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Ordinary Sunday 31, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
October 30, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Based on Psalm 107:1-7)

“Give thanks for YHWH’s goodness;
God’s love endures forever!”
Let these be the words of YHWH’s redeemed,
those redeemed from the oppressor’s clutches,
those brought home from foreign lands,
from east and west, from northern lands and southern seas ...

They called to YHWH in their trouble,
and God rescued them from their sufferings ...

SONG OF PRAISE: ‘Creator of this great land’

 Creator of this great land, we adore you.
 Renewer of your people, hear our praise.
 Transformer of all life, you often take us by surprise.
 Continue to be present in life-giving ways.

 Creator of this great land we adore you.
 Renewer of your people, hear our praise.
 Transformer of all life you often take us by surprise.
 Continue to be present in life-giving ways,
 Great God.


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

The free kindness of our Saviour Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the shared life of God’s Holy Breath
be with you all.
And also with you.

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


How ridiculous when someone shows you the way and then gets lost him/herself!
How credible is the politician who makes promises and then does not keep them,
the one who teaches religion and does not practice faith,
the one preaching about justice and not paying his/her staff?
If we want to be trustworthy and believable,
we ourselves must live as we believe,
especially those in positions of leadership and ministry.
Let us learn from Jesus, here in this eucharist.

Let us ask forgiveness from our God and each other
for scandalising others by not living up to the faith we profess.

Jesus Christ, you came to serve,
not to be served:
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

Jesus Christ, you yourself took up the cross
before you asked people to carry theirs after you:
Show us your compassion, O Christ.
Show us your compassion, O Christ.

Jesus Christ, your burden is light
because you have shown us the way:
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.


Help us to serve you and people with you
and lead us to everlasting life. Amen.


Through Christ,
God snatches us from the oppression of sin
and calls us into heaven’s own kindom and glory,
fulfilling the promise
to exalt all who humble themselves.
Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven!”
Jesus says, “I am committing myself to you!”
Thanks be to God!


Let us pray that our lives
may not turn our faith into lies.

O God, our Parent,
you keep speaking your Word to us
through your Child Jesus Christ.
May we listen to that word and welcome it
with all that is in us.
May that word change our mentality and our ways,
that it may direct our lives
to make our lives messages of Good News
for all to see, to be inspired by.
And may our common life be a message of Good News
for all to see, to be inspired by,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. 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 Joshua 3:7-17

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

We stand.


 Alleluia, Christ is risen!
 Alleluia, Christ is here
 now he walks the road beside us,
 gone our grief and fear.

GOSPEL Matthew 23:1-12

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



Let us pray today to the God of truth and love
for truthfulness and authenticity in the Church and in the world,
and let us say: God of truth and love, hear our prayer.

For the Church and its leaders,
that with courge and honesty we may take to heart
the task of renewal and reconciliation,
so as to become the true face of Christ the Saviour for the world of today,
let us pray: God of truth and love, hear our prayer.

... For all Christian communities, including ours,
that we may be truthful and reliable with one another,
that our unity and friendship may be genuine,
that we may not look down on those who err or doubt,
let us pray: God of truth and love, hear our prayer.

Abba God, help us to love and serve you and people in spirit and in truth,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy’ (136)

Abba God,
in these signs we celebrate the memorial
of the death and resurrection of Jesus, your Child.
He showed us how deep and reliable
was his love for you and for us.
Make our love as genuine as his,
open to your presence in each of us,
capable of forgiving injuries,
and always willing to share the best of ourselves.
Make this true in our lives,
that our offering may express what is in us
in spirit and in truth. Amen.


The peace of Christ be with you always.
And also with you.


With Jesus,who came among us as the servant of all, we give thanks to God.


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 of lasting love and goodness,
for you have lifted the burden of oppression from us
and called us into your own kindom and glory.

L: You created the earth, both dry lands and fertile valleys,
 and entrusted it to us to tend and harvest.
R: Under your servants Moses and Joshua
 you saved your people from the oppressors might
 and led them safely through the waters
 into the land of promise.

In your child, Jesus the Messiah,
your Word has come to us as good news,
working within us that we might live lives worthy of you.

L: When he was killed by those
 who mouth the truth but live a lie,
 you raised him to life
R: and sent your Spirit as our true teacher,
 leading us in the way of humility
 to the exaltation of your reign.

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.
 Word made flesh, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us.
 Bread of Life, you take away the sin of the world,
 grant us peace.



God, who are we to boast or pretend?
It is you who has chosen us
and filled us with your gifts.
Even our capacity to do good
comes from your kindness.
By the strength of this eucharist
make us unaffected and humble
before you and the good there is in people.
May we serve you with joy
in the simplicity of our hearts
and proclaim our faith with living deeds.
Grant this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God



You have only one Parent,
the One in heaven.
You have only one Leader,
Jesus the Messiah.
Serve one another
in the Spirit of truth and love.
May the living and faithful God bless you+


Go in peace, live as you believe,
and serve one another.
Thanks be to God.



Based on a liturgy in Uniting in Worship 2.
Prayers based on A Contemporary Sunday Liturgy (www.bible.claret.org);
‘Creator of this great land’ © 1996 Ross Langmead (www.rosslangmead.com);
Eucharistic Preface based on prayer by Nathan Nettleton
Icon: Byzantine Black Madonna and Child