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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.

Fifth Sunday of Easter - B

Children's Liturgy and Story

John 15:1-8

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. In our service today, let us absorb from the vine all the nourishment we need.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our branches become cut off from the vine.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes our branches are withered.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we fail to produce good fruit.
Lord, have mercy.


Reading:

John 15:1-8

Children's Story

John 15:1-8

Janice B. Scott
The football team were furious. They'd finished the season top of their under-13 league and were already training for next year, when they received the letter.

"It has come to our attention," the letter began pompously, "that two members of your team are female. I enclose a copy of the current rules. You will see that rule 6a, paragraph h states that "after the age of thirteen years, no club may field a football team comprising members of both sexes."

"There is now a very good Womens' League which will welcome your two female players. Please offer them our best wishes and hopes for their future in football."

The letter was signed by the president of the Clubs' League.

Intercession

John 15:1-8

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

Genesis 22:1-18

Janice B. Scott
If any of us ever stopped to really consider the implications and responsibilities of being a parent, we would probably never have children. But fortunately, since we're mostly young ourselves when our children are born, we have no idea of what lies ahead and blithely assume that we'll be excellent parents, that our children will be perfect and that everything will be fine.

It's only later that we begin to realise that parenthood isn't that easy. Children have a habit of being themselves, which may be very different from the way we want them to be. This becomes most apparent during the teenage years, when children begin to really assert their independence. Some youngsters rebel so much that they seem

Sermon

1 John 4:7-21

Janice B. Scott
Some years ago I baptised a beautiful child. She was nearly three, so a little older than most children who are brought for baptism. She had golden curls and blue eyes and the sweetest smile you could wish to see. But she was unable to sit or stand unaided and she was unable to speak, for she had suffered brain damage at birth.

Her parents had worked so hard on her limbs that they had managed to keep them supple. The consultant had congratulated them, for he said that most children who suffer similar brain damage end up with stiff limbs which not only refuse to work, but also refuse to bend.

Sermon

John 15:1-8

Janice B. Scott
One of the joys of moving house is making interesting discoveries in the garden. In the garden of one of the houses we moved into, we discovered a lovely little herb garden, completely covered by masses of overgrown Michaelmas and Ox-eye daisies.

There was also, to our astonishment, a vine, gently creeping up the wall. A somewhat small and delicate vine to be sure. One which had been all but choked by the daisies, but a vine nonetheless.

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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Easter 4
28 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
33 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
34 – Commentary / Exegesis
5 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Easter 5
33 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
34 – Children's Sermons / Resources
30 – Worship Resources
35 – Commentary / Exegesis
5 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Easter 6
30 – Sermons
180+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
31 – Commentary / Exegesis
5 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
In the sometimes-tiresome debate over science and scripture with respect to creation, it’s easy to become distracted. While the argument typically requires a focus on the how, we may lose sight of the what. And so, for just a moment, let me invite us to think for a moment about what God created.
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Acts 8:26-40
As a local church pastor, I was often asked if I would baptize a child whose family were not members of the church. Some churches rebelled against this, but I remember this scripture -the hunger for understanding and inclusion of the Eunuch and Philp’s response – to teach and share and baptize in the name of our God. How could we turn anyone away from the rite of baptism?

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
“Dad, I think you worked a miracle.” Rolf slowly walked around the tree. “After that windstorm, I assumed this tree was as good as gone.”

“We just needed to give the branches time to heal and come back,” Michael replied.

 “I know, but so many of them were battered and broken I figured that it couldn’t recover. Now though it looks just like it did before the storm.” Rolf paused. “Do you think it will bear any fruit this summer?”

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: A live plant that produces fruit, and a broken branch from that plant. I used a tomato plant from a local greenhouse. Ideally, find a plant with blossoms or small fruit already growing. If you use a different kind of fruit-producing plant, just change the script to fit.

* * *

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

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Katy Stenta
Thomas Willadsen
Mary Austin
Elena Delhagen
Dean Feldmeyer
Quantisha Mason-Doll
For April 28, 2024:
  • On The Way To Gaza by Chris Keating based on Acts 8:26-40. On the way to Gaza, Philip discovers the startling ways the Spirit of God moves across borders, boundaries, customs, and traditions.
  • Second Thoughts: Abiding by Katy Stenta based on John 15:1-8.
  • Sermon illustrations by Mary Austin, Tom Willadsen, Elena Delhagen, Dean Feldmeyer.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. In our service today, let us absorb from the vine all the nourishment we need.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our branches become cut off from the vine.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes our branches are withered.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we fail to produce good fruit.
Lord, have mercy.

SermonStudio

Stan Purdum
We will meet Psalm 22 in its entirety on Good Friday, but here the lectionary designates just verses 23-31. The lectionary psalms generally illuminate the week's First Lesson, which in this case is about the covenant initiated by God with Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17. The nine verses from this psalm, while not inappropriate, nonetheless leave us looking for an obvious connection with the First Lesson.

John S. Smylie
I think some people are natural-born gardeners. Our Lord grew up in a society that was familiar with agriculture. The images that he used to explain the ways of his Father in heaven are familiar to his audience. Growing up, my closest experience to agriculture was living in, "the Garden State." Most people, when they pass through New Jersey, are surprised to see that expression on the license plates of vehicles registered in New Jersey. Most folks traveling through New Jersey experience the megalopolis, the corridor between New York City and Washington DC.
Ron Lavin
A pastor in Indiana went to visit an 87-year-old man named Ermil, who was a hospital patient. A member of his church told the pastor about this old man who was an acquaintance. "He's not a believer, but he is really in need," the church member said. "I met him at the county home for the elderly. He's a lonely old man with no family and no money."

Paul E. Robinson
"Love is a many splendored thing...." Or so we heard Don Cornwall and the Four Aces sing time and again. Of course you or I might have other words to describe love, depending on our situation.

Love. "I love you." "I love to play golf." "I just love pistachio lush!" "It's tough to love some people." "Jesus loves me, this I know."

Love.

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