Homelessness Week 7-13 Aug 2023

Homelessness Week is usually held in the first week of August in Australia. The 2023 theme this year is ‘It’s time to end homelessness‘. 

Proverbs 31:9 “Stand up for the rights of those who are suffering and in need”

A powerpoint prayer for homelessness 
Salvation Army toolkit for 2023 (downloadable resources)

Lord our God
You who so mysteriously call upon us
to share in the suffering of Christ
fill our hearts with compassion
for those who lack the warmth of a home.
We commend to you in prayer this day
all men, women and children
who suffer because they have no shelter;
those who sleep in our streets and public spaces,
who have nowhere safe to lay their heads,
and who wander from place to place as a way of life.
We pray for broken families who cannot pay the rent,
for those who are the lost and abandoned,
for those on the streets whose minds
have been touched by illness
or whose bodies are sorely affected by disabilities.
We ask that your merciful Grace be poured out
upon those with addictions,
those who have given up
in the face of enormous tribulations,
and those driven into a homeless life
by crushing poverty, and domestic and family violence.
God of compassion, 
your love for us is revealed in your beloved son Jesus
who was born into homelessness
lived with nowhere to lay his head 
and died for us in agony on the cross.
Inspire us to act in justice 
by all means at our disposal, to right the wrongs
of peoples who are suffering
the deprivations of homelessness,
and to see in them the dignity of a brother and sister
redeemed by Jesus Christ. 
Let us have the commitment,
as people of the Gospel, to be ever mindful
of our obligations we have
to the poor and marginalised,
to work in your name O God 
to turn sorrow into joy 
and to bring all those who live in darkness 
into your own wonderful light. 
(Source: Australian Catholic Social Justice Council)

Song: Here to the house of God we come

1 Here to the house of God we come,
home of the people of the Way,
here to give thanks for all we have,
naming our needs for every day,
we who have roof and rent and bread,
sure of a place to rest our head.

2 There is a knocking at our door,
sound of the homeless of the world,
voice of the frightened refugee,
cry of the children in the cold,
asking the least that is their right,
safety and shelter for the night.

3 God who is shelter, who is home,
in borrowed rooms you came to live,
pleaded to save the dispossessed,
crucified, lay in borrowed grave:
these are no strangers in your eyes,
this is your family which cries.

4 We are all tenants of your love;
gather us round a common fire,
warm us in company with Christ,
give us the heart to feel, to share
table and lodging with free hand,
space in our living, in our land.
(Shirley Erena Murray)

O God you give welcome
St Denio (‘Immortal, Invisible, God only wise’)
O God, you give welcome; you care and provide.
You cherish each person with love reaching wide.
We’re made in your image and so hear your call
To humbly reach out with a welcome to all.

Yet near us are families with no place to stay
And children who won’t have a good meal today.
Your will is for justice where everyone thrives;
May we build communities, strengthening lives.

Bless children who wish for a permanent place
And youth who are longing to have their own space.
Bless parents who feel that they’re struggling alone;
May we share their journey to find a new home.

Bless houses of worship we use a new way,
As classrooms are turned into places to stay.
Bless kitchens where suppers are gladly prepared
And each sacred space where your welcome is shared.

(Source: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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