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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott ... The Village Shepherd

After being ordained in 1994 with the first wave of women priests, Janice became curate in a large city centre parish in Norwich and from there, moved to South Norfolk in 1999 as Rector of a rural benefice of six parishes. After completing her MA in Pastoral Theology with the Cambridge Theological Foundation in 2008 she was appointed Honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral. Janice now lives with her husband Ian just outside Norwich. In addition to her diocesan work and writing "The Village Shepherd," she is a freelance writer for Redemptorist Publications in the UK. She has also written and broadcasts "Pause For Thought" on a local radio station and has written several novels, all with a church background.

Proper 22 | Ordinary Time 27 - A

Children's Liturgy and Story

Matthew 21:33-46

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus said that the kingdom of God would be given to those who produced the fruits of the kingdom. In our worship today let us explore what the "fruits of the kingdom" might be.

Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes I care more about my own comfort than about your fruits.
Lord, have mercy.

Children's Story

Matthew 21:33-46

Janice B. Scott
Praxis the colourful pixie was up to mischief. Praxis was a very rare pixie whose skin changed colour according to his mood, and just now he was bright purple with excitement. Mr Grump the goblin teacher had been called away by an urgent message, leaving the pixies to get on with learning their spellings.


Matthew 21:33-46

Janice B. Scott
Prayers usually include these concerns and may follow this sequence:

The Church of Christ

Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

The local community

Those who suffer

The communion of saints

These responses may be used:

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.


Exodus 20.1-4,7-9,12-20

Janice B. Scott
The psychologist Scott Peck begins his famous best-seller, "The Road Less Travelled" with the immortal words, "Life is difficult." That simple statement has been a revelation to many of Scott Peck's readers, for it has brought them a sense of freedom. They no longer have to struggle with feelings of guilt and inadequacy just because nothing in their lives runs smoothly. Once they can accept that life is difficult, they are free to make of it the best that they can without worrying too much about how awful their life is.

Scott Peck expounds his statement with subjects that might be regarded askance today, including topics such as "discipline" and "facing pain" and "delaying gratification" and


Matthew 21:33-46

Janice B. Scott
In my spare time I enjoy a thriller, either on the screen or in book form. I discovered Patricia Cornwell on holiday, and have enjoyed reading about the exploits of her heroine Dr Kay Scarpetta, forensic pathologist.

Like all heroes and heroines of thrillers, Dr Scarpetta often walks into danger. As I sit in my armchair reading about a solo midnight assignation in a cold and lonely place, I find myself willing Dr Scarpetta not to go, for I know she's going to end up in trouble!

It's always obvious to the reader or the viewer that dark and lonely places, where the hero or heroine is instructed to go alone, are fraught with hazard and much better avoided.


Philippians 3.4b-14

Janice B. Scott
When my children were small, they watched all the Superman films. They were devoted to the character, and hung on every word and every twist of the plot, waiting with bated breath for the outcome, where we all knew good would conquer evil.

Perhaps Superman represents the sort of person that many human beings would like to be. Someone who has enormous strength, unflagging energy and who never wavers in the face of danger, but flies straight into it. And despite taking terrible beatings from time to time (especially when Kryptonite is involved!) always wins through in the end.

What is The Village Shepherd?

The Village Shepherd offers sermons, bible stories, children's stories and prayers based on the Revised Common Lectionary. These inspirational sermons, stories, and prayers are sure to touch your heart, because they reflect the simple virtues and tranquil serenity that characterize Reverend Scott's English countryside pastorate. The questions "Where is God in this particular situation?" and "Where does the Gospel story cross our own human story?" are always at the heart of these meditations -- but rather than finding overt answers, instead you will be gently led to make your own connections and discover the powerful ways in which God works. Janice Scott has the unique ability to find interesting details in ordinary life that illuminate scripture, while still challenging even the most intellectual reader. And that gift is precisely what also makes her an outstanding communicator with children.

Most weeks include:

  • Sermon based on the Gospel reading
  • Sermon based on the Epistle reading
  • Sermon based on the First reading
  • Children's stories linked with the Gospel readings
  • Children's liturgy and story (a different story than mentioned above)
  • An intercessory prayer
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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Proper 21 | OT 26 | Pent. 18
23 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
30 – Children's Sermons / Resources
22 – Worship Resources
33 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 22 | OT 27 | Pent. 19
25 – Sermons
150+ – Illustrations / Stories
35 – Children's Sermons / Resources
24 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 23 | OT 28 | Pent. 20
23 – Sermons
150+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
22 – Worship Resources
28 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Elena Delhagen
Mary Austin
Katy Stenta
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Quantisha Mason-Doll
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For October 8, 2023:


John Jamison
Object: A key to give each child. I use key blanks from a hardware store. Other options would be to make cutouts of keys from posterboard, or just use some old keys that aren’t good anymore. I like the key blanks because they are durable, and have holes so the children might hang them on a book bag or something similar.

* * *

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready for our story today? (Let them respond.) Excellent!


Peter Andrew Smith
Teddy thought for a moment and then shook his head. “I appreciate you asking but no thanks.”

“Are you sure?” Paula asked. “The new pastor is a great speaker I think you would like him.”

“No, I don’t like to go to church because I fine church really negative.” Teddy tapped his chin with his finger. “Plus with the exception of you, I find I don’t think I have anything in common with people who go to church.”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
The texts for this Sunday send a message about the surprising character of grace.

Exodus 20:1-4,7-9,12-20
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus said that the kingdom of God would be given to those who produced the fruits of the kingdom. In our worship today let us explore what the "fruits of the kingdom" might be.


John E. Sumwalt
The call came from the doctor that Dad had only a short time to live. At the age of eighty, after nearly fifty years of farming, this veteran of World War II was fighting a final battle with Parkinson's and heart disease.
Jerry L. Schmalenberger
Some tenants are a lot better than other tenants. I found that out when, as a lad, I worked up the road on a farm owned by Walter and Esther Hupman. My job was to help candle eggs gathered on their egg route and exercise their English saddle horses.

The Hupmans couldn't begin to do all the farming themselves so they always had tenants living in a little house next to their unusual round barn. For farming the land the Hupmans owned, the tenants got to live in the house and receive a certain percentage of the income from the harvest.

Larry Lange
Arnold Toivonen was headed to work at 5:06 a.m. Monday morning on a wet highway winding east through the dark pines that came crowding up close to the road from out of the spring fog. Arnold worked at the Caterpillar shop in town, crawling into the iron bellies of enormous Caterpillar tractors, scraping his knuckles on their cold, sharp innards, dropping heavy wrenches on the concrete with that satisfying metallic ring, and wiping his greasy hands on gray cloths while he stood around talking with his foreman, Jack, about what to do next.
Richard E. Gribble, CSC
Once upon a time two beautiful flowers lived side-by-side in a magnificent garden. One was bright yellow and the other was bright blue. From the first moments of their existence these two flowers received profuse praise from the world for their vigor and beauty. "I love your face," said the sun to the yellow flower. "I love your eyes," said the sky to the blue flower. "I love your overall beauty," said the butterfly. "I love your pollen," said the bee. "And I your nectar," said an ant. "I love the shade that you provide," said the grasshopper.
Douglas B. Bailey
Someone has suggested that if we simply posted the Ten Commandments on the wall in every school building, it would surely help to improve the moral climate in our schools and counteract the terrible and tragic tendencies of youth to resort to drugs, guns, and violent behavior. It has been said that if we would all simply follow the Ten Commandments, the world would be a much better place in which to live! But the Ten Commandments are not simple to follow.

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