You can join this week’s worship service by clicking here. Thank you to Tammy MacKay-Oxner for sharing the gift of music with us this week. There’s also a short video for children which you can watch by clicking here.
This week, instead of a reflection we have an interview with David Coon, Green Party leader for New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South. David had been scheduled to visit St. Paul’s this Sunday to talk to us about congregational action and advocacy in relation to climate change. He kindly agreed to talk to us from his home, and in addition to the issue of climate change, our conversation included discernment of personal and professional callings, COVID-19, and priorities for New Brunswickers coming out of this crisis.
Below, you’ll find Steve’s pastoral prayers for this week. Our weekly e-newsletter will continue to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening at St. Paul’s. If you don’t currently receive that, and would like to, please contact us and we’ll happily add you to our mailing list.
In these exceptional times, please do stay in touch, with us and with each other. The peace of Christ be with you all.
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Scripture: Acts 2: 42-47
Music: Each Blade of Grass; Pass It On
Musician: Tammy MacKay-Oxner
Holy One, now perhaps more than ever in our generation we need you to be our Good Shepherd, to guide us and comfort us.
Many of us are still reeling from the shock and horror of the murders in Nova Scotia. We wonder what we can do to comfort those who are grieving, to heal our own sense of brokenness, to stop the violence. We need your guidance and your grace.
As the pandemic continues and as restrictions are beginning to lift we still face uncertainty – that we do not know the best way forward, for ourselves, our families and our community. Some are willing to take risks while others live in deep fear. We long to know where there is a safe pasture. Yet, not even the scientists can give us the perfect assurance that all will be well. We need your wisdom and your strength to help us in this time.
During this so-called Great Pause, we have come to see that all is not well not just in the broader world but our own community. The most vulnerable, our seniors and those with no place to call home, are at serious risk. Our supply chains for medical equipment, disinfectant products and even some foods are being stretched beyond capacity. There is economic uncertainty for many people and businesses. We know the future will be different but we do not know how. We know that even though all of these new issues that have come to the fore they are added to the problems and concerns of the past.
Yet, through all of these things, through this time – as through all things and all times you have always been our Good Shepherd. Within your embrace we find comfort, security and healing. Within your embrace, we know that you know us and that you will never abandon us.
Good Shepherd, guide us as you have guided the faithful throughout time. Embolden us, as your people and as your church, to offer new solutions so that we may become an even more caring people. Create within us the moral courage to help build a society that better cares for the most vulnerable and that converts us into being good stewards of the earth.
We pray for all who are caring for us: for doctors and nurses, for technicians and caregivers, for those who cook and clean, for researchers and scientists, for truck drivers and those who work in warehouses and stores, for those making calls and checking on neighbours, for those offering leadership in many ways, for those doing the best they can to brighten the day for themselves and others, we give you our thanks.
We pray for all whose world has been turned upside down: for those who have lost work, for those who are sick, and those who are grieving, we pray. We pray for all who are affected in any way by the pandemic economically and or socially, we pray for safety and healing and better days ahead for all people.
In spite of the pandemic, in spite of the fear and sense of loss. Help us, O God, that we might help each other. We ask these things in the name of our brother Jesus, and we pray in the words he taught us, Our Father…