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

Sundays
10:30 a.m. (September through June)
10:00 a.m. (July and August)
Please see Calendar for communion Sundays.

Reopening for Worship at St. Ansgar
Sunday September 26, 2021, at 10:30 a.m.

In the September newsletter, Church Council announced September 26 as the target
date for reopening for in-person worship services in the church. We are now ready to
proceed with this plan. We know that not everyone in our St. Ansgar church family is
ready to come back to church yet for worship, but we also know there are others who
very much want to come back. As we carefully begin to reopen, we will follow all
requirements of the provincial government and the Middlesex-London Health Unit and
we will be guided by recommended best practices from our Synod Office and a number
of other sources. We will do everything we can to protect the health and safety of
everyone who comes to St. Ansgar as we resume limited in-person worship services
while the pandemic continues.

Even though we are starting on-site worship services again, we will continue to send out
the weekly “Worship Service Outline and Sermon” by email and to post worship videos
on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzOwKVzkMTgGQkaO2OBGNag
and on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/St-Ansgar-Lutheran-Church-London-103790744939849/

Under provincial and local Health Unit regulations, 2-metre physical distancing from
others not living in our household is still required when we gather indoors. In practical
terms, this limits our attendance in a worship service in the sanctuary to about 25
people. Seating will be managed to accomplish this, in the same way as we did last fall
when we were able to have services in the church for a few months.
Elections Canada held Advance Polls at St. Ansgar from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13 and will
also use our building on Sept. 20 for Election Day. There have been some concerns
about so many people, of unknown vaccination status, with perhaps some not wearing
masks, coming into the building. Elections Canada staff were all fully vaccinated and all
wore masks, and they followed numerous health and safety precautions as they
administered the election procedures. Council has hired Enviro-Master Services to
come into the church the day after Election Day to do their Virus Vaporizing service to
disinfect and sanitize. Elections Canada will reimburse us for the cost of this work in all
areas of the building used for the election, and Council has decided to cover the
additional cost for sanitizing in the sanctuary as well.
Here are some of the other things you need to know as we resume our worship
services:

Registration: If you want to attend a service at St. Ansgar, you will need to register in
advance. We need to know how many are coming and who is coming. This will help us
with the seating plan for the service and it is also important for contact tracing if that
should ever become necessary. If you would like to come to the service on a Sunday,
please let us know by email during the previous week, and not later than Friday
morning. The address is st.ansgar@rogers.com and we will send you a reply to confirm
your reservation (or let you know that we have already reached our attendance limit and
invite you to register for the next service).

Full Vaccination: We recently learned that the Bereavement Authority of Ontario has
adopted a policy that all attendees at indoor funeral services (including visitations) at a
funeral home or cemetery after Oct. 12, 2021, must show proof of full vaccination or
written proof of a medical exemption from a doctor or nurse (except for children under
the age of 12 years). The reason for this policy is “to protect your family and funeral
staff.” At our meeting on Sept. 9, Church Council decided that it is prudent and
responsible for us, at this stage of the pandemic, with the dangerous delta variant and
increasing COVID case numbers in the current “fourth wave,” to adopt that requirement
for our worship services in the church. To attend an in-person indoor worship service at
St. Ansgar, starting with the service on Sept. 26, you will need to verify for us that you
are fully vaccinated or provide written proof of a medical exemption from a doctor or
nurse. Children under the age of 12 years are exempt from this requirement. We will all
help to protect each other and ourselves.

Face masks must be worn in the church.

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

Washrooms will be available for use, but there may be only one person, or members of
only one family, in a washroom at any given time.

In the service: There will be organ or piano music, but there will be no singing. We will
not be using the pew cushions at this time, but you are welcome to bring your own
cushion and take it home with you after the service. There will be no hymnals in the
pews, but the service will be shown on the screen. We will not have our usual moving
around for sharing the peace. 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.

Distribution of Communion: The method we used last fall for “no-contact” distribution
of communion in Luther Hall worked well, so we will use it again. The communion
service will proceed in the usual way in the sanctuary until we finish The Lord’s Prayer.
Then, instead of going forward to the front of the sanctuary where Pastor David and the
assisting minister would normally place the communion wafer and the glass of wine or
grape juice in our hands, we will now be ushered into Luther Hall through the side door
beside the projection booth, in suitably distanced single file and wearing our face
masks. The door will be open and hand sanitizer will be available at the door. In Luther
Hall, there will be tables with a communion wafer and a glass of wine (or grape juice as
needed) set out on a napkin at a number of separate places around the tables. As we
move along in the line, we will each pick up a wafer and a glass of wine from one of the
places on a table and then proceed, individually or in family groups, towards the open
door going from Luther Hall to the narthex. Pastor David will be standing near the door,
but at a suitable distance from the line. As we approach the place where he is standing,
we will pause while he says to us, “The body and blood of Christ, given and shed for
you.” We will them move along a few steps to a table where we can set down our glass,
pull down or remove the mask, consume the wafer and the wine, put the empty wine
glass into the container provided, put our mask back on, and return through the narthex
to our seat in the sanctuary for the rest of the service. We learned how to do this last
year and we can do it again.

Still no social time in the church: We will not be able to have our coffee and
fellowship time in Luther Hall after the service as we used to do in the days before
COVID. We will not be able to gather in the narthex to sit or stand and talk to each other
before the service starts or after it ends. Pastor David will not be standing at the back of
the church to greet people and shake hands with people after the service. We will miss
all these things and we look forward to a time when all these activities, that used to be
such an important part of the life of our St. Ansgar church family, will be safe again.
Meanwhile, if weather permits and you want to stand in the parking lot to chat and visit,
please remember to keep your distance and be safe.

During the closures due to COVID-19 please see our services online on Facebook or Youtube:

www.facebook.com/St-Ansgar-Lutheran-Church-London-103790744939849

www.youtube.com/channel/UCzOwKVzkMTgGQkaO2OBGNag

SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, SEPTEMBER 19, 2021.

St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, Outline for Worship (with sermon)
Sunday, September 19, 2021 – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Based on ELW Setting Four

BRIEF ORDER FOR CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
P: Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, whose teaching is life,
whose presence is sure, and whose love is endless.
C: Amen.
P: Let us confess our sins to the one who welcomes us with an open heart.
P: God our comforter:
C: like lost sheep, we have gone astray.
We gaze upon abundance and see scarcity.
We turn our faces away from injustice and oppression.
We exploit the earth with our apathy and greed.
Free us from our sin, gracious God.
Listen when we call out to you for help.
Lead us by your love to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Amen.
P: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
By the gift of grace in ☩ Christ Jesus, God makes you righteous.
Receive with glad hearts the forgiveness of all your sins.
C: Amen.

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
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: O God, our teacher and guide, you draw us to yourself and welcome us
as beloved children. Help us to lay aside all envy and selfish ambition, that
we may walk in your ways of wisdom and understanding as servants of your
Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
C: Amen

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 11:18-20
18 It was the LORD who made it known to me, and I knew; then you
showed me their evil deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the
slaughter. And I did not know it was against me that they devised schemes,
saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the
land of the living, so that his name will no longer be remembered!"
20 But you, O LORD of hosts, who judge righteously, who try the heart
and the mind, let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have
committed my cause.

PSALM: 54
1 Save me, O God, by your name;
in your might, defend my cause.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers have risen up against me, and the ruthless have sought my life,
those who have no regard for God.
4 Behold, God is my helper;
it is the Lord who sustains my life.
5 Render evil to those who spy on me;
in your faithfulness, destroy them.
6 I will offer you a freewill sacrifice
and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For you have rescued me from every trouble,
and my eye looks down on my enemies.

SECOND READING: James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that
your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter
envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the
truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly,
unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there
will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from
above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and
good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of
righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from?
Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want
something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something
and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have,
because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask
wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee
from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

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 Mark 9:30-37
C: Glory to you, O Lord.
Mark 9:30-37
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want
anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them,
"The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him,
and three days after being killed, he will rise again." 32 But they did not
understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. 33 Then they
came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What
were you arguing about on the way?" 34 But they were silent, for on the
way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat
down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must
be last of all and servant of all." 36 Then he took a little child and put it
among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever
welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever
welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
P: The Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON
Mark 9:30-37
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
After my cataract surgeries several years ago, I was able to see things
in the distance clearly for the first time since I had been a young child.
However, there was a downside. Reading anything up close was virtually
impossible. The problem was strictly a matter of focus. No longer were
my eyes able to focus on print that was in front of me.
Our lesson from the Gospel of Mark also has to do with vision. The text
speaks of the kind of focus we must have if we wish to remain faithful to
the call of God in our lives. This lesson describes the position Jesus asks
us to take if we are to remain true to the mission and ministry of God.
Our lesson finds Jesus passing through Galilee with the disciples. Jesus was
trying to travel discreetly, unnoticed. He did not want anyone to know his travel
route or his agenda. Jesus was attempting to use this private time to teach his
disciples about his pending suffering, death, and resurrection. This is not the
first time Jesus tried to explain what the call to follow God meant.
Previously in this chapter of Mark, Jesus has been to the mountaintop with
Peter, James, and John. In the transfiguration experience, God announced to
the three the disciples, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.” The voice
of God from a cloud revealed Jesus as the one to whom the disciples, and each
of us, need to listen. Jesus is the one example we must follow as the people
of God. Jesus is the one we are to focus on in our response of faith to God.
Our Lord’s purpose and calling to be a servant to all was explained to his
followers several times. He had spoken to the disciples about this both before
and after the transfiguration. Jesus’ conversation with the disciples was about
God’s intention for his life and their lives. Now on the journey to Capernaum,
Jesus tries to help his disciples understand the servant-role of living for God.
Jesus is emphasizing that serving God is not about who will be the greatest.
However, the disciples did not get it. As the text reveals, “They did not
understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.”
Like the first disciples, we, too, often misunderstand Jesus’ servant principle.
The lens God hopes we all would view life through is not made in a way that
allows us to have life both ways. The same optical lens cannot be used to
correct nearsighted and farsightedness. Likewise, we cannot concentrate
on serving others when our efforts and energies are selfishly concentrated
on establishing our own greatness.
The problem Jesus had with his original disciples is the problem we are
facing today. Like the disciples, we love transfiguration-like events that
take us to positions of honour. We enjoy the special privileges, which often
come with power, prestige, and social status. Yet, these special privileges
often bring about an attitude of exclusiveness of others instead of the spirit
of inclusiveness, which Jesus both taught and lived.
Like the disciples, we do not understand Christ’s servant principle. Often
our intentions to follow Christ are good. We believe we are faithful, well
meaning, and active Christians. We work hard and struggle with everyday
life through the week. We worship on Sunday mornings seeking to be
ministered to but forgetting that we are called to minister to others. We like
being served and having our spiritual needs met. Like Jesus’ disciples, we
cherish most the things that best serve our needs. However, Jesus calls us
to a life of service, not a life of being served. Duty and responsibility, reality
and necessity call us back to the realities of the Christian life as Jesus
taught. The benediction at the end of Sunday’s worship service does not
signal that our service to God has ended, but that our service to God is
about to begin in the world outside of the church sanctuary.
Somewhere between our worship in the sanctuary and our return home,
the vision of serving God becomes distorted. The clarity of what God wants
versus what we want becomes blurred. The tranquility of worship and the
spiritual peace we experience begin to fade. The world shows us things
and asks us to do things that are not in keeping with the teachings of
Jesus Christ. Certainly, being a servant is not as exciting as positions
of popularity, power, social status, and greatness. Being the greatest
is much more appealing than being seen as the least.
The choice to abandon the call of God often is made because the call
of God requires us to give rather than receive. Many abandon God’s
call because God’s call is often unpopular, and Jesus’ agenda is not a
fashionable agenda. Living for God requires focus, our complete focus.
While God is clearly focused on us, we fail to see clearly. The mission
and ministry of God’s kingdom remains blurred because we think we can
achieve personal greatness and be a servant of Jesus at the same time.
Like the disciples, the issue for us isn’t an absence of faith or having
insufficient faith. The issue for us is that we fail to take to heart the words
of Jesus who explains what it means to be his servants. Rather, we conform
to a world which emphasizes a “me first” philosophy at the expense of serving
others, weakening our passion for social consciousness and social justice.
Our focus is the key. Focus is everything. We must do more than simply
stating what we believe about God. We must undergo a transformation and
accept a new vision as people of Christ’s servant church. Our focus must
go beyond what the world considers to be greatness to understanding what
the word of God defines as greatness. Our focus as followers of Jesus
must discern God’s will, so we can effectively live doing God’s will.
As the surgeon implanted lenses to give me, and all who have had cataract
surgery, brighter, clearer vision, Jesus placed a child in the midst of his
disciples. Jesus, through the child, demonstrated that the focus of faithful
ministry and mission must never be about personal greatness, prestige, power,
or selfish pursuits. The focus of faithful ministry and mission must always be
about humbleness, innocence, and serving others. What is important is how
we live for God and Jesus Christ. The image of the child gives us a sense
of new hope for the future. God’s vision for us and God’s vision for others
will only become clear when we focus on Christ as Lord and follow Jesus’s
example. Then and only then, shall we come to fully understand that if we
want to be first, we must be last of all and servant of all.
AMEN

HYMN OF THE DAY – Jesus Loves Me! (ELW #595)

APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.*
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
A: Made children and heirs of God's promise, we pray for the church, the world,
and all in need.
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 Pastor Laura Sauder and the people
of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Brodhagen. Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
A: Gracious God, we thank you for your loving presence with us in this time of
pandemic. While we must still remain apart for reasons of safety, we trust that
you surround all of us with your sheltering wings. Help us to reach out, as we
are able, to each other in our church family and to our neighbours in need, and
to persist in prayer. Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
A: God of community, we pray for the church around the world. Unite us in our
love for you. Help us overcome our divisions, that we are encouraged to work
together for your sake. Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
A: God of creation, we pray for this hurting earth. Awaken in us a new desire to
care for this world and empower us to support agencies, organizations, and
individual efforts to heal our environment. Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
A: God of cooperation, we pray for nations of the world embroiled in conflict.
Inspire leaders to listen to each other and work towards peaceful solutions to
disagreements. Protect the vulnerable, especially children, who cannot find
safety in their home or country. Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
A: God of comfort, we pray for all who live with mental or physical illness. Help
them find appropriate care. Bring healing and wholeness when the path forward
seems bleak. Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
A: God of compassion, we pray for the young people of this congregation.
Renew in us your call to welcome the children in our midst. As they grow,
strengthen their faith and our commitment to them. Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
[Here you may include other intercessions.]
A: God of consolation, we give you thanks for our loved ones who have died and
pray for all who grieve today. Shine your grace on all your saints.
Lord, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
A: Receive these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C: Amen.

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

OFFERTORY
Let the vineyards be fruitful, Lord, and fill to the brim our cup of blessing.
Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown,
that we may be fed, with the bread of life.
Gather the hopes and dreams of all; unite them with the prayers we offer.
Grace our table with your presence,
and give us a foretaste of the feast to come.

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING
P: People of God, you are Christ's body,
bringing new life to a suffering world.
The holy Trinity, ☩ one God, bless you now and forever.
C: Amen.

DISMISSAL
P: Go in peace. The living Word dwells in you.
C: Thanks be to God.

DISMISSAL HYMN – Go Now in Peace
Go now in peace, never be afraid.
God will go with you each hour of every day.
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.
Know He will guide you in all you do.
Go now in love, and show you believe.
Reach out to others, so all the world can see.
God will be there, watching from above.
Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

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