Service for Sunday 8th May 2022, conducted by Mrs Jillian Ross

Servicing the Bald Hills and nearby Communities

Service for Sunday 8th May 2022, conducted by Mrs Jillian Ross

Welcome: –

Acknowledgement of Country: –

The Ancient of Days breathed life into this land and Her peoples.

From time beyond our reckoning, the People have blessed this place through their law, customs, their care and concern.

We pay our respects to their Elders and Leaders, past, present and emerging and pray for the future of their communities.

May we walk gently and respectfully on this Land.

Call to Worship

Jesus lives,

the generous Host by whose generous invitation we gather here today.

He prepares a table before me, in the presence of my foes,

he anoints my head with oil, and my cup overflows.

Jesus lives,

the Shepherd who knows each member of God’s flock by name.

Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving

and honour and power and might

be to our God for ever and ever.



Majesty, Worship His Majesty

Salvation Belongs to Our God

Prayer of Thanksgiving, Lament & Confession

We thank you, Loving Friend,

for encouragement and fellowship far beyond our dearest expectation.

At morning, noon and night, you are perfect grace and joy,

You are compassion,

our cup overflows.

You are our hope,

our cup overflows.

You are our truth,

our cup overflows.

You are our life,

our cup overflows.

You are our freedom,

our cup overflows.

You are our happiness,

our cup overflows.

At morning, noon and night, you are perfect grace and joy.

As a community, we take time to pause and give thanks for the gift of mothers.

Shining a light on the gift, shadows fall, and we acknowledge the shadows, too.

We celebrate and give thanks, each of us, for our mother.

The woman who carried us in her womb, gave birth to us, brought us into life.

We lament, each of us, separation from our mother at different times, through conflict, distance of place, death.

We lament, seek to forgive and be forgiven.

We celebrate and give thanks, each of us, for those who have been as mothers to us; our aunts and pseudo-aunts, big sisters, friends, mentors and teachers.

The women who have nurtured, taught, encouraged, shaped us with love.

We lament, each of us, the women who have caused us pain, who have abandoned or neglected us, mistakenly or intentionally caused us harm.

We lament the hurt we have caused to women, our friends, colleagues, neighbours, sisters, aunts and mothers.

We lament, seek to forgive and be forgiven.

We celebrate, those of us who are mothers and grandmothers, the joy and privilege it is to collaborate with you in the creation of life.

We give thanks for our children, their uniqueness, the delight we find in watching and helping them grow.

We lament, those of us who are not mothers and want to be, or who are mothers of children who have died.

We lament, and have no words for our grief.

We celebrate, we give thanks, for you, our mothering God, whose wings enfold us like those of a mother hen, who gives birth to all that lives, who loves fiercely, protectively, and with great delight.

We celebrate what we know of you as like a mother.

God who shepherds us,

 you must wonder how long we will continue to live the way we do.  We snatch hope out of the grasp of those who need it most.  Our acts of kindness are offered only to those we think to be deserving of our generosity.  We lament our turning from you and causing you pain, our rejection of your gifts of life and love in so many ways.

   Yet you refuse to keep forgiveness a mystery, Gracious God, but offer it to us without any hesitation.  You gather us in the green pastures of mercy, so we might find hope; you offer us a drink of the living waters so we might become still enough to listen to your heart; you send the Spirit to take us by the hand to lead us on the paths of justice; the goodness and mercy of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, follow us all the days as we seek to be faithful in our calling to serve him.  Amen.

Holy and most wonderful is your name,

far above all other names on earth or in heaven;

and by your grace, holy is our gratitude,

through Christ Jesus our Saviour.


Adapted from & Celebration and Lament for Mother’s Day by Rev Sarah Agnew (from In Prayer and Protest (Pocket Poets #8) – &


My friends, it is good to be here in the flock of Christ Jesus, where saving grace abounds, and our cup is full and running over. 

Here we “fear no evil’ for God forgives our sins and “restores our soul and leads us in the paths of right living for his name’s sake.”

In his name I declare the forgiveness of sins and the renewal of your true humanity, made in the very spiritual image of God.

Thanks be to God!


The Lord’s My Shepherd – Stuart Townend

Here’s what Stuart Townend, the composer says about this song:  The psalm is familiar to many as a psalm of comfort, in, for example, funeral services. But I also noticed that the psalm uses a lot of ‘movement’ imagery (walking, leading, following, etc) that speaks to me of an active response of faith to what the psalm is saying – we are to live each day believing goodness and mercy are following us, that there are still waters and green pastures to be found. That’s why I included a response in the chorus of “I will trust…” 

Prayer of Illumination

As we prepare to hear the Bible readings today, let us pray together:

Almighty God,

through your only Son you overcame death

and opened to us the light of eternity.

Enlighten our minds and kindle our hearts

with the presence of your Spirit,

that we may hear your words of comfort and challenge

in the reading of the scriptures,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ from a collection of prayers posted on the Worship@North website.

Bible Readings

As you listen to each reading what word or phrase jumps out at you?  Do you hear words or phrases repeated across the readings?

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3     He refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

    for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk

    through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

    for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me

    all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the House of the Lord


Revelation 7:9 – 17

9 After this I looked, and there, before me, was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,

who sits on the throne,

and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures.  They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,  12 saying:


Praise and glory

and wisdom and thanks and honour

and power and strength

be to our God for ever and ever.


13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  15 Therefore,

“they are before the throne of God

    and serve him day and night in his Temple;

and he who sits on the throne

    will shelter them with his presence.

16 ‘Never again will they hunger;

    never again will they thirst.

The Sun will not beat down on them,’

    nor any scorching heat.

17 For the Lamb at the centre of the throne

    will be their shepherd;

‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’

    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

This is the Word of God.

Praise to you Almighty God.

John 10: 22 – 30

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem.  It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the Temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.  24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe.  The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  30 I and the Father are one.”

This is the Gospel of our Lord.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.


He’s Got the Whole World


Slide 1

There are many images of God or Jesus as shepherd in our readings today.  Psalm 23 – The Lord is My shepherd links with Jesus being the Good Shepherd who calls his sheep by name in the Gospel reading and protects those who wear robes washed in the blood of the Lamb in Revelation.  The shepherd image was a widely used metaphor for kings in ancient times.

Slide 2

Psalm 23 is a Psalm of David and here David the King is acknowledging that the Lord is his Shepherd King.  Green pastures are a metaphor for all that makes life flourish.  He leads us beside still waters of rest and provides refreshment and well-being.  This restores our soul or life.  He leads us in right paths or paths of righteousness.  Righteousness is about being put right with God.  Genesis 15:6 NIV says, “Abram believed the Lord & He credited to him as righteousness.”  Or as my NIV text notes say, “God graciously responds to a man’s faith by crediting righteousness to him.”  We are put right with God through our faith.  So then, even though we walk through the darkest valley, we can fear no evil; for you are with us; your rod and staff – comfort us.  When I first read that verse as I prepared for today my immediate thought was how does a rod and staff bring comfort?  Again, my NIV text notes say that the rod is an instrument of authority which is used also for counting, guiding, rescuing and protecting.  The staff is an instrument of support.  Is it to do with the comfort of boundaries of knowing that we are under the authority of God who guides, rescues, protects us, and supports us, particularly as we go through hard times?  Then, surely, only goodness and mercy and kindness shall follow us all the days of our life and we shall dwell in the House of the Lord as God’s guest for our whole life or for length of days or throughout the years.  In Revelation, this care and protection is echoed in verses 14b – 17: “These who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.  For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his Temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.  They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the Sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”  Both of these readings give comfort as we read about our Good Shepherd who is with us throughout our life, guiding, protecting, and supporting us.

Slide 3

This image shows the first known painting of Christ which depicts him as a young strong shepherd.  It was painted by an unknown Christian artist in the catacombs of Rome.  In those days it was illegal to be Christian and Christians were thrown to the lions in the Coliseum.  So, people would meet in the catacombs to worship in secret.  Imagine walking quietly through the maze of tunnels lined with graves dug into the walls to meet a group of Christian friends at a certain grave to worship.  Imagine listening for the clank of Roman armour and being ready to run if needed.  They would have needed the image of Jesus as a good strong shepherd.  What sort of Good Shepherd do we need Jesus to be for us?

Revelation was written for these Christians who were worshiping in the catacombs under Rome and other Christians like them who were being persecuted for their faith.  In Revelation, John was telling these Christians living in scary times that there is a good ending coming.  A reminder that Jesus the Lamb who is their Shepherd and our shepherd too will comfort and protect.  He not only knows us, but we are His.

In Revelation Lamb is code name for Jesus.  The word lamb is used 31 times in the New Testament, and 27 of those times are in Revelation.  The Greek word “arnion” is used for Lamb in Revelation and focuses on the glory of Christ.  In the rest of the New Testament the word for lamb used is “amnos”, which focuses on the sacrifice.  The lamb of God who was sacrificed to take away the sins of the world has now risen victorious and is with God.

Slide 4

Le Breton, Jacques ; Gaudin, Jean. Jesus the Good Shepherd,
from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.
The Good Shepherd by French artist Julien Dupre (1851-910).

I’ve just shared a few reflections with you about today’s readings.  We could learn or see much more in these readings.  Let’s sit in silence for a minute or two and reflect on what I’ve said and what stands out for you in these readings.  What does the shepherd image mean for you?  As you sit in silence listen to what sounds you can hear around you. 

As you’ve reflected you might have a different insight to me.

What sounds did you hear as we reflected quietly?

Did you hear some sounds that you might have missed otherwise?

When we stop and listen, it’s amazing what you can hear.  Do we stop and listen for the voice of God?

Slide 5

In our gospel reading today Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice.  I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

Where have you seen or experienced the “voice” of Jesus lately?

As I’ve been preparing for the next parts of the Stats Have Faces process, I’ve been reminded of the importance of listening as a practice.  In the Listening in the Neighbourhood Resource which I’ve used parts of to prepare for the Listening Walk which is one of the next steps of the process I read this:

“Often in the Church we have forgotten to listen as a practice.  We have assumed that we already know what we need to know.  To listen is to act.  Listening work is spiritual exercise because we want to hear to what God’s Spirit invites us to pay attention.” P4 Listening in the Neighbourhood.

Do we take time to listen to God so we know how He wants to guide us to the water of life?  Or are we so busy with our lives that we don’t hear or don’t know how to hear and be led by God?

God the shepherd does speak to us, and we can hear his voice in different ways.  When God made Adam and Eve, they were designed for connection, to be with God and walk with Him and talk with Him in the garden.  We too have been made to connect with God.  Our bodies can connect with God as we go about our lives if we are aware of it.

There are different ways that we can hear from God that involves different parts of our body or different senses.  Much of these ideas of hearing from God that I’m going to share are adapted from Parenting for Faith.  Parenting for Faith, as the name suggests, is a program to teach parents with children of any age, including adult children.  It teaches principles to adapt and use in your ordinary, everyday life with God.  Even though principles are taught to parents they are really discipleship principles that can be used by anyone.

So, what are some ways that we can listen to or hear God’s voice or the voice of the Good Shepherd?  God will talk to people at different times in different ways and we may not all experience all of these ways.

Skin – There is something in our bodies that knows when God’s in a place.  We may get a reaction in our bodies such as goose bumps.  It can be different ways for different people, but we can sense that God is present.

Mind – God can drop pictures into our minds or visions like John had when he wrote Revelation.  Or God can guide our thoughts and turn our attention to Him.  Or God may remind us of Bible verses or hymns at just the time we need it.

Dreams – Scripture is full of dreams from God.  Not all dreams are from God, but some are different, and you may receive a message from God. 

About 5 years ago I had an unusual dream one night.  For some reason I kept getting a Bible reference in my head (Genesis 15: 3 – 6), as I was dreaming.  Here is an adaption of some of what I wrote in a journal the next day.  The parts I can remember about my dream was that it was a large extending family gathering at “our house”, including some of my cousins and their families, a second cousin (including her kids even though she doesn’t actually have any children at this stage) and her parents.  For some reason at our last meal together before one of my cousins & his family was leaving, I stood up and said something and prayed for all the individual families before I left.  This would be a very unusual thing to do in real life as most of my extended family are not Christians.  Anyhow the next morning I looked up the Bible verses.  It was where God tells Abraham that his descendants will be too many to count.  I wasn’t sure how these verses fitted with my dream, but they were in my dream.  These verses are a good reminder that we only need to have faith and believe but was there another message for me.  I have children, but the people in the dream were not my children or even my descendants, even though they are relatives.  A few hours later I wondered if I should pray intentionally for my extended family, especially as the majority of them are not Christians.  They aren’t my children, but I can be like a spiritual parent to them.  I don’t see them that often, in fact some of them I haven’t seen in years.  However, I can pray that God will put Christians in their path.  Soon after that I started using the PrayerMate app on my phone.  You can make prayer lists and pray for different things each day.  Anyhow, I’ve added all my extended family into this prayer app and pray for them regularly.

Heart/Gut – Sometimes you just know that you know something, but you know that it’s true in your heart.  Sometimes you just know.

Emotions – Sometimes when we spend time with God we are overwhelmed with a sense of peace or joy or happiness or injustice.  This overwhelming of emotion has happened to me in large gatherings as well as when I’ve been by myself reading the Bible and praying.

Eyes & Ears – Sometimes we see something spiritual with our eyes or physically hear something.  There are many people who’ve seen angels or images. 

Slide 6

A few years ago, as part of my studies we were encouraged to have a Day of Quiet and spend at least half a day by ourselves, not at home.  I chose to go to a local park.  I was worried that the park I chose might be busy but I wanted to spend my Day of Quiet in nature. 

I was quite frustrated when I first arrived, so I decided to start with centring prayer.  However, I found it hard to relax as I was worried that someone might come by.  After being there about an hour, I decided to pray through my prayer list.  As I was praying for a particular family, it led me to thinking about and praying for the future of our church.  I was feeling quite down.  I looked up just after this and noticed a large cross made from 2 sticks that someone had made by pushing them through the chain wire fence.  I immediately had this overwhelming sense that God was not only with me but had control.  “God you are right here! You are here!”  I started crying.

“I don’t need to worry God, as you are in every situation, even before I bring it to You.  God you’ve put me here for a reason – not just today.  But here in this family; with the Church I’m in; in the playgroup I’m helping with …”.

At about this time I turned around & noticed a man nearby, but I was in the moment and didn’t feel at all concerned.  In some ways my worst fear for the day had happened.  I was “disturbed” during an amazing moment with God, but it was fine.  God was still very present.  It was like I was in a bubble of God’s presence and nothing else mattered. 

Other People – God can speak to us through others.  This has happened to me a number of times, I believe.  About 4 years ago when I was doing my POD a friend said that sounds like a life coach when I was telling her about situation where I was thinking about how I could offer help.  Since then, coaching keeps coming up for me and I’m booked into doing a coaching course later in the year.

Sometimes we need to stop and take the time to listen to enable God to talk to us.  Do you spend time alone with the Good Shepherd in silence so that you can be open to hearing His voice and not miss him as some of the Jews did?

Let’s try a listening activity now from Parenting for Faith. 

The goal of this activity is for participants to experience boldly attempting to ‘catch’ God’s voice in response to a simple question.  You may be very experienced at hearing God’s voice or you may still be discovering God’s voice in your life.  As you listen for the answer to the question I’ll ask shortly, don’t worry about having to hear anything from God but don’t dismiss whatever answer might pop into your head.  You may find the question not what you expected, but we want you to focus on God, not to have a triggering of an instant conditioned response.  After the question there will be a pause to enable you to hear from God.  Then I’ll ask a follow-up question followed by a pause.  This may be a little foreign to you, but when I first watched the Parenting for Faith video, I did this exercise and was amazed with the response I felt from God.  Let’s pray before we begin the exercise.

Lord, still our minds and hearts so that we may clearly hear from you.  We invite you to send the Holy Spirit to speak to us now.  Amen

I’m going to say a question out loud and it will be on the screen.  Ask the question in your mind and see what you notice.

Slide 7

The question is ‘God, if you could play one game with me right now, what would it be?’

(30 seconds pause)

Slide 8

Here’s the follow up question, which is also on the screen ‘Why that game God?’

(30 seconds pause)

‘Alright, so how did that go?’

Would anyone be willing to share what they caught from God, both the game and the reason?

It’s totally okay if you didn’t hear anything from God, particularly if this is a very new exercise for you.  You may want to try this exercise by yourself and ask God that question on the way home, in the shower, in bed or at some other time.  God is speaking and the more we make ourselves ready for his voice, the better we will recognise it.

Slide 9

To finish off, we’re going to spend time in quiet reflection.  As we do that you might like to fashion a shepherd’s cross with your pipe cleaners.  (If you’re at home and don’t have pipe cleaners, twist ties would also work.)  A shepherd’s cross is a cross where the vertical piece is made of a shepherd’s crook or staff.  You may like to reflect on the following or just ask God what he wants to say to you today:

Slide 10

  1. What sort of Shepherd do you need Jesus to be for you?
  2. Maybe you want to trust that God knows the way even if you don’t
  3. Maybe you would like to thank God for someone who has been a shepherd on God’s behalf to you

If you’d like another listening exercise, I’ve included an activity with a finger labyrinth at the bottom of the order of service.

So, as we go out this week may we be open to the voice of God.  May we be open to His guidance, protection and support in our lives, whatever we may be doing and however God might speak to us.


Blessed Assurance


Offertory Prayer

Let us pray.

Great Shepherd of the sheep,

we are your flock, and we bring to you gifts and offerings from our hearts and lives.

Be our Shepherd always, and send us forth, that we might bring to other sheep the message of your love.


Prayers of the People

Let us come before God with our cares and our concerns.

Gracious God, we express our grateful thanks for those Mothers who raised us, who held us and fed us, who cared for us and kissed away our pain.  We pray that our lives may reflect the love they have shown us.

We pray for Mothers whose children are grown,
Grant them joy and satisfaction in how their children’s lives unfold.

We pray for those with adult children, but whose lives are still shaped by their children’s needs and cares,
Grant them strength, patience and wisdom.

We pray for new Mothers experiencing changes they could not predict,
Grant them rest and peace and confidence as the days unfold.

We pray for pregnant women who will soon be Mothers,
Grant them patience and good counsel in the coming months.

We pray for Mothers who face the demands of single parenthood,
Grant them strength and wisdom.

We pray for Mothers who enjoy financial abundance,
Grant them time to share with their families.

We pray for Mothers who are raising their children in poverty,
Grant them relief and justice.

We pray for the challenge of blended families, and those who take on the care of other’s children,
Grant them patience and understanding and love.

We pray for Mothers who are separated from their children,
Grant them faith and hope.

We pray for Mothers in marriages that are in crisis,
Grant them support and insight.

We pray for Mothers who have lost children through illness, or death come too soon,
Grant them comfort that their children are held in divine embrace.

We pray for Mothers in developing countries who die in childbirth due to inadequate maternal health care, or whose children die too young,
Grant that generosity may abound, that money will be released for resources, and to attract skilled personnel who can support these women and children.

We pray for Mothers who gave up their children for adoption,
Grant them peace and confidence that the children will be held in good care.

We pray for adoptive mothers,
Grant them joy and gratitude for the gift of life entrusted to them.

We pray for women who think about being Mothers,
Grant them wisdom and discernment.

We pray for women who desperately want, or wanted, to be Mothers,
Grant them grace in their particular and often private sense of loss and grief, and hope.

We pray for all women who have assumed the Mother’s role in a child’s life,
Grant them joy and the appreciation of others.

We pray for those people who are grieving the loss of their Mother in the past year,
Grant them comfort, and confidence that loving continues in how we live our lives.

(Adapted. Source:’ Day Liturgy Mothers’ Day Liturgy

We pray for the Church, that we may recognize your voice in our lives, distinguish it from the many other sounds which demand our time and attention, and follow the invitations of Jesus to a fuller life.

We pray for all who have shepherded us, particularly parents, pastors, teachers, and mentors, that you will continue to work through them and guide them in helping others may grow.

We pray for all who preach amidst opposition and peril, that you will embolden their hearts, empower their words, and inspire them in announcing God’s mercy and unbounded love.

We pray for freedom from fear, that we may rely upon the Holy Spirit’s strength as we face challenges and negative messages in our work and society.

We pray for the grace to share our gifts: that we may place our gifts at the service of others for your glory even if they are not accepted.

We pray for healing of the divisions in the Human family, that you will heal the wounds of racism and ethnic discrimination so that there may be one crowd of people from every land offering praise and worship to you with a common voice.

We pray for all who serve in pastoral ministry, that you will guide them in the service of the community, help them to follow Jesus more closely, and continually renew their strength and energy.

We pray for all mothers and those who have been like a mother to us, that you will bless and strengthen them and inspire us to greater love by their witness of love and concern.

We pray for greater care of earth’s resources, that you will move hearts to greater awareness of the fragility of the air and freshwater so that they may be preserved for our children and grandchildren.

We pray for peacemakers, that the Holy Spirit will inspire all who are working to end violent conflicts, open avenues for the safe moments of the vulnerable, and help everyone to recognize the dignity of every human life.

Copyright © 2022. Joe Milner. All rights reserved.<br> Permission is hereby granted to reproduce for personal or parish use.

We pray for the peoples of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.  We are thankful for the magnificent expanse of mountains, grasslands and deserts in these Central Asian countries, for the rich natural resources, the incredible ethnic diversity, cultural traditions and practices that have been preserved for centuries amid the challenges of modernization, and Christians who, although they are a tiny minority, have courage to witness to the gospel and find the strength to live according to God’s word and who, in spite of danger, dedicate their lives to serving others.

We pray for relief for the people in these lands who suffer from poverty and repressive rule, for an end to clashes related to tribalism, traditionalism, and modernization, for the restoration and preservation of the land, air and water that have been damaged by Human abuse, for good relations between Muslims and Christians, and for an end to oppression and violence.

[Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan | World Council of Churches (]

We thank you for the volunteers at The Leprosy Mission Belgium, as it encourages Christians of all denominations and languages in Belgium to join the vision and mission of The Leprosy Mission to defeat leprosy and transform the lives of people affected by leprosy.  We thank you for their support for projects in Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Nigeria, Nepal and in Indonesia.

  (The Leprosy Mission Prayer Diary 2022) 

We pray for your support and guidance for the United Church in Papua New Guinea as they provide health and education services in the River District, clean water and sanitation projects in many districts, disaster preparation, poverty alleviation projects and leadership projects throughout the country, in conjunction with Uniting World.

  (Uniting World) 

We pray for the new intake of students for the Certificate in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care courses, for enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and to serve you.

  (SU Prayer guide) 

We pray for your blessing on the 16th UCA National Assembly currently being held on the Sunshine coast, and for the upcoming 36th State Synod in Session.  We pray for renewed fellowship for those who are attending, for good health and safety, and for your inspiration to commit to meaningful plans and programs for the future.

  We pray for Kylie Conomos and her work as Chaplain at Bald Hills State School, that she is receiving the necessary support from the School and the volunteers helping her, that she is finding that what she is doing is making a difference in the lives of children and families with whom she is coming into contact.  We pray for continued financial and prayer support for her from local Churches.

  We thank you for those who have dedicated their time to the leading of RI classes at Bald Hills State School.  We thank you for their answering the call to share the Gospel in this way, and pray that you will bless their efforts and that the Holy Spirit will reach out and touch the hearts of the children who attend the classes.

  We pray for those whom we have not seen for some time.  We pray for your continuing care for them, and thank you that we can still maintain contact via email or telephone call.  May they be assured of our continuing concern for their well-being.

We pray for encouragement for Jillian as she continues her work with the Church Council and the people of the Congregation to clarify our vision and mission goals as your people in the Bald Hills area.

Loving God, we bring these prayers to you, trusting in your compassion and care.  To your glory we pray.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,

your Kingdom come,

your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil,

For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,

now and forever.



Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty


Go now, following the voice of the shepherd.

Fear no evil, for God is by your side.

Devote yourselves to the works of God,

to words of mercy, to good deeds and to acts of love.

And may God wipe every tear from your eyes;

May Christ Jesus be your shepherd and all that you need;

And may the Holy Spirit tend you with goodness and love

all the days of your lives.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton

Benediction Song

“Now to him who loved us, gave us”  TiS771

[This YouTube clip is for a different song – only the one verse is needed.]

Now to him who loved us, gave us

Every pledge that love could give,

Freely shed his blood to save us,

Gave his life that we might live,

Be the Kingdom

And dominion

And the glory evermore.

Samuel Waring

Walk a Finger Labyrinth Exercise

This exercise has been adapted from an exercise on p90 in “The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God” by Christine Aroney-Sine.  InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL, 2019.

Sit in a quiet place with your finger labyrinth in your lap.  Take a few breaths in and out until you feel at peace in your soul.  Read through the story of Jesus calming the storm (Matthew 14:22-33).  Imagine it raging around you and your desire to step outside the boat of convention and ask uncomfortable questions.  Visualise Jesus coming toward you holding out his hands and saying, “Don’t be afraid of your doubts and your questions.  I am with you always.”  Imagine you are Peter stepping out of the boat into unknown waters.

Recite this prayer or a similar prayer of welcome and receptivity: “Walk with me, Lord, through all the twists and turns of life; walk with me when clouds obscure the way, when what seemed close is now so far away.  Walk with me, Lord, until I trust in you: lead me to the centre of your love.”

Form your question.  Place a finger from your nondominant hand at the entrance to the labyrinth.  Prayerfully ask a question you have struggled with about faith.  Invite the Holy Spirit of God to guide and instruct you on your journey.

Trace the circuit with your finger. Stay open to whatever presents itself: feelings, sensations, memories, ideas.  Pause at any time to breathe.  Stay with a thought or memory or just relax into the labyrinth and the question stirring in your mind.  At the centre of the labyrinth, sense your connection to your own centre and to God’s centring presence.  Acknowledge the Holy Spirit, the heavenly Counsellor directing your thoughts and exploration.  Relax, pray, sing.  Repeat your question.

Trace you way out, staying open to whatever comes to you.  When your “walk” is done, place both hands on the labyrinth and sit quietly in the presence of God once more.  Thank God for your questioning heart and for the enrichment it brings to your faith.

Trust your gut and the journey it takes you on.  Believe in your creative impulses.  Is there a solution to your question that surfaces?  Write it down.  How is God nudging you to respond?  Write it down.  Are there people you need to talk to?  Work our when you will do that.

Finish with prayer.  Offering a prayer of gratitude to God for the responses that have come to you and the power of the Holy Spirit to heal and change you.

Labyrinth printed from