Webmaster -- Church of Saint John the Evangelist
Slideshow image

Theme of the Day

This Sunday’s image of how the risen Christ shares his life with us is the image of the vine. Christ the vine and we the branches are alive in each other, in the mystery of mutual abiding described in the gospel and the first letter of John. Baptism makes us a part of Christ’s living and life-giving self and makes us alive with Christ’s life. As the vine brings food to the branches, Christ feeds us at his table. We are sent out to bear fruit for the life of the world.

The Collect for Sunday

O God, you give us your Son as the vine apart from whom we cannot live. Nourish our life in his resurrection, that we may bear the fruit of love and know the fullness of your joy, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Sundays and Seasons, 2021.

Prayer Intentions

The prayers of the church are offered especially:

  • for the needs of the world, especially at this time global pandemic;
  • for all medical personnel and caregivers, especially for those who work with those who are most ill;
  • for those who are sick;
  • for those who make decisions of life and death;
  • for research workers and scientists and medical personnel who are working to protect us, provide adequate testing, and to develop, deliver and administer vaccines;
  • for the safety of front line workers;
  • for those who are particularly vulnerable to this virus;
  • for those who are isolated and anxious;
  • for the healing of racial inequality, prejudice, bigotry, systemic racism, and injustice;
  • for those who are hungry and homeless;
  • for those who are unemployed or underemployed;
  • for Elizabeth our Queen and all those set in authority under her, for Justin, the Prime Minister of Canada and all members of parliament; Doug, the Premier of Ontario and all members of the legislature; Fred, the mayor of Hamilton and those who serve city council; for the First Nations of this land, for elders, chiefs, and band councils; for all in civil authority and for all citizens that we might work together for the common good;
  • for the whole church: for Susan, our Diocesan Bishop; for David and Brian, our priests; for Rob and Tom, our interns; for all bish­ops, priests and dea­cons; and for all the bap­tized: that God may accomplish God's work in and through us for the sake of the world;
  • for those preparing for baptism and their sponsors;
  • for all for whom we have been asked to pray--especially Jean, Marilyn, Mike, and Jean--that God will bring them healing and wholeness;
  • for those who are dying and all those who have departed from this life and are at rest.

In our cycles of prayer:

  • In the Worldwide Anglican Com­mun­ion: The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East.
  • In the Diocese of Niagara: St. Luke, Burlington, the Reverend Canon Stuart Pike, Rector; the Reverend Dr. Leonel Abaroa-Boloña, Pastoral Associate; the Reverend Sheila Plant, Deacon; and the people of that parish
  • In our neighbourhood: Beth Jacob Synagogue, Rabbi Hillel Israel and the people of that congregation..
  • For one another, especially in our parish cycle of prayer: for Patti Troughton; Alex and Brianna Urqhart; Brent, Rosallee, Nora & Alida van Staalduinen; Adrienne Vraets & Craig Dart; James, Tamara, Rowan, Hazel, & Finnegan Watson.

Prayer requests to be included on the following Sunday can be submitted here by the Thursday morning before.

The Readings for Sunday

First Reading: Acts 8:26-40

Led by the Spirit, Philip encounters an Ethiopian official who is returning to his African home after having been to Jerusalem to worship. Philip uses their encounter to proclaim the gospel to him. Upon coming to faith in Jesus, he is baptized by Philip.

26An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) 27So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” 30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
 “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
  and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
   so he does not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation justice was denied him.
  Who can describe his generation?
   For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” 38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Psalm: Psalm 22:25-31

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord. (Ps. 22:27)

25From you comes my praise in the | great assembly;
  I will perform my vows in the sight of those who | fear the Lord.
26The poor shall eat | and be satisfied,
  Let those who seek the Lord give praise! May your hearts | live forever!
27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn | to the Lord;
  all the families of nations shall bow | before God.
28For dominion belongs | to the Lord,
  who rules o- | ver the nations. R
29Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow | down in worship;
  all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel be- | fore the Lord.
30Their descendants shall | serve the Lord,
  whom they shall proclaim to genera- | tions to come.
31They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people | yet unborn,
  saying to them, “The | Lord has acted!” R

Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-21

We love God and others because God first loved us. We cannot say we love God, whom we have not seen, while hating fellow Christians, whom we regularly see. Love toward God is to be matched by love toward others because the essence of God is love.

7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
 13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

Gospel: John 15:1-8

On the night of his arrest, Jesus taught his disciples about the relationship they would have with him. Those who abide in his word and love bear fruit, for apart from him, they can do nothing.

[Jesus said:] 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Prayers of Intercession

Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.

A brief silence.

God of all fruitfulness, you abide in your church and your church abides in you. We pray for the church throughout the world. With the Worldwide Anglican Com­mun­ion we remember the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East. In our Diocese of Niagara we remember the parish of St. Luke, Burlington. We pray for Susan, our Diocesan Bishop; for David and Brian, our priests; for Rob and Tom, our interns; for all bish­ops, priests and dea­cons. In our parish we remember especially this week Patti, Alex, Brianna, Brent, Rosalee, Nora, Alida, Adrienne, Craig, James, Tamara, Rowan, Hazel, and Finnegan. We pray for all the bap­tized: that God may accomplish God's work in and through us for the sake of the world. Cleanse us by your word and give yourself to the whole church on earth so that it bears fruit and witnesses to your love. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

You have created the heavens and the earth. As we wonder at the beauty of creation, may we seek vital connections among all that depends on the earth for life. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

You rule the nations with justice and love. We pray for Elizabeth our Queen and all those set in authority under her, for Justin, the Prime Minister of Canada and all members of parliament; Doug, the Premier of Ontario and all members of the legislature; Fred, the mayor of Hamilton and those who serve city council. We pray also for the First Nations of this land, for elders, chiefs, and band councils. We pray for all in civil authority and for all citizens that we might work together for the common good. Give the leaders of the earth assurance of your abiding presence, that they lead not by fear but with love for those they are called to serve. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

You have loved us so that we can love others. In our neighbourhood we pray especially this week for Beth Jacob Synagogue, Rabbi Hillel Israel, and the people of that congregation. We pray for all in need of your love: those who are poor, lowly, outcast, weak, or fearful. Provide for the needs of all. We pray especially for those who have asked us to pray for them: Jean, Marilyn, Mike, and Jean. Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

You gather us with St. John the Evangelist and all the saints by the power of your Spirit. With them, may our hearts live forever in your keeping. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Adapted from Sundays and Seasons, 2021.

Image: "Good Shepherd, (detail), icon, 2019. Kelly Latimore, Athens, OH, United States.