Rafa’s baptism

Prayers of Adoration & Confession

Christ is our peace.
Let us breathe to rest in that peace.

God is love.
Let us breathe to rest in that love.

Among the fruits of the Spirit is joy.
Let us breathe to rest in the joy of the Holy Spirit.

What a joy it is to rest in your presence, dear God, and what a relief.
Here we can lose ourselves in the embrace of your infinite love –
here we can be lost and found.

We come carrying all the burdens of life and burdened as we are,
we are moved to praise you.
We praise you for you make your place with us –
you the creator of all come to meet us where we are as we are.
You sit beside us, breathe in us,
and in Christ you suffer in our pain and rejoice in our joy.
You share our burdens.
All praise be to you.

And now we are moved to confess that while you dwell with us in love,
we do not always make our home in you.
We have not always loved as you have loved us.
We pray for your mercy and forgiveness.

In this place we rest, we praise, we confess.
Hear our prayer.  Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness
Christ came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off
and peace to those who were near;
for through him all of us have access in one Spirit
to the Source of Life and Love.
(Ephesians 2:17)

Hear Christ’s reconciling word.
Your sin is forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

Ian Ferguson, offered for worship 22/7/18, Pentecost 9

Prayers of the People

As we just sang earlier, thou art all compassion, pure unbounded love. We pray that we will always know that same compassion and boundless love in our lives and may especially know how to draw on your endless reserve of love and compassion in the way that we conduct our lives in the world.

May we know compassion and love as we reflect on the beautiful child that we baptised this morning and the incredible joy and love that Tess and Joel have for Rafael. As he grows, we know that their love will also continue to  grow. May we always hold onto your love and recognise that every human being we meet or hear about is worthy of that same love.

We hold this compassion and love in our minds as we bring the world to you in prayer. Our hearts are heavy and broken with the daily horrors that we see in the news. Leaders blatantly putting their own greed and hunger for power ahead of the needs of their people. Seemingly unravelling all that is good in the world.

It is hard sometimes, not to lose hope and to think that your love and compassion is not enough. When we see world leaders like Putin and Trump playing games with people’s lives, telling massive lies and setting people against each other, so much so, that wars are started. When government policy protects the super rich at the expense of the very poor. When our own leaders tell lies to win elections and cut taxes so that we can no longer care for the most vulnerable in our community. We pray for leaders who will put the interests of people who are experiencing homelessness, mental illness, trauma and loss, ahead of the interests of mining companies and big corporations.

We especially pray for love and compassion in our own leaders here in Australia who seem willing to demonise and ‘other’ whole communities to win elections, who are slashing support services for asylum seekers, pushing people into destitution and separating families, deporting people back to countries where they are not safe, breaching so many UN conventions. Creating lies that this is all justified to protect our borders and our safety and to stop people from drowning.

Dear God, please restore hearts of love and compassion in our leaders and in all of us to recognise that everyone is deserving of love and compassion, protection and safety, no matter how they arrived in Australia. Instead encouraging our leaders to join us to celebrate the incredible gifts and talents that we can embrace when we acknowledge and welcome each other in all our stunning diversity.

In the midst of this, show each of us how to provide love and compassion to reach out and to be the source of hope for people affected by these policies and actions. Help us to find hope in each other, in our communities, and in the services that we can support to surround vulnerable people with our love and compassion.

We thank you that here at BUC, we are surrounded by your love and can experience a sense of belonging and care. Thank you for the hope that we can gain from working together for change. Thank you for the love and compassion that we receive when we reach out to others. Even as it sometimes feels like we are losing the battle, grassroots movements for change are making a difference and we know that your pure unbounded love and compassion provides the hope we need to keep on working together to bring change to the world.

May we rest in that love so that our hearts are refreshed and restored with compassion to go out into the world with courage and hope.

Meredith Budge, offered for worship 22/7/18, Pentecost 9