peoples among whom the God most high, your God has scattered you.

4Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there the God most high, your God will gather you, and from there God will bring you back. 5The God most high, your God will bring you into the land that your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; God will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.



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Monday, June 23, 2014

Excerpt from: With a Day Like Yours Couldn't You Use a Little Grace

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June 23: Feast Day of St. Joseph Cafasso

Ordained a priest in 1833, St. Joseph Cafasso was known as a social saint.  Convinced that public hangings were wrong, Cafasso ensured that more than 60 prisoners left his world remembering that they had received a heavenly pardon and were loved by God.

Would you be able to assure those deemed fit to be killed by a jury of their peers, that God loves and forgives them?

Cafasso was particularly interested in reminding people that the grace of God was stronger than the angst and guilt that overwhelmed them.  And, despite all the death he witnessed, Cafasso continued to preach love: “We are born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more.”

How has love shaped your life?

Some people believe that people in prison can be reformed if they have time to think about their mistakes and perhaps find something to believe in or someone who believes in them.  Others think they are always going to be up to no good and are in prison to be locked away from others they might potentially do harm to.

Do you think love is powerful enough to reform those who have gone astray?

Unlike the worldly justice system, God never judges us based on our worst moments.  Unfairly, God greets us with love and forgiveness.  It’s called grace, precisely because we don’t deserve - and never will.

In the real world, this kind of love and forgiveness makes no sense.  But still, those who go to church try to live into this godly ideal of compassion and love and seek to unlearn the cynicism of the world around us. 

You don’t have to go to church to learn to love or to receive forgiveness.  The blessings of God are true, even when there isn’t a pastor around to proclaim them.  Lutherans believe that everyone is a pastor in their own way.  Today, take a moment to share God’s love by forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve it and loving someone beyond their expectations. 

Prayer of the Day:  God of compassion, help us learn to love and to be loved.  Thank you for forgiving our regrets, doubts and debts.  Bless those who are in prison and support the families and loved ones who long for their return.  Amen.

Biblical Text of the Day: Luke 6:35-38
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Parent is merciful. 

38“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”