September 27, 2020


17th Sunday after Pentecost
September 27, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic week 29

 Led by:

11 Old York Road ~ Ringoes, NJ 08551
Rev. Scott Schantzenbach, Interim Pastor
Shannen Hemmel, Musician
Paul Telenson, 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.



Jesus’ parable about two sons who don’t do what they say reveals surprises in the reign of God. In the reading from Ezekiel the people claim the ways of the Lord are unfair, while God offers repentance and new life. Paul urges us to look to Christ as a model of humility, putting the interests of others above our own. Nourished by the broken bread and shared cup, we offer our lives for the sake of our needy world.


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.

God of love, giver of life, you know our frailties and failings. Give us your grace to overcome them, keep us from those things that harm us, and guide us in the way of salvation, 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: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

Ezekiel challenges those who think they cannot change because of what their parents were and did, or who think they cannot reverse their own previous behavior. God insistently invites people to turn and live.

1The word of the Lord came to me: 2What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? 3As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.
25Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? 26When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. 27Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. 28Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. 29Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?
30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.

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


PSALM: Psalm25

1To | you, O Lord,
  I lift | up my soul.
2My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be | put to shame,
  nor let my enemies triumph | over me.
3Let none who look to you be | put to shame;
  rather let those be put to shame | who are treacherous.
4Show me your | ways, O Lord,
  and teach | me your paths. 
5Lead me in your | truth and teach me,
  for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all | the day long.
6Remember, O Lord, your compas- | sion and love,
  for they are from | everlasting.
7Remember not the sins of my youth and | my transgressions;
  remember me according to your steadfast love and for the sake of your good- | ness, O Lord.
8You are gracious and up- | right, O Lord;
  therefore you teach sinners | in your way.
9You lead the low- | ly in justice
  and teach the low- | ly your way. 



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: Matthew21:23-32

After driving the moneychangers out of the temple (21:12), Jesus begins teaching there. His authority is questioned by the religious leaders, who are supposed to be in charge of the temple.


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


23When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

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





SING: HYMN: ELW 712 “Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service"
1          Lord, whose love in humble service
            bore the weight of human need,
            who upon the cross, forsaken,
            worked your mercy's perfect deed:
            we, your servants, bring the worship
            not of voice alone, but heart;
            consecrating to your purpose
            ev'ry gift which you impart.
2          Still your children wander homeless;
            still the hungry cry for bread;
            still the captives long for freedom;
            still in grief we mourn our dead.
            As you, Lord, in deep compassion
            healed the sick and freed the soul,
            by your Spirit send your power
            to our world to make it whole.
Text: Albert F. Bayly, 1901-1984
Text © 1961 Oxford University Press.



A: In Christ, you have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
We believe in him and are marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.
A: Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He 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,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again 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
A: Build yourselves up on your most holy faith;
pray in the Holy Spirit.
A: Keep yourselves in the love of God;
look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A: If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:
Everything old has passed away; behold, everything has become new!
P: God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Therefore, let us be reconciled to God and to one another.
P: Gracious God,
have mercy on us. In your compassion forgive us our sins,
known and unknown, things done and left undone.
Uphold us by your Spirit so that we may live and serve you in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
P: Almighty God have mercy on you,
forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ,
strengthen you in all goodness,
and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.



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: Drawn together by the compassion of God, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need, responding to each petition with the words “Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.”

A: Throughout the globe is the church: many assemblies are postponed by the virus, our songs quieted, our leaders searching for new ways forward. That you will continue to inspire all the baptized with the mind of Christ, we pray to you, faithful God.
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

A: Around us nature is strained: polar ice is melting, excessive rains ravage the land, fires consume forests, fields, and homes, and animals are deprived of habitat. That you will preserve and protect the earth, we pray to you, mighty God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

A: Around us is a needy world: governments allow injustice, violence threatens stability, people experience prejudice, reforms are thwarted, workers are unemployed, medical facilities are strained, children are abused. That you will save the people in all the nations of the world, we pray to you, compassionate God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

A: In our nation’s courts, we see justice delayed and justice denied. Yet we thank you for the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and for her passion for equality under the law. That you will uphold honest judges and insightful juries throughout our criminal justice system, and that you will assist our nation in its task of filling the Supreme Court, we pray to you, righteous God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

A: Around us are the sick: there is starvation, the virus continues, many persons receive no medical attention, our neighbors and dear ones are ill. That you will bless all ministries of care and will relieve the suffering of those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit, especially:

Nathan Resch
Genevieve Alana Hemmel
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


we pray to you, merciful God.
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

A: Nearby are needs of which we are unaware. That you will send your holy angels to uphold all who face personal troubles, we pray to you, benevolent God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

A: Inside many hearts there is both joy and sorrow. We pray now for ourselves:
That you will give us new hearts and a new spirit, we pray to you, loving God.
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

A: Before us lived countless of the faithful — the famous and the forgotten, our relatives and strangers. We lament their deaths, and we praise their witness. That we may confess Jesus Christ as Lord through our life and at our death, we pray to you, eternal God.

Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

P: All these things and whatever else you see that we need, we entrust to your mercy; through 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 535 "Hallelujah, we sing your praises”
            Hallelujah! We sing your praises,
all our hearts are filled with gladness.
            Hallelujah! We sing your praises,
all our hearts are filled with gladness. Repeat
1          Christ the Lord to us said:
I am wine, I am bread,
            I am wine, I am bread,
give to all who thirst and hunger. Refrain
2          Now he sends us all out,
strong in faith, free of doubt,
            strong in faith, free of doubt.
Tell to all the joyful gospel. Refrain


Text: South African, tr. Freedom Is Coming, 1984

English text © 1984 Utryck, admin. Walton Music Corp.


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From Sundays and 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 #11169728, streaming #20576443

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