The Sixth Sunday of the Easter Season

May 05, 2024

known, liturgically, as Rogate Sunday  (“Pray”)


People of Prayer

Even with an increasing number of self-described atheists  and agnostics in our socieity (upwards of

20% of  our population), the majority of American people believe in the power of prayer.   More than half (55%) of Americans say they pray each day, according to a Pew Research Center survey done a few years ago, while another 21% say they pray weekly or monthly.  However 23% also say that they seldom pray.   However, even among those who are religiously unaffiliated, 20% say that they pray daily.  Women (64%) are more likely than men (46%) to pray every day.   And Americans ages 65 and older are far more likely than adults under 30 to pray daily (65% vs. 41%).    This Pew survey also found that 45% of Americans – and a majority of Christians (55%) – say that they rely heavily on prayer and personal religious reflection whenever they make a major life decision.  The survey also found that 63% of Christians in the U.S. say praying regularly is an essential part of their Christian identity.   Most surprising of all…..only 1% of Americans say that they never pray at all. 

            So, in spite of the Spiritual deterioration that is clearly occurring throughout our nation, with one in five people claiming that they either don’t believe in God at all, or they aren’t certain that God even exists…..we still live in a land where the overwhelming majority of people pray, at least in certain circumstances…..including the ones who say they don’t believe in God.    Obviously, then, prayer is important to almost everyone.

A Story About the Power of Prayer

       Many years ago, while he was crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner, the evangelist F.B. Meyer was asked by the captain to speak publicly to the ship’s passengers.  He gave an impromptu lecture on the topic of “Answered Prayer.”   An agnostic listened to his presentation, and was later asked by a fellow passenger, “What did you think of Dr. Meyer’s presentation?”   He replied, “I didn’t believe a word of it.   I just came along to hear what that babbler had to say.”   Before he had listened to Meyer speak, that unbeliever had put two oranges in his pocket.  Shortly after entering the room where Meyer was, he passed an elderly woman who was fast asleep in a deck chair.  Her hands were open, facing upward.   Deciding to have a little fun at her expense, the agnostic put the two oranges in her outstretched palms.  Following Meyer’s presentation, he noticed the woman, still in the chair but now awake, happily eating one of the pieces of fruit.    “You seem to be enjoying that orange,” he remarked with a smile.   “Yes, sir,” she replied, “My Heavenly Father is very good to me.”    “Your Father?   Surely you know that there is no God?   It’s just a figment of your imagination, Ma’am.”    “No sir,” she replied, “My God is very real, and He is very much concerned for me.”    “What do you mean?” pressed the agnostic.

            She explained, “Let me tell you.   I’ve been seasick for days.   Earlier today I feel asleep while praying to God that He would somehow bring me an orange or two to calm my stomach.   And when I awoke, I found He had not only sent me one orange but two!”    The agnostic was speechless.   Prayer doesn’t always work that fast and that specifically.   But it does work.   Always.

The Necessity (and periodic misuse) of Prayer in our lives

The practice of prayer should be a “signature” element of

every Christian’s life….yours and mine included.    In fact, as an old Christian hymn states:  “Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air.”  It’s every bit as important to us Spiritually as  breathing is to us physically.  

            As a result, prayer should never be used simply as a “last resort,” when everything else has failed.  Nor should we pray only when we are in trouble or need.   And prayer shouldn’t be used merely as a spiritual “distress signal” to get God’s attention.   Such attitudes and approaches to prayer don’t do justice to such a sacred exercise, nor do they bring God the honor that He is due, since it is He Who invites us to approach Him and speak to Him in prayer.  


Rogate Sunday and its Emphasis on Prayer

       This morning, then, part of our worship emphasis will be on the spiritual discipline, special power, and privilege of prayer.  And we couldn’t pick a more appropriate day to do so.  According to the historic/traditional “Church Calendar,” today is known as “Rogate” Sunday, while the three days which follow it (up to Ascension Day, which will be this coming Thursday) have been traditionally referred to as “Rogation Days.” 

            “Rogate” is the Latin word for “ask,” and it’s found in the ninth verse of our Gospel Lesson for this morning (a summary of that lesson comes later in this “worship focus”).   The custom of  “Rogate Sunday/Rogation Days” nearly sixteen centuries ago, back in 466 A.D.   At the time there was great social and physical distress throughout Christian Europe, mostly due to a number of earthquakes and other natural disasters.  The Bishop  of Vienna, known as Claudius, announced that the first three days before the festival of the Ascension that year would be set aside as a period for special prayer by the Church.   Christians were urged to call upon God specifically that he might remove the sufferings of His people.   Gradually this custom found its way into other places, so that by the year 591 it had become an annual, church-wide practice.   Even to this day, it is often used as a time during which Christians are encouraged to spend a longer-than-usual amount of time praying…..particularly that the Lord would bless our land, safeguarding it from famine and our crops from pestilence.   As a way of participating in that age-old tradition — and quite possibly as a means of enhancing your personal prayer practices – along with today’s bulletin you were given a folder of “Daily Prayer Suggestions” when you arrived here at church.   Please consider using this prayer-tool not only this week, but on a regular basis as you pray for your fellow church members, our congregation’s leadership and ministry, our Wisconsin Synod, our government, and our spiritually weak and unbelieving friends. 

In Today’s Scripture Lessons

            Today’s Old Testament Lesson for today is the story of the early Church’s earnest, powerful prayers for the imprisoned Apostle Peter, and how the Lord answered their prayers through Peter’s miraculous rescue from prison (through an angel sent by God).   As the congregation in Jerusalem prayed mightily for God’s will to be done, so may we today also prayerfully commend ourselves and our work as a church, confident that He will always bless us according to His gracious, perfect will.    

            In this morning’s Epistle Lesson James urges his readers to pray faithfully and confidently for those who are sick, as well as in confession of their sins.   Further, using the prayers of Elijah as an example, he reminds us that God powerfully blesses the prayers of faithful, believing prayers. 

            This morning’s Gospel Lesson  actually gave us the traditional name for this Sunday (“Rogate” — Latin for “ask”….in bold type).   Here Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray by

giving them the Lord’s Prayer (notice that Luke’s version is abbreviated compared to the “more complete” version found in Matthew 7). He also urges us to be persistent and confident in our prayers through the commands:  “Ask, Seek, and Knock.”   Finally, our Savior reminds us that the Father wants to (and will) give good gifts to all those who ask Him.    (I wonder….. Do we — as individuals and as a congregation — lack because we don’t ask?). 

            Our Children’s Lesson is Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow, where He offers us an example of the value of both confidence and determination in prayer….the latter being that God-pleasing, humble-yet-bold attitude (which doesn’t dictate to the Lord, but) which confidently, faithfully keeps on asking of the Lord until His answer – whatever it is – is received.  Our is “When it comes to praying, don’t be a quitter.”  

            And finally, our Sermon for today is built around the Lord’s call to OT Israel (in our text Jerusalem is used to represent “the Church”) to pray to Him without tiring, confident that He will answer in His own appointed time,  and to pray that His Will might be done through them.

Pre-Service Prayer  Heavenly Father, as Your Son’s disciples once asked, so I ask You this morning, “Please teach me how to pray.”  As I hear and meditate on Your Holy Word today, which speaks about the privilege, opportunities, and effectiveness of prayer, lead me to grow in my confidence toward Your promises regarding prayer.   Assure me that You will always listen to my petitions and faithfully answer them in the ways that are best for my body and especially for my soul.  Lead me to pray more humbly, more trustingly, more consistently, and more gratefully from this day forward.   And Lord, as I pray, guide me always to seek not my will, but that Your will be done in my life.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Savior and Mediator, I pray.   Amen.

The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831

Pre-service prayer

Pre-worship music


Let Us Praise The Lord


Greeting and Invitation to Worship

after which the Congregation will rise for

The Invocation

Pastor           We begin this service in the name of the Father

Congregation     Who gave us our lives through His almighty power.

P:       And of the Son

C:             Who redeemed our lives with His precious blood.

P:             And of the Holy Spirit

C:             Who gave us eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.

P:             Amen!

Our Psalm for Today                                                                           Psalm 86:1-13


Pastor           Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

Congregation     Guard my life,   for I am devoted to You.   You are my God;     save Your servant who trusts in You.

P        Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to You all day long.

C        Bring joy to Your servant,    for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

P        You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to You.

C        Hear my prayer, O Lord;    listen to my cry for mercy.    In the day of trouble I will call to You,    for You will answer me.

P        Among the gods  there is none like You, O Lord;  no deeds can compare with Yours.

C        All the nations You have made will come and worship before You,  O Lord;     they will bring glory to Your name.


P        For You are great and do marvelous deeds;  You alone are God.

C        Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth.

P        Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.

C        I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart;   I will glorify Your name forever.

After which, the Congregation will be seated for


Opening Hymn                                                               Hymn 478  “With the Lord Begin Your  Task”


With the Lord begin your task; Jesus will direct it.

For His aid and counsel ask; Jesus will perfect it.

Ev’ry morn with Jesus rise, And when day is ended,

In His name then close your eyes; Be to Him commended.


Let each day begin with prayer, Praise, and adoration.

On the Lord cast ev’ry care; He is your salvation.

Morning, evening, and at night Jesus will be near you,

Save you from the tempter’s might, With His presence cheer you.


With your Savior at your side, Foes need not alarm you;

In His promises confide, And no ill can harm you.

All your trust and hope repose In the mighty Master,

Who in wisdom truly knows How to stem disaster.


If your task be thus begun With the Savior’s blessing,

Safely then your course will run, Toward the promise pressing.

Good will follow ev’rywhere While you here must wander;

You at last the joy will share In the mansions yonder.


Thus, Lord Jesus, ev’ry task Be to You commended;

May Your will be done, I ask, Until life is ended.

Jesus, in Your name begun Be the day’s endeavor;

Grant that it may well be done To Your praise forever.



Hear Us and Forgive Us, Lord

Pastor –   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.        

Congregation      And also with you.

Pastor  God invites us to come into His presence and worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness.

CongregationHoly and most merciful Father,     I confess that I am by nature sinful, and that I have disobeyed You in my thoughts, words, and actions; Each day I turn away from Your Will. 

  I have left undone those things which You have asked me to do,   and I have done those things which You tell me not to do.    I do not love You or my neighbor the way I should.     Because of these,    and all of my other sins,    too numerous for me to recall,     I acknowledge that I deserve nothing less than Your punishment     both now and for eternity.     But I am truly sorry for the evil that I have thought, spoken, and done,     and trusting in the perfect life,   and innocent death of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray:    Lord, forgive me all my sins,      restore to me the joy of Your salvation,   and strengthen my weak faith through the promises of Your divine Word     that I may obtain Your promised grace.

Pastor         Find comfort for your souls, then, in these words of our Lord:   “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just,  and will purify us from all unrighteousness, because we   have One Who speaks to the

 Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.   We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”   And now, upon this, your voluntary confession,  I, because of my office as a called servant of God’s Word,  announce the grace of God to all of you.  And, in the place of, and according to the command of my Lord Jesus Christ,  I forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   May the peace of God be with you.  Amen.


Our Response To God’s Forgiveness

                                                                                     to the tune of “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”


All praise, eternal Son, to Thee    For Thy forgiveness, full and free,

He, who by grace, this truth believes   The blessings of Christ’s love receives


Praise God the Father, God the Son   And God the Spirit,   Three in One,

As ’twas, is now, and so shall be   World without end,  eternally!     Amen.

after which the Congregation may be seated as

We Give Our Attention to God’s Word

The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                              Acts 12:1-17


Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to  harass some from the church. 2 Then he

 killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

     5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

     11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

     12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

     16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.

The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                         James 5:13-20

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.   19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                  Luke 11:1-13

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples

 said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”    2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.   3 Give us day by day our daily bread.  4 And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.   And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”

     5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

     9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

The Nicene Creed


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,  and of all things visible and invisible.  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of 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 Ghost 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 sitteth on the right hand of the Father;   And he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead;  Whose Kingdom shall have no end.   And I believe in the Holy Ghost,  The Lord and Giver of Life,  Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,  Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,  Who spake by the Prophets.  And I believe one holy Christian and Apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,  And I look for the resurrection of the dead,  And the life of the world to come.  Amen.

The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                              Luke 18:1-8

     Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will [c]avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

     6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

When It Comes To Praying, Don’t Be A Quitter!



The Hymn of the Day                                                                                                                  Hymn 409

                                                                                                             “Come, My Soul, With Every Care”

Verse 1    Entire Congregation

Verse 2    Pulpit Side                                      Verse 3    Lectern Side

Verse 4    All Males                          Verse 5    All Females

Verse 6     (All Rise)        Entire Congregation    



1 Come, my soul, with ev’ry care;   Jesus loves to answer prayer.

He himself bids you to pray   And will never turn away.


2 You are coming to a king–   Large petitions with you bring,

For his grace and pow’r are such,   None can ever ask too much.


3 With my burden I begin:   Lord, remove this load of sin;

Let your blood, for sinners spilt,   Set my conscience free from guilt.


4 Lord, your rest to me impart;   Take possession of my heart.

There your blood-bought right maintain   And without a rival reign.


5 While I am a pilgrim here,   Let your love my spirit cheer;

As my guide, my guard, my friend,   Lead me to my journey’s end.


6 Show me what I am to do;   Ev’ry hour my strength renew.

Let me live a life of faith;  Let me die your people’s death.

Sermon Text                                                                                                                             Isaiah 62:6-7

6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;    They shall never hold their peace day or night.    You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,  7 And give Him no rest till He establishes

And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 

God’s Call To Prayer

  1. I. The Objective   His Provision

III.  Our Responsibility           IV.  The Reason for Confidence

following the sermon the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for



The Post-Sermon Blessing

May the God of peace, Who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, now equip you with everything good for doing His will!  Amen.

Lord, Receive our Offerings and Prayers


The Offering


Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.     However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash, please) to our church address

 (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745); or

2) You can donate through our website:


as the offerings are brought forward the Congregation will rise for

  • The Prayers of the Church


    Included in our prayers is a prayer of Thanksgiving

    for Marisol and Tim Huebner, whose anniversary is this Wednesday.


    The Lord’s Prayer and Response

    Congregation           Our Father, Who art in heaven,  Hallowed be Thy name;

    Pastor                 Grant Father, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed freely among us and throughout the  world, and that we may live holy, Godly lives to the glory of Your name.

    C: Thy Kingdom come;

    P: Grant, Father, that the proclamation of the Gospel may bear much fruit, so that large numbers of men, women, and children from every nation and tribe may come to know and believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ.

    C: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;

    P: Grant , Father, that we may never forget that it is Your will that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.   Grant that we may remember that we are to carry out Your will by being witnesses of Christ to the world.   Father,  may Your will be done through us!

    C: Give us this day our daily bread;

    P: Grant, Father, that we may always remember that every good gift is from above and that the earth and all that is in it are Yours.  May we also trust in Your for our daily bread.  Then we will confidently share our blessings with others and return to You a large, generous portion of the gifts You have entrusted to us.

    C: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;

    P: Forgive us, Father, for all the times we have given offense and kept others from coming to You.  Forgive us for being so indifferent and cold to Christ’s command to preach the Gospel to every nation.  Forgive us for so frequently forgetting that Christ died for us and that we should no longer live for ourselves, as a result, but for Him who died and rose again for us.  Grant that we may also forgive those who sin against us, love our enemies,  pray for those who persecute us, and do good to those who hate us, that we might, by all means possible, lead some to Christ.


    C: And lead us not into temptation;

    P: Grant, Father, that Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh may not tempt us to neglect the supreme task of the Church.  Grant that we never squander away our time while the world rushes toward Judgement Day;  that we never waste our financial resources on the pleasures and luxuries of this life, and in so doing deny others the Bread of Life.  Heavenly Father, keep us from these and all other temptations.

    C: But deliver us from evil;

    P: Protect us, Father, from all harm and danger, but grant that we will always boldly confess our faith in Jesus no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the result may be.


    C: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

    We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


    Pastor         The Lord be with you.

    Congregation     (Sung)       And also with you

    Pastor        Lift up your hearts.


    Congregation     (Sung)       We lift them up to the LORD

    Pastor        Let us give thanks unto the Lord, our God.


    Congregation     (sung)   It is right to give Him thanks and praise.

    Pastor  It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, O Lord, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who has promised that wherever two or three come together in His name there He is with them to shepherd His flock until He returns again in all His glory. Therefore with angels and archangel, and all the company of heaven, we praise Your holy name and join their glorious song:

    Congregation     (Sung)       Amen.

    Consecration of the Elements                                                                                                                                                                            

    Pastor        The peace of the Lord be with you always.

    Congregation       (Sung)    Amen.

    The Exhortation Regarding the Lord’s Supper                                                                           (Pastor)

                                                                               (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                       our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)



         We ask that only “Confirmed, Communicant” members of this congregation, or of one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod congregations come forward to receive the Lord’s Supper at this time.               

         We believe, according to Scripture, that only those who are “one,” that is, in complete doctrinal agreement, united in a common public confession of faith, are to commune together at the same altar (see I Corinthians 10:17 and I Corinthians 1:10).

         To be “in communion” means to share and to hold in common.   By eating and drinking at our Lord’s Table, we are not only sharing in, with, and under the bread and wine, Jesus’ very body and blood…we are also publicly declaring that we hold in common a specific confession of faith.  In other words, as a result of having comprehensively studied the Scriptures together all of our communicants have agreed to accept and proclaim the same Biblical doctrines and practices.

         Through membership in a particular church body (for us, that church body is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), each person makes a public statement that he/she is in full agreement with the teachings and practices of that body.  Because not every church body or Lutheran Synod teaches and practices the same things, we in the WELS want to be honest in our recognition of the doctrinal differences that, here on earth, separate us from other church bodies.   Please bear in mind that we are not, in any way, judging the legitimacy of your Christian faith.  Still, we ask that  if you have not (upon study of the Word with us) declared yourself to be in full doctrinal agreement with us, you would respectfully not join us in the Lord’s Supper this morning.        It is our prayer that our Scripture-based practice of “Close Communion” will encourage anyone among us today who is not presently in full fellowship with us to seriously examine the teachings and practices of his/her church in order to determine if those teachings and practices are really in full agreement with God’s Word. 

         And if you are guest among us today, we want you to know that it is our earnest desire that you might become familiar with the Biblical doctrines our congregation confesses, in order that you might one day join with us at the Lord’s altar in this public expression of full unity of doctrine and practice.  Until then, please know that we are most grateful for your participation as a fellow Christian in this worship service, and that we appreciate your understanding and respect of our Communion practice.  

    Distribution Hymns                                                   Hymn 411    “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”


    1 What a friend we have in Jesus,   All our sins and griefs to bear!

    What a privilege to carry   Ev’rything to God in prayer!

    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,   Oh, what needless pain we bear,

    All because we do not carry   Ev’rything to God in prayer!

    2 Have we trials and temptations?   Is there trouble anywhere?

    We should never be discouraged –   Take it to the Lord in prayer.

    Can we find a friend so faithful   Who will all our sorrows share?

    Jesus knows our ev’ry weakness –   Take it to the Lord in prayer.


    3 Are we weak and heavy laden,  Cumbered with a load of care?

    Precious Savior, still our refuge –   Take it to the Lord in prayer.

    Do your friends despise, forsake you?   Take it to the Lord in prayer.

    In his arms he’ll take and shield you;   You will find a solace there.



                                                                                 Hymn 315  “Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face”

    1 Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face;      Here would I touch and handle things unseen,

    Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,   And all my weariness upon you lean.


    2 This is the hour of banquet and of song;  Here is the heav’nly table spread anew.

    Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong   The brief bright hour of fellowship with you.


    3 I have no help but yours nor do I need   Another arm but yours to lean upon.

    It is enough, O Lord, enough indeed;   My strength is in your might, your might alone.


    4 Mine is the sin but yours the righteousness;   Mine is the guilt but yours the cleansing blood.

    Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace:   Your blood, your righteousness, O Lord, my God.


    5 Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear.   The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.

    The bread and wine remove, but you are here,   Nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.


    6 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,   Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,

    Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,   The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.

    We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing

    The Closing Prayer                                                                                                                                        



    Brothers and sisters, now go in peace.   Live in harmony with one another.   And Serve the Lord in gladness.

    The LORD bless you and keep you.

    The LORD make His face to shine upon you

    and be gracious unto you.

    The LORD look upon you with favor,

     and grant you His peace.   Amen.

    The Closing Hymn                                                  Hymn 504  “Bless Our Loved Ones, Holy Father”


    1 Bless our loved ones, Holy Father;   Hear our anxious prayer;

    By your mercy keep them always   In your care.


    2 Jesus, Savior, let your presence   Be their light and guide;

    Keep, oh, keep them in their weakness   At your side.


    3 When in sorrow, when in danger,   When in loneliness,

    In your love look down and comfort   Their distress.


    4 May the joy of your salvation   Be their strength and stay!

    May they love and may they praise you   Day by day!


    5 Holy Spirit, let your teaching   Sanctify their life;

    Send your grace that they may conquer   In the strife.


    6 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,   God forever true,

    Bless them, guide them, save them, keep them  Close to you.


    silent prayer, announcements, post-service