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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.

Christ The King (Proper 29) - A


Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

We English are renowned as a nation of animal lovers to such a degree that other nations often regard us as slightly touched when they see how we care for our animals, especially our domestic pets. Many of us give our pets the best food and the best living quarters and for many, the pet is a treasured member of the family. On the whole, we rather like other animals too, as long as they're warm and furry. Some of us are less keen on spiders, snakes or scorpions, but there are those who feel as strongly for reptiles and insects as the rest of us do for dogs and cats, sheep, goats, squirrels and rabbits.

Here in the UK, sheep probably fall into the warm and furry category, but our sheep are very unlike


Ephesians 1:15-23

A week or two ago, a Norfolk teenager won nearly ten million pounds on the National Lottery. He turned up to collect his winnings wearing an electronic tag, for he had been in a Young Offenders' Institution for two months and the tag was part of his sentence for drunken and unruly behaviour. And he admitted to other rather more crominal activities in the past. He claimed to have won this money with his first ever lottery ticket.


Matthew 25:31-46

I used to know a man who claimed to be able to make himself invisible. I regarded his claim as complete nonsense, until I saw him in the bank several weeks later. Or rather, almost failed to see him! I was impatiently waiting in a queue to be served, but he stood at the counter so quietly and so still that he almost melted into the background. If I hadn't known him, I don't think I would have noticed him.

I then understood that he was achieving his so-called invisibility by self-effacement. He worked at making himself insignificant, he stood back in the shadows, and he was almost unnoticeable.


Matthew 25:31-46

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.

Gentle and self-effacing God, I'm in danger of not noticing you, for you hide yourself away in the timid and the quiet, the poor and the weak. It's not that I deliberately ignore you, God. If I spotted you, I'd be there in an instant.

Children's Story

Matthew 25:31-46

Buzter hummed to himself. He was happy in his work, and he always hummed when he was happy. And he was never happier than when he was a busy, buzzy bee.

Today, along with all the other workers, he had been sent out by the Queen Bee to collect nectar from the roses growing at the end of the garden. Buzter loved collecting nectar, for it was a delicious taste. And he loved the way pollen from the roses caught on his coat, for it was a delicious scent which he carried from rose to rose to help the roses bloom even more brightly.

Children's Liturgy and Story

Matthew 25:31-46

Call to Worship:

On many occasions Jesus made it clear that all human beings are called to share in his kingdom, but that few choose to do so. In today's reading Jesus tells us that those who choose to share in his kingdom are unexpected, just as those who choose not to share in the kingdom are unexpected. In our worship let us explore the ways in which people opt into or opt out of God's kingdom.

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

Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Dean Feldmeyer
Ron Love
George Reed
The final Sunday of the church year -- known as Christ the King Sunday -- celebrates the Reign of Christ in the world and our station as his loyal subjects and sheep. But as team member Mary Austin points out in the next installment of The Immediate Word, that imagery seems rather quaint in a modern world that has little experience with either kings or shepherds.


Peter Andrew Smith
John Fitzgerald
"I Was A Prisoner" by Peter Andrew Smith
"Thanksgiving and Advent" by John Fitzgerald

I Was A Prisoner
by Peter Andrew Smith
Matthew 25:31-46

The prison door slammed shut behind Gary. His heart raced as he stepped forward to the guard standing behind the security glass.

“You have your papers and identification?” the guard asked.

Gary slid them forward and watched the guard looked them over carefully and check his identification against the computer.


Arley K. Fadness
“...come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you...” (v. 34b)

Good morning girls and boys,

It's so good to see you this morning. I hope you are fine. Let's see a great big smile. (children smile broadly) Now let's give God a big smile. (motion towards the cross and so on)

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
David Coffin
Reign of Christ or Christ the King Sunday lends itself to the narration of stories as to how people experience God and God’s kingdom breaking into our world. Karen D. Scheib’s book titled Pastoral Care: Telling Stories of our Lives (Abingdon Press, 2016) makes some practical sense. “Narrative identity provides a means to hold together our various beliefs, hopes, dreams, and roles in a coherent way.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
I used to know a man who claimed to be able to make himself invisible. I regarded his claim as complete nonsense, until I saw him in the bank several weeks later. Or rather, almost failed to see him! I was impatiently waiting in a queue to be served, but he stood at the counter so quietly and so still that he almost melted into the background. If I hadn't known him, I don't think I would have noticed him.


James L. Killen, Jr.
The church calendar says that this is the day on which we celebrate the festival of Christ the King. That makes this a very important day. The idea of the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Christ, is one of the most important biblical and theological explanations of the meaning of the Christian faith. It probably represents the very heart of Jesus' own teachings.

Special Occasion