Saturday, 31 December 2011

Ashgrove West Church - Images from 2011

Community Care

James' Baptism

Busybodies Playgroup

Busybodies Playgroup

Prayer and Reflection

Assembling new cupboards

Assembling new cupboards

Assembling the new cubbyhouse

New cubbyhouse complete

Men's Breakfast

Adult Fellowship

Korean Church's market day

Isaac's Baptism

Harvest Thanksgiving service



Everything in Common Charity gift stall
Yarn Group 

Yarn Group ("Love Wraps" - rugs for charity.)

Yarn Group

Yarn Group

Friday, 30 December 2011

Service for Sunday, 1 January 2012

Worship Service for Ashgrove West Uniting Church
9.30am, Sunday 1st January, 2012

Year B. Christmas 1.

Call to Worship (Based on Psalm 148)

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord in the Heavens

Praise the Lord angels and the heavenly host.

Praise the Lord in Creation

Praise the Lord, sun, moon, stars

Praise the Lord, trees and plants,

Praise the Lord, rocks and mountains,

Praise the Lord, animals and humans,

Praise the Lord, all of his works,

At his word we came to be,

Through his will we continue to be.

Praise the Lord!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Service for Christmas Day

Worship Service for Christmas Day 2011
Ashgrove West Uniting Church

Call to worship
We celebrate the message of Christmas:
God is with us!

Hymn: Together in Song 303 Hark! The herald angels sing.

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

God of Christmas
we thank you for the gift
and the mystery of Christmas.
That you would offer the hopes of all creation
in the form of a helpless baby.

As we come to worship,
this Christmas day,
we can barely comprehend
all that this means
that your love for us would be so great
that you would want to share our lives.
We can't begin to understand
the price this gift cost you.

We confess we sometimes fail to value
the gift of Jesus for us.
We confess all the Christmas celebrations
to which Jesus is not invited.
We confess the worry over what we will or won't have,
the frantic struggle to get everything done,
and that, as of that first Christmas,
there is often no room for Jesus.

Help us to change we pray -
help us to make room,
not only in our Christmas celebrations,
but also in the whole of our lives.
Help us to welcome Jesus -
to start over
and to live in friendship with him.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Newsletter Reflection for 25 December: Happy Birthday Jesus

Newsletter Reflection for Sunday 25th December 2011

Advent Candle Liturgy:
Christmas – 1 kid, 1 young adult, 1 adult, 1 older adult.
Kid: It's Christmas! We hoped and hoped and now it's here.
Young Adult: Today, we put our trust in God to bring peace to a troubled world, and troubled people.
Adult: Today, we celebrate with joy the good news that in Jesus, God is right here in this world with us.
Older Adult: Today, we celebrate the love God has shown for us.
All: Thank God, it's Christmas!

Light all five candles.

Good morning,

At the start of Advent we put a banner outside the church that said “Happy Birthday Jesus”.

Over the past week, many of us have been preparing for parties or get-togethers with family and friends to celebrate today. Just like any other birthday party, we celebrate with food and cake, with family and friends.

When we celebrate birthdays, we sometimes tell stories (especially at significant birthdays, like 21st birthdays.) We talk about things that have happened in the birthday person's life – things that are typical of them, or have been memorable to others. We talk about things that made us laugh, or even that made us cry.

When we celebrate Jesus' birthday today, I wonder what memories of our time with him we might have?

When did you first meet Jesus? What is the most memorable thing he has done for or with you? What has made you smile? What has made you cry?

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, and a great year ahead. May you know the peace of Jesus with you.

Grace and Peace

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sunday 18 December 2011: Newsletter Reflection, and Kid's time, and Advent Candle liturgy

This Sunday, Bec is leading worship. If she has time, she will give me the sermon to put on the net for you. 
I'm still doing the Kid's Time, to continue the theme we've started with the candy canes through Advent, and of course, we're continuing with the same advent candle liturgy I have written for the whole of Advent.  

This week's newsletter reflection is included in this blog post as well.

Kid's Time:

Hey look everyone! There's a candy cane on the communion table (again!) Who keeps leaving these here?

You know I was thinking about candy canes through the week. Have you ever noticed we only seem to get them around Christmas time? They're kind of special. And they're made mostly of sugar, so they're really sweet.

And I was thinking, do you know what else is really special and really sweet?

I think God's love for us is. Don't you.

And will you look at this: there's a message on this candy cane too.

Someone find me an adult who reads really well and can tell us what this message says:

“To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour who is the Messiah, the Lord..... Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours.” Luke 2: 11, 14.

Week 4 – Love - Older Adults 18 December

1st Reader: Experience has taught us what lasts and what doesn't.
2nd Reader: Some things that seem important turn out not to matter after all.
1st Reader: When everything else is lost: strength, money, independence, one thing still matters more than anything.
2nd Reader: The greatest of all things is love.
All older adults: We welcome the love of Jesus this Christmas.

Hymn – all of Light one Candle (TiS 286)

Newsletter Reflection
Good morning

We hear a lot about love in our popular culture. If you believe television, music, books and movies, love can be a very dangerous thing. You can fall into love, and you can fall out of love. Love hurts, hearts break.

Now let's look at God's love. If you read I Corinthians 13, you find Paul's definition of love. Although we often use this passage at weddings, it's not meant to tell us about romantic love – or at least it's not meant to tell us only about romantic love. What Paul describes here is the love that God has for us – love that never ends. It's the love that would pay any price for the one who is loved – the love of Jesus becoming one with us and living our lives, dying for us and rising again for us. You notice that this love isn't the variable series of emotions of popular culture – it is something that is a conscious decision – God makes a choice to love us (as opposed to “falling” in love with no sense of control.) God chooses the best for us at personal cost.

When Jesus instructs us to “love one another as I have loved you” this is the love he means: love that's consciously chosen – love that will choose what is best for the other, even when that involves personal cost.

Grace and peace

Other notices: Weight Loss Group “Watchya Weight” resumes on Thursday 2 February 2012.
Community Care resumes 14 February 2012.
Iris will take three weeks holiday from Monday 9 January 2012, to Sunday 29 January 2012 (inclusive).

Today – Bec leads Worship
Christmas Eve – 6.30pm Bec leads Worship
Christmas Day – 7.30am Iris leads Worship

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Service for Sunday 11 December 2011

Service for Sunday 11 December 2011
Year B Advent 3

Call to Worship Luke 1: 46-55 (Responsive) NRSV Bible.

Hymn Together in Song 245 We have a gospel to proclaim

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

It's coming up to Christmas again, God,
and the shops are decorated
and the Christmas carols are being played -
and for once everyone seems to know something about at least a tiny part of the gospel.
We thank you for the message of your infinite love for us,
wrapped in the form of a helpless baby.
We thank you that in a cynical and secular world – this sign of your love still breaks through into the lives or ordinary people.
We thank you that everyday people are still inspired to acts of kindness and compassion, in response to the story of Christmas.

We confess that we see Jesus as the homeless baby of Bethlehem
but rarely look for him among the homeless in our city.
We confess that we see Jesus as the refugee, fleeing to Egypt to escape Herod's persecution
but we don't go looking for Jesus in the refugee detention centres in this country.
We confess that we see Jesus as your gift of love for all humankind
but we don't tend to share the gift with all of humankind, and we don't love our neighbours as ourselves.

We repent and are sorry for all our sins.
Turn us around,
may your love be born anew in us this Christmas.
In Jesus' name. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Newsletter Reflection for Sunday 11 December 2011

Newsletter Reflection for Sunday, 11 December, 2011

Advent Candle Liturgy Week 3 – Joy – Adults

1st Reader: Sometimes we just go through the motions of Christmas.
2nd Reader: We do the preparation work and shopping, but we've lot the excitement, and the joy.
1st Reader: But when you think about it there's so much to be joyful for: the people we share our Christmas with, and that we live in a place where we are free to celebrate.
2nd Reader: Most of all, we can be joyful that in Christmas Jesus became a part of our world – the most amazing gift of all time.
All Adults: We celebrate the joy of Christmas.

Today in our worship we hear good news – God's proclamation of release to captives, sight to the blind. We hear Mary's song of joy over how God works in the world.

We hear this, yet we live in a world where still there are people blind, there are still many in captivity for all sorts of reasons, where wars continue.

Today, we're invited to rejoice in God's goodness in a world where there seems so little to rejoice about. Are we to deny the reality of everything that is wrong in the world around us? To have some deluded idea that ignores reality?

Actually, we are invited to be joyful, not by denying the realities of our world, but in the midst of them. We are invited to be joyful – to celebrate that there is more than we can see at work in the world. Yes, there is still evil in our world – but despite this, God loves us and this world enough to give us Jesus. There are problems in our world – but there is also the infinite goodness of God at work in the world. Human beings have done the most despicable things, but we are created in the image of a creative and loving God – and so have the potential to do some wonderful things as well.

This Advent, rejoice – not that this world is perfect – but that despite its imperfections God loves this world and gave Jesus for it.

Grace and peace

Tuesday, 6 December 2011