Lower School Chapel

Pentecost Lower School Chapel

Each Wednesday Pastor Joe+ presents a chapel service for the Lower School (K-5) of the Academy. During our quarantine time, his dog, Abbo has become a regular participant in the service. You can find this week’s service on our Facebook page: Lower School Chapel

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 3,2020 The Rev. Joe Cochran

The Gospel: John 10:1-10

Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Saint James Online Worship Continues

Statement from the Rev. Joseph M. Cochran, Rector:

On Friday May 15 at 5 pm, the State-wide stay at home order issued by Governor Hogan will be lifted, allowing localities to move toward re-opening as local conditions warrant.  Baltimore County continues in a stay-at-home posture, with businesses and houses of worship remaining closed.  The Bishop has made it clear that any steps toward in-person worship in a parish of the Diocese of Maryland must be pre-approved by the Diocese and that our denomination will proceed at its own pace.  Therefore, we at St. James continue to look to our governmental authorities and our Bishop for direction.  The Vestry has formed a committee to develop plans for parishioners at St. James to return to in-person worship and other gatherings.  Our return to in-person gatherings will be achieved in phases, and over a long period of time.  So, for the time being, we continue to worship online.  Please continue to participate in our online daily worship and Sunday worship offerings.  We will keep you posted on developments.

Habits of Grace – May 12 2020

Habits of Grace, May 12, 2020: An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry
[May 12, 2020] As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’ A new meditation will be posted on Tuesdays through May. These meditations can be watched at any time by clicking here.

May 12, 2020: Our time is in God’s hands

Watch the Video
Hello to everyone who is kind enough to watch and listen to Habits of Grace. I just wanted to give you an alert, not a spoiler alert, but just a simple alert that when you listen to this video you will hear in the background the sound of construction at the elementary school on the other side of our backyard. We’ve listened to the video and you can hear it. But I just wanted to let you know that that noise that you hear is remodeling a school so that little children can go to a school that is modern and nice and meet and right so to do. God love you and you keep the faith.

I don’t know about you, but one of the things that has been a bit confusing during this pandemic has been sort of a discombobulation or a confusion about what time it is and what day it is. I found myself on more than one occasion just asking someone, “What day is today?” There’s a Psalm in the Hebrew scriptures, Psalm 31. It’s actually quoted in the service of Compline, which is a late night prayer service, and it’s also quoted by Jesus on the cross. It says this:

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame:
deliver me in your righteousness.

And then it goes on and says,

(Lord) Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold;
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me. . .

Into your hands I commend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me,
O Lord, the God of truth.

On the cross Jesus quoted this psalm as he commended his life into the hands of the father. Into thy hands I commend my spirit. But as the psalm goes on, later on in the psalm it says, “My times are always in your hand.” It may well be that if we have little reminders as the day goes on, we will have a sense of time not determined by a clock but determined by God.

In Psalm 55 the Psalmist says, “In the morning, at noonday and at evening I cry out to you, oh Lord.” Maybe a little habit of grace during this time may be a moment of prayer in the morning, another one at midday, and another in the evening, whether using a prayer book or just a moment to pause and be silent. Whatever way you do it take a moment – morning, midday, evening. Father into thy hands I commend my spirit. For my times are always in your hand.

In 1931 a man named Thomas Dorsey composed a hymn, the words of which and the song have been a long-standing favorite with many people. Lyndon Johnson, President Johnson asked for it to be sung at his funeral. Martin Luther King asked that it be sung at his funeral. Mahalia Jackson sang it. Aretha Franklin sang it. B.B. King played it and sang it. Tennessee Ernie Ford sang it. Johnny Cash sang it. It was composed by Thomas Dorsey living in a time when his times were very much discombobulated. His wife died in childbirth, both she and the child died. In his time of grieving he wrote the words of the hymn that say just simply, “Precious Lord take my hand.”

My times are in thy hand, oh Lord. Father into thy hands I commend my spirit this morning, in noonday, and in the evening.

God love you. God bless you. May God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

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