COCU Index Year C

Year C – COCU Index 2018-19

NAPCAN, 19-27 October 2019
The theme for 2019 is Article 24 – ‘Children have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help them stay well.’
(For liturgical resources could check out Child Protection Week)
National Unity Week, Oct 26 – Nov 2
Reformation Day 31st October 2017
COCU63C, AllSaints.1stNovember2019
COCU64C.3rd November 2019
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted ChurchIDOP
(first Sunday in November each year – Nov 3, 2019)
Kristallnacht – Night of Broken Glass, Nov 9
Remembrance Day
World Toilet Day
UN World Children’s Day Nov 20
International Transgender Day of Remembrance (ITDR) Nov 20
COCU67C.24thNovember2019 (Reign of Christ)
(Year C concludes, and Year A begins with Advent)

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order

UCA Calendar of commemorations

Ecumenical prayer cycle (World Council of Churches) 2019 

Components of worship – general
Acknowledgement of Land
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are/Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see specific weeks)
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion Hymns)

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Kristallnacht: “Night of Broken Glass” 9 Nov 1938

On the evening of November 9-10, 1938, the German Reich unleashed a pogrom against the Jews, burning down synagogues and smashing the glass fronts of Jewish shops in Berlin and all big cities in Germany and Austria. The pogrom was allegedly in retaliation for the assassination of a German diplomat at the German Embassy in Paris by the 17-year old Herschel Grynszpan.

To describe it, the Nazis coined the phrase Kristallnacht or Night of Broken Glass. On that night 91 Jews were killed, 30.000 Jews sent to Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg concentration camps. 5.000 Jewish shops were looted, 191 synagogues attacked, bonfires made of Torah scrolls, prayer books and volumes of Jewish history, philosophy and poetry. This action was a signal event whose importance in the history of the Shoah or Holocaust, as it is also called, is that it represents the shift from mass arrest and terror to mass murder. From the time of Kristallnacht onwards, the momentum of the Holocaust gathered force and led to the wholesale persecution and the killing of six million Jews including one and a half million children.

The Night of Broken Glass was crucial in the movement towards the Final Solution, a systematic programme of genocide, which was designed to annihilate every Jew in Europe. Soon would be added the deaths of millions of civilians, service men and women and partisans during WW II.

Australian story
An Aboriginal man, William Cooper, was the only person to stage a private protest against the Nazi persecution of the Jews. An important piece of history.

(from a service in New South Wales)
We remember a night of darkness and fear that swept the heartland of Christian Europe like a scourge. We remember those who were persecuted. Jews for being Jews. We remember those who spoke out, brave souls who tried to save a world.

And we remember the silence! How many stood aside, mute and unconcerned forgetting the divine command: “You shall not stand idle while your neighbour bleeds.”

For the sin of silence,
For the sin of indifference,
For the secret complicity of the neutral,
For the closing of borders,
For the washing of hands from blame,
For the crime of forgetfulness,
For the sin of meaningless rhetoric,
Let there be no forgetfulness before God, and let memory startle us at any moment, when we lie down and when we rise up. Let us remember and never forget.

Golden crystal hope – a blessing to go
Hope is the gold we melt and pour
between the crystal pieces, shattered,
smatterings and scatterings beneath our feet.
Tread carefully, hold gently the shards,
bear the wounds the healing cuts.
Offer the sacred price for peace, to mend
the broken crystal at our feet.
May the Holy bless us as we go, in peace. Amen

Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story. Written for the commemoration of 80 years since Kristallnacht, the state-sanctioned demolishing of Jewish synagogues, schools, homes, and businesses in Germany and Austria; written for the interfaith gathering hosted by The Canberra Jewish Centre and Wesley Uniting Church, 7 November 2018, at which was premiered the work by Elena Kats-Chernin, ‘To Mend Broken Crystal…’, which inspired this blessing.

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International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) – 3 Nov 2019

IDOP is recognised on the first Sunday in November each year, dedicated to the saints and martyrs of the Christian faith and for persecuted communities. IDOP website here.
In 2019 this falls on November 3rd, which is also the closest Sunday to All Saints Day.

God, you know
The plight of people far away
Oppressed by governments and vigilantes
In places
Where Christianity is an unpopular choice.
God, you knew
That the day would come here
When truth-telling would be despised
And siding with the oppressed
Part of the road less travelled.
Have mercy, O God,
Upon persecuted Christians there and here
Who are willing to suffer consequences
For speaking your Name
In word or in deed
In defiance or in advocacy.
Grant courage and strength
To all who would dare
To live their convictions out loud. Amen. (UMC Discipleship) Continue reading

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See also All Saints Day.

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Habakkuk complains to God that justice is perverted and God’s help does not come, but then, as he waits for God’s answer, God’s word comes to him offering him a vision of the downfall of the proud and the vibrant life of the righteous.
Psalm 119:137-144
The psalmist celebrates God’s regulations, affirming their value and goodness for all time, and giving thanks for the strength they offer even in times of hardship.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Paul celebrates the faith, love and endurance of the Thessalonian Christians in the face of persecution and hardship, and prays for God’s strength to sustain and inspire them, so that they may glorify God.
Luke 19:1-10
In Jericho Jesus invites himself to be a guest at the house of a chief tax collector, Zacchaeus, in spite of the criticisms of people. As a result, Zacchaeus is transformed into a man of generosity and compassion.

Thought for the week
It should not surprise us that the Scriptures return often to the themes of repentance and forgiveness. One reason for this constant repetition is that these foundational ideas are harder to understand and practice than we may at first consider. For many of us, repentance has come to be viewed as a personal apology to God for things we have done wrong, and forgiveness is what God gives us in return. However the Biblical picture is far richer and more challenging than this. In the Bible, God’s forgiveness is given before we even know that we need it – that’s the miracle of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, and it is demonstrated in the Zacchaeus story which is the Gospel reading for this week.
But, when forgiveness touches our hearts, it automatically leads us into two responses. The first is that we respond in repentance – which simply means to change. We stop doing the destructive things that rob us and others of life, and we embrace a new, life-giving way of behaving, thinking and speaking. The second response is that we begin to extend God’s forgiveness to others, recognising that as we accept them in Jesus’ name, so God’s Spirit can work healing and transformation in them through us.
This week, we will meditate again on the profound gifts of forgiveness and repentance.(Summaries and thought for the week by John van de Laar)

Diana Butler Bass, October 2016: Zacchaeus seems to be a guy who thinks you have to climb up to see God, to get closer to “power.” What does Jesus do? Jesus says, “Come down.” And invites himself to dinner. This is a radical rejection of the Roman patriarchal system and replacing it with hospitality. It isn’t about going “up” to see God. It is about sitting at table.

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Reformation Day.October31

Reformation Day commemorates the day in 1517 when a German monk named Martin Luther (1483-1546) strode up to the church in Wittenburg and nailed his 95 ‘theses’ (or propositions) to the church door.
Luther’s intention when posting his theses was to highlight the practice of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church. Indulgences were pardons from sin that could be bought, meaning that those who were rich enough could buy forgiveness for all manner of sins.
Luther had hoped that pinning his protestations would spark wider debate and harden public opinion against the practice. However, so many people agreed with his ideas that they quickly spread across western Europe, helped by the recent invention of the printing press, leading to the religious revolt known as the Reformation.
The reformation led many Christians to break off from the Roman Catholic Church and establish new, independent churches of their own, such as the Lutheran Church.
Reformation Day was first celebrated in the Germanic region in the seventeenth century and between 1949 and 1967, Reformation Day was a national holiday in East Germany.

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Joel 2:23-32
God promises restoration from the judgement (what the locusts have eaten) and the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all of God’s sons and daughters.
Psalm 65
Praise for the God who answers prayer, who forgives sin, who formed the earth and who sends rain to bring an abundant harvest.
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Paul reflects on his faithfulness as he nears the end of his life and looks forward to the reward he will receive, assured that God, who rescued him in the past, even when others deserted him, will bring him safely into God’s kingdom.
Luke 18:9-14
Jesus tells a parable about a self-righteous Pharisee, who fails to find a right relationship with God, and a penitent tax collector who finds justification.

Gospel feelings resources here.

Jesus’ parable calls us to humble recognition of our need for God’s grace.
Two people came into the temple to pray.
A white man came up front and prayed,
“God, I thank you that I’m not black.
Thank you that I’m not a woman, or gay,
or was abused as a child.
I mind my own business,
and I believe in you.”
An undocumented immigrant woman
forced to work the street
stood at the back and prayed,
“God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”
I tell you, she went home closer to God
than the other.
For all who are full of themselves
will be empty of anything else.
But those who make room for God
will shine with glory.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)
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Jeremiah 31:27-34
A prophecy of restoration, of an end to generational curses, and of God’s new covenant with God’s people – written on hearts, not stone.
Psalm 119:97-104
A song of rejoicing in God’s laws and instructions and the way they guide and lead to life.
2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5
Paul encourages Timothy, in the name of the coming Christ, to remain faithful to the Scriptures and to teach God’s message faithfully at all times.
Luke 18:1-8
Jesus tells a parable of a poor widow who persistently asks a judge for justice, and he finally relents because of her persistence. Then he muses about whether, when he returns, he will find people of faith on earth.

Gospel Feelings resources here.
Sermon: Excellent reflection by Debie Thomas on the Gospel reading here

Patient God (based on Gospel reading)
Patient God,
you persevere in your care for us,
in spite of our lack of persistence,
lack of praying at all times.
Merge our inner spirits
with your will.
Teach us again and again
to pray always
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen
(Source:Bob Eldan)
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Anti-Poverty Week

In 2019, Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 13th to the 19th of October. The main aims of Anti-Poverty Week are to:
* Strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and in Australia; and
* Encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments.

Everyone is encouraged to help reduce poverty and hardship by organising an activity during the Week or taking part in an activity organised by others.

9.30am service on 13th October focussed on Anti-Poverty Week (scroll to end of this page to download)

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COCU63C.All Saints Day.1Nov

  • All Saints may be celebrated on the date shown or on the first Sunday in November

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Psalm 115:16)
One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. (Psalm 145:4)
After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They cried out in a loud voice, saying: Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb! These beloved have gone on before us into eternal life. (Revelation 7:9-10).
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely. Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:10)

Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs

Reflections on church shooting at Sutherland Springs, Nov 5th 2017 (the day for celebrating All Saints Day). Scroll to the end for the full text.

Gospel feelings resources here.

A Call to Worship for All Saints Day
(Hebrews 12: 1)
We remember, O God…
The countless saints of history
who have blazed a trail of courage through time,
We remember, O God…
The tender touch of loved ones,
the example of heroes,
the healing words of comforters,
the remarkable acts of fearless ones.
We remember, O God…
The gentle strength of grandmothers,
the loyalty of friends,
the kindness of strangers,
the joy of children,
the sacrifice of parents.
We remember, O God…
The supreme love of Jesus,
the blessing of his Spirit,
the reminder of his words,
the sharing of his suffering,
the glory of his resurrection:
shown forth in the lives of his disciples,
young and old,
dead and living,
articulate and silent,
strange and familiar,
brilliant and ordinary.
We remember in every time and place the saints of God
who have shown us the Lord.
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…
let us worship God with joy!
(Desperate Preacher’s website)

Call to Worship for All Saints Day
With thanksgiving on my tongue,
I sing praise for the feet of the saints
who walked this path long before me
who pointed out this path to me
who cleared the path with me.

With thanksgiving on my tongue,
I sing praise for the wisdom of the saints
who shared their vision of God’s ways
who lived faithfully by God’s ways
who loved God all the way.

With thanksgiving on my tongue,
I sing praise for the cloaks of the saints
that sheltered my weary soul from the dust
that marked my life for a new adventure
that gave me some flair for the dance.

With thanksgiving on your tongue,
now sing praise for the voices of the saints
who named God within you
who evoked God from you
who gave God to you.
(Rachel Hackenberg, and posted on RevGalBlogPals)

Call to worship
In all our weakness and strength,
with our youth-filled spirits and aging bodies,
we come to be your people, O God.

Strong in faith and eager with questions,
singing our praise and whispering our prayers,
we come to be your people, O God.

Filled with saintly determination
yet mindful of our human limitations,
we come to be your people, O God.

Made strong in your endless love for us,
we know ourselves to be yours and
we come to be your people, O God.

May we truly become your people today. Amen.
(Seasons of the Spirit: WoodLake Publishing)

All Saints Day
This day, Lord,
We remember
We remember those who have come before
Those known and unknown,
Those imperfect vessels who, like us, sought to embody your grace and love,
Those who received and carried tradition,
And in turn passed it on to us.
May we live like them as faithful disciples,
Inspired by their example,
Receiving their wisdom,
Learning from their mistakes,
And seeking to work with you
To build the communion of the commonwealth of your love.
So hallowed be your name,
Just as it was at times in them,
So may it be in us.
This we pray. Amen.
(source: Jon Humphries)

Prayer of the Day
Eternal God, neither death nor life can separate us from your love: grant that we may serve you faithfully here on earth, and in heaven rejoice with all your saints. Amen.

Prayer of Confession: All Saints
Jesus, lover and friend, you showed us holiness in action through the way you lived your life. You gave away your power in the service of others and turned our understanding of blessedness on its head.
We confess the difficulties we experience in living as you lived and loving as you loved
We confess how easy it is to concentrate on our own pleasures – taking note of the plight of many in the world only as the news momentarily grabs our attention.
We confess our capacity to be so consumed by our own agendas that our concern for the needs of others shrinks all too rapidly.
We confess our failure to act when we see around us weakness, pain, suffering and powerlessness. A time of silent confession
We confess our reluctance to love our enemies and to do good to those who dislike or even hate us.
We confess the ease with which we become conformed to the world’s standards rather than facing the challenge of conforming to those of Christ.
Stir up your Spirit in us, Lord, that we may experience the happiness and blessing of being your disciples in more than name only.
Strengthen us to be people who sing and live your song of love; who willingly serve our neighbours—even those we don’t especially like; who seek justice and mercy for all and who truly repent of what is past and look with anticipation for what is yet to come. This we pray in your name and for your sake. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness
“In Christ… when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, you also were marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people.” (Ephesians 1: 13, 14)
Hear again the word of truth: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!
(Moira Laidlaw)

The those who have lived before us
Dear Lord,
thank you for drawing us into community
here in this place that has been called home for so many.

Inspire us with the lives of those before us,
those ancient ones who have lived here in faith
and opened up and given away
your love to all those who needed it.

May you change us with a vision to continue here
as a constant presence for those who travel through life,
a community of welcome that cares for all our parish
believing into what is still yet to be.

Teach us to discern your voice
as those before us have discerned your voice,
guided by its call and feeding on its promise
of life and hope and belonging.

May we hear your word:
a comforting word in its familiar sound,
yet a disturbing word in what it speaks anew
and longs for us to become.

Hold us within the faith of our forebears,
those who chose to meet you here in this parish,
who recognised this thin place as a trysting place
where your miracle of grace abides.

May we be moved by that grace
into all the places that make up our community,
sharing what you have given abundantly
like an ever flowing stream.

Call us from our past,
through the voices of our ancestors,
in the songs they have sung
and the prayers they have spoken
that have shaped peace within this parish,

And may we join our voice with their voice,
in the one great song of love
that will be lived and celebrated yet,
throughout this parish.
(Rev. Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones)

We are celebrating All Saints day – remembering the faithful of the past, those known to us, who have shaped our lives and our faith. Those who we may not have known personally but have shaped the faith of the church and the world we belong to.
Presentae is a Latin American ritual – those who were persecuted would remember their fallen by acknowledging that their presence remained with them. It’s like a calling of the roll on the deceased’s behalf – a remembering of those who had passed away.
If you would like to say the name of someone you know the congregation will respond ‘presentae‘.
Last year you will remember we thought of xx
All: presentae
Continue naming people….

God of all things good, as we gather together this morning we recall the great love story of our faith, and the faith of those who have gone before and whom we remember. May we embody that faith in our daily lives and share it with future generations in our worship and our living. May your love remain ever-present. Amen

Sermon by Doug Gay, based on lectionary reading Year C (Zacchaeus).

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Jeremiah 29;1,4-7
The people of Israel are in exile, but Jeremiah still asks them to seek the welfare of the city in whcih they live as foreigners. They are to live as God’s faithful people, no matter what the context.
Psalm 66:1-12
A call for all the earth to praise the God who rules over all, and for all nations to bless God.
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Although Paul is inprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Christ’s resurrection, the Gospel itself is not imprisoned. God offers life to those who die with Christ, and God remains always faithful, which is why Paul encourages Timothy to remind people of these thigns and to continue to serve and teach faithfully.
Luke 17:11-19
Jesus sends ten men with a skin disease to show themselves to the priests and they are healed as they go, but only one, a Samaritan, returns to give thanks.
(Summary of readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

The Road Through No-Man’s Land
Ten men united by dis-ease,
suffering both leprosy and
social rejection, bound together
by mutual repulsiveness,
inhabitants of no-man’s land.
Society, bound in its fear
of dread disease, convinced
of curse and sin, wallows,
in ambivalence, condemns
the hapless, piously
taking God’s name in vain.
One man, on a journey toward
his own rejection, penetrates
the impenetrable, crosses
into the “bad lands,”
mixes with the lowly
in the name of the most high.
Ten men, sent for examination
healed as they pass along the road.
Nine go, who knows where?
One, sensing unfinished business,
returns in thanksgiving,
departs in wholeness.
One man on his way to a cross
heals ten men with no destination.
One man gives thanks, receives life.
It all happened along the way;
in a place called “no-man’s land,”
that place of desolation
where dwells the kingdom of God.
(Source: William Dean, The House Blend, published 2008)

Lord God
Our lives are like the borderlands. We divide people into us and them. Insiders and outsiders. Friends and strangers. Those we love and those to be feared.
Our lives are like the village. We build walls around our serves and bar the gates. We let only those we want to inside. We judge others from the watch tower. We refuse entry and shut the gates to those we fear, those we are in don’t want to help, those different to ourselves, and those we don’t like. We protect ourselves from those we consider unworthy or outcasts.
Our lives are like those of the lepers, we find ourselves rejected and shunned by others. We stand outside. We find ourselves in need of healing and acceptance. We look for someone to love and care for us. To accept us.
May our life be like the healed leper receiving your Grace. May we be healed from the weeping sores of pride and selfishness. May the lesions of our apathy and fear be washed clean. May the scars of our ungratefulness and indifference towards others be replaced with new skin.
Lord God forgive and heal us. And as we express our thanks to you for the Grace you show us may we rise to follow you.
In Christ we pray. Amen
(Source: Glenn Elliott-Rudder, Facebook post on Preaching up a Storm, 2019)

(*Sing: Come all you people….)
The whole earth sings praise!
Wild wind whips glory,
babbling brook skipping sings,
green fields davening sway.
The smallest ears pick up the tune
that hums and pulses through all things.
(*Sing: Come all you people….)
Oh God, Mother of all,
let my life move with
the earth songs beneath my feet
and the star songs above my head.
Let my heart jig and caper like a young lamb.
Let my soul sing and sigh and signify.
(*Sing: Come all you people….)
No corner of the earth is apart from your power.
Everywhere a woman may roam,
she will see the signs and hear the songs:
Each day a new day.
Each moment an opportunity.
Each step, each listening step,
a step in hope’s direction.
(*Sing: Come all you people….)
How may I live my gratitude, but with humble attention,
with an ear quick to listen,
gaze penetrating to see, a heart ready to love, hands eager to bless,
with a mind slow to judge and probing to discern,
with feet that move in hope’s direction,
dancing earthstar songs of praise. So be it.
(*Sing: Come all you people….)
(Source: Psalms Redux by Carla A. Grosch-Miller)
Note: If you search Redux Psalms you can download the file of them.

*Suggestion to sing “Come all you people, come and praise your maker (X3), come now and worship the Lord” by Alexander Gondo (arranged by John L. Bell)at the spots marked with an asterisk. 

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Labour Day – 7th October 2019

Labour Day takes place on different days in different countries and cities.
In Adelaide the first Monday in October is Labour Day (making it a ‘long weekend holiday’)
A prayer for Labor Day (written for U.S. context, can be adapted)
God bless those who labor,
especially those who labor so we may take a Labor Day vacation.
Grant your grace to those whose labor costs them,
whose labors degrade or wound or endanger them,
body and soul.
Bless those who pick our fruit and pack our meat,
who clean our rooms, tend our gardens,
gather our waste and care for our aged,
underpaid and unprotected.
Be with those who risk
to advocate and organize and unionize
those who labor for our sake.
Sustain those who labor unhappily,
and those whose labors
would be better spent with their children.
We pray especially for those who labor
under threat or force,
who are not paid, and are not free.
May all who labor be granted Sabbath,
and know their worth apart from labor.
In gratitude for your labors, O God,
we give thanks for those who join you
in creating the world,
that all our labors may create and not destroy,
bless and not abuse, and yield beauty and joy,
for the sake of the wholeness of all Creation.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light

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