Welcome to Sunday online worship, 10/05/2020, from the Eastern Region of the Riverina Presbytery, Uniting Church in Australia. Today, this service will be led by multiple people from the Eastern Region. The service has been ‘pre-recorded’ in four videos using ‘Vimeo’. Four Youtube videos of music are also included.
Let us join together, wherever we are, and sing our first hymn, ‘How great thou art’. The words of all hymns will display within the video so you can join in if you want to. The hymn is sung at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Ajax, Ontario, Canada.
Hymn: “How great thou art”
Welcome & call to worship
The ‘Call to Worship’ and ‘Opening Prayers’, which are in the video below, are led by Rev. Keith Robinson. The words are also included underneath the video.
We light the candle as a reminder that the light of Christ is always with us.
Hold your head high, Christ has risen! Rejoice and shout! Christ has come calling us home, home to the heart of God, home to God’s living presence, home to God’s banquet feast.
Acknowledgement of country
As we begin our worship, we also acknowledge the Wiradjuri people, the first inhabitants of our region, part of God’s good creation. We honour them for their custodianship of the land, on which we live today.
Opening prayer (adapted from ‘Australian Prayers’, by Bruce Prewer)
Let us pray,
O God, our rock and our salvation, we celebrate the redemption Christ has won for us. We give thanks that we can share our lives, our hopes, our dreams, our joys and our sorrows, with you and with each other in your wonderful creation.
You have given us the opportunity to see the beauty of autumn colours, to watch trees in the wind, to breath in the freshness of the season, and to feel the crispness in the air. It is good to rest in the evening, and rise in the morning, to walk upon this good earth, to hear your whisper in many places, and to sing your praise.
Lord, like a generous friend you share the whole world with us. For your presence with us, around us, beneath us, within us, behind us, and in front of us, we are thankful, and we give you honour and praise, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Ever-gracious God, from generation to generation you call forth faithful women and men to be willing servants of truth.
You fill us with strength and hope, yet at times we falter and doubt your power. We pray both for great faith and for easier lives, but these things seldom exist together. So while we pray that we might avoid the time of trial, we also ask for the strength and confidence to face the challenges that come with faithfulness.
Forgive us, Lord, when our vision is limited and our trust wavers. Make us strong, like your disciple Stephen, who we hear about in the book of Acts. May we rejoice in your unending grace. In Christ we pray. Amen.
Let us reflect while listening to music, based on Psalm 31, “Father, I put my life in your hands”. The song is sung & composed by Marty Haugen.
Musical reflection: Psalm 31
Russell Wray from Cootamundra Uniting Church leads us in the readings from 1 Peter 2:2-10 & John 1:1-14.
The sermon is on 1 Peter 2:2-10, and the speaker is Rev. Keith Robinson. There is a video of the message in the window below, and you can also download it as printable pdf file
Prayers of the people & Lord’s Prayer
Go to the video below for the ‘Prayers of the people’, which are led by Rev. Keith Robinson, Linley Chaplin, & John Milnes. Thanks to Ros Robinson for organising the photos.
Word of mission & blessing
To be read aloud:
We are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation.
Therefore, let us go out as God’s own people
to proclaim the mighty acts of God in Christ.
May God be our rock and our refuge;
May Christ Jesus be with us always;
And may the Holy Spirit open heaven wide before us.
Hymn: “here I am, Lord”
Postlude: ‘THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU’ (JOHN RUTTER)
The Batavia Madrigal Singers sing “The Lord bless you & keep you”, by John Rutter. This is a beautiful sung blessing by our Indonesian neighbours with these famous words from the Bible (Numbers 6:24-26).