April 26, 2015 - Earth Day

The Gathering of the Community
The Easter Greeting
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
      The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
May his grace and peace be with you.
      May he fill our hearts with joy.
We believe St. Paul’s Church is called,
To show the transforming love
and justice of God in action.

The Collect for Purity
Almighty God,
to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn 416: All Things Bright and Beautiful

The Collect of the Day
O God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do your will, and work in us that which is well-pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the Book of Acts
The rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, "By what power or by what name did you do this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is 'the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved." 4:5-12
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 23 (BAS) (in unison)
The Lord is my shepherd,
   I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
   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.
You spread a table before me in the presence of those
who trouble me;
   you anoint my head with oil,
   and my cup is running over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life,
   and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.

Hymn: In Christ Alone

The Holy Gospel
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The 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. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I 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. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No 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." 10:11-18
The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


An Affirmation of Faith (cf 1 Corinthians 15.3-7)
Let us declare our faith
in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried;
he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles:
this we have received,
and this we believe. Amen.

The Prayers of the People
The Cycle of Prayer, followed by…
Let us pray to God the almighty, the King of creation. God said, ‘Let there be light.’ Eternal God, we thank you for your light and your truth. We praise you for your paternal care in creating a universe which proclaims your glory. Inspire us to worship you, the creator of all, and let your light shine upon our world. God of life: hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the heavens.’ We thank you for the vastness of the universe and the mysteries of space. We pray for all scientists and astronomers who extend the boundaries of our knowledge. As we contemplate the wonder of the heavens, confirm us in the truth that every human being is known and loved by you. God of life: hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let the waters be gathered together, and let dry land appear.’ We thank you for the beauty of the earth, for the diversity of land and sea, for the resources of the earth. Give us the will to cherish this planet and to use its riches for the good and welfare of all. God of life: hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day and the night.’ We thank you for the warmth of the sun, the light of the moon, the glory of the stars. We praise you for the formations of clouds, the radiance of dawn and sunset. Save us from wasting or abusing the energy on which all life depends. Open our eyes to behold your beauty, and our lips to praise your name. God of life: hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth living creatures, and let birds fly across the sky.’ We thank you for the teeming life of the seas, and the flight of the birds. Help us to protect the environment so that all life may flourish. God of life: hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind.’ We rejoice in the variety of animal life. Grant us grace to treat all animals with respect and care; to protect endangered species, to preserve the variety of habitats, and to honour the delicate balance of nature. God of life: hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let us create human beings in our own image.’ We pray for the human family. We exult in its diversity and giftedness, we repent of its sins, divisions and violence. By the power of your Spirit, restore your image within us, through Christ who came to remake us by his death and resurrection. God of life: hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty: open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing of the Planting
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: in your goodness you have given us seeds and saplings to sow and to plant: You have blessed us with the birthing of animals, both domestic and wild; You cause the buds and leaves and flowers of new growth. In all of it we perceive the promise of life, the wonders of your creative love. By your blessing, let this planting time be for us a sign of your creative power, that in sowing and watering, tending and watching, we may see the miracle of growth, and in due season reap a rich harvest. As all seed must die to give life, reveal to us the saving power of your Son, who died that we might live, and plant in us the good seed of your word. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

The Peace


The Celebration of the Holy Eucharist
Hymn (offertory): This is My Commandment

Prayer over the Gifts
God of loving care, you spread before us the table of life, and give us the cup of salvation to drink. Keep us always in the fold of your Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our shepherd. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer 
BCP—Page 78
BAS—Page 201

The Lord’s Prayer
The Breaking of the Bread
Lamb of God
- The Lord’s My Shepherd
- 361: Surely it is God Who Saves Me
- I Look to the Shepherd

The Scattering (Mark 4:20)
Hymn 414: God of the Sparrow

Prayer after Communion
God of steadfast love, watch over the Church redeemed by the blood of your Son. May we who share in these holy mysteries come safely to your eternal kingdom, where there is one flock and one shepherd. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord. Amen.

May prayerful peace flow outward from here, touching with grace all those whom you love and all the earth as well; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Hymn: There is Joy in the Lord

Alleluia! Tend the earth, care for God’s good creation, and bring forth the fruits of righteousness. Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!