40th anniversary of UCA

In the 40 days leading up to the 40 year anniversary of the Uniting Church, the Uniting Church leaders have called the church to prayer. (12th May – 22nd June)   They themselves will be meeting for 40 hours at the beginning of this 40 days from the 12th May – 14th May  (click for Assembly website)   MORE

Read the President’s message   40 years and beyond  (click for Assembly website)  MORE

Please see below a resource of bible readings to use through this time.  It uses readings from the revised common lectionary plus readings chosen by the Assembly for the anniversary.

prayer letter 19th May UPF printable

prayer letter  printable  26TH_MAY_2017

Looking to Christ – 40 days of lectionary readings up to UCA 40th anniversary

40 days of prayer  leading up to the Uniting Church 40th Anniversary

 On the 22nd June the Uniting Church in Australia will be 40 years old.   This is a time to celebrate and give glory and thanks to the Lord for all the good things that He has done in our midst these last 40 years.  However for many of us it is also a time of grieving as we look at the growing number of our empty congregations that no longer hold our children, grandchildren or great grandchildren.  We see our church in decline and feel we have lost our way somehow.  We wonder what happened to the dreams and vision of 40 years ago. We dare to begin to ask the question will the Uniting Church even reach her 50th anniversary.

 This 40th anniversary of the UCA something out of the ordinary is going to take place.  Not  Uniting Prayer and Fasting, but the leaders of the Uniting Church have called 40 days of prayer before the 40 year anniversary to pray for renewal for ourselves, our communities, our world and our church from 12th May – 22nd June .   Even more amazing, The President, General Secretary, all the General Secretaries and the moderators of the Synods and the Chair of Congress will be meeting together for 40 hours of prayer in Melbourne at the beginning of the 40 days, 12th– 14th May.    See the Assembly website for more details

The Uniting Church leaders encourage us to pray at the same time wherever we are in groups or individually.   

 Colleen Geyer the National General Secretary has written to us as Uniting Prayer and Fasting and explains

 “Re the 40 days of prayer, the President, Chair of Congress, moderators and general secretaries are intending to pray together in the one place so we can encourage each other and share together. Also we hope that many others will join us in prayer from where they are during the 40 hours.”

 Kind regards

Colleen

 Uniting Prayer and Fasting, encourages us all to join in with this time of prayer of seeking the Lord for renewal.  An important part of praying for renewal or “revival” as our first nation people use, is confessing our sin to God and allowing him to change us. At this time as a prayer movement,  let’s give thanks and  believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will come address, and deal with us so that we might be able to live and endure through the changes of history in and through the good news of his completed work.  Give thanks also  to God that He gives the Holy Spirit to correct that which is erroneous in our life so that we might not lose our way.   For 40 days, let us come humbly before the Lord in repentance trusting in our Saviour’s forgiveness and praying that our Uniting Church leaders will do the same.

The Assembly called for resources for the 40 days of prayer.  Please go to the website because it has a prayer from Darcy Wood,  prayers used at the inauguration of the UCA including a prayer of confession and a resource which I developed entitled “Looking to Christ” which includes 40 bible readings for the 40 days  based on the revised common lectionary resources for the 40 days of prayer.   Or you can also find this resource as a PDF on the Uniting Prayer and Fasting website    Looking to Christ scripture readings for the 40 year UCA anniversary

 May the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless you as you pray

 Rev Anne Hibbard

LOOKING TO CHRIST

40 DAYS OF LECTIONARY READINGS LEADING UP TO UCA 40TH ANNIVERSARY 22nd June, 2017

verses are from the New Revised Standard Version

 Day 1 – Sunday May 14:   Acts 7:55-60 

Looking to Christ at the End of our Life

“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” Acts 7:59b

 

Day 2 – Monday May 15:    Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16   

Looking to Christ in the face of Danger and Opposition

“In You, O Lord, I seek refuge” Psalm 31:1

 

Day 3 – Tuesday May 16:    1 Peter 2:2-10   

Looking to Christ, the Living Stone

“See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”   1 Peter 2:7b

 

Day 4 –  Wednesday May 17:   John 14:1-14   

Looking to Christ, the Only Way.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

 

Day 5 – Thursday May 18:   Acts 17:22-31

Looking to Christ in Repentance

“Now he commands all people everywhere to repent” Acts 17:30b

 

Day 6 – Friday May 19:   Psalm 66:8-20

Looking to Christ who does not let our Feet Slip

“Bless our God, O peoples… who has not let our feet slip.”  Psalm 66: 8a, 9b

 

Day 7:  Saturday May 20:  1 Peter 3:13-22

Looking to Christ in Reverence as Lord

“Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord.”  1 Peter 3:14b-15a

 

Day 8:  Sunday May 21:   John 14:15-21

Looking to Christ in Obedience

“They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me” John 14:21

 

Day 9:  Monday May 22:  Psalm 93  

Looking to Christ, His Majesty

“The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength”

Psalm 93:1a

 

Day 10:  Tuesday May 23:  Ephesians 1:15-23 

Looking to Christ, the Head of all things

“And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23

 

Day 11: Wednesday May 24:   Luke 24:44-53 

Looking to Christ the Ascended One

“While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven”

Luke 24:51

 

Day 12:  ASCENSION DAY Thursday May 25:  Acts 1:6-14   

Looking to Christ who’ll come Back in the Same Way

 “Why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11b

 

Day 13 – Friday May 26th:  Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 

Looking to Christ in Songs of Praise

“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds – his name is the Lord – be exultant before him.” Psalm 68:4

 

Day 14 – Saturday May 27th:  1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11

Looking to Christ, humbly Sharing his Sufferings

“But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings …. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 4:13, 5:6

 

Day 15 – Sunday May 28th: John 17:1-11  

 Looking to Christ who Prays for our Unity

“Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one” John 17:11b

 

Day 16 – Monday May 29th:   Psalm 104:24-34:35b     

Looking to Christ through whom All Things Were Made

“O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all” Psalm 104:24

 

Day 17:  Tuesday May 30th:  1 Corinthians 12:3b-13  

Looking to Christ as Members of His Body

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” 1 Corinthians 12:12

 

Day 18: Wednesday May 31st:  John 20:19-23   

Looking to Christ – Giver of Peace

“Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!””  John 20:19b

 

 Day 19: Thursday June 1st:  John 7:37-39   

Looking to Christ – Fount of Living Water

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living waters.”

John 7:37b-38

 

Day 20:  Friday June 2nd:  Acts 2:1-5   

Looking to Christ – for the Promised Holy Spirit

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability”. Acts 2:4

 

Day 21: Saturday June 3rd: Acts 2:6-13  

Looking to Christ – Who Speaks to all Nations

“Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.” Acts 2:6

 

Day 22: PENTECOST Sunday June 4th: Acts 14-21  

Looking to Christ to be Saved

“Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. Acts 2:21

 

Day 23: Monday June 5th:  John 1:1-5  

Looking to Christ who was There at the Beginning

“He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.”  John 1:3a

 

Day 24: Tuesday June 6th:  Genesis 1:1-25 

 Looking to Christ through whom All Things Were Created.

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth”.    Genesis 1:1

 

Day 25:  Wednesday June 7th:  Genesis 1:26- 2:4  

Looking to Christ through whom People Were Created    

“Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness”

Genesis 1:26

 

Day 26:  Thursday June 8th:   Colossians 1:15-20 

Looking to Christ who was Before all things

“In him all things in heaven and on earth were created …. All things have been created through him and for him.  He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together”

Colossians 1:16a, 16b-17

 

Day 27: Friday June 9th:   Psalm 8 

Looking to Christ in the Majesty of His Name

“O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1

 

Day 28: Saturday June 10th:    2 Corinthians 13:11-13; 

Looking to Christ, the Giver of Grace

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” 2 Corinthians 13:13 

 

Day 29: Sunday June 11th:   Matthew 28:16-20   

Looking to Christ to Receive His Commission

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 28:19

 

Day 30: Monday June 12th:   Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19   

Looking to Christ with a Thanksgiving Sacrifice

“I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:17

 

Day 31: Tuesday June 13th:  Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7  

Looking to Christ, Giver of Laughter

“Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me”. Genesis 21:6

 

Day 32: Wednesday June 14th:  Romans 5:1-8   

Looking to Christ, to find Peace with God

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand.”

Romans 5:1-2

 

Day 33:  Thursday June 15th:  Matthew 9:35-38 

Looking to Christ, Proclaimer and Healer

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness”.  Matthew 9:35

 

Day 34: Friday June 16th; Matthew 10:1-4  

Looking to Christ, Giver of Authority

“Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.” Matthew 10:1

 

Day 35: Saturday June 17th; Matthew 10: 5-8  

Looking to Christ, for our Mission

“As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near”.  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast our demons” Matthew 10: 7-8a  

 

Day 36: Sunday June 18th; Matthew 10: 9-23  

Looking to Christ for Wisdom and Innocence

“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” Matthew 10:16

 

Day 37: Monday June 19th; Ezekiel 37:15-28 

Looking to Christ, One King and One Shepherd

“‘And one king shall be king over them all……   and they shall all have on shepherd.  They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes.” Ezekiel 37:22b, 24

 

Day 38: Tuesday June 20th; Psalm 122   

Looking to Christ, who Builds Us Together in Peace

Jerusalem – built as a city that is bound firmly together….  Peace be within your walls and security within your towers.  Psalm 122:3,6 

 

Day 39: Wednesday June 21st; Hebrews 13:1-8    

Looking to Christ with Confidence

He has said “I will never leave you or forsake you”.  So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can anyone do to me?” Hebrews 13:5b, 6

 

Day 40: Thursday June 22nd; 40th YEAR ANNIVERSARY.   John 17:20-26 

Looking to Christ – Giver of the Glory that Unites

“The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one” John 17:22