Forty years.

The Uniting Church in Australia is celebrating 40 years as a uniquely Australian church.

At our inauguration service on Wednesday 22 June 1977 the first President Rev. Dr Davis McCaughey, the primary author of our Basis of Union, remarked that church union ‘meant absolutely nothing, unless it drives us back to the fundamental questions – where do you come from, where are you going, and who are you?’

“Are you and I prepared to find our bearings afresh?” asked McCaughey, as he urged the 1977 faithful on a new pilgrimage, to engage the world through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of his spirit.

Forty days.

Our leaders are marking the occasion with 40 days of prayer up until our historic inauguration date, from Sunday 14 May to Thursday 22 June.

During this time, we will pray together for renewal for ourselves, our communities, our world and our Church. We will participate in A Destiny Together: A Week of Prayer and Fasting during National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June 2017.

How can you participate:

  • Pray throughout the 40 days
  • Set aside time in your congregation to pray – each Sunday, for a day, for a time each day
  • Join with other congregations to pray together
  • Use the resources for A Destiny Together: A Week of Prayer and Fasting during National Reconciliation Week, as we stand together with First Peoples to deepen the covenant relationship we are committed to

Subscribe to 40 Days of Prayer


The first week of the 40 Days of Prayer is from Sunday 14 May – Sunday 21 May begins with the prayer from our first President Rev. Dr Davis McCaughey at the Service of Inauguration and ends with us praying for the work of UnitingWorld.

The second week of the 40 Days of Prayer is from Monday 22 May – Sunday 28 May has prayers for Church Leaders from our first female President Dr Jill Tabart and the beginning of A Destiny Together, seeking justice for First Peoples.

The third week of the 40 Days of Prayer is from Monday 29 May to Sunday 4 June which coincides with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and ending with a reflection on the feast of Pentecost.

The fourth week of the 40 Days of Prayer is from Monday 5 June to Sunday 11 June begins with a prayer for World Environment Day and ends with a prayer for our 12 National Conferences.

The fifth week of the 40 Days of Prayer is from Monday 12 June to Sunday 18 June has a prayer for our Synods and Presbyteries and ends with a prayer for Refugee Week.

The sixth and final week of the 40 Days of Prayer is from Monday 19 June to Thursday 22 June where we continue to pray for Refugee Week and end with a prayer for our 40th anniversary since inauguration.

Prayer #1 – Revisiting Our Inauguration

Day 1 – Sunday 14 May 2017

We begin our 40 days of prayer with the first prayer by our first President Rev. Dr Davis McCaughey at the Service of Inauguration on 22 June 1977.

In peace let us pray to the Lord,
For the peace which is from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of God’s holy churches, and for the unity of them all, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
For Ministers of Word and Sacrament and all others called to minister in the Church of God, that with pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith they may accomplish their ministry, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
For our homes that they may be holy, for parents and children, brothers and sisters, and all our families let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
For the rulers of our country and all in authority among the nations, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
For the sick and the suffering, the sorrowful and the dying – for the homeless and starving, for the prisoners and captives; and for those who suffer persecution, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
For ourselves and all who confess the name of Christ, that we may faithfully serve and obey Him in this life and at the last join those now at rest in unending joy, let us pray to the Lord.

Response: Glory be the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

For this 40th anniversary, the 6th President Rev Dr D’Arcy Wood has updated a prayer of thanksgiving given by his father, Rev Dr A. Harold Wood at the time of the Inauguration.

Mighty and merciful God,
you have led your pilgrim people through centuries past
and are calling us to serve you today.

You have blessed us with gifts of the Holy Spirit.
You have given leaders to your Church
who have guided us with courage and insight.

Despite the failings of your Church, you continue to claim us for yourself,
to renew our faith
and to send us out to a world in need.

We thank you for the inheritance into which we have entered:
for the Reformers of the 16th century who preached the centrality of Jesus Christ;
for the Evangelical Revival of the 18th century which reached out
in fresh ways with the Good News;
for the Ecumenical Movement of the 20th century which has brought Christians
together across barriers of race, language, culture and tradition.

We give you thanks for all who prayed and worked to bring the Uniting Church into being:
for those who wrote the Basis of Union;
for those in every locality who worked patiently to bring people together;
for those who for 40 years have proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
ministered to the sick and suffering,
and developed new initiatives in mission.

We ask your blessing on your Church in the coming years:
that you will draw us closer to other Churches;
that you will strengthen our work for justice and peace;
that you will help us minister to the poor and distressed,
the lonely and alienated, the confused and despairing.

May your Spirit of truth and love be our guide both now and in the future,
that we may be a faithful servant Church,
giving of ourselves and all we have
as Jesus gave himself for us. Amen.

Prayer #2 – Prayer for Rural and Remote Ministry

Day 2 – Monday 15 May 2017

Today we pray for all those working in rural and remote ministry.

On the anniversary of the first flight of the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service later known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, we remember the pioneers of ministry in the outback and all those who have followed in their footsteps to support and advocate for the people of remote Australia.

Loving God
undiminished by distance
unconstrained by place or time, forever seeking, forever calling,
forever drawing humanity
to yourself and to each other,
We glimpse your Spirit
in the brooding silence of awesome landscape, the ancient law of Aboriginal nations,
the unspoken trust of honest mateship.
Yet in the vastness of this place, Australia,
we often feel alone, alienated, unworthy
of more than a passing acquaintance with your love.
Help us understand
You ever yearn to make us whole,
drawing near in Christ
to show us the way.

We pray for all who live beyond our cities,
especially for people and communities in the grip of drought
or economic hardship or despairing for their future.
Come with your spirit of hope.

We pray for those who are feeling disconnected
from their families, their communities, their God.
May their loneliness be replaced with a sense of belonging and relationship.

We pray for those suffering the impact of our unpredictable climate,
those who are burdened with the darkness of depression,
and for families and communities devastated by the scourge of suicide.
May your peace encircle and strengthen them and bring them consolation.

We pray for all who serve in remote communities,
especially through the work of Frontier Services, for the Patrol Ministers
and the volunteers of Outback Links,
who by their presence reflect
your compassion and love to all they encounter.

Amen.

Prayer #3 – Prayer for the work of our community services

Day 3 – Tuesday 16 May 2017

This prayer was written for the launch of UnitingCare by the members of the UnitingCare Secretariat.

Your Hands

God of Hope and Joy,
In your greatness you call us
To seek those who are lost,
forgotten and isolated.

God of light and strength,
by your Grace
you call us to be together
to journey our understanding of the Way.

Show us the way forward
into this world you love,
to be your hands and heart,
to respond with willingness and humility,
to love and share
as you have loved and shared.

Send us to the edges,
give us the grace to stand beside
those who are voiceless,
marginalised and rejected,
those who experience pain and hardship,
loneliness and grief, coldness and hunger.

Show us how to care, how to listen,
how to respond, how to love,
how to proclaim and liberate.

Lead us so that in being
your hands and heart
we may ever faithfully
walk in your Spirit.

Amen.

Additionally you may like to offer this contemporary prayer for the poor and needy. Thanks to UnitingCare National Director Claerwen Little for sourcing this prayer.

Lord God,
You came to give honour to the least, those forgotten, overlooked and misjudged.
You came to give first place to the last, those left behind, misunderstood and undervalued.
You came to give a warm welcome to the lost, those who are orphaned, abandoned and destitute.

Help us to be your ears to listen to their cries.
Help us to be your voice speaking out love and acceptance.
Help us to be your feet walking beside those in need.
Help us to be your hands to clothe, feed and shelter them.

You came for the least, the lost and last of this world.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Amen.

This prayer is from the website lords-prayer-words.com

Prayer #4 – Prayer for the work of our schools

Day 4 – Wednesday 17 May 2017

Today we pray for Uniting Church schools across the country.

This prayer was contributed by Elaine Rae, Assembly Standing Committee member and former Executive Officer of the Schools Commission, UCA Queensland Synod.

Lord, we pray for those exercising ministry through working in Uniting Church schools throughout Australia
as they seek to model servant leadership, share the Gospel and build Christian communities.

Lord, we pray for the work of our schools;
for Principals and Boards that they may reflect Christian values in all their deliberations and actions
for Chaplains that they are provided with opportunities to share the Gospel
for teachers and other staff that they may model Christ’s love in their interactions with each other and students
and for students that they be open to the leading of your Spirit.

Lord, we pray for all who work in and with our schools.
Grant them wisdom, courage and compassion in all their deliberations and actions.
We pray that their influence on the lives of young people is reflective of Christ’s love and teachings.

Amen.

Prayer #5 – Prayer for the work of our ministry lay and ordained

Day 5 – Thursday 18 May 2017

Today we pray for all those exercising ministry across our Church in whatever capacity. This prayer is contributed by the General Secretary of the Uniting Church in Western Australia Rev. David de Kock.

Holy God, revealed in Christ Jesus, as Lord of the church, we come with thankful and joyful hearts to celebrate the ministry of all leaders in the Uniting Church in Australia.

For those who have served gladly over the past 40 years – whether ordained or lay, for those who serve Your people at this time, and for those whom You are calling to serve in the days ahead,
We thank You Lord. And we celebrate with joy!

For those who have provided for our needs and comforted us in our despair, for those who lifted us when we were down, who accepted us as we are, and who spoke Your words of forgiveness over us,
We thank You Lord. And we celebrate with joy!

For those whose words and deeds have made the love of God real for us, for those whose lifestyle is so shaped by the presence of the Father that they became beacons of hope in a dark world,
We thank You Lord. And we celebrate with joy!

For those who have borne witness to the One who lived, died, and was raised to make us whole, for those who told us the stories of Jesus, for those who brought us to Christ,
We thank You Lord. And we celebrate with joy!

For those whose warmed hearts have revealed the renewing and enabling power of the Holy Spirit, for those lives that demonstrate the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit’s presence,
We thank You Lord. And we celebrate with joy!

For those servants of God whose vision has brought us to this time and place, for those who through the years have stood firm for Christ, for those who have finished the race and won the prize,
We thank You Lord. And we celebrate with joy!

For our life in Christ and the fellowship of His people, for freedom to worship and good news to share, for opportunities for evangelism and the mission of caring,
We thank You Lord. And we celebrate with joy!

For our gathering together in the name of Christ across this land, for our oneness in Him and the promise of wholeness both now and to come, for the God who had the first word and who assures us that He will have the last, for the One who is worthy,

We thank the Lord. And we celebrate with joy! Amen.

Prayer #6 – Prayer for the work of our theological colleges and educators

Day 6 – Friday 19 May 2017

Today we pray for all those working in Christian education in the Uniting Church.

This prayer is contributed by Rev. Dr Chris Walker, the Assembly’s National Consultant for Christian Unity, Doctrine and Worship. Chris has worked in educational roles in the Uniting Church for more than 30 years.

Gracious God, you are the source of all life and truth.
Your son Jesus was known as a teacher and master.
Your Spirit enlightens people with your wisdom.

Bless the work of teaching in the church
that it may bear much fruit in the lives of people,
in the church and in the community.

We pray for our Uniting Church theological colleges and educators in their work of enabling people
to deepen their knowledge of you and your purposes.
Assist them to be effective in equipping people to serve you in their lives.

Bless the teachers and learners.
Be with those who teach as they prepare and guide.
Make them strong in their believing,
insightful in their understanding
and humble in their presentation.

Be with the learners as they study and consider.
Make them eager in their tasks,
proficient in their study
and perceptive in their discernment.

Bless those with responsibility for the oversight of the educational ministry of the Uniting Church.
Be with them as they encourage and inspire the teaching ministry across the Church
so that people are given opportunities to grow as disciples
in their understanding and commitment to Jesus Christ.
In his name we pray.  Amen.

We pray also for those who form and nurture us in faith. This prayer is written by Craig Mitchell, National Director of Formation, Education and Discipleship.

Today, let us give thanks for those who formed and nurtured us in faith.

Spend some time in silence, remembering and being thankful for the people who introduced you to faith
Those who told you the Gospel stories and opened up the Scriptures,
Those who were living examples of what it means to follow Christ,
Those who heard your doubts and withheld easy answers
Those who led you into experiences of discovering your gifts and serving God
Those who walked alongside you as fellow pilgrims
Grandparents and parents, ministers, Sunday School teachers and youth leaders,
Bible study leaders, school chaplains, friends and mentors

You may wish to write down some of their names as you give thanks.

Spend some time in silent confession
For when we have failed to pass on the faith to younger generations
For when we have neglected to raise up and resource teachers and leaders
For when we have learned not to struggle with the hard questions of faith
but are instead satisfied with easy answers and shallow discipleship

Lord, have mercy

Spend some time praying for people
For those who are the teachers of the faith in your congregation
For church councils as they resource the ministry of teaching and learning
For those who provide leadership in faith formation and education in presbyteries, synods and assembly
Reflect on how you pass on the faith in word and deed
with those in your spheres of influence
Ask God to help you be a person who with humility is a companion to others
on the way together as disciples of Jesus Christ

Close with this ancient prayer by Thomas Aquinas
Give to us, Lord
understanding to know you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer #7 – Prayer for the work of our congregations

Day 7 – Saturday 20 May 2017  

This prayer is contributed by Rev. Dr Chris Budden, the interim National Coordinator of Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.

Chris is a former General Secretary of the Synod of NSW and the ACT. He prefaces his prayer with two paragraphs from the Basis of Union.

The Congregation is the embodiment in one place of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, worshipping, witnessing and serving as a fellowship of the Spirit in Christ. Its members meet regularly to hear God’s Word, to celebrate the sacraments, to build one another up in love, to share in the wider responsibilities of the Church, and to serve the world. (Basis of Union, paragraph 15)
God in Christ has given to all people in the Church the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation. The Church’s call is to serve that end… (Basis of Union, paragraph 3)

Holy God, dancing community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You call people into that community which is the Body of Christ,
a community of reconciliation and renewal,
of diversity, welcome, justice and breaking of bread.

We thank you for the diversity of congregations in our church
large and small, rural and city, stretched across the theological landscape.
We thank you for the languages and cultures, the worship styles and traditions,
held together in common commitment to Christ.

Sustain and encourage your people in worship
encourage them as they do their best to tell the story of Jesus,
enable them to be beacons of compassion in what is not always an easy world.

We ask that your Spirit will help us celebrate, find joy, and be fed by the living Word;
encourage us to take steps – however tentative – into your world;
and offer hope to the broken-hearted, the lost, the lonely, and the ignored.

May the life of Jesus so inspire us that we may bear your image in the world,
opposing racism and sexism, standing with those who are different,
seeking peace, welcoming strangers, building families of all kinds,
enabling people to celebrate the gift of life.

Enable us, we pray, to be your people,
a community shaped by the life and presence of Jesus,
committed to the life of our community.

In his name we pray.
Amen.

Prayer #8 – WCC Global Day of Prayer to End Famine/Prayer for the work of Uniting World, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, and UCA South Sudanese faith communities.

Day 8 – Sunday 21 May 2017 

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the All Africa Conference of Churches have asked member churches to observe a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine.

This prayer is offered by Rob Floyd, National Director of UnitingWorld.

Loving God,
Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread”
we acknowledge that all good gifts come from your generous hands.

We thank you for the blessings of food, water, shelter, family and well-being.
As we enjoy healthy food, we know that this abundance is not shared equally among us.
While some are satisfied, others are starving.
We think of people who struggle to feed their families every day.
As we say “Give us today our daily bread” we pray also for the millions who go hungry every day.

Lord Jesus,
On this day that our sisters and brothers in Christ around the world are joined in prayer to end famine, we remember how you fed the hungry.
Inspire us to follow your example, showing compassion in action and sharing what we have with people who have less.
Give us the courage and determination to speak out about the systems in our world that perpetuate injustice and inequality, poverty and hunger.

We pray for the work of UnitingWorld and the overseas church partners of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Many of our partner churches are located in places where their communities are subject to great hardship and shortages of the basics of life.
Particularly today we join with our African brothers and sisters, once more facing famine on their continent.

We pray for the people of South Sudan and our partner the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan.
Bless them as they care for their people and as they work to feed the growing number in their communities facing starvation.

We pray too for the South Sudanese communities in Australia, whose hearts ache for their relatives and friends in their homeland as they endure the miseries of famine and conflict.

Loving God,
You care for all people. Help us to remember your command to love one another.
Help us to see you in each of our brothers and sisters— especially those who are in need.
You are the Bread of Life. Strengthen us as we work for justice in the world.

Amen.

Prayer # 9 Prayer for Church Leaders

Day 9 – Monday 22 May

Today we pray for the leaders of our Church. This prayer was written by Dr Jill Tabart, the first woman President of the Uniting Church in Australia. She held this position from 1994-1997.

Living, loving God,

We give you thanks that your Spirit has endowed members of your Church with a diversity of gifts, and that there is no gift without its corresponding service. For those with the gift of leadership in the Uniting Church in Australia, we pray this day:

• for those whose vision and faithfulness fashioned the Basis of Union to provide boundary markers for the journey of the new Church;
• for those whose faithful and scholarly interpretation of the Scriptures is helping us all discern, with an informed faith, where you are calling the Church in this day and age;
• for those whose hearts are heavy at declining numbers in congregations, and who grieve that patterns of the past are no more;
• for those whose creativity and passion are opening up fresh ways of helping people find you, and worship you, and serve you;
• for those catching anew the vision of your call to a Pilgrim people, alive with the urgency of proclaiming the timeless good news of your love and forgiveness for all.

Living, loving God,

We give you thanks this day as we seek your blessing on all in leadership positions across this church.

Amen

Prayer # 10 Prayer for Justice

Day 10 – Tuesday 23 May 

Today we pray for the work we do in pursuit of justice. This prayer was written by Rev. Elenie Poulos, former National Director of Uniting Justice. It was first published on Social Justice Sunday in 2004.

Loving God,
help us to be true:
to see the truth of our brokenness,
hear the truth of our pain,
and speak the truth of our violence,
regardless of the cost.

Loving God,
help us to be merciful:
to open our hearts to everyone we meet,
to reach out our hands with compassion,
and offer love without condition.

Loving God,
help us to be just:
to transform our violent world –
overturning the systems and structures of oppression
and bringing justice to all creation.

Loving God,
help us to be community:
to live together in trust –
all people and all creation,
reconciled and renewed in your grace,
a world of peace.
Now and forever. Amen.

Prayer #11 – Prayer for Parish Missions

Day 11 – Wednesday 24 May

Today we pray for Parish Missions. It is also the day the Uniting Church remembers church reformers John and Charles Wesley.

This prayer was written by Rev. Dr Chris Walker, National Consultant Christian Unity, Doctrine & Worship.

 

God of love and justice, we pray for the work of Parish Missions across Australia. We thank you for the extensive ministries they have developed to serve people, especially those with particular needs.

Be with the leaders of the Missions both ordained and lay that they may offer servant leadership that is wise and compassionate.

Uphold the many staff that they may serve people in the spirit of Christ.

May the Parish Missions continue to hold word and deed together as they proclaim the gospel and serve in the name of Jesus.

Assist the leaders in Parish Missions and all of us to take John Wesley’s prayer to heart as we remember John and Charles Wesley on this day.

 

Deliver us, O God,
from a lazy mind,
all lukewarmness of heart,
and all depression of spirit.
We know that these must deaden our love for you;
mercifully free our hearts from them all.
And give us such a lively, fervent and cheerful spirit
that we may vigorously perform whatever you command,
thankfully suffer whatever you choose for us,
and always be eager to obey your holy love
in all things;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #12 – Prayer for our work in following God’s mission

Day 12 – Thursday 25 May

Today we pray for our work following God’s mission. This prayer has been shared by Rev. Dr Dean Drayton who was President of the Uniting Church from 2003-2006.

Living reconciling God, we thank you for the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ, who through his life and death and resurrection has let loose the grace in which we now stand.
In him we see the sheer scope of the renewal and healing of the whole creation already beginning to happen, naming and destroying all that works to subvert the Kingdom of God.
Death is faced and life is given, Sin is exposed and taken away, sickness is replaced with healing, injustice is rejected and overwhelmed with rightness and darkness is lit up with the light of life.

You have called us into the strange way Jesus Christ seeks both our obedience and delight as those who witness to the unfolding directions of grace and joy that is your mission.
You have called us as a Church to be the bearer of uniting as your sign that we may all be one, in a diversity more than ecclesiastical unitedness that is a searching reconciliation with all sisters and brothers owning you.

You have called us as congregations to live beyond ourselves to embody your grace for the sake of our nation and world, with all who long for that which is good and right and true.
You have called each of us because you love us and have gifted us to be found in your mission of hope and light and truth.

Living joyous God you delight in the creation you have brought into being, larger than we can conceive, yet a hazelnut in your hand.
We thank you for gathering us into your mission, in which you walk with us in the power of your Holy Spirit, lighting up the way even as sometimes the darkness seems all pervasive.
Keep us in this grace that is given through our Lord Jesus Christ, freely given to be freely received.
Help us to find companionship and partnership with you, and each other, as we celebrate this first forty years of the Uniting Church.
In our worship and witness and service let us see the gift of your Shekinah glory.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Prayer #13 – Prayer for our work as stewards

Day 13 – Friday 26 May 2017

Today we pray for our work as stewards of the environment and all its resources. This prayer was written by Rev. John E. Mavor AM, Past President, Uniting Church in Australia, 1997-2000.

Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire to work and speak and think for Thee.

Charles Wesley

                                                          TIS 572

Loving Lord,
We thank you that the Uniting Church was called into being ‘to work and speak and think for you’. You have called us to be stewards sharing with the world what we have received through your love.

We praise you that we have been called to be stewards of the Faith to share the Good News that in Christ we are a new creation.

We celebrate that we are stewards of this world in which we live, that you call us to use the resources of the world wisely and productively, that the environment may be respected and cared for and that sea levels may not rise.

We recognise that we are stewards of your Kingdom and that we ask for your help as the starving are fed, the homeless are housed, the refugees find safety and people learn to live in harmony in this world which you love and to which your Son came to make all things new.

Amen

Prayer #14 – We begin A Destiny Together

Day 14 – Saturday 27 May

Today we enter into A Destiny Together: A Week of Prayer and Fasting for justice for First Peoples. At the same time, we mark National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June.

A Destiny Together is an expression of the Uniting Church in Australia’s commitment to the Covenant with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). In 2012, the 13th Assembly resolved to call all members and congregations to a week of prayer and fasting.

The week, celebrated 17-23 March 2014, included a public prayer vigil outside Parliament House in Canberra. Church members from all over Australia came to Canberra to participate in what is likely to be remembered as one of the most significant events in the life of the Uniting Church. Rev. Rronang Garrawurra, Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and Assembly President, Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney, led the service. From remote communities in places like Arnhem Land and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and from the centres of our big cities, people gathered to pray.

This prayer was written by Rev. Dr Chris Budden, Interim National Coordinator, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress

 

Reconciliation,

Justice,

prayer and fasting,

forging a common ‘destiny together’!

Gracious and loving God, Spirit of life and land, Spirit of the living Word Jesus,

these are fancy words for a broken people.

There are other words:

invasion,

dispossession,

massacres,

stolen children

that wash over us with shame and pain,

words we can only speak because we trust your grace and forgiveness,

and know that you call us to seek reconciliation, reparation, and new life.

We are reminded this week that you call us to be a people who break down the walls that divide us.

We are reminded that in Christ there are no divisions, but only a people who share the bread and wine of the table with the whole world.

We are reminded how easy it is to expect others to offer us forgiveness, to not tell us of the pain and broken-ness that remains. We want to be let off too easily; we want to feel good.

We are reminded that we are bound together; we cannot escape each other. We are tied with the covenant of creation, the call of Christ, and our Church’s covenant commitment. You, O God, have called us to learn to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

In your grace, draw us into the week. Help us find words to name injustice and division. Give us courage to hope and pray for justice and reconciliation, for new life for First and Second Peoples in this land.

Hear us we pray.

Amen

Prayer #15 – A Destiny Together

We continue our prayer for justice for First Peoples. This prayer is drawn from the A Destiny Together Congregational Worship resource: https://assembly.uca.org.au/images/PDF/A_Destiny_Together_Congregational_Worship.pdf

Reconciliation Prayer

God of love,
you are the creator of this land and all good things.

We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history
and the suffering of our peoples
and we ask your forgiveness.
We thank you for the survival of indigenous cultures.

Our hope is in you because
you gave your son Jesus
to reconcile the world to you.
We pray for your strength and grace to forgive,
accept and love one another as you love us and forgive and accept us
in the sacrifice of your Son.

Give us the courage to
accept the realities of our history
so that we may build a better future for our nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly the resources of this land.

Help us to bring about spiritual and social change
to improve the quality of life
for all groups in our communities,
especially the disadvantaged.
Help our young people to find true dignity
and self-esteem by your Spirit.

May your power and love be the foundations
on which we build our families,
our communities and our nation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prepared by the Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group, March 1997. © NATSIEC. Used with permission.

Prayer #16 – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Day 16 – Monday 29 May 2017 

Churches across Australia are taking part in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 28 May – 4 June.

Today we join with our brothers and sisters in Christ in a prayer for unity. This is the 2017 prayer for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with an extra section for our ecumenical partners, thanks to Rev. Dr Chris Walker, National Consultant Christian Unity, Doctrine and Worship.

Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for this week of prayer, for being together as Christians and for the different ways we have experienced your presence. Let us always praise your holy name together so that we may continue to grow in unity and reconciliation.

We pray for the ecumenical bodies with which the Uniting Church has connections: the World Council of Churches, the Global Christian Forum, the World Methodist Council, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Christian Conference of Asia, the Pacific Conference of Churches and the National Council of Churches in Australia.  We pray especially for the churches within Australia with which we have dialogues and relationships.  May we work together with others to jointly serve your mission of reconciliation and renewal in the world.

This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Prayer #17 – Week of Prayer for Women

Day 17 – Tuesday 30 May 2017

Today we pray for women and their place in the life and mission of the Uniting Church. This prayer was written by President-Elect Deidre Palmer. 

Gracious and loving God

We thank you for the many women who have shaped the Uniting Church and its mission.

We thank you for women in our families who have loved and nurtured us.

We thank you for women who have been our teachers in the faith, for those who have mentored us and invited us into life-giving relationship with you.

We thank you that from our beginning as a Uniting Church we have upheld the equality of women and men.

We thank you for those women who are prophets witnessing to your justice and peace in our Church, communities and wider society.

We thank you for those women who have overcome discrimination and resisted those who would silence them.

We pray for women who are leaders in our church and wider community. Grant them wisdom and strength.

We pray for women who live in situations of violence.

Strengthen our advocacy as a Church for safe havens and life-giving relationships for all people.

We pray for women of all ages whose ministries take many forms and whose places of ministry are in congregations, workplaces, homes, community centres, boardrooms and schools.

May their voices sing out your hope, joy and reconciling love into all the world.

Through Christ our Liberator we pray, Amen.

Prayer #18 – A Destiny Together

Day 18 – Wednesday 31 May 2017

As we continue to participate in A Destiny Together we share a prayer written by Rev Rronaŋ Garrawurra, former UAICC National Chairperson.
The prayer is written in Yolŋu Matha with an English translation.

 Go –Waŋarr Bäpa,
Napurr ga buku-mirriyam nhokal Garray-walaŋawurr
Djesu-walaŋawurr ŋunhi ŋayi Christ Buŋgawa napirruŋ
Bukmakku yolŋuw ga balandaw.
Go Garray waŋgany manapul napurruny märr napurr
Dhu ga dhärra wundaŋarr
Yan Garraywal ga märr-nhirrpanmirr Godkal
Bitjan bili ga bitjan bili Yo Yo. Garray marrkapmirr

God-Spiritual Being Father
We are praying to you through Lord Jesus
Who is the Christ or Boss for all peoples
Both First and Second Peoples.
Come Lord bind/join us together
So that we will stand strong
With the Lord and trusting in God
Forever and ever, Yes Yes. Dear Lord, beloved.

Prayer #19 – Prayer for Working Groups and Committees

Day 19 – Thursday 1 June 2017

Today we pray for the members of working groups and committees in the life of the Church. Today’s prayer is offered by the Chair of the Multicultural and Cross Cultural Reference Committee, Rev Ki Soo Jang. The Prayer is written in Korean with an English translation.

사랑과 은혜가 많으신 하나님!

Our Gracious and loving father,

지난 40여년 동안 총회의 지나온 발자취를 돌아보며, 하나님께 영광을 돌려 드립니다. 하나님께서 함께하셔서 우리 총회가 어려운 여건과 힘든 상황 속에서도 많은 성장과 발전을 이루게 하시니 진심으로 감사드립니다. 모든 것이 주님의 은총이기에 감사와 영광을 드립니다. 이제 우리 총회가 더욱 발전하며 복음을 나누는 교회되게 하나님께 간절히 기도드립니다.

As we look back over the past 40 years of our Assembly, we are reminded again of how gracious you were to us. We thank you for guiding us through times of trial and suffering. We thank you for maturing us through moments of discipline. We thank you for teaching us that all things come from you for your glory. And so we pray to you, our Father, for your help in spreading the Gospel.

하나님! 우리 총회가 더욱 새로운 모습으로 변화되어야 하겠습니다. 총회가 진정으로 이 땅의 사람들을 위로하며 성령의 샘물이 될 수 있어야 하겠습니다. 이 세상 속에서 주님을 나타내며 희망이 되어야 하겠습니다. 우리에게 본을 보여주신 주님처럼 이 세상을 섬길 수 있도록 인도하여 주옵소서.

Father, we know we need to change and to continue growing as your children. So we ask for your Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of the people of this land. Revive our hearts so that all may see the hope found in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to follow your example in coming down to us in the form of a servant.

특별히 총회기구와 총회 위원회를 위해 기도합니다.  총회의 모든 구성원이 하나님 앞에서의 공동체임을 기억하며, 지역의 차이, 규모의 차이, 성별과 세대의 차이를 떠나 연대와 사랑으로 하나 되는 은총을 허락하여 주시옵소서.

We pray that you would help us, especially Assembly and Committees, to keep our unity in the bond of peace under Christ. Help us to use the variety of gifts, ages and cultural backgrounds for the sake of your Gospel.

말씀위에 서 있으면서 행동하는 총회와 위원회, 열정이 있으면서도 사랑이 있는 총회와 위원회, 모임이 있으면서 가치와 의미가 있는 총회와 위원회, 기도하면서 은총을 나누는 총회와 위원회, 감사와 찬송(praise)이 있는 총회와 위원회가 되게 하여 주시옵소서.  그래서 총회와 위원회가 연약한 이들에겐 힘이 되게 하시고, 절망이 있는 이들에게 희망을 나누어주는 총회와 위원회가 되게 하여 주소서.

Help our Assembly and Committees to be a people who stand on your Word, to earnestly love one another, to honestly share with each other, to prayerfully depend on your grace and to continually praise and glorify your Name. Allow this Assembly and Committees to be the salt and light of the world and to be a city on a hill where the despised and marginalized may come for refuge and shelter.

총회와 위원회, 그리고 호주연합교회의 모든 식구들이 말씀이 있으면서 행동이 있는 총회, 교회의 제도와 구조안에서만 머물기 보다는 가족으로 서로 보고 나누는 총회,  감사가 있으면서 찬송이 있는 총회로 연약한 자들에겐 힘이 되게 하시고 실패한 자들에겐 희망이 되게 하사 살아있는 총회로 부흥하게 하소서.

Father also help us to be not just hearers of your Word but also doers. Help us to not just share knowledge but to share love. Help us to see each other not just as church structure but as Christian family.  Help us to always rejoice, pray without ceasing, giving thanks to you in all circumstances. Use us to continue spreading the Gospel of your Son Jesus.

주 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 기도드립니다.  아멘.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Prayer #20 – A Destiny Together

Day 20 – Friday 2 June 

 We continue to pray for justice for First Peoples. This prayer is drawn from the Order of Service of the vigil held on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra on 18 March 2014.  From remote communities in places like Arnhem Land and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and from the centres of our big cities, people gathered to pray, pass the peace and share in Holy Communion. 

Lord God,

We bless you for this wide, red land,
and for its life-giving waters,
acknowledging that you have been present in this place
from the very beginning of creation,
sustaining the people, the land and all living creatures.

In another place you called Abraham to be the father of a people
who would be a light to others,
and you called the women with the courage to care for your nation.
You called prophets to remind the people of your story:
of creation, of covenant, of liberation, of new community and law,
of other nations who served you, and of stories
gathered to be sacred scripture.

In the mystery of your time you entered into the life of the world in Jesus,
who healed, ate with sinners, welcomed outcasts, taught women,
shared water with foreigners, criticised politicians and church leaders,
fed the hungry,
and was obedient to death
so that we might see your reign.

You have called us to be the Church in this place,
to be a small glimpse of the life you intend for all.
We follow Jesus who stood for the poor, who created havoc in the temple,
who declared a jubilee time of equality and sharing of wealth.

Lord Jesus,
You have put your life in our hands,
Now we put our lives in yours.

Take us, Shake us, Remake us
in the image of Christ.

Enable us to live as a reconciling community, a people who love and follow Jesus.

Amen.

Prayer #21 – A Destiny Together

Day 21 – Saturday 3 June 2017

 We continue in our prayer for A Destiny Together on Mabo Day, 3rd June. Today we remember Eddie Koiki Mabo and his campaign for indigenous land rights which overturned the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ and changed the way Australia recognised the rights of First Peoples.

This prayer is from the Mission Prayer Handbook 2009 written by former National Director of Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry Rev. Dr Tony Floyd.

Pilgrim God, you create and renew human communities.
You shape us into a new people with an undreamt future in this ancient land.
You lead us on new pathways and in new directions not yet seen.

Help us to trust that it is you at work in our lives and that our journeys matter to you.
Give us the confidence to know that the cultures and wisdom we bring to this place
are valued in your sight and are gifts in which we can discern your wonder and your grace.

To your tender care and loving heart we entrust our children, our dreams, our visions and ourselves. Walk with us as you walked with our ancestors before in other places and other times.

Prayer #22 – Global Day of Prayer for Just Peace in the Holy Land

Day 22 – Sunday 4 June 2017 

Today on the feast of Pentecost, we share a prayer written by Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan. The prayer was written for the World Council of Churches Global Day of Prayer for Just Peace in the Holy Land.  There will be a gathering of Christian leaders in Jerusalem tomorrow for a Pentecost prayer service dedicated to peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.

In this prayer, the words for God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are in Djambarrpuyŋu, one of the First Nation Yolŋu languages from North East Arnhem Land.

Holy and loving God-Waŋarr,
we make our petition in the words of Your Son:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem how I long to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
O Lord hear our cry today, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.

Gracious Jesus-Djesu, you prayed that we might be one,
and be brought to complete unity.
A unity which mirrors your one essence Triune God.
A unity where your Spirit-DhuyuBirrimbirr bestows a blessing – life forever more.

On this day we join together in one accord across the globe,
and celebrate the first outpouring of your Holy Spirit.
With one voice loving God we pray for a just peace,
where all people may live together in harmony,
and all your children free of fear.

We make our prayer in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

 We also continue our prayers for Christian Unity. This prayer comes from Emily Evans, Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) representative on WCC Central Committee.  It is based on the Unity Statement from the WCC Assembly Busan, South Korea, 2013

O God of life, lead us to justice and peace.

Today, the whole creation, the world and its people, live in the tension between the profoundest hope and the deepest despair.

We give thanks for the diversity of human cultures, for the wonder of knowledge and learning, for the enthusiasm and vibrancy of many people, for communities being rebuilt and enemies reconciled, for people being healed, and populations fed.

We call one another to visible unity in one faith and in one Eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and common life in Christ, through witness and service to the world and to advance towards that unity in order that the world may believe.

On our ecumenical journey we have come to understand more about God’s call to the Church to serve the unity of all creation. The vocation of the Church is to be: foretaste of new creation; prophetic sign to the whole world of the life God intends for all; and servant spreading the good news of God’s Kingdom of justice, peace and love.

We affirm the uniqueness of our fellowship and our conviction to pursue the visible unity of the Church together, thankful for our diversity and conscious of our need to grow in communion.

In whom we are one Body, your Son, Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit, is worthy to be praised, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

Prayer #23 – Prayer for the Environment

Day 23 – Monday 5 June 2017

On World Environment Day, we pray for the earth and all of God’s creation. This prayer was written by Bethany Broadstock, member of the Assembly Standing Committee.

Creator and creative God,
alongside creation, revealed by creation,
who is in and with all things, and beyond them.

We confess again with the church of the ages that by your word and imagination, all that is seen and unseen was made. All that lives, and has lived and died, find their source and beginning in the loving Spirit which encircles them forever. All life held within Your own, its tendrils reaching back into time before time.

In the beginning, You.
In the beginning, darkness.
And then light, and then life.
Something from nothing brought into being and set into motion, called forth by creativity and the love that holds all things together. It was good.

It was this earth, where in the ground beneath our feet the roots of life and creation go deep. Where they are nourished by the water which has shaped the world across centuries, and life is sustained by what has grown. Where the promise of all-things-healed was born, and hands broke bread with thanks and a blessing. It is good.

We hold before you:
our despair that the goodness of creation is under threat,
and our despair at our own part.
The crisis of our environment, and of our climate.
The crisis of belligerence and apathy and industry.
Disappearing nations and disappearing species,
and our fear that we may be too late.

De-centre us in creation, God who sets all things in relation to each other. Draw us back into the pattern of life, everything entwined, and everything shed that we do not need.

For the making of all things new and a time when creation must groan no more, we pray and march and wait and hope. Amen.

Prayer #24 – Prayer for Just Peace in Israel and Palestine

Day 24 – Tuesday 6 June 2017

We continue to join with Christians world-wide in prayer for just peace in Israel and Palestine. The WCC has called upon member churches to join in prayer as the world marks 50 years since the war that led to the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

This prayer was written by Palestinian writer and educator, Najwa Farah. It has been adapted by Rev Gregor Henderson, former Uniting Church President (2006-2009) and Co-Convenor of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network.

God of hope, God of justice, God of peace: we appeal to your mercy for the people of Israel and Palestine; for Christian, Muslim, and Jew; and especially for all victims of violence, torture, oppression, and injustice. As we pray, conform our hearts to yours, and plant in us the seeds of hope for a future of lasting peace between Arab and Jew.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those in positions of power, authority, and influence among the Palestinian and Israeli people, that you would burden them with a divine conviction to stand for truth, and to act with justice and mercy. By the power of your Holy Spirit, may a dream for a shared future be planted in the hearts of our leaders and so captivate their imagination, that all the people of the Holy Land may be liberated into life.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray that the eyes of the nations of the world may be opened, that all may see the truth and act for justice. May your spirit of reconciliation inspire us to be advocates for all human dignity, and defend us from the temptations of bias or indifference.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are most deeply affected by the structures of oppression, and for all who are devastated by profound loss of loved ones, homes, or hope for the future. We especially pray for those who undergo continual dehumanization through violence, torture, and unjust imprisonment.

Lord, hear our prayer.

And we hold our selves before you that we may answer your call to pray, not only with our hearts, but with our hands and feet. Use us as instruments of your peace and agents for the good news of your victory over evil, and give us perseverance and courage to work tirelessly for the future we know is possible.

Lord, hear our prayer.

God of grace and reconciliation,
pour your peace and your power upon all your people in the Holy Land:
Jews, Muslims and Christians, Palestinians and Israelis.

Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that conflict, violence and suffering may be replaced by peace and justice for all.

Lord, hear our prayer.  Amen.

Prayer #25 – Prayer for our Church Partners

Day 25 – Wednesday 7 June

Today we pray for our Church Partners stretched across the world.

Prayer for Church Partners in the Pacific

This prayer is written by Rev. Dr. Seforosa Carroll, UnitingWorld Manager, Church Partnerships, Pacific

Triune God of our past, present and future,
We thank you for the gift and witness of our global church partners,
For the vision of a redeemed world that we share together
And for the mission of reconciliation and renewal that we are together engaged through the Spirit.

We pray for our church partners in the Pacific as they continue to navigate their way through the challenges of climate change, the issues of domestic violence and the ugly side of globalisation that continues to threaten the well-being of the cultures and identity of people and communities.

We thank you for the witness of wise and discerning leaders and church communities who faithfully and respectfully proclaim God’s reign in a time of great uncertainty and change.

May your Spirit continue to be the discerning and guiding wind of the Pacific Church vakas and may our voices join with their songs and prayers for justice through compassionate action. Amen.

Prayer for Church Partners in Africa

This pray was written by Rev. Amel Manyon, Minister at the Northern Suburbs Dinka Speaking Faith Community and the first South Sudanese person to be trained and ordained as a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church in Australia

God of love and mercy,

We give you thanks and praise for your faithfulness to the Church of Africa,
And for her commitment to share God’s vision of salvation to the world.

Open our hearts to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Africa.

We pray for the new Africa where war, fear, violent, famine and illness shall no longer exist.

Touch the hearts of her political leaders and all those in power to exercise power gently,
That they will lead people into unity.

We pray for the church leaders that they may have courage to accept the challenge to bring change to people’s behaviours.

We pray that where this is bitterness, there will be forgiveness and reconciliation

May your love cover all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer for Church Partners in Asia

This prayer is written by Rev Dr Ji Zhang, UnitingWorld Manager Church Partnerships – Asia, with a reflection at the end of the prayer.

Let mutual love continue (Hebrew 13)

Let mutual love continue.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
but entertain angels without knowing.
We pray for those who are in suffering and hope,
as though we were in suffering and hope.

We pray for the minority faith in Indonesia,
Remembering those who are being marginalised
As though we ourselves were being marginalised.
May the Lord give us the unity of the Spirit in the bound of peace.

We pray for the poor and outcast in India
Remembering those who are being made poor
As though we ourselves were being made poor as refugees to this land.
May the Lord bring justice to the voiceless through the voice of the church.

We prayer for the elderly in China
Remembering those who are without family care
As though we ourselves were being neglected in the ageing society.
May the Lord give love to the powerless through the service of the church.

Let mutual love continue in the Uniting Church in Australia.

We pray for the God of peace,
Who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus,
Continue to be our shepherd in the journey of reconciliation.
We praise God’s love, by the blood of Christ’s covenant,
Continue to make our diverse people more complete in doing everything good.

Let mutual love transform the Uniting Church with the world.

We pray God’s will is done on earth as well as in heaven,
Where there is struggle for power, show the powerlessness of the Cross,
Where there is exclusion for minority, desire honourable in all things,
Where there is division of ethnicities, celebrate cultures as a means towards unity.
Where there is hatred towards the Other, teach us to love our neighbours as ourselves.

Come, the Spirit of life, transform your love into our action.

We are your pilgrim people on the journey,
So we praise you for having made unity as both Christ’s gift and calling
We offer our prayers through Jesus Christ,
to whom be the glory for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

Reflection

The 40-year history of the UCA is marked by two journeys. The first is our inward journey of reconciliation among past denominations, and with First Peoples. The second is our outward connections with 36 international partners. As God’s love unfolds in 40 years, we begin to see ourselves, the Body of Christ in the world, differently.

In 1910, 80% of the Christian population were in the Global North, whereas in 2010, 64% of Christian population were in the Global South. Today in Asia this growth is not externally influenced, but rather internally generated. As the Spirit breathes over the region, it calls the poor, the meek and the marginalised into faith. Like the Pentecost, the Church is called into being, and people’s lives are changed. God is using humble people to shift the centre of Christianity from the North Atlantic to Asia, Africa, the Pacific and South America.

Here in Australia, we are in the Global South, and we are surrounded by the fastest growing churches. Indonesia Communion of Churches assembles 89 member churches and represents over 10% population – 20 million Christians. Our partners in India are experiencing the wild fire of the Spirit – effecting 2% of 1.3 billion people. By the love of God, each year half a million newly baptised are added to the 40 million membership of the Chinese Church.

International relations are becoming two-directional. It is because we share similar challenges: a minority faith and the unity of the Church. Our partners are looking for a theology of unity to sustain the growth among diverse peoples. The UCA is also willing to learn from their witness how to be faithful when the Church is not in the centre, but in social margins.

What holds the Body of Christ together is God’s love for the world. As we wait for the Pentecost, let also us pray, let mutual love continue.

Prayer #26 – Prayer for Adult Fellowship

Day 26 – Thursday 8 June

The current UCAF National Committee has a theme ‘Living Water – Come Drink’. Today we pray for those who have been and are involved in Adult Fellowship in the Uniting Church who come to the well to drink and share in fellowship.

Thanks to Pam Grant, Secretary UCAF National Committee, for this prayer.

Loving God, we give thanks for those members who came into the Uniting Church at the time of Union with the foresight and wisdom to seek to establish groups whereby adult members of the Uniting Church were able to gather to share their faith through fellowship and service, wherever they were across this vast land.

We also give thanks for those members currently involved in UCAF affiliated groups, and other adult fellowship groups, for the comfort, compassion, concern and goodwill they offer in their faith communities and the wider communities where they are located.

We remember the deep commitment many of the groups have to mission activities both in Australia and internationally that offer hope to those who are not as fortunate as many of us in Australia are.

We recognise that with the aging membership of the UCA, which is reflected in many adult fellowship groups, these groups find it harder to do what they did in the past.  We give thanks for these people, offering encouragement to them as they continue to gather together, share their faith and provide opportunities for fellowship and mission in whatever way they can.

We pray with hope for the future of adult fellowship groups in the Uniting Church that they will continue to offer hope and service to the Uniting Church, its members and the wider communities where they are located.

Amen.

Prayer #27 – Prayer for the work of our historians and archivists

Day 27 – Friday 9 June

Today we pray for those who keep our history and archive our stories. We pray also for the launch of the national UCA Historical Society taking place at the Uniting Church National History Conference in Adelaide from today.

Thank you to National Assembly Archivist Christine Gordon for this prayer.

 

Living God,

who throughout the ages has given people experiences of your love that issue forth in stories that must be told, thank you for those who have told the story of your work in their life and in the world and inspired us in our faith and service.

Send your blessing upon the work of all archives, libraries, museums and other institutions that are repositories of knowledge, history and culture.

May they be places that honour integrity, truth and community life with compassion and faith.

May we, as archivists and historians, work together to share our knowledge with joy, while handling records with professionalism, care and respect.

 

Following is an adaption of Psalm 23 published by the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education in 1968.

Psalm 23 For the Islands

The Lord is my Great Chief,
I shall follow Him.
He makes me feel safe when I lie down to sleep
In my bamboo house at night.
He leads me by day
When I cross the water in my canoe.
He is beside me all the time and
I feel happy and strong.
He leads me in the roads of goodness
Because He is good.
Even though I walk in the places of fear of evil spirits
I will not be afraid
Because He is with me.
I will call His Name, and I will feel safe.
He makes ready a feast for me
Even when the hurricane is close by.
He puts His hands on my head to make me calm,
When trouble is all around.
I am full of joy because He is near.
Truly the Lord’s goodness and mercy
Shall be always with me.
And I shall stay with Him in His Nakamal (Meeting House) forever.

Teachers’ Missionary Record No. 4 New Hebrides

Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1968

Prayer #28 – Prayer for Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry

Day 28 – Saturday 10 June

Today we pray for our commitment to be a multicultural Church and live out our faith cross culturally.

We pray also for members of the Tongan National Conference who are gathered in Kurrajong, NSW, this weekend.

Thank you to National Director for Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry Rev. Dr Apwee Ting who has written this prayer for us in Indonesian (with an English translation).

Tuhan Sang Pencipta,
yang menciptakan kita dengan cara yang sangat unik
dan memberkati kita masing-masing dengan bentuk dan warna yang indah
Kami bersyukur atas dunia yang indah ini,
penuh dengan keberagaman budaya, tradisi, kebiasaan dan cara hidup

Namun kita tetap satu dengan Putra-Mu, Yesus Kristus. 

Creator God,
who created us in a very unique way
and blessed each of us with beautiful shape and colour
We give thank for this wonderful world,
filled with diversity of cultures, tradition, custom and ways of life

yet we are one with your Son, Jesus the Christ.

Tuhan yang adalah Roh,
yang memberi kita hikmat, wawasan, mimpi dan nubuatan
dan terus membawa kita ke cara berpikir baru, bermimpi dan berharap
Kami bersyukur kepada nenek moyang, tua-tua, orang suci dan orang tua
penuh dengan sukacita, kasih sayang, pengampunan dan keadilan

Namun kita tetap satu dengan Putra-Mu, Yesus sang Nabi

God of Spirit,
who gave us wisdom, insight, dream and prophesy
and continue to lead us into a new way of thinking, dreaming and hoping
We give thank for our ancestors, elders, saints and parents
filled with joyfulness, compassion, forgiveness and justice

yet we are one with your Son, Jesus the Prophet

Tuhan yang penuh Kasih,
yang telah melakukan perjalanan dengan Uniting Church selama empat puluh tahun
dan sepanjang perjalanan telah mengejutkan kami dengan begitu banyak teman yang berbeda
Kami bersyukur untuk sebuah gereja multi budaya
penuh dengan banyak karunia, talenta, cerita, pengalaman dan sejarah

Namun kita tetap satu dengan Putra-Mu, Yesus teman kita

Loving God,
who have journeyed with the Uniting Church in the past 40 years
and surprised us with so many different friends along the way
We give thank for a multicultural Church
filled with many gifts, talents, stories, experiences and histories 

yet we are one with your Son, Jesus our Friend

Tuhan Empunya Gereja
yang telah memaafkan, menebus, memperbaharui dan memimpin gereja di masa lalu
dan terus mempertahankan, memelihara dan mengarahkan kita ke kemungkinan yang baru
Kami bersyukur untuk 193 komunitas gerejawi
Penuh dengan lebih dari 26 bahasa setiap hari Minggu

Namun kita tetap satu dengan Putra-Mu, Yesus Kepala Gereja

God of the Church
who forgave, redeemed, renewed and led the church in the past
and continues to sustain, nurture and direct us into new possibilities
We give thanks for 193 worshipping communities
filled with more than 26 languages every Sunday   

yet we are one with your Son, Jesus the Head of the Church


A second prayer for today is written by Rev. Swee Ann  Koh, Director of the Intercultural Unit for the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.

A Prayer on Diversity

God of many faces and names,
You created all people in your image.

We thank you for the amazing diversity of races, languages, accents and cultures in this world you created.

We thank you for the wonderful diversity reflected within the First Peoples and Second Peoples of this land and in our church.

We thank you for the blessings and enrichment we have received from the rich diversity in the Body of Christ.

Forgive us for the sins of racism that’s part of our history and the pains and sufferings we cause by our biases and prejudices.

Forgive us for demonising those who are different from us and causing them anguish, distress and misery.

Forgive us for remaining in our ethnic silos and failing to reach out to other members of the Body of Christ.

We pray that in our diversity we will find the unity that’s given to us in Christ and appreciate the gifts that others bring to us.

We pray that we will reach out to those who are different from us and see you in the faces of the poor, strangers and persecuted.

We pray that we may be transformed, and drawn into intentional, intercultural relationships and community.

Help us to take the steps you call us to take, to build a more just, inclusive community, where diversity is truly embraced, where difference is respected.

In the Name of the triune God, amen, amen, and again we say: Amen!

Prayer #29 – Prayer for National Conferences

Day 29 – Sunday 11 June

Today we pray for the life and mission of the 12 National Conferences in the Uniting Church; Tongan, Samoan, Fijian, Indonesian, Korean, Tamil, Chinese, South Sudanese, Filipino, Niuean, Vietnamese and Middle East.

More than 1000 members of the Tongan National Conference, the UCA’s first National Conference, are gathered in worship today as they continue their annual three-day conference in Kurrajong NSW.

Thank you to Convenor of the National Conferences Working Group Rev. Eseta Waqabaca-Meneilly for this prayer.

God of races, cultures and traditions,
creator of languages, diversity and unity.
Thank you for the Uniting Church in Australia,
a multicultural Church
that expresses its life rhythms
in gatherings of National Conferences,
its diversity in vibrant, colourful worships and liturgies
and its unity in God the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
We remember the Tongan National Conference
as it holds its annual gathering
during this unique space and time
of church fasting and praying.
“Malo e lelei” to you, our God
from the Tongan National Conference.
Bless all National Conferences
as they showcase diversity
through your gift of languages and cultures,
and unity through your community
of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Prayer #30 – Prayer for Synods and Presbyteries

Day 30 – Monday 12 June

Today we pray for Synods and Presbyteries in the Uniting Church. Thank you to Rev. Dr Amelia Koh Butler, Mission Resourcing Executive Officer for the Synod of South Australia for this prayer.

The Prophetic Voice

God of Justice!
We call on you to guide
all those on this Land
to seek Justice.

We pray for the time when Church members gather
to seek your Spirit’s Wisdom together in Presbyteries and Synods.

Bless and renew our hearts and minds,
so that we may see with your insight,
mindful of the calling
to walk in your way of peace and reconciliation.
Seed in us the desire to be agitators
for holy change.

We pray for the Councils whose role it is
to resource and empower Congregations for the work of Witness.

May the blessings we receive
inspire and nourish us
to bless those around us
with words of comfort
and actions of healing.
Inspire in our mouths
the words of your good news
for the sake of the world you love.

We pray in response to our calling to be the body, beyond our part…
to companion one another as members of that body, across the regions and the nation.

May we grow in the courage of Christ,
becoming and being prepared to take up the cross,
rather than buy in to the pressure
of dehumanising and demeaning
that places avarice before generosity.
Gift us with the desire to share in joyful community.
Make us into catalysts for relationships.
Form us as people who become nourishment for the world.

We pray that the Presbyteries and Synods might offer signs of Gospel blessing through their people and structures, always grounded and lifted by your Spirit’s breath.

May we deepen in our reading of your Scriptures,
that we might see your promises of mercy written in our souls.
May we work, throughout Australia,
and through our international partnerships,
to bring about a foretaste of the state of mercy and blessing
that characterises Heaven.

May the Presbyteries and Synods be and become places of inspirational foretaste, reflecting the hope revealed in the story of God.

Just as we seek mercy,
teach us to recognise the power imbalances
that prevent the full experience of abundant life.
May we learn to repent of those habits
that destroy your beautiful plan.
Rather, let us learn the creativity of your nature,
to better use our gifts for the sake of grace.

God of Justice,
be our Teacher and our Defender!
Correct us, so we can learn how to speak Truth.
And, when we do – protect us from the evils we confront,
For this is your will to be done
And we are honoured by your call.

Where our Councils become places of power, may we approach our task as one of empowerment and blessing.

Give us humble hearts, that we might always seek the reconciliation of all your creation in your “Kin-dom”, rather than being greedy for “our” church.

So, we commit this day,
to be your holy and vocal people.
We commit to stand up for your beloved creation,
especially those who are marginalised
by the cultures of judgement and shame around us.
May we stand with them.
So be it.

AMEN.

Prayer #31 – Prayer for Volunteers

Day 31 – Tuesday 13 June

Today we pray for those who volunteer in the Uniting Church with thanks for the many and varied ways they contribute.

Thank you to Rev. Fie Marino, Multicultural Ministry Consultant Synod of NSW/ACT, for this prayer.

Wonderful and Amazing God – it is always a privilege and honour to share in the loving, healing and reconciling mission of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Through his life you have taught us the importance of service to one another.

We are thankful that you continue to inspire us to serve each other.

We give you thanks that through the works of your Spirit and grace poured out, that many people offer their time, gifts and treasures to serve as volunteers in the many different parts of our Church and within our communities – in local congregations, Presbyteries, Synods, Assembly, Church schools, hospitals, agencies and many other places.

We are thankful for the valuable contribution volunteers make to church and community alike, and we celebrate with you, their dedication and support of your work in this world.

In thanksgiving and gratitude, we take this time to reflect on the value of the volunteers who have helped to enrich the lives of the people they serve – those who are vulnerable and marginalised in society, the elderly, the poor, the young, those who are struggling financially, those with addictions, those who are affected by disaster and terror, and the many other ways in which volunteers offer help.

Lord we pray your blessings upon the lives of all those who volunteer and we ask that you continue to strengthen them with the continued determination to be your hands and feet in this world. In and through your name we pray,

Amen.  

Prayer #32 – Prayer for Relations with Other Faiths

Day 32 – Wednesday 14 June

We pray for the relationships the Uniting Church has with people of other faiths.

Tonight, members of the Uniting Church will break the fast with members of the Muslim community at an Iftar meal held at Parramatta Mission in Sydney. Both the President of the Uniting Church in Australia and the Grand Mufti of Australia will be there.

This prayer was written by Rev. Michael Barnes, Convenor of the Assembly Relations with Other Faiths Working Group.

Loving God,

Forty years ago when our church was formed, we were bigger and more important.

Now, we occupy less space in the public arena.

Yet this space is hardly empty; the presence of peoples of many different religions and beliefs, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i and many others has brought colour and life to our nation.

We give thanks for all of them, for the richness and diversity they bring to our community.

We give thanks for new opportunities to build bridges of curiosity and understanding, and for the possibility of seeing the world through different eyes.

Where there is misunderstanding and discord, may we speak good news of peace.

We give thanks for the challenges this new situation brings to our Church.

Help us to recognise that we need to live with more humility and more courage.

Gracious God, grant all of us, people of different faiths and no faith, a large vision of how this nation may yet be.

We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer #33 – Prayer for Child Safety Workers

Day 33 – Thursday 15 June

We pray for those who work in Child Safety and Protection. Today the Assembly will launch the National Child Safe Policy Framework.

Thank you to President-Elect Deidre Palmer for this prayer.

Christ Jesus,

You welcomed children and brought healing and hope to their lives.

We pray that as your Church, we will create places of welcome, care and safety for all children, reflecting your love and compassion.

God of love and comfort,

We pray for children who have been neglected or abused.

We pray that people will come into their lives who love and nurture them in healing and life-giving ways.

We pray for child safety workers and all those working in child protection.  We thank you for their dedication and the gifts they bring to their vocation to protect and improve the lives of children.

We pray that you will sustain their vision, and uphold them in love and grace.

Christ Jesus, as your church, you call us to be a faithful embodiment of your care and love.

We lament when we have failed to be communities of safety and care.
Challenge and correct us in our failure, and reform our life.

We commit ourselves as your Church to being places of safety, free of abuse and exploitation.

We commit ourselves as your Church to be communities, where people can flourish in ways of trust and love.

We pray that your Spirit will empower us to be advocates for a society in which all children can flourish.

Through Christ, Our Light and Life, we pray, Amen.

Prayer #34 – Prayer for Disaster Ministry

Day 34 – Friday 16 June

Today we pray for those affected by disaster and the people who walk with them in their recovery. Thank you to Assembly Disaster Recovery Officer Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson for this prayer.

Gracious Lord, you hear the cries of people in distress and, by your Spirit, walk with them through times of hardship and loss.

We pray for all those affected by disaster that have lost loved ones, homes or possessions through disasters caused by events of nature or the action of people.

Bless those who train, wait and act to rescue people in times of extreme hardship: members of our fire services, police, ambulance, State Emergency Services, volunteer rescue and military. We pray for all who mobilise to bring practical support to those affected by disasters, through provision of shelter, food and clothing.  We also lift up those who bring personal and spiritual support.

We pray for the disaster recovery ministries of the Uniting Church in Australia:

For our National Disaster Recovery Officer, as he prepares and supports the ministries of our church to respond to people’s needs in disasters.

For all involved in peer support; training ministers to care for crisis-affected ministry agents across the church and its agencies.

For the voluntary disaster recovery chaplains trained and incorporated into state and territory disaster welfare plans, as they prepare and respond in the support of people of all situations affected by disaster across our land.

For Uniting Church congregations in disaster-affected areas, particular in the aftermath of recent fires, cyclone and flooding.  These are affected by loss, yet continue to faithfully respond to the needs of others in their districts.

For Synod Disaster Relief committees and their initiatives, and inter-Synod cooperation in training and resourcing the church to bless and heal.

For the work of the Assembly Disaster Relief Fund and all who contribute to it. That it may bring blessing to many recovering from times of great hardship.

For the work of UnitingWorld in the Pacific with our church partners in disaster risk reduction programs and the “navigating the tide” climate change support, and resourcing in ecumenical disaster recovery chaplaincy training.

We bring these prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, who brought peace to his friends in the midst of a stormy sea.

Amen.

Prayer #35 – Prayer for Youth Ministry

Day 35 – Saturday 18 June

Today we pray for young people in the Uniting Church and those involved in Youth Ministry.

This prayer comes from Rev. Phil Swain, Minister at North Rocks Community (Uniting) Church and Bradon French, NSW/ACT UME Next Gen Consultant.

God,
we celebrate with you that we are a church of all ages
and today we specifically pray for young people
We thank you for all that young people bring to the church
For their energy, passion and imagination,
for their noise and music and life.

We pray that young people will continue to feel a sense of belonging and connection
not only to the church but more importantly to you, God.
We pray that their faith will be encouraged and nurtured
That they will have the space and courage to ask questions
That they will read and wrestle with scripture
That they will be strengthened to walk in your way
And find comfort and inspiration in your presence.

We give thanks for the legacy of youth gatherings and camps, local and national,
and pray we might not give up the practice of gathering together.

We pray for young people in migrant communities
As they seek to learn and practice faith and culture.

We pray for young people whom we recognise
as pastors, prophets, leaders, teachers and advocates
as they be your hands and feet and voice
In our church, communities, nation and world.

We pray for those called by the Church
to serve alongside young people
Our pastors, teachers, chaplains, youth workers, scripture teachers

May we as a church continue to have the wisdom and courage
To hear the voices of young people
And to respond with faith.

May all congregations continue to seek to be the whole people of God
Where all generations are welcome and treasured.

In Jesus name we pray,

Amen.

Prayer #36 – Prayer for Refugee Week

Day 36 – Sunday 18 June

As we begin Refugee Week, we pray for those who seek safety and refuge on our shores after fleeing war and strife in their home countries.

Today’s prayer comes from Rev. Gaby Kobrossi, Minister at Bankstown District Uniting Church. The congregation has welcomed and supported newcomers from the Middle East as they settle into Australian life. The ministry includes weekly English-speaking classes, help finding accommodation, organising bus trips across Sydney and assisting in many other ways.

Uniting World is currently running a campaign to get Syrian refugee children in Lebanon back into school.

غنى التنوع في كنيستك ولا يسعنا الا ان نقف ونقول مع النبي “الى هنا قد أعاننا الرب”.

يارب نشكرك لاننا جسد واحد في المسيح يسوع ، رافعين صلواتنا اليك طالبين من روحك القدوس ان يوحد قلوبنا دائماً في المحبة  والسلام.

يارب نشكرك من اجل وعدك الصادق بأن تبني كنيستك،كما هو مكتوب “أنا أبني كنيستي وأبواب الجحيم لن تقدر عليها”

كأفراد وجماعة نسألك بأن تكمل العمل الذي بدأت وأن تقوي كل واحد منا ، نصلي ان تباركنا و تعطينا من عطاياك لكي ما نقدر ان نسبحك ونبارك اسمك القدوس.

يارب نشكرك من أجل كلمتك المعزية والتي تذكرنا دائماً بأن الجميع مدعوا لحضن ومحبة الله الآب، نصلي ان تكون مع المشرديين والمهجريين من جرأ الحرب التي فصلتهم عن أهلهم وبيوتهم وارضهم ،

نصلي من أجل الحزانى والمكسوريين ونرفع اليك صلواتنا من اجل الشباب الضائع في هذا العالم المتخبط .

يارب صلاتنا أن تحمي كنيستك من عدو الخير الطامع في خراب النفوس، أعطينا ان نتحلى بالفكر والحكمة ، بالاحترام مع الآخريين ، افتح عيوننا لنرى حاجات الناس وافتح قلوبنا وقوي سواعدنا  لكي نمد يد المساعدة والعون للذين هم بحاجة الينا.

نطلب حكمة من اجل قادتنا وخدامك و مرشيدينا ، كما ونصلي من أجل كلمتك ومن اجل السامعيين طالبين من روحك القدوس ان تلمس قلوبهم .

 نعمة ربنا يسوع المسيح ومحبة الله الأب وشركة الروح القدوس تكون معنا أجمعيين اليوم والى الآبد

بأسم ربنا يسوع المسيح نصلي …. آمين

Heavenly Father, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Church, we lift up our heads and we see your many blessings and the wonderful diversity in you church…and we say with the prophet Samuel “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

We thank You that we are all One in Jesus Christ. May Your Holy Spirit knit us together in the bond of unity, love and peace.

LORD we give thanks for your faithful promise that You are the One that would build Your Church, as it’s written I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it”.

LORD we ask that You would continue to bless your church and equip each one of us with the talents and the gifts that may be used to praise you and glorify your holy name.

LORD your word teaches us and reminds us that no one is a stranger to you and no one is ever far from your loving care.
We lift our hearts asking to watch over the asylum seekers, refugees and victims of war, those separated from their loved ones and those who have left home or land and those who have run away from persecution.

LORD we pray help us to be sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, and hospitable and gentle towards each other.

Help us not to be motivated by selfishness but in humility so may we seek to regard the needs and necessities of others before our own.

LORD we pray You protect us from the wiles of the enemy who seek to destroy Your church and cause divisions among Your body.

Give wisdom to our leaders and elders and give wisdom to those they teach Your word and to those they listen to.

And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all this day and for ever.

In Jesus name we pray,

Amen.

Prayer #37 – Prayer for Refugee Week

Day 37 – Monday 19 June

We continue our prayers for refugees and people seeking asylum. This prayer is from the Uniting Justice resource Justice for Asylum Seekers: A Call to Prayer.

Wise and compassionate God,
help us to be willing to respond to the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers
and not simply seek to shift the burden of care onto others.
Call our leaders to justice, generosity and compassion.
Help them create and implement strategies that are fair and just
and treat refugees and asylum-seekers with dignity and care.

O God, our comforter,
we ask you to comfort the broken-hearted and protect the vulnerable.
We pray for those who live in fear of detention and removal,
for those who are in detention at this time
and for those who face removal to an uncertain future.
We ask you to assure them of your great love,
surround them with your presence and fill them with your peace.

God bless our eyes so that we will recognise injustices.
God bless our ears so that we will hear the cry of the stranger.
God bless our mouths so that we will speak words of welcome to newcomers.
God bless our shoulders so we will be able to bear the weight of struggling for justice.
God bless our hands so that we can work together with all people to establish peace.

Prayer #38 – Prayer for Refugee Week

Day 38 – Tuesday 20 June

We continue to pray for refugees and those who support and advocate on their behalf. Thank you to David Busch for this prayer.

Gracious God, you call us to peace:

we pray for the many places across our world torn by war and civil conflict,
leading to the fleeing and displacement of people in unprecedented numbers.
We remember people in flight from persecution and threat in their homeland because of their religion, race, sexuality or politics.
We grieve with those whose bodies and minds bear the deep scars of terror and torture.
Give strength, courage and hope to those men and women, elderly and children,
who leave everything behind to seek security, safety and freedom in another country.
May their plight stir leaders of nations to renounce conflict and instead build cultures of peace.

Loving God, you call us to compassion and justice:
We pray for those places of hope to which refugees make their perilous and fearful journeys:
neighbouring refugee camps, where thousands seek shelter,
and more distant countries where they hope for a new life, far from threat.
We grieve the policies and practices of governments which inflict further suffering on refugees who have made that journey,
and we lament the vast numbers who languish in refugee camps waiting safety at home or resettlement elsewhere.
Break down the walls of suspicion, selfishness, resentment and apathy,
so that refugees may be met with goodwill and generosity,
and treated with dignity, compassion and fairness.

Merciful God, you call us to serve you through serving our neighbour in need:
May your church see you in the face of the stranger who comes here pleading for safety.
Move us to act and to advocate, with courage and love,
for the rights and proper care of people who come to this country seeking our protection.
May our churches be places of welcome and safety for all.
Raise us to our best selves as we respond to those whose lives are so deeply scarred by the worst of circumstances,
that those who suffer may experience, through us, the tender and restoring grace of Christ.

Holy God, in you is our true home:
May we embody, in word and action, the true fellowship of humanity,
restored, through Christ, to you and to each other
We grieve the fractured, wounded state of human community,
and we seek your vision of peace and provision for all.
Thank you that, over the years, many refugees have found opportunity and freedom in Australia – may their lives remind us of the transforming power of compassion and hope.
May we invest the rich blessings of our life in Australia into building a vision of life in all its fullness for everyone, here and across the world.

Prayer #39 – Prayer for Prayer for Intergenerational and Next Gen Ministry

Day 39 – Wednesday 21 June

Today we pray for all generations in the Uniting Church and the ministry which draws them together in God’s love. This prayer comes from Noah Kim, Multi Cross Cultural Next Generation Project Officer for the QLD Synod.  

God,
We thank you for your faithfulness to your church and your people. Many times we failed you, we were faithless, and we were overwhelmed by fear of this world, but you continued to remain faithful to us.

God,
We lift up the generation that is gone before us to you.
We pray your Spirit may come afresh upon your people that their hearts are restored with the first love for you. We pray your Spirit may come afresh upon your people, that their hearts are comforted and filled with peace.
We pray your Spirit may come afresh upon your people, that their hearts are filled with the hope in Christ and the praise of His glory.

God,
We lift up the generation that is arising in this nation to you.
We pray your Spirit may come afresh upon us so that our hearts are restored with the first love for you.
We pray your Spirit may come afresh upon us so that we become a generation that is known as a generation of reconciliation and servant hearts.
We pray your Spirit may come afresh upon us so that our hearts are filled with a vision of the resurrected Christ and we become a fearless generation.

God,
We honour you for who you are in this land. You are life to the lifeless. You are hope to the hopeless. You are light to the darkness.

Amen

Prayer #40 – Prayer for the 40th Anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia

Day 40 – Thursday 22 June

This final prayer gives thanks for those who received and lived a God-given passion for unity. It acknowledge our failures to fully live out this unity, and commits us, with God, to the fullness of a reconciled and renewed creation which is Christ’s unfinished mission. Thanks to President Stuart McMillan for this prayer.

God of love and grace,
you have led and sustained us
in our journey over the past forty years.
For this we humbly give thanks.

We give thanks also for the women and men
who have been the servant hearted leaders on the journey.
For all those who have nurtured and encouraged your Church
as we have faithfully sought to live as Christ’s ones.

Please, O God forgive our failures
to act justly, to love with mercy and to walk humbly with you.
When as Church we have caused others to stumble
or caused others hurt, forgive us, and lift them up in your love.

God of abundant life
we pray that as a fellowship of reconciliation
we might more truly reflect
the beauty of your creation.

May we Loving God
be a passionate people
who share in Christ’s unfinished mission
the reconciliation and renewal of the whole creation

Loving God you put in the hearts of men and women
your passion for unity and called a pilgrim people to embrace this vision.
Now, oh God, your Spirit is calling us to the new things you are doing with us,
First and Second Peoples, one in Christ.

We pray that we might in our love for one another
reflect your love for all humanity,
and your care and concern for the whole creation.
In this, may your grace, love and peace renew your creation.

In the name of the Christ. Amen

Forty hours.

The first 40 hours of prayer will begin in Melbourne, from 3pm Sunday 14 May to 8am Tuesday 16 May, with our President, President-elect, Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal Islander and Christian Congress, Moderators and General Secretaries coming together to pray for the continuing life and renewal of the Uniting Church.

Where will they be praying?

Sunday 14 May 3.00pm-8.00pm Wesley Uniting Church, 148 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Monday 15 May 7.00am-9.00pm Synod Chapel, 130 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Tuesday 16 May 7.00am-8.00am Synod Chapel, 130 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

The Church at prayer

We pray together: Six times throughout the 40 hours, we will pray corporately for 1 hour, with two people being responsible for guiding us through each of these periods.

We pray alongside each other: At other times we will pray in the same space together, taking breaks when we need them.

We hold the space: Throughout each of the two nights, we will hold the prayer space for each other using a roster where we pray for an hour, allowing others to rest and sleep

We listen for what God is saying to us: Throughout the 40 hours we will hold the Uniting Church before God, praying for renewal and listening for what God is saying to us.

Please pray with us, wherever you are

Date Time Flow
Sunday 14 May 3.00-4.00pm We pray together
4.00-7.00pm We pray alongside each other
7.00-8.00pm Contemplative service with Wesley UC congregation
Sunday 14 May – Monday 15 May 8.00pm – 7.00am We hold the space
Monday 15 May 7.00-8.00am We pray together
8.00-11.00am We pray alongside each other
11.00am-12.00pm We pray together
12.00-4.00pm We pray alongside each other
4.00-5.00pm We pray together
5.00-8.00pm We pray alongside each other
8.00-9.00pm We pray together
Monday 15 May – Tuesday 16 May 9.00pm-7.00am We hold the space
Tuesday 16 May 7.00-8.00am We pray together