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Sunday, September 10th, 2023 - Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Sermon: Restoration of Relationships by the Rev. Joshua Heimbuck


September 10, 2023

The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor


“Gathered in My Name” Sunday


Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship; and we pray that this hour of praise and thanksgiving will be a blessing to you as Christ reveals his love for you and assures you of his presence in your life. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book located in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee /Fellowship Hour following worship. Do join us 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 “Dare to Disciple”

One of the reasons for the existence of The Church according to Jesus’ “last words” is to

“make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). It takes discipline to make disciples—both words

come from the same Latin word meaning to teach. Disciples are those who have been taught the

Word of God and are learning how to live by the teachings of that Word. Teaching involves warning

disciples of the error of their ways, according to Ezekiel. Jesus urges that discipline be practiced

with love. The goal is always to bring the wayward one back into the fellowship of The Church.

Today we rejoice in God’s gift of discipline and pray that all who have strayed will be restored into

the full fellowship of believers.


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. We ask this in the Name of 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.

Our God’s warnings are serious. So is God’s desire to forgive.

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +

Most merciful God, we confess to you our sinfulness, and our helplessness to escape from it. We sin against one another and put asunder what you have joined together. We function selfishly. We are wicked; we are doomed to die. We beg your mercy for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son. Forgive our sins and turn us from our ways.

Our God earnestly desires our salvation … and that we hear—and share—the words of reconciliation. Jesus Christ was given to die for you; for his sake, 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 in love.

   Thanks be to God!


[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.


O Lord, enliven and preserve your Church with your perpetual mercy. Without your help, we will fail, remove far from us everything that is hurtful, and lead us toward all that gives life and salvation; 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 Ezekiel 33:7-11

[Shortly before the fall of Jerusalem, the Lord commissions Ezekiel to serve as a watchman. The role of watchman is crucial in the hills of Palestine, where early detection of an approaching danger can mean the difference between victory and defeat. The prophet’s task is also crucial: warn the wicked of the danger of retaining wicked ways.]

So, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked will die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not return from their ways, the wicked will shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life. Now you mortal, say to the house of Israel, thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” Say to them, “As I live says the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?”

The Word of the Lord.

                    Thanks be to God!

SECOND LESSON Romans 13:8-14

[Although Paul insists that we are reconciled to God through faith rather than works of the law, he encourages Christians to practice God’s law of love while we wait for the salvation that is to come.]

Owe no one anything, except to love each other; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!

HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 18:15-20 Please stand

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


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 offers practical advice to his disciples on how individuals—and The Church as a whole should go about restoring relationships when one member has sinned against another.]

Jesus said to the disciples: “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

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

HOMILY           Restoration of Relationships Text: The Gospel Lesson Pr. 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


OFFERING is brought forward


Gracious God, with great joy we bring before you a portion of what you first gave us and with these gifts our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, our Savior and Lord. 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!


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.

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.




May the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you in the true faith to life everlasting. Peace be with you. Amen


We thank you, O God, that you have strengthened our hearts through this feast of life and salvation. Be the light for our path, that we may do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you, now and forever. Amen


+ With Great Boldness … 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.

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.

SEPTEMBER CALENDAR & NEWSLETTER – Pick up your copy of the September/2023 Calendar and Newsletter on the back table in the entry way.


September 11th – September 17th

Monday, September 11th


Tuesday, September 12th

10:00 AM Women’s Bible Study

12:30 PM Church Council Meeting

Wednesday, September 13th

7:00 PM Choir

Sunday, September 17th

Mite Box Sunday

8:45 AM Bible Study

9:00 AM Sunday School

10:00 AM Worship

11:00 AM Coffee Hour