Online Service – 14/06/2020

14th of June

Rev. Dr. Les Hewitt

Just a few words of introduction
before we commence our worship.

Our Camera Man is Danny Ivanovski;

Our Community Worker, Khairul Hamdan,
is looking after the sound system;

Our Pianist today is Kerryn Morrison…
and her husband, Scott Morrison, will lead us in song;

Kerryn Morrison also has our Bible readings;

Lurline Butler will present our
“For the Young at Heart” segment.

Norma Coudray has written our Prayers of the People.

And it is Khairul Hamdan who is able to put
all aspects of the video service together
to make this broadcast possible.

My name is Les Hewitt.
I am now providing Supply Ministry
here in the Keiraview Uniting Church.

So it is my privilege to present
this service of worship today…
for Sunday, 14th JUNE, 2020

Acknowledgement of Country

As we gather on these ancient lands,
we acknowledge the Wadi Wadi people
of the Dhar/awal country,
who are the traditional custodians of this land
on which our church buildings stand.

We pay our respects to their Elders,
past, present and emerging.

Christ Candle

Our Christ Candle has been lit…
to remind us that Jesus is the “Light of the World”
and that in his Risen presence, he is with us.

Our Call to Worship

Jesus said:
“The harvest is plentiful,
but the labourers are few;
pray therefore the lord of the harvest
to send labourers into the harvest.”
– Luke 9:37,38

Opening Prayer

Loving God,
we pray that our faith
may always be a daring experience,
and that our love
may be prepared to take risks;
come Lord Jesus
to the very centre of our being
and fill us with delight and joy.
This we ask in your holy name. Amen

Hymn 141 (Gerontius) - Praise to the Holiest in the Height - (verses 1,2,3,6 and 7)

1. Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all His ways.

2. O loving wisdom of our God,
when all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
and to the rescue came.

3. O wisest love, that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive and should prevail;

6. and in the garden secretly,
and on the Cross on high,
should teach his friends, and thus inspire
to suffer and to die.

7. Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all His ways.

Matthew 9:35 – 10:8

Jesus has Pity for the People

35 Jesus went round visiting all the towns and villages. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the Kingdom, and healed people with every kind of disease and sickness. 36 As he saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 So he said to his disciples, “The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. 38 Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.”

The Twelve Apostles

1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Patriot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.

The Mission of the Twelve

5 These twelve men were sent out by Jesus with the following instructions: “Do not go to any Gentile territory or any Samaritan towns.
6 Instead, you are to go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. 7 Go and preach, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is near!’ 8 Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid.

This is the Word of the Lord – Thanks be to God

A Word for the Young at Heart - Jesus Sends his Disciples

Lurline Butler

It will take a bit of effort for us to picture what the scene was like; it happened so long ago, and it is hard for us to imagine what things were like for they were very different from now. But it may have been a bit like a musical festival or a sports final – a community event at which everyone from the town or suburb was gathered together.

There was a buzz in the air. Everyone had come out to see Jesus. He and His friends were doing so much travelling. They went from town to town in the region. Jesus had healed many people and had been telling the people about God’s love for all of us. As you can imagine, he had attracted a lot of attention and had been the centre of many crowds. We don’t know why this crowd was different from any of the others but it was. There was something about the people gathered in this place that really tugged at Jesus’ heart strings. He felt how lonely and sad they were. Some were feeling worried, some were afraid. Jesus somehow knew that they had lost direction and were struggling to find a way out of distress and into the joy of life. He immediately wanted to help them as Jesus was a caring man, full of compassion.

Jesus turned to His friends and said, “There are not many people who understand the love of God as well as you do. You have been travelling with me and have seen how people’s lives can be transformed when God enters their hearts. I can’t meet with everyone, so I want you to be part of what I’ve been doing. John, I would like you to go to the next town and teach the people about God’s love. Peter and Andrew, go along this road until you get to another town. Please help the people there who are sick. Show God’s love. Sarah and Mary, please go to the people who live by the river. Tell them God loves them. Share the good news.”

Jesus called out the names of all the friends and said, “Go and show God’s love. Not everyone will welcome you and receive your message. For some, it will mean they need to change in ways they are not willing to do. Offer to teach them but don’t spend too long trying to convince them, because there are others who need you.”

So, the disciples went and did as Jesus had asked them.

This was the beginning of something extraordinary. More than 2000 years ago after this story, we know about Jesus because, ever since, followers of Jesus have travelled away from their safe places to tell all those who are feeling lost, lonely and sad about the love of God. Jesus calls us to do that too.

Please click the link below for the kid’s activity sheets:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wH5-lScFkjGq17VmmjOl7ePNXCpr9Kox

 

Hymn 164 (Thailand) - The Great Love of God

1. The great love of God
is revealed in the Son,
who came to this earth
to redeem every one.

2. That love, like a stream
flowing clear to the sea,
makes clean every heart
that from sin would be free.

3. It binds the whole world,
every barrier it breaks,
the hills it lays low,
and the mountains it shakes.

4. It’s yours, it is ours,
O how lavishly giv’n!
The pearl of great price,
and the treasure of heav’n.

Prayer of Confession

God of Grace, God of glory,
we turn to You
for the word of forgiveness and new life
that we may be more loving.

When we criticise others
for the same weakness that lies hidden in us:
save us and help us, O Lord.

When we take a legalistic attitude
rather than the more difficult stance of love:
save us and help us, O Lord.

So that we may live the law of love
in all its discipline and freedom:
save us and help us, O Lord.

Loving God,
we thank You that through Jesus Christ
You have saved us, once and for all time.
We thank You for gentle reminders of this
day by day. Amen

Meditation: Psalm 116

from Psalms/Now by Leslie Brandt

I know that God is here.
I know this because,
my soul and body are bared before Him.
He looked upon me with love
and responded to my cry for help.

There was a time when I didn’t care!
I was not aware
of any particular need for Him.
But then I hit rock bottom.
Death itself reached out to embrace me.
There was no one else to turn to.
I cried out to God in my desperation.
I could almost feel His invisible hand
encircle me and draw me to Himself.

Now I am convinced.
God is here, and I shall trust Him for ever.
I will no longer wait for pain or suffering
to drive me to Him.
I will walk in His course for my life.
I am committed to His purposes,
and I intend
to carry out that commitment.

I can never repay God
for His ever-present love.
I can only dedicate my life to praising Him
and to serving Him wherever I may be.
I am His servant and His son;
I shall love Him for ever.
I shall proclaim to all the world:
“God, is in our midst.”

Romans 8:1-5

Right with God

1 Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! 3 We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope.
5 This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.

6 For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. 7 It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God has shown us how much he loves us — it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!

This is the Word of the Lord, Thanks be to God

Hymn 172 (It Passes Knowledge) - It Passes Knowledge

1. It passes knowledge, that dear love of thine,
my Saviour Jesus; yet this soul of mine
would of thy love,
in all its breadth and length,
its height and depth
and everlasting strength,
know more and more.

2. It passes telling, that dear love of thine,
my Saviour Jesus; yet these lips of mine
would fain proclaim to sinners far and near
a love which can remove all guilty fear
and love beget.

3. It passes praises, that dear love of thine,
my Saviour Jesus; yet this heart of mine
would sing that love, so full, so rich, so free,
which brings a rebel sinner, such as me,
nigh unto God.

4. At last, when Jesus face to face I see,
when at his lofty throne I bow the knee,
then of his love, in all its breadth and length,
its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
my soul shall sing.

Prayer before the Sermon

Brief Prayer before Sermon

O Lord our God,

Today we look for the light of Your inspiration,

So that together, we may discern Your way forward for us.

In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Ministry, Mission and Sacrifice

Rev. Dr. Les Hewitt

From time to time a Congregation is brought together to look at ideas for its future Mission and outreach. Several pieces of “butcher’s paper” are blue-tacked to a blackboard and easel – and out come the coloured textas – ready to write up each and every suggestion, as they are called out. Then the butcher’s papers – complete with all the ideas and suggestions – are placed around the walls – and everyone moves around to choose the “top ten” ideas for the future Mission and outreach of their Congregation. Most ideas are probably what the Congregation has already been doing – in one form or another – but sometimes new and fresh ideas do come forward.

I guess we have all been there – and “done that” – in one way or another

Well, Matthew, in his gospel, has told us about the Wise Men – or Magi – visiting the infant Jesus. He gives us an account of the Baptism of Jesus – and of his acceptance of the task ahead. In the portrayal of the Temptations, Matthew tells us of Jesus deciding which method he will use in his ministry – and what methods he rejects as not being God’s way forward. Then, in the Sermon of the Mount, we hear Jesus’ words of wisdom which includes the Beatitudes.

In Matthew 8 we listen as Jesus heals several people – and he also turns away “would be followers” who lack commitment. Then he calms the storm on Lake Galilee and continues on healing. In chapter 9 of Matthew’s gospel we are made aware of growing opposition to Jesus, as Jesus calls Matthew, the Tax Collector, to follow him. In our reading from the end Matthew chapter 9 we see Jesus being concerned for the people who seem to be like “sheep without a shepherd”.

Up until now we are witnessing the Call of God to Jesus Himself – and then of how he went about his teaching and healing ministry. But it is at this point – as Jesus looks out over the assembled crowd of ordinary men and women – that he is moved with compassion. And he virtually says: “Look, there is still so much to be done; and I can’t do all of this by myself”.

So this is when Jesus comments that “The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in”. And then Jesus asks those who are following him, to pray earnestly for more labourers to go out into the fields to gather in the harvest.

Having made the challenge for everyone to pray for his mission, Jesus continues to look around the crowd of ordinary people who have been following him about. It is then that he challenges the twelve Disciples – whom he had already chosen from his followers – to actually go out on mission as his representatives.

First he challenged them to pray for that situation – but then they were challenged to respond to their own earnest prayers – and to join Jesus in establishing the Kingdom of God – that is, to establish the rule of God in the hearts and minds of ordinary men and women.

So the twelve Disciples are sent out to conduct an extension of Jesus’ own teaching and healing ministry. They are to proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. But they are instructed to look at the task immediately at hand. Jesus said that they were to “look for the lost sheep of Israel” – and not to go into Gentile or Samaritan Territory.

We must remember that Jesus was seeking to proclaim God’s Kingdom to the Jews first. The twelve were going out into a “pre-Easter’ environment.

But this can reminds us that we also may need to limit our ministry at times – because we may be most effective in the area in which we live and work. We are surrounded by a community where many need to hear a word of hope – many have real hurts that need healing. We need to believe that the “fields are indeed ready for the harvest”.

It was only after the death and resurrection of Jesus that the Mission became to “proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth – and to Baptise everyone in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. It was only after the Easter event that the Disciples… and Paul could proclaim: “That it was while we were helpless sinners… that Christ died for our Sins.” [Romans 8:6]

After the Resurrection the message moved beyond Israel – to be to all far and wide – that Jesus Christ has paid the price of our sins – and that we are invited into the Kingdom of God.

This message of the Crucified and Risen Jesus – the one who has paid the price of our sins – the one who offers forgiveness and love – is now the message that we have to announce. Not many of us have been called to venture as missionaries into “the world”. We are the people called to be missionaries – right here where we live. But, as we all know, it is usually harder to be an evangelist amongst those whom we know and love; than to go to some foreign place and proclaim the gospel there.

The follower of Jesus needs to have a heart of compassion for the sufferings of humanity. The message about establishing God’s rule in human hearts and minds needs to be accompanied by a compassion for the life situation of those to whom we are sent.

As this is our main mission field right here, we ourselves need discern the gifts and skills that we have among us. For God has called us individually… and collectively… as a Congregation… to be involved in this arduous… and yet rewarding work… of local mission. We are the ones being called to take up Christ’s mission to the surrounding community and to reveal… by our presence – God’s love and concern for the individual. That is what mission and ministry is all about. This is how we are called to build upon the legacy that has been entrusted to us – by those who came before us in this community.

We as a congregation need to continue the ministry of worship, Bible study and fellowship. Of working among the young and older people in our midst – seeking to lead them deeper in their own commitment of faith. We of the local Church, must also develop new and different ways of reaching out into surrounding community.

Long ago I heard the story of a Japanese man named Toyohiko Kagawa.

The part that I remember about Toyohiko Kagawa was that while a student, he went as a missionary into a slum area of a Japanese city – where other missionaries had failed. But he began by going to a neighbour and borrowing a hammer – and of course, he was careful to return it. Then he went around over a period of time just borrowing… and lending… this and that – and in the process, getting to know everyone. And because he lived as a true neighbour to everyone in the area – he became widely known and greatly loved. He was simply being Christ to his fellow men and women.

Now I am not suggesting that you immediately go out and borrow a hammer – or even a packet of self-raising flour. Of course, if you need them… don’t let me stop you. But I am suggesting that your neighbours probably already know that you belong to a Church “somewhere”. And they know how you drive – or keep your property – and whether or not they can expect a friendly chat with you… or a cutting from your garden.

And I guess, it should be an aim of us as a Congregation to be known by some of those – not only in our own street – but perhaps even up and down Fisher Street. Not as door-knocking pests – nor as those who clutter-up letter boxes – but in some small, as yet to be discovered way by us.

As “home-grown” missionaries we need to just be ordinary people – who have been charged with an extraordinary challenge – to present and proclaim the gospel in the manner in which we live amongst our neighbours.

Before we became shut-ins – due to the Corona Virus – we were blessed with our new buildings. And through new activities such as the Eden Play Group and now the Community Vegetable Garden – we are starting to become visible – beyond just a beautiful and fresh set of buildings. Some of you have been helping supply meals to foreign students at Wollongong University – and also to the Hawken family.

Once we can re-enter our Church facilities we must learn how to reach out anew through opportunities such as “Coffee and Chat” – and the Couples and Friends group. And we mustn’t forget Prayer and Bible Study groups either.

We have recently appointed two part-time Community Workers – Sue Woodland, who will work through the Morning Congregation – and Khairul Hamdan, who will be involved through the Evening Congregation. They haven’t been able to “mix” properly with these Congregations as yet, due to the COVID-19 restrictions – but they are “ready and rearing” to be involved with all of us as soon as possible. Meanwhile, our Mentoring group that has been meeting with children from over “our back fence” at the Wollongong West Public School – will not be allowed to re-commence with the children until next year. So we do have new areas of “mission outreach” with which we are poised to resume.

We know from personal experience that healing comes through reaching out to the distraught who have lost loved ones – or who are just plain lonely – or who have no understand of their true purpose in life – or of who Jesus is and what he has done for them – and that his love and forgiveness are freely offered to all. The strength of our witness is (as our Banner would remind us) is to be “Sharing life’s journey with faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ”. It needs to be wrapped up in compassion, forgiveness and understanding. There is to be no separation between proclaiming and healing. These are the gifts of the Holy Spirit freely offered to us – and as you have freely received – so you must freely give.

Jesus first sent his Disciples out to meet with the locals – and to converse with them – and heal aspects of their broken or confused lives. To give them a sense of purpose – and a word of hope. And he said: “The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.” It was after he had them pray about it – that Jesus sent them out on a Local Mission!

As a Congregation we have already implemented new ideas in an endeavour to reach out into the community around us. So it’s not as though we are adverse to new ideas.

Now, I haven’t a piece of Butcher’s paper to give you down the lens of this camera – or out of your computer screen – but perhaps you have an “inkling” of how it is we as a congregation can become good neighbours in our own environment. And I guess that in this time of COVID-19 – instead of butcher’s paper we can even use emails to communicate if we have new ideas of how we can be on mission locally. So, look around you: the “fields are indeed ready for the harvest”. Let us pray about finding new ways of serving Jesus – and helping “to bring in the harvest”.

Hymn 629 - When I Needed a Neighbour, Were You There?


1. When I needed a neighbour, were you there,
were you there?
When I needed a neighbour, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

2. I was hungry and thirsty, were you there,
were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

3. I was cold, I was naked, were you there,
were you there?
I was cold, I was naked, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

4. When I needed a shelter, were you there,
were you there?
When I needed a shelter, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

5. When I needed a healer, were you there,
were you there?
When I needed a healer, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

6. When they put me in prison, were you there,
were you there?
When they put me in prison,
were you there?
And the creed and the colour
and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

7. Wherever you travel, I’ll be there,
I’ll be there?
Wherever you travel, I’ll be there.
And the creed and the colour
and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

Prayer for the Dedication of the Offering

Lord Jesus,
through these offering
we affirm our love for You,
and our commitment to You
as Lord and Saviour in our lives.

Use the gifts we bring,
and the lives we offer,
that others will come to recognise You
as the one who gives eternal life. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession and The Lord's Prayer

Norma Coudray

Loving Heavenly Father we come into your presence
in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We come with thankful hearts
especially during this time of Corona virus isolation.

These words from the Psalmist indicate our thanks.

“Oh give thanks to The Lord!
Call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the people.”

Thank you Lord for bringing us this far
as we continue to trust You, for the days ahead.

Across these two congregations
we commend one another to you
with all our various needs and joys.

We remember those facing ill health,
bereavement, loss of employment; many needs only known to you.

We pray for the Hawken Family
with Annette’s ongoing treatment,
for Carolyn Gold, for Pat and Keith Waller,
and for Lynn Jones.

We thank you for Robyn Johnsons safe return home,
with another week in isolation.
We remember Owen Hodgson
commencing a new job in Thailand.

We pray for the children and staff at Agape home.

Lord we commend the members
of our Selection Committee,
as they seek a minister for Keiraview.
May the person of your choice
know your Will for them.

We give thanks for our community workers…
Khairul and Sue.

Bless and guide them as they get to know the needs
and seek opportunities for service.

We remember the need to resume worship services and activities.

Give the Church Council and the Uniting Church Synod
guidance and grace in this decision
and the timing for our getting back to regular worship.

We are thankful for the online worship;
for those who arrange them;
for all who participate; and contribute to these services.

We pray for one another
to be motivated to resume worship services
as we keep in mind our Mission Statement.

“Sharing life’s journey…
with Faith, hope and love…
in Jesus Christ”.

Lord we are mindful of local needs
in this neighbourhood.
In the days ahead open our eyes
to the areas of need and service.

Lord Nationally, we pray for our leaders.

Encourage, guide and lead them
to wise and compassionate government.

We bring to you all who have suffered
as a result of the Corona virus,
bless and heal them;
especially families who have lost members.

We ask to guide those
involved in research for a vaccine;
give them wisdom
and perseverance for such a difficult task.

World-wide we pray for many suffering
as a result of the virus;
for those facing trouble in employment;
and for the many businesses in difficulty;

We especially pray the poor; the homeless; for refugees;
for those who are persecuted, or all who feel marginalized;
have mercy on them we pray.

We pray for the situation in America in present circumstances.
Lord, grant hem the ability to find justice for all;
and to ease the present hurt.

For our indigenous people we pray;
help them to find peace and hope.

We pray for Senator Ken Wyatt,
Minister in the Federal Government
for Indigenous Affairs.

We pray for political stability
with China and North Korea.
Give understanding and perseverance
to all who deal with these situations.

Lord we praise and thank You for listening to us.
Our prayer for one another
is that we will listen to you through worship, prayer and Bible reading.

As we close, we recall Jesus words
in Mathews gospel
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of The Holy Spirit”

Let us now share together in The Lords Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come
Your will be done on earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
for the kingdom, the power ,and the glory
are yours, now and forever. Amen

Hymn 640 (Chereponi) - Kneels at the Feet of His Friends

1. Kneels at the feet of his friends,
silently washes their feet:
master who acts as a slave to them.
Yesu, Yesu,
fill us with your love,
show us how to serve
the neighbours we have from you.

2. Neighbours are wealthy and poor,
varied in colour and race,
neighbours are near us and far away.
Yesu, Yesu,
fill us with your love,
show us how to serve
the neighbours we have from you.

3. These are the ones we should serve,
these are the ones we should love;
all these are neighbours to us and you.
Yesu, Yesu,
fill us with your love,
show us how to serve
the neighbours we have from you.

4. Loving puts us on our knees,
silently washing their feet,
this is the way we should live with you.
Yesu, Yesu,
fill us with your love,
show us how to serve
the neighbours we have from you.

Benediction

The peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God;
and of His Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you,
and remain with you always.
AMEN.