Lent 3 Sunday 3rd March 2013


This is the mystery of God’s accepting grace –
that we bring to worship what little we have:
five small loaves and two fish, or a widow’s mite,
a glimpse of faith or an awakening love,
a moment of truth or a brief sense of gratitude,
a slender hope or a thirsting spirit.
And God takes what we bring,
multiplies, enriches, and increases it,
so that it becomes his gift to us.

HYMN: In This Familiar Place
In this familiar place
I know the mystery of your grace.
For the love that I receive, for the truth that I believe,
I praise and thank you for this here and now.

In halting song and word
the music of your voice is heard.

Among these friends of mine
I taste the company divine.

Within this narrow sphere
I learn that you are everywhere. © Colin Gibson (AA)


Paraphrase of Psalm 32 Ken Cree
Dramatic reading Luke 15: 11-32 ~ Irene Gray

SERMON: That’s just … the way … Grace … is


HYMN: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy – remain seated
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in God’s justice which is more than liberty.
There’s no place where human sorrows are more deeply felt than heav’n.
There’s no place where human failings have such kindly judgements giv’n.

For the love of God is broader than the measure of our mind
and the heart of the eternal is most wonderfully kind.
But we make that love too narrow by the limits of our own;
and we magnify God’s strictness with a zeal love will not own.

There is grace enough for thousands of new worlds as great as this;
there is room for fresh creations in that endless world of bliss.
If our love were but more simple we would trust the living Word;
and our lives would fill with gladness in the joy of Christ our Lord.
(Frederick Faber , alt) C/A

In the turning of shadow into light,
of chaos into cosmos in that first creation,
and every new day’s creation,
we travel within God’s promise.
In the voice of prophets, calling us to turn about,
from God’s hurt towards God’s healing,
and move from wilderness into pasture,
we travel within God’s promise.
In the long forgiveness of God, ever remoulding us,
calling us anew to be renewed,
from a lost people to a saved generation,
we travel within God’s promise.
In the travelling through on the pilgrims’ way,
letting go and letting God,
in the cleansing of Lent,
we travel within God’s promise.
In the deep longing for rebirth, journeying towards dawn’s light,
from wilderness to tombstones,
from crosses to resurrection,
we travel, always, within God’s promise.

O God, the generosity of your grace astounds us.
We can simply stand in awe, but you call us to respond;
and these gifts are a token of our response.
We give, so your love may be shared, shared with our communities,
our city and our world.
Bless these gifts and us, that it may be so, in Jesus’ name…



Every day I will offer you,
Loving God my heart and mind
Every way I discover you,
In the work your hand has signed;
Help me see I’m your image, and
You have dreamed what I might be –
Every day – in your Spirit,
I’ll find the love and energy!

Every day I will look to Christ
And give thanks for wine and bread.
Through the pain and the emptiness
Where your world cries to be fed;
Help me see I can work for change,
And wherever I might be.
Every day in your Spirit,
I’ll find the love and energy!

Every day I will take your word,
Answer your compassion’s claim,
Celebrate every sign of hope,
Every deed done in your name;
Help me see you are always there,
And your light can shine through me,
Every day in your Spirit,
I’ll find the love and energy! © Shirley Murray (AA)

The night on which Jesus gave himself up for us,
he reminded his followers of God’s saving grace:
Just as God walked through the Red Sea with the Israelite people, as a widow offered her last bit of food to a stranger,
as God offered forgiveness to David;
Jesus reminded followers of how God worked through a carpenter’s son:
healing the sick, assisting the needy, overturning the status quo, offering life everlasting.
Jesus also reminded them of God’s work yet to be done
in the healing, challenging, guiding, forming movement
of the Holy Spirit…



SUNG BLESSING: May the Grace of Christ (Tune: Omni Die, WOV 5)
May the grace of Christ our Saviour,
and our Maker’s boundless love,
with the Holy Spirit’s favour,
rest upon us from above.

Thus may we abide in union
held together by the Word,
and possess, in rich communion
joys which earth cannot afford. John Newton C/A

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK: Wed 6th Errol; Fri 8th Anne; Sat 9th Sharyn.

A very warm welcome to all who worship with us today. Morning tea will be served after the service. After morning tea, there will be a congregational discussion about the way ahead with our church buildings.

WEDNESDAY WALKERS 6th March Meet 9.30am on the corner of Riverlaw Tce & Armstrong Ave, Coffee to follow at ‘Willow’ (ex ‘Flo’), Fifield Tce. June 332 8874.

READERS are required for the Holy Week Reflections and Good Friday. Please sign the list on the clipboard in the foyer if you are available. Thank You.

CUPPA & CHAT: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 10am – 12 noon in the Lounge at Beckenham Methodist. All welcome. Aubrey 930 2525.

CRAFTY CRAFTERS meets every Thursday from 10am – 12 noon in the Beckenham Methodist Lounge. $3 per session. New faces are always welcome ?. Beverley 332 7786.

FOOTCARE CLINIC: Next Session Monday 11th March 1-4pm at Beckenham Methodist. More volunteers desperately required please! Enquiries and offers of help to Lyndsey 388 1264.

GARDENERS UNITE and divide your perennials. We will be having a garden stall at Cashmere Presbyterian Church’s Fair on 16th March. More details later regarding transport of plants to Cashmere. If you would like to help on the day, with setting up, pricing, selling – even for a short time – please let Anna know 332 6192. Mission Resource Committee.

Children’s Bible Ministries Teacher Development Course Friday 8th March 7.30-9.30pm & Saturday 9th March 9.15am-3.30pm at Lincoln Baptist Church, 530 Birchs Rd. Free. For more information, or to register please email rgsmithies@xtra.co.nz

PARISH OFFICE hours: Wednesday & Thursday 9am – 12 noon and Friday 9-11am. Contact Anna on 332 6192 or email stmartpresch@xtra.co.nz. WEBSITE: www.stmartins.org.nz

HUB NEWS: Please see the noticeboard in the foyer for this week’s information.

Fair Weather – Trestle Fair

Saturday 13th April (if wet Saturday 20th April)

We will be having a Fair Weather – Trestle Fair on the Church site on Saturday 13th April 2013, (if wet Saturday 20th April) so start cleaning out your cupboards.
We will let you know in good time where to deliver your goods or would you like them to be collected?
We are only having the following stalls/tables:-
White Elephant
We do not want large electrical items, such as TVs, Computers,Stereos No household furniture please.

We look forward to everyone helping to make this event a success.