Prayers of Adoration & Confession

Watch or 7:03

Creator we praise you for the Spirit of Her placed within us, in the wind, the sea, in the seeds of life planted in the womb of the Earth. Your gift of life is as near to us as breathing. We lean and grow toward the light like a seed in the dark winter earth, and in spirit we rise. We praise you for the plain seed that houses enormous potential, the spiritual shape of things to come. Yet the seed cannot yield its treasure trove of potential – the beautiful tree or majestic flowers, exquisite fruit, until it is planted in the ground. We honour you in wonderment   that the earth possesses the power to catalyse the seed into feverish activity, forcing it to shed its outer husk, seemingly self-destruct, and then metamorphose into an emerging plant and tree. We live every day in wonderment and profound appreciation for your gift of conscious awareness and the unceasing beauty of Creation.

Adapted from SG and LW Rabbi Laibl Wolf https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/146876/jewish/A-Seed-in-Earths-Womb.htm

May we be like Saint Father Oscar Romero. Archbishop of San Salvador, advocate for the poor and oppressed, assassinated while saying mass March 24, 1980, at the order of the Salvadorian regime.  In his words –
We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the results, but that is the difference between the Creator builder and the worker. We are workers, not Creator builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own. May we be inspired to speak our truth, to stand up for justice, even from You O God. Our accomplishments may not always be immediately visible, but may we be strengthened by the faith that the seeds we plant will ultimately flourish in a new world that is waiting to be born.

In the Name of the Creator Mother and God. Amen

Reamo leboga, reamo leboga,
reamo leboga, modimo wa rona

We give our thanks to God, we give our thanks to God,
we give our thanks to God, we give our thanks to God.

Let us pray our prayer of confession.

Creator God. We plant seeds of goodness, we try to heal the earth and all beings, out of good and love. We speak up, we try to take less, decrease our impact.  Yet we fail, we give up , we keep quiet . We confess we lose hope and we, by our lives’ privilege, keep polluting, keep buying more than our need. We lose our connection to your Spirit which breathed life in us to be the caretakers of the Earth, to plant the seeds. Oh, Creator Sophia /Gaia let us be like the man who…….in the words of Rabbi Adam Greenwald,

“Long before Abraham came along, there was a certain man, who used to stand outside the gates of Sodom and cry out against it. Day after day, year after year, the man would stand there, all by himself, pleading and demanding that the people change their ways. Once, after many years, a delegation came to the man and demanded to know what he was still doing there– hadn’t he realized that his protests would not change anything? The man replied: “I came to Sodom to try to change them– and I have long since realized that that won’t happen. However, I must keep trying, because if I leave, they will have changed me.” ……..Change often comes at a glacial pace….society’s problems get worse long before they get better. The spiritual work of protest is a matter of cultivating audacious hope,…… like planting a seed …  of believing that there is something valuable about standing up for what’s right even when it feels like nobody is listening. It’s about refusing to be a bystander in the face of injustice – if we cannot solve the problem, then at very least we can start by not being part of the problem.

Inspired by – October 27, 2018 Rabbi Adam Greenwald DirectorZiegler School of Rabbinic Studies American Jewish University

Gracious Creator God, forgive us for our failures, past and present.
By your Spirit transform our minds and hearts
May we elevate a simple act into a plane of spiritual value (Laibl Wolf)

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation.
The old life has gone; a new life has begun.
Know that you are forgiven and be at peace.
Thanks be to God
.  Amen.

Jenne Perlstein, offered for worship 22/08/2021, Pentecost 13B

Prayers of the people

Watch or 40:11

National Day of Prayer for COVID-19

Uniting Church in Australia President Rev Sharon Hollis is encouraging UCA members to join in a day of prayer for all those experiencing the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.   Sharon encourages us to join together in prayerful ways as we acknowledge the loss, anxiety, fear and uncertainty facing many people in Australia and across the world. While we are physically apart, she invites us draw together with churches across the country and the world, united as the Body of Christ, and reminded of a God of love who cares for us all.”

Sharon has written a prayer which I will lead us in and we have added some images.  Let us pray:

God of mercy and compassion,
We pray for the world as across the globe we face the challenges of COVID.
We give you thanks for those who care for the sick,
for those who work on limiting the spread of the disease
and those who develop and administer vaccines.
We remember before you all those affected by COVID,

Comfort those who mourn the death of a loved one,
Heal those who have COVID-19 or suffer the long-term effects of having had COVID.
Sustain those who work in health care, testing and vaccination.
Encourage those who are supporting education remotely,
Console those who must stay at home,
And bless and protect those whose work is essential for our wellbeing.

We long for a world where access to health care and vaccines are shared equitably
Strengthen the efforts of those who work to end COVID for all.
And fill us with a desire to work for justice and care for all. Amen

Rev. Sharon Hollis (UCA President), offered for worship by Kirsty Bennett, 22/08/2021, Pentecost 13B