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St. John's Worship Service - March 3, 2024
Pastor Wende Bleam
Pastor Wende Bleam
Sunday, March 3, 2024
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The third covenant in this year’s Lenten readings is the central one of Israel’s history: the gift of the law to those God freed from slavery. The commandments begin with the statement that because God alone has freed us from the powers that oppressed us, we are to let nothing else claim first place in our lives. When Jesus throws the merchants out of the temple, he is defending the worship of God alone and rejecting the ways commerce and profit-making can become our gods. The Ten Commandments are essential to our baptismal call: centered first in God’s liberating love, we strive to live out justice and mercy in our communities and the world.


PRELUDE        Christ, the  Life of All the Living    (Lasky)       
                                              Rick Vanstone, violin                         


Blessed be the holy Trinity,  one God, who writes the law on our hearts,
who draws all people together through Jesus. Amen.

Held in God’s mercy, let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Holy God,
we confess that we are caught in snares of sin and cannot break free.
We hoard resources while our neighbors are hungry and cold. We speak in ways that silence others. We are silent when we should speak up. We keep score in our hearts. We let hurts grow into hatred. For all these things and for sins only you know, forgive us, Lord. Amen.

Here is a flood of grace: Out of love for the whole world, God draws near to us, breaks every snare of sin, washes away our wrongs, and restores the promise of life through  Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us pray. 
Holy God, through your Son you have called us to live faithfully and act courageously. Keep us steadfast in your covenant of grace, and teach us the wisdom that comes only through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

* GATHERING SONG   SONG In the Cross of Christ I Glory (ELW 324)




FIRST READING: Exodus 20:1-17
1God spoke all these words:
2I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3you shall have no other gods before me.
4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
13You shall not murder.
14You shall not commit adultery.
15You shall not steal.
16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

PSALM: Psalm 19
1The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky proclaims its | maker’s handiwork.
2One day tells its tale | to another,
and one night imparts knowledge | to another.
3Although they have no | words or language,
and their voices | are not heard,
4their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends | of the world,
where God has pitched a tent | for the sun.
5It comes forth like a bridegroom out | of his chamber;
it rejoices like a champion to | run its course.
6It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end of | it again;
nothing is hidden from its | burning heat. 
7The teaching of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to | the simple.
8The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light | to the eyes.
9The fear of the LORD is clean and endures forever;
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous | altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, more than | much fine gold,
sweeter far than honey, than honey | in the comb. 
11By them also is your servant enlightened,
and in keeping them there is | great reward.
12Who can detect one’s | own offenses
Cleanse me from my | secret faults.
13Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion | over me;
then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a | great offense.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable | in your sight,
O LORD, my strength and | my redeemer. 

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
A reading from 1 Corinthians.
18The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, 
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20Where is the one who is wise Where is the scribe Where is the debater of this age Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

GOSPEL: John 2:13-22
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
13The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days” 21But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

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

MEDITATION                            Pastor Wende Bleam

CHOIR HYMN OF THE DAY         Jesus, Savior    Livingson 

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.


Trusting in God’s promise to reconcile all things, let us pray for the church, the well-being of creation, and a world in need.

You alone are God. We thank you for the gift of sabbath rest. Awaken the church to the mystery of your presence and give us glad hearts as we receive the good news of your deliverance. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

You renew creation. Drive out those who would make the earth a marketplace. Protect rainforests, mountaintops, oceans, and wilderness areas from commercial exploitation. Unite nations, policymakers, and businesses in efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

You judge the nations. We pray for an end to war and strife in every land. Strengthen international efforts to negotiate peace and provide humanitarian aid to people fleeing from conflict. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

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.  Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

God our help, you care for your beloved children. Comfort all who are grieving, ill, afraid, in pain, or in despair. Feed hungry people living in food deserts. Protect any at risk from exploitation and abuse. We pray especially for the family of Hazel Hammond, the family of Dick Weaver, the friends and family of Lynda Strand, 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, 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. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

You abide with your people. Sustain any in this community undergoing life transitions: marriage, divorce, childbirth, adoption, moving, graduation, employment change, or a death in the family. We pray for those preparing for baptism. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

You bring life from death. We remember our loved ones who have died, confident that they have new life in you. May we trust that nothing can separate us from your love. Hear us, O God.Your mercy is great.

Accompany us on our journey, God of grace, and receive the prayers of our hearts, through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

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.
You call your people to cleanse their hearts
and prepare with joy for the paschal feast,
that, renewed in the gift of baptism,
we may come to the fullness of your grace.
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.


May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.

COMMUNION MEDITATION:     I Call to You, Lord Jesus Christ    (J.S. Bach)
                                                  Rick Vanstone, violin      
Generous God,
at this table we have tasted your immeasurable grace.
As grains of wheat are gathered into one bread,
now make us one loaf to feed the world;
in the name of Jesus, the Bread of life.

we are God’s own people, holy, washed, renewed. God bless you and keep you, shower you with mercy, fill you with courage, and  give you peace.

* SENDING SONG When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (ELW 803)


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

POSTLUDE:       Polonaise in g     (C.P.E. Bach)    
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 March by the Shortt family in memory of Beatrice and Edwin Shortt.

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  (February)   

Budgeted costs per month                     $   8,443.07
Offering last month                         $   5,109.29

Budget required to date (2 months)             $  16,886.14
Total received to date                         $   9,993.58

Budget required to date (2 months)              $    800.00
Total received to date                          $    622.22

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.











Easter flowers are beautiful, and this year, especially, we would love to see them in our sanctuary.  Make your check payable to St. John’s and send to the church office along with the Easter Flower tear-off included at the end of this bulletin. You may also call the office and leave a message with your specific wishes, or send an email to the office , Be sure to specify your wishes on the tear-off, if you are giving in honor or in memory of someone. In the Easter bulletin we will list all who have made flower dedications. 

This year we are offering  Lilies ($9), Mums ($8) and Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths ($7).  Deadline for ordering is March 24.

There are extra forms available on the hallway table to sponsor Easter flowers.



Easter Flowers 

Choose from:

  Lilies ($9)   Mums ($8)
  Daffodils       Hyacinths      Tulips  (all $7)

      Given by _________________________________________________________

In memory of ______________________________________________________

In honor of ________________________________________________________

Make checks payable to St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Place this envelope in the offering or return to the Church Office.
Deadline for ordering: March 24