The Fourth Sunday after Easter is the Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel for the day is from John 10 in which we read: Jesus said, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
The Psalm is #23. The Lord is my Shepherd.
When we are compromised or weakened, this Psalms sounds good to us. When our strength is gone, we return to the flock of our baptismal birth. But that flock needs healthy, strong members too. The Good Shepherd is present with us in the Word and Sacraments, guiding our lives, strengthening our spiritual hearts, giving us a new way to see the world, and a new way to live: in service to others.
Sunday at 11 am Diane Burke will lead a discussion of the ELCA’s draft social statement on women. Confirmation students are asked to attend the forum discussion. Here is a link to the statement.
Bring in food for A Place to Turn in Natick. Bringing in food for a local distribution should be a regular part of our Sunday morning routine. It would be fine if there was a full basket to be taken to the food pantry every week. So…take a can or a jar of something off your shelf and bring it to church when you come on Sunday morning. Thank you to the one or two of you who contribute regularly to this ministry.
Peace Forever capital campaign begins next Sunday, April 29.
Barbara Stanley is recovering at home. Dick reports that she is getting stronger every day.
If you are interested in serving on a garden committee, speak to Stephanie Smoot or to Pastor Johnson. We will schedule a meeting when we know who would like to help with the gardens this summer. The new rain barrels are already full of water for our gardens.
Spring clean-up tasks remain around the church. If you have time to help tomorrow-Saturday, April 21-let Pastor Johnson know.
“Peace be with you.” As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit…”
According to John’s Gospel, the Holy Spirit is given to the disciples on the day of the resurrection. In Luke/Acts, the Holy Spirit is poured out on representatives of the nations at Pentecost. Over the centuries the Christian church has gone with Luke/Acts over John, celebrating Pentecost, and the giving of the Holy Spirit, apart from Easter. The importance of the giving of the Holy Spirit, however, is the central gesture of the Christian faith. At baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, all the words and actions point to the giving of the spirit, the breath of God that creates life. If we read on in John 20, the Holy Spirit alive in the disciples, and later in the church, brings forgiveness of sins, the sacramental center of faith.
Sunday the children of our church will sing the Gospel verse they have been practicing. The Gospel verse is the short piece of music we sing before the reading of the Gospel. Kathryn has been working with the children on a verse that is not part of our printed liturgy,
Faith formation and an adult forum following coffee hour.
Bring in canned fruit for A Place to Turn in Natick.
Confirmation class Sunday afternoon at 4 pm.
The council meets Monday at 7:30 pm.
Peace be with you.
Who brings peace to you? Who says “peace” to you by their presence? Is there someone in your life who assures you that you have a friend, when they are near you? Are there people in your life with whom you feel entirely comfortable?
“Peace be with you, because I am beside you…”
That’s what’s happening in these gospel readings from the Sundays after Easter. Jesus is present with his disciples, then and now.
The New Testament translates the commandments of God, given to a community, into personal relationships of faith. It’s a big change. Communal obedience turns to individual trust.
Memorial service in our memorial garden for Marguerite Brynjolfsson tomorrow, April 14 at 11 am.
The choir rehearses at 8:45 am. Sunday.
Confirmation at 4 pm. Students who will be confirmed in May should bring drafts of their presentations.
Next Sunday, April 22, Diane Burke will lead us in a discussion of the draft social statement from the ELCA on women and justice. We will submit our comments and suggestions to the ELCA after studying the document.