COCU Index Year C 2015-16

Year C
COCU40C, Pentecost 1C/Trinity Sunday, 22nd May 2016
(See also Trinity Sunday Year A and Year B)
(Also Reconciliation Sunday, or the following week)
COCU41C, Pentecost 2C, 29th May 2016
COCU42C, Pentecost 3C, 5th June 2016
(Also World Environment Day)
COCU43C, Pentecost 4C, 12th June 2016
(Also World Day against Child Labour)
COCU44C, Pentecost 5C, 19th June 2016
COCU45C, Pentecost 6C, 26th June 2016
COCU46C, Pentecost 7C, 3rd July 2016
COCU 47C, Pentecost 8C, 10th July 2016

Easter C 2016 readings (Vanderbilt)

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order.

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‘Ordinary Time’

“Ordinary” time is derived from the word “ordinal”, meaning numbered. It is the season after Easter and Pentecost, where we begin to count the days until the final week of the church year, Reign of Christ Sunday. And then, Advent begins the cycle all over again.

Traditionally we turn to the the color green and images of growth to represent growth in our faith during “Ordinary Time” worship, when we follow the example of the early church: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

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World Environment Day – June 5th


The Uniting Church in Australia has prepared a resource for World Environment Day 2016, Together for a world made whole. The resource made available through Uniting Justice can be downloaded at the link, or COCU.UJA_World_Environment_Day_2016. It has reflections from the Asia-Pacific context.

WED aims to inspire more people than ever before to take action to prevent the growing strain on planet Earth’s natural systems from reaching breaking point. The 2016 theme is the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife, which erodes precious biodiversity and threatens the survival of elephants, rhinos and tigers as well as many other species. It also undermines our economies, communities and security. The 2016 slogan is “Go Wild for Life” and encourages people to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does, and to challenge all those around you to do what they can to prevent it.

Sri Lanka becomes 16th country to destroy confiscated ivory – and first country to apologise to its elephants. Recommended reading. Prayers for elephants in Thailand.

More than 60% of Africa’s forest elephants have been killed in the past decade due to the ivory trade.

Illegal wildlife trade is a wrong that must be corrected.

Etihad has signed an agreement to help end the illegal trade in wildlife.


Uniting Justice liturgical resources for World Environment Day 2015 (downloadable resource link at end of blurb on Uniting Jusice website). The 2014 resources are here.

William (Bill) Wallace (New Zealand) has prepared a ‘mass of the universe‘ which could be considered for World Environment Day. He has generously uploaded the text, MP3 files, music scores etc, and is complete in itself. Worth checking out.

There may be resources in Seasons of Creation that could be helpful for planning too.

Presbyterian Church USA – Caring for Earth’s Creatures (download)

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(this is also a Sunday set aside for Reconciliation Sunday in the UCA)

1 Kings 18:20-21 (22-29), 30-39: Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal
Psalm 96: A song of praise inviting all people to declare God’s glory, and to celebrate that God brings justice to the earth.
Galatians 1:1-12: Paul challenges the Galatians about the ‘gospel’ they are following
Luke 7:1-10: Jesus heals the centurion’s servant

Resources for COCU41C/Pentecost2C:
Rex AE Hunt
Singing from the Lectionary


We cannot measure how you heal – tune: Tune: Ye Banks and Braes
Youtube clip here, Hymnary information here.

We cannot measure how you heal
or answer every sufferer’s prayer,
yet we believe your grace responds
where faith and doubt unite to care.
Your hands, though bloodied on the cross
survive to hold and heal and warn,
to carry all through death to life
and cradle children yet unborn.

The pain that will not go away,
the guilt that clings from things long past,
the fear of what the future holds
are present as if meant to last.
But present too is love which tends
the hurt we never hoped to find,
the private agonies inside
the memories that haunt the mind.

So some have come who need your help,
and some have come to make amends,
as hands which shaped and saved the world
are present in the touch of friends.
Lord, let your Spirit meet us here
to mend the body, mind and soul,
to disentangle peace from pain
and make your broken people whole
John L. Bell and Graham Maule © The Iona Community

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See also Trinity Sunday Year A and Year B.

Readings: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Life in Liturgy

Call to worship
We gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.
Surely, God is in this place and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
God’s love is for you and for all people everywhere.
May we be renewed in the refreshing Spirit of the living Christ, that we may share God’s love and life.
The living Christ is with us.
Praise the Lord!

Gift of Faith (a prayer inspired by Romans 5:1–5)
You give us faith
to make us right
with You again.

You give us peace
to bring us home
to You again.

You give us grace
in which we stand,
in Your presence,
in Your love,
in Your honour.

Thus we withstand
our suffering,
and we endure;
we find resilience,
and we grow;
we develop character,
and we hope –
we hope, for Your love,
our faithful Holy One,
is poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has
been given to us.

You give us Your Spirit,
breath of life,
wind of flight.

You give us Your Wisdom,
welcoming light,
path of right relationship.

You give us Your Love,
source of life,
home each night of sorrow
and day of quite exquisite joy.

We stand in awe,
grateful for such gifts, inspired
to fly, to love, to shine light
in the world.

May it be so. Amen.
(Sarah Agnew)

God the Father,
God the Son,
God the Holy Spirit,
together one, diverse unity,
creating, redeeming and sanctifying.
By your empowering presence
you enable us to
to have a role as one with you
in your creation, redemption and sanctification
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns in unity
for ever and ever. Amen (Bob Eldan, see also Reflections on Trinity Sunday

May the  blessing of God, Creator and Sustainer,
surround you through this day.
May the love of Christ, Redeemer and Saviour,
comfort you through this day.
May the Holy Spirit, in the unity of the three,
support you through this day.
(John Birch,


HYMN: God of Creation (Tune: Morning Has Broken; Words: Craig Mitchell)

God of Creation
Gentle life-giver
Present at birth, and
all through our days
Author of sunrise
Song in the night sky
Here in this place, we
offer our praise

Jesus, Companion
teacher and healer
friend of the grieving,
suffering, the poor
Stand with your people
whisper among us
promise of mercy
goodness for all

Spirit of Comfort
blow through Creation
stir up new life, breathe
peace through our world
Healer of hearts, and
hope for tomorrow
weave all our sorrows
into new dawn

Here we give thanks for
life in its fullness
blessings received
your gifts to us all
Make us a people
filled with compassion
selflessly giving
serving your world

We Join in Proclaiming
ASH GROVE (“Let All Things Now Living”)

We join in proclaiming the faith we believe in—
That God is Creator and we are God’s own.
We trust in Christ Jesus and gladly receive him,
For we have been blessed by the love he has shown.
Christ died and is risen and, one with the Father,
He reigns now in heaven, still loving the earth.
The Spirit of God that moved over the waters
Now moves here among us, empowering God’s church.

O God, we have pondered through years of our history
How you can be Father and Spirit and Son.
We’ve prayed and we’ve studied and called it a mystery
That you are three persons and yet you are one.
Creating and saving, your church here renewing,
You still are one God working many good ways.
May we humbly thank you for all you are doing!
O God in three persons, we offer you praise.

Biblical References: Genesis 1-2; Galatians 3:26; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 15:13; Matthew 28:6; Acts 1:6-11; Acts 2; John 10:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14
Tune: Welsh folk melody
Text: Copyright © 2015 Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

I Believe (a paraphrase of the Apostles’ Creed)

I believe in God the Father, the Almighty God above,
Maker of the earth and heaven which were formed in God’s great love.
And in Jesus, loving Jesus, God’s own Son, who makes us new.
This, the creed of generations, is the faith for our church, too.

Jesus, by God’s Holy Spirit, was so wondrously conceived,
Born unto the Virgin Mary, who your promises believed.
Jesus suffering under Pilate, on a cross was crucified.
Soldiers mocked him, friends denied him; he hung there until he died.

So it was, our Lord was buried, in a borrowed tomb he lay.
To the dead he then descended, where was joy on earth that day?
There is more to God’s great story: in three days he rose again.
He ascended into heaven, and he sits at God’s right hand.

I believe what God has promised: Christ will come as he has said.
He will judge the nations’ peoples, both the living and the dead.
I believe God’s Holy Spirit makes the church one family.
We’re surrounded by God’s people, saints who in our Lord believe.

I believe that God forgives us for the times we turn away,
And that God will raise our bodies on that resurrection day.
We rejoice we’ll live forever, singing praise to God’s great name.
This, the creed of generations, is the faith that we proclaim.

Tune: Franz Joseph Haydn, 1797, (“Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”).
Text: Copyright © 1998 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
Reproduced from Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Geneva Press)

God Made the Heavens and the Earth (Inspired by Psalm 8, the Old Testament reading for Trinity Sunday, a text often mentioned in caring for God’s creation)
SOLID ROCK LM with refrain (“My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”)

God made the heavens and the earth.
God’s Spirit moved; they came to be.
For when God spoke, there was the light,
And solid ground, and rolling sea.

Lord, all your world’s a precious gift.
You give dominion! Help us share
In your creation’s loving care.

God saw the earth was very good.
God spoke, and life came bursting forth:
The bright green grass, the shaded wood,
And wondrous creatures ‘round the earth.


And soon it was, God spoke again:
In God’s good image we were made,
To fill the earth, and tenderly
To tend the land, and love, and pray.


When I look up and see the stars,
Creation shouts your praise anew.
I humbly ask, “Lord, who am I?”
Yet, we are called to work with you.


Biblical Texts: Genesis 1 and Psalm 8
Tune: William Batchelder Bradbury, 1863
Text: Copyright © 1998 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
Copied from Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Geneva Press)

The Earth is the Lord’s (Inspired by Psalm 8)
ST. DENIO (“Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”)

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”
Creation reminds us, O God, of your love.
By grace we are learning, as year leads to year,
We’re called to be stewards, your caretakers here.

Your rainforests nurture the world that we share.
Your wetlands give animals shelter and care.
Your coral reefs cradle the life of the sea.
You’ve shown us, in love, what your good world can be.

Too often, O God, we abuse your good earth.
We fail to remember its beauty and worth.
We take from creation much more than we need,
We threaten your world through indifference and greed.

May we be good stewards of all that you give,
Protecting creation wherever we live.
May we be a church that renews and restores
And lovingly cares for this earth that is yours.

Biblical References: Genesis 1- 2, Psalms 8 and 24.
Tune: Welsh Folk Hymn, Adapted in Caniadau y Cyssegr, 1839
Email: New Hymns:
Copied from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books)

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A prayer for communities devastated by fires

Rev Cathie Lambert wrote this prayer in 2011 when fires devastated the Margaret River region. It may be adapted for prayers for others this week as we remember communities in Alberta devastated by the huge fire that has seen 80,000+ people evacuated and countless homes, buildings and livelihoods destroyed.


We lament the devastation of the fires…..

of tragic loss…

of homes reduced to ash…

of mementos that held treasured memories…

of treasured possessions and everyday necessities…

of livelihood…

of vegetation and animals…

of the beauty of the landscape

We bring these images of loss into Your Presence, sharing Your grief and sharing the grief of Your people and Your land.

We pray for those affected – for courage, strength, patience and hope, to face the days and weeks and months ahead, even when the story no longer has media attention.

We give thanks for those who have fought hard to contain the fire and bring it to an end, and for those who have supported residents – for firefighters, police officers, ambulance officers, and emergency workers. We are thankful that no lives have been lost in this catastrophe.

We give thanks that the people are not alone in their time of grief, anger and confusion, and that the sense of goodwill in the community, and across our nation, offers them encouragement and practical support in their time of need.

We give thanks that the God we know in Jesus Christ journeys with us and remains with us all the days of our life, even through the dark valleys and times of sorrow and lament. Amen.

(Rev Cathie Lambert, 2011)

O God of Mighty Wind and Flame
(“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”; “Hail To the Lord’s Anointed”)
O God of mighty wind and flame who fills your church with power,
We gather here in Jesus’ name, to ask your help this hour.
When nature’s might seems far too strong and flames are swirling high,
When days bring fear and nights are long, Lord, hear your people’s cry.

Some, having not the time to pack, lost all they left behind;
We pray that when they can go back, your strength is what they’ll find.
As they are grieving, bending low to sift through ash and stone,
We pray that soon, again, they’ll know the comfort of a home.

Some labor hard for little pay; their blessings seem so few.
They don’t have homes to save this day — God, keep them close to you.
Some risk their lives and give up sleep, to fight the fires so long;
In this, the vigil that they keep, God, keep them safe and strong.

O God in whom we live and move — when lives are torn apart,
Give us, your church, abundant love to heal each broken heart.
And when we see our neighbors’ pain, give us the grace to share,
Till like a gentle, needed rain, new hope will fill the air.

Tune: Gesangbuch der Herzoglich Wirtembergischen Katholischen Hofkapelle, 1784 (“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”; “Hail To the Lord’s Anointed”)
Text: Copyright © 2007 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
Bruce said, I wrote this hymn originally for fires in California, the third verse might note be relevant for the new fires in Canada. You are welcome to use the hymn to support your work there.




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COCU39C.Day of Pentecost.15May2016


Day of Pentecost – image by Rev Mark Hewitt,

Readings – Year C
Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 24-34, 35b; Romans 8:14-17; John 14: 8-17 (25-27)

Rex AE Hunt

(Scroll to end for more liturgical resources and music)

Poem For Pentecost Sunday (Yr C)

It was one of those days where
leaves are thrashed
from tree branches writhing
under a racing sky,
and my childhood friend playing
outdoors with me wondered:
does the wind
ever stop blowing?

And does it stop somewhere, he asked again,
or just keep going around and around the world?

Back then I said I didn’t know
but now I know there came a day
when a wind began in a certain house
that filled with a light like flame,

and that wind had the roar of justice,
and that wind had the rush of love,
and that wind had the whisper of peace and compassion,
and it carried the words of hope and joy
to an anxious and needy world,

and it was gentle enough to touch the wounded soul
and strong enough to stir the ever seeking hearts
of women and men, young and old,
from city to distant shores,

and it pulled down walls of distrust and fear
and threw open doors of possibility,
and oaks of hatred have bent in its path
and palisades of pain have fallen to its strength
and new life has spread like scattered seed

and yes, my friend, that wind
circles the world
and no,
it has never stopped blowing.

2016 by Andrew King)

Spirit of the living God,
Holy Wisdom, filling the whole earth,
you have come upon us all,
like fire on our heads,
fire in our hearts,
burning till the whole world
is ignited
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen
(Bob Eldan)

Our Father and Mother, well spring of all life,
you sent your Holy Spirit
upon the apostles
permeating both their holy and also quirky selves.
Take us as we are,
both our first-rate and shocking selves
and infuse us with the same Spirit
that we, transformed,
may transform the world
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
(c) Bob Eldan (Also, Bob’s reflection on Pentecost)

We remember that your church
was born in wind and fire,
not to sweep us heavenward
like a presumptuous tower,
but to guide us down
the dusty roads of this world
so that we may lift up the downcast,
heal the broken,
reconcile what is lost,
and bring peace amidst unrest.
(Garth House, Litanies for all occasions)

Wonderful collection of prayers and liturgies for Pentecost on re-Worship by Christine Longhurst. Well worth exploring.

Wellspring Liturgy for Day of Pentecost

with flight inspired
like singing choir
and life contained no more
lift the roof
on organ wings
with tongues
with Spirit blaze
trail behind a smoky
these fiery days
comfortable no more
alight now, soar
arise, take flight,
each one fly,
fly high, dream wide
your uncommon gifts inspired
live life uncontained
with the goose – wild and free
(c) Sarah Agnew, Sarah Tells Stories

Holy Spirit,
River of love, divine delight,
flow through me.
Flame of sun, burn in me.
Wind of heaven, breathe in me.
Tongues of strangers, speak in me.
Love of God, sing in me.
Lead me beyond myself,
to return to you in the other,
to love you in my stranger,
my foreigner, my enemy.
Burn with your fire in me,
that it may be mine.
Breathe yourself into my life,
that it may be yours.
I am your song, and your singing.
I am your candle; you are my flame.
Holy Spirit,
love the world
in me.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Prayer of Thanks for the Spirit of God in our Lives
We give thanks for the Spirit of God
in our world
and in all people.
We give thanks for the people
who show us what the Spirit of God can do
when they allow the Spirit to work in their lives.
We give thanks for their wisdom,
for their care and concern for others,
for their generosity and courage,
and for the many ways they make the world a better place.
We give thanks for the Spirit of God in our lives,
in our own particular gifts and abilities.
May we use our own gifts of the Spirit well
so that God’s Spirit will be seen in all we do and say.
(Michael Morwood, From Children Praying a New Story)

Prayer for Illumination
The delight of a story well-known
fills our hearts as we listen
for its familiar end.
May we hear, even in its simple telling,
stories that, to us, are ever new

What a great arrangement by Adam Kukuk for this classic, Breathe on me breath of God. Sound file here. On the same web page you’ll also find a link to the free to download music score for piano and vocal arrangement. (Thanks, Adam, for your generosity in sharing)

Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
1 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.
Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours,
to do and to endure.
Refrain (people):
3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Stir in me one desire,
that every earthly part of me,
may glow with holy fire.
Refrain (people): 
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
4 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
for all eternity.
Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
(lyrics: Psalter Hymnal, 1987)

Yes, there are the flames of Pentecost,
the drama, the consuming blaze,
the rushing, pushing wind, desperate
for something on its loud crusade.

But for some it is enough
to be the wick of God,
of love made known in unlearned tongues,
beyond our understanding,
to be the deep where God’s creating spirit broods,
where new things come to light and life
without our doing, or knowing how
a soul comes to know its own belovedness.

Our oneness is not within but out there,
one spirit breathing in and out through all of us,
a gathering of many nations.
We follow the breath to our other selves
and love them with love that’s not our own
but all of ours, breathed into us.

The secret is beyond us, a language we won’t learn,
but still go out into the streets and speak. Steve Garnaas-Holmes,

Re-worship blogsite – prayers for Pentecost

Youtube video – different voices reading the Pentecost story (Uniting Church, Queensland)


Wild wind of the Holy Spirit, by William L. (Bill) Wallace)
Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan the fire of life in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan the fire of love in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan compassion’s fire in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan your justice in our hearts.
(Words: William Wallace; click here for the music)

‘Send down the fire’: Composer: Marty Haugen (1989)
Send down the fire of your justice,
Send down the rains of your love;
Come, send down the Spirit, breathe life in your people,
and we shall be people of God.

Call us to be your compassion,
Teach us the song of your love;
Give us hearts that sing,
Give us deeds that ring,
Make us ring with the song of your love. (Refrain)

Call us to learn of your mercy,
Teach us the way of your peace;
Give us hearts that feel,
Give us hands that heal,
Make us walk in the way of your peace. (Refrain)

Call us to answer oppression,
Teach us the fire of your truth;
Give us righteous souls,
‘Til your justice rolls,
make us burn with the fire of your truth. (Refrain)

Call us to witness your Kingdom,
Give us the presence of Christ;
May your holy light
Keep us shining bright,
Ever shine with the presence of Christ. (Refrain)

This is the day of the Spirit’s descending
(O Quanta Qualia:

This is the day of the Spirit’s descending,
pouring out gifts for the healing of nations:
wisdom and counsel and knowledge and reverence,
strength, understanding and godly endurance.

Give to us, Father, the wisdom of Jesus,
shed in our hearts his delight in your purpose.
Kindle the flame of his love and his joy –
the grace of his peace that no power can destroy.

Send us out, Master, to live to your glory,
and when we find you hungry or thirsty,
naked or homeless, sick or in prison,
grant us to serve you – the One who is risen.

Here, in this moment, bestow what we long for:
bread for our journey and wine for our joying.
Life-giving Spirit and source of compassion,
dwell in our hearts and Christ there re-fashion.

Glory to you here on earth be unending:
Spirit of God, from the Father proceeding,
who with the Son we now hymn and adore,
Three ever One – today, evermore.

(Words:Paul P J Sheppy)
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Posted in COCU Year C, Pentecost Day B | Tagged | 2 Comments


Acts 16: 16-34
Paul and Silas are imprisoned after they cast out a demon from the fortune-telling slave girl. Even in jail they continue to worship, and Paul leads the prison jailer to faith in Christ.
Psalm 97
God’s greatness and power extends over all, even gods and idols. The earth itself trembles. God’s protection extends towards God’s people.
Rev 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
Christ is the one who will come to set things right. The Holy City will be home to all those who respond to God’s invitation to life in Christ.
John 17:20-26
Jesus prays for those who believe in him, that they may find unity, and that their love will be a witness to the world, that others may believe in Jesus.

RCLReadings.COCU38C.Easter7C.NN (Nathan Nettleton paraphrase)

Also, Mothers Day in Australia
Also, start of  WCC Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Sacredise (John van de Laar)
Singing from the Lectionary (Natalie Sims)
re-Worship (Christine Longhurst)
Reflection on the Epistle reading on the UCC website
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World Council of Churches – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The World Council of Churches commemoration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity traditionally runs from Friday, January 18 through Friday, January 25 (northern hemisphere, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul) and around Pentecost (southern hemisphere), which is also a symbolic date for unity. (In 2016, week commencing 8th May). It brings together Christians from diverse confessions and backgrounds from around the world, who organize special ecumenical worships, prayer services and events.

The theme for the week of prayer in 2016
 is “Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:9).  The PDF resource (in English) can be downloaded here.  It is also available on the World Council of Churches (WCC) website in English, French, German and Spanish.

Since 1968, the liturgical and biblical material for the annual week of prayer has been jointly coordinated by the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission and the Roman Catholic Church (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity).

Prayer for Unity
Father of all who live in the Spirit,
you have brought unity through your Son Jesus Christ:
help all who profess his name to show in their lives,
in their worship,
and their evangelism
that oneness which springs from the truth
as it is found in Jesus,
and fill your church with the desire
both to seek and find that unity
throughout the world; in his name. Amen.
(Michael Saward, and posted on The Jubilate Group website)

Prayer for Unity
“My prayer for all of them is that they will be one….
Then the world will know that you sent me
and will understand that you love them
as much as you love me.” John 17:21, 23

O God, we are one with you.
You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another,
you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness
and to fight for it with all our hearts.

Help us to realize that there can be no understanding
where there is mutual rejection.
O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely,
we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you,
and we love you with our whole being,
because our being is in your being,
our spirit is rooted in your spirit.

Fill us then with love,
and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways,
united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world,
and makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love.
Love has overcome.
Love is victorious.
(Thomas Merton (1915-1968))

(inspired by John 17:21, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18)
My fellow servants, we are one.
The bread we share makes us one.
The cup we pour makes us one.
Even as our dearest sisters and brothers
come and go from us, we are one.
Even as we scatter from this place
to so many diverse pursuits
throughout this city, this state, this globe,
we are one.
With gratitude we share the Table.
With gratitude we depart.
With gratitude we release one another,
trusting in the One
Who makes us one.
Go in peace.
(Paul Randall, and posted on Ecclesia)

We are one in Christ.Uganda






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Mothers Day resources


ELCA Mothers Day

Call to Worship
The spirit of God calls us from many places;
some of us come from busy homes with many people
some of us live alone.
We are a part of the family.This week has been different for each of us;
some of us have had happy news we want to celebrate
some of us have faced grief and need to cry.
We are members of God’s family.

Yet we all come to this same place;
all of us seeking God’s presence in our lives
all of us seeking God’s presence with each other.
Together we become God’s family.
(1994, Liturgy Outside)

Call to Worship
We are the people of God.
Together we are family.I am married,
and single
and in a covenant relationship.
We are the people of God.
Together we are family.

I was married,
and in a holy union,
and never married,
and married twice,
and widowed.

We are the people of God.
Together we are family.

I am older
and younger,
and inbetween,
facing my first serious relationship,
knowing the joy of love,
enduring betrayal,
tasting the grief of a dying partner.

We are the people of God.
Together we are family.

I am an only child,
and have ten siblings
and have raised two children
and no children.

We are the people of God.
Together we are family.

I am part of a family,
the human family
the family of faith
my family of origin
the family of my choosing.

We are the people of God.
Together we are family.

Let us worship God together.
(2001, Liturgy Outside)

A short vimeo dedicated to mothers, and particularly to mothers on Naura in long term immigration detention. A really appropriate video clip to show on Mothers’ Day as a lead in to prayers for others perhaps, or at the start of the service.

A call for a national day of prayers:
for mothers of people in Australia’s immigration detention camps
As we celebrate and spoil our own mothers this Sunday, let’s also pause together to pray for the mothers of people who are in detention, particularly people on Manus Island at this time of great uncertainty. Most of us know how worried and anxious our mums can get!
Mothers and families – who may be across the other side of the world – are the forgotten victims of detention. The uncertainty of knowing when your child will we be free, or safe, or healthy is a debilitating burden to bear.

Creator God,
Who was with the Mother of Moses as she suffered the loss of her missing child,
Who was with the Mother of Jesus as they fled together through the desert,
And who loves the mothers of the young men who have been treated so cruelly on Manus,
See the fears they carry in their bodies,
See them tossing in their sleep.

Creator of Justice and Mercy,
Who inspires in the heart of every person a desire to be good,
Who weeps about the violence of our collective sins,
And who loves our politicians who are responsible for those young men.
See the fears they carry in their bodies,
See them tossing in their sleep.

Creator of Community,
Who is the embodiment of perfect community,
Who challenges everyone to love their neighbour and their enemy.
And who invites everyone to eat together at the table,
Grant us the vision to see all those mothers who are not in front of us today,
Grant us with courage to welcome the stranger.
(Source: ACRT)

“I’m a mother from Nauru Detention Centre. As a mother, I want to share my pain with Australian mothers on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately it’s been three years that we are in detention centre and we see our kids’ pain and we are unable to help them. It’s been three years that our kids don’t have birthday cake! /they don’t have candles, and they don’t even have birthday presents. I as a mother have been a witness for all of these. Our kids don’t have a proper place to sleep, sit or even play. It’s been three years that our kids are away from basic rights of life. It’s been three years that our kids don’t get any proper education. It’s been three years that the Australian Government has stolen our kids’ best chances of their lives away from them. It’s been three years that our children are looking for freedom. They only want a normal life and nothing else, a normal life in a country such as Australia where they can play freely, go to school and be happy. These are the very first rights of a child which have been stolen away from them for three years. Seriously, what is their sin? So where is the ‘children’s rights’ that Australia believes in? Or maybe they think only their children deserve to have rights? It’s been three years that our children are looking for the ‘lost justice’ and they haven’t seen anything but cruelty. Where is that ‘human right’ that Australia claims? Our children have got too many questions in their mind which unfortunately no one is able to answer. It’s been three years that the Minister says that there are no kids in detention. He doesn’t count our kids, Aren’t our kids like other kids? What kind of human right does allow women and children to be used for politics? Three years of our children’s lives are being ruined. Who is responsible for this huge cruelty? Kids of Nauru detention have mental issues, as well as their families. Poor Nauru detention kids have to see their parents depressed and unable to even talk to them. It’s a part of the pain of all mothers on Nauru, which I wanted to share with other Australian mothers on Mothers Day on behalf of all the mothers. Ask them to free our kids from this hell. You Australian people have power and if you want you can change many things.
And lastly, I want to thank all advocates that try to make our kids smile by sending gifts. We really appreciate that but unfortunately nothing can make them happy anymore except a ‘normal life’. We love you and respect you and we ask you to please please please free our children from this hell.

Loving and nurturing God, we thank you for mothers.
For all they mean or have meant to us.
We thank you for the love they have shown and the care they have given.
For the many times they gave us hugs and held us close.
Loving and nurturing God we thank you for the qualities of mothers.
For their patience, their kindness, concern and understanding.
We thank you for the part they play in our lives,
and for this special day of saying ‘thank you’ to them.
Loving and nurturing God we thank you for the wonder of your mothering.
As a mother protects her children, you watch over us day by day.
We thank you for your arms which always encircle and protect us,
Your hands shield and deliver us from harm.
Loving God, we pray for those for whom Mother’s day brings heartache rather than a celebration.
We pray for those who have never known their mother or whose mothers have died.
We thank you for your mothering heart and your tender love ,
Which nurtures all who feel abandoned and lost.
We wait with those who long to be mothers but as yet have not had their own children.
We grieve with those who ache because they will never be mothers.
We thank you for their mothering hearts which long to be expressed.
Lord in your mercy, mother us all with your love.
We pray for those who struggle with the way their children have chosen to live their lives.
And grieve with those who are orphaned or have a difficult relationship with their mother.
We thank you that when we long for a mother’s love you do not abandon us.
Lord in your mercy, mother us all with your love.
May all of us have the comfort of knowing that your mothering love is constant,
Your understanding is perfect and your compassion is never-ending.
We thank you that you gave birth to all of us with delight and joy,
Lord in your mercy mother us all with your love.
Amen (Christine Sine, Godspace)
(Check out more on Godspace here)

just tiny stirrings
which disturb our even surface,
prodding us into new and different shapes…
claiming their place
on our horizons—
stretching us
where we would not go—
yet we must.
Driven by life forces
deeper than our dreams,
we dare to rise
and grasp towards
the new young thing—
not yet born—
but insistent—
like a tight seed bursting
for life,
carrying within it
all the power
of a woman’s
birthing thrust.
(Edwina Gateley, from her book There Was No Path So I Trod One, 1996, 2013)

Faith of Our Mothers sheet music
Faith of our mothers, living still
Fresh in our memories, held in our hearts
Here or in heaven, their deeds live on,
Spreading the joy God’s love imparts
Faith of our mothers, holy faith,
We will be true to thee to death
(words to other two verses on sheet music – click on link)
New words: Lawrence A. Wik, 2013

Some Mothers Day 2014 resources on Textweek.

Erin Wathen on ‘why I don’t do Mothers Day at church’. Very thoughtful.

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Prayers from a progressive perspective

Prayers from a progressive perspective…..

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