CALL TO WORSHIP:
This is one world and we are one people.
There is one God and we are all God’s people.
There is one life, and we are called to live it together.
There is one hope and we share it with one another.
With one voice, one joy, one faith, one love we worship God together.
HYMN: God of Nations
E Ihoa Atua, o nga Iwi Matoura, ata whaka rongonga;
me aroha noa.
Kia hua ko te pai; kia tau to atawhai;
manaakitia mai Aotearoa.
God of nations, at thy feet, in the bonds of love we meet;
hear our voices we entreat, God defend our free land!
Guard Pacific’s triple star from the shafts of strife and war,
make her praises heard afar; God defend New Zealand!
Men of every creed and race gather here before thy face,
asking thee to bless this place; God defend our free land!
From dissension, envy, hate and corruption guard our state;
make our country good and great, God defend New Zealand!
Let our love for thee increase, may thy blessings never cease,
give us plenty, give us peace; God defend our free land!
From dishonour and from shame guard our country’s spotless name; crown her with immortal fame, God defend New Zealand!
May our mountains ever be freedom’s ramparts on the sea;
make us faithful unto thee, God defend our free land!
Guide her in the nations’ van, preaching love and truth to man,
working out thy glorious plan; God defend New Zealand! ©T Bracken
May the grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, with all whom you love, and all whom you pray for here this day.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord be with you also.
PRAYER OF INVOCATION AND CONFESSION:
Almighty God, you spoke light into the darkness:
light to dispel the gloom, light to form the day, light to reveal creation’s vivid, colourful palette.
You came as light of the world:
Light to shine in the shadows, light to point out the path, light to pierce the hearts of humans, caught in division, disharmony that failed to see uniqueness and unity.
You call us to be light in a dark world:
light to lead people home, light to challenge injustice,
light to weave a pattern, that blends and shapes humanity together.
The house of God is our home: a place of comfort, familiarity, of easily held opinions, common causes, shared values. Here our faith and kingdom values are affirmed.
Here also we see heaven opened. What seems unclean is precious to God. What looks ungodly is counted worthy. Sinners made saints, outsiders pulled in to be warmed at the hearth – the walls of this community pushed out to make room.
Forgive us Lord the narrow-mindedness that excludes; forgive us the tendency to disapprove and judge, and open our hearts and arms to the life you promised. Open our doors to make room for those you would welcome.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE:
Though we wander from the path, though we step out of the light,
though we embroider truth, though we deny fullness of life –
Despite all this you come bearing life, light, truth, and new life to us all and by this we are made whole through Jesus the Christ. Amen.
WE PASS THE PEACE OF CHRIST TO EACH OTHER.
HYMN: Honour the Dead, our Country’s Fighting Brave
Honour the dead, our country’s fighting brave, honour our children
left in foreign grave, where poppies blow and sorrow seeds her flowers, honour the crosses marked forever ours.
Weep for the places ravaged with our blood, weep for the
young bones buried in the mud, weep for the powers of violence
and greed, weep for the deals done in the name of need.
Honour the brave whose conscience was their call, answered no bugle, went against the wall, suffered in prisons of contempt
and shame, branded as cowards, in our country’s name.
Weep for the waste of all that might have been, weep for the
cost that war has made obscene, weep for the homes that ache
with human pain, weep that we ever sanction war again.
Honour the dream for which our nation bled, held now in trust
to justify the dead, honour their vision on this solemn day:
peace known in freedom, peace the only way. ©Shirley Murray (NZHBT)
INTRODUCTION TO THE READINGS:
Revelation 21:1-6: The Revelation to John concludes with a vision of “a new heaven and a new earth” in which the pain and tragedies of earth are healed by the one who is the “Alpha and Omega.” John Shanks
John 13:31-35: Christ gives his followers a commandment: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Margaret Shanks
PRAYER BEFORE SERMON
SERMON: Heavenly Vision!
HYMN: God of the Ages, by Whose Hand (Tune: Hereford)
God of the ages, by whose hand through years long past
our lives were led, give us new courage now to stand,
new faith to find the paths ahead.
You are the thought beyond all thought,
the gift beyond our utmost prayer; no farthest reach where you are not, no height but we may find you there.
Lift up our hearts, and set us free from wild alarms and trembling fears; in your strong hand eternally rests the unfolding of the years.
Though there be dark unchartered space, with worlds on worlds beyond our sight, still may we trust your love and grace,
and wait your word, ‘Let there be light’. ©EH Burrowes (WOV662)
OUR FREEWILL OFFERING
to support the mission and Church of Jesus Christ will be received.
As God gives to us, so let us give to God and to all those who wait for the love of God in so many ways.
Risen Lord Jesus, what can we bring,
but what we have already received from you;
love, life and the substance of our world and work?
Grant us, by your companion Spirit, the love to use our lives and our gifts to the glory of your name., Our Father…(sung WOV 676)
OUR PRAYERS FOR OURSELVES AND OTHERS
HYMN: How Great Thou Art
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my saviour God to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art,
Then sings my soul, my saviour God to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
When through the woods and bushclad hills I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the creek and feel the gentle breeze:
And when I think that God, his son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin;
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart,
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art. C/A
Please leave promptly, to allow the Methodist congregation to prepare for worship.
A very warm welcome to all who worship with us this morning. Please stay for morning tea following the service. Many thanks to Rev David Coster for leading our worship today.
ANZAC DAY SERVICE: TOMORROW 10am at St Anne’s Anglican Church, 7 Wilsons Rd. All are welcome.
WORKING BEE 43 St Martins Rd, Saturday 7th May 9.30am – 12noon (weather permitting). Please bring your gardening tools to help tidy up the church grounds.
WEDNESDAY WALKERS 27th April: Meet 9.30am on the steps of New Brighton Library, Marine Parade. Coffee at Salt on the Pier café. All welcome. Sue 960 7657.
CRAFTY CRAFTERS: Thursdays 10am-12 noon in the Lounge. $3.
POTLUCK LUNCH for St James’, Hoon Hay, Cashmere & St Martin’s on Sunday 22nd May 12 noon at Cashmere Presbyterian. An opportunity for everyone to mix and mingle and enjoy fellowship. Irene.
ALPINE PRESBYTERY newsletter is on the noticeboard in the Lounge.
PARISH OFFICE: Wednesday & Thursday 9am – 12 noon, Fridays 9-11am Ph 332 6192. 7 Wilsons Rd South (at the rear of the section).
Please make sure Anna has any notices by 9am Thursday.
COURT THEATRE “Educating Rita” Thursday 16th June 6.30pm. $45. Sign the clipboard if you would like to go. Payment in NAMED envelope to Sue by 8th May please. We still need a few more people to come – invite your friends, family, neighbours.
FOR SALE: Homemade jams, sauces, pickles. Please support this fundraising venture for St Martin’s – much better than buying from the supermarket!
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK: Tue 26th Rob; Thu 28th Joan.