July 11: 7th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 10

July 11: 7th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 10


Amos 7:7-15 (Amos speaks of God’s judgment, and is told by king to take a hike)


Psalm 85:1-13 (Restore us, O God of our salvation; righteousness and peace have kissed)


     RCL/ELW: Psalm 85:8-13 (Eliminates wrath, plea for forgiveness)

Ephesians 1:3-14 (Spiritual blessings in Christ, who has prepared our eternal inheritance)

Mark 6:14-29 (John the Baptist loses his head)




Let us pray to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of the Church, the world, and one another.

A brief silence

Father, we give uneasy thanks for prophets and martyrs. They’re hard to listen to, much less imitate! We give you uneasy thanks for the times you test our faith. Keep reminding us that your grace is sufficient, and the inheritance you have stored up for us in Christ is eternal.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Judge your Church with mercy. Drive out false teaching and unholy living. Give bishops, pastors, and theologians the courage and faithfulness of John the Baptist. Let your Word of Law and Gospel be proclaimed to all people, so that many be drawn to repentant faith in your Son.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Like John the Baptist, many of your servants are in danger today. Keep them steadfast in faith, bold in witness, patient in suffering, and joyful in hope, always giving thanks to their Savior.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Keep this congregation faithful to our mission: to proclaim Christ, crucified and raised from the dead, for the forgiveness of sins unto life everlasting. Make our words winsome; our actions gracious; and our lives lovely, so others want to meet the Lord we love.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Bless our youngsters as they enjoy their summer vacation. Delight them with the wonders of your creation; and instill in them a love of learning that does not end with classroom bells.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Give the leaders of the nations advisors who speak truth to power. Set before them the high ideals of justice, integrity, and mercy. Give each of us a teachable spirit. Help us hear your commandments, obey them, and live at peace with our neighbors.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Prosper the work of all who defend life and liberty, here and abroad. Make them strong, competent, and faithful. Deliver them from evil, and give them a joyful homecoming. Grant healing to those who are injured and honor to all who have died in the line of duty.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father, thank you for the imperishable inheritance given to us in Jesus. Thank you for the promise of life everlasting. Thank you for fulfilling your promises to all who died trusting them. Give us strength to trust your Son completely; to confess him boldly; and to rejoice in him always. Bring us, with all whom you have redeemed, into your Kingdom, where with your Son and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, God forever.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Hear and graciously answer our prayers, dear Lord, as it is best for us and most glorifies your holy name. Amen.


Reflections From One Synod Assembly

Last weekend I attended the online synod assembly for the ELCA synod in which I was rostered before I retired.  My two strongest impressions from the gathering are as follows.

First, the words that I heard most often were “diversity,” “inclusivity,” and “equity.”  That is what almost everybody talked about and what everybody seemed to make their top priorities.  After the assembly was over, I wished that I had kept track of the number of times that somebody mentioned Jesus.  I did not keep track of the number, but I am certain that Jesus was mentioned far less often than diversity, inclusivity, and equity.  I also definitely got the message that the diversity and inclusivity that they were talking about do not include people like me. 

In mid-May that synod held an online pre-assembly gathering.  Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was one of the presenters.  She told the group, “We talk about justice; we also need to talk about Jesus.  We need to name the Name.”  Please pray with me that what she said was meant, was heard, and will be heeded. 

Second, the discussion about the proposed budget was amazing.  It was mentioned that during the last nine years – from 2012 to 2021 – receipts from congregations to the synod have dropped from $1.4 million to $800,000.  Which amounts to more than a 40 percent decline in nine years.  And that does not include the drop during the years immediately following the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

The proposed spending plan for the 2022-2023 fiscal year included income of $899,000 (the major addition to the receipts from congregations was over $70,000 from the assets obtained from the sale of a former church property), but expenses of over $1.2 million.  The assembly rejected the budget, not because it was not balanced, but instead because it did not provide funding for all of the favored ministries.  The attitude of the assembly was, We need to sell more buildings from closed congregations, and we need to use more of the dollars already obtained from already selling buildings from closed congregations.

It is astounding to me that people want to fund their agendas, values, and priorities from the sale of properties built and paid for by people whose view of the Bible, theology, moral values, and view of the mission of the church they reject.  They show neither appreciation for the past nor any concern to do their part to make the future viable.  Rather they just want to have the financial resources today to fund their agendas, values, and priorities.

It was also mentioned during the assembly that twenty-five percent of the synod’s 107 congregations (twenty-seven congregations) do not have a regular pastor, and several more are challenged because of their size and/or financial instability.

If all that is not enough to tell the ELCA that something is very wrong, what would be enough?

To read the entire June letter from the director, click here.  

* * * * * * *

Dennis D. Nelson

Executive Director of Lutheran CORE


Lutheran CORE | PO Box 1741, Wausau, WI 54402-1741

Devotion for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

“Just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit” (Colossians 1:7-8).

We may be tempted to think that one has more weight when they speak than another does.  The Word is the Word and no matter who speaks the Lord’s Word, it will not come back void.  Listen in season and out of season and do not be one who wants merely to be entertained, but informed and enlightened.  The Lord speaks in many and various ways, but this is through His Son so that you may have His grace.

Lord, give me ears to hear and eyes to see.  Guide me in the way of everlasting life so that I would now and always humbly abide in and by Your Word.  Lead me, O Lord, in order that I may be led by You alone and know the riches of Your grace and mercy.  Lord, You know where I am deficient.  Send those who would speak to that place where I need to grow.  Then give me ears to hear as they speak.

Lord Jesus, Word made flesh, You have come and dwelt among us.  You bore on Your own body our iniquity.  Lead me in Your goodness, Lord, so that I would learn from You what is always right and fitting.  Guide me by Your goodness that in Your example I would walk and do those things You show me and tell me to do.  Teach me to follow, always looking to You, O Lord.  Amen.