COCU Index Year C 2015-16

Year C
COCU38C, Easter 7C, 8th May 2016
(Also, Mothers Day in Australia)
8th May begins Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
COCU39C, Day of Pentecost, 15th May 2016
COCU40C, Pentecost 1C/Trinity Sunday, 22nd May 2016
(See also Trinity Sunday Year A and Year B)
(Also Reconciliation Sunday, or the following week)
COCU41C, Pentecost 2C, 29th May 2016
COCU42C, Pentecost 3C, 5th June 2016
(Also World Environment Day)
COCU43C, Pentecost 4C, 12th June 2016
(Also World Day against Child Labour)
COCU44C, Pentecost 5C, 19th June 2016
COCU45C, Pentecost 6C, 26th June 2016
COCU46C, Pentecost 7C, 3rd July 2016
COCU 47C, Pentecost 8C, 10th July 2016
COCU_Year_C_2015-16

Easter C 2016 readings (Vanderbilt)

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order.

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World Environment Day – June 5th

wed2016-logoWED aims to inspire more people than ever before to take action to prevent the growing strain on planet Earth’s natural systems from reaching breaking point. The 2016 theme is the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife, which erodes precious biodiversity and threatens the survival of elephants, rhinos and tigers as well as many other species. It also undermines our economies, communities and security. The 2016 slogan is “Go Wild for Life” and encourages people to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does, and to challenge all those around you to do what they can to prevent it.

Sri Lanka becomes 16th country to destroy confiscated ivory – and first country to apologise to its elephants. Recommended reading. Prayers for elephants in Thailand.

More than 60% of Africa’s forest elephants have been killed in the past decade due to the ivory trade.

Illegal wildlife trade is a wrong that must be corrected.

Etihad has signed an agreement to help end the illegal trade in wildlife.

01-ivory-sri-lanka.adapt.1900.1**

Uniting Justice liturgical resources for World Environment Day 2015 (downloadable resource link at end of blurb on Uniting Jusice website). The 2014 resources are here.

William (Bill) Wallace (New Zealand) has prepared a ‘mass of the universe‘ which could be considered for World Environment Day. He has generously uploaded the text, MP3 files, music scores etc, and is complete in itself. Worth checking out.

There may be resources in Seasons of Creation that could be helpful for planning too.

Presbyterian Church USA – Caring for Earth’s Creatures (download)

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COCU39C.Day of Pentecost.15May2016

 

Day of Pentecost – image by Rev Mark Hewitt, http://oldtractorinshed.net

What a great arrangement by Adam Kukuk for this classic, Breathe on me breath of God. Sound file here. On the same web page you’ll also find a link to the free to download music score for piano and vocal arrangement. (Thanks, Adam, for your generosity in sharing)

Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
1 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.
Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours,
to do and to endure.
Refrain (people):
3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Stir in me one desire,
that every earthly part of me,
may glow with holy fire.
Refrain (people): 
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
4 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
for all eternity.
Refrain (people):
Come Holy Spirit Come, Holy Spirit come (repeat 4 times)
(lyrics: Psalter Hymnal, 1987)
Music.Breathe-on-Me-Lead-and-Piano

Wellspring Liturgy for Day of Pentecost

Wonderful collection of prayers and liturgies for Pentecost on re-Worship by Christine Longhurst. Well worth exploring.

alight
arise
soar
fly
with flight inspired
like singing choir
and life contained no more
lift the roof
on organ wings
speak
pray
praise
with tongues
alight
with Spirit blaze
trail behind a smoky
haze
these fiery days
disturbed
disturbing
comfortable no more
unsettled
ruffled
alight now, soar
arise, take flight,
each one fly,
fly high, dream wide
your uncommon gifts inspired
live life uncontained
with the goose – wild and free
(c) Sarah Agnew, Sarah Tells Stories

Our Father and Mother, well spring of all life,
you sent your Holy Spirit
upon the apostles
permeating both their holy and also quirky selves.
Take us as we are,
both our first-rate and shocking selves
and infuse us with the same Spirit
that we, transformed,
may transform the world
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
(c) Bob Eldan (Also, Bob’s reflection on Pentecost)

Yes, there are the flames of Pentecost,
the drama, the consuming blaze,
the rushing, pushing wind, desperate
for something on its loud crusade.

But for some it is enough
to be the wick of God,
of love made known in unlearned tongues,
beyond our understanding,
to be the deep where God’s creating spirit broods,
where new things come to light and life
without our doing, or knowing how
a soul comes to know its own belovedness.

Our oneness is not within but out there,
one spirit breathing in and out through all of us,
a gathering of many nations.
We follow the breath to our other selves
and love them with love that’s not our own
but all of ours, breathed into us.

The secret is beyond us, a language we won’t learn,
but still go out into the streets and speak. Steve Garnaas-Holmes,www.unfoldinglight.net

Re-worship blogsite – prayers for Pentecost

Youtube video – different voices reading the Pentecost story (Uniting Church, Queensland)

Music

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit, by William L. (Bill) Wallace)
Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan the fire of life in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan the fire of love in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan compassion’s fire in us.

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit,
Breathe, Blow,
Fan your justice in our hearts.
(Words: William Wallace; click here for the music)

‘Send down the fire’: Composer: Marty Haugen (1989)
Refrain:
Send down the fire of your justice,
Send down the rains of your love;
Come, send down the Spirit, breathe life in your people,
and we shall be people of God.

Call us to be your compassion,
Teach us the song of your love;
Give us hearts that sing,
Give us deeds that ring,
Make us ring with the song of your love. (Refrain)

Call us to learn of your mercy,
Teach us the way of your peace;
Give us hearts that feel,
Give us hands that heal,
Make us walk in the way of your peace. (Refrain)

Call us to answer oppression,
Teach us the fire of your truth;
Give us righteous souls,
‘Til your justice rolls,
make us burn with the fire of your truth. (Refrain)

Call us to witness your Kingdom,
Give us the presence of Christ;
May your holy light
Keep us shining bright,
Ever shine with the presence of Christ. (Refrain)
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World Council of Churches – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The World Council of Churches commemoration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity traditionally runs from Friday, January 18 through Friday, January 25 (northern hemisphere, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul) and around Pentecost (southern hemisphere), which is also a symbolic date for unity. (In 2016, week commencing 8th May). It brings together Christians from diverse confessions and backgrounds from around the world, who organize special ecumenical worships, prayer services and events.

The theme for the week of prayer in 2016
 is “Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:9).  The PDF resource (in English) can be downloaded here.  It is also available on the World Council of Churches (WCC) website in English, French, German and Spanish.

Since 1968, the liturgical and biblical material for the annual week of prayer has been jointly coordinated by the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission and the Roman Catholic Church (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity).

Prayer for Unity
Father of all who live in the Spirit,
you have brought unity through your Son Jesus Christ:
help all who profess his name to show in their lives,
in their worship,
and their evangelism
that oneness which springs from the truth
as it is found in Jesus,
and fill your church with the desire
both to seek and find that unity
throughout the world; in his name. Amen.
(Michael Saward, and posted on The Jubilate Group website)

Prayer for Unity
“My prayer for all of them is that they will be one….
Then the world will know that you sent me
and will understand that you love them
as much as you love me.” John 17:21, 23

O God, we are one with you.
You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another,
you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness
and to fight for it with all our hearts.

Help us to realize that there can be no understanding
where there is mutual rejection.
O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely,
we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you,
and we love you with our whole being,
because our being is in your being,
our spirit is rooted in your spirit.

Fill us then with love,
and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways,
united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world,
and makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love.
Love has overcome.
Love is victorious.
(Thomas Merton (1915-1968))

Benediction
(inspired by John 17:21, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18)
My fellow servants, we are one.
The bread we share makes us one.
The cup we pour makes us one.
Even as our dearest sisters and brothers
come and go from us, we are one.
Even as we scatter from this place
to so many diverse pursuits
throughout this city, this state, this globe,
we are one.
With gratitude we share the Table.
With gratitude we depart.
With gratitude we release one another,
trusting in the One
Who makes us one.
Go in peace.
(Paul Randall, and posted on Ecclesia)

 

 

 

 

 

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Mothers Day resources

 

ELCA Mothers DayA short vimeo dedicated to mothers, and particularly to mothers on Naura in long term immigration detention. A really appropriate video clip to show on Mothers’ Day as a lead in to prayers for others perhaps, or at the start of the service.

Faith of Our Mothers sheet music
Faith of our mothers, living still
Fresh in our memories, held in our hearts
Here or in heaven, their deeds live on,
Spreading the joy God’s love imparts
Chorus:
Faith of our mothers, holy faith,
We will be true to thee to death
(words to other two verses on sheet music – click on link)
New words: Lawrence A. Wik, 2013

Some Mothers Day 2014 resources on Textweek.

Erin Wathen on ‘why I don’t do Mothers Day at church’. Very thoughtful.

Dr Barry Kirby at the National Press Club. He is working to save lives in the maternal health area in Papua New Guinea.

Dr Barry Kirby at the National Press Club, May 2015

And this one on the remarkable Dr Barry Kirby in PNG who saw a need related to maternal deaths when he was a builder in PNG and set out to do something about it – returning to Australia to train as a doctor, and returning to set up child birth centres in PNG. In just 3 years, childbirth deaths have plunged by 75% for the health centres he supports. (Consider sending hope not flowers, to support his work).

Mourning with mothers who have not brought their babies home – a thoughtful article from Sojourners. And this one on miscarriage and this to those who are experience the loss of being ‘motherless’ on Mothers Day.

And topically, this one about mothers of black young men shot in America who won’t be coming home.

National Geographic: Mothers Day turns 100:It’s surprisingly dark history (from 2014)

Maternal images of God: A short video compilation of biblical verses and images, by Christine Sine. Uploaded on Youtube. A link to the texts on Christine’s page here.

This wonderful Celebration and Lament for Mother’s Day by Rev Sarah Agnew (from In Prayer and Protest (Pocket Poets #8)
(I’ve also written about Sarah’s prayer on another blog with ideas for prayers for others).

As a community, we take time to pause and give thanks for the gift of mothers.
Shining a light on the gift, shadows fall, and we acknowledge the shadows, too.

We celebrate and give thanks, each of us, for our mother. The woman who carried us in her womb, gave birth to us, brought us into life.
We lament, each of us, separation from our mother at different times, through conflict, distance of place, death.
We lament, seek to forgive and be forgiven.

We celebrate and give thanks, each of us, for those who have been as mothers to us; our aunts and pseudo-aunts, big sisters, friends, mentors and teachers. The women who have nurtured, taught, encouraged, shaped us with love.
We lament, each of us, the women who have caused us pain, who have abandoned or neglected us, mistakenly or intentionally caused us harm. We lament the hurt we have caused to women, our friends, colleagues, neighbours, sisters, aunts and mothers.
We lament, seek to forgive and be forgiven.

We celebrate and give thanks, together, for the women in our communities. That women and men are different invites us into partnership, invites us to share the burdens and the joys of life. For the many strengths of women, their gifts of peace-making, nurture, education, entrepreneurship, healing, wisdom, creativity, endurance, collaboration, physicality – and so much more, we are grateful.
We lament, together, that women are still discounted because they are women, in our culture and in others. That the difference between women and men is seen as threatening, a power struggle, a competition or a hierarchy, is not, we know, your dream for us.
We lament, seek to forgive and be forgiven.

We celebrate, those of us who are mothers and grandmothers, the joy and privilege it is to collaborate with you in the creation of life. We give thanks for our children, their uniqueness, the delight we find in watching and helping them grow.
We lament, those of us who are not mothers and want to be, or who are mothers of children who have died.
We lament, and have no words for our grief.

We celebrate, we give thanks, for you, our mothering God, whose wings enfold us like those of a mother hen, who gives birth to all that lives, who loves fiercely, protectively, and with great delight. We celebrate what we know of you as like a mother.
We lament our turning from you and causing you pain, our rejection of your gifts of life and love in so many ways. We seek your forgiveness again and again.

Again and again, God welcomes us home, as a mother welcomes her children.
Again and again, God celebrates us, God’s children, and delights in watching and helping us grow.
Come, now, under the wings of God; come, now, into the warmth of Love.
You are forgiven. You are loved. Precious child of your Mothering God.

Monday Meditations - mother heart.001 Continue reading

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COCU38C.Easter7C.8May2016

Readings: 
Acts 16: 16-34
Paul and Silas are imprisoned after they cast out a demon from the fortune-telling slave girl. Even in jail they continue to worship, and Paul leads the prison jailer to faith in Christ.
Psalm 97
God’s greatness and power extends over all, even gods and idols. The earth itself trembles. God’s protection extends towards God’s people.
Rev 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
Christ is the one who will come to set things right. The Holy City will be home to all those who respond to God’s invitation to life in Christ.
John 17:20-26
Jesus prays for those who believe in him, that they may find unity, and that their love will be a witness to the world, that others may believe in Jesus.

RCLReadings.COCU38C.Easter7C.NN (Nathan Nettleton paraphrase)

Also, Mothers Day in Australia
Also, start of  WCC Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Resources
textweek.com
Sacredise (John van de Laar)
Singing from the Lectionary (Natalie Sims)
re-Worship (Christine Longhurst)
Reflection on the Epistle reading on the UCC website
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Prayers from a progressive perspective

Prayers from a progressive perspective…..http://www.christ-community.net/prayers/

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COCU36C.Easter6C.1May2016

Readings:
Acts 16:9-15: Paul and his companions in Macedonia and the conversion of Lydia.
Psalm 67: a psalm inviting all the nations to praise God
Revelation 21:10,22-22.5: A vision of the New Jerusalem, where the gates are never closed, and yet no evil can enter. It is God who offers security and hospitality to all peoples.
John 14:23-29: the gift of God’s Spirit planted in all those who love God.

RCL readings in A4 landscape 2 columns format: COCU36C.Easter 6C.RCL Bible Readings

Resources
textweek.com
Sacredise (John van de Laar)
Singing from the Lectionary (Natalie Sims)

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ANZAC Day resources

ANZAC

Uniting Church in Australia Assembly 2016 – remembering ANZAC Day and Armenian Genocide (April 24th, 1915): On the 25th of April Australia remembers the ANZACs and their sacrifice at Gallipoli in the First World War. On the 24th of April, one day before ANZAC Day, Armenians remember the martyrs of their nation, victims of a Genocide that was fuelled by political and cultural hatred. Armenians also remember the ANZAC soldiers who saw the injustice that they were suffering and stopped to help them. The ANZACs created the first relief for the victims of the Armenian Genocide and provided them with the much needed medical care, and in many instances, keeping them safe from the hands of the Turkish soldiers. (UCA Assembly resolution here, and background here).

2016 UCA Assembly prayer for congregational use:
God of remembrance,
help us this day to remember the sacrifice of the first ANZACs at Gallipoli.
In your hands are the destinies of this and every nation.
We give you thanks for the freedoms we enjoy in this land
and for those who lost their lives to defend them.
We pray that we and all the people of Australia,
gratefully remembering their courage,
may have the grace to live in a spirit of justice, of generosity, and of peace.
We pray that people around the world,
remembering their sacrifice in providing aid to a people being massacred,
may have the compassion to reach out to those in need.
God of love and grace,
we praise you
for all those who stood firm in their Christian faith in the face of persecution,
exile and death;
for all those who endured the Armenian Genocide.
Hear our voice as we pray
for all those Armenian men, women and children who were deported,
driven in death marches, and massacred mercilessly;
for all those who continue to trample on truth, justice and human rights.
We pray
that this nation may not perish but prosper under your care;
that you may uproot from our hearts every trace of hatred and the spirit of vengeance;
that those who are the descendants of those noble martyrs may have a deep sense of gratitude and a deep sense of responsibility.
Grant that
we may value the freedom and security we are privileged to enjoy in this beautiful country;
that your power of resurrection may inspire us to live as a righteous people
prepared for every good work;
that we may be a compassionate, forgiving and loving people.
Amen.

In A Minute’s Silence

Timeless God,
Christ of the Cross,
Spirit of Peace,
In a minute’s silence take us into compassion and understanding.
In a minute’s silence may we find ourselves almost walking in the shoes of those we remember.
In a minute’s silence may we seek the joys that sustained them in the trials that they faced.
In a minute’s silence may we find the courage that empowered them in the suffering they endured.
In a minute’s silence may we be inspired to love like the sacrifice that they made.
In a minute’s silence may we comprehend the ripples of pain that bounce around the world in response to such disturbance.
In a minute’s silence may we learn the lessons which will lead to such things never occurring again.
In a minute’s silence may we decide to be better in ourselves, that the world may be better with us in it.
In a minute’s silence may the world change for the better.
In a minute’s silence may all this be so.
In a minute’s silence we pray.
Amen.
(Jon Humphries)

Lord of Peace,
Let us remember.
Let us remember the human cost of war.
Let us remember the sacrifice of those who fight because their country calls them to.
Let us remember the death and destruction that results when people take up arms against one another.
Let us remember those who have lost their life as a result of hostilities, both soldiers and civilians.
Let us remember the wounds and scarring that so many carry having been involved or caught up in conflict, whether they be physical, emotional or psychological.
Let us remember the lasting impact upon people, families, regions, countries and cultures in the aftermath of war.
Let us remember the reasons that have led to war.
Let us remember the peace-makers who have worked, and still work, to prevent war and conflict.
Let us remember the joy of peace and the power of reconciliation.
Let us remember the way of the Christ which leads to peace.
Let us remember all these things, that we might yet learn
And that we, as humanity, may yet find a way to end conflict that leads to fighting and war.
Let us remember.
Lest we forget. Amen.
(Jon Humphries)

UCA ANZAC resources
Rev Sue Page and Rev Matthew Stuart, Ministers in the Uniting Church in Australia, and defence force chaplains, put together some fabulous resources for the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli. ANZAC Centenary Resources PDF

Lest we remember
And this poignant song from Andrew Dutney. Beautiful. Sound file here.
Small (‘pay what you think’s a fair thing) cost to download.

Lest we remember, lest we recall,
we’ll build ourselves a monument,
we’ll sanctify the war.
We’ll number our heroes.
The dead we’ll ignore.
Nobody remembers what the young ones dies for.

Lest we remember,  lest we recall,
in case we remember the pain of it all.

And over and over we’ll tell it again:
the story of bravery,
of dashing young men.
The reasons we’ll argue,
the blame we will lay,
’till truth as we tell it
is history some day.

Lest we remember, lest we recall,
in case we remember the pain of it all.
Lest we remember, lest we recall,
in case we find reason for just one more war.

from I’ve Got Eyes, released 01 September 1980
Andrew Dutney: Vocal and acoustic guitar; Graham Ashton: Violin.

And this from Paul Kelly, Letter from a Trench (sound file here). Achingly beautiful.

And more from Paul Kelly who writes: ‘My friend, composer James Ledger, asked me to write text for an orchestral and choral work commissioned for the Gallipoli Centenary. I sent him a short poem and last night (24th April, 2015) at the Sydney Opera House heard it played and sung for the first time. It was a spine tingling experience”. Link is here.

Can you see us? Can you help us?
Lying broken on the shore
Look at us – we’re scattered playthings
Busted toys, no use, no more

We’re not heroes, we are fellows
From the country, from the town
We’re Jack and Jim and Doug and Darcy
Bill and Tom and Reg – all down

We are dying, can you hear us?
We are screaming on the shore
We haven’t had our lives or wives yet
We never will, we’re never more

We didn’t think, we never thought
We’d die like this so far from home
Remember us, we died in smoke
We died in noise, we died alone
(Words: Paul Kelly)

You can listen to the ANZAC Centenary ConcertABC Classic FM 8:00pm, 25 April 2015



ANZAC Day resources
(Anglican) Anzac Day liturgical resources

Opinion piece by Greg Rolles here. Definitely worth a read!
“Australia’s investment in World War One commemorations is not being replicated around the world. The government of Australia is spending more on World War One commemorations than the United Kingdom and France combined – both much more significant players in the war. It should be asked why the 25th of April has become such a significant milestone in what it means to be a part of white Australia?”

On Anzac Day (Anglican Prayer Book)
God of love and liberty,
we bring our thanks today for the peace and security we enjoy.
 We remember those who in time of war
 faithfully served their country.
 We pray for their families,
 and for ourselves whose freedom was won at such a cost.
 Make us a people zealous for peace,
 and hasten the day 
when nation shall not lift up sword against nation
neither learn war any more.
 This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life
for the sake of the world: 
Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
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Earth Day April 22nd

God-the-creator-of-life.001Earth 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, 2016. 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”.

WCC statement on Earth Day 2016

In 2016, 150+ world leaders signed the #ParisAgreement on #EarthDay2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Read more here.

Look at the world (John Rutter and Cambridge Singers) – youtube clip
Words to the song:

Look at the world, everything all around us
Look at the world and marvel every day.
Look at the world: so many joys and wonders,
So many miracles along our way.

Chorus:
Praise to Thee, O Lord for all creation.
Give us thankful hearts that we may see
All the gifts we share, and every blessing,
All things come of Thee.

Look at the earth bringing forth fruit and flower,
Look at the sky the sunshine and the rain.
Look at the hills, look at the trees and mountains,
Valley and flowing river, field and plain.

(Repeat Chorus)

Think of the spring, think of the warmth of summer,
Bringing the harvest before winter’s cold.
Everything grows, everything has a season,
Till it is gathered to the Father’s fold:

(Repeat Chorus)

Every good gift, all that we need and cherish,
Comes from the Lord in token of His love.
We are His hands, stewards of all His bounty
His is the earth and His the heavens above.

(Repeat Chorus)

All things come of Thee!

For the beauty of the earth – youtube clip with music by John Rutter

See the world through the eyes of the Creator, Pope Francis said at the end of his general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, marking Earth Day.
“I exhort everyone to see the world through the eyes of God the Creator: the earth is an environment to be safeguarded, a garden to be cultivated,” he said. “The relationship of (hu)mankind with nature must not be conducted with greed, manipulation and exploitation, but it must conserve the divine harmony that exists between creatures and Creation within the logic of respect and care, so it can be put to the service of our brothers, also of future generations”. In his universal prayer intention for April, Francis prayed “That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.”

Worship in celebration of creation ((McCormick Theological Seminary) WorshipinCelebrationofCreation (PDF)

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COCU35C.Easter5C.24April2016

ReadingsActs 11:1-18; Psalm 148; Rev 21:1-6; John 13:31-35

RCL readings (landscape, A4): COCU35C.Easter5C.RCLReadings

Helpful resources:
re-Worship for Easter 5C compiled by Christine Longhurst
Sacredise by John van de Laar
Textweek
Singing from the Lectionary – Natalie Sims

West Epping Uniting Church
On Sunday we had another fantastic Intergenerational service, focusing on Jesus’ commandment to love one another. After listening to the story Empty Fridge by Gaetan Doremus, we learnt that we love one another by sharing what we have with each other, so all can enjoy. We then shared in the preparation of a very special morning tea, with decorated biscuits, crackers and dip, fruit skewers and punch – and then ate together after the service!
West Epping 1 West Epping 2 West Epping 3Gathering/Call to worship (Revelation 21:5)
Come all who are weary
of wealth, of poverty, of power, of struggle, of division
Come all who are heavy-laden
with too much, with too little, with anxiety, with fear, with anger
Come all who have hope
for liberation, for peace, for freedom, for the kingdom
Hear these words
“See, I am making all things new.”
(I Am Making All Things New, by Rosie Venner. Posted on the WSCF Europe website)

Call to worship (inspired by Psalm 148)
Come, praise the eternal God!
All you in the heavens, angels above—praise God!
Sun, moon, and stars in the sky—praise God!
Dolphins and whales, fish in the sea—praise God!
Lighting and thunder, snow and rain—praise God!
Mountains and hills, desert and prairie—praise God!
Fruit trees and cedars, flowers and weeds—praise God!
Kings and presidents, prime ministers and judges—praise God!
Men and women, young and old—praise God!
Let them all praise the name of God!
For God’s name stands alone, above all others;
God’s glory shines over earth and heaven.
Let’s worship God together!

Call to worship
We gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.
Surely, God is in this place
and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
God’s love is for you
and for all people everywhere.
That we may share God’s love and life,
may we be renewed
in the refreshing Spirit of the living Christ.
The living Christ is with us.
Praise the Lord!
(posted on Life in Liturgy)

Prayer of Invocation (inspired by Revelation 21: 1-6)
Speak to us, Giver of Life, and make us new.
We thirst for the waters of eternal life,
we yearn to know ourselves as Resurrection People.
Send your Holy Spirit upon us this day,
and create in us your new heaven and new earth.
Speak to us words of comfort and hope,
words of challenge and courage.
Come: move among us, we pray. Amen.
(Making All Things New: Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, by Rev. Mary Nelson Abbott. Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive

A reflective poem (could be used as contemplation on Psalm 148)
Oh Yes
Can this mind be at peace with the moon and the stars
In my nights?
Will these feelings repose with sun, rain and clouds
All day long?
Could my body relax with trees, flowers, grass
For each dawn?
And at evening light
Are vague hopes made bright
As the glint of childhood eyes?
Oh, yes…
If my moments rejoice
In that generous chorus
Of thankfulness graciously born
(Richard Holdsworth, posted on Progressive Christianity)

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. . .” (Robert Frost)
Some One there is who ever loves us all,
whose grace declares none of us unclean,
in whose life and death barriers come down:
Jesus is one who doesn’t love a wall.

To love our neighbour, near and far, our call,
and more: to love as Jesus loved, for that,
he said, will truly mark his followers.
Jesus is one who doesn’t love a wall.

And this Peter discovered in the fall
of a rigid prejudice held so long
only the voice of God could shake it loose –
our Lord is one who doesn’t love a wall.

May this, too, be our vision, seeing all
as God sees, undivided by our fears,
resentments, our old sinful selfishness,
God-graced to share the gospel without walls.

(Andrew King)

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