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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Thanksgiving for Creation
South Sydney Uniting Church
October 2, 2011

The animals of God’s creation inhabit the skies, the earth, and the sea.
They share in the ways of human beings. They have a part in our lives.
Francis of Assisi recognised this when he called the animals, wild and tame, his brothers and sisters.
Remembering Francis’ love for these brothers and sisters of ours,
we invoke God’s blessing on these animals,
and we thank God for letting us share the earth with all the creatures.

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

All-highest, glorious God, cast your light into the darkness of my heart.
Give me true faith, firm hope, perfect charity and profound humility
with wisdom and perception, O Lord,
so that I may do what is truly your holy will. Amen.

SONG OF PRAISE: ‘Song of the Sanctuary’

You who watch the highest heavens
Wond’ring where God’s mansions are;
You who hope to spot an angel
Spinning like a falling star;
Earth is calling, Earth is calling,
Come back home and rest in me.
Come back home and rest in me.

You who build exotic buildings
Taller than the forest tree,
Don’t you know that all foundations
Deep, deep down reside in me.
Earth is calling, Earth is calling,
Come back home and live in me.
Come back home and live in me.

You who travel Earth as pilgrims,
Dreaming where you’d rather be;
God’s own glory fills my body,
I am God’s own sanctuary.
Earth is calling, Earth is calling,
Come back home to God in me.
Come back home to God in me

You who hope for joys in heaven,
Do you know the joys of Earth?
Ancient forests filled with singing,
Seas that shout when whales give birth?
Earth is calling, Earth is calling,
Come back home and sing with me.
Come back home and sing with me.

GREETING

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

May God who is wonderful in all works, be with you all.
And also with you.

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

PENITENTIAL RITE

We confess our sin, and the sins of our society,
in the misuse of God’s creation.

God our Maker, we are sorry
for the times when we have used your gifts carelessly,
and acted ungratefully.
Hear our prayer, and in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

We enjoy the fruits of the harvest,
but sometimes forget that you have given them to us.
God, in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

We belong to a people who are full and satisfied,
but ignore the cry of the hungry.
God, in your mercy:
forgive us and help us.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

We make our confession in the name of Jesus.
Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven!”
Jesus says, “I am committing myself to you!”
Thanks be to God.

The Liturgy of the Word

Let us listen for the Word of God.
Our ears are open.

OLD TESTAMENT: Jonah 3:1-10

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

We stand.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Hail the planet blue and green. Alleluia!
Where the face of God is seen. Alleluia!
Glory filling all the Earth. Alleluia!
Celebrating every birth. Alleluia!

Hail the groans of Earth in pain. Alleluia!
From the weight of human sin. Alleluia!
Longing for the Christ who died. Alleluia!
All creation to revive. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 10:38-42

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘The Cosmic Christ’

Amazing is the Christ who died
To void all sin and curse,
Just as amazing is his life
That fills the universe.

The risen Christ is more than one
Who waits on some far shore;
In, with and under ev’ry thing
Christ is the living core.

The hidden Christ sustains for us
The blueprint of the skies,
The wisdom in each fragile form,
The soul that lights the eyes.

The cosmic Christ moves deep below
To heal the wounds within,
When all creation groans in pain
Because of human sin.

The cosmos hails the Christ, the One
Who reconciles all things,
’Til all creation rises new
With healing in her wings.

As Christ unites the universe,
Restores this Earth once more,
A cosmic song reverberates,
A rich symphonic score.

THE PEACE

Through your healing power, God,
the love of peace quells violence
and vengeance yields to forgiveness.
Grant that we will become channels of your peace
and heralds of your reign. Amen.

The peace of God be with you all.
And also with you.

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

INVITATION

Happy, indeed is she
 to whom it is given to share in this sacred banquet
 so that she might cling with all her heart
 to the Christ
Whose beauty all the blessed hosts of heaven unceasingly admire,
Whose affection excites,
Whose contemplation refreshes,
Whose kindness fulfills,
Whose remembrance delightfully shines,
By Whose fragrance the dead are revived,
Whose glorious vision will bless
 all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem:
 which, since it is the splendour of eternal glory,
 is the brilliance of eternal light
 and the mirror without blemish.
 
GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

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.

God of all, you are worthy of glory and praise.

At your command all things came to be:
the vast expanse of interstellar space,
galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses,
and this fragile earth, our island home.
By your will they were created and have their being.

L: From the primal elements you brought forth the human race,
 and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill.
 You made us the carers of creation.
 But we turned against you, and betrayed your trust;
 and we turned against one another.

R: Again and again, you called us to return.
 Through prophets and sages you revealed your Law.
 And in the fullness of time you sent your Beloved,
 born of a woman, to fulfill your Law,
 to open for us the way of freedom and peace.

And therefore we praise you, joining with the heavenly chorus,
with prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and with all those in every generation
who have looked to you in hope, and 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 ...

Now gathered at your table, O God of all creation,
and remembering Christ crucified and risen,
who was and is and is to come,
we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine,
and ourselves, a living sacrifice.

Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts
that they may be the Body and blood of Christ.
Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation,
the Body of Christ given for the world you have made.

In the fullness of time bring us, with all your saints,
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
to you be honour, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

LAMB OF GOD (766)

 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.

COMMUNION

This is Jesus our Saviour.
He invites us to share this meal
and to learn to share what we are and have.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION: ‘God made me to love’

God made the monkeys to swing in the trees,
God made the fishes to swim in the seas.
God made the eagles to glide upon the breeze,
and God made me to love.

God made the elephants to trumpet around,
God made the crickets to jump on the ground.
God made the stars to twinkle without sound,
and God made me to love.

Reach out, reach out and love God.
Stretch out to those around you.
God's big family:
Let's love one another as God loves you and me.

God made the monkeys to swing in the trees,
God made the fishes to swim in the seas.
God made the eagles to glide upon the breeze,
and God made me to love.

Yes, God made me to love.
Yeah, God made me to love.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

DISMISSAL AND BLESSING

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

SONG: ‘May light come into your eyes’ (780)

We move to the community garden for Morning Tea.

N,
Live without fear:
your Creator loves you, made you holy,
and has always protected you.
Go in peace to follow the good path
and may God’s blessing be with you always.
Amen.

 

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on: UIW2;
Thanksgiving for Creation, Roman Ritual, USA.
Lyrics to hymns by Norman Habel (1991, 2004);
God Made Me To Love by Kathie Chan (1994).
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Blessing by St Clare of Assisi.
Artwork: The Last Supper by Bassano (1542), Rome, Italy.