Sunday, January 24, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Third Sunday after the Epiphany: January 24, 2021

The livestream may be found here. You need not have a Facebook account to view the livestream.

January 24, 2021, 10:30 am

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany


‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people’

Mark 1:17




The color green, used for the vestments and paraments for the Sundays after the Epiphany, represents growth and life in the Holy Spirit.


OLD TESTAMENT: After Jonah’s attempt to escape God’s call, God ‘calls him back’ by the means of the great fish. Given a second chance to obey, Jonah proclaims God’s judgment against Nineveh. To the shock and surprise of Jonah (and perhaps the original audience of the book), the people of Nineveh listen to him. Their fasting and wearing of sackcloth are outward signs of their conversion from evil and their ‘repentance’ (turning to God for change). In turn, God ‘repents’ or ‘changes his mind’ about what he plans to do to Nineveh – a part of the story that confounds Jonah and is a mystery to us.


NEW TESTAMENT: In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul states that the world has changed with the coming of Jesus, and thus the things that used to seem of absolute worth are relativized in light of the good news. We often make relative goods absolutes, and do not recognize that the Gospel supersedes both the joys and sorrows of this world.


GOSPEL: One of Mark’s favorite words is eutheus (‘immediately.’) Simon (Peter) and Andrew ‘immediately’ follow Jesus upon his call, and Jesus ‘immediately’ calls James and John upon seeing them. The use of the word gives Mark a breathless quality. But as Dietrich Bonhoeffer notes in Discipleship, there is a theological as well as narrative content to the description: ‘The call goes out, and without any further ado the obedient deed of the one called follows…How is this direct relation between call and obedience possible?...(T)here is only one good reason for the proximity of call and deed: Jesus Christ himself…The encounter gives witness to Jesus’ unconditional, immediate, and inexplicable authority.’



OPENING MUSIC                                                 Hail to the Lord’s Anointed! 

Henry V. Gerike


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played:


1              Hail to the Lord’s anointed,

                great David’s greater Son!

                Hail, in the time appointed,

                his reign on earth begun!

                He comes to break oppression,

                to set the captive free,

                to take away transgression

                and rule in equity.


2              He comes with rescue speedy

                to those who suffer wrong,

                to help the poor and needy,

                and bid the weak be strong;

                to give them songs for sighing,

                their darkness turn to light,

                whose souls, condemned and dying,

                were precious in his sight.


3              He shall come down like showers

                upon the fruitful earth;

                and love, joy, hope, like flowers,

                spring in his path to birth.

                Before him on the mountains

                shall peace, the herald, go;

                and righteousness in fountains

                from hill to valley flow.


4             Kings shall fall down before him,

                and gold and incense bring;

                all nations shall adore him,

                his praise all people sing.

                To him shall prayer unceasing

                and daily vows ascend;

                his kingdom still increasing,

                a kingdom without end.


Text: James Montgomery, 1771-1854





The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.


In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 1:8-9)


Silence for reflection and self-examination.


Most merciful God,

we confess that we are in bondage 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 neighbors 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. Amen


Almighty God, in his mercy, has given his Son to die for us, and for his sake 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.




The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.      2 Corinthians 13:13

  And also with you.


HYMN OF PRAISE Gloria in excelsis Deo


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.         

 Luke 2:14

Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father:

                We worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

                Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God:

                You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

                You are seated at the right hand of the Father;

receive our prayer.

                For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

                you alone are the Most High,

                Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen



The Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


Your sovereign rule, O God,

draws near to us in the person of Jesus your Son.

Your word summons us to faith;

your power transforms our lives.

  Free us to follow in Christ’s footsteps,

  so that neither human loyalty nor earthly attachment

  may hold us back from answering your call.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




The word of the LORD came to Jonah,

saying, ‘Proclaim the message that I tell you.’

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                                              Jonah 3:1-2


First Reading                                                                     Jonah 3:1-5, 10


1The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.
10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.


The Word of the Lord.                                                  

  Thanks be to God.


PSALM 62:6-14

The psalm is read responsively between the pastor and the people.


In God is my safety and my honor.                                                                   (vs. 8)

  In God is my safety and my honor.


6 For God alone my soul in | silence waits;*

                truly, my hope | is in him.

7 He alone is my rock and | my salvation,*

                my stronghold, so that I shall | not be shaken.

8 In God is my safety | and my honor;*

                God is my strong rock | and my refuge.

9 Put your trust in him al- | ways, O people,*

                pour out your hearts before him, for God | is our refuge.

10 Those of high degree are but a | fleeting breath,*

                even those of low estate can- | not be trusted.

11 On the scales they are lighter | than a breath,*

                all of | them together.

12 Put no trust in extortion; in robbery take no | empty pride;*

                though wealth increase, set not your | heart upon it.

13 God has spoken once, twice | have I heard it,*

                that power be- | longs to God.

14 Steadfast love is | yours, O Lord,*

                for you repay everyone according | to his deeds.


In God is my safety and my honor.

Second Reading                                                        1 Corinthians 7:29-31


29Brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.


The Word of the Lord.

  Thanks be to God.




Alleluia. Jesus went throughout Galilee,

  teaching, preaching, proclaiming the good news,

  and curing many diseases. Alleluia.                                                                         Matthew 4:23


Gospel                                                                                            Mark 1:14-20


The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark.

  Glory to you, O Lord.



14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.







HYMN OF THE DAY                                    ‘Come Follow Me,’ the Savior Spake


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.



1              “Come, follow me,” the Savior spake,

                “all in my way abiding;

                deny yourselves, the world forsake,

                obey my call and guiding.

                Oh, bear the cross, whate’er betide;

                take my example for your guide.


2              “I am the light; I light the way,

                a godly life displaying;

                I bid you walk as in the day;

                I keep your feet from straying.

                I am the way, and well I show

                how you should sojourn here below.”


3              My heart abounds in lowliness;

                my soul with love is glowing;

                and gracious words my lips express,

                with meekness overflowing.

                My heart, my mind, my strength, my all

                to God I yield; on him I call.


4             “I teach you how to shun and flee

                what harms your soul’s salvation;

                your heart from ev’ry guile to free,

                from sin and its temptation.

                I am the refuge of the soul

                and lead you to your heav’nly goal.”


5              Then let us follow Christ, our Lord,

                and take the cross appointed,

                and, firmly clinging to his word,

                in suffering be undaunted.

                For those who bear the battle’s strain

                the crown of heav’nly life obtain.


Text: Johann Scheffler, 1624-1677; tr. Charles W. Schaeffer, 1813-1896, alt.






The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Apostles’ Creed.



                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 into hell.

                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



Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


Silence is kept.


Father, make your Church aware of the shortness of the time and call it to zeal and faithfulness in discipleship.  Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Bless our bishop, Dan, our pastors, Maurice and Harvey, and all who administer Word and Sacrament, that they may call many to repentance and faith. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we ask that you would draw all from the separate Christian churches into closer community in teaching and love. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.

Let our faith family be strengthened in faithfulness, goodness, and gentleness.  Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Find those who wait for your call, and bring them to obediently leave behind that which prevents them from following you.  Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Inspire our President, Joseph, and his administration, the Congress and the courts, along with all who hold office in states and municipalities, to execute their offices with integrity, wisdom, and respect. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Bring peace to our world; comfort all who mourn; lift up those who live in poverty and fear; protect all who are threatened by violence and terror, and heal those who suffer illness of body, mind or spirit, especially these whom we name before you:


The pastor reads the names submitted for prayer.

The people are invited to offer spoken or silent petitions.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Keep us in communion with those who have gone before us, especially those dear to us who rest in you. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.




The peace of the Lord be with you always. 

  And also with you. 


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



Open the heavens, Lord our God,

and send your transforming Spirit

on us and on these gifts.

May we who are baptized into Christ

be ready to share his cup of suffering

and strengthened to serve him forever.





The Lord be with you.                                   

  And also with you.                     

Lift up your hearts.                                         

  We lift them to the Lord.                        

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                                  

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.


  It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times

and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through our Savior Jesus Christ.

  In his coming the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of heaven has come near; the appointed time has grown short, and the present form of this world is passing away.

  And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, holy, holy LORD, God of power and might!

Heaven and earth are full of your glory;

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

Hosanna in the highest!                                                       Isaiah 6:3, Matthew 21:9


The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


You are indeed holy, almighty and merciful God;

                you are most holy, and great is the majesty of your glory.


You so loved the world that you gave your only Son,

                that whoever believes in him

may not perish but have eternal life.


Having come into the world, he fulfilled for us your holy will

                and accomplished our salvation.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

                our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

                broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

                shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


Remembering, therefore, his salutary command,

                his life-giving Passion and death,

                his glorious resurrection and ascension,

and his promise to come again,

                we give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

                not as we ought, but as we are able;

                and we implore you mercifully

to accept our praise and thanksgiving,

                and, with your Word and Holy Spirit,

to bless us, your servants,

                and these your own gifts of bread and wine;

                that we and all who share

in the body and blood of your Son

                may be filled with heavenly peace and joy,

                and, receiving the forgiveness of sin,

may be sanctified in soul and body,

                and have our portion with all your saints.


All honor and glory are yours, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

                in your holy Church, now and forever.



Christ is in our midst.

By the power of the Spirit,

we pray to his Father, saying:



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



The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near.

  Thanks be to God.                                                                                     Mark 1:14


We adore Christ with the words of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;           

   have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;

  have mercy on us.        

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;

  Grant us peace.                                                    John 1:29, see also Luke 17:13




Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated, and please do not remove your mask until you have reached the table with the elements on it.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated. Please put your mask on before returning to your seat.


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.


Come Down, O Love Divine


1              Come down, O Love divine;

                seek thou this soul of mine

                and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;

                O Comforter, draw near;

                within my heart appear

                and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.


2              Oh, let it freely burn,

                till worldly passions turn

                to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

                and let thy glorious light

                shine ever on my sight,

                and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.


3              Let holy charity

                mine outward vesture be,

                and lowliness become mine inner clothing--

                true lowliness of heart,

                which takes the humbler part,

                and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

4             And so the yearning strong,

                with which the soul will long,

                shall far outpass the pow’r of human telling;

                no soul can guess his grace

                till it become the place

                where in the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.


Text: Bianco da Siena, d. 1434; tr. Richard F. Littledale, 1833-1890


When all have received, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.



Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and will be forever. Amen                                       Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)



Almighty God,

you gave your Son both as a sacrifice for sin

and a model of the godly life.

Enable us to receive him always with thanksgiving,

and to conform our lives to his;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.





May God always recall you to faith

and inspire your obedience,

that you may know the presence of the kingdom,

and rejoice in the new world that is coming.



Almighty God, Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.



Go in peace. Serve the Lord.          

Thanks be to God!


CLOSING MUSIC                                         O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright


Please maintain social distance and remain masked while exiting the building. Please sanitize your hands before leaving the building.




         Last Weekend’s Attendance:        4 + 15 = 19


Offering: 1/17/2021

                Towards Budget:                         $         998.00

Itemized Non Budget:


              Water Mission:                          $        10.00                                                                   

                                                Total:                   $        1,008.00


The Altar Flowers are given to the Glory of God

by Joan Derrick in honor of Howard Derrick’s birthday.




Linda Armento, at home

Matthew Armento, at home

Mary Jo Bondi, at home

Ruth Duessel, at Concordia, Rebecca

The Rev. Carl Hendrickson, at home

Elsie Kemmler and Bill Roth at Concordia, South Hills

David Noel, at Kane Rehab, Scott Township

Geneva Schrag, at Consulate Health Care, Canonsburg

William Wetzel at Concordia, Cabot





·         If you wish to attend worship, you will need to pre-register every week by either calling the office or sending an email.

·         Registration ends Saturday at 12 noon.

·         Masks are required to be worn while in the building.

·         Upon entering and leaving the church, you must sanitize your hands or wash them with soap and water.

·         You should not loiter for greeting or conversation in the narthex, but instead go directly to your place in the church. After worship, you should not loiter in the nave or the narthex, but immediately exit the building.

·         Everyone must sign in when entering the church. This way we can keep track of who was in the church and when.


THE CHURCH COUNCIL will meet this evening at 7 PM. Please pray for our council.

WORSHIP SERVICES are held every Saturday evening at 6:30 PM and Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. Pastor Frontz also livestreams Compline (Prayer at the Close of the Day) on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. and Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. These can be accessed on the church’s Facebook page (


KINDLY REMEMBER TO PAY FOR THE FLOWERS you ordered for the weekend Altar and for the special occasions.  Altar flowers are $20/vase. Checks can be made out to St. Stephen Lutheran Church with a notation “flowers” and placed in the offering plate.


ALTAR FLOWERS FOR 2021: Please see the sign-up sheet available in the Narthex for altar flowers. If you are unable to sign up in person, you may call or email the office to make a request for a date(s). We will assign date(s) in the order in which the requests are received. The process will repeat until the slots are filled. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. The cost per arrangement is $20.


OFFERING ENVELOPES FOR 2021 are now available in the Narthex.

Please consider picking up the envelopes of any family members who are unable to attend worship. As a reminder, if you cannot pick up your envelopes at the church, we ask that you simply write your envelope number on your weekly check so that it can be credited to your contribution statement. Many of you are doing it this way anyhow. We are so thankful for your faithfulness in supporting the mission of the church. Please contact Pr. Frontz or Carrie with any questions.


YOUR 2020 CONTRIBUTION STATEMENTS are now available in the Narthex. Any statements not picked up by January 25 will be mailed to your home.  If you have any questions regarding your 2020 contribution statement, please contact Marci Shekerko at 412-400-8840 or Thank you.


DAILY DEVOTIONS, including THE WORD IN SEASON, PORTALS OF PRAYER AND CHRIST IN OUR HOME (January, February, and March 2021) are available on the table in the Narthex. Take one or more to share with family and friends. If you are able, a donation would be welcomed to help defray the cost to the congregation for these resources. Thank you!


2021 ‘DAILY TEXTS’ are available in the Narthex. A donation of

$10 per book would be appreciated to help cover the cost of the books. Thank you.

ST STEPHEN COUNSELING CENTER: A site of Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute/PPI). For marriage, family, teen and individual counseling – for first appointment call PPI at 412-661-1239. St. Stephen Center is

412-279-5452. Counseling opens doors to hope. Counselor: Caroline Graham-McGuire.


Sun/Jan 24	WORSHIP 10:30 AM
		Church Council Meeting 7:00 PM
		Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM
Wed/ Jan 27	Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM 
		ZOOM Bible Study 7:30 PM
Sat/Jan 30	NA Meeting 11:00 AM
Sun/Jan 31	WORSHIP 10:30 AM
		Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM




From Sundays and Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included in this

service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2006.

Cross with Fish, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved January 18, 2021].

Duccio, di Buoninsegna, d. 1319. Christ Calling the Apostles Peter and Andrew, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved January 19, 2021]. Original source:

Agnus Day appears with the permission of















The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz, III 

(412) 279-5868 Office

(570) 447-8758 Cell


Pastor Emeritus

The Rev. Harvey S. Mozolak


Organist/Choir Director           

Joyce Moon Strobel, AAGO

(412) 366-0074  Home


Office Manager

Carrie Hoffman

(412) 279-5868 Office




Mr. Robert Dawe



Mr. Robert Shekerko











St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:30 am

Wednesday Evening Prayer and Bible Study online – 7:30 pm