Below you will find prayers, songs, readings, and a message to help you experience worship.  You can light a candle to remind yourself of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Whether you are alone or with others, we hope that you can feel each other’s presence, and the presence of God, as we find creative ways to worship together, even though we are not in the same building.  One good thing about virtual worship is that if you really like a song, you can listen to it again!  Do what you need to do to worship God wherever you are.

Announcements & Call to Worship

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Our call to worship is based on Matthew 16: 13-20.

Our help is in the name of the Lord our God, the Maker of heaven and earth, who comes to our aid in times of need, who gives us the courage to do what we know is right, who invites us to turn away from the influences of the world around us and confess Jesus alone as Saviour and Lord. This is our God!  Let’s worship together.

Opening Song                                      
Day by Day

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Day by day, your mercies, Lord, attend me, bringing comfort to my anxious soul.  Day by day, the blessings, Lord, you send me draw me nearer to my heav’nly goal.  Love divine, beyond all mortal measure, brings to naught the burdens of my quest; Savior, lead me to the home I treasure, where at last I’ll find eternal rest.

Day by day, I know you will provide me strength to serve and wisdom to obey; I will seek your loving will to guide me o’er the paths I struggle day by day.  I will fear no evil of the morrow, I will trust in your enduring grace.  Savior, help me bear life’s pain and sorrow till in glory I behold your face.

Oh, what joy to know that you are near me when my burdens grow too great to bear; oh, what joy to know that you will hear me when I come, O Lord, to you in prayer.  Day by day, no matter what betide me, you will hold me ever in your hand.  Savior, with your presence here to guide me, I will reach at last the promised land.

Prayer of the Day

O God, we thank you for your Son, who shows us how to love each other.   Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Back to School
Blessings and Prayers

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A Prayer for Washing My Hands

I wash my hands.
I make them clean.
I dry them off.
While I wash I say, “Thank you, God.”
While I wash I say, “Peace to all.” Amen

A Prayer for putting on a mask

I put on my mask to show others I care.
I put on my mask to keep others safe,
I put on my mask to love my neighbor.
Thank you, God, for being with me. Amen

A Prayer for back to school

At the start of the school year, we are beginning something new.
New things can be exciting.
New things can be scary.
New things can be wonderful.
New things can be confusing.
God, you are always with us.
You are with us when things re exciting, or scary, or wonderful, or confusing.
You are with us every day.
And all the time.
God, please help us to feel your presence with us on the first day of school, and every day. Amen.

A prayer for learners of all ages

Lord, bless these backpacks and bags and the youth and adults who carry them as they begin yet another year of school. Give them peace when they feel nervous, focus when they feel distracted, and energy when they feel tired. Open their minds to the lessons they will learn both in and outside teh classroom and workplace. Help them to make friends that build one another up, and be friends to those who need them. Guide them in making good choices as they grow in wisdom. Be ever-present with them in the classroom and workplace. Amen.

A prayer for teachers

Lord, bless those in the ministry of teaching future generations. As they embark on a new school year, grant them health, energy, passion, discipline, and endurance for their daily tasks. Infuse their classrooms with an atmosphere of care and mutual respect, that all interactions there will be bathed in patience and understanding. Help us all to support the work teachers do building up our community and our future. Amen.

A prayer for at home (remote) learning

Home is where we eat at the table and sleep in our bed.
For now, home is where we do our learning, too.
God, please be with me when I learn at home.
Help me to understand what to do.
Help me to be patient if it gets hard or feels too different.
Most of all, help me to feel your love. Amen.

A blessing for the school space inside the home

God, we dedicate this space as a space for learning.
May our minds be quieted in this space.
May we be open to learning in this space.
May we be curious in this space.
Be with us each and every moment we come to our special learning place. Amen.

A prayer for blended learning

I can learn in many different ways.
I can learn at home.
I can learn at school.
I can learn in both home and school.
This year I’ll be learning in many different places.
Though my body will be in different places, one thing will always stay the same:
No matter where I am, God is with me.
No matter where I am, God loves me.
No matter where I am, I am God’s child. Amen.

A prayer for living day by day

When our world is changing day by day, sometimes we worry about the future.
Sometimes our plans change.
Sometimes we don’t know what will happen later.
Sometimes we are disappointed.
God, please be near to us when we are disappointed, or worried, or in a time of change.
Help us to live day by day, and to be thankful for what each day brings.
Help us not to worry about tomorrow.
This is the day that you have made, God, let us be present and joyful today. Amen.

Source: http://www.traci-smith.com Shared with permission by Traci Smith 2020.

Romans 12:9-21

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9Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Children’s Moment

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Gospel and Message          
Matthew 16:21-28

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21From that time on, [after Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah,] Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
27“For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Hymn of the Day              
this is amazing grace

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Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy, worthy, worthy

This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me
All that You’ve done for me

Apostle’s Creed, Prayers and Lord’s Prayer

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Apostles’ Creed

With the whole church, let us confess our faith.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.  On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come 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.


Held together in one body by the Spirit of Christ, let us pray for the church and the world, and all who are in need.

Caring for the church around the world, we pray:  for a spirit of ecumenical cooperation; and for the health of congregations during this difficult time.  Lord, hear our prayer.

Facing so many international, national, and local problems we pray: for the strengthening of democracies; for peaceful resolutions to conflicts; for researchers seeking a vaccine; for racial justice within our nation and our state; for our legislators to assist the lives of the poor; and for an ethical election campaign. Lord, hear our prayer.

Surrounded by people with great and hidden need we pray:  for families frightened by the uncertain future; for those impacted by fires, hurricanes, and natural disasters; for students, teachers, administrators, support staff, and those beginning a new academic year; for the elderly, those who feel forgotten, and the lonely;

and for refugees and for prisoners. Lord, hear our prayer.

Aware of all who are sick and suffering we pray: for all who are facing the coronavirus; and for those without medical care.  Lord, hear our prayer.

Mindful of all who have gone before us in the faith, we offer our thanks:  for all the saints famous and forgotten; for friends and family we have loved; and for the promise of everlasting life with you. Lord, hear our prayer.

In the certain hope that nothing can separate us from your love, we offer these prayers to you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.  For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.  Amen.

Franciscan Sending

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Read this out loud. If you are with other people, take turns reading the parts out loud.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. 

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace. 

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. 

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. 

And the Blessing of God, who Creates, Redeems, and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forevermore.  Amen.

Sending Song                     
For everyone born

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Go forth into the world to serve God with gladness; be of good courage;  hold fast to that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honor all people; love and serve God, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Thanks be to God.


Go in peace. Christ is with you.  Thanks be to God.

Worship Assistants

Music:  Lori, Pat, Dylan, Lee, Khou, Johnny, Wong (Ascension, Milwaukee)
Message: Pastor Kristin
Readers: Joan, Dan, Inara, and Satya
Children’s Moment: Amy

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2005 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #22432.  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.  Hymns reprinted with permission. CCLI#116214