Thursday, March 26, 2015
3/26/2015, #16, 1st Quarter 2015
A day for little things, no doubt, but who wold dare despise it. (Zechariah 4:10a) Father, help me keep my attention on the tasks you have given me, not matter what their size or importance to others.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. (Psalm 131:2)
Holy Spirit, help me find my peace in Jesus.
O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever. (Psalm 131:3)
Jesus, you are my hope.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)
Holy Spirit, bring us to unity of purpose in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (John 10:1-4)
Jesus, I hear your voice calling me. Please help me follow where you lead. Thank you for being my shepherd.
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." (John 10:5)
Holy Spirit, please give me discernment about any false shepherds so that I don't follow them.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
Jesus, thank you for give your life for me.
But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. (John 10:12)
Father, there are so many hirelings in the church today -- have mercy on us and cleanse the church by the fire of your Holy Spirit.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14-15)
LORD, send forth many throughout this diocese to preach the gospel of peace.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Holy Spirit, please help me hear so that my faith is built up.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments. (Psalm 119:176)
Shepherd of Israel, seek me out and save me. Thank you.
What we heard
WORD: Pray for the fresh wind of my Holy Spirit.
WORD: I love you. I hold you in my hand to comfort you.
Psalm 31:24 WORD: I AM your hope and your strength.
Thursday: 131, 132, ; *; 140, 142; Jer. 26:1-16; Rom. 11:1-12; John 10:19-42
Friday: 95* & 22; *; 141, 143:1-11(12); Jer. 29:1,4-13; Rom. 11:13-24; John 11:1-27, or 12:1-10
Saturday: 137:1-6(7-9), 144; *; 42, 43; Jer. 31:27-34; Rom. 11:25-36; John 11:28-44, or 12:37-50
From the Front Lines
***** Bishop's Message - Holy Week and Easter, March 25th, 2015, Feast of the Annunciation
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The recent martyrdom of Christians in many parts of the world reminds us that the call to follow Jesus is a costly call. It requires our commitment, our will, our time, our treasure and our convictions. The collect for Morning Prayer on Fridays reminds us that the way of the cross is our way of life. Jesus walked the way of the cross so that we might be saved, willingly and obediently suffering death on the cross so that we could inherit eternal life.
As we continue on toward the height of the Christian year, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, I encourage you to walk the way of the cross with Jesus as His disciples. I encourage you to give up every other activity that may distract you and join in the services of Holy Week and Easter this coming week, so that you can know the saving love of Jesus Christ more fully and more deeply. I encourage you also to invite a friend, family member, or neighbor who does not know Jesus to come with you and experience His saving love and then share with them the hope that we have because of the Cross and the Resurrection. I pray that this Holy Week and Easter will bring each of us closer to the One who is the Savior of the world - Jesus Christ.
As you continue in your walk with Jesus, I ask your prayers for the persecuted Church throughout the world. I also ask your prayers for all the people of this diocese, clergy and laity, that we may all be courageous and faithful in sharing our faith, strengthening one another as we walk the way of the Cross, filled with the joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior.
Almighty, everlasting God...stir up in us the flame of that love which burned in the heart of your Son as He bore His passion, and let it burn in us to eternal life and to the ages of ages. Amen (Book of Common Prayer, p. 113)
May you have a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Eastertide.
Your brother in Christ, +Bill
***** Evangelion Conference
The theme for the 147th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany is "Three Persons, One God Three Streams, One Church." Expand your knowledge of the Evangelical stream by attending the conference entitled Evangelion TEC at St. Stephen's Church, 16 Elsmere Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054 from Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th. (There will be a meet and greet social event associated with the Conference on Thursday, April 23rd from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.) Evangelion is a gathering of Evangelicals in the Episcopal Church for networking, prayer, Bible study, worship, and mutual encouragement in Gospel ministry, both as lay and ordained ministers of the Gospel. The Conference will discuss questions such as: What is the history of the Evangelical movement in the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism? How do we identify as Anglican Evangelicals? Who are some of the heroes of the Evangelical movement? Guest speakers include Rev. Dr. Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society, an organization in the U.K. that helps strengthen local churches in biblical faith and shape the Church of England now and for the future, the Rev. Philip Wainwright, Chaplain at the University of Pittsburgh, and Mr. Thomas Isham, author of A Born Again Episcopalian: The Evangelical Witness of Charles Pettit McIlvaine, The Geography of the Soul, and other books. For more information or to register for the conference, click http://www.evangeliontec.org/ or contact St. Stephen's Delmar, 518-439-3265.
***** 40 Days For Life is holding a Special Vigil
On Thursday, March 26, starting at 10:00 AM, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and Bishop William H. Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany will join the 40 Days For Life vigil at the Schenectady Planned Parenthood, 1040 State Street, Schenectady.
Parking will be available at Christ Church front parking lot at 970 State Street and at the back parking lot entrances from Swan or Albany Streets.
Information, instructions and prayers will be available at both will be at the Christ Church parking lots and at the sidewalk in front of the Planned Parenthood prior to the 10:00 AM vigil.
40 Days For Life hopes that you will be able to come and our support the Bishops as we show Christian solidarity in support of the Sanctity of Human Life.
Please come and join us for this special vigil and invite others and spread the word!
Let us all be in prayer from now through Thursday.
***** St. John’s Episcopal Church Prayer Table Report
+ = cross given
++Marilyn: for her friend suffering from lung cancer
Peter: for his friend Joe’s recuperation in the hospital
Tracy: for his continued healing and strength
***** ST. ANN'S AMSTERDAM PRAYER TABLE
BIANCA -- Anointed her with Holy Oil. Bianca says she has occasional demons about her that scare her. She says that when she comes to the table and gets prayers of protection, the demons go away.
DARCY -- Asked for prayer to be safe and protected.
MARIA -- Sought prayer for her husband BRUCE, who has heart problems.
YOUNG FAMILY (No names) -- Husband and wife and four cute children. Gave them a general prayer for provision and safety. They are very special to us. They speak very little English but they understand we want to help them and love them. We help them with food and clothing. Every Monday, Cheri comes out to give them a treat of "Goldfish" for each of the kids.
LUCY -- Friend of this young family, walks with them. General prayer for protection and well-being.
DAVID -- U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. Occasionally asks for prayer, but not this time. He wants to come by and support what we are doing so sometimes he just stops to say hello. This man has directed many, many people to us for prayer. He is kind of a private person, so he never asks for prayer if other people are around to listen.
JOE and two other men (no names) -- They came over as a group and when we asked if they wanted prayer for anything, JOE said "Yes, we ALL do!" Prayed for them all together to be safe and healthy.
ALBERT -- Very serious, pious young man who comes by now and then. He asked for prayer for healing for cancer victims all over the world. Sought clothing for some members of his family who are soon to mover here from Puerto Rico.
(Important note: Please continue to bring in your non-perishable food items such as soup, mac and cheese, pasta, sauce and tuna. We also are grateful for whatever clean, used clothing items you can give us to give to the needy in our neighborhood. We could use children's outgrown clothing as well. Your donations are greatly appreciated by your neighbors who receive them! Remember Jesus' words, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me!"))