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Thursday Evening in Glenorchy Church
THURSDAY EVENING SERVICE 1.    Caring for God’s World   28/2/09 Good evening.      In our discussion after our meal this evening, we are going to consider our responsibilities to God for the way we treat His creation, and this concern is reflected in our short period of worship tonight.       Let us pray. God beyond all names, Father/Mother/God, Creator of the Universe, Spirit of the Living God, Sacred Mystery - none of these names do you justice, they fall short, our language cannot describe the wonders. We are your children – you have chosen to gift us with so much – with intelligence, so that we can begin to comprehend your world around us, in all its beauty and complexity, you have given us creative minds and imaginations, so that we are not just one of your manifold number of creatures, but ones capable of seeing everything in context and relationship, remembering the past and envisioning the future You have brought into being a marvellous ever-unfolding world, where everything is provided for everyone’s need – but not nearly enough for our own selfish greed. Teach us, Lord, to be satisfied, to learn to care for one another as we should, and to share our food and possessions with others, to seek justice and peace for all your children, not just for the privileged few, and for all your creatures and for all the living world. We ask this in the name of your Son, revealed to us as Jesus Christ, our teacher and our guide.           Amen   We will continue our worship by singing together Hymn number 89 to the second tune,  on page 90 of “Rejoice and Sing.”          “Now join we to praise the Creator” Repeat last verse. Our Father, which 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, Forever and ever, Amen. Reading: Genesis  Chapter 1 V,1-4   26      Mark 28-31 How privileged we are - privileged to live in a rich country and enjoy the benefits of a life in which most of us never experience real hunger or homelessness, and to be here in Exmouth where ancient triassic cliffs tell a wonderous story of ages long before human beings were created. In the summer we have a glorious ever-changing seascape and in the autumn .we are visited by the birds of the Exe, who flock here every year after long, weary journeys crossing the globe. And yet…and yet it is so easy to take it all for granted. On the other side of the world the islands of Tuvalu and Kiribati in the Pacific, places that we used to call the Gilbert and  Ellis islands, are threatened with extinction because of climate change. These islands share a common history with this church – we both learned the Christian story primarily from Scottish Presbyterian missionaries. The islanders in Tuvalu will all loose their homes in the next few years, because of rising tides that will eventually envelop them. These are stunningly beautiful South Sea islands, where some friends of mine lived for few years just before the islanders gained their independence from British rule.John Wilson was then a solicitor working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and his wife, Anita, was a school teacher. When they came home on leave, they told us how they had been received when they landed on the island. The European Commission  stated in 2003 that Climate Change is clearly a development issue, since its adverse events will disproportionately affect poorer countries. An estimated 150,000 people die annually from diseases that the changing climate has encouraged to grow and rising sea levels are set to rise dramatically as glaciers and polar ice melt. The UK Department of International Development estimates that the number of Africans at risk of coastal flooding will rise from 1 million in 1980 to 70 million by 2080, whilst in east Africa water shortages threaten 11 million people who are already enduring years of unprecedented draught.   Let us pray “Forgive us Lord, that we forget all our blessings, so quickly. Forgive us, Lord, that we can enjoy lives of privilege, where supermarkets supply produce from around the world, while those who live in countries producing these exotic fruits, often go hungry. (Pause) In this Fairtrade Fortnight, let us remember the people of Tuvalu and Kitibati. (Pause) We pray for Farida Begum, in Bangladesh, who has lost the fresh flowing drinking water near her home, through the increasing salt levels, and now has to travel for up to 24 hours to buy fresh water for her family. (Pause) We pray for people of north-eastern Kenya, who have watched the desert grow and now face a draught four times worse than it was 25 years ago. (Pause) We thank you for Christian Aid, and its workers, who are helping these people through the Commitment for Life Programme. We thank you for the United Nations World Food Programme, for UNICEF and Oxfam and all the workers who give their time to work of this kind. Open our eyes and ears, Lord, so that we can see and hear and act as you would wish in this divided world. Unite your children in this prayer, which we ask this your name,  Amen.” Our second hymn is No.  636   “The Church of Christ in every age” Last verse   God of all strength, inspire and invigorate all who take risks to challenge and change unjust structures.  God of all comfort, draw near to all who suffer from injustice. God of all justice, disturb our comfort, stir us up to speak out. Teach us to follow your way.                               Guide us, Lord, in our discussion this evening                                       And in our deeds tomorrow and the days ahead                                       We ask this in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen. DISCUSSION on “Facing up to the heat” and “Letters through Time”.   REFORM 6/08
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