the UCVT service

Thanks if you’ve stopped by after the service last night… It was good to be with you for the night – thanks for inviting me to do the space. I realised that I said we’d put up the liturgy here, but I think most of it actually ended up in the handout, so I’m not sure that there’ll be much different here.

For music, we used Peter Broderick’s ‘A beginning’ as people came into the church, and then ‘Something has changed’ was behind Rabbit Proof Fence at the end. The first RPF clip was accompanied by David Bridie’s ‘Salt’… the music after Kate’s reflection was Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Something Beautiful’. Images were either from Rabbit Proof Fence, or out of my photo album!

The various prayers are below… the communion liturgy was adapted slightly from the Wild Goose Resource Group’s ‘Wee Worship Book’

Opening meditation [unsaid – printed on handout]

Why are you here?
Maybe you are here because you recognise in your own story
a greater story
one spoken since the beginning of time
by prophets, preachers and peacemakers
a story where god calls the world
into liberation and wholeness.

Maybe you are here because you have glimpsed
a moment of love that is beyond human reach
the grace that lies just beyond our finger tips
that transforms the ugly into breathtaking
the impossible into the real

Maybe you are here, not defined by faith
but with a deep conviction
that the ending to everyone’s story is yet to be written
and can be shaped into life by justice and compassion.

Maybe you are here, no longer sure whether you belong
or how any of this makes a difference
struggling to remember the vision that inspired you
or the call that now eludes you.

You are welcome…

Call to worship

In the beginning,
the story tells us
the breath of God
breathed life into existence
and loved it into wholeness…

We gather
as people of the story
and people of a prayer
longing for the breath of God
to make our world whole again:
Let there be life
Let there be love
Today.

Welcome to worship.

Opening prayer / confession

There is a time for celebrating,
and this is that time.

There is a time for mourning,
and this is that time.

There is a time for confessing,
and this is that time.

There is a time for dreaming,
this is that time.

God, we bring our stories to this place tonight
and we wait to be held by yours.

We bring our faithfulness
shape it with grace

We bring our success
shape it with generosity

We bring our weaknesses
shape them with compassion

We bring our possibilities
shape them with hope.

We confess, God, that the way is hard
and we are tired
speak into our tiredness with your story of grace

We confess that the way is unclear
and we do not know the path
speak into our wandering with your story of vision

We confess that we are tired of waiting
and we just want to make it happen
speak into our impatience with your story of wisdom

Let your story be our story
and we pray this in Jesus’ name
Amen.

Sending out
They are right,
those who doubt what we do.
It is purely the product of over-active imaginations.

Who but the foolish would look at barren ground and imagine food for all,
see past desolation and believe it will become an oasis,
would not be stopped by war, but live for the day it will be peace,
and reach deep into the world’s fear in the prayer it would bring life.

So if faith is the terrain of the deluded
then may you leave here with the faith of the fools
who have loved the world since it’s beginning
and will live for its redemption until its end.

And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…