Prayers of Adoration


Jenne:  Miriam Rose Ungunmerr, a Ngangikurungkurr woman from the Daly River region, writes: “What I want to talk about is another special quality of my people. I believe it is the most important. It is our most unique gift. It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to our fellow Australians. In our language this quality is called Dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call ‘contemplation’. When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again. I can sit on the riverbank or walk through the trees; … I can find my peace in this silent awareness. There is no need of words. A big part of dadirri is listening… There are deep springs within each of us. Within this deep spring, which is the very Spirit of God, is a sound. The sound of Deep calling to Deep. The sound is the word of God – Jesus”

I invite you to listen now. Listen deep for that connection with with the Creator spirit. Listen to enter into that relationship with the land, the ancestors, each other and creation. [Ack .R Arnold]

Instrumental music

Ian:  God of Holy Dreaming, Great Creator Spirit, from the dawn of creation you have given your children the good things of Mother Earth. You spoke and the gum tree grew. In the vast desert and the dense forest, and in the cities and at the water’s edge creation sings your praise. Your presence endures as the rock at the heart of our Land. When Jesus hung on the tree you heard the cries of all your people and became one with your wounded ones: the convicts, the hunted, the dispossessed. The sunrise of your Son coloured the earth anew, and bathed it in glorious hope. In Jesus we have been reconciled to you, to each other and to your whole creation. Lead us on, Great Spirit, as we gather from the four corners of the earth; enable us to walk together in trust from the hurt and shame of the past into the full day which has dawned in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dadirri Reflection by Miriam Rose Ungunmerr
Dadirri handout
Prayer words by
Revd Aunty Lenore Parker
Offered for worship by Jenne Perlstein and Ian Ferguson, 30/8/20, Pentecost 13A

Prayers of Confession


Aboriginal Lives Matter

Great Creator Spirit, Lord God, Papa Jesus
We stand before you because we must.

We stand before You because
truths that should be self-evident
are not so evident in this land now called Australia.
And so we turn to you to breathe
ever more of Your Spirit into us
because we find we cannot breathe,
the arms of armed forces wrapped around our throats
when we call out for justice.

We call to you in defiance of
State and Territory systems that deny our human rights and human dignity,
where Aboriginal people in custody are sick and dying and are denied medical attention,
where Aboriginal men are twice as likely to be in prison than in University,
where 10 year old children are sent to prisons and Aboriginal children and young people are 24 times more likely to be in prison.
We shout to the Heavens with one, unified voice:
Aboriginal. Lives. Matter. 

We are called by scripture to pray for the day when we will
beat swords into plowshares and study war no more,
when the surplus of war led by greed and deception
will not spill into our streets,
where swords and rifles and chains and iron bars
will be beaten thinner and thinner,
the iron of hatred vanishing forever.
We pray to you because,
as our prophets have taught us:
human suffering anywhere
concerns men and women everywhere.

We call to you, O God,
because Your Image
had broken ribs
and was dragged across a concrete floor.
We call to you, O God,
because Your Spirit
was choked out of a young man who
called out 12 times’ “I can’t breathe.”
We call to you, O God,
because Your child
was placed in a spit hood with hands and feet restrained

We raise our hands to you,
knowing that the work is ours to do,
black, white, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal,
Multicultural Australia, young and old –
These are your images, battered
Stripped of their human dignity.
We are all responsible for what happens next.

And so we pray to You,
Source of Life,
raise up our eyes
to see You in each other’s eyes,
to take risks for justice,
to bring through our unified prayer today
more Love and Compassion into Australia and into the world.

Ignite us to combat the hidden prejudice
which causes memory loss and coverup,
Let truth and transparency reign from the tongue of every witness.
We pray today not for calm but for righteousness
to flow like a mighty river, until
peace fills the earth as the waters fill the sea.

Comfort the families of all who grieve.
Strengthen us to work for a world redeemed.
And we say together:

Black Lives Matter: A Prayer, written by Menachem Creditor, 2014 adapted by Brooke Prentis.
Offered for worship by Valentina Satvedi-Leydon, 30/8/20, Pentecost 13A

Prayers of the people


My name is Tim Budge and I will be leading the Prayers of the People. I encourage you to take a few moments to sit quietly, to reflect on the themes of our service this morning and to bring your concerns, deep desires and prayers to God.

Loving God, we are here on sacred ground. We know you are in this place and you have been here, since the dawn of time. You are in the bushes and trees, rocks, mountains and rivers. We confess that as settlers, we have ignored your presence and worse still have shut out the indigenous people of this land, the custodians, keepers and sustainers, who have cared for country since time immemorial. Their wisdom and understanding of place has been ignored and ridiculed and instead, we have fenced, mined, paved and destroyed.  Help us to recover a sense of wonder, a sense of holiness of creation. Help us to be restorers and preservers of beauty. May we find time to stand barefoot and be reminded that we on sacred soil.

We recognise that there is so much more that needs to be done on the path of reconciliation. We acknowledge that racism seeps into every part of our lives and that it distorts what we think we know to be true, breeds suspicion, yet also underpins our positions of power and privilege and reinforces the powerlessness of others. We know that structures and relationships need to change but we feel overwhelmed. Strengthen our resolve and our willingness to act, we pray. In contrast to what was started in Australia 200 years ago, help us to be de-colonisers. To disrupt and tear down those barriers which reinforce white privilege and power; to learn from indigenous and other cultures and to remove obstacles which prevent full participation and engagement. Help us to look again at our lives, our relationships, and our involvement in structures which oppress. We need your wisdom to see how people are excluded in our society and we need courage to speak out when we see exclusions, power imbalances and injustice. May we also have the courage to listen to and stand with those who are excluded because of race, status, identity or difference. Help us to find ways to accompany them and to have the courage to step outside our own comfort zones.

In this time of pandemic, we are still scared, uncertain, overwhelmed and many times, just fed-up. Some of us are feeling lonely, frustrated, bored and very isolated. We bring those feelings to you, dear God, acknowledging them and seeking your help to just endure. May we be the body of Christ in this time. Remind us all of our individual gifts, our calling and your presence with us. May we also have a deep sense of those around us who are struggling, who need compassion, support, phone calls or zoom chats and prayer. Remind us of Frederick Buechner’s words, that “the place God calls us to is the place where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” May we look for those places of gladness and hunger this week.

We pray for our leaders and all leaders across the world. May they hear the calls for justice, for a turning away from greed, empire building and selfishness. May they too recall that they are standing on holy ground, on sacred soil. May they have the courage to stand barefoot in humility and listen to what your spirit might be saying about change, love, justice and peace. Help us to encourage them in making these changes.

We ask all of this in your name, amen.

Tim Budge, offered for worship 30/08/2020, Pentecost 13A