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St. John's Worship Service - February 4, 2024
Pastor Wende Bleam
Pastor Wende Bleam
Sunday, February 4, 2024
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In Isaiah the one God who sits above the earth and numbers the stars also strengthens the powerless. So in Jesus’ healing work we see the hand of the creator God, lifting up the sick woman to health and service (diakonia). Like Simon’s mother-in-law, we are lifted up and healed to serve. Following Jesus, we strengthen the powerless; like Jesus, we seek to renew our own strength in quiet times of prayer.


PRELUDE        There Is a Balm in Gilead    (Nelson) 


Blessed be the holy Trinity,  one God, creator of darkness and light,
word of truth, wind sweeping over the waters. Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

God, our rock and refuge,
we pour out our hearts before you. We have known you but have not always loved you. We have wounded one another and sinned against you. We have not always recognized the Holy Spirit dwelling in each of us. Remember your covenant. Renew your creation. Restore us, that we might proclaim your good news to all. Amen.

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. God has spoken: The time of grace is now. In Jesus, the reign of God has come near. By the authority of  Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. You are God’s beloved. Amen.

Let us pray. 
Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

* GATHERING SONG   Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness (ELW 843)




FIRST READING: Isaiah 40:21-31
21Have you not known Have you not heard
Has it not been told you from the beginning
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth
22It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
23who brings princes to naught,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
24Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
25To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal says the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.
27Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”
28Have you not known Have you not heard
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
PSALM: Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises | to our God!
How pleasant it is to honor | God with praise!
2The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem,
and gathers the exiles of Israel.
3The LORD heals the | brokenhearted
and binds | up their wounds.
4The LORD counts the number | of the stars
and calls them all | by their names. 
5Great is our LORD and mighty in power;
there is no limit | to God’s wisdom.
6The LORD lifts | up the lowly,
but casts the wicked | to the ground.
7Sing to the LORD | with thanksgiving;
make music upon the harp | to our God,
8who covers the heavens with clouds
and prepares rain for the earth, making grass to grow upon the mountains. 
9God provides food | for the cattle
and for the young ravens | when they cry.
10God is not impressed by the might | of a horse,
and has no pleasure in the speed | of a runner,
11but finds pleasure in those who | fear the LORD,
in those who await God’s steadfast love. 20c| Hallelujah! 

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
16If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.
19For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

GOSPEL: Mark 1:29-39
The holy gospel according to Mark. Glory to you, O Lord.

29As soon as [Jesus and the disciples] left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

MEDITATION                            Pastor Wende Bleam






* HYMN OF THE DAY On Eagle's Wings (ELW 787)







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.


God our provider, by your merciful hand abundance springs up from the earth. Receive and bless these gifts of your own bounty. Let them be a sign of your steadfast love and faithfulness for all people, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.


As we celebrate Christ embodied in human form, we pray for God’s blessing on the church, the world, and all of creation.

Everlasting God, you bring your healing power to the church. Give your church a spirit of unity and prayer, that we discern your way for us in the world. God of grace, receive our prayer.

Creator of the ends of the earth, you make the grass grow and send rain for the soil. Bring your creation into harmony and balance. Give animals their food and provide healthy shelter for your people. Inspire us to honor the miraculous beauty of all you have made. God of grace, receive our prayer.
God without equal, your steadfast love endures forever. Bring the leaders, elected officials, and peacekeepers of our towns and countries into understanding and unity. Guide them to serve with compassion and understanding. God of grace, receive our prayer.

Lord, we pray for the people of Israel and Palestine, for those the Gaza Strip who are suffering the ravages of war  We also 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.  God of grace, receive our prayer.

God who strengthens, you lift up with your hand any who are suffering. Heal those who are brokenhearted and strengthen the weak and all in need . We pray especially for the family of Dick Weaver, and the family of Connie Captis, Calvin, Krystal, Alexandra, Jim, Robin, Dan, Sue, Jennifer, Ray, Ashton, Justin, Lois, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Jose, Hoon, Pat, Hazel, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Rick, 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.  God of grace, receive our prayer

God who gives power to the faint, challenge us to share the faith stories of what God has done in our lives. Open us to receive the unique ways God is at work in your people, especially those whose perspectives challenge our own. God of grace, receive our prayer.

God who calls each star by name, we remember all who have died. Shelter all who mourn with your mercy and care, and give us hope in your promised salvation. God of grace, receive our prayer.

Knowing the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, we offer these prayers and the silent prayers of our hearts in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.




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. 
By the leading of a star he was shown forth to all nations;
in the waters of the Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son; 
and in the miracle of water turned to wine 
he revealed your glory. And so, with all the choirs of angels, 
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, 
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:




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.


In this meal, righteousness and peace meet together.
Come, take your place at the table.





CHOIR ANTHEM   Peace to Those Who Believe    (Patton)

Giver of every gift, Christ’s body is our food, and we are Christ’s body.
Raise us to life by your power for the benefit of all and to your glory,
now and forever.

God who names you, Christ who claims you, and the Holy Spirit who dwells in you,  bless you and remain with you always.





* SENDING SONG Arise, Your Light Has Come! (ELW 314)


DISMISSAL - Go in peace. You are God’s beloved. Thanks be to God.

POSTLUDE:        Toccata in C    (Zipoli)


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 Rick Vanstone in remembrance of many friends and relatives.

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 MaryAnne rossi 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. If you are in need of food, please notify Pastor Wende and she will let you know what we have available.

The Social Ministry Committee would love to hear from you if you have any ideas for small fundraising and/or social ministry events that we could pull off with minimal effort. Challenge us with your ideas!!

With our church building getting older, we need everyone’s eyes and ears to help keep her in good repair. If you see any problems like a burnt out light bulb, please let Barb or Bud know or drop a note in the offering plate on Sunday. We need to get a jump on current or upcoming problems.

Our Financial Response  (January)   

Budgeted costs per month                     $   8,443.07
Offering last month                         $   4,884.29

Budget required to date (1 month)                     $   8,443.07
Total received to date                         $   4,884.29

Budget required to date (1 month)                     $    400.00
Total received to date                          $    306.11

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.