Vicars Cross United Reformed Church

Bringing the Message of Gods Love to our Community

  • Oldfield Drive
  • Vicars Cross
  • Chester
  • Cheshire
  • CH3 5LL

01244344536
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Zoom Link and below it Service for Sunday 9th May


Dear Friends,

Please find below the Zoom link for worship tomorrow morning.
Topic: Sunday Morning Worship
Time: May 9, 2021 10:30 AM London
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84867570268?pwd=dy9WK3EwZ0ZsUG1xLzBaNmsvUU9YZz09
Meeting ID: 848 6757 0268
Passcode: 920782
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Best wishes
Ruth


Sunday 9th May
Christian Aid Week
(Using resources from Christian Aid)

 Call to worship:-

Sing a new song to the Lord!
He has worked miracles,
and with his own powerful arm,
he has won the victory.
The Lord has shown the nations that
he has the power to save and to bring justice.
God has been faithful in his love for Israel,
and his saving power is seen everywhere on earth.
(Psalm 98:1-3 CEV)               
 
 
Prayer of Approach
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 will 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, starvation.
Christ, our God, bringer of justice,
forgive us for this climate crisis.
 
God you know me. 
You know that I can be loving and kind;
and you know that sometimes I get things wrong.
I’m sorry for the times I hurt other people,
forget to listen to you and don’t bother
to take care of your world.
 
May God forgive you,
Jesus bless you,
and the Spirit help you to grow in love
Amen.
 
 
Readings:  Acts 10:40-48     Psalm 98
        1 John 5:1-6     
John 15:9-17
 
 

Reflection

This year Christian Aid is focussing on the effects the climate crisis is having on the developing world.

Katalina Tahaafe-Williams, a theologian writing from Australia and the Pacific Islands writes:

“Only the willingly ignorant continue to deny the link between our consumerist lifestyles, climate change, and suffering in the developing world.  Promoting economic growth as the answer to all our problems, and in particular global poverty, is irresponsible.  We need to recognise that our current growth-oriented system is driven by powerful economic interests set on making profits, however short term.

And it is just plain wrong to ignore the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the world especially when they are the least contributors to climate change.”

Stories (copy attached with the worship booklet)

Christian Aid give details of two women who live in Kenya, Rose and Florence and I ask you to read these now.

 

The story of Rose is heart breaking.  Imaging trying to raise a family without easy access to fresh water!  Imagine, having to walk miles in the scorching sun, every day, to find any!  This is Rose’s daily suffering caused by the climate crisis.  How can we, living so far away, be an answer to her prayer?

 

Then we read the story of Florence, who a few years ago faced a similar situation. Now, having received help from Christian Aid, her suffering has eased and she, and her community are building better lives for themselves and their families. 

I say “They are building better lives for themselves and their families” because the hard work wasn’t done by Christian Aid or their other partner agency.  The community did the hard work – they built the dam! 

These stories links to Jesus’ words in John 15:11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

 

Jesus was speaking when he was on the threshold of deep trail and suffering.  He is telling his disciples that despite the suffering of Good Friday, joy is coming on Sunday.  Joy does not deny sorrow and suffering but co-exists with them.  As my former boss once said to me “If you don’t experience Good Friday, you will never appreciate Easter Day.”

Jesus encourages his disciples to live in the love of God.  He knows they will need each other to get through this and he knows that their love for one another and their sacrificial giving will strengthen them as they journey onward.  It is not duty, obligation or command that enables them, and us, to remain faithful and bear lasting fruit.  It is love, friendship and joy.

As disciples of Christ, it is our calling to be joyful and bring joy to others.  There are so many ways that we can each live this out, but I hope and pray that you will feel that a contribution to Christian Aid is one way to do this.  Through Christian Aid we see that joy does not lead us away from suffering and struggle, but towards it. 

May we choose to look towards the pain and see the possibilities for transformation as shown in the contrasting stories of Rose and Florence remembering Christ’s words John 15:17 “This is my command: love each other.”

Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

God of abundant life,
we see your goodness all around us
and we thank you for every part of it;
from the plants and animals which play
their part in complex ecosystems,
to the dry deserts and stormy seas which
test the limits of life.
We pray that in this time of climate crisis and ecological emergency, you may help us to rediscover your love of creation and to reflect that in our own lives.

God, in your mercy
hear our prayer

 

God who speaks through unexpected people,
We thank you for contemporary prophets
who are challenging us to act on climate change;
for indigenous people and their invaluable
knowledge of the land and sea where they live,
for scientists dedicating their careers to warning us about changes to the planet, and for
young people striking for their future.
We pray that you will help those in power
to hear their prophetic voices.
Help them to see beyond short-term political priorities and business plans. and give them wisdom
and courage when they face difficult decisions.
God, in your mercy
hear our prayer


God of second chances,
we recognise the damage we have done
to the Earth and the injustice we see
in society every day, all of it fuelled by
worship of profit and possessions.
We pray for the coming of a better world
with justice, kindness and humility at its heart.
We ask that you guide us to be co-creators 

of this new world. Give us confidence to follow 

the prophetic voices to stand against injustice to people and to planet.

So that together, in your strength,
we stop this climate crisis.
God, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

We ask all this in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray together.

Our Father…

Blessing
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.