A prayer for Ukraine For the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine
Almighty and Great God, accept our gratitude for your boundless mercy towards us. Hear the supplication of our afflicted hearts for the land and people of Ukraine, as they confront foreign aggression and invasion. Open the eyes of those who have been overtaken by a spirit of deception and violence, that they be horrified by their works. Grant victory over the powers of evil that have arisen and bless Ukraine with your gifts of liberty, peace, tranquility, and good fortune.
We implore you, O Merciful God, look with grace upon those who courageously defend their land. Remember the mothers and fathers, the innocent children, widows and orphans, the disabled and helpless, those seeking shelter and refuge, who reach out to you and to their fellow human beings looking for mercy and compassion. Bless the hearts of those who have already shown great generosity and solidarity, and those who prepare to receive their Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Ukraine’s greatest time of need. Bring us together as your children, your creation, and instill in us your strength, wisdom and understanding. May you be praised and glorified, now and forever, and to the ages of ages.
Our service this morning was led by Revd Helen Hollands and included Holy Communion.
Our readings for this morning are from Revelation 7:2-4 & 9-12 and Luke 6: 20-31. We paused to remember those who have passed away this last year and thank God for their work in the church and community.
Helen reflected on the story of the Lion King and how this relates to our lives today. Simba realises in the end who he is meant to be, as we need to. We were challenged to think who lives on is us, whose example is it that we embody. We are made in God’s image, all of us.
Our service this morning was led by Barbara Lunn. We listened to readings from Jetemiah and Luke.
Barbara used the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to talk about our relationship with God. Jesus taught through the use of parables, stories that were understandable to those listening. This is a modern day parable and each day we might be one of the characters and come out of the day differently. We try to get God’s approval each day, God doesn’t have a golden ticket. We are more likely Charlie and the tax collectors, asking for forgiveness. Pride was what drove the children, we need to get rid of our pride so that we become better people and know God better.
This morning our worship was led by Revd Paul Dean, with a reflection written by Revd Bridget Banks. We celebrated the 50th Anniversaries of the United Reformed Church and of worship on the site at Cade Road.
We listened to readings from Psalm 121 and Luke 18. Revd Banks told us that we are sometimes like the light shining in the corner, and we need to come together until the world is full of light. The church is called to be the outward expression of God, we need to engage those in the local community. How can we be the body of Christ for everyone? We all need to be praying for hope.
We celebrate 50 years of bringing people in to worship here, we shall keep going, stand strong and continue to challenge injustice.
For those meeting in person the service finished with the act of Holy Communion.
This morning we were led in worship by Miss Sophie Carnaby. We listened to readings from Matthew 3 and Ruth chapters 1 and 3.
We prayed for many situations around the world, but particularly for those in Thailand, the Ukraine and those involved in our Messy Church this afternoon.
Sophie spoke about Ruth and her story. The book of 3 love stories, including the love between God and his people. Boaz redeemed the land and allowed Ruth to become a member of God’s family, just as Jesus became our kin and allows us as sinful people to become people of God. The foot or yhe cross is our threshing floor where the wheat is separated from the chaff. Like Ruth we gain a new family when we are redeemed. Everyone is welcome at the foot of the cross.
Our worship from the United Church Cade Road was led by Mr Paul Missin. We listened to readings from Habakkuk, 2 Timothy and Luke 17.
We were asked to think about the contradictions between increasing our wealth and our faith. How do we increase our faith? We need to become righteous to live by faith. Faith is a family thing as well, the support of our families and communities is a mark of faith. Faith is belonging to God who is stronger than us, we accept that relationship.