COCU Index Year B 2018

Year B
Prayers in times of natural disasters and tragedies – California fires
COCU 66B, Pentecost 26B, 18th November, 2018
COCU 67B, Reign of Christ Sunday, 25th November, 2018

Year C
World AIDS Day
COCU1C, Advent 1C, 2nd December 2018
COCU2C, Advent 2C, 9th December 2018
Human Rights Day, 10th December 2018
COCU3C, Advent 3C, 16th December 2018
COCU4C, Advent 4C, 23rd December 2018
COCU 5C, Christmas Eve/Christmas Day
COCU6C, Christmas 1C
New Years Eve

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

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order

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resources in times of natural disaster/tragedy

This prayer was written by Rev Cathie Lambert (Uniting Church in Australia) for the 2011 Margaret River fires. Cathie’s prayer has been slightly adapted in the context of the horrendous tragedy unfolding in southern California with thousands of homes burnt to the ground and deaths of many people.

We lament the devastation of the fires in California…..
of tragic loss of lives…
of homes reduced to ash…
for the town of Paradise reduced to rubble…
and Malibu enveloped by flames, and ash and smoke…
of treasured possessions and everyday necessities…
of mementos that held treasured memories…
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, resilience and hope, to face the days and weeks and months ahead, even when the story no longer has media attention.
We give thanks for firefighters and emergency service personnel, police officers and ambulance officers, who work together to fight the wildfire and support residents.
We pray for those who must undertake the grim search for those who have died…
We pray for those who have lost homes when this fire took all in its path – homes of the rich and famous, and ordinary people who have invested their savings into their homes.
In amongst the grief, anger, loss and confusion, and unspeakable sorrow, we give thanks that so many people of goodwill are offering practical support in this time of great 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, adapted)

This prayer is for the 189 people who lost their lives on a Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia on Monday 29 October.
O everlasting God, giver of life,
we come before you in sorrow and prayers.
Today we pray for 189 victims in the plane crash outside of Jakarta.
We hear the cries of orphaned children and bereaved parents
We feel the pain of partners and family members
We behold all of them in our prayers.
Let our prayers rise to you: hear our prayer.
O compassionate God, giver of love,
At the time like this,
You are the refuge and strength to those who suffer.
We come to seek you healing upon all your children.
We search for wholeness in the midst of brokenness.
We cry for healing among their families and communities.
Let our prayers rise to you: hear our prayer.
O the suffering God, giver of strength,
In the sorrow beyond words,
We remember the death of your son Jesus Christ.
Make the weak strong, the broken whole,
turn our sorrow into solidarity,
We behold all their friends impacted by the unimaginable loss.
Let our prayers rise to you: hear our prayer.
O God of mercy, giver of forgiveness
At this time of emptiness,
teach us – let it be empty.
Watch our ways, protect us from evils,
Fill our emptiness with your goodness,
We behold others with your care and forgiveness.
Let our prayers rise to you: hear our prayer.
O God the resurrection, giver of new life,
At this time and space,
We come before you as fellow citizens of hope.
Grant your mercy to people around us,
Grant relief to airplane staff and government officers,
We behold them before you for healing.
Let our prayers rise to you: hear our prayer.
O God of calling, receiver of all lives,
We offer our prayers for the returning souls,
Bring them into your light
Protect them with your heavenly hosts.
We behold them with your promise,
through Jesus Christ who was dead,
but lives and rules this world with you. Amen.
(Source: Rev Dr Ji Zhang, Uniting Church Assembly Theologian-in-Residence) Continue reading

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COCU66B.18Nov2018

Readings
1 Samuel 1:4-20
Hannah grieves her inability to conceive, and the mockery of Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, so when the family goes to the temple she prays for a child. After Eli accuses her of being drunk, she explains that she is grieving and he blesses her. Following this, she falls pregnant and gives birth to Samuel.

Psalm 16
A Psalm in praise of God’s protection and blessing, God’s instruction and guidance, God’s presence and God’s ways of life.
(alternate reading is 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Hannah’s song, much like the Magnificat)

Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25
Jesus offered the perfect once-for-all sacrifice and then sat down at God’s right hand. He perfected God’s people, and now we can enter God’s presence with confidence because of our faith, the cleansing of God, and our high priest in God’s house. In response we are to hold on to our hope, and motivate each other to acts of love and goodness.

Mark 13:1-8
As they leave the temple, Jesus’ disciples are awed by the size and beauty of the building, but Jesus predicts that it will be destroyed. When the disciples ask for a sign, Jesus warns them about false messiahs who will come, reports of war, earthquakes, and famines. But, these, he explains, are just the beginnings of the end.
(Bible readings summary by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
The readings do not have a great deal of natural overlap, though the theme of waiting seems to be present – waiting for a baby, waiting in hope of life after death, waiting for the defeat of God’s enemies and waiting for the end of Jerusalem and the unfolding future.

Readings in A4 landscape folded format ready to print: Pilgrim COCU66B.Readings.2018

Resources
Textweek
Church of Scotland liturgy resources
Singing from the Lectionary
You call that church music? (music suggestions from a wide variety of sources)

Components of worship (links to resources on this website)
Acknowledgement of Land
Gathering
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see above)
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion)
(Communion Hymns)

Additional worship resources

Call to Worship (inspired by Hebrews 10:19-22)
We gather together to worship,
knowing that God is already here among us;
knowing that there is nothing that separates us
from the presence of God.
Wherever we are, wherever we go, God is near.
So let us enter into this service of worship
with confidence and hope,
knowing that God is already with us,
and that God stands eager to meet us
and bless us with love.
(Source: re-worship)

Call to worship (Psalm 16)
Come, bless the Lord,
in whom we find our refuge and safety.
You are our God;
all the good things come from you alone.
Come, bless the Lord,
who gives us a rich inheritance,
and surrounds us with abundance.
You are our God;
our lives are in your hands.
Come, bless the Lord,
who guides us on the path to eternal life,
whose presence strengthens and sustains us.
You are our God;
we will not be shaken.
Let’s worship God together!
(Source: re-worship) Continue reading

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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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COCU 65B.11th November2018

This is also Remembrance Day and one hundred years centenary since the fighting stopped in World War I. So worship planners may choose to incorporate some specific Remembrance Day prayers into the service (some from the ANZAC Day resource may also be helpful, and this resource for the centenary of the armistice, prepared by Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts in Adelaide)

Bible readings
Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17: Naomi instructs Ruth to approach Boaz, which she does. Boaz takes Ruth to be his wife, and she bears a son called Obed – David’s grandfather.
Psalm 127: A psalm celebrating God’s protection and provision, and the gift of children.
Hebrews 9:24-28: Christ entered into heaven, offering himself once as the sacrifice for human sin. Then, he will appear a second time to save those who wait for him.
Mark 12:38-44: Jesus warns against the legal experts who seek honour, and who cheat poor widows and show off with long prayers. Then he comments on a poor widow who places a small offering in the collection box, saying that she has put in more than anyone else, because she has given out of her poverty.
(Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Bible readings in A4 folded landscape format (commentary by John van de Laar, SacredisePilgrim COCU65B.Readings.2018

Resources
Textweek
Singing from the Lectionary

Components of worship (links on this website)
Acknowledgement of Land
Gathering
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are/words of assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see above)
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out

Other resources

Call to Worship
God’s Word called into being the pumpkins,
the geese who fly south, the leaves which litter our lawns.
In awe, we come into the presence of the God of vivid imagination.
God’s arms reach down and gather up
children, lovingly placing us in grace’s lap.
In joy, we reach up to the God who loves us completely.
God’s Spirit fills our lungs, so we can cry out for justice
for the broken, the young, the old, the abandoned of our time.
In service, we join with our God to build hope in our world.
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies)

Prayers of Approach, Confession and Absolution
Most gracious God,
whose love reaches out to us
no matter where we are
no matter what we do
no matter how we think of God,
we offer our thanks
for the good of creation
and the renewing liberty of Your grace.
We rejoice in the freedom and peace in which we live.
Especially on this day we give thanks
for the remembrance of those whose lives were given in time of war, and for the bonds of friendship and appreciation
between the nations of the world.
Forgive us when we fail to be the hand of peace, the voice of magnanimity,
and the example of justice in our lives.
Forgive us when we keep silence when we should be speaking out.
Jesus calls us to receive His forgiveness and to practise it in our lives,
whether we want it or need it
whether we deserve it or seek it.
Jesus calls us always to seek reconciliation With all the people we meet.
Enable us in all things
to seek the good of the world,
to practise forgiveness and reconciliation,
to work for the increase of peace and justice,
to show tolerance and open-mindedness to all
and to practise generosity of spirit and openness of hospitality, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
(Source: Rev Dr Karen Campbell, Church of Scotland)

Prayer of confession/Assurance of pardon
Bountiful Love: our self-focus causes us to imagine how poor we are.
We are convinced we don’t have enough:
enough honour,
enough respect,
enough recognition,
enough to live on.
And so, in our poverty, we cannot trust you, we cannot see the emptiness of others, we cannot help but cling to more than we need.
Forgive us, Bestower of Blessings. Tell us we can be more loving; whisper to us of how we can be more compassionate; sing to us of how we can serve others – all in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Silence is kept
The good news is that we are made whole; not by our efforts, not by any work we have done, not by any word of ours.
Out of the riches of grace, God pours forgiveness into our lives, giving us all we need in Jesus Christ, so we might live in hope and joy. Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies) Continue reading

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Remembrance Day

Resources for Remembrance Day
(see also resources for ANZAC Day)

Iona/Wild Goose Publications here (downloads)

Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts free downloadable resource for the centenary of the armistice.

Music suggestions on Natalie Sims’ website, Singing from the Lectionary.

We remember…
We remember those who have died, the generations who have suffered and communities ravaged because of the pride, arrogance, greed and ambition of men.
We commit to working with all our neighbours for peace, reconciliation and the common good of all people.
We disavow an unhealthy nationalism that glorifies violence or believes your citizenship, skin colour or faith makes you inherently more worthy of safety, justice or prosperity than others.
We remember that war is hell.
(Source: Brad Chilcott, Facebook post 11.11.2018)

Prayer
For those whom we have asked
to bear the horror of our violence
we offer our prayers
of thanks for their willingness
to stand between us and our fears,
for forgiveness for having asked them,
of healing for the damage to their souls
by what they have done and seen,
for mercy for them who don’t know
how to carry the horror back to us,
how to shed the darkness
we have asked them to drink,
how to live among us, who are so willing
to sacrifice our children.
May we give others peace to bear, not fear,
healing to carry, not weapons,
and send them into blessing, not danger.
May we, too, have the courage to serve,
to risk, to give our lives in love
for the sake of our homeland,
which is the Kingdom of God,
the whole human family,
in the spirit of peace. Amen.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes, www.unfoldinglight.net

Call to Worship
We come this day
to remember the sacrifice
of service personnel from many nations
who defended against and advanced towards each other.
We remember them in fox hole and mountain top Praying for their friends and families
Before the big push.
And now together
we remember their sacrifice,
their laughter and love of life
and their respective countries
and now we seek God’s blessings this day.
(Source: Rev Dr Karen Campbell, Church of Scotland)

Prayers of Approach, Confession and Absolution
Most gracious God,
whose love reaches out to us
no matter where we are
no matter what we do
no matter how we think of God,
we offer our thanks
for the good of creation
and the renewing liberty of Your grace.
We rejoice in the freedom and peace in which we live.
Especially on this day we give thanks
for the remembrance of those whose lives were given in time of war, and for the bonds of friendship and appreciation
between the nations of the world.
Forgive us when we fail to be the hand of peace, the voice of magnanimity,
and the example of justice in our lives.

Forgive us when we keep silence when we should be speaking out.
Jesus calls us to receive His forgiveness and to practise it in our lives,
whether we want it or need it
whether we deserve it or seek it.
Jesus calls us always to seek reconciliation With all the people we meet.
Enable us in all things
to seek the good of the world,
to practise forgiveness and reconciliation,
to work for the increase of peace and justice,
to show tolerance and open-mindedness to all
and to practise generosity of spirit and openness of hospitality, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
(Source: Rev Dr Karen Campbell, Church of Scotland) Continue reading

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All Saints Day

Readings
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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COCU64B.4Nov2018

Call to worship
With our whole being-heart mind soul and strength:
Let us love and praise God!
With all of our being:
We will love and praise God!
For God is faithful forever, helping, freeing, loving, protecting!
Let us sing praises to our God as long as we live!
Praise the maker of heaven and earth!
Praise God who is faithful forever!

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House blessing

These words from John O’Donahue might be used for a house blessing. Although it’s not a common thing in Australian culture, it’s an ancient tradition in Christianity, and many migrant-ethnic communities value the blessing of a home. It could also be a beautiful reflection when people are leaving a home, and anticipating the new owners who will make it their own home.

Where Love Has Lived
A home is not simply a building; it is the shelter around the intimacy of a life. Coming in from the outside world and its rasp of force and usage, you relax and allow yourself to be who you are. The inner walls of a home are threaded with the textures of one’s soul, a subtle weave of presences. If you could see your home through the lens of the soul, you would be surprised at the beauty concealed in the memory your home holds. When you enter some homes, you sense how the memories have seeped to the surface, infusing the aura of the place and deepening the tone of its presence. Where love has lived, a house still holds the warmth. Even the poorest home feels like a nest if love and tenderness dwell there.
(Source: John O’Donohue, from Beauty)

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’” (Luke 10:5). This was a Jewish greeting. The greeting ‘Shalom’ translates as a blessing, “May God cause all to be well with you.” When the disciples entered a home, they prayed a blessing not only on the structure, but moreover the people that would pass through, live, and move out from it to touch other’s lives in proximity and throughout generations.
(Source: Meg Bucher, Crosswalk)

May the God of peace
bring peace to this house.
May the Son of peace
bring peace to this house.
May the Spirit of peace
bring peace to this house,
this night and all nights.
(Source: John Birch, Faith and Worship)

Bless this house and those within,
Bless our giving and receiving,
Bless our words and conversation,
Bless our hands and recreation,
Bless our sowing and our growing,
Bless our coming and our going,
Bless all who enter and depart,
Bless this house, your peace impart.
(Source: John Birch, Faith and Worship)

May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight.
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.
(Source: John Birch, Faith and Worship) Continue reading

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National Grandparents Day – 28Oct2018

Some of the people we call grandparents are such because they are our parents’ parents — they are blood relations. And some of the people we call grandparents – or “elders” in some cultures – are such because of a quality of compassion, concern, wisdom, and generosity that they demonstrate toward us. The Search Institute has identified that children who have at least five caring adults in their lives, in addition to their parents, are more likely to thrive and less likely to become “at risk.” Every congregation is blessed with “grandmas” and “grandpas” who love and share their faith in ways that form us as an extended family, a tribe, a clan of people embraced by the love of God.
While the worship for the day need not focus on “Grandparents Day,” this is an opportunity to give thanks for and to acknowledge the gift of grandparents in our experience. It can be an occasion on the cultural calendar to express our joy and sense of blessing in both having grandparents and in being grandparents.
(Source: United Methodist Church – click on link for worship resources) Continue reading

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COCU62B.28thOctober2018

Readings
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Job recognises that he had spoken without knowledge, and that he has now encountered God. Then God blesses Job beyond the prosperity he had at first.
Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22)
A song of thanksgiving for God’s restoration received when the Psalmist sought God. Though the righteous have troubles, God delivers them.
Hebrews 7:23-28
Jesus is an eternal priest who constantly prays for God’s people. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day because he offered himself once and for all.
Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus enters Jericho a blind man named Bartimaeus shouts out asking for Jesus to have mercy on him. Then Jesus calls the blind man, and asks him what he wants. When he answers that he wants to see, Jesus heals him, and he follows Jesus.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Bible readings, landscape format, folded – COCU62B.Readings.2018

Components of worship (links on this website)
Acknowledgement of Land
Gathering
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see above)
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion)
(Communion Hymns)

Mark 10.46-52 – a reflection
Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting beside the Way. 
What is the Way you are beside: something incomplete,
something not yet happening? Offer it to God.

He began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many sternly ordered him to be quiet.
What has silenced you?
What has kept you from rushing headlong to God?

Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”
Imagine Jesus calls you.
Jesus wants you. Wants you near.

They called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”
Recite these words to yourself.
Take heart; get up, your Love is calling you.
Throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
Your souls is not as timid as you:
casting your safety aside, leaping, unseeing, to the Beloved.
Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” 
Let him ask you.
And again.
“My teacher, let me see again.” 
What would you see?
Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” 
Your crying out, your soul’s leaping,
your blind begging is holy.
Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

What is the new Way you will follow on?
Pray this all day long without ceasing:
“Jesus, Beloved of God, have mercy on me, for I  need you.
“Jesus, Beloved of God, have mercy on me, for I need you.”
(Source: Steve Garnaas-HolmesUnfolding Light)

Christ our God,
sun of righteousness,
by your divine touch
you gave light to the eyes of the blind man
who had been deprived of light since birth.
Enlighten also the eyes of our souls,
and make us sons and daughters of light
so that we cry out to you in faith:
great and beyond words is your compassion towards us!
Loving Lord, glory to you!
(Vesper Hymn, Sunday of the Blind Man. In: Let us pray to the Lord, A collection of prayers from the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox traditions © 1996 WCC)

Sermon: Asking for help by Christina Evans 2018 on RevoLectionary
Sermon: On the road with Bartimaeus by Andrew Prior on One Man’s Web

Pilgrim COCU62B.930am.2018

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