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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 24 | Ordinary Time 29 - A


Exodus 33:12-23

On the death of a loved one there, our local hospital gives to bereaved relatives poems containing words of reassurance and support. One of the pieces they give is that lovely, anonymous poem "Footprints", which is still a comfort and an inspiration to many people. It goes like this:

One night, a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that...


Matthew 22:15-22

Round about 1986, a national movement arose in Britain called something like: the Snowball campaign. It grew from CND, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. It started in a small way, but it grew bigger and bigger, hence the name Snowball.

Ian and I were living in Fakenham at the time, and the campaign had quite an impact on life in North Norfolk. Partly because it was the brainchild of Angie Zelter, a young woman who lived in one of the villages just outside Fakenham.


1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

The Alpha course raises strong emotions, not least amongst clergy. Alpha is a course on basic Christianity, designed for non-believers and devised by Holy Trinity Church in Brompton, London. It started in a small way back in the seventies and eighties, but when a young curate, the Revd. Nicky Gumbel, joined the staff of Holy Trinity, he revamped the course and it took off in a big way.


Matthew 22:15-22

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.

Children's Story

Matthew 22:15-22

"Are you coming?" shouted Tim breathlessly.

Ben bit his lip and frowned. "I'm not sure," he muttered.

Tim stared at him in amazement. Ben was considered to be the best football player in the class, and the game without him was unthinkable. "What do you mean?" asked Tim.

Ben shifted uneasily. He was reluctant to admit even to his best friend that he went to Church on Sundays. Now the new football club was about to open, and was going to hold its practices and matches on Sunday mornings. Ben didn't know what to do. He did know that if his classmates discovered what he did on a Sunday morning, his life wouldn't be worth living. He would be teased and jeered at unmercifully, and his credibility would diminish to zero.

Children's Liturgy and Story

Matthew 22:15-22

Call to Worship:

When some Pharisees tried to trick him, Jesus said, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." In our worship today let us explore the things that are God's.

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
Christopher Keating
Mary Austin
Ron Love
George Reed
Beth Herrinton-Hodge
In this week’s lectionary gospel text, the Pharisees scheme to trap Jesus with what in journalistic parlance is known as a “gotcha” question -- asking him if it is lawful for religious folk to pay taxes to the emperor. After lashing out at them for “putting me to the test,” Jesus responds with his famous dictum that we should give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.


Arley K. Fadness
“...give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperors and to God the things that are Gods.” (v. 21b)

Good morning boys and girls,

Welcome to worship today. So wonderful to see you.  Thanks for joining me for this children's message. How are you? How am I? Fantastic!

I want to show you two things:  An offering plate and a picture of Uncle Sam. Why Uncle Sam? Uncle Sam is America, and for this morning, Uncle Sam represents government.


Peter Andrew Smith
John Fitzgerald
"What We Give to God" by Peter Andrew Smith
"Praise The Lord!" by John Fitzgerald

What We Give to God
by Peter Andrew Smith
Matthew 22:15-22

Vince flipped the burgers on the barbeque. “So how is married life treating you?”

“Pretty good.” Dave looked back at the house. “Although, I suspect Tina is getting the real scoop from Barb as we sit out here in the cold.”

Vince laughed. “Are you following the advice I gave you in the summer?”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Ron Love
Mark Ellingsen
Bob Ove
Exodus 33:12-23
Augustus Toplady wrote many hymns in his life, but “Rock of Ages” is by far his most famous. There was a time, in the early 1900s, when this hymn was in more English hymnals than any other. Not only is it well known among churchgoers, it is also recognizable in popular culture. A 2006 Broadway musical about rock ’n roll (and a corresponding Hollywood film in 2012) adopted the name Rock of Ages.
Mark Ellingsen
The lessons for this Sunday share common themes regarding knowing God (how he is correctly known) and also that he receives all the credit due him for what he does for us. 

Exodus 33:12-23

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
"Are you coming?" shouted Tim breathlessly.

Ben bit his lip and frowned. "I'm not sure," he muttered.

Tim stared at him in amazement. Ben was considered to be the best football player in the class, and the game without him was unthinkable. "What do you mean?" asked Tim.


John E. Sumwalt
C. B. "Cleve" Bishop

They say you can't go home again, but I thought I'd try anyway. I went back to Seattle to visit my stepfather for a couple of weeks, after having been away for over twenty years. We really did have a good visit and enjoyed one another's company immensely.

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