Worship space table

Sunday Online Worship 17/05/2020

Welcome to the Sunday online worship 17/05/2020 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, ‘Immortal, invisible, God only wise’’. The words of all hymns will display within the video so you can join in if you want to. The hymn is sung by, ‘The Master’s Seminary Chorus, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California’.

Hymn: “Immortal, invisible, God only wise”

“Immortal, invisible, God only wise”

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 this candle as a reminder that the light of Christ is always with us.

Light candle

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

Let us pray,

Loving God, in whom we live and have our being, help us to choose life in you, that we may keep the commandments of Jesus, follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit and witness to the hope that is within us, sharing in Christ’s love in the world. Amen. 

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, although we sing great praise, we confess we do not always sing with our hearts. Forgive us of our foolish ways and guide us to the right paths, remembering your wisdom and grace. 

May our hearts be full of your love and may we sing with the joy that comes from knowing you in our lives. In the name of Christ, our companion on life’s journey, we pray. Amen.

Declaration of forgiveness

Jesus said: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). This is the great good news. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven, we are loved, we are made new. Thanks be to God!

Musical Reflection

People around the world to come together over video for the new official lyric video for Andrea and Céline Dion’s much loved single, “The Prayer”. I wonder how many of the national flags you can recognise?

Bible readings

Jenny Lawlor from Harden Uniting Church leads us in the readings from Acts 17:22-31 & John 14:15-21.

Reflection

The sermon is on Acts 17:22-31, 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 a 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 Aileen Alcorn. The words are included underneath the video.

We bring to God our prayers for our world, our nation, our community and ourselves. To the words, ‘Lord, in your mercy’ please respond, ‘Hear our prayer’.

Let us pray,

Our loving healing redeemer, we come before you this day with many things on our hearts and in our minds. We come before you knowing you are a loving God who cares for us in ways deeper than we can understand, and who has a purpose for each one of us. You have promised that we can cast all our anxieties on you because you care for us.

We bring to you the troubled situations in our world, praying for peace and an end to suffering. We pray for unity between peoples of different nationalities, political systems and faiths. We think of the conflicts and political differences that continue throughout the world, even in this time as we face a global pandemic. Show us mercy and help protect us from ourselves. Give the Spirit of truth to all in authority, that justice and peace might prevail.

[pause]

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, compassionate and caring, you know the griefs and pains we bear. Through Jesus, you walked with those going through difficult times. Be with those who are sick, suffering, discouraged, lonely, depressed, or grieving. We pray for all those who continue to be affected by COVID-19, and we ask that the world might not forget all those who are vulnerable in this time.

Today, we particularly pray for those who have the responsibility of leading us and caring for us. We think of our National and State leaders, our doctors and nurses and all those who support them, as well as any others who have helped shepherd us through the challenges we face. We thank you for all of them and ask you to bless them. 

[pause]

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Living Lord, be with each of us this week. In good times and bad, may we seek to keep our lives in perspective. You have taught us that your commandment is fulfilled in loving you and our neighbour. Let your Spirit abide with us, so that we may live in you and you may live in us. 

Help us look to you as the source of all our blessings, to recognise the gifts you have given us and to use them in your service. We ask that this day and throughout this week we will follow Jesus’ example to love and to serve. May we know that we are redeemed by his love and forgiveness. May we know that whatever we have to face we can call on you for help.

[pause]

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we ask you to accept all these prayers through your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We pray together in the words he taught us.

All:Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us in the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Word of mission & blessing 

Let us close with a blessing and final hymn:

Go out to live in love to share life with all you meet, to be bearers of God’s care, for the whole of God’s creation.
Go in the love and peace of God, and the grace and goodness of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Hymn: “Be thou my vision”

The closing hymn is, “Be thou my vision”, and it is sung at Beverley Minster, Yorkshire, England.

Postlude:

Today’s postlude is a contemporary version of “Joyful, joyful” with the CBC choir. This is quite fitting for today as today’s Psalm is Psalm 66, “Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise”.