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The Village Shepherd

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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.

Third Sunday of Advent - A

Children's Liturgy and Story

Matthew 11:2-11

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
Jesus told the people to report what they saw; that the blind were receiving their sight, the lame were walking, the deaf were hearing and poor were hearing good news. In our worship today, let us explore whether that is still true in our society today.
Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, sometimes I don't expect much from Christianity.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm more comfortable when I don't expect very much.
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm afraid of being disappointed.
Lord, have mercy.

Reading:
Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)

Children's Story

Matthew 11:2-11

Janice B. Scott
There wasn't much that Adrian was good at, except swimming. He learned to swim when he was little more than a baby, and he loved it. When he was seven he joined a swimming club. It was there that he first met Mr Stevens, the swimming coach.

Adrian got on well with Mr Stevens. Somehow Mr Stevens was really encouraging. He taught Adrian the best way of making his strokes and Adrian began to win at many of the galas he attended. Mr Stevens was strict but fair. He refused to put up with any nonsense, and he made all the youngsters work really hard. Some of the youngsters complained, but Adrian noticed that Mr Stevens himself always worked harder than any of them.

Intercession

Matthew 11:2-11

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.

Sermon

James 5:7-10

Janice B. Scott
In 1989 a report appeared in the local newspaper claiming that by the year 2000, our local city would be "Norwich by the Sea". The report was accompanied by an artist's impression of the postcards we might be sending from this new seaside resort. The article was based on scientific reports of global warming which warned of the local changes which (according to the article) would occur as a result of global warming. I remember being both horrified and very sceptical, for at that time the year 2000 was only around ten years away.

Sermon

Isaiah 35:1-10

Janice B. Scott
Years ago our local daily newspaper, the Eastern Daily Press, launched an appeal entitled, "We Care". It was a campaign to raise the profile of breast cancer and to raise money to support breast cancer sufferers locally. So far the appeal has raised more than £200,000 to create a special unit at a local hospital, and already donations have helped transform facilities for thousands of women facing the trauma of breast cancer.

Money has been raised by various groups using various ingenious methods, but also by individuals who have been moved to send donations large and small. The campaign has raised a lot of interest and pubs and clubs everywhere are doing their bit for the appeal.

Sermon

Matthew 11:2-11

Janice B. Scott
You'd have thought, if anybody knew Jesus was the promised Messiah, it would have been John the Baptist, the designated herald, the preparer of the way. Surely from the time he was a small boy, he must have known Jesus was the Promised One. Surely from early childhood, his mother Elizabeth would have regaled him over and over again with the tale of her cousin Mary. That famous time when Mary rushed over to tell Elizabeth she'd been visited by God's foremost messenger, the angel Gabriel himself. And when Elizabeth heard that, we're told her own unborn baby, John, leapt for joy in his mother's womb.

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
UPCOMING WEEKS
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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Advent 3
29 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
35 – Worship Resources
30 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Advent 4
32 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
34 – Children's Sermons / Resources
30 – Worship Resources
32 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Christmas Eve/Day
27 – Sermons
130+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
40 – 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

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Christopher Keating
George Reed
For December 11, 2022:

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: A video camera. One on your phone is just fine.

Hello, everyone! (Let them respond.) Are you ready for our story? (Let them respond.) Awesome! Let’s go!

We have talked about a guy before whose name was John the Baptist. Who remembers and can tell me who John the Baptist was? (Let them respond.) He was the man God chose to tell everyone about Jesus coming to help them, wasn’t he? (Let them respond.) Well, one day, John the Baptist had a big problem.

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
“Hey Bill.” Jim made his way through the departing crowd and stuck out his hand. “Great meeting.”

“Yeah, it was a great meeting.” Bill smiled and shook the other man’s hand. “Thanks for being a part of it. I remember when I mentioned the 12-step program, you were doubtful.”

“You made a believer out of me.” Jim smiled back. “ I didn’t want to admit how much of a problem I had but you refused to accept my excuses and refused to give up on me. You changed my life.”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
Much of the music that accompanies this season of the year emphasizes sights. Classic Christmas season songs like “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” and “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” celebrate so many of the sights that traditionally accompany this time of year. And it is, to be sure, a feast for the eyes, with the snow, the lights, and so many decorations in houses, yards, streets, and stores. It is small wonder, therefore, that children are filled with excitement by this season.
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Isaiah 35:1-10

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
Jesus told the people to report what they saw; that the blind were receiving their sight, the lame were walking, the deaf were hearing and poor were hearing good news. In our worship today, let us explore whether that is still true in our society today.
Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, sometimes I don't expect much from Christianity.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm more comfortable when I don't expect very much.
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, sometimes I'm afraid of being disappointed.

SermonStudio

Charles L. Aaron, Jr.
How different things must have looked for John behind prison walls. If ever the word "free spirit" applied to anyone, it applied to John. He said what he wanted to say, without holding back. If the scholars are correct that he was an Essene, then he had gone into the wilderness specifically to get away from everyone. The Essenes wanted to worship their way, with no interference from anyone. Now, those prison walls confined John.

John N. Brittain
"Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" It's not just children of a certain age who ask that question, although they certainly do. I've been on a number of trips in the past few years with delayed flights, missed connections, and lost luggage, where I've been the one asking the question.
Tony S. Everett
Our text centers on God's promised action in the wilderness. Have you ever seen photographs of the wilderness areas in the land of the Bible; for example today's Israel, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran? The wilderness is a rocky, dry, and barren space. In the same day, temperatures may vary from a blazing 100 degrees Fahrenheit to nearly freezing. Food and water are scarce. Wild beasts and even bandits prowl around seeking to devour unsuspecting travelers. The wilderness can be a very scary and lonely space.
Beverly S. Bailey
Hymns
Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming (UM216, PH48, NCH211, NCH127)
Cold December Flies Away (UM233)
I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath (UM60, PH253, NCH166)
Psalter 146 (UM858, PH254)
My Soul Gives Glory To My God (UM198, PH600, CBH119)
Prepare The Way, O Zion (PH13)
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (UM196, PH1, NCH178, CBH122)
O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing (CBH110, PH466, NCH110, CBH42)
Santo, Santo, Santo (CBH400, NCH400, UM65)

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