Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 26 June 2016

Marsden Road Uniting Church Order of Service Sunday, 26th June, 2016

Welcome  Lyn welcomed Rowena, who, in turn extended the welcome of God to us all.

As is usual, Rowena had prepared a deeply thought out service, which included the message. However, somehow the hymns really touched my heart, so I have included as much of them as I could.

Call to Worship:​

A Deaf Person's Perspective on Silence

Perceptive awareness of the presence of God in the world of silence,

Created for me the joy of a relationship

which alone conquers the isolation of deafness.

The Biblical scenes on the stained glass windows.

The outward symbols which portray

the ever present visible sign of Gods presence

within (Gods) Holy house.


I accept with humble gratitude

this which God has bestowed upon me.

The gift of knowing stillness.

The gift of feeling a presence – knowing without hearing.

Rev. G. Sloane (1993)

There is something there for those of us who can hear physically but sometimes don't listen from our inner being.

Hymn “Be Still for the presence of the Lord” This hymn by David Evans is a response to Exodus 3:5.

 Be still for the presence of the Lord

 The Holy One is here

 Come bow before Him now

 With reverence and fear

 In Him no sin is found

 We stand on holy ground

 Be still for the presence of the Lord

 The Holy One is here.

Another expression of our theme today, of sitting, waiting for our God to speak to us.

Prayers of Confession: Rowena prayed on our behalf, confessing that we do not always understand; that we become discouraged when our plans fail; that we are quick to give up or to question the way things seem to be turning out - for this we asked forgiveness. Rowena asked, for us, that we be granted patience and look for God's leadership; that we be granted courage to act in faith and obedience, trusting in God to lead. She praised God for his love and for our being able to meet him through his mercy and forgiveness.

Private Prayer of Confession.

Declaration of Forgiveness: Hear the good news of God's love: Our sins are forgiven!

Hymn:​​“Now Thank we all our God  --  TiS 106. A hymn well known to this congregation and a wonderful vehicle for us to express our thanks and praise, when we often cannot find words of our own to say all that we want to say.

Scripture Readings: ​Galatians 3: 23-29 A word to remind the people that they were (and we are) all one in Christ Jesus. Any other rules don't count.

​​​​1 Kings 19: 1-4, (5-7), 8-15a. Elijah had been successful in showing The Living God's power to Israel but the followers of Baal would not accept defeat and were baying for Elijah's blood. Elijah decided to lie down and die but God had other plans and raised up leaders whom Elijah was to anoint to carry out His plan. If a man such as Elijah can be so discouraged, we should realise our own discouragement is not beyond repair by God's hand.


Reflection:​​“Voice of Silence”

Rowena spoke of our human longing amongst the daily grind and not finding God where we expect to.

But when we wait, we find him unexpectedly in the silence. She referred to the humanity of Elijah, being successful sometimes and failing other times. Something in us resonates with this.

There are times when all seems to going well, when we are assured of God's presence but there are other times when we can't find God and things seem to be falling apart and we feel rejected.

But then if we are still, there he is, his voice cuts through the dross and pierces the barriers between him and us.

Rowena then spoke of her discomfort with silence because she faces a future of silence as her hearing fails but then pointed out that most of the noise in our lives is part of the chaos of living, part of the rush and bustle.

We show our faith in action but we can't keep that up without retreating to a place of silence to hear a God's voice. Jesus needed that from time to time.

In that silence we hear God's real concerns. That's where we become men and women of integrity. We may think God has given up on us but it's us who have given up on him because we are trying to carry out our own plans not God's plans. We need the balance between listening and doing.

Then, there is contemplative prayer where we find intimacy with God. In that special place we find new possibilities and opportunities. There where we wait for the wisdom and ever-present spirit of God. Amen

Hymn:​​“God is Calling through the Whisper”  There are many times when we don't know what we want. We simply know there is something deep within us that is empty. We can't ask God to meet that need because we don't know what it is. This hymn guides us in the way to wait on God as he reaches out to us.

Verse 1. God is calling through the whisper of the Spirits deepest sighs,

through the thrill of sudden beauties  that can catch us by surprise.

Flash of lightning, crash of thunder; hush of stillness, rush of wonder:

God is calling—can you hear?     God is calling—can you hear?

Prayers of Intercession Ruth led us, praying that, in the presence of the Lord, that we approach our Heavenly Father, thanking him for his love and concern for us and for the amazing unexpected things that are bestowed upon us; for his unexpected love, support and kindness. She gave thanks for his grace that is his gift to us, so that we can worship him. Ruth then prayed for our specific concerns: those of the congregation and those of people worldwide. She brought before God, all those refugees who are unsettled, asking that they be comforted. She prayed that the violence in the world will cease and for comfort for the family of the British politician who was assassinated. She asked for help for those that cannot care for themselves and that God's voice should penetrate all that we do; that it should break through so that we will hear. After praying for the personal concerns of the congregation we joined in the Lord's Prayer.

Hymn TIS 598 "Dear Father, Lord of Humankind” forgive our foolish ways.

Breathe through the heats of our desire thy coolness and thy balm;

Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire; speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,

O still small voice of calm. O still small voice of calm.

There's little more to say. Rowena has made her point. A point no doubt, she heard in the silence.

Commissioning and Benediction: Go in Peace to love and serve the World

Blessing Song:​“Now Unto Him” a sung verse from Jude:

Jude 1: 24-25

Now unto him that is 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 forever. Amen.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 29 May 2016

Welcome Thanks to all those involved but today I would particularly like to thank the kids who gather the offering and Lyn, who led the singing today.

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.


We acknowledge those who were here before us, the first inhabitants of this place.

We honour them for their custodianship of the land on which we gather today.

Call to Worship  From Psalm 96.

O sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, bless his name; Tell of his salvation from day to day

Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous works among the peoples

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is to be revered above all gods.

Hymn TIS 100 "All creatures of our God and King" With this hymn we continued our praise

Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving.  (Shortened)

Our God of all that is, we praise you for your greatness, and as is due, for your glory and strength. We praise you that you are here present with us; and, as we respond to your invitation to just be in your presence, we give you the glory that we can know you. Amen

Prayer of Confession (Shortened)

God of mercy and grace, we have been shown your splendour in this world. But we fail to see your magnificence. Forgive us. We have been shown the path to true life through Jesus of Nazareth. and your Spirit awakens us to the needs before us, but we do nothing. Forgive us. Forgive our fear. Forgive us for forgetting that nothing is beyond your Spirit working through us. Amen

Prayer of Affirmation.

In penitence and faith, And in silence, Let us confess our sins to almighty God.

Silent interlude. While we pondered our own need for forgiveness.

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, That Christ Jesus came unto the world to save sinners. Our sins are forgiven.  Amen


As children of God, Struggling to discover what new life in Christ means,

We humbly offer our gifts in grateful thanks. Amen

Hymn TIS 429 "Break now the bread of life."  With this hymn we prayed that as the readings were brought to us, that we would hear a message for ourselves.

Bible Readings -  1Kings 18: 20- 39 and Luke 7: 1 - 10 both carried messages of people who trusted totally in God. Elijah was so confident in God's faithfulness that he was prepared to pit himself against hundreds of prophets of Baal and then the Roman military leader in Luke's story knew, without doubt, Jesus' power was such that he didn't even have to be present to heal the young girl.

Reflection Today the theme was trust. Utter trust. The sort that was possessed by the people in the readings. The reflection then turned to us: Western people who are "hands on". People who have to keep, at least, one finger on the wheel. We simply cannot trust utterly.
It was suggested that in next week's Communion service that we should open our hearts fully to God and ask that He enables us to focus our attention totally on each part of the service. It was also suggested that we participate as fully as possible in the service, gazing upon the cup and bread, feeling the bread in our hand, feeling the bread and juice in our mouths. We should adopts the prayers and hymns as our own, entering into the occasion deeply, allowing God's spirit enter and work within. Amen.

Hymn TIS 560 "All my hope on God is founded." We really need to remind ourselves sometimes that this life is not about us.

Interlude While we prayed silently

Prayers of Intercession Laurel led, first reading to us a prayer from Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland reminding us of the pleas of these people who are in such desperate circumstances. People to whom we have responded but have not embraced with full enthusiasm. Laurel then prayed for all refugees everywhere and guidance in fighting corruption. She then raised before God those that minister to the desperate people of the world. Laurel turned her focus to our own country and asked that visionary leaders will be raised up who will pull this country out of the pitiful state it is in. Laurel then prayed for the needs of our own congregation followed by The Lord's Prayer.

Hymn TIS 90 "I'll praise my Saviour while I have breath." That is our hope and intention and with God's grace we will.


To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy -  to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!

And may the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always. Amen.

Song TIS 781. "Father bless us as we go."