Worship at Home for Sunday April 25 2021

Dear Friends,

Wednesday sure had some strange weather with a heavy snow in the middle of April. I hope that none of you lost flowers and other tender young plants. As we are concerned about our plants, so God is concerned about us. On this Good Shepherd Sunday, take time to meditate on God’s loving care for you.

During this Easter Season of the Church we will be exploring what the Resurrection means as we seek to live in community. Who are we because Jesus rose from the tomb? How should we live? Think about what this means in your own life. Please share your thoughts with me.

If you need anything, please call me at the church office (437-2779).

Announcements:

  • These Days devotional guides are available. Pick one up at church. Or call the church and let me know, if you would like one mailed or dropped off at your home.
  • Volunteers needed at Helping Hands Mobile Markets on the fourth Friday of the month.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm. We hope to perform on Mother’s Day.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

For the Children's Message go to our Sunday School at Home Page.

For the prayers and hymns from the worship service click here for the bulletin.

Join us on Facebook Live at 9am on Sunday.

Scripture Lesson: Please read these passages in your Bible at home. If you do not have a Bible, we have many at church and would love to give you one.

Acts 4:1-12, Psalm 23, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18

Sermon: Living as Sheep

On Good Shepherd Sunday we remember that we are the sheep who follow our good shepherd Jesus. There are some people around here who raise sheep, but I thought that this list about the behavior of sheep that I read on the Pulpit Fiction website was interesting.

Understanding Sheep Behavior

  • Sheep are social animals, so try and prevent seclusion.
  • Sheep by nature are followers; let them follow and don’t drive them as you would cattle.
  • Sheep are docile animals by nature.
  • Sheep have good memories; these memories need to be positive ones as much as possible.
  • Sheep like routine, so be patient when introducing something new.
  • Sheep reactions are predictable, so use them.
  • Sheep react negatively to loud noises and yelling.
  • Sheep tend to move in the opposite direction of the handler.
  • Sheep move best when not afraid, so work slowly and calmly.
  • Sheep will move towards other sheep.
  • Sheep have no depth perception, so shadows, dark surfaces and water are an issue.
  • Sheep fear new visual objects

Sheep sound a lot like people. People need to be social. We prefer to follow rather than to be forced into a decision. Most people are not violent. We like to have positive memories. Changes to our routines upset us. Our reactions to good stimuli like chocolate and good food can bring people to an event. Most people dislike being yelled at. People often freeze when afraid. We will congregate with other people. New things can scare us. Unlike sheep we do have good depth perception, though sometimes we fail to understand the depths of what Jesus is telling us.

Jesus loves and understands who we are and how best to love us. Jesus will lead us to the places that we can find nourishment for our bodies and our souls. Sometimes we wander off and find ourselves in places emotionally and/or physically that our dangerous for us. That is when Jesus our shepherd comes looking for us. Sadly, lost sheep might keep running and hiding when Jesus comes calling or might not recognize Jesus as their Savior.

Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and addiction have increased during the last year. The stress of the pandemic has caused many to feel isolated, afraid and moving away from our good shepherd. As a church family we need to pray for and listen to Jesus’ call for us to be with those in need of comfort and healing. Our fellow sheep our in need of the care of God. We do not need to judge them, but to love them.

We need to find creative ways to love and reach the hurting. Laurie Rieckhoff and I attend a Conference Annual Gathering Zoom workshop about ministry with pets. We learned about the Lutheran Church’s Comfort Dog Ministry. These highly trained dogs show amazing intuition as to who needs love and support. Perhaps we at St. Peter’s could create a creative ministry to care for the hurting. Please pray about this and share what ever ideas that you may have about special ministries for caring for God’s lost sheep.

Prayer

God our loving shepherd, we offer you our thanks and praise for the care which you give us. Guide us safely into your fold when we have wandered away from your flock. Help us to reach out to the lost sheep who are wandering without a shepherd and need your loving care. May your rod and staff comfort those who are scared and in dangerous emotional and physical situations. Inspire us to be sheep who care and share your love. Amen.

 

Silent Prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer

Prayer list:

Ahna, Priscilla, Grandpa David, Virginia, Vic, Liz’s sister in law, Butch, Marcie, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Linda, Pat, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Jeff, Terry, Bev, Mark, Dave, Peggy, youth struggling with mental health issues, Shawn, Lindsey, Sue, Diann, Danna, Janet, Lisa, Joyce, Sara, Cheyenne, Katelyn, Michelle, Dawson, Mary, Priscilla, Tricia, Mildred, family of Karl Krupp, and the family and friends of the OHS student who died on Wednesday.
Special Prayers for Khual in Myanamr. Khual is a former student of mine.

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