February 10, 2019




As we struggle to know what to believe
We question what it is to walk the path of life
As we struggle to know who and what to trust
We question what it is to follow the spiritual journey
As we struggle to know in who or what to have faith
We question where we will take the next footstep

Our hymns today follow the church’s thinking on belief and faith through the centuries. You may not now agree with some of the words even though you may have happily sung them in the past. You are invited however to sing them today and in doing so to ‘get into the skin’ of those who first sang them with fervour and sincerity.

A song of praise from the 17th century Now thank we all our God
Words: Martin Rinkart 1586-1649 tr Catherine Winkworth 1827-28 alt
Music: WOV 14 Nun Danket form by Johann Cruger 1598-1662
Now thank we all our God,
with hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
in whom his world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms
hath blest us on our way,
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and Holy Ghost,
one Lord in highest heaven:
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Kia ora tatou.
Kia ora.

PRAYER and JESUS PRAYER Jim Cotter paraphrase on card



We send you to the Rainbow Room programme to hear stories, ask questions
and have fun together. 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!

THE WORD IN TEXTS Wendy Matthews

Hebrew Bible Isaiah 6: 1-8

A Victorian hymn of praise after Isaiah 6 WOV 65(i) ‘Holy, holy, holy’
Words Reginald Huber 1783-1826 alt
Music NICEA John Bacchus Dykes 1823-76

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty,
early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide thee,
‘though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy, there is none beside thee
perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty,
all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.


Gospel Luke 5:1-11

Contemporary reading by Brian D. McLaren,
from The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way
to Be Christian (Convergent: 2016), 2-3.
For centuries Christianity has been presented as a system of beliefs. That system of beliefs has supported a wide range of unintended consequences, from colonialism to environmental destruction, subordination of women to stigmatization of LGBT people, anti-Semitism to Islamophobia, clergy paedophilia to white privilege. What would it mean for Christians to rediscover their faith not as a problematic system of beliefs, but as a just and generous way of life, rooted in contemplation and expressed in compassion, that makes amends for its mistakes and is dedicated to beloved community for all? Could Christians migrate from defining their faith as a system of beliefs to expressing it as a loving way of life?
For centuries, Christians have presented God as a Supreme Being who showers blessings upon insiders who share certain beliefs and proper institutional affiliation, but who punishes outsiders with eternal conscious torment. Yet Jesus revealed God as one who “eats with sinners,” welcomes outsiders in, and forgives even while being rejected, tortured, and killed. . . . He preached that God was to be found in self-giving service rather than self-asserting domination. . . . What would it mean for Christians to understand, experience, and embody God as the loving, healing, reconciling Spirit in whom all creatures live, move, and have their being?
For centuries, Christianity has presented itself as an “organized religion”—a change-averse institution . . . that protects and promotes a timeless system of beliefs that were handed down fully formed in the past. Yet Christianity’s actual history is a story of change and adaptation. . . . What might happen if we understood the core Christian ethos as creative, constructive, and forward-leaning—as an “organizing religion” that challenges all institutions (including its own) to learn, grow, and mature toward a deepening, enduring vision of reconciliation with God, self, neighbour, enemy, and creation?
For the Word in scripture, for the Word among us,
for the Word within us, we give thanks

HYMN FOR REFLECTION FFS 10 (i) ‘Come and find the quiet centre’
A reflective hymn from the 20th century Music Gaelic trad. Arr. John Bell
Words ©1992 Shirley Erena Murray

Come and find the quiet centre in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter, be at peace, and simply be.

Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace,
God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, touches base,
making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun,
raising courage when we're shrinking, finding scope for faith begun.

In the Spirit let us travel, open to each other's pain,
let our loves and fears unravel, celebrate the space we gain:
there's a place for deepest dreaming, there's a time for heart to care,
in the Spirit's lively scheming there is always room to spare!

REFLECTION ‘ Faith - Belief - Trust – which? Susan Jones

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH for the 21st century
adapted from the 8 points of Progressive Christianity by Susan Jones 2015
I wish for greater consciousness
through searching within for awareness;
I believe questions are more helpful than absolutes
and diverse sources of wisdom are available to us.
Knowing the true expression of what I believe
is how I behave towards others,
I value community which includes
all types and styles of faith, belief and people;
Seeking the grace of progress in my spiritual walk,
I commit, as I am able, to a path of life-long learning,
compassion, and selfless love.
Seeking understanding and experience of
the Sacred and the Unity of all life,
I will follow, as I am able, the spiritual practices
involved in following the Jesus Way.
Seeking peace and justice among all people
and the integrity of our Earth,
I will work, as I am able, where there is damage and brokenness,
for restoration and reconciliation.

We stand in silence and make the offering prayer we wish to,
within the quiet of our own hearts.
So may it be
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 not already in the order of service, 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 Malawi and the Malawi Council of Churches. In New Zealand, we remember those in Parliament, and today we name Shane Jones and Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki list MPs. Here in the Central Presbytery, we pray for the leaders and people of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Hunterville.


21st century words to a traditional tune ‘The church needs a foundation’
Music WOV 385 Aurelia Words: © 2015 & 2019 Susan Jones
The church needs a foundation
though not of brick or stone
for buildings are but shelter
from rain or hailstorm.
They symbolise commitment
they resonate with praise
but people form the true church
in these postmodern days.

Through Christendom’s great worship
the rafters have been wrung;
We’ve gazed at stained glass windows,
made sure the brass has shone.
We’ve consecrated, maintained,
we’ve renovated but
religion’s modern rituals
are those postmoderns cut.

God’s commonwealth of spirit
is not built out of wood
but by our follow’ng Jesus
with praxis that is good.
Postmodern ‘church’ emerges
in fresh expressions, new,
with talk and acts of justice,
compassion which is true.

We find in such a ‘building’
that all are welcome here;
men, wisdom brought by women,
the sound of children, hear!
All sexual orientations,
rainbow identities;
We nurture Peace and Justice,
and Earth, each week we meet.

In our time we now follow
Jesus upon the Way,
on terms for us authentic,
and honest for this day.
We see our ‘church’ re-forming,
the Spirit helps it grow;
We see anew a future
where trust and faith may flow.

Others on the spiritual path have believed differently in different times;
Our task is to learn what we can trust
as our source, direction and goal;
sharing with others what may be helpful for them.
Blessed be all who journey,
all who seek, all who question;
May all find that
Love surrounds us every moment of every day


THANK YOU Vivien Chiu
Our musician today
Unless otherwise specified all our music is 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.

Fill in your details to download the welcome pack

You will be added to our mailing list to receive news about St Andrews Church

You have Successfully Subscribed!