COCU Index Year B 2018

Year B
Winter season (southern hemisphere)
Spring season– southern hemisphere

Remembering Charlottsville (August 12th) UCC liturgy
Remembering-Charlottesville-Liturgy

International Day of the world’s Indigenous People – August 9th
(poems for Indigenous People’s Day on Godspace)

COCU 52B, Pentecost 13B, 19th August, 2018
COCU 53B, Pentecost 14B, 26th August, 2018
(Migrant and Refugee Sunday)
COCU 54B, Pentecost 15B, 2nd September, 2018
(also Season of Creation – Week 1)
COCU 55B, Pentecost 16B, 9th September, 2018
(Season of Creation – Week 2)
September 11
September – Dementia month
COCU 56B, Pentecost 17B, 16th September, 2018
(Season of Creation – Week 3)
International Day of Peace, 21st September (each year)
COCU 57B, Pentecost 18B, 23rd September, 2018
(Season of Creation – Week 4)
World Week for peace for Palestine Israel – 16-23 September 2018
COCU58B, Pentecost 19B, 30th September, 2018
(Social Justice Sunday)

Year B COCU Index (link is to a NZ resource)

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order

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Social Justice Sunday – 30September2018

Social Justice Sunday is held annually on the last Sunday in September.

Resources for Social Justice Sunday on NCCA website.

Here’s a link to the 2014 Social Justice Sunday resources.

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” Richard Rohr

‘Justice is the Body of Love – Love is the Soul of Justice’ (John Dominic Crossan)
This would be a great theme for a Social Justice service.

The Prophetic Voice
God of Justice!
We call on you to guide
all those on this Land
to seek Justice.
Bless and renew our hearts and minds,
so that we may see with your insight,
mindful of the calling
to walk in your way of peace and reconciliation.
Seed in us the desire to be agitators
for holy change.

May the blessings we receive
inspire and nourish us
to bless those around us
with words of comfort
and actions of healing.
Inspire in our mouths
the words of your good news
for the sake of the world you love.

May we grow in the courage of Christ,
becoming and being prepared to take up the cross,
rather than buy in to the pressure
of dehumanizing and demeaning
that places avarice before generosity.
Gift us with the desire to share in joyful community.
Make us into catalysts for relationships.
Form us as people who become nourishment for the world.

May we deepen in our reading of your Scriptures,
that we might see your promises of mercy written in our souls.
May we work, throughout Australia,
and through our international partnerships,
to bring about a foretaste of the state of mercy and blessing
that characterizes Heaven.

Just as we seek mercy,
teach us to recognize the power imbalances
that prevent the full experience of abundant life.
May we learn to repent of those habits
that destroy your beautiful plan.
Rather, let us learn the creativity of your nature,
to better use our gifts for the sake of grace.

God of Justice,
be our Teacher and our Defender!
Correct us, so we can learn how to speak Truth.
And, when we do – protect us from the evils we confront,
For this is your will to be done
And we are honoured by your call.

So, we commit this day,
to be your holy and vocal people.
We commit to stand up for your beloved creation,
especially those who are marginalised
by the cultures of judgement and shame around us.
May we stand with them.
So be it.
(Source: Amelia Koh-Butler, Hyphenated Faith, 2017)

The goal of compassion – Richard Rohr
To reach the goal of compassion we must not stop with “the first gaze.” It is “the second gaze” that we struggle and wait for most of our lives. In the first half of life, we have a critical mind and a demanding heart and a lot of impatience. These characteristics are both gifts and curses, as you might expect. We cannot risk losing touch with either our angels or our demons. They are both good teachers. The trials of life invariably lead us to a second gaze. This is the gaze of compassion and patience. Now we look out at life from a place of Divine Intimacy where we are finally safe and at home. Only the second gaze sees fully and truthfully. It is the gaze of God at you, which you have finally received like a long-awaited radio signal, and once you receive it, it just automatically bounces back to the Sender.
Adapted from Contemplation in Action, pp. 19-20
Prayer: Teach me to hold the paradox of being contemplative in my actions.

Here’s a word version of the worship resources for 2012 (Peace in the Marketplace: so all may live with dignity’) Worship_resources_Social_Justice_Sunday_2012

Resource booklet: Social Justice Sunday 2012_resources

Music suggestions: Social Services Sunday-various songs

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COCU52B.19August2018

Readings

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
David dies and Solomon takes over as king. Then God allows him to ask for anything he wants, and he requests wisdom to rule over God’s people well. God is pleased with his request and grants him wisdom, but also promises him wealth and fame and, if he stays faithful to God, long life.

Psalm 111
A Psalm in praise of God’s works which are glorious, righteous, just, merciful, compassionate and trustworthy. God has redeemed God’s people and established an everlasting covenant with them, and wisdom is found in the fear of God and in keeping God’s laws.
Rev Joan Stott writes: Professor Walter Brueggemann writes that v 4 of the psalm reminds us that “…The name, reputation, or memory of YHWH crafted in those wondrous deeds is of one who is ‘gracious and merciful’…. ‘Merciful’ comes from the term suggesting the womb love of the mother who has given birth to the children of Israel…” That understanding of ‘merciful’ gives the word ‘mercy’ a whole new meaning and context; and another example of God’s love.
(Source: Professor Walter Brueggemann & William H Bellinger Junior from “Psalms” – Psalm 111, page 483, © 2014 Cambridge University Press)

Ephesians 5:15-20
Paul encourages the Ephesian Christians to live wisely and in the power of God’s Spirit that fills them, and to encourage one another through songs and through worship and thanksgiving to God.

John 6:51-58
Jesus continues proclaiming that he is the Bread of Life, inviting the people to eat his flesh and drink his blood as true food and drink. Those who do this will live, he promises, unlike those who died even after eating the bread in the wilderness.
(Bible reading summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

COCU52B.Readings – handout (landscape, folded format)

Resources
Textweek.com
Church of Scotland Starters for Sunday
Singing from the Lectionary
re-worship

Components of worship

Acknowledgement of Land

Gathering

Prayer of thanksgiving

Prayers of thankfulness and trust (Psalm 111)
God, Father of the fatherless, we come today to worship your Holy Name. As we
come together as one family under God, we individually say: “I will thank the Lord
with all my heart, as I meet with his godly people…” We give thanks for the support
and encouragement we receive from our fellow pilgrims in the faith; and we pray for
each one of them; that they may be blessed through the fellowship of shared worship.
We give thanks that we are continually challenged to be faithful in our worship, our
witness, and in our service; and that although it is often not an easy responsibility – that it is one that that enlivens our faith and invigorates our trust in our Father God.

God, Mother of the motherless, we come today to praise and thank you. As we come
together in the common bond of being a beloved child of our God, whose motherly care
and nurturing has so blessed us over the years; so we celebrate: “…How amazing are
the deeds of the Lord..!” Many of us have fond memories of our own mothers; and
from our own experiences, we praise God for the maternal depths of God’s amazing
generosity; and God’s loving compassion and tender care over all things and all peoples.

God, Parent and Guardian of orphans, refugees and stateless peoples, we come today
to share in the fellowship of the people of God; the One who liberates us all. Today,
we give thanks for the God, who is our Parent and Guardian of all the people God has
adopted into the family of faith, hope and trust in the One who is eternally and forever
God. “…Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty…. All God does is just…and
all God’s commandments are trustworthy…gracious and merciful is our Lord!…” Hallelujah! Amen.
(Source: Joan Stott, The Timeless Psalms)

Prayer of Invocation
We follow you, Jesus,
today as we worship;
In words of love and devotion
sung and spoken,
In service and kindness,
in shared life and sacred meal.
And all we need do to follow you
as we leave this place
is to continue saying and doing
– to others –
what we bring to you in this hour.
And so we pray for praise and affirmation
to empower our families and communities;
For confession and forgiveness
to reconcile personal and national enemies,
and lead us into integrity and goodness;
For thanksgiving and generosity
to curb our greed,
and overcome poverty;
For intercession and compassion
to heal the broken,
defend the weak,
and guide the powerful.
As you feed us now, Jesus, in our worship,
may we become, again, your body
which nourishes the world,
and embraces all people with kindness. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Prayers of Approach
Call to Prayer
At its best, prayer is gentle communion with the Sacred: it is an opportunity to enter more deeply into the present moment, to step aside from the busyness and distractions of life, to bring our attention to the centre of ourselves, to the place where the Holy dwells in each of us.
Prayer of Adoration, Confession, Absolution, and Supplication
Let us pray.
Mystery at the centre of all life, Spirit saturating the material,
Sacred Presence, elusive, hidden, Eternal Now,
encountered in darkness and dreams, in moments of emptiness and joy,
in the warmth of friendship and tenderness of intimacy,
in faith shared and Scripture read,
in the stillness of the soul,
with love,
we gaze upon You.
Father, Mother, Lover, Triune God:
You are all in all;
our wholeness and protection;
You are everything to us.
By your invitation of grace,
we lay down before you
the burdens we carry,
the suffering we endure,
the issues with which we wrestle, and
the memories of past wrongs, hurts, shame and failures.
May we know the touch of Your hand, O Christ.
We confess our wrongs:
our craving for earthly things,
our insatiable need for worldly status, power and wealth,
our words of malice and meanness,
our shallow thoughts, and
our pretence that we are better than we are.
Hear the words of Jesus: ‘Go, and sin no more.’
May Almighty God have mercy upon you,
grant you pardon and remission of all your sins,
time for the amendment of life,
and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
We are made for heaven,
for life with the Risen, ascended Christ,
for fellowship with all the saints.
Bearers of the Divine image,
nourish us, Holy God,
with the peace and calm your Silence.
May the darkness that envelops the universe be to us a comfort,
a reminder that all things rest in you,
that we are at home in you,
and that you make your dwelling-place in us.
(Source: Scott McKenna, Church of Scotland Starters for Sunday) Continue reading

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COCU55B.9September2018

RCL Readings:
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
A good reputation is of great value. God made both rich and poor, and those who are unjust will not survive, while those who are generous find happiness. God defends the poor and will stand against those who oppress them.
Psalm 125
A prayer of confidence in God’s care and protection of God’s people, and a plea that God would do good to good people, but reject evil doers.
James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17
To show favouritism is to deny Jesus’ faithfulness, and is to break the law which calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves. It is sinful to favour the wealthy over the poor. Claiming we have faith when we fail to live it out in acts of compassion is meaningless.
Mark 7:24-37
Jesus heals a Gentile woman’s daughter after an interesting conversation, and opens the ears and mouth of a deaf-mute man. Jesus then tries to get the people to keep silent about what he has done, but they insist on spreading the news.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

RCL Readings on (A4 landscape/2 column) with brief commentaries.
Year B.2015.6September.COCU55B

Call to worship
God of the unexpected moment,
you have gathered us by your Spirit
to serve us and renew us, and surround us.
Break in on our world like hearing to the deaf,
sight to the blind, speech to the dumb;
come in your unexpected hour.
Bring form to our chaos, light to our darkness,
and life to our hearts.
Fill us with your expectant Spirit:
and so transform our gathering to your glory,
and perfect our worship for your praise. Amen
(Source © Jeff Shrowder 2000, 2012)

PRAYERS OF ADORATION (from Proverbs 22)  AND CONFESSION (from Psalm 125)
Gracious God,
creator and giver of life to all, both rich and poor;
we worship you, LORD God.
Your name is beyond great riches,
By your generosity we are blessed;
we worship you, LORD God.
With manna you sustained your people in the wilderness
and with the bread of life you feed us
in the midst of the adversity and injustice of this world 
Your spirit of compassion is beyond silver and gold;
we worship you, LORD God.
You plead the cause of the poor and oppressed,
give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, 
and a song of joy to the speechless.

You create us and accept us as we are, O God:
in the times when we have failed
in our relationship with you and with each other;
in the times when we have passively accepted
injustice done to others;
in the times when we have enjoyed your creativity around us,
but have been afraid to ask for our own healing.

Life-giving Trinity,
raise us from our pain and brokenness;
touch us, heal us and strengthen us,
so that we may live in the wholeness
you desire;
to the glory of your name. Amen.
(Source: © Jeff Shrowder 2000, 2012) Continue reading

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COCU54B.2September2018

Readings
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
The young woman celebrates her lover, admiring his strength and beauty, and remembering his invitation for her to join him as they enjoy the weather, the sounds, the fruits, and the beauty of Spring.
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
A Psalm in celebration of God’s appointed king as handsome in appearance, but also as just and righteous. The context is the wedding of the king, and thus the beauty and sacredness of this human union is also celebrated.
James 1:17-27
God has given us every good and perfect gift. Therefore, we need to live God’s law, remembering it and putting it into practice. We are called to be good listeners who are slow to anger, who have a humble attitude and who care for the marginalised and vulnerable in our world.
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Jesus is questioned by the religious leaders because his disciples don’t wash their hands before they eat. In response Jesus warns against worship that is only lip service, and explains that it is not what comes from outside that defiles us, but what comes from the heart.
(Bible summaries from John van de Laar, Sacredise)

For anyone wishing to reflect on the Song of Solomons – the only reading we have in the RCL from this book in the Hebrew Scriptures – this article could be helpful (the Mystics use of the Song of Solomon). MysticismArticleTucker P+14

The next few weeks include readings from James – here’s a link to fabulous stations on the Book of James that could be done over several weeks, or a whole service devoted to stations. (Thanks Sara Hargreaves and Sam Hargreaves)

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Season of creation – various

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognise: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
(Source: Thích Nhất Hạnh, Vietnamese monk)

Cicero

Prayer of confession: Weapons of Massive Consumption
God who conceived creation,
And breathed it into being with the Word,
You have observed the eons pass,
You have seen the cosmos evolve,
And give rise to our humanity.
We have come to know of you and even to know you
But we fall so short in who we could be in relationship to you.
We fall out of relationship with you and creation,
We fall out of relationship with each other and ourselves.
In our small-minded self-interest,
In our self-centred drive for ever-increasing comfort,
In our pursuit of our wants and the illusion of power over the earth,
We have become the outsiders,
setting ourselves beyond the natural order of creation.
We are the only living things whose waste cannot be broken down
and reintegrated in the living cycle.
We have unrelentingly taken from the resources of the planet with a domineering mindset and a disregard for impact on the world or the future.
We have been the cause of desecration, degradation and destruction,
In our obsession with more and better.
We have become ecological weapons of massive consumption,
Destroying ecosystems,
Polluting the planet,
Decimating nature and its goodness an beauty,
Being responsible for death and extinction with little regard,
As we forge forward towards our own sinful death of this planet
and its ability for it to sustain us.
We, in the so-called developed world, have spread the cancer of our greed,
Failing to learn from indigenous cultures who live or have lived
in harmony with the planet.
We are responsible.
We have sinned against you, against creation,
against each other and against ourselves,
And for the most part we are unrepentant.
Forgive as you do,
But pierce us with your truth and grace,
Confront us with our sin, that we might repent and be transformed.
Creator God,
It almost seems that thigs are too late.
The cancer of our consumption is too advanced,
The damage has been done to a point of irreversibility.
Is there hope for redemption of what we have done,
Or all that can be done now is to wait for history to take its course
towards the final end of all things,
Where you will come and renew all of creation?
May this not be so.
May we be converted and transformed.
May we spread the gospel, not just for our salvation,
but for your call for the salvation of creation in this planet.
May we become agents of your healing.
May we work to change our ways through the inspiration of your Spirit,
Until we find our humble and responsible place once again in the natural order.
God of creation,
We pray for this world which we do not respect.
Heal our ignorance and apathy,
So that your will may be done.
This should be our prayer,
Not just now, but always.
Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries) Continue reading

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Migrant and Refugee Sunday.26thAugust2018

Refugee and Migrant Sunday is a celebration of the dignity of people who are refugees and migrants and the contribution they have made to life in Australia.  It is celebrated by the Churches together on or around the last Sunday of August each year.
(see also resources in World Refugee Day)

Huddled Masses – a song by Shaina Taub (released 2018)
Youtube audio here

There once was a little boy
Who dreamed of preaching a gospel truth
He lived in a country with an evil king
Who was killing all the youth
His family fled the country
In search of freedom’s flame
He was raised a refugee
Jesus was his name

Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses on your teeming shore
Yearning to breathe free
Send them all to me
Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses on your teeming shore
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
Remember what I stand here for

There once was a little girl
Who dreamed of being a writer
She lived in a country with an evil king
Who burned people who prayed like her
Her family tried to flee it
To keep their kid alive
Anne was raised a refugee
Just her diary survived

Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses on your teeming shore
Yearning to breathe free
Send them all to me
Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses on your teeming shore
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
Remember what I stand here for

There once was a young man
Who dreamed of earning his degree
He lived in a country with an evil king
Who bombed his family
He flew to reach our border
To start his life anew
He’s detained today at JFK
We did not let him through

Oh, let him come through
Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses on your teeming shore
Learning to be free
Send them all to me
Welcome all Muslims, Christians, Jews and more
Every child fleeing hate and war
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
And I’ll forever lift my lamp beside the golden door
Remember what I stand here for
(Source: DIE HAPPY album, released March 12, 2018. Music & Lyrics by Shaina Taub)birch

http://kelly-latimore.pixels.com/products/refugees-la-sagrada-familia-kelly-latimore-poster.html

boy

Dialogue with two women.Sojo for two women – profoundly moving.

Iona has two downloadable PDF resources that might be of interest – Jesus was a refugee and Refugee Evensong.

Silence Land – a poem by Mohammed Ali Maleki, 2017 while on Manus:
I have doubts about my sanity:
not everyone can bear this much.
They stole all my feelings;
there’s no wisdom left in my mind.
I am just a walking dead man.
I am just a walking dead man.
I have yelled for help so many times –
No one on this earth took my hand.
Now I see many mad things and imagine
how the world would look if it collapsed.
Perhaps it would be good for everything to
return to the past;
for nothing to be seen on the earth or in the sky.
It would feel so good to be a child
again and go back to my mother’s womb,
for there to be no sign of me
for never to have gone crazy in this place
………………………………
I sound crazy speaking this way! It’s the outcome of being detained for four years after seeking asylum on the sea. Mohammed Ali Maleki, 2017
(This poem, abridged, by an Iranian asylum seeker in detention on Manus Island were read as part of a poetic performance called ‘Through the Moon’). Sourced from ‘Adelaide Voices’, Sep-Nov 2017

Call to Leaders regarding Refugees
The Uniting Church in Australia responds
to the grace proclaimed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
who himself was a refugee.
We are called to work with all our hearts and minds
to love God, who is revealed in Jesus Christ.
We are called to express love and generosity of spirit
to the world for whom Christ died,
including the most marginalized people.
We seek to love the neighbour who is different
and welcome the stranger in our midst.
We implore civic leaders
to reflect the deep values of Australians,
shaped by different nations and cultures,
who seek to live in a world
characterized by peace and goodwill.
We therefore ask those leaders to embrace
a spirit of compassion
and concern for human dignity
in their considerations with regards
to Refugee and Asylum-seeker policy development.
(Source: Amelia Koh-Butler, Adopted by the South Australian Presbytery and Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia, October 2016)

2015 resources here.

Liturgy notes for 2011 prepared by SA Council of Churches Liturgy_Notes

Uniting Justice resources here.

Prayer guide: asylum seekers and refugees (Salvation Army)

A blessing for refugees:
“We bless the host nations in their spirit of compassion and sharing that their citizens may be awakened to the immense human, intellectual and cultural wealth these newcomers represent for them. We bless all concerned in their consciousness that my sister or brother is myself and that the challenge of integrating these immigrants is truly an amazing gift of the universe in helping all work toward the win-win world that alone will guarantee the survival of the human race”.
(Source: Pierre Pradervand, 365 Blessings to Heal Ourselves and the World) Continue reading

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COCU 51B.12th August, 2018

Readings
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
David commands his military leaders to ensure that his son Absalom is not harmed, but they fail, and Absalom is killed in battle. When David hears the news, he grieves, wishing that he had died instead of his son.
Psalm 130: A Psalm of faith and trust in God who forgives sins and whose promises bring hope and redemption to God’s people.
Ephesians 4:25-5:2 The apostle instructs the Ephesians believers on how to live as true followers of Christ. He encourages them to be honest with one another, to speak to one another in edifying ways, and to avoid anger, shouting and slander, choosing instead the way of forgiveness and compassion.
John 6:35,41-51 Jesus proclaims himself as the bread of life, and responds to his critics by comparing the life that he gives to the manna that their ancestors ate in the wilderness – which could not keep them from death. Rather, Jesus, says, he gives life that does not end, and he reveals God to those who are drawn to him.
(Summaries of readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

COCU51B.Readings (handout, landscape folded)

Resources
Textweek
Singing from the Lectionary
re-worship
Sacredise
Church of Scotland – starters for Sunday
As One Voice (music suggestions)

Components of worship (links to resources on this website)
Gathering

Prayer of thanksgiving

Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are

Bread of Life Confession
Christ,
Bread of Life
We are your communion
Broken, but shared for others
Forgive us for when we are dry and stale
When the love that we offer is hard to swallow
When our grace has dried up making it unpalatable
Forgive us when we are mouldy
When the witness and teaching is way past its use by date
and noone in their right mind would want to bite into it
Forgive us when we sandwich other extra stuff between the basics
So much so that only a few choose to buy it
Forgive us for the price that we charge
Making it beyond the means of many who need it.
Make us anew
Draw together the ingredients
Those basic elements
Such as love and grace
With the yeast of the Spirit
Combined and mixed into community
Kneaded in your way
Shaped as you would have us
And baked in your will and purpose
That we might be made into sustenance for the needs of the world.
This we offer in prayer, Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries, posted on Jon’s Facebook page)

Words of Assurance

Prayer for Illumination

Readings (see above)

Prayers for others

Lord’s Prayer (various options)

Prayer of Dedication

Benediction and sending out

(Communion)

(Communion Hymns)

 

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National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) 5-11 August 2018

National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) is an annual event held during the first week of August which aims to raise awareness of the significant issues associated with missing persons, as well as helping to reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia. 2018 is the 30 year anniversary of the week commemorated across the country.

A prayer
We gather to give thanks for God’s presence in all of creation.
O God, You are the Good Shepherd, the one who seeks out those who are lost.
Today we remember persons listed as missing.
They are someone’s family; they are also our missing brothers and sisters.
They are people who are hurt, troubled and confused;
some are exploited and are victims of violence and conflict.
Some are victims of domestic strife, or have mental health problems.
Some are unable cope with shame, guilt, or failure.
We do not always know the reason.
We remember the families of missing persons
and those who are bewildered, grieved and worried.
We remember families plagued by the uncertainty
associated with loved ones who are missing.
We give thanks for those who search for missing persons;
police, auxiliary agencies and families.
Strengthen them with courage and perseverance.
Bless those who offer support and hope.
Loving God; comfort all who are effected by separation
and who are plagued by uncertainty.
Bless and guide all who are involved in managing and resolving missing person cases.
We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffers with all creation and whose presence begets reconciliation, peace and hope. Amen
(Source: SA Council of Churches website)

God of love,
We pray for all people who are missing from their home and from their community – those who are experiencing dementia, rejection, mental illness or breakdown in relationships; those who feel shame, guilt, failure or misunderstanding; those who have suffered conflict and division, or are victims of violence and crime.
May they be encouraged by loving encounters as they take their next steps.
God of hope,
We pray for people saddened by separation, tormented by uncertainty and plagued with
doubt and self-reproach.
May they be comforted by hope as they face each day.
God of faithfulness,
We pray for those who continue to search for people who are missing.
May they have hearts that are filled with compassion, understanding and perseverance.
Eternal God, may we do all we can to be united as brothers and sisters, whoever we are and wherever we may be.
May we come to look upon one another with the same loving look with which you look upon each one of us. And may we all contribute to creating homes and communities where all are loved, welcomed and belong.
We ask this through Jesus Christ who came as brother and servant to all. Amen
(Source: SA Council of Churches website)

 

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National DonateLife Week 29thJuly-5thAugust 2019

See more on the Donate Life website (Australia)
(Note: In the UMC in the U.S. it is the second Sunday in November which is close to Thanksgiving and is viewed as a time to come together around the issues of life and Thanksgiving)

The Church Encourages Christians to Be Organ Donors
Many churches support organ donation as a way to love one’s neighbor:

“The United Methodist Church recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ and tissue donation and thereby encourages all Christians to become organ and tissue donors,” reports a church policy statement. In a 2000 resolution the church also “encourages its congregations to join in the interfaith celebration of National Donor Sabbath … another way that United Methodists can help save lives.”
— Resolution #139, The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2000

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) “recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ and tissue donation, and thereby encourages all Christians to become organ and tissue donors as a part of their ministry to others …”
— Minutes of the 195th (1983) General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), pages 97, 846

The 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church recommends and urges “all members of this Church to consider seriously the opportunity to donate organs after death that others may live, and that such decision be clearly stated to family, friends, church and attorney.”

Organ, eye, and tissue donation is considered an act of charity and love, and transplants are morally and ethically acceptable to the Vatican.
— Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 86

For Organ and Tissue Donation
G-d of health and healing,
We give thanks for the medical science
That allows us to remove organs and tissue from one person
And implant them into another,
Renewing life for the critically ill.
Bless all those who dedicate their lives to this sacred task.
Grant strength and fortitude to the scientists and researchers,
Surgeons, nurses and clinicians,
Administrators and other professionals
Whose efforts give life.
May the work of their hands never falter.
Shine Your light on those who,
Still living, give so freely of themselves.
Grant them health, prosperity and long life.
Remember those who have given of themselves in death.
May this final act of charity and love
Be a testimony to their lives.
Grant their families comfort, consolation and peace.
Blessed are You, G-d of miracles,
Who heals, blesses and sustains life.
(Source: Alden Solovy, tobendlight)

Music
God, Each Day You Give Is Precious (A Hymn for Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday/Donor Sabbath) Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2014. A PDF of the words and sheet music can be downloaded here. Excellent words.

God, each day you give is precious; it’s a joyful thing to live!
We are stewards of the wonders of these bodies that you give.
In our heartbeats, in our breathing, in our walking, in our sight,
We are blessed to be a blessing, and your grace is our delight.

Yet when tragedy is sudden, when we’re faced with pain and death,
When a body is too broken to receive another breath,
When it seems that none can cheer us, when a loved one is too ill,
In these times when death is near us, life becomes more precious still.

We are grateful for the vision of the ones who have prepared:
Who have made the firm decision that, in death, life must be shared,
For when earthly bodies fail them, as they’re welcomed into heaven,
Others here will know a blessing from the life these saints have given.

God, we thank you for the families who, in saying their good-byes,
Seek to end their neighbors’ suffering, giving hope and changing lives —
And for resurrection glory, we give thanks and praises, too.
Death can never end our story, for you’ll make us whole and new.

We are made to make a difference, we are made to laugh and dance,
So we thank you for each person who receives a second chance.
For they know that life is precious; they can see another dawn.
They are blessed to be a blessing as the joy of life goes on.

Tune: BEACH SPRING 8.7.8.7 D (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”) (MIDI)
Alternate tune: KINGSFOLD (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: bcgillette@comcast.net     New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/

Posted in National DonateLife Week, Special weeks | Comments Off on National DonateLife Week 29thJuly-5thAugust 2019

COCU50B.5thAugust2018

Readings
2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:13a
After Bathsheba is finished mourning for Uriah, David takes her as his wife, but God sends Nathan to confront him with his sin. Using a parable of a lamb, Nathan gets David to condemn himself and then prophesies God’s judgment on David. But, in the end, Nathan declares that David’s sin is removed.
Psalm 51:1-12
David’s repentance psalm in which he acknowledges his guilt over his affair with Bathsheba and pleads with God to forgive and restore him.
Ephesians 4:1-16
The apostle encourages the believers to accept one another, to live with humility, patience and love, and to nurture their unity, since God is also one. Within this united community each one has gifts that have been given by God’s grace and each should use these gifts to build up the community, even as a body is united but has different parts.
John 6:24-35
Jesus teaches the crowds that all they need to do is to believe in the one God sent. In response the people ask for a miracle, mentioning the manna that the Israelites received when they were in the wilderness with Moses. In response Jesus tells them that he is the true bread of life and that whoever comes to him will never be hungry or thirsty.
(Summary of Bible readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Bible Readings handout – A4 landscape folded COCU50B.Readings.2018

A reflection: Bread for the journey (John 6:24-35)
Looking for Jesus
they mistook bread of heaven
for bread from heaven.

The bread of heaven
feeds one’s daily faithfulness
rather than stomach.

Jesus, bread of life,
arms open wide, you offer
bread for the journey.
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, 2018, The Billabong)

Components of worship (hyperlink to other resources on this website related to components of worship)

Gathering

Prayer of thanksgiving

Words of Affirmation of Unity
(relates to Ephesians 4 reading)
We share one faith,
have one calling,
are of one soul and one mind;
we have one God,
are filled with one Spirit,
are baptized with one baptism,
eat of one bread and drink of one cup,
confess one Name,
are obedient to one Lord,
work for one cause,
and share one hope.
Together we come to know
the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ;
are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity;
know and bear one another’s burdens,
thereby fulfilling the law of Christ
that we need one another and up build one another,
admonishing and comforting one another;
that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness.
Together we pray; together we serve God in this world.
(Source: Nolan Palsma, from “Prayerful Preparation: Living God, Renew Us”, published by the World Communion of Reformed Churches) Continue reading

Posted in COCU Year A, Year A | Comments Off on COCU50B.5thAugust2018