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

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

All attendees at our worship services must be fully vaccinated.

Face masks are required. We will have some congregational singing in the service, with our masks on. We are not yet ready to have our coffee and fellowship time in Luther Hall after the service as we used to do in the days before COVID.

Registration It is helpful (though not essential) : It is nice to know how many are coming and who is coming. This will help us with setting up for Communion 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 and we will send you a reply to confirm your reservation.

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: The service will be shown on the screen and we will sing some of the hymns. 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. We are now using continuous communion in the sanctuary, with careful attention to hand sanitizing. Pastor David distributes the communion wafers and an Assisting Minister distributes wine or grape juice in individual glasses. As worshippers come
forward to receive the elements, we try to maintain physical distancing and to manage the traffic patterns to minimize interactions among people.

We have coffee and fellowship time available again in Luther Hall after
the service, with suitable COVID precautions in place.

We will continue to evaluate our worship service procedures on a monthly basis and we will make other adjustments when local COVID data and advice from the Health Unit indicate it is safer to do so.


St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, Outline for Worship (with sermon)
Sunday, May 28, 2023 – Pentecost Sunday
Based on ELW Setting Four



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.
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.

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)

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

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.

P: Let us pray.
P: O God, on this day you open the hearts of your faithful people by sending
into us your Holy Spirit. Direct us by the light of that Spirit, that we may have a
right judgement in all things and rejoice at all times in your peace, through
Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen


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.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
3b No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are
varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but
the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God
who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the
Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of
wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the
discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the
interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit,
who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 12 For just as the
body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though
many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all
made to drink of one Spirit.
A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

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

P: The Holy Gospel according to John 20:19-23
C: Glory to you, O Lord.
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of
the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus
came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." 20 After he said this,
he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they
saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father
has sent me, so I send you." 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and
said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are
forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
P: The Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to you, O Christ.

John 20:19-23
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.

There was once a young man who was beginning his spiritual journey in the
religious life. He sought the counsel of an old man who was well versed in
spirituality and asked him what all he must do to live a disciplined religious life.
The old man opened the Book of Psalms and read the first verse of Psalm 39.
“I said, I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue.” “Stop!” cried the
young man as the older was about to proceed. “When I have learned that I will
come and receive further rules.” And so, he went away and at the end of six
months, the older man, curious about the progress of the younger, sought him
out and asked, “Are you ready to continue with the other lessons?” “Not yet,” the
younger man replied. “I have not yet mastered the first one.” Another five years
passed and curiously the older man again sought out the younger. This time the
young man replied, “I have no need of the other lessons, for, having learned the
first rule, to master the tongue, I have gained discipline and control over my
whole nature.”
This story recalls the teaching in the Letter of James of how we are to correctly
express our thoughts and emotions to others. One of the Letter’s recurring
themes is found in Chapter 1, verses 19-20. “Let everyone be quick to listen,
slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”
Verse 26 continues, “If anyone think they are religious, and do not bridle their
tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless.” The Letter of James
is considered Wisdom Literature of the New Testament, and the author is
admonishing his readers to put right words into action. Certainly, James seems
to know something about the nature of speech.
If you are like me, you may know the experience of having been bullied as a
child. You may have been singled out for ridicule based on your looks, your
clothes, your interests, or your intellect. Perhaps you have been at the receiving
end of verbal abuse from a teacher, mentor, employer, or someone whom you
have held in high esteem. Maybe you have felt dismissed by a friend, family
member, or spouse and felt unworthy of love, respect, and dignity. An article
written six years ago in Psychology Today noted that verbal aggression not only
damages self-esteem but also has been found to alter the development of a
child’s brain. Other studies show that emotional pain affects the same part of the
brain as physical pain and how verbal aggression can be internally absorbed by the
body. Words are powerful. Words can lift us up or beat us down, soothe us or
wound us. Typically, once we have been subjected to violent verbal communication,
we learn that it is a powerful weapon that we can put in our own arsenal just in case
we need it.
Words can also inflict pain when they are not intended to do so. When we are
not intentional about this very powerful gift of creating and communicating,
we can speak without realizing the damage we are inflicting. In reflection, I can
regrettably think of times in my own life where I have hurt others with careless
words. A lot of damage can be done through reckless, thoughtless, idle speech.
The power of words is evident today. Our public discourse is evidence of a great
epidemic of toxicity that is not only setting the United States and Canada ablaze, but
more acutely, our world, not only with the spoken word, but with individuals typing
away on social media. In our modern world, powerful language, correct information
or incorrect information, now reaches farther and faster. In these challenging times,
how can we reclaim the Holiness of words to emulate God our creator? How can we
follow James’ suggestion to put right words into right action?
First, I think we can begin locally in our immediate relationships within families,
among friends, and with colleagues by remaining constantly aware of our desire
for words that gain good will or reduce hostility. It is helpful to notice our thoughts
and emotions especially when we are responding to someone. Remember, we
are created in the image of God, with the ability to create. We use words to give
expression to those thoughts and emotions.
When faced with a difficult conversation we need to be aware of the tension in
our body. Do we feel compelled to respond from a place of hurt, anger, fear,
shame or confusion? Do we feel a need to protect ourself? One technique
used in 12-step recovery is especially helpful at times like these. Remember
the acronym H.A.L.T. Halt if you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. If we are
experiencing any of these, or something else that is disorienting, it is possible
that we will be unable to respond with a clear and calm mind and with the
intention of conciliatory speech. It would be best to attend to these bodily needs,
process the information, and then in turn, respond in a way the imitates our
Creator, using words that bless and heal, rather than injure and hurt.
When we take the time to process the situation, we are able to approach the
problem from a place of curiosity. Why do we feel defensive? Is our reaction tied
to something else from our past? If we are unprepared to proceed with the
intention of Holy speech, then we need to take time to prepare some questions
that will help us to better understand how we and the other person arrived at this
place. We may need to get reoriented in order to find our way forward safely and
with care.
We need to always remember that the person confronting us is the beloved of
God just like we are. They are deserving of the same respect and dignity that we
are. Former first lady Michelle Obama said in an interview, “When you have a
voice, you cannot use it any kind of way. Most of your first, initial thoughts are not
worthy of the light of day. You can’t just slash and burn up folks just because you
think you are right. You have to treat people as if they are precious: all of them,
even the ones you do not agree with.” If we are not in a place to approach the
other person as the beloved of God, we should take time to pray for them.
Prayer is a sanctifying act. In praying for others, we learn really and truly to love
them. As we approach God on their behalf, we carry the thought of them into the
very being of eternal love. This is a powerful practice, helping us to love our
brothers and sisters in Christ.
Always be aware that some of the most powerful words that we can use in all
human language are, “I am sorry,” and “I forgive you.” When Jesus was nailed to
the cross, experiencing pain and suffering, Jesus prayed to God, “Father, forgive
them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Contrition is a powerful tool in
putting us in a right and Holy relationship with God and with others, and is a fresh
beginning, a clean slate, and a new opportunity to use words to create, bless,
and heal. We need to ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable and enliven our
words to this end.
The purpose of the gifts of tongues on Pentecost was to enable the proclamation
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news. The gift of the Holy Spirit at
Pentecost allows us to understand those who are different from us, remembering
that all of us were created as equal members of God’s family. As we celebrate
Pentecost, we remember God’s Spirit created the community of Jesus and
sustains it along with all life. We were created in the image of God, with the same
capacity to reflect the same love God graciously bestows upon us, not only with
our words, but also with our lives.

HYMN OF THE DAY – God of Tempest, God of Whirlwind (ELW 400)

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.

A: United in the hope and joy of the resurrection, let us 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 our Pastor David and the
people of St. Ansgar congregation. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.

A: Passionate God, you sent your Spirit through the gifts of fire, wind, and word.
As you equipped the disciples for their work, equip us to bring the good news
to all those who long for you. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.

A: Restoring God, wind and flame bring life and destruction throughout the world.
We pray for those who work with wind energy, for migratory birds, for protection
for lands facing destructive fire, for forestry managers and firefighters. Renew
the face of the earth. Hear us, O God.
C:Your mercy is great.

A: Ever-present God, your spirit embraces all. Send your spirit of understanding
to immigrants, refugees, and any experiencing language barriers. Bless the
work of translators, ESL teachers, ambassadors, and international peace
organizations. Safely guide those fleeing war and danger. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.

A: Merciful God, you anoint us with your spirit. Bless nurses, doctors, midwives,
chaplains, counselors, and hospice workers as they care for those in need.
We pray for all who seek your comfort. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.

A: Generous God, you impart a variety of gifts. Set aflame the desire to learn
from one another, especially those who differ from us. Make your presence
known through missionaries, peace workers, and through the outreach
ministries of our synod and community. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.

A: Merciful God, we pray for peace as war continues to rage in Ukraine. 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. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.

A: Life-giving God, we give thanks for those who have died to new life in you.
Comfort all who mourn, and usher in a world where war is no more. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.

A: Rejoicing in the victory of Christ's resurrection, we lift our prayers and
praise to you, almighty and eternal God; through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.
C: Amen.

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

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.


P: The God of all, who raised ☩ Jesus from the dead,
bless you by the power of the Holy Spirit to live in the new creation.
C: Amen.

SENDING HYMN – Lord, You Give the Great Commission (ELW 579)

A: Go in peace. Serve the Risen One.
C: Thanks be to God.

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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