Pentecost-15 (Yr A) Sep 13, 2020



“Beautiful Savior, King of Creation”

Don Freudenburg

(Please stand)

The Word of God

(BCP p. 355)



Celebrant         Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

People               And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever.



Celebrant Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you 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 Christ our Lord.  Amen.




(BCP p.356)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.  Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.  Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect of the Day

Celebrant The Lord be with you.

People And also with you

Celebrant Let us pray.


O God, because without you we are not able to please you mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen.


(Please be seated)



A Reading from the Book of Exodus 14:19-31


The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided.  The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.



The Songs of Moses and Miriam


(The Lector and the Congregation pray responsively)


God is my strength and my song *

and he has become my salvation.

Let me glorify this God of mine! *

Let me magnify this God of my ancestors!

For valiant in battle is the God *

whose holy name is The Lord.

The chariots and troops of Pharaoh *

were thrown into the sea;

even the handpicked commanders *

went down in the Red Sea waves.

The flood covered them over, *

and they sank into the depths like a stone.

Your right hand, so glorious in battle, *

your right hand, O Lord, shattered the foe.

In triumph you tumbled your adversaries; *

your fire consumed them like stubble.

The blast of your breath piled up the waters; *

the floods stood up like a towering wall;

in the very heart of the sea, *

the murky depths congealed.

“I will chase them and catch then!” crowed the enemy; *

I will plunder and fulfill my lust;

I will unsheathe my sharpened sword *

and destroy them by my own hand.”

Then you blew forth a mighty tempest *

and the sea swallowed them up

so that they plummeted like lead *

in the billows that brought you glory.

Who among the gods is mighty like you, O Lord? *

Who is sovereign and awesome like you,

a powerful worker of wonders?

Then Miriam the prophet, the sister of Aaron, *

raised a tambourine in her hand,

and all the women danced after her with their tambourines *

while Miriam led the song:

“Sing to the Lord, the Exalted One, *

who hurled horse and rider into the sea.”




A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans 14:1-12


Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.  Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall.  And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God. We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then, each of us will be accountable to God.


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.



(Please stand)



Deacon     The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 18:21-35


People        Glory to you,  Lord Christ.


Then Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’  But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


The Gospel of the Lord.


People      Praise to you,  Lord  Christ.



(Please be seated)



The Sermon


The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje





Before I preach I want to take a moment to remember all those who died on 9/11. We pray that their souls will rest in peace. We also pray for their families.


In today’s Gospel, Jesus responded to Peter’s question about how many times he, Peter, must forgive. To justify himself, because he thought he was doing really good at forgiving, Peter asked should he forgive seven times? Jesus responded not seven times but seventy times seven times. 


This means we have to forgive generously. What Christ is asking for is radical forgiveness. This is Forgiveness that has no limit (Eric Barreto Professor of NT. Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ).


In the culture that this Gospel was written in, to forgive, like the Master in Jesus’ story, means to forgive about 15 years’ worth of income — a huge amount of money.


The servant who was forgiven seemed to be consumed with holding grudges. He refused to forgive another person who owed him something so infinitesimal. He forgot to reciprocate. He did not treat another person as He was treated. He seemed self-centered.


Thank God, God forgives us regularly in spite of us.


Christ is just as wonderful at forgiveness.  The challenging thing for us is that forgiveness must be our way of life. We are reminded that our words and actions must reflect what we say in the Lord’s Prayer when we pray to God to forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. This must guide our actions in forgiving others (Karl Jacobson, Sr. Pastor LCGS MPLS, MN).


As wonderful as forgiveness is, the truth is that no one enjoys being corrected or being told that they need to have a change of heart. 


It takes humility to forgive someone. It takes stepping out of ourselves. Only then we will be able to know how our actions are hurting someone else and be prepared to forgive. One also has to forgive themselves before they can forgive others. It is in forgiving that the world is peaceful. Thank God that every time we forgive it leads to reconciliation. This means that every time we forgive, reconciliation takes place and our relationships become stronger.


Another challenge is that most people don’t know they are hurting others by not forgiving. This is one of the reasons why Christ is asking us to “let go and let God” if anyone offends us.


Forgiveness means no one needs to control the other, by refusing to forgive. God forgives us abundantly and we are to forgive abundantly. By forgiving many times we are saying we are children of Light. 


Can you imagine how peaceful the world will be when we all begin to forgive one another?  It will feel like we are all in heaven on earth. 


May God help us as we forgive. It is through God’s grace and mercy that we are forgiven.




The Nicene Creed

(BCP p. 358)


We believe in one God

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,                     

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

 For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate

from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified

          under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

  On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand

of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father    and the Son.

    With the Father and the Son he is

worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and

   apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.  Amen.




Prayers of the People


In the Anglican cycle of prayer, we pray for the Anglican Church of South America.


In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, St. Christopher’s in Fairborn, and St. Paul’s in Dayton.


In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for Linda Stagles, Joanne Stearns, and Tracey Swartz.




Form 2

(BCP p. 385)


In the course of the silence after each bidding, the People offer their own prayers, either silently or aloud.


I ask your prayers for God’s people throughout the world; for our Bishop, Thomas; for this gathering; and for all ministers and people.

Pray for the Church.




I ask your prayers for peace; for goodwill among nations; and for the well-being of all people.

Pray for justice and peace.




I ask your prayers for the sick (N); for the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison.

Pray for those in any need or trouble.




I ask your prayers for all who seek God, or a deeper knowledge of him.

Pray that they may find and be found by him.




I ask your prayers for the departed [especially __________ ].

Pray for those who have died.




Praise God for those in every generation in whom Christ has been honored [especially ____________whom we remember today].

Pray that we may have grace to glorify Christ in our own day.




Celebrant   Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people, and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



The Confession of Sin

(BCP p. 360)


Deacon Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Silence may be kept.


Most merciful God, we confess that 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.  We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.  For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.  Amen.


Celebrant Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.


People   Amen.



(Please be seated)




(BCP p. 377)


The Offering is brought to the Altar


Celebrant    Let us with gladness present the offerings and oblations of our life and labor to the Lord.


Offertory Meditation


“I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”

Robert Graham




The Lord’s Prayer

Celebrant As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,


Our Father in heaven,

 hallowed be your Name,

 your kingdom come,

 your will be done,

      on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

 as we forgive those

      who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and for ever.  Amen.




The General Thanksgiving


Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made.


We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.


And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,

be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.




Birthdays and Anniversaries







The Peace


Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.


People And also with you.









The congregation is dismissed.


People      Thanks be to God.




“Christ is Made the Sure Foundation”

John Stallsmith



For today’s announcements, click HERE.




St. Mark’s Vestry


Senior Warden: Gary Welch

Junior Warden: Katherine Wagner

Treasurer: Don Nancarrow

Secretary: Dave Reuter


Vestry Members:

Carol Nancarrow, Tracey Swartz

Jen Bonifas, Susan Kendall

Kendall Rubino, Jenna Walch



St. Mark’s Staff


Transitional Priest in Charge The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje

Parish Administrator Katherine Wagner

Music Director Donna Larsen

Sexton Douglas Plummer




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Facebook:  St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Dayton, Ohio

Instagram:  stmarksdayton