Sunday Morning We invite you to join us for the following worship services:

Sundays
10:30 a.m. Worship service

Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and other locations in the church for
your use.

Washrooms will be available for use.

In the service: The service will be shown on the screen. The offering will not be gathered and presented, but there will be an offering plate at the back of the sanctuary where you can put your offering as you enter or leave. Pastor David distributes the communion wafers and an Assisting Minister distributes wine or grape juice in individual glasses.

We have coffee and fellowship time available again in Luther Hall after the service.

We will continue to evaluate our worship service procedures on a monthly basis.

PENTECOST SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2024

St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, Outline for Worship (with sermon)
May 19, 2024 – Pentecost Sunday
Based on ELW Setting Four

GATHERING

WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS

BRIEF ORDER FOR CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
P: In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

P: God of all mercy and consolation, come to the help of your people, turning us
from our sin to live for you alone. Give us the power of your Holy Spirit that we
may confess our sin, receive your forgiveness, and grow into the fullness of
Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
C: Amen.

P: Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and one another.

Silence is kept for reflection.

P: Most merciful God,
C: we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves.
We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we
have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you
with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us,
renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in
your ways, to the glory of your holy name.
Amen.
P: In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for
his sake God forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the
church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire
forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

ENTRANCE HYMN - O Day Full of Grace (ELW #627)

GREETING
P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion
of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C: And also with you

KYRIE
A: In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.

A: For the peace from above, and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.

A: For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God,
and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.

A: For this holy house, and for all who offer here their worship and praise,
let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.

A: Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
C: Amen.

HYMN OF PRAISE (sung) (ELW p. 149)
P: This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia.
C: Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
whose blood set us free to be people of God.
Power and riches and wisdom and strength,
and honour and blessing and glory are his.
This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia.
Sing with all the people of God
and join in the hymn of all creation:
Blessing and honour and glory and might
be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen.
This is the feast of victory for our God,
for the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

PRAYER OF THE DAY
P: Let us pray.
P: Gracious and glorious God, you have chosen us as your own, and by the
powerful name of Christ you protect us from evil. By your Spirit transform us
and your beloved world, that we may find our joy in your Son, Jesus Christ,
our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
C: Amen

WORD

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

A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

PSALM: 104: 24-34, 35b
24 How manifold are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, with its swarms too many to number,
living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you made for the sport of it.
27 All of them look to you
to give them their food in due season.
28 You give it to them; they gather it;
you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are terrified;
when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created;
and so you renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
O Lord, rejoice in all your works.
32 You look at the earth and it trembles;
you touch the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will praise my God while I have my being.
34 May these words of mine please God.
I will rejoice in the Lord.
35b Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Hallelujah!

SECOND READING: Romans 8:22-27
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until
now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits
of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our
bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes
with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows
what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints
according to the will of God.

A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
C: Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
P: The Holy Gospel according to John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
C: Glory to you, O Lord.

26 "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.
27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
4b "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.
5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, 'Where are
you going?' 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your
hearts. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away,
for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send
him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and
righteousness and judgement: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me;
10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me
no longer; 11 about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will
not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to
you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what
is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason
I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

P: The Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON
Romans 8:22-27
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth, and the prayers of our hearts,
always be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our Strength, and our Redeemer.
AMEN
Chapter 8 of Paul’s letter to the Romans is one of the greatest chapters in all
of scripture. Two verses, favourites of mine, end this chapter: “For I am convinced
that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things
to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
These closing words of Romans 8 remind us of the mighty power of God.
On this Day of Pentecost, we recall that same mighty power which drove those
first men and women disciples out into the streets of Jerusalem to proclaim a
new and inclusive vision of what it means to be a child of God. On that day
over 2,000 years ago, God’s Spirit filled these men and women who had been
waiting in hope.
Twenty years after the Day of Pentecost, Paul is writing to the church in Rome.
He can relate to the struggles of those first disciples because he has known
these struggles, too. In Romans 8 Paul recalls the power of the Spirit who came
to the men and women in the midst of their struggles, came to them in their fear
and their hope. It was this Spirit who came to them and sent them out into the
streets to astonish the Jewish pilgrims from all over the known world who had
gathered for the Festival of the Weeks, called Pentecost. In the verses from our
second reading from Romans, Paul reflects upon God’s Spirit moving in the
midst of our struggles and our longings, moving in those places where we dare
to hope but also where we are not certain that there is even much hope. Paul
asks the Romans and himself and us to trust in the process of the Spirit of God
producing that which we need and desire: to be grounded in the presence of God.
In these verses, Paul emphasizes that it is the Spirit of God who will keep us
grounded in the presence of God. It is the Spirit who will give us hope and life.
The Spirit has many manifestations, but we should note that the essence of the
Spirit is God working in our lives, calling us, seeking us out, wanting us to know
that we are loved, and that we are known. This is the vision of the Spirit that
Peter notes in his quote from the prophet Joel when he speaks on Pentecost.
“Spirit” is not another God, nor an angelic messenger from God. “Spirit” is God,
longing for us to see and experience and to live in a new reality, the reality
established in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One characteristic of the Pentecost experience of God’s Spirit is reorientation.
Paul urges us to be reoriented to a different way of life in the midst of our
daily lives. Paul knows that one of the powerful threats to the Pentecost vision
is the continuing power of chaos and death in our daily lives. The groaning in the
painful struggle that begins our lesson from Romans is Paul’s acknowledgment
of the deep struggle for power in our hearts. Paul asks us to hear that God has
come among us in Jesus Christ to give us a glimpse of hope and freedom.
He urges us to hear and see that there is a whole different way of perceiving
ourselves and perceiving reality, and he emphasizes that God has come among
us in Jesus Christ to help us understand who God is and who we are.
This is what Jesus meant in the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark when he
proclaimed the reign of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has
come near; repent and believe in the good news.” The word repent means to
“turn around,” to reorientate ourselves and our lives. It certainly means we
should change our behaviour, but it also means something deeper and even
more difficult. It means a change in our attitudes, the way we perceive reality
and ourselves. Jesus, and Paul, urge this shift not because we are so bad but
because we have such limited imaginations. It is hard to imagine life without the
power of the idols of the world in our consciousness. That difficulty is what
Paul means by “flesh.”
In chapter 8 of Romans, and especially in today’s verses, Paul urges us to hear
about the power of the Spirit, to hear the good news: In Jesus Christ we can see
that God loves us and wants us, that God knows us, all the parts of us, and yet
God always loves us. Life in the Spirit is characterized first in the freedom of
reorienting ourselves toward God.
Paul emphasizes a second characteristic of life in the Spirit: hope. For Paul,
the hope that is not seen is the idea that we are not tied down to the idols of
the world, that we can imagine ourselves and the world and God differently.
Paul proclaims to the Romans and to us that God’s Spirit is moving in our lives,
at precisely the times when we groan in times of difficult challenges, at precisely
the times when we see very little hope or possibility on the horizon. Paul asks us
to hold on to that which we cannot see, not by repressing our lives or passion but
rather by reorientating and expressing our passion. Paul emphasizes that because
of God’s Spirit we can never be confined to the world’s definition of ourselves or
even our own definition of ourselves. Because of God’s Spirit, there is always
the possibility of discovering God’s definition of ourselves: children of God.
Paul emphasizes that a third characteristic of life in the Spirit is a commitment to
staying in the world, staying in this life. Paul reminds us that we are called to stay
in the world; that is our calling from the Pentecost experience. The goal of God’s
Spirit is not to get us out of the world so that we can be free of anxiety and struggle.
The goal of God’s Spirit is to get us back into the world in an authentic way,
finding our roots and our place not in the demonic powers but in the power
of God, who is the centre of our own particular lives and the centre of all life.
Paul is not asking us to escape from the struggles of the world but to go back
into those struggles, go back to them with a renewed sense of God’s love for us
and for the world, with a renewed sense of hope and possibility. Because we are
asked to stay in the world, Paul reminds us that life in the Spirit includes struggles.
Life in the Spirit is not all sweetness and light. Yet, God knows our struggles
and our groanings. God is moving in our lives to help us find hope and possibility,
to help us recover that vision of the day of Pentecost.
It is in this description of the movement of the Spirit of God in our struggles that
Paul’s language is most powerful. He speaks of the Spirit interceding in our prayers,
in our longings, in our fears, in our hopes, and in our inability to pray. In those
places that are so overwhelming and scary that we can hardly articulate them,
Paul emphasizes God’s movement, the Spirit moving in us “with sighs too deep
for words.” On this Day of Pentecost we remember and celebrate the promise of
the Spirit that it is in our reorientation, our hope, and our engaging in the world
that we find our lives and our meaning as the sons and daughters of God.
AMEN

HYMN OF THE DAY – Spirit of Gentleness (ELW #396)

NICENE CREED
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
A: Rejoicing that Jesus is risen and love has triumphed over fear, let us pray
for the church, the world, and all those in need of good news.
A: God of our church, send forth your Spirit as we pray for our Bishops Susan
and Michael. Empower them with your wisdom to lead the church. We also pray
for the Thames Ministry area, especially the people of Redeemer Lutheran
Church, London, in their time of pastoral vacancy as they wait for their new
pastor. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: We pray for the church universal, for its ministries and for the spread of the
gospel. Shower your Spirit upon Sunday school students, confirmands, and the
newly baptized. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: For the earth, our precious home. We give thanks for the diversity of plant
and animal life on our planet. Empower us by your Spirit to be wise and faithful
stewards of all you have made. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: For the nations and those who govern. Give those in authority understanding
hearts, that they work together to bring justice and peace on earth. Grant all who
vote in elections wisdom and discernment. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: For those in need around the world: for victims of crimes, for victims of sexual
abuse and exploitation, for those who are incarcerated. For all who suffer in any
way. We pray especially for Beth, Jean, Mary Margaret, Kristine, Peter and
Shirley, and those others who are in our hearts. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: For this congregation and its ministries: for those who plan and lead worship,
for ushers and communion servers, for those who prepare and clean our
worship space. May our worship be pleasing in your sight. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: Merciful God, we pray for peace as war continues to rage in Ukraine and in
Israel and Gaza. Shelter all living in fear; protect those seeking refuge in
neighbouring countries; sustain families separated by the horrors of war; tend to
those who are injured; comfort all who mourn their dead. Direct your people into
the way of peace. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: We remember the faithful departed. Give us thankful hearts for those who
have gone before us in the faith. At the last day, breathe new life into our dry
bones, that we might feast forever with all the saints in light. God of grace,
C: hear our prayer.

A: Into your hands, most merciful God, we commend all for whom we pray,
trusting in your abiding love; through Jesus Christ, our resurrected and
living Lord.
C: Amen.

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

LORD’S PRAYER
P: Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray.
C: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

SENDING

BLESSING
P: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
C: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
P: The God of resurrection power, the Christ of unending joy, and the Spirit
of Easter hope + bless you now and always.
C: Amen.

SENDING HYMN – God of Tempest, God of Whirlwind (ELW #400)

DISMISSAL
A: Alleluia! Go in peace. Rejoice and be glad.
C: Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

DISMISSAL HYMN – The Lord Now Sends Us Forth (ELW #538)
Verse 1
The Lord now sends us forth
with hands to serve and give,
to make of all the earth
a better place to live. Repeat (2X)

Verse 2
The angels are not sent
into our world of pain
to do what we were meant
to do in Jesus' name;
that falls to you and me
and all who are made free.
Help us, O Lord, we pray,
to do your will today. Repeat (2X)

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