Monthly Archives: June 2020

Sunday 28th June 2020

A very warm welcome to all who worship here today. Please stay for a cuppa and a chat after the service. Next Sunday Rev Hugh Perry will be joining us to celebrate Communion.

Anna will not be in the Office this Friday 3 July. Any notices need to be received by 9am Thursday. Thank You.

What’s On This Week:

Tuesday 10am – 2pm South Elder Care. Lyndsey 388 1264.

Tuesday 7.15pm Christian Meditation Group. Contact Dugald 380 5024.

Thursday 10am – 12 noon Crafty Crafters. Bring along your own craft items or learn a new skill. $3 per session. Lyndsey 388 1264.

Thursday 1.30 – 2.30pm Sit & Keep Fit. See Anneke for more information.

Thursday 6pm Men’s Group. Talk to Rob 384 4320 (see notice below).

New Sunday Readers’ roster available today – please collect your copy.

Wednesday Walkers 1st July: Meet 9.30am at the Bus Exchange for an inner city ramble. Coffee at Child Sister, 277 Manchester St. All welcome. Sue 960 7657.

Men’s Group: Our first meeting will be this Thursday 2nd July in the Church Lounge starting 6pm.

There will not be a speaker for this first meeting as we want to discuss ideas for future speakers (some arranged already) and share in fellowship on this evening. All men are welcome. Rob Connell 384 4320.

Fireside will not meet this month but plans to change to an afternoon meeting next month and meet on Wednesday 29th July at 1.30pm for a post-lockdown get together in the lounge. Other women are very welcome to join us. Contact Margaret  366 8936 for more information.

Jams & Pickles – have a look – there are loads. If you don’t see what you want, please ask! Sue 960 7657.

Cleaning Roster: Thank you to everyone who has volunteered so far. There are still spaces for more!!

Garage Sale at St Mark’s Anglican Church, 101 Opawa Rd Saturday 4th July 8.30am – 12.30pm. All are welcome.

The Garage Series

Today we hear from Christine Harding from Fairfield Presbyterian in Hamilton, and Kaimai Presbytery.  Christine adds some thoughts from her coaching experiments about what questions are helpful. Also Glenn Livingston from St Kentigern’s Burwood United in the North East of Christchurch

Episode14: https://youtu.be/2oixibupesc
Episode 15: https://youtu.be/tWj6N9TCZCI


See previous episodes on the Alpine Presbytery YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN1zIOMYMjvl78CcIqMRcVQ

Teddies knitted by Lyn Steele, for Waltham Community Cottage.

Keeping safe in Alert Level 1

If you’re sick, stay home. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline for advice. Wash your hands regularly with soap.

Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.

Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Stay vigilant. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

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Sunday 21 June 2020

NOTICES:

A very warm welcome to all who worship here today. Please stay for a cuppa and a chat after the service.

We give thanks for the life of Herbert Arthur Ireland Madgwick, June 1 1929 – June 16 2020. Madg had a long history of service to this church. He was ordained an Elder in December 2008, and served as Session Clerk. Our deepest condolences to Lyn and the family.

Memorial Service for Tony Blackler Saturday 27th June 2pm here at the church. Everyone is very welcome. Allison & Gill Blackler.

What’s On This Week:

Tuesday 10am – 2pm South Elder Care

Thursday 10am – 12 noon Crafty Crafters. Bring along your own craft items or learn a new skill $3 per session.

Contact Lyndsey McKay 388 1264 for further details.

Tuesday 7.15pm Christian Meditation Group. Contact Dugald 380 5024.

Thursday 1.30 – 2.30pm Sit & Keep Fit. See Anneke for more information.

Men’s Group: Our first meeting will be on Thursday 2nd July in the Church Lounge starting 6pm.

There will not be a speaker for this first meeting as we want to discuss ideas for future speakers (some arranged already) and share in fellowship on this evening. All men are welcome. Rob Connell 384 4320.

Jams & Pickles – have a look – there are loads. If you don’t see what you want, please ask! Sue 960 7657.


Shelled Walnuts for sale in the foyer. $3 for 100 grams. All proceeds to St Martins. Janette.

Cleaning Roster: Thank you to everyone who has volunteered so far. There are still spaces for more!!

Wednesday Walkers 24th June: Meet 9.30am at the corner of Domain Tce & Lincoln Rd. Coffee at The Waiting Room café. All welcome. Marilyn.

Garage Sale at St Mark’s Anglican Church, 101 Opawa Rd Saturday 4th July 8.30am – 12.30pm. All are welcome.

The Garage Series

Today we hear from Spanky Moore, who is one of the chaplains at the University of Canterbury and is on the diocese staff at the Anglican Church with young adults. Also, Esther Sabey and Marty Redhead from Hope Presbyterian. 
Episode12: https://youtu.be/OLKB2ARpsQk
Episode13: https://youtu.be/lIMi0q1MsDM
See previous episodes on the Alpine Presbytery YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN1zIOMYMjvl78CcIqMRcVQ

The Menzshed… the boys have been busy and a bracing plywood skirt has been constructed around the base of the building to brace the piles.  Painting and carpeting inside the old Sunday School room has been completed, and a sink and zip installed so they can have a cuppa.  One of these rooms will be set up as an electronics room.  The little garden shed has been put on a foundation and will be used as a paint store.

In the next few weeks work benches will be constructed in the woodwork workshop, and the ramp for disabled access will be made.  Our projected opening date is currently early September.

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Sunday 14th June

The Human Community & The Church

Kia ora koutou!

We join together in our apart-ness, one more time!

In this space we are pausing to acknowledge and grow in the presence of God in our lives.

We are tending to the ‘soil’ of our lives.

We dig it over,

We remove the weeds,

We add the compost,

We let it rest when needed,

We plant and harvest at the right time.

God is active in our lives,

Let us worship God!

A Prayer on our Way

Spirit of God, source of life, refresh our spirits, reshape our desires, and re-create our hearts, that we may show your enduring glory.

God of new creation, we confess that we often forget your bountiful goodness.

By the power of the Holy Spirit you animated the earth and its creatures in abundance.

Yet, we tend to hoard earth’s resources and refuse to share your gifts.

We dishonour your generosity by withholding our charity to those in need.

We betray your kindness by dealing harshly with our enemies.

We disregard your compassion by freely offering judgement towards others.

Forgive us.

By the power of your Spirit renew our hearts and free us from our trappings that we may enjoy the fullness of your blessing upon all creation.

Send your Spirit upon your church in this time, stir up our courage, and rouse us for prophetic witness, that we may join with all those who have gone before us, to proclaim to the world your mighty deeds of power in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our scripture readings for today:

Acts 2:42-47 & Ephesians 3:16-19

A reflection by Dan Spragg:

Sort of as a follow up to last week but mostly as I have reflected during and now coming out of lockdown I want to write this week about ‘the church’. Be warned I mostly have questions! Last week’s idea was quite a big idea, quite a concept for our western world brains to get our heads around perhaps. We like to think too much about the individual over and above the collective. There is something about it however that really grabs my attention.

From the words in the creation narrative at the beginning of the book of Genesis “let us make humankind in our image”, comes an evocative idea that it is not you or I, or even us as our church community that is the image of God in the world, but rather, all humans ever! The ones who are alive now, the ones who have come before us, the ones who have come after us, every single one of us together forms the image of God in the world. The implications are big because potentially this means that every single interaction I have with anyone else is indeed interaction with this sacred presence of God in the world. It speaks of a deep solidarity we have with one another and a responsibility towards one another as I think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: …for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

In all, we see the face of God and together we are a beautiful mosaic of God’s representation in the world. When one of us is joyful, let us be joyful and celebrate. When one of us is hurting, let us all feel that hurt and work for healing. Of course we might look around the world and see the standouts among us which unfortunately are usually the ones we would rather not be having to deal with. The dictators, the narcissists, the egotistical maniacs, the greedy, the violent, the racists, the sexists… Including these into our image of God raises questions! Even including ourselves at times into the image of God might raise some questions too! I really do think I’ve made a friend in Gregory of Nyssa from the 4th century. On the question of the presence of evil and the participation in it (sin), Gregory would say that “evil and sin are always accidental conditions of human nature, never intrinsic qualities; all evil is a privation of an original goodness”

All evil is an absence of something that is normally present. When for whatever reason goodness is absent, then evil takes its place. And so this is where the work of Jesus and then the risen Christ takes place.

We are shown ‘the way’ and Christ’s presence in the world gathers us all to return us to our true nature as good and at home with God. In Christ we are free. In Christ, we are made whole. As Paul says in the Ephesians reading today, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love… to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” As Christ dwells in our hearts, may we be filled with the fullness of God. Which leads me to questions about The Church. It is the work of Christ that reconciles us back home – knowing who we truly are with God. We don’t do that part.

So what is the work of The Church?

If all are the image of God, and Christ’s work is reconciliation and the restoration of goodness in all, then what are we to do as ones who believe that we are called together as Christians – followers of Christ – in the world? (That was a long question, sorry).

What do we do as the church? Who are we as the church? Why do we do what we do? When God is the one responsible for ‘salvation’ (not us)? When there is the absence of goodness in places? When no-one seems to be lining up to join us? When new Christians appear to be few and far between? When we can’t even be together as a church? I do know that some of you have had some questions that have been raised about church and our activities during our period of lockdown. As we have been forced to push pause these questions have arisen.

Do you have any questions about church and our activities that have arisen during the last months? Across the Presbytery some have been able to share their questions in a video interview. You may have watched the interview with Rev Don Fergus in Takaka. There are now 11 videos and they are all worth a watch. Perhaps you might like to take a look sometime.

I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a look at the entire book of Acts as one story before. It’s quite a story! In a nutshell it is the story of the first Christian church scrambling as fast as it could to keep up with where the Spirit of God was leading them. It is a good story to interact with as we ask questions of ‘The Church’. There are some characteristics of the church in the book of Acts that could help us as we sit with our questions as we emerge from lockdown. For the sake of brevity I’ll bullet point them!

• They understand their purpose as to bear witness to the good news that Jesus taught and lived.

• The Spirit led them and enabled them outwards beyond their own groups.

• Any structures or organisation they had, had to respond to God’s leading and adapt as they went.

• Their essence can be seen as three dimensional:

o Up – through worship and prayer they grow in their relationship to and understanding of God.

o In – they grow in their relationships with one-another sharing hospitality and resources.

o Out – they reach out to and share the good news in words and actions to those around them.

In particular their ‘agility’ seems very important. Mostly by necessity as the Spirit seemed to be leading them very quickly and things were growing quickly they had to adapt their practices and structures in response to what they were encountering. They were literally scrambling to keep up.

In our world today things are changing very quickly, all the time. And that was before we had a global pandemic! Microsoft’s board now limits its strategic planning to 12 months ahead – they simply don’t know what the world of Information Technology will hold beyond that – so they plan as best they can and then adapt. ‘Agile’ project management is now a legitimate field of study and work especially in software. It is fast becoming standard practice. It is based on the idea that products will be launched before they are finished and that there will be many small and fast adaptations along the way as customers engage with the product.

In our context it seems that being agile is how we need to engage with the world. Which when combined with the characteristics of the church in Acts leads me to more questions!

Are we as the church agile? Do we change our structures & traditions in response to what we encounter?

Or, do too often our structures & traditions remain fixed and immovable?

Do we listen to God’s Spirit and go where we are led?

If the essence of church is three dimensional – Up / In / Out, do we need things like buildings, finances, clergy, Presbytery, General Assembly, the Book of Order to be the church?

I suspect not… so what are these for? And can these help us or hinder us in being agile?

Finally (because I think I have enough words on the page for one day already)

When we consider our solidarity with all humans in every time and place.

When we consider the activity of Christ to draw all into the fullness of God.

When we consider that church is something that God calls forth.

When we consider what the essence of that church might be.

And, when we consider the context of our time and place in the world.

I have one (maybe two) final question(s)… What is the point of us being church? I know we are not here to serve ourselves. I know that we are here to call attention to the love of God, so that all may come to know the fullness of God in their hearts.

I wonder: How might we follow the Spirit’s lead and be agile in our response? Can we be agile enough to follow where the Spirit is leading, not for our own sake, but for the sake of those who are still to know the fullness of the love of God in their hearts?

Offering & Prayer for the Road

Collectively now at this moment as we turn our hearts and minds outwards let us be grateful for God’s ongoing gifts, the many different ways we experience the generosity of God, and be grateful that many of us can still give to the ongoing life and work of our church community in various ways and dedicate ourselves to being the image of God in our various post-lockdown spaces.

We unite our hearts and minds in prayer for our world at this time.

For the church throughout the world,

Inspire the sons and daughters of your church for prophetic witness to your truth, and upon old and young give clarity of vision to acknowledge your saving power in the world.

For nations of the world and its leaders,

Overcome the babble of misunderstanding among the nations, and let all people hear in their own language and recognize in their own culture your unifying message of love.

For planet Earth, our home,

By your Spirit, renew the earth, make us good stewards of its resources, and teach us to enjoy its abundance rightly.

For those in need of healing,

Among those known to each of us, God, we pray,

Send your healing Spirit upon those who are sick in body or mind, restore them to health, and restore to them the joy of salvation.

For our neighbours and members of our communities,

Teach us to be good neighbours, to live in peace with one another, and in friendship share the joys and burdens of daily life.

For the young ones in our lives,

Bless our children, protect them from danger, and help parents and caregivers nurture them so that they may mature in wisdom and grow in grace.

For those we struggle with,

Bless them, and show us how we may do good to them for the sake of Jesus Christ.

In your mercy, Almighty God, receive our prayers and, according to your wisdom, provide all that we need; through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A Blessing

May you carry this blessing into whatever you do this week.

Based on the story of the disciples ‘heading outwards’ in Luke 10:

Go gently, go lightly

Go gently, go lightly,

go safe in the spirit,

live simply, don’t carry much more than you need:

go trusting God’s goodness, go spreading God’s kindness,

Stay centered on Jesus and where he will lead.

Go singing, go bringing the gifts of the Spirit,

go hopefully searching for things that are true:

in living, in loving, whatever befalls you,

God keep you, God bless you in all that you do.

Shirley Erena Murray

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Sunday 14th June 2020

Welcome back…it’s great to be back together again. Remember to be kind to one another – it can take a wee bit of time to get used to being out and about again. There will be a gradual return to normal worship. Thank you to everyone who has brought morning tea to share this morning.

What’s On This Week:

Tuesday 10am – 2pm South Elder Care

Thursday 10am – 12 noon Crafty Crafters. Bring along your own craft items or learn a new skill $3 per session.

Contact Lyndsey McKay 388 1264 for further details.

Tuesday 7.15pm Christian Meditation Group. Contact Dugald 380 5024.

Thursday 1.30 – 2.30pm Sit & Keep Fit. See Anneke for more information.


Moderator’s live streaming of devotions every Sunday at 9am. https://www.facebook.com/modpcanz/

Cleaning Roster: volunteers urgently required please – email the Office if you can help! This is important. Having the building open for use is conditional on regular cleaning.

Wednesday Walkers 17th June: Meet 9.30am in the Mona Vale Carpark for a walk around Mona Vale and then have coffee at Dux Dine. All welcome. Janette 021 075 6780. 

Free Family Movie Night: Opawa Community Church Hall Friday 19th June 7pm. Come along and watch “The Secret Garden”. Drinks, popcorn & nibbles are available to purchase. All are welcome.

The Garage Series

Today we have one clip, from Rosemary Dewerse who shares with us a simple, but profound set of questions to help navigate through this time.

Episode 11: https://youtu.be/yyowta8i0PE


See previous episodes on the Alpine Presbytery YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN1zIOMYMjvl78CcIqMRcVQ

The Golden Rules for Alert Level 1

If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.

If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.

Wash your hands regularly with soap.

Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.

If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.

If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.

Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.

Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.

Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.

People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

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Sunday 7th June

Trinity Sunday: Divine Image & the Human Community

Kia ora koutou!

We join together in our apart-ness,

pausing to acknowledge and grow in the presence of God in our lives.

We are  meeting as part of a church community, albeit a scattered one.

We are stilling ourselves, our fears, our anxieties, and all the distracting things around us, to seek and delight in God’s life with us.

Let us worship God!

A Prayer on our Way

Holiness, Word, Power,

you reveal yourself as one God in three persons,

a mighty, creative, life-generating dancer

who invites your creation to join you.

Sing into our ears, O Spirit, the holy word of life.

Tell us who we are and to whom we belong

so that we may live with gratitude for all that

you have done.

And catch us up in your love and lead us into your world

to call others to follow you with singing and rejoicing.

Amen.

Be Still and Know that I am God

Our scripture readings for today:       

Genesis 1:1- 2:4a  The story of creation

Psalm 8

2 Corinthians 13:11–13

Matthew 28:16– 20  Commissioning of the disciples

A reflection        by Dan Spragg

As I mentioned in my midweek thoughts this week, occasionally the lectionary does well with the grouping of readings it selects for particular Sundays. This week is one of them.

More on that in a moment. Firstly though, today is Trinity Sunday – the day we pay particular attention to who God is seen as being as witnessed to in the scriptures. It’s fair to say that it has taken up quite its fair share of time as a topic of debate throughout history.

Quite often we have been left more confused about things after we’ve debated than before we started! The metaphysics of the existence of God can make for quite a few mental gymnastics. I must admit at times feeling a little like this quote suggests:

This is Trinity Sunday, but people who have cancer probably do not care. This is Trinity Sunday, but those young couples who cannot get pregnant probably do not care either. “But, this is Trinity Sunday,” proclaims the worship committee. Even so, the family dealing with the wayward teenager, the couple headed for divorce, the person who has lost a job, they do not care. Does it really matter to them that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

Indeed, what does it matter if we see God as Trinity or not?

What does it matter in times of uncertainty?

What does it matter when facing unemployment?

What does it matter when indigenous people and people of colour are constantly subjected to systemic racism and violence?

I must admit to becoming less convinced of a number of proclaimed ‘certainties’ the further into this faith journey I get. I find that I am finding more ‘certainty’ in the knowing of my experiences rather than what I can or can’t get the logical part of my brain to.

Understanding how God can be one- but – three is one of those. Needing to understand the math of it is becoming less important. What is becoming     

more important is the sense of meaning which is portrayed by various descriptions, metaphors and images of God.

The late Rev Andrew Norton when reviewing the Alpine Presbytery’s mission planning project in his time as National Moderator suggested that really there was only one question we needed to ask when looking at how to shape our thoughts towards Mission, towards the what we do with our faith. The question he suggested was:

Who is God?

Answer that, he said, and that will tell you what your mission is.

If God is an abstract concept that seems quite far removed from daily life, then so too will our mission be (if there is a sense of one at all?)

If  God, however, is understood in quite relatable terms, then well, that starts to make a real difference to what our mission will be.

So what of these readings today? What do these tell us of who God is (keeping the Trinity in mind)?

Genesis 1:1- 2:4a – God is = creative, life-giving, exists in relationship, the author of goodness…

Psalm 8 – God is = majestic, protective, attentive to creation, empowering…

2 Corinthians 13:11–13 – God is = peaceful, grace-giving, loving, relational…

Matthew 28:16– 20 – God is = authoritative, mission orientated, united as one, present…

That is quite a list!

Is this true for your experience(s) of God?

If this is an accurate list of who God is, what do you think it means for how we are to be?

One of the gifts of our recent ‘lockdown’ experience for me was to be introduced to the early church theologian Gregory of Nyssa. Gregory’s big idea in his On the Making of Humanity    

was that the creation story of Adam and Eve doesn’t talk so much about the

creation of the first humans but rather it paints a picture giving meaning to the concept of the entire human race, which only in its entirety is able to reflect true divine likeness and divine beauty! In other words, to be made in the image of God could be far less of an individualistic thing than we have often made it out to be.

As if I by myself, or you by yourself could be the image of God!?

For Gregory, the image of God in the world = humanity – the entire species –

all of us  – ever!

That paints a different picture of who we are.

The human community… the ever evolving, growing, diverse, colourful, beautiful image of God in the world.

If you were to look out your window right now and see someone walking their dog down the street, they are a part of the image of God in the world… they are a part of the representation of God in the world… they are a part of God’s responsibility in the world… they are a part of God’s activity in the world…

But only a part because you are too, as is all the people you know and love as well as those who you find difficult, as is those who are seriously misguided! (which is a little challenging to swallow).

Now here’s where my brain is colliding the two ideas today – Trinity & Humanity. If God is creative, life-giving, exists in relationship, the author of goodness, majestic, protective, attentive to creation, empowering, peaceful, grace    -giving, loving, relational, authoritative, mission orientated, united as one, present…

And add to this list all of what the earlier images say to you of who God is…

And if we, all of us who have existed and all who ever will exist, together, are the representation of God in the world…Then we must be at least capable, if not possessive of the seeds and expressions of these qualities too… (without lifting ourselves to the position of being God ourselves, of course, that’d kind of be the whole point of Genesis 3 perhaps?) So I think we can take a guess at how we are to get about our living  – it might have something to do with being: creative, life-giving, relational, sowers of good, majestic, protective, attentive to creation, empowering, peaceful, grace-giving, loving, relational,

authoritative (in the right way), mission orientated, united as one, present…

If we were to do that I think we’d go a long way towards being at one with what seems to be God’s mission in the world that was what Jesus lived and told his disciples to go and do the same: Love and reconciliation, the valuing of all and the bringing of all into completion in the joy of life with God.

We can certainly identify in our world situations where humans are not valued, situations where we do not act in alignment with who God is, or with who we are, situations where love and reconciliation are not the driving forces.

George Floyd

And systemic racism

Injustice

Violence

Rears its head

And says

Peek-a-boo

I haven’t gone anywhere

And in Aotearoa

Our egalitarian values

Struggle to own

What is true for us

Here too

Isn’t it sad?

Doesn’t it make you mad?

What are we to do?

God as Trinity

And our human community

The divine image

That is what we are to do

Offering & Prayer for the Road

Collectively now at this moment as we turn our hearts and minds outwards let us be grateful for God’s ongoing gifts, the many different ways we experience the generosity of God, and be grateful that many of us can still give to the ongoing life and work of our church community in various ways and dedicate ourselves to being the image of God in our various post-lockdown spaces.

We pray,

In accord with God’s command that we hold dominion over creation,

let us pray for the church, the world and all for whom we are called to be stewards. We give you thanks, God, for our world, which you made and renewed in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. 

Make us wise and careful of your gifts as we live on Earth. 

We pray that the love which passes ceaselessly between Creator and Word,

in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit may renew and deepen the life of each Christian and draw us all into your unending life.

For the leaders of the church:

for Protestants, Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox; 

for children and young people; 

for the elderly whose wise counsel is sorely needed in all ages; 

and for all ecumenical endeavours that seek to bring us closer to each other and to you.

For Earth and all creatures and plants; for healthy water and air and soil; 

for policies and laws that regard our home in God’s universe as a precious gift. 

For our families, our households, and our communities, that your life together as three-in-one may show us the importance of each of us, and so strengthen us in your grace and truth.

For the sick and those who suffer in any way;

for those who struggle to pay rent or a mortgage; 

for those who have no home; 

for those who are neglected and abused in our communities; 

for people who long for family and are instead alone; 

for children who do not have a good guide to raise them up; 

and for whatever else you see that we need.

For all those needs still unnamed but placed before you now    

…(take a moment to offer your own concerns to God)

Into your hands we entrust all that is of concern this day,

sure that you hear our pleas, grateful that your will be done on earth as in heaven. 

We pray this in the name of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, 

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 

one God, now and forever. Amen.

Great and deep the Spirit’s purpose – Marnie Barrell (Tune, Hymn to Joy)

Great and deep the Spirit’s purpose hidden now in mystery

Nature bursts with joyful promise, ripe with what is yet to be

In a world of rich invention, still the work of art unfolds

Barely have we seen, and faintly, what God’s great salvation holds.

Great and deep the Spirit’s purpose making Jesus seen and heard

Every age of God’s creation grasps new meaning from the Word

Show us, Holy Spirit, show us your new work begun today:

Eyes and ears and hearts are open, teach us what to do and say.

Great and deep the Spirit’s purpose all God’s children brought to birth,

Freed from hunger, fear and evil every corner of the earth,

And a million million voices speak with joy the Saviour’s name;

Every face reflects his image never any two the same.

Great and deep the Spirit’s purpose, nothing shall be left to chance

All that lives will be united in the everlasting dance

All fulfilled and all perfected each uniquely loved and known,

Christ in glory unimagined once for all receives his own

A Blessing

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not seek so much to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

— Attributed to Francis of Assisi (c. 1181–1226)

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the        

Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, and with those you love (and perhaps even with those you don’t). Amen.

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