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)

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,

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

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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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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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
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 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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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)

Prayer for the Election (U.S.A.)
God of justice and compassion,
God of Republicans and Democrats and Independents,
God of the poor and the 1% and the middle class,
in the heat of this election year
we pray for our nation, our churches, and ourselves.
In the midst of meanness and deception,
may our words be kind and true.
In the midst of loud speeches and harsh accusations,
may we listen well and try to understand.
May those who follow Jesus do the work of Jesus –
breaking down the dividing walls
speaking the truth in love
meeting together in the face of disagreements.
Holy, loving God, have mercy on your children.
(Source: Joanna Harader, Spacious Faith)

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.

Closing Prayer for Election Time
God, source of all truth and wisdom,
who knows and loves the whole creation,
watch over our nation at election time:
that truth may prevail over distortion,
wisdom triumph over recklessness
and the concerns of every person be heard.
Lord Jesus,
who chose the way of the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane,
help us to turn our backs on self interest
and to support policies that sustain the poor, the vulnerable,
and the frightened people of this world.
Holy Spirit,
who brought understanding among myriad peoples and languages at Pentecost,
give to all your people a passion for peace
and inspire us to work for unity and co-operation throughout the world
and in our political life together.
Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities
of living in a democratic society.
Give us wisdom to play our part at election time
that, through the exercise of each vote,
your Kingdom may come closer.
Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism,
guard us against the idols of false utopias
and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling
that serves the common good of all.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
(Source: Box Hill Baptist Church, Melbourne, Unboxed Worship)

In Times of Great Decision
AURELIA D (“The Church’s One Foundation”)
In times of great decision, be with us, God, we pray!
Give each of us a vision of Jesus’ loving way.
When louder words seem endless and other voices sure,
Remind us of your promise: your love and truth endure.

O God, whose gifts are countless, you send us bearing peace.
You fill our dreams with justice for all communities.
You give us global neighbors, that all may justly live.
May those we choose as leaders reflect the life you give.

O God, you bridged the distance; you opened wide your door.
You call us by our presence to reach to serve the poor.
You teach us: Welcome strangers! Seek justice on the earth!
May those we choose as leaders see every person’s worth.

You call on every nation to put aside all greed,
To care for your creation and for your ones in need,
To care for those in prison, for children, for the ill.
In times of great decision, may we choose leaders well.

Alternate tune: LLANGLOFFAN, Traditional Welsh melody
Text:  © 2004 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009).
Email: New Hymns:

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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World Food Week of Action

Food Week of Action – Sunday Oct. 14 through Sunday Oct. 21 – includes World Food Day (October 16) as well as the International Day for Rural Women (October 15) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17).

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The World Council of Churches-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA), the Churches’ Week of Action on Food invites the global ecumenical movement and organisations, community-based organisations and faith-based organisations to act collectively for food-justice.

“We envision a world where everyone has enough affordable, healthy and culturally appropriate food where no one is hungry, and where all who work in the food chain are fairly compensated, respected and celebrated!”

People worldwide are taking back their food systems – fighting for their land and waterways, reclaiming vacant lots, teaching others how to grow food, and developing local distribution systems – while simultaneously creating jobs, providing fresh food, preserving the environment, building rural-urban connections, advocating for just policies, and revitalizing their communities. Local control of seeds – by farmers, gardeners and seed keeping groups – is crucial for food security and food sovereignty.

“In a world that produces enough and more food for all, but where one third of it is wasted and 795 million people around the globe go to sleep hungry, we pray for the strength to stand with the oppressed and overcome greed and injustice”.
(Dr Fidèle Fifamè Houssou-Gandonou from the Fellowship of Council of Churches in West Africa, a participating organisation of the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, WCC-EAA) Continue reading

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