Each year, the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter guide us into celebrating God as our Shepherd; we get to hear Jesus describe those who set their hearts on him as "my sheep." We won't hear Jesus call himself the "Good Shepherd" this year, but in Revelation we'll hear about a vision in which Jesus appears as "the Lamb at the center of the throne [of God; he] will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to the springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."(7.17) Although there's a lot in Revelation that totally baffles me, I take great comfort in this verse,
As you read that verse in Revelation, your imagination may have led you to one in the 23rd Psalm: "...he leads me beside still waters." This Sunday we also get to pray this beloved psalm together. And because many of us know it by heart in the King James Version, that is the translation we will use. Not to take anything away from the beauty and integrity of the contemporary Prayer Book version, the King James Version is a revered gift from the Church of England to English-speakers throughout the world.
And if that weren't enough, at the 10 a.m. service, we get to hear the Choir sing a beautiful setting of the 23rd Psalm, and we all get to sing some favorite "shepherd" hymns.
On April 23rd (no direct connection to the psalm), ourConcertato Concert Series will present Mark Rehnstrom singing songs of Benjamin Britten, Bach, Schubert and others -- including his own works, accompanied by our Music Director Mark Sullivan. Although Mark Rehnstrom is part of the professional music scene in New York, he has sung with our Choir on occasion. Yes, indeed, Mark's voice may have added that amazing depth that you heard. As a true "pro" however, on those occasions, Mark has sought to support and blend with other singers. On April 23rd, beginning at 7:30 p.m., he'll be able to fully share his gifted voice.
During Coffee Hour on April 24, our seminary intern Stephen Douglas, will talk and show slides from his pilgrimage to Italy and England last month. Speaking of Coffee Hour, there are many opportunities to host yet this Spring; please check-out the sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall.
Last week's letter contained the assurance that details would follow about several initiatives, Here are some of them:
As some of you return from your Spring Break, and others depart, know that our Good Shepherd is with you. Sunday School and other programs for children and youth will meet again this Sunday, April 17.
Wherever this finds you, remember it is still Eastertide!
Alleluia, alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia, alleluia!
In faith and hope,
p.s. The March/April edition of GTO: Glad Tidings Online is now available by clicking here. Print copies are available in the back of the church and in the parish office for those without internet access. Another reason to check out the Parish website is our ECW's page. While you are there, please complete their incredibly simple, three-question survey at the bottom of the page. The Episcopal Church Women thank you!
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!