Order of Service 1st January 2012

A very warm welcome to you all as you worship with us this morning.
Morning tea will be served in the lounge after the service.
A  special welcome to our friends from Beckenham Methodist Church.

CALL TO WORSHIP  (adapted from Prayers to Share – David Sparks)
The bells ring out to welcome a new year!
We celebrate with joy the good times past
and the memories that delight.
The bells ring out to welcome a new year!
We rejoice in the support of family and friends and in the encouragement of our  church family.
The bells ring out to welcome a new year!
We celebrate practical and creative achievements and all the opportunities that lie ahead.
The bells ring out to welcome a new year!
We rejoice in a just and loving God, whose compassion shines from the Way of Jesus.

HYMN:  Come in, Come in New Year   (Tune: Darwall  WOV 147(ii))
Come in, come in New Year
with shining summer day!
Your promise calls us here
to celebrate and pray,
through Jan-u-ary’s open door
to stride with hopeful step once more.

Come in, New Year, and sell
your wares of chance and change:
engage us with your spell
to risk and re-arrange,
to feel the Spi-rit’s impulse beat,
to follow down a different street.
For though December dies,
still Christmas keeps the light,
the hope in children’s eyes,
the star that shatters night;
now Sim-e-on and Anna see
the child who rules all time to be.

The calendar of Christ
will mark the seasons’ turn,
his story claim our trust,
his love be ours to learn.
For all the world, for young and old,
we pray a year of peace unfold.           ? Shirley Murray (CoC)

OPENING PRAYERS

A STORY

O.T.  READINGS:  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14a    Allison Blackler
Psalm 8            Tony Blackler

HYMN: Songbook 61  Our Life Has its Seasons

N.T.  READING:  Philippians 3: 12-14    Tony Blackler

REFLECTION:  A Meditation For the New Year

A CREED FOR NOW  (adapted from Jesus Our Future – B Prewer)
We believe in the loving Creator,
whose generous providence has been above all,
beneath all and in all the moments and days of the past year,
and will be at work in this new year.
We believe in Jesus Christ, whose saving grace finds,
heals and reconciles `lost people’, including even us,
and who calls us to the ministry of reconciliation.
We believe in the Spirit of  truth,
whose tireless energy is at work through all the upheavals, achievements, disappointments, joys and discoveries of this era.
We believe in this wonderful God, who loves our land and its people and is weaving through the tangled affairs of our nation
a purpose outreaching anything we could imagine.
We believe that our belief  is a precious gift, to be treasured, nurtured, shared and dared –  to the glory  of God forever.   Amen and Amen!

OFFERING
God, on this New Year’s Day 2012 we offer gifts of money and food along with the gift of ourselves.
We are mindful of the need:  to listen more carefully;
to speak out against even one injustice; to get to know and encourage
even one new person in our churches;
to grow in faith and  to put our faith into practice.
God, these gifts, are a token that we take our responsibilities to heart.
And we believe that you will bless us, as we carry them out. Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

HYMN:  This Is a Day of New Beginnings  (Tune: St Clement WOV 388)
This is a day of new beginnings,
time to remember and move on,
time to believe what love is bringing,
laying to rest the pain that’s gone?

For by the life and death of Jesus
love’s mighty Spirit, now as then,
can make for us a world of difference
as faith and hope are born again.

Then let us, with the Spirit’s daring,
step from the past and leave behind
our disappointments, guilt and grieving,
seeking new paths, and sure to find.

In faith we’ll gather round the  table
to show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings –
our God is making all things new.           © Brian Wren (CH4)

A EUCHARISTIC POEM:

Praise to the God …  of bread and wine.

Jesus Christ, child of the earth,
Sign of our eternal worth –
“Do this to remember me,” he said.
“Drink this wine and eat this bread.
My body broken and my blood shed
for you, and you, and you.

Holy Spirit, gentle power … with people everywhere,

Creator God, we give you praise,
to you our joyful song we raise;
our hearts in love to you we lift,
offering talent, skill and gift;
accept us, use us to proclaim
the glory of our Saviour’s name.

THE LORD’S PRAYER – SUNG

THE INVITATION TO COMMUNION & THE PEACE

COMMUNION AND PRAYER

HYMN: 52 Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand

THE BLESSING

ST MARTIN’S BIRTHDAYS: Sun 1st Jim; Fri 6th Lyndsay; Sun 8th Sue; Mon 9th Barry; Sat 14th Pauline.

The service next Sunday, 8th January 2011, will be at Beckenham Methodist Church, in Malcolm Avenue.
Chris will be leading the service.

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