Sunday, October 16, 2022

The Holy Communion on the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 10:30 a.m.

   The livestream may be found here. 


Persistent faith


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


OLD TESTAMENT: ‘Persistence’ is the red thread running through today’s readings. Jacob is on the verge of meeting his brother Esau, whose birthright Jacob had stolen long ago, and it is understandably a critical moment. The night is a time of struggle for him, described as single combat with an unidentified man. As Jacob refuses to give up, the angel gives him the name ‘Israel,’ which means, 'he who wrestles with God.’ This ‘death and resurrection experience’ produces a new man who goes forward with God’s blessing to continue God’s plan in history. From him will come the people of God, from which will come God’s own Son, Jesus.


NEW TESTAMENT: Paul encourages Timothy to persist in his presentation of the simple Gospel and in the proclamation and teaching of the Scriptures. It is important to understand that Paul refers to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, which were the only Scriptures at that time, since the canon of the New Testament had not yet been assembled. Over time, there have been many attempts to eliminate the Old Testament as Scripture, believing that the New replaces the Old – but the Church believes, instead, that the New Testament completes and interprets the Old.


GOSPEL: Jesus tells the parable of an annoying old crone and a judge who really only cares for some peace and quiet. Is this a realistic depiction of the attitude of God towards those who pray? Of course not! The attitude or behavior which is to be imitated is the persistence of the widow. She is a model for the one who would petition not an unjust judge, but a just and merciful God. 

 OPENING MUSIC                                                      Day by Day - J. M. Strobel                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                    O God of Light - Robert J. Powell




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


Blessed be God: Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit;

  And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen


Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16


Let us confess our sins in the presence of God and of one another.


Silence for reflection and self-examination.


I confess to God Almighty, before the whole company of heaven, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most grievous fault; wherefore I pray God Almighty to have mercy on me, forgive me all my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen


 The almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness,

  and remission of all your sins. Amen


  I confess to God Almighty, before the whole company of heaven,

  and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned in thought,

  word, and deed by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most

  grievous fault; wherefore I pray God Almighty to have mercy on  

  me, forgive me all my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen


The almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness, and remission of all your sins.                                                            Amen







I will go to the altar of God;

  the God of my joy and gladness.

  We include in the online order of worship all hymns which are in the public domain. Texts which are copyrighted may not be included in the online order of worship. If you need a copy of the hymnals for your home use, please contact us so that we may provide you with one. Thank you!

WHymn                Green LBW 237           O God of Light            



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.                                                                             2 Corinthians 13:13








The Lord be with you.                                                   

  And also with you.


Lord, tireless guardian of your people,

always ready to hear the cries of your chosen ones,

teach us to rely, day and night, on your care.

  Support our prayer lest we grow weary.

  Impel us to seek your enduring justice

  and your ever-present help;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




Scripture is inspired by God, useful for teaching,

reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                                       2 Timothy 3:16     


First READING           Genesis 32:22-31


22The same night [Jacob] got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 27So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                      

  Thanks be to God.






1 I lift up my eyes | to the hills;*

                from where is my | help to come?

2 My help comes | from the Lord,*

                the maker of heav- | en and earth.

3 He will not let your | foot be moved*

                and he who watches over you will not | fall asleep.

4 Behold, he who keeps watch | over Israel*

                shall neither slum- | ber nor sleep;

5 the Lord himself watches | over you;*

                the Lord is your shade at | your right hand,

6 so that the sun shall not strike | you by day,*

                nor the | moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve you | from all evil;*

                it is he who shall | keep you safe.

8 The Lord shall watch over your going out and your | coming in,*

                from this time forth for- | evermore.


SECOND READING                    2 Timothy 3:14—4:5


14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
4:1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.


The Word of the Lord.                                                    Thanks be to God.


VERSE    James 1:18         Setting by Paul D. Weber

Alleluia. By his own purpose God gave us birth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creation. Alleluia.


Gospel             Luke 18:1-8


The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.                  

  Glory to you, O Lord.


1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


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






WHYMN OF THE DAY                                 

Blue WOV 746                                Day by Day            

St. 2/ Choir


CONFESSION OF FAITH                                                         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.


That the Church, hearing your Good News proclaimed in Scripture, may be moved to unceasing prayer, entrusting to you all things; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


That our bishop and our pastors may proclaim the message of Jesus, being persistent in an unfavorable time; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


That our St Stephen faith family may persist in prayer for renewal of our congregation and the Church; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


That justice may be done in our nation and in the world, and that you would speedily come to the aid of people in want and danger; Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


That you would hear and answer the cries of all in need with signs of your grace. Hear now our praises and petitions.


The pastor reads the names on the prayer list.

The congregation may offer silent and spoken intercessions.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


That in the day of the Son of Man, he may find us faithfully watching and waiting, and that we may find our place with all those who have put their trust in the just judge of the living and the dead. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


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




The peace of the Lord be with you always.            

  And also with you.


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



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  1 Corinthians 10:16-17      Setting by Richard W. Gieseke

The cup of blessing which we bless is a participation in the blood of Christ. the bread which we break is a participation in the body of Christ. Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 






Hear us, O Lord Jesus Christ, from your dwelling place,

from the glorious throne of your kingdom, and come and cleanse us.

  You are seated on high with the Father,

  and you dwell also with us here, although unseen.

By your mighty hand render us worthy to receive in holy communion

your spotless body and your precious blood.






It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through Christ our Lord; who taught us to continually pray to you, that we may drink deeply of your justice and salvation, and rejoice always in the good gifts you delight to give us. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


Lord, you are holy indeed.

All creation gives you thanks and praise.


In the wonder of your love for us,

  you created life through your Word made flesh,

  Jesus Christ our Lord,

  by the power of the Holy Spirit.


From every time and place

  you gather a people to yourself,

  so that those you claim as your own

  may glorify your wondrous grace and mercy.


As we now gather this Table to celebrate the Supper of your Son,

  we ask that by the power of your Spirit

  these gifts of bread and wine may be for us

  the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.


That same Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed,

  took bread; when he had given thanks,

  he broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said;

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

  Do this for my remembrance.


When supper had ended, he took the cup;

  when he had given thanks, he gave it to them and said:

  All of you, drink from this,

  for this cup is my blood of the new covenant,

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

  Do this for my remembrance.


Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


Mighty Lord, Gracious Father:

  As we call to mind the death your Son endured for us,

  his glorious resurrection and ascension,

  and his promise to come again,

  we offer you our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.


Grant that we who gather for this holy supper

  may be filled with the Holy Spirit,

  united in Christ as his living body in the world,

  awaiting the world to come where his love will be fulfilled.

In the presence of Christ, we pray to his Father using the words he gave us.


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                                                                     Matthew 6:9-15


This is the bread that comes down from heaven

and gives life to the world.

  Lord, give us this bread always.                            

                                                                                      John 6:33, 34




We adore Christ, present in bread and wine.




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.





Blue WOV 736                 By Gracious Powers             

St. 3/ Choir; arr. J. M. Strobel

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.



Silence for meditation.


We give you thanks, almighty God,

that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life;

and we pray that in your mercy

you would strengthen us through this gift,

in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another;

for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.








The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

the Lord look upon you with favor and X give you peace.

  Amen                                                                                                     Numbers 6:24-26



Green LBW 440              Christians, While on Earth Abiding

1      Christians, while on earth abiding,

        let us never cease to pray,

        firmly in the Lord confiding

        as our parents in their day.

        Be the children’s voices raised

        to the God their parents praised.

        May his blessing, failing never,

        rest upon his people ever.


2      Bless us, Father, and protect us

        from all harm in all our ways;

        patiently, O Lord, direct us

        safely through these fleeting days.

        Let your face upon us shine,

        fill us with your peace divine.

        Praise the Father, Son, and Spirit!

        Praise him, all who life inherit!


Text: Johan Olof Wallin, 1779-1839, st. 1; Jesper Svedberg, 1653-1735, st. 2; tr. unknown, adapt.


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

  Thanks be to God!


From Sundays and Copyright 2022 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.

Prayer of the Day from Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language: Norwich, UK: Canterbury Press, 2001.

Additional material from Foretaste of the Feast to Come: Devotions on Holy Communion, by Philip Pfatteicher, copyright 1987 Augsburg Publishing House.
Eucharistic Canon reprinted by permission from A Little Book of Canons, Rod L. Ronneberg, STS, copyright 1997 and 2010.

Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge, detail, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved October 11, 2022]. Original source:,_1881-2)_4.jpg - Brothers Belusov.

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 – 10:30 am