Armadale UCA

24th May 2020

`All in this together…`

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Easter 7

Welcome and Grace

Opening Scripture

Awesome is God in His sanctuary.
The God of Israel;
He gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!

Ps. 68: 35

Hymn 477 `Jesus calls us here to meet Him`
https://youtu.be/X2FBmuFN6yo

1.Jesus calls us here to meet him,
as through word and song and prayer
we affirm God’s promised presence,
where his people live and care.
Praise the God who keeps his promise;
praise the Son who calls us friends;
praise the Spirit who, among us,
to our hopes and fears attends.

2.Jesus calls us to confess him,
Word of Life and Lord of All,
sharer of our flesh and frailness,
saving all who fail or fall.
Tell his holy human story;
tell his tales that all may hear;
tell the world that Christ in glory,
came to earth to meet us here.

3.Jesus calls us to each other
vastly different though we are;
creed and colour, class and gender,
neither limit nor debar.
Join the hand of friend and stranger;
join the hands of age and youth;
join the faithful and the doubter,
in their common search for truth.

(John L. Bell and Braham Maule)

Prayer

All mighty God, Father, Son and Spirit, God, three in one, Your very life and nature speak of unity and union, of community and communion.
Your love, respect and delight in the other demonstrate who You are…and how far we are from Your character – which is the humbling largesse of hospitable, generous love.
What a privilege is ours to be Your children, however wayward and petulant we are…
We come to honour You and praise you;
to wonder and adore You from our hearts, with our lives – all we are and have – joining with Christians from all over the world speaking different languages, with different customs, in different time zones – united in our love of Jesus Christ.
Come to us by Your Spirit to renew and revitalise us,
to encourage and enthuse us in the ways of Christ;
so that we may learn to live as He did –
to think of others more highly than ourselves,
to give and not to count the cost…above all to love…

Pause

As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins,
Forgive all in us that makes for division and suspicion
Forgive our desire to be right, to prove a point.
Forgive us all that obstructs genuine love and true humility.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
In the name and for the sake of Jesus, our risen Lord,
forgive and renew us as we hear His words of grace to each of us:
`Your sins are forgiven` Thanks be to God. Amen

Readings

1 Peter 4: 12-14 and 5: 6-11; John 17: 1-11

1 Peter 4: 12-14, 5: 11-16

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters[e] in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

John 17: 1-11 

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people,[a] to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 

I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

Songs

`We are one in the Spirit` https://youtu.be/YNU-9ODBujk

We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
Refrain:

And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, By our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
By our love

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land
Refrain

We will work with each other, we will work side by
We will work with each other , we will work side by side
And we`ll guard each one`s dignity and save each one`s pride
Refrain

All praise to the Father from whom all things come
And all praise to Christ Jesus His only son
And all praise to the Spirit Who makes us one
Refrain

`Let us build a house` https://youtu.be/gKJgcv8SdnQ

1 Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive;
built of hopes and dreams and visions,
rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

2 Let us build a house where prophets speak,
and words are strong and true,
where all God’s children dare to seek to dream God’s reign anew.
Here the cross shall stand as witness and as symbol of God’s grace;
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

3 Let us build a house where love is found in water, wine and wheat:
a banquet hall on holy ground, where peace and justice meet.
Here the love of God, through Jesus, is revealed in time and space,
as we share in Christ the feast that frees us:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

4 Let us build a house where hands will reach
beyond the wood and stone
to heal and strengthen, serve and teach,
and live the Word they’ve known.
Here the outcast and the stranger bear the image of God’s face;
let us bring an end to fear and danger
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

5 Let us build a house where all are named,
their songs and visions heard
and loved and treasured, taught and claimed
as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter,
prayers of faith and songs of grace,
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

Marty Haugen (b.1950)

Reflection and Q and A

(see Reflection)

Prayer and the Lord`s Prayer

God of all things seen and unseen, if you had insulated yourself from the pain of the world, then your name could not be love and our condition would be without hope. Thank you for being so personally involved, for revealing your complete commitment in Jesus of Nazareth. Through him we pray with hope, in him we pray with love.

Let your healing love be known this day by all who suffer ailment of body, or distress of mind, or agony of spirit. At this time as we all try to cope with the coronavirus pandemic be with those infected by the virus, and with all those stressing over loss of jobs, income accommodation and wondering how all this will turn out in time.

    Please reveal your compassion,

    Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your intimate love be known today by all who feel forgotten or lost, and all who are walking in the dark valley of despair through the omset of mental illness.

    Please reveal your compassion,

    Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your fierce love this day redress the wrongs of all who suffer exploitation, injustice, abuse, neglect, violence or unwarranted imprisonment. We think of refugees, international students and travellers trapped away from hom and familiar support structures.

    Please reveal your compassion,

    Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your nurturing love today encourage those who are gathering resolve to make tough decisions, take on new responsibilities, or break free from some bondage. Give our leaders courage and wisdom as they guide us through this crisis, keep them focussed on the task so they are not distracted by the pettiness of partisan political point-scoring.

    Please reveal your compassion,

    Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your relentless love this day upset congregations that have become self-centred or even contemptuous of other churches.

    Please reveal your compassion,

    Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your reconciling love today gather together the separated Christians, and make them aware of the fellowship and mission of the one, universal body of Christ

    Please reveal your compassion,

    Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Let your inspiring love this day rejuvenate pastors, priests and prophets who have become weary to the very roots of their souls.

    Please reveal your compassion,

    Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

We pray for our Parish here in Armadale and we look forward to the time when we can all come together in our church. We pray for our minister Fiona – we give thanks for her tireless efforts these past months. We pray for the Parish of St Mary’s and that the negotiations about them sharing our worship space resume shortly and reach a successful conclusion. We pray for our tenants – Arrow Health and the rehabilitation work they do.

We pray for those of our number who are unable to join our worship via zoom, or who are unwell and in need of careThank you for hearing us, most loving God. With the whole body of believers in time and eternity, we want to love, praise and serve you, today and evermore. Through Christ Jesus your true Son. Amen!

Lord Jesus Christ, who prayed for your disciples that they might be one, even as you are one with the Father; draw us to yourself, that in common love and obedience to you we may be united to one another, in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that you are Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Adapted by Ian Thomas from a prayer by Bruce Prewer

Hymn 457

`The Church`s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord`

https://youtu.be/FHCqXL3mCwU

1 The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation by water and the word:
from heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her and for her life he died.

2 Called out from every nation, yet one through all the earth;
her charter of salvation one Lord, one faith, one birth:
one holy name she blesses, and shares one holy food;
as to one hope she presses with every grace endued.

5 Yet she on earth has union with God the Three-in-One;
and mystic, sweet communion with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord, grant to us your grace,
with them the meek and lowly,in heaven to see your face.

(Jubilate Hymns version of The Church’s one foundation Samuel J Stone (1839 – 1900) © Jubilate Hymns Ltd)

Blessing

The blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
strengthen you as you follow Christ,
humble you in service of Christ,
encourage you as you live day by day for Christ
in this divided and suffering world.
To God be all the glory in and through the Church
now and for ever more.
Amen

    *     *     *     *     *     *

Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia 1992 edition Para 2

OF THE WHOLE CHURCH

The Uniting Church in Australia lives and works within the faith and unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Uniting Church recognises that it is related to other Churches in ways which give expression, however partially, to that unity in faith and mission. Recalling the Ecumenical Councils of the early centuries, the Uniting Church looks forward to a time when the faith will be further elucidated, and the Church’s unity expressed, in similar Councils. It thankfully acknowledges that the uniting Churches were members of the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical bodies, and will seek to maintain such membership. It remembers the special relationship which obtained between the several uniting Churches and other Churches of similar traditions, and will continue to learn from their witness and be strengthened by their fellowship. It is encouraged by the existence of United Churches in which these and other traditions have been incorporated, and wishes to learn from their experience. It believes that Christians in Australia are called to bear witness to a unity of faith and life in Christ which transcends cultural and economic, national and racial boundaries, and to this end the Uniting Church commits itself to seek special relationships with Churches in Asia and the Pacific. The Uniting Church declares its desire to enter more deeply into the faith and mission of the Church in Australia, by working together and seeking union with other Churches.

 

National Council of Churches Australia

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2020

They showed us unusual kindness”

(Acts 28:2)

 

Loving and merciful God,
you hear the cry of the poor
and stretch out your hand to save them.
Look upon our world in its need:
give courage to those facing an uncertain future;
give hope to those weighed down by fear and anxiety.
May our churches, by acts of unusual kindness,
be living witnesses to the power of your love.
May we grow together in unity and peace,
to the glory of your name, so that the world may believe.
Amen