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Marsden Road Worship Sunday Pentecost 10 HC - 01 August 2021

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford------------------------------------------------------------------

Food That Endures.

Sunday 01st August 2021

Pentecost 10 Sunday year of Mark 9.30am 

Gathering God’s People       

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land. 

Call to Worship

        Encourage one another to live as people worthy of God’s calling.

     As one body of Christ,

     we gather together this day.

     Blessed by one Spirit,

     we gather in unity and love

Hymn TIS 526: Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us.

                       (tune – Living Lord)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKsbd5UqKkc 

     Opening prayer

     Speak truth to us this day, O God. Speak truth to the most inward parts of our hearts and minds, that we might speak your truth in love and that you might speak your truth through us each and every day. In your holy name, we pray. Amen. 

      A Prayer of Confession

      Gracious God, we want to live as people worthy of your calling. Help us recognize your gifts and blessings, that we may live up to our calling and bless others with our words and our lives. When we fall short, have mercy on us.    When we don’t know our mistakes, speak truth to us with your loving guidance. Create a new heart within us, a heart full of love and gratitude. Nourish us with the grace of your presence, that we may indeed live as people worthy of your calling. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

In Christ’s grace, our hearts are cleansed, and our lives are made whole. In Christ’s grace, we are forgiven and loved for life.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

Accept one another with love, as we have been accepted with love. In the unity of God’s Spirit, let us exchange signs of Christ’s peace.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!

(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.) 

Offering Prayer

For calling us into ministry with you, we give you thanks and praise, O God. For gracing us with gifts and abundance, we are ever grateful. Bless these gifts we now dedicate to you, that they may nourish others with the grace of your presence. In gratitude, we pray. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 411: Filled with the Spirit’s power.

                       (tune – Woodlands)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyBNuAeqaM4                                    

The Service of Holy Communion 

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.

And also, with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, to bring our thanks and gratitude to you, God of love and grace. Since the beginning of time, you have created us in your image, nourished us with your wisdom and grace, called us into relationship with you, and invited us to live lives worthy of your calling. When we failed to live in a manner worthy of this calling, and when we wandered lost on the paths of death and destruction, you continued to walk with us, nourishing us with your wisdom and grace. In the words of prophets and poets, you have spoken your truth in love, reminding us of your call, and showing us the way to answer it. In the fullness of time, you came to us as the bread of life, as Jesus the Christ, speaking truth in new and renewing ways, calling us to unity and peace, showering us with mercy and grace, and inviting us to live as your people on earth. And so, with your people on earth, and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn, saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

Holy, are you, and blessed is Christ Jesus, the bread of life. With joy and gratitude, we remember that night when Jesus took a simple loaf of bread, broke it, and transformed it with his love, saying: “Take, eat, this is my body, the bread of life, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And so, in remembrance of these, your mighty acts of nourishing love and grace, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving. Called to be your people and yearning to live worthy of our calling in the unity and peace of your Spirit, and in union with Christ’s love for us, we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again!

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on these gifts of bread and wine, that they might become for us the bread of life and the living water. May they strengthen us to live as your people, and may they nourish us with grace for eternal life. By your Spirit, make us one with you, one in unity and peace with each other, and one in the ministry to the world until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at your heavenly banquet. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honour and glory is yours, Almighty God, now and forevermore. Amen.

Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.     

The Breaking of the Bread

Because our bred has come from one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
The bread which we break is a sharing in the body of Christ.

The cup over which we give thanks is a sharing in the blood of Christ.

Thanks be to God. 

Lamb of God

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace. 

Invitation to Communion

As tangible as grain plucked by Jesus and his disciples, as mysterious as the Presence known by our faithful ancestors, so is the meal we are about to share. Let us open our hearts and hands, as we remember and partake together. 

Prayer after Communion

Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Service of the Word 

First Reading:                                            Ephesians 4:1-16

The Gospel Reading:                                John 6:24-35

After the final reading the reader will say     For the Word of the Lord

                              Please respond by saying                  Thanks be to God.

 Readings: NRSV Translation 

Ephesians 4:1-16

1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
8 Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high, he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.’ 9 (When it says, ‘He ascended’, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. 

John 6:24-35

24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ 26 Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ 28 Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ 29 Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ 30 So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’ 32 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ 34 They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ 35 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 

Preaching of the Word - Food That Endures

A deep spiritual hunger is implanted in every human heart. Different people will seek to fill this need in different ways, but the hunger is not unique. People yearn for a deeper connection, an eternal spiritual connection, and when that is lacking will seek any means to be fulfilled.

Jesus said he came that we might have life and that abundantly. Yet, he who offered fullness of joy was often met by people with simpler, lesser needs. In the fifth chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus met a Samaritan woman who longed for living water so she wouldn’t have to keep returning to the well each day. Jesus started with that basic need and used it to forge a relationship with her that ended with the woman reconnected to God and to others in her community.

In our gospel reading for today, Jesus has met the immediate needs of a host of people. Those remaining after he fed 5,000 with a little fish and bread seek out Jesus. Jesus tells them, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”

The previous day, Jesus fed their physical hunger with bread and fish, and the crowd sought him out once more. Jesus points them to their spiritual hunger, which is what he really wanted to fill. After all, the people were created to love God and love others as they loved themselves, and in chasing after other needs, they risked getting further from the real nourishment they needed.

Jesus compares this to the original bread from heaven, manna, with which God miraculously fed the children of Israel for 40 years in an uninhabitable wasteland. This was the daily bread that would come anew each morning, with enough to last the day and a double portion for the Sabbath. Now Jesus compares the daily bread of manna, which God gave in the desert, to the Bread of Life, which God offers in Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus offers nourishment, which goes to the heart of our most basic human need to fill a spiritual hunger. Having been created to be in relationship with God, without that connection, we can feel empty.

It is an easy move to connect Jesus referring to himself as the Bread of Life to the Eucharist. For in the mystery of the Eucharistic feast we eat the bread and drink the wine, and in so doing we partake of the body and blood of Jesus. But we don’t want to jump to that correct response so quickly that we miss the bigger picture.

This discourse comes when Jesus has two more years of ministry ahead of him. In fact, this is, after all, John Chapter 6, out of 21 chapters. There is much more time left in Jesus’ ministry before he gets to that last meal with his disciples. John’s gospel makes clear what the other three gospels only hint at: the Eucharist is not about Jesus’ death alone. Jesus’ self-giving act in communion is not only concerned with the Last Supper, the cross and the empty tomb alone. Jesus’ whole life, rather than just one or two events, will institute the sacrament of communion. Put differently, faith is not in Jesus’ death and resurrection alone, but in Jesus’ whole life – from Bethlehem to Golgotha, and beyond to an empty tomb in a garden, Jesus’ appearances to his disciples, and his ascension to heaven.

Everything Jesus did – who Jesus was and how he acted – are part of God’s revelation to us. We cannot separate one part of his life from the rest. Nor should we have a Christian part of our lives separate from the rest of our lives. We are to take Jesus’ whole story and make it part of our whole story. This is much more than hearing the word, it is word and deed.

In baptism, we do not simply hear of Jesus’ baptism, but water is poured over us as a sign that we are united with Christ through baptism. We don’t just hear the story, we actually get wet. In the Eucharist, we don’t merely listen to the words, “Take eat,” but we actually get up, come to the altar rail to take and eat. It’s not just the bread that we take, bless, break and give. God took Jesus’ whole life, blessed, broke it and gave it to us. We are to let that story of God’s love for us take us, bless us, break us and give us back to the world.

Jesus wanted those who followed him after having their fill of fish and bread to discover real spiritual nourishment so that they would never hunger again. And yes, one is fed through the Eucharist, but this too is only part of the picture. Our Sunday worship is to be just a part of how we are fed spiritually.

Compare spiritual nourishment to food. Eating out once a week in a restaurant is not unusual. In fact, it is rare to find someone who eats out only once a week. But what if that was the only meal the person ate. Someone who goes back to their familiar seat in a restaurant week after week to enjoy their one meal of the week could never be nourished enough to make it through the remaining six days.

In the same way, common worship in church on Sunday is meant to be an important part of one’s spiritual food and drink, but it will never sate your hunger if this is your whole plan for feeding you spirit.

Fortunately, many denominations of the Christian Church have centuries-old norms of daily prayer that are well suited to filling this void. The Daily Office can be used Morning and Evening Prayer and are found in various Prayer Books including our Uniting in Worship 2 or for Anglicans the Book of Common Prayer. They are a wonderfully enriching daily devotion. When praying in this way, together with the daily scripture readings, one is better prepared to meet whatever comes. It is not that troubles never occur to people who pray and read their Bible; it’s just that those who marinate daily in prayer and scripture are more connected to God as revealed in Jesus Christ. Then whatever comes, they can call on that connection.

For those looking for an easy way to get started, there is the very helpful “Forward Day by Day,” which in booklet form or online offers a brief daily reflection to accompany the scripture readings. The booklet offers the same readings as those used in the Daily Office. Either way, you’ll spend 15-20 minutes out of each day re-centring your life in the ground of your being, the God who made you and redeemed you. There is no better way to nourish your spiritual side than through a daily meal of prayer and scripture reading.

So much of our lives is spent working for the food that perishes. We must work to earn food, water and shelter and all the extras that make life enjoyable. But we know there is more to life than the daily grind. For a fulfilled life, one should commit a portion of each day to prayer and reading the Bible, for that is the food that endures for eternal life and the gift of Jesus who came so that you might have an abundant life. 

Hymn TIS 535: I am the bread of life.

                       (tune – Bread of Life)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvD0XJzOWQ4 

Intercessory Prayers  

      After the words:            In your mercy,

      please respond with      hear our prayer. 

Pentecost 10 – Year B

Jesus, bread of the world, receive our prayers for all your people: for those who hunger for freedom, for justice, for release from poverty and disease; for all who struggle for the peace and welfare of the world.

When we are greedy and take what is not ours, when we stockpile food while others starve, put a right spirit within us, that we may share with justice the resources of the earth and feed your hungry people.

Jesus, in your mercy, hear the prayers we offer.

Jesus, food of pilgrims, receive our prayers for your body, the church: for all who hunger to know your forgiveness and love; for all teachers and pastors and all who bring your good news to others.

When we preach a message that neither satisfies nor disturbs, when our divisions and discord make your gospel hard to hear, empower your church anew, that we may be strengthened for your ministry and feed your hungry people.

Jesus, in your mercy, hear the prayers we offer.

Jesus, true and living bread, receive our prayers for this community: for those whose daily needs for food and shelter are unmet; for those whose longings for recognition and love go unsatisfied; for our neighbours, our families and all whom we hold dear.

When we turn away from the needs of those around us, when our relationships with others are unforgiving and unkind, help us grow into your likeness, that we may bring your love to others and feed your hungry people.

Jesus, in your mercy, hear the prayers we offer.

Jesus, bread of life, receive our prayers for all who are in need: for all in anguish, sorrow, confusion, or fear, for all who are sick or in pain.

When we wander in the desolate places of life, when we abandon ourselves to your goodness, fill our emptiness and satisfy our longing s; make us courageous in adversity and give us compassion for all who suffer, that we may feed your hungry people.

Jesus, in your mercy, hear the prayers we offer.

Jesus, bread of heaven, hear our prayers for all who have died: we give you thanks for prophets and apostles, for martyrs and evangelists, for the faithful people of this parish who have gone before us.

In life, feed us and sustain us, and at our death open the doors of heaven, that, in the company of all who believe in you, we may be welcomed to your eternal presence.

Jesus, in your mercy, hear the prayers we offer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 569: Guide me, O my great Redeemer.

                       (tune – Cwm Rhondda)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAN4EojeF0Y       

          Benediction

         In the Spirit of peace, we go into the world. May we share the unity and love we have found here that others may touch the presence of Christ’s peace, and the grace of God’s love. Go with the love of God our creator, redeemer, and giver of life. Amen. 

        Hymn TIS 779: May the feet of God walk with you.

                       (tune – Blessing Song).

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw1sjc3JVrw


Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Worship for Pentecost 9 - 25 July 2021

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

___________________________________


 As we are back in Lock Down with no Face to Face Worship there are You Tube adresses for Hymns that can be used with this worship and have lyrics as part of the You TubeOf Cabbages and Kings.

Sunday 25th July 2021

Pentecost 9 Sunday year of Mark 9.30am 

Gathering God’s People       

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Call to Worship

(Abingdon Worship Annual 2021)

        Fools say in their hearts: “There is no God.” The faithful prove the foolishness of these words, not with their words, but with their actions.

Why have you come to this place?

We are tired in body and spirit.

Why have you come today?

We have come to follow Jesus.

Come and eat your fill.

But there are only five barley loaves and two fish.

There is plenty for all.

Jesus gathers the fragments of our lives, that nothing may be lost.

Come! Let us worship. 

Hymn 133: O worship the King all glorious above.

                 (Tune – Hanover) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI9cDJMsn14 

     Opening Prayer

     God of steadfast love, fools say in their hearts: “There is no God.” May our words and our very lives prove that we are not foolish. May our faith be as constant as the North Star, and may others know that we are Christians by our love. Amen. 

Prayer of Confession

God of our hopes and dreams, we are empty, and long to be filled; we are hungry, and long to be fed; we are lost, and long to be found.

Invite us once more to eat our fill and find our true nourishment in Jesus, the bread of heaven.

Just as Jesus gathered up the fragments of the five loaves and two fish after feeding the five thousand, gather up the pieces of our lives and shelter us in your love. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

As God restored the fortunes of Zion, exiles were like people who dream— people filled with rejoicing and gladness. As God restores our fortunes, let us join their glad song and their rejoicing.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

In response to the love, we have found in Christ—a love that passes all understanding—let us share signs of Christ’s peace.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!

(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.) 

Offering

Caretaker of our souls, in your love, nothing is lost. As Jesus gathered the leftover food after feeding the five thousand, gather our offerings into your service. As Jesus gathered the longing of those who looked to him to be their king, gather our longing to do your will. As Jesus gathered the outcasts to your heavenly banquet, gather our fellowship into your host of saints. Bless the gifts we have gathered in your name, that nothing may be lost, and that everything may be gained. Amen. 

Hymn 650: Brother, sister, let me serve you.

                 (Tune – Servant Song)  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JahFRDrSCs              

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                                            2 Samuel 11:1-15

The Gospel Reading:                                        John 6:1-21

After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the Lord

Please respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God. 

Readings: NRSV Translation 

2 Samuel 11:1-15

1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, ‘This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ 4 So David sent messengers to fetch her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant.’ 6 So David sent word to Joab, ‘Send me Uriah the Hittite.’ And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, ‘Go down to your house, and wash your feet.’ Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, ‘Uriah did not go down to his house’, David said to Uriah, ‘You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?’ 11 Uriah said to David, ‘The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing.’ 12 Then David said to Uriah, ‘Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.’ So, Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, 13 David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, ‘Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.’ 

John 6:1-21

1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’ 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’ 10 Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also, the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’ 15 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 got into a boat, and started across the lake to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The lake became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ 21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land towards which they were going. 

Preaching of the Word - Of Cabbages and Kings.

The world is a hungry place. People are hungry for food, for jobs, for love, for care, for leadership that cares. The list of our hunger goes on and on. What the Bible knows is what we all know – all of our hunger centres around a spiritual void. We are hungry for God. That hunger is very real, and yet we deceive ourselves into believing we can feed that hunger with other things such as food, money, fancy clothes, fancy cars, more technology, more stuff.

We accumulate so much stuff, stuff that we believe says something about who we are – stuff that we somehow mistaken for who and what we are. We accumulate so much stuff that our homes overflow with stuff, until we have to go beyond the home and rent storage spaces. That is, we have to store the excess amount of our self somewhere else, so that our self becomes fragmented, separated into different places. We become a problem to ourselves – or what we believe is what we are, what defines us: the clothes we wear, the house we live in, the cars we drive and so forth.

This, in all likelihood, is mostly a Western civilisation problem. It is a problem driven by our desire to be like everybody else – especially those who have more than we have. And it is becoming a worldwide problem, as our principal export is a lifestyle based on the accumulation of more and more stuff. The whole world desires to be just like us.

This is all driven by a belief that there is not enough stuff in this world, so we had better stockpile as much as possible for ourselves. This perceived scarcity of stuff leads to trade imbalances, the stealing of resources from other parts of the world, and eventually manifests itself in trade wars that can soon turn into outright warfare. So, then we need to accumulate more resources, more stuff, dedicated to the protection of what we already have. We end up demanding leaders who can assure us that our stuff will remain ours forever and ever.

Into such a world steps Jesus. Rome had conquered Israel and turned it into a client state, exporting all its goods to other parts of the empire, and charging outrageous taxes on those goods at the same time. It was a dangerous time to be a client of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Rome demanded full loyalty.

So along comes Jesus. The Jesus in John is declared from the first verse of the fourth gospel as God – the Word, the logos – in the flesh. Indeed, this is the only way to make sense of someone who can take five barley loaves and a couple of fish and feed thousands of people with lots and lots of leftovers! Barley loaves, as opposed to wheat loaves, is the food of the poor. The lesson here is quite simple, and yet one that we refuse to accept: The need of the world is not too great for our resources if it is the Lord who directs the use of those resources. (NZ produces enough food for 40 million people but unable to feed own 4 million at reasonable cost for all)

A mighty big “if.”

Meanwhile, the people try to make him king. That would seem to be appealing. Look at how people in every conceivable human community clamour to become king. Right now, we are looking at two individuals who will marshal millions if not billions of dollars for the right to become or remain “king.” Look around the world where competing individuals and groups of individuals resort to violence to gain and maintain a position that reflects “kingship.”

Then look at Jesus. Nothing doing. As soon as there is a hint that the people might make him the next king, he sneaks off to be alone. Why, might we ask ourselves? It might have saved him having to go to Jerusalem only to be crucified, dead and buried. Why would he turn his back on what others count as the ultimate goal?

Here we may do well to recall that Jesus appears to have studied scripture pretty carefully. At every possible turn of events, he can marshal quotations from every corner of Hebrew scripture. So, no doubt at this juncture he very well may have the eighth chapter of the First Book of Samuel in mind. This is the episode when Israel demanded that the boy prophet Samuel appeal to God to give them a king – because, after all, they reasoned, all the surrounding countries have kings, so they should have one too.

This signalled a lack of trust in the God of the Exodus, who up to this pivotal moment, had raised up judges to pull the tribes together in times of great danger. When the danger passed, so did the judge, and people went back to life in their tribal clans with their diffuse political connections. But at the time of Samuel, with threats from surrounding kingdoms, the people demanded a king to unite them and make them strong. God tried to dissuade Samuel. Samuel tried to dissuade the people in chapter 8 of First Samuel, saying, in effect, “A king will take your sons and make them soldiers and send them to war; and take your daughters and make them his servants; he will take your fields and produce, and tax you on all of it; until you will wish you had never asked for a king, but by then it will be too late.”

But the people persisted, and God gave them Saul, which did not work out particularly well. And then David, and, well, look at what happened to David in this Sunday’s episode in 2 Samuel 11:1-15. After failing to pull off a cover- up of his indiscretion with Bathsheba, he used his authority of the military to have her husband Uriah killed in battle. Under the reign of Solomon, the kind of consolidation of power and goods becomes so acute that the people attempted a social revolution, so unhappy were they with their once-desired king.

Verna Dozier, a wise lay leader in the Episcopal Church, in her book “The Dream of God,” called this demand for a king the “Second Fall” after the episode in the Garden of Eden. The third fall happens early in the life of the church, at the time of Constantine, when the church goes from being an alternative to the Empire and allows itself to become the Empire – the Church becomes king. The impulse is the same in 2 Samuel as it is under Constantine – we want to be like everybody else. And yet, to this day we are still looking for a way out of being an Imperial Church and somehow find our way back to the very beginning.

For as anyone can see, Jesus will have none of it. And yet, we continue to hitch our wagons, our stars, our souls and our very being, to the belief that with just the right “king” all shall be well.

We find ourselves clinging to models of leadership and institutional power that the Bible repeatedly warns us against. And we wonder why it no longer works. Again, read about David and the so-called Wise One, Solomon, and see how quickly it all fell apart even then, approximately 900 years before Jesus.

It is no wonder that God decided the only way to get our attention was to come down himself and be one of us. God in Christ invites us once and for all to give up any notions that being like everybody else has any life-giving sustainability. The accumulation of power and stuff will never fill the spiritual void that keeps us from becoming the people God wants us to be.

Our portion of the gospel today ends with the disciples heading off in a boat across the sea. They run into rough waters and high winds. When all seems about lost, Jesus appears. The text is not entirely clear – it could mean he was walking on the water, but it can also mean he was “on the seashore.” So, we can read this to say there he was, on the shore, to welcome them ashore when after much hard work and treacherous time they approached him and the shore. He simply says, “Be not afraid.” Note, as soon as they see him, as soon as he says this, they are immediately safe ashore!

Can it be that for St. John the meaning is to be found in the peace that pertains once we willingly receive Jesus to be our companion? Companion – literally, one with whom we share bread. He who is the Bread of Life, the Bread from Heaven, the True Bread – our manna, our sustenance, our daily bread. As theologian and former Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple said, “Christ is the guide of life whom we follow in the strength that He supplies into the way of Peace.”

That’s pretty much it. We can continue to trust in our appointed and elected leaders, and trust in the accumulation of more and more stuff. Or we can trust in Jesus, who withdraws again to the mountain to be alone.

What if we were to withdraw day by day to be alone with Jesus? How might we allow him to be our daily bread? The need of the world is not too great for our resources if it is the Lord who directs the use of those resources. Once we trust in the Lord, we will find ourselves on the other shore, safe and secure from all alarm with nothing to fear. Our deepest and true hunger can and will be satisfied, if only we will continue to use oars and row our way to the other side – his side – to the country that needs no king. 

Hymn 256: The Servant King.

                  (Tune – Servant King) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCAdWs-ZyEk

Intercessory Prayers  

Pentecost 9 Sunday – Year B

God our Creator, we give you thanks that you disclose yourself to us in all the mysteries of your creation.

We pray for your beautiful, broken world: for all who live in places of war, disease, degradation or famine; for leaders of nations and for all who work to alleviate the misery of others.

As you fed your people of old, feed today your people, who hunger for food, for security, for wisdom, justice and peace. Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God our Redeemer, we give you thanks that you, come to us in the person of Jesus, feeding us with your body and blood.

We pray for your church: for those who eat at your table and those excluded from your fellowship; for the people of this congregation and for all who minister here in your name.

As you fed your people of old, feed today your people, who hunger to know your good news of forgiveness and grace.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God our Companion, we give you thanks that you come to us in the joy of human relationships.

We pray for all with whom we share our lives: for our families, our friends and those with whom we work and play; for the people of this community, for the homeless, and the unemployed.

As you fed your people of old, feed today your people, who hunger for dignity, acceptance and love.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God our Healer, we give you thanks that you come to us in the dark and lonely places of our lives.

We pray for all in trouble or distress: for the friendless and unwanted and those who mourn the loss of loved ones; for those whose bodies ache, whose minds are confused, whose spirits are sad. We pray for the sick and the dying and for all who minister to them. As you fed your people of old, feed today your people, who hunger for hope and healing, comfort and consolation.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God our Lover, we give you thanks that in life and in death you hold us in your embrace.

We give you thanks for all who have loved and followed you.

As you fed your faithful people of old, feed us today, who hunger for your presence, and at our life's end bring us, with all your saints, to eat at your heavenly table.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn 690: Beauty for Brokenness (God of the poor)

                 (Tune – Beauty for Brokenness) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMffJsEjcxE 

          Benediction

        Go to follow Jesus, who gives us the bread of life.

        Go to walk in the ways of Christ, who strengthens us in our inner being through the power of the Holy Spirit.

        Go to serve our living Lord, who gathers the fragments of our lives, that nothing may be lost.

        Go with the love of God our creator, redeemer and giver of life. Amen. 

Hymn 778: Shalom to you now.

                 (Tune – Somos Del Senor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiH_HdkWs74



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship for end of NAIDOC Week - Pentecost 7 HC Sunday 11 July 2021


 Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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Being Gathered Up,

End of NAIDOC Week

Pentecost 7 Sunday HC - year of Mark 

 Gathering God’s People       

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

 Call to Worship        

Our land is alive with the glory of God;

desert sands hum and gum trees dance.

Brown grasses sing

and mountains breathe their stillness.

All created things add their rhythms of delight

and even stones rap out their praise.

 

Let our voices mingle with those of the earth;

may our hearts join the beat of her joy,

for our triune God is with us:

the source of all being surrounds and upholds us.

Christ Jesus walks beside and before us.

The Spirit moves within and between us.

Blessed be God, our wonder and delight.

                                            By Rev Dr Jenny Tymms.   

Hymn TIS 149: This world belongs to God.

                        (tune – Mercer Street) 

     Opening Prayer

God of Holy Dreaming, Great Creator Spirit, from the dawn of creation you have given your children the good things of Mother Earth. You spoke and the gum tree grew. In the vast desert and dense forest, and in cities at the water's edge, Creation sings your praise. Your presence endures as the rock at the heart of our Land. When Jesus hung on the tree you heard the cries of all your people and became one with your wounded ones: the convicts, the hunted, the dispossessed. The sunrise of your Son coloured the earth anew and bathed it in glorious hope. In Jesus we have been reconciled to you, to each other and to your whole creation.  Lead us on, Great Spirit, as we gather from the four corners of the earth; enable us to walk together in trust from the hurt and shame of the past into the full day which has dawned in Jesus Christ. Amen.

                   By Aunty Rev'd Lenore Parker - used with permission 

Prayer of Confession 

God of relationship, you have given us communities filled with friends, family, colleagues and neighbours, all created in your image.

Yet, too often, we find ourselves taking this gift of companionship for granted.

We criticise those closest to us, and even those we have not met.

We are envious of others’ success.

We find ourselves stuck in an attitude of judgment rather than a posture of praise.

We excel at finding fault and are reluctant to seek common ground.

Forgive us for thinking the worst of others, of ourselves, and some-times even of you.

Increase our faith, so that when we look upon the face of others, we see the face of Christ. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Our need to be superior has been met by the one who was willing to be misunderstood, dishonoured, criticised, and unfairly condemned. Christ emptied himself for our sake, opening to us the fullness of life with God – reconciled and redeemed.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

Called to be an honour to God’s glory, let’s honour one another with signs of peace and with words of love.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!

(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.) 

Offering Prayer

Glorious God, we thank you for trusting us to reflect your glory. For claiming us as your own with all of creation, we give you thanks and praise. As you receive these gifts and offerings, receive us also. Blessing all together, that our gifts and our lives might be a blessing that honours and glorifies you. 

Hymn TIS 459: In Christ there is No East or West.                                  

                       (tune – McKee)

                                    The Service of Holy Communion 

The Great Thanksgiving 

The Lord be with you.

And also, with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Worship and praise belong to you, God our maker. Out of nothing, you called all worlds to be, and still, you draw the universe to its fulfilment. Dawn and evening celebrate your glory till time shall be no more. In Christ, your Son the life of heaven and earth were joined, sealing the promise of a new creation, given, yet still to come. Taught by your Spirit, we who bear your threefold likeness look for the City of Peace in whose light we are transfigured, and the earth transformed. As children of your redeeming purpose who await the coming of your Son, we offer you our praise, with angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven singing the hymn of your unending glory:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

Holy God, we thank you for these gifts of your creation, this bread and wine, and we pray that we who eat and drink them in obedience to our Saviour Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may be partakers of his body and blood, and be made one with him and with each other in peace and love. On the night he was betrayed Jesus took bread; and when he had given you thanks, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take, eat. This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' After supper, he took the cup, and again giving you thanks he gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For the love you taught us, the sacrifice you made for us and the hope you give us, we acclaim you, O Christ:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again!

And now, faithful God, send us your Spirit to feed us with the body and the blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Make us one body in Christ. Send us as your messengers in the world and fill us with energy, courage, and love. Now to you, most holy God, through Christ your Son and in the Spirit’s power, we bring our worship and our songs of praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.    

The Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread and take this cup so that we can all share in the life of Christ. God's gifts for God's people. 

Thanks, be to God. 

Lamb of God

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace. 

Invitation to Communion

As tangible as grain plucked by Jesus and his disciples, as mysterious as the Presence known by our faithful ancestors, so is the meal we are about to share. Let us open our hearts and hands, as we remember and partake together. 

Prayer after Communion

This has been no ordinary meal. It has been one in which we have been fed and nourished with the life of Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord. May we go from this table, refreshed and eager, to share that life with others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen. 

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                                            2 Samuel 6:1-5,12b-19

The Gospel Reading:                                        Mark 6:14-29

After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the Lord

Please respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God. 

Readings: NRSV Translation 

2 Samuel 6:1-5,12b-19

1 David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim. 3 They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart 4 with the ark of God; and Ahio went in front of the ark. 5 David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 12 It was told King David, ‘The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.’ So, David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13 and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt-offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt-offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes. 

Mark 6:14-29   

14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason, these powers are at work in him.’ 15 But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’ 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’ 17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18 For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’ 23 And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’ 24 She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptizer.’ 25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ 26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Preaching of the Word - Being Gathered Up,

“John, whom I’ve beheaded, has been raised!”

Herod must have been terrified. A man like Herod, who relied on treachery, questionable political moves, the power gained through wealth, is confronted with his worst nightmare. He knew John was dead. He saw his head – yes, through a haze of drunkenness – but he saw the head.

But this Jesus, obviously a man of power himself, is becoming known throughout Herod’s kingdom. Who is he? Could it really be John, raised from the dead? John, the man Herod killed because of a grudge, a grudge he held against him for telling the truth.

How incredibly sad. How very tragic. And yet, because of what we’ve seen in our own lifetimes of the consequence of misused power, political greed and society’s belief that “it’s all about me,” we have to realize Herod has something to teach us.

Herod is an interesting character. What Benedict Arnold is to the word “traitor,” the name Herod has become to the word “evil,” but a sad kind of evil. In Herod we see a man desperate to be king. He killed his own relatives to gain the throne and then surrounded himself with sycophants, men who would use Herod’s favour to garner their own power.

The parties given by the king were as sick and sad as the participants were – days of feasting and uncontrolled drinking, entertainment that was sometimes less than respectable. Into this sad state of the political life of Israel, John the Baptiser dropped the embarrassing and dangerous truth. For this John lost his life because Herod’s character was terribly weak.

So, today’s gospel tells us that this same Herod, who thought he had gotten rid of his adversary John, is now faced with a new adversary, Jesus. Herod had to be frightened. Who is this man he was hearing so much about? Could John have come back from the dead to haunt him, or was this someone new who would challenge his authority?

We know the answer and Herod would soon find out. Jesus was soon known by most as a man who taught with authority, who spoke the truth without fear, and who preached a return to faith by all if they were to be truly children of God. And this Jesus broke the roles and rules made up by weak men who were afraid of losing power.

While today’s gospel passage is mostly a bit of history, we are reminded of the amazing gifts we are given because God loves us. Instead of being afraid that Jesus is John raised from the dead, we find that God’s grace is being lavished on us! None of these things is a worldly gift. These gifts give us a spiritual authority and power that we must use to do good and to spread the Good News among our brothers and sisters.

There’s no comparison between this kind of power and authority and that of people such as Herod and Pilate. Those people built their power on fear and treachery. Our power comes from the deep and abiding love of God. Paul tells us that with all wisdom and insight, God has made known to us the mystery of his will. That will, is simply that God wants to gather up all things in heaven and on earth into Himself. It is our inheritance. The question is, do we want this? Is being gathered up into God’s love enough for us?

We have to ask that question seriously and truthfully. What does it mean to be gathered up into God here on earth? It’s all fine and good to think about that being what happens in heaven, where all is supposed to be perfect love and union with God. But don’t we often find that people still think that in heaven it will be “me and Jesus”? We seem to be fixated, here on earth, with deciding who gets there and who doesn’t.

Let’s be honest about that. We want to be able to judge who gets there and who doesn’t. We too often forget that Jesus constantly talked about the kingdom of God being right here, right now, too. Wait a minute – that means we ought to be living in this abiding love right now, with everyone.

But we are surrounded still with people like Herod and Pilate. People are fighting for power, literally – killing innocent people just to keep control over land and the gifts of the land. We can’t get away from it. The TV and newspapers inundate us with images and blaring headlines that would kill any thought of living in love and peace we might have.

And then, if we’re honest, we, too, want some control. We want to have power; it’s what society tells us is important.

Maybe this gospel about Herod is getting a little too close to home. It’s no longer just a history lesson, it’s a moral lesson, and we may find ourselves coming up short. We must want to be delighted in the thought that God lavishes his grace on us – pours it out joyfully – if only we’d be aware that it’s happening and learn to bathe ourselves in that abundance.

We might ask what the consequence would be if we could do this. It would change our lives. We might see the beauty in all God’s people and be willing to take their hands when solidarity for good is needed. We might see our churches begin to fill again because others would see our witness and want to share what we have. We’d learn to speak about our faith in convincing and inviting ways.

Unlike Herod and others like him, we wouldn’t have to fight and connive and fawn over others so that power would be ours to abuse; we have the power of a loving God supporting us. We have the inheritance of the saints in light. We have the example and teachings of Jesus to show us the way. It’s a much better power.

It’s a much more loving and peace-giving authority. We too can lavish our care on God’s world and on God’s people if we set our minds and hearts to it. Remember, such as St Paul tells us we are marked with seal of the Holy Spirit. We are destined to be God’s people here on earth. We can make no other choice. 

Hymn TIS 668: Touch the Earth Lightly.

                        (tune – Tenderness) 

Intercessory Prayers  

After the words:             In your mercy,

please respond with      hear our prayer. 

Pentecost 7 Sunday – Year B

Loving God, you know our needs and desires before we ask, and all our days are in your hands: hear the prayers we bring to you.

We pray for the world: for those who suffer because of war or civil strife; for those who are imprisoned, displaced, or dispossessed. When we are unmoved by the plight of others, when our greed keeps others poor, shake us from our complacency and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the church: for your priests and prophets and all who lead your people; for all who worship and minister in this place. When we are legalistic and lacking in love, when we are slow to recognise your voice or understand your word,

call us again by name and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for our community: for those who have nowhere to live and too little to eat; for those without any work or means of support. When we are judgmental and mean-minded, when we are slow to compassion and swift to condemn,

unlock our hearts and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who suffer for those who do not know the love of family or friends; for the sick and the dying and all who mourn. When hearts are broken and spirits crushed, when bodies are crippled or racked with pain, touch us again with your love, and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who have died in your love, for all who have heard your voice and answered your call; for all whose yearly remembrance occurs at this time. Help us to follow the example of your faithful people and, when we come to the end of our earthly days, bring us with all your saints from death to everlasting life, that we may continue forever in your presence.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 672: Lord of Earth and All Creation.

                       (tune – Bennelong) 

          Benediction

        Brilliant children of light, go now to shine with God’s glory and love.

        We will shine brightly and love freely.

        Honor God with all that you say and do.

        We will make the world a better and a brighter place for all to live.

        Strap on your sandals and hit the road, my friends.

Shake off the dust of your complacency. Walk with a friend,

and travel light. Go, proclaiming Christ’s message of healing,

and hope. Go, declaring that hearts and lives can change!

Keep going, because Christ gives you authority. Go in the

name of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Hymn TIS 779: May the feet of God walk with you.                                                                                                                (tune – Aubrey)




Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter July 2021

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter - June 26, 2021 - 2:25am

 


                 Marsden Road Uniting Church

203 Marsden Road Carlingford

July 2021

 Our mission: Reflecting Christ Alive in the Community

Welcome! We gather to worship togetherat 9.30am everySunday  on the homelands of theWallumedegal people. We acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

We hope that you will experience the presence of God in this place and among the peopleof God here.

BIBLE READINGSFOR JULY

Psalms: 48; 24; 89: 20-37; 14.

2 Samuel 5: 1-5, 9-10; 6: 1-5, 12-19; 7: 1-14; 11: 1-15.

Mark 6: 1-13; 6: 14-29;6: 30-34, 53-56 John 6: 1-21.

2 Corinthians 12: 2-10; Ephesians 1: 3-14; 2: 11-22; 3: 14-21.

         PRAYER

God our Father,

we rejoice in the faith that draws us together, awarethat selfishness can drive us apart.

Let your encouragement be our constantstrength. Keep us one in the love that has sealed our lives, and help us to live the gospel we profess

as one family, unitedin Jesus Christour Lord. Amen

     CHURCH SERVICES

4th July 9.30am: Christopher Cooper will lead our service.

11th July 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service of Holy Communion.

18th July 9.30am: Christopher Cooper will lead our service.

25th July 9.30am: Rev John Candywill lead our service.

REV JOHN ON LEAVE

Rev John Candy and Wendy will be on holidays from the 24thJune 2021, returning to duty on the 6th July 2021. The first Sunday Worship that the Reverend John will lead will be 11th July and this will be our Holy Communion for the month of July.

If Congregation Members have Pastoral or other immediate needswhile John is away, please contact your Elder and they will contact Warwick Roden to arrange a Minister if needed. 

EDUCATION & SOCIAL COMMITTEEwill meet after church on Sunday 4th July to plan for the Simply SharingTea.  NURTURE GROUP FOR JULY

Our meeting on Thursday 8th July at the Forrest's will be a Show and Tell. Bring along something that you would like to talk to thegroup about. Bring some lunch to share. Meeting is at 11.30 am until 2.00 pm. At this meeting, please tell Lyn and Malcolm what you                will be bringing to our Christmas in July lunch. Please note the change of date belowfor   our   Christmas   in   July   lunch.On Thursday 22nd July we will celebrate Christmas in July at the home of Lyn and Malcolm Colless, 26 Pauline Avenue, Kilcare. Lunch will be 11.30am until2.00pm 

A BIRTHDAY PARTY INVITATION

Amoe McCarthy invites all members of our church to celebrate her life on Saturday 24th July, in the auditorium at Alan Walker Village between 11.00amand 2.30pm. Bringyour costume if you wouldlike a swim at 11.00am. Lunch will be served at 12.00. For catering purposes, please let Elaine or Amoe know by TODAY if you are able to attend. Pleaseno presents, just your presence. 

SIMPLY SHARINGTEA

On Sunday 18th July we shall have a SIMPLY SHARING TEA in the hall, commencing at 6.00 pm. A simple meal will be provided. We ask for a donation to support the work of SO THEY CAN. There will be a presentation where we can learn about the work of this organisation. We currently supporttwo children (Paul and Sera)

 

2021 Dates for your Diary

Sunday 18th July: Simply Sharing Tea 6pm

Saturday 24th July: Amoe’s Celebration Lunch

Friday 6th August: Hymn fest in the Church 11am

Monday 27th September: Equinox Outing.

Sunday 24th October: Barbecue supporting Frontier Services.



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Memorial Sunday Homily for 13th June 2021 on Pentecost 3

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

    Sermon for Sunday 13th June 2021

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Today in our Face to Face Worship we remembered one of our congregation members at whose service most of us were unable to be present.

This Sermon is an adaptation to remember all whom died since the beginning of Covid-19 especially those whom, were part of our congregation and whose Farewell we were unable to be present at. 

Preaching of the Word 

I heard it told that a person was described during their funeral as being loyal to his Lord and consistent in his adherence to the high standard of morals which he had chosen as the guiding principle of his life. There are a number of people I have met that this could be applied to from amongst our congregation and especially those who have died during the time we have been dealing with Covid-19. 

I read a story about a man who one day went to visit an old musician. He knocked on the musician’s door and said, “What’s the good word today?” The old musician didn’t say a word. He turned around and went back across the room to where a tuning fork was hanging. He took a hammer and struck the tuning fork so that the note resounded through the room. The musician said, “That, my friend is an ‘A’. It was ‘A’ yesterday. It was ‘A’ five thousand years ago, and it will be ‘A’ 5000 years from now.” Then he added, “The tenor across the hall sings off key. The soprano upstairs is flat on her high notes. And the piano in the next room is out of tune. He struck the tuning fork again and said, “That is ‘A” and that my friend is the good word for today.”

In the conversations I had with these people we have lost; it seems as though their good word for most days was “blessed.” People had felt blessed by their children, they had felt blessed by their grandchildren, they had felt blessed by their God and their church, and if you were to get at the heart of their feelings about being blessed, you would quickly have gotten to the truths of God’s words to us. Truths that were, are, and always will be the same. Specifically, the truth that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. 

The truth that Jesus Christ lived the perfect life was for a number of those in our congregation whom we have lost what they strove to live to. Over the past year or so, God sent angels to carry a number of our members souls, to carry really their spirit into the very presence of Jesus Christ. That, my friends, is the good word for today. 

Faced with death, life might seem absurd and meaningless. But our Christian faith tells us that despite death life is not absurd and meaningless. Life for each of us took on a completely different meaning when our parents decided to have us baptised. 

When we were baptised, we were no longer mere humans, but became adopted sons and daughters of God. When we were baptised, this planet was no longer our home, then heaven became our true homeland. When we were baptised, we were no longer on our own, when we were baptised, we were joined with Jesus in leaving behind an old life and beginning a new life. 

When Jesus died, he left his old life behind him. He rose from the dead, having left behind life in a human body like ours. When we were baptised, we joined Jesus in his dying, leaving behind our old self, and we joined Jesus in his resurrection, becoming new persons. When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised, we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the God’s glory, we too might live a new life. 

In every Communion we remember that we share in Jesus’ death and resurrection, for example “Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life...”. “Lord by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Saviour of the world.” 

Because our entire life is living out our baptism, because we want to live our entire lives in such a way that our baptism has a lasting effect on our lives, we are continually trying to leave behind sin and selfishness to become better people. 

When we respond at each moment of our lives to the call of God, we prepare ourselves to enter into the Lord’s rest; As baptised we try to be aware of the presence of God in each moment of our lives, like the sunflower that keeps following the sun all day long. God is not just at the end of our life, waiting for us there; God is with us at every moment of our lives. However, in the final moment of our lives, we will see God’s love and everlasting light.




Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship for Pentecost 2 - 06 June 2021

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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God Calls Us to Expand Our Family.

Sunday 06th June 2021

Pentecost 2 - year of Mark  

Gathering God’s People 

        Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land. 

Call to Worship- (Abingdon Worship Annual 2015)       

Come! Here you will find a family of faith where you will always belong. Come! Here you will find friends who will love you as a child of God. Come! Here you will worship a King who rules with equity. Whoever you are, and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

All who need a place to belong . . .

Come join the family of God.

All who seek spiritual brothers and sisters . . .

Come join the family of God.

All who strive to grow in faith and love . . .

Come join the family of God.

All who are unsure and feel unworthy . . .

Come join the family of God. 

Hymn 693: Come as you are.

                 (tune – Come as you are) 

     Opening Prayer

     Loving Mother, Caring Father, in the midst of our brokenness, knit us together as your family. Heal our wounded hearts, that we may welcome the strangers into our midst and treat them as beloved sisters and brothers. Swing wide the doors of our church, that all who seek a temple of faith may find in these walls a place where God’s will is done and holy relationships are nurtured. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen. 

Prayer of Confession

Sovereign God, we so often lose our way.

You seek to be our King— to lead us on right paths; to teach us the ways of truth and life; to shelter us from our foes, yet we look to the rulers of this earth for leadership, wisdom, and strength.

You seek to be our comforter— to love us as our Father; to nurture us as our Mother; to shelter us as our Brother; to assure us as our Sister, yet we look elsewhere for love, compassion, and hope.

When our government fails us, and our families disappoint us, you alone remain faithful and true. Open your arms to us once more, O God. We will be your people, and you will be our God and King. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Christ looks to each of us and says: “Here are my mother and my brothers. Here are my father and my sisters. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister, mother, father.” As the family of God, as brothers and sisters of Christ, we are loved and forgiven by our gracious God.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

As the family of God, let us share signs of familial love and compassion, acceptance and forgiveness, as we pass the peace of Christ.

Peace be with you!

And also with you!

(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)

Offering Prayer

Holy Sovereign, you are our King; we are your people. Forsaking the ways of the haughty, we reach for our brothers and sisters in faith, our mothers and fathers in Spirit, that we may care for the meek and the lowly. Use these offerings to fulfil your will in our world, that all may be drawn into your family of faith Amen. 

Hymn 738: ‘My Jesus my Saviour’ (Shout to the Lord)

                 (tune – Shout to the Lord)                                    

The Service of Holy Communion 

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.

And also, with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

With all our hearts we praise you, faithful God. In the beginning, you called light to shine in darkness, you made living things to grow and flourish and you created human beings in your image. You chose us in love, guided us by your presence and blessed us with your holy law. Yet we chose our own sinful ways. We broke your commandments, persecuted your prophets, forgot your wisdom and time after time, refused to answer your call.

So, you spoke an eternal word in a human voice in Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, Son of God. He called, and people followed, leaving every other loyalty. He set us free to praise your holy name. But hatred and violence shouted Jesus down. Betrayed and abandoned and nailed to a cross, he laid down his life for the world he loved and broke the chains of evil and death. Then you turned our sorrow into joy. On the third day you raised him up to lead your people into life.

So, we praise you, holy God, with angels and archangels and all your faithful people:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

On the night before he died, Jesus gathered with his friends to share a meal and wash their feet, teaching one more lesson of love. He took bread and blessed you and broke it. He gave it to them and said: “Take this and eat it. This is my body.” Whenever you do this, do it in memory of me.”

He took a cup of wine and blessed you and gave it to them.

He said: “Take this and drink it. This is my blood, sealing God’s promise to forgive your sins. Whenever you do this, do it in memory of me.”

As we share these holy gifts, we remember the Lord Jesus. For the love you taught us, the sacrifice you made for us and the hope you give us, we acclaim you, O Christ:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again!

And now, faithful God, send us your Spirit to feed us with the body and the blood       of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Make us one body in Christ. Send us as your messengers in the world and fill us with energy, courage and love. Now to you, most holy God, through Christ your Son and in the Spirit’s power, we bring our worship and our songs of praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.     

The Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread and take this cup so that we can all share in the life of Christ. God's gifts for God's people. 

Thanks, be to God. 

Lamb of God

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace. 

Invitation to Communion

As tangible as grain plucked by Jesus and his disciples, as mysterious as the Presence known by our faithful ancestors, so is the meal we are about to share. Let us open our hearts and hands, as we remember and partake together. 

Prayer after Communion

This has been no ordinary meal. It has been one in which we have been fed and nourished with the life of Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord. May we go from this table, refreshed and eager, to share that life with others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen 

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                                            1 Samuel 8:4-20

The Gospel Reading:                                        Mark 3:20-35

After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the Lord

Please respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God. 

Readings: NRSV Translation 

1 Samuel 8:4-20

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to govern us.’ Samuel prayed to the Lord, 7 and the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also, they are doing to you. 9 Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’ 10 So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, ‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; 12 and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plough his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. 15 He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. 16 He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves.18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.’ 19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, ‘No! but we are determined to have a king over us, 20 so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.’ 

Mark 3:20-35   

20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’ 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.’ 23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: ‘How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.’ 30 He said this because they were saying, ‘He has an impure spirit.’ 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting round him, and they told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’ 33 ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle round him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’ 

Preaching of the Word - God Calls Us to Expand Our Family.

Family. We all come from one. Some are loving, some are quirky, some are dysfunctional, some are abusive, and some are a combination of those things. No matter what type of family we have, we have a role to play within it: the Peacemaker, the Pretty One, the Black Sheep, the Smart One, the Religious One, the Baby, and so on. But what happens when the Black Sheep starts acting like the Smart One? Or the Peacemaker becomes the Artistic One? The delicate system of roles is shaken, and the other players must try to put the person back in their role or adjust to the new role that is being played. Guess which one people usually choose?

Fear of the new role usually wins out, and people often try to sabotage the fledgling before anything permanent can happen. We think we know what is best for the other person because really, it is best for us. Take any self-improvement – losing weight, quitting smoking, going back to school, going to a counsellor – and there will be people who will not be encouraging because it makes them look at the improvements they need to make and aren’t. They fear change in their lives, so why should they support the changes in yours? It takes a strong person to become who God created us to be and to continue to make positive changes when it puts personal relationships in jeopardy.

Look at Jesus coming back to his hometown where his family lived. People were crowding him to see if he would heal them, but some were talking about him, “He’s gone out of his mind,” and “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” People feared what they did not understand. Jesus’ family tried to restrain him, but Jesus faced the crowd. He was called by God to preach and teach and heal, and that was his focus. He knew his role, but it was not necessarily the role that his family or hometown thought he should be in. God was doing a new thing in Jesus. God was expanding what it meant to be bonded to another person the way we are in a family, and Jesus called attention to this. God knows what is best for Jesus and for us, not the other way around.

When Jesus declared, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother,” it challenged the Jewish culture around him. No longer are you close to God because you were born into a Jewish household; no longer do you just take care of your own kind; instead, your family is being extended to anyone who does the will of God.

That certainly broadens the margins and challenges those who took that relationship with God for granted. Today, it challenges us to look beyond our walls, our denominational lines, our socio-economic status, and our faith to see our brothers and sisters and mothers. God calls us to expand our family in ways that are just as shocking as it was to the Gospel of Mark’s first-century audience.

We should come to expect this from God. How successful are we when left to our own devices? In today’s Old Testament lesson from First Samuel, when the people request an earthly king to rule them rather than God, Samuel is in a difficult position. The very request is a rebellion against God. But the Israelites want to be “like other nations.” How often do we want the same thing? We want to be “normal,” we want to have what other people have and we measure our worth by earthly standards. We lose our focus and stop doing the will of God.

Brothers turn against brothers, sisters against sisters, mothers against mothers. We get caught up in wanting approval from others and are jealous of what they have, which can leave us empty and seemingly worthless. We forget that we have value because God loves us. Jesus understood this. He kept his focus on following God’s will and was clear about it, despite what his family or the crowds wanted from him.

It’s easier said than done, of course. Anthony de Mello tells a story that reminds us of this:

A man traversed land and sea to check out for himself the master’s extraordinary fame. “What miracles has your Master worked?” he asked a disciple.

“Well, there are miracles and miracles. In your land it is regarded as a miracle if God does someone’s will. In our country it is regarded as a miracle if someone does the will of God.”

We may smile at the story, but it speaks truth. Doing the will of God often means leaving our comfort zones. As Episcopalians, our Baptismal Covenant demands a life that follows God by continuing in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, in the prayers, resisting evil, repenting, and returning to the Lord, proclaiming by word and example the Good News of God in Christ, seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbour as ourselves, striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. This is not an easy road to journey! Yet we readily answer, “I will, with God’s help.”

We cannot do this alone. Jesus’ single-minded focus on God’s will is an example to us. We must have God’s help to follow the call of Jesus in order to be the people we were created to be. May we go forth, as the blessing from St. Clare says, to “live without fear: your Creator has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Go in peace to follow the good road and may God’s blessing be with you always.” 

Hymn 609 May the mind of Christ my Saviour

                 (tune – St Leonards) 

Intercessory Prayers  

Pentecost 2 Sunday – Year B –

Loving God, you know our needs and desires before we ask, and all our days are in your hands: hear the prayers we bring to you.

We pray for the world: for those who suffer because of war or civil strife; for those who are imprisoned, displaced or dispossessed.

When we are unmoved by the plight of others, when our greed keeps others poor, shake us from our complacency and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the church: for your priests and prophets and all who lead your people; for all who worship and minister in this place.

When we are legalistic and lacking in love, when we are slow to recognise your voice or understand your word, call us again by name, and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for our community: for those who have nowhere to live and too little to eat; for those without any work or means of support.

When we are judgmental and mean-minded, when we are slow to compassion and swift to condemn,

unlock our hearts and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who suffer for those who do not know the love of family or friends; for the sick and the dying and all who mourn.

When hearts are broken and spirits crush ed, when bodies are crippled or racked with pain,

touch us again with your love and restore us to life.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who have died in your love, for all who have heard your voice and answered your call; for all whose yearly remembrance occurs at this time.

Help us to follow the example of your faithful people and, when we come to the end of our earthly days, bring us with all your saints from death to everlasting life, that we may continue forever in your presence.

Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn 613: Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy.

                  (tune – Slane) 

          Benediction

        With God as our King,

        we go forth to build God’s kingdom.

        With our inner nature renewed,

        we go forth to proclaim God’s glory.

        With our sisters and brothers in Christ, our mothers and fathers in the faith,

        we go forth to be Christ’s family.

        Go with God. 

Hymn 779: May the feet of God walk with you.                                                                                                                  (tune – Aubrey)




Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter June 2021

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter - May 28, 2021 - 10:08pm

 


Marsden Road UnitingChurch

203 Marsden Road Carlingford

June 2021

 Our mission: Reflecting Christ Alive in the Community

Welcome! We gather to worship togetherat 9.30am everySunday on the homelands of theWallumedgal people.

We acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

We hope that you will experience the presence of God in this place and among the peopleof God here.

BIBLEREADINGS FOR JUNE

Psalms: 138; 20; 9: 9-20;130.

1 Samuel 8: 4-20; 15: 34-16:13; 17: 32-49; 2 Samuel 1: 1, 17-27.

Gospel of Mark 3: 20-35; 4: 26-34; 4: 35-41; 5: 21-43.

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; 5: 6-17; 6: 1-13; 5: 21-43.

PRAYER

We Are One, my fellow servants,we are one.

The bread we share makes us one. The cup we pour makes us one. Even as our dear sistersand brothers come and go from us, we are one. Even as we scatter from this place to so many diverse pursuits throughout this city, this state, this globe, we are one.

With gratitude we share the Table. With gratitude we depart. With gratitude we release one another,

trusting in the One who makesus one. Go in peace.Amen

CHURCHSERVICES

6th June 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service.

13th June 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service.

20th June 9.30am: Lynette Graham will lead our service.

27th June 9.30am: Margaret Johnston will lead our service.

On Leave:

Rev John Candy and Wendy will be on holidays from the 24th June 2021, returning to duty on the 6th July 2021.

The first Sunday Worship that the Reverend John will lead will be 11thJuly 2021 and this will be our Holy Communion for the month of July.

If Congregation Members have Pastoral or other immediate needs while John is away, please contact your Elder and they will contact Warwick Roden (9874 7584) to arrange a Minister if needed. 

SPECIALSERVICE

Several members of our church passed away during the height of the Covid Pandemic. Our loved and admiredfriend, Bill Raward, died on 6th April last year and only ten people were able to attend his funeral. His life and his contribution to our Congregation, will be remembered during our SundayService on 13th June. This will be followed by refreshments in the churchhall, hosted by his daughter, Robyn. Everyone is welcome as we fondly and gratefully remember the friends we’ve lost. 

EDUCATION & SOCIAL COMMITTEE SOLSTICE OUTING

Join us on Monday 21st June, when we will travel on our $2.50 Seniors’ ticket by train and bus, starting at Epping, then travelling to Bargo, Moss Vale and Bundanoon. For more information talk to Lyn, Malcolm or Elaine.

NURTURE GROUP FOR JUNE

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 10th June at 11.30 am at the Forrest’s. Please bring a plate to share. We will play the game “Scruples”. Everyone is welcome.

On Thursday 24th June Malcolm Colless will talk to us about the book “DARK EMU,” and will lead us in discussion. Bringsome lunch to share. Lunch at 11.30amand the meeting ends at 2pm. 

A BIRTHDAY PARTY INVITATION

Amoe McCarthy invites all members of our church to celebrate her life on Saturday 24th July, in the auditorium at Alan Walker Village between 11.00amand 2.30pm. Bringyour costume if you wouldlike a swim at 11.00am. Lunch will be served at 12.00. For catering purposes, please let Amoe know by Sunday 27th June if you are able to attend. Pleaseno presents, just your presence. 

SIMPLY SHARINGTEA

On a Sunday in July, we will have a Simply Sharing Tea in the hall. Commencing at 6.00pm, a simple meal will be provided. We ask for a donation to support the work of So They Can. More details next month.

 

BEECROFT PENNANT HILLS UNITINGCHURCH

We are wanting to instigate a new communityproject called "Connexions", to link local community memberswith each other.We aim to do this by developing the following key initiatives:

Seniors' Infoline - a one phone call service to help our elderly folk connectwith service providerssuch as tradespeople, Government, healthand social assistance.

Workshop- a way of connecting local people who are lookingfor work (casual, part-time, full-time) with local businesses, for the mutual benefit of all.

To do this we need volunteers to answer phones, research and gather information to assist callersand/or provide follow-up calls. Training will be provided.For more information, please contact:

 MarionBerry on 0426 977 722.

 

Baker Family Baptism

Colin and Caroline Baker are long-standing, treasured members of our congregation, as were earlier members of their family.

On Saturday 12th June, Colin’s great grandson, Wyatt, will be baptised in our church.

Several of our church’s stained-glass windows remind us of their family’s strongconnection.



                         



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting - Marsden Missive - June July August 2021

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter - May 25, 2021 - 1:22am


 June, July and August 2021

         Marsden Missive 

        Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford --------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Marsden Road Friends, 

As I sit at the keyboard and begin writing, I realise that we are about to pass yet again one of the important feasts of the Christian Churches Calendar, and that is the feast of Pentecost.  I am reminded that over recent years these feast days and there passing have spoken more and more to my situation. As some of you will know that over the last two decades there have been periods that have been traumatic for me personally and in many ways, this could be said to be true for the congregation also. 

Yet, for all of us these times have been a process of learning, growing and starting and restarting the process of healing for ourselves. I still feel that I am along the path of healing enough to start focusing on ministry for the remainder of my years. But I do wonder how we, as the body of Christ in this place are to live out our role as the congregation in this place. What is to be the shape of the congregation to be as changes rapidly take place in our community and in the church community? What is our future as an independent congregation as the demographic of our congregation is so different to the surrounding community now? What is the face of our leadership to become as the age grouping of most of our congregation is in the higher bracket? 

But back to the feast of Pentecost which I began this reflection with. Pentecost is a special time of year for the Christian Church. It is a time when we thank God for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our world. We give thanks to God for our abundant lives over the last year and commit ourselves to his service in covenant for another year. We have from scripture several symbols to help us understand this animal, we call the Holy Spirit. The symbols are fire, wind and the dove. I'd like now to explore what we can discover about these symbols that may help people understand a part of the Christian beliefs.

Fire - Fire is an extraordinarily strong force. A coal or wood fire is beautiful (I am not considering the environmental factors here) to watch, to see the colours dance before our eyes, as the flames move and change their shape. Fire can be very gentle and warming, very soothing and relaxing; that is to say, when you sit in front of a big open grate or fireplace in winter, and let the warmth of the fire take away aches and pains, as well as carrying our thoughts on mysterious adventures, as the flames move and writhe about like living creatures, and suggest distant landscapes...

Yet, on the other hand, fire can be one of the most destructive forces in the world. A fire in the city can be terrifying, especially when it breaks out in a tall building and there is all the problems of reaching trapped people. And out in the bush, have we not seen on our TV screens - if not in actual fact - forest fires, burning up and devastating all forms of life as it rages through the bush? Yes, fire has a great power, a terrible strength, a great gentleness and a strange beauty.

Wind - The wind has similarities to the fire. It can be beautiful or a terrifying sight to watch, when it blows through the trees, over the fields and over the sea; the trees and the waves can be gently moved or violently thrown about. Branches whip savagely, the spume and froth is blown up onto the shore, and we feel the spray on our faces. I have memories from the Solomon Islands of going scuba diving with the sea calm and then trying to enter the water with great rollers which showed me both moods that the wind can exhibit. 

Many of us can probably recall the winds of a storm or a cyclone building and roaring through or past where we are situated. Yet a moderate wind can create a lovely and enchanting dance, almost like a strange ballet; yes, the wind has enormous power and strength but yet can produce very beautiful effects, as it blows through the trees and plants, and moves the clouds in the sky.

The Dove - The third symbol we associate with the Holy Spirit from scripture is that of the dove. The dove is mentioned in the passage about the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan. In Mark's Gospel, we read that "the Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove". It is this event that has given us the dove as the symbol of the Spirit of God. The dove is a very beautiful bird, and a white dove can seem unreal in its beauty. At the same time, it is a bird with great energy and can fly considerable distances. The dove is also a messenger and can carry our news or some important communication tied to its leg. A dove will defend its nest and brood with considerable strength and force when needed.

We can also find the dove in the Old Testament stories. It is the bird that brought the olive branch to Noah, in the ancient story of the Flood. This is where the idea of the dove as a messenger of peace seems to have come from, since that branch was a message of peace from God to the humans surviving the great destruction of that strange event. It along with the symbol of the rainbow has been taken on by the organisation Greenpeace. We also get the expression "holding out an olive branch" when we want to be reconciled with our enemies.

Being a Christian - Being a Christian is never a very easy way of living; the Holy Spirit is God's messenger and way of showing care and interest and sending power and strength. The symbols of the Holy Spirit serve to remind us that the Spirit can be like the fire, warming and bright; like the wind, powerful and fresh; like the dove, a messenger bringing news and hope.

In our daily lives we need the Spirit's help; and with that help we can be alight like the flames, powerful like the wind, and with a message like the dove, carrying to all the news of the love of God. This may help some understand why the Holy Spirit becomes so important to Christians and where many Christians get the strength and courage to face the pain and sufferings of their lives. God has lovingly given us this presence to enable and empower us like the fire, wind and the dove. I would like to share with you the following poem with love.

Warming bright fire,

Powerful fresh wind,

Messenger of peace and hope in the dove.

Fire us with that spirit,

Fan us with that love,

Empower us with that eternal hope,

That love and hope of God.

Present to us in the Spirit.

May we hear and courageously believe.

Let us be one with you O God through that Spirit.


“BLESSED ASSURANCE” and “TO GOD BE THE GLORY.”

Researched & Written by Ron Burwood

As some of you may recall I have previously written about some of the hymns I like and the writers of same.  Just recently I was thinking about a good old hymn “Blessed Assurance” and decided to look into the background of this.  It was written by an American hymn writer, Frances Jane Crosby, who was blind and wrote some 9,000 hymns, Frances was known to all as Fanny. This hymn is very well known to us and was Hymn #422 in the MHB but is not in TIS and was sung on many occasions when I was growing up. 

In 1873 Fanny was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp at her home where she was having a large pipe organ installed. The organ was not complete, and Mrs Knapp played on her piano for her friend a new melody that she had just written. After she finished Phoebe asked Fanny “What do you think the tune says?”, Fanny Crosby replied, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine.” She then wrote the full lyrics as we know them. 

These were printed in July 1873 in a magazine called “Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany” with the full words and music score. In the magazine it was indicated that the words and score had been copyrighted by Crosby that same year. It is not sure if this was the first publication of the hymn, but it helped popularise it and of course it became one of the much-loved hymns of all time. Because of the lyrics the tune became known also as ‘Blessed Assurance”. As you will know the words of the first verse of Blessed Assurance are: - 

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine:

O what a foretaste of glory divine!

Heir of Salvation, purchase of God;

Born of His Spirit, washed in his blood,” 

In addition, search into this hymn led to another favourite “To God Be the Glory”, this being Hymn #313 in the MHB and #147 in TIS with the first verse this being: - 

“To God be the glory! great things He hath done!

So, loved He the world that He gave us His Son;

Who yielded His life an atonement for sin;

And opened the Life gate that all may go in.” 

This hymn was written by her and had the tune, also with the same name, written by William Howard Doane and was first published in 1875 in Lowry and Doane’s song collection “Brightest and Best”. However, it appears that Fanny wrote this hymn around 1872 as it was already popular in Great Britain before its publication in America. Ira Sankey had introduced it there during Moody’s 1873-74 evangelistic campaigns.

“To God be the Glory” failed to achieve wide usage in the United Sates and was only included in a few hymn books. Billy Graham’s song leader, Cliff Barrows, was given a copy with the suggestion that it be added to the song book for the London Crusade. It was so popular there that it was included in his Crusade at Nashville, Tennessee where the audience responded so enthusiastically it was used often in the crusade meetings. With such exposure the hymn rapidly became familiar to Christians and is included in most modern hymnals. The Methodists had the jump on these later hymn books as it was in the MHB dating from 1933 and maybe earlier editions which I do not have.

The words of these two hymns as above and their other verses together with the choruses give a very great insight into the beliefs of the woman who was Frances Jane Crosby. I think that we all know and love these hymns and enjoy singing them whenever we get the chance. 

Much of the following information I found in an article on another website written by David Furse Roberts to commemorate the bicentenary of Frances birth and at the end of the article he says to share this website with others. As her life story intrigued me and I decided to share extracts from this site with you. The earlier information has been found on other sites. 

Frances suffered from blindness from an early age and during her long lifetime of some 95 years championed education for the blind, campaigned against slavery and dedicated her latter life to rescue mission work bringing the hope of Christ to alcoholics and the unemployed in the slums of Manhattan. 

Francs Jane Crosby was born in Brewster, New York on 24th March 1820 and was heir to the rich Puritan tradition of the American northeast. Its Calvinist values of total dependence upon God, moral integrity, frugality and self-discipline defined her lifelong work and ministry. 

Her early life was marked by personal tragedy as at just 6 weeks of age she lost her eyesight but instead of cursing this loss she later said that it was “the greatest blessing the Creator ever bestowed on me”. For Crosby, the blindness she experienced in this temporary life gave her hope that the first vision she would have in the life to come would be that of Christ her saviour. 

At six months of age, she lost her father and was then raised by her mother and maternal grandmother who grounded her in Christian principles and helped her memorise long passages of the Bible. Drawing on her remarkable memory, she had ready inspiration for penning thousands of her hymns. 

Educated at the New York Institution for the Blind, she excelled academically in English literature, science, philosophy and music, mastering the piano, harp and guitar. Frances remained at this Institution as a student and then a teacher for 23 years. 

In this capacity, she emerged as a vocal advocate for the education of the blind and in 1846, she became the first woman to speak in the United State Senate. Shortly afterwards, she addressed a joint session of the United State Congress to advocate for support for the education of the blind in Boston, Philadelphia and New York. 

Whilst raised as a Christian, Frances actively dedicated her life to Christ in 1850 when she knelt before the altar in New York’s Broadway Tabernacle. Later, she joined the Sixth Avenue Bible Baptist Church in Brooklyn, where she served as an urban missionary, deaconess and lay preacher in conjunction with her prolific output of hymns. 

Fanny was a follower of the Wesleyan holiness movement and her hymns frequently celebrated the new birth to be found in Christ and the beauty of living a life dedicated to the service of God. Working closely with evangelists Moody and Sankey she helped the birth of the “Gospel Hymn” of popular music set to popular verse. 

Frances was also a patriot who cared deeply about the moral wellbeing of her country and its people. With slavery being part of her early childhood, she became a lifelong abolitionist and ended up supporting Abraham Lincoln’s new Republican Party. With these devotions Crosby composed multiple anthems and ballads rallying her compatriots to fight for liberty and the abolition of slavery. 

In 1858 she married Alexander van Alstyne a fellow teacher whom she had met in1843 and at his insistence she retained her maiden name. However, in the MHB I note that her hymns, there are 8 in total, are all under her married name. 

They settled in a rural village outside of New York and in 1859 Alexander and Frances had a daughter who died in her sleep shortly after birth. Naturally distraught Frances wrote “God gave us a tender babe, but the angels came down and took our infant up to God and to his throne.” It is believed that this inspired her to write the much-loved hymn. “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”. 

Frances continued her hymn writing, rescue mission work and public speaking engagements until her final days. She died at Bridgeport; Connecticut in February 1915 just short of her 95th birthday. 

Her prolific hymn writing put many of the Bible’s words to song. The focal message of her hymns was the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Her ministry in both deed and song was impelled by the belief that people needed to be converted and finally her activism expressed itself in her rescue mission work and public advocacy for the blind, the poor and the captive. 

In addition to the above website, I found another one which contains much more detail about Jane. What an amazing person she was from a very young age. At the age of eight she wrote her first recorded poetry and later she would write as many as seven a day which were converted into hymns – no wonder she was able to write over 9,000 hymns over her life time. Her first one at the age of 8 years was very deep and I feel that this should be included here, and it goes: - 

“O what a happy soul am I!

Although I cannot see,

I am resolved that in this world,

Contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy,

That other people don’t.

To weep and sigh because I’m blind,

I cannot and I won’t.” 

She also said “Mother, if I the choice, I would still choose to remain blind for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour”. At the age of 90 she declared, “My love for the Holy Bible and its sacred truth is stronger and more precious to me at ninety than at nineteen.” Asked about her long years, she said her secret was she guarded her taste, her temper and her tongue. A famous saying of hers over the years was “Don’t waste any sympathy on me. I am the happiest person living.” 

As I said what an amazing lady she was and if you want to read more details about her go to the website – www.wholesomewords.org/biography/bcrosby16.html. There is too much in it to include here.

From Small Beginnings 

In the four gospel stories about the feeding of the great crowd we hear something similar in each. In our three-year lectionary we are using those for Year B based on Mark. However, in the year of Mark we also use the readings from John 6 in regard to feeding and the bread of life. 

Jesus is teaching on a hillside - there are over 5000 people there, and when evening approaches the disciples become concerned, they fear that the crowd will go hungry,

and their solution is to ask Jesus to send the crowd away.

But Jesus says to them - you feed them, and he asks Philip - who was from the region in which the story takes place, "where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" Philip replies, "eight months wages would not buy enough bread to for each one to have a single bite" Immediately afterwards Andrew, who has found a boy with 5 loaves and two fish among the crowd, pipes up about his discovery - and then adds - "BUT how far will they go among so many." 

How far indeed? The scene is set then for us to meditate upon and see what it says about the way of life which Jesus calls us to as part of the Kingdom of God here and now. There is a great need.  And there are not enough resources to meet that need. It all sounds so familiar, doesn't it? You can hear words like this just about any time, especially when there are social or political problems that require an infusion of resources. 

How can we help with what little we have?  We don't even know how we will we make do ourselves. 

- How can we feed so many?  How can we fund so many?  We have so little, and the need is so great. 

- What we can do is only a drop in a bucket.  We don't have enough money to help out.  We don't have what it takes.

And we can also hear the same tune about our emotional and spiritual resources when confronted with problems of caring for those who are lost and alone, those caught up in guilt and despair, in doubt and confusion.  The chorus goes something like this, doesn't it? 

We don't have enough time.

We don't have enough energy.

We aren't smart enough.

We aren't wise enough.

We haven't the training we require.

We aren't professionals. 

There aren't enough of us to make a real difference; there aren't enough of us to get the job done. But Jesus, didn't listen to this from his disciples, rather, like the prophet Elisha in his time, he took that which was offered to him in faith, blessed it, and handed it back to his disciples so that they might distribute it. Just as Elisha commanded his servant to give the twenty loaves of bread that he had received to the people anyway, saying, "They will eat and have some left over", so Jesus, after giving thanks to God, divided the five loaves and the two fish, and begins to feed the crowd. 

And there was enough to go around. And there were leftovers - so many that there was more than there was to start with. What voice do we listen to in these stories? 

The voices of the disciples - the servants - who say, when told to feed the crowd - there is not enough - it is impossible. Or the voice of the one who tells us "feed the people" and who takes what we have to offer and makes it enough? Mark, Matthew, and Luke all begin their account of the feeding of the great crowd by saying when Jesus saw the crowd he had compassion for them that he cared for them. 

Jesus asks us to do the same - he asks us to care, to have compassion, and to go out into the world, and teach, and heal, and feed the people. That is part of the great commission which says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." 

This is part of the commissioning Jesus imparts to Peter just before his ascension saying, "Do you love me Peter?" and when Peter says, "Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” he says to him "Feed my sheep”. We are called to be like Jesus - - we are called to feed those in need, to feed them with both the bread of heaven and the bread worked upon by human hands. And we are not left alone in the doing of it.  God's power is promised us in it.  All we need to do is to do is bring what we have, as did the man of Baal Shalishah to Elisha and as did the boy on the hillside to Jesus. 

To bring it with thanksgiving - as Moses commanded. 

To bring it with joy - as the boy must surely have brought Jesus his meagre offering.

To bring it - not with regard to what it might or might not be able to do - but with regard to the one to whom we present it, with regard to God and God's love. 

The story of the loaves and the fish show us that Jesus is used of God and that he has the power of God and it shows us too that God cares. It also shows us that what is small and insignificant in the face of this world's need can, when offered to God, be multiplied and provide for the world what is needed.  Miracles all have beginnings, and almost always those beginnings are to be found within us. 

Several years ago I heard the story of a man named Paul.

Paul had received a special pre-Christmas gift from his brother.  It was a beautiful new car - ready to go.  On Christmas Eve, when Paul came out of his office, a street kid was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.  "Is this your car, mister?” the kid asked. When he replied that it was, and that his brother had given it to him for Christmas, the boy said, "You mean your brother gave it to you, and it didn't cost you anything?  

You got it for free? You got it for nothing?  Gosh, I wish..." The boy hesitated, and Paul knew what he was about to say.  He had heard it many times over the past few days.  He was going to wish he had a brother like that.  But what the boy said shocked Paul. "I wish", the boy said, "I wish I could be a brother like that." We can be a brother like that or a sister like that for that matter. All it takes is that we offer ourselves and what we have to God. All it takes is that we cease to worry about how little we have and begin instead to think about what it is that we can offer. 

This is why in the last Sunday’s in Easter before we enter this season of Pentecost, we remind ourselves of our call to be wise stewards of the gifts that God has given us in this world. To be able to live out that stewardship enables us to be able to say: “Praise, be to God who multiplies that which is given to us, day by day.  Amen.

TOILET PAPER and HAND TOWELS

At Marsden Road Uniting some of you may have noticed that we use a different Toilet Paper and Paper Towels. We get these from a company called “Who Gives a Crap.” Yes, that’s their company name. We purchase from them for a number of reasons, including price, environment and their support of putting in appropriate technology toilets throughout the world. 

Though they're still growing, and now make more than just toilet paper, they always want to stay true to their roots: toilet humour and making the world a better place. 

This is why we purchase from them despite their outlandish name and sense of humour, especially on their products. A number of congregation members also purchase from them for the homes and if you want details if you would like to support this group please go to https://au.whogivesacrap.org/ or talk to Lyn Colless, John Candy or Chrisanthi Maddison.



SERVICES for June 2021, July 2021, August 2021 

Date

Sunday

Hebrew Scripture

Epistle

Gospel

Jun 06

Pent 02

1 Samuel 8:4-20

2 Cor 4:13-5:1

Mark 3:20-35

Jun 13

Pent 03

1Sam 15:34-16:13

2 Cor 5:6-17

Mark 4:26-34

Jun 20

Pent 04

1 Sam 17:32-49

2 Cor 6:1-13

Mark 4:35-41

Jun 27

Pent 05

2 Sam 1:1,17-27

2 Cor 8:7-15

Mark 5:21-43

 

 

 

 

 

July 04

Pent 06

2 Sam 5:1-5,

2 Cor 12:2-10

Mark 6:1-13

July 11

Pent 07

2Sam 6:1-5,12b-19

Eph 1:3-14

Mark 6:14-29

July 18

Pent 08

2 Sam 7:1-14a

Eph 2:11-22

Mark6:30-34,53-56

July 25

Pent 09

2 Sam 11:1-15

Eph 3:14-21

John 6:1-21

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 01

Pent 10

2 Sam 11:26–12:13a

Eph 4:1-16

John 6:24-35

Aug 08

Pent 11

2 Sam 18:5-9, 31-33

Eph 4:25–5:2

John 6:35,41-51

Aug 15

Pent 12

1Kgs 2:10-12; 3:3-14

Eph 5:15-20

John 6:51-58

Aug 22

Pent 13

1 Kgs 8: 22-30, 41-43

Eph 6:10-20

John 6:56-69

Aug 29

Pent 14

Song 2:8-13

James 1:17-27

Mark 7:1-8,14-23

 

 

 

 

 

 Humour

A Christian guy named Bill saw an ad online for a Christian horse, so he went to check it out. The horse’s owner said, “It’s easy to ride him. Just say ‘Praise the Lord!’ to make him go and ‘Amen!’ to make him stop.” Bill got on the horse and said, “Praise the Lord!” Sure enough, the horse started to walk. “Praise the Lord!” he said again, and the horse began to trot. “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” he yelled, and the horse broke into a gallop. Bill was enjoying his ride so much that he almost didn’t notice the cliff he and the horse were about to go over. Bill shouted “AMEN!” at the top of his lungs, and the horse stopped right at the edge of the cliff. Relieved, Bill said, “Phew! Praise the Lord!” 

UPCOMING EVENTS


June 2021 

1     9.00am ACOMP Exec meeting

       5.00pm SCCP Standing Committee Meeting

3    10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

6     9.30am Pentecost 2 Sunday Service Holy Communion

10   1.00pm PRC Meeting

11   5.00pm Synod Standing Committee Meeting

13   9.30am Memorial Service in Pentecost 3 Sunday Service

14   Queens Birthday Observance

16   2.00pm PYPP Meeting

17   10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting  

20   9.30am Pentecost 4 Sunday Service

22   SC Agenda meeting

22   UCA Anniversary

24   7.30am Local Ministers Meeting

       Rev John on Leave

27   9.30am Pentecost 5 Sunday Service

28   10am PRC Agenda Meeting

29   5.00pm SC Meeting 

July 2021 

1     10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

4     9.30am Pentecost 6 Service

6     Rev John returns from Leave

       9.00am ACOMP Exec meeting

 8    1pm PRC Meeting

 9    9.30am Synod SC Meeting    

11   9.30am Pentecost 7 Sunday Service Holy Communion

15   10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting 

20   9.30am Pentecost 8 Sunday Service

21   10am PYPP Team Meeting

22   7.30am Local Ministers Meeting

25   9.30am Pentecost 9 Sunday Service

27   5.00pm SC Agenda Meeting      

August 2021 

1     9.30am Pentecost 10 Sunday Service Holy Communion

2     10.00am PRC Agenda Meeting

3     9.00am ACOMP Exec meeting

       5.00pm SC Meeting

5     10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

8     9.30am Pentecost 11 Sunday Service

12   1.00pm PRC Meeting

15   9.30am Pentecost 12 Sunday Service

18   10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting

       6pm SCC Presbytery Meeting

19  10.00am SCCP Presbytery Life and Witness  

       Executive Meeting.

22   9.30am Pentecost 13 Sunday Service

24   5.00pm SC Agenda Meeting

29   9.30am Pentecost 14 Sunday Service

30   10am PRC Agenda Meeting

31    5.00pm SC Meeting 

NOTES FROM COUNCIL and COMMITTEES 

Church Council 

Covid-19

While we continue our Face-to-Face Worship our Covid-19 Safety Plan continues in operation and is updated in line with the changing Government Covid-19 regulations.

Supplies are being purchased by the Education and Social Committee for use after each session of worship. 

Service Matters

Elaine will seek a second person to assist with Communion preparation.

It was agreed that tongs will be provided for Communion Services to enable bread to be served when supplies of the Covid safe cups runs out.

Currently we place a Bowl is placed near the foyer for retiring offering placement. This will change as regulations change. 

Parramatta Mission

Davyn from the Mission is to be invited to speak/preach at our service in late October early November. He has agreed to share with us on October 24th, 2021. 

Sunday Kids

There are now no teachers available to attend to this and alternative arrangements are being put in place. This involves making class notes ready in case the need should arise.

The young person’s talk during Services will also go into abeyance and the Worship leader will have a talk ready to use if needed. This may be on readings other than those set in the lectionary for that Sunday. 

Property Committee

·       The report was received and accepted with the following additional comments:

·       Artisan Stone has investigated the water leakage problem and provided a quotation for necessary works. 

·       A quotation of $132,000 plus GST was received. 

·       The work is becoming more urgent following every rain event.

·       There is difficulty in getting relevant companies to quote.

·       Possible funding ideas and sources were discussed. 

Flooding in Livingstone Room

There is no easy option available to halt the flooding during rain events and it is believed one of the drainage pits becomes blocked and needs regular clearing.

It has been suggested that a clean-up take place in the Livingstone and Walker Rooms on a Saturday afternoon.  This is to take place later this year. 

Notice Board Deterioration

The notice board at the front of the church has reached a stage where replacement of boards is required.  It is planned that a different colour scheme be used this time to enable it to stand out to those passing.  

Elders Group 

The Elders have not had a meeting since COVID. Their proposed date for their next meeting is 25th May 2021. 

Nurture Group 

The first meeting for Nurture Group this year was held on 25th March. We are trialling lunchtime meetings instead of the evening. We begin at 11 30am with a simple shared lunch and continue with our program as before and finish at 2.00pm. 

Property Sub-Committee 

Repairs have been completed to the “barge board” eave above the external door into the Vestry. 

Works

·       A report indicating the need of repairs to arrest water ingress into the roof cavity of the church has been received. The best course of action to affect these costly repairs is being assessed.

·       Water is still entering the downstairs Livingstone Room. To help address this problem, the Korean Rainbow Congregation requested permission to remove the carpet tiles and paint the floor and walls. This action makes it easier to remove water which otherwise would have soaked the tiles. We are grateful for the interest and concern of the Re. Kyou and his congregation in helping to maintain the property.

·       The Notice Board has deteriorated and needs parts replacing.

·       Rear Fence – the badly deteriorating fence we share with 6 Maismonde Place was replaced on Friday 30 April with a “like for like” i.e., treated pine timber.

·       Memorial Gardens - Prospective contractors have attended and examined the site. The committee awaits a commitment from one of these qualified persons to offer suggestions for rejuvenating the area and to submit a quote for the work to be undertaken. 

Social and Education Sub-Committee 

The last meeting was held on 14th May 2021and the following Officers were elected:

Chair: Jan Roden.                       Deputy Chair: Kaye Baker

Treasurer: Chrisanthi Maddison. Dep Treasurer: Lyn Colless

Secretary: Elaine Forrest.            Dep Secretary: Lyn Colless 

Overall Goals

·       To provide as many activities as possible for people to join and to have events we can invite new people to so that they can grow into their membership of the Marsden Road church family.

·       To raise money to help Charities.

·       To be responsible for Morning Teas (except Friendship Circles Morning Teas.) 

Suggested Activities

Equinox/Solstice Outing:  Bundanoon, Monday 21st June.

Simply Sharing Tea: “So They Can”        Sunday 27th June.

Equinox Outing: Kurrajong            Monday 20thSeptember.

Barbecue: Frontier Services           Sunday 24thOctober

Pop Up Picnics Mobbs Lane Park      Dates to be decided. 

Financial Matters

It was agreed that we send $500 to Community Aid.

It was agreed that when there was $200 in the jar for Parramatta Mission, that we would add another $200.

It was agreed that this Committee would be responsible for the purchase of Wipes, Sanitiser, and plastic bags. 

General Business

It was suggested that Elaine make an appointment with the Manager at Alan Walker Village to ask for any suggestions that he might have for ways that Marsden Road Church could connect with members of the Village e.g., Trivia Night, Indoor Bowls.

It was proposed that at the next meeting we think about a picnic at Lake Parramatta, Christmas Party or not and a Bring and Buy a Meal. 

Finance Position 

The Chart below shows our income and expenditure over the last twelve months. It must be noted that the closure of the Church for worship and other uses during the Covid-19 Pandemic has reduced our income from offerings, but we have received grants from the Government to help with the loss of rent and support for wages. These grants have of course now ceased and our giving for the last few months is less than our ministry costs. We need to consider again our own giving and stewardship. Please look at your current giving and if possible increase it.


 

Christian Community Aid (CCA) provides a diverse range of support services to people living, working and studying in the Ryde, Parramatta and Hornsby Local Government Areas.

Their vision is to engage with the community to enable better lives. For 50 years they have been working to provide personalised, timely and innovative support that addresses the existing and emerging needs of people. CCA aims to develop resources and capacity that will contribute to strong, inclusive and resilient communities.

Thank you to all who support this very worthy cause including bringing to Marsden Road Church non-perishable food items. Please remember that even the smallest contribution helps.


 
CONGREGATION

 Our mission: to reflect Christ alive in the Community.

You are Welcome to join us at Marsden Road Uniting!  We gather to worship together at 9.30am every Sunday morning. 

We hope that you will experience the presence of God in this place and among the people of God here. All are welcome.

Website: www.marsdenroadunitingchurch.org.au 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MRUCC082016/

Parramatta Mission amid COVID-19


As a church that provides hospitality, community and clinical services, Parramatta Mission are at the forefront of supporting individuals, families and communities who are disadvantaged, vulnerable & doing it tough.

During this difficult time of COVID-19 Parramatta Mission continues to assist those in need.

On the frontline, Meals Plus is operating as an essential service. In fact, our work here has never been more vital as more people in the community face increased hardship.

Many of their services are continuing to remain open so that they can support our clients.

Our prayers for our services and the staff who are on the frontline facing the impact of Covid-19 would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to contribute to their work at this time, please visit www.parramattamission.org.au/donate  

 Humour

At our weekly Bible study, the leader asked an elderly gentleman, Walt, to open the meeting with prayer. Walt did so in a soft voice. Another man, straining to hear, shouted, “I can’t hear you!” Walt replied, “I wasn’t talking to you.

Children’s Puzzle



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Unting Worship - Pentecost Sunday - 23 May 2021

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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One In the Holy Spirit

Pentecost Sunday - year of Mark 9.30am 

Gathering God’s People 

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land. 

Call to Worship

(Dorothy McRae McMahon, Liturgies for High Days, 2007)

Remember a time when your hopes and dreams died. Remember your feelings of despair and powerlessness. Then remember your surprise when something stirred within, when new seeds of hope sprouted forth. That is the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of Pentecost.

Holy, Holy, Holy God, wonder, mystery and all-goodness, in the power of the Spirit we are carried into your presence.

You are God and we are your people.

Holy, Holy, Holy God, wonder, healer, liberator and all-justice, in the power of the Spirit we are called into the world.

You are our God, and we are your people, and come to worship you in faith and in hope.

Come in, all who are empty and exhausted.

The Good Shepherd fills our lives with goodness and faithful love.      

Hymn 398: Come down, O Love divine
                  (Tune – Down Ampney) 

Opening prayer

Be alive among us this day, Jesus Christ, drawing all eyes

towards your word as it is revealed before us, opening all

ears as your Spirit speaks into our hearts and moving

within our lives in ways which touch us deeply so that we

bow in humble faith before your holiness. Come to us

now, we pray, O God. Amen. 

A Prayer of Confession

Loving God, if our faith has become so mundane to us that we have ceased to expect to be surprised by your holiness, treading each day as if we know all that is possible instead of looking around us for your new word.

Stride into our lives, Jesus Christ, and interrupt us with your grace.

O God, when we look at others and fail to see the godliness which may6 be present there, assuming that we know all there is to know about them and closing our minds and hearts to fresh gifts.

Stride into our lives, Jesus Christ, and interrupt us with your grace.

O God, if we rarely search ourselves to see if you are inviting the sharing of beauty and wisdom from within our own lives and inspiring us to be the vehicles for your holy word in this day.

Stride into our lives, Jesus Christ, and interrupt us with your grace. Forgive us when we expect less than you give. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Turn your lives towards our Holy God, for all grace there, all freedom and hope. The word of God will not fail us. We are forgiven.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

Renewed with the gifts of the Spirit and blessed by visions and dreams of peace in our world, let us share Christ’s peace with one another.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you! 

Offering Prayer

Gracious God, this is a day of new beginnings. The birth of your newest updated message of love for all of humanity, spoken on the lips not just of one man, but on the lips of many. We speak loudly of our faith and trust in your will and way for us, through our commitment to your church. Bless our gifts to spread your message far and wide, to all who need relief, assurance, and mercy in the name of the Christ. Amen. 

Hymn 411: Filled with the Spirit’s power

                  (Tune - Woodlands) 

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                       Acts 2:1-21                   

The Gospel Reading:                 John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15     

 Readings: NRSV Translation 

Acts 2:1-21.

[2:1] When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. [2] And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. [3] Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. [4] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. [5] Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. [6] And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. [7] Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? [8] And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? [9] Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, [10] Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, [11] Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." [12] All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" [13] But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."  [14] But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. [15] Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. [16] No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: [17] 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. [18] Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. [19] And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. [20] The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. [21] Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' 

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15              

15 26 ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. 16 4 But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. ‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. 12 ‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 

Preaching of the WordOne In the Holy Spirit

There’s no better time to celebrate the diversity of the Kingdom of God than on the Day of Pentecost. Separately, our differences are too diverse to list, but put together, our individual uniqueness creates a beautiful kaleidoscope we call the Body of Christ.

Sadly, today we see people and nations torn apart by racism, religious chauvinism, chauvinism or gender inequality, human-made borders and cultural bigotry. We have become a culture of us-versus-them, where the “other” is to be feared and never trusted. This is not a new occurrence, but one would have hoped that humanity would have learned from its past mistakes and recurrent genocides over the ages; however, here we are in the 21st century, repeating history again with chilling efficiency and cruelty.

Pentecost is a reminder that God’s Holy Spirit is given freely to all people with no respect for race, culture, socioeconomic standing, gender or any other distinguishing mark used by people to differentiate one person from another. In God we are one.

On the Day of Pentecost, reported in the Book of Acts, people gathered in Jerusalem from all corners of the Roman Empire. They represented competing economic interests, diverse cultures, a myriad of languages and different religious traditions. Nevertheless, God’s grace was given freely to all who heard the message preached by Peter, and thousands converted to Christ. These aliens who converged on Jerusalem returned to their homes and spread the message of Christ, the message of love, of being loved, of compassion and of inclusiveness. And the church began to spread like a wildfire engulfing dry brush.

From its inception, the church was a diverse group of people who hailed from a variety of cultures and languages. It was in the midst of this great diversity that God sent the Holy Spirit upon his church and started a movement that would change the history of the world forever.

The message of Christ hasn’t changed, but those who claim to be his followers have often failed miserably in living up to that message. The greatest temptation facing Christians isn’t necessarily losing their passion, but rather, losing sight of the fact that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female. In God’s kingdom there are no illegal aliens or undocumented workers. We who have died with Christ in baptism are resurrected to be a new people bound in love and service to one another.

The Holy Spirit is given freely, without respect for citizenship or socio-economic class, and God continues today to pour out his Spirit on all humanity.

The Holy Spirit works as a transformative agent in the lives of believers. Just as Jesus glorified humanity when he ascended to God, the gift of the Holy Spirit restores our relationship with that same God.

In the fourth century, Saint Basil wrote:

“Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God ‘Parent’ and to share in Christ’s grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory.”

In order for this transformation to take place, we must be willing to die to ourselves and surrender ourselves to Christ and God’s will for our lives.

Jesus promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit whose fruits are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. These fruits are the qualities of Jesus that the Holy Spirit develops in our lives as we grow in our faith. That’s who we are and who we are to become as Christians. The Holy Spirit transforms the believer into the image of Christ and obliges the Christian to share in the Church’s apostolic and missionary activity. Just as the disciples’ bold and fearless witness at Pentecost led to the conversion of a great many people that morning, so too are we called to bear witness of God’s love for the world today. This love is freely given to all humanity.

The Holy Spirit compels us to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbour as ourselves. One way we do this is by reaching out to the unloved, the hard to love, and the rejected in our midst and loving them, emulating our Heavenly Father’s love for us who are called by His name.

An elderly man of some affluence once asked a pastor how he could possibly learn to serve the least in society. The pastor answered, “You will be able to serve others when you see the crucified Christ in every person you meet, regardless of their social standing.” That is a tall order to fulfill, but not an impossibility for those who allow the indwelling Holy Spirit to work in them. I would also add that this comes when we can see ourselves as beloved and all we meet as beloved in God.

Every time we who are baptised into the Body of Christ approach the Eucharistic table, we are reminded of God’s love for us. It is around the holy table gathered with our brothers and sisters in Christ that our Heavenly Parent graciously accepts us as living members of his own Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and feeds us with spiritual food in the Sacrament.

Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we welcome new believers into the blessed family we call the Body of Christ. As they pass through the waters of baptism, we are asked to do all in our power to support them in their life in Christ. All of us have an important role to play in their spiritual development. It is no small thing what we do around the baptismal font, since all of us take solemn vows for which God will hold us accountable.

Just as the Holy Spirit was poured out on peoples of every language at Pentecost, so the Holy Spirit today continues to draw people from every culture, language and ethnicity into the family we call the church catholic. Pentecost is an awe-inspiring day of joy and celebration on many levels. Through the Holy Spirit, we welcome strangers into our midst and become family, and we welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives and become transformed into the image of Christ.

May the gift of the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost renew us today and stir up within us those spiritual gifts which God has so richly and freely given to us when we were baptized into Christ’s holy church. 

Hymn 414: There’s a spirit in the air,

                 (Tune – Lauds) 

Intercessory PrayersPentecost year B

Living God, in this world of disposable cups and disposable heroes, throwaway lines and throwaway lives; set our sights upon those gifts which are sourced in you and continue beyond forever. Ground us in your living Spirit, that we may be witness to the new birth of your love in our lives and the world around us.

Slow down the consumption of our communication and push us beyond the tweets and posts of the 24-hour news cycle. Help us to pause before the pain and confusion,

of our fractured and fragmented world that we might perceive the story of your Good News in Jesus Christ.

Fill us with Pentecost fire and attune us to the needs of others, while not neglecting that which heals our own wounds.

Push us beyond simple explanations and proximate solutions onto the steep path of true reconciliation and deep listening.

Remind us of the gifts already within us and the challenge of those talents not yet discovered. For all good things are from you, and all good things are of you. Just as we are from you and we are of you. In your spirit-filled and living, giving name, we pray. Amen. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn 409: O breath of life,

                   (Tune – Spiritus Vitae) 

Benediction    

Go forth and point to the wonders of God of God.   Go forth and carry justice and compassion into the world, for this is the word in Christ to us.  

And may Almighty God, rise up in majesty before us, Christ Jesus draw our eyes towards true life and the Holy Spirit be discovered in every new day. Amen      

Hymn 778: Shalom to you now

                 (Tune – Somos Del Señor)




Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Church Worship for Easter 6 - 09 May 2021

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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Their Feet Are Clean…,

Easter 6 - Sunday 09th May 2021 

Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land. 

Call to Worship- (Abingdon 2013 and Dorothy McRae-McMahon)

        Sing joyful songs to God! Alleluia!

     We are Easter people!

     God has worked miracles!

     Jesus is our joy!

     Sing joyful songs to God!

     Alleluia! We are Easter people!

     God’s love for us lasts forever.

     Jesus makes us into friends.

     Sing joyful songs to God!

     Alleluia! We are Easter people! 

Alleluia! Even the ends of the earth see the saving power of our God.

The sea roars with joy, and the floods clap their hands. Trumpets sound and horns celebrate with song!

Alleluia! The Holy Spirit falls upon all who hear the word of God.

When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love?

Alleluia! Jesus has extended to all people the friendship of our God.

We were strangers and then servants, but now we are God’s friends. 

Hymn TIS 268: Joy to the world - (tune – Antioch) 

     Opening prayer

     Holy God, you make us Easter people— a people transformed by the resurrection of your Son, Jesus. Your first and final word to us is Love. You reach out to us, offering joy and wholeness. Yet we often greet your resurrection by grieving at the tomb, doubting the good news we hear, or quaking in fear as we hide in our upper rooms. Still, you call us deeper into Easter, answering our resistance with your loving presence. You claim us as your friends. As we gather now to worship, teach us once more to abide in your love, that our joy may be complete. Amen. 

      A Prayer of Confession

Lord Jesus Christ, you reach across every boundary, even death itself, and draw us into loving intimacy with you.

Forgive us for resisting your love. You call us your friends, yet we act like minor acquaintances or even strangers. You send us into the world to proclaim your love, yet we gape in astonishment when you include all people in your love.

The light of your resurrection conquers the darkness in our lives, yet we act as if your love is a burden.

Give us Easter lives, we pray, for you alone have the power to save us. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Jesus promises, “You did not choose me. I chose you.” We know that we are God’s children, raised to new life with Christ. Abide in the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

Jesus loves us and gives us the grace to love one another. Greet one another with signs of the love and peace of the risen Christ.

The peace of Christ be with you.

The peace of Christ be with you always. 

A Word with the Children/Young People

Theme: The love of Jesus fills our hearts with joy.

Object: A happy face poster and a sad face poster (see below sermon) mounted back-to-back on a stick.

What kind of day are you having today? Are you happy, (Show the smiley face.) or are you sad? (Show the sad face.) What are some of the things that make you happy? Here are some things I thought of that might make you happy.

  • A sunny day
  • A party
  • A new toy
  • A puppy
  • An ice cream cone
  • A balloon
  • Spending time with a friend

What are some things that make you sad?

  • Falling down and skinning your knee
  • Making a bad grade in school
  • Feeling all alone
  • Losing your favourite toy
  • Having an argument with your best friend
  • When someone says something that hurts your feelings
  • When you miss someone

When you think about things that make you happy and things that make you sad, it is pretty simple. When something good happens, you are happy and when something bad happens, you are sad. Do you think Jesus wants you to be happy? Listen to what Jesus says in the Gospel Reading from John in our Bible reading for today, As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. Yes, your joy will overflow!" Does that mean that nothing bad will ever happen in your life? No, of course not, but even when you are sad, you can still have joy in your heart because you know that Jesus loves you. 

Offering Prayer

God, you withhold nothing from us. You transform us with your friendship. You desire that we know and share your joy. We offer these gifts to you, grateful for our Easter life in Jesus Christ. Use them, we pray, to make your love and friendship known throughout the world. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 236: Jesus’ hands were kind hands. (tune -  Au Clair De La Lune)                               

                                    The Service of the Word 

First Reading:                                            1 John 5:1-6

The Gospel Reading:                                John 15: 9-17

                               After the final reading the reader will say For the Word of the Lord

                               Please respond by saying                 Thanks be to God. 

Readings: New revised Standard Version 

1 John 5:1-6

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. 

John 15: 9-17

        9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. 

Preaching of the Word - Their Feet Are Clean…,

Their feet are clean, and their bellies are full; they’ve eaten some bread and drunk some wine. They are having supper together on the night before Passover. Judas has hastily left the upper room. A few of them assume that because he kept the cash bag, Judas is off buying needed provisions for the next day’s feast. We, of course, know better. John, the Beloved disciple, is reclining near Jesus’ chest and listening. These readings, this Sunday’s and last’s, taken from the Gospel of John in these weeks before our observance of Ascension Day, record some parting sayings of Jesus — his farewell discourse and prayers. “Now the Son of Man is glorified,” Jesus says “and in him God is glorified; Little children, yet a little while I am with you; I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more.” Goodbye for now, Jesus seems to say. “I am going away and coming back to you.”

He is speaking to his disciples as friends, as one who knows loss and feels a deep sadness at the prospect of parting in death from his flesh-and-blood companions. He alternates between speaking plainly and speaking figuratively. All this may seem a little troubling, but it needn’t be. “If you keep my commandments,” Jesus says in today’s Good News, “you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

Jesus is going away, to be sure. But he is going more in the sense of a homecoming, of going off to a family reunion with his father. They are so close–Jesus and Abba. We get a sense of this throughout the strange, rhapsodic chapters of John’s Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In Jesus, the Christ, the word becomes flesh and dwells among us. The author of the fourth Gospel gives us the Logos; gives breath and life and form to this Word. He who was in the beginning with God, Jesus, the Christos, is preparing in this fifteenth chapter of John’s Gospel to return to the beginning, to God, to the parent.

He is known to us, then gone. He is present, larger than life. Then he’s absent. He is with us, sharing a meal, teaching and praying. And then he is taken. In this Easter season, we hear how he appears: to Thomas and the twelve in the Upper Room; and again, making breakfast by the lakeshore at the Sea of Tiberius. But just as quickly as he’s known to us, he’s gone. He appears then disappears.

Barbara Brown Taylor describes Christ’s final “disappearance” in a piece collected by Philip Zaleski’s in his Best Spiritual Writing 1999 entitled, “The Day We Were Left Behind”:

“You can read in Acts 1:6-11 how one moment he was there with them and the next moment he was gone, his well-known hand raised in final blessing, his face grown bright and indistinct, his familiar shape vanishing into the fog like the end of a dream too good to be true – all of it slipping out of their reach until he was no longer there for them, no longer present but past, a memory that would haunt them to the end of their days.”

Before vanishing into the fog, Jesus wants us to know something. He prays that we’ll understand this. The disciple whom Jesus loved tells us this something; he seems to “get it.” That something is this: the Maker of all things loves us and wants us. We need to know this and abide in our knowledge of God’s love. The overwhelming love that obtains between Jesus and his disciples has it origin in the Father to whom Jesus is returning. His loves overflows in his final act of self-giving on the cross.

That Jesus and the Father are close there can be no doubt. We get a sense of this throughout John’s Gospel. It’s a sense that Reynolds Price, a contemporary writer and scholar who’s translated John from the original Koine or “common language” Greek, relates his own understanding of Jesus as one who “stood in a demonstrably but inexplicably intimate relation to the creator of our world.” Jesus is leaving. He tells us in John 4:3, “And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will bring you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” By the fifteenth chapter, which we read today, John’s gospel is heading toward its climax.

In a little while Jesus will leave the room where he’s broken bread, go out to the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron valley, to a garden called Gethsemane. There, as we say, things will really start to fall apart at the seams.

In the midst of his farewell to his disciples, as recorded in the Gospel of John, Jesus declares, “As I am loved by the Father, so have I loved you.” His ability to love is the direct fruit and consequence of his being loved: “As I am loved so have, I loved you.” Why is it that our love is so faltering and short-lived, so subject to moods and patterns of natural affinity? Because we have not allowed ourselves to fall into the hands of the living God and to experience in its full force the brutal gentleness of the divine love.

The “brutal gentleness” indeed! God’s love is sometimes like this, an oxymoron, brutally gentle, bitterly sweet. Will we stand by and watch as Jesus vanishes into the fog? Will we grasp after an explanation for his premature departure? Will we know ourselves as loved, and through every desolation, await the return of God’s unchanging presence? Praying

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding. Pour into our hearts such love for you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire, 4through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Hymn 641: This is my will, my one command. (tune – Suantrai)  

Intercessory Prayers  

      After the words:            In your mercy,

      please respond with      hear our prayer. 

Easter 6 – Year B –

Most merciful God, the generosity of your love is astounding to us: in confidence and trust we bring to you our prayers for your people.

Your love reaches out to all your children: hear our prayers for your world and all its people.

We pray for leaders of nations, for all in positions of authority and responsibility; for the hungry, the homeless and the dispossessed,

for all victims of hatred, violence or injustice. Teach us how to love each other as you love us, without distinction of race or colour.

Ever-loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The gift of your Spirit is for all your children: hear our prayers for your church, for all who believe in you and for all who long to know you.

We pray for all religious leaders, theologians, pastors, teachers and administrators; for ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue; for all victims of religious fanaticism or intolerance.

Teach us to love each other as you love us, without regard to creed or practice.

Ever-loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

You came among us, born into a human family: hear our prayers for the people of this community, for our families, our friends and for ourselves.

We pray for civic leaders and for all who advance the welfare of this community; for all in relationships that are bitter, violent or destructive; for the unemployed and all who are victims of economic greed.

Teach us to love each other as you love us, welcoming both friend and stranger.

Ever-loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

You lived among us, sharing with us our griefs and · pain s: hear our prayers for the sick and all who suffer.

We pray for all who spend their lives bringing care and comfort to others; for those in sadness, anxiety, despair or pain; for all who are forgotten, unheard, unvalued, unloved.

Teach us to love each other as you love us, caring for both the vulnerable and strong.

Ever-loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

You laid down your life for those you loved: we remember your friends of every place and age.

We remember those who have given their lives that others may live, the saints and martyrs and all your faithful people.

Teach us to love each other as you have loved us, that following your commandments, we may be numbered among your friends and abide forever in your love.

Ever-loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen 

Hymn 665: Jesus Christ is waiting. (tune – Noel Nouvelet) 

          Benediction

         The whole creation celebrates God’s victory of love. Live lives of victorious faith.

        When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love?

        Jesus abides in the love of God. Abide in God’s love every day of your lives.

        When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love?

        Jesus calls you, his friends. Carry the friendship of God to everyone you meet.

        When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love? 

Hymn 778: Shalom to you. (tune – Somos Del Senor)



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Unting Worship - Easter 5 - 02 May 2021

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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Is There an App For Abiding?

Easter 5 Sunday - year of Mark 9.30am

 Gathering God’s People 

        Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land. 

Call to Worship- (Abingdon 2021)

        Christ is the vine. We are the branches. Abide in the vine, and you will abide in love.

     Come to Christ, the true vine, and bear much fruit.

     and to bear the fruit of salvation.

     Come to love one another, for love is of God.

     We have come to the household of love, for God is love.

     Come to set aside your fears, for perfect love drives out fear.

     We have come to love one another, as God has loved us. 

     Come! All are welcome here. 

Hymn 153: God is love, let heaven adore him.

                 (tune – Abbot’s Leigh) 

     Opening prayer

     Divine Vinegrower, the soil of your love nurtures the roots of our lives each and every day. As we consecrate ourselves into your loving care, plant us in the soil of your love, that we may abide in Christ, our true vine, and bear the fruit of your love and grace. Give us rain in seasons of doubt and nourish our growth, that our harvest of love may bless the world. In your bountiful name, we pray. Amen. 

      A Prayer of Confession

Source of love and life, your glory knows no bounds.

We yearn to set aside our fears, but we are often afraid. We long to love our sisters and brothers, but we often feel alienated from them.

We desire to abide in you as you abide in us, but we can’t seem to figure out how.

Show us once more how to love, for only love can cast out our fear. Show us how to love one another well, for only then can we truly know you.

Show how to abide in your vine, for only then can we bear the fruit that glorifies your name. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

When we abide in Christ, we abide in the vine of love and grace. Abide in the vine and receive mercy beyond measure.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

As we abide in Christ, our vine, we bear the fruit of God’s love. Let us share the joy of our fortune by exchanging signs of Christ’s peace with one another.

The peace of Christ be with you.

The peace of Christ be with you always.

 (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)  

Offering Prayer

Bountiful God, you fill the poor with good things and cause the hungry to be satisfied. May these gifts be instruments of your grace and may our very lives be the means of spreading your blessings. Make these gifts be for the world a sign of your boundless love and your overflowing abundance. Amen. 

Hymn 104: While morning still is breaking.

                 (tune – Webb)                    

The Service of Holy Communion

 The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.

And also, with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When we turned away from you, and our love failed, you turned to us, again and again, and your love remained steadfast. You led us from slavery to freedom, made a covenant with us, and set before us the way that leads to life. And so with your people on earth, and all the company of heaven, We praise your name and join their unending hymn.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ. Your spirit anointed him to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to announce the time when you would save your people. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and ate with sinners. His very presence was and is a sign of your victory over death. He was and is the resurrection and the life. He led and leads us to freedom from sin and death. And the meal that we share is a sign of your new and everlasting covenant.

On the night in which he gave himself for us he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples and said, “Drink from this, all of you; this is the blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, claiming the promise that if we have died with him, we shall also be raised with him, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again!

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of the risen Christ, redeemed by his blood. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other,

and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Through your Son, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy church, all honour and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever. Amen. 

Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.   

The Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread and take this cup so that we can all share in the life of Christ. God's gifts for God's people. 

Thanks, be to God. 

Lamb of God

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace. 

Invitation to Communion

Come to the table of grace, for Christ is the vine, and we are the branches.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come to the table of love, for whoever does not love, does not know God.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come to the table of blessing, for Christ is here to abide in us, as we abide in him.

Come, Holy Spirit, come. 

Prayer after Communion

This has been no ordinary meal. It has been one in which we have been fed and nourished with the life of Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord. May we go from this table, refreshed and eager, to share that life with others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

The Service of the Word 

 First Reading:                                             1 John 4.7-21

 The Gospel Reading:                                John 15.1-8

 After the final reading the reader will say For the Word of the Lord

 Please respond by saying                  Thanks be to God. 

1 John 4.7-21

7 Beloved let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. 15 God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. 

John 15.1-8

        1 ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

Preaching of the Word - Is There an App For Abiding? - John 15:1-8

Unfortunately, some of us feel that if we don’t check our smartphones every few minutes, we will miss out on something crucial, maybe the event of the year or the e-mail that will change the course of our lives. And it is even more embarrassing when we don’t seem to be aware that we are doing it, and someone brings it to our attention – often the person we should have been listening to!

A common lament, whether working in an office or as a full-time parent, is that there simply are not enough hours in the day. Schedules are too full, responsibilities too numerous and commitments too demanding. Given this, a common reason as to why we don’t eat better or exercise more or even pray more regularly is simply, “Who has the time?”

We can easily mishear the invitation in today’s gospel passage as yet another demand on our time. We can make the mistake of assuming that what often works well in one aspect of our lives, works equally well in our spiritual lives: in this case, the motto of every controlling and rushed person – which is all of us at one time or another – “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.”

But listen to Jesus today, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower.” And Jesus goes on to tell us very clearly who is doing the work, and it is not you or me, my friends. “He removes every branch in me that does not bear fruit.”

This image of the people of God as “God’s vineyard” is a very old one, going back to the Jewish psalms, as well as other places in the Old Testament.

Listen to part of Psalm 80: “You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.” Again, notice that it is God who is doing all the planting here, not us. And think of all the other I AM statements found in the Gospel of John: “I AM the light of the world,” “I AM the gate,” “I AM the resurrection and the life.”

All these I AM statements in the Gospel of John point to the reality of God’s availability. It is ironic that Christianity has the reputation of being an other-worldly religion, focused almost exclusively on how to get into heaven. Maybe you have seen the bumpers stickers declaring, “Jesus is coming, look busy!” or “Friends don’t let friends miss out on heaven!” It may sound surprising, but this kind of theology of a “distant god” is what most of us are comfortable with, because it ultimately pushes God to the sidelines, and we can remain in control. We are very good at being busy and taking responsibility, and we rather prefer this to being on the receiving end of change. But as Jesus in today’s reading, “Abide in me as I abide in you.”

In today’s gospel, Jesus addresses us twice with the phrase “I AM the vine.” There is a promise here. “I AM the vine, and you are the branches.” Jesus is asking each of us to simply be with him. This sounds deceptively easy. Listen to the words of the Collect for Purity from the Anglican Prayer Book: “Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid.” It’s OK to relax a bit and stop worrying about hiding those parts of ourselves that we don’t want others, and surely not God, to see. We can abide with God, instead of busying ourselves to keep God at a distance.

The promise of Jesus, the Vine, the Gate, the Light, is abundant life here and now, not just in some future time. God is doing more in our lives than any of us are aware. God in Jesus is simply inviting each of us to take the time to notice. But the trick, of course, is to let God do what God needs to do and for us to get out of the way. Jesus is very clear on this point when he says: “I AM the vine, you are the branches.” That is what abiding in the power of the Word is all about, not placing impediments in God’s way by trying to do for ourselves what God wants to do for us: reshape our hearts, bodies and minds to receive the forgiveness being offered.

Hopefully, now, you can hear Jesus’ words as the beautiful invitation it truly is: “Abide in me as I abide in you.” 

Hymn 681: Lord, let me see.

                 (tune – Let me See) 

Intercessory Prayers  

      After the words:            In your mercy,

      please respond with hear our prayer. 

Easter 5 – Year B

Loving and merciful God, you sent your Son into the world that all might have life through him: we pray for the whole family of nations.

We pray for all who endure poverty, starvation, oppression or war; we pray for peace between nations and for a just sharing of the earth's resources, that we may live as sisters and brothers, children of the same God.

God of love, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You sent your Son to be the Saviour of the world: we

pray for your worldwide church.

We pray for all who bring alive the Scriptures, for missionaries, teachers, theologians, writers and preachers:

we pray for unity among Christians, that together we may proclaim the gospel and live as sisters and brothers, children of the same God.

God of love, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You sent your Son into the world that we might know your love for all people: we pray for this community.

We pray for our families and friends, those we meet in our daily lives, for the hungry and homeless and those without work; We pray for a community that values and cares for all its members, that we may live as sisters and brothers, children of the same God.

God of love, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You sent your Son into the world to heal the sick, console the sorrowing and satisfy the hungry with good things: we pray for all in need.

We pray for all who are lonely and sad, for those in

grief or despair and for the sick; we pray for compassion and generosity to respond to the needs of others, that we may live as sisters and brothers, children of the same God.

God of love, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You sent your Son into the world that we might have eternal life: we remember your faithful people who rest in your eternal love.

We give thanks for Philip and all who have opened your Scriptures to others, for all who have carried your good news to distant places and all who have shared your gospel with those close at hand.

In life and in death may we follow your saints, that with our sisters and brothers of every generation, we too may abide forever in your love.

God of love, in your mercy,

hear our prayer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn 640: Kneels at the feet of his friends.

                 (tune – Chereponi) 

          Benediction

         Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God.

        We will be born of love each day of our lives.

        Beloved, let us abide in Christ’s love, for he is the vine, and we are the branches.

        We will grow as Christ’s disciples and bear fruit for a world in need.

        Beloved, let us care for one another, for the Spirit helps us abide in God’s peace.

        We will glorify God in the lives we lead. 

Hymn 778: Shalom to you

                 (tune – Somos del Senor)           

Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter - May 2021

Marsden Road Uniting Newsletter - April 26, 2021 - 11:44pm

Marsden Road Uniting Church

203 Marsden Road Carlingford

Monthly Newssheet May 2021

Our mission

Reflecting Christ Alive in the Community

Welcome! We gather to worship togetherat 9.30am everySunday on the homelands of theWallumedegal people. We acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

We hope that you will experience the presence of God in this place and among the peopleof God here. 

BIBLE READINGSFOR MAY

Psalms: 22: 25-31;98; 1; 104: 24-34,35b; 29.

N.T. Acts: 8: 26-40;10: 44-48; 1: 15-17, 21-26; 2: 1-21.

Gospel of John 15: 1-8; 15:9-17; 17: 6-19; 16: 4b-15; 3: 1-17.

Romans 8:12-17. 

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, walk with us in our day-to-day routine, we pray,so that our lives reflectyour presence and your values, and those with whom we mix can see that we have been with you.Shine though us, wepray. Amen 

CHURCH SERVICES

2nd May 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service.

9th May 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service.

16th May 9.30am: Dermot Armstrong will lead our service.

 23rd May 9.30am: Rev John Candy will lead our service.

30th May 9.30am: Alan Harper will lead our service. 

TRANSPORT

If you need transportto church, pleasering Elaine on 98747231. 

EDUCATION & SOCIAL COMMITTEE

There will be a committee meetingon Thursday 13th May at 2pm at the Forrest’s’, when we will discuss a program of activities for the remainderof the year. Come with your ideas. 

NURTURE GROUP

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 13th May at 11.30am at the Forrest’s’. Val Burgoyne will tell us her life story. Bring a plate to share for lunch. Everyone is welcome.

On Thursday 27th May Helen and Graham Edgerton will come to Nurture Group at the Forrest’s’ and show their pictures and tell of their trip to Arnhem Land. We will start with lunch at 11.30am. Please bring a plate to share. As always, everyoneis welcome. 

CHURCH COUNCIL

Church Council will meet on Tuesday 11th May at 7.30pm in the Gillard Room at the Church. An agenda will be circulated a week before the meeting. 

POP UP PICNIC - Let’s do it again!

To enjoy Autumn in our area and to celebrate belongingto a Christian Church community, we will be holding anotherpicnic.

·        It will all happen on Friday 14th May at 12.30pm and finish at 2pm or whenever!

·        We will gather in Mobbs Lane Park at the bottom of the hill in Mobbs Lane, on the left-hand

·        side coming from Marsden Road. Bring a folding chair, a sunhat, your own lunch, something to drink such as a thermos of tea or coffee or a cold drink.

·        Invite anyone associated with our church - or any friends you would like to bring along.

·        If you require transport, please contact Elaine or Grahame Forrest on 9874 7231.

Relax,catch up and enjoy the time together.

AN ANZAC TRIBUTE

 

ONE THOUSAND MEN ARE WALKING


One thousand men are walking,  walking side by side


singing songs from home the spiritas their guide

they walk toward the light milord they walk towardsthe sun

they smoke and laugh and smile together no foes tooutrun

these men live onforever

in the hearts of those they saved a nation truly grateful

for the path of peace they paved they march as friends and comrades but they do not marchfor war

step closer to salvation a tranquilsteady corps

the meadows lit with golden beams a beacon for the brave

the emerald grass untrampleda reward for whatthey gave

they dream of those they left behind and know they dream of themforever in those poppyfields

there walks one thousand men

Lest we forget

 

Written and illustrated by a 14-year-old boy in 2019.

Joshua Dyer (aged 14) was tasked at schoolto write a poem for Remembrance Day.

An hour later (withoutany help) he produced this. 


2021 Datesfor your Diary

Thursday 13th May NurtureGroup at Forrest’s’ at 11.30am Thursday27th May NurtureGroup at Forrest’s’ at 11.30am

 

Website: www.marsdenroadunitingchurch.org.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MRUCC082016/



 



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

MRUC Worship for Easter 3 - 18 April 2021

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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What Is There to Eat…,

Easter 3 Sunday year of Mark 9.30am 

Gathering God’s People 

 Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land. 

Call to Worship - (Abingdon Worship Annual 2021)       

For all who lose sight of hope, adjust our perspective, catch our eye, and touch us, Risen Saviour, with your surprising presence.

Answer us when we call, O God. Be gracious to us and hear our prayer.

When we are in distress, you make space for us. You put gladness in our hearts, as with a fine feast.

When we are disturbed, may we not sin, but ponder things on our beds, and be silent.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace. For you alone,O Lord, make me lie down in safety. 

Hymn TIS 261: Lord, you are the light of life to me.

                       (tune – Fairmead) 

     Opening Prayer

     Holy God, we give thanks that you often reveal yourself to be different from our expectations. When we long for the love we have known in the past, our eyes are dimmed to the beauty you reveal to us now. As your first followers struggled to see how a suffering saviour could be the messiah, we strain to recognize you still today. Come, Spirit, make yourself known in the study of scripture, in our songs of praise, and especially in the grace and love we offer one another, Make yourself known in every friend we have yet to meet in your good and blessed name. Amen. 

Prayer of Confession

Spirit of the Risen Saviour, when we fail to recognize you, we become reluctant to follow in your way.

Just as the disciples struggled to comprehend how the Christ could have been a suffering servant, we find it difficult to see you in those who suffer today.

We resist starting down the path you have shown us until we know exactly where it will lead.

Free us from cynicism and fear. Liberate your world from suspicion and prejudice. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Christ lived, died, and rose again for us, even while we were sinners. This is proof of God’s love for us. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven!

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

Welcome each other. Welcome the stranger. Welcome all who come. As Christ welcomed everyone, no matter what their background, no matter what their social status; as Christ welcomed enemies and friends, outcasts and leaders, foreigners and neighbours, let us open our hearts and homes and lives. Let us be Christ to everyone we meet.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!

(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.) 

A Word with the Children/Young People

Theme: Jesus appears to the Disciples.

Object: None is needed.

I remember times when I was a youngster when I went on camping trips. One of the favourite activities on those trips was sitting around a campfire at night and telling ghost stories. Even though I kept telling myself, "There is no such thing as a ghost," that didn't keep some of those stories from scaring the daylights out of me, and they often made it difficult for me to go to sleep that night.

Now, that might seem like a strange way to begin a Bible lesson, but even in Bible times, some people believed in ghosts and were afraid of them. Today's Bible lesson is one example of that.

The story begins after two men had walked along a road to a place called Emmaus. They were discussing the crucifixion of Jesus and all of the events that had taken place in the past few days. They wondered what it all meant. As they walked, they were joined by a man on their walk. They did not recognize that the man was Jesus. There is much more to that part of the story, but it is enough for now that we know that Jesus revealed himself to them. Finally, they recognized that the man was Jesus. They were so excited to see that Jesus was alive that they jumped up and walked all the way back to Jerusalem.

The two men found Jesus' disciples and began telling them what they had seen. The Bible tells us that as they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be to you." Do you think the disciples felt peace? No! The Bible says that they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they had seen a ghost!

Once again Jesus spoke to his disciples. "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do."

Still the disciples stood in disbelief, so Jesus asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of fish, and he ate it as they watched. That was even further proof that they were not seeing a ghost. A ghost doesn't need food.

The disciples had seen Jesus die. They had seen him placed in a tomb. But now they saw Jesus alive. Not just this day, but for more than 40 days, they saw him and talked with him. They even watched him eat food. They were not seeing a ghost! Those same disciples went all over the world, telling the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection. They never stopped telling the story during their whole lives.

You and I have been called to tell the story just like those disciples. We must be a witness for Jesus, too. We must tell the world that Jesus is alive. 

Offering

God of love help us remember that Christ has no body now on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours. Ours are the eyes to see the needs of the world. Ours are the hands to bless the people we meet. Ours are the feet to do good in Christ’s name. Bless, O God, the work of our hands and these offerings, that they may be Christ’s work in the world. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 686: Lord Jesus, we belong to you.

                       (tune – Cooke Plains) 

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                                            Acts 3.12-20

The Gospel Reading:                                        Luke 24:36b-48

After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the Lord

Please respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God. 

Readings: NRSV Translation 

Acts 3.12-20

12 When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. 17 ‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, 

Luke 24:36b-48

36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 37 They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 

Preaching of the Word - What Is There to Eat…,

“What is there to eat?”

“Have you anything here to eat?”

Isn’t that just like Jesus? Not only does he insist, during his lifetime, that we need to enter the Kingdom like children, now in the resurrection he models that for us.

How many times a day in how many kitchens across the land do children, young and old, tall and small, just stand there and demand to know, “What is there to eat?” And that is always the primary question with Jesus. As in real life, so it is in the resurrection of the body.

In Emmaus Jesus breaks bread with two of the disciples. On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he instructs the “Peter and John Fishing Company” to throw their nets over on the other side of their boat; they do so and fill the boat to overflowing! There are so many fish, in fact, that Peter has to jump overboard and wade into shore, where he finds Jesus, sitting by a charcoal fire, a few fish already on the grill, saying, “Come and have breakfast!”

Jesus says this to us, too: “Come and have breakfast!” We can relate to a God like this: on the beach, a warm fire, fresh fish, bread, some good friends. And then of course there is the story of the little boy. Jesus is there with five thousand people after a long day of teaching and preaching, and he turns to Philip and says, “What is there to eat? What do we have to feed all these people?”

It’s the same question. These stories can be seen as related.

And it’s a little boy who has five barley loaves and two fishes. And as it was that day, so it must have been on the beach, and so it was in that room with the disciples — same question, same food, same story. Everyone ate and was satisfied. Everyone’s eyes were opened, and they could see it was Jesus with them!

Everyone begins to understand when they eat with Jesus; to really understand for the first time. Everyone is to go and tell others to repent, to accept God’s forgiveness, and to tell the story-beginning right here and now!

And so, it is that we gather at the Lord’s table every week, to eat with him and his friends; to be fed to overflowing; to have our eyes opened and to begin to understand. And so, we, too, can go and tell others to repent, to accept God’s forgiveness, and to tell the story. This is how we know it is Jesus we are with-he is always eating and drinking with people. He always fills people to overflowing!

We know others did it, too. Peter, for instance. When asked for money by the lame man on the way to church, Peter said, “Silver and gold have we none. But such as we have given I thee. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And we know the man was healed and went walking and leaping and praising God. He became a witness of these things. Because he praised God and told the story, we are here today.

We gather and hear the words of scripture. We share the meal. We are with his friends. We recognise Jesus is here. And he sends us out to tell others the news, to tell others the story, to offer the Name of Jesus to everyone we meet.

So, when we are asked, “What is there to eat?” We can say, “Come and have breakfast. Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Rise up and walk! 

Hymn TIS 473: Community of Christ.

                       (tune – Leoni)              

Intercessory Prayers  

      After the words:            In your mercy,

      please respond with      hear our prayer. 

Easter 3 Sunday – Year B

Crucified and living God, we pray for the peace of the world, for harmony and good will between nations, for honesty and compassion in the exercise of government. We pray for all who are locked in lives of poverty, violence or disease. Risen God, send us to be instruments of your peace, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for the preservation of the earth, for a delight in its beauty, a respect for its creatures, for wise and just use of its resources. We pray for creatures who are endangered by our cruelty, indifference or greed. Risen God, send us to be good stewards of your creation, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for our land, for an appreciation of our diverse backgrounds and heritage, for a common sense of unity and purpose. We pray for all who live in fear because of prejudice, intolerance or exclusion. Risen God, send us to be agents of your reconciliation, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for your church, for unity and love between Christians, for power to faithfully proclaim your gospel in the world. We pray for those whose faith is threatened by disobedience, persecution or disbelief. Risen God, send us to be witnesses of your resurrection, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for those with whom we live and work, for our families, our friends and for ourselves, for relationships of mutual trust and love. We pray for those who are shut away behind bitterness, resentment or regret.

Risen God, send us to be bearers of your love, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for all in need, for comfort for the sad, peace for the anxious, relief for the suffering, and patience and strength for those who care for them. We pray for those who live with grief, loneliness, despair or pain.

Risen God, send us to bring your healing and your hope, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified arid living God, we remember and give thanks for your faithful people of every age who have believed and trusted in you. Help us, like them, to recognise the marks of your wounded love and your risen power, that, with them, we too may know you in our midst. Risen God, in life and in death let us rejoice in your presence, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen 

        Hymn TIS 210: O for a thousand tongues.

                               (tune – Lyngham)

        Benediction  

        Christ is alive and has met us here. Now let us meet God’s Spirit among friends, strangers, and in all of creation. For God’s love lives today and forevermore. Amen. 

        Hymn TIS 779: May the feet of God walk with you.

                               (tune – Aubrey)




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