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“Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
So begins our Holy Week worship. No week in the Christian year takes us further into the depth of God’s love than the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. The liturgies of Holy Week tell the story of our salvation and are one of the greatest treasures of the Prayer Book. As they move from Palm Sunday to Easter Day they help us re-live the events of this awful and awesome week.
We begin the week by living out all the ambiguity and tension of life in the somberness of the Palm Sunday liturgy. In the short space of a worship service, we are both the adoring crowd who cry, “Hosanna, Hosanna Blessings on Him who comes in the name of the Lord” and the rabble-rousing instigators who shout” Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday move us closer and closer to the inevitable betrayal, trial and death.
On Maundy Thursday, we gather to take part in that Final Meal which gives life. We learn from Him the true meaning of servant hood. We watch as the altar is stripped as will be His Body. We pray in the garden and listen as He is betrayed by one of us own.
On Good Friday, our world collapses as He hangs on the Cross for us.
On Holy Saturday, we can do nothing but watch and wait – and hope.
Hope triumphs as the new fire of Easter is struck in the Great Vigil of Easter. On Easter Day Our Alleluias shatter the darkness and break the bonds of death as we celebrate the joy of new and resurrected life.
You are urged to take every advantage of Holy Week worship. Unless we live the whole story of this holy week, Easter Alleluias will ring hollow and meaningless. In the words of the Palm Sunday Collect: Almighty and ever living God, in you tender love for the human race you sent you Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May God grant that the Church of the Good Shepherd’s Easter Alleluias ring loud and clear from people who have walked with our Lord throughout all of the Holy Week.
The Bishop’s Column
In the ancient world, when hand- copied manuscripts of scripture were rare and expensive, the oral aspect of the Bible was practical. People encountered scripture by hearing it read aloud, and they did so mostly in Church. The essential oral quality of all literature was such that almost no one would read silently, even when there were no other listeners. Everyone moved their lips and at least whispered the words aloud. Modern primary teachers would not approve. Julius Caesar and Bishop Ambrose of Milan (fifth century) were exceptions to rule, and people considered them at least eccentric because of their silent reading.
Many translations of the scriptures into English are done with this oral quality in mind. Notable among these translations is the Authorized Version of 1611, usually called the King James Bible, whose four-hundredth anniversary is this year. Accuracy in meaning mattered for the translators of this Bible, yes, but so did the sound of the words read aloud. They tried to avoid tongue twisters, and they sought beauty in the spoken Word, aiming for a serious and sonorous tone. To this end, they chose a slightly archaic style of English and, for the first edition, even an archaic, black letter typeface, similar to Gothic. (You can view the original Bible online http://tinyurl. com/63bjsub.) The first edition was available only in pulpit size—eighteen inches tall, twelve inches wide, six inches thick, and weighing thirty pounds! This Bible was not going to travel.
This year, in commemoration of the significant anniversary, I am reading the daily office in the Authorized Version, and I am finding both the beauty and strangeness of its language, which become more apparent whenever I read the words aloud. The density of the language, and sometimes its impenetrability, will put off a modern reader, as will its absence of sensitivity in matters we deem important, gender reference being but one of them. The New Revised Standard Version is but the latest translation in the tradition of the Authorized Version. It too is translated for accuracy of meaning and to be read aloud. But it also translates for purposes of clarity of meaning and sensitivity. And it is easy to recognize that these two Bibles belong in the same tradition.
In corporate worship, this oral quality is essential to the experience of scripture. This quality has ancient roots and modern expressions. The choice of a translation for worship matters, and not every translation has how the words sound as a criterion. The Good News Bible: Today’s English Version does not, for example, nor does The Message. It also matters how the reader prepares to proclaim the Word—seriousness of purpose but without melodrama: that balance seems about right.
In the liturgical setting, there is also something right about reading aloud from an enormous and weighty volume, not unlike that first edition of the Authorized Version. It bespeaks the dignity of the Word.
Speaking the Word aloud, and hearing it: just some thoughts for Lent, during a Bible’s significant anniversary year.
Bishop Wayne Smith, April 2011
A Letter from the Senior Warden
These last several weeks have been very nice at Good Shepherd. Thank you all so much. We held a warm and loving retirement party for John and Nannette Musgrave that everyone in the parish took part in – by preparing food, donating for gifts, attending the event and especially taking part in the making of the parish quilt. We hope that it provides many “warm” memories.
The pancake supper was yummy and I want to thank everyone who helped with the meal and everyone who enjoyed eating the meal as well. It’s nice when we have a big crowd! The Bishop payed his annual visit last week, which many attended also. This was followed by a light reception. We are still looking for an idea to raise money for the month of June. Let me know please, if you think of anything. Believe it or not, we will soon begin planning Trivia Night!
And, most important, I think that we must try to remember to be as patient and positive as possible – remembering that the most important thing is for us to continue loving and praying for each other.
As always, I ask for your continued love and support.
God’s Peace, Linda Eveland
This month we celebrate the following anniversaries and birthdays!
04/03 Barry & Stevia Schenck
04/18 Tom & Janet Lowenthal
04/02 Courtney Starling
04/03 Jenny Link
04/06 Joan Coots
04/06 Firyal Sirkissyian
04/07 Jim Wieneman
04/09 Jack Thompson
04/10 Molly Mercurio
04/10 Sheila Hinds
04/11 Samantha Eveland
04/15 Paul Mercurio
04/26 Kathleen Strain
04/26 Ryan Strain
04/27 Bobbee Ross
04/27 Micah Schenck
04/29 Drusilla Rees
Watch over thy child, O lord, as their days increase; bless and guide them
wherever they may be. Strengthen them when they stand; comfort them
when discouraged or sorrowful; raise them up if they fall; and in their heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Vestry Meeting : March 16, 2011 Synopsis
The Vestry of The Church Of The Good Shepherd held its regular meeting on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at7:00 p.m. The Rev. Susie Skinner called the meting to order and began with prayer.
The agenda as submitted by Susie Skinner was approved.
The minutes of the February 2011 meeting were approved.
Lesley McIntire reported for the Search Committee. The document that the committee prepared from the answers to the nine questions has been submitted to Cannon Smith and will be distributed to the congregation.
The Vestry Charge to The Search Committee was discussed along with the areas that were modified to fit our needs. The Vestry approved the Charge.
Vestry Liaisons for the year were discussed. Pam Evans will be the liaison to Stewardship and Jerret Reagh will take Evangelism. All others will remain the same.
Mary Mercurio discussed the financial statement for February.
Linda Eveland thanked everyone for the help and turn out for the reception for John Musgrave.
Mickey Harrison will be getting bids to replace the retaining walls and possibly add a ramp to the front door. Mickey will also be writing a proposal for grant money from the Diocese to fund a portion of this expense.
Susie discussed the Letter of Agreement that we have with her as Interim Rector. The current term expires on March 31, 2011. Susie pointed out several areas that need slight modification. The Vestry approved these changes and renewed the agreement for another three months with provisions to renew on a continuing basis.
The Vestry will hold a Retreat on April 2, 2011.
Susie concluded the meeting with prayer and we adjourned at 8:35p.m.
Dates to remember:
April 2, 2011Vestry Retreat
Next Vestry Meeting: April 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Please remember your Vestry is here for you. Do not hesitate to contact us.
Brooke H. Forsyth, Secretary