Labor for the Lord:
A Labor Day Service
September 1, 2019
8 a.m. Emmanuel
10 a.m. St. John’s
Pastor Peter Zietlow
Pastor: Today we observe a national holiday that honors those whose labor contributes to our well-being. Our theme is Labor for the Lord. God values productive and honest labor, and blesses it.
Opening Hymn: CW Supplement 777, Now Let Us All in Hymns of Praise”
P: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Call to Worship
P: God said, “Six days you will labor and do all your work,
C: But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord.”
P: Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
C: And I will give you rest.”
P: We come in the name of the Holy Spirit, resting from our labors,
C: Let us worship God this day!”
Confession and Absolution
C: Lord of life, I confess that I have not lived the life of which I’m capable. I have gifts which I have not used, and gifts which I’ve misused. I have not loved you above all others, and failed to love my neighbor as myself. Have mercy and forgive and strengthen me for your service.
P: Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
Therefore, as a called servant of Christ, and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer of the Day
Heavenly Father, we are blessed to be given work to do and the ability to do it. Finding satisfaction in the work we do is a gift from God that gives meaning to our lives. Fill us with your Spirit so that we might live as faithful servants of Jesus our King and do all our work as for the Lord. Keep us ever grateful for these blessings. In Jesus’ name, Amen
The Word on Work
Reading 1: Work is ordained by God. Some have the misconception that labor originated as a result of the Fall into sin. They assume that it is part of the curse that descended upon humanity after the Fall. But that’s not the case. God’s commission for humans to work was prior to the Fall. In fact, the first one to work was God himself. The Bible declares that God worked in Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” By doing his creative work, God sanctified labor as holy and good and blessed.
Then, after creating the first human, God commissioned him to work. Genesis 2:15 records: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” This was before the Fall. It happened in a time of blessing. This means that our labor is a part of God’s blessing. We were created in God’s image, and part of that image is that we are created to do God’s work on earth as his agents and in his stead. God cares for the world, so we work to take care of it, just as he cares for other people, so we work to care for them in his name.
Reading 2: Work is a blessing because it enables us to experience fulfillment in life. God looked at his work and declared: “It is good!” in Genesis 1:31. We, too, can find satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in our labor. It is a high and holy privilege to be able to create, serve and provide for ourselves and others through our work.
Work has three purposes: to provide money or resources to supply the necessities of life; to provide satisfaction for a job well done; and to serve God. In order to serve God in our work, we need to follow his commands. His Word gives us the manner in which we are to perform in relation to our employer: Ephesians 6:6-7 “Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”
Reading 3: Work is honorable. All professions and all kinds of work, assuming they are legal and Biblically ethical, are honorable before the Lord. There is no difference between sacred and secular work. All work brings glory to God and fulfillment to you, if it is done to God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”
Work also provides an opportunity for witness. Wherever we are, we reveal a powerful message, both verbal and nonverbal, by the way in which we perform our work, our attitude, and the way we treat others. We are Christ to the world. The world today needs this powerful witness to the reality of Christ and the difference that he makes in his followers. Matthew 5:14-16 says: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
P: But as important and valuable as work is, there is one arena in which our labor holds no value to God. That is in our salvation. The one work that we cannot do is that of our own salvation from sin, death, and hell.
Usually one has to work to have success. But this principle doesn’t apply to the most important thing in life—eternal life. Our work does not precede it. Ephesians 2:8-9 states: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.” Our sinful nature disqualifies us from eternal life and no amount of hard work on our part can change that! Christ’s saving work of living the perfect life we couldn’t live, dying the sacrificial death we deserved for sin, and rising again in victory over death…this is the work that did it all for us! Christ’s work earned our salvation.
Now we seek to work for God and with God, not to earn salvation, but out of thanks for it. Ephesians 2:10 affirms the place of work in our lives. It states: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are not saved by our work, but we are saved for good work. As those created in the image of God, we carry out his workmanship in the labor which we do in his name and for his kingdom.
Congregational Hymn, CW 484, “Brothers, Sisters, Let Us Gladly”
Sermon—Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:18-26
“There is Meaning in Life”
1. Not in human achievement
2. But in God’s announcement
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything
18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Rise for congregational hymn CW 270, “We All Believe in One True God”
Offering (Greet one another, sign the friendship register, and a brief note to the missionary insert.)
P. O God the Father, who planted a garden in Eden laboring in the soil to create your earth-born man; O Christ the Son, who labored in the woodshop and upon the cross; O Holy Spirit who works within and without us to bring the Kingdom to this earth, work within and without us now, we pray.
All: Make us strong and faithful laborers in your body, the Church, that it might be strengthened by the love you have shown us.
Make us effective and peaceable laborers among the governments of the earth that wisdom, peace, and justice might prevail.
Make us compassionate and tireless laborers among all those who suffer any sort of need, that we may be instruments of your healing and comfort.
Make us diligent and listening laborers in this place of worship that the community around us might see our love for one another and give glory to our Father in heaven.
Make us happy laborers of your Gospel message, that those who mourn may be assured of your powerful resurrection and the joy of life eternal.
All this we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen
The Lord’s Prayer
Communion at Emmanuel follows pages 21-24–The Sacrament–in the hymnal. Communion Hymns 307 and 309.
St. John’s continues below.
May you be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.
Closing Hymn, CW 518, “Forth in the Peace of Christ We Go”
Please, during this Befriend A Mission Month, also sign your name, share a brief message/Bible verse, etc. on the Missionary greeting inside each register,
Also, as you leave today’s service, please give your completed Friendship Register sheet to an usher or pastor.
|Activities for the week of September 1-September 7|
|Sun.||8:00 A.M.||Emmanuel Worship with communion|
|10:00 A.M.||St. John’s Worship|
|11:00 A.M.||St. John’s Evangelism Committee meeting|
|11:15 A.M.||Bible Information Class at St. John’s|
|Tues.||8:00 A.M.||St. John’s School/Little Lambs First Day of School|
|8:15 A.M.||St. John’s School Opening Service|
|9:00 A.M.||St. John’s Elders meeting|
|6:00 P.M.||Hands In Prayer meeting at St. John’s|
|Wed.||1:40 P.M.||St. John’s School/Little Lambs Early Release|
|6:30 P.M.||St. John’s Worship|
|Thurs.||12:00 P.M.||St. John’s Ladies Aid lunch and meeting Fall LWMS Mission Offerings will be collected.|
|6:00 P.M.||Griefshare at St. John’s lower level begins (1 of 13 weeks)|
|Sat.||6:00 P.M.||Concert on the Ball Diamond featuring Koine |
|Theme for Next Sunday September 8 , 2019Emmanuel 8:00a.m. Worship & Church Picnic at Montello City Park: “God’s Creation”|
|8:00 A.M.||Emmanuel Worship|
|10:00 A.M.||St. John’s Worship & Church Picnic at Montello City Park|
|12:00 P.M.||St. John’s/Emmanuel Softball games vs. Princeton & Green Lake at Montello City Park|
INTERCESSORY PRAYERS – For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: Evie & Ron Blada, Liola Crown & son Terry, Agnes Dassow, Lilah Farrell, Xzander Jahr, Chris Krause (Gordy & Linda’s son), Earl “Pete” Laun, Robert Lederer (Jackie & Jeanne Buchholz’ father), Delvin Mittelsteadt, Mark & Peggy Russell (Elsa’s son & daughter in-law), Karl Whitrock, Shirley Wilkens – (added this week: Xzander Jahr, Earl “Pete” Laun )
– For our St. John’s member Delores Peterson age 82 called home on 8/22 (private funeral in Jefferson)
– For Alexandria, Brianna, Gracie & Lacey Buehrens, Bob & Carolyn Buehren’s grand & great-granddaughters, who were baptized at home yesterday (8/31)
– For Phyllis Farrell who will celebrate her 97th birthday on Tuesday (9/3)
– For Little Lambs Preschool & St. John’s Lutheran Elementary School that begins on Tuesday (9/3)
THANK YOU LuAnn Zieman for arranging today’s special Labor Day service and for our lay readers…at Emmanuel: Darrell Buchholz, Brian Ninneman and Wayne Stelter…and at St. John’s: James Henke, Joe Zauner and Zeb Zuehls.
THANK YOU The Crown family wishes to thank everyone for gifts of remembrance for Harley. May the Lord bless us all through these gifts.
OLD ST. JOHN’S CHURCH DOORS Please let Ciara know if you are interested in the old St. John’s church doors, currently stored in the old teacherage.
ST. JOHN’S CHURCH DOORS To keep updated on the St. John’s Church Door Project, check out the bulletin board located in the Information Room at St. John’s. The given donation did not cover the full cost of our new doors so donations are still accepted to help offset the remaining cost.
FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS Please complete the friendship register page each week. This helps your pastor and other church leaders stay in touch and keep contact information up to date. Thanks!
ST. JOHN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL will begin Sunday, September 15 at 8:30a.m. at St. John’s. Ages 3 through 6th grade, member or not, are all invited to come! Please help spread the word!
USHER AND GREETER SCHEDULE If you are signed up to be a St. John’s usher and/or greeter, please pick up your hard copy of Aug/Sept in St. John’s Information Room. Schedules will be available for pick up every 2 months.
GRIEFSHARE The next 13-week session of Griefshare will start this Thursday, September 5 at 6:00p.m. in the lower level at St. John’s. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Mark Emond (608) 697-1600.
CONCERT ON THE BALL DIAMOND is this coming Saturday, September 7 at 6:30p.m. at St. John’s. Bring your lawn chair and come enjoy music, food and fellowship!
This year, the cost for this event for St. John’s is between $3,400 – $4,000. If you wish to donate to help offset the remaining cost, please call 608-297-2866, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the office. Thank you!
CHILDREN’S CHURCH BAGS Check out our new Children’s Church Bags that are located in the Information Room at St. John’s and entry way at Emmanuel. Children: use during the service as you please and return them to the tree at the end of each service! A big thank you to St. John’s Hand In Prayer group for donating towards the bags and to you guys, Gene Crook & Jack Steuck, for building the wooden trees. Thank you to you gals, Ciara Neuhauser & Blake Seeley, for making the children’s church bags for Emmanuel and St. John’s.
CHECK OUT OUR UPDATED INFORMATION ROOM This room is located at the top of St. John’s link way stairs and the church entry way. Here you will find bulletin boards labeled “Home Missions” and “LWMS”. Home Missions will provide information on what’s going on at St. John’s church and school, events, educational and youth group updates. You will also find informational brochures and magazines, usher and greeter schedules, the church newsletter, children’s coloring sheets and crayons and other miscellaneous information related to our church and school. Please help yourself!
ACH What is ACH? Automated Clearing House is an electronic payments network use by individuals, businesses, financial institutions and government organizations. The network functions as an efficient, electronic alternative to paper checks. It allows funds to be electronically debited or credited to a checking account, savings account, financial institution general ledger account or credited to a loan account. Please pick your form up in the Information Room or the office and get started today!
FORWARD IN CHRIST Please do not turn in any past Forward in Christ magazines as we no longer accept them due to the personal information that is provided inside. Thanks!
MEDITATIONS New “Meditations” WELS daily devotional booklets are available in the church entry (many thanks to our generous members for donating!) The new ones begin today, September 1st.
CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS pastor): “Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.”
SCHOLASTIC BOOKFAIR St. John’s is looking for an individual(s) who would want to run the Scholastic Book Fair. This has been a big success for our school and students in the past and we would love to continue this. Call the office if you or someone you know is interested!
JOYFUL WITNESS will begin rehearsals on Sunday, Sept. 8th at St. Paul’s, North Fond du Lac under the direction of Jeff Krumbein. The first rehearsal will be from 5:30 – 7:30p.m. Our area WELS choir welcomes new singers to enjoy the fellowship and music that proclaims Christ the Savior and His redeeming grace! Singing traditional and contemporary arrangements, the choir is open to high school students and all adults. This year’s concerts will also include a children’s choir and will be held the weekend of December 13th. Find us at: joyfulwitness.net or @JoyfulWitness on Facebook!
SEPTEMBER IS BEFRIEND A MISSION MONTH AT ST. JOHN’S. WHAT’S THAT? The Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society supports WELS missions in 3 ways: prayer, encouragement, & giving. Missions & missionaries are assigned to our St. John’s & Emmanuel LWMS groups biannually. Although our support of these missions continues for 2 years, our Beaver Dam Circuit also assigns each church in the circuit a “Befriend A Mission Month.” Our task is to create a shower of support during that month by increasing our prayers, sending a few more notes & emails, & giving a little extra for missions. LWMS also uses the month to increase awareness of WELS missions among ALL church members–our Little Lambs, our day school & SS children, our teens & young adults, our adults, & even our older adults in care facilities. Prayer, encouragement, & giving are tasks which have no age-limitations! We can ALL be a friend! So when we ask YOU to join us by sending a note or signing a card, by saying a prayer, or by giving a little something extra to missions, we hope you will! Supporting mission & missionaries and getting to know some of them personally are joy-filled opportunities!
FALL MISSION OFFERINGS will be collected by LWMS during September at both churches. Please use the collection container at the church where you are a member–In the church entrance both at Emmanuel and at St. John’s. WELS mission projects that will benefit from your gift are these Beaver Dam Circuit projects: Home Mission—Outreach to Asians and World Mission: Ukraine Project. Other projects to be decided at next summer’s LWMS convention are posted by the collection container. These offerings are important to many missions and are welcome from everyone with a heart for missions!
316NOW MISSION FESTIVAL ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 Learn about the ministry committed to proclaiming grace across China NOW. Special Freewill Offering for 316NOW at both services. Guest speaker is one of the administrators of this ministry. Schedule for the day:
8:00 a.m. Emmanuel Mission Festival service
9:30 a.m. Learn about 316NOW’s Sheep to Lambs Initiative (school classroom)
10:00 a.m. St. John’s Mission Festival service
11:15 a.m. Luncheon in St. John’s lower level for EVERYONE! (Freewill Offering)
12:00 noon 316NOW power point presentation by guest speaker . . . come learn more!
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|St. John’s Altar CommitteeSeptember 2019||Diane Eisermann&Delores Cotte|