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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 15 | Ordinary Time 20 - A

Children's Liturgy and Story

Matthew 15:21-28

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
When a woman knelt before him and said, "Lord, help me," Jesus saw her faith and responded to her request. In our worship today let us explore the relationship between humility and faith.

Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes I'm too proud to ask for help, even when I desperately need it.
Lord, have mercy.


Jesus, sometimes I allow myself to be put off by other people's negative responses.
Christ, have mercy.


Jesus, sometimes I'm only prepared to ask for help from my own kind.
Lord, have mercy.


Reading:

Children's Story

Matthew 15:21-28

Janice B. Scott
Bushman was busy grooming his bushy, luxuriant tail. His tail was his best feature, and the envy of all the other squirrels. But Bushman wished he was good at something else too. His friend Cobbler was the best collector of nuts the squirrels had ever seen, and his other friend Tricky had a brilliant brain and could always work out the best way of reaching those nuts which always seemed to remain tantalisingly out of range.

" I wish I was like you, Cobbler," moaned Bushman. "Or like you, Tricky. You two get all the nuts. All I can do is flash my tail around, and that's no use to anyone."

Intercession

Matthew 15:21-28

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 45:1-15

Janice B. Scott
It's now well known although hardly comprehensible to me, that a single beat of a butterfly's wing can start a chain of events that can cause or prevent the formation of hurricanes half way around the world. There is fairly universal agreement in the meteorological community that this statement about the nature of causes and effects is true and not an exaggeration.

If a single beat of a butterfly's wing can cause or prevent something as huge as a hurricane, what effects do our human actions cause? Perhaps it's just as well that we generally remain blithely unaware of the effects of any of our actions, although sometimes it's possible to trace a chain of cause and effect through history. The first World War, for instance, is generally

Sermon

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

Janice B. Scott
In today's gospel reading, Jesus seemed reluctant to heal the Canaanite woman's daughter. He told her that he wasn't sent to help foreigners, but only his own people, the Chosen Race. The words sound unnecessarily harsh, but perhaps this is an interpretation unique to Matthew, for this story only appears in Matthew's gospel, which was written for Jews. By contrast, in Luke's gospel, which was written by a Gentile for Gentiles, Jesus heals many foreigners, and Luke is at pains to point out on a number of occasions that the foreigners are more spiritual than the Jews.

Sermon

Matthew 15:21-28

Janice B. Scott
Some years ago I was privileged to sit on what was then called The Norfolk Family Practitioner Committee. Amongst other things, one of the duties of this committee was to hear complaints against doctors and dentists throughout Norfolk. Some of the complaints we heard were about the treatment given, especially if the patient had unfortunately died after treatment. But many of the complaints had nothing to do with treatment but were about manner and attitude, over which we had no jurisdiction.

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
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Thomas Willadsen
Bethany Peerbolte
Ron Love
Mary Austin
George Reed
Dean Feldmeyer
For August 16, 2020:
  • An Outsider’s Determined Push by Chris Keating — Jesus’ retort to the Syro-Phoenician woman catches us off guard, but will lead us to understand the depth of her great faith.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
I love Thanksgiving. I cherish the traditions, I love the quality of family reunion, and I enjoy the food. I have hundreds of fond memories of Thanksgiving holidays past, and I look forward to the Thanksgiving that is a few months away.

But it is a few months away. I may be looking forward to it, but that doesn’t mean that I am doing any grocery shopping for it yet. We all recognize that it would be premature for us to put the turkey in the oven this weekend in preparation for November’s Thanksgiving celebration.
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Mark Ellingsen
Ron Love
Bill Thomas
Genesis 45:1-5
This is a lesson about forgiveness. Martin Luther reminds us how Joseph’s forgiving actions were functions of God’s grace:

Therefore the Holy Spirit and grace are a medicine, so to speak, for nature – a medicine by which what had been ruined or destroyed in the original corruption through sin is set to right and restored. (Luther’s Works, Vol.8, p.16)

Elsewhere he makes the point in another, related way:

StoryShare

David O. Bales
Contents
“Howling Good News For Some” by David O. Bales
“Unity” by David O. Bales


Howling Good News For Some
by David O. Bales
Genesis 45:1-15  

“Calm down. Calm down. I know what’s going on,” the chief steward said. Beside him a handful of Joseph’s Egyptian servants stood outside the royal complex looking around nervously. Joseph, already acting strange this morning, without explanation had swept his arms toward his servants and shouted, “Everyone out. Everyone out.”

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
In today's gospel reading, Jesus seemed reluctant to heal the Canaanite woman's daughter. He told her that he wasn't sent to help foreigners, but only his own people, the Chosen Race. The words sound unnecessarily harsh, but perhaps this is an interpretation unique to Matthew, for this story only appears in Matthew's gospel, which was written for Jews.

SermonStudio

Wayne Brouwer
As a seminary intern in St. Louis, Missouri, I was part of a Jewish-Christian Dialogue group. We were seeking to understand one another's traditions, work together for the good of our neighborhoods, and promote tolerance and respect in society. I had been invited into the group by a member of the church at which I was serving. She grew up Jewish, and in recent years had, in her words, "completed my faith" by gaining an understanding that Jesus is the Messiah foretold by the prophets of Israel.

CSSPlus

Good morning, boys and girls. How many of you like to eat? (let them answer) What is your favorite food? (let them answer) Do you know what a bird eats? (let them answer) Very good. They eat bugs, all kinds of bugs. Today, I brought with me this jar of bugs. They are pretty colorful, and in some ways they look almost good enough to eat. Have you ever eaten a bug? (let them answer) I wonder what a bug tastes like? Is there anyone here who is hungry enough to eat a bug? (let them answer)

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