Worship Reflections

Worship Reflections

Missed church on Sunday? Want to revisit something that was spoken about last Sunday? Read the reflections that were given at last Sunday’s (and previous) services.

26 May 2024 Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday                    26 May 2024                       Rev Dr Con Apokis Readings: Isaiah 6:1-8, John 3:1-17 lntroducing the Theme Quote: Spanish proverb “Jealousy is thin because it bites but never eats”. I fear that I am about to annoy some of you – I not only love the Christian Trinitarian tradition and outlook – I believe in the God of Jesus through it. Quote: Anonymous – as we continue with you this will be one of my go to themes – “If you think you are leading but…

19 May Pentecost

Manningham Uniting Church Together@10 19th May 2024: Pentecost Theme:         The flames have died down        Text:              Acts 2:1-11 Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. On this birthday of the church, we would do well to remember the stories our ancestors wove together about what it was like back in the beginning. We are told they were huddled together in fear. Afraid to go outside, in case the authorities might spot them. Tormented by their grief. Afraid the dream might be over. Some of them…

5 May 2024

Manningham Uniting Church  Fellowship@10 5th May 2024: Easter 6Theme:          Love, love, love       Text:               John 15:9-17 Introduction What are the top five languages spoken in the world? Chinese — 1.3 billion Native SpeakersSpanish —  486 Million Native SpeakersEnglish —   380 Million Native SpeakersArabic —     362 Million Native SpeakersHindi —       345 Million Native Speakers Next question. How many words for Love are there in Greek? The answer is eight.  In English, we use “love” in many ways. We “love” our partner, we “love” the Spring weather, we “love” our friends”…

28 April 2024

Manningham Uniting Church Fellowship@10 28th April 2024: Easter 5 Theme:         God is not WhiteText:              Acts 8:26-40 Introduction Is God white? You know the answer. Right? According to Rev Dr Grace Ji-Sun Kim, “When Western Christians think about God, the default image that comes to mind is usually white and male.” In her latest book, When God Became White: Dismantling Whiteness for a More Just Christianity. She says: “Christianity is rooted in the ancient Near East among people of darker skin. But over time, European Christians cast…

21 April 2024

Manningham Uniting Church 21st April 2024 Easter 4B Texts: Psalm 23, 1John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18 Theme: Jesus – the Glory of God lntroducing the Theme Lent is the season to divest yourself of all the things that would diminish your capacity to be a follower of Jesus. Easter is the season to encourage you in all the things that would enable your capacity to be a follower of Jesus. Last week I used a verse from Hebrews 1:3 to make sense…

14 April 2024

Manningham Uniting Church 14th April 2024  Easter 3B Texts: Acts 4: 32-35, Hebrews 1:3, John 20: 19-23 Theme: Where Art Thou?  The theme was introduced by a video of ‘The Week with Charlie Pickering’ (Your Cancelled – Easter April 2024 – Series 10 Episode 9) demonstrating how naïve and uninformed people are to the meaning of Easter. Introduction Quote: “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” (Oscar Wilde)Quote: “There is one thing one has to…

7 April 2024

Manningham Uniting Church 7th April 2024 Easter 2 B Theme:         Exposing our Wounds Text:              John 20:19 – 31 Introduction Now who wants to share some of the feelings that you have identified in the various characters in John 20:19-31. Congregation share… Let us pray. All we have are a few brief stories. There’s the one about the empty tomb. A stranger robed in white, a gardener perhaps. Folded grave-cloths. Weeping women. Fleeing men. Horrible wounds. Rumours. Confusion. Doubt. Joy. Love. Fear. And always the nagging question. Why?…

31 March 2024 Easter Sunday

Manningham Uniting Church 31st March 2023 Easter Sunday Text: Mark 16:1-8              Rev Swee Ann Koh Introduction  Good morning. “Where you there when they laid him in the tomb?” That’s where we left our story on Good Friday. “Where you there when they laid him in the tomb? Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Where you there when they laid him in the tomb?” On Easter morning, when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, I have to confess that it is hard to come up…

24 March 2024

What Makes You Safe? (Mark 11:1-11) Introduction Theme: Uses Goya’s famous painting of the shooting of Spanish prisoners who resisted Napoleon. (‘The Third of May’)  Quote: saying adopted from Andrew Lang Scottish poet “Beware of using safety as a drunk uses lamp posts… for support rather than illumination”. (Original quote: “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts…for support rather than illumination.” Safety Illustration: Alarm Fair to say that in our time in Port Melbourne living onsite we would regularly havevarious…

17 March 2024

Manningham Uniting Church Sunday, 17th March 2024 Fifth Sunday of Lent Fellowship@10 Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-34 & John 12:20-33 Theme:          As if… Introduction Today is the fifth Sunday of Lent.  When was the last time you made a promise? “I promise I’ll have that work done by tomorrow.” “I promise I’ll clean my room.” “I promise I’ll love you forever.” When was the last time you broke a promise?  One of my pet annoyances is when a character on TV or in a movie says, “I promise…

10 March 2024

Smudgement (John 3:1 4-21) 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, l5that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. l6 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. l7 Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that…

3 March 2023

Theme:          What Makes You Angry?Texts: Exodus 20:1–17; John 2:13-22 Introduction Good morning. This Sunday is the third Sunday in Lent. Just as the season of Lent helps Christians prepare for Easter, Jews travelled to Jerusalem early to purify themselves for Passover (John 11:55).  Christians likewise practice meditation, prayer, and participate in worship throughout Lent. Connecting with the Jews in this way helps us avoid anti-Jewish readings and enables us to reflect on the audacity of Jesus’ actions and claims. John…

18 February 2024

First Sunday of Lent 18th February 2024Text: Mark 1:9-15Theme:     Wilderness in Life Introduction Good morning. Wherever you are, whatever thoughts and emotions are sitting with you this morning, welcome. Today is the first Sunday of Lent, Year B of the lectionary reading cycle —which means that last year we read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ temptation by the devil, in the wilderness, and next year we will read Luke’s account of Jesus’ temptation by the devil in the wilderness. Each story…

11 February 2024

Manningham Uniting Church 11 February 2024 Theme: THE WAY OF LOVE: Love God and Love Neighbour Readings: Psalm 50, Romans 12:1-10, Mark 9:2-9 Thank you Swee Ann for the our theme for today. Today there are going to be bits of philosophy, ethics and theology to frame this theme The Way of Love: Love God und Love Neighbour from my point of view. So,there is quite a risk today my offerings may land like earnest minister sermonese. There is a person in…

4 February 2024

Manningham Uniting Church 4th February 2024       Together@10    Theme:   Generosity Encouraged Texts: Mark 12:28-34   2 Corinthians 9:6-15 Introduction In the Uniting Church Basis of Union, the section on Gifts and Ministries states:“The Uniting Church…  acknowledges with thanksgiving that the one Spirit has endowed the members of Christ’s Church with a diversity of gifts and that there is no gift without its corresponding service: all ministries have a part in the ministry of Christ.”  In short, the Uniting Church believes in the priesthood of all believers. This morning’s commissioning service is…

28 January 2024

Manningham Uniting ChurchSummer Series on the Book of Ruth28th January 2024Text: Ruth Chapter 4Theme:         Hope for an Uncertain Future Introduction  Good morning. I hope you have enjoyed the Summer Series thus far. Enjoy is probably an inappropriate word. I hope you have found the series thus far to be engaging and challenging. I have personally learned so much from my research and preparation of the reflections. I have read the book of Ruth from multiple perspectives. This morning, we will focus on…

21 January 2024 Service of Mourning

Manningham Uniting ChurchSummer Series on the Book of Ruth21st January 2024Text: Ruth Chapter 3Theme:         Hope for the Stereotyped Introduction Good morning. Since 2019 the Uniting Church has marked a Day of Mourning  on the Sunday before 26 January to reflect on the dispossession of Australia’s First Peoples and the ongoing injustices faced by First Nations people in this land. We are invited to continue to reflect on the effects of invasion, colonisation and racism on First Peoples.  Let us pray…God, may my words…

14 January 2024

Manningham Uniting ChurchSummer Series on the Book of Ruth14th January 2024 Text: Ruth Chapter 2 Theme:         Hope for the Marginalised IntroductionLast Sunday we focused on Chapter One of the Book of Ruth.Let’s recap…Naomi, an Israelite, leaves her home during a famine. While away, in Moab, her husband and sons die. Naomi convinces one of her Moabite daughters-in-law, Orpah to return to her homeland and seek a new life. The other, Ruth, refuses, declaring her love and loyalty to Naomi: “Ruth said, don’t…

7 January 2024

Manningham Uniting Church Summer Series on the Book of Ruth 07th January 2024Text: Ruth Chapter 1Theme:         Hope in Difficult Times IntroductionThis morning we begin the Summer series on the Book of Ruth. I would recommend that you take the time this week to read through this book a couple of times.  It is only four chapters, and you can probably read the whole book in less than half an hour.  While the book of Ruth is only four chapters long — approximately…

31 December 2023

The First Sunday of Christmas, Year B Texts:             Isaiah 61:10-62: Luke 2:21(22)-40     Theme:                     My eyes have seen your salvation! IntroductionWelcome, beloved friends and family of faith. The last service for the year. The last Sunday of the year. As we stand on the precipice of a new year, we find ourselves looking back at the year that was, and looking forward to the year that is to come. For me, the birth of Jesus, dear friends, is more than just a historical event.…
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