Monday, 24 February 2014

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 23 February 2014

Hugh began our Service today with the Call to Worship which acknowledged God as our resurrection and life and told of the promise of a new life in Christ like a breath of fresh air in a dry and thirsty land.  It was good to gather together in worship with His guidance.

Hymn  TiS 135 (Inspired by Psalm 103)       “Praise my soul, the King of Heaven” by Henry F. Lyte

Angels, help us to adore him, you behold him face to face;

sun and moon, bow down before him, dwellers all in time and space:

praise him, praise him, hallelujah, praise with us the God of grace!

Announcements:  An invitation to a “Pancake Day” morning tea after church today was a fitting time for Stephen to invite us all, to once again participate in the “Lent Event” with reflection, sacrifice and prayer. 

Prayers of Adoration & Confession:  A silent time for our personal confessions was followed by a shared prayer for forgiveness of our sins of greed selfishness and indifference and a plea for us to learn how to reflect God’s image in our lives.  Once again we were assured of His forgiveness.

Offering & Dedication:  Shirley, Elaine and two of our beautiful children took the offering and Hugh blessed, the givers, the gifts and the children.

Men’s Quartet: What a joy to have Hugh join with Stephen, Grahame and Malcolm to sing “Rock of Ages” in perfect harmony with the help of Mavis on the piano.

Children’s Address:  Hugh told the “Parable of the Pencil” with a short video. This simple story likened us to pencils with God as the pencil maker.  Yes, the best part of us is inside; we do make a mark as we touch the lives of others and we do make mistakes but they can be erased.  We do need to be sharpened from time to time and no matter what - we must keep on writing!

Hymn: I’ve got peace like a river - (Negro Spiritual)  With time beginning to defeat us, we did not sing this lovely song, however the message is short enough to convey to our blog readers.

I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.  I’ve got love like an ocean in my soul.  I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul.  Don’t these word pictures make us feel God’s mercies flowing through us?

Bible readings                                               Leviticus 19: 1 – 2, 9 - 18        Acts 20: 7 – 12 

Our Bible passages this morning were read for us by Joan.  The first reading plainly set out God’s expectations that we should be holy because He is holy and then the passage presents “the rules”.

The second reading told a short story which I discovered later was little known by a number of us in church this morning.  However, Hugh’s reflection will keep the story in our minds in the future.

Reflection:                                                     Eutychus Project

Through a “parable” about a man praying for many years for God to give him the power to change the world, we were reminded by Hugh that salvation does not in itself bring about dramatic changes in our lives. It was not until, as an old man he realized that he should have prayed; “God, I tried to change the world; I tried to change my neighbourhood; I tried to change my own family. But I failed all. God, I humbly pray to you now. Please……. change me. Change me first.”

For many people, change is a life-long process that is not easily recognizable.  “Rather, I believe disciples are made, not born. I believe real believers are made, not born,” Hugh said as he mentioned some people whose changed lives brought about great changes to the lives of people across the world.  Notably William Wilberforce in England; Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King Junior in USA. 

“Above all, not just we, but all humanity sees it in the life of Jesus Christ 21 centuries ago.”

Hugh was right when he told us we live in an age of "word processing" where we end up not trusting words or putting the correct weight on what is said.  Do we raise a skeptical eyebrow when a politician gives a speech?  Are we living in a human culture of mistrust?

“I believe this is what had happened in the garden of Eden in the book of Genesis.

In the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 1l, virtually everyone did not trust the words of each other.  Everyone lied except God.  And this is a serious problem we have in this world as a church.  Bankers have capital; doctors have medicines; farmers have seed and soil; soldiers have guns; and we, Christians, have words.  Words.  Prayer words, sermon words, words of hope, words of pardon, words of praise.” 

In the story in Acts chapter 20 we learned about Paul’s sense of urgency when he and his team were ready to leave the city of Troas after one week.  He spoke for many hours on the last evening which was Saturday, continuing to speak those words until midnight.  He spoke for so long that some of the people may have become very tired and even dropped off to sleep.  

I must admit that I do not remember ever having heard before, that a young man called ‘Eutychus’ fell off the window upstairs while Paul was preaching, and he was found dead on the ground.  Paul hurried down and he held him in his arms and said to the people. “He is not dead. He is alive.”

We were amused by Hugh’s comment that he had heard this story used by preachers as some kind of ‘divine threat’ to those who are sleepy during the worship, especially in the sermon.  Maybe I had slept through this story before!

The Greek name Eutychus literally means ‘a freed man’.  It means, people with that name basically came from slave backgrounds and were not high on the social scale.  Did Eutychus attend the “believer’s meeting” out of curiosity, or did he perhaps get wind that a meal would be served?  Perhaps he was tired because he had been working hard all day.  Whatever happened, Hugh stressed that his dramatic fall from the window changed the whole atmosphere of the church.  

Hugh calls this passage the “Eutychus Project” and believes that if we look carefully at the way the church at Troas responded to this lowly person we can find ways to change the way we do things in our church today.  Going back to the words which are important – we were told that when Paul was teaching the people before Eutychus fell, the Greek word “dielevgeto”, meaning ‘teach or preach’ was used, but after the fall the word ‘omileo’, which means ‘a very friendly talk’ was used.   

The reading says, “Paul stopped his teaching and ran down and held him in his arms, and he went back upstairs, broke bread, and ate.  After talking with them for a long time, even until sunrise, Paul left” and the congregation took the young man home and looked after him and we learn that something beautiful and miraculous took place in their congregational life and we too can learn to follow Jesus and love others as He loved us. We can teach and preach and we can talk as friends.

“Only then, will we survive and flourish. The question Hugh asked us … “Who is a Eutychus today in your life, in your work, and in your church?”  We must open our doors and open our arms to all.

Hymn  TiS 411                                               Filled with the Spirit’s power”

This is a relatively “modern” hymn written in 1967 by John Raphael Peacey after he retired from working as a missionary in India.  No doubt this work often showed how genuine love and Christian service is able to "embrace the people of all lands and every race."  Is a motivating hymn to encourage us to see and enable the Holy Spirit to; “Like wind and fire with life among us move till we are known as Christ’s and Christians prove.”

Prayers of Intercession:  Marcia asked that we approach God with worship and reverence and prayed for those parts of the world in turmoil, for people everywhere who need comfort in despair and for people who grieve.  We prayed for the needs of people we know and joined together in the Lord’s Prayer.

Hymn TiS 217                                                “Love Divine all loves excelling”                    

There is nothing like a Charles Wesley Hymn to finish our worship - with Grahame playing the organ, Malcolm adding to the joy with the piano and everyone singing with enthusiasm!      

Finish then thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be, let us see thy great salvation,

perfectly restored in thee:  Changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.

The Benediction & Blessing   We were blessed and told,Go into the world as God’s People”.  Amen.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 16 February 2014

Beth began the service with a poetic prayer, referring to the various parts of the church building as symbols, each reminding us of our need for grace.

Hymn AHB 570 "This day God gives me strength of high heaven" sung to the tune of "Morning has broken" this hymn spoke our relationship with the One who provides every blessing. The One who is ever alert to our every need and ready to defend us from everything that threatens us. This raises the problem in our minds of why everything doesn't go swimmingly for us. It may be that in defending us from every ill that the One doesn't necessarily prevent the ill happening but gives us the strength and power to survive it.

Prayer  Beth led us in a prayer to our loving Lord offering praise and thanksgiving and declaring our intention to worship in a spirit of truth. Beth asked that God would help us relax and be able to feel the quality of the peace we are offered. She gave thanks for the wonderful life we are able to live and all the blessings we enjoy, including being able to worship publicly and peacefully. Beth asked that we remember those who endure racial hatred, lack of clean water and those who have to worship furtively, giving thanks for our blessings of medical care, warm homes and good food. She asked that we should take stock of our privileged condition and asked for forgiveness for those times when we have mistreated those things which are holy; for those times when we have failed to carry out God's will; for those times when we have sought our own way.

Beth asked our God to forgive us and draw us back into his kingdom of righteousness and grace.

Having asked, Beth, in full confidence, declared that we are forgiven and commanded us to go forward, living out our lives filled with God's grace. Amen

Offering The offering was then gathered and offered with a prayer of thanks for our being blessed and in a position to give back something of that blessing. Beth asked that it may bring comfort in God's name.

Hymn AHB 165 Sung to the tune of "The carnival is over" the words of "What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear", like that of the earlier hymn sung to a different tune, suddenly took on a clearer meaning otherwise lost in our familiarity with such well known songs. Indeed  "what peace we often forfeit" simply because we stand, heels dug in, refusing to turn matters over to God.

Readings Deuteronomy 30: 15 - 20 and Matthew 5: 21 - 37. The Deuteronomy reading echoes some of the sentiments of the last hymn. God offers so much and all we have to do to claim it is to walk in his way. But so often we simply don't  and wonder why things turn out so badly. There's a saying, "When all else fails follow the directions."

The Matthew reading is more challenge than most of us can cope with. Not only are we in trouble for doing the wrong thing but also for just contemplating the possibility of such an action. Maybe life is not so simple but as humans, all we can do is lean on our Lord for guidance and when we do offend, ask forgiveness.


Beth's introductory comment was that as difficult as the lectionary readings for this week are, we  can't duck them and have to look carefully at their message in the light of the teachings of Jesus. And what he taught was that we should not judge others or throw bricks (wasn't it stones) at each other. However, Jesus did not weaken any of the laws of common sense and decency - he brought them to us in a way that we can handle them.

It is said that a good person brings good out of the treasure of good things in their heart which is often revealed through the words they speak and that the reverse also applies. It is hard for someone whose heart is dark to bring forth goodness.

Beth then linked this to our work and suggested we think of the hours we put in at home and how good the pay we receive for it is. But we continue to put in the hard, long hours because our heart is in it, and the ties that bind us to the people in our home make it all OK.

Beth then followed with a tale of life during a famine in Russia and a tinker's family who had suffered more loss than most of us experience in a lifetime, lost their only daughter through the savage attack of a dog, sooled onto her by its blacksmith master in retribution for trade lost to her father. There was no rule of law to address the terrible deed, but the people of the town made their own judgement and they deserted the blacksmith shop the evil man owned.

As a result he was unable to feed his family.

What should the tinker do? Feel satisfied that justice had prevailed? What he did was sow his good seed  in the field of the man who had orchestrated his daughter's terrible death. The tinker's wife was shocked and angry - "How could you! Have you forgotten?

No he hadn't forgotten one little bit but had sown the good seed that God might live.

If the church and its people do not follow this path there will be no peace - no life for God in the people of the world.

There is no way the church can be the people of God until we tackle the big stuff.

Beth then turned the focus to ourselves. We haven't done anything terrible but mostly because we have never been in the position to need to. It's when we hit the big issues that it becomes obvious as to whether or not we are the people of God.

Beth provided another illustration of good will, God's will raising someone above their hurt, loss and grief.

She could have provided ten more illustrations of her message but it will only bear fruit if we act on it. We think we live good lives. The truth is that we live quiet lives.

Hymn AHB 564 "Forgive our sins as we forgive" Hard to do except, as the hymn goes onto say, with God's grace and our willingness to let go our hurts and losses and our admission and appreciation of "how small the debts men owe to us, how great our debt to you".

Prayers for the People Today Margaret led in a prayer that God help us to look at ourselves and open ourselves to God's work in us, granting us the grace that brings peace. She asked for God's guidance to all the people who lead us in any way in our community, that they will conduct themselves honestly; that we will follow such honest leadership to bring about a more Godly community. After praying for the concerns of our church and those of our congregation we then prayed the Lord's Prayer together.

Hymn AHB 543 "God of grace and God of glory" A prayer in song asking that God will guide us into his better way, healing us of our flaws and weaknesses that cause us to do anything other than what we should. Asking that by his doing so we will be more the people God created, living in wisdom and courage.

Benediction Warwick pronounced the benediction, sending us out in the name of the  Lord Jesus Christ to be determined to make a difference.

We concluded, singing together:

Now unto him who is able to keep. Able to keep you from falling.

And to present you faultless before the presence of his glory

With exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour

Be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 9 February 2014


After a happy time of “Favourite Hymn Singing” led by Elaine, with Andrew at the organ, Hugh began our Service today with the: Call to Worship (based on Psalm 112:1-9)

There were many positive thoughts in this responsive Call, like; Praise the LORD! Happy is the person who honors the LORD”, “Who takes pleasure in obeying his commands.”  

“Light shines in the darkness for good people,” “For those who are merciful, kind, and just.”

“A good person will never fail”, “He will always be remembered.”  This Psalm is worth reading.

Hymn  TiS 150                                               Ye watchers and ye Holy ones

This hymn of Adoration and Praise written by John Athelstan Laurie Riley was based on Deuteronomy 32:43 “Rejoice, O nations, with His people, and let all the angels worship Him.”

Announcements:  Among details of many other church activities, the notices revealed a “flurry” of special morning teas to come; with today being a celebration of significant “0” birthdays for Max and Laurence, next Sunday a “Friendship Circle” get together, and the following Sunday a “Pancake Day” morning tea. 

Prayers of Adoration & Confession          

Father, we bring our busy minds before you in humble worship.  You are a great God, the Alpha and Omega; You have always been and will always be.  On this gorgeous Sunday morning, we are reminded again that you are our all powerful Creator as well as our merciful Father.

… we pray for the forgiveness of our sins.  We confess we have sinned against you and others. We confess that we have failed to love others as we love ourselves and our families. We confess that we have failed to be a witness of your love and your Gospel to those around us. Lord our Father, forgive us our sins.  Hugh declared with confidence; “Our sins are forgiven.”

Offering / Prayer  Jonty and Alexis were pleased to help the stewards with the offering and Hugh offered a prayer for the wise use of our gifts and included a Blessing for “the givers”. 

Before the larger than usual group of children went off to their Sunday Kids & Minis groups, Hugh showed pictures which represented Jesus as part of different cultures – but always surrounded by children.  Through these he gave an important and happy message: “Jesus loves ALL children.”

Hymn TiS 655                                                O, let the Son of God enfold you

This hymn, called a Spirit Song, was written by John Richard Wimber who was raised in a non-Christian home and found Christ through a Quaker Bible Study Group while he was involved in the American music industry.  He helped in the formation of “The Righteous Brothers” group before becoming involved in various and sometimes controversial evangelist groups.  This “Spirit Song” which speaks of us choosing to fill our lives with the love of God is simple and full of joy.

Bible readings                                               1 Corinthians 2:1-12, Matthew 5:13-20 

Our Bible passages this morning were read for us by May, with “telling” headings of “Nothing but Jesus Christ” at the start of Chapter 2 and “Revelations by the Spirit” before Verse 6 in the first reading.  Verse 12 gave us much to think about. “Among men, who knows what a man is but the man’s own spirit within him?  In the same way only the Spirit of God knows what God is.”

The second reading from Matthew exhorts us to be a light to the world and stand on a hill to be visible in all we do and to obey and uphold laws and be “salt to the world.” A big assignment for us!

Reflection:                                                     “You are salt for the world.”

I have always struggled a little with the story of the building of the Tower of Babel said to have been built by men to challenge the power of God in Heaven.  Hugh mentioned the difficulties faced today by those who are unable to speak English which has become the “default” common language for the modern world and I must admit to having often been grateful of this when I have travelled.  In the church, the common language is Love, Hugh reminded us.

He told of the commitment and bravery of Dr. Evan Kane, who in 1921, had a theory far in advance of his time.  Dr. Kane operated on himself without the benefit of general anesthesia to prove his theory that patients would recover more quickly with just a local anesthetic.  Hugh used this story to invite us all to “perform spiritual exploratory surgery on ourselves” during Worship in order to show the world that our morals and ethics are a philosophy from God. 

Our Gospel reading from Matthew is near the beginning of Jesus’ most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus calls his followers to the highest standards of conduct.  Hugh said, “He challenges us to "turn the other cheek."  He asks us to walk extra miles for others.  He urges us to be a servant of all around us. He asks us to take a narrow road. He even commands us to love our enemy, and to forgive those who do us wrong.  Those are tough commands.   And it might sound too much asking from the world’s point of view.”  

“But here in today’s Gospel story Jesus calls us to make a choice. He calls us to choose to follow Him, not the world.  But more importantly, He doesn’t just want us to choose Him at the expense of the world.  He invites us to choose to change the world by changing ourselves first.” 

“Jesus in this reading clearly expects the world to be transformed by our presence. He chose to use us to change the world.  So the world is His target, and we are His agent.”

The scary idea of seeing ourselves as an effective agent of God’s love became clear – if somewhat challenging, when Hugh reminded us that the world does not always read the Bible -  and that the way we live our life may be the only scripture that some people out there may see and “read”.  WOW!

Hugh told us, “The bottom line is.   We have to be authentic for the sake of God’s glory.  When Jesus says: "You are the salt of the earth." He is saying "Be Authentic."  One thing that has limited the influence Christians have on the world; is that many people who claim to follow the Christ are not authentic.”

Can we go out and be the salt of the earth and the light of the world and let our life and light shine so we reflect God’s Love and glorify Him?  We can certainly try.   Amen!

Hymn:                                                              Bring Forth the Kingdom

Marty Haugen is a prolific composer of modern liturgical music, with this hymn based on our reading from the Gospel of Matthew today.

You are salt for the earth, O people: Salt for the Kingdom of God!

Share the flavour of life, O people: Life in the City of God!

Chorus: Bring forth the Kingdom of mercy, bring forth the Kingdom of peace;

Bring forth the Kingdom of justice, bring forth the City of God!

You are a light on the hill, O people: Light for the City of God!

Shine so holy and bright, O people: Shine for the Kingdom of God!

You are a seed of the Word, O people: Bring forth the Kingdom of God!

Seeds of mercy and seeds of justice, Grow in the Kingdom of God!

We are a blessed and a pilgrim people: Bound for the Kingdom of God!

Love our journey and love our homeland: Love is the Kingdom of God!

 Malcolm, Stephen and Grahame with Mavis accompanying them on the piano - sang a beautiful harmonious rendition of "It's me Oh Lord - standing in the need of prayer".  We all enjoyed joining in for the last verse and this led perfectly into:

 Prayers of Intercession:  Hugh prayed for the world, for our leaders and for all people in need, including those mentioned in our books of prayer requests.  We then said the Lord’s Prayer together.

Hymn TiS 465                                                            Father in Heaven, Grant to your children

This gentle hymn by Daniel Thambyrajah Niles was like a quiet prayer to bring together all the threads of today’s service. 

The Benediction & Blessing                                  

You have come in anticipation; now leave in dedication, for the God who calls you to salvation also sends you out in service. Go now in peace, and the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit go with you now and always.                                     Amen.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 2 February 2014


Call to Worship

Hugh:     "May God bless your time together with his holy presence,

                 Dear children of God, let us worship God together.

                 The Lord be with you.

People:  And also with you."

Hymn TIS 627 "Praise and thanksgiving, Father, we offer" A prayer of thanks to God for all the good things with which he provides us. It is so easy to think that our many everyday blessings are our due or that we have earned them.

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Hugh led us in this prayer and for us, he addressed our gracious God, praising him and stating our intention to praise him through joyful song. As in the hymn, Hugh thanked God for his care for all his creation and then went on to acknowledge how God's love can turn the rules we humans live by on their heads and how it is God's Word that shows us the correct way, and which provides a stark contrast, revealing plainly, our own darkness. For us, Hugh confessed our sins against God and against each other, asking for forgiveness from the only One who can truly do that. Hugh concluded with, "Your sins are forgiven"

Hymn TIS 685 "Lord I come to you" A prayer, asking that God's love will surround us and renew us, knowing that as a result we will be able to rise above our damaged selves. As Hugh pointed out, all we need to know is the last line of the chorus, "your spirit leads me on in the power of your love". Stick with that for the rest of your life and don't be distracted from its message of hope.

Bible Readings: Isaiah 35: 1 - 10.       1Corinthians 13: 1 - 13.   Lyn

The Isaiah reading is a prophecy of all the amazingly wonderful results of God's people returning to Zion. It may well be that we may never see anything as spectacular as this in the world around us but it happens in the lives of people every time a human heart turns back to God.

1. Whatever talents we have, if we don't have love they count for nothing. 2. We must be adults in our faith. 3. We have no hope of understanding fully this side of death, but after that we will see clearly.

Reflection Hugh began by posing a question about our expectation of Sunday church. He then suggested we consider the same question as it applied to the church at Corinth in the reading. This suggestion became complicated when Hugh explained that the church at Corinth met together every day. "Their worship was their life and often a matter of life or death in their hostile society." Added to this, Corinth was an international city, with many divisions. Divisions which also existed within the church causing the church to be a "big pain in the neck to Paul as a leader and teacher."

"To sort out all these problems and conflicts in the Corinthian church, Paul gives the church the most promising and working answer and it was LOVE."

Hugh then gave the account of an American girl who was born into an abusive family, both parents  abused her and each other. She knew nothing of love, in fact she experienced nothing except rejection. Both parents finally died, leaving her alone, without the abuse but with no reason to continue living.

Then one day she saw a church sign, "God loves you, God loves you so much, he decided to die for you." Despite her horrible start in life she responded to the message and became a lovely Christian. She offered to teach Sunday School but because she had no experience or background in Christian education the minister was reluctant. However she persisted and within 7 years the Sunday School had swelled to 2000 children and teenagers. All because of her message of "I love you".

"God is love! Without love, you have no God. Without love, our Christianity doesn't exist. Without love, the event of Jesus Christ dying in the cross wouldn't mean anything. God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.

Dear friends in Christ. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered; live is not selfish; love never gives up; love is eternal; love makes happiness; love makes miracles. Love is our ministry. Live is our life. Amen."

Offering This was our chance to return a little of the blessings that have been heaped upon us.

Prayers for the People Beth led, reminding us that we who would have very little probability of meeting earthly royalty can have daily contact with The King of Kings. Beth prayed for those we know by name and those only God knows by name. She prayed for those in our congregation who are suffering and carrying on bravely. She spoke of the homeless and other disadvantaged people and asked that we, who have all the privileges and plenty, will be kept aware of the needs of others. Beth prayed for children, particularly those who have suffered abuse from members of the church. She prayed for those suffering during the drought and all those returning to school, asking that God would gather them in, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"The Peace: The peace of The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace."

Hymn TIS 511 "Let us break bread together with the Lord." We sang of our intention to commune with our Lord and each other in this ceremony, seeking the work of the Spirit in our lives.

Preparation of the Table The table is prepared and the bread and wine are placed upon it.

God was declared blessed and thanks was given for his goodness in providing the gifts of the bread and wine which, in this ceremony become the bread of life and the cup of salvation.

Blessed be God forever.

"The Spirit of The Lord is 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 thanks and praise."

Prayer "Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word. You have created all things through Your Son, our Saviour..

Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of Heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, forever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

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

Hosanna in the highest."

Minister: "Lord, you are the source of all holiness; by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may become to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Hugh then reminded us of the institution of this meal of sharing by Jesus on the night of His betrayal and His command that we continue in this manner in "remembrance of me."

"Let us proclaim our faith. Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again."

The Distribution.

The Prayer after Communion. "We thank you that you have fed us with this holy bread and wine, the Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ our Saviour. We now become members of his Body, and thus his agents in this world. Lord our Father, Bless us so we will be a blessing to many people around us. Help us to live your Kingdom life, so they will get to know you better through us. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Hymn TIS 699 "A new commandment"

A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another as I have loved you/ that you love one another as I have loved you.

By this will others know you are my disciples if you have love one for another/

By this will others know you are my disciples if you have love one for another.

Benediction Hugh

"Go in peace to serve The Lord by serving those around you."

Then, The Lord bless you and keep you

          The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you

          The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace. Amen.

May the feet of God walk with you,

And his hand hold you tight.

May the eye of God rest on you,

And his ear hear your cry.

May the smile of God be for you,

And his breath give you life.

May the child of God grow in you,

And his love bring you home.