Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

The livestream may be found here.

July 18, 2021, 9:30 a.m.

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost


Christ the Good Shepherd,

epigraph, 4th century



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


The people of Galilee follow Jesus wherever he goes, giving him and the apostles no rest. But Jesus has compassion on them. He becomes their shepherd, teaching and healing them.


Hundreds of years before the Son of God walked the earth, the prophet Jeremiah was witness to the exile of God’s people from the Promised Land. He reported the word of the LORD – the people have been scattered because of the negligence and the evildoing of the religious leaders called to shepherd the people. But, having compassion upon the people, God promises to gather them from the nations and bring them back to their ancestral land, raising up shepherds to guide and protect them. God also promises a ‘righteous branch’ for David, to reign as shepherd- king over his people, restoring the Davidic monarchy.


Christians believe that Jesus fulfills both these prophecies of Jeremiah. He is both shepherd and king. Not only is he shepherd and king, he is ‘Emmanuel;’ God-with-us. The 23rd Psalm can thus be addressed to Jesus as Lord. He is the one who leads and shepherds the church, feeding and protecting us, and we dwell in his household forever.


The reading from Ephesians connects very well with this last verse of Psalm 23 about the ‘house of the LORD.’ The Ephesians are Gentiles, non-Jews, but Paul’s message is that in the cross of Christ God has overcome the opposition between Jew and Gentile. The salvation of God’s people extends now to the Gentiles, and the two peoples are now ‘one new humanity.’ The new humanity is described by an abundance of metaphor: all believers are now fellow citizens of a city and family members of God’s household; with Christ as cornerstone. Together the members of the household of God are a holy Temple, a dwelling place for the Spirit of God.



OPENING MUSIC                                       





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.


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 X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.







I will go to the altar of God,

  to the God of my joy and gladness.                                        Psalm 43:4a


X HYMN                                                                         O Praise the Gracious Power        

With One Voice 750

Text may not be reproduced here



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.


Compassionate God,

from far and near you gather your Church into one.

  Safeguard the unity of your flock

  through the teaching of Christ the Shepherd,

  that all your scattered children may find in him

  the guidance and nourishment they seek.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




Jesus had compassion for the people;

and he began to teach them many things.                                    Mark 6:30-34

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                                        Jeremiah 23:1-6


Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. 2Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
5The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness."


The Word of the Lord.                   Thanks be to God.

PSALMODY:                    The Lord’s My Shepherd                                                                                                           (Psalm 23)

Stanza 1: ALL; Stanza 2: Pastor; Stanza 3: ALL;

Stanza 4: Pastor; Stanza 5: ALL


Text: Psalter, Edinburgh, 1650

Tune: J.L Macbeth Bain, c. 1840-1925, adapt.


SECOND READING                                                      Ephesians 2:11-22


11Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called "the uncircumcision" by those who are called "the circumcision" — a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands — 12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.

19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.


The Word of the Lord.                                                            

  Thanks be to God.




Isaiah 55:11                                     

Spoken in unison by the congregation.

Alleluia.  My word shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                                Mark 6:30-34, 53-56


The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.



56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick

in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

The Gospel of the Lord.                                  

  Praise to you, O Christ.






X HYMN OF THE DAY                                                     O Holy Spirit, Enter In

1              O Holy Spirit, enter in,

                and in our hearts your work begin,

                and make our hearts your dwelling.

                Sun of the soul, O Light divine,

                around and in us brightly shine,

                your strength in us upwelling.

                In your radiance

                life from heaven

                now is given


                gift of gifts beyond all knowing.


2              Left to ourselves, we surely stray;

                oh, lead us on the narrow way,

                with wisest counsel guide us;

                and give us steadfastness, that we

                may follow you forever free,

                no matter who derides us.

                Gently heal those

                hearts now broken;

                give some token

                you are near us,

                whom we trust to light and cheer us.


3              O mighty Rock, O Source of life,

                let your good Word in doubt and strife

                be strongly in us burning,

                that we be faithful unto death

                and live in love and holy faith,

                from you true wisdom learning.

                Lord, your mercy

                on us shower;

                by your power

                Christ confessing,

                we will cherish all your blessing.


Text: Michael Schirmer, 1606-1673; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, adapt.


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



We thank you, Father, that by the power of the cross you demolish the divisions of humanity and invite people of all nations, races, and cultures into the household of faith. Hear now our prayers for the unity of the Church, the world, and all who are in need, that those seeking healing, wisdom and peace may find them in you.


A brief silence


Father, make the Church one in the proclamation of the cross. Make all bishops and pastors faithful shepherds under the Good Shepherd. Fill this congregation with mutual love and good deeds.

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Let your Gospel be known in our communities, in the nation, and in the world. We pray for our Mid-Northeast Mission District as we begin to work toward the vision of planting of a new church in the Cranberry area. Show us the way forward.

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Be the guardian and guide of those who are charged with authority in civil government. Convert and direct the leaders of the world into ways of honesty, justice, and mercy. Give courage, skill and discernment to all who work for order, safety, and peace.

  Lord, hear our prayer.


As your Son had compassion on those who came to him in need, so have compassion upon those who cry out to you and upon those with a broken spirit. Hear our prayers for those whom we have been called to pray.


The pastor reads the names on the prayer list and invites spoken and silent intercession.


Help, save, comfort and defend them, gracious Lord.

  Lord, hear our prayer.


We give you thanks for the departed saints and for all who have died in faith. Help us to follow them in lives of trust and commitment, that, when our last day comes, we may join them in your endless praise.

  Lord, hear our prayer.


Hear our prayers, Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




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.




OFFERTORY  Psalm 26:6-8                                 

Spoken in unison by the congregation.

I wash my hands in innocence and go about your altar, O Lord, singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all your wondrous deeds.  O Lord, I love the habitation of your house, and the place where your glory dwells.



As the grain once scattered in the fields

and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside

are now reunited on this table in bread and wine,

so, Lord, may your whole Church be gathered together

from the corners of the earth into your kingdom.




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 Christ our Lord;

  He is the good shepherd who guides us, guards us, and gives us his peace; his anointing heals our wounds and his voice calms our troubled hearts. He leads us into the house of faith, where people of all tribes, nations, and languages speak with varied tongue but in one Spirit of praise.

  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!


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


God prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies;

  He anoints our head with oil, and our cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5



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.



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.


 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.

Hymn: One Bread, One Body

With One Voice 710

Text may not be reproduced here

After all have returned to their places, 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.




Pour out upon us the Spirit of your love, O Lord, and unite the wills of those whom you have fed with one heavenly food, through Jesus Christ our Lord.





The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                        

  Thanks be to God!




Sun/ July 18         WORSHIP 9:30 AM

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM Wed/ July 21       Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM                      

Sat/ July 24         NA Meeting 11 AM

                                SATURDAY EVENING WORSHIP 6:30 PM

Sun/ July 25        WORSHIP 9:30 AM












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.

Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language,

copyright 1997 International Commission on English in the Liturgy. All rights reserved.

Christ the Good Shepherd, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved July 12, 2021]. Original source:

Agnus Day appears with the permission of













St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship –9:30 am