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Messages from Father Desmond (May 3-24, 2020 )

May 24, 2020 "Expectation Sunday"

Here is a Service of Worship for the 7th Sunday of Easter. It is the Sunday before Pentecost. 
Please know that some people refer to the Sunday before Pentecost, as "Expectation Sunday!"

Together we are invited to Worship our Heavenly Father:

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His mercy endures forever
Let all those whom the Lord has redeemed proclaim that He redeemed them from the hand of their enemy
He gathers us from all the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south
He sends forth His Word and heals us, and He saves us from the grave
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy and the wonders He does his people
Let them offer a sacrfice of thanksgiving and tell of all His mighty acts and shout with joy
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Together we give thanks to our Heavenly Father as we sing [saying]:

More holiness give me, more striving within; More patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin;
More faith in my Savior, more sense of His care; More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord; More pride in His glory, more hope in His Word;
More tears for sorrows, more pain at His grief; More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.

More purity give me, more strength to overcome; More freedom from earth-stains, more longing for a home;
More fit for the Kingdom; more used would I be; More blessed and holy; more, Savior, like You.
[Philip Bliss].

Together, we confess our sins to our Heavenly Father:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You
in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and be what we have left undone.
We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors 
as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of Your Son
Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we have delight in Your Will,
and walk in your ways, to the glory of Your Name. Amen+.

Together we receive the Forgiveness of all our Sins from our Heavenly Father:

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ,
strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep is in eternal life. Amen+.

Together, we hear, we receive, and obey the Word of our Heavenly Father:
A General Collect:

Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; 
and that Your Christ may joyfully serve You in confidence and power; through Jesus Christ
our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one god, for ever and ever. Amen+.

The Collect for the 7th Sunday of Easter:

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted Your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to
Your Kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us Your Holy Spirit to 
strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has done before; who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen+.

The Scripture Lessons/Lectionary Readings are:


The Homily: Followers of Jesus Christ and the Reality of Suffering.

The homily is based on Peter's First letter, chapter four, verses 12-14; 5:6-11 which delves into the relationship between followers of Jesus Christ and the reality of Suffering. The question that Peter attempts to answer is, How can we by the grace of God transform our difficulties into dancing? Here are possibilities to consider:

a. The reality of suffering
     1. Just because we follow Jesus Christ, we are not exempt from the reality of pain and suffering
     2. When we suffer, we are certainly not singled out to suffer
     3. Along with us, followers all around the world, suffer too.

b. The breath of our suffering
     1. All who follow Jesus Christ will certainly experience suffering
     2. Suffering in all of lives cuts across all barriers of race, gender, age, ethnicity, etc., and comes in all shapes, 
         sizes and forms

c. Pictures of our suffering - Suffering comes in us in different shapes, sizes, shapes, intensity, etc.
     1. One picture of suffering is "fiery ordeal"
     2. A second picture of our suffering is similar to some of our Lord's suffering like persecution, rejection, loneliness, 
         and false accusation
     3. A third picture of suffering is reviling

d. Source of our suffering
     1. Peter seems to suggest that the source of our suffering comes from the devil who prowls about our lives like a
         roaring lion ready to devour and destroy. Jesus said the same in Jn 10:10

e. Duration of our suffering - How long?
     1.Peter says that our suffering is for "a little while." Thank God that our suffering is not for ad infinitum
     2. Our suffering is real, but it is for a short while. Why? Possibly because the grace of God is greater than all suffering; 
         and possible because joy always overcomes sorrow...Death is the servant of life and not the other way around!

f. Purpose of suffering
     1. God permits us to suffering in order for us to "test" us so that in the end we shine forth like gold.
     2. Salvation is not for instant gratification, but for us to become more and more like Jesus.

Part Two is of Peter's message to us is, How do we respond to suffering?

1. We rejoice because God is working all His purposes out, and in our lives
2. We recognize that this is the path of blessedness
3. We learn the great lesson of humility and total dependence upon the Lord who is our strength and our salvation
4. We gain the wisdom to resist the devil and all his evil
5. We call upon divine resources to beat down the enemy of our souls and our lives  

What is the take away for you and for me?

God permits us to suffer for a while in order for us to be schooled in His grace to become like His Son, Jesus Christ which is the great goal of Salvation and Redemption!

Together we offer a prayer of Commitment to our Heavenly Father:

Lord Jesus, I give You my hands, to do Your work
Lord Jesus, I give You my feet to follow in Your path
Lord Jesus, I give You my eyes to see as you see
Lord Jesus, I give you my tongue to speak only your words.
Take my mind and let my thoughts dwell always on You
and in my spirit, pray always within me. 
Above all, I give You my heart; that in me you may love 
Your Father and my neighbor and all people; that You
would always be first and foremost in my life here and in
the life to come, glory everlasting. Amen+.

Together, we bring all our cares and our concerns to our heavenly Father:

To our god be the power forever and ever. Amen. W pray to the Lord and we say, 
"We are yours; by glorified in us."

Holy Father, protect Your Church for Your Name's sake; so that we may be one even
as You are one with Your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Restore, support, 
strengthen and establish us and always for Your glory.
"We are Yours; be glorified in us."

Loving God, raise up witnesses to Your love in all the world, even to the ends of the earth.
"We are yours; be glorified in us."

Great God of heaven and earth, You graciously send rain to dry places. Give to the people
of the earth enough to meet their needs; and yet protect us from dangerous excess. May we
acknowledge that all good gifts come from Your gracious and generous hand.
"We are Yours; be glorified in us."

Mighty god, in our own community, exalt the humble in due time. may those who have known
suffering and struggle have their dignity restored. Bless them with gladness and increase their joy
and their laughter. Make their voices heart in shouts of Alleluia's.
"We are Yours; be glorified in us."

God of all Grace, we pray for the lonely and for prisoners, for the sick - all those who suffer
because of COVID-19 and all who suffer and all who grieve and are in pain, loss and the lonely.
Give great strength, O God, to all these to trust You to turn their sorrow into joy and death into life.
"We are Yours; be glorified in us."

Heavenly Father, we have been granted eternal life in knowing You through Your Son Jesus Christ.
Prepare a home for all of the dying and the dead, that they may continue forever in Your goodness.
"We are Yours; be glorified in us."

Yours, O God is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory; this day and always. Amen+.

Together we offer our Pledges to our Heavenly Father:

Jesus Christ is Lord, and to Him we offer ourselves for His honor and His glory!

Together we receive the Blessing of our Heavenly Father:

Go forth into the world in peace, be of good courage, hold fast to that which is good,
render to no person evil for evil, strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak, help
and heal the afflicted, honor all people, love and serve the Lord and rejoice in the
power of the Holy Spirit.
And, the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with all
of us and all our family and all our neighbors, this day and always. Amen & Amen++.

Together, we sing to our Heavenly Father:

This little light of mine, I gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I gonna let it shine
I gonna let it shine, I gonna let it shine,
I gonna let it shine, Shine until Jesus Comes.

Together, we go into the world to Love and to Serve our Heavenly Father!

Here is possibly some Good News for all of us:

Most assuredly, we would be returning to our place of Worship to worship our Heavenly Father 
on Sunday the 31st of May 2020.

To continue with CDC guidelines, etc., etc., we would probably have at least three opportunities
to worship on the week-end. Probably one Service on Saturday and two Services on Sunday.

I would post details by Tuesday of next Week! so, please watch for the same.

In the mean time, have a Safe and a Wonderful Memorial Day. Thank God for those who Served sacrificially 
to keep us all safe and secure. 

Blessings everyone in the strong Name of Jesus.

Fr. Desmond+.

Service of Worship For The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ:

An Invitation to Worship:

Jesus Christ died for us, Jesus Christ rose for us, Jesus Christ has ascended into heaven, and Jesus Christ will Come Again for us!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Jesus Christ died for us, Jesus Christ rose for us, Jesus Christ has ascended into heaven, and Jesus Christ will Come Again for us!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Together, we give thanks to our Heavenly Father as we sing [say the words of]

Hail thee, festival day! blest day that art hallowed forever,
Day when the Christ ascends high in the heavens to reign.

He who was nailed to the Cross is Lord and ruler of all nature;
All things created on earth, Sing to the glory of God.

God the creator, the Lord who rulest the earth and the heavens,
Guard us from harm without, cleanse us from evil within.

Spirit of life and of power, now flows in us, fount of our being,
Light that dost lighten us all, life that in all dost abide. 

Hail thou, festival day! blest day that art hallowed forever,
Day when the Christ ascends high in the heavens to reign.

Together, we Confess our sins to our Heavenly Father:

Almighty God, our heavenly Father
We have sinned against You,
through our own fault,
in thought, word, and deed,
and in what we have left undone.
For the sake of Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
forgive us all our offenses;
and grant that we may serveYou 
in newness of life
to the glory of Your Name. Amen+.

May the Almighty God grant us forgiveness of all our sins,
and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.+.

Together, we read, we listen and we obey the Word of our Heavenly Father:

The Collect for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ
ascended far above all heavens that he mighty fill all things:
Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to His promise,
He abides with His Church one earth, even to the end of the ages;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You 
and the Holy spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen+.

The Scripture Readings are:
Acts of the Apostle 1: 1-11; Psalm 47; Eph 1:15-23; Lk 24:44-53.

We read in Lk 24: 50-53,
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands He blessed them. While he Blessed them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and were continually in the temple blessing God.

One consistent message of the Ascension of Jesus Christ is that He, the Blessed One, now blesses you and me in season and out of season. What may be the nature of His Blessings? Here are three possibilities for us to consider:
God the Father blesses us with His life and with His light
God the Son blesses us with His revelation and with His redemption
God the Holy Spirit blesses us with His presence, His promises, and His power.
Consequently, we live our daily lives with:

Worship in season and out of season
Joy in season and out of season
Blessings God in season and out of season

I pray that the Blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit will be ours this day and every day. Amen +.  

Together, we bring our cares and our concerns to our Heavenly Father:
Spiritual Communion - Act of Reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ:
"In Union, Blessed Jesus, with the faithful gathered at every altar of Your Church where Your blessed Body and Blood are offered this day. I long to offer You praise and thanksgiving, for creation and all the blessings of this life, for the redemption won for us by Your life, death, and resurrection, for the means of grace and the hope of glory.
And particularly for the blessings given me...……...I believe that You are truly present in the Holy Sacrament, and since I cannot at this time receive communion, I pray you to come into my heart. I unite myself with you and embrace You with all my heart, my soul, and my mind. Let nothing separate me from You; let me serve You in this life until, by Your grace, I come to Your glorious Kingdom and unending peace. Amen.+

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name,
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we 
forgive the sins of others. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver
us from the evil [the evil one]. For the Kingdom, the Power and the
Glory are all Yours, now and forever. Amen+.

Come Lord Jesus, and dwell in my heart in the fullness of Your strength;
be my wisdom and guide me in right pathways;
conform my life and actions to the image of Your holiness; and, in 
the power of your gracious might, rule over every hostile power that
threatens or disturbs the growth of your Kingdom, who with the Father
and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen+.

Together, we offer ourselves to our Heavenly Father to do His will:

Rule and reign in us this day, and through us each day Father, Son
and Holy Spirit that we would always do Your will and glorify Your
name in season and out of season. In the name of our great God 
and Savior, we pray. Amen.+ 

Together, we receive the Blessing of our Heavenly Father:

And may the Peace of God which passes all understanding, 
keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God
Almighty, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with 
us now and always. Amen & Amen++.

Together, we go into the World to serve our Heavenly Father: 

To God be the glory great things He has done! So loved He the world
That He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son, 
And give Him the glory great things He has done.

Great things He has taught us, great things he has done, and great 
our rejoicing through Jesus the Son, But purer and higher, and greater
will be: Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Ascension Day approaches...The Daily Office Lectionary for May 19-20:

Monday          Lev 25:35-55; Ps 80; Col 1: 9-14; Matt 13:1-16

Tuesday          Lev 26: 1-20; Ps 78:1-38; 1 Tim 2: 1-6; Matt 13: 18-23

Wednesday     Lev  26: 27-42; Ps 119: 97-120; Eph 1: 1-10; Matt 22:41-46

Ascension Eve(Wednesday) Readings are: 2 Kgs 2: 1-15; Ps 68: 1-20; Rev 5: 1-14; Matt 22:41-46

As you prepare for Ascension Day (Thursday, May 21,) take a look at this short animated video.Share it with kids!


Service of Worship for the 6th Sunday of Easter - 17th of May 2020:

Together, we are welcomed to Worship:
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good; His mercy endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let Israel now proclaim, His mercy endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let the house of Aaron now proclaim, His mercy endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let all those who fear the Lord now proclaim, His mercy endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


Together, we give thanks to God our Heavenly Father:

We Sing together [by saying together the words of the hymn]
Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven, to earth come down;
Fix in us Your humble dwelling; All Your faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, You are all compassion, Pure, unbounded love, You are;
Visit us with Your great salvation; Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Your loving Spirit, Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in You inherit; Let us find that perfect rest.
Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

Finish, then Your new creation; Pure and spotless let us be,
Let us see Your great salvation, Perfectly restored in You;
Changed from glory into glory; Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before You, Lost in wonder, love and praise.

Together, we confess our sins to our Heavenly Father: Together, we say:
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, in word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have not done. We have not loved you with all our heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of Your son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in Your will, and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your name. Amen & Amen++

By Faith in the Death and in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Gift of His Holy Spirit, we receive our Forgiveness:
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen & Amen++

Together, we Hear, we Receive and we Obey God's word:
The Collect for Sunday is:

O God our king, by the resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ on the first day of the week, you conquered sin, put death to flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all our days by His Victory, forgive all our sins, banish all our fears, make us boldto praise You, and to do your will; and steal us to wait for the consummation of Your Kingdom on the last great Day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen+
The Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter:
O God, you have prepared for those who love You such good things as surpass ourunderstanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards You, that we loving You in allthings and above all things, may obtain Your promises, which exceed all that we candesire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen+.

The Scripture/Lectionary Readings are:
Acts of the Apostles 17: 22-31; Psalm 66: 7-18; 1 Peter 3: 13-22; Gospel of John 14: 15-21.

The Homily: This is based on the reading of our Gospel from John 14: 15-21
Our gospel begins with the phrase, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." And, as we read through the entire portion of Scripture appointed for today, the theme seems to answer the question, How can we tell that we are Christians? John 14: 15-21 answers the question, How to tell whether we are Christian or not. Jesus' answer is not meant to be exhaustive, but suggests these possibilities of a Christian:

1. By our practice: A Christian does not just hear the word of the Lord, does not just receive the word of the Lord; but a Christian obeys the words of the Lord.
2. By our possession: A Christian not only obeys the word of the Lord; but a Christian possesses the Holy Spirit of God and knows so. He/she is filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
3. By our posture: A Christian knows beyond the shadow of any doubt that He/she is not alone. God is "with" us; God is "in," us and God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit lives "through," us. We live our daily lives in the strength and in the power of the Holy Spirit and for the glory of God.
4. By our destiny: A Christian knows that because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, he/she would never, ever die eternally. We will live eternally as Scripture says, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!" We will be transformed from that which is mortal to that which is immortal, from that which perishes to that which is imperishable.
5. By our Understanding/knowledge/insight/revelation: A Christian knows, affirms, and advocates that the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father and both the Father and the Son send their Spirit in the form of the Holy Spirit to live "with," us, "in," us and "through," us. We do not worship three gods. We worship One God revealed to us in three persons as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who are co-equal, co-eternal and co-powerful without beginning and without end.
6. By our Relationships: Just like the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father and both the Father and the Son love the Holy Spirit, we too love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and we additionally receive the love of the Father, the love of the Son, and the love of the Holy Spirit.
7.By our privilege: We continue to receive the wonderful revelation of God's word and know God's will and are enabled to accomplish God's purposes in our daily lives.
~What is the take away for you and for me this day? Two thoughts:
1. We are never, ever alone. Covid-19 or not, nothing can separate us or destroy us or take away from us or diminish from us the awesome love of God for us.
2. Two, when God is on our side, we can always live victorious lives......We can live bold, courageous, free and fruit lives.

What is expected of us? Lift our eyes and our hearts and lives unto the Lord God Almighty, from Whom alone all our help....all our daily help comes, and we can count on the Lord's help!


Prayers of the People
Together, we bring our cares and our concerns to the Heavenly Father. Jesus said, "Ask, and you will receive!" So, we will ask in the strong Name of Jesus knowing our prayers would be heard and answered:

For God to be glorified, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayer
For God's Name to be magnified, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayer
For God's Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayer|
For God's world that we would blessed by God's creation and we would bless God's creation, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For God's people in the world that we would turn from themselves as the center of attention and turn to God as the center of their attention, we pray to the Lord, Lord, hear and answer prayer
For all the people's in God's world, especially those affected with illness, sickness, poverty, neglect, desperation, and loss of the basic necessities for living, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For all the leaders in the world who exercise power that they would serve the good of all their people, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For all in authority at all levels of life, that all these leaders would serve all they are called to serve, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For the Church that she would be the light of the world, and the salt of the earth, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayer
For the Church that she would winsomely share the love of Jesus by Word and Deed to all the peoples in the world, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For the renewal and empowerment of the Church to be the Risen and the Resurrected People of God today and every day, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For our Bishop Love and for our diocese of Albany, New York, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer  
For our parish - Trinity parish, for each and every member, for all our children and all our youth and especially all our elders, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer
For all Churches that they would seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For all those with special and particular needs...healing from COVID - 19, healing from other sicknesses and diseases and illness, those facing surgeries and difficult decisions to make with reference to their health, for the lonely, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the refugees, the broken and grieving, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayer
For those who are dying and those who have lost loved ones to COVID - 19, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For those who keep us safe and healthy and wise and learned and working, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer prayer
For all those who "serve," at home and abroad to defend our freedoms, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayer
For those who are persecuted for their faith, we pray to the Lord, Lord, hear and answer our prayer   
For ourselves that we would be daily refreshed and encouraged in the ways of the Lord, by the help of the Lord, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayer
For all other needs, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear and answer our prayers.

Thank You, our Great God and Heavenly Father for hearing our petitions, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen & Amen++

Together we pledge our lives to the Lord:

Fill Thou my life, O Lord my God, In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim, Your being and Yours way.

Fill every part of me with praise; Let all my being speak
Of You and of Your love, O Lord, Poor though I be, and weak.

So shall not part of day or night, From sacredness be free;
But all my life, in every step, Be fellowship with You.

Together, we Receive the Blessing of God our Heavenly Father:

His love has no limit; His grace has no measure; His power has no boundary known unto us
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He gives and He gives and He gives again, and again.
The Lord, Bless us and keep us. The Lord make His face to shine upon us and be gracious
unto us. The Lord lift us the light of His countenance on us and grant us His peace, this day
and every day. Amen & Amen++

Together, we go into the World the Serve our Heavenly Father:

We sing [together by saying together the words of the hymn]

Thou art my everlasting portion, More than friend or life to me;
All along my pilgrim journey, Savior let me walk with You.
Close to You, Close to You, Close to you, Close to You
All along my pilgrim journey, Savior let me walk close to You.

Not for ease or worldly pleasure, Not for fame my prayer shall be;
Gladly will I toil and suffer, Only let me walk with You.
close to You, close to You, Close to You, Close to You
Gladly will I toil and suffer, Only let me walk close to You.

Lead me through the vale of shadows, Bear me over life's fitful sea;
Then the gate of life eternal, May I enter, Lord, with You.
Close to You, Close to You, Close to You, Close to You,
Then the gate of life eternal, May I enter, Lord, with You.
[Fanny Crosby].

Great Peace and Great Power to you, in the Strong and Blessed Name of the Blessed Trinity.
Fr. Desmond C. Francis+

[Worship Resources used are primarily from The Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal]

May 10, 2020: Our Call to Worship - Entering into the Full Presence of our Living and Loving God:
Alleluia! Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us;therefore, let us keep the feast,Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil,but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Alleluia! Alleluia!Christ has been raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.The death that He died, he died to sin, once for all;but the life He lives, He lives to God.So also consider yourselves dead to sin,and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia!
Alleluia!Christ has been raised from the dead,the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.For since by a man came death,by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.For as in Adam all die,so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Together, We Give Thanks to our Living and Loving God:We sing:
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine,The little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine,This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine,Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine,Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine,Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine,Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
All through the night, I'm gonna let it shine,All through the night, I'm gonna let it shine,All through the night, I'm gonna let it shine,Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
Even, in the midst of covid -19, I'm gonna let it shine,Even, in the midst of covid -19, I 'm gonna let it shine,Even, in the midst of covid -19, I'm gonna let it shine,Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Together, We confess our sins to our Living and our Loving God:
We remember that "God is Faithful, and God is Just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!"
"Most merciful God,we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, in word, and in deed,by what we have done,and by what we have left undone.We have not loved You with all our whole heart;we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.For the sake of Your son Jesus Christ,have mercy on us and forgive us;that we may delight in Your will,and walk in Your ways,to the glory of Your Holy Name. Amen+.

O Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us. O Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us. O Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, grant us Your perfect peace, this day and every day. Amen+.
By Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we receive the forgiveness of all our sins...Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen & Amen++.

Together, we Listen...we obey the Word of the Lord:
The Collect for Sunday is O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of Your Son our Lord: Give us this day such a blessing through our Worship of You, that the week to come may be spent in your favor, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen+.
The Collect for the 5th Sunday in Easter is Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us to so perfectly to know Your son Jesus Christ to be the Way, the truth, and the Life, that we may steadfastly follow His steps in the way that leads to eternal life;through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen+.

The Scripture/Lectionary Reading are
Acts of the Apostles 7: 55-60A [The witness of Stephen before a predominantly audience defending the Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious Resurrection];
Psalm 31: 1-5, 15 & 16...The refrain is, "You, O God, have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of Truth;
1 Peter 2: 2-10 ….The Church is God's Holy People...God's Special People....God's Proclaiming People
Gospel of John 14: 1-14....The singular emphasis that Jesus is the one, the only and the perfect path to God!

For the Homily: The Focus is on, Stephen: A Profile of a Christian
In Acts 7: 55-60, we discover a possible profile of a Christian. The Three distinct marks of a Christian include:
1 A Christian is someone who is Filled [past tense], and is being [present and future tense] with the Holy Spirit of God. In other words, a Christian is a Holy person. In this light, it is pertinent to ask ourselves: Who gets the better of us?As followers of Jesus Christ, am I more influenced by the world or by Jesus Christ?As followers of Jesus Christ, am I more influenced by the flesh or by Jesus Christ?As followers of Jesus Christ, am I more influenced by the devil...by evil. by falsity or by Jesus Christ?A Christian is someone who is filled, and being filled with the Holy Spirit!

2 A Christian is a Visionary....The focus is eternity and not just today. Stephen, sees [while on earth] the glory of God and Jesus standing [Posture of Service] at the Right Hand of God [Position of power]The point of emphasis is do not just live for today...But, live to gain eternity and let eternity influence all of today's living and all of today's choices and all of today's values and all of today's mission[Drop all the baggage], and live for that which is essential and central to eternity!A Christian is a Visionary!

3 A Christian is a Forgiver...Stephen prays that God forgives all those who sought to "take," his life.
We live in a "time," and in a "culture," where everyone seems to blame the other. So, how do we live? Live, forgiving! Why?Obviously, as a result of us receiving the forgiveness of GodWe forgive also as a result of our sense/idea/perspective of justice is warped, imperfect, incomplete, and inadequate. We forgive also as a result of our great and unceasing need for mercy upon mercy. We forgive also as a result of maximizing our usefulness, our joyfulness, our health and its total well being and placing ourselves in a position of receiving blessing upon blessing upon blessing.

A Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit. A Christian is a Visionary. A Christian is a Forgiver.

A prayer for Dedication:
Lord, make us instruments of Your peace:  Where there is hatred, let us plant love; where there is injury, pardon;where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith;where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light,where there is sadness, joy.Grant, Lord, that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved as to love.For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;and it is dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Together, We bring all our cares and concerns to the Lord:
For the Holy Church of God, that it may be filled with truth and love, and be found without fault at the day of Your Coming, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For all our Bishops, for our Bishop Love, for our diocese and for all diocese around the world, for all clergy and people, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For our parish, Trinity church and for all the people and family and friends of our parish, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For the fulfillment of the Mission of the Church...For the fulfillment of the Mission of Trinity parish, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For all who fear God that disunity would be replaced with Unity of Purpose, Unity of Values, and Unity of Mission, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For those who are yet to place their faith and trust in You, Lord Jesus, we pray to the Lord Lord, have mercy.
For those who are persecuted for their faith and for their witness, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For peace in our world....For understanding among the leaders of our world...For an end to nuclear arms, for peace among rival nation States and tribes and languages....For leaders and all in positions of power and influence that they would serve for the good of their people, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For Science and Engineering and advancement of research...For a cure to be found for Covid - 19, and for all other diseases, we pray to the Lord Lord, have mercy.
For the sick, for all who suffer, for refugees, prisoners, abused, and all who are in any kind of danger, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For all families who grieve the loss of loved ones daily and during the Covid - 19 pandemic, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For all who need our prayers....For those who have no one to pray for...For our families, our friends, our neighbors....For our neighbors....For all our mothers and for the peoples in our world, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
For all who have died in the Communion of your Church....For those whose faith is known to You alone, that, with all the saints, they may have rest in that place where there is no pain or grief, but only life eternal, we pray to the LordLord, have mercy.
Rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary, and all the saints, we commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life to Christ our GodTo You, O Lord our God.
For Yours is the majesty, O Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit; Yours is the Kingdom and the Power, and the glory, now and for ever. Amen & amen++.
Together, We Pledge ourselves to God for God's own use and glory:
Almighty and eternal God,so draw our hearts to You, so guide our minds, So fill our imaginations,so control our wills, that we may be wholly Yours,, utterly dedicated unto You;and then use us, we pray You, as You will and always to Your glory and for thewelfare of Your Church and your people; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen & Amen++.

[Thanks for sending in your pledges to Trinity parish. We are grateful and pray the Lord bless and reward you greatly]

Together, We Praise God and Sing:
I know that my Redeemer lives; What joy the blest assurance gives!He lives, He lives, who once was dead; He lives, my everlasting Head!
He lives to bless me with His love; He lives to plead for me above;He lives my hungry soul to feed; He lives to help in time of need.
He lives and grants me daily breath; He lives and I shall conquer death;He lives mu mansion to prepare; He lives to bring me safely home.
He lives, all glory to His name; He lives, my Savior, still the same;What joy the blessed assurance gives; I know that my Redeemer lives.
Together, we Receive the Blessing of God:

Eternal Light of God, shine in our hearts
Eternal Goodness of God, deliver us from all evil
Eternal Power of God, be our daily strength and courage
Eternal Wisdom of God, scatter all our foolishness and all our fears
Eternal Forgiveness of God, always be merciful to us
And, draw us all to You. All of our hearts, all our souls,
and all our strength; that we would seek You, and Your face
this day and every day.
The Blessing of God Almighty: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Be with us this day and evermore. Amen & Amen++.


Scripture Reading Plans for Monday, May 4 - Sunday May 10 

Plan One: The Daily Office Lectionary....We are in Year Two, 4th Sunday of Easter

The Collect for the 4th Sunday of Easter is

"O God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd of Your people: Grant that when we hear His voice
we may know Him who calls each by name, and follow where He leads; who, with You and the Holy Spirit,
Lives and Reigns, for ever. Amen+"

Monday          Ex 32: 1-20; Psalm 41 or 52; Col 3: 18-4:6; Matthew 5: 1-10
Tuesday         Ex 32: 21-34; Psalm 45; 1 Thess 1: 1-10; Matt 5: 11-16
Wednesday    Ex 33: 1-23; Psalm 11949-72; 1 Thess 2: 1-12; Matt 5: 17-20
Thursday        Ex 34: 1-17; Psalm 50; 1 Thess 2:13-20; Matt 5: 21-26
Friday             Ex 34: 18-35; Psalm 40 or 54; 1 Thess 3: 1-13; Matt 5: 27-37
Saturday         Ex 40:18-38; Psalm 55; 1 Thess 4: 1-12; Matt 5: 38-48
Sunday           Lev 8:1-13, 30-36; Psalm 24 or 29; Heb 12: 1-14; Luke 4: 16-30

Plan Two: The Daily Bible Reading Plan:

Monday           Jud 19: 1 - 20:48; John 3: 22 - 4:3; Psalm 104:24 - 35; Prov 14:22 - 24
Tuesday          Jud 21:1 - Ruth 1:22; John 4: 4 -42; Psalm 105: 1 - 15; Prov 14:25
Wednesday     Ruth 1:2 - 4:22; John 4: 43 - 54; Psalm 105: 16 - 36; Prov 14: 26 & 27
Thursday         1 Sam 1:1 - 2: 21; John 5: 1 - 23; Psalm 105: 37-45; Prov 14: 28 & 29
Friday              1 Sam 2:22 - 4:22; John 5: 24 - 47; Psalm 105: 1 - 12; Prov 14: 30 - 31
Saturday          1 Sam 5: 1 - 7: 17; John 6: 1 1- 21; Psalm 106: 13 - 31; Prov 14: 32 & 33
Sunday            1 Sam 8: 1 - 9:27; John 6: 22 - 42; Psalm 106: 32 - 48; Prov 14: 34 & 35

Here are some Morning/Daily Prayers:

Eternal Father of my life, let my first thought today be of You, 
Let me my first impluse be to Worship You,
Let my first speech be Your Great and holy Name,
And, Let be kneel in prayer to You. Amen+.

Keep me, Father, chaste in thought
Keep me faithful and diligent in work
Keep me humble in my estimation of myself
Keep me honorable and generous in all my relationships
Keep me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past
And, keep me mindful of my eternal destiny as Your very own this day, and every day. Amen +.

Heavenly Father,
Be my refuge in every time, in every place, and in all circumstances
Be my guide through all that is dark, doubtful and challenging
Be my guard against all that threatens my spirit's welfare
Be my strength in time of testing and temptation
Gladden my heart with Your peace 
I ask, all this, through Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God. Amen.

This day, Heavenly Father, I pray
Give me courtesy
Give me meekness of bearing, with decision of character
Give me charity
Give me patience
Give me sincerity of speech
And, give me diligence in all my allotted work
Through Christ, my Lord, Amen +.

In Your Will, O Lord is my peace
In Your love is my rest and strength
In Your sevice is my joy
For You, O Lord, are my only heart's desire
For, Whom have I in heaven, but You?
And, there is none upon earth that I desire besides, You. Amen +.

[All the above prayers are from, A Diary of Private Prayer, John Bailee, Revised and updated]

I pray that you and your family would be blessed with God's patience, God's joy, God's peace, God's wellness and God's confidence for the living of these days.

May the God of Great Hope, sanctify all of us and keep us all for His eternal and everlasting purpose, this day and always. Amen+

Desmond+. 


4th Sunday of Easter May 3, 2020

Here is a Service of Worship for Sunday the 3rd of May, which is the 4th Sunday of Easter [You may use this Service of Worship anytime, post Sun-set on the Saturday before Sunday the 3rd of May 2020]:

An Invitation to Worship: The Salutation:
O Wisdom of our God, reaching from one end to another, mightly and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of understanding
O Adonai and Leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave the Law: Come and deliver us with Your strong and righteous Right Hand
O Root of Jesse, given as a sign for all peoples, in whose presence kings are silenced and before Whom all nations and peoples will be judged: Come with the day of peace and do not delay
O Key of David, who opens and none can shut, leading us to life everlasting: Come and lead out those bound in chains
O Day Spring, the Bright and the Morning Star, the Eternal Life that enlightens all: Come and shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death
O King of the all the nations, chosen and precious Cornerstone, binding into one New Community, all people: Come quiet the strife that afflicts all of us
O Emmanuel, the promise and the fulfillment of all promises: Come and bring among us the joy of your Kingdom
Jesus Christ has died. Jesus Christ is Risen. Jesus Christ will come again!
Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come! Amen and Amen++

We Praise and give Thanks to God Alimighty, our Heavenly Father:
(Hymn) Crown Him with many crowns, The Lamb upon the throne;Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns, All music but its own. Awake my soul and sing, Of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as they matchless King-through all eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of Life, Who triumphed o'er the grace,And rose victorious in the strife, For those He came to save;His glories now we sing, who died and rose on high, who died, eternal life to bring,And lives, that death may die.
Crown Him the Lord of love; Behold His hands and side,Those wounds, yet visible above, In beauty glorified.All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me; Thy praise and glory shall not fail
Throughout all eternity.[Matthew Bridges, 1800-1894]

We Confess our sins to Almighty God, our Heavenly Father:
We say,"Almighty and most merciful Father,we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep,we have followed too much the desires and devices of our own hearts,we have offended against Your holy laws,we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,spare Thou those who confess their faults,restore Thou those who are penitent,according to all Your promises declared to humankind in Jesus Christ our Lord;and grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake,that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous and Christ like life,to the glory of Your Holy Name. Amen+.
The Almighty and merciful Lord grant us absolution and remission of all our sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and the consolation of His Holy Spirit, this day and always. Amen+. [BCP, Revised and Updated]

We Hear from God Almighty, our Heavenly Father:
The Collect for Sunday:"Lord God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ triumphed over the powers of death and prepared for us our place in the new Jerusalem: Grant that we, who have this day given thanks for His resurrection, may praise You in that City of which He is the light; and where He lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen+. {BCP, revised]
The Collect for 4th Sunday of Easter:"O God, whose Son Jesus is the Good Shepherd of your people: Grant that when we her His voice we may know Him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who with You and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Scripture Readings are:Acts of the Apostles 2: 42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2: 19-15; John 10:1-10.
A Portion of the Psalm Reads:The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want.He makes me lie down in green pastured and leads me beside still waters.He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for His Name's sake.Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

The Homily in the Form of one of the Great Hymns of the Church:
My shepherd will supply my need, Jehovah is His name. In pastured fresh, He makes me feed, Besides the Living streamHe brings my wandering spirit back, When I forsake His ways, And leads me, for His mercy's sake, In paths of truth and grace.
When I walk through the shades of death, His presence is my stay; One word of His supporting graceDrives all my fears away. His hands, in sight of all my foes, Does still my table spread; My cup with blessings overflows, His oil anoints my head.
The sure provisions of my God, Attend me all my days. O may Thy house be my abode, And all my work be praise.There would I find a settled rest, while others come and go; No more a stranger, nor a guest, But like a child at Home.

The major thought of our readings, especially from our Psalm and our Gospel is that Jesus Christ is our Great and Good and Gracious Shepherd, and we are His sheep.
And, the difference between Jesus being our Good and our Great and our Gracious Shepherd and all others shepherds is that, while every other shepherd take from their sheep or benefit from their sheep; Jesus, the Good and the Great and the Gracious Shepherd gives His goodness to us, gives His greatness to us and gives His grace to us. We benefit from Him and from Him alone in our physical life, in our emotional life, in our social and relationship lives, in our mental living, and in our spiritual living. He gives to us LIFE, and gives this LIFE more abundantly to us.
Friends, the Christian life is primarily a relationship with God Almighty in Jesus Christ, and when we are "in Jesus Christ," we have all that we need!Thrive and flourish in Jesus Christ and glow and live gracefully and graciously in, and for the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Prayer: "We thank, Heavenly Father that Jesus Christ is our Good, our Great and our Gracious Shepherd. By Faith in Him, by abiding in Him and by Living in Him, may we thrive daily in His Grace and for His Glory, this day and every day. Amen+.

We Bring all our Cares and our Concerns to Almighty God, our Heavenly Father:
Heavenly Father, bless and heal the world we are living in.Heavenly Father, bless and heal all creation. Heavenly Father, bless and heal our Country, our State, our County, our neighbors and our communitiesHeavenly Father, bless and heal our leaders that they would affirm and advocate the truth and serve the people. Free us from the bondage and the captivity of political expediencyHeavenly Father, bless and heal our homes and our families, our siblings, our cousins and all our extended families. Heavenly Father, bless and heal all families who are going through a difficult and painful time of loss and grief directly as a result of death by Covid 19 or any other related matters of health. Heavenly Father, bless and heal our friends at work, in the grocery stores, and all those we come in contact with on  a daily basis. Heavenly Father, bless and heal Your People whom You have redeemed by Your Precious blood. Heavenly Father, bless and heal Your ChurchHeavenly Father, bless and heal our parish - Trinity parish....All our members, friends, and families...Bless and heal our Youth and all our children and all their friends....Empower us all to fulfill our Mission in the midst of challenges of life and living....Be with our members and friends who have lost loved ones....We remember, Fr. Kenyon....We pray for those who need healing: Sue Higgs, Gregg, Bill, Walter, Maureen....Others known only to us Heavenly Father, bless and heal our diocese...Bless and heal Bishop Love and Karen Love, all the Clergy and People of our diocese. Heavenly Father, bless and heal all those who share the Gospel with others....Protect them from destruction and loss in the midst of violence and persecution. Heavenly Father, bless and heal all those who have finished their journey on earth and are now with You in the eternal heaven awaiting the glorious resurrection. Heavenly Father, bless and heal us and prepare us for that Great Home Coming...May we know that You are our Shepherd, and nothing will come between You and us...Provide for all our daily needs and may be know the Joy that You are our Heavenly Father. Amen & Amen++

Our Father,who art in heaven, hallowed by Your Name, Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.Give us this day, our daily bread, forgive us our sins as we forgive the sins of others. Lead us not into temptation, and Deliver us from the Evil One. For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. For ever and ever. Amen & Amen++.

Eternal Light of God, shine in our hearts Eternal Goodness of God, deliver us from all evil. Eternal Power of God, be our support and our strength and our salvation. Eternal Wisdom of God, scatter the darkness of all our ignorance. Eternal Mercy of God, be merciful to you and to all our families, our friends and our world. Eternal Grace of God, cover all our guilt and free us to love You and to serve You With all our strength, with our heart, with all our mind, and with all our body;And, may we seek Your face and Your glory on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen & Amen.

We Pledge ourselves to Almighty God, our Heavenly Father:
Lord Jesus Christ, I give You hands, to do Your work. Lord Jesus Christ, I give You my feet to follow in your wayLord Jesus Christ, I give you my eyes to see as You seeLord Jesus Christ, I give you my mind and let my thoughts dwell always on You and you pray through me.Above all, I give You my heart, that it would always be Your throne room, leading me and guiding me each dayto live for you and to fulfill Your purpose in, and through my life.Lord Jesus Christ, be my all and in all this day, and always. Amen +.

We Receive the Blessing of Almighty God, our Heavenly Father:
Heart of Jesus, think of me
Eyes of Jesus, look on me
Face of Jesus, comfort me
Hands of Jesus, bless and bless me
Feet of Jesus, guide meArms of Jesus, hold me
Body of Jesus, feed me 
Blood of Jesus, wash me
Jesus, make me Yours alone,Here, today and in the new heavens and new earth to come. Amen.

The Blessing of God Almighty: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, bless me and Your world, and keep me and Your world, this day and eternally. Amen and Amen++.

The Concluding Hymn/Song/Praise:
More love to Thee, O Christ, More love to Thee!Hear now, the prayer I make on bended knees;This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee, More love to Thee, More love to Thee!
Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest; Now Thee alone I seek, Give what is best;This all my prayer shall be: More love to Thee, More love to Thee, More love to Thee!
Then shall my every breath, Sing out Your praise; This be the only sonMy heart shall raise;This sill my prayer shall be: More love to Thee, More love ot Thee, More love to Thee![Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, 1818-1878]

Learn daily to Love, and to Serve the Lord and His world! Amen & Amen++.
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