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Sunday, October 15th, 2023 - 75th Anniversary Celebration of Grace Lutheran Church. Sermon: "Where it All Began and Where We're Going" by: the Rev. Dr. Paul Linnemann, BP NOW District - LCMS




The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor

+ Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost +

“Invite Everyone”


Welcome to all who have gathered to worship as we celebrate God’s continued presence in our lives and world. We pray that in this hour of worship, God would strengthen us through Word and Sacrament so that we might give witness to all he has promised in his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave this morning’s worship. If you have no church home of your own, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER Invite Everyone

Today, we observe the 75th Anniversary of Grace Lutheran Church. “Invite Everyone” has been and continues to be the vision of Grace. This morning’s lessons echo the theme of the day, “Invite Everyone.”

In Isaiah we are given a vision of the great feast to come when God will wipe away death forever. In Jesus’ parable about a great banquet, those invited do not come, so the invitation is extended to others. In our liturgy God spreads a table before us. Even amid anxiety and hardship we rejoice in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. With great joy we feast at the table of the Lord and go forth to invite everyone, sharing the wonderful invitation with others hungering and thirsting for the abundant life of God.


Lord God, your gifts are unique to each of us. You bless us with many varied ways that we might glorify you. Teach us to use your gifts wisely so that your Church might be built up through us. Gift us with your Spirit who will direct our eyes to see opportunities which you lay before us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Now the Feast and Celebration— Marty Haugen



[Remembering our baptism, we gather in the Name of the Triune God to confess our sins and receive the assurance of our forgiveness as his people.]

ORDER OF CONFESSION                          Please Stand                                                                                                                             

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

Just as parents have compassion on their children, so the Lord has compassion on all who fear him.

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

God’s banquet is prepared. Are we prepared to participate?

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +

Most gracious God, we are not worthy of all the kindness and all the love which you have shown to your children. We have responded with disobedience and indifference, turning our backs on your table, turning away from your grace. We deserve your wrath and punishment. For the sake of Jesus Christ, we turn to you for forgiveness. Amen

Our heavenly Father does not forsake his dear children. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, was given to die for us, that we might have a place at the table. For his sake, your sins are forgiven in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

   Thanks be to God!

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


[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, made known in Christ Jesus our Lord, and poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit be with you all.

                    And also, with you.


NOW THE FEAST             


Lord of the feast, you have prepared a table before all peoples and poured out your life with abundance. Call us again to your banquet. Strengthen us by what is honorable, just, and pure, and transform us into a people of righteousness and peace. Through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

+ WORD +

[Whenever we worship, God speaks, and we listen. We hear the Word of God read aloud in our midst, bringing us both God’s judgment and grace.]

FIRST LESSON Isaiah 25:1-9

[After a hymn of praise acknowledging God as a shelter for the poor, the prophet portrays a wonderful victory banquet at which death will be swallowed up forever. The prophet urges celebration of this victory of salvation.]

O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful, and sure. For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. Therefore, strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, the noise of aliens like a heat in a dry place, you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless be stilled.

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the LORD GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for who we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

The Word of the Lord.

                    Thanks be to God!

SECOND LESSON Philippians 4:1-9

[Though writing from prison and facing an uncertain future and possible martyrdom, Paul calls on the Philippians to rejoice and give thanks to God no matter what the circumstance. God’s peace is with us and binds together our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ, especially when things around us do not seem peaceful.]

My brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, stand firm in

the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!

Please Stand


GOSPEL                Matthew 22:1-14

The gospel according to Matthew, the 20th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders of his day, indicating that even though God’s Kingdom is a great feast open to all, its coming will prove disastrous for some.]

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again, he sent other slaves, saying, 'Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.' But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.' Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so, the wedding hall was filled with guests.

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

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

Be Seated

SERMON             Where It All Began and Where We’re GoingText: Lessons for the day

By the Rev. Dr. Paul Linnemann, Bp. NOW District—LCMS


We believe in one God,

the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

and of all things visible and invisible.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

begotten from his Father before all worlds,

God of God, Light of Light,

very God of very God,

begotten, not made,

being of one substance with the Father,

by whom all things were made;

who for us Men and for our salvation came down from heaven

and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary

and was made man;

and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.

He suffered and was buried.

and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures

And ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of the Father.

And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and

the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

The Lord and giver of life,

Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and

glorified, who spoke by the prophets.

We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


+ MEAL +

[As the first-fruit offerings of all that we are and have gathered are brought forward, The Lord’s Table is prepared to celebrate, “The Feast that knows no end” instituted by Christ our Lord for the strengthening of our faith and the assurance of our forgiveness.]


God of all creation, all that we have comes from your hand. We bring what you have already given us—bread and wine for your table, and the gifts of all that we are and have for the work of your Kingdom. Most of all we give you thanks for your greatest gift to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Please Stand


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 our duty and delight that we should everywhere and always offer thanks and praise to you, O God, through Jesus Christ who calls us to follow his way of humble service and love, and so with the Church on earth, all creation and the host of heaven we praise your Name and join their unending him:


Holy God, gracious Father, endless is your mercy and eternal

is your reign. You have filled all creating with light and life;

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

In your love, you sent your Son Jesus to us, who reached out

to heal the sick and suffering, who preached good news to the

poor, and who, on the Cross, opened his arms to all.

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 which is given for you.

Do this in 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 in remembrance of me.

Remembering, therefore, his preaching and healing, his dying and rising, and his promise to come again, we await the day when all the universe will rejoice in his life-giving light.

                              Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

By your Holy Spirit, bless us and this meal, that refreshed by it we might be light for the world.

Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father, with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and forever. Amen

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.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also, with you.


[We come to The Sacrament believing in the real presence of Christ and that in the eating and drinking of the bread and wine of The Sacrament we receive the true body and blood of our Lord for our forgiveness, salvation, and strength for Christian life and witness.]



May the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you

steadfast in the true faith to life everlasting. Amen


[Strengthened in faith and empowered for service, we leave with thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing.]


Blessed are you, God of heaven and earth. You satisfy us with good things as an eagle feeds her young. Renew our strength, that we may go with eagerness and joy into the places where you send us to work in Jesus’ Name. Amen




DISMISSAL Go in peace. Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!

+ With Great Joy … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +

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.

NEW BIBLE STUDY - Our newest study continues with the book of Daniel. Two Bible Study sessions are available. One at Starbucks (corner of Ashland and Walker Streets) on Wednesdays at 9:30 AM and of course the Sunday morning bible study, which starts at 8:45 AM. Hope to see you there!

PICK UP YOUR COPY – Portal’s of Prayer for October/November and the October/2023 edition of Grace Connections are now available. Pick up your copy on the table in the entryway.

this week at grace

October 16th – October 22nd

Tuesday, October 17th @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study

12:30 PM – Church Council Meeting

Wednesday, October 18th @ 9:30 AM – Bible Study @ Starbucks

7:00 PM – Choir

Sunday, October 22nd @ 8:45 AM – Bible Study

9:00 AM – Sunday School

10:00 AM – Worship

11:00 AM – Coffee Connection