St. Michael and All Angels (transferred from Sept 29)
Renovation Thank-You and Anthem, September 27, 2020
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Video will be live beginging 9:15AM Sunday morning.
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost – “Forgiveness”
In the middle of this sermon, I quote Psalm 85:10 “Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Full disclosure – I first really “heard” that Psalm when I watched the movie “Babette’s Feast.” Just for fun, I’m including a scene from that movie here – maybe you’ll watch the whole thing!! You should, it’s one of the most critically acclaimed films with specifically Christian themes ever made. It’s also funny, sad and beautiful. It’s also in Danish, with subtitles – but you’ll get over that! The General’s speech, in the clip below, is one of the lovely moments in this film, and it speaks to the mystery of mercy…
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – “Conflict Resolution 101”
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
This week’s sermon is based on the Epistle readings for this week and last week, from Romans 12:1-16. The key text is: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds.” The video clip below the worship video is optional, intended for a mature audience only. I don’t wish anyone to be offended, it is just a powerful illustration of a point in the sermon. Cinema is a powerful medium – sometimes too powerful! But war is tragic, real, and often serves in scripture as a metaphor for our spiritual lives.
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – Is Jesus rude? In a bad mood? Coming unglued? Find out more about his Gospel attitude!
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – St. Peter Tries Walkin’ on Water, Pastor V only does worse…
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – Getting Dark at County Park
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – from the Treehouse!
The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost – from Mt. Sugarloaf, NH
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – from the Farm
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – Independence Day Weekend
Worship Video for June 28, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Worship Video for June 21, Third Sunday after Pentecost
Second Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus doesn’t just call his disciples to sit at his feet and listen – he sends them out to do just as he is doing – casting out unclean spirits, bringing healing to those who are ill in body mind or spirit! St. Paul meditates on suffering – not for its own sake, but because for those who receive suffering and grapple with it in faith, certain virtues are created. This is not to glorify suffering or seek it out, but to recognize that through the suffering of these times, those who are living through them are being shaped in new ways by the Holy Spirit. Come along as we enter “Ordinary Time,” which is anything but ordinary in the (ordinary sense of the word) but a well-ordered progression through the life and teachings of Jesus, this summer, according to the Gospel of Matthew. May we all be changed and drawn to Jesus and through the Spirit into the presence of God. -Pastor V
Holy Trinity Sunday 2020 – Worship, Music and Prayer
Worship for the Festival of Pentecost
Worship for the Seventh Sunday of Easter
Welcome to our final worship for the Easter Season! This video features music by members of our Grace Choir, singing from their homes under the direction of Dr. David McConnell, presumably in his home! Thanks to you all for diving into this new app on your phones! Our brass quintet is back to accompany an Easter hymn and the sermon is offered by our Bishop, James Dunlop, to us and all the congregations of the Lower Susquehanna Synod…thank you Bishop D! Some of our Sunday School kids are remembering a favorite song from Vacation Bible School…and Pastor Steve is here to lead worship, and possibly having a little too much fun with his video editing. You’ll see! Thanks for watching!
Worship for the Sixth Sunday of Easter – “Accountants of Hope”
Good morning to you all! I’m not too far afield in this week’s video, but I hope you are fed by its message, that the Easter faith we share as the church deserves “an accounting,” (I Peter 3:15-16), that we are all called to be both curious and clear about what we say and do as followers of Jesus. Our local brass musicians collaborate with Dir. of Music Dr. David McConnell on a digital app to blend in a harmony that would be difficult to produce in person in this time of keeping our distance – sing along! As we continue to fast from gatherings for the Lord’s supper, may the risen One continue to feed us in mind, heart and spirit with his Word of law and gospel, judgment and grace.
Worship for the Fifth Sunday of Easter – “I Go to Prepare a Place for You”
Worship for the Fourth Sunday of Easter – “Good Shepherd Sunday”
As we enter into the second half of Easter, still in our lockdown, the scriptural focus calls us to imagine ourselves as sheep in the fold of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. To help us on the journey, I hopped on my motorbike for a beautiful ride into the hills south of Strasburg, PA to visit “Creamy Ranch,” the tongue-in-cheek name that Mike and Nanette Bertrand have for their small farm. I won’t say much more about it here, other than the production vibe was much less stressful here than all the challenges I had in County Park last week! And I forgot to give them credit in the video, so let me add a word of thanks here to Big Al, Mae B, Chloe, Remi, Lucky, Ducky, and Butter, who add a splendid touch of live action to the familiar words and images of Psalm 23 and the Good Shepherd passages in the Gospel of John. Come along, as your Pastor visits an actual shepherd and his flock on a beautiful May afternoon, and the Spirit leads them into reflection! Two of our youth, Lindsay Bisignani and Libby McComsey offer their help with the Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer, while Nanette Bertand reads the gospel, Grace Gochnauer leads us in a familiar hymn, and Dr. David McConnell, Mindi Graver and Kathryn Verkouw add some beautiful music that somehow “never gets old.”
Worship for the Third Sunday of Easter
Good morning everyone! I hope you enjoy worship in the park with me this Sunday. I thought it would be fun to offer a sermon about the risen Jesus on, “The Road to Emmaus” while taking a little walk myself. It was a bit of a challenge to film all of this – the County Park was very crowded on Saturday afternoon and evening. Several times I was accosted by dogs and lost my train of thought…When I set up to play my guitar in what seemed like a quiet spot, all of a sudden there were people everywhere…a family we know stopped to talk…then as I was about to sing, a lady came down the path and said, “do you mind if I take a video of you?” I said I was already taking a video of myself, so what could it hurt? Well, she didn’t want to stay to the end of the hymn, so she yelled “thank you” so loudly I had to start over! Then, during the prayers, some young men decided to use the dirt road near by to rev up their super high rpm custom engines! It was quite distracting. If I go back I will know better than to wait until Saturday evening! But it was fun to see everyone, and quite a few folks were intrigued by a clergyman with a camera and wanted to know which church I was videoing for, so maybe we will get some views. I’d love to hear your thoughts…it’s no fun talking to myself! Shall we have a zoom meeting to discuss the sermon next week? Or something else? If you’re interested, shoot me an email and let me know. May the peace of Christ be with you all this week, as we continue to pray for the world, especially the victims of the epidemic and its consequences – Pastor V
Worship for the Second Sunday of Easter
The Resurrection of our Lord – Easter Day
It is surely an understatement to say that I will miss leading our worship and celebration on the Feast of the Resurrection, as I’m sure you will miss being here together. This video will take a half hour to watch, and you can hear a sermon on the Easter gospel, pray along with Pastor Steve, and sing a couple of hymns with great arrangements of organ and brass put together remotely by Dr. David McConnell with the help of some friendly and expert brass musicians! And there are a few other treats to get you in the Spirit of Easter!
And then scroll down to the next video for a festive “postlude” of Easter Hymns offered from the Grace Tower Chime!
May God bless each of you as you celebrate the hope that we share in Christ! Keep in touch and watch your emails for upcoming ways to connect as the quarantine continues…
Easter Bells from the Tower of Grace Church
Pastor Verkouw – Video Devotion for Good Friday
The Passion of Christ, according to the Gospel of John, Chapters 18 and 19, as read by the families and teachers of our Sunday School at Grace Lutheran Church. Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to create this Passion Reading for video!
Video Stations of the Cross, with Musical Selections
Pastor Verkouw – Video Devotion for Maundy Thursday
The “Triduum” – (three days) is the old Latin word for the time before Easter Sunday, the last part of Holy Week which has long been understood to form a single service of worship, spread over those three days we call Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter. Here is a video for Holy Thursday. On this day the theme is Jesus’ last Supper, where he blesses the bread and wine and gives the command to “take, eat, this is my body.” This becomes the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We also remember his command that we “love one another as I have loved you.” I couldn’t begin to duplicate all of these things in a video! But I hope you enjoy this Maundy Thursday devotion – due to technical challenges, not uploaded until Good Friday. My apologies!
For Wed. in Holy Week – A sermon from Seminarian Chad Butz, who is awaiting call in our Synod. Video below his bio:
My name is Chad Butz, I am married to my high school sweetheart, Tricia Butz. We are both from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, which is near Allentown and Bethlehem. I went to Kutztown University for my Bachelors in Communication Studies, then my Masters in Business Administration. I then attended Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, which is now United Lutheran Seminary. I am currently finished with all seminary requirements and awaiting a call in the Lower Susquehanna Synod. My wife and I currently live in Middletown, PA. My wife is a German Teacher for Central Dauphin High School and we both help out with their marching band. She teaches color guard and I teach trumpet and other brass instruments. I have a huge love for the mystics of old and current. I find much of their insights into who God is and how God speaks to us as a people very interesting. My two favorites are Bernard of Clairvaux and Hildegard Von Bingen. They were both fairly different from one another but offer fascinating insights into their relationship with God. Hildegard was also just awesome as a person, she was definitely a genius in her time. I hope you all enjoy my message and are staying safe. Many blessings and prayers.
Seminarian Chad Butz
Holy Week Meditation on Psalm 90 – Pastor Verkouw
Below is a brief meditation I wrote last week. I was pondering over Psalm 90, and the strange sense I have in these days that time feels like it is passing very quickly – except when it feels like it is passing very slowly! I had the idea to make a video in the sacristy, with the pictures of all of our past pastors of Grace! I hope the reflection is helpful to you . Careful listeners will notice that I mispronounced Dr. Haupt’s middle name – it is “Elvin” not “Edwin!” Many people were named after him 100 years ago in Lancaster, so this is important to note!
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place[a]
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn us back to dust,
and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday when it is past,
or like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning;
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are consumed by your anger;
by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
our years come to an end like a sigh.
10 The days of our life are seventy years,
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger?
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
13 Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
and as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!
Palm / Passion Sunday – Bells, Hymns, Meditation on Passion
Palm/ Passion Sunday Prayers
Fifth Sunday in Lent – Sermon and Song
Fifth Sunday in Lent – Song and Prayers
Pastor Verkouw’s Video for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, 2020 – John 9
Pastor Verkouw’s Welcome on The Third Sunday in Lent, 2020
A Message from Bishop Eaton
Our Presiding Bishop’s message, shared near the beginning of the outbreak.