Today’s service was led by Wendy Pearce, who welcomed Heather Pinto from Eastwood Christian Community Aid who had come to speak to the Congregation about the work of CCA.
Acknowledgment of First People
Leader: We acknowledge the Burramattagal people, the first inhabitants of this place, part of God's good creation. We honour them for their custodianship of the land, on which we gather today.
People: You set humanity at the heart of your creation, O God; charging us with stewardship of all you have made. We give thanks for those who have heeded your call.
The Gathering of the People of God.
Call to Worship
In the midst of a world where people hunger and thirst . . .
come worship a God who feeds the hungry.
In the midst of a world where people are abused and oppressed . . .
come worship a God who calls for compassion and justice.
In the midst of a world filled with wars and rumor of war . . .
come worship a God who desires nothing less than peace for the world.
In the midst of a world of spiritual emptiness . . .
come worship a God who gives life meaning.
With what shall we come before the Holy One,
and bow ourselves before God on high?
God has shown us what is good.
What does the Holy One require of us,
but to do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with our God?
The Prayers, hymns and other parts of this service were directed to the theme of serving others and the address given by Heather showed us how we can do this through CCA. As a congregation I see our greatest strength is in our service to others but we are humans and from time to time, we grasp our time, money, energy and possessions to ourselves, turning from the path of service to a path of selfishness.
And so after a prayer and hymn acknowledging and praising God’s goodness and greatness, we confessed to God our lapse from the way we are supposed to follow.
Prayer of Confession
Prayer of Confession
Eternal God, our judge and redeemer, we confess that we have tried to hide from you, for we have done wrong. We have lived for ourselves and apart from you.
We have turned from our neighbors and refused to bear the burdens of others.
We have ignored the pain of the world and passed by the hungry, the poor, and the oppressed. In your great mercy, forgive our sins and free us from selfishness,
that we may choose your will and obey your commandments;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen
We then turned to God for assurance of forgiveness.
Prayer of Assurance
—from A Wee Worship Book, pp. 19-20 © 1999, by WGRG The Iona Community (Scotland). Used by permission of GIA Publications, Inc
Leader: Among the poor, among the proud, among the persecuted, among the privileged, Christ is coming to make all things new: That the kingdom might come, that the world might believe, that the powerful might stumble, that the hidden might be seen: Christ is coming to make all things new. Within us, without us, behind us, before us, in this place, in every place, for this time, for all time. Christ is coming to make all things new. Our sins are forgiven! Thanks be to God.
Offering and Prayer
Generous God, we give you thanks for all the gifts that you give to us – the gifts of life and love, the gifts of your grace coming to us in Jesus Christ. Accept and bless these gifts and our lives as we offer them as our grateful response. Amen
The Service of the Word.
Bible readings Glen Henderson
Isaiah 58 This reading admonishes the people for seeking glory for showy religious behaviours but they are set back on their heels and told that serving the poorest and the lowliest is true service to God.
Luke 10: 25-37 This exchange took place hundreds of years after the utterance of the words in Isaiah but the young man still hasn't understood, like so many in every age. Maybe because showy temple/church actions are easier than true service.
Heather Pinto outlined the various types of help given to people in our district who are having a tough time and added that counselling was given so the that people who needed help have a better chance of making independent decisions for themselves, thereby giving them the gift of dignity along with the gifts of material
The Lectionary reading theme for October has been “All are Welcome” and the questions posed are:
What does a welcoming Christian Community look like?
What are you prepared to give up to follow Jesus?
What is your experience in the ministry of serving others?
When in need of healing, what do you do? How is your faith?
The questions prepare us for being the people who can heal ourselves and then be fit to serve others. We can give people water from an empty bucket.
The service was closed in prayer for others…another type of service…and the singing of hymns
The last two hymns were : Hymn TIS 650 “Brother, sister let me serve you”. and
Hymn TIS 658 “I, the Lord of sea and sky” which tied it all together.