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Resources for the 4th Sunday of Easter
St. Thomas Day - St. Thomas, the Doubter
Visit our Psalm 23 Resource Page

Texts & Discussion:
Acts 4:5-12
Psalm 23
1 John 3:16-24
John 10:11-18


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Prayer of Confession

Lord, you are the good Shepherd who cares for the flock with great patience and compassion.
We confess that we often take your love and grace for granted; forgive us, o Lord.
We act like sheep that go astray; forgive us our spiritual shortsightedness.
We confess that we have not responded to your call with faith, but rather sought our own ways and interests.
We confess that we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, forgive us and free us to joyful service to you and others in Jesus' name in whose name we diligently pray.  Amen.



Children's Messages


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Sermon Excerpts

Building Safe Communities
based on John 10:11-18
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

Simon Sinek, a motivational speaker in the business world, asks the question: ďWhy do good leaders make you feel safe?Ē His answer: Because they are willing to make sacrifices for their people rather than sacrifice any of their people for the good of the company. To illustrate his point he tells the story of Bob Chapman who runs a large manufacturing company in the Midwest called Barry-Wehmiller. In the 2008 recession, the company was hit hard and lost 30% of their orders overnight. They needed to save 10 million dollars, so like so many companies today the board got together and discussed layoffs and Ö Bob refused. So instead of laying workers off, they came up with a furlough program. Every employee, from secretary to CEO, was required to take four weeks of unpaid vacation per year.

But it was how Bob announced the program that shows how good leadership creates a sense of safety and trust. He said: ďit's better that we should all suffer a little than any of us should have to suffer a lot.Ē And morale went up and the result was that the company saved twenty million dollars, rather than the 10 million they needed to save.

And isnít that so much like the kind of leadership Jesus is talking about in our passage from John 10? Jesus makes it clear that he is willing to lay down his life for his followers, and we believe it because he actually did!

You could say that Jesus was 2000 years ahead of his time in terms of his organizational model.....Subscribers: click here for the full manuscript


Living Psalm 23
based on Psalm 23 and John 10:11-18
by Rev. Karen A. Goltz

            Have you ever been in a nursing home or a hospital, visiting someone whoís no longer completely in touch with reality?  Maybe youíre visiting a family member, someone very close like a parent or a grandparent, but theyíre just not themselves anymore.  They may not even be able to remember who you are, or who they are.  Itís painful to see a loved one go through that, and I imagine itís difficult and frustrating for that person to lose touch with everything thatís familiar.

            Iíve been on a few visits like that, and Iíd be lying if I said it wasnít uncomfortable for me.  Itís hard to connect with someone whoís so disconnected from everything.

            But then Iíll read the twenty-third Psalm aloud to them, and all of a sudden itís like a lightís been turned on.  Someone who canít recognize their own family or remember their own name will begin to recite the psalm along with me.  Thereís just something about those verses that makes the connection, that soothes the soul.  This psalm, like all the other psalms, is a prayer of the people to God.  A prayer that speaks to God for us when we canít come up with the words on our own.

....  Subscribers: click here for the full manuscript.


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