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Easter IV: Good Shepherd Sunday
Table of Contents
Please check the following websites for regular updates on information related to the COVID 19 pandemic:
- anglicanenl.net (You will find the most recent weekly letter from our Bishop under our Bishop’s Writings)
- On-Line Church Service: This Sunday at 11 a.m., the Parishes of St. Michael and All Angels, St. Mary the Virgin, the Good Shepherd, and the Ascension are hosting Morning Prayer/BAS. Come and join us at easter2020.ca. You do not need to be on Facebook to view the live service.
- New Website for Church of the Ascension: The Ascension website will be launched Sunday, May 3. At this time, there will be certain parts of the website that are under review/construction due to limited resources during the Covid-19 pandemic. We can now be found at ascensionnl.ca. Please visit us at this address for up-to-date information on church activities.
- Resurrection Reminders: Four years ago, the theme for Synod 2016 was The Church Has Left the Building. As human beings, we are creatures of habit, holding on to those things that comfort us the most. We are stubborn and resistant to change. When the talk of uniting churches first came about, I will admit I was all for it. I knew in my heart that for us to not only survive, but to thrive, it is what was needed. I know that the church is not just a building. We are so much more than that and what we do outside of the building is where it really counts. I knew all of this, deep in my heart, but despite knowing all of this, I cannot lie, it’s been a struggle. Things changed so abruptly and forcibly that I was left afloat. Wondering and worrying what direction this was going, what it would look like, and where my place was in all of it. You see for me, church and choir are my outlets. They are my comforts and when I go to church I feel like I am going home. It gives me that sense of belonging that so many people look for in this life. I will admit it has been hard to find those things in this new way of living. However, I have found that I enjoy the on-line services, not as much as I would if it was in person, but I have found that I get different things out of them that I would not have if I had been at church. Firstly, I get to sit with my son Zachary every single Sunday and we get to enjoy the services together. Our puppy Molly joins us too and sometimes my husband, who works from home, gets to join us on his break. I pay more attention to the scripture readings and have found that I have gained a better understanding and appreciation of them. Sometimes I do not sing the hymns. Sometimes I just listen to the music and enjoy the beauty of it. This is another opportunity that I would not normally be afforded. I guess what I am trying to say is that, while is not the path or direction I envisioned when I thought of the church leaving the building, it is where we are and it has helped me appreciate things I may not have had the opportunity to appreciate. It has definitely forced me to see that there are other ways of experiencing God, and each other, and that the influence of this time will have a lasting impact on what our church looks like in the future. Regardless, I know that God is with me wherever I am. When I was a young child, I always had this understanding that God was all around me and in everything I do. Never has this been more evident, or necessary, for me to hold on to that belief and understanding. I hope you all feel God is with you wherever you are and that none of us are truly alone. I hope it is well with your soul and I love and miss you all.
- Pentecost Growing Project - A Fun Growing Project for All: Plant a seed, any seed, and watch it grow! Use whatever you have around the house - apple seeds, beans, tomato seeds, etc. Plant it in a container safely inside your home. Prior to Pentecost, we invite you to submit a picture of your growing plant, which will be included in our online worship on Pentecost Sunday, May 31. Please submit photos to [email protected].
A Seed Psalm
Awaken you buried seeds
asleep in your earthen tombs!
Rise up with joy to break forth
the hard coffins of your shells!
Your Eastertide has come;
the song of the dove
is heard over the softening land.
Winter has hidden,
and Spring now dances on your graves
to waken the dead.
Awaken, seeds of holiness
buried deep within me.
Rise up to fulfill your destiny
whose time has come.
For sanctity is scribbled
bold within my blood and brain.
Onward and beyond
have I been called
even before I felt the sun
or knew the earth around me.
May spring enchant the saint,
shy and hesitant within me,
and set the rhythm for my sluggish feet
in a dance of holy yearning.
(Edward Hays, (c) 1989)
Consider today, what seeds in your life might break free from their tombs to grow, as we steadily move toward warmer and brighter days. Consider what the parishes of St. John's West/Mount Pearl are exploring as together we find seeds and grow them during Eastertide, in preparation for the feast of Pentecost.
- Weekly Resources for Sunday’s in Easter: Here are some free faith formation resources for the Fourth Week of Easter, which include:
- Acts 2:42-47 devotional and illustration & coloring page
- Children's worship bulletin
Please go to the link https://illstrtdm.in/EasterWeek4 to download resources for the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Resources will be available on a weekly basis, so please visit the website for updated materials.
- Easter Flowers – In Memoriam: Anyone wishing to have loved ones remembered at Easter are asked to please list the name(s) of the departed so we can include them in the memorial booklet. Please remember to put your name and church number on the envelope. Because the recent Chimes have not been added to our website, we have extended the deadline for Easter Memorials to Wednesday, May 6 and we will publish the Easter Memoriam booklet on-line on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10. If you would like a copy for your records, please contact the office at 368-5693. You may drop your donation in the mailbox located at the front entrance of the church (the mail slot is to the right). Thank you.
- Greetings from the Men’s Service Club: The Men’s Service Club sends Christian greetings to all members of our parish family. We are sure everyone feels the void in our spiritual and fellowship lives caused by COVID-19. All but a few of the members of our club, as well as many other parishioners, are in the age group susceptible to complications and/or death from this virus, so please take care of yourself and we pray that God’s presence is ever with you. Remember that “community spread”occurs when those who are sure they do not have the virus infects those who are sure they cannot get it. Finally, we want to let you know that our vegetable hamper project is placed on hold until we get back to some semblance of normalcy. Take care and God bless.
- Happy Mother’s Day to all our Mothers: We celebrate and give thanks to all mothers and mother figures in our lives. We invite you to send a picture of your mother figure for our service on May 10. The pictures will be used at the beginning of this online service. Many of us may have an aunt or uncle who raised us, an older sister or brother, a grandparent who stepped in. Who do you have in your life that is a mother figure to you? Please send a picture to [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you and those you love!!
- Birthday Sunday: The planning team for the joint worship for the parishes of Church of the Ascension, Church of the Good Shepherd, St. Mary the Virgin and St. Michael and All Angels is designating the third Sunday of each month as family/youth Sunday. The worship for that Sunday will include the celebration of birthdays for that given month. Please send us a picture of yourself to include during the Birthday Sunday celebration portion of the liturgy. On Sunday, May 17, we will celebrate those with birthdays in the month of May. You can send your photos to [email protected] Deadline for submitting photos is the Thursday before for the Sunday service at 5 p.m. Deadline for this month is Thursday, May 14 at 5 p.m.
- Outreach: This is a time for our faith community to come together to uplift each other. Please don’t forget to regularly check on your family, friends and neighbours. If you are in need of pastoral contact, or if you know of anyone who is struggling at this stressful time, please let one of the clergy know.
- Food First NL: Food First NL works with communities in Newfoundland & Labrador to ensure everyone has access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food. Please visit their website at foodfirstnl.ca/covid19 to find updates to NL Community Food Programs.
- Mount Pearl Foodbanks: Want to join us in making a difference? The Ministerial of Mount Pearl is raising money to benefit Foodbanks in Mount Pearl during the Covid19 Pandemic. From April 1 to June 30, 2020, The Parish of the Ascension will be receiving money on behalf of all the congregations in Mount Pearl, for distribution to the three Mount Pearl Foodbanks. All donations will help make an impact. The City of Mount Pearl will match funds up to the first $5,000. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to the clergy and people of the Ministerial of Mount Pearl! If you would like to help, please log in to www.gofundme.com and search Parish of the Ascension. Follow the prompts to make a donation. Thanks very much.
- Clergy Contact During the COVID 19 Pandemic: During the outbreak of COVID-19, the clergy will be reaching out to all parishioners. They will do their best to contact everyone, however, our parish list may need to be updated. If you have not received a call or an e-mail since the closure of the church building, please e-mail your updated contact information to [email protected]. In the event that you do not have e-mail available, please call the parish office and leave a message.
- Coffee Matters, Mount Pearl: Coffee Matters Mount Pearl is offering daily supper specials, along with reheat and eat meals. Daily specials are posted the day before on their Facebook page. All food made from scratch. Sunday’s special is turkey cold plates for just $10.00, with $1.00 from every sale going to the three community food banks. Call 221-7700 to get information on daily specials and to place your order for curbside pickup. Delivery available in Mount Pearl area.
I am the gate for the sheep. . . I am the good shepherd. John 10: 7, 11
This week in the life of Christian communities, many are observing Good Shepherd Sunday, reflecting on the image of the Holy One as a guardian and defender of a flock of sheep. For many of us, pastoral scenes of lambs, flocks of sheep, and memories of farming are deeply embedded in our psyche. This can be comforting for us, as we remember time spent on farms with parents, grandparents, or extended family.
For me this resonates profoundly, as I remember time in Nova Scotia on a farm with goats, and time I spend each year with my parents on their sheep farm in Eastern Ontario. I recall the examples I have seen of family and friends providing leadership, protection, care, and nurture, not only to farm animals, but also to communities large and small; families, groups, and faith communities.
In all these examples, the individual in the leadership role is one that knows members of the community by name, whether they be sheep, goats, or human beings. The leader is prepared to nurture, guide, defend, lead, and journey with the community. Profoundly, the leader not only knows the name and voice of each and every member of the community he/she leads; the leader also knows the name and voice of every danger, every enemy, every potential to the community.
For me, this is the reminder of the image of the gate and the gatekeeper. The leader is one who takes as much time to familiarize with community and with the dangers affecting community. This leader reflects the true nature of the Holy One.
In many parts of the world, pastoral images of farming, of shepherding are lost due to contextual challenges. On Baffin Island, in Hong Kong, in New York City there are no farms, no sheep. Many cultures don’t have daily reminders in relation to these images. Modern society’s reliance on technology can also separate individuals from many examples of leadership and care.
Also, many persons have experienced great harm and loss due to the power and control that leaders have exerted upon communities. Culture, society, community and family have all been devastated when a ‘shepherd’ or leader has acted as a thief and a robber to the community, betraying their role, their
responsibility and caused destruction to vulnerable persons.
This year, in the global response to pandemic, in the challenges of isolation, care of vulnerable persons, and of shifting landscapes, it seems so difficult to be an effective shepherd and leader, no matter what the context. We are all scrambling to protect, and to provide care, within our small family ‘bubbles’ and within the larger context of our community and vocation responsibility. We are reaching out and communicating, connecting with those so that we can recognize them, hear their voices. We are placing our lives in harm’s way to protect the vulnerable, those we love, and those needing support and care.
Consider this week the shepherds of our lives: those who lead us and walk with us. Consider how these shepherds exhibit the compassion of the Holy One. Those who are willing through their love and commitment to offer their resources to family and community, providing leadership, nurture, and protection. Say a prayer for them; hold them in your heart.
- Donations to Ministry: If you are interested in continuing to donate to the parish ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a variety of ways for you to do so.
- Church Envelopes: You may still use your envelopes during this time. You may drop them in the mailbox at the main entrance of the church or you can put your givings in the mail.
- Pre-authorized Givings: You can have your givings automatically deducted on a schedule that works for you. If you are interested in setting up pre-authorized givings, please contact the church office at 368-5693.
- Canada Helps: You can sign up to make donations to Canada Helps through our parish website.
- Food Bank Donations: The need for food donations is still great. If you are able to donate to the food bank, we ask that you drop your donation directly to St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank at either St. Peter’s Parish Hall on Ashford Drive or Mary Queen of the World on Topsail Road. All donations are gratefully appreciated.
Prayers of the People
Gathered in the care of the Good Shepherd and guardian of our souls, let us in trust pray for the church and the world, saying: Lord, have mercy.
For all who serve the holy church of God, who serve tables and who preach and pray, who shepherd the lost and care for those in need; we pray for Geoffrey our Bishop, for the parishes of Gander Bay and The Good Shepherd, and for the Anglican Communion in Japan, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all who are persecuted for the gospel, for all who have been martyred for their witness to the truth, for all in lonely places who rejoice in the hope of the resurrection, and for the blessed community of the saints, living and dead: let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all in the world who care for the sick, the hungry and the destitute, the mentally ill: we remember those on the Ascension Prayer Cycle, for Dr Fitzgerald and Dr. Haggie as they and their team work tirelessly to keep us protected and form a plan to ease restrictions in our province: let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all experiencing food insecurity at this time. For Mt. Pearl Foodbanks, the municipality and the province as they join with the Mt. Pearl Ministerial in supporting foodbank usage for vulnerable persons in the city. We give thanks for the on-going Gofundme campaign, and for all those who have opened their hearts and generously donated: let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the victims of rage and sudden violence, especially for abused children and spouses, for political prisoners, victims of extortion, of murder, and of natural catastrophe, we remember those in Fort MacMurray, Alberta: let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all gathered and for our specific needs, that we may come to receive abundant life at God’s hand, and at the last to rest in Christ’s shepherding love, remembering those who have died, Stirling Ivany and Rose Reichheld and workers who died in work place accidents : let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
O loving God, we commend to your mercy all who have died and pray that we and all your saints may share life in your eternal dominion. Enable us to know that by Christ’s wounds we have been healed, and that by the power of his risen and Spirit-giving life we are empowered to serve you all our days. We pray though Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Amen
Ascension Prayer Cycle: Andrea, Aubrey, Audrey, Barbara, Baxter, Bill, Brenda, Brian, Brittany, Breandon, Carl, Christina, Clarence, Claude, David, Debra, Delilah, Dennis, Don, Donna, Doris, Dot, Dulcie, Edgar, Edith, Elaine, Elizabeth, Erin, Esther, Frederick, Flo, George, Georgina, Gerry, Gordon,
Harry, Herb, Ike, Ina, Jack, Jason, Jenny, John, Josephine, Junior, Kevin, Kim, Larry, Laura, Leo, Leonie, Lori, Madeline, Marina, Marion, Maurice, Maxine, Maxwell, Melissa, Melvin, Nancy, Pam, Phyllis, Randell, Rodney, Roland, Ruby, Ruth, Rita, Scott, Sean, Stan, Stephen, Tina, Todd, Valerie, and Wayne.
O God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
make us perfect in every good work to do your will,
and work in us that which is well-pleasing in your sight;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN
A Reading from the Book of Acts
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God
REFRAIN The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. R
He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R
You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. R
A Reading from the First Letter of Peter
For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:19-25
Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God
Reader: The Lord be with you
People: And also with you
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
People: Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers." Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:1-10
Reader: The Gospel of Christ
People: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Prayer over the Gifts
God of loving care,
you spread before us the table of life,
and give us the cup of salvation to drink.
Keep us always in the fold of your Son Jesus Christ,
our Saviour and our shepherd. AMEN
Prayer after Communion
God of steadfast love,
watch over the Church redeemed by the blood of your Son.
May we who share in these holy mysteries
come safely to your eternal kingdom,
where there is one flock and one shepherd.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord. AMEN
The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll Not Want
The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
even for his own name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill,
for thou art with me; and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
My table thou hast furnished
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all of my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God’s house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be.
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay day, O weary one, lay down
thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place
and he has made me glad.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s Light;
look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk,
till travelling days are done.
The King of Love My Shepherd Is
The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me;
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth;
and oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.
That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright
The Eastertide with joy was bright;
the sun shone out with fairer light, Alleluia, alleluia!
when, to their longing eyes restored,
the apostles say their risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
He bade them see his hands, his side,
where yet the glorious wounds abide; Alleluia, alleluia!
the tokens true which made it plain
the Lord indeed was risen again. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
From every weapon death can wield
thine own redeemed forever shield: Alleluia, alleluia!
O Lord of all, with us abide
in this our joyful Eastertide. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus, the king of gentleness,
do thou thyself our hearts possess, Alleluia, alleluia!
That we may give thee all our days
the tribute of our grateful praise. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Anglian Church of Canada Book of Alternative Services Book of Common Praise Wee Worship Book CCLI License # 1733318 One Licence #733242-A The Iona Community The Taizé Community GIA PublicationsResources for Chimes from the above sources