Across the presbytery there are many congregations who rely on members of their congregations and visiting preachers (mostly lay-preachers) to take regular services.
The resources on this page are intended to provide inspiration and good worship resources to enable our lay people to better undertake this ministry. Ordained ministers will also find the resources and links valuable for their preparation.
LECTIONARY BIBLE READINGS
The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is a three year cycle of Bible readings. It follows the seasons of the Christian year and begins each year with the first Sunday in Advent (which usually falls on the last Sunday in November). The lectionary offers congregations a balanced diet of readings and is used by many churches around the world. There are readings for each Sunday of the year from the Hebrew Scriptures, the Psalms, the Epistles and the Gospels. Each year MediaCom publishes the Calendar and Lectionary for the subsequent year. The Lectionary provides dates for each Sunday and the readings for that day. It also suggests other resources to use with the lectionary.
Bible Readings Lectionary Readings for Year B in powerpoint ready for use in worship services
The Text this Week Lectionary, scripture study, worship links and resources
Revised Common Lectionary Commentary: Equipping the people of God to proclaim Good News to the World. A ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal, Canada.
Bible Gateway: A searchable online Bible in over 35 languages and 50 versions.
The Year of Luke -Liturgical Year C
The liturgical year begins with First Sunday of Advent, which starts four Sundays before Christmas (December 25). In this Liturgical year which begins on the 2nd of December , 2018, the Church listens and reflects on the Gospel of Luke and uses it for most of Sunday readings (Matthew for Year A and Mark for Year B). The Gospel of John appears several times in the Liturgy of the Word of almost all three years.
The Rev Gereldine Leonard has written some studies in Luke to help your thinking. These are useful as a bible study (you can download them for group discussion) but also to stimulate your thinking if you are preparing worship services and sermons. (Read them here)
LITURGIES & ORDERS OF SERVICE
Rev. Gereldine Leonard is a retired Uniting Church Minister who currently lives in Nagambie, Victoria and is a leader in the Southern Lights Scattered Covenant Community; a creative expression of Christian community in small rural locations.
Each month Gereldine prepares a full service which you are free to use, with acknowledgement.
Some services use the set Lectionary readings. Gereldine prepares the services well in advance of the day giving lay preachers and congregation worship leaders time to prepare and adapt the services for their own needs.
Other services are not based on any particular Lectionary readings and are ideal for those who may lead services in a number of congregations and want to use the same/similar service.
Click here to view the range of full services including Sermon by the Gereldine.
Resources for Fire, Flood & Disaster
Following is a list of materials that have been used for prayer during specific times of disaster and hardship.
- General Resources
- Victorian Bushfires, 2009
- Global Financial Crisis, 2008-09
- Bali Bombings, 2002
- September 11, 2001
- Reflection Poem
Carrying Rainbows of Hope: Liturgical resources for use after disasters and personal tragedies was produced in 2003 by the National Disaster Fund Trust Committee. Collated and edited by Rev Philip Liebelt, the 178-page book (produced here in PDF format) includes many resources for use after bushfires; and for communities in shock. We hope you find it useful in such a significant time of need.
Life after the fires (Liturgy by Rev. Dorothy McRae-McMahon)
In the grieving: after the fires (Liturgy by Rev. Dorothy McRae-McMahon)
The attachment below is a letter from the President of the Assembly to all congregations of the Uniting Church in Australia, detailing the UCA’s Victorian Bushfires Appeal, and how congregations could play a part.
The hymn below was written by Shirley Murray for the Australian people in the aftermath of the Victorian bushfires. It is to be sung to the tune of Now thank we all our God (TIS 106). We hope that this hymn may provide comfort and strength during this time.
- Messages of support from overseas
- Laments for the Victorian Bushfires – for Sunday 15 February 2009
- Reflection poem (by Jean Mayers)
- Hearing God through the Global Financial Crisis
- The Global Financial Crisis and your local church community
- A prayer for those beyond our shores
- What can I say to help others?
- Prayers for ourselves and others
- Averting the social impact of the Global Financial Crisis
- The Economic Stimulus Package: socially responsible spending
Terrorism moved closer to home on Saturday 12 October, 2002, when a bomb destroyed two crowded clubs in Bali, killing many Australians. The UCA hurried into action and prepared numerous resources for use in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Some resources from Pilgrim Uniting Church
Grieving our Violence — Bali
Rev Dorothy McCrae-McMahon
Memorial service for the victims of the Bali tragedy — Order of Service
Other letters, articles, statements and information
Prepared by the Centre for Concern, Washington DC
This poem was written by Jean Mayers as a reflection on the Victorian bushfires and God’s presence throughout this period of devastation. We hope that Uniting Church members and congregations can reflect upon it and gain comfort from it.
The wound so deep
– a grey-green jagged shard of pain
rips through my soul,
my very brain.
The world stands still
-so much unreal
on a desert isle of disbelief
I wonder weakly
‘Where is God in this
-in this insane configuration?
My God, can I believe
or care at all?’
A cloud of silence
-mother’s milk of love
permeates and stills my soul.
I share your pain
and weep beside you.
I am your comfort,
in all of this.
“Lean on me now
-release your burden
and I will hold you
lest you fall.”
Build a Service
Re: Worship A really useful site full of resources and reflections on the set readings for worship planners and leaders.
Calls to worship A great range of calls to worship from Pastor Brad.
Opening Prayers Generations of worshipping congregations have included set prayers within the opening section of their weekly services. These generally cover the themes of adoration, thanksgiving and confession. From John Birch – Celtic Prayers
Prayers of the People Richard Einerson: Prayers Of The People. These prayers are based on the three year common lectionary. All of the texts for each Sunday are listed and the suggested preaching text is highlighted. Most of the prayers which follow reference the text.
Concluding prayers and blessing A church service needs to have a definite conclusion, perhaps highlighting the implications of what has been taught and experienced, and praying for faithfulness in the week that lies ahead. From the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.
The Billabong: A worship resource following the Revised Common Lectionary.
Lectionary Liturgies by Thom M. Shuman. Liturgies based on the RCL readings for each Sunday of the church year.
Lectionary-Based Liturgies by Moira Laidlaw, Uniting Church in Australia, good liturgies, not sermons.
Lectionary Resources: by Bill Loader, including weekly commentary on the New Testament readings
Worship resources from Brian Cole, Uniting Church in Australia, Tasmania
Upper Room: An online worship resource
Bruce Prewer’s Home Page . Lectionary resources from the author of Australian Psalms etc.
First Thoughts on Passages from the Gospels in the Lectionary by William Loader, Murdoch University, Western Australia.
Old Testament Lectionary Resources, by Anna Grant-Henderson of Parkin-Wesley College, Adelaide.
Lift up Your Hearts , Worship & Spirituality Site of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
Liturgy that Works, New Zealand Anglican resources prepared by Bosco Peters
Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources: By the South Yarra Community Baptist Church in Melbourne.
SEASONS OF THE CHRISTIAN YEAR
Advent is the start of the Christian Year and is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. Advent means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Songs from a Strange Land – An Australian Advent Calendar
Available as a book or as an app (free download) for your smartphone the Advent Calendar, published by the Anglican Board of Mission has scripture readings, quotes, photographs, poems, cartoons and songs take you from Advent to Epiphany with a particular emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christianity, the Australian landscape and Creation theology. Click here to go to the page to order the book or download the app.
The Advent Wreath was originally a Lutheran practice, but it is now used by many other Christian denominations. It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles and often, a fifth, white candle in the center. Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading, devotional time and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Many Advent wreaths include a fifth, Christ candle which is lit at Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
This Advent Wreath liturgy has been prepared to be used during the time of Advent. It is designed to be used by all ages.
First published in KUCA NEWS September/October 2000. (Click here to download)
Weekly Pew Reflections
The Anglican Board of Mission has prepared a series of Advent and Christmas Reflections for use in weekly pew sheets – Download the .doc (Word) document here
Lent is a time for Christians to renew and deepen their faith through reflection, sacrifice and prayer. The creative and innovative resources provided here offer a range of ways for adults, youth and children to engage on the journey of Lent.
Beswick Worship and preaching resources, including suggested hymns, for preachers and worship leaders using the Revised Common Lectionary prepared by David Beswick. The site contains readings, suggested hymns, sermon summary and orders of service. David also includes a complete sermon linked to title.
Singing from the Lectionary: A site updated weekly with song and music suggestions based on the Revised Common Lectionary.
www.churchmusic.com.au Hymns and choruses recorded in a simple style to support congregational worship.
This is a project of the Waranga Uniting Churches, championed by our Murchison congregation. Some time ago a few of the Muchison UCA folk decided that they could do something to support congregations and organists by providing recordings of hymns for use when an organist isn’t available (or just wants a break!)
There is a small suggested donation for downloading the hymns, but if your budget doesn’t allow or you want to try out the hymns you can name your own price (including free). But your support will allow us to grow this site
PICTURES & IMAGES
Good pictures can bring the Bible story to life in new ways. It is also an easy way to making a worship service accessible to children and people who are visual learners.
The people at Free Bible Images are a team of Christians trying to help those teaching the Bible in this visual age. They work with contributing artists and illustrators who freely give of their time and talents to make this possible. They have a heart to help those in poorer regions of the world so everything on the site is free.
Family & Intergen RESOURCES
CHILDREN & FAMILIES MINISTRY – JULY
1. 2020 Children & Families Ministry Intensive Unit – July 15-17, 20-22 Parkville, Melbourne
The upcoming Children & Families Ministry intensive and the Graduate Certificate in Children & Families Ministry are excellent professional development opportunities for ministers, pastors, chaplains, Christian educators and those in paid children & families ministry roles. Enquire NOW about the possibility of participating in the July offering ON-LINE. Even if this not for you at this time, let me encourage you to forward the information on to at least one person who you think might (or even should) be interested.
2. Covid-19 – Moving Forward
3. Some Practical Resources
4. Prayer, the Holy Spirit & Pentecost
5. Families and Households
6. InterGenerate AUS Conference – Some Highlighted Books
7. Covid-19 – Some Further Thinking
8. Racial Justice
9. Faith Forward and Work Experience Podcasts
Childrensministry.org.au is run by Uniting Churches in NSW and ACT for their ministry with children and families. There are lots of ideas to encourage congregations to explore how God may be calling them to create safe places where children can discover faith in community. Their focus is on encouraging leaders, providing training, events and strategic planning and resources.
The Skit Guys Tommy Woodard and Eddie James are The Skit Guys. They have been best friends since high school. Think of them as the wise guys in class who had everyone laughing and managed to make a career out of it. They’ve been teaching God’s word using comedy, drama and whatever category talking action figures fit into for over twenty years.