Pentecost-16 (Yr A) Sep 20, 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 16:2-15


The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’” And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”  In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.”


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.



Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45


(The Lector and the Congregation pray responsively)


1   Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; *

     make known his deeds among the peoples.

2   Sing to him, sing praises to him, *

     and speak of all his marvelous works.

3   Glory in his holy Name; *

      let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

4   Search for the Lord and his strength; *

     continually seek his face.

5   Remember the marvels he has done, *

      his wonders and the judgments of his mouth,

6   O offspring of Abraham his servant, *

      O children of Jacob his chosen.

37  He led out his people with silver and gold; *

      in all their tribes there was not one that stumbled.

38  Egypt was glad of their going, *

      because they were afraid of them.

39  He spread out a cloud for a covering *

     and a fire to give light in the night season.

40  They asked, and quails appeared, *

      and he satisfied them with bread from heaven.

41  He opened the rock, and water flowed, *

      so the river ran in the dry places.

42  For God remembered his holy word *

      and Abraham his servant.

43  So he led forth his people with gladness, *

     his chosen with shouts of joy.

44  He gave his people the lands of the nations, *

     and they took the fruit of others’ toil,

45  That they might keep his statutes *

      and observe his laws.





A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians 1:21-30


To me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.



(Please stand)



Deacon     The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 20:1-16


People        Glory to you,  Lord Christ.


Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’  They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


The Gospel of the Lord.


People      Praise to you,  Lord  Christ.



(Please be seated)



The Sermon


The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje


The Last Shall be First


This morning’s Gospel is one of the memorable stories in the Gospel of Matthew.


The Gospel we just heard is called the parable of the laborers.


In this parable Jesus said a householder went out and hired people (Laborers) at 6:00pm, 9:00pm, 12Noon, 3pm, 5pm and 6pm-with an agreement of paying each of them a denarius-which is equivalent to a day’s job.

At 6:00pm, the householder told his servants to call those who were hired, and paid each of them what they agreed to before when they were hired.


What if any of us were among those hired at 6:00AM, I wonder what our reactions would have been!

Well, we knew what the reaction of the people who were hired at 6:00am was. They grumbled at what the householder did.


Don’t you love the householder’s response to the laborers who grumbled? The householder said and I quote: “Friends, I am doing you no wrong, did you not agree with me for a denarius”? un-quote


The householder also told them:” Am I not allowed to do whatever I want with what belongs to me”


If we look at this Gospel with our modern eyes, or how things are done in our world; many may ask what kind of a householder would do something this bad? Others may say what the householder did was unfair. This householder may be sued for discrimination.


Lest we forget this Gospel story was Jesus’ way of telling His listeners how things were done in the kingdom of God and not in our world. This Gospel also taught us that giving something to others depend on the giver and not the critiques. The Gospel reminds us to be grateful for whatever someone gives us especially in times of our needs, and be thankful. We are to remember that those who the householder hired had no job before they were hired. Hence, they forgot to be grateful. It seemed that those who were grumbling forgot that the householder was kind enough to hire them.


Jesus also probably used this Gospel to show His listeners and now we that God is the ultimate owner of all things and that God can do whatever God chooses with our world. We are reminded that rather than grumbling we are to thank God for what we have and who we are.


Thank God Almighty the same blessing that was accorded the Apostles that same blessing is accorded to us at our time. This is what grace is. God’s grace is available to Christ’s followers in the Fourth Century and thank God it is available to us now. Amen! Everyone deserves the same love no matter how long we have known them. We are called not to be resentful of God’s grace to others rather we are to celebrate God’s grace for us.


Rather than challenging God for how it seemed some are blessed than others, we are encouraged today to count our many blessings, it will surprise us what God has done for us.


The truth is no matter what we say or how we judge what God is doing in the world, guess what? Nothing we say can affect or explain how God gives grace in God’s Kingdom. The paradigm of our world is not good enough to explain the ethical way things are done in even. We are to let God be God.


As the householder reached out to those who have no jobs, and gave them jobs; you and I are encouraged to reach out to people in need in our various communities.  We are encouraged to find people who are labelled poor or last or least in our world, like the laborers in today’s Gospel did, and help lift them up to be among the first and not the least. To be among people who have jobs and not those who are jobless. All I am saying today boils down to the song- Reach and touch somebody’s hand and make this world a better place if you can. May God open our hearts so that our eyes may be able to see those in need and be prepared and willing to help them and may Christ’s Spirit inspire us to lift up the least among us.


In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Everybody says Amen.




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 Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.


In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for All Saints in Cincinnati, Good Samaritan in Amelia, and Trinity in London.


In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for Jim and Patricia Tallman; Ginny Tuxhorn, and Jasmyne and Jennifer Phillips; and Mike and Katherine Wagner.




Form 3

(BCP p. 385)


Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church;

That we all may be one.


Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you;

That your Name may be glorified by all people.

We pray for all bishops, priests, and deacons;

That they may be faithful ministers of your Word and Sacraments.


We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;

That there may be justice and peace on the earth.


Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;

That our works may find favor in your sight.


Have compassion on those on our Parish Prayer List (N), and for all who suffer from any grief or trouble;

That they may be delivered from their distress.


Give to the departed eternal rest;

Let light perpetual shine upon them.


We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;

May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.


Let us pray for our own needs and those of others.




The People may add their own petitions.




Celebrant   Almighty God, to whom our needs are known before we ask:
Help us to ask only what accords with your will; and those good things which we dare not, or in our blindness cannot ask, grant us for the sake of your Son 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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On the web:

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

Instagram:  stmarksdayton