Psalm 84: A Psalm in praise of God’s Temple,
A psalm telling of the joys of dwelling in God’s House, and of God’s strengthening of God’s people. Also a request for God to hear the Psalmist’s prayer.
1 Kings 8:(1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43
The Ark of the Covenant in placed in Solomon’s newly built temple. The cloud of God’s glory fills the temple. Solomon prays that God will keep God’s promise to have a descendent of David on the throne forever, and for God to hear and answer the prayers of God’s people and immigrants when they pray in the temple.
Ephesians 6:10-20
The apostle encourages believers to recognise that their struggle is not against human beings, but against spiritual forces of evil. In order to stay strong they need to put on God’s armour and remain faithful in prayer. He also asks them to pray for him.
John 6:56-69
Jesus proclaims that he is the bread that came down from heaven, and that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will remain in Christ and Christ in them. Then many disciples grumble and even start leaving, but when Jesus asks the twelve if they want to go too, Peter answers that they have nowhere else to go, because Jesus has the words of eternal life.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Readings A4 double sided landscape format COCU53B.Readings

Singing from the Lectionary (music)

Components of worship (links to resources on this website)
Acknowledgement of Land
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion Hymns)

A prayer for 22 August 2021: Oh, sigh with us
Prayers for the world, August 2021
The sea bed shuddered,
rocking the islands cradling
fragile lives not yet restored.
Creator of all, through you
we, too, are breaking again
with the people of Haiti,
with all life on Haiti,
with death and grief and pain
through the land of Haiti.
Creator of all, sigh with us;
then show us how to endure together.
The tanks thunder, guns
flash and bullets rain
on towns still not standing tall.
Sustainer of all, through you
we, too, are breaking again
with the people of Afghanistan,
with all life in Afghanistan,
with death and grief and pain
through the land of Afghanistan.
Sustainer of all, sigh with us;
then show us how to resist together.
Flames engulf forests and the smoke
chokes clouds and all below,
earth groaning, but is the pain rebirth?
Breath of all, through you
we, too, are breaking still
with all creation,
with all life in creation,
with death and grief and pain
through all creation.
Breath of all, sigh with us;
then show us how to change together.
Doors shut us in again, borders
lock us out again, invisible wolf
huffing and puffing the house down.
Healer of all, through you
we, too, are breaking still
under this virus,
life with this virus,
death and grief and pain
with this virus.
Healer of all, sigh with us;
then show us back to life together.
Creator of seas and islands,
Sustainer of justice and peace,
Breath in all that lives,
Healer of all that breaks:
sigh with us and
then show us how to thrive, togetherAmen.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

Thom Shuman writes: “I am using the alternate OT texts tomorrow, and tying them in (hopefully) with the Ephesians/John passages. Seems to me that they all speak about being able to say ‘yes’ to God. I will probably use the following quote from Dag Hammarskjold, the UN Secretary General whose diary, “Markings”, was published after his death. I discovered “Markings” during my first year of college, and 50 years later, it still impacts my faith journey.
“I don’t know Who – or what – put the question, I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone – or Something – and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal”. (Dag Hammarskjold, UN Secretary General, 1953-1961)

Ephesians 6:10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

God, give me grace
to allow you to be my only defense.
I ay aside my capacity, my wisdom, my faith.
I surrender my distractions and obsessions,
my being comfortable, my being right.
Strip me of any defensiveness, anger,
dishonesty or superiority I cling to.
Give me courage to let down whatever shields me
from being one soul with another.
Let me be unprotected against the truth,
against the pain of the world,
the griefs hidden in my soul,
the terror of the dark places,
the heart of the heart before me.
Let me be naked in the light
of being human and imperfect, of having a body.
Give me the power of powerlessness—
vulnerable, willing, sensitive and open.
Be my only shield, my only security.
Let love and truth keep me whole and alive,
your presence alone preserve me,
your delight alone be my weapon and my strength,
my fortress, my life.
God of Love, your light is my armour. (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Lord our God, all truth is from you, and you alone bring oneness of heart. Give your people the joy of hearing your word and of longing for your presence more than for life itself. May all the attractions of a changing world point us to the peace of your reign, a peace which this world does not give. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(from ‘Uniting in Worship’, Leader’s Book, p. 272.)

Lord our God, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart. Grant this through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (‘CanticaNova’)

Pilgrim 8am 2015 COCU.53B.8AM.2015
Pilgrim 9.30am 2015 COCU53B.930am.2015
Pilgrim 11am 2015 COCU53B.11am.2015

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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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