Worship Notes and Weekly Intercessions for Sunday 29th October

Worship Notes and Weekly Intercessions

Dear Friends,

Millennia ago the prophet Habakkuk, when faced with war, environmental disaster and consequent famine, sung:

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.
 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and makes me tread upon the heights.

Words which resonate as we face the consequences of human greed wreaking havoc on the fragile earth.  As the climate changes, the ice melts, and sea waters rise we will have to adapt and learn to mitigate the dreadful climate changes which are already upon us.  What I find fascinating is that Habakkuk didn’t turn away from God when faced with his traumas and, in these times of change and danger I hope we won’t either.

Habakkuk’s response was to turn to God and, in worship found the strength to make sense of his world and to adapt to his realities.  Week after week we gather to worship in church and chapel, in grand buildings and around computer screens.  As we sing, pray, listen and share in the simple things of bread and wine, we encounter the Risen Lord who strengthens and enables us to be His disciples.

In order to help local churches produce good worship the URC produces weekly Worship Notes.   I have written this week’s Notes to help us anticipate All Saints’ Day which falls on Wednesday next week.  I offer an all age activity based on the idea of friends and people we know – suggesting the saints are surround us like a great crowd of people we know, even if only vaguely.  In the notes on the readings I suggests the saints were the ones who were subversive – the martyrs in Revelation undermined the Roman social order by their radical proclamation that Jesus is Lord – as do those Christians today who meet in secret for fear of the state.  I offer all the prayers you need, a suggested Affirmation of Faith, a Communion rite and a range of hymns – with suggestions about alternate tunes.  I also suggest a Brian Wren hymn not in any of our hymnbooks and set to a new tune which can be found online.

As I produced these notes some time ago we also ensure that Weekly Intercessions are produced for people to use or adapt to their own local contexts.  The Rev’d Neil Thorogood has produced some very moving prayers this week with the situation in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel in mind.   They can be found here.

I hope that your experience and discipline of worship delights, strengthens and empowers you as we adapt to the realities of our world.

With every good wish


The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship

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