COCU 51B.12th August, 2018

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
David commands his military leaders to ensure that his son Absalom is not harmed, but they fail, and Absalom is killed in battle. When David hears the news, he grieves, wishing that he had died instead of his son.
Psalm 130: A Psalm of faith and trust in God who forgives sins and whose promises bring hope and redemption to God’s people.
Ephesians 4:25-5:2 The apostle instructs the Ephesians believers on how to live as true followers of Christ. He encourages them to be honest with one another, to speak to one another in edifying ways, and to avoid anger, shouting and slander, choosing instead the way of forgiveness and compassion.
John 6:35,41-51 Jesus proclaims himself as the bread of life, and responds to his critics by comparing the life that he gives to the manna that their ancestors ate in the wilderness – which could not keep them from death. Rather, Jesus, says, he gives life that does not end, and he reveals God to those who are drawn to him.
(Summaries of readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

COCU51B.Readings (handout, landscape folded)

Singing from the Lectionary
Church of Scotland – starters for Sunday
As One Voice (music suggestions)

Components of worship (links to resources on this website)

Prayer of thanksgiving

Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are

Bread of Life Confession
Bread of Life
We are your communion
Broken, but shared for others
Forgive us for when we are dry and stale
When the love that we offer is hard to swallow
When our grace has dried up making it unpalatable
Forgive us when we are mouldy
When the witness and teaching is way past its use by date
and noone in their right mind would want to bite into it
Forgive us when we sandwich other extra stuff between the basics
So much so that only a few choose to buy it
Forgive us for the price that we charge
Making it beyond the means of many who need it.
Make us anew
Draw together the ingredients
Those basic elements
Such as love and grace
With the yeast of the Spirit
Combined and mixed into community
Kneaded in your way
Shaped as you would have us
And baked in your will and purpose
That we might be made into sustenance for the needs of the world.
This we offer in prayer, Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries, posted on Jon’s Facebook page)

Words of Assurance

Prayer for Illumination

Readings (see above)

Prayers for others

Lord’s Prayer (various options)

Prayer of Dedication

Benediction and sending out


(Communion Hymns)


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National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) 5-11 August 2018

National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) is an annual event held during the first week of August which aims to raise awareness of the significant issues associated with missing persons, as well as helping to reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia. 2018 is the 30 year anniversary of the week commemorated across the country.

A prayer
We gather to give thanks for God’s presence in all of creation.
O God, You are the Good Shepherd, the one who seeks out those who are lost.
Today we remember persons listed as missing.
They are someone’s family; they are also our missing brothers and sisters.
They are people who are hurt, troubled and confused;
some are exploited and are victims of violence and conflict.
Some are victims of domestic strife, or have mental health problems.
Some are unable cope with shame, guilt, or failure.
We do not always know the reason.
We remember the families of missing persons
and those who are bewildered, grieved and worried.
We remember families plagued by the uncertainty
associated with loved ones who are missing.
We give thanks for those who search for missing persons;
police, auxiliary agencies and families.
Strengthen them with courage and perseverance.
Bless those who offer support and hope.
Loving God; comfort all who are effected by separation
and who are plagued by uncertainty.
Bless and guide all who are involved in managing and resolving missing person cases.
We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffers with all creation and whose presence begets reconciliation, peace and hope. Amen
(Source: SA Council of Churches website)

God of love,
We pray for all people who are missing from their home and from their community – those who are experiencing dementia, rejection, mental illness or breakdown in relationships; those who feel shame, guilt, failure or misunderstanding; those who have suffered conflict and division, or are victims of violence and crime.
May they be encouraged by loving encounters as they take their next steps.
God of hope,
We pray for people saddened by separation, tormented by uncertainty and plagued with
doubt and self-reproach.
May they be comforted by hope as they face each day.
God of faithfulness,
We pray for those who continue to search for people who are missing.
May they have hearts that are filled with compassion, understanding and perseverance.
Eternal God, may we do all we can to be united as brothers and sisters, whoever we are and wherever we may be.
May we come to look upon one another with the same loving look with which you look upon each one of us. And may we all contribute to creating homes and communities where all are loved, welcomed and belong.
We ask this through Jesus Christ who came as brother and servant to all. Amen
(Source: SA Council of Churches website)


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National DonateLife Week 29thJuly-5thAugust 2019

See more on the Donate Life website (Australia)
(Note: In the UMC in the U.S. it is the second Sunday in November which is close to Thanksgiving and is viewed as a time to come together around the issues of life and Thanksgiving)

The Church Encourages Christians to Be Organ Donors
Many churches support organ donation as a way to love one’s neighbor:

“The United Methodist Church recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ and tissue donation and thereby encourages all Christians to become organ and tissue donors,” reports a church policy statement. In a 2000 resolution the church also “encourages its congregations to join in the interfaith celebration of National Donor Sabbath … another way that United Methodists can help save lives.”
— Resolution #139, The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2000

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) “recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ and tissue donation, and thereby encourages all Christians to become organ and tissue donors as a part of their ministry to others …”
— Minutes of the 195th (1983) General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), pages 97, 846

The 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church recommends and urges “all members of this Church to consider seriously the opportunity to donate organs after death that others may live, and that such decision be clearly stated to family, friends, church and attorney.”

Organ, eye, and tissue donation is considered an act of charity and love, and transplants are morally and ethically acceptable to the Vatican.
— Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 86

For Organ and Tissue Donation
G-d of health and healing,
We give thanks for the medical science
That allows us to remove organs and tissue from one person
And implant them into another,
Renewing life for the critically ill.
Bless all those who dedicate their lives to this sacred task.
Grant strength and fortitude to the scientists and researchers,
Surgeons, nurses and clinicians,
Administrators and other professionals
Whose efforts give life.
May the work of their hands never falter.
Shine Your light on those who,
Still living, give so freely of themselves.
Grant them health, prosperity and long life.
Remember those who have given of themselves in death.
May this final act of charity and love
Be a testimony to their lives.
Grant their families comfort, consolation and peace.
Blessed are You, G-d of miracles,
Who heals, blesses and sustains life.
(Source: Alden Solovy, tobendlight)

God, Each Day You Give Is Precious (A Hymn for Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday/Donor Sabbath) Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2014. A PDF of the words and sheet music can be downloaded here. Excellent words.

God, each day you give is precious; it’s a joyful thing to live!
We are stewards of the wonders of these bodies that you give.
In our heartbeats, in our breathing, in our walking, in our sight,
We are blessed to be a blessing, and your grace is our delight.

Yet when tragedy is sudden, when we’re faced with pain and death,
When a body is too broken to receive another breath,
When it seems that none can cheer us, when a loved one is too ill,
In these times when death is near us, life becomes more precious still.

We are grateful for the vision of the ones who have prepared:
Who have made the firm decision that, in death, life must be shared,
For when earthly bodies fail them, as they’re welcomed into heaven,
Others here will know a blessing from the life these saints have given.

God, we thank you for the families who, in saying their good-byes,
Seek to end their neighbors’ suffering, giving hope and changing lives —
And for resurrection glory, we give thanks and praises, too.
Death can never end our story, for you’ll make us whole and new.

We are made to make a difference, we are made to laugh and dance,
So we thank you for each person who receives a second chance.
For they know that life is precious; they can see another dawn.
They are blessed to be a blessing as the joy of life goes on.

Tune: BEACH SPRING D (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”) (MIDI)
Alternate tune: KINGSFOLD (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email:     New Hymns:

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2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:13a
After Bathsheba is finished mourning for Uriah, David takes her as his wife, but God sends Nathan to confront him with his sin. Using a parable of a lamb, Nathan gets David to condemn himself and then prophesies God’s judgment on David. But, in the end, Nathan declares that David’s sin is removed.
Psalm 51:1-12
David’s repentance psalm in which he acknowledges his guilt over his affair with Bathsheba and pleads with God to forgive and restore him.
Ephesians 4:1-16
The apostle encourages the believers to accept one another, to live with humility, patience and love, and to nurture their unity, since God is also one. Within this united community each one has gifts that have been given by God’s grace and each should use these gifts to build up the community, even as a body is united but has different parts.
John 6:24-35
Jesus teaches the crowds that all they need to do is to believe in the one God sent. In response the people ask for a miracle, mentioning the manna that the Israelites received when they were in the wilderness with Moses. In response Jesus tells them that he is the true bread of life and that whoever comes to him will never be hungry or thirsty.
(Summary of Bible readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Bible Readings handout – A4 landscape folded COCU50B.Readings.2018

A reflection: Bread for the journey (John 6:24-35)
Looking for Jesus
they mistook bread of heaven
for bread from heaven.

The bread of heaven
feeds one’s daily faithfulness
rather than stomach.

Jesus, bread of life,
arms open wide, you offer
bread for the journey.
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, 2018, The Billabong)

Components of worship (hyperlink to other resources on this website related to components of worship)


Prayer of thanksgiving

Words of Affirmation of Unity
(relates to Ephesians 4 reading)
We share one faith,
have one calling,
are of one soul and one mind;
we have one God,
are filled with one Spirit,
are baptized with one baptism,
eat of one bread and drink of one cup,
confess one Name,
are obedient to one Lord,
work for one cause,
and share one hope.
Together we come to know
the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ;
are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity;
know and bear one another’s burdens,
thereby fulfilling the law of Christ
that we need one another and up build one another,
admonishing and comforting one another;
that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness.
Together we pray; together we serve God in this world.
(Source: Nolan Palsma, from “Prayerful Preparation: Living God, Renew Us”, published by the World Communion of Reformed Churches) Continue reading

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National Tree Day 27th/29thJuly2018

National Tree Day for schools – 27th July
National Tree Day – 29th July

Creator God,
Out of chaos you brought order.
Out of nothingness you brought life.
In the middle of all life stands the tree.
Trees provide the air that nurtures all your creation.
Birds make them their homes.
Cats climb them for protection.
Trees recycle life that has come before.
Bless the trees of this word, loving God.
Remind us to serve as their caregivers and protectors.
Give them long limbs and long life.
The gift of their breath is as special to us as the breath of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Fairtrade Fortnight, 3rd-16th August 2018

Coffee, chocolate, tea and cotton can all be produced by farmers and workers earning exploitative wages, child labourers, or in environmentally damaging ways. Looking for the Fairtrade Mark removes the shadow of doubt. When you make your coffee Fairtrade, you can be certain farmers are paid a fair price for produce, environmental standards are improved, and communities are supported to build better futures. Buying Fairtrade chocolate gets us closer to a world without child labour and helps eradicate the practice in cocoa-growing countries like Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. More than 1.6 million farmers and workers are part of the Fairtrade system in 75 different countries.
A cup of Fairtrade tea supports the fight for gender equality in an industry that has a high number of female workers picking tea leaves, but can deny women their rights or make it hard for children to go to school. Cotton and banana crops can have a terrible effect on the environment, with harmful pesticides and chemicals ending up in waterways; not to mention the health costs to the farmers. Fairtrade’s environmental standards mean your new shirt doesn’t have to ‘cost the earth’. Literally. And spotting the Fairtrade Mark on sports balls ensures a fair price has been paid to the people making them, and that their children are also on the football field, not in a factory.
Fairtrade Fortnight (August 3-16) is a chance to buy a better future for farmers and workers around the world. Next time you shop, look for the Fairtrade Mark and remove the shadow of doubt about where your groceries came from.
Look for Fairtrade Australia on Facebook.

Creator God,
You created a beautiful world for all your children.
As we taste and smell the fruits of this creation
help us to remember those who farm the land to grow them.
Help us live in a partnership of love and support
with those who produce our food and drink
so that we might enable others to feed their families
and create a sustainable future. Amen

Lord, forgive our silence.
Forgive our reluctance to speak up for others.
Forgive our reliance on goods which have been produced unfairly
at the expense of the poor.
Forgive our lack our awareness of how our clothes are manufactured, our food produced and our mistaking unneeded goods for essentials.
Lord enter the silence of our hearts
and lift them up with fresh understanding
derived from the Wisdom contained in your Word.
May we be ambassadors for Christ in bringing reconciliation between producer and consumer,
those exploited and those who benefit from their exploitation.
May all our labour be valued and rewarded justly.
May our lifestyles reflect a care for creation and humanity.
May we appreciate the gift of life and in so doing respect the lives of all God’s children.
Lord, you reconciled the world to God
through your suffering on the cross.
May your reconciling power
make us one with all who need fairness in their trading and systems which promote justice. Amen
(Source: Rev. Vaughan Jones, Harecourt URC)

This prayer is taken from the material Traidcraft has produced to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight. For more resources, worship material and stories visit TraidCraft.
As we boil our kettle and prepare our brew…
Make us mindful of those whose livelihoods depend on us:
The farmers, planters and pickers,
The packers, dealers and merchants,
The transporters, blenders, shop assistants and supermarket owners. Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade.
We pray especially for … (mention local shops and
As we drink from our next cup…
Make us mindful of the many places we share this brew with:
China, Sri Lanka and India,
Kenya, Malawi and Indonesia,
From the past and the present.
Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade
We pray especially for … (mention some of the producers featured in the material from Traidcraft or those in The People Behind Your Cuppa fact sheets).
As we take time to share our next tea break together…
Make us mindful of the times when we have sat down and chatted.
Sharing in friendship
Pouring out our hurts
And enjoying a laugh
Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade
We pray especially for those known to us who need our prayers at the time… (silent or open prayer)
As we purchase our next packet of tea…
Make us mindful of the benefits of fair trade
The farmers and producers whose lives and communities have been transformed
Through fair wages, good working conditions and the extra security that comes with fair trade certification
And the organisations work tirelessly to achieve trade justice
Help us to support them, both practically and in prayer as they seek to support some of the world’s poorest producers Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade.

Fair Trade
Lord we thank you for this world which you created, which you love, and which you are reconciling to yourself.
In a world where unjust global trade laws and unrighteous western consumerism darken the plight of those without influence and without a voice,
Make us a holy people.
Make us aware of the effects of our spending habits,
Make us God-fearing and righteous in the way that we go shopping.
May we worship you not only as we focus on you here today, but as we wander around the shops and tomorrow. May we seek to please you not only with our praises today, but with our choice of brands tomorrow.
May we honour you not only as we gather here today, but as we pack our shopping tomorrow.
May our spending habits bring health and healing to this world.
Forgive us for the part we play in exploiting the distant poor by the way that we shop.
Help us instead to support a ministry of true retail therapy, where healing and wholeness are experienced not merely by those who buy, but by those who produce our goods.
In the sweat shops that make our clothes, Amongst the slaves who produce our chocolate,
On the plantations that produce our coffee and tea, Bring the light of justice and economic fairness,
By your grace, enable us to live in such a way that may we help and not hinder your work of reconciling the world to you.
(Source: Faith and Society Team, Baptist Union of Great Britain)

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Music – various

Music is not inserted into worship;
rather worship is inherently musical.
We are a singing people.
How we sing together
and what we sing together
reflects our faith,
our church,
our union with fragile creation,
our thoughts and our feelings about one another,
and our attitudes toward all humanity.
(Adapted from ‘A Theological Statement of Music in the United Church of Canada’, July 2008)

There are a number of helpful sites using resources commonly available in Australia including:

Songs that Unite (Uniting Church in Australia) – website to be closed 2016

Songs by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

George Stuart’s blogsite – new words to traditional and familiar tunes

William Wallace (NZ) (index of first lines here, with link to full scores)

Worldmaking – Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Lectionary song:
The woman behind it is Dr Natalie Sims, a medical scientist  living in
Melbourne, originally ex-One Tree Hill UC in Adelaide. The site provides music
to match the lectionary each week.

Ross Langmead music and words:

Together to Celebrate:

This site is maintained by Rev David MacGregor (Queensland), and since its origins in 2000 has offered music suggestions across the breadth of contemporary Christian music from a wide range of sources including Iona, Taize, Shirley Murray, Graham Kendrick, Bernadette Farrell and Robin Mann. Plus, David is a gifted musician himself, which he offers as gift, usually with full piano score, lyric master and mp3 demo. (Thanks, David!). There are also kids friendly music, clearly identified.

Rev David Beswick also has a list of TiS and Sing Alleluia music related to the lectionary readings in his weekly lectionary resource, and (the late) Moira Laidlaw included music in her liturgies.

Music for contemplation: VOCES8 Eventide (preview here). Available on itunes.


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Hiroshima Day, August 6th

A Prayer for Hiroshima Day
Like most traumatic scars, the ones that are found in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are permanent: reminders of the terrible damage human beings can inflict.
Similar scars can be found in the hearts and souls of people around the world who understand this terror: scars of grief, sadness, fear and even shame.
None of these scars promise an end to war and devastation. Instead, they serve as a reminder of healing and renewal – of a return to life.
Gracious God, Spirit of Life and Love, help us to see our scars: those we have created, those we are called to witness, and those we can soothe and heal.
We are deeply grateful for the buds and blossoms that even the most scarred offer as a revelation to the world.
And, especially on the anniversary of Hiroshima Day, we renew our commitment to peace individually, collectively and globally:
To “peace within” which calms our anxieties and fears,
To “peace between” which overcomes differences, animosities and conflict,
And, to “the great peace,” beyond even our understanding, that is Your gift and which we attempt to be stewards of for the world. Amen.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial Observance Worship and Prayer Resources – UMC (excellent prayers and resources)

Prayers for Hiroshima Day
God our creator and sustainer, we gather to pray in the midst of a broken people who today remember the darkness and the shadow of death and destruction caused by nuclear weapons.
We know that we deal falsely with the world and with ourselves, healing wound too lightly by saying ” peace, peace” when there is no peace.
Let there be sown is us anew the unity, the light and the peace which passes all understanding. Be with us today and keep our minds and hearts in you and in your peace
We remember the 300,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who died as a result of the atomic bombs: May they rest in peace.
We remember all those who died in the war with Japan, especially those who perished in the prisoner of war camps.
We remember those who gave their lives to help those suffering after the bomb and who died of radiation sickness. May their faithful and loving witness inspire us to compassion.
We remember the people of the Middle East – in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Israel. Each day brings news of more violence. We pray that nonviolent solutions may be found to heal wounds, bring justice and lasting peace to them.
We remember those who were able to forgive the suffering inflicted on them by their enemies in war. We pray for the same greatness of heart.
We will remember the peacemaker visionaries who have come before us, and we will give thanks for their witness and their commitment to life.
We pray we may be transformed by God and witnesses to the peace message of Jesus.
Continue reading

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Lay Preachers Sunday, 5thAugust2018

Lay Preachers Sunday in the Uniting Church in Australia is on the first Sunday in August each year.

2018 suggestions for Order of Service – 2018-08-05-Lay-Preachers-Sunday

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United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, 30thJuly2018

Faith communities are invited to make commitments to take action to prevent the crime of human trafficking and its abuse in our local and global communities. Together we must raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking and show the world our compassion for men, women and children who are trafficked and exploited around the world. This heinous crime must not be tolerated. We must prevent the physical, emotional and sexual abuse it causes.
Resources have been prepared for the weekend closest to the 30th July, The United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Communities can choose any day which works for them. Go to StoptheTraffik website.


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