Eldad – Hampton Pastoral Charge of
the United Church of Canada.
Minister: Rev. James Feairs, B. A., M. Div., Retired Supply.
Organist & Choir Leader: Jennifer Pearce-Chambers.
Livestreaming and song leader: Shawn Pearce-Chambers.
May 3, 2020 “Good Shepherd Sunday” 4th Sunday of Easter
Livestreaming from Eldad during pandemic precautions
People’s responses are in bold type.
Song titles, are also links to lyrics.
We Gather with Praise
Call to Worship:
Let’s gather now in God’s presence, and be willing to pray for and bless God’s world,
May the peace of Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all,
May we have courage along with faith,
May we have compassion, along with courage,
May we all have joy, beyond our understanding,
But not beyond God’s power.
God is our shepherd!
Thanks be to God.
Shepherd of our souls, be present to your people in this day, in our world. Lead us to worship you with simplicity and truth. Guide us to serve in the world, as it is today, with the gifts and abilities we have. Call us to renew our compassion for others, although we confess that we sometimes feel overwhelmed by the needs and pain of the world. Restore us with your presence this hour, that although we are apart, we may be united in all your loving purposes; one flock, one shepherd. We pray in the name of the risen Jesus Christ, Amen.
Words of Assurance:
“Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” Lamb of God, remind us of your unfailing love. Grant us peace. Amen.
Life and Work of the Community of Faith
Song: 166 Joy comes with the dawn.
We Encounter God’s Word
Book of Acts 2:42-47. The early Christian community lives in the glow of that first Easter.
Psalm 23. The Lord is my Shepherd.
The Gospel of John 21:10-17. The risen Lord’s challenge to Peter: Feed my lambs.
Reader: May the Spirit of the risen Christ lead us into all truth.
People: Thanks be to God.
Special Music/Solo/Duet: Come now is the time to worship
We Respond with Prayer and Thanksgiving
Prayer for Gifts and Givers:
We give in many ways and for many reasons, O God, not least because we see glimpses of your kingdom within even our most frail and stumbling attempts to live as communities of faith by your Spirit. Bless all the churches of our East Central Ontario Region in this season of Easter. We all ask your special blessing for the people and minister of Grace United, in Peterborough, praying that all their gifts and their mission, as well as ours, may be supported and continued in this time of uncertainty. We pray in Christ’s name, Amen.
Prayers of the People
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Closing Hymn: 602 Blest be the tie that binds (*linked lyrics sing verses 1,2,3,&5).
– based on the Psalm 23 scriptures for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, April 26, 2020.
From your retired supply minister Rev. Jim.
For all members and friends of Eldad-Hampton United Churches.
I. Well folks – it is still Easter – fourth Sunday of, to be precise. These past few Sundays have been all about the high and holy drama of Easter day; the very first Easter; the morning and day of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
This Sunday, though, we step back and take a bit of a breather and look at the larger picture, of who Jesus is to us, and who God is to us, for all time.
Across the Christian church, the fourth Sunday of Easter for a long time has been called Good Shepherd Sunday. That in itself is a comforting and reassuring picture. You can almost guess several of the Scriptures that will be lifted up this Sabbath, can’t you?
How do we hear familiar scriptures in a fresh way?
One way is to remind ourselves that, as adults, our own life experience is our greatest resource. So what we ‘learn’ new from the scripture depends somewhat on what we bring new to the scripture.
This year it’s the pandemic, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I think I have learned just about all I want to about the pandemic. But of course, it forces us to keep asking: how does our faith help us and others in difficult and uncertain times?
II. So: Please read Psalm 23. The Lord is my Shepherd.
As always, you may be writing or speaking out your thoughts; talking with someone on the phone or computer, or in your household.
- Starter question: What is my very earliest memory or memories? How soon did I know my name? Where was my favourite early place to be outside?
- Where does the singer (Psalms are songs) change from talking about God in the third person, to talking to God in the first person? Do I recall where I began to relate to God in the first person? Perhaps even as the First Person in my life?
- Background: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Often we slide over this bit in what is otherwise to us a Psalm of supreme comfort. The familiar reality in their time is of individual and sometimes rival leaders who were guaranteed safety because they were all being hosted at a feast by their greater leader. Do you get along with everyone in your church? Do you set differences aside at least when you are taking communion?
- Reflect: Is this my favourite Psalm? What are the others? If I were to write a song to God right now would it be a song of praise? Gratitude? Comfort? Lament? Wonder? (The Psalms cover all of these, and so are one of God’s ways of letting us give voice to our deepest human feelings).