RED GUM TREE with its deep roots beneath the surface and strong branches
reaching upward and outward, reminds us of the importance of nurturing
our inner life with God so that our outer life of witness through word
and deed may be strong and effective.
N.B. Psalm 1: 1-4; Jeremiah 17 7-8.
Before coming together
for congregation or corporate worship, the Church has always stressed
the importance of personal preparation or quiet time. One can find five
minutes on Saturday evening or before coming on Sundays (or any other
day) or before the service to clear the mind and to ask some basic questions.
It helps to read the Bible readings for the day which are listed in the
Church notice sheet. Here are some questions for private use from
"Proclaim and Celebrate" by Evan
- What is it that I especially
want to praise God for on this occasion?
- What aspect of God's being
or mystery of existence has become particularly important to me
since I last came to congregation worship?
- What things have I done
(or not done), or what things have happened since that time, that I
regret and wish to confess?
- What things do I specially
want to thank God for on this occasion?
- What persons or concerns
do I specially want to bring before God for help and guidance?
- What do I need from God
at this time for myself?
This is a basic form of preparation,
and it is good to use it regularly. As time goes on you may want to add
to these basic questions by making your own prayers and/or using prayers
written by others.
Two other questions to
- What act(s) of practical
Christianity or ministry have I done this week? - give thanks.
- What have I learned from
my reading and/ or involvement in worship services in the last week/
month? Have I found any new insight, meaning, response or comment.
PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION
The Church has always
emphasised the importance of personal preparation before coming together
for congregation or corporate worship. We can take time each week to prepare
ourselves for Holy Communion. Such preparation can be of great value in
gaining from our participation in the Eucharist. It can be as simple as
forming a sentence in our mind in answer to questions (see above) or looking
at your life from the point of view of positive statements as benchmarks
for the living of life.
For example, Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 1-12), Lord's Prayer (Luke 11: 1-4),
the two commandments (Mark 12: 28-34, the fruits of the spirit (Galatians
5: 22-23) and the gift of love (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8) - How do you measure
In silence before the service begins, pray for:
- Those who lead the worship
today -clergy, choir, organist/musicians, lay assistants, servers, preacher,
teachers, readers, intercessors, sidespeople, welcomers, morning tea
hostesses/ hosts & hospitality; those who have prepared for today
- Sunday preparation, Sanctuary Guild, Parish Office .....
- Those who will be at the
Worship Service - our parishioners, visitors and newcomers .....
- Those who could not come
- the sick and elderly, those at work and travelling on this occasion
- Yourself, that you may give
to the Service a warmth and a responsiveness; that you may listen to
God as well as speak with God; that today, afresh you may know the reality
of worship, the reality of God; Communion with God .....
- Remember Jesus praying;
Matthew 6: 9-15 for example. In prayer hold people, causes, concerns
on your heart in God's presence.