COCU Index Year B 2018

Year B
A prayer for Sulawesi, Indonesia (tsunami)
A prayer for drought relief in rural Australia
(Anti-Poverty Week, 14th to the 20th of October)
Anti-Slavery Day, 14th October (resources by Church of Scotland here)

Wentworth bi-election (Australia) – prayers for elections

COCU 61B, Pentecost 22B, 21st October, 2018
COCU 62B, Pentecost 23B, 28th October, 2018
National Grandparents Day Sunday, 28 October 2018 (Australia)
– a day for people to celebrate the role grandparents play in families and communities.
* Queensland celebrate on 1st Sunday in October FacebookWikipedia (scroll to Australia)
COCU 64B, Pentecost 24B, 4th November, 2018
COCU 65B, Pentecost 25B, 11th November, 2018
(Remembrance Day, 11th November) – centenary of the end of WW1 100 years (2018)
COCU 66B, Pentecost 26B, 18th November, 2018
COCU 67B, Reign of Christ Sunday, 25th November, 2018


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

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order

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Reflecting on a change of leadership: This is not about a difference of political opinion, as that’s far too small to mourn over. It’s about a fundamental difference in how we view the worth of all people—not just those who look or talk or think or vote the way we do.
(source: John Pavlovitz)

Counting the cost
How do we do what’s right, Jesus,
when it costs us so much to follow you?
How do our leaders do what’s right, Jesus,
for the weak and marginalised,
for people beyond our borders,
when the cost could be to forfeit their opportunity to lead?
How do our corporations do what’s right, Jesus,
for our suffering planet,
for the rights and needs of the poor,
when the cost could be to lose investors,
and sacrifice the lives of their own workers?
How do our protectors do what’s right, Jesus,
for the broken and desperate,
for our allies and enemies,
when the cost could be to face the attacks
of those they seek to defend?
We need to learn how to do what’s right, Jesus,
our world needs us to learn it;
we need to count the cost of your call,
and measure it against the abundant life you promise.
Help us, in our own small way, to be those who do the right thing,
and in so doing, demonstrate the goodness
that following you brings to all. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

A Blessing for the Politically Despondent.
by Joel McKerrow

There shall come a time,
When the way we hope it could be feels so very far away.
When the system shows itself for what it is.
When the politicians spend more time bitching than leading,
stabbing backs than backing those who truly need their support.

When the truth seems too hard to decipher through the lies.
When the ballot paper seems…empty of good choices.
When it doesn’t seem to even matter
which party is in power,
for they shall all wield the same.

When we are told we have the power to change our society
and yet out voting
feels like it means nothing. An appeasement of the masses
more than a piece of societal changing history.

There shall come a time,
and in that time
and in that sense of frustration
and despondency
and the draw towards apathy,
may you find a higher something to hold onto.

Something above political ideals.
Something above the hollow notion of failed political promise.
Something to remind you.
Something to instil hope within you.

May you take the discouragement
and find courage somewhere within it.
The courage to believe that
regardless of politics,
regardless of our leaders pandering to powerful people,
regardless of our faltered political ideals,
that there is still a way to change the world around us.
And it begins with you. And it begins with me.
And it is more than just numbering boxes on ballot paper.

For I have met the real ones. The ones who give themselves again and again to the bettering of our world. I have seen their dirty fingernails, their tired eyes, their patient sitting beside, the way they look you in the eye, the way they listen, the way they teach our high schools, the way they fight for the homeless, the way they resist the rat-race trappings of the western dream, the way they sew seeds into the community, the way they bring people together from all sides of every spectrum, the people who deserve to be politicians. And indeed some of them are.

I have seen those who refuse to give in to the disappointment,
who choose to look around them and say,
“This is what I can do. Here. Now. This is what I can do regardless.”

So may that be you. May that be me. And maybe politics wont even matter if we all chose to live like this. So lets keep voting till we get there, regardless of how empty it can feel, lets not trick ourselves into thinking this will change things even if we do nothing else. Lets keep doing more in the everydayness of our lives. I have met the real ones and what strikes me about every one of them is this…they are just normal people who choose to do something. And isn’t it always a small group of normal people making decisions like this that bring about the change we so desire.

So when the time comes may you be one of these…a real person. Doing real things to bring about real change. Even if it is just to those around you.

By the Streams of Babylon
DIX (“For the Beauty of the Earth”)

By the streams of Babylon we sit weeping bitter tears.
Here so many hopes are gone; now we’re filled with countless fears.
Yet, O God, you tell us: “Rise! See the world through faith-filled eyes!”

We will rise and seek your way, knowing love will one day win.
We won’t let fear rule the day; we will welcome strangers in.
Every day, we’ll seek and find countless ways to be more kind.

By your grace, we’ll rise above even in this troubled hour.
Where there’s hate, we’ll choose to love; we will speak your truth to power.
With the poor and refugee we will build community.

We will pray for those who lead even as we take a stand.
We will rise with those in need, seeking justice in the land.
We will learn and listen well from the truth that others tell.

We will rise and work for peace; we will treasure your good earth.
We will march, that wars may cease; we’ll see every person’s worth.
God, now give us faith-filled lives as we heed your call and rise.

Biblical References: Psalm 137:1; Joshua 24:15; Ephesians 1:17-18; Deuteronomy 10:19; Hebrews 13:1; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Psalm 34:14; Micah 6:8
Tune: Conard Kocher, 1838, Abr. William Henry Monk, 1861, Harm. The English Hymnal, 1906
Text: Copyright © 2016 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:


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Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
God answers Job, questioning where he was when God created the earth, who orders the clouds and lightning and can create rain, and who provides food for wild animals and birds.
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
In praise of God’s glory and majesty, for the way God established the earth and commanded the waters, and for the way God has filled the earth with God’s creation.
Hebrews 5:1-10
High priests offer gifts and sacrifices on behalf of the people and deals with them gently, because he is aware of his own weakness. In the same way, Jesus was appointed by God, and offered prayer for his life to God, who saved him. Now he offers salvation to those who trust him.
Mark 10:35-45
James and John ask Jesus to be allowed to sit at his right and left when Jesus enters glory. Then after assuring them that they will share in his suffering, Jesus teaches all the disciples that those who want to be great among his disciples must be the servant of all, just as Jesus came to serve and not be served.
(Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Bible readings in landscape A4, folded, double sided COCU61B.Readings.2018

Church of Scotland: Starters for Sunday
Singing from the Lectionary

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

Opening prayer
God, this day we have come to share your view of humankind,
Your angle on the things of earth,
Your perspective on past and future.
Where we do not see things right,
where we have not done things right,
where we fail you and other people,
forgive us;
make us clean from our sin, and renew a right spirit within us.
God, this day we have come to learn about your kingdom,
to discover how things work when you are in charge.
Let your Spirit change us.
Instruct us by your wisdom, guide us by your word,
inspire us by what is said and done here today.
God, this day we have come to praise you,
to lift up your name in prayer and song,
to respond to the wonder of who you are with heart and soul and voice,
to seek the good of others,
to remember the poor and lonely and sick and hungry.
To find new strength to serve you on Monday and throughout our lives.
These are our desires.
Take what is weak in us, make it strong.
Take what is amiss in us, make it right.
See our hesitant steps towards you, and embrace us in the arms of your unfailing love, for the sake of Jesus –
Jesus our Saviour, Jesus our friend, Jesus our priest, Jesus our companion,
Jesus our leader, Jesus the holy fire of our hearts.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
(Source: Rev Jock Stein, Church of Scotland)

Thanksgiving and intercession
We thank You, God, for everything we delight in –
sunlight in autumn days, colour in nature and art, rhythm in poetry and music;
human achievement and family success;
good humour; work well done; love and friendship
and all your gifts to body and soul.
Most of all we delight in your salvation,
the knowledge of your love, the assurance of eternal life,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
We commend to you those who work in harsh conditions, and those who have no work; those whose lives are drab and grey;
those whose poor health takes away delight in living;
those who are lonely;
those who have no home of their own.
Grant them the human help and comfort which they need,
and the spiritual encouragement which will enable them to live with hope and courage, for the sake of Jesus Christ who leads us to salvation.
We pray for the elderly, asking for them clear faith and human support.
We pray for those in middle years, asking for them wisdom in their choices,
and the recovery of a sense of wonder.
We pray for the young, asking for them good opportunities,
and that their ambitions include the desire to serve.
May we all continue to seek the God of every age,
made known in Jesus Christ, the greatest friend of all.
We bless you, God, space-maker, cloud-rider, earth-lover.
We bless you for the great company of saints who have gone before us and now delight in your presence.
With them we honour and praise your holy name,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and as they were taught to pray so do we say,
Our Father …
(Source: Rev Jock Stein, Church of Scotland)

The Paradoxes of Being a Servant-Leader
Strong enough to be weak
Successful enough to fail
Busy enough to make time
Wise enough to say “I don’t know”
Serious enough to laugh
Rich enough to be poor
Right enough to say “I’m wrong”
Compassionate enough to discipline
Mature enough to be childlike
Important enough to be last
Planned enough to be spontaneous
Controlled enough to be flexible
Free enough to endure captivity
Knowledgeable enough to ask questions
Loving enough to be angry
Great enough to be anonymous
Responsible enough to play
Assured enough to be rejected
Victorious enough to lose
Industrious enough to relax
Leading enough to serve.
(Source: Brewer, as cited by Hansel, 1987: from a booklet, “Servant–Leadership Characteristics in Organisational Life” by Don De Graaf, Colin Tulley and Larry Neal)

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Children’s Day Australia.24October2018

Children’s Day is recognised on various days in many places around the world, to honour children globally. International Children’s Day on June 1st was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children, Switzerland, in 1925 and then established universally in 1954 to protect an “appropriate” day. It is usually marked with speeches on children’s rights and wellbeing, and other events involving or dedicated to children.

International Day for Protection of Children, observed in many countries as Children’s Day on June 1 since 1950, was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation on its congress in Moscow (22 November 1949).

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) is the largest national day to celebrate our children. Children’s Day is celebrated across Australia each year on 4 August.

Children’s Day is a time to for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children. The day is an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every child.

Until 1977 Child Care Week was held in various Australian states and territories focusing on children in care or those in institutions. It was held at different times. In 1985 it was decided to coordinate a national week to include all children. Children’s Week is an annual event celebrated in Australia during the fourth week in October, from the Saturday before Universal Children’s Day to the following Sunday.

Universal Children’s Day falls on 20 November. It was established by the United Nations in 1954 and aims to promote the welfare of children around the world. Continue reading

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International Day of the Girl Child

“On International Day of the Girl Child, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential. ”
(UN Secretary-General António Guterres)

Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

2018 theme: With Her: A Skilled GirlForce
Today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed or in education or training.
Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.
On 11 October, International Day of the Girl, we are working alongside all girls to expand existing learning opportunities, chart new pathways and calling on the global community to rethink how to prepare them for a successful transition into the world of work.
Under the theme, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, International Day of the Girl will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.

• Over 60 million girls worldwide are forced into marriage before the age of 18
• 125 million girls and women worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
• 1.2 million children are being trafficked each year – many of these children are girls forced into sex trafficking
• Pregnancy is the leading cause of death worldwide for women aged 15 to 19
• Literacy rates for girls in many countries remain low – just 12% of Afghan women aged 15 and over are literate

Prayer: For girl children in the world, especially those subjected to discrimination and abuse; that their human dignity and equality be recognised, protected and valued by people everywhere as we acknowledge the International Day of the Girl Child.

Unfortunately, in many countries and cultures the girl child carries negative images of discrimination and abusive treatment, for they are devalued by countless years of superstitious beliefs and misinformation. Those born into the world risk death in infancy, either through murder, abuse, neglect or sickness. If they survive to the age of five, they may face servitude, irrational submission, childbearing, brokenness, exploitation, violence, sexual abuse and discrimination. The illogical and ignorant reason is that she is a girl.
Cultures that believe that the girl child is inferior to the boy child subject her to strangling, drowning, abortion, and deny her the basic rights of childhood. Girls face and experience discrimination, sexual stereotypes, rejection, devaluation, and violence, often at the hands of the people closest to them, whom they look up to, love and trust the most.
We want to pray for the girl child who is
Abused – those who suffer female genital mutilation, are forced into marriage and child bearing while they are still children; sold or bonded into labour.
O God of Love, embrace these children that they may feel that they belong and are accepted within their family, community and culture.
Neglected. Those uncared for, deprived of proper meals and health care. Left to fend for themselves in the slums or the streets
Lord Jesus, lay your hands on these children, bring them to yourself that they may hear and understand how you value and love them; for to them belong the kingdom of heaven.
Sexually Exploited. Since their families are unable to care for them they are often forced into becoming soldiers’ “wives,” or “trophies”, temple “wives” or forced into prostitution and/or early marriages.
God of justice and truth, stop all the people and mechanisms that sexually exploit and traffic girls and liberate these girls to live in the freedom of the children of God.
Lacking Education – Discrimination and poverty deprive many girls of an education which keeps them in poor health, restricts their prospects to a brighter future and traps them in the poverty cycle.
O God of unity and truth, we pray that all peoples and all cultures may view the girl child as your precious creation and through the knowledge of your word understand that all belong to you through Jesus, your Son and are one in him; that all prejudices against another human be completely eradicated.
Rejected: Those whose birth bring disappointment and sadness and are viewed as a burden to society.
O God, send forth your light and your truth to all families gifted with the girl child that they may rejoice at every gift of life. That every girl who feels rejected may experience restoration of her dignity and self-worth and be emotionally strengthened to live life to the full.

God of all life, you created every girl in your image and likeness. Pour out your love on them who even today feel less than human because of their background or culture. Give them your protection and loving care. May all the people in their lives show them acceptance and treasure them as your gift to their family, community, society and the world. Assure them with signs of your love and lift them up in hope of a better future and lead them out of their prisons of condemnation into the freedom of your beloved children. We also remember the privileged girl child, that they may live their lives in gratitude and integrity, caring and sharing their blessings with the disadvantaged, the marginalised and the troubled through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Source: RGS, Malaysia Singapore

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A pastoral prayer (victims of sexual assault)

A pastoral prayer
(Dr Christine Blasey Ford gave testimony about her experience of sexual assault. This week’s cover of TIME: Using words and phrases from her testimony, artist John Mavroudis (@zenpopart) “recreated her likeness by drawing each letter by hand.”)

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before testifying the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018. Win McNamee/Pool via REUTERS TPX

Rage and sorrow choke our throats.
The gladiator gloats
over his victim,
hand over her mouth again,
memory opened like a vein,
the sacred profaned,
her pain is yours,
(the crowd cries, horrified, for more),
this kind of blood
spilled like guts
and swept aside,
another crucifixion,
another woman’s word:
This is my body.

The tender wound is scorned,
is disbelieved, and not received, unheard,
consumed without grace.
The sleek deny their own humanity
and hers,
aggrieved, feign victimhood,
and wield their sword.

Who made this memory the bread of hope,
who poured such courage into this fragility?

This sacred blank,
this muted word,
each stifled cry, is heard,
is heard,
and earth resounds.
This is the Christ cry,
uttered and received by God,
every wordless sigh of broken hearts,
where cries the agony of God,
the wrath of God, the hope of God.

Bread is blessed and broken,
body of the vulnerable one
who suffered for our sins,
in whom the witness lives forever.

We are not silenced.
Unbroken lines of martyrs sing us on.
The bread nourishes.
Even as we mourn and rage
we rise,
we speak.

(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

I’ve just discoveed a U.S. initiative – Break the Silence Sunday. Considering how that might be something to explore in the Uniting Church.

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Anti-Poverty Week

In 2018, Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 14th to the 20th of October. The main aims of Anti-Poverty Week are to:
* Strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and in Australia; and
* Encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments.

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

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RCL Readings
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Job longs to put his case before God, but he does not know how to find God. If he could get to God’s dwelling place, he believes, he could lay out his case, but God is absent to him.
Psalm 22:1-15
A cry for God’s presence and rescue in a time of great persecution and trial in which God seems to have forsaken the Psalmist. God is holy and the Psalmist’s ancestors trusted God and were saved, but now the Psalmist is being attacked, and is suffering greatly, and no rescue seems to be forthcoming.
Hebrews 4:12-16
God’s word is sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing into the deepest parts of our beings and judging our thoughts and intentions. Therefore we need to keep our trust in Jesus who was tempted in every way, as we are but did not sin. In him we can draw near to God’s throne and find grace.

Mark 10:17-31
A wealthy man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, and Jesus answers that he must follow the commandments – which the man claims he has done. Then Jesus tells him to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow him, at which point the man goes away sad. Then Jesus teaches that it is very hard for the wealthy to enter God’s Reign. When Peter points out that the disciples have left everything to follow him, Jesus responds that those who have left behind loved ones and possessions for the Reign of God will receive much more in return, both in this life and in the one to come.
(Bible reading summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Readings to print in landscape A4 folded format COCU60B.Readings

Starters for Sunday (Church of Scotland)
Singing from the lectionary
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette:Hymns (Year B Pentecost, scroll down to the date)

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

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no
food, they call me a communist.” (Dom Hélder Câmara)
“I don’t know which Bible people are reading when they say that religion and politics
don’t mix.” (Desmond Tutu)

Prayers for Others
The following prayer is based on the song “Jesus Christ is waiting” (TiS 665) and can be used with one verse of the hymn being sung after each stanza of the prayer.
Lord Jesus Christ
Born in a shed, child refugee, friend of the outcast, political prisoner
We ask you to give strength and companionship to people who have no-one else to turn to Be with those in our own community who struggle with loneliness
And in the midst of our busy lives, help us find time to connect with them
One: Jesus Christ is waiting
All: Jesus Christ is waiting… (sung)
There is so much wrong in the world: poverty, violence, greed, hunger and much more
We ask you to be a light in the darkness, bringing hope where none exists
Walk alongside those who fight injustice, and carry those who can’t go on
Help us keep the fires of justice burning in our own hearts, never accepting the status quo
One: Jesus Christ is raging
All: Jesus Christ is raging… (sung)
We all suffer from ill health at some point, be it physical, mental or spiritual
We ask you to bring healing and comfort to those who are struggling right now
Help us do our part in caring for those around us
As we give thanks for those who devote their life to a ministry of healing
One: Jesus Christ is healing
All: Jesus Christ is healing… (sung)
In a world where power is abused and suspicion breeds fear
We ask for the courage to be bold in the face of hatred
Help us to stand with those who are oppressed
And to show that goodness and love are stronger than evil
One: Jesus Christ is dancing
All: Jesus Christ is dancing… (sung)
As we reflect on the many challenges that we and our community face
Help us to recognise the gifts that we have to offer in tackling poverty
We ask for guidance in understanding how we are called to service
And help us to be bold if it means stepping out of our comfort-zone
One: Jesus Christ is calling
All: Jesus Christ is calling… (sung)
(Source: Starters for Sunday, Church of Scotland)

Reflections on the Gospel
The world’s 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion (2012 – check out more recent statistics). It is enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over, Oxfam has revealed, adding that the global economic crisis is further enriching the super-rich. Read the article here.

We continually have to resist the belief that there’s something we have to do to “be saved.” We think there are “good” people (the man thought Jesus was one) and others who are less so. We believe our salvation is up to us. Clearly the disciples think so. Were that true, of course it would be impossible. But it’s up to God. And God has already “saved” us.
Take note that Jesus looks at the man and loves him. The man does not need to do anything for Jesus to love him; he already does. He responds to the man not with requirements but with love. Because that’s his point. There is no requirement. God already loves us. We are already saved. There is no salvation beyond God’s love; God’s love is not insufficient for our eternal joy. All we need to be “saved” from is our own distrust. The man seems to have great possessions but “lacks one thing.” Jesus looks on him in his poverty and sets him free: let go of what you can measure and what you can lose—either riches or goodness—and grasp only what is infinite, what is already yours.
Meditate on this infinite love of God. It is yours, now. It surrounds you, fills you, gives you every breath. You can’t deserve it more or less. It is imply here. Even as you ask and wonder, maybe even doubt, God looks at you with love. God’s delight is not up to you. Let this light break in, and become you.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Benediction: To do what we can
a commissioning and blessing after Mark 10:17-31
Go now, community of Jesus the Christ,
And love who you can,
Share what you can,
And be fully present as you can.
May the Creator give us enough,
May Wisdom show us what is enough,
And may the Spirit enable us to be enough.
For the sake of the Holy and all that has life. Amen.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

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International Day of non-Violence.2 Oct each year

The United Nations has designated Oct. 2, Gandhi’s birthday, as International Nonviolence Day.

Prayer Service-Prayer for Nonviolence

LEADER: Each day we are inundated by images and experiences of violence: international war and oppression, aggression and fighting in our cities and furious words hurled by complete strangers. Within our health care facilities, we see the wretched results of sexual and domestic violence wreaked upon innocent and vulnerable persons. Amid these disturbing images, let us today together reflect upon the peace and nonviolence to which those who trust in God’s presence are called. Let us recall that our strength and our ministry come from God.

READER 1: A reading from the Gospel of Luke 12:4-8.

I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.

LEADER: God is our refuge and strength
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
And the mountains fall into the sea.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: The Lord Almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: He says “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

READER 2: From the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of humanity. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of humanity. Nonviolence is not passivity in any shape or form. It is the most active force in the world…The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world. We have to make truth and nonviolence not matters for mere individual practice, but for practice by groups and communities and nations. That, at any rate is my dream. When the practice of nonviolence becomes universal, God will reign on earth as God reigns in heaven.” (From Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings)

LEADER: Let us lift up in prayer those places and people who suffer from violence and destruction. After each petition, please respond:
God of love and gentleness, hear our prayer.

(Pause for prayers from listeners and responses)

LEADER: Let us bring our prayers to our loving God in the words that Jesus taught us:

ALL: Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
(Source: Sr. Patricia Talone, CHAUSA)

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resources in times of natural disaster/tragedy

Tsunami in Indonesia
On Friday 28th September 2018, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck Sulawesi island in Indonesia. It led to a tsunami with waves up to 3 metres high hitting the city of Palu. More than 1200 people are confirmed dead, and many remain missing or injured and rescuers fear this number could rise significantly. About 50,000 people are known to be displaced from their homes. People who have survived the earthquake and tsunami are left without food, clean water, shelter and health care. Many buildings are badly damaged or destroyed. Thousands of homes have collapsed along with hospitals, hotels and shops, and the airport is not functioning. Several large coastal towns remain cut off by damaged roads and communication lines are down. The areas of Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong – with combined populations of 1.2 million – have yet to be fully assessed. A number of appeals have been launched including TEAR and UnitingWorld.

Prayer for Indonesia

Lord, we pray for the people of Indonesia who have already suffered ten earthquakes this year. We lift up to you the families hit by this latest devastating earthquake and tsunami. Comfort those who have lost loved ones and homes, and help to heal and restore injured people.
We pray for the people of Palu, the closest town to the earthquake and ask you to comfort families who are facing unimaginable trauma. Draw close to communities as they count the cost of the destruction to lives and homes.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
(Source: TEAR Australia)

Prayer for Palu and Donggala
Tuhan empunya kehidupan,
tatkala bumi dan air bergerak dasyat,
mengambil kehidupan dan mereka yang kami cintai.
Kami datang kepada Mu dengan air mata bercucuran.

God of life,
when the earth and water moved violently,
took lives and those we love
We come before you with tears streaming down

Tuhan sumber kekuatan dan penghiburan,
tatkala tangan, kaki dan hati kami lemah,
karena bencana tsunami dan gempa.
Kami datang kepada mu dengan bersujud.

God, you are the source of strength and comfort,
when our hands, feet and hearts are weak
because of the tsunami and earthquake disaster.
We prostrate before you

Tuhan maha kasih, kepada Mu kami berdoa.
Berilah kekuatan buat keluarga dan sahabat
yang telah ditinggal pergi oleh orang terdekatnya,
berilah penghiburan buat mereka
yang kehilangan tanah dan tempat tinggal

Merciful God, we pray to you.
Give strength to families and friends,
to those who have lost loved one.
Give your comfort,
to those who have lost their land and houses.

Tuhan maha kuasa, kami berdoa buat
Pemerintah Indonesia,
lembaga keagamaan dan kemanusiaan,
anggota masyarakat yang aktif membantu
supaya usaha mereka berhasil
dalam memberikan pertolongan
Kami naikan doa ini
didalam nama Tuhan yang senantiasa memberkati kita semua

Almighty God, we pray for
The Indonesian Government,
religious and humanitarian agencies,
other communities who are in Palu and Donggala
may their efforts succeed in providing help
We offer this prayer in the name of the Lord who bless us always. Amen
(Source: Rev Dr Apwee Ting, Crosslight)

A prayer for drought relief in rural Australia
We pray for the land
we hear the promise you have spoken in Isaiah
of the refreshment of the creation;
of water in the desert,
of renewal for the land,
of hope, of life.

We name our simple need – rain for our thirsty land.
Our tanks and dams are nearly empty,
like our hopes for this season.

Please, loving God, bring us rain
to renew the ground, to replenish our dams,
to bring some chance of feed,
to bring the possibility of some reward
to those who have toiled so hard.

We turn to you in faith and hope.

We pray for our community
We pray for all those whose lives
are under the shadow of drought.

We think first of those who work with the land,
for farmers and their families,
for those who rely upon the land for their life and relationships.

We pray for contractors, merchants and truck drivers,
for rural counsellors and support workers,
for all our rural community.

May the refreshment of your Spirit,
present in miraculous and truly human ways,
be with all of us as we move forward into the days ahead.

We pray, too, for justice;
for fair prices for our stock and our wool and our crops.
We pray for governments, banks and corporations –
to be driven by the wisdom
of community, justice and compassion
not simply the folly of the dollar and the bottom line.

We pray for each other,
keep us aware of the needs of those around us:
for those who are struggling,
who are grieving,
who are ill, who are dying.

Restore those who are far from you
with the knowledge that they are loved and valued.

Give them not just a sense of renewal,
but a sense of hope and purpose for lives
that are finding the journey hard.

Let us see the miracle of healing
in relationships,
in lives,
in communities,
where there is illness
and hope is far away.

Keep us always conscious of the task we have
in ministry and mission in your world.

We offer all these prayers in the name of Jesus. Amen.
(Source: Uniting Church Moderator for NSW/ACT Rev. Simon Hansford) Continue reading

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Job 42:1-6, 10-17;
Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28;
Mark 10:46-52

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)

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