Worship Folder for Sixth Sunday of Easter


May 17, 2020


Welcome to St. John’s Lutheran Church, a Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America! We welcome you in the name of the One who frees us from every burden, renews our spirits, and inspires hope and joy in our living! May this worship time encourage you and lift you up. St. John’s is a confessing congregation. We confess our faith by answering God’s call to witness his saving grace by our thoughts and actions. We confess our sins, both known and unknown, knowing we will be forgiven by the grace of the Almighty God!

Should you want additional information about St. John’s or desire to participate in the life and ministry of faith here in this worshipping community, please contact Pastor John at 803-606-7589 or prjohn@stjohnsirmo.org. We invite you to worship with us each and every Sunday.

We are using a composite service this morning—one which comes from many sources. All you will need for the service is located in the worship folder.

Worshipers are invited to make the sign of the Cross where indicated by .

Those who are able are invited to stand.

Congregational responses are printed in italicized bold type.

Today’s service is a new experience for us. We are worshiping in our vehicles and/or in lawn chairs adequately socially distancing separated. We pray that this will be meaningful for you and that it is temporary.

This service is being recorded and is available on Facebook. Those at home may want to follow along using this worship folder and the Facebook recording.




The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

Jesus does not abandon his followers. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation. As Pentecost draws near, we are reminded that the risen Christ dwells in us as the Spirit of truth. We receive this Spirit in baptism and pray that in our gathering around the Lord’s table the Spirit will transform us to be the body of the risen Christ in the world.


We gather as God’s children in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.


Call to Worship

This is the day that the Lord has made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it!

The Lord is my strength and my song.

The Lord has become my salvation.

Open to me the gates of righteousness;

I will go through them and praise the Lord.

I shall not die, but live,

and declare the works of the Lord.

This is the day that the Lord has made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:14,17,19,24)

Confession and Forgiveness

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Most merciful God,

we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Gathering Hymn

*Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

First Reading: Acts 17:22-31

In Athens, Paul faces the challenge of proclaiming the gospel to Greeks who know nothing of either Jewish or Christian tradition. He proclaims that the “unknown god” whom they worship is the true Lord of heaven and earth who will judge the world with justice through Jesus, whom God has raised from the dead.

22Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm: Psalm 66:8-20

Bless our God, you peoples; let the sound of praise be heard. (Ps. 66:8)

8Bless our God, you peoples;  let the sound of praise be heard. 9Our God has kept us among the living  and has not allowed our feet to slip. 10For you, O God, have tested us;  you have tried us just as silver is tried. 11You brought us into the net;  you laid heavy burdens upon our backs. 12You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water,  but you brought us out into a place of refreshment. 13I will enter your house with burnt offerings  and will pay you my vows— 14those that I promised with my lips  and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble. 15I will offer you burnt offerings of fatlings with the smoke of rams;  I will give you oxen and goats. 16Come and listen, all you who believe,  and I will tell you what God has done for me. 17I called out to God with my mouth,  and praised the Lord with my tongue. 18If I had cherished evil in my heart,  the Lord would not have heard me; 19but in truth God has heard me  and has attended to the sound of my prayer. 20Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, nor withheld unfailing love from me.

Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22

The author of 1 Peter encourages Christians to remain faithful even in the face of defamation and persecution. In baptism we are made clean to act in accordance with what is right.

13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

*Gospel: John 14: 15-21

The holy gospel according to St. John, the 14th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

In final words to his disciples on the night of his arrest, Jesus encourages obedience to his commandments and speaks of the Spirit, who will be with them forever.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.



We profess our faith in the risen Christ Jesus with the use of the Apostle’s Creed.

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.

*Prayers of Intercession

Uplifted by the promised hope of healing and resurrection, we join the people of God in all times and places in praying for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

A brief silence.

Abiding God, you have revealed yourself to us in the form of your Son, Jesus Christ. Embolden your church, as your followers, to reveal your love to everyone in our speaking and in our living. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You are the creator of heaven and earth. Revitalize the health of oceans, rivers, lakes, springs, glaciers, and other bodies of water that give life to your creatures in our nearby ponds, rivers, and lakes. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You call all people of the world your children. Judge the nations justly, show mercy to the oppressed, and speak truth to power through your prophets. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You come near to us when we are lost, and you hear our distress. We pray for those who suffer in any way especially Conrad, Joy, Bill, Sam Lois, Hazel, Betty, Curt, Judy, Katie, Wilson, Bobby Vicky, Sawyer, Jeff, Wanda, Gerda, Blaine, Lois, Richard, Ola, Mary, Tricia, Ty, Daisy, Pat, Becky, Delores, Polly; Georgia; Sharon, Tom; Leonard; and all those others we name now aloud or in our hearts. Bring healing to all who are in any way affected by CORVID19. Show us the way, O Lord to peace and comfort in this time of crisis. Lord, in your mercy,

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Your commands are good and merciful. Give us courage to take hold of our baptismal promises to work for justice, advocate for the voiceless, and free the oppressed and imprisoned in body, mind, or spirit. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

You remain with us always, O God, and your kingdom has no end. We remember the saints who have gone before us. Unite us forever in your final victory over death. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

With bold confidence in your love, almighty God, we place all for whom we pray into your eternal care; through Christ our Lord.



We greet each other in the peace of the risen Christ.

The peace of Christ be with you always.

Honk your horn or holler to share the peace.


God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Thanksgiving at the Table

In the night in which he was betrayed,

our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

and gave it for all to drink, saying:

This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.

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

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.


God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

SENDINGGo out into the world in peace;

Love the Lord your God

with all your heart,

with all your soul,

with all your mind;

and love your neighbor as yourself.


May the One who brought forth Jesus from the dead

raise you to new life, fill you with hope,

and turn your mourning into dancing.

Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.



Christ is risen, just as he said.

Go in peace. Share the good news. Alleluia!

Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

To the Members and Friends of St. John’s, Irmo: It seems like I keep repeating this, but what a wonderful Vacation Bible School we had this year! Members from our neighbor, Bethlehem Lutheran Church joined again this year. The children certainly enjoyed the theme “Who Is My Neighbor?” and I think the adults enjoyed the discussions about our Lutheran heritage and how we differ from our neighbors of other denominations. I, again, want to thank everyone who participated in any way. But now is the time we start thinking about our children and grandchildren returning to school. There is less than three weeks before Richland/Lexington 5 and Lexington 1 open their doors for students. Over the past few weeks you have very generously given both money and supplies for our drive to provide school supplies for the less fortunate. We are doing this through “Sharing God’s Love”. Should you want to contribute, please (money), please put it in the collection plate and designate it as such. Should you desire to donate material, please place them in the narthex. Continuing with that theme, we will bless the backpacks of our students, no matter what grade or where they are in their educational process. In addition, we will distribute Bibles to our first graders. This is in response to the promise in the Service of Holy Baptism to place in the hands of the children the Holy Scriptures. So, make sure your first grader is here on August 18. Faith formation, (Sunday School) for our children will begin anew the first Sunday of September. We welcome all children to participate in learning about our savior, Jesus Christ during this time at 9:00 on each Sunday. I look forward to seeing you each and every Sunday as we worship our Lord and Savior! As always, I thank you for being the church! See all of you in church Sunday! In His Service, John Derrick, Pastor