October 4, 2020


18th Sunday after Pentecost
October 4, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic week 30
Led by:
11 Old York Road ~ Ringoes, NJ 08551
Rev. Scott Schantzenbach, Interim Pastor
Shannen Hemmel, Musician
The Chilcoat Family, Lector 
Terry Welsh, Videographer and Editor
In this time of world-wide crisis, congregations throughout this church are not able to gather for worship as the body of Christ. While we cannot be together in person, we can hear the word of God and hold each other in prayer. We offer this worship resource as an aid for prayer and worship in the home.



In today’s gospel reading, Jesus tells a vineyard parable, which serves as an image of Israel, the prophets’ mission, and Christ’s death. For Christians, the vineyard also speaks of God’s love poured out in the blood of Christ, given to us for the forgiveness of sin. Grafted onto Christ the vine at baptism, we are nourished with wine and bread so that we may share Christ’s sufferings and know the power of his resurrection.



P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
P: You are the treasured people of the Lord,
a people holy to the Lord our God.
P: Keep the words of the Lord in your heart; teach them to your children.
Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.
P: One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.



P: The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Beloved God, from you come all things that are good. Lead us by the inspiration of your Spirit to know those things that are right, and by your merciful guidance, help us to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.



All: Salvation belongs to our God and to Christ the Lamb forever and ever.
I: Great and wonderful are your deeds, O God of the universe;
just and true are your ways, O Ruler of all the nations.
Who can fail to honor you, Lord, and sing the glory of your name?
All: Salvation belongs to our God and to Christ the Lamb forever and ever.
II: For you alone are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and worship before you,
for your just and holy works have been revealed.
All: Salvation belongs to our God and to Christ the Lamb forever and ever.



FIRST READING: Isaiah 5:1-7

The prophet sings a sad, parable-like love song about the relationship between God and Israel. In this song Israel is compared to a promising vineyard. Despite God’s loving care, the vineyard that is Israel has brought forth “wild grapes” of injustice and distress, when fine grapes of justice and righteousness were expected.

1Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning my beloved’s vineyard:
“My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
2My beloved dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it,
and expected it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.”
3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
4What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?

5And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
6I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.

7For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are God’s pleasant planting;
for the LORD expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
but heard a cry!

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


PSALM: Psalm80

7Restore us, O | God of hosts;
  let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.
8You have brought a vine | out of Egypt;
  you cast out the nations and | planted it.
9You cleared the | ground for it;
  it took root and | filled the land.
10The mountains were covered | by its shadow
  and the towering cedar trees | by its boughs. 
11You stretched out its tendrils | to the sea
  and its branches | to the river.
12Why have you broken | down its wall,
  so that all who pass by pluck | off its grapes?
13The wild boar of the forest has | ravaged it,
  and the beasts of the field have | grazed upon it.
14Turn now, O | God of hosts,
  look | down from heaven;
15behold and | tend this vine;
  preserve what your right | hand has planted. 



Word of life, Jesus Christ, all glory to you!
Word of life, Jesus Christ, all praise to you!
Our hearts burn within us while you open to us the Scriptures.
Word of life, Jesus Christ, all glory to you!
Word of life, Jesus Christ, all praise to you!


GOSPEL: Matthew21: 33-46

Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders who are plotting his death, revealing that their plans will, ironically, bring about the fulfillment of scripture.


The holy gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said to the people:] 33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
 ‘The stone that the builders rejected
  has become the cornerstone;
 this was the Lord’s doing,
  and it is amazing in our eyes’?
43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

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





SING: HYMN: ELW 816 "Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life"
1          Come, my way, my truth, my life:
            such a way as gives us breath;
            such a truth as ends all strife;
            such a life as killeth death.
2          Come, my light, my feast, my strength:
            such a light as shows a feast;
            such a feast as mends in length;
            such a strength as makes his guest.
Text: George Herbert, 1593-1632




A Blessing of Animals witnesses to God's and the Church's love, care, and concern for creation. As we recognize our mutual interdependence with God's creatures, the Church's witness of stewardship of creation is strengthened.

P: The animals of God's creation inhabit the skies, the earth, and the sea.
They share in the fortunes of human existence
and have a part in human life.
God, who confers gifts on all living things,
has often used the service of animals
or made them reminders of the gifts of salvation.
Animals were saved from the flood
and afterwards made a part of the covenant with Noah. (GENESIS 9:9–10)

The paschal lamb recalls the Passover sacrifice
and the deliverance from slavery in Egypt. (EXODUS 12:3–14)

A giant fish saved Jonah; (JONAH 2:1–10)

ravens brought bread to Elijah; (1 KINGS 17:6)

animals were included in the repentance of Nineveh; (JONAH 3:7)

and animals share in Christ's redemption of all God's creation.
We, therefore, invoke God's blessing on these animals.
As we do so, let us praise the Creator
and thank God for setting us as stewards
over all the creatures of the earth.


P: God created us and placed us on the earth
to be stewards of all living things,
therefore let us proclaim the glory of our Creator, saying:
O God, how wonderful are the works of your hands.


Blessed are you, O Lord of the Universe; you create the animals
and give us the ability to train them to help us in our work.

O God, how wonderful are the works of your hands.

Blessed are you, O Lord of the Universe;
you give us food from animals to replenish our energies.

O God, how wonderful are the works of your hands.

Blessed are you, O Lord of the Universe; for the sake of our comfort
you give us domestic animals as companions.

O God, how wonderful are the works of your hands.

Blessed are you, O Lord of the Universe; you care for us
even as you care for the birds of the air.

O God, how wonderful are the works of your hands.

Blessed are you, O Lord of the Universe;
you offered your Son to us as the Passover lamb
and in him willed that we should be called your children.

O God, how wonderful are the works of your hands.


Bless, O Lord, these creatures,
and fill our hearts with thanksgiving for their being.

May God, who created the animals of this earth,
continue to protect and sustain us all,
now and forever. Amen.


P: Children of God, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace. The peace of the Lord be with you always.

And also with you.



P: In the abundance of God’s steadfast love, God calls us from death to life, from silence to speech, from idleness to action. In Proverbs 3:9 Solomon writes: “Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the first-fruits of all your produce.” Giving is an act of honor. Living Waters is a generous people honoring our neighbor, our community, our God, by sharing and serving.


We offer ourselves to God and neighbor, and with the Church through all the ages we give thanks for the saving love in Jesus.




Glory to you, God, for yours is the earth;
yours the anointing, the radiant worth.
Ours the rejoicing for spirits aflame.
ours the thanksgiving to your holy name.
Ours be the telling of deeds greatly done.
yours be the glory, O God, yours alone.




A: Let us pray. God of goodness and growth,
all creation is yours,
and your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
Water and word, wine and bread:
these are signs of your abundant grace.
Nourish us through these gifts,
that we might proclaim your steadfast love
in our communities and in the world,
through Jesus Christ, our strength and our song.



A: Today, October 4, is St. Francis’ Day. Francis cared fervently for the church, the earth and its animals, peace, and the poor. Let us now pray for these concerns, responding to each petition with the words “in mercy, receive our prayers.”

A: God most high, we pray for the church: for our bishop, our pastors and deacons, and our own congregation; for the ministry of Pope Francis; for the work of Franciscan friars and sisters; and for churches that are struggling with few resources.. That all the baptized may produce good fruit, sowing faith where there is doubt, we pray to you, O God our Redeemer:
in mercy, receive our prayers.

A: We pray for the earth and its animals: for farmlands; for animals whose habitat is threatened; for livestock; for all the animals that we raise for human use; for service animals; and for our dear pets. That the earth may be sustained with your care, and that we will sow joy where there is sadness, we pray to you, O God our Creator:
in mercy, receive our prayers.

A: We pray for peace: between nations; in our cities; among political rivals; throughout our coming election; between generations; between long-time citizens and new immigrants; in our churches and in our homes. That we may become instruments of your peace, sowing union where there is discord, we pray to you, O God, our Peacemaker:
in mercy, receive our prayers.

A: We pray for those who are poor: for those who are unemployed; for migrants; for those who are marginalized by prejudice; for orphans; for school children with no digital access. That we may give assistance where there is poverty and need, we pray to you, O God our Provider:
in mercy, receive our prayers.

A: We pray for all who are suffering: for those laid low by the coronavirus; for those who like Francis have painful eye disease; for those living with anxiety; for those whose sorrow is known only to you; for those who will die this day; and for those whose names we call out to you here especially:


Diane Orosky
Dave Wright
Nathan Resch
Cecelia Albrecht
Dick Thorpe
Becky M.
Debbie Hoffman
Teachers, students and all those returning to work/class in school
Bill and Mary Ann Reiter
Phyllis Gardner
Brand Kahler Jr.
Jesse Galinkin
Betty Fink
Ted Weisenbach



That we may sow hope where there is despair, we pray to you, O God our Comforter:
in mercy, receive our prayers.

A: We pray, finally for ourselves. Strengthen our faith in Christ, and hear our personal petitions. That we may sow pardon where there is injury and love where there has been hatred, we pray to you, O God our Healer:
in mercy, receive our prayers.

A: We praise you, God most high, for all the faithful who have gone before us into the fullness of your life, especially this week the Lutheran pastors Theodor Fliedner and Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg. A brief silence. That at our end, where there is darkness, we will join in your light forever, we pray to you, O God, Eternal One:
in mercy, receive our prayers.

P: Enfold in your loving arms all for whom we pray, as we trust in your salvation through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



Let us pray with confidence in the words our Savior gave us:
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.


P: May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill you with every spiritual blessing.
P: May the God of faithfulness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus.
P: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.



Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



SENDING SONG: ELW 796 "How Firm a Foundation"
1          How firm a foundation, O saints of the Lord,
            is laid for your faith in Christ Jesus, the Word!
            What more can he say than to you he has said
            who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2          "Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed,
            for I am your God and will still give you aid;
            I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
            upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand."
Text: J. Rippon, A Selection of Hymns, 1787, alt.



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From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23228 New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Hymns and songs reprinted under the permission of CCLI.com #11169728, streaming #20576443

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