Saturday, September 19, 2020

St John United Church of Christ - Worship 20 Sep 2020

St John United Church of Christ
 Melbourne, IA
 Welcome to worship with us! 
“No Matter Who You are or Where You are on Life’s Journey, 
You are Always Welcome Here!” 

September 20, 2020 | 9:30 AM | Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Invitation to Prepare: 

Pip (from Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations) says about wealth, “We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us. We were always more or less miserable, and most of our acquaintance were in the same condition.” 

Call to Worship: (from Psalm 145)
I will extol you, my God and Holy One, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; Your greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 

Hymn 277 (NCH): Holy Holy Holy 

Prayer of Confession: 
Paul asks churches: “Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel,…” Let us spend a quiet minute reflecting on where we have failed to “strive side by side”...for the Gospel. 


Words of Assurance: 

Beloved in Christ rejoice! 
 In grace and mercy, God abounds in steadfast love Forgives us, and sets us free to grow in grace. Bless God's name forever! 

 Scripture Reading: Matthew 20: 1-16 (NRSV) 

 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vine-yard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4 and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you stand-ing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the la-borers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  

Sermon: Getting What’s Deserved. 

Moment of Silence & Reflection: 

Invitation to Offering: 

When our eyes are heavy, we dream of another world. When our spirits are low, we turn to each other. When our anger flares, we need each other's gifts most. We give our gifts and offerings to create your kingdom of heaven here. Remember the gifts you have been given. Remember to share them with the community, your church. (They can be sent to the church office.) Sharing your gifts, the fruits of your labor, is great because 

God is good! All the time! 
 All the time!* God is good!* 

Let us share in the goodness of our God!! 


Praise God from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise God all creatures here below; 
 Praise God for all that love has done; 
 Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One. Amen 

Prayer of Dedication: 

We give thanks, O God, for all that you have given us. O God, you have called your laborers to give their gifts. Bless these offerings so that they reflect the work of your kingdom of heaven here on Earth. We offer this prayer in the name of the Creator, the Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Pastoral Meditation & Prayer:

 The Lord is with you. 
 Let us be in quiet meditations of our own hearts and minds. … 

Lord's Prayer: (ALL) 

Hymn 451 (NCH): Be Now My Vision 

Closing Announcements: 


From the words of Philippians, Let us continue in our work. Let us live in manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Let us be in one spirit, striving side by side, Let us find Christ in our struggles, Let us be surprised by the joy in our faith, Let us find you, O God, in all our work. 

May the LORD bless you and keep you, 
May holiness shine upon you, with you and be gracious to you, 
May the Creator turn to you and give you peace, now and always. 

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