Saturday, December 24, 2022

CHRISTMAS SERVICES

Join us for worship today and tomorrow for our Christmas worship services. Services will be live streamed to Facebook Live.

Christmas Eve
Saturday 12/24/22 7:30pm

Christmas Day
Sunday 12/25/22 10:30am

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Evening Prayer, December 14, 2022, 7 p.m.

 EVENING PRAYER    Vespers

for the Feast of St John of the Cross

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Sunday, November 13, 2022

The Holy Communion on the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, 10:30 a.m.

NOTE: Due to technical issues, the service will not be live-streamed this morning. We are sorry.


Chinese Christian Martyrs of the 19th and 20th centuries

 

For [those] who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise,

with healing in its wings.

Malachi 4:2a





Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Evening Prayer - November 9, 2022

 The livestream may be found here. 

EVENING PRAYER    Vespers

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

Eve of the Commemoration of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461

Leo was pope at a turbulent moment in the Church's history. The Catholic faith was attacked by all kinds of heresies, many of the centered around the nature of the person of Christ. Leo had the wisdom and knowledge to understand the importance of a right faith in Christ. He earned his title 'the Great' by his energy with which he extended and consolidated the influence of the diocese of Rome, and by his famous Tome or letter he sent to Flavian, stating the two-nature Christology with all the clarity for which Latin is renowned. Leo was personally responsible for the safety of Rome in the face of two attacks by the barbarians. By his intervention in 452, Attila the Hun turned away from ravaging Italy, and three years later in 455 Leo managed to persuade the Vandals to restrain their forces from destroying Rome. Leo also reformed the regulations for entry into the priesthood, and added to the Canon of the Mass words which emphasized the Christian doctrine that matter is not evil but made by God. In this he struck at those heretics who saw all matter as evil. - Philip Pfatteicher

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Sermon - All Saints Sunday, November 6, 2022

A vision in the night – a vision of the future.

 

Daniel has a dream in which he sees the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea and four great beasts come out of the sea, different from one another. He is troubled by the vision. Who wouldn’t be? I think if you had a dream or a vision like that you might wonder if the food that you’d eaten the day before wasn’t having some sort of effect. You would immediately tell someone what you had dreamed during the night. But maybe part of you would be worried and wondering that you had seen something that had meant something else.

 

This was Daniel’s understanding as well. And so, he asks one of the attendants to tell him the truth concerning all this. Not all of us have angels sitting around to help us with dream interpretation. But Daniel does. And the attendant says, ‘As for these four beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the most high shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever – forever and ever.’




 

The angel gives Daniel an understanding of penultimate and ultimate things – that which precedes the eternal and that which is eternal. It’s vital in our lives to know what’s second-most important and what is most important; what is ancillary and what is essential; what is penultimate and what is ultimate. Most of us are focused on the penultimate. What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear? Who shall be elected? What about the wars of the nations? What about the economy? What will the weather be tomorrow, next week? Will it be a cold winter or will it stay warm as it is today? The penultimate things – the things which are second in importance, that precede the end – this is what we are concerned about. And we have no shortage of pundits, prognosticators, and pollsters to tell us what we may expect – to tell us what to do to get an edge in the future world that is coming.

 

But that shouldn’t be our chief concern. You see, Daniel is given a vision in the night of the four great kings that will rise, the four great empires that will dominate the known world. But then he is given a further vision, the eternal vision, the ultimate vision: the holy ones of the most high shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever; forever and ever.

 

And so Daniel receives this vision of the penultimate and the ultimate things. The response is not then for Daniel to worry about those four great kingdoms that will arise. The response is joy and praise for what will be forever and ever.

 

We often think of saints as those who are the high achievers, who receive the perfect attendance awards in Sunday School, who always kept their noses clean. Some of them grew up to be Sunday School teachers themselves, or church musicians, or pastors. We think of the saints as ‘perfect’ people. And few among us would count ourselves as saints, for we know that we are not perfect.


In reality, the saints are those who live out of God’s ultimate future. Their existence on earth is not driven by the penultimate. Instead, the holy ones are those who believe that they will possess the kingdom forever and therefore their lives here among the penultimate things are not shaped and determined by those things, but by their ultimate destiny.

 

The saints may be high achievers, but also may not be. Some are known to us and some are unknown to us. If they are really saints, they are saints without knowing it themselves.

 

We call them ‘holy ones,’ and yet on many Sundays we will sing of Jesus Christ, ‘You alone are the Holy One.’ How then are there many saints, many holy ones? The answer, of course, is that they are made holy by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The only one who is holy gives them his own spirit so that they may share in his holiness.

 

We observe the day of All Saints to remember that Christ dared to share his holiness with people such as us, and to remember that the holy ones live out of the ultimate vision of the kingdom of God and not from our visions of the penultimate, that which is less than important.

 

If we were being honest with ourselves, if someone would come and say I will show you a vision of the future, most of us would focus on the penultimate. Very few of us would dare ask about the ultimate, the eternal. But we have no need of pundits, prognosticators, or pollsters, for we have been given prophets. We have been given a Lord Jesus Christ who says, ‘Blessed are you who are poor, hungry, who weep, and who are persecuted,’ all on account of him, for their reward is great in heaven. This is the vision of the future, and our lives in the present ought to be ordered by that vision.

 

Saints are not the ‘A’ students only. Saints are all who are called according to God’s purpose from the beginning to the end. We rejoice in God’s saints, those who live from the future, whose lives are defined by God’s future of the kingdom, which has broken into our world in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

                                                                                                                        MCF +

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Holy Communion on Reformation Sunday, October 30, 2022: 10:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here!


October 30, 2022,  10:30 a.m.

Reformation Sunday

 


‘The chief article and foundation of the gospel is that before you take Christ as an example, you recognize him as a gift, as a present that God has given you and that is your own.’ – Martin Luther 

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Evening Prayer: October 26, 2022 - 7:00 p.m.

 The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER    Vespers

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

Phillip Nicolai, 1608; Johann Heermann, 1647; Paul Gerhardt, 1676; Hymnwriters

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Evening Prayer, October 12, 2022

 The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER    Vespers

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

Philip, Deacon and Evangelist (transferred from October 11)

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Evening Prayer, Oct. 5

 The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER    Vespers

on the eve of the commemoration of William Tyndale, Priest, Trtanslator, and Martyr, 1536

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

William Tyndale, the translator, humanist, and martyr, was born in Monmouthshire on the border of Wales ca. 1491. He was educated at Oxford, from which he received his M.A. in 1515, and he was ordained in the same year. He then went to Cambridge, the best Greek school in England, and came under the influence of the New Learning and revolutionary methods of the study of Scrip ture. He remained there until 1521. He was for a time a tutor in Gloucestershire and there decided to translate the Bible into English to help revive the Church, which he had found in a state of serous decline. He is reported to have said to a clerical opponent of his plan, "If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause the boy that driveth the plough shall know more of Scripture than thou doest." Tyn dale approached the Bishop of London, Cuthbert Tunstall, a distinguished scholar, with his plan but was refused patronage. For a time Tyndale was the preacher at St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, but in May 1524 he moved to Germany and never re turned to his native country again. He visited Luther in Wittenberg in 1525.


By 1525 he had completed his translation of the New Testament, from the Greek of Erasmus. The printing of the book began in Cologne, but Tyndale and his secretary William Roy were forced to flee after their discovery by John Co chlaus, a heretic-hunter, and the printing was completed in Worms. The book was widely distributed in England, "sought by the people to read and by the bishops to burn" according to one commentator. Of the eighteen thousand copies printed, only two remain. In 1534 Tyndale brought out a revised edition. He also worked on the translation of the Old Testament and published the Pentateuch and Jonah (1530-1536).


In his translation, Tyndale was able to strike a balance between scholarship, simplicity, and grace. The result was the creation of a masterpiece of vigorous English and a style of Scripture that was to serve as the model for all future Eng lish versions for nearly four hundred years.


Tyndale was forced to live abroad in poverty and danger. In May 1535, he was arrested, tried, and condemned for heresy. He was imprisoned in the castle of Vilvorde, the state prison of the Low Countries, and there on October 6, 1536, he was strangled at the stake and his body burned.

Ironically, while Tyndale was awaiting execution, the situation in England had changed. His most vigorous opponent, Thomas More, himself became a martyr in 1535. In the same year, Miles Coverdale published the first complete English Bible, made up of Tyndale's New Testament and Pentateuch, with the ad dition of Coverdale's own translation of the remainder of the Old Testament and 

Apocrypha. Although this Bible was printed on the European continent, it was allowed to circulate freely in England. The "Matthew Bible," another edition of the Tyndale-Coverdale translation, was published with the king's special license in 1537, and in 1540 the second edition of the Great Bible (1539) declared on the title page that it was "appointed to the use of churches" and contained a long pref ace by Archbishop Cranmer encouraging Bible reading by clergy and laity.


Tyndale was included on the calendar in the 1979 Prayer Book, the Luther an Book of Worship, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and the Methodist For All the Saints.


FOR FURTHER READING


Les Bible Philadelphia:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Evening Prayer, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.

The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER    Vespers

on the eve of St Michael and All Angels

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

 As All Saints’ Day (together with All Souls’) is a reminder of the size of the one church in heaven and on earth, so this feast of Michael and the angels is a reminder of the breathtaking size of creation, seen and unseen. The feast teaches an understanding that there are aspects of reality beyond what can be grasped with the senses. Angels, like mortals, are children of the infinite imagination of God. They are a higher order of beings, whose service of God is nonetheless joined with ours (see 2 Kings 6:15-17), and the function of the Preface in the Eucharist is to join mortal songs with the perpetual praise offered by the angelic choirs of heaven.

Following Judaism, Christianity (followed in turn by Islam) speaks of an order of heavenly messengers, the angels, created by God to do his bidding and differing from humans by having a fully spiritual nature and no physical body. They are mentioned by Jesus as watching over children (Matt. 18:10) and rejoicing over penitent sinners (Luke 15:10), and there are numerous references to them throughout Scripture. Michael the archangel is mentioned in the books of Daniel, Jude, and Revelation, as well as in apocryphal literature.  Philip Pfatteicher

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Evening Prayer, August 17, 2022, 7 p.m.

 The livestream may be found here.

EVENING PRAYER (Vespers)

Stephen, King of Hungary, 1038 (transferred from August 16)


(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Evening Prayer: August 10, 2022, 7:00 p.m.

  The livestream may be found here.

EVENING PRAYER (Vespers)

Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr at Rome, 258

Lawrence (or Laurence) was born, perhaps of Spanish parents, in the early part of the third century. While still a young man he came to Rome where Bishop Sixtus (Xystus) II ordained him deacon, and he was made the chief of the seven deacons of Rome, responsible for the distribution of the charities of the Church and the care of its properties.


In 257 the Roman emperor Valerian began a vigorous persecution of the Church, aimed primarily at the clergy and laity of the upper classes. All the properties of the Church were confiscated, and assemblies for worship were forbidden. On August 4, 258, Sixtus II, who had just become the Bishop of Rome the year before, and his deacons were apprehended at the cemetery of Callistus where they were celebrating the liturgy, and all except Lawrence were summarily executed and buried in the same cemetery. The Roman calendar commemorates them on August 7 as "St. Sixtus II. Pope, and Companions, Martyrs." Lawrence, who knew of the location of the Church's treasure, was tortured and then executed three days later, August 10.


The traditions that have come down to us concerning the martyrdom are unreliable, but they are nonetheless amusing. When the prefect of Rome demanded the treasures, Lawrence is said to have gathered together a great number of the blind, the lame, the maimed, lepers, orphans, and widows of Rome, brought then to the prefect's palace, and declared to him, "Here is the treasure of the Church.' It is said that the behavior of Lawrence in prison was such as to have led to the conversion and baptism of his jailer Hippolytus and his family. Lawrence was, tradition says, condemned to die slowly and painfully by being roasted on an iron grill. Even there Lawrence's courage and humor were apparent, for he is reported to have said to his executioners at one point in the procedure, "I am done on this side; turn me over." (More probably, Lawrence was beheaded, as was Sixtus, as was customary with Roman citizens.)


St. Lawrence met his death August 10, 258, and his feast is listed in the martyrologies as early as the fourth century. During the reign of the emperor Constantine, a church was built over his tomb in the catacomb on the Via Tiburtina. I: was enlarged by Pelagius II (579-590) into the basilica now known as St. Lawrence outside the Walls (San Lorenzo fuori de Mura) and became one of the seven principal churches of Rome and a favorite place for Roman pilgrimages.


The torture and execution of a Roman citizen by Roman authorities made a deep impression on the young Church, which was stunned by such hostility, and his martyrdom was one of the first to be commemorated by the Church.

- Philip Pfatteicher, New Festivals and Commemorations                                                


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Evening Prayer, August 3, 2022, 7 p.m.

 The livestream may be found here.

EVENING PRAYER (Vespers)

Joseph of Arimathea (transferred from August 1)

Joseph of Arimathea is the disciple of Jesus who is remembered for his brave act of generosity. After the crucifixion he asked Pilate for the body of Jesus and 'wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb. Matthew says that Joseph was a rich man and that it was he who rolled the great stone to the door of the tomb; Mark describes Joseph as ‘a respected member of the council [the Sanhedrin] who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God,’ and adds the detail that Joseph bought the linen burial cloth. Luke notes that although Joseph was a member of the council ‘he had not agreed to their plan and action’ and makes it explicit that no one had ever been put in the new tomb; John indicates that Joseph was a ‘secret’ disciple of Jesus and associates him with Nicodemus. Nothing further is known of him.

By the fourth century, legends about Joseph were in circulation. In the middle of the thirteenth century appears the story of his being sent by St Philip from Gaul to be a missionary to Britain. He took with him, the legend says, the chalice used at the Last Supper, the Holy Grail, containing the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. At Glastonbury Joseph struck his staff into the earth and from it grew the Glastonbury Thorn. The thorn was hacked down by a Puritan but the thorn that grows there to this day came from a shoot of it. Glastonbury was long honored as the holiest place in England.

A still more curious story is that Joseph was a tin merchant, and long before he was sent by Philip to preach the Gospel, he came often to the tin mines of Cornwall. Joseph, the legend says, was an uncle of the Virgin Mary and brought the young Jesus on one of his voyages. William Blake with delicate questions refers to this legend in his lines that are still sung as a hymn,

And did those feet in ancient time/walk upon England’s mountains green?

And was the holy Lamb of God/in England’s pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine/shine forth upon our clouded hills?

And was Jerusalem builded here,/among those dark Satanic mills?

These stories, lovely as they are but without any historical foundation, were given wide credence and made Joseph of Arimathea a greatly loved figure in England.

- Philip Pfatteicher, New Festivals and Commemorations                                                


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Evening Prayer, July 27, 2022, 7 p.m.

 The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER (Vespers)

Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750; Heinrich Schuetz, 1672; George Frederick Handel, 1759; Musicians

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

These three German-born musicians have done much to enrich the life of the church. Sch├╝tz was an early master who focused on settings of biblical texts. Bach wrote over 300 cantatas along with works for organ and instrumental pieces, and has been called the "fifth evangelist" for the way he proclaimed the gospel in music. Handel's great work, Messiah, is a setting of scriptural texts.


Monday, July 18, 2022

Sermon - July 17, 2022: Luke 10:38-42, Colossians 1:15-2:8

'Some people have a strange term or expression for what’s going on here today. The expression is ‘worship service.’ What can that mean? What is the service that takes place at a service of worship? Who is serving, and who is being served?'

Monday, July 11, 2022

Sermon July 10, 2022: Luke 10:25-37

 What’s so wrong with such an innocent question, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ But after the first serpentine question, ‘Did God really say?’ there are indeed no completely innocent questions about God’s will. We can’t go back to a state of grace where our sinful assumptions and desires don’t in some way infect even our most innocently-meant questions about God’s word.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

The Holy Communion on the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, July 10, 2022, 9:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here. 



This picture was taken inside a replica of a typical nineteenth-century Swedish schoolhouse at Skansen, an open-air museum of history and culture in Stockholm. Posters to illustrate Biblical stories were common in these schools, as in American schools of the time. The depiction might have been especially memorable in a world without television, color photography, or even easy access to books. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Evening Prayer: July 6, 7 p.m.

 The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER (Vespers)

Jan Hus, Martyr, 1415

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

Hus was a Bohemian (present-day Czech Republic) priest who spoke against abuses in the church, and was seen by Martin Luther as his predecessor in the reforming movement. He was found guilty of heresy by a council of the church, and burned at the stake.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sermon - July 3, 2022

 'One’s earthly freedoms, Jesus seems to say, can and often must be limited or given away completely for the sake of others.'

Monday, June 20, 2022

Sermon 06.19.2022 - Luke 8:26-39

'Now from what we know of Jesus, we believe he will instantly grant the man’s request and allow him to come with him. Jesus loves people, and he loved the man so much as to cleanse him from evil spirits. Plus, he wants more disciples. But instead we are told that Jesus ‘sent him away.’ Why would Jesus do this seemingly non-loving, non-welcoming thing?'

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Evening Prayer, June 15, 2022, 7 p.m.

 The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER (Vespers)

Macrina, Basil, Gregory of Naziansus, Gregory of Nyssa

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)


Monday, June 13, 2022

Sermon June 12, 2022 - Trinity Sunday

 Who, or what, is Jesus of Nazareth?

A very religious man?

An avatar or manifestation of God, or one of the gods?

What do we believe about Jesus?

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Evening Prayer, June 8, 2022, 7 p.m.

The livestream may be found here.


EVENING PRAYER (Vespers)

Sealth (Seattle), Chief of the Duwamish Confederacy, 1866 - transferred from June 7 

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)



Monday, June 6, 2022

Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022

'For people of Northern climates, the story of Jesus

as experienced in the liturgical year

is mirrored so perfectly in the coming forth of light from darkness

over the six months from December to June

that it seems that Nature herself echoes the Gospel story

proclaimed in Scripture and hymn and sermon.'

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Evening Prayer not live-streamed tonight

Due to a school concert which I must attend, there will be no live-streamed Evening Prayer tonight. 

May God bless you and keep you this night under the shadow of his wings.

- Pastor Frontz

Sunday, May 29, 2022

No livestream this morning

 Regular Sunday morning live-streaming will resume next week, June 5, at 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Sermon - May 1, 2022 (Third Sunday of Easter)

'But if you come to worship and call yourself a Christian, and you say you believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and then you don’t know what it is, whose fault is that? That’s my fault.'