May 7, 2023 – Fifth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Acts 7:55–60
An angry crowd stones Stephen; he prays: Jesus, receive my spirit.

Psalm 31:1–5, 15–16
Deliver me, O Lord; into your hand I commit my spirit.

1 Peter 2:2–10
Now you are God’s people, built into a temple like living stones.

John 14:1–14
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; he prepares a place for us.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

We come together as the church;
not a building of wood or stone,
but a spiritual house.
We will be the living stones
that shout praise even when others are silent.
God redeems us,
joins us together,
and builds us up.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the new life you raise up in us
through the mystery of our baptism—
the sorrow of the heavy cross,
the surprise of the empty tomb,
the love that death could not destroy.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
fill us with the joy of resurrection,
so that we may be a living sign
of your new heaven and new earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:
Jesus taught us mercy
by praying for the forgiveness
of those who killed him.
This miraculous grace assures us
that no matter what we have done,
no matter the words we have left unsaid,
we can come to Christ with our honest confession.

Christ, our way, our truth, our life,
you have shown us the way,
so clearly and fully.
You have not simply told us how to live,
you have shown us.
But we still don’t get it.
We do not believe all you have said to us;
we do not trust the way you have shown us.
Help us, O God.
Forgive us.
Open our ears to your truth,
open our eyes to your way,
and lead us into new life.

Lifting water from the font:
Beloved, believe the good news.
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Jesus prepares a place for us,
Jesus brings us close to him,
Jesus answers us even in our unbelief.
We are God’s own people.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Living God, with joy we celebrate
the presence of your risen Word.
Enliven our hearts by your Holy Spirit
so that we may proclaim the good news
of eternal and abundant life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:4

After the readings:
This is the good news which we have received,
in which we stand, and by which we are saved.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 15:1–2


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
All authority and power and dominion
to the name that is above all names—
Jesus Christ our Lord—
now and in the age to come. Amen.
Ephesians 1:21

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

New life in Christ takes shape in a community
in which people know
that God loves and accepts them
in spite of what they are.
They therefore accept themselves
and love others,
knowing that no one has any ground
on which to stand,
except God’s grace.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22

Prayers of Intercession

We offer our prayers through Christ,
who lives and reigns forever,
and prays for us in heaven.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for the church . . .
Be our way, our truth, our life.
As you have come to us in Christ,
lead us, through Christ, to come to you.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for the earth . . .
Show us how precious your creation is—
from the great wonders of the world
to small things, deemed of little worth.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for all nations . . .
Protect those who are attacked or persecuted
because of who they are or what they believe.
Provide for the peace and safety of all people.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for this community . . .
Give shelter to those who have no homes.
Comfort those whose hearts are troubled.
Help the lost to find their way.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for loved ones . . .
Be merciful to those who need your mercy;
let them know that they are yours,
precious, chosen, and beloved.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all power and glory, receive these prayers,
and continue your mighty work among us,
through Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Amen.
Ephesians 1:15–23

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods
yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need?
Remembering God’s great love for the world,
let us offer our lives to the Lord.
1 John 3:16–17

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
Great God, to you we give our thanks;
your steadfast love endures forever.
With gratitude we bring our gifts to you.
Bless us and our gifts,
that our lives and our resources
may be a source of healing and hope,
of joy and justice in our world. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

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.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You are a rock of refuge and a strong fortress for us.
In times of trouble and seasons of shame you deliver us,
for you are our redeemer, O Lord, our faithful God.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Christ Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
He goes ahead of us, to make a place for us in your house.
We believe in you and we trust in him to lead us home.
The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Build us up, like living stones, into a spiritual house,
and let us be your chosen people, your royal priesthood,
proclaiming your mighty and marvelous work.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

Thank you, O God, for giving us communion
with our risen and glorious Lord.
Now send us out to be a sign
of the new life that has come into the world;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the love of the holy triune God—
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—
abide with you forever. Alleluia!
1 John 4:13–16

Now go forth in Jesus’ name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another, just as he has loved us. Amen.
1 John 3:23


Edvard Munch, 1912–1913

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Let Us Build a House (E) TWO OAKS GTG 301
  • Jesus, We Are Here (EG) JESUS, TAWA PANO GTG 392
  • Wash, O God, Your Sons and Daughters (E) BEACH SPRING GTG 490
  • Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life (G) BLACKSTONE Rejoice in God, K. Lee Scott, MSM


  • Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (A) PICARDY GTG 347, PH 5
  • You Are My Strength When I Am Weak (A) JERNIGAN GTG 519
  • Nothing Can Trouble (G) NADA TE TURBE GTG 820
  • Jesus Is a Rock in a Weary Land (AEG) WEARY LAND AAHH 222


  • Feed Us, Lord (AEG) FEED US GTG 501
  • Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises (G) HALELUYA! PELO TSA RONA GTG 538
  • In a Deep, Unbounded Darkness (G) DIVINUM MYSTERIUM GTG 850
  • God Extends an Invitation / Nuestro Padre nos invita (EG) NUESTRA PADRE ELW 486


  • O Christ, the Great Foundation (E) AURELIA GTG 361, PH 443
  • Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace (A) LAND OF REST GTG 545
  • O Jesus, I Have Promised (G) ANGEL’S STORY, NYLAND (G) GTG 724, 725; PH 388, 389
  • Será llena la tierra / The Earth Will Be Removed (EG) Juan Salinas, arr. Greg Scheer, SSS 260

Psalms and Canticles


  • You Are My Refuge, Faithful God [MORNING SONG/CONSOLATION]; GTG 214
  • In You, O Lord, I Seek My Refuge []; SGP 49, setting 1
  • O Lord, in Whom My Soul Confides [WAYFARING STRANGER]; PCW 31a, PP 58 (with refrain)


  • My Times Are in Your Hands [MARGARET]; PAS 31C, LUYH 458
  • You Are My Rock; PAS 31B
  • You Have Redeemed Me [CHRISTE SANCTORUM]; HTP1 27
  • Haz resplandecer / Make Your Face to Shine upon Your Servant [GLÁUCIA]; GTG 811, PAS 31D, SSS 514–515
  • I Give My Spirit; PAS 31A

Organ Music

  • “O God, My Faithful God,” Praise and Thanksgiving, Michael Burkhardt, MSM (E)
  • “Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing!,” GELOBT SEI GOTT, Organ Alleluias for Easter, Gilbert Martin, HWG (M)
  • “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds,” LASST UNS ERFREUEN, Augsburg Organ Library: Easter, Mark Sedio, AF (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “We Walk by Faith,” Karen Marrolli, MSM, SAB, pno (E)
  • “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” Calvin Hampton, GIA, 2 pt mx, pno (ME)
  • “I Would Be True,” Undine Smith Moore, AF, SA(T)B, pno (M)
  • “He Is Marvelous,” Rosephanye Powell, HAL, SATB, opt solo, pno (M)
  • “The Light of the World,” Andrew Carter, OUP, SATB, org (M)
  • “I Sing Because I’m Happy,” adapt. Rollo Dilworth, HAL, SATB, pno, opt bass, perc (ME)

Handbell Music

  • “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” Ron Mallory, 3–6 oct, JHS, JHS9595, Level 3+
  • “The Church’s One Foundation,” Robert James Lamb, 3–5 oct, opt 3–5 oct hc, AGEHR, AG35380, Level 2
  • “God Be with You till We Meet Again,” Cathy Moklebust, 3–5 oct, opt separate 2–3 oct hc,
    CGA, CGB796, hc, CGB797, full score, CGB795, Level 3-


  • Christ as the Way, the Truth, the Life, Argentina (VDL)
  • Sun, Edvard Munch (VDL)
  • Stoning of St. Stephen, Vittore Carpaccio (VDL)
  • Many Rooms, Jan Richardson (JR)