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Updates from the Road

January 16, 2022 Newsletter

 

Cast all your anxiety on him,

because he cares for you.

~1 Peter 5:7

 

It’s a 2022 and new year!

That means it’s time for you to schedule your group and committee meetings so we can properly reserve the rooms and get the meetings on the calendar.  You can get a form from Cathy in the office or email me a request and I’ll send the form back to you, Rick Sharp, Facilities Use Ministry, rfssylvan@gmail.com

 

The Congregational meeting scheduled for January 30 has been postponed.

It will be rescheduled at a later date.

 

Spotted at the 11:30 service at Grace Sunday morning, January 9

 

COVID Update!

To keep the family of Grace and visitors safe with the increase in Covid cases we are temporarily suspending Fellowship Hour between services through the end of January. We will reevaluate at the end of January and hopefully will be able to resume in February.

 

Behind the scenes at Grace….. By Gretchen

  1. Epiphany is over and the Chrismon tree was taken down and packed away till next year. Thanks to Brenda, Mary and Cathy.
  2. We have had a beautiful winter wonderland with the snow and the cold.
  3. The menagerie is diving into the food that Joe puts out each morning – it looks as though they hear a dinner bell and come running and if it is later than normal, they are out waiting.
  4. Don’t forget the Food Pantry on Mondays – the need continues to be great as food costs are going up and some kids are back at home with school.
  5. Personnel Needs are also in need!
  6. Have you heard the door knocking? The automatic door outside the office is slightly “ill” and if you stand around long enough you will hear what sound like someone knocking to get in! It is due for repair this week.
  7. Remember Grace is not the building but the people carrying out God’s Mission!

 

Grace Anatomy!

 

Classrooms!

Did you know that all the classrooms are numbered and that they are down the hall towards the expressway with the exception of number 3? It is located across from the Graceful Giving Room. This is where the Personnel Needs  ministry meets on Tuesday, where AA meets and other meetings. It also has a bathroom designed for little children. It is also one of the only rooms that is not air conditioned so can be toasty in the summer.

Basements and Garage!

We have 2 basements.

One is under the chapel and can be accessed by the door in the hallway at the back of the chapel. Once you open the door there are steps to the balcony and steps down to the basement. The basement is a typical basement with storage stuff. However, it is one of our severe weather tornado shelters and has a door that accesses the outside in the need to escape. It is always a little musty smelling so do not become alarmed – it is “basement cologne”.

The other basement is across the hall from Classroom 3. This is the boiler room area, workbench, winter salt supply, ladders, Easter Egg Hunt and some Christmas decorations are stored there. This is also a severe weather tornado shelter area.

Up the steps form this basement is the “Garage”. There is a garage door that opens towards Best Buy / Kroger. The snowblowers, garden rakes/equipment, Christmas Tree and Interfaith Blood Drive Supplies are stored here. This is not a good place to be in severe weather as it is not underground.

 

No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple!

(Regina Brett)

 

Winter!!!

 

So far, we have had only the cold and a little bit of ice – no big snow yet.

Is your car prepared for a winter emergency? What you carry in your car could make a difference!

Winter carries the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks.

We have all heard about the giant winter car pileup and delay this last week! Most of us think that will never happen to us, never in Toledo, Ohio but it can. What if you are traveling out of Toledo?

First if there is a winter weather event forecasted if you can stay home, it would be a great idea. If not, think about having your car prepared.

If traveling let someone know where you are going and the route you are taking.

Have a full tank of gas before you start and keep it as filled up as possible.

Then have:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Jumper Cables and tire pressure gauge
  • Portable phone charger
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Heavy gloves, hats, more warm coats and Thermal or Safety Blankets(Sleeping bags?)
  • Boots, waterproof footwear
  • Disposable hand and or foot warming packs
  • Drinking water and preserved food (think granola or protein bars, raisins, beef jerky)
  • Red signal flag that you can tie on antenna
  • Flares or warning triangle
  • Whistle
  • Ice scraper
  • Something for traction like sand, salt, non-clump kitty litter
  • Shovel

If your car becomes stuck

  • Make sure it is visible. Put the red flag on the antenna, use emergency lights, flares, warning triangle, turn the dome light on
  • Notify roadside assistance/help – ie. AAA
  • Make sure snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Take it easy moving the snow and avoid overdoing it especially if you are not in the greatest shape.
  • Conserve the heat in the car by building a small area with blankets around you like a fort. Turn the heart on for 10 minutes every hour and crack window slightly.
  • Do not leave the car as you could be easily disoriented especially if snowing and/or area you are not familiar with.

 

Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, Glorious Lord
Emmanuel, God is with us
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word
Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, Glorious Lord
Emmanuel, God is with us
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word

 

~Photo by Cathy

 

This is the day the Lord has made

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24

Sunday January 16, 2022 Meditation

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toledo, Ohio

A congregation of the Northwestern Ohio Synod

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Second Sunday after Epiphany

Introduction & Welcome

Welcome to worship today, God’s gift to us because God is good! all the time!

and all the time! God is good!

The Sundays after Epiphany continue to celebrate the revelation of God’s glory to us as it was made known to the magi and to those on Jordan’s banks at Jesus’ baptism—today using wedding imagery. Our God rejoices over God’s people as those being married rejoice over one another. By the power of the Spirit there are gifts galore for everyone. In Christ Jesus the best wine is saved for last. Taste and see.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

who creates us,

redeems us,

and calls us by name.

Amen.

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

Silence is kept for reflection.

Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you

and your beloved children.

We have turned our faces away from your glory

when it did not appear as we expected.

We have rejected your word

when it made us confront ourselves.

We have failed to show hospitality

to those you called us to welcome.

Accept our repentance for the things we have done

and the things we have left undone.

For the sake of Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Forgive us and lead us, that we may bathe

in the glory of your Son born among us,

and reflect your love for all creation.

Amen.

Rejoice in this good news:

In ☩ Christ Jesus, your sins are forgiven.

You are descendants of the Most High,

adopted into the household of Christ,

and inheritors of eternal life.

Live as freed and forgiven children of God.

Amen.

Prayer of the Day

Lord God, source of every blessing, you showed forth your glory and led many to faith by the works of your Son, who brought gladness and salvation to his people. Transform us by the Spirit of his love, that we may find our life together in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5

The people’s return to Judah after the exile was marred by economic and political troubles. Nevertheless, the prophet declares, Jerusalem and Judah will be restored. God will rejoice over Jerusalem as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, and the people are called to the celebration.

1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch.
2The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
5For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your builder marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Psalm: Psalm 36:5-10

We feast upon the abundance of your house, O Lord. (Ps. 36:8)

5Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the clouds.
6Your righteousness is like the strong mountains, your justice like the great deep; you save humankind and animals, O Lord. 
7How priceless is your love, O God!
All people take refuge under the shadow of your wings.
8They feast upon the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9For with you is the well of life,
and in your light we see light.
10Continue your lovingkindness to those who know you,
and your favor to those who are true of heart. 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

The congregation at Corinth experienced division as people were comparing their spiritual gifts, thinking some to be superior to others. Paul invites this fractured community to trust that God’s Holy Spirit has gifted them all perfectly for their mission together.

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to 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. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Jesus revealed his glory,* and his disciples believed in him. Alleluia. (John 2:1-11)

Gospel: John 2:1-11

Turning water to wine at the wedding at Cana is described as the first of Jesus’ signs. Through many such epiphanies, Jesus reveals that he bears God’s creative power and joyful presence into the world.

1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Meditation by David O’Brien

A man, we’ll call him Jim, went to a party recently, but he didn’t feel much like celebrating. You see, Jim had recently had several setbacks in his life. He’d lost his job, his marriage had ended in a bitter divorce and a friend he’d known most of his life had died unexpectedly. Life, it seemed to Jim, had become random and cruel. He was in a lot of pain and spent most of his free time alone. Some of the people around him thought it’d be a good idea if he got out and tried to be happy again. This party, however, just wasn’t working for Jim. It seemed that the spice in Jim’s life was gone. Put another way, like the wedding in Cana, the wine had run out.

When Mary came to Jesus at the wedding and told Him that they have no wine, I’ve always had the impression that Jesus was not ready to reveal to the world at large His true nature. I can almost picture Him rolling His eyes as she tells the servants to do whatever He says. Perhaps Jesus, like any good son, wants to make His mother happy. So, He tells the servants what to do and before you know it, we have the miracle of the water being turned into wine. This wine, when sampled by the chief steward, was the best wine he’d tasted all evening. The arrival of this new, good wine enabled the wedding feast to go on, rather than to fizzle out.

It’s like that in our own lives as well. Sometimes life can get you down. It can feel as though all the taste has gone out of it. Sometimes it can be serious things that take some of the joy out of life. Things like being the victim of a crime, for example. Weather it’s a financial crime, like being defrauded out of some money, or a crime against a person, such as an assault, it can be devastating to one’s self esteem. The constant recriminations in one’s own mind, like “why didn’t I see this coming” or “why didn’t I find a way to stop it” can nag at a person for years. It can also be simple or trivial things that take away some of the taste in your life. Let’s say your favorite team has been riding high all year and then, on the last game of the season, they suffer a bitter defeat. This leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but the nice thing about sports, for the most part, is that there’s always next year. Sometimes, it can be the monotony of life that can make it taste bland. You get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed and then start the whole thing over the next day. I imagine that for some folks, the sheer repetitiveness of it can get old after a time. It’s at those times, when you feel empty, that Jesus can fill your life back up with the best wine.

It’s significant to me that John tells us that this miracle took place ‘on the third day’. To me, at least, that’s a reference to Jesus’ resurrection. The life of the world had become empty after Jesus’ crucifixion. Especially to Christ’s disciples. Then, on the third day, the light of the world returned, even better than before, because now the world had been redeemed through Jesus Christ. We’ve heard references to the Church, and the world, being the bride and Jesus the bride groom. His death and resurrection being the wedding feast with His resurrection being the best wine which had been saved for the last. On the third day our lives are filled to the brim with the good wine; intoxicating us with the life of God, inebriating us with the blood of Christ, and leaving us under the influence of the Holy Spirit. That’s the miracle at Cana and it has never ceased happening. Every moment of every day Christ pours himself into the empty jars of our life. He is the good wine; extravagant, abundant, endless.

Prayers of Intercession

The Spirit of the Lord is poured out upon us in abundance; so we are bold to pray for the church, the world, and all that God has made.

A brief silence.

By your Spirit, activate within your church gifts of faith, healing, and prophecy. Unite those who profess your name across congregations, denominations, and geographic boundaries. Open our hearts to recognize and celebrate surprising miracles. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your creation reflects your generosity. Bless farmers, migrant farm workers, orchard-keepers, ranchers, and all who tend the abundance of the land. Protect food and water sources from destruction, that all can eat and drink and be satisfied. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

By your Spirit, grant wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to those who hold leadership positions at any level, especially Elizabeth & Daniel, our bishops, and Howard, our pastor. Direct policymakers toward compassionate decisions that build up safe and just communities. Lead all authorities in seeking and serving the common good. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

As Jesus provided generously in a moment of need, provide generous gifts of healing for those in need this day especially those on our prayer list and prayer board. Provide abundantly for all who are hungry or thirsty, all seeking shelter, and all who seek peace. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You see us for who we are and you delight in us. Embrace those struggling with self-worth, wrestling with self-identity, or facing significant life transition. Remind us that nothing can separate us from your love. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You bless us through the spiritual gifts of the saints who have gone before us. We give thanks for the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and all who have modeled the way of courageous faith. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Since we have such great hope in your promises, O God, we lift these and all of our prayers to you in confidence and faith, through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Amen.

Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the 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.

And now, as our Savior, Christ, continues to teach us, we boldly pray:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,

your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

Blessing

God, who leads you in pathways of righteousness,

who rejoices over you,

and who calls you by name,

☩ bless your going out and your coming in,

today and forever.

Amen.

Dismissal

Go with Christ into a weary world.

Share the good news.

Thanks be to God.

Sunday January 9, 2022 Meditation

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toledo, Ohio

A congregation of the Northwestern Ohio Synod

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Baptism of Our Lord

Introduction & Welcome

Welcome to worship today, God’s gift to us because God is good! all the time!

and all the time! God is good!

Today’s festival rejoices in God’s blessings. We recall and celebrate our adoption as God’s children, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised company of almighty God when we “pass through the waters … the rivers … fire.” On this day the heavens open again for this assembly, and we receive the gift of God’s Beloved, Jesus, in bread and wine.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

who creates us,

redeems us,

and calls us by name.

Amen.

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

Silence is kept for reflection.

Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you

and your beloved children.

We have turned our faces away from your glory

when it did not appear as we expected.

We have rejected your word

when it made us confront ourselves.

We have failed to show hospitality

to those you called us to welcome.

Accept our repentance for the things we have done

and the things we have left undone.

For the sake of Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Forgive us and lead us, that we may bathe

in the glory of your Son born among us,

and reflect your love for all creation.

Amen.

Rejoice in this good news:

In ☩ Christ Jesus, your sins are forgiven.

You are descendants of the Most High,

adopted into the household of Christ,

and inheritors of eternal life.

Live as freed and forgiven children of God.

Amen.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit and revealed him as your beloved Son. Keep all who are born of water and the Spirit faithful in your service, that we may rejoice to be called children of God, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7

Near the end of Israel’s exile in Babylon, God promises to bring the people home. They need no longer be afraid, because the one who formed, created, and called them by name now redeems them from all their enemies. God declares them precious and honored, and God loves them.

1But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
4Because you are precious in my sight,
and honored, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
6I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
and to the south, “Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from the end of the earth—
7everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

Psalm: Psalm 29

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. (Ps. 29:3)

1Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name;
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders;
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice;
the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor. 
5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6the Lord makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the Lord
bursts forth in lightning flashes.
8The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 
9The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Lord all are crying, “Glory!”
10The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned asking forevermore.
11O Lord, give strength to your people;
give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace. 

Second Reading: Acts 8:14-17

Peter and John are sent to support the new Christians in Samaria, a group that was recently baptized after hearing the good news of Christ through the preaching of Philip. Here the Samaritans receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in the laying on of hands.

14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved,* with whom I am well pleased.” Alleluia. (Matt. 3:17)

Gospel: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The reading opens with questions about the identity of the Messiah. John the Baptist insists that he is not the Messiah; instead he points ahead to one who is coming. And whether the voice of God was heard by all or only by Jesus, God settles the matter: Jesus is God’s beloved Son.

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Meditation by David O’Brien

I have gone to plenty of meetings where they hand you a pen and a sticker that says “Hello, my name is…” and you are asked to fill in your name on the rest of the sticker then wear it throughout the rest of the day. In my experience, those stickers do not stick well to my clothing and they always end up curling up and falling off. The name badge stickers can be quite annoying, but they serve an important function. I am just horrible at names. I can be introduced to someone and during the course of the conversation with them, I’ll forget the name they just told me! I remember one time, when I was helping out at the church school while the rest of the adults were attending services, I had forgotten the name of this one little girl. She was upset about something and I was trying to comfort her and she asked me, “What do you care? You don’t even know my name”. Thirty years later, I still don’t remember that little girl’s name, but I do remember what she said to me. Of course, it’s not all as simple as that. We can care for someone without knowing their name. But being able to name a person does say something about our relationship with them. It tells the other person that we have more than just a passing knowledge of them. In my work as a parole officer, knowing the names of the offenders on my case load lets them know that I’m paying attention to who they are and what they are doing.

God knows our names, each and every one of them. As big as God is, and as small as we are, that’s really amazing. God declares in the first reading that He has called us by name and that we are His! Our first reading comes from a time when Israel was in exile. They had been conquered and had lost everything. There was no Temple, they had no king and Jerusalem, their holy city, was no longer theirs. Israel’s people had been carted off and dispersed throughout the conquering kingdom, to be assimilated into this culture, which was alien to them. The hope was that they would become like every other citizen and forget about their old ways and their identity. They wanted Israel to forget that they were God’s people. But God has other plans. Through Isaiah, He lets Israel know that He has not forgotten them and that He will continue to be with them, even in difficult times, as He has in the past. He also tells Israel that will bring them back together and reunite them as one people again. Given their circumstances at the time, that’s quite a promise.

God the Father makes a similar promise in today’s Gospel reading as well. He had told the Israelite’s in exile that, “I have called you by name. You are mine”, he tells Jesus, after His baptism, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” This was at the very beginning of Jesus public ministry, a journey that would eventually take Him to Jerusalem and His death upon a cross. Along the way, Jesus would preach the good news about the Kingdom of God and repentance, but He would also be tempted often to abandon His mission. The Father is telling the Son, as He starts out, to not forget who He is.

Our baptism could be looked upon in a similar fashion. We may not remember it, but when the baptismal water was poured over our heads and the words were spoken, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” it’s as if as if God is saying to us, “I have called you by name. You are mine.” Or perhaps “You are my beloved sons and daughters; with you I am well pleased.” Baptism marks us as being one of God’s own people. From that point forward, we belong to Christ. We are even given a new name, Christians. No one or nothing can take this name from us. When Isaiah tells the Jewish exiles not to fear because God has called them, by name and that they are His, we are also part of that promise.

So, in whatever you face, today, tomorrow, maybe even years in the future, fear not! God has named you! You are His! He will not forget you!

Prayers of Intercession

The Spirit of the Lord is poured out upon us in abundance; so we are bold to pray for the church, the world, and all that God has made.

A brief silence.

By the Holy Spirit, you gather your church and send it out in mission to share the good news of Jesus. Inspire your faithful people, including Daniel & Elizabeth, our bishops, and Howard, our pastor, and all of us to be fervent in prayer and service, that all people know they are precious in God’s sight. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You reveal your love and power through water and the Spirit. Guard rivers, seas, and all bodies of water, especially the Great Lakes, which are such a blessing to this part of the world, from destruction and pollution. Secure access to clean water for all, and protect the land from drought and flood. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Establish among the nations the blessings of peace. Raise up leaders who will protect vulnerable people in their care. Strengthen advocates who risk reputation or retaliation for the sake of mercy and justice. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You protect us through the fires and troubled waters of this life. Assure us that we will not be cut off from you by illness or despair, anxiety or pain, confusion or weakness. Comfort all who are in need especially those whom we remember on our prayer list and prayer board. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

We are joined in baptism to Christ and to one another. Bless those who are newly baptized and those who are preparing for baptism. Help us to be faithful in fellowship, worship, evangelism, service, and justice-seeking. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You created each of your saints for your glory. We give thanks for those you have called by name into your eternal embrace. Comfort us in grief and release us from fear. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Since we have such great hope in your promises, O God, we lift these and all of our prayers to you in confidence and faith; through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Amen.

Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the 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.

And now, as our Savior, Christ, continues to teach us, we boldly pray:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,

your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

Blessing

God, who leads you in pathways of righteousness,

who rejoices over you,

and who calls you by name,

☩ bless your going out and your coming in,

today and forever.

Amen.

Dismissal

Go with Christ into a weary world.

Share the good news.

Thanks be to God.

Josefin is

Ready to Rock

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