Moving Forward in Faith

FELLOWSHIP DAY SERVICE 2021

Holiness in the Ordinary

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WELCOME

THIS ORDER OF SERVICE was prepared by the Australian Capital Territory of Australian Church Women, with the theme for the present term being 'Moving Forward in Faith'.

This service has the subtitle 'Holiness in the Ordinary'.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TRADITIONAL CUSTODIANS OF THE LAND

We acknowledge the First Nations peoples of Australia as the traditional custodians of this land.

We respect past and present Elders and are thankful for their wisdom which has sustained their people since the beginning of time.

We will support emerging and future First Nations leaders and their people.

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CALL TO WORSHIP  

[Where 2 or more are gathered, you may like to read the following as a responsive reading.]

Leader:     Glorious God, we come together as your people

All:             We come as a praising people, singing your goodness

Leader:     We come as a hungry people, longing to be fed

All:             We come as a praying people, bringing our needs, our joys

Leader:     We come as a journeying people, looking for direction

                   in this hour of worship

                   Empower us for faithful living

All:             We pray this in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

HYMN

10000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) /Lord of Creation (Together In Song 626)

[Click on image to sing along with the video.]

PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Leader:   Dear God, thank you for your amazing power and work in

                 our lives, thank you for your goodness and your blessings

                 over us.

ALL:         Thank you that you are able to bring hope through, even

                 in the toughest of times, strengthening us for your purposes.

Leader:   Thank you for your great love and care. Thank you for your mercy

                 and grace. Thank you that you are always with us and will never

                 leave us.

ALL:         Thank you for your incredible sacrifice so that we might have

                 freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don't thank you

                 enough, for who you are, for all that you do, and for all that

                 you've given.

Leader:   Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our

                 spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. We love you and we need

                 you, this day and every day.

ALL:         We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy.

                 In Jesus' Name, AMEN.

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REFLECTION 

Leader: Let us consider three women of the Bible and see how faith was employed when they had to make choices about their beliefs and futures. The stories of these women inspire us when we too are challenged by events in our lives. Their actions demonstrate that faith in God helps us in times of doubt, despair, and declaring our faith.

 

Reader 1: Sarah

Sarah was barren, and she encouraged her husband, Abraham, to father a child with her servant Hagar. Sarah tried to take matters into her own hands. This ended in an unsatisfactory solution for all parties. Wisdom did not appear to be Sarah’s greatest strength, but Scripture does note her faith later. God promised that Sarah would have a child, and she laughed on hearing this news. After all, she was now old and past childbearing age. However, Sarah did believe the promise because she knew that God’s Word is faithful and true.

Hebrews 11:11 (NIV) tells us:

‘And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.’

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Reader 2: Ruth

Her love story is one of incredible faithfulness, loyalty, and devotion. Firstly, to her mother-in-law, Naomi, then to Naomi’s God – the one, true God, and then to Boaz, their distant relative. Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, experienced much grief from the loss of their husbands. Naomi made the decision to leave Moab and return to Bethlehem; she insisted Ruth and Orpah return to their mothers’ homes. 

Greatly distressed, Orpah returned. Ruth refused to leave Naomi, and they travelled to Bethlehem. As destitute widows, life was difficult, but they soon witnessed the providence, faithfulness and love of God when Boaz, a kind and distant relative, provided for them and greatly changed their lives.
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Reader 3: Lydia 

Lydia was originally from Thyatira in the Roman province of Asia, but she was living in Philippi, Macedonia, where she was a businesswoman selling dyed fabrics. She followed the faith of the Jews, even though she was not a Jew. On the Sabbath, Lydia gathered with the other worshipers of God by the river, their place of prayer in that place. Here she met the apostle Paul when he went to speak with the worshipers about Jesus, the risen Christ. In faith, Lydia accepted Christ as her Saviour, and in faith her entire household was baptised.

HYMN

Fill Thou my Life, O Lord my God (Together In Song 596)

[Click on image to sing along with the video.]

BIBLE READING

Romans 12 (The Message Paraphrase)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

 

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

 

In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

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PRAYER OF PETITION

Leader:   O God, whose holiness is not limited to grand cathedrals or 

                 saintly persons, spectacular mountains or mountain-moving

                 leaders.

                 O God, whose holiness is often discovered in simple everyday

                 places and simple everyday folk.

All:           Plant your holiness in this place, in us now.

                 Grow us this hour, so that we might flower right where we

                 are, with the beauty of your holiness.                

                 Through Jesus we pray. Amen

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

 

Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

 

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fuelled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

 

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

 

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

 

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

 

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson 

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WINIFRED KIEK SCHOLARS FOR 2021
Kate Johnstone & Sandra Pawar

HYMN   
We are God's People

Your offering will be received for the work of the Winfred Kiek Trust Fund during the singing of this hymn.

If you are unable to forward your offering to your local ACW Unit, please put it aside until we can meet together again.

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DEDICATION AND PRAYER FOR THE SCHOLARS AND TRUST

Heavenly Father, we thank you for this monetary gift for the WKS Trust. We ask that you bless the members of the Trust with wisdom as they consider applications that come from women wishing to further their Biblical studies.

 

We pray especially at this time for our 2021 Scholars, Kate and Sandra. Encourage them on their faith journey and may they be used in ministry to extend your Kingdom.

We ask this in the name of Jesus and for His sake. Amen

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SPEAKER:  'Holiness in the Ordinary'
Marj Dredge, National President of Australian Church Women Inc.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Leader:   God, you call us to be Holy. Help us to live lives worthy of our calling.

                 Thank you for the example set by Jesus who walked this earth in

                 Spirit and truth, living his life in humble obedience to your will,

                 demonstrating by his life, his words, his actions and his attitude

                 such a gracious heart that overflowed with loving trust in you.

                 Make us like Jesus.

All:           Gracious God, hear our prayer

Leader:   We pray for our local community. We pray especially for those

                 caring for people in need; the lonely, those who feel isolated from

                 their loved ones; the sick and all who care for them, whether they                     be family or the medical profession; the homeless, the unemployed,

                 the mentally ill.

All:           Gracious God, hear our prayer.

Leader:   We pray for all people in our world. We are not blind to injustice,

                 racism, inequality, the deprivation of many. As you love us so too

                 you love them. Give us faith for a better world. Help us to do our

                 part to bring this to fruition.

All:           Gracious God, hear our prayer.

Leader:    As we journey forward from this place, give us each the courage to

                 follow your way. Bring renewal and newness to our faith lives so

                 that we can grow in holiness and be the people we were created to

                 be. Holy and Gracious God, help us on our faith journey to

                 encounter your holiness in the ordinary.

All:           Gracious God, hear our prayer

Leader:    Let us pray the Lord’s Prayer together.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

AMEN

HYMN

When I Look into Your Holiness 

[Click on image arrow to sing along with the video]

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BENEDICTION

Leader:   Now may the hope of a better world, a worthier life, a holier morrow and

                  a sweeter thanksgiving, inspire us all with patient continuance in well

                  doing; and may grace, mercy and peace from Father, Son, and Holy

                  Spirit, remain with us now and always.

All:            AMEN

This benediction was prayed by the Reverend Winifred Kiek at her ordination service on 13 June 1927 and used at her last act of public ministry on 9 March 1975. It is the benediction that she loved most.

Winifred Kiek Scholarship

The offerings presented at Fellowship Day Services throughout Australia go towards the Winifred Kiek Scholarship to honour Winifred Kiek, the first woman to be ordained in Australia.

This scholarship is offered to Christian women of member countries of the Asian Church Women’s Conference, multicultural Australia, and Pacific Island Nations. The scholarship is used for supplementary training or further studies in theology and related fields.

Copyright 

This Order of Service is copyright ©2021 Australian Church Women Inc. The liturgy is specially prepared and may be freely reproduced as a whole for the purposes of Worship.