Call to worship
Praise the Lord,
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise God in the heights.
Praise God all his angels; praise him all his host!
Let us praise the name of the Lord;
For he commanded and they were created. (Psalm 148)
Hymn TIS 210 "O for a thousand tongues to sing" This hymn gives us all the opportunity to praise God with every ounce of air we can expel from our lungs. Of course, even that does not do justice to God's wondrous glory but the individual and group effort certainly filled the church.
Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving
Jan prayed to our "Creator God, source of power and majesty and glory", worshipping him and adoring him. Her prayer focused our attention on, and alerted us to the cause for our wonder at God's bringing light and order to this world. But more, when we thought of His love for us we were overwhelmed and thankful to the centre of our being.
Prayer of Confession
Jan confessed our failure to learn from God's great sacrificial love for us and for sometimes attaching status to being redeemed instead of being humbly thankful for that great work in us which we have in no way earned.
"Forgive us when selfish pursuit of glory takes precedence over Jesus' command to love one another as he has loved us."
Words of Assurance
God makes all things new. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation!
Thanks be to God!
Offering We offered a little of God's bounteous blessings to us back for His work in spreading the story of his great love for us.
Anzac Remembrance Those who wished, took tokens of remembrance and twigs of Rosemary to the front of the church as a sign of the significance of the day to them.
Remembrance Prayer Jan then prayed a Remembrance prayer, remembering the great sacrifice made by men and women, some not much more than boys and girls, made in the cause of peace in the world for us.
The Ode They shall grow not old, as that we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
We will remember them
Lest we forget
Hymn TIS 586 "Abide with me" A hymn of amazing comfort and calmness.
Bible Readings Stephen brought the readings to us: Revelation 21:1-6 A prophecy of enormous hope: "and God himself will be with them; and he will wipe every tear from their eyes."
John 13:31-35 We really didn't need any other instruction than this: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples."
Sermon "The Power of Love" Jan introduced her message by referring to the theme of the Synod gathering: "Come Holy Spirit, renew our hearts." We are so aware of our unworthiness, and because of that, are amazed at God's great generosity to us. He meets us in our need and comes to us when we are in crisis. We see this God in the person of Jesus Christ, who came to live among us. God's renewing love moves us away from ourselves to God...to value all that we have and who we are. It enables us to appreciate the life that we have. People from all over the state met, listening to the stories of each other, and to what God was doing in the church. The gospel is aimed at the whole Christian family and that played out in the hymn and prayers, as well as in the message: He loved us even though that meant suffering an agonizing death. How sacrificial are we in our love for our fellow humans of the rest of creation? Jan spoke about so much more, including the idea that God's love can be a tough love, which can't be avoided. Changing from our selfish selves to the selves God wants us to be isn't an easy process. We feel the pain as the changes happen.
God's powerful love calls us to be a part of God's plan to bring about a new order.
Hymn TIS 699 "A new Commandment I give unto you" By singing this hymn and repeating it, we affirmed our belief to ourselves and to each other that this is the basis of the relationship between us.
Musical interlude before prayer As we considered the things in our hearts, today.
Prayers of Intercession Noelene prayed that we would indeed show our love for one another and that the hungry and displaced would receive God's blessing through the compassionate works of other people in the world. She prayed that our government leaders will do what is best for our country and that the leaders of the Uniting Church will look to God for guidance. She prayed that our loved ones will find comfort and peace; that those suffering from depression will find relief. Noelene prayed for Jan as she leads us and that through her we will attune our hearts and minds to God's Word. Finally, she prayed for those connected in any ask with the ANZAC story and those serving overseas at the moment.
Hymn TIS 459 "In Christ there is no east or west"
Blessing May the Peace of God that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and may the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always.
Blessing Song Hymn TIS 779 "May the feet of God walk with you." The expression of the love that Jesus directed us to have for each other. A lovely way to part from each other.