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Ordinary Sunday 18, Year B
South Sydney Uniting Church
August 5, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God



Have mercy, gentle God.
Let the waters of your grace wash over me.
You see me for what I am,
your justice reveals my inadequacies.
You call me to be centred in truth.
For this I need to learn wisdom.
Let me rise from the waters, new-born,
my heart filled with gladness.
Re-shape my heart
so that I, too, may teach others your way.
The gift I bring to you is a spirit once broken,
now healed by your love.

SONG ‘Robe yourself, my soul, in gladness’ (503)

Lighting the Christ Candle.


The free kindness 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.


We hunger for many things. Only God can satisfy our deepest hungers.
Let us prepare ourselves to receive the nourishment God wants to give us.

Jesus, you nourish our minds with the bread of life:
God, have mercy.
You nourish our spirits with the bread of hope:
Christ, have mercy.
You nourish our hearts with the bread of love:
God, have mercy.


Each of us has received God’s grace in the measure in which
Christ has bestowed it ... to some, the gift they were given is that
they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists;
to some, pastors and teachers. These gifts were given to equip fully
the holy ones for the work of service, and to build up the body of
Christ ... until we become mature, attaining to the whole measure
of the fullness of Christ.


God, whose gift to our ancestors was manna in the wilderness,
we believe in the One whom you have sent,
on whom you have set your seal.
Let there be no lack of bread on the tables of any of your children,
and stir up within us also a longing for your word,
that we may be able to satisfy that hunger for truth
that you have placed within every human heart.
We ask this through our Saviour Jesus Christ, your Own,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

FIRST READING 2 Samuel 11:26 12:13a

The Wisdom of God.
God’s word made new.


We stand.

Worlds to be born and children yet to be
come, take up this song into eternity ...

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adores the glorious Name!

GOSPEL John 6:24-35

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

Commissioning of Elders


Having sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
we are now to commission as elders those whom we have elected to this ministry.

On behalf of the people of this congregation,
I present the following persons to be commissioned as elders.

The responsibilities of elders include the following:
to share with the ministers
in building up the congregation in faith and love;
to nurture the members in their growth in grace;
to share with the ministers
in the conduct of worship
and the administration of the sacraments,
the spiritual oversight of the congregation,
and in christian education and evangelistic outreach;
to maintain the membership rolls of the congregation
and to exercise pastoral discipline;
to make recommendations to the church council
concerning applicants for training for ministry.


Do you confess anew Jesus Christ as Sovereign? I do.
Do you believe that you are called by God through the church to this ministry? I do.
Will you seek to live and work within the faith and unity
of the one holy catholic and apostolic church? I will.
Do you adhere to the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia? I do.
Relying on God’s grace, do you promise to carry out the duties of your office? I do.

The people stand.

Will you, the members of this congregation, accept these friends as elders? We will.
Will you encourage them in love and support them in their ministry,
serving with them the one Christ and Saviour? We will.

May God give you strength to fulfil these vows;
and to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Amen.


Laying on of hands.

Let us pray in silence for these people
before we commission them for the work
to which we believe the Holy Spirit has called them.

The candidates kneel.

Almighty God,
in every age you have chosen servants to lead and care for your people.
We thank you that you have called ... to serve you.
May they have the same mind which was in Christ Jesus
and be faithful disciples,
giving example to Christ’s flock and witnessing to the truth of the gospel;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

... receive the Holy Spirit for the ministry of elder. Amen.

The God of all grace, who has called you to eternal glory in Christ,
establish and strengthen you in all things,
to the glory of God’s name and the good of the church on earth.



Only Abba God can satisfy the hunger of the heart and of the spirit,
so we place our needs before God.

Nourish us God, with the food of life.
Nourish us God, with the food of life.

... God of mercy, you have heard the prayers of your people in the desert.
Hear our prayers now as we journey towards the eternal life promised by your Own,
Jesus Christ our Sovereign. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘We all believe in God who made’ (435)

Sustainer of life,
here are our gifts of bread and wine,
signs of our faith and hope.
May we, in our quest for happiness,
never work for the food that perishes,
but for the food that endures for eternal life.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Sovereign. Amen.




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 have sent us bread from heaven
to give life to the whole world.

V1: You are above all and through all and in all,
and by your word all things were created.
V2: You fed your people with manna from heaven,
and even when they defied you,
if they turned from their callous ways,
you fed them again with your wisdom and truth.

In your Beloved, Jesus Christ,
you have offered yourself to us as the bread of life
that we might be nourished and built up
as one body in the bond of peace.
Though he was murdered by those he sought to save,
you raised him from the depths of the earth
to fill the whole universe with his presence
and baptise all into one body,
held together by one Spirit.

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.

Holy God, we offer our thanks and praise.

Through Christ, in Christ and because of Christ,
we affirm the Church’s faith:
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

On the night ...

Holy God, we offer our thanks and praise.

And so, in remembrance of all you have done for us,
we take this bread and this cup,
and offer ourselves as a holy and living sacrifice,
made worthy by the perfect offering of Christ our great high priest.

By your Word and Holy Spirit,
bless these gifts that we may truly share Christ’s body and blood,
and become, by grace, his body given for the sake of the world.

Holy God, we offer our thanks and praise.

For through your Spirit,
the whole earth makes its prayer in sighs too deep for words,
longing for the day of freedom:
for in hope and by faith we were saved.

Accept our thanks and praise, Abba God,
through your Own, our Redeemer, Christ,
with whom and in whom, and by the Spirit who dwells in us,
we worship you.
Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere, now and forever.


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



The Sending Forth of the People of God



May God the Creator
who fed the people with bread and honey in the wilderness,
strengthen you in your pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Amen.
May the Christ who gave his flesh for food and his blood for drink,
keep you in eternal life and raise you up on the last day. Amen.
May the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth,
empower you to proclaim the death of Jesus until he comes. Amen.


You have been created in the likeness of God.
Go in true righteousness and holiness.


Based on UIW2; Contemporary Liturgy (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic prayers based on liturgy at laughingbird.org.au;
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Image: Bread of Life stained glass window, St Michael’s, Wales.