April 25 , 2021
for Sunday, April 25
1 John 3:16-24
The Rev. Jo Page, Dean, Hudson Mohawk Conference
I once led a group of pilgrims to the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. Iona is tiny. You can walk safely in any part of this beautiful place--the historic abbey, the lone pub, post and shop.
My daughter, then thirteen, one day wandered back to the abbey and said, "Mom, I
just saw a real country cow!"
Every time we get to the fourth Sunday of Easter when Jesus talks about being the shepherd of the sheep, I get lost (like the lost sheep?). It's not that I don't understand the passages. But, like, what do I know from sheep? They are like Linnea's "real country cow:" in a wild and unfamiliar place, not our daily lives.
Months later, back at home, there was an altercation with the son of our next-door neighbor. After nights of squealing tires, slammed and banged doors, the verbal--and eventually--physical abuse of his mother, I called the police. He was picked up for an outstanding DWI and led away in shackles. He was released the next day--a young white man in a fairly affluent suburb. The police let me know he was armed and threatening to kill me.
But I didn't qualify for an order of protection-verbal threats don't count.
What do you do when you are scared?
What did I do? In between my whispered prayers for safety, I called upon the body of Christ. I called the parishioner who had contacts with the police department. I talked to a parishioner who offered, without hesitation, to come stay for the weekend. I welcomed her offer-and feared I was putting her in harm's way.
Also, I didn't feel real protected. But what else was there to do?
So I made a nice dinner, lit some candles and poured a glass of wine for my parishioner. I toasted her health, told her of my gratitude.
Just then the back doorbell rang. On my stoop were two church members who'd heard about my dilemma. "We've come to make sure you're okay," they said. In they came and soon the house was full of laughter and light-heartedness--a sure cure for fear.
But then-then, there was another interruption. My next-door neighbor, the mother
of the troubled young man, needed to talk. She was frightened, frustrated. She was confused. All of a sudden I was her pastor, not her neighbor. She talked and I listened while anxiety bled into her words and I knew that she, too, needed protection.
After everybody left, my daughters and our guest gone to bed, I sat down, exhausted--only to have my mind race with thoughts about shepherds and sheep and the fear of harm.
Suddenly I saw something very clearly: the body of Christ had been wrapped around me all evening. The shepherds had been all around me, all evening. And I, too, had been my neighbor's shepherd. I had been the body of Christ to her, not fixing the problem, but sharing it with her the way one vertebra supports another.
Maybe you don't need to know much about a real country sheep (or cow!) in order to be a real shepherd. Maybe that was the timeless point Jesus was making.
The shepherd still stands with the sheep. We are called to stand with each other.
It is true that we are not protected from fear and grief and loss. But the body of Christ still lives and moves and breathes.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Be assured, be gladdened: God is here in you
and in me--and in all the strange and confusing space in between.
11 'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away-and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.
• For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
• For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
• For people affected by coronavirus, their families, essential workers, doctors, nurses, aides, those working in nursing homes, etc.
• For victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.
• For Gene Heil, Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Karen Johnson, Roy Pihl, George and Janet Balcom, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Mabel Tranum, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Dave Bentley, Alice Swartz, Skip Anderson, Jim Sheehy, Karen Brown, Dan Burns, Beth Gardner, Barb Mattern, Joseph Gauvin, Emerson Allaby, Sarah Van Staalduinen, and Dick Starks. For those serving in the military and law enforcement and their families, including Ben Wickerham and Jeffrey Clauson, those caught up in violence and war who have no safe home in which to live.
• For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.
• For the ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
Anyone have any pictures or stories that they would like to share?
Send them to
Spring Work Day
Saturday May 8th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Rain Date May 15th
***Adult Bible Study
We will start a new Bible Study on Sunday, April 25th in the Council Room. This 4 week Bible Study of Hannah in the book of Samuel, will focus on how God uses us in chaos and challenge. It is titled “The Year that Changed the World” by “The Potter House” Please call Sarah if you have any questions - 450-2986
***We continuously collect food items for the 5 & 2 Ministry. Bring your donations and place in the black bin in church narthex. Lists detailing items needed are also available in the narthex. Monetary donations welcome!
***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date: 92
***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards. 3 ways to give:
- Go directly to our website at
- Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone
- Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.
For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.
While Pastor Ivy is out recuperating, you can contact Pastor Heather Allport-Cohoon if there is a need for pastoral care. She can be reached at 716-708-6466.
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: 3748 Rt. 430
Length: 30 minutes
WEAR YOUR MASKS
COMING INSIDE? COME EARLY