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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.

Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - B


James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a

Janice B. Scott
Perhaps one of the problems of those who are on the fringes of the church, that is those who call themselves Christians, who wish to be associated with the church and who believe in God but who are not deeply committed, is that their prayers are rarely answered.

They may for instance, pray to win the lottery, but it doesn't happen. When something awful happens like a serious illness, naturally they pray for recovery, but it doesn't necessarily happen. Perhaps the loved one dies. They may pray for their children to be always at the top of the class, but their children may have other ideas.

Perhaps we have all experienced that sort of non-answer to prayer. Perhaps we can all remember desperately pleading with God to produce


Mark 9:30-37

Janice B. Scott
What an interesting situation we've had in this country recently with the blockade of fuel depots by tractors and trucks, leading to a serious fuel crisis with its knock-on effect for all aspects of industry and for our private lives.

It's a very good example of the public joining together to pit their power against the power of the elected government. For if enough of those who are weak join together and act as one, they become strong. Even so, the government at first refused to budge, despite the fact that many ordinary people supported the blockades even in the face of their own inconvenience.

Contingency plans were drawn up as the government exerted more power to control the situation and the people. And the full might of authority soon


James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a

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

These responses may be used:

Let us pray for the Church and for the world, and let us thank God for his goodness.

Almighty God our heavenly father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

All-powerful God, when your Church is filled with your Spirit it becomes powerful in the most unexpected ways. But your Church often sees power in earthly terms, and forgets that it must embrace weakness and vulnerability if it wants to be strong. Help your Church to cling always to you, stepping forwards through faith alone.

Children's Story

Mark 9:30-37

Janice B. Scott
Timothy Duckling was big and strong. His had been the first egg to hatch and so he was older than all his brothers and sisters and the strongest of the brood. Timothy had learned to swim almost as soon as he staggered out of his egg, for he had instinctively followed his mother to the water.

Timothy liked being the oldest. All his brothers and sisters were in awe of him, and he rather enjoyed showing them what to do and how to do it. And he had a number of friends who had hatched from their eggs at about the same time as Timothy and who were therefore just as grown-up as he was.

Children's Liturgy and Story

Mark 9:30-37

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."

Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, we sometimes fail to appreciate little children.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, we sometimes fail to welcome children into our lives and our church services.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, help us to welcome all age groups into our community and to learn from each other.
Lord, have mercy.


Mark 9:30-37

Proverbs 31:10-31

Janice B. Scott
It's only in relatively recent times that women have really begun to come into their own. It hardly seems possible that only about a century ago, women were considered to be incapable of voting. Throughout history and across the world women have been regarded as goods owned by men and until recently this was recognized in the marriage service, when a woman was given by her father to her new husband. Even fifty years ago married women were not able to take out hire purchase agreements on their own. They needed their husband's permission.

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

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Dean Feldmeyer
Bethany Peerbolte
George Reed
Christopher Keating
Mary Austin
Thomas Willadsen
For September 23, 2018:
  • Memory and Wisdom by Dean Feldmeyer -- What’s the difference in being wise and being experienced? Or is there one?


Keith Hewitt
David O. Bales
“Buzzkill” by Keith Hewitt
“A Capable Woman, Past And Present” by David O. Bales
“Like A Tree To The Very Last Leaf” by David O. Bales

by Keith Hewitt
Mark 9:30-37


Arley K. Fadness
“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name, welcomes me...” (v.37a)

Good morning children,

It is so good to see you. I have a message this morning about little people like you. Want to hear it?  (children respond)

Do you ever argue? Do you argue with your sister or brother? Do you ever argue with your parents? Or teachers? Or classmates?

Arguing is not the same as fighting. Actually, it is healthy to argue. Arguing can be fun and useful as long as there is respect for one another.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Mark Ellingsen
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Ron Love
Proverbs 31:10-31, Psalm 1
Betty Ford was the wife of Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States. Gerald Ford took office on August 9, 1974 with the resignation of Richard Nixon. Betty loved domestic life, but this was no longer possible when she became the First Lady. When asked about the difficulties of her new life in the White House she replied, “I wish I’d married a plumber. At least he’d be home by five o’clock.”

Application: A good marriage does require sacrifice.
Ron L.
Wayne Brouwer
In H. G. Wells’ tale “The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper,” it is November 10, 1931, when Mr. Brownlow returns to his apartment at the end of work and sits down to read his evening paper. As he takes the wrapped bundle in his hands he thinks it feels different than usual. Looking at the address he notices that it was supposed to go to an Evan O’Hara. Still, if he got Mr. O’Hara’s newspaper it is likely that this is only a minor mix-up, and that Mr. O’Hara is already enjoying Mr. Brownlow’s paper over a cup of tea. So Mr. Brownlow unwraps the daily journal and settles in.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Timothy Duckling was big and strong. His had been the first egg to hatch and so he was older than all his brothers and sisters and the strongest of the brood. Timothy had learned to swim almost as soon as he staggered out of his egg, for he had instinctively followed his mother to the water.


George W. Hoyer
In order to be last, you must give others a place in front of you. This is important to realize if you are interested in reaching first place. For Jesus here says, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Realize also that, given the kind of world we are part of, the people whom you must permit to go before you will be a mixed bag, indeed. You can't pick and choose, because that would mean the discards would be behind you. They would become last.

Special Occasion