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Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park
and Lutheran Campus Ministry

October 4, 2020
St. Francis of Assisi Day

Fifth Sunday of Creation
Online Service
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) has spent the past five weeks celebrating the Season of Creation along with our full Communion partners: the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.  Full communion means that our congregations can share the sacraments and exchange clergy with one another.
Augustana is worshiping in-person every Sunday morning at 9:30. This will continue as long as Chicago remains in Phase Four of Illinois' reopening plan.  There is no singing at our in-person services and all communal responses are in sign language, but the fellowship of our siblings in Christ is a balm to every weary soul.

If you would prefer to worship online, you can find the link to our YouTube worship channel on our website. The video is available when in-person services begin, at 9:30am on Sunday mornings.
All Creatures, Worship God Most High (ELW #835)

The hymn "All Creatures Worship God Most High" enfolds the entire service today. It is a paraphrase  of a song written by Francis of Assisi called "The Canticle of the Sun." In it, Francis implores all of the creation to join him in giving praise to God, even calling upon death to  do her part, conveying the redeemed to their home with God.

The Prayer of the Day

We give thanks to you, O God, for animals that live in our homes, on farms, in the wild, and in havens of refuge. Make us ever aware of our responsibility to these, your creatures. Help us to be faithful in caring for them, through the one in whom all creation is made new, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Readings of the Day
A Reading from the Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 5:1-7
 
The prophet sings a sad, parable-like love song about the relationship between God and Israel. In this song Israel is compared to a promising vineyard. Despite God’s loving care, the vineyard that is Israel has brought forth “wild grapes” of injustice and distress, when fine grapes of justice and righteousness were expected.

1Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard:  My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.  2He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.  4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it?  When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?

5And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard.  I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.  6I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!
The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is injury, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
A Reading from the Letters of Paul: Philippians 3:4b-11
 
Paul reviews some of his supposed credentials, which no longer have any bearing in comparison to the right relationship he has been given through the death of Christ. The power of Christ’s resurrection motivates him to press on toward the ultimate goal, eternal life with Christ.

[Paul writes:] 4bIf anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
  
7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
  
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 21:33-46
 
Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders who are plotting his death, revealing that their plans will, ironically, bring about the fulfillment of scripture.

[Jesus said to the people:] 33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
  
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:  ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?

43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
  
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
Hymn of the Day: WOV 767 - All Things Bright and Beautiful
In Our Prayers

The friends and family of Michael Swensen, friend of Padraig McGuire, who died of COVID-19
The family & friends of Harrell Harrison, cousin of Susan Clapp, upon his death
Heva, the 9 year old daughter of the Syrian family that is being hosted by the HP Refugee Project, undergoing treatment for a brain tumor
Caleb Tompsett, grandson of Bill and Chris, undergoing chemotherapy
Floyd Rueger, friend of Padraig McGuire & Nancy Goede, undergoing chemotherapy

David Mueller, friend of Judy Merritt-Morgan, diagnosed with bone cancer
Allison, friend of Richard Krull, diagnosed with ovarian cancer
Mark van Scharrel, husband of Pastor Julie Ryan, advanced cancer
Shelley Barnard, upon news that her cancer is progressing
Anu, Smitha Gunthoti's cousin, late-stage cancer
Michaela, granddaughter of Cassandra Guice, recovering from a difficult delivery
Kathy, friend of Robin Mitchell, hospitalized due to mental illness
Zoe Johnson, great-niece of JoRachel Pierce, abdominal surgery
Wilbur Hines, friend of Cassandra Guice, recovering from a surgery that went poorly
Carol Hollar, friend of Pat Chromy, hospitalized with a severe infection
Dale, cousin of David Glover, battling a possibly fatal infection
Fred Nielsen, brother-in-law of JoRachel Pierce, ongoing health concerns
Edgar Guice, brother of Cassandra, ongoing heart problems
Victor Glover, brother-in-law of Cassandra Guice, heart issues

The homeless and those who are food insecure
Victims and survivors of domestic abuse
Those who struggle with substance abuse
Those who are in danger of fire or hurricanes

Health care providers in our congregation: Peter Pytel, Elaine Worcester, Steph Stuhlmuller, and Norma Rolfsen
Other health care workers and researchers beloved by members of our community: Jefree Schulte, Deb Burnet, Kimi, Jenny, Ashley, Thomas, and Kevin Rist.

Please do not hesitate to email the office with any prayer requests that you would like included next week.  Alternately, you can attend the Zoom prayer meeting at 2:00 on Saturday afternoon to lift up your prayers there.
Throughout the Season of Creation, we will be using the “Night Prayer” from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer (1997) as the Lord’s Prayer during Communion.  It is a translation from English to Maori, and back from Maori into English.  The intention of this double translation is to view Jesus’ teachings through the lens of Maori culture rather than our usual Eurocentric view.
Please share the peace and make an offering

Did you know that sharing the peace is meant to reconcile us before we share the Holy Supper? We can't do that in person right now, but we can the rest of the week. Please take time soon to call or email someone. It helps build community and keeps us strong. 

At the end of worship, please remember to make an offering. The people we employ depend on your generosity during this difficult time. You can arrange an ongoing electronic offering through our website. Setting up a free PayPal account allows you to make an offering of any size with a debit or credit card; the email address you need is treasurer@augustanahydepark.org. You can, of course, also send a check to Augustana, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL, 60637.
While we all miss the beautiful interior of our beloved church, we can still enjoy nature's extravagant beautification of the exterior.
Last Sunday, nearly twenty members gathered in Carolyn Ulrich's spacious backyard to wish her Godspeed.  It was the first time Augustana members have sung together since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and the feeling of fellowship was euphoric, as you can see in the video.  Go watch it! 
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