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Sunday, August 20th, 2023 - Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost. Sermon by: The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor


August 20th, 2023

The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor


“Lost Sheep & Faithful Dogs” Sunday


A warm welcome to all who worship here this morning. Today, we gather around Word and Sacrament through which God equips, directs, and supports his people in the mission and ministry of his kingdom. Guests and visitors, please introduce yourself, be welcome, and come again. If you have not already done so, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the church’s entrance hall as you leave. If you have no church home, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Coffee is served during Fellowship Hour following this morning’s worship. Join us for a cup of coffee, and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often.

AS WE GATHER Room for Me—Room for All     

In Isaiah we hear that God’s house shall be a house of prayer for all people and that God will gather the outcasts of Israel. The Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel is a Gentile, an outsider, who in unflinching in her request that Jesus heal her daughter. As Jesus commends her bold faith, how might Grace Lutheran extend its mission and ministry to those on the margins of society? In our gathering around Word and Sacrament we receive strength to be signs and witnesses of God’s kingdom that embraces all who seek him and call upon his Name. All are welcome in this place.


Lord, overtake our weakness with your power so that we may proclaim the saving Gospel to all nations. Remove from us all fear and doubt, and move us toward those who have not heard the story of your love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Jazz Mass



In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

“As I live,” says the Lord God, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live.”

If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Is prejudice a problem? Is pride? How inclusive and welcoming are we?

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +

Most merciful God, we confess to you our sinfulness, and our helplessness to escape from it. We regard ourselves more worthy than others. We close our doors to them; we close our hands and hearts, as well. We beg your mercy for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son. Forgive us, renew us, and let your light shine upon us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy Name. Amen

 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. To those who believe in Jesus Christ, the heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit that they may become children of God. Rejoice in the Lord, your sins are forgiven in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Our God has turned to us and we shall live.

   Thanks be to God!

Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share the peace of our Lord as we greet one another.


[The congregation is encouraged to share the peace of Christ and greet one another with the words, “The Lord’s peace be with you.” The response, “And also, with you.”]


The love of God the Father, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, and the life of the Spirit be with you all.

 And also, with you.


O God, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you. Teach us as disciples of your Son to love the world with compassion and constancy, that your Name may be known throughout all the earth; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

FIRST LESSON Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

[The prophet calls upon Israel to do justice in view of God’s imminent intervention to save. Righteousness and obedience define who belongs to the Israelite community—not race, nationality, or any other category.’]

Thus says the LORD: “Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance revealed. And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath, and no not profane it, and hold fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer, their burnt offering and their sacrifices will be accepted at my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Thus says the- LORD GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, “I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.”

The Word of the Lord.

                    Thanks be to God!

SECOND LESSON Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

[God has not rejected Israel. Rather, the call and gifts of God are irrevocable so that, while all have been disobedient, God has mercy upon all.]

 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people who he foreknew….

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!

HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 15: [10-20], 21-28 Please stand        

The gospel according to Matthew, the 15th chapter.


Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!

[Jesus teaches his disciples that true purity is a matter of the heart rather than outward religious observances. Almost immediately, this teaching is tested when a woman considered to be a religious outsider approaches him for help.]

[Jesus]called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Then the disciples approached him and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He answered them, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides to the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth goes into the stomach, and goes out to the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”]

Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us. He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish."

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

SERMON Text: The Gospel LessonPr. Josh


I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Holy Christian Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen


OFFERINGS are brought forward


Holy God, you provide us with every gift of creation, and you quench our thirst with living water. Receive these tokens of your goodness to us. May our lives be bread for the hungry and streams in the wilderness, signs of the abundance of your grace in Jesus Christ. Amen


The Lord be with you.

And also, with you

Lift up your hearts

We will lift them up to Him

Let us give thanks always to the Lord our God.

It is right, it is just, it is well

Father, it is our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ

Holy, holy, holy, Lord

For our sake He opened His arms on the cross,

He put an end to death and revealed the resurrection

               Holy, holy, holy, Lord

In this He fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people. And so, we join the angels and the saints in proclaiming your glory:

                              Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest!



Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray …

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




We thank you, O God, for the refreshment that we have received at your Table. Send us now to spread your generosity into all the world, through the one who is our dearest treasure, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen


+ The Worship is Over. Let the Service Begin! +

STEWARDSHIP THOUGHT: God commands us to love our neighbors and to express that love through our actions, not because of coercion but freely because we want to do so. Martin Luther describes what our actions with our neighbors should look like. A Christian will “take upon himself the form of a servant… and to serve, help, and in every way deal with his neighbor as he sees that God through Christ has dealt and still deals with him. This he should do freely, having regard for nothing but divine approval. He ought to think… ‘I will therefore give myself as a Christ to my neighbor, just as Christ offered Himself to me.” With the guidance and the strength of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we can be the neighbors that God wants us to be.      

This Week at Grace

August 21st – August 27th

Sunday, August 27th @ 10:00 AM


11:00 AM

 Coffee Hour

Please note: Pastor Josh will be out of town and unavailable Monday, August 21st through Saturday, August 26th. In his absence, should you need assistance, please contact your Lay Minister.

Grace Note’s

THE PRESENCE of CHRIST is celebrated in The Lord’s Supper. He comes to us in a real and present way with his life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament to assure us of our forgiveness and to strengthen us in faith and service. All who trust and believe the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” are welcome. Come, receive Christ’s presence in the meal prepared for you. Enjoy his presence. Children are encouraged to come forward with their parents and/or grandparents and receive a blessing.

ELECTION OF CHURCH OFFICERS – The annual election of Church Officers will be held next Sunday, August 27th, 2023 following the Worship Service. Nominations are currently being accepted for all Council positions. If you or someone you know might be interested in serving, contact Bill Lemke so all can be included on the ballot for consideration.

Here are the current nominees:

President: Gary Plano

Vice President: William Lemke

Secretary: Nan Gunderson

Treasurer: Lyle Hinrichs

Financial Secretary: Jeff Morlok

Chairman of the Lay Ministry Robert Janssen

Chairman of Trustees: Interim Robert Janssen

DONATION’S NEEDED – SOU’s, “Meet Ashland” event will be held on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. This event is an opportunity for new and returning students, staff and faculty to get to know local Ashland businesses and organizations. Grace was on site last year meeting the SOU community, handing out 100 goody bags. This year the goal is 150 bags! Donations of non-perishable goodies such as chips, nuts, granola bars, candy, drinks and of course, cookies are needed. If you can donate, please bring your items to the church.


  • August Calendar with August birthdays and anniversaries
  • July/August Newsletter