April 30, 2023 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Acts 2:42–47
The believers share all things, worshiping and eating together.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, leading, protecting, and feeding me.

1 Peter 2:19–25
Like sheep, we go astray; but Christ is the shepherd of our souls.

John 10:1–10
Jesus says: I am the gate for the sheep; enter by me and be saved.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

We come to worship the risen Christ.
Praise to Christ, the good shepherd!
Alleluia, praise to Christ, the gate!
Alleluia, praise to Christ, the lamb!
Alleluia, praise to Christ, our savior!
Christ is risen still! Alleluia!

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the new life you raise up in us
through the mystery of our baptism—
the sorrow of the heavy cross,
the surprise of the empty tomb,
the love that death could not destroy.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
fill us with the joy of resurrection,
so that we may be a living sign
of your new heaven and new earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:
Christ is the good shepherd,
who leads us to safety and peace
no matter what we have done.
Christ’s voice calls us to repent and return;
let us heed that voice and go to God in prayer.

God of community,
you call us to a world radically different
from what we are used to.
You ask us to lay aside our ideas of “mine” and “yours.”
You show us a life where goods are shared,
where all are loved,
and faithfulness is shown through generosity.
But we cling to our possessions,
trusting them more than we trust you.
Forgive us, merciful God.
Help us to truly believe in your just and peaceful realm
and to work to make it so.

Lifting water from the font:
Christ himself bore our sins
in his body on the cross, so that,
free from sins, we might live for righteousness;
by his wounds we have been healed.
For we were going astray like sheep,
but now we have returned to the shepherd
and guardian of our souls. Thanks be to God!

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Living God, with joy we celebrate
the presence of your risen Word.
Enliven our hearts by your Holy Spirit
so that we may proclaim the good news
of eternal and abundant life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:4

After the readings:
This is the good news which we have received,
in which we stand, and by which we are saved.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 15:1–2


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
All authority and power and dominion
to the name that is above all names—
Jesus Christ our Lord—
now and in the age to come. Amen.
Ephesians 1:21

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

New life in Christ takes shape in a community
in which people know
that God loves and accepts them
in spite of what they are.
They therefore accept themselves
and love others,
knowing that no one has any ground
on which to stand,
except God’s grace.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22

Prayers of Intercession

We offer our prayers through Christ,
who lives and reigns forever,
and prays for us in heaven.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for the church . . .
Help us to follow Christ more faithfully,
heeding the voice of our good shepherd
and inviting others to enter into him.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for the earth . . .
Restore green pastures and still waters;
drive away death and lead us in right paths,
for the sake of the world you so love.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for all nations . . .
Increase goodwill among all peoples.
Show us what we have in common
and give us a shared vision of abundant life.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for this community . . .
Give us glad and generous hearts,
sharing our faith, our bread, and our possessions
with all who are hungry for your grace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for loved ones . . .
Shelter all who are threatened and abused,
give peace to those who are suffering,
and comfort those who are in pain.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all power and glory, receive these prayers,
and continue your mighty work among us,
through Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Amen.
Ephesians 1:15–23

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods
yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need?
Remembering God’s great love for the world,
let us offer our lives to the Lord.
1 John 3:16–17

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
Great God, to you we give our thanks;
your steadfast love endures forever.
With gratitude we bring our gifts to you.
Bless us and our gifts,
that our lives and our resources
may be a source of healing and hope,
of joy and justice in our world. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You are our shepherd, O Lord, and in you there is nothing we lack.
You lead us to green pastures and still waters; you restore our souls.
You prepare a table before us; the cup of blessing overflows!

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
We are the sheep of your pasture, and Christ Jesus is the gate.
He came that we might have life, and have it abundantly.
Therefore we listen for his voice and seek to follow him.
The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Like the first believers, fill us with the awe and wonder of your presence,
through your teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer.
Help us to share what we have and give to those who are in need.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

Thank you, O God, for giving us communion
with our risen and glorious Lord.
Now send us out to be a sign
of the new life that has come into the world;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the love of the holy triune God—
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—
abide with you forever. Alleluia!
1 John 4:13–16

Now go forth in Jesus’ name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another, just as he has loved us. Amen.
1 John 3:23

“Shepherdess with Her Flock”

Eugène-Joseph Verboeckhoven, 1798–1881

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather (G) TOKYO GTG 311, PH 465
  • The Church’s One Foundation (A) AURELIA GTG 321, PH 442
  • We Are One in Christ Jesus / Somos uno en Cristo (A) SOMOS UNO GTG 322
  • Wherever He Leads I’ll Go (G) FALLS CREEK SON 675


  • Go to Dark Gethsemane (E) REDHEAD 76 GTG 220, PH 97
  • Hear the Good News of Salvation / Wotanin waste nahon po (E) NETTLETON GTG 441, PH 355
  • Everyone Who Longs for the Boundless Love of God (E) EVERYONE WHO LONGS GTG 849
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd / Si Yahweh ang aking Pastol (AEG) Francisco F. Feliciano STB 88


  • Look Who Gathers at Christ’s Table! (A) COPELAND GTG 506
  • You Satisfy the Hungry Heart (G) BICENTENNIAL GTG 523, PH 521
  • Let Us Break Bread Together (A) LET US BREAK BREAD GTG 525, PH 513
  • Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life (AEG) THE CALL NCH 331


  • God Be with You till We Meet Again (G) RANDOLPH, GOD BE WITH YOU GTG 541, 542; PH 540
  • We Are One in the Spirit (A) THEY’LL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS GTG 300
  • Lord, I Want to Be a Christian (E) I WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN GTG 729, PH 372
  • We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace (AEG) PEACE VALLEY AAHH 497

Psalms and Canticles


  • My Shepherd Will Supply My Need [RESIGNATION]; GTG 803, PH 172, PAS 23A, LUYH 369, SSS 44
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is [ST. COLUMBA, DOMINUS REGIT ME]; GTG 802, PH 171, LUYH 824, PAS 23D, E (altered text), SSS 359
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want [CRIMOND, BROTHER JAMES’ AIR]; GTG 801, PH 170, PAS 23C
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want [Townend]; PAS 23F
  • The God of Love My Shepherd Is [RIDGEWOOD]; PAS 23J
  • El Señor es mi pastor / You, O Lord, You Are My Shepherd; SSS 532


  • Shepherd Me, O God; GTG 473, LUYH 456, PAS 23G (pointed vv.), 23H, (through-composed vv.), SSS 365 (refrain only)
  • El Señor es mi pastor / My Shepherd Is the Lord; PAS 23 I, LUYH 368, SSS 338
  • El Señor es mi pastor / The Lord Is My Shepherd; OC 33, SSS 294–295
  • My Shepherd Is the Lord [Gelineau]; PH 173, PSA 18
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd; PFTS2 54
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd / El Señor es mi pastor; SSS 613 (refrain only)
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd [THE PARTING GLASS]; CP2 1

Organ Music

  • “Cantilene Pastorale,” Alexandre Guilmant, ALF (M)
  • “Pastorale,” op. 19, Cesar Franck, public domain (MA)
  • “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” BROTHER JAMES’ AIR, The Oxford Book of Wedding Music, Searle Wright, OUP (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Let the People Sing Praise unto the Lord,” Lena McLin, KJO, SATB, keybd, tpt (M)
  • “The 23rd Psalm,” Bobby McFerrin, transcribed by Dan Stolper, HAL, SATB, acap (M)
  • “Seek Ye First the Kingdom,” Marques Garrett, GIA, SATB div, acap (MA)
  • “We Shall Walk Through the Valley,” arr. Undine Smith Moore, GIA, SATB div, acap (M)
  • “So Many Reasons to Rejoice,” Eddie Robinson, arr. Brandon Waddles, GIA, SATB, keybd, opt perc (ME)
  • “We Shall Overcome,” arr. G. Phillip Shoultz III, GMC, SATB div, acap (M)

Handbell Music

  • “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” Alex Guebert, 3–7 oct, opt fl, CGA, CGB 979, Level 3+
  • “The Church’s One Foundation,” Karen Thompson, 3–5 oct, LOR, 20/1763L, Level 2+
  • “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” Mitchell Eithun, 3–5 oct, opt 3–5 oct hc, CON, 97-7852, Level 2


  • The Sheepgate, Jan Richardson (JR)
  • Risen, Jan Richardson (JR)
  • Good Shepherd, Henry Ossawa Tanner (VDL) (Tanner has 3 paintings by this name.)
  • Shepherdess with Her Flock, Eugène-Joseph Verboeckhoven (VDL)