Sunday, June 25, 2017

Marking the UCA 40th year at Morisset 25th June 2017

I think we did OK today, but I left my phone/camera in my bag unfortunately so I can share a couple of other pics BUT it was tricky...

Here's what we did...

A quick "Good Morning" and Intro to the UCA Prez's Video

40th Anniversary Message from Uniting Church in Australia on Vimeo.

I modified John and Elizabeth's work...
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from John Squires/Elizabeth Raine)
Our land is alive with the awe of God’s creation
Desert sands, gum trees, brown grasses and rivers bring rhythm

We join our voices with all the earth
And we know God’s Spirit is with us
Our Creator surrounds and upholds us,
Christ Jesus walks beside and before us
The Spirit moves within and between us

We wonder, we celebrate,
we recognize the 40th year of the Uniting Church in Australia
We acknowledge the Awabakal people,
Who share a special relationship as first inhabitants
Of the land on which we gather today

Song #1 TiS 474 “Here in This Place” v1, 2, 4  

And modified this...
A PRAYER: 40 Years of the Uniting Church
Voice ONE:
Amazing God,
You have led your pilgrim people through centuries past
And are calling us to serve you today.
You have blessed us with gifts of the Holy Spirit.
You have given leaders to your Church
Who have guided us with courage and insight.

Voice TWO:
Despite the failings of your Church,
You continue to claim us for yourself,
To renew our faith and to send us out to a world in need.
We thank you for the inheritance into which we have entered:
16th century reformers who preached the centrality of Jesus Christ;
18th century evangelicalism reaching out in fresh ways with good news
20th century ecumenism bringing Christians together
across barriers of race, language, culture and tradition.

Voice THREE:
We give you thanks for all who prayed and worked
to bring the Uniting Church into being:
for the envisaging of it’s vision and ethos
for those in every locality who worked patiently to bring people together;
for those who for 40 years have proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
ministered to the sick and suffering, and developed new initiatives in mission.

Voice FOUR: 
We ask your blessing on your Church in the coming years:
that you will draw us closer to other communities of faith;
that you will strengthen our work for justice and peace;
that you will help us minister to the poor and distressed,
the lonely and alienated, the confused and despairing.
May your Spirit of truth and love be our guide,
both now and in the future,
that we may be a faithful servant Church,
giving of ourselves and all we have
as Jesus gave himself for us.  

Storybook “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers read by Allira
with images onscreen

Song #2 “The Pilgrim’s Song” Paul Chalson

Bible Reading/s non lectionary
Isaiah 42: 1-9
Matthew 28: 16-20

+ Video Clip “An Australian Church edit” 6min 41
[Edited a little bit out of Craig Mitchell's excellent UCA DVD series]
Typed up the text for those who find it difficult to hear...

An Australian Church from Uniting Church in Australia on Vimeo.

Buzz Groups Discussion: a few minutes
What do you know/appreciate about the Uniting Church/THIS church?

Banner intro/UCA Logo build in cardboard

Song #3 “God the Father, Son and Spirit” [Tune TiS 152 Ode to Joy]

Prayers of the People
Creator God,
We pray for a world in trouble not easily solved, for those who seek peace
And for those effected by the pursuit of power and politics
For the Middle East, Syria, Afghanistan, for the UK and ongoing tensions

We pray for this country, filled with division and skepticism
For the challenges of daily life, money, family and hard times

We pray for those we know, unwell, grieving and in recovery
[naming some names and silence for others]

God , you call us to be people who care, help us reach out in love
Give us insight and energy for our journey of serving
In Jesus name

Song #4 TiS 687 “God Gives Us a Future”

Sending Out

[then there was cake]

We also shared a Soup & Damper Lunch with Table Quiz
Table Menu Questions to promote conversation...
Four Rounds including Sound Clues + Famous Faces Page
Magnificent Soup
Good community

Monday, June 05, 2017

"One Love Manchester"

   This was always going to be a concert for the youngsters in terms of the bands but what a great start with Marcus Mumford introducing a 'moments silence' for those effected by the recent 'terror' attacks and then singing "Timshel" which is moving song that fitted the reflection and celebration that is a concert to follow such horror!! Love drives out fear indeed... "We're still singing our songs" was great too from Robbie Williams leading the crowd...
   In Oz our media coverage today has also included the cover by Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over."
   I love music... for lots of reasons... including it's capacity to transport you in time and place and in things like this concert to assert that although people are dented, they're not broken... although there's fear, ongoing violence and a world in turmoil, people want to say that someone bringing a bomb into the foyer of a concert is 'madness'...
   At some time we will have to come to grips with the fact that US foreign policy, and the coalition of the willing, oil and military action in the middle east are yielding an extreme response that whilst never justifying terrorism, is contributing to the anger that creates it!!
   The loss of life in these attacks that will go on, needs to be rested with love in communities that pull together, with celebrations of life and also with ways of helping people work through the aftermath... the concert can't bring anyone back but it can contribute to the healing of emotional wounds!!

The way the artists and songs unfolded in the concert provided a pretty solid journey through grief, an array of feelings and on into love, hope and celebration, even determination to hold to something bigger and worthy of celebration!! Space to grieve, to move and to express something bigger... but also room to just be or to not be able to move...

AND here regarding money raised for the RED  CROSS