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St. John's Worship Service - February 19, 2023
Pastor Wende Bleam
Pastor Wende Bleam
Sunday, February 19, 2023
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Today’s festival is a bridge between the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle that comes to a close today and the Lent-Easter cycle that begins in several days. On a high mountain Jesus is revealed as God’s beloved Son, echoing the words at his baptism. This vision of glory sustains us as Jesus faces his impending death in Jerusalem. We turn this week to Ash Wednesday and our yearly baptismal journey from Lent to Easter. Some churches put aside the alleluia at the conclusion of today’s liturgy. This word of joy will be omitted during the penitential season of Lent and will be sung again at Easter.


PRELUDE        O God of God, O Light of Light.   (Blersch)


Blessed be the holy Trinity,  one God, who makes all things new,
whose mercy endures forever. Amen.

Trusting in God’s mercy, let us confess our sin.
Holy One, source of our renewal, we confess that we are wrapped up in sin, and cannot free ourselves. We have not practiced your righteousness. Our hearts have turned away from you. For the sake of the world you so love, forgive us, that we may be reconciled to one another for the glory of your holy name. Amen.

Thus says our God: “The former things have come to pass and new things I now declare.” God’s mercy makes us new. We are forgiven in the name of  Christ our Savior. Amen.

* indicates please stand as you are able

Let us pray. 
O God, in the transfiguration of your Son you confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the witness of Moses and Elijah, and in the voice from the bright cloud declaring Jesus your beloved Son, you foreshadowed our adoption as your children. Make us heirs with Christ of your glory, and bring us to enjoy its fullness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

GATHERING SONG   I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (ELW 815)

FIRST READING: Exodus 24:12-18
12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”
15Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

PSALM: Psalm 2
1Why are the nations | in an uproar
Why do the peoples mutter | empty threats
2Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt, and the princes plot together,
against the LORD and against the | LORD’s anointed
3“Let us break their | yoke,” they say;
“let us cast off their | bonds from us.”
4God whose throne is in heaven is laughing;
the LORD holds them | in derision. 
5Then in wrath God | speaks to them,
and in rage fills | them with terror.
6“As for me, I have anointed my king
upon Zion, my | holy mountain.”
7Let me announce the decree | of the LORD,
who said to me, “You are my son; this day have I begotten you.
8Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for | your inheritance
and the ends of the earth for | your possession. 
9You shall crush them with an | iron rod
and shatter them like a | piece of pottery.”
10And now, you | kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers | of the earth.
11Submit to the | LORD with fear,
and with trembling | bow in worship;
12lest the LORD be angry, and you perish in a sudden | blaze of wrath.
Happy are all who take refuge in God! 

SECOND READING: 2 Peter 1:16-21
16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
19So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
The holy gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.

1Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.
MEDITATION                            Pastor Wende Bleam

HYMN OF THE DAY  Shine, Jesus, Shine (ELW 671)

You will need to use your ELW for this hymn

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
   creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
   who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
   born of the virgin Mary,
   suffered under Pontius Pilate,
   was crucified, died, and was buried;
   he descended to the dead.
   On the third day he rose again;
   he ascended into heaven,
   he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
   and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
   the holy catholic church,
   the communion of saints,
   the forgiveness of sins,
   the resurrection of the body,
   and the life everlasting. Amen.


Please place your offering in the plate near the Sanctuary door any time during or following worship. Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our  website:  or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.


Liberating God,
you break the bonds of injustice and let the oppressed go free. Receive these offerings in thanksgiving for all your works of merciful power,
and shape us as people of your justice and freedom. You we magnify and adore, through Jesus our Savior, Amen.

Called together to follow Jesus, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

Embolden your church as it witnesses to the majesty and mercy of your Son. Equip lay preachers, deacons, and pastors. Move us to share our stories of your faithfulness and forgiveness; may our lives proclaim your greatness. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Dwell with your whole creation, from the tallest mountain peak to the deepest valley. Bless the work of conservation organizations and protect vital habitats.  Support the work of disaster relief agencies around the world. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Guide and give wisdom to all in authority: our mayor and local leaders, our governor and state legislators, our president  and national legislators. Bring freedom and justice to all nations. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Lord, we pray for the Ukrainian people that they be surrounded by your love and protection against the attacks on their country.  Lift them up and protect them, end this war against them and let your peace reign.   Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Give shelter to those lacking safe homes. Spur communities to work for fair housing for all. Protect our neighbors whose dwellings do not keep out dangerous cold or heat; accompany with your touch those who are homebound, sick, or isolated. We pray especially for the family of Dajauna, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Arlene, Jose, Hoon, Connie, Pat, Hazel, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Bill, Rick, Dick, Alisia, Jacklyn, Lillian, Alexis, Jim and those we now raise before you in our hearts.  We pray for those affected by the Covid virus in mind, body or spirit.  Grant them healing and wholeness.  Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Make us eager to receive your Word in scripture. Help us recognize Jesus’ voice in the needs of our neighbors; make us confident to follow the way of the cross. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Receive our thanksgiving for the holy ones who have guided us in faithfulness and gathered even the unlikely as your people. With our forebears in faith and all who have hoped in you, teach us to wait with courage until the promised day dawns. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.
We bring to you our needs and hopes, O God, trusting your wisdom and power revealed in Christ crucified.


Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

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.

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.  We lift the to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior, Jesus Christ.  With all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name.


In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Come and taste the joy of God!


CHOIR ANTHEM   O Wondrous Image, Vision Fair. (English Folk Melody)  

Holy One,
we thank you for the healing that springs forth abundantly from this table.
Renew our strength to do justice, love kindness, and journey humbly with you. Amen.

The God who faithfully brings forth justice and breaks the oppressor’s rod
 bless, strengthen, and uphold you, today and always.

* SENDING SONG  Alleluia, Song of Gladness (ELW 318)

DISMISSAL - Go in peace. Follow the way of Jesus. Thanks be to God.

POSTLUDE:          Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.   (Kolodziej)

We hope that this service was meaningful for you and brought God’s peace and comfort into your homes.  Continue to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently and to love others as yourself.  Pray, trust, believe and wait. See you next week.

You are welcome to watch the live service at 10:15 am at
Or you can watch live streaming on the St. John's website:
If you are having trouble accessing, please let us know.

The ETERNAL CANDLE is sponsored for the month of February by MaryAnne Rossi in memory of her sister, Linda Fries.



 22 - Lent begins - Ash Wednesday - Worship Service 7:30 pm


Lenten Food Drive going to Mt. Zion
           5 - Breakfast items – cereal, oatmeal, breakfast bars, muffin mixes
         12 - Lunch items – soup, canned pasta, tuna, peanut butter/jelly, ramen noodles
         19 - Dinner items – canned ham, spam, chili, canned vegetables, pasta and spaghetti sauce
         26 - Healthy snacks – canned fruit, applesauce, pretzels, crackers, rice cakes, popcorn

YOU CAN HELP!  You can be a good steward AND get your grocery shopping done.  Did you know that if you purchase a grocery food gift card from St. John’s, our congregation will receive 5% of all sales of gift cards.  Please see Ruth Weaver if you wish to purchase and gift cards.  Thank you for helping us raise that 5% for helping to continue our ministry. 

Each week, we collect food for our hungry neighbors in need in our SHARING GOD'S BOUNTY WAGON.  Hunger doesn’t take a vacation.  Please consider making a donation of a food item each week. 


We are registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church for Amazon Smile.  Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charities selected by customers. To register your charity designation, you will need to go to  Then you select our name as your charity.  Again, the name is registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church.  You will only have to register once.  Next time you plan to shop online, go first to and you will be redirected to your own Amazon account.  Your charity designation will be listed on the top left.  So far, we have received over $206, just by doing your shopping through

The Amazon Smile program will be discontinued on February 20, 2023.  If you have any large Amazon purchases, make them now!

Our Financial Response  (January)   

Budgeted costs per month                     $   8,510.68
Offering last month                         $   5,055.29

Budget required to date (1 month)                 $   8,510.68
Total received to date                         $   5,055.29

Budget required to date (1 month)                 $   4,800.00
Total received to date                         $      415.11

Please continue to support St. John's.  Our expenses continue each month even if we are not all worshipping together inside our building.

Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our  website:  or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.

Thank you to all the members who directed their Thrivent Choice d0ollars to St. Johns' this past month.  We received $421 this past month from five members.  Thanks to all!. You can direct your dollars at any time by logging into your Thrivent account.