January 27, 2019


Epiphany 3 – Service by Jim Cunningham



We come to be opened by visions that can enlist us
in larger causes and more caring actions.
We come to hear stories that might takes us
into a deeper kind of integrity,
and reconnect us with our better selves.
So may the warmer fullness that we seek
fill our hearts, our minds and our spirits.

PROCESSIONAL HYMN Sing Praise to all
Words © Gretta Vosper; Music WOV 28 ‘Lobe den Herren’

Sing praise to all that has offered us life and sustains us –
all that has opened our hearts to the love borne within us:
Family and friends,
Beauty we see without end –
gifts that our lives lay before us.

Sing praise to all that has opened our mind to new vistas –
all that has called us to seek out new truths through the ages:
Vision and word,
Music that sought to be heard,
These are the gifts that will mould us.

Sing praise to minds that will fashion our bold new tomorrows yesterdays wisdom released from its dogma and credos.
Evermore free
to live out what we believe
walking the path that Life hallows.

Kia ora tatou.
Kia ora.

PRAYER Dorothy McRae-McMahon (adapted)

We are called into community with each other;
to love and work, support and heal.
We are called into community with all people;
to bring justice and hope, freedom and truth.
We are called into community with the whole creation;
to live in harmony, to cherish and renew.
For our community gathered here,
for the spirit that called us together and drew us to this place:
We give thanks.
For moments we have shared with others;
for times we have reached out across barriers
of distance and fear;
for times when others have reached out to us:
We give thanks.
For our weaving together out of many separate selves
this hour of celebration and reflection;
this community of faith and hope:
We give thanks this day. Amen

JESUS PRAYER Jim Cotter paraphrase on card


The children may return to sit with family or stay at the front of the church and use the activity bags.
We bless you. Amen.

Feel free to pass the peace with those nearby or move to greet others further away. Passing the peace consists of shaking hands and saying “Peace be with you.” The response is “Peace be with you” or just “And with you.” Or, simply saying “Hello” is a good idea. Also feel free to simply observe if you wish!



Reflection 1: Behind the text: the theme of “reversal”

HYMN WOV 109 Tell out my soul
Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith © 1990 Hope Publishing Company
Tune: Woodlands
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul. The greatness of his name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name – the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn lips are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and for evermore!

THE TEXT: Luke 4: 14-22 Valerie Rhodes

Reflection 2: Inside the text – we meet Josiah from Nazareth


Reflection 3: In front of the text – does it speak to us?

Contemporary Reading: from: Iona – God’s energy. 1999
by Norman Shanks

One of my favourite old Hollywood films .... is a James Stewart black-and-white classic, Mr Smith goes to Washington. It is a kind of fairy tale about a decent man in small-town America, who in the pursuit of honesty and public concern is precipitated into politics and ends up in Washington on the threshold of the White House. One memorable line of dialogue has stuck in my mind: ’All good things in the world come from fools with faith.’ The distinguished anthropologist Margaret Mead put the same thought in a slightly different way that challenges us to commitment, and also reassures us in our quest for social and political change: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.’

For the Word in scripture, story, song and reflection
For the Word within us changing our perceptions
For the Word among us challenging and giving direction
We give thanks.

We honour those:
Who walk with a sense of purpose and reality,
Who walk unafraid to be challenged and to change,
Who walk with an understanding of people and an open faith,
Who have the courage to tread unknown paths.

We honour those:
Who speak aloud the message of Justice,
Who question deeply why poverty exists and why there are poor,
Who dare to choose imagination and live creatively
our universal partnership.

We give thanks for those:
Who have the courage to walk through darkness
asking questions about human rights,
Who are to be compassionate leaders – inclusive
of the poor and understanding of them,
Who are willing to enter into humble partnership.

We give thanks for those
Who proclaim aloud that we must never hesitate
to amplify the voice of those who go unheard,
Who recognised the deafness in our land,
the sound of all our people who are dispossessed,
Who celebrate the goodness of the human person
in every race and colour and walk of life.

We would be like those who:
Who walk in compassionate love,
Whose way proclaims a spirituality of action,
Who walk a partnership of justice, peace, love, and friendship,
Who know that every step we take is holy,
Who celebrate the goodness of the human person
in every race and colour and walk of life.

Adapted from Litany for the Journey, edited from Solidarity with the Poor; Sharing the Tradition. Shaping the Future Series, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. C3Exchange, 2011

HYMN HIOS 19 Deep in the human heart
Words: © 2009 William Livingstone Wallace;
Music: Diademata WOV 163
Deep in the human heart
the fire of justice burns;
a vision of a world renewed
through radical concern.
As Christians we are called
to set the captives free,
to overthrow the evil powers
and end hypocrisy.

This is our task today:
to build a world of peace;
a world of justice, freedom, truth,
where kindness will increase;
a world from hunger freed,
a world where people share,
where every person is of worth
and no one lives in fear.

Taking the step of faith,
we leave the past behind
and move into the future's world
with open heart and mind.
By grace we work with Christ,
as one community,
to bring new hope and fuller life
to all humanity.

OFFERING PRAYER (said together)
We give thanks for our life
and the courage we are given to live it.
Let our gratitude for life be expressed in our generosity.
Let our faith be expressed in engagement with the world
for the purpose of transformation,
for peace and love and justice.
Let our hope for our world find full expression
in our daily attitude of mind. Amen.

We recognise and bless the gifts brought to the table, and those which wing
their way electronically from our banks to the church’s account.

People share notices and visitors are welcomed. If you have a notice, please move to the front row, ready to speak briefly from the lectern.
For the benefit of newcomers, please introduce yourself before you begin.


We think today of the people of Serbia, Montenegro and the Republic of Macedonia and the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Serbia and Montenegro. In New Zealand, we remember those in Parliament, and today we name Raymond Huo and Willie Jackson, list MPs. Here in the Central Presbytery, we pray for the leaders and people of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Serbia and Montenegro.


Go as far as your courage takes you,
for we cannot go beyond the reach of God.
Give as extravagantly as you may,
for we cannot spend all the riches of God.
Care as lavishly as you are able,
for we cannot exhaust the love of God.
Keep journeying and searching,
for God will always travel with us.

HYMN FFS 29 God speed you on your way
Words: © 1999, 2000 Shirley Erena Murray
Music: © 2000 Shona Murray

God speed us on our way, safe keep us every day,
give us wing, cause to sing, all this we wish and pray.

God give us space to thrive, all senses kept alive,
health and hope, means to cope, joyfully to arrive.

God lead us to the new, places and points of view,
roads to take, friends to make, more life to travel through.


THANK YOU Judy Dumbleton
Our Musician today
Unless otherwise stated all hymns are used by permission CCLI Licence 341550
Words/music to new hymns and gathering statement, prayers and affirmation are original unless acknowledged. If Susan Jones is the worship leader any liturgy will have been written by her. These words can be used in other worship and small group situations without seeking permission. Please acknowledge the source.

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