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Let us confess our sins: We have denied the authority of women and limited their gifts; We have locked away women’s power, And chose to hide their pain. But nothing is veiled that will not be revealed; And nothing is hidden that will not be made known.

Call to prayer (adapted from Psalm 150)

One:     Come let us worship the Lord

Many: Praise God in the sanctuary, with psaltery and harp

One:     With lyre and open hearts,

Many: with dance and with timbrel, in fullness of praise. 

One:     Let everyone who has breath praise the Lord, 

Many: Praise the Lord.

 

Theme song:  Faith of our Mothers              

1. Faith of our mothers, living still,

In cradle song and bedtime prayer;

In nursery lore and fireside love,

Thy presence still pervades the air:

Faith of our mothers, living faith!

We will be true to thee to death.
 

2. Faith of our mothers, loving faith,

Fount of our childhood's trust and grace,

Oh, may thy consecration prove

Source of a finer, nobler race:

Faith of our mothers, living faith,

We will be true to thee till death.
 

3. Faith of our mothers, guiding faith,

For youthful longing, youthful doubt,

How blurred our vision, blind our way,

Thy providential care without:

Faith of our mothers, guiding faith,

We will be true to thee till death.

4. Faith of our mothers, Christian faith,

Is truth beyond our stumbling creeds,

Still serve the home and save the Church,

And breathe thy spirit through our deeds:

Faith of our mothers, Christian faith!

We will be true to thee till death.                                                  

(Arthur Bardwell Patten, African American Heritage Hymnal 410, 20th Century, Tune: St Catharine: Henri Frederick Hemy, 1818-1888)

 

Praise for Deliverance from Trouble - A Psalm of David (Psalm 34: 1-7)

One:     I will bless the Lord at all times;

              God’s praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul makes its boast in the Lord;

Many:  O let the humble hear and be glad.

One:     O magnify the Lord with me,

              and let us exalt God’s name together.

              I sought the Lord, and he answered me,

              and delivered me from all my fears.

Many:  O let the humble hear and be glad.

One:     Look to him, and be radiant;

              so your faces shall never be ashamed.

This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,

              and was saved from every trouble.

Many: O let the humble hear and be glad.

One:     The angel of the Lord encamps

                                     around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Many:  O let the humble hear and be glad.

One:     Glory to God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever.

Many:  Amen.

 

Scripture

The Old Testament reading is from 1 Samuel 2: 1-3.

Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God.

My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.

“There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you;

there is no Rock like our God.

Talk no more so very proudly,

let not arrogance come from your mouth;

for the Lord is a God of knowledge,

and by him actions are weighed.

One: Holy Wisdom, Holy Word

Many: Thanks be to God

 

        Lumière de Dieu

 

Reflection: Ms Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive at Christian Aid

 

Litany of Penitence

for the denial of women’s authority

Men: Let us confess our sins:

We have denied the authority of women

and limited their gifts;

We have locked away women’s power,

And chose to hide their pain.

But nothing is veiled that will not be revealed;

Many: And nothing is hidden that will not be made known.

Women: We have undermined the authority of women

and limited our gifts;

We have locked away women’s power,

and chose to hide their pain.

But nothing is veiled that will not be revealed;

Many: And nothing is hidden that will not be made known.

Men: We have feared those who are not like us;

We have refused to know our weakness.

We have locked away part of ourselves.

But nothing is veiled that will not be revealed;

Many: And nothing is hidden that will not be made known.

Women: We have feared those who are like us;

We have refused to know our strength.

We have locked away part of ourselves.

But nothing is veiled that will not be revealed;

Many: And nothing is hidden that will not be made known.

Men: We have resisted the wisdom of God

and refused to seek her face;

Women: We have turned aside from her image

and hidden our knowledge of her.

But have no fear;

For nothing is veiled that will not be revealed;

Many: And nothing is hidden that will not be made known.

(By Janet Morely, in Ecumenical Decade 1988-1998, Churches in Solidarity with Women, 1998 WCC Publications for the World council of Churches, pp.15).

 

Words of Promise

One: God promises,

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

 

Because you are precious in my sight,

and honoured, and I love you,

I give people in return for you,

nations in exchange for your life.                                            (Isaiah:  43: 2, 4)

 

 

♪   “There is a time for silence” by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette ©2020.

1. There is a time for silence, a time to listen well,

a time to hear the painful stories others have to tell.

O God, may we who love to talk now hear the rage and fear,

and may we learn from neighbours who have long been silenced here.

 

2. There is a time for asking, a time to pause and pray,

there is a time to hear the prophets speak of God's new day,

to hear the words of Jesus who taught welcome, truth and love,

to hear the Spirit speaking through the ones who shout, "Enough!"

 

3. There's time for humble study — for reading and for thought.

God, may we learn from others of the justice they have sought,

And may we learn from those who bravely stand against the hate,

So when we're called to justice, we, your church, won't hesitate.

 

4. There's time for good reflection, to ponder who we've been,

to think how our own attitudes have paved the way for sin,

to listen to the ones we fear — to folks we may resent —

to hear of Jesus' call to love — and humbly to repent.

 

5. And there's a time to work now — to boldly say their names,

to protest and to organize, to advocate for change,

to use our voices and to stand with those who are oppressed.

As we seek justice, hand in hand, Lord, may your world be blessed.

 

Intercessory Prayer

One: Let us pray.

Answer all who call on your name, oh righteous God,

Give relief to women and girls in distress;

and accompany those who offer themselves to lead.

Many: Hear us Oh God - heal and direct;
Grant wisdom, grace and mercy we pray.

 

One:     When others turn the glory of your creation into shame,
Filled with delusions of grandeur;
seeking false gods of power and inequality.

Many: Hear us Oh God - heal and direct;
Grant wisdom, grace and mercy we pray.

One:     When trafficked, scorned, abused and accosted;
Many women, Lord, are asking, “Where is the Lord of our salvation?”
Help us heed their cries for justice; and restore their dignity.

Many: Hear us Oh God - heal and direct;
Grant wisdom, grace and mercy we pray.

One: Where women’s rights are primarily in name only,
and leadership still remains the province of men;
When decisions are made without the benefit of 50:50
Grant equal voice, equal vote and women’s agency.

Many: Hear us Oh God - heal and direct;
Grant wisdom, grace and mercy we pray.

One: Where access to education is a privilege, not a right;
for science, technology, engineering and mathematics,
While race and gender remain determinants against equal pay;
stir our consciences to do right.

Many: Hear us Oh God - heal and direct;
Grant wisdom, grace and mercy we pray.

One: And there on the frontlines of disease, disaster and displacement
by the ravages of war, ethnic tensions, and rising tides,
Accompany Your Deborahs, Hannahs, Tamars, Mirams, Marys and all the unnamed...

Many: Hear us Oh God - heal and direct;
Grant wisdom, grace and mercy we pray.

 

The Lord’s Prayer (In our different languages)

 

Blessing

May the God of Eve teach you to dance.

May the God of Hagar bring you comfort in the desert.

May the God of Miriam bring companions to you when you struggle.

May the God of Deborah teach you courage for your battles.

May the Christ who knew Mary and Martha show you the way of balance.

May the Christ who healed the bent-over woman heal your pain.

May the Christ of Mary Magdala send you out to proclaim your story.

In the name of Christ who is the memory and hope of the future.

Niluka Perera, Sri Lanka

 

Sharing Signs of God’s Peace

One: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 

Many: Thanks be to God.