The following Service of the Word is offered for use by synods and congregations who assemble around the recorded sermon from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton June 7th, 2020.


June 7, 2020

Though the word trinity is not found in the scriptures, today’s second reading includes the apostolic greeting that begins the liturgy: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. In the gospel Jesus sends his disciples forth to baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. More than a doctrine, the Trinity expresses the heart of our faith: we have experienced the God of creation made known in Jesus Christ and with us always through the Holy Spirit. We celebrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity in word and sacrament, as we profess the creed, and as we are sent into the world to bear witness to our faith.


The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God

Confessing Racism: A Lament for the Church

As church, we confess the sin of racism and condemn racist rhetoric and the ideology of white supremacy. God, have mercy.

God, have mercy.

As church, we confess, repent, and repudiate the times when this church has been silent in the face of racial injustice. God, have mercy.

God, have mercy.

Racism is deeply ingrained within the ELCA, a predominantly white church. It is deeply embedded within the individual congregations whose members continue to foster stereotypes and support polices that actively hurt people of color. God, have mercy.

God, have mercy.

As church, we declare that the enslavement of black bodies and the removal of indigenous peoples established racism in the United States, a truth this nation and this church have yet to fully embrace. God, have mercy.

God, have mercy.

Rooted in slavery, racism is manifested through the history of Jim Crow policies, racial segregation, the terror of lynching, extrajudicial killings by law enforcement, and the disproportionate incarceration of people of color. God, have mercy.

God, have mercy.

As church we lament the institutional racism of discriminatory treatment within the call process; inequitable compensation of clergy of color; racial segregation; divestment from black communities and congregations; systemic policies and organizational practices; and a failure to fully include the gifts of leadership and worship styles of black people, indigenous people, and people of color. God, have mercy.

God, have mercy.

Confessions are empty promises without meaningful actions—actions that are grounded in prayer, education, and soul-searching repentance. The sin of racism separates us from one another. Though we trust that we are reconciled to God through Christ’s death and resurrection, we seek such life-giving reconciliation with one another. As we repent, let us not turn back to ideologies that promote white supremacy. We trust that God can make all things new.  Amen.

HYMN              Holy God, We Praise Your Name    LBW #535        

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The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray.

God of heaven and earth, before the foundation of the universe and the beginning of time you are the triune God: Author of creation, eternal Word of salvation, life-giving Spirit of wisdom. Guide us to all truth by your Spirit, that we may proclaim all that Christ has revealed and rejoice in the glory he shares with us. Glory and praise to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever.  Amen.

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

First Reading: Genesis 1:1–2:4a

A reading from the Book of Genesis:

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness God called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together God called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27So God created humankind in the divine image,
in the image of God humankind was created;
male and female God created them.
28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that had been made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that had been done, and God rested on the seventh day from all the work that had been done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that God had done in creation.
4aThese are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

This is the Word of Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 8

1O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name inall the earth!
2you whose glory is chanted above the heavens out of the mouths of infants and children; ou have set up a fortress against your enemies, to silence the foe and avenger.
3When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
4what are mere mortals that you should be mindful of them, human beings that you should care for them?
5Yet you have made them little less than divine; with glory and honor you crown them.
6You have made them rule over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet:
7all flocks and cattle, even the wild beasts of the field,
8the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever passes along the paths of the sea.
9O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

A reading from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians:

[Paul writes:] 11Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.
13The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Alleluia!  Lord, to whom shall we go?

You have the words of eternal life.  Alleluia!

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the 28th chapter:

Glory to you, O Lord

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw Jesus, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Gospel of the Lord:

Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon                                                            Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

Hymn of the Day Healer of our Every Ill WOV #738

Nicene Creed

Let us confess the faith of the Church, the faith in which we baptize.

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, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. 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, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who 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.

The Peace

The peace of Christ be with you always.

And also with you.


         Those who wish to make an offering to St. Matthew may use the green GIVE button on the website, or mail it to
St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 400 Lynbrooke Rd., Springfield, PA 19064

         Those who wish to make an offering to Grace may use the green GIVE button on the website, or mail it to
Grace Lutheran Church, 2191 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA  19008

Prayer of the church

Gathered into the mystery of the Trinity, let us pray for the church, the world,
and all of God’s creation.

A brief silence.

God of community, you form us as your church. Guide our bishops, pastors, and deacons as they lead the church in these trying times. With all the baptized, may they be strengthened to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and in prayer and action, strive for peace and justice in all the earth. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of creation, you called everything into being. Sustain this world with your renewing care. Instill in us a deeper wonder for the created world you’ve called good, and a greater humility for our place within it. Kindle in us a creative and resilient spirit as we care for the earth and its creatures. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of counsel, all authority belongs to you. Encourage leaders to seek wisdom and respond with courage and compassion to those most in need. We pray for community leaders in this time of unrest.  Further the work of advocates who pursue justice in often ignored communities. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of care, you created us in your image; we are your beloved children. May we recognize your likeness in one another. We pray for all mourning the death of your beloved child, George Floyd. Hold in your loving embrace all experiencing trauma, fear, uncertainty, and loss. Protect vulnerable children and adults from violence or neglect; provide what is needed for those lacking access to food, shelter, and other services. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of healing, you accompany us in sickness and suffering. Bring relief to all afflicted with the coronovirus and all those isolated now more than ever, especially those in prison or care facilities. Strengthen caregivers, health workers, and all whose work ensures the safety and well-being of others. Console, heal, and nourish all in need this day (especially). Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of connection, you call us to make your presence known. Accompany people of faith as they nurture relationships in new ways. Where the sin of racism fractures our relationships, bring repentance and reconciliation. Free us for the difficult work ahead in our congregations and communities. Open our hearts for attentive listening so that our places of connection are filled with your Spirit. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of compassion, you comfort us in our grief with the promise of the resurrection. We give you thanks for the saints of all time and in our lives. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Receive these prayers, O God, and those too deep for words; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray,

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.

A Prayer for the power of the spirit among the people of god.

God of all power and love, we give thanks for your unfailing presence and the hope you provide in times of uncertainty and loss.  Send your Holy Spirit to enkindle in us your holy fire.  Revive us to live as Christ’s body in the world:  a people who pray, worship, learn, break bread, share life, heal neighbors, bear good news, seek justice, rest and grow in the Spirit.  Wherever and however we gather, unite us in common prayer and send us in common mission, that we and the whole creation might be restored and renewed, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The holy Three, the holy One increase your hope, strengthen your faith, deepen your love, and + grant you peace.


Sending Song Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty! ELW #413

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Go in peace. Christ is with you.

Thanks be to God.

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress. Permission is granted to reproduce this material for non-sale, local use, provided that this copyright notice is included.
Readings from Readings for the Assembly © 1995, 1996, 1997 Augsburg Fortress. Citations from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts. Scripture quotations from NRSV Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted and edited with permission by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw.
June 7, 2020 Worship Service