August 18, 2017

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   Welcome to the St. Paul's website.  Here you will discover how we live out the love of God as a spiritual family centered upon Christ.  You have a place here, and may God's peace be with you.

- The Reverend Joseph Shepley

 

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StPaulsBrookfield@gmail.com


 

 

 

 

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Come to the About Us Section to meet the staff of St. Paul's Church, and find out what we're all about!

 

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Click here to read our current issue of the Sword Points (weekly).

Click here to read our current issue of the Sword of the Spirit (monthly).

Click here to listen to our rector's most recent sermon (July 30th).

 

Please submit any ministry pictures and upcoming events by e-mail to stpaulsbrookfield@gmail.com for possible use in up coming web updates. Thanks.

 

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Use the this link to submit a Prayer Request.  Prayer requests will be e-mailed to members of the Prayer Chain.  Also check out  the prayers requests on the Members Only section of our website.  God Bless.

 

St. Paul's Parish

174 Whisconier Road

Brookfield Center, CT   06804

(203) 775-9587


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Sermon Archives 2011

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from the family service on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this sermon is based.

Christmas, Year B (Luke 2:1-20)

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from December 18, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fourth Sunday of Advent; Year B (Luke 1:26-38)

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, Fr. Shepley explores the meaning of the Annunciation, the role of angels and the connection to the prophet Isaiah.  Describing the person of Mary, this message traces her own spiritual journey with a call to understand the true meaning of what it means to worship God.

Click here listen to Bishop Jeffrey Rowthorn's sermon from December 4, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Second Sunday of Advent; Year B (Mark 1:1-8)

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from November 27, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

First Sunday of Advent; Year B (Mark 13:24-37)

Fr. Shepley exegetically (verse by verse) teaches on Mark 13, highlighting the multi-layered meaning within the text against the backdrop of the meaning of Advent.  With an emphasis on Christ as Judge, this sermon offers the hearer the salvation message and an opportunity for healing.

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from November 20, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Last Sunday after Pentecost: Christ the King Sunday; Year A (Matthew 25:31-46)

A stewardship message is thread throughout this sermon looking at the concept of God as Shepherd.  Ezekiel's image of God's promised shepherd fulfilled in Jesus is underscored with a concluding meditation on God shepherding a soul to heaven.

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from November 6, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 25:1-13)

On this Covenant Sunday, Fr. Shepley teaches on the parable of the wise and the foolish bridesmaids with a special emphasis on the Holy Spirit's work in the life of a believer.

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from October 30, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 23:1-12)

In this homily (recorded from the center aisle in the church without electricity, thanks to an i-phone volunteered by a member of the congregation), Fr. Shepley expands on the story of Joshua crossing the Jordan River into the promised land per Moses' instruction.  Here he reveals the spiritual connection between Joshua and Jesus with a focus on the promised land all around us today.

Click here listen to Rob Lewis' sermon from October 23, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 22:34-46)

Click here listen to Rob Lewis' sermon from October 16, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Isaiah 45:1-7)

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from October 2, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 21:33-46)

Fr. Shepley describes the early life, background, conversion and apostolic ministry of Paul in this sermon.  Based on Paul's letter tot he Philippians, this message encourages the listener in terms of how God redeems and sustains us in the life of faith.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from September 25, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 21:23-32)

This sermon explores Jesus' authority in the face of religious power, where both Matthew and Philippians are tied together. Focusing on the actions of Jesus following his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, this sermon addresses the importance of having an audience of One, where compassion for the outcast and marginalized should naturally flow, following the example of Jesus.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from September 18, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 20:1-16)

Fr. Shepley explains in his message three concepts related to the parable from Matthew: the Kingdom of heaven, the generosity of God and the envy so often found among humanity in the face of God.  As each concept is looked at, the promises of God are interwoven throughout the teaching, a reminder of God's plan for our lives. The antidote for envy is offered as an application.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from September 11, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Thiteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 18:21-35)

On this ten-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, Fr. Shepley addresses the call of Christ to forgive.  Studying the text from Matthew, sharing his experience from 9/11 as a first responder, and concluding with an application, this sermon addresses the Christian meaning of forgiveness.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from September 4, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 18:15-20)

With the theme of Passover, Fr. Shepley explains how the first Passover occurred during the time of Moses, how modern-day Passover celebrations are offered, what the various symbols mean, and how the Eucharist in the Christian tradition stems from, and fulfills, the Passover tradition.  A special emphasis is placed upon the Great Thanksgiving portion of the Eucharistic liturgy, where explanations are offered in terms of form and purpose.  The application of going out into the world sustained by this celebration is tied into the command of the ancient Israelites in the Exodus to go forth in God's promises.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from August 21, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 16:13-20)

With an introduction to the Book of Exodus, Fr. Shepley speaks to the vital role of women in biblical history, comparing female figures from Moses' early life with that of Jesus' life.  The concept of "fearing God" is underscored throughout the message, where an application is offered, particularly for those facing transitional decisions in their lives.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from August 14, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 15:10-28)

In this second sermon in a two-part series on Joseph The Dreamer, now Prince of Egypt, Fr. Shepley leads the congregation through the events surrounding Joseph's reconciliation with his brothers twenty years after they had sold him into slavery.  Demonstrating how this story foreshadows the story of Jesus in certain ways, the message explores the meaning of forgiveness and its connection to the choices in life we make.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from August 7, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 14:22-33)

With a theme of "The Conquest of Fear," the focus of this sermon is largely on Joseph The Dreamer, with a look at how his circumstances, difficult as they were, allowed for trust, prayer and giving to come forth in his life.  The surrounding context of Joseph's life is offered, along with a tie-in to the Gospel lesson where Matthew relates the story of Jesus coming alongside the disciples as they are battered about by a storm.  This message is the first of a two-part sermon on the life of Joseph.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from July 31, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 14:13-21)

This sermon centers upon the meaning of baptism against the backdrop of the continuing series on Jacob.  Looking at Jacob's reconciliation with his brother Esau, Fr. Shepley demonstrates how the sacramental qualities of baptism inform Christian living, particularly as we serve as ambassadors for Christ.  A cross-centered illustration concludes the sermon with an application for how one lives out the ministry of reconciliation.

Click here listen to Father Shepley's sermon from July 17, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 13:24-30,36-43)

The story of Jacob from the Book of Genesis is the topic of this sermon.  The background of the life of Jacob is offered, along with connections to the life of Christ and how Jacob's story connects to the life and ministry of Jesus years later.  An emphasis on God's revelation to imperfect individuals such as Jacob is the encouragement in this message, where an application illustration concludes the emphasis on God's presence for each generation.

Click here listen to Rob Lewis' sermon from July 10, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

Click here listen to our Rector Emeritus Fr. George Crocker's sermon from July 3, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Third Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30)

This Independence Day Weekend sermon is Fr. Crocker's first return to our Sunday pulpit since his retirement from St. Paul's in 2002.

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from June 26, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Second Sunday after Pentecost; Year A (Matthew 10:40-42)

The topic of this sermon is Abraham's binding of his son Isaac, including historical context, Christological connections, as well as direct applications for our lives today.  Fr. Shepley explains the two lines created by Abraham's two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, and the imperfections of Abraham's humanity coupled with hope in God's redemptive goodness.

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from June 19, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Trinity Sunday; Year A (Matthew 28:16-20)

The Fatherhood of God the Creator is the thrust of this sermon, with an emphasis on the doctrine of the Atonement and Jesus' redefinition of family through the lens of discipleship. A pastoral approach is taken by Fr. Shepley in discussing family systems and how the kingdom of God can bring healing to broken family bonds.  The application involves a call to deeper discipleship as a spiritual family.

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from June 12, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday; Year A (John 20:19-23)

Celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, in this sermon Fr. Shepley explains the historical background of the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), while illustrating how Peter the Apostle developed under the Pentecost experience.  Tying in the story from Genesis of the Tower of Babel, the message develops into how the ministry of reconciliation flows from the modern-day Pentecost experience.

Click here listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from June 5, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Seventh Sunday of Easter; Year A (John 17:1-11)

The commissioning of the newest Stephen Ministers at St. Paul's is the backdrop of this sermon as Fr. Shepley preaches on the Ascension of Christ.  References to Matthew's Gospel, the writing of John Henry Newman and Theresa of Avila all make up an exploration of how the Ascended state of the Risen Christ affects our life and ministry as the Body of Christ.

Click here to listen to Fr. Loring's sermon from May 29, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Sixth Sunday of Easter; Year A

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from May 22, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fifth Sunday of Easter; Year A (John 14:1-14)

This sermon speaks to the person and ministry of St. Stephen, particularly how his role as the first deacon and martyr of the church would further the Gospel.  Also drawing upon the first letter attributed to the Apostle Peter, the image of living stones is explored by Fr. Shepley, culminating in two suggested ways in which we can apply the example of St. Stephen in our daily life.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from May 15, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fourth Sunday of Easter; Year A (John 14:1-14)

This sermon explores the concept of ancient shepherding against the backdrop of Jesus' statement: "I am the gate."  With ample points made related to the context of how ancient Palestinian shepherds cared for their flocks, the message by Fr. Shepley ties in various scriptural references from the Old Testament related to God's role as shepherd coupled with an exegetical analysis of John 9.  Two action items are offered by way of a modern-day application for Christian living. 

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from May 8, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Third Sunday of Easter; Year A (Luke 24:13-25)

The road to Emmaus is the account from Luke's Gospel that this sermon is based upon.  Fr. Shepley looks at a series of biblical accounts from the Old Testament of God appearing to patriarchs and prophets, with a connection to the Risen Jesus appearing to his followers.  This message explores how the disciples were assisted  by the Risen Christ in developing their sense of mission, as a pastoral application is offered to the hearer.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from May 1, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Second Sunday of Easter; Year A (John 20:19-31)

In this sermon, Fr. Shepley explores the concept of faith in our lives, including how it can be considered a gift from God.  Looking specifically at Thomas and the various resurrection testimonies among the followers of Jesus in the Gospels, the importance of the faith community is underscored while Thomas' experience is looked at from an angle rarely explored.  A modern application for how to live the resurrection life is offered in the conclusion of this message.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's Easter sermon from April 24, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Sunday; Year A (John 20:1-18)

The resurrection of Jesus is proclaimed by Fr. Shepley as the central tenet of the Christian faith.  Next, the concept of G.R.A.C.E. is defined as a way of better understanding what the journey of Lent, Holy Week and Easter signify in the life of faith.  With an emphasis on what it means to claim our spiritual inheritance, this message prepares the hearer to embark upon a risen life in Christ.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from April 17, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday; Year A (Matthew 21:1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54)

Fr. Shepley's message explores the nature of discipleship against the historic backdrop of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  Beginning with the figure of Barabbas and describing first century Jerusalem, he reflects on what discipleship entailed then, as well as today.  Special emphasis is offered on the cross and the nature of the Hebrew Messiah.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from April 10, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fifth Sunday in Lent; Year A (John 11:1-45)

In this sermon, Fr. Shepley describes his recent trip to Israel and the West Bank of Palestine.  Drawing on images from our readings this morning, specifically the image of the valley of dry bones from Ezekiel, and the raising of Lazarus by Jesus, Fr. Shepley offers a testimony of what he saw, what he believes and where he believes God is leading His people.

Click here to listen to Rev. Canon Erik Larsen's sermon from April 3, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fourth Sunday in Lent; Year A (John 9:1-41)

Click here to listen to Fr. Loring's sermon from March 27, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Third Sunday in Lent; Year A (John 4:5-42)

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from March 20, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Second Sunday in Lent; Year A (John 3:1-17)

This sermon emphasizes the centrality of the cross in the midst of a world in need of God's saving grace.  With a special focus on the person of Nicodemus, Fr. Shepley explores the Old Testament references and symbols behind Jesus' dialogue with Nicodemus, the fulfillment the cross would bring and the hope found therein.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from March 13, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

First Sunday in Lent; Year A (Matthew 4:1-11)

"Temptation" With the temptation of Christ in the wilderness as the backdrop of this
message, Fr. Shepley reveals how Christ was the redeemer of the failures of the
ancient Israelites in their wilderness years, where He is the New Israel and our
ongoing Advocate in the midst of our own modern-day temptations.  Journeying
through the three specific struggles in history among the Israelites and Moses,
Christ's own use of Scripture is reviewed and certain principles considered for
the Christian life.  With an emphasis on the importance of one's sense of proper
identity, this sermon ends with Jesus' prayer for his followers.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from March 6, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Last Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (Matthew 17:1-9)

"Transfiguration" In this sermon, Fr. Shepley reflects on the place of the Transfiguration in the Season of Epiphany, exploring the place of the Law and the Prophets, the nature of Christ's glory and the context in which it occurred.  Further considering the significance of this event for Christians today, Fr. Shepley asks the listeners to consider what it means not only to be on a spiritual mountaintop, but also what it entails in coming down.  With references to Thomas Merton, C.S. Lewis and the movie Avatar, this sermon bridges the ancient and the modern in teaching on the nature of religious experience.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from February 27, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Eighth Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (Matthew 6:24-34)

"What, Me Worry?" Continuing with Jesus' Sermon On The Mount, Fr. Shepley delves into the meaning of the word "worry" according to Jesus, touching upon the Hebraic approach to faith in God and its connection to discipleship then, as well as today.  Comparing worry with the antidote of thanksgiving, Fr. Shepley shares a spiritual method of alleviating anxiety while emphasizing the spiritual inheritance we receive through God in Christ.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from February 20, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Seventh Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (Matthew 5:38-48)

"Turning the Other Cheek" What does it mean exactly to follow this ancient command?  Fr. Shepley seeks to address this concept while considering ancient contexts, the new interpretation through Jesus and modern understandings, all through the lens of grace and love as defined in Holy Scripture.  Quoting Anglican Bishop and Scholar, N.T. Wright, St. Augustine and others, the message is meant to empower living according to Christ's Kingdom reality.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from February 13, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Click here to view the commercial Fr. Joe refers to in his sermon.

Sixth Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (Matthew 5:21-37)


"Law and Grace"
With an acknowledgment of humanity's imperfection and inability to keep the Law, Fr. Shepley focuses in this sermon on how the Law prepares us to experience the Good News of God in Christ.  Starting with the Ten Commandments, then analyzing Jesus' emphasis on the spirit, in addition to the letter, of the law, the doctrine of grace is revealed through specific portions of the New Testament.  Concluding with a real-life application of how Christian reconciliation looks within the Body of Christ, this message challenges us all to consider Jesus' call to himself as not the abolisher of the Law, but as its fulfillment.  

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from February 6, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fifth Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (Matthew 5:13-20)

"Salt and Light" With Jesus' call to his followers to be salt of the earth and the light of the world, Fr. Shepley interprets such images by exploring the meaning, historical context and relevance of salt and light in ancient times, as well as today's context.  Proclaiming the meaning of a new covenant, he additionally emphasizes Christ as the fulfillment of the Law, the finisher of our faith and our hope to a world still in need of salt and light.  World Vision is introduced by conclusion as a tangible ministry and expression of how we can make a difference in the world as Jesus' modern-day followers.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from January 30, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this week's sermon is based.

Fourth Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (Matthew 5:1-12)

"The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth"
Exploring the Sermon on the Mount, Fr. Shepley considers the structure of Jesus' sayings while emphasizing the specific meaning of the verse, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."  Delving into the original language behind the word, "meek," while cross-referencing various other texts in both the Hebrew Bible, as well as the New Testament, this sermon seeks to challenge our notion of meekness with the idea of calling us to deepen our understanding and commitment to the Gospel.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from January 23, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this sermon is based.

"The Call To Discipleship"

Third Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (Matthew 4:12-23)

Exploring the difference between a profession and a vocation, Fr. Shepley looks at Matthew's account of the calling of the first disciples.  Exploring the meaning behind the original words used by Jesus, as well as the historical context, the congregation is led to consider how the call to follow Christ would play out in the lives of Christ's followers then, as it does so today.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from January 16, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this sermon is based.

"Behold, The Lamb of God"

Second Sunday After Epiphany; Year A (John 1:29-42)   Exploring the Old Testament origins of the place of the lamb in Hebrew sacrifice, Fr. Shepley considers how Jesus of Nazareth, proclaimed as the Lamb of God by John the Baptist, stands as the fulfillment of a sacrificial religious system, while at the same time inviting his followers into a connection more relational than religious.  This sermon invites the listeners to reflect on what the dialogue between the disciples and Jesus yearned for, where it pointed, and how even beyond space and time, the image of the Lamb endures as the ultimate Passover Feast.        

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from January 9, 2011.

Click here for the readings upon which this sermon is based.

"Love Came Down" (Matthew 3:13-17)

First Sunday After Epiphany/Baptism Of Our Lord; Year A (Matthew 3:13-17) In this sermon, Fr. Shepley addresses the meaning of Christ's baptism by John, including the biblical context in terms of Christ's fulfillment of the law coupled with a broader understanding of how Christ descended to bring us God's eternal love.  Here the doctrine of grace is defined in an accessible form as we are challenged to consider how our lives are reflecting such an understanding.

Click here to listen to Fr. Shepley's sermon from January 2, 2011.

"New Year Gifts"

2nd Sunday After Christmas (Matthew 2:1-12)

In this sermon, Fr. Shepley first explores the historical context of the Wise Men following the star, ultimately leading them to the Christ Child. Next, he focuses on how their role speaks to us today, particularly as we consider how we bring our gifts to Christ in the form of time, talent and treasure.