Palm Sunday Performance This Sunday, March 25th at 3pm, our sister church, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, (400 West Wendell St., Endicott, NY) will be hosting a free choral and instrumental performance called Declare His Glory, a concert of sacred and classical music. There will be many guest artists with congregational singing as well. The concert is free to attend, a free will offering will be taken if you feel led to give.
Easter Schedule Easter is on its way, which means that the Holy Week Services are almost upon us. Here are the scheduled times for this year, with a brief description of what each service is about.
Tennebrae (Wednesday, March 28th): 7:00PM Tenebrae means “shadows” in Latin. It is a service of word, light and sound. When you arrive for worship you will see two groups of candles lit on the altar table. As readings are read the candles on the altar will be gradually extinguished until the very end of the service when the last candle left lit is removed from the worship space and the whole sanctuary is left in darkness. At that point a loud crash will (should) shatter the silence of the sanctuary. Then, after a moment, the last candle is returned to the sanctuary and the worshippers depart in silence. The gradual darkening of the sanctuary and the crashing noise symbolizes the apparent victory of death, darkness, and chaos over Jesus Christ on the cross. The final candle being removed and returned, symbolizes the truth that through Jesus’ death, God gained victory over all the powers of evil. The Light was not overcome.
Maundy Thursday (Thursday, March 29th): 6:30PM Maundy Thursday communion celebrates the humility of Jesus with a ceremonial foot washing. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s and yet on the night before he died, during the Last Supper, he knelt down and one by one washed his disciples’ feet. He did this to show his disciples and to show you and me how to serve one another with humility and love, being willing even to stoop to the most menial tasks. Maundy Thursday is the last chance for communion until the Great Vigil.
Good Friday: (Friday, March 30th): noon At about 3pm on Friday of Holy Week he lifted his eyes up to heaven from the cross and breathed out his last. “It is finished” he said. He was not only referring to his life, but he was also referring to his mission to deal with and defeat once and for all sin, death, and Satan.
Stations (Friday, March 30th): 7:00PM This is a solemn service. The participants walk through the stations of the cross by candlelight, hearing a brief reading at each, and exit the sanctuary in silence.
The Great Vigil of Easter (Saturday, March 31st): 8:00PM Along with Tenebrae, the Easter Vigil is one of the most ancient services of the Church. It is the most important service of the entire year and it is the first service of Easter. The service begins in total darkness—the lights of the sanctuary are out and not a candle is burning. Then a fire is lit in a firepot the center of the nave and from that flame all the candles in the sanctuary are lit and the hand-candles in the congregation. Then come readings and psalms, said and sung, by singers and by the whole congregation. The sermon follows and then the first Communion of Easter. The Great Vigil begins at 8:00pm in the sanctuary.
Easter Day (Sunday, April 1st) This is the day Christians celebrate and proclaim the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be music, preaching, smells and bells. Service times are at 8:00am and 10:30am.
Easter Egg Hunt Kids of all ages are invited to an Easter egg hunt after Sunday’s service. Everyone will get a number and an allotment of eggs. Come help your Good Shepherd family have some fun finding treasure. In the event of inclement weather the hunt will be downstairs. See you all there!
SYNOD facilities projects and preparation are being managed by Tyler VanFossen. Please email him if you would like some flexible, do-at-your-convenience tasks around church, as well as be put on the work crew email list. Talk to him at church, or email him at email@example.com
CANA East Synod Our diocese, CANA East has asked Good Shepherd to host the annual Synod meeting again this year. It’s an honor that Good Shepherd has been chosen to host this event again, and we are looking forward to it! On May 3rd-5th, close to 300 clergy and lay people from around the country will come together to decide church business, and to worship and fellowship together. This year’s theme is: The Divine Allurement of God – Archbishop Cranmer’s Missional and Pastoral Principles for the 21st Century.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Ashley Null, our guest speaker, is one of the foremost experts on Thomas Cranmer. He travels widely throughout the Anglican Communion, teaching regularly on the godly, biblical heritage of Anglicanism in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australia.
Many things will need to be done to prepare for this event, and many hands will be needed. In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing about opportunities to serve by painting, cleaning, reorganizing, decorating, and even helping with some construction work! Please consider coming in to help beautify Good Shepherd as we prepare to host this exciting event.
There will also be a great need for volunteers during the event. If you are able to come and volunteer for part of the event, please let Stephanie in the office know by email or a phone call. We’ll be looking for volunteers to help with serving meals, cleaning, keeping refreshment areas well stocked, running small errands, child care, parking coordination, and ushers. If you’d like to attend the event, you can register at the CANA East website. The cost is $100 if you register before March 1, and $135 after March 2 for the full event. If you’d like to attend for free, then please contact Stephanie to sign up as a volunteer.
Good Shepherd Coffee Hour There’s been a trend as of late for people to spend time visiting in the sanctuary after the 10:30 service. It’s wonderful to see that so many relationships have formed, and that Good Shepherd’s parishioners love spending time together. However, this is problematic for two reasons. Firstly, there are often events scheduled to happen in the sanctuary immediately following the 10:30 service. It is difficult to have these events in an orderly manner when there is noise and commotion happening in the room. Secondly, (and more importantly) when visitors come to Good Shepherd, they are encouraged to go downstairs and get to know people. If a visitor goes downstairs and finds a mostly empty hall, they don’t get to know many people and can go away feeling unwelcome. For both of these reasons, please do go downstairs and have a nice lunch, or a cup of coffee and spend some time visiting and building the community of Good Shepherd.
Scheduling Reminder If you need to make an appointment with Pastor Matt, please be sure to contact Stephanie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Often when people come to speak with Matt after the service on Sunday, he’s already been working for over nine hours, and doesn’t always remember to put it into the calendar. This can cause double bookings or forgotten appointments. Please keep in mind that the office is closed on Mondays and Fridays, but you can always leave a message. Thank you so much for your understanding.
An Offer of Prayer The prayer team prays for the needs of the church on a weekly basis. If you have a specific request (Praise or intercession) please fill out a card and place it in the “prayer box” by the bulletin boards in the parish hall. All prayers are kept confidential.
Saratoga Easter Request Please consider contributing small individually wrapped candy or small gifts for our annual Saratoga Easter party which will be held on March 28th. If you would prefer to contribute funds, that would also be appreciated. We will be serving fresh fruit and cookies that the children will have baked with us. We will also be sharing the gospel using “resurrection eggs”. Please pray for the party and always for these dear children!
Good Shepherd Youth Group Each Sunday evening, the youth of Good Shepherd meet for fellowship and worship. Any young person between the ages of 12 and 18 are welcome to attend. Led by Good Shepherd Pastoral Assistant Tyler VanFossen. For more information, contact the Good Shepherd office at (607)723-8032. There will not be a youth group meeting on April 1 (Easter).
If you’d like to know how to help or be involved, please contact Tyler VanFossen.
Bread and Wine If you are interested in joining a group of ladies for a monthly supper and discussion, please contact Liz Hull. The group is currently reading a book called Money, Possessions and Eternity, by Randy Alcorn. The next meeting will be at 6pm on 4/14 at the Hull home.
Health and Wellness Our bodies are “the tents” that the Lord has given us to house our souls. Begin to take care of the body which God Has given you. Check your blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight every Sunday in the Parish Hall 9-10AM. Please see Dolly Shaller or Carmen Swoffer-Penna for more details.
Last Week in Christian Ed we continued our discussion of the Nicene Council which met in 325AD in response to Arius who denied that Jesus was God incarnate. I laid out the theological context for the council the previous week, what people were thinking about Jesus and the Trinity in the 4th century, you can listen to that here. Last week we continued that discussion and added in some history and politics. You can listen to a recording of the class here.
Tuesday Morning Bible Study Exodus 34 we returned to our study of Exodus picking up in and God’s manifestation of his glory before Moses on the mountain and his recitation of his Name. You can watch the class at this link.
Preventing Grace Podcast Did you know that Matt and Anne have a podcast? They talk about everything from church polity to rustic breads. This week, in ‘Three Easy Steps to Perfect Happiness‘, Matt and Anne Kennedy discuss the United Nations’ instructions for achieving personal and world happiness give their own steps to having a perfectly happy life.
You can catch up on all of the older podcast episodes here.
This Sunday’s Sermon will be based on Psalm 22
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of mygroaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises[a] of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.
Many bulls encompass me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet[b]—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued[c] me from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
The afflicted[d] shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.
Team Ephesians is working on the altar this Sunday.
Mary S. will be serving on the altar guild this Sunday.
Shepherd’s Bowl Team 5 is serving this week with the Rice team (3/29).
To download a PDF of the 10:30 service bulletin, click on this link.
Have an item for the Update or an Announcement?
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by Monday night.