This liturgy will provide you with a straightforward way to hold a Service of the Word in your own home.  As you worship, remember that simply following the instructions on this page will NOT create worship.  Worship is an encounter with God in which we receive His gifts of forgiveness and respond with prayer and praise.  The “active ingredient” of worship is faith.  As you follow these instructions, your worship begins with believing that God is present and expecting that God will have something to say to you during this time.

Read the words in bold aloud.  If you are fortunate to be worshiping with others, you may designate one individual the leader, and read the liturgy responsively as indicated by L: (leader) and R: (response).  Some elements of this service are links to videos which will play when you click on them.  Feel free to include as much or as little of the suggested music as you prefer, or to substitute live music in your home for the videos included here.

Each worshiper will need a pencil and paper during the confession.


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Opening Song





L: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
R: Amen.

L: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
R: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

At this time, each person silently confesses his or her sin to God.  Individual sins may be written (children may wish to draw) on a piece of paper.  After an appropriate length of time, continue:

All: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me… Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:1-3)

Scratch out the sins that have been confessed on paper, drawing a cross over the whole page.  Then speak out loud the sure and certain word of God that follows:

L: Brothers and sisters in Christ, in our reading today, Jesus will ask the question, “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?”  The answer is, “nothing.”  We have nothing to offer God to make up for the sins that we just confessed.  And so God made the offering; the Son of God gave His life in exchange for You, and through the sacrifice of Jesus, your sins are forgiven, and You, body and soul, have been saved.

All: Thanks be to God! Amen.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 16:21-28
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Statement of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

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.

Sermon Song




Sermon & Reflection

Children’s Message

Print Version of Children’s Message


Print Version of Sermon

Reflection Questions:

  1.     Can you identify any “stumbling blocks” that make up your trench?
  2.     Why can we be confident that Jesus will protect us better than any trench?

NEVER FORGET: Because Jesus already won the battle over death, we can be assured that the sufferings of now do not compare to the glory of our salvation!


In addition to these petitions, bring your own requests to God at this time.  A simple guide for personal or family prayers can be found here.

Download additional petitions regarding COVID-19


L: We now pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all others according to their needs. Please join me.

Lord Jesus, You did not allow anything to keep You from walking the road that would lead You to the cross, where You paid a terrible price for our salvation.  As we receive that gift and rejoice in it, help us to leave behind whatever stumbling blocks would keep us from following after You on the path that You lay before us.  Lord, in Your mercy,

ALL: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, through the death of Jesus, You have given us a gift of immeasurable value.  Give us joy in sharing that gift with others, and bless your faithful missionaries around the world, especially the Baker family, and Matthew and Beth Ritzman in Papua New Guinea.  Use these challenging times to raise up leaders within Your church all around the world.  Lord, in Your mercy,

ALL: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, through the resurrection of Jesus, You gave us a glimpse of a new creation where sickness no longer exists. Please bring an end to the pandemic in our world and the fear that surrounds it, as we look to You for the healing that only You can give.  We pray especially for those in our congregation who are recovering from surgery or struggling in their health, Mark Jaeger, Marie Ernst, Debbie Bultman, Bev Bergmann, Laurel Dobberfuhl, and the nephew of Deb and Jim Yahr as he recovers from brain surgery.  Lord, in Your mercy,

ALL: Hear our prayer.

L: Ever-living God, we thank You for the gift of life. And we especially thank You for granting many years of life to Florence Ernst as she recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Continue to work in her and through her, that she continues to grow in You as she grows in years.   Lord, in Your mercy,

ALL: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, Jesus carried His cross to Calvary to conquer sin and death for us.  We thank You for those faithful saints who born the burdens of this world and followed after Him.  Please grant comfort to the friends and family of George Hackbarth as they mourn His passing.  Keep our eyes focused on the empty tomb of Jesus as we look forward to the day when every Christian grave will be empty, and we will rejoice together in Your presence.  Lord, in Your mercy,

ALL: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, You alone are able to conquer our enemies and to bring lasting peace into this world of strife.  Please bring peace in our cities.  Lead our nation to repentance where we have abused authority and privilege, and where we have tried to solve our problems through the use of violence and force.  Give us Your love for all people, so that we may be instruments of peace, and please grant Your protection to all those who put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others, especially our police, firefighters, EMT’s and those serving in the military: Sarah Geidel, Rebecca Guild, Akan Udoeyop, Madison Kessel Lyon, Nicholas Zanow, Kurt Degner, and Mark Liedtke.  Lord, in Your mercy,

ALL: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, we rejoice at Your love for us and the opportunity we have to reflect that love in marriage.  Please bless Rachel Gierach and Kevin Ruehle as they begin their married life together.  Fill their lives with Your love, and let their love for one another be a witness to the world of Your goodness in our lives. Lord, in Your mercy,

ALL: Hear our prayer.

L: Lord, remember us in Your Kingdom and teach us to pray…

ALL: 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

Closing Blessing

L: May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
R: Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Closing Song





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Printable Liturgy for Giving

If you are a member of another congregation, we are delighted that we were able to provide you with the opportunity to worship in your home today.  Please honor God by continuing to support your home congregation during these uncertain times.

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  • Our plans for worship this fall have been mailed to homes.  We are not planning to make any changes until the mask mandate ends.  Once it ends, we will begin offering a service on Sunday morning with no mask requirement, and our mask service will move to Saturday evening.  Online worship will continue, as will outdoor worship for as long as the weather permits.
  • It has pleased God Almighty to summon from this vale of tears to Himself in Heaven the soul of George Hackbarth.  George’s funeral service took place on Friday.  Please keep his family in your prayers.
  • Wow! Last Sunday we announced a door offering to benefit two schools in Africa, a school in Madagascar as well as the Kelm school in Ghana.  Both have closed since March and will not be able to re-open until October.  In the first few days of that offering, you gave almost $6000, and with matching funds, we will be able to meet that need in BOTH schools.  If you have not yet had the opportunity to give, you can still give online.  Any over and above gifts that are given will be used as other needs arise among our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Additional Resources

Additional Scripture

You understand, O Lord; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering-do not take me away; think of how I suffer reproach for your sake. When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty. I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me and you had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails? Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord . “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel.”

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Additional Worship

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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.  All rights reserved.

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