COCU Index

COCU Year B 2020-2021 lectionary

COCU Year C 2021-2022 lectionary

Pilgrim Uniting Church online Facebook and Youtube 

Lectionary and prayer resources and special days/weeks Sept 2021
COVID prayers (updated)
Prayers for Afghanistan – NEW
Season of Creation (Sunday 5th, 12th, 19th. 26th September 2021)

World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel: 19 – 26 September 2021
International Day of Peace, 21st September (each year)
World Alzheimer’s Day – Sept 21 (each year)
COCU58B, 26th September 2021
(Season of Creation – Week 4)
International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, 26 September 2021
Migrant and Refugee Sunday, 26th September 2021*
(*The Catholic Church in Australia now celebrates Migrant and Refugee Sunday on the last Sunday in September to bring it into line with the practice of the Catholic Church around the world. 
Social Justice Sunday, 26 September (last Sunday in September)
World Rivers Day – last Sunday in September (each year)
International Day of Older Persons, 1st October (each year)
World Habitat Day, 2nd October (each year)
International Day of Non-Violence 2 October (Gandhi’s birthday)
COCU 59B, 3rd October, 2021
World Communion Sunday (first Sunday in October)
Mental Health Week 2018, 7-13 October 2018
Indigenous People’s Day (October 9)
International Day of the Girl Child – October 11th

Starters for great resources
Lectionary Liturgies (Thom Shuman) with HC each week
Singing from the Lectionary
Songs of Hope, Faith and Love (Australian) with lyrics, chords and recordings
Church of Scotland Weekly Worship
Together to Celebrate
Pray the Story
UCC Worship Ways
Church Anew blog ….spiritual reflections, imaginative biblical commentary, and thoughtful ideas for innovation (including Diana Butler Bass, Walter Brueggemann). 

Citation index (Vanderbilt Library) in canonical order
UCA Calendar of commemorations
Ecumenical prayer cycle (World Council of Churches) 
2020 NCCA Ecumenical Prayer Cycle with lectionary readings

Narrative lectionary

Components of worship – general
Acknowledgement of Land
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are/Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see specific weeks)
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion Hymns)

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Prayer (attributed to St Francis)

Gorgeous version by Sarah MccLaughlin here.

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Social Justice Sunday – 26 September 2021

Social Justice Sunday in the Uniting Church is held annually on the last Sunday in September.

“Justice is the Body of Love ~ Love is the Soul of Justice” (John Dominic Crossan)

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International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, 26 September

The elimination of nuclear weapons is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations, yet the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has not yet been ratified by enough countries to enter into force. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons helps to keep a focus on this goal.

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Prayers for Afghanistan

Uniting Church statement on Afghanistan.

Tune: CRADLE SONG (“Away in a Manger”)
We pray for Afghanistan’s people today:
for those who are fleeing – who know they can’t stay,
for those who face terror by day and by night,
for those who can’t leave and whose dreams can’t take flight.

We pray for the people who fear what’s in store,
for dreamers and poets who grieve a closed door.
for those who are hiding so no one will see
the people they are – or who they hope to be.

We pray for girls facing a world they don’t know,
who still long to read and to learn and to grow.
We pray for young women who live with the fear
their bodies, their voices, may soon disappear.

We pray for young children whose first lullabies
were bombs and explosions and wounded ones’ cries –
and for those who served there, who see how it ends,
who ponder their service, who grieve for lost friends.

We weep for the places where war leads to war.
We pray for your hand there to heal and restore!
Bless all who seek justice and peace as your way.
We pray for Afghanistan’s people today.

Text: Copyright © 2021 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
This hymn is written to a gentle, peaceful tune for a people who need gentleness, peace, justice, and human rights in their land (as we all do, in our lands). It is a prayer for people who suddenly find themselves as desperate refugees, people who feel trapped and hopeless, vulnerable people, and girls and women whose dreams have been shattered. It is a prayer for people who know that war is a terrible thing and who have experienced many losses. It is a prayer for children who have grown up knowing nothing but war. It is a prayer for all in the land – and all of us in this land – who long for peace and justice in every place, and especially right now in Afghanistan.
Permission is given for free use of this hymn, including in online worship services.

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Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22
The king asks Esther what he can do for her, and she asks him to deliver her people from Haman’s plot. The king orders that Haman be impaled upon the stake he had made for Mordecai. Then Mordecai writes to all the Jewish people instructing them to always remember the days of their deliverance.
Psalm 124
A celebration of God’s help for God’s people, remembering how, when their enemies sought to destroy them, God helped his people to escape.
James 5:13-20
Those who suffer should pray, and those who are sick should call on the elders of the church to pray for them and anoint them with oil, because the prayers of righteous people are effective. Also, we should turn one another back whenever we stray from the truth.
Mark 9:38-50
Jesus tells his disciples not to stop a person who is casting out demons in Jesus’ name, and Jesus tells them to let him be, adding that whoever is not against him is for him. Then he teaches that anyone who gives one of Jesus’ disciples water will be rewarded, but those who cause little ones to stumble will be cursed. Anything that causes us to sin must be thrown away, and we must “maintain our salt” and keep peace with each other.
(Bible Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise) Continue reading

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Proverbs 31: 10-31
A good wife is to be valued because she cares for her family and her servants, she provides for her household, she brings honour to her husband.
This woman is an industrious resourceful household manager. She produces and sells textiles, brings in income for the family, oversees the planting of vineyards and uses her own money to set them up. She has servants she oversees, she gives to the poor, her household is a small business that provides for her family, and her husband is praised for it. She works both inside and outside of her home.
Psalm 1
Righteous people are blessed because they do not follow the ways of the wicked, but love God’s instruction. They are like trees planted by streams, bearing fruit and always succeeding. The wicked, however, are destroyed.
James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a
Wise followers of Christ should live a humble life. Jealousy and selfish ambition are not wise, but cause evil, conflict, murder and struggle. Therefore God’s people should resist evil, submit to God, draw near to God, and seek to be cleansed.
Mark 9: 30-37
Jesus predicts his death and resurrection, and then challenges the disciples for arguing about which of them is greatest. Then he teaches them that the greatest in God’s Reign must be the slave of all, and that whoever welcomes a child, welcomes Jesus, and the One who sent him.
(Bible reading summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise) Continue reading

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Proverbs 1:20-33
Wisdom cries out in public for the crowd to turn away from their foolishness, but, in spite of the invitation, the people have refused to listen. So, they will receive no help when disaster comes, but those who obey will be protected.
Psalm 19
Creation proclaims God’s glory, and the Psalmist celebrates God’s law that brings life, refreshes the soul, gives insight and wisdom, and corrects him when he goes astray.
James 3:1-12
The tongue is a small thing, but it has tremendous power for good or ill. Although human beings have tamed all sorts of animals, we struggle to tame the tongue. But, for God’s people, blessing and curses should not come out of the same mouth.
Mark 8:27-38
Jesus asks his disciples who the people say he is, and then who they say he is. Peter replies that he is the Christ. Then Jesus predicts his coming death and resurrection, but Peter tries to correct him. Jesus responds by rebuking Peter, and then teaching that all who seek to follow him must take up their crosses, and not be ashamed of him.
(Summaries, John van de Laar, Sacredise) Continue reading

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RCL Readings:
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
A good reputation is of great value. God made both rich and poor, and those who are unjust will not survive, while those who are generous find happiness. God defends the poor and will stand against those who oppress them.
Psalm 125
A prayer of confidence in God’s care and protection of God’s people, and a plea that God would do good to good people, but reject evil doers.
James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17
To show favouritism is to deny Jesus’ faithfulness, and is to break the law which calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves. It is sinful to favour the wealthy over the poor. Claiming we have faith when we fail to live it out in acts of compassion is meaningless.
Mark 7:24-37
Jesus heals a Gentile woman’s daughter after an interesting conversation, and opens the ears and mouth of a deaf-mute man. Jesus then tries to get the people to keep silent about what he has done, but they insist on spreading the news.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

RCL Readings on (A4 landscape/2 column) with brief commentaries.
Pilgrim COCU55B.Readings

Singing from the Lectionary
Church of Scotland Starters for Sunday

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Season of creation

(see also resources on Earth Day)

2021 theme: A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God. 
Downloadable resources for 2021 Season of Creation

Common Grace resources for Season of Creation

Season of Creation 2021 Worship Guide available now
A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God. Amid crises that have shaken our world, the global Christian family was awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and with each other during the ecumenical Season of Creation. During the 2021 Season of Creation, from 1st September through 4th October, thousands of Christians on six continents will get together for a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, and to discover radically new ways of living with creation. The full guide and resources are available to download here. A full liturgy outline, sermon reflections and an adaptable Powerpoint slideshow for each week are available for download here.

Season of Creation 2021 Prayer
Creator of All,
We are grateful that from your communion of love you created our planet to be a home for all. By your Holy Wisdom you made the Earth to bring forth a diversity of living beings that filled the soil, water and air. Each part of creation praises you in their being, and cares for one another from our place in the web of life.
With the Psalmist, we sing your praise that in your house “even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.” We remember that you call human beings to keep your garden in ways that honor the dignity of each creature and conserve their place in the abundance of life on Earth.
But we know that our will to power pushes the planet beyond her limits. Our consumption is out of harmony and rhythm with Earth’s capacity to heal herself. Habitats are left barren or lost. Species are lost and systems fail. Where reefs and burrows, mountaintops and ocean deeps once teemed with life and relationships, wet and dry deserts lie empty, as if uncreated. Human families are displaced by insecurity and conflict, migrating in search of peace. Animals flee fires, deforestation and famine, wandering in search of a new place to find a home to lay their young and live.
In this Season of Creation, we pray that the breath of your creative Word would move our hearts, as in the waters of our birth and baptism. Give us faith to follow Christ to our just place in the beloved community. Enlighten us with the grace to respond to your covenant and call to care for our common home. In our tilling and keeping, gladden our hearts to know that we participate with your Holy Spirit to renew the face of your Earth, and safeguard a home for all.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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We celebrate Spring’s arrival.
In the midst of Covid, floods,
fires, Afghanistan, and the
wounds of climate change,
our hearts had grown heavy,
our prayers turned to laments,
“How long, O Lord?” we asked.
See, the first blossoms are here.
Look further, small acts of kindness
are all around us. Birds build nests,
the earth stirs, a child laughs.
Take a moment, breathe deeply,
turn your face to the sun.
Spring is here. Be encouraged.
(Source: Ann Siddall, 2021)

At start of spring I open a trench
In the ground. I put into it
The winter’s accumulation of paper,
Pages I do not want to read
Again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the suns, growth of the ground,
Finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise,
have been inattentive to wonders,
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse,
of mind and body, I close the trench
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.
(Source: Wendell Berry)

A garden blessing
God of Spring,
of roots and growth,
of vibrancy and veriditas:
Bless this time of planting.
As we dig our fingers into
rich soil, wiggling and
delighting in the damp
warm, earth, we remember
that we are earthlings.
Bless our connection with the the land,
with the water that supports all life,
with these seeds we bury beneath the surface
trusting that they will germinate and grow
and nourish our bodies.
Bless the fertility of the earth,
the micronutrients, the compost,
the earthworms, and the pollinators.
Bless our intentions to be good gardeners:
may we give and receive,
work and wait, with humility.
And bless these seeds:
help us to hold them with reverence and to
see in them the promise of sustenance and life.
(Source: Wendy Janzen)

A liturgy for Spring by Louise A Rasmussen
Spring Equinox.Seeds of New Life.Liturgy.Louise A Rasmussen

A meditation for spring
You walk in your garden,
enjoying what you have planted,
burgeoning, beautiful.

It has come from your hand
and yet from its own mystery,
each blossom a gift of grace.

You stand for a while, still,
taking in the beauty,
simply relishing being there.

You also know what you have sown
that is not yet up,
still hidden, gorgeous.

That, too, you savor,
the promise, the mystery,
the coming.

It is enough for you
to be here, to take it in.
This is its purpose, its perfection.

God, I too am still, sharing your delight
in the garden you have planted
in me.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes)

Today, the first day of spring.
Earth is leaning. I can hear it.
New birds sing.
I hope in spring, not because I wish
but because I know.
I trust what’s beyond the door,
even before it opens.
The grace of God, and free forgiveness,
and the treasures that lie within,
a heaven that comes like breath in my sleep,
do not ask proof.
I stand on greening earth.
The door is within.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

God, give us eyes to see
the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty
in every living thing –
And may we see in lacy leaves
and every budding flower
The Hand that rules the universe
with gentleness and power –
And may this Easter grandeur
that Spring lavishly imparts
Awaken faded flowers of faith
lying dormant in our hearts,
And give us ears to hear, dear God,
the Springtime song of birds
With messages more meaningful
than often empty words
Telling harried human beings
who are lost in dark despair –
‘Be like us and do not worry
for we are all in God’s care’. (Helen Steiner Rice) Continue reading

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