Conference Worship 2011

Conference
Worship 2011

Thursday
7th July 2011

Song 

Opening Prayers

Into this space we come

Into this moment we arrive

Into this space our God welcomes us

In this moment we are embraced

Bible reading

After this the Lord appointed
seventy-twoothers and sent them two by two ahead of him to every
town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The
harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest,
therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am
sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or
bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this
house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will
rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating
and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not
move around from house to house.

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what
is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The
kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town
and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust
of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this:
The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more
bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Video

Meditation – using a paper cross

On the outside edge of each table you will find paper crosses.  We will use these to help us to focus our prayers. As you will notice, they have been created from daily newspapers, perhaps reminding us again that God is interested in all our daily business.

During this short reflection you are invited to hold your paper cross in your hand, and in your mind, to hold the wider community. We know the cross to be a place of transformation, of hope, a symbol of love and for that we give thanks.

(quiet music to me played)

Let us pray as we reflect…

So often we hear the phrase or sentiment ‘the world is a messy and difficult place for many’ and to be quite honest, it’s difficult to disagree with it.  We cannot and should not, forget the millions of people around the world, some of whom reside in our own communities who are affected by hunger, war, fear, doubt, neglect, loneliness, affliction of many kinds… to name but a few.

In the assurance of the deep compassion of God, we hold the needs of the world carefully and prayerfully, recognising the work done by this conference over the past week – giving thanks for both the internal related work and those things that have encouraged us to
face outwards.

First as you hold your cross, think about what this symbol of faith means for you: perhaps a symbol of
hope…love…forgiveness…life… or something else.

Reflect, what does the cross mean for the world, in which we seek to witness? 

What does the cross mean for those experiencing injustice or despair?

How might we, as the people called Methodist, join with our brothers and sisters in Christ, to share the hope of the cross – a place where brokenness can be healed, wrongs can be forgiven.

What does the cross mean for those closest to you….your family, your friends…the people with whom who are in network with? From your understanding, what are their concerns… hurts… disappointments… their frustrations…as well as their celebrations and joys? What might, or does, the cross say to them – how might we, as resurrection people, speak and demonstrate good news in their lives….

What does the cross mean for the mission we are called to join in alongside God with? 

We, like the 72 are called into the Missio Dei – the mission of God. As you hold the cross – made of an everyday substance – think about the community with whom you have greatest resonance…the community to which you belong: its joys and it sorrows.

Call to mind once again, what the cross means to you… hold that in one hand, and in your other hand, hold gently and prayerfully, those whom you feel called to walk aside, or perhaps the people with whom we need to journey with – what might the cross
mean to our communities? How might we communicate, in word and action, that Christ died for all?

Think too of how the business of this conference might, and should, make a positive impact on the life and witness of the Methodist Church (remembering our part as individuals in this) as we seek to share the hope of the Christian faith with the world.

May the cross of Christ always remind us of the hope we find in God. May the cross
of Christ remind us all of the need to share the love of God with the broken
world. Creator God of all good things, in whom we find our being and in whom we
rightly put our trust.  Hear the prayers of your people we pray. Amen.
 

Song

Prayers

Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We commit this final day of Conference to your care. We ask, as always, for your wisdom, your encouragement, and your enthusiasm for this day. We thank you that you have sent us to this house and our peace has been known here.

Our sisters and our brothers – we lift to you.

We hold before you the business of this conference, for the decisions made, for the conversations yet to be had, and for the dreams that are never spoken. May this day be your day and may our business be your kingdom.

Our hearts yearn in anticipation of a new world.

And yet Lord you are greater than this moment and this space. We hold before you the churches we represent and the disciples we stand alongside. We ask for the same wisdom, encouragement and enthusiasm in the places that you have called them to be and we pray that our conversations will be there conversations and that together we will be your people.

Our sisters and our brothers – we lift to you.

And yet Lord, you have called us to be greater than this moment and this space. Just as the seventy two were sent, so we must leave this place and become guest in another house. This conference hall cannot contain us; but we know, Lord of Emmaus, that we do
not journey alone.

Our hearts yearn in anticipation of a new world.

We thank you that you are already at work in the hearts and minds of those who cannot name you. We thank you that there are others who are called to make a difference. We thank you for friend and stranger; for those who live in our street, our villages, our towns and our cities.

Our sisters and our brothers – we lift to you.

And so, as we finish our work here today and ready ourselves to leave this place. We go in confidence that you travel with us; that you are already in the places you have sent us; that our conservations here is your kingdom there; and that our hope for the
future is your longing for now.

Our hearts yearn in anticipation of a new world.

Blessing

Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him. 2 Sam 14:14

Your Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven. AMEN.

 

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