Mother Donna's Homily for 3/29/2020
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Delivered By
The Reverend Donna Steckline
Delivered On
March 29, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Attached Document

Hello Dear Friends in Christ,

As we continue through this time of Lent, this year we experience it with a new depth of desperation. We are learning to depend on Christ Jesus, and to empty ourselves of all of our own power, and depend on our heavenly Father. He is faithful to save. He will guide us and deliver us, faithfully.

Lean into our heavenly Father for His guidance and deliverance as we experience the pain and strain of the way to the cross. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Mtr. Donna+


              Christ Church

                                 Gilbertsville, New York



“We will demonstrate God’s unconditional love and forgiveness daily, following the example of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”


The Fifth Sunday of Lent

                                                                         Rite II

                                                                 March 29, 2020        

While we gather for worship in the church building, please respect the quiet time

before the service begins as we prayerfully prepare ourselves for worship. You are

invited to pray the following prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit:


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the Hearts of Your faithful and kindle in us the Fire of

Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and we shall be recreated-And You will

renew the face of the earth.


O God, Who did instruct the hearts of Your faithful people by the Light of

Your Holy Spirit, grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever

rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our prayer today is that this special time of worship will be a time when you truly

feel closer to God and that through the experience of both Word and Sacrament

you will come into the presence of the saving love of Jesus Christ.



Opening Hymn: B 495 - Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus!


A Penitential Order Rite II BCP p. 352


Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.


His mercy endures forever.

Jesus said, “The first commandment is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Minister and People

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by 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 an forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

BCP Page 353

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.

Kyrie eleison: Please Stand

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, upon us, Lord have mercy.

The Lord be with you

And also with you

Let us pray:

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Please be seated for the reading of God’s Word

The first lesson is from the Book of Ezekiel 37:1-14:


The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”

Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”

So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”

Reader: The Word of The Lord

People Thanks be to God.

Psalm 130 will be prayed in unison

1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;

Lord, hear my voice; *

let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.


2 If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss, *

O Lord, who could stand?


3 For there is forgiveness with you; *

therefore you shall be feared.

4 I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; *

in his word is my hope.


5 My soul waits for the Lord,

more than watchmen for the morning, *

more than watchmen for the morning.


6 O Israel, wait for the Lord, *

for with the Lord there is mercy;


7 With him there is plenteous redemption, *

and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.



The second lesson is from the Letter to the Romans 8:6-11


So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.


Reader: The Word of The Lord

People: Thanks be to God

Please stand

Sequence Hymn: B 455 - O Love of God, How Strong and True

The Lord be with you

And also with you

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 11:1-45

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”

Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.

So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”

When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him.

Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.

Officiant: The Gospel of the Lord

People Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Homily: The Reverend Donna Steckline


A moment of silent reflection follows…


As the family of God, together let us profess our faith in the words of the Nicene Creed

(You’re invited to stand) BCP p.358

We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

  1. suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.



Prayers of the people Form III


The Leader and People pray responsively


Leader: Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church;

People: That we all may be one.


Leader: Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you;

People: That your Name may be glorified by all people.


Leader: We pray for our Leaders: Michael our Presiding Bishop, William our Bishop, Donna our Priest; for Archbishop Justin and Bishop Moses in South Sudan; for all Bishops, Priests and Deacons and all who are called to your service.

People: That they may be faithful ministers of your Word and Sacraments.


Leader: We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;

People: That there may be justice and peace on the earth.


Leader: Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;

People: That our works may find favor in your sight.


Leader: Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble;

People: That they may be delivered from their distress.


Leader: Lord, we ask that you would stop the spread of this awful virus. Protect and keep healthy all who are in the medical field as they continue to care for all of our needs. Please help all who are sick to recover; contain the virus so it won't affect others. May it STOP soon. Help us to be PREPARED and strengthen us as intercessors to fight this spiritual battle. Decrease fear because You are in control, even when we do not see or feel it.

People: We believe Lord, help our unbelief.


Leader: Give to the departed eternal rest;

People: Let light perpetual shine upon them.


Leader: We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;

People: May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.


Leader: Let us pray for our own needs and those of others. (after the intercessory list is read, additional intercessions may be added aloud or in silence)



The People may add their own petitions.


Lord help us to boldly demonstrate Your unconditional love and forgiveness daily, following the example of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN


The Celebrant: Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people, and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you.


People And also with you.

The people may greet one another in the name of our Lord


Birthday and Anniversary Celebrations: Birthday Blessings to Deborah Smith 3/30 and Billie Houghton 4/1


Offertory sentence: I appeal to you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)


Offertory Hymn: B 512 - Come, Gracious Spirit, Heavenly Dove



Please remember to mail in your stewardship offerings.

The church needs to maintain our normal operations and without your offerings we will not be able to do so.

Please mail to: Christ Church Po Box 345 Gilbertsville, NY 13776

The celebrant receives the people’s offering as the doxology is sung:


Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost



All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own have we given you. AMEN

(1 Chronicles 29:14)


And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray:


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come,

  1. will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.



The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you forever. AMEN


Closing Hymn (Full verse intro): B 665 - All My Hope on God is Founded




Celebrant: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.


People: Thanks be to God.

Bulletin Notices:

March 29, 2020

Fifth Sunday in Lent

April 5, 2020

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday





Altar Guild


Altar Guild


















Prayer Team


Prayer Team


Coffee Hour


Coffee Hour




March 29, 2020

Fifth Sunday in Lent

April 5, 2020

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The Liturgy of the Palms

Matthew 21:1-11

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

The Liturgy of the Word

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 130

Psalm 31:9-16

Romans 8:6-11

Philippians 2:5-11

John 11:1-45

Matthew 27:11-54





Week’s Actual Giving

Weekly Giving Target

Actual Year to Date Giving


Target Giving Year to Date Giving

2020 Yearly Total Estimated Giving and Assessment Target













3/29/2020              $1,461.54                                                $76,000.00

Vestry Meetings: are held on the third Sunday of the month after coffee hour.

Next meets

  • April 19, 2020 regular meeting

Easter Flowers: We hope and pray that we will be able to gather for our Easter services, so it is imperative that the flower offerings also be mailed in with your regular offerings. Again, please mail them to Christ Church PO Box 345 Gilbertsville NY 13776. Easter flowers are a necessity as we reach the end of the Penitential Season of Lent, and joyfully celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We strive to create an environment that might resemble a taste of heaven, as all our senses are engaged. Easter flowers can be quite costly, so as you consider your memorial flower offerings for Easter, please be generous. Print clearly on the envelope, the name of the person(s) you would like remembered. Offerings will be accepted through Palm Sunday, April 5th.

Good Friday Vigil through the Night Watches

Following our Good Friday service, the Church will be set aside as a meditative place to watch and wait in vigil with the Lord. Consider spending some quiet time in contemplative prayer and silence before the Lord our God following our Good Friday service into the early morning of Holy Saturday.


Holy Saturday

On Holy Saturday, April 11, we plan to be setting up the church space for Easter at 9 am. Also during this time, Mtr. Donna will be available to bless your Easter foods. This is a tradition of the Anglican / Episcopal Church which you may want to consider. Just bring in your Easter foods when you come to help set up the church and receive multiple blessings all at once!


Community Easter Sunrise Service

Easter Sunrise Service at the overlook at the center of Gilbertsville is hoped to continue, however we have cancelled this year’s breakfast which would typically follow the outdoor service. April 12, Plan to participate in the Sunrise Easter Service at the overlook in the center of the village of Gilbertsville. We will gather early and watch the sunrise and begin our service at 6:30 am.


Lenten Prayer Challenge: Mark the days of Lent with prayer. All are invited to participate. Here is how it works:

  1. Write your name on supplied card and place in basket
  2. Pick a card out and that will be the person you pray for during Lent
  3. Remember to pray daily for your person you picked.
  4. On Easter Sunday, parishioners will give an Easter Card to the person that they have been praying for during Lent.


Bible Studies and Stations are cancelled until further notice

2020 1st quarter Mission: donations can be mailed to the church noted in the ‘memo’ as Compassion Int’l Our first quarter mission collection is supporting Compassion International. Compassion is an organization that is committed to releasing children around the world from poverty in Jesus' name. They do this mainly through direct child sponsorship. The child sponsorship programs offers medical checkups and healthcare, health and hygiene training, ongoing Christian training through a partner local church, educational assistance, life skills training, nutritious food and supplements, recreational activities, protection from crime, and access to special services like surgeries and disaster relief. Compassion also offers assistance to the general communities where their church-based child development centers are located. Through their gift catalog, donations of bibles, goats, chickens, water wells, etc. offer immediate assistance to the families of the participating children. Please consider donating to this unique mission opportunity.

2020 Parish Leadership Conferences have been cancelled.


Christ Church Weekly Homily and Bulletin:


Fill your spiritual cup - each Sunday morning, Mother Donna’s Homily and the weekly Bulletin will be sent via e-mail, posted to Christ Church website and announced with link on our Facebook page.


If you have trouble opening the attachments in the e-mail, to listen to Mother Donna's homily and view bulletin:

  1. Go to our website:
  2. Click on the Sermons tab
  3. Click on "Mother Donna's Homily for 3/22/2020 to listen
  4. Click on the attachment for bulletin





03-29-2020 at 8:51 AM
Carol Angelone
Thank you for this encouraging message
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