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Ordinary Sunday 22, Year A
Refugee and Migrant Sunday
South Sydney Uniting Church
August 28, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God


Sing and dance in your search for God.
Look everywhere and drink in the divine presence.
You are called to tell the stories of God.
Know the ancient stories of God’s presence among us,
these were recorded by grateful people.
They acknowledged that everything they had came from God.
When they were still a wandering tribe
they felt God’s protective presence.
In the times of hunger they remembered the great famine.
When the staff of life was broken they remembered the gift of Joseph,
a man mistreated, who became their saviour.
We too, must continue the line of storytellers.

SONG OF PRAISE: ‘Lord of earth and all creation’ (672ii)


In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit; one God, Mother of us all.

The grace of our Saviour Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the friendship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors. The Christ candle is lit.



God, you call us to be in relationship,
building community with one another,
working with one another,
supporting and healing one another.
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

Christ, you call us into a community
working for the common good of all people,
making choices that bring hope, justice,
truth and freedom to our world.
Show us your compassion, O Christ.
Show us your compassion, O Christ.

God, you call us into community with the whole of creation,
always cherishing, nurturing and renewing the earth.
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.



The apostle Paul says:
Your love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil and cling to what is good.
Love one another with the affection of sisters and brothers ...
Rejoice in hope; be patient under trial; persevere in prayer.
Look on the needs of God’s holy people as your own;
be generous in offering hospitality.
Bless your persecutors bless and don’t curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Have the same attitude toward everyone ...
Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good.

Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven!”
Jesus says, “I am committing myself to you!”
Thanks be to God!


God, you are the source of human dignity,
and it is in your image that we are created.
Through your Spirit of love and compassion enable us
to reverence each person,
to help protect anyone in danger or need,
to value and appreciate those who differ from us,
to share justly the resources of the world,
to receive the gifts offered to us by people from other cultures.
Grant that we may always promote the justice and acceptance
that avoids war and ensures lasting peace and racial harmony.
Remembering that we are one world and one family,
we ask that we may always be inspired to speak out
and actively work for the protection of refugees
and others displaced and threatened
by war, torture and prejudice. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Here we are: called to your service, O God.
Let it be with us according to your word.

FIRST READING: Exodus 3:1-15

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

We stand.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (677 verse 1 and refrain)

GOSPEL Matthew 16:21-28

The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.




Let us pray to the God who welcomes and provides for all,
who hears our prayers and in whose image we are made ...

For hope and for healing, we pray.
God, hear us.

People offer petitions.

We pray for the Church: may we all, through our disposition and our actions,
have a deep awareness of Christ in the other and may we grow in our openness and hospitality to the other.

We pray for refugees: may God’s eternal and compassionate presence give them
comfort in their insecurity, peace in their distress and hope in their desolation.

We pray for all who live in this land of Australia: may we live peacefully alongside one another, assisting each other to be all that God created us to be and rejoicing as the children of God in our diversity.

We pray for our world: may we grow our capacity for holding our possessions lightly and our passion for justice and peace strongly.

God of all creation, hear our prayers and send your blessings on all people,
especially those who are suffering in any way. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ who came as one of us and servant to all. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘Bread is blessed and broken’ (707)


Let us now share the peace that is the gift of Christ.


We thank God for gathering people from everywhere
and bringing them into the Church, to be God’s one, holy people.


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 suffering
and the fire of your love burns forever.

L: In the first of your mighty wonders
 you created the earth and made it holy.
 You heard the cries of your oppressed people
 and from the blazing power of your presence
 you sent Moses and Aaron to lead them to freedom.

R: Once again, in your child, Jesus,
 you have come to deliver us.
 He suffered at the hands of the authorities in Jerusalem,
 and was killed,
 but you overcame evil with good
 and raised him to new life on the third day.

And now you have called us to follow him,
taking up the cross and giving our lives,
so that, united with Christ, we may enter your life
the life which is worth more than the world itself.

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.

We thank you that on the night before he died for us ...


And so remembering all that was done for us:
the cross, the tomb, the resurrection and ascension,
longing for Christ’s coming in glory,
and presenting to you these gifts your earth has formed
and human hands have made,
we acclaim you, O Christ:
Dying, you destroyed our death.
Rising, you restored our life.
Christ Jesus, come in glory!

Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine
that they may be to us the Body and Blood of your Christ.

Grant that we, burning with your Spirit’s power,
may be a people of hope, justice, and love.
Giver of Life, draw us together in the Body of Christ,
and in the fullness of time gather us with all your people
into the joy of our true eternal home.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ,
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
we worship you, Abba God, in voices of unending praise.
Blessed are you now and for ever. Amen.


L: Abba God in heaven, hallowed be your name!
R: May your reign come,
 may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven:
L: give us today the bread we need.
R: And forgive us our debts,
 as we hereby forgive those who are indebted to us.
 Don’t put us to the test,
 but free us from evil.



 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
 grant us peace, grant us peace.



Abba God,
at the feast meal of your Firstborn
you have strengthened us
with the word and body of Christ.
Convince us so much
of the value of Christ’s message and life
as to make our faith contagious.
May we become living messengers
of the hope, the love and the freedom
Christ brings to all the world. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God



God bless our eyes,
that we may recognise injustice or neglect.
God bless our ears,
that we may hear the cry of the persecuted.
God bless our mouths,
that we may speak words of welcome to newcomers.
God bless our shoulders,
that we may bear the weight of providing protection
and rebuilding lives.
God bless our hands,
that we may work together with all people to establish
just and lasting peace.
God bless our hearts,
that we may be transformed into witnesses of truth,
justice and love.


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

TODAY is the day the Australian Church invites us to pray for refugees and migrants to our country. Some of us may be refugees and migrants, and most of us are the descendants of refugees or migrants.

Australia’s population has a rich cultural and religious mix, thanks to the long, rich history and hospitality of the Indigenous people of this country and the refugees and migrants who have made this country their home over the years.

Today, let us challenge ourselves, our communities and governments to speak and act to protect any who are persecuted, in danger or vulnerable at home and around the world. Let us celebrate the richness of Australia. Let us pray that we can make this special place a sacred place.

Let us resolve to be inclusive and just to honour the Indigenous people, to welcome the stranger, and to create a harmonious and multicultural nation that offers freedom, peace, democracy, acceptance and opportunity to all.


Prepared by Sister Suzette Clark with amendments and additions by Mr John Ball
(National Council of Churches in Australia).
Also: Liturgy Alive for Sundays and Weekdays, the Philippines (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic Preface and Blessing based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton (www.laughingbird.net). Image: Christ of Maryknoll by Br Robert Lentz, OFM, ©2002