COCU Index Year C 2015-16

Year C
COCU54C, Pentecost 15C, 28th August 2016
(also Refugee and Migrant Sunday)
COCU55C, Pentecost 16C, 4th September 2016
(also Fathers Day in Australia)
(also first day of Spring in Australia)
COCU56C, Pentecost 17C, 11th September 2016
(also 15th year since 9/11 – time for lament?)
COCU57C, Pentecost 18C, 18th September 2016
COCU58C, Pentecost 19C, 25th September 2016
(also Social Justice Sunday)

September: Season of Creation resources

COCU_Year_C_2015-16

Easter C 2016 readings (Vanderbilt)

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order.

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Migrant and Refugee Sunday.28thAugust2016

birchRefugee 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)

boy

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

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)

Opening prayer
With respect and gratitude for the original custodians of this land, we gather together to affirm in hope and faith that we can create a sacred space of welcome for all who live in Australia (Let us pray )
God, you call us to be in relationship, building community with one another, working with one another, supporting and healing one another.
God, you call us into a community working for the common good of all people, making choices that bring hope, justice, truth and freedom to our world.
God, you call us into community with the whole of creation, always cherishing, nurturing and renewing the earth.
O God, You are the source of human dignity, and it is in your image that we are created. Pour out on us the Spirit of love and compassion.
Enable us to reverence each person:
to reach out to those in need:
to value and appreciate those who differ from us:
to share the resources of our nation:
to receive the gifts offered to us by people from other cultures.
Grant that we may always promote the justice and acceptance that ensures lasting peace and racial harmony. Help us to remember that we are one family. Amen.
(from resources for “Refugee & Migrant Sunday” 2006)

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COCU53C.Pentecost14C.21August2016

(work in progress, as always!)

Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71: 1-6; Hebrews 12: 18-29: Luke 13:10-17
(A4, double sided, landscape, 2 column handout with readings and short commentary – COCU53C.P14C.RCL & commentary)

CALL TO WORSHIP
All who are bent over with worry: this is a place of sanctuary.
All who are burdened with life: this is a house of care.
All who are lost to community: this is a company of welcome.
All who travel with questions: this is a community of seekers.
All who reach out for God: this is a sacred space of worship.
Come, let us worship.

PRAYERS OF WHO WE ARE
God-with-us, we come as people who know the burdens that life brings, as those who know the need for healing – in body, mind and spirit. We have gathered with a sense of the sacredness of this space, aware of your presence flowing from one person to another. We come with our wounds wide open, with our defences down, calling to you as did so many who approached Jesus, saying “Heal me, help me, touch me!” We work hard at being happy, at coping, at surviving, at holding on, but we have come here hoping to let go and to open ourselves to Christ’s healing flow.
A silence is kept for personal reflection
Touch our lives, our God, as we worship here today, and cast your sunlight through our tears till rainbows rise, and plant dreams where wounds leave scars like furrows in broken ground, rekindling our hope, reviving our strength, refreshing our faith. May it be so. Amen.
(Ruth Duck, Touch Holiness, The Pilgrim Press, adapted)

A reflection (could be used in Prayers of Confession/Prayers of who we are, for contemplation)
I am only, I do not know
how or what or where;
I am only, I cannot go,
I am too afraid.
I am only, I have not
height or voice or strength;
I am only, I am little,
broken, old, young.
I am only, I will not
be welcomed, heard or heeded;
I am only, they are more,
so much more than me.
I am only, but I am listening,
I will trust you when you call;
for I am only who I am,
and with you I am not alone.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

Prayer of Intercession
(inspired by Jeremiah 1: 4-10)
Let us pray to our God saying
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Holy God, you knew us before we took our first breath.
You uttered your living Word and brought forth light, love, and life.
You gathered us from the dust of the earth and called us your people.
You sent us into the world to proclaim your mighty and wondrous deeds.
You are with us even now as we continue our call.
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Mighty God, you have done great things; who is like you?
You alone are our rock of refuge.
You alone are our strong fortress.
You alone are our hope and in you alone is our trust.
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Merciful God, your love never ends.
We confess to you that we do not always share your love as we should.
Where you have called us to live as one body, we exist as divided members.
Where you have called us to give our Spirit-given gifts, we ignore your call.
Where you have called us to forgive, we have forgotten your mercy.
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Gracious God, do not be far from us!
Strengthen us that we might be givers of your grace and
may your steadfast love be known to all of your children.
Send your Holy Spirit to empower our hands to
clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and love all as you have first loved us.
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Loving God, hear today the prayers that we lift up to you.
Be with those of us who are…….(name the circumstances)
Give us hearts of courage and songs of your grace
to tell others of your righteous acts and deeds of salvation.
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Abundant God, be with those of us that yearn for your restoration and healing.
Today, we ask your blessing upon (name those in need of healing).
We lift up to you those who we bring before you
with our lips or within our hearts…(silent prayers)
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Faithful God, your power and your righteousness reach the heavens.
Hear us, your servants, as we follow you to the day when
faith, hope, and love will be upon the lips of all of us, your children.
These things we pray in the name of your Son who taught us to pray saying…(Lord’s Prayer)
(Source: Stephen M. Fearing, Wild and Precious Life)

A Reflection on Luke 13 by Miriam Therese Winter
Surely
You meant
when You lifted her up
Long ago
To your praise,
Compassionate One,
not one woman only
but all women,
bent,
by unbending ways.

A call to commitment: A Hard, Deep Call to Obedience
You are the God who makes extravagant promises.
We relish your great promises of fidelity and presence and solidarity,
and we exude in them.
Only to find out, always too late,
that your promise always comes in the midst of a hard, deep call to obedience.
You are the God who calls people like us,
and the long list of mothers and fathers before us,
who trusted the promise enough to keep the call.
So we give you thanks that you are a calling God,
who calls always to dangerous new places.
We pray enough of your grace and mercy among us
that we may be among those who believe your promises
enough to respond to your call.
We pray in the one who embodied your promise
and enacted your call, even Jesus. Amen.

(Source: Walter Brueggemann,Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, (Augsburg Fortress, 2003, p. 90). 

Sending prayer

God of life
God of hope
God of all

Lift us
on your love
like eagle’s wings

Sustain us
Guide us
Heal us

Then send us
forth into
the world

That we
may love
as you love.
Amen.

(Source: Terri, posted on RevGalBlogPals)

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September 11th

peace 9 11 sculpture

9/11 sculpture

The sculpture consists of an iron beam pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center held up by two stainless steel hands. The hands holding it up are constructed from 2,976 individually crafted stainless steel doves – each representing a victim of the attacks.

In 2012, Pilgrim UC held a ‘spiritual exploration of lament’ on September 11th, for the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The online planning can be found here, and will take the form of stations around the church. Here’s a link to Geoff Boyce’s website which gives more details of the service of lament.

Blessing/benediction incorporating Jewish blessing of the mourners and Sufi blessing of peace and love. blessing – Sept 11 service

Engage Worship website with prayer resources for Sept 11, and more here at Godspace.

Here’s a thoughtful reflection on the gospel reading linked to 9-11, http://www.journeywithjesus.net/Essays/20050905JJ.shtml

Here’s some more resources from United Church of Christ (USA).

Thom Shuman wrote an excellent reflection piece on September 11th. ‘We can remember and honour 9/11.   I hope we are defined by September 12th’. I’ve adapted it for my own context in Australia, but hopefully remaining faithful to the intent of what Thom has written. Thom Shuman reflection

William Willamon reflections on 9-11: Will Willamon on 9-11

A note re children – the images will be relentless in this coming week. Young children do not know it’s the same image over and over again, and may well think it’s happening here and now. The violence and destruction carried in the visual images is disturbing to children so extreme care should be taken in what children view on news and current affairs programs leading up to September 11th anniversary.

Interfaith matters – with rising hostilities reported around the world, the tragedy in Norway, the views expressed in some European countries etc, it’s timely for the church to exercise leadership in promoting peace and understanding, and standing in solidarity with other faith traditions.

 

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Rio Olympics

The 2016 Olympic Games will kick off on August 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 28th edition of the Games will see 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees competing for 306 sets of medals in 28 disciplines. With the start of the Rio Olympics, there may be a number of ways in which this event may be a focus for prayers in worship. (This page is a work in progress).

World Council of Churches – Rio: Faith Leaders Affirm human dignity in ‘Vigil of Dignity’
WCC Rio
Representatives from over 25 faith expressions and from more than 30 civil society organizations gathered for a public event on August 1st, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the lead up to the opening of the 2016 Olympic games to affirm the dignity of human beings and the planet Earth and the defense of human rights. The concept of the vigil was developed by an international group that included representatives from the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights Learning (PDHRE) and other international organizations.
At the vigil, prayers were led by faith leaders, and statements delivered by representatives of civil society organizations were interwoven with cultural performances from indigenous people, quilombola and other Afro-descendants.
“We are here to enable full visibility to migrants, refugees, indigenous people, and representatives of minorities who suffer all forms of discrimination and racism. Their urgent need for justice should also inspire the Olympic values that are being hailed so loudly during these days here in Rio. We are here to show that we will continue to walk with those who struggle to stop the endless exploitation of the planet’s resources and to proclaim our hope for a new world, where children and elderly people will have access to the necessary conditions to live their lives with dignity, where health, education, sport, culture, leisure and basic sanitation are not a privilege of a few”. (Rafael Soares de Oliveira, executive director of Koinonia/ACT Alliance and local coordinator of the vigil). 
At Morro da Mangueira, one of Rio’s main favelas, a symbolic Torch of Dignity is on display during the Olympics. “The Torch of Dignity is a way to promote human dignity and human rights as a way of life. From a Christian ethical point of view, human dignity is the pre-eminent concept, founded on the faith principle of all people being created equal in God’s image (imago dei). From an ecumenical Christian perspective, human rights law and its related mechanisms are tools for promoting and protecting the pre-eminent value of God-given human dignity. Human dignity is also the foundational purpose and objective of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.” (Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, WCC’s representative to the United Nations in New York City). Besides Rio, “Torch of Dignity” events were organized in other parts of the world, such as India, Costa Rica, Bangladesh and Argentina.

Pope Francis (August 2016) on the Olympics
Speaking in Portuguese at his weekly general audience yesterday, Francis offered special prayers and greetings to the people of Rio and to the athletes and fans who will gather in the Brazilian city for the games starting tomorrow.
“In a world thirsting for peace, tolerance, and reconciliation,” he said, “I wish that the spirit of the Olympic Games would inspire all – participants and spectators – to fight ‘the good fight’ and end the race together, desiring as a prize not a medal, but something much more precious: The creation of a civilisation where there reigns solidarity founded on the recognition that we are all members of one human family, no matter the differences of culture, skin colour, or religion.”
In view of the Olympics, the Pope’s prayer intention for August was: “That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.”
(Source: Catholic News, August 4th 2016)
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Season of creation – various

Cicero

(See also WCC’s Time for Creation, in the same time frame as Seasons of Creation in September each year).

“The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.”
~ Julian of Norwich

A collation of resources here on the original Season of Creation website.

Christine Valters Painter’s book, Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire : The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements, may be a useful resource (with a focus on the elements of water, wind, earth fire during Season of Creation).
Note: Pilgrim UC will use this resource for 2016 – will post the liturgies when they are prepared. 

William Wallace (New Zealand) has prepared a ‘Mass of the Universe‘ with all the text and music – could be worth considering for the opening Sunday or closing Sunday of the month set aside for Seasons of Creation. Ideally it will need some advance notice for preparation of the music with cantors, small choir etc. Definitely worth checking out.

The earth is at the same time mother,
she is mother of all that is natural,
mother of all that is human,
She is the mother of all,
for contained in her
aret he seeds of all.
The earth of humankind
contains all moistness,
all verdancy,
all germinating power.
It is in so many ways fruitful.
All creation comes from it.
Yet it forms not only the basic
raw material for humankind,
but also the substance
of the incarnation
of God’s son.
Hildegard of Bingen, c. 1125

Jason John has uploaded resources for Seasons of Creation on his website.

Textweek.com has online resources for each Sunday in Season of Creation.

A great video clip (4.58 mins) – She’s Alive, beautiful, finite, dying, worth dying for – could be shown during a service. The blurb: “It was made to highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless ‘consumers’ are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network (http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/). The principal source for the footage was Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s incredible film HOME http://www.homethemovie.org/. The music was by Armand Amar. Credit and thanks to Greenpeace and http://timescapes.org/”

Lord of life,
Things are not as they should be.
Our world is not as you intended.
We have overreached our place in the world.
We have upset the balance of nature.
We do not live in harmony with the environment.
We have exploited our planet.
Our devouring of resources is unnatural.
Our excesses are overbearing
Our destruction of the wild places is abhorrent
Our ignorance of the damage resulting from our lifestyle is inexcusable
We should be sorry.
We know the facts.
We have seen the effects.
But little do we change.
Do not forgive our token gestures.
Hold us accountable until we repent.
Disabuse us of our perverted selfish ways.
Grant us the shocking vision of the truth.
But also call us to your purpose.
Awaken in us the seeds of change.
Help us take up our responsibility.
Show us how to make amends.
Join us to your mission,
That our world may be renewed.
That we may be redeemed.
That the Creating Christ may be served.
In his name.
Amen. (c) Jon Humphries

God-the-creator-of-life.001

We’re standing here on holy ground” (Tune: ‘Ellacombe(2)’, 86 86D,  453 TiS)
We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land your hand has made;
Your art displayed in timeless rocks,
in purple haze and space;
Its mighty gums and feathery ferns
your beauty magnify.
Tread softly then, in awe reflect,
and listen to the land.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land which ancients trod.
They wrote your law in hills and streams
in rocks and caves and trees;
A law to tell us who we are,
to guide and make us strong.
Tread gently then, respect the earth,
remember whence we’ve come.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land that toil has shaped.
It’s fertile plains will feed us all,
when tilled with care and love.
But mindless greed and drought and flood
wreak havoc in the land.
Then let us tread with love the earth,
that’s fed us faithfully.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land we long to share,
Where each has space and equity,
and neither want nor fear
But demons fierce are dancing here
of race and greed and hate.
Engrave upon our wills, we pray,
your ancient covenant law.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
we seek your rule on earth;
Your will be done in politics,
in law court, market, church;
Your gentleness among us reign,
and each one dwell secure;
May generations yet unborn,
live here in harmony.  © JBrown. (Adapted – Verses 1-2, 4-6)

Creation and communion liturgy
A Liturgy of Creation and Communion – John Van De Laar

Opening prayer (includes acknowledgement of land)
We give thanks for creation:
its vibrant genesis and evolution
its wonder and mystery
its delicacy and strength
its wordless word
it’s yes!
We give thanks for the Kaurna people who nurtured this land:
for their stories of the dreaming
for their connection with the sacred
for their yes!
We give thanks for the gift of this community:
for calling us to be present to one another
for the mystery of grace in our lives
for your yes!
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Homelessness Week (first week of August)

Homelessness Week is held in the first week of August in Australia.

1 Here to the house of God we come,
home of the people of the Way,
here to give thanks for all we have,
naming our needs for every day,
we who have roof and rent and bread,
sure of a place to rest our head.

2 There is a knocking at our door,
sound of the homeless of the world,
voice of the frightened refugee,
cry of the children in the cold,
asking the least that is their right,
safety and shelter for the night.

3 God who is shelter, who is home,
in borrowed rooms you came to live,
pleaded to save the dispossessed,
crucified, lay in borrowed grave:
these are no strangers in your eyes,
this is your family which cries.

4 We are all tenants of your love;
gather us round a common fire,
warm us in company with Christ,
give us the heart to feel, to share
table and lodging with free hand,
space in our living, in our land.
(Shirley Erena Murray)

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COCU51C.P12C.7August2016

Readings: Isaiah 1: 1, 10-20; Psalm 50: 1-8, 22-23; Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12: 32-40.

Printed readings (designed as A4, landscape, double sided):
COCU51C.Pentecost12C.RCL readings.W.v2

Resources: Textweek.com; Singing from the Lectionary;

Call to Worship
We are people who have been called
to follow where God leads us.
By faith we can obey,
even when asked to walk into
an unknown future.
We are people who have been challenged
to tell God’s story to others.
By faith we have the ability
to share the good news.
We are God’s children who are invited
to feast at the Table of grace.
By faith we will embrace
our sisters and brothers in Christ.
(Source: Thom Shuman)

A contemporary expression of the prophets’ ancient call to turn again to God
(see Isaiah and Psalm this week)

We offer to God our piety,
our flagellation of evil selves,
our stones and candles
and flaming confessions.

God says – enough! –
I do not delight in your blood.
We offer to God our pretty praise,
banners and flowers, fancy
words and the heart rehearsed
right out of our excellent music.

God cries – enough! –
I am weary of your burdened festivals.

We offer to God our outstretched hands,
empty, dirty, trying to pray –
but God will not listen,
until we turn from evil, learn
the ways of goodness,
live love and kindness,
care and justice.

Then – then – God says, I will listen,
I will see, I will make you clean.
Heed, then, the word of God.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

Faith is the Assurance of Things Hoped for
(A reflection on Hebrews 11:1-3 and Luke 12:32-40)
God,
In whom we have faith,
Assure us of the hope we have in you,
That our being might be transformed into the way of Christ.
In faith may we unclench our souls,
And let go of having not.
Disabuse us of our petty hopes
The hope of ‘more for me’ driven by the fear of not having enough.
Free us from our addiction to stuff
So that we might want more,
Not of the material things of life,
But more good,
Not only for ourselves but for the whole communion of humanity.
In faith may we unclench our souls,
And seek to let go of our wealth,
The love we have to give,
The homes we have for hospitality,
The money which can change the world,
The relationships which encourage us in life.
The gifts and talents to give to others,
Letting go of our fear of losing all
By giving it for others,
Just as you have given it for us.
Help us have the faith to unclench our souls,
We hold the wealth of the Christ,
The riches of the reality of heaven,
The Kingdom of God which is the Commonwealth for all,
We hold it within us,
As stewards of a better way to be,
Shown to us in Jesus.
Help us have the faith to unclench our souls,
To release the good we hold,
To bring good in the world
Working for the common good of all,
The power of choice of giving what have,
The power of choice which saves us from the fear of losing what we’ve got
By receiving your truth and call.
God,
In whom we have faith,
Assure us of the hope we have in you.
In faith may we unclench our souls,
That we may give of all in you.
In faith may the weakness of our will be transformed into a strength to share.
This we seek to pray into our being.
Through faith may it be truly so.
Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries)

A Big Confession About Stuff
…A prayer to go with this Sunday’s lectionary Gospel reading, Luke 12:32-40

God,
We have this thing.
About things.
We like them
Things with labels
Things with tags
Things for us
Things to make us comfortable
Things to make us feel good
Things to make things easier
Things to make things more efficient
Things to put things in
Things to put things on
The list is endless of the things we can think of.
we have a thing for things
We like things
We like lots of things
God
We like stuff.
We like lots of stuff
We can’t seem to get enough.
More seems to be better.
We like stuff that we can own
We like thinking about stuff
The list is endless of the stuff we can think of.
We like worrying about stuff
The list is often endless of the stuff we can worry about.
Some of the stuff we think and worry about are things
Some of the stuff is about people and relationships, our jobs and our life
We talk about a lot of stuff
We think and talk about stuff like religion and faith, politics and entertainment.
Some of the stuff we talk about relates to those who suffer
Some of the stuff we worry about relates to those who don’t have enough
We are sorry for stuff like war and famine and violence and poverty.
We are sorry that others don’t seem to have enough things like food or health care.
We are sorry when people are stuffed around because of the problems in the world
We try to do things to help.
We’re sorry we can’t do enough
We admit that we even stuff up sometimes
But Jesus,
You say some stuff that makes us uncomfortable.
You seem to have a thing about our stuff.
You say these things about our things
You say this stuff about our stuff and our things.
Did you really mean that stuff about camels and needles?
What’s with that thing about Ananias and Sapphira?
Do we really have to give away our stuff?
Do we really have to sell all our things and give the money to the poor?
Surely you were just exaggerating to make a point.
Does that really apply to us?
The thing is that we don’t think we’re all that rich.
Certainly there are others far richer than us.
Surely there are other things and other stuff that we should think about and deal with first.
The thing is that we want to follow you
We love all that stuff about love and grace and forgiveness
But we find it hard to really grasp that stuff about giving.
Our spirit seems willing, but our resolve seems quite weak
What’s the answer?
All this stuff about our things plays on our conscience.
It make it a thing to just pray about the poor and the hungry
We feel like we should do more.
Justice, mercy, compassion and generosity start taking on intimidating reality.
It makes us feel uncomfortable.
It is hard
But, we will try to follow you
What seems impossible for us, surely is possible for you.
Mould us and change us.
Challenge and convict us.
Help us to face our fears.
Help us to overcome our discomfort
Help us to catch your vision and see things with the passion that you do.
We want to say “let it be so” and “not our will, but yours,”
But if we are honest, we can probably only manage to say “if we have to” for now.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Bless you for your grace and mercy.
Be with us and guide us.
This we ask in the name of Jesus.
Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries)

Reflections on hope (Hebrews 11)
Hope is not always comforting or comfortable. Hope asks us to open ourselves to what we do not know, to pray for illumination in this life, to imagine what is beyond our imagining, to bear what seems unbearable. It calls us to keep breathing when beloved lives have left us, to turn toward one another when we might prefer to turn away. Hope draws our eyes and hearts toward a more whole future but propels us also into the present, where Christ waits for us to work with him toward a more whole world now.
What are you hoping for these days? Who helps you hope when it is hard to hope? How does your hope call you to see what is here and now?

Blessing of Hope
So may we know
the hope
that is not just
for someday
but for this day
here, now,
in this moment
that opens to us
hope not made
of wishes
but of substance
hope made of sinew
and muscle
and bone
hope that has breath
and a beating heart
hope that will not
keep quiet
and be polite
hope that knows
how to holler
when it is called for
hope that knows
how to sing
when there seems
little cause
hope that raises us
from the dead
not someday
but this day,
every day,
again and
again and
again.
(Jan Richardson, The Painted Prayerbook)

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COCU50C.Pentecost11C.31July2016

Texts: Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

Readings (designed to be printed as back to back A5):
COCU50C.Pentecost11C.RCLreadings.P

Resources: Textweek; Singing from the Lectionary; Sacredise;

NZ Hymn writer Shirley Murray:
‘Love and trust need no hoard, richest treasure can’t be stored.
Jesus said, have a care your heart will always be where your riches are’.

Call to worship/gathering – see also Call to Worship on this website, and Centering Reflections and Prayers on this website.

Call to worship
God of the past who whispered in the prophets’ ears;
who rescued us from sin’s slavery:
we are here to thank you.
God of the future, who is tearing down the old world,
and building your kingdom in our midst:
we are here because we trust you.
God of the present who, in the giftedness of our diversity,
creates us to be one people:
we are here to praise you.
God of life that surprises us when we find it within us:
we celebrate your grace.
(Thom Shuman)

Prayers for Others
(Reflecting on Colossians 3:1-11 and Luke 12:13-21)
Christ in this world
The lived compassion and Word of God,
We pray for the things of heaven
So that we in the world might set our minds on things that are above,
not on things that are on earth,
Which are not yet as they should be.
We pray for the things of heaven,
Compassion, grace, justice and the common good
So that they may become real for those who do not share them yet as they should.
We pray for the victims of fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry),
Both ours and others,
For slaves, people trafficked,
Victims of crime and the evils of society,
Those displaced or dispossessed by injustice, war, conflict and famine,
For the poor and forgotten.
We pray for those afflicted by
such things as anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language,
Those who are the targets of racism, hate-speak, bullying, prejudice, bigotry and discrimination.
Those mistreated and left to suffer,
At the hands of individuals groups, communities, cultures, organisations, bureaucracies and governments.
We pray for those like us,
Caught in consumerism,
Gripped in want and greed,
Addicted to the need for more,
Storing up richness of life at the cost of others,
Those caught in the fear of losing their quality of living or their plans for the future.
We pray for those isolated and alone,
Those cut off from connection in community,
Either by their own actions or the actions of others,
The sick, the fearful, the unwell
the lost, the abused, the outcast
So we pray,
Hoping you will act
But also knowing that we are called into communion with your action.
We pray that we might have the faith and courage
To join you in your way
Living your love in this world
That as it is in heaven
May be present here on earth
Thus may it be so
Amen
(Source: Jon Humphries)

The Happiness Market by Debra Dean Murphy (Ekklesia Project) – reflections on the texts this week.

Rich Toward God by Nancy Rockwell – reflections on the Gospel

A hymn based on the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21
(tune: Aberystwyth 7.7.7.7D – ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul’, ‘Watchman, Tell Us of the Night’)

Bigger Barns

“Bigger barns are what I need!” So a rich man said one day.
“From my worries I’ll be free when my wealth is stored away.”
“Fool!” God said, “Today you’ll die! Will your wealth mean anything?
All life’s blessings really lie in my life that wealth can’t bring.”

“Bigger barns are what we need for our money, gadgets, more!”
Lord, we’re tempted to believe having wealth, we’ll be secure!
Somewhere children cry for food or to have a doctor’s care.
Can our bigger barns be good when poor neighbors know despair?

God of love, we long to know what will make us truly blest.
Jesus taught us long ago wealth won’t give us peace or rest.
You are our security! Safe in you, we serve, O Lord.
May we find we’re rich indeed when we’re sharing with the poor.

Text: Copyright © 2001 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Copied from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009).
Email: bcgillette@comcast.net     New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/
Hymn Use Permission: Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009) includes a permission note for those who own this book to use this hymn (along with the 76 other new hymns in the book) in their local church’s worship services. People who do not own Songs of Grace are asked to contact Carolyn (bcgillette@comcast.net) for permission to use the hymn and to get a copy of the hymn formatted for worship bulletin use.

Psalm 107: 1-9
Come and celebrate the goodness of God, whose unconditional love stands forever.
Let God’s liberated people sing and cheer, all who are freed from deep trouble;
those who have been brought in from Sydney to Perth, Darwin to Hobart.
Some wandered in a spiritual desert, unable to find where they belong;
so exhausted from hunger and thirst they had lost the will to live.
At their wits end they cried out to God, and were liberated from their misery,
taken along a newly defined path to reach their true spirit-place.
Let them celebrate this unqualified love and God’s wonderful work amongst us!
Our spiritual thirst is fully quenched, the hungry are filled with the best food.
Whoever wants to be really smart begin by taking these things to heart;
Let all people take time to reflect on the unconditional love of God.
(Copyright 2000. Bruce D. Prewer)

RESPONSIVE PSALM
Ray Fowler wrote this responsive reading for Psalm 107. It’s the whole psalm and not the shorter version set for Pentecost+11C (marked with an asterisk*). This reading alternates between two readers and the whole congregation.

  • READER 1 (or men) reads those parts of the Psalm which describe the distress of the people before they cried out to God.
  • READER 2 (or women) reads those parts which describe how God saved the people from their distress.
  • The PEOPLE read those parts which encourage the people to give thanks to God for God’s love and deliverance.

READER 1: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. God’s love endures forever.

PEOPLE: Let the redeemed of the LORD say this — those God redeemed from the hand of the foe, those God gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

READER 1: Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.

READER 2: Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and God delivered them from their distress. God led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.

PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind, for God satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (*end of lectionary reading for P+11)

READER 1: Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So God subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.

READER 2: Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and God saved them from their distress. God brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.

PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind, for God breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

READER 1: Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.

READER 2: Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and God saved them from their distress. God sent forth his word and healed them; God rescued them from the grave.

PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of God’s works with songs of joy.

READER 1: Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, God’s wonderful deeds in the deep. For God spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end.

READER 2: Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and God brought them out of their distress. God stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and God guided them to their desired haven.

PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind. Let them exalt God in the assembly of the people and praise God in the council of the elders.

READER 1: God turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there.

READER 2: God turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there God brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; God blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and God did not let their herds diminish.

READER 1: Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow; God who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste.

READER 2: But God lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.

EVERYONE: GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR GOD IS GOOD; GOD’S LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

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COCU49C.Pentecost10C.24th July 2016

Readings: Hosea 1:2-10; Psalm 85; Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19); Luke 11:1-13

Resources: Textweek.
Commentary on Hosea by Dennis Bratcher.

he qi Lord's Prayer

Lord’s Prayer by He Qi

Various versions of the Lord’s Prayer, including the following written by Rev Sarah Agnew.

Divine Source of Love and Live,
Holy is your unspeakable name.

May your Way of Love resound through earth,
heaven in our midst.

All we need to live and thrive
we receive from you, Creator;

forgive us when we turn away,
as we forgive each other.

Keep us on the path of Wisdom,
away from wicked tyranny;

Spirit ever breathe through us,
empower us with hope.

From you, through you and in you,
are all things, now and always;
to you be all honour and praise. Amen.

(Rev Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

And this one by Mark Berry:
O Breathing Life
(inspired by Matthew 6: 9-13, Luke 11: 2-4)
O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!
Release a space to plant your Presence here.
Imagine your possibilities now.
Embody your desire in every light and form.
Grow through us this moment’s bread and wisdom.
Untie the knots of failure binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ faults.
Help us not forget our Source,
yet free us from not being in the Present.
From you arises every Vision,
Power and Song from gathering to gathering.
Amen! May our future actions grow from here!

And this by Steve Garnaas-Holmes:
Our Mother, our Father, Source of our being,
whose presence is heaven,
all Creation sings of you, “Holy!”
May your Realm unfold among us,
your desire be fulfilled,
this world blossoming out of your delight.
Give us the breath of life, one breath at a time.
Accept our brokenness;
give us acceptance of others who are broken.
Lead us beyond our desires
and save us from the grip of evil.
For the world is within you;
all power is from you,
and all glory is about you,
in eternity, which is in the present moment.
Amen.

The Prayers of Who we Are/Prayers of Confession
(adapted from Thom Shuman’s call to worship)
Into this place of holiness we can come with our fears,
our doubts, all the questions of our hearts.
We come to this place, to hear the words of peace,
of hope, of joy God speaks to us.
Into this place of discovery we can come searching.
We come to this place, to find
the One who has been looking for us.
Into this place of openness we can come knocking.
We come to this place, to be embraced
by the One whose heart is never locked.
Here, in this place, in the company of God, we can open our lives
before the One who loves us. (A time of quiet reflection)

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Lord’s Prayer – various

Our Mother, our Father, Source of our being,
whose presence is heaven,
all Creation sings of you, “Holy!”
May your Realm unfold among us,
your desire be fulfilled,
this world blossoming out of your delight.
Give us the breath of life, one breath at a time.
Accept our brokenness;
give us acceptance of others who are broken.
Lead us beyond our desires
and save us from the grip of evil.
For the world is within you;
all power is from you,
and all glory is about you,
in eternity, which is in the present moment.
Amen.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Divine Source of Love and Live,
Holy is your unspeakable name.

May your Way of Love resound through earth,
heaven in our midst.

All we need to live and thrive
we receive from you, Creator;

forgive us when we turn away,
as we forgive each other.

Keep us on the path of Wisdom,
away from wicked tyranny;

Spirit ever breathe through us,
empower us with hope.

From you, through you and in you,
are all things, now and always;
to you be all honour and praise. Amen.

(Rev Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

O Breathing Life
(inspired by Matthew 6: 9-13, Luke 11: 2-4)
O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!
Release a space to plant your Presence here.
Imagine your possibilities now.
Embody your desire in every light and form.
Grow through us this moment’s bread and wisdom.
Untie the knots of failure binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ faults.
Help us not forget our Source,
yet free us from not being in the Present.
From you arises every Vision,
Power and Song from gathering to gathering.
Amen! May our future actions grow from here! (Mark Berry)

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