Today is the first Sunday in the season of Lent and it is also Student Sunday so we were very pleased to have Emma Temple and members of the Inclusive Christian Movement group at Leeds University sharing with us their thoughts about Lent and Christian student life.
This morning we had the last in our six week series, “God With Us” and Adriaan van Klinken shared his thoughts with us on experiencing God with us through different cultures.
Here are some of the prayers that were used during the service:
A prayer from a peace worker in Columbia: Lord Jesus, give us the grace to hear your voice, And the strength to continue working for your kingdom in this time of pandemic. Do not allow us to be indifferent to those who today suffer the loss of a loved one, or who suffer from the absence of work. But give us the courage to accompany and side with those who suffer violence or injustice. Amen.
Javier Eduardo Martinez Rueda
With a bishop in Guatemala, we pray: Dear Lord, At this time of pandemic, Let us foster respect and solidarity with others, especially those who are weak or poor. Let us remain calm and ignore unsubstantiated rumours. Let us take advantage of living together as a family. Let us attend to moments of prayer. Let us cultivate responsibility, patience and hope. Amen.
We pray for increased understanding between different cultures across our world: The great Islamic mystic Rumi wrote: “Where Jesus lives, the great-hearted gather. Together we are a door that’s never locked. If you are suffering any kind of pain, stay near this door. Open it.”
From indigenous people around the world, we learn deep spiritualities which inspire our care for the earth. We pray now for the earth, in the words of indigenous Christians from Australia:
Holy Father, God of Love, You are the Creator of all things. We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history and the sufferings of our peoples, We ask for your forgiveness. We thank you for the survival of indigenous cultures around the world. Our hope is in you because you gave your Son Jesus to reconcile the world to you. We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another, as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son. Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better future for our country and our world. Teach us to respect all cultures. Teach us to care for our land and waters. Help us to share justly the resources of this land. Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities, especially the disadvantaged. Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit. May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families, our communities, and our Nation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A blessing from Australia: May the God of all wonder who set the stars in the sky, bless us with relentless unsettledness – that drives us to seek truth. May the God of all justice who gave motion to the rivers, bless us with righteous anger – that drives us to seek freedom for all. May the God of all love who placed laughter in the kookaburra, bless us with the friendship – that looks like the love where one lays down their life for another. May the God of all comfort who determined the height of the mountains, bless us with tears from shared pain and mourning – that shows us hope. With wonder, righteous anger, sacrifice, and lament – may we live in truth, justice, love, and hope – and Change The Heart of our world. Amen
Reconciliation Prayer from Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group, 13 March 1997
This morning we had the fourth in our six week series,“God With Us” and Katherine-Alice shared her thoughts with us about how God can be with us through our senses.
If you would like to contribute something to a service – video, audio (or maybe in some other way!) then please do get in touch – we may be physically distanced but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take part!
This morning we had the third in our six week series,“God With Us” and Karin shared her thoughts with us about how God can be with us through prophets, then and now. Our readings were from Jonah 1: 1-3; 3: 1-5 and v.10 and John 3: 16-21
Heston and Lydia led us in our worship from the freezing cold church building but they were accompanied by a number of other people who had recorded music and readings. If you would like to contribute something to a service – video, audio (or maybe in some other way!) then please do get in touch – we may be physically distanced but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take part!
This morning we had the second in our six week series, “’God With Us’: Angels and Aha! Moments”, looking at how we can continue to experience the Christmas message in the struggles of our daily lives.
Heston and Lydia led us in our worship and Pippa shared with us some thoughts about “Angels” as symbols of the moments when we feel God with us, with the help of some famous drawings and paintings (see the slide show below the video for a better view of these artworks).
We continue to share our Sunday worship with the minimum number of people physically together but we want to involve as many people in the service itself via recordings – music, readings, prayers. If you wish to help out in our service then do please contact us.
Our service this morning was led by Graham, Heston and Lydia as we reduce the number of people in church to live stream our service but we actually had far more people participating via videos recorded earlier.
Christ, our light, shine upon us and guide us, Christ, as a shield, protect and cover us, in light defeating darkness, in wisdom conquering foolishness, in trust overcoming fearfulness. The light of Christ has come into the world: A light no darkness can overcome. Let us go and shine Christ’s light in the world: To the glory of God. Amen.