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  • Karen Chandler

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Psalm 23, one of the most well-loved and well-known passages in the bible was written by King David who himself had been a shepherd in his youth. He guided his flock, protected, tended, and nurtured them. With his rod and his staff, he would have herded them to the safe-keeping of the sheepfold which was a pen or shelter typically with low walls which protect them from other animals or thieves.


In this passage though, he is not talking about himself as the shepherd, but rather is reflecting on how the Lord has shepherded him through his life and how God has watched over him, provided for him, protected him, and made him prosperous.


Today we also hear in the Gospel of John how Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the gate by which people can enter, the way to salvation and the kingdom of heaven.


Let us pray:


Maker – Spirit – Son, God of grace and love,

we call you by many names – Elohim, Yahweh, Seigneur, Creator,

and feel ourselves names by you –

forgetful, forgiven, beloved.

We gather here to pray and praise

and consider the way we name ourselves and others…


Help us to be open to your Word and your World. Amen.


Hymn: Voices United #374, Come and Find the Quiet Centre


Lighting of the Christ Candle


Jesus our Shepherd,

this light is a reminder to us as we worship,

that your light, and your life lead us,

that you are the Way,

to the kingdom of heaven.

Amen.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 23, God is my shepherd (Common English Bible)


Hymn: Psalm 23 (The Lord's My Shepherd)


Scripture Reading: John 10:11-18, Jesus the good shepherd (Common English Bible)

and

Sermon: Our Shepherd, Our Guide, by Karen Chandler


Instrumental Reflection

A time to reflect on the scripture and the message during a moment of instrumental reflection.


Offering Invitation

We come now before our Good Shepherd

with gifts of love abounding.

In gratitude, let us offer them freely to God

in thankfulness and praise.


Our offering is both a practical and symbolic act of our commitment to serve Christ and build His church. Although we can’t actually pass the plate’ online, you are encouraged to continue your gift to the church, as the work of the St Paul’s and the staff continues:

  • Drop your envelope (cheque or cash) at the church;

  • Mail your cheque to the church;

  • Go on PAR (call the church for details);

  • Use the Donate button at the top of the page (it will take you to SPUC’s Canada Helps page where you can donate online and get an instant tax receipt).


Offertory Hymn: Voices United #218, We Praise You, O God


Offering Dedication


Loving shepherd, as you have fed us in green pastures

and quenched our thirst beside still waters,

may the gifts we bring this day

be food and drink, and shelter and warmth,

to a world in need;

may our offering reach into places of despair,

and show the world that there is a shepherd

who brings comfort and hope.

Amen.


Prayers of the People


Tender and compassionate Shepherd,

we pray for all who are faithful

that we come together in unity

to do your will and your work in the world.

We pray for the Church, all clergy, lay leaders, board members, and

volunteers as they enable worship during the pandemic, in new and

different ways.

God, hear our prayer.

And in your love answer.

We pray for the leaders of nations

that are engaging in talks about climate change,

and may they be fruitful discussions

that lead to sustainable actions in reducing

our overall carbon footprint.

God, hear our prayer.

And in your love answer.

We pray for all who are suffering from violence, harassment,

bullying, social injustices, and racism, that their voices and challenges

are held up for all to see and hear so that action can be taken to

provide support and make systemic change.

God, hear our prayer.

And in your love answer.

We pray for all who are isolated and unwell in mind, body or spirit due to

isolation, illness, grief, and unbearable loss.

We also pray for the continued work of all essential and frontline

workers.

God, hear our prayer.

And in your love answer.

We lift silently in our prayers now all those who are in need of your

compassion and tenderness.

We humbly ask that you bring them peace.


Amen.


The Lord's Prayer


And of all the prayers silent and spoken, we pray the one prayer that unites us in Your presence, O Lord (you can sing with the video or recite the words below):

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed by 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, the power, and the glory

forever and ever. Amen.


Hymn: Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Sending Forth

Hymn: Go Now in Peace


Food for the Journey


Sometimes we forget to continue celebrating the resurrection, thinking it was just a one-day event in our Christian calendar. It is not though. Every day I thank God that Jesus rose again on that third day, which fulfilled prophecy and allowed his closest followers the opportunity to witness and later provide testimony to his resurrection.


I am not a huge YouTube watcher, but as I search for worship music, I came across this video and others from her family. I hope you enjoy this sweet rendition. This video is of Claire Crosby who sings, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives".


Closing Notes

  • Don’t forget to extinguish your candle(s).

  • Please join us today for Zoom Coffee Time starting at 11:30 am.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8294323094.

Meeting ID: 829 432 3094

Dial in: +1 647 558 0588

  • Note that portions of this service are drawn and adapted from various resources:

o The Opening Prayer is from Worship in the City, Prayers and Songs for

Urban Settings by Nancy Elizabeth Hardy, United Church Publishing House,

Toronto, ON. Copyright 2015, page 131.

o The Offering Dedication is from The Abingdon Worship

Annual 2018, Contemporary and Traditional Resources for Worship

Leaders (p. 100), Edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu. Copyright

2017 by Abingdon Press. Used by permission.

  • Thank you to:

  • Stanley Farrow for reading Psalm 23 today.

  • Max Laumeister for his web script that makes our YouTube videos work.

  • PNGWNG.com and Canva.com websites for the images and backgrounds.

  • And, thank you to all of the artists whose music and videos were used in the service:

o Haewook Kim

o newworshipsongs (on YouTube.com)

o Piano Instrumental Hymns (on YouTube.com)

o Ebenezer United Church

o StrangeLyrics (on YouTube.com)

o Tina Vanderpol Melodium75

o Claire Crosby and her family videos (on YouTube.com)

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