Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Sunday Service Marsden Road Unitng Church 24 February 2019


The theme today was “love”. God’s love which has raised us up to minister to others, so that they will find God’s love for themselves. One of the first statements the Rev. John made during The Call to Worship was:

“Love is an all or nothing proposition. Only by loving your enemies as well as your friends do you live as children of the Most High.”

This theme was continued through the Opening Prayer:

 “Inexhaustible source of love and life, be with us in our time of worship as we seek the love it takes to walk in the ways of your Son. Help us love our enemies and bless those who wrong us, for we cannot do so alone. Teach us the joy of treating others with all the same respect and goodness with which we hope to be treated. May our every word and deed make known that we are your beloved children and vessels of your love. Amen.”

which both acknowledged God as love itself and the source of all love. At the same time the prayer called on God to show us how to love as God loves us. But we needed to Confess our inability to do so as God would want us to do because of our human frailty.

“Teacher of hard truths, it is difficult to let go of our anger toward those who prosper through deceit and unscrupulous ways:

It is not easy to make ourselves believe that the meek will inherit the earth, when they are being crushed by the unjust systems stacked against them.

We long to see the vindication of the righteous
and the prosperity of those who work selflessly
 to bring your realm here on earth.

We yearn for the day when all people will
treat one another as they wish to be treated.
 Help us live into that day, Holy One, even
when it is difficult, that your love might
 shine like the sun through our lives and
our ministries. Amen.”

But having confronted our lack and having
asked for forgiveness, we were able to reach
 out, knowing that we are forgiven and can
pass that generosity onto other children of God.

“Let us be known as children of the Most High by sharing our love with all as we pass the peace of Christ.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!”

We were gathered today to welcome Otis into the family of God and God’s love. Because there is only one way to be so joined the parents were asked if they had made the necessary steps to claim membership of God’s family for themselves and their little boy:

“Do you turn to Christ? Do you repent of your sins? Do you reject selfish living, and all that is false and unjust? Do you renounce all that is evil? Do you believe that the gospel enables us to turn from darkness and evil and to walk in the light of Christ?”

When they answered all these questions in the affirmative, John prayed:

“Almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness and lead you in the light of Christ to his everlasting kingdom. Amen.”

Then knowing Otis would receive proper guidance from his parents, Rev. John continued:

 “Otis, may the Lord open your ears to hear his word and your mouth to proclaim his praise.”

We then showed our love in a practical manner through our offering according to Jesus words:

“Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure. . . running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

This sense of generosity beyond what was necessary was continued in the Bible reading from Luke which admonished us to love without any sense of reward or return…even those who were our enemies.

The Preaching of the WordUnimaginable Love continued along the same line:

 “To love our enemies prevents us from acting out of our own self-interest. It means that compassion and forgiveness are at the very core of our faith. It means that to do harm to others in any way is totally out of the question. It means that we live by a higher standard, one that leads us to a new and different world which transcends the one in which we live. To follow this principle is humanly impossible.”

The same message was reflected in the Prayers of the People, led by Wendy. Not only was the main body of the prayer focused on love to others but the prayer requests of the congregation were little packs of love, wishing peace and God’s comfort on those we know who are suffering in some way.

  This was emphasized in the following hymn, “Joy to the World.” Joy cannot exist without peace and love.


 “Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage;

hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the faint hearted; support the weak;

help the afflicted; give honour to all; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.  


Then we sang a blessing to each other:

HymnTIS 779: May the feet of God walk with you.

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 breathe give you life.

May the child of God grow in you, and his love bring you home.


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 3 February 2019


 Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

From river to ocean, from campfire to hearth,

May the First People who have cared for this Land be blessed.

From breath to song, from step to dance,

May those who follow Your Song lines guide us on the journey of living honourably in this place.

From greeting to Amen, from silence to chorus,


Call to Worship - (B J Beu and other Source)

God has been with us and knew us before we were even born. The one who calls us to love has been loving us longer than we have drawn breath. Sink into the arms of Love this day and trust the hand that holds you.

Therefore we worship God in every way, in every action and thought. Not because we should, but because God’s love in us generates that worship from within us.


Hymn TIS 28: “God is our strength and refuge.” No matter how dark, dangerous or difficult, or even easy life is, we haven't the strength or wisdom to go it alone. And God is our only helper


Opening prayer

 Wrap us in the arms of your love, Holy One, as we gather in worship this day. Teach us to be patient and kind in our actions, and humble of heart in all of our ways. Help us see and know ourselves as well as you see and know us, that our words may be true, and our love may be pure. Build us into a community that bears all things, believes all things, and hopes all things in the name of Love, which never ends. Amen.


 A Prayer of Confession

 God of truth and love, when we yearn for certainty in an uncertain world, remind us that we know only in part; when we long for others to see things our way, remind us that we see in a mirror dimly; when we seek to impose our ways upon others, remind us that we have failings of our own. Harken us to your voice once more and reveal to us the truths that you alone can see. In your holy name, we seek your guidance now. Amen.


 Declaration of Forgiveness

The one who formed us in our mothers’ wombs looks upon us with love and seeks our highest good. Rejoice in the good news that we are fully known, and that we are loved with a love that heals all wounds and breaks down all barriers that lie between us. Thanks be to God!


The Peace

 Now faith, hope, and love abide as signs of God’s care for us. Let us share these signs with one another as we pass the peace of Christ.

The peace of Christ be with you.The peace of Christ be with you always.




Source of every good gift, you have watched over us all the days of our lives— guiding our ways, protecting us from harm, and showering us with your blessings. Receive these offerings from our grateful hearts, and bless the world with our heartfelt thanks, that all might know your amazing gift of love. Amen.


Hymn TIS 153:“God is love, let heaven adore him” This song acknowledges God’s love and the world’s need for it.


                   The Service of Holy Communion

This service has many parts and many purposes and many effects. We remember and in remembering we are reminded of our purpose in life and our dependence on God to live that life to the full. We are reminded that we are all equally welcome at God’s Table and equally loved. 


A Prayer after Communion

By your Spirit, make us one with Christ and with one another, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at the heavenly banquet. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory are yours, almighty God, now and forever more. Amen.


 The Service of the Word


First Reading:1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The Gospel Reading: Luke 4: 21-30


The Preaching of God’s Word

Rev. John, using a reference to the Peanuts comic and Charlie Brown’s difficulty in

explaining or even talking about love, spoke of the mystery of love.

It may be difficult to explain or define but we all know when it is absent. Likewise when

Rev. John spoke of how, in our attempt to say something about love, we turn to poetry or

painting, do we do when we want to represent the full strength of its absence.

Today I was relaxing, looking at Facebook and saw a group of very rough looking people

spend a great deal of time and care with the only tool they had, a pair of tin snips,

gently prize a tangled cord from around and inside a waterbird’s beak. Not a smile, not a

gentle look from any of them. But they were showing great love to that bird.

Rev. John said “Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13, captivates our imagination. We read these words and before we know it, we are being read by them. We read, and we recognise the depth of what they say. We realise the poignancy and truth of Paul’s message.

 How easy it is for us to forget that these words were written to address congregational struggle and division. They were not written as a sentimental note on the latest wedding card but to speak to the profound truth of the gospel in daily life. We forget that Paul wrote these words to a congregation in ferment…”

So, regardless of whether we like or approve of someone. Regardless of whether we value their work inside or outside the church, remember God loves them because of their intrinsic value as one of God’s created. We can't do anything less.



Hymn TIS 398: “Come down, O Love divine” God’s love through us is the way.


Intercessory Prayers and the Lord’s Prayer


Hymn TIS 473: “Community of Christ, who make the Cross your own.”



God sends us forth with words of love on our lips. Christ sends us forth with acts of love in our deeds. The Spirit sends us forth with the spirit of love sustaining our very lives. Go in the power of God’s love and be ambassadors of Christ’s love and peace, and may the blessing of God Almighty, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of Life be with and remain with you always. Amen.


Sunday ServiceMarsden Road Uniting Church 10 February 2019

Gathering God’s People

 Acknowledgement of First Peoples

 From river to ocean, from campfire to hearth,

May the First People who have cared for this Land be blessed.

From breath to song, from step to dance,

May those who follow Your Songlines guide us on the journey of living honourably in this place.

From greeting to Amen, from silence to chorus.

Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2019)

From fishing fleets and busy harbours, God gathers simple sailors. Through persecution and injustice, God calls brave prophets. When we least expect it, Christ gathers us in, and calls us to follow him. Let us gather and answer Christ’s call. Called by God, we have come to worship. Called by Christ, we have come to follow. Called by the Spirit, we have come to rejoice. Called together, we will listen and pray.

Hymn TIS 693: “Come as you are.” A hymn of great encouragement. Just as we are. No matter how badly we think of ourselves, we are invited.

Opening Prayer

Holy God, we gather to sing your praise and hear your word. Speak to us now, that we may be wise enough to perceive your call. Strengthen us now, that we may be brave enough to answer when you call. Guide us now, that we may follow where you would have us go. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

 Master, we have worked all day and night, for many months and years. We yearn for a heavy catch, a full church, an abundant feast. Forgive us God, when we are too tired to cast our nets one time; when we are too stubborn to do things a little differently. Have mercy on us, when we are too afraid to dive into deep waters and take a risk. Grant us grace, that we may proclaim your word, work for your kingdom, and trust your promises. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness

Do not be afraid! Christ has called. Christ has redeemed us. Christ will save us all.

Thanks be to God!

The Peace

Those who place their faith in the Lord are blessed. Let us share this blessing with those around us as we pass the peace of Christ.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!


Whom should God send? Who will go for God’s people? Here we are, God is

counting on us. Let us share our gifts and our offerings in answer to God’s call.

Increase the strength of these gifts, and the strength of our ministries, O God. Expand the nets of our love, that we may reach deeply and share abundantly. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen

Hymn TIS 658: “I the Lord of Sea and Sky” Send me. I'll step up. So often we think that the message means someone else. Someone more talented, someone with more time, someone more confident. No it means me.

The Service of the Word

Bible readings (delivered by Laurel)

The First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13)

The Gospel Reading: Luke 5: 1-11

 Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13)This needs to be read in its entirety to appreciate how challenging and even frightening it can be to hear the call of God. But God doesn't ask us to do anything for which we will not receive strength and support.

Luke 5: 1-11. An example of how we can get it so wrong. The fishermen were experienced and were so sure that Jesus couldn't be serious. However, the results proved their expertise out and they were forced to rethink their whole lives.

 Preaching of the Word - Call to Transforming Love

Rev. John’s message was about trusting God’s voice. We may not think ourselves good enough for the task but then, apart from not trusting God to support us and guide us, so often we at mistaken about the nature of the task. Trust!

Once we listen and follow, Rev. John said:

For we are never the same once we have listened to what Christ has commanded! We are never the same once we have acknowledged our true condition. We are never the same once we place our lives in Christ’s hands.

 It is a truth that sustains us in our journeys, and it is a truth that will keep and protect us during the rough seas of our lives.
It is a truth that will take us beyond the religious trappings of our world and into the loving
 arms of our Master, the One who calls us to follow him into the deep places and catch people for him. Amen.”

Rev. John went on to say:

 “We are called to be a people who have experienced
that same transforming generosity and love. That same Jesus has invaded our "space" and affected our day-to-day lives. There's been a moment, perhaps a
whole lot of moments when God in Jesus has touched us even in the parts of our lives we have foolishly thought to be "nothing to do with religion".

Hymn TIS 132: “Holy, Holy, Holy.” And when all turns out well, the praise goes, not to us with our new found mission but to God.

Music to lead us to prayer

During this time we prayed our private prayers after which Rev. John led us in the Prayers of the People, followed by The Lord’s Prayer.

Hymn TIS 387: (Tune: Turo) “Christ is alive Let Christians sing” And sing we did, Rev. John’s message had touched hearts and minds.


Listen for God’s word. Answer Christ’s call. Go into the deep and love courageously. Rejoice in the harvest of grace! And may Almighty God, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of Life bless you and keep always Amen.


HymnTIS779: “May the feet of God walk with you”: Our prayer for each other.