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Ordinary Sunday 14, Year A
Commissioning of Elders
South Sydney Uniting Church
July 3, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God


My heart bursts with a new song.
Love makes my tongue as skilled as the finest poet.

Because I have espoused justice
I am anointed with holy oil.
Because I have put on the garments of discipleship
I feel transformed.

I have put aside the pursuit of vain ambition.
I accept with gratefulness the hospitality of God.

SONG OF PRAISE: ‘God moves in a mysterious way’ (126)


It is our Saviour Jesus who invites:
“Come to me, all you who labour
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
May this gentle Saviour be always with you.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of traditional owners. Welcome. Lighting the candle.


Let us come before our God
with the burden of our sins.

Jesus, you lived in God’s glory
and you humbled yourself
by becoming human with us:
Show us your compassion, O God.

Jesus Christ, Child of our Abba in heaven,
you made yourself poor with us:
Show us your compassion, O Christ.

Jesus, you are the Master,
and yet you made yourself our servant:
Show us your compassion, O God.

In your mercy, God,
take away from us the burden of our sins
and lead us to everlasting life. Amen.


Who can free us from bodies under the power of death
and from the law of sin at work within us?
Thanks be to God it is Jesus Christ our Saviour!
There is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The law of the Spirit the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has freed you from the law of sin and death.

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


Let us praise God
and be open to the gifts of God.

Abba, God of heaven and earth,
we bless you with Jesus your Chosen One,
for revealing to us how much you love us.
Make us humble and receptive,
that we may be open to the Good News,
for you show yourself to those
who are aware of their poverty.
Fill that poverty with your tenderness
and with the trust that you care for us.
Let your peace and rest dwell in us
even in the struggles of life,
as we try to be good disciples of Jesus.
We ask you this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 24: 34-38, 42-49, 58-67
We stand.


GOSPEL Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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



Let us pray to Jesus our Saviour, who teaches people the true wisdom
of compassion and love. Let us say: Search us, O God, and remake us.

... Jesus, it is good to be with you here.
Listen to us, for you know us and you want us to be happy.
You are our Saviour for ever. Amen.

Commissioning of Elders




... Will you, the members of this congregation,
accept these friends and co-workers as elders?
We will.

Will you encourage them in love
and support them in their ministry,
serving with them the one Sovereign, our Saviour Jesus Christ?
We will.



The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING ‘The law of Christ alone can make us free’ (630)



In these simple signs of bread and wine
the Chosen One comes among us today
to be our companion on the road
and to help us carry our burdens.
May we learn from him
to go all the way with one another
on the humble road of serving love.


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 and mercy.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for with the passion of a lover
you have delivered us from slavery to sin and death.

You are the Creator and Sovereign of heaven and earth,
and it is your Word that brings life into bloom.

L: You called your servant Rebekah to leave family and country,
 and, from the offspring of her loving union with Isaac,
 you brought forth a people to delight in your ways.
 You sent among us your child, Jesus the Christ,
 and in him you revealed yourself to us.

R: Though we were burdened and wearied by sin
 and unable to dance to your song,
 in gentleness and humility
 he lifted our burdens
 and showed us the way of wisdom.

When he was killed,
you raised him to life,
rescuing us from bodies under the power of death
and giving us rest for our souls.
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 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.
Blessed are you, God, now and for ever.


Abba God,
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.
 Lord of love, you take away the sin of the world:
 grant us peace.


This is Jesus the Sovereign,
who speaks to us now:
Come to me, all you who labour
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Happy are we
to receive that peace and rest.


God of heaven and earth,
we praise you for showing yourself to us
in the gentle and humble heart of Jesus.
Uplifted by his word and his bread of life
may we admit how poor and little we are
and learn to give time and attention to the weary.
May we speak your encouraging word to them,
that all who seek you may find among us
your Only Begotten, Jesus Christ our Saviour.
The Sending Forth of the People of God



Go now at the call of Christ.
Take his yoke upon you and learn from him;
Dance when he sings and mourn when he cries.
Be generous in your hospitality to all.

We are about to return to a world
often manipulated by the mighty and the violent.
Let us not be among the violent,
because we have a Saviour
who is gentle and humble of heart
and who asks us to follow him.
May almighty God bless you ...


Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.



There is nothing “ordinary” about “ORDINARY TIME”. Ordinary Time is not about common, regular, mundane, or run of the mill. Ordinary Time comes from the word “ordinal” as in “ordinal numbers”. Cardinal numbers answer “how many?” “Ordinal Numbers” tell the rank, they answer “what position?” Ordinal Numbers are first, second, third, fourth, etc.

There are normally fifty-two weeks in a year. These are made up of the Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter Seasons. Normally that leaves thirty-four weeks of “Ordinary Time”. Those weeks start from The Baptism of the Lord up to Lent, and start again at the Day of Pentecost.

May your Ordinary Time be extraordinary!



Based on UIW2; Prayers by Nathan Nettleton (www.laughingbird.net);
Liturgy Alive for Sundays and Weekdays, the Philippines (www.bible.claret.org);
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Image: Marc Shapiro, Rebecca à la source (www-sor.inria.fr/~shapiro/).