Sitting in different chairs, joining in at different times throughout the day, God’s people still gather for worship on this, the Lord’s day. Welcome, to Sunday worship.
Call to Worship
Joseph with his technicolour dream coat
must have felt so very alone.
Jesus withdrew to solitary places
intentionally to be alone.
Peter went to be with Christ
and then felt incredibly afraid.
Jesus disperses a crowd
who were nothing but a gathering of individuals.
Gather today with the worldwide Church
even if you feel alone.
Withdraw with intention today to be with God.
If you have any fear,
bring it to Christ that he may help you walk.
As the individual that you are,
worship as you can.
HYMN – Jesus calls us O’er the Tumult
you know what it is to be afraid
and when you saw your friends soaked and scared,
you came to them.
While you were on your way,
you called to them
telling them it was okay to be afraid,
that you were with them on the water.
When Peter shouted out,
so excited and courageous,
you invited him to step out—
not to prove his faith
but to share your love.
And when the fear started
to beat harder in his heart
and his feet got wet with the waves,
you reached out your hand,
and together you walked back to the boat.
Remind us that we are always safe with you.
Challenge us to make more safe places for each other
especially when we see other people scared.
Reading: Matthew 14:22-33 read by Kirsty McGrath
HYMN – Do Not be Afraid
Sunday School for all ages:
Picnic : You will need: blindfolds, cushions, bean bags, cones.
Organise a little ‘Trust Walk’ by laying out an obstacle course using the cushions, bean-bags or cones. Sort everyone into pairs and blindfold one and then get the other one to lead them carefully around the obstacle course using verbal instructions only. Swap people over so that each has a turn at going along the course.
Talk about how it felt to be guided around the course while unable to see. Talk about their feelings and their fears. Discuss how they overcame those fears e.g. by trusting the person who was leading them and focusing carefully on their voice. Use this as a way into the story today.
Boats : You will need: walnut shells, cocktail sticks, gummed paper, scissors, Blutak, basin, water.
Give each person a walnut shell and a piece of Blutak. Make sure they have the shell looking like the hull of a boat and then ask them to place the Blutak into the bottom on the shell and push it into place. Give them a small piece of gummed paper and get them to cut it into a triangle shape and then fold the triangle in half. Open it out again and place the cocktail stick along the fold and stick both sides of the gummed paper together to make a sail. Finish the boat by pushing the cocktail stick sail into the Blutak. Fill the basin with some water and let the children see if their boat will float.
Talk about the story and the boat being tossed about on the water. Discuss how the disciples might be feeling. Discuss whether they think the feelings of the disciples might change when they see Jesus and if they do why, such as that they trust Jesus. Talk about times when they have been afraid and if it helped when they saw someone they trusted and loved.
HYMN – Oceans (where my feet fail)
Prayers for Others and Ourselves
For the days that the sound of the sea
is more Rock ‘n’ Roll than the Blue Danube
walk to us, God,
over the wind and waves.
When uncertainty and incivility crash and blow us about,
and we choose the immediacy of partisan politics over the
pastoral patient presence of your kingdom.
Call your peace to us, God,
over the wind and waves.
As hidden hurricanes lay waste to our souls
while, outwardly, we stroll in the eye of the storm.
Walk with us, God,
through the wind and waves.
In the threatening threshold of dawn’s uncertainty
may your voice roll upon the waters
filling our hearts with peace
and our heads with courageous kindness.
Unlink our courage and commitment
from our need for success.
Disconnect the assurance of your incarnation
from the perfection of our faith.
Make us bold in our loving,
less afraid of failure,
and more accepting
of the dynamic dance
of faith and doubt;
wind and waves;
life and eternity.
Prayer of Dedication
Set us free this day,
Giver of Grace
to give without expectation of return,
to receive without second-guessing the motive.
Set us free this day
to allow your words of life, peace and challenge
to reorient and rededicate our lives,
our congregations and our offerings
that we might also set others free.
HYMN – My Life flows on in Endless Song
Jesus, you are the Son of God.
Even the wind and the waves,
the stormy seas,
are calmed by your Spirit.
We might never walk on the surface of water,
as if immune to life’s troubles,
yet, neither do we need to sink.
For you, Lord, are with us.
Your hand is upon us.
Your love is for us.
Your commitment to us is endless.
Thanks be to God,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
today and always. Amen.