August 9, 2022

Order of Service and Notices 05-06-2022

 

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 5th June 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

PENTECOST  

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

SRC 214                         I Love You Lord   

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS               Acts 2:1-8 & John 14:8–17   

HYMN                       Come, O Holy Spirit, Come   

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:                  The Holy Spirit Comes     

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

SRC 47               Be Still for the Presence of the Lord       

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 398                        Come Down, O Love Divine    

HOLY COMMUNION

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 2)  

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics 

          1. Leighmoor Uniting Church & Church Members

          2. Protection for Families and Friends 

          3. Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need 

          4. Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations 

          5. Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

          6. Prayers around COVID & Across Australia

          7. Care and recovery of each part of God’s creation

          8. Spiritual Blessings in Christ & Faith Growth 

          9. People of Ukraine and Russia & Sri Lanka

        10. Unity and Harmony in the church and communities

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall

Friday Fellowship: Time &Venue to be advised on Sunday 

AGM (Annual General Meeting): Today

Unity and Harmony in the Church 29-05-2022

29th May 2022 (Seventh Sunday of Easter)

Sermon Title: Unity and Harmony in the Church

(Acts 16:16–34 & John 17:20–26)

                                                                                  By Heeyoung Lim

How and why the shocking tragedy of mass shooting has happened in a primary school in Texas? It’s only 10 days since another mass shooting in New York. Abuses of human worth still occur, and horrible tragedies still arise when unscheduled. There are mistreatment, wars, and unexpected shootings where to be peaceful in the world, many people go through difficult seasons, and struggle to live together. Bound by these difficulties and pain, people ask, “How can these chains be broken?” Challenging situations occur at any time and for any person.

There are layers of authorities and powers in the story of Acts 16. There is a powerful spirit that possesses the girl, who is also controlled by those who own and profit from her. A slave girl and people interrupt Paul’s ministry until he finally heals her. After the healing, she is no longer marketable for her owners. The girl’s masters became angered at this loss of income, and the crowd joined the complaints of local merchants against Paul and Silas. 

With no opportunity to defend themselves, Paul and Silas were beaten with a wooden rod and thrown into the prison with their feet placed in chains. There are civil authorities who mistreat Paul and Silas, and the jailer who imprisons them. New Testament Christians were accustomed to being imprisoned on false charges. However, above all, there is the power of God’s Spirit. 

In today’s text, a slave girl is in chains with the name of spirit, mammon, and power from others, but she is healed by Paul in the name of Jesus. Paul and Silas are in chains, but they act in freedom; they sing and pray even in a prison. This is the message of salvation by grace through faith.

The story testifies to the importance of prayer and praise. The prayer and song serve as their response to imprisonment. Their actions support one another and give witness to those who listen. When an earthquake opens the doors and breaks their chains, Paul and Silas save the jailer from taking his life. Whatever the jailer intended, Paul and Silas directed his focus immediately to Jesus and proclaimed the gospel. Proclamation of the Word held priority over their physical condition and comfort to Paul and Silas. In verse 33, the jailer tends Paul’s and Silas’ wounds, and Paul and Silas baptize the jailer and his household. This is a reciprocal ministry in a new community. The jailer and his family were reconciled to God, then to their former enemies who are two most unusual prisoners. May we be ready to proclaim the gospel to anyone, anytime, anywhere. I also hope that we can make and nurture more beautiful communities of faith through mutual service and ministry.

Sometimes, just when things seem to be going great, the bottom drops out, but may we trust God and sing and pray in the most difficult moments of our life. I also hope that our faith communities can pray and serve harder in Christ for the saints who have suffered.

Many people in the world will have experienced feelings of being trapped in a situation or relationship such as job loss, health challenges, abuse. What testimony can we bring of the Holy Spirit’s action and the power of Risen Christ in freeing us or our community from captivity or bondage?

How can we encourage and support one another amid the challenges of life we face today? What rituals and practices will we cultivate that will or can support people in difficult circumstances? We can pray for a violent world. God’s people can sing in their struggles when they know He leads and blesses each step of their lives no matter how difficult and dark some days may be.

The founder of one of missionary institutions, A. B. Simpson said, “The joy of the Lord is the strength of His people, The sunshine that banishes sadness and gloom, The fountain that bursts in the desert of sorrow, And sheds o’er the wilderness gladness and bloom. The joy of the Lord is our strength for life’s burdens. It gives to each duty a heavenly zest…”

If we lose strength in doing God’s work, it is probably because we are living a life that has nothing to do with the joy of the Lord. If our passion for serving has cooled, it must be because we have forgotten that the joy of the Lord is our strength. The Lord is our strength, and the joy of the Lord is our joy.

In John 17:20–26, Jesus’ prayer for the community and all people defines new freedom-life in relationship with God. The heart of this final part of Jesus’ prayer focuses on unity, and it is the ultimate demonstration of God’s work through His people. We are aware that body unity is patterned after divine unity. The absolute oneness of the Father and the Son will now be spiritually transferred to believers for unity and harmony in the church and community.

Obviously, being one is not easy. However, if we fail to achieve unity in church and faith communities, it means that we are turning away from Jesus’ prayer for all believers and God’s will for us. Jesus invites us to understand unity between the Son and the Father and lead us to walk into the unity and harmony in the church and wider communities.

In Acts, Paul proclaimed the gospel and looked after a slave girl who annoyed his ministry and baptised jailer and his family. When Jailer asked them about the salvation, they replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Paul and Silas led a girl, jailer, and his family on the path of restoration, salvation, and reconciliation through proclaiming the gospel and liberating love in the name of Jesus.

In John 17, the last word is love. Jesus does not call for doctrinal unity, organizational unity, political unity, or artificial unity. This prayer is for unity that grows out of the love of God, received, and shared among his followers, leading to an experienced unity in love between Jesus and his followers. This unity in the church and wider communities are based on love of God. Five times within these six verses, Jesus names “love” as the key to divine relationships (vv. 23, 24, 26). Love is the divine gift to the disciples, the grace through which God seeks to attract the world, and the ingredient that the Lord prays for his followers. The purpose of the Father’s indwelling is the imparting of love to the disciples. Now they carry in their community the experience of that love, a power strong enough to remake the world. May we look after others with the love of God and try to remake the world in Christ. 

Unity in Christ and solidarity with those in need are faithful responses to God’s call to community. When love extends compassion, and justice unleashes freedom, unholy chains in relationships can be broken. The good news of God’s liberating grace needs to be delivered to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. The Holy Spirit leads us into the middle of life to do such ministry. 

Jesus prays for all believers. One of Jesus’ current ministries in heaven is to pray for us. As in today’s John’s gospel, Jesus wants us to be united in Christ. Unity and harmony in the church serve as a witness to the world. May we trust God’s protection for our spiritual and physical life and be witnesses fulfilling God’s will for the church by working to keep its unity. May unity and harmony in the church and wider communities be achieved through us in the name of Jesus.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials) 

Order of Service and Notices 29-05-2022

 

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 29th May 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER 

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS 442 (ii)         All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord  

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS            Acts 16:16-34; John 17:20–26   

TIS 229                             Jesus Loves Me    

  

CHILDREN TIME       

SERMON:      Unity and Harmony in the Church           

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]    

TIS 658                        I the Lord of Sea and Sky      

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 52                 Let Us Sing to the God of Salvation   

BENEDICTION        God Be with You (v. 1)  

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics 

          1. Leighmoor Uniting Church & Church Members

          2. Protection for Families and Friends 

          3. Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need 

          4. Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations 

          5. Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

          6. Prayers around COVID & Across Australia

          7. Care and recovery of each part of God’s creation

          8. Spiritual Blessings in Christ & Faith Growth 

          9. People of Ukraine and Russia & Sri Lanka

        10. National Reconciliation Week

        11. Unity and Harmony in the church and communities

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall

Friday Fellowship: Time &Venue to be advised on Sunday 

AGM (Annual General Meeting): 5th June 

Coatesville Variety Concert: 4th June 6 p.m.
@ Coatesville Uniting Church 

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com 

My Peace I Give to You 22-05-2022

MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU

Sermon by Geoff Serpell: Easter 6: John 14: 23-29

“Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:27

What kind of peace you may well ask? David Beswick, a retired Uniting Church Minister says that it is a gift of wholeness, being made well, reconciled, saved, and knowing God. Peace and wholeness are brought together in the healing miracles of Jesus illustrated liberally throughout the four gospels. 

From Old Testament times, peace was understood as a general state of wellbeing, and being in a good relationship with God. Peacemakers are the children of God said Jesus in His sermon on the mount. There is evil in the world to be overcome and the way of peace is not always recognized. Jesus paid the price of suffering and death to win a victory bringing peace.

Rev. Kim Cain tells us in his 17 May ‘Love to the World’ Bible commentary that a central theme in John’s gospel is about an advocate, a witness or comforter who will be present after the ascension of Jesus to be present even to us in our time. Abiding in Christ, a central Christian activity takes the form of peace beyond that provided by the world.

People talk about what they are most looking for in life, peace features high on the list. We seek peace and tranquillity from the noise of traffic, Inner peace when we are in chaos, World peace when for example, we are confronted with Russia trying to take over Ukraine in the most devastating manner, whilst just a bit of peace and quiet after a days’ work is much sought after by many.

We are not all blessed with negotiating skills and sometimes workers and bosses come to loggerheads about agreements on terms and conditions of employment. Our buses did not run last Friday so it was not peaceful on the roads in extra traffic getting kids to school. For too many women, who are living in a violent relationship, fear is normal, maintaining a fragile peace at the expense of their own interests. Speaking out against injustices or whistleblowing is not for the fainthearted and usually safer to keep the peace and keep your mouth shut. This may cause more issues to keep quiet and avoid, so it’s not always a safe option. Would you think it is better to speak out and address somehow about e.g., child abuse?

Jesus offers us peace without troubled hearts or fear. That is what we all hunger for. But in our gospel verses, Jesus is preparing to depart and leave us. Before he did leave, he promised us a Counsellor to be with us for ever, the spirit of truth, being the Holy Spirit. My Bible notes tells me that the Spirit will always stand by Christ’s people. In action and in essence the Spirit is characterized by truth. Jesus brings his people to the truth of God.

A little book written by Holly Wagner called:” Dumb things we do” includes tips on improving relationships between married couples. She gives playful and challenging advice on what you can do today to have a strong, loving, and peaceful relationship together.

One tip says:” do not try to fix your husband: it is not a good idea”. “It is better to honour each other with due respect and not be self-centred.” It is good to practise random acts of kindness. We need to be flexible and adaptable with each other for there to be peace in our homes. Holly asks, see what happens by trying it.

Places and situations where I have found peace include walking through bushland along some track with birdsong audible which I get at Nagambie on our conservation estate. We have built around 50 nesting boxes as your saw one this morning. I do not climb a ladder to put them up in trees any longer.

 A Professor of Pastoral Counselling, Howard Clinebell told me at a conference in Toronto in 1993 that for each of his birthdays he spends the day hiking to the top of some mountain to be closer to God and finding peace. That is a hilltop experience.

Our youngest son, Andrew used to find peace after a hard day at his office, in our workshop, the building being well insulated. He could practise his trombone. each night without causing a revolt among the neighbours. He has gone on to be a professional jazz player in some great Melbourne night spots, whilst I can still see the evidence of his work as a stain from the water out of the instrument still showing on the concrete floor.

Can you recall that sense of relief and peace when you experienced achieving something that was very stressful in preparing? I found peace after singing a solo in front of 1000 patrons in a fundraising concert for Parkinson, Britain, at Pershore Cathedral. The song was called ‘Working Man” about a retired coalminer reminiscing about the lung disease rife in the industry and the arduous work in terrible conditions. I felt so relaxed and peaceful as I walked back to my place in the Victoria Welsh Choir, being so thankful that I had not forgotten the words. 

Back in the sixties and seventies, when I was employed by Prince Henry’s Hospital in St Kilda Road, I attended a businesspersons’ lunchtime church service at Scots’ church Collins Street Melbourne. I do not remember any words said during the 15 years except most times when I was jumping back onto the tram with renewed energy, to get back to work were the peaceful words regularly said by the Minister, Rev Gordon Powell:’ Let Go and let God”!

Jan reminded me that when our three sons were each tucked up and asleep in their beds, it was our turn as parents to have some peace and quiet at the end of the long day. Lately as we face up to a celebration of 60 years of marriage this week, we have our peace, with a cup of tea each on arising accompanied by tuning into FM radio, “Golden Days” music for the over 50’s.and then having the daily reading out of the ‘Friendship Book’. 

I have another little book called “Prayers of Peace” Let us share a few with you: –

“In the practice of daily prayer, we can find the blessing of God’s peace.”

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

Where there is peace, God is. -George Herbert

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.: – Psalm 34: 1-4

The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.: – Ecclesiastes: 9:17

And Jesus said to the woman who had washed His feet, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”- Luke 7:50

Dear God, Drop thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress, And let our ordered lives confess Thy beauty of thy peace.: – John Greenleaf Whittier [TIS hymn no 598

Eddie Askew writes in his book:” Disguises of Love”: “Maybe it helps us as we think about peace. The struggle for peace is won and lost, not in the outside world, but in the world within each one of us. It is the struggle to see ourselves as we really are, not only to ourselves but to God. Then we realize that He accepts us and surrounds us with His love. It’s when we come to terms with ourselves, and offer what we are to God, that the seed of ‘peace’ is established.

Let us pray: –

Oh, to find the peace that passes all understanding. The drama and frenetic of today’s average life is enough to make us crazy and bring us to our knees, crying out for peace.

Yet too many times we fail to realize that we have access to the kind of peace that no challenge- no matter how big and insurmountable it might seem- can shatter.

Peace that is deep and everlasting, because it comes from the greatest source of peace there is – the loving heart of God.

Order of Service and Notices 22-05-2022

pastedGraphic.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS 398                  Come Down, O Love Divine 

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS                         John 14:23–29   

TIS 598                     Dear Father, Lord of Humankind   

  

CHILDREN TIME   A Parrot @ a Nesting Box     

SERMON:               My peace I Give to You           

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]    

TIS 547                      Be Thou My Vision     

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 687                       God Gives Us a Future  

BENEDICTION      God Be with You (v. 4)  

NOTICES:

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall

Friday Fellowship: Time &Venue to be advised on Sunday 

AGM (Annual General Meeting): 5th June 

Thanks to 

Worship, Music, Education, and Fellowship Team & Geoff

LCM Combined Service & Children Singing & All Participants

All Volunteers for Working Bee & Fundraising Event for the Church Facilities and renovations

Tennis Club has resolved that a donation of $1,000 be made toward the cost of renovations in the church hall Breezeway

Community: “We Are One” Relief Appeal is being held to raise funds for the People of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 28th May at 3.00 pm @St. Columba’s Uniting Church

2-12 Joy Parade, Noble Park

Coatesville Variety Concert: 4th June 6 p.m.
@ Coatesville Uniting Church 

The Good Shepherd & Faith Communities 08-05-2022

8th May 2022 (Fourth Sunday of Easter)

Title: The Good Shepherd & Faith Communities

(Acts 9:36–43 & John 10:22–30)

                                                                                  By Heeyoung Lim

Happy Mother’s Day! May the Lord bless your home and the places of your work with His grace and blessing. I hope that today will be a day of blessing for all mothers, and God’s special grace and comfort will be with those who have parted with their mother on earth. 

In Acts 9, Suddenly the topic shifts from the conversion of Paul to Peter’s miraculous raising of Tabitha. In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas). In verse 36, she was introduced by name and called as a disciple. 

When she became sick and died, without telling Peter why, the congregation from Joppa requested his presence, “Please come to us right away!” They lovingly cared for Dorcas’s body. Witnessing to God’s gracious acts can take many forms. When Tabitha died, her friends tried to let Peter know how important and valuable she was. They brought all the clothing that she had made for the widows, tangible symbols of her compassion. Their acts showed how Tabitha demonstrated God’s love each day of her life. They shed tears together and waited prayerfully outside while Peter was with Dorcas. 

Peter entered the room and knelt to pray. Then he told Tabitha to get up, and she did! The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead brings back to life this faithful woman whose acts of compassion are central to the new reality of God’s reign. Sometimes God may choose to intervene in a miraculous way for His people. May we pray first when faced with a difficult ministry task.

Tabitha was a disciple who devoted to good works and acts of charity. (v. 36) She served others and looked after people who are in need until she dies. The congregation in Joppa was making communal intercession for the healing of one of its members, hoping desperately for her wholeness. The congregation was vulnerable, but they stood together, sharing all they had including spiritual resources and weeping together, hoping together, and celebrating together. They were unafraid to walk into each other’s lives in transforming ways. 

Dorcas or Peter will not live forever on earth. Peter provided a temporary restoration to life for this lovely Christian female disciple at Joppa with the power of Risen Christ. The emphasis of this text is upon a community honing all the spiritual strength and resources passionately upon life and wholeness rather than individuals. May we find ways to experience, energize, and celebrate the marks of a loving and healing community in today’s individualistic culture.

It indicates the expansion of the growth of God’s love from Jewish to Gentile. We know Paul is called by Christ mainly for Gentile, but Peter also proclaimed the gospel to Gentile and showed the love of God to many people. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. (42) That would be enough to know that the power of God was working through Peter and Dorcas. 

Faith communities are drawn toward healing because brokenness is so much a part of our lives. Christians today are more aware than ever of the power of holistic healing, the intercession of prayer, positive attitude, and the resources of medicine. We are more aware than ever that no one should face disease alone. Prayer, love, and service from faith communities can support us, complementing medical treatment. 

Communities are powerful healing partners in helping us overcome illness and brokenness. This was true for Dorcas, and it remains true for us today. May we, individually and as the church, learn from Tabitha and Peter about life-giving service. Simple quiet service for God is no less important than complex public service. May we be in actions that show the presence and the power of God with us through the acts of love and kindness. 

We experience how everyday acts of love, compassion, and kindness have the power to lift people to life. In today’s text, the life-giving acts were revealed through the example of Tabitha’s loving service and kindness and Peter’s prayer and ministry. We are comforted by the image of a shepherd that protects, defends, leads, and feeds.

In John 10:22–30, Jesus promises that His sheep will be with Him and can never be snatched away. No matter what occurs, we can look to Christ and identify Him as our good shepherd. Christ’s sheep can look to Jesus, those sheep are recognizable because they believe in the Shepherd, they listen to the Shepherd, and they follow the Shepherd. True sheep listen to the shepherd, but false sheep pay no attention. 

The Good Shepherd has purchased our salvation with His blood and now offers shelter and security to all who follow Him. We become a true sheep by placing faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. But once the Holy Spirit implants that nature in us, we respond to the Shepherd because that is what sheep do. There are times in our lives when we are affected by evil and there are times when we are shaken by temptations, but we trust that our Lord, the Good Shepherd, will always protect and guide us. Believers behave like sheep, and the good shepherd makes a sheep feel safe. No one can tear us away from His love. May we trust our lives to the Good Shepherd. 

Jesus calls us “my sheep”, it means the union of Christ. His calling is “listening to His voice”. Jesus knows us, and we follow Him. He also gives us eternal life in grace and love. We all remember the life-giving acts of Jesus.

The voice of the Good Shepherd is a voice that liberates rather than oppresses. It does not say, “Do this, and then maybe you will be one of my sheep.” It says, “You belong to me already. No one can snatch you out of my hand.” Secure in this belonging, we are free to live the abundant life of which Jesus spoke earlier in the chapter: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. (v.10).

The abundant life of which Jesus speaks is not necessarily about abundance in years, or in wealth, or status, or success, or accomplishments. It is life that is abundant in the love of God made known in Jesus Christ, love that overflows to others (John 13:34-35). It is eternal life because its source is in Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life (11:25-26).

May we discern the Shepherd’s voice amongst all the other voices that appeal for our attention. May we oppose other voices with all our strength and follow the one who is our good shepherd! No matter what the future holds, God’s hand is holding us, and nothing can snatch us away. May we express our gratitude for the eternal life Christ gives us and follow our good shepherd Jesus in all circumstances.

The Easter season is a call to get up and live in the power of the risen Christ, which can empower us to overcome those things that have harmed and hindered us, and to take the lead in loving service in the communities in which we live. I pray that we can encourage and support others in making their own personal and collective faith journeys and experiencing the living Lord themselves.

God calls us to rise, to live, to seek the welfare of others, and to offer words and deeds that are life-giving. May our lives be filled with the presence of God’s spirit, and we grow as disciples of Risen Christ and followers of the good shepherd.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials) 

Order of Service and Notices 08-05-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 8th May 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER 

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

SRC 1389                     King of the Ages  

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS            Acts 9:36-43 & John 10:22–30   

SRC 407                           One Thing I Ask  

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:  The Good Shepherd & Faith Communities     

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

SRC 185               How Deep the Father’s Love to Us    

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

SRC 089                                Faithful One   

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 3)  

NOTICES:

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall

Friday Fellowship: Time &Venue to be advised on Sunday 

LCM Combined Service: 15th May 10AM

LCM: Leighmoor, Coatesville, and Murrumbeena UCA

@Coatesville Uniting Church & Zoom & YouTube

1050 North Road, Bentleigh East

(No Service @Leighmoor Uniting Church on May 15th)

Zoom Details for LCM Combined Service

Zoom ID: 605 768 711

Password: 135

Fundraising Event for the Church Facilities: 21st May

On Election Day (Sausage Sizzle, Thanks to Volunteers)
Working Bee on Saturdays & Volunteer Schedule on Election Day, Ask Robyn (D) & Geoff

AGM (Annual General Meeting): 5th June 

Community: “We Are One” Relief Appeal is being held to raise funds for the People of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 28th May at 3.00 pm @St. Columba’s Uniting Church

2-12 Joy Parade, Noble Park

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com 

The Risen Christ is Calling Us 01-05-2022

1st May 2022 (Third Sunday of Easter)

Title: The Risen Christ Is Calling Us. 

(Acts 9:1–6 & John 21:1–19)

                                                                                  By Heeyoung Lim

John has recorded three post-resurrection appearances of Jesus here: to Mary, to the disciples that first Sunday night, and a second time to the disciples with Thomas. Now we see the third time appearance as Jesus visited his disciples as they followed their vocation. 

Being with Jesus had been great, and it must have felt wonderful to have him alive again. They have been scattered on the roadside of good intentions for ministry, but they traded God’s call for something else like fishing for a living. They were hanging out and fishing, but they caught nothing. The text says they saw someone on the shore but could not tell who it was. These disciples had seen the Risen Lord twice but did not recognize him. 

John would never forget the words by this stranger to throw your net on the right side of the boat. “Why the right side? Because that was the side they were directed to by Jesus. Jesus disclosed himself to them through a miracle, and John announced to Peter, “It is the Lord”. (v.7) “It is the Lord” is not just a one-time confession, it is our life-long confession and relationship with Jesus. Jesus Is the Lord of our lives. 

Jesus and the disciples enjoyed breakfast together that day. The menu required some of the freshly caught fish in addition to what Jesus had already prepared. What a wonderful morning that must have been. Jesus demonstrated His love at a seaside breakfast with seven disciples. These disciples experienced a new level of rest and comfort with the Lord’s resurrection and presence. Christians often eat together in groups. Their fellowship through eating reflects and shares friendship, followership, and fellowship in Christ. May we experience another level of faith with the Risen Christ. 

After Jesus ate with his friends, Jesus turned his attention to Peter. Three times Peter had denied the Lord, so three times Jesus asked him, “Do you truly love me?” This could reflect the three denials, but whether it did or not, the command was similar each time: “Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, and feed my sheep.” Whenever Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Peter answered, “Yes, Lord!”. The reason we must take on this mission is because we love the Lord. Risen Christ tells us to take care of the Lord’s sheep if we love Him. Do we love Jesus? We feed, care, and shepherd people because we love Him.

Why did the Lord change the command after each of Peter’s responses? There are some changes between the noun and verb. Some indicate that lambs refer to children’s ministry and sheep as to service to adults. This second calling would include spiritual feeding and care of the flock for all generations. The point is that Jesus called Peter to shepherding rather than fishing. His future work would involve ministry to people. Jesus’ first call was to become fishers of men. Now the Risen Christ entrusts the mission of shepherding to Peter rather than fishing. The shepherding call is continued. 

Today’s text deals with Peter’s reinstatement to service, because he and other disciples need to shepherd each sheep of the flock of God, of Jesus’ sheep, of the church of God. Jesus asks us repeatedly to show our love and to do what Jesus commands: feed people and the world with grace.

Peter is completely restored by Risen Christ. He has three times denied his Lord, but now he has affirmed his love for Jesus, and he has been commissioned to care for the flock three times. This must have had the effect on the others or communities, whatever had been the mistakes of the past, Jesus was restoring Peter to a place of trust. The one thing about which Jesus questions Peter prior to commissioning him to care for the flock is love. Love is the basic qualification for Christian ministry and service. May we experience the gospel of restoration and love.

Christian community offers even the one who hurt that same community justice and grace in the love of God. Accepting or welcoming people is another example of the resurrection at work in the faith community. Our call is to live by the gospel that accepts in grace and offers justice to those who have been unjust towards that same community. God’s Spirit may bring restoration, renewal, transformation even in places of brokenness. 

There was hurt and brokenness in Peter and Paul’s faith and life. In Acts 9, Paul has been transformed from a passionate persecutor to a courageous proclaimer, in John 21, Peter has been renewed from the three-time denier to a true follower by the Risen Christ. Ananias in his trust, and the rest of the community in accepting and including the one who once persecuted them. To reach out and include someone who once persecuted us is the hard edge of real gospel living. The gospel of love and grace influences the change in one person or in the whole congregation because of the whole believing community. I hope the level of gospel living will grow in the Risen Christ.

Paul and Peter were accepted and welcomed again by faith communities. Paul had to wait for the three days between being blinded and seeing again. Peter had to experience the unexpected three questions given by Risen Christ. Transformation comes from Risen Christ but there would be a time of waiting for resurrection and necessary experiences of renewal. 

I pray that God will open our eyes, as God opened Paul’s, to the new reality created by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The image of light is powerful in this story of Acts 9. It blinds Paul initially, then, when his sight is restored, he has a new way of seeing. It is this vision that he shares to bring others into the light of God’s love. May the light and love of the Risen Christ open our spiritual and cultural blindness and break our social bias. Our faith experience is not only a private affair, but it is also for spreading the gospel and building up the church. 

Saul was called to be a chosen instrument to bring Jesus’ name to the Gentiles, and Peter was called to be a shepherd to people as a restored follower of the Risen Christ. Everything is because there is Jesus’ calling. Jesus called their names and gave commission with love. Jesus is the Lord of our Lives. The Risen Christ is calling disciples and us, “Follow me” as He called Peter and Paul. Risen Christ gives us restoration, renewal, and transformation. May we experience the gospel of restoration and transformation. Feeding the Lord’s sheep is a tangible way of staying in relationship with the Lord, as well as the surest way to express our love for Him, not only with our lips, but in our lives. May we live and serve by the grace and love of God. 

The Risen Christ is calling us to follow Him and shepherd His people. Whenever the Lord tells us to do something, may we do it. May we never forget that love is the centrepiece of ministry to other people. I pray we follow our Lord regardless of what happens in our lives because the Risen Christ is calling us.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials) 

Order of Service and Notices 01-05-2022

 

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 1st May 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

EASTER SUNDAY 3 

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS 517                   Hallelujah, Sing to Jesus  

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS               Acts 9:1-6 & John 21:1–19   

TIS 655                  O Let the Son of God Enfold You  

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:          The Risen Christ Is Calling us    

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

TIS 390      Alleluia, Alleluia, Give Thanks to the Risen Lord      

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 693                              Come as You Are      

 

HOLY COMMUNION

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 2)  

NOTICES:

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall

Friday Fellowship: Time &Venue to be advised on Sunday 

Funeral Service for the Life of Bruce John Bird

Wednesday, 4th May from 10.00am to 11.30am

@W.D. Rose Funerals Cheltenham

On-line Invitation by email

LCM Combined Service: 15th May 10AM

LCM: Leighmoor, Coatesville, and Murrumbeena UCA

@Coatesville Uniting Church & Zoom & YouTube

North Road, Bentleigh East

No Service @Leighmoor Uniting Church on May 15th

On-line details by email

AGM (Annual General Meeting): 5th June 

Pastoral Carers & Group List: Church Board

Community: “We Are One” Relief Appeal is being held to raise funds for the People of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 28th May at 3.00 pm @St. Columba’s Uniting Church

2-12 Joy Parade, Noble Park

We are Witnesses 24-04-2022

24th April 2022 (Second Sunday of Easter)

Title: We are Witnesses

(Acts 5:27–32 & John 20:19–31)

                                                                                  By Heeyoung Lim

Acts 5:27–32 begins with Peter and the apostles brought to court for breaking the orders not to proclaim Jesus Christ risen. What moved the apostles to move forward from the uncertainty of the upper room to the confidence of preaching the risen Christ against the Sanhedrin’s orders? The steady growth through the retelling of the story of Jesus is perhaps a reason for their increased confidence. As confidence builds through its retelling and growing, the apostles trust it more and more, which leads them to stand against the authorities. The most important message that must always be conveyed, which does not change over the years, is still Jesus. But in this changing and unstable world, what other messages do we need to convey along with the words to believe in the Lord?

This week’s readings call us to be bold and courageous in speaking of faith and justice. Unfortunately, we still and often hear about war and violence with tragic results. We cannot remain silent in the face of such harm and violence. Tomorrow is ANZAC Day. It is a day designated for remembering and celebrating the sacrifice and loss of the young men and women who protect other people’s freedom. Just as soldiers maintained their faithfulness to that battle, may we maintain faithfulness to our faith in Jesus and the call to that lifestyle he commands us to live. Faithfulness requires discernment, wisdom, and risk. 

We are thankful that we can hear this wonderful record of the courage of the early Christians and sacrificial soldiers. May we find where we might find ourselves speaking up and speaking out in accordance with God’s will. I pray that our faith community’s witness is strengthened through worshipping, learning, and serving together. May we proclaim the gospel in words and deeds without concern for the inconvenience or fear our witness might bring.

This story is repeated and continued around the world as persecuted believers speak out about their faith. It offers an account of real boldness that also speaks into situations of our time: sensitive and inconvenient issues, abuse, prejudice, discrimination, and injustice. Today’s text is a story of a faith community where the faithful few speak out on the side of truth and faith and justice in Christ. For the faith community today, where does that boldness come from? What gives Peter confidence to speak so boldly? What does the word “witness” mean to us?

Christians do not respond with violence when they obey God and work for the Lord. Peter makes no excuses, only testifies as a witness, and offers a message of salvation to even those who killed Jesus. In verses 30-32, there are messages of repentance and forgiveness of sins offered to Israel. There is a free offer of salvation to those who believe. Peter and the apostles are all witnesses, and we are witnesses in the Holy Spirit. May we notice the Spirit comes as God’s gift to those who believe and obey Jesus.

How can we believe today? In John 20:19–31, Thomas needs to witness something to witness, and Jesus meets him in that need. Our call as a faith community is to grow in the story and to witness to what we know. In the repeated retelling of the Resurrection, there is a time when the fear moves over, and confidence begins. May we be sent out in that confidence, where we rest on the authority of the faith rather than of the world and become “witnesses to Risen Christ and His presence.”

In today’s readings, out of fear, the disciples hide in a locked room. In the first group appearance, Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” He brought peace to his disciples. In John 16, He had promised to relieve the disciples’ grief by replacing it with joy, and now He fulfilled that promise. Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” He continues to say, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Now he sends his people out to witness. Many theologians believe this reception of the Holy Spirit was temporary for the next fifty days which is the season of Easter before Pentecost. Jesus gave them peace, mission as witnesses, and the Holy Spirit. The disciples had their learning and growing times with resurrected Jesus between the resurrection and the ascension. As a temporary filling of the Spirit was given by Risen Christ to them for their spiritual needs prior to Pentecost, Our Lord gives us what we need when we do the work he has entrusted.

Eugene Peterson has written about the “Resurrection Quartet”. He insisted each narrative is distinct with its own character, but they develop rich melodies, harmonies, and counterpoint when the four accounts are absorbed into the imagination. The four voices from four gospels become a resurrection quartet. Especially John’s gospel provides convincing evidence for dealing with doubting and questions about resurrection. John 20:31 tells us,” These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.” 

When the disciples huddle in fear on the evening of the resurrection. Jesus appears to them. He reassures them of his resurrection reality by showing them the crucifixion marks in his hands and side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. When they are again together with Thomas who had not believed the report that the others gave. Jesus makes another appearance, offering himself in tangible form. In verse 27, He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and put out your hand, and place it in my side.” Jesus did not scold him or condemn his hesitation. He provided him with the evidence and second chance. Only then did He say to him, “Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas moved quickly from a doubting talker to willing worshiper and believer. He said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.” Our faith in the resurrection is a true blessing.

John’s gospel is full of signs in Jesus’ life that provide self-authenticating data that He is God’s Son, the Saviour of the world. Some people do not listen to the Resurrection Quartet even though the senses of seeing, hearing, and touching are represented in the main stories John gives us. We cannot and do not need to hear all the music. But this Resurrection Quartet must be heard and passed on. Our Risen Christ is with us, and the Holy Spirit helps us do that. Witnessing Christians work with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the message of crucifixion and resurrection.

We often refer to Thomas as “Doubting Thomas”. How many of us have doubts and questions about our faith? Would we be so different from Thomas, given the circumstances? There are many ways we come to believe and understand our faith. Thomas’ need to see Jesus’ wounds and touch them was his way of encountering the risen Christ. Some of us may encounter God in creation, in loving or serving others, participation in worship, learning and meeting, or through music. What do we need to witness to believe? How can those experiences help us share the story of Jesus’ resurrection and love with others?

Christ is risen! It promises a life that has no end. May we move from a state where we lack belief to one where we believe through God’s words and much evidence even in our situations of doubting, fear, and questions. How would you like to spend the season of Easter called the great 50 or Joy of 50 days? Just as we spent the 40 days of Lent participating in the suffering of the Lord in our own ways such as worshiping, praying, doing Lenten Studies, and loving and serving others, may you spend the 50 days with the joy of walking with Risen Christ during the season of Easter. We are witnesses of Risen Christ. May we live as witnesses of the resurrection during the rest of our lives.

Our living Lord has conquered both sin and death, and Our Saviour is forever alive. I believe that we can hope despite trouble and suffering, knowing the ultimate victory is His and ours.

“The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” 

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)