COCU Index

COVID 19 prayers and resources

At Pilgrim, we are preparing services which will be accessed online, as we are no longer able to gather together on Sunday due to COVID19 restrictions. The online resources include the order of service, words to hymns/songs. The ‘streamed’ service (pre-recorded) will be available via Facebook and Youtube (links on Pilgrim’s website). This is uncharted territory and we are doing what we can to stay socially/spiritually connected even though we need to keep physically isolated. 
Sunday March 29th was planned as a Combined Service at Pilgrim. Check out the Pilgrim website for links to the service via Facebook and Youtube. It will be ‘live’ at 10am on Sunday. 

WCC Prayer Cycle
(22-28 March 2020) (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia)
COCU23A, Lent 5, 29 March 2020
COCU24A, Palm/Passion Sunday, 5 April 2020
COCU28A, Maundy Thursday, 9 April 2020 (COCU28C)
COCU29A, Good Friday, 10 April 2020 (COCU 29B, COCU29C)
COCU30A, Holy Saturday, 11 April 2020 (see COCU30C)
COCU31A, Easter Day, 12 April 2020 (COCU31B, COCU31C)
Earth Day April 22nd
ANZAC Day, 25 April 2020 (or acknowledged in services on 26th April)
Break the Silence Sunday (usually 4th Sunday in April, so 26th April 2020, or at any other time that works for your congregation)
International Workers Memorial Day, 28 April 2020
UCA Calendar: Dorothy Soelle (April 28)
Reconciliation Sunday 31st May, 2020


Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order

UCA Calendar of commemorations

Ecumenical prayer cycle (World Council of Churches) 
2020 NCCA Ecumenical Prayer Cycle with lectionary readings

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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The following is a compilation of prayers and resources in this time of COVID19 including general prayers, resources for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday.

COVID19: Resources for anxiety, stress and well-being
Sanctified Art – resources for Lent/Easter (designed to be used in this time of COVID19)
Centre for Ministry Liturgy and the Arts (CMLA) – worship resources in a time of self-isolation

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COCU33A.Easter 3A.26April2020

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Peter continues his sermon on the Day of Pentecost and encourages his hearers to believe in Jesus as Messiah, to repent and to receive God’s Spirit, and 3000 people respond.
Psalm 116:1-4,12-19
A psalm of praise, thanksgiving and commitment in response to God’s gracious rescue.
1 Peter 1:17-23
Because God, through raising Christ from death, has led God’s people to eternal life, we should love one another.
Luke 24:13-35
Jesus appears to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who invite him to stay the night with them. They share a meal and, as Jesus breaks the bread, they recognise him.
(Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Insight comes to each of us in its own time, when and as we are ready to absorb it.  With each fresh “Aha!” we realize that this path of discovery we are on is very old, with well-worn footsteps that now bear our imprint as well.  Just like mountain climbing, it’s good to go with company but you still have to make the ascent on your own, one dogged step after another.  “It’s your road and yours alone.  Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”  (Rumi)
(Source: Progressive Christianity)

New Music by David MacGregor: On the Road (hearts are burning). Links to MP3 backing track, score and words

New resource: Walking to Emmaus again, by Rev Sarah Agnew and published by Wild Good publications, based on a creative engagement with the Emmaus story in a service at Pilgrim Uniting Church in 2014.

When we are travelling, God is with us.
When we are alone, God comes to us.
When we feel weak and unsure,
God offers us food for the journey.

Opening of Worship (inspired by the events in Luke 24:13-35)
Easter is not an event that has occurred
it’s an adventure that has begun
not a place that we have visited
but a path on which we stand
a story not complete, but unfolding
characters still breathing
stations still teeming
with the promise of new life
not just for you and me
but for all people, in all places
a cosmic crux
a turning point of time
Easter is the season
of wild hope
of dangerous intent
of potent promise
where the future flaps unfurled
in the spirit’s breeze
where hopes bubble
with uncorked effervescence
where toes tap
to free-form rhythms
where rainbow hues
splash empty canvas
Here and now, we continue the journey
we re-enter the story
to explore our questions
to uncover our doubts
to face our nagging need
We walk the path
of two who traveled a dusty roadwrapped in confusion and despair
two who shared the company of a stranger
voicing their pain
airing their fears
and in the listening
heard words of hope and promise
and in the eating
received true bread of life
Here and now, we re-enter the story
with expectation that Christ
will also reveal himself to us
in sights and sounds
in words and symbols
in bread and wine
Let us pray:
Risen Christ
walk with us this day
be our companion and guide
be our teacher and friend
be our host and servant
bringing your gifts of faith, peace and hope
and deep joy
as always. Amen.
(Source: Emmaus Worship Service, with words by Craig Mitchell (2005) & Iona Community)

Luke 24:13-25
Too often, like those on the way to Emmaus,
we recognise the presence of the risen one in hindsight.
that mysterious transitory presence
dancing at the edge of awareness
never constant, steady, or predictable.
Perceived in fleeting moments
amid the seemingly mundane
we learn to treasure such experience in retrospect.
Did not our hearts burn within us?
Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him.
But being on the way
we may meet the risen one in the past
as well as in present
in remembering
in suddenly being taken to another place
another time
that opens new paths of remembering:
Do this in remembering me.
(Source:Jeff Shrowder, 2014)

Christ who walks alongside us,
Often without us realising,
May we be more aware of your presence.
As Easter people we know the facts,
But don’t always comprehend their meaning.
How foolish we are,
And how slow of heart to believe your truth and your way as you would have it.
Meet us where we are at.
Teach us again and open our minds,
Awaken in us a new epiphany,
An experience of knowing you in a new way.
Open the Scriptures to us,
That we might hear you as The Word of God,
Leave us surprised and changed,
Reinvigorated in our faith and following.
Set our hearts on fire with a slow burning passion to live your love,
Being and making disciples,
Witnessing to your reality,
And sharing learning about you and what you call us to,
What you call us to be
And what you call us to do.
Word of God,
Who walks alongside us and who journeys with us,
Meet us where we are at,
Teach us again and open our minds,
Reinvigorate in our faith and following,
Leave us surprised and changed.
May it always be so.
Jon Humphries, Prayers that unite)

ROAD, TABLE, ROAD (Luke 24: 13-35)
The weary miles coat our feet
in the dust of the Emmaus road.
Afternoon sky shimmers with heat,
and the light, like a crust of fire cast off by the sun,
scrapes at eyes already raw from weeping.
We have left Jerusalem, but not our grief –
he died, the one we called our Lord –
and we, bereft of purpose, joy and hope,
now try to find our way without his leading.
Like a cleft tree or uprooted vine, our hurting minds,
stung by the strength of death,
cannot conceive of anything greater still;
thus we’re blind to hope too wild for cracked hearts to receive –
angels saying Christ’s risen from the tomb –
the news the women would have us believe.
So we dully plod the dusty road,
gloom our only companion
until someone joins our journey:
just a man, we assume, like us;
and while we talk of all just done in Jerusalem,
he listens, mildness in his voice as he probes our words,
tale spun from our bewildered thoughts.
Though the blindness of our sad minds to who he is remains,
yet our hearts begin to feel a lightness
as this one stranger, his words kindling flame,
shows from Scripture what Christ had come to do.
Uplifted, rapt (though still he gives no name),
surprised to find that hope has surged anew,
we beg his presence at our evening meal.
But when he takes the bread, gives thanks,
the view we have of him is changed,
for now his real identity is revealed:
Christ, who gave himself for the life of the world,
who sealed the new covenant in which we are saved
by his body given, his blood shed –
and who, raised by God, triumphed over the grave.
Questions will wait; we don’t, can’t understand it all,
but hardly care.
Weary no more, we want to tell the others what we can;
hurrying we head through the open door
to the road again, to Jerusalem.
Sensing how much more there now is in store
for the hungry of the world,
we’ll tell them that Jesus who died and rose is our bread –
that he is life, greater than death. Praise him!
(Source: Andy King 2014) Continue reading

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Earth Day 22 April 2019

See also Season of Creation for resourcesGod-the-creator-of-life.001

Earth Day is held on April 22nd each year, first held in 1970. Earth Day was the brainchild of U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who sought a way to place environmental protection on the national agenda at a time when pollution was compounding. The Democratic senator enlisted college students to organize and coordinate the day. More than 20 million Americans attended Earth Day festivities on April 22, 1970, aligning a broad spectrum of cohorts: Democrats and Republicans, urban and rural communities, labor and business leaders. The energy that surfaced that day has been credited with spurring the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (1970) and the passage of signature environmental legislation, such as the Clean Air Act (1970), the Clean Water Act (1972) and the Endangered Species Act (1973) – all initiatives enacted under President Richard Nixon. Earth Day has since expanded to 192 countries, according to the Earth Day Network. More information here.

The movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with groundbreaking ideas and by the power of our example.

And so it begins. Today. Right here and right now. Earth Day is more than just a single day (April 22). It’s bigger than attending a rally and taking a stand. This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable. Let’s take the momentum from the Paris Climate Summit and build on it.

Earth Day 2019: Protect our species Continue reading

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COCU32A.Easter 2A.19thApril2020

Acts 2: 14a, 22-32 Peter declares the resurrection of Jesus to a crowd amazed at the signs of the Spirit’s presence and power.
Psalm 16 In you, O God, I take refuge
1 Peter 1:3-9 Salvation is the outcome of faithfulness
John 20: 19-31 Jesus appears to the disciples and to Thomas

Bill Loader Commentary: John 20:19-31, 1 Peter 1:3-9; Acts 2: 14a, 22-32

Easter is a season, not a one-day event. The Great Fifty Days reach from last week up to and including the Day of Pentecost. The discipling purpose of Easter Season historically is twofold.  The first purpose is doctrinal. Easter Season was (and is) a season to for “mystagog,” teaching the “mysteries of the faith” (core doctrinal matters) to the newly baptized and reminding the rest of these core teachings. Second, it is a time to help the newly baptized, and indeed all the baptized, discern, claim or reclaim their spiritual gifts and their calling to ministry in Christ’s name and the Spirit’s power. Easter Season culminates with Pentecost, where we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (doctrine) and commission persons into their ministries (ministry). (UMC) Continue reading

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Acts 10: 34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-8 or Matthew 28:1-10

Bill Loader commentary on reading from Matthew, John, Colossians, Acts.

Music: Singing from the Lectionary
Easter Day: Easter Day Melody Line & Words (Helen Wiltshire, Norm Inglis)

See also Easter Sunday B and COCU31 Easter Sunday C

“Take Care”
In the journey to the light,
the dark moments should not threaten.
Belief requires that you hold steady.
Bend, if you will, with the wind.
The tree is your teacher,
roots at once more firm
from experience in the soil made fragile.
Your gentle dew will come and a stirring
of power to go on towards the space
of sharing.
In the misery of the I, in rage,
it is easy to cry out against all others
but to weaken is to die
in the misery of knowing
the journey abandoned
towards the sharing
of all human hope and cries
is the loss of all we know
of the divine reclaimed
for our shared humanity.
Hold firm. Take care.
Come home together.
Source: Michael D. Higgins

Pope Francis’ 2017 Easter Vigil sermon.
“When the High Priest and the religious leaders, in collusion with the Romans, believed that they could calculate everything, that the final word had been spoken and that it was up to them to apply it, God suddenly breaks in, upsets all the rules and offers new possibilities. God once more comes to meet us, to create and consolidate a new age, the age of mercy. This is the promise present from the beginning. This is God’s surprise for his faithful people. Rejoice! Hidden within your life is a seed of resurrection, an offer of life ready to be awakened.”

‘The tomb was empty,’ the Scriptures said later, metaphorically perhaps but pointedly, nevertheless. People had known His presence again, not the same as before the crucifixion, true, but real, nevertheless. Transformed. Somehow or other Jesus had defeated death, had snatched new life from its cavernous throat. The implications were overwhelming. Death, even once transcended, could never be permanent again. In fact, life itself could never be the same again. Jesus risen from the dead made life the stuff of eternity. Jesus transformed leads us to look beyond the obvious, to allow for the presence of God in alien places in unanticipated ways. Resurrection begs the scrutiny of the obvious, the celebration of the sacrament of transformation.
(Source: Joan Chittister)

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Job 14: 1-14 or Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24
Psalm 31: 1-4, 15-16
1 Peter 4: 1-8
Matthew 27: 57-66 or John 19: 38-42

See also COCU30B and COCU30C

Hope in the Cracks
In the cracks,
there’s always hope:
Where a new world is not only possible
but already on the way,
seeping in
flooding forth
with resurrecting light
opening a new way,
with healing touch
midwifing a new day.
Believe it,
for this is true:
In the cracks,
there’s always hope.
(Source: Hope-Douglas Harle-Mould and published on Gifts in Open Hands)

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Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 22
Hebrews 10: 16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1 – 19:42

See also COCU29B and COCU29C

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Exodus 12: 1-4 (5-10) 11-14
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
1 Cor 11: 23-26
John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

See also Year C Maundy Thursday

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Isaiah 50: 4-9a
Psalm 70
Hebrews 12:1-3
John 13: 21-32

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Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 71: 1-14
1 Cor 1:18-31
John 12: 20-36

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