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Easter 7, Year B
South Sydney Uniting Church
May 20, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God



Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


It is a wonderful thing when members of the family
live together in love and peace.
They shall be like trees planted beside flowing rivers.

May the church be one, just as Christ and God are one,
that Christ may be glorified in us.
They shall yield good fruit in its season,
and their leaf shall never wither.

The grace, mercy and peace, of the Saviour be with you all.
And also with you.

On 26th May 1997 the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families was tabled in Federal Parliament.
The Bringing Them Home Report revealed the extent of forced removal policies, which went on for 150 years into the early 1980s. The Report revealed the devastating effects of these policies in terms of spiritual, emotional and physical trauma, as a direct result from the
broken connection to traditional land, culture and language, the separation of families and the effect of these on parenting skills. It also revealed the trans-generational impact and
damaging effects that these forced child removals continue to have on the Indigenous
families and communities today.

The release of the findings of the BTH Report had a profound effect on the Australian public. The Report detailed unquestionable evidence about the forced removal of thousands of Aboriginal children from their families and communities. The most shocking finding of the report was that to date, not one Aboriginal family had escaped the effects of the forced removal policies. When the knowledge of these policies became public the National Sorry Day Committee united the Australian public in a grass-roots movement that shifted the Nation.

The BTH Report sold more copies than any comparable report. Hundreds and thousands of non-Indigenous Australians have signed Sorry Books. Many thousands of Australians have attended Sorry Day commemorative events. Over one and half million Australians walked bridges in support of the Stolen Generations and Reconciliation.

On Wednesday 13th February 2008 then Prime Minister Rudd and the Australian Parliament said “Sorry” to the Stolen Genrerations, their families and communities.

Welcome to visitors. Lighting the Christ Candle.

SONG ‘Help us accept each other’ (648)


God of grace and God of glory,
in your glory may we find grace,
and in your grace may we find your glory.
Shed your light around us and within us,
that the ignoble things we do
and the ignoble things that inhabit the dark places of our minds,
may be revealed for what they are.

Mercifully confront us, expose, judge and reclaim us from all evil.
Forgive both our sins and our excuses.

Help us, wherever it is possible,
to humbly apologise and make restitution to those whom we have wronged.
Let your grace abound in our lives,
enabling us to be merciful towards any who have wronged us,
and supportive of those who have failed and who seek a new start.

The Liturgy of the Word

EPISTLE 1 John 5: 9-13



We stand.

Alleluia, Alleluia,
Praise the Word of truth and life!

GOSPEL John 17: 6-19

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

HOMILY (Rev. Dr William Emilsen)



Through Christ we pray with hope,
in Christ we pray with love.

... Let your reconciling love gather the separated Christians,
and make them aware of the fellowship and mission of the one,
universal body of Christ.
Reveal your compassion:
Loving God, bring wholeness to all.

Thank you for hearing us, most loving God.
With the whole body of believers in time and eternity,
we want to love, praise and serve you.
Through Christ Jesus your Own. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING ‘Christ from whom all blessings flow’ (440)


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



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 put your testimony in our hearts
so that we might know that our life is in you.

L: You created the earth and the heavens
and marked out the way of the upright.
Through the prophets you called us to accept life,
and none are lost to your love and protection
except those who turn to their own ways and reject life.

R: You sent your Own into the world
and entrusted to Christ those who accepted your Word.
Christ made you known to us
and prayed that we might share the identity you gave to him,
and so be one with each other in your love.

Though he was killed by this hell-bent world,
you raised him from the dead
and through your sanctifying Word of truth
you call us to share eternal life in him.

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 acclaim you, Holy One,
all your actions reveal your wisdom and love.

To you be glory, almighty God,
because on the night before he died ...

Gracious God, we now celebrate the memorial of our redemption.

From the gifts you have given us
we offer you this bread and this cup,
and proclaim the mystery of our faith,
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come in glory.

Therefore, loving God,
recalling now Christ’s death and resurrection,
we ask you to accept
this our sacrifice of praise.
Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of Christ
and be filled with your life and goodness.
Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be your body in the world.
Unite us in Christ
and give us your peace.

We praise you in union with all the saints
and give you glory through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere,
now and forever. Amen.


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.

This bread that we break is the bread of life.
It is the sign of Christ’s body;
it is the sign of our unity with one another
in the Spirit of love and peace.


Jesus, Wisdom of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Word made flesh, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Liberator of creation, grant us peace.



The Sending Forth of the People of God



In the name of the God of abundant life, I dare to bless you!

That in the seasons of plenty you will thrive and grow.
That in the seasons of drought you will consolidate your strength.
I bless you! Amen!

That you will delight in the warm sun of God shining upon you.
That you will delight in the cold rain of God falling on you.
I bless you! Amen!

That you will blossom to the glory of God
and make the world a more fragrant place.
I bless you! Amen!

May our compassionate God bless you +


Go in peace,
stay united with Christ,
and serve one another.
Amen. Thanks be to God!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

SONG ‘There’s a spirit in the air’ (414)


Based on UIW and UIW2;
a liturgy by Bosco Peters, New Zealand (online).
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Image: Psalm 1 by Inge Sinz (www.ingesinz.de).