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Ordinary Sunday 21, Year A
Baptism of Ben Rylan Philps
South Sydney Uniting Church
August 21, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 124:6-8)

We are free like a bird from the trap!
The snare has been broken and we are free!
Our help is in the Name of YHWH,
who made heaven and earth.

SONG ‘We are your people’ (468)


Acknowledgement of traditional owners. Welcome.


Your church, O God,
is built upon Christ,
the cornerstone.
For seeking support
in the power of might and money
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

Your church, O Christ,
possesses the keys
to the reign of heaven.
For closing the door
to the poor and humble
Show us your compassion, O Christ.
Show us your compassion, O Christ.

Your church, O God,
is built upon confessions of the faithful.
For abandoning tradition
without good reason,
and for abandoning each other
instead of supporting each other
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

May the God of compassion
forgive us our sins.
Through the ministry of the church,
may God deliver us from sin and lead us to life that lasts.

Silence. Lighting the Candle.


Friends, I beg you through the mercy of God
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God
this is your spiritual act of worship. Don’t conform yourselves to this age,
but be transformed by the renewal of your minds, so that you can judge
what God’s will is what is good, pleasing and perfect ...
We belong to each other. (Romans 12: 1-8)
Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven!”
Jesus says, “I am committing myself to you!”
Thanks be to God!


Let us pray that God will make us one
in mind and heart.
God of love, Parent to all,
help us to seek the values that will bring lasting joy
in this changing world.
In our desire for what you promise
make us one in mind and heart.

The Liturgy of the Word

OLD TESTAMENT Exodus 1:8 2:10

We stand.


Alleluia, alleluia, praise the Word of truth and life!

GOSPEL Matthew 16:13-20

May your word live in us, O God,
and bear much fruit to your glory.


The Liturgy of Baptism

SONG ‘Come as you are’ (693)




The Uniting Church, in baptising children,
takes responsibility for their instruction
and nourishment in the faith.

That we may know that you hold the Christian faith
and claim your membership in Christ’s Church,
we ask you:

Do you repent of your sins?
I repent of my sins.

Do you turn to Jesus Christ
who has defeated the power of sin and death
and brought us new life?
I turn to Christ.

Do you commit yourself to God,
trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour
and in the Holy Spirit
as God’s power and presence along the way?
I commit myself to God.

In unity with the whole Church,
let us stand and affirm the faith
into which we were baptised.
We believe in God,
holy Source of all that is.
We believe in God,
who has spoken the eternal Word in Jesus Christ.
We believe in God,
ceaselessly breathing the Spirit into creation.

We trust in God’s love and wisdom:
fully revealed in the humanity of Jesus Christ,
present to us through the Spirit’s working
in the Church and beyond.

We believe that God is calling the whole creation
into a future of justice and peace.
We share in Christ’s risen life,
and commit ourselves today to receive
the coming reign of God.

To the only God, Three yet One,
be all honour and glory and praise
now and for ever.




Heidi and Mark, Gillian and Mark,
I ask you now to respond to God’s graciousness to Ben
by making these solemn promises:

Will you encourage Ben’s growth within the Christian community,
guiding him through participation in the worship,
nurture and fellowship of the Church
to a mature Christian faith?
With God’s help we will.

Will you, by word and example,
teach him the way of Christ
until the Spirit draws him
to make his own response in faith and love?
With God’s help we will.

Friends in Christ,
will you promise to maintain a life of worship and teaching,
witness and service
so that he may grow to maturity in Christ?
With God’s help,
we will live out our baptism
as a loving community in Christ:
nurturing one another in faith,
upholding one another in prayer,
and encouraging one another in service,
until Christ comes.


Intercessions. Prayers for Ben. 

... Risen Saviour, let your joy and your peace be ours all the days you give us.
Be with us now and for ever.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING ‘Lord let me see, see more and more’ (681)



Come, because Jesus offers himself to you
and you want to offer yourself in return.


God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you meet us in our doubts
and bless us with life and peace.

L: Your love’s expressed in all your creatures,
 each with its own special features,
R: called to be what it can be,
 in space and air and land and sea.

L: Marsupials, mammals, fish and birds
 that speak in whistles, grunts and words:
R: you made us all to share one life.
 If one is lost, we’re all in strife.

L:  You sent your love into our earth,
 a human life that came to birth
R: in Bethlehem, without big fuss.
 Jesus came: God-with-us.

L: He showed us how to live your Law,
 not just by rules and keeping score,
R: but by justice, love and prayer,
 kindness, open hearts and care.

L: We know from Jesus you’re our friend.
R: We know your love will never end.

Therefore we sing ... (761):

Holy, holy, holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

To you indeed be glory, almighty God,
because on the night before he died ...

Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of Christ
and be filled with your life and goodness.
Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be your body in the world.
Unite us in Christ
and give us your peace.
May we praise you and give you glory.

Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in your holy Church,
we worship you, O God,
in songs of everlasting praise.

Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere, now and forever. Amen.


Abba God in heaven,
 glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal
 helping, and not harming,
 caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
 the bread we need,
 the money we need,
 the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
 we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident
 that love is stronger than hate,
 justice other than revenge,
 true peace the work of your Spirit.



 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:
 have mercy on us.
 Bread of Life, you take away the sin of the world:
 have mercy on us.
 Chosen One, you take away the sin of the world:
 grant us peace.



The Sending Forth of the People of God


Ben, you belong to Christ,
the light of the world.

Let your light so shine before the world
that all may see your good works
and give glory to God in heaven.


Go now, strong in the mercies of God.
Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,
so that knowing the will of God
your whole lives may become a sacrifice of praise,
holy and acceptable to God.

And may God, the Creator of earth and sky, be your help;
May the Firstborn of the Living God set you on solid rock;
And may the Holy Spirit equip you with gifts and graces.

We go in peace to love and serve God.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

SONG ‘Help us accept each other’ (648)



Based on UIW2; Eucharistic Preface from Wonderful God by Clare Horan; Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis; Artwork: Katie Germaine, Westfield Infants School, Yeadon, Moses in the bulrushes (http://www.otleydeaneryyac.org.uk/images/Freddy.jpg).