Ecochurch worship in November

Thank you Mary for this, it was lovely and we did enjoy singing that old favourite!

Decorated candles ready for the Solstice service and the Carol service

Eco Church Worship 24th November 2019

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:5

Please take a candle and a twig from the basket, and sit in the pews near the Votive stand.

Welcome

Bible Reading Genesis 1 v 1-5.

First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared.
God saw that light was good and separated light from dark.
 God named the light Day, He named the dark Night.
 It was evening, it was morning— Day One.

Song. Jesus bids us shine, whilst we light our candles and place them on the Votive stand.

  1. Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,
    Like a little candle burning in the night;
    In this world of darkness, we must shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  2. Jesus bids us shine, first of all for Him;
    Well He sees and knows it if our light is dim;
    He looks down from heaven, sees us shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  3. Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around
    Many kinds of darkness in this world abound:
    Sin, and want, and sorrow—we must shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  4. Jesus bids us shine, as we work for Him,
    Bringing those that wander from the paths of sin;
    He will ever help us, if we shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  5. Bible Reading Genesis 1 v 14,15

 God spoke: “Lights! Come out!
 Shine in Heaven’s sky!
 Separate Day from Night.
 Mark seasons and days and years,
 Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.”
 And there it was.

The sense of winter

The light is more precious in winter,

being in short supply.

Out of the enveloping darkness

we emerge

to grasp with eager hands

the chilled brightness, briefly,

honouring its soon passing.

The low sun,

illuminating deep-down hidden things,

shining into dark corners,

hurting our eyes,

all too soon slips below the horizon

and the darkness rolls in

and over

and around.

But, but

there are treasures in darkness,

wild and secret,

undiscovered until touched or tasted,

sight denied.

Winter is a feast for the senses,

winter is darkness.

And light

and darkness… Carolyn Morris

Bible Reading Genesis 1 v 31 – 2 v 4

 God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!
 It was evening, it was morning— Day Six.

Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail.

By the seventh day God had finished his work.

 On the seventh day He rested from all his work.
 God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day
 Because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done.

A Reading for Jan

Prayers

Loving Creator God, help us to appreciate all that you give to us, the light times and the dark times in our world and in our lives.

We give thanks for the winter, the end of the year, when the earth rests before bursting forth into new life in the spring. But in the meantime, let us embrace the winter and all it has to offer.

God of beauty and grace, we thank you for all that winter brings to us, for revealing the stark beauty of a tree’s outline and giving the wonder and intricacy of a flake of snow.

We pray for all those who will find hardship this winter, the homeless, the lonely and the vulnerable.

We thank you for a time to rest from mowing the lawn or from weeding the vegetable bed;

We pray for all those who would love to be able to do these tasks if they were able.`

A time to expectantly plan what seeds to plant in the season to come, but from the comfort of a cosy chair.

We pray for all those who don’t have a cosy chair, let alone a future they can plan ahead for.

We thank you for cold wintry walks when we can snuggle into our favourite scarf, look forward to a hot cup of tea in our hands and reminisce in front of the fire.

We pray for all those who have no warm clothes, no warm fire, and not even a place to call home.

We thank you for those gloomy, grey and wet winter days that are without the sun.

And pray that they will give respite from the severe cold to the vulnerable and homeless.

Grant us the graciousness to see winter’s gifts and enjoy earth’s quiet season.

Amen.

AND THIS IS THE COPY FOR LEADERS

Eco Church Worship 24th November 2019

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1 :5

Please take a candle and a twig from the basket, and sit in the pews near the Votive stand.

Welcome

This afternoon we have a winter festival theme to our Eco Church. We’ll be making decorated candle holders in preparation for the winter and Christmas services in December. Do you all have a candle? Our three short readings are taken from the first book of the Bible – Genesis, and I have chosen to read them from The Message, which is a contemporary translation of the Bible from the original languages.

I will light the first candle on the Votive stand.

Bible Reading Genesis 1 v 1-5.

First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared.
God saw that light was good and separated light from dark.
 God named the light Day, He named the dark Night.
 It was evening, it was morning— Day One.

I thought it would be fun to sing a chorus that I learned at my Sunday School, many years ago, and I’m sure some of you will know it too.

Sing Jesus bids us shine, whilst we light our candles and place them on the Votive stand.

  1. Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,
    Like a little candle burning in the night;
    In this world of darkness, we must shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  2. Jesus bids us shine, first of all for Him;
    Well He sees and knows it if our light is dim;
    He looks down from heaven, sees us shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  3. Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around
    Many kinds of darkness in this world abound:
    Sin, and want, and sorrow—we must shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  4. Jesus bids us shine, as we work for Him,
    Bringing those that wander from the paths of sin;
    He will ever help us, if we shine,
    You in your small corner, and I in mine.
  5. Bible Reading Genesis 1 v 14,15

 God spoke: “Lights! Come out!
 Shine in Heaven’s sky!
 Separate Day from Night.
 Mark seasons and days and years,
 Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.”
 And there it was.

The year is marked by its seasons

and we are now entering winter, the season where the earth rests. The days become shorter and night time longer.

The sense of winter

The light is more precious in winter,

being in short supply.

Out of the enveloping darkness

we emerge

to grasp with eager hands

the chilled brightness, briefly,

honouring its soon passing.

The low sun,

illuminating deep-down hidden things,

shining into dark corners,

hurting our eyes,

all too soon slips below the horizon

and the darkness rolls in

and over

and around.

But, but

there are treasures in darkness,

wild and secret,

undiscovered until touched or tasted,

sight denied.

Winter is a feast for the senses,

winter is darkness.

And light

and darkness… Carolyn Morris

Bible Reading Genesis 1 v 31 – 2 v 4

 God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!
 It was evening, it was morning— Day Six.

Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail.

By the seventh day God had finished his work.

 On the seventh day He rested from all his work.
 God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day
 Because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done.

On the seventh day God rested from all his work. Winter is the season when the earth rests, so we too should take time for rest.

We give thanks for the seasons, the seasons of nature and the seasons of our lives.

This last year there have been so many of our friends and neighbours who have passed away. Ali has asked me to read again the prayer that I wrote for my friend Jan at her funeral last month. You may like to remember someone known personally to you as I read it.

Prayer for Jan……

Father God, creator of the universe, we stand in awe at the wonders of nature all around us. From the growth of a tiny seed to the mighty oak tree, a world nurtured and watered by the works of your hand. From the stars in the heavens to each small speck of sand, the sunrise, the sunset, the land and the sea. Each day we see new signs of your gift of creation.

We marvel and wonder at new life as a baby is born. Cocooned in safety in the mother’s womb, then cradled and treasured in her loving arms, and nurtured with love. You give us the joys of family and friends with whom we can share our hopes and our dreams, our pleasures and our fears, as we travel together along the journey of life. Help us to share together our joys and our sorrows.

We give thanks for our homes and gardens, and think especially of Jan’s skills as a gardener, and the pleasure it gave her. The flowers she chose for beauty, the sweet scents of lavender and herbs to welcome the butterflies and bees. Her enjoyment of the song of the birds, and watching the squirrels leaping between our gardens. We give thanks for these and other beautiful memories of such a special friend and her connection to nature through nurturing and caring for her garden. All this a part of your on-going creation of new life, new growth, and new hope for the future.

To every thing there is a season. A time to be born and a time to die……As the seasons turn into years, the pattern of life and growth continues, an everlasting circle of growth and renewal. We are all on earth for a season, cradled and loved in the arms of our heavenly creator God from before our birth until our time on this earth is ended. As we trust that the unborn baby’s needs are met whilst still in the womb, so we trust our creator to meet our needs as we move on from this life that we know, to the new hopes and new life beyond our earthly confines, and to rest in your eternal garden of love, cradled in the palm of your hand. Amen

To everything there is a season. A time to be born and a time to die….. Have a look at the dead branches that you have in front of you. The leaves have gone, the seeds have been dispersed. Nothing but the branches left. Is it dead? Are there any signs of life or new growth? Would it grow if you planted it? Maybe some would. So is it dead? Look at the branch that has beautiful autumnal leaves. Isn’t if beautiful. But the leaves have become more beautiful as they are dying, and then they will drop and nourish the earth for the next season. Look at the tree’s winter silhouette, beautiful against the sky. The tree lives on without its leaves. New life, new hope, new growth. It’s just resting and waiting for its season to come once again.

Prayers (Please join in with the prayers that are highlighted)

Loving Creator God, help us to appreciate all that you give to us, the light times and the dark times in our world and in our lives.

We give thanks for the winter, the end of the year, when the earth rests before bursting forth into new life in the spring. Until then, let us embrace the winter and all it has to offer.

God of beauty and grace, we thank you for all that winter brings to us, for revealing the stark beauty of a tree’s outline and giving the wonder and intricacy of a flake of snow.

We pray for all those who will find hardship this winter, the homeless, the lonely and the vulnerable.

We thank you for a time to rest from mowing the lawn or from weeding the vegetable bed;

We pray for all those who would love to do these tasks if they were able.

A time to expectantly plan what seeds to plant in the season to come, but from the comfort of a cosy chair.

We pray for all those who don’t have a cosy chair, let alone a future they can plan ahead for.

We thank you for cold wintry walks when we can snuggle into our favourite scarf, look forward to a hot cup of tea in our hands and reminisce in front of the fire.

We pray for all those who have no warm clothes, no warm fire, and not even a place to call home.

We thank you for those gloomy, grey and wet winter days that are without the sun.

And pray that they will give respite from the severe cold to the vulnerable and homeless.

Grant us the graciousness to see winter’s gifts and enjoy earth’s quiet season. Amen.

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