Welcome Mae welcomed Norman McDonald, one of MRUC's past ministers as part of our Anniversary celebrations.
Call to Worship - (Safiyah Fosua. Kindle Edition., Abingdon 2016)
Friends! Co-workers! Brothers! Sisters! Followers of Christ! Saints of the church! Welcome, one and all! Welcome home! Welcome to this place of worship which it has been for nearly 150 years and will continue to be a place to be refreshed and encouraged. This is a place of acceptance and love! Blessings of grace and peace to you all!
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Grace to you, and peace from God our maker and from the Lord Jesus Christ! Welcome, friends and co-workers in Christ! Greetings, brothers and sisters!
We come to rejoice in the love and encouragement of our family in Christ. We come for the joyful reminder that God accepts and loves us.
Opening prayerGod of love, we are your family, brothers and sisters all, sharing in your vision and work. We give you thanks for the many ways you have loved and blessed us, encouraged and renewed us over the last 150 years and we pray will continue to do. We thank you for the times we have experienced joy, and for the knowledge that you love and accept us. We bring our joy and gratitude to you today as we sing our thanksgiving and praise. Amen.
A Prayer of ConfessionJesus Christ, giver of love and peace, we are grateful for your vision of humankind— a vision that embraces all, leaving none behind.
You call us your brothers and sisters, even when we do not recognize this truth. Forgive us when we look down on others, failing to see them as our sisters and brothers.
Forgive us when kinship is not a priority in our lives. Open our hearts to everyone in your family, that they may become our family, too. In your name, brother of us all, we pray. Amen.
Declaration of ForgivenessThe blessings of grace and peace are ours, through God our maker, and Jesus Christ our saviour. Forgiven and peace are ours.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
The PeaceFriends, co-workers, sisters, brothers, followers of Christ, saints of the Church, let us greet one another with the peace and love of our brother, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hymn TIS 390: “Alleluia, Alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord” The gospel in a thumbnail sketch.
Memories of Marsden Road:Rev. Norman
Norman spoke of his ministry at Marsden Road which was less than half a year. He said that he had arrived feeling cranky. It had been 20 years since he had been involved in a congregation and he was tired and frayed from the job he had been in during the intervening time. He said that he realised later, that his time at Marsden Road gave him new enthusiasm and energy for his new placement.
Offering PrayerPour out your Holy Spirit, and bless the gifts we return to you now. May they be as a soothing ointment for a hurting and broken world. Amen.
Hymn TIS 590: “What a Friend we have in Jesus” A hymn that has brought assurance to many of us from our earliest years. This is no. 4 of our favourite hymns and no. 1 for Joan Davis.
Anniversary Banner: Kaye spoke about our anniversary banner and the significance of its elements and the memories of people in the congregation, some of whom have been here between 40 and 60 years.
Bible Readings Were brought to us by Susan.
James 2: 1-10, 14-17 Speaks about how we treat each other. Do we discriminate between people in the basis of their worldly attractiveness? Whether we are acting in the church or out in the world, we need to remember the Golden Rule.
Mark 7: 24-37 An account which gives us quite a different perspective of Jesus and his mission. The Syrophoenician woman, a gentile, pleaded with Jesus for healing for her daughter. Jesus pointed out that his message was for the Jews but she wasn't to be dissuaded and reminded Jesus that the dogs ate the crumbs that fell from the table. This woman was ahead of others in her understanding and her plea was fulfilled.
Men’s Singing Group: “The Old Rugged Cross” Hymns often say what we can't say for ourselves and when they are sung with such skill and feeling, we are helped in understanding the message as it is in each of our lives.
Reflection: "Saints Alive - even the outsider” Norman spoke about the woman in the Mark reading: how she would have looked a little different; had an accent; had a Greek education; a sharp intellect living within a closed Jewish community - an outsider. Jesus has been criticized for his racist and rude behaviour in this story but perhaps he was laying the groundwork for the woman to write the rest of the scene, She saw in Jesus what she needed: compassion and healing. And she received it.
God's care and compassion is not just for the in-group. Ethnicity, culture, language are of no account. God's grace is for all.
Are we going to be like the Pharisees who walked to the other side and left the beaten man by the road?
Today it's time to raise our voices for asylum seekers. The woman in today's story challenges us.
Hymn TIS 693: “Come as you are” - That's how I want you. I remember saying to a minister that I didn't think I should keep coming to church because I'm not good enough. She pointed out that God called me as I am. Oh!
Jack brought us the Prayers of the People and we said the Lord's Prayer together.
Hymn TIS 220: “This, this is the God we adore” A declaration about the God upon whom we depend for everything.
Benediction Rev Norman
Sung Blessing: “May the Feet of God Walk with You”