Welcome to the Church at Home pack for this coming Sunday.
Today we are focusing on the work of Christian Aid, in anticipation of Christian Aid Week which starts in a week’s time (9th-15th May). We are delighted to be joined by Laura Mead, who is Christian Aid’s Church Engagement & Fundraising Officer for Surrey, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. Laura has provided the sermon for this pack, and will also be joining us on Zoom for coffee and chat.
If you are joining the Zoom coffee and chat session, please note that this will be somewhat different from usual. The main part of it will be a Q&A session where we will ask Laura questions; I have some questions prepared, but if you would like to ask her anything there will be an opportunity for you to do so. There will not be the usual chance to share our news at the start of the Zoom session, but at the end we will split into breakout rooms (and then come back together again) for sharing. The Zoom details for this are at the bottom of this email.
Order of service
Come and celebrate our common home! We gather with the family of humanity. With the mountains, islands and deserts, we honour the glory of God in creation. With the lakes, rivers and seas, we come to the source of living water. With the land, its soil, seeds and sustenance, we give thanks for God’s generous provision. With the forests of great trees, the lungs of the planet, we will sing with joy and clap our hands. We join with the whole of creation, inspired by those who have gone before and the prophetic voices of today. We dare to praise and pray for another possible world. To the glory of God, Amen.
Prayer of confession
For the beauty of the Earth, desecrated by pollution, extinguished by forest fires, choked by plastic waste, Christ, our God, to you we plead: forgive us for systemic greed. For the urgency of this hour, ignored by apathy or procrastination, wasted by ineffective decisions, denied by economic interests, Christ, our God and Saviour, forgive us for selfish short-term behaviour. For the joy of human love, fractured by forced migration, crushed by bereavement, lost to typhoons, floods or starvation, Christ, our God, bringer of justice, forgive us for this climate crisis. God, you know us. You know that we can be loving and kind; and you know that sometimes we get things wrong. We’re sorry for the times we hurt other people, forget to listen to you, and don’t bother to take care of your world. May God forgive us, Jesus bless us, and God’s Spirit help us to grow in love. Amen.
Song: For the beauty of the earth
You may like to pray for the following:
- The climate crisis – for wisdom and courage on the part of those with the power to make big changes, and for ourselves to make the little changes that we can.
- The work of Christian Aid, standing alongside the world’s poorest whom climate injustice hits first and hits worst.
- The gradual easing of lockdown – and especially those who are frustrated at how slow it is, and those who fear that it is all going too quickly.
- Those you are aware of who are suffering, through illness, frailty or sadness.
And/or use the Prayer time notes on the church website.
Finish by saying the Lords Prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
May God bless us with wonder at creation’s glory. May God bless us with fury at creation’s spoiling. May God bless us with courage at this critical hour. And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon us and on all creation, this day and for the future to come. Amen.
Because we are God’s people, we will care for each other. Because we are part of God’s creation, we will care for the Earth. Because we are loved by God, we will share God’s love with everyone. Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ. Amen.
‘Coffee and Chat’ time….
A ‘Coffee and Chat’ Zoom Meeting will start at 10:15 for 10:30am on Sunday. More details are available on the St John’s Facebook page and in the note sent to church members.
Liturgy adapted from Christian Aid’s Climate Justice Order of Service 2021 (https://www.christianaid.org.uk/sites/default/files/2021-01/J204361%20Climate%20Justice%20Order%20of%20service%202021%20Eng%20FINAL.docx):
- Opening responses: from We are the Amazon, an ecumenical act of solidarity and justice for the Amazon and its people.
- Absolution and closing responses: from Iona Community Worship Book 2017.
- Blessing: ACT Alliance.
If you want to make contact with the church, please look at the Notice/Contacts Sheet.