14 June 2020_Pentecost 2_Refugee Week 2020

12 Jun 2020 by Seungjae Yeon in: Worship Online


Give Polyanthus plenty of sunshine and it will thrive in either pots or in the garden.

Water with a seaweed solution to ensure a healthy plant.

Photo: Scott Hawkins

(From website "12 Best Winter Flowers")


Important Announcement


We are getting ready to return to church!


Boronia Park Uniting Church has been considering public health advice and the needs of our members and guests.

The Synod of NSW and the ACT has been meeting regularly to discuss the current issues and plan for the gradual relaxing of regulations. As the result, with the state government's guideline, we are now able to create a safe path to reopening some church activities including Sunday worship service.

The Church Council has discussed what we should prepare before reopening.

Please be patient as we are getting back to a new normal.

While creating and preparing for reopening, physical distancing is required and all worship resources will be continued online.

Hopefully further information will be given soon.



Preparing for Worship


THIS WEEK, we worship God, wherever we are, seeking to ask God’s mercy and grace upon those who have wandered, strayed, or re-settle either in own country or a new country as new home. According to the data from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, around the world, there are 70.8 million population of refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. 25.9 million refugees are among them, over half of whom are under the age of 18 (source: 19 June 2019).


Imagine if we truly understand and live by God’s love and grace that all are equally eligible to receive. Imagine if we understand and were able to see a world where all are welcome and live peacefully with each other. What would Jesus say if we are not welcoming those who have no place to call home? What would Jesus call us if we are calling our new neighbour refugee instead of their names?


Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. In 2020, the dates are Sunday 14th to Saturday 20th June. Year of Welcome is the theme for Refugee Week 2020 in Australia. Let us welcome refugees as Jesus welcomes us to be God’s people.



Acknowledgement for the First Peoples


We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, Elders past and present, on which we gather today. We recognize their special relationship with the land and all creation.



Story about people who were called Refugee



What is your name?

How would you feel if you are called by title instead of name?



Opening Prayer


“Prayer for a Just Future” by Common Grace’s Justice for People Seeking Asylum Team


Let us pray:


Creator God, you are the giver of life.


Saviour Jesus, you have shown us what it is to love.


Guiding Spirit, you awaken us to justice.


Show us how to build a just future, where all people have equal opportunity to belong and to flourish in your vitality and love.


We ask for mercy for people in limbo on temporary visas, for safety for those seeking permanent protection, for reunion for families who are separated by borders, and for relief for those losing hope within our detention systems.


We pray for First Nations Peoples fighting for justice on their own Lands, for survivors of domestic violence and for creation groaning under climate disruption.

Help us to live out your inclusive love. Help us to live into your Kingdom where all people have equal opportunity to belong and flourish. Work through us, towards a just future.





Song      All Are Welcome



Let us build a house

Where love can dwell

And all can safely live,

A place where

Saints and children tell

How hearts learn to forgive.

Built of hopes and dreams and visions,

Rock of faith and vault of grace;

Here the love of Christ shall end divisions;



All are welcome, all are welcome,

All are welcome in this place.


Let us build a house where prophets speak,

And words are strong and true,

Where all God's children dare to seek

To dream God's reign anew.

Here the cross shall stand as witness

And a symbol of God's grace;

Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:



Let us build a house where love is found

In water, wine and wheat:

A banquet hall on holy ground,

Where peace and justice meet.

Here the love of God, through Jesus,

Is revealed in time and space;

As we share in Christ the feast that frees us:



Let us build a house where hands will reach

beyond the wood and stone

to heal and strengthen, serve and teach,

and live the Word they’ve known.

Here the outcast and the stranger

bear the image of God’s face;

let us bring an end to fear and danger.



Let us build a house where all are named,

their songs and visions heard

and loved and treasured, taught and claimed

as words within the Word.

Built of tears and cries and laughter,

prayers of faith and songs of grace,

let this house proclaim from floor to rafter.



All are welcome, all are welcome,

all are welcome in this place.


Marty Haugen © 1994 GIA Publications

CCLI # 260394



Story about people who were called Migrant 





Prayer of the Day (from Love Makes a Way)


Let us pray:


God of justice,

we confess to you

that we have not loved you with our whole heart,

and we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.


We have hoarded our good things.

We have closed our eyes to the poor at our gate.


Lord, have mercy. 

Christ, have mercy.


We have loved only those who love us.

We have turned away from the weak and the needy.

Lord, have mercy. 

Christ, have mercy.


We have been hungry for power and possessions.

We have lost our appetite for your justice.


Lord, have mercy.  

Christ, have mercy


We have sung of peace when there is no peace.

We have not cried out for those who are silenced in their suffering.


Lord, have mercy. 

Christ, have mercy.


We are sorry for all our sins,

and we ask you to forgive us

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Kids Talk          Margaret Treble and Robyn Harvey




Scripture Readings       Joshua Yeon



First reading comes from Acts 28:2 (New living Translation). [Click to read different translations]


The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us.


Gospel reading is from Matthew 25:31-46 (New International Version). [Click to read different translations]


The Sheep and the Goats


31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.


34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’


37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’


40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


The Parable of the Good Shepherd Separating the Sheep from the Goats,

from Scenes from the Life of Christ, sixth century.

Mosaic, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy


41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’


44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’


45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’


46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.



Discussion Questions


Question 1

How would you describe Australia’s tradition of caring for “the least of these”? Can you give some examples of occasions when we have excelled at hospitality? What criteria do you use for judging excellence? How do these examples make you feel as an Australian?


Question 2

The Matthew reading offers some specific examples of helping those in need, such as feeding the hungry and visiting those in prison. Think about how this responsibility might be understood to include challenging unjust systems. Do we have an obligation to address the causes of poverty, as well as an obligation to feed the hungry person at our door?



Prayer For Refugees (from A Just Cause)


Loving God,

We pray for the world’s refugees,

They have experienced trauma beyond our imagining.

God of healing, bring them healing.


They endure the most trying of circumstances.

God of strength, bring them strength.

They face an uncertain future.

God of hope, bring them hope.


We pray for the countries from which refugees come,

They are experiencing conflict.

God of healing, bring them healing.

Their people are torn apart by violence & other types of persecution.

God of strength, bring them strength.

They face a difficult future.

God of hope, bring them hope.


We pray for refugees who have resettled in Australia.

They have experienced great loss.

God of healing, bring them healing.

They are building new lives in a foreign land.

God of strength, bring them strength.

They are courageously carving out a future.

God of hope, bring them hope.


We pray for asylum seekers living in Australia.

They have experienced great loss.

God of healing, bring them healing.

They may never see their families again.

God of strength, bring them strength.

They have no certainty about their future.

God of hope, bring them hope.



We pray for asylum seekers detained on Manus Island & Nauru

They are experiencing great pain

God of healing, bring them healing.

They live in harsh and difficult conditions

God of strength, bring them strength.

They are losing hope.

God of hope, bring them hope.


We pray for our nation

We have hardened our hearts against refugees

God of healing, bring us healing

We have grown weary of caring

God of strength, give us strength

We need to find a better way forward,

God of hope, bring us hope.





Song      Comfort, comfort all my people (TiS 647)





Comfort, comfort all my people

with the comfort of my word.

Speak it tender to my people:

All your sins are taken away.


Though your tears be rivers running,

though your tears be an ocean full,

though you cry with the hurt of living,

comfort, comfort.


Every valley shall be lifted,

every mountain shall be low,

every rough place will be smoother:

comfort, comfort.



Though your eyes see only darkness,

though your eyes can see no light,

though your eyes see pain and sorrow:

comfort, comfort.


Every night will have its morning,

every pain will have an end,

every burden will be lightened:

comfort, comfort.



Words and music © R. Mann

CCLI # 260394



Prayers of the people    Rosemary Brook



Our prayer today draws on a prayer from the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando in Florida. It blends two styles of worship: the Iona Abbey community in Scotland and the Taizé community in France.


In thinking about our prayers of the people, maybe like me you have been reflecting on:


  • the beauty of creation as revealed in the gorgeous ABC documentary, Australian Ocean Odyssey on Tuesday this week about the East Australian Current and the astonishing interconnectedness of our sea and land


  • the pain being experienced by so many people because of longstanding misunderstandings and injustices


  • the incredible work being done to develop Covid-19 treatments and a vaccine


  • the heart-warming successful search for the young teenager on Mt Disappointment,


  • and our beautiful church family - and this week, our sister Congregational Church at Hunters Hill and overseas, your church in Malawi and Zambia.


I have also been alerted this week to the wisdom of Professor Cornel West, an eminent American Christian political philosopher and academic who, also as a man of colour, has been asked to comment on the events in the US.

One of his quotations has especially stayed with me, and challenged me:


"If the Kingdom of God is in you,

you should leave a little bit of heaven wherever you go."

Cornel West.


Let us pray:


Heavenly Father,


In the beginning, when it was very dark,

God said: “Let there be light.”

And there was light.


In the beginning, when it was very quiet, the Word was with God.

And the Word was God.


When the time was right, God sent his Son.

He came among us and was one of us.


Let us give thanks….


O God, for your love for us, warm and brooding, which has brought us to birth and has opened our eyes:

We give you thanks.


For your love for us, wild and freeing, which has awakened us to the energy and pulse of creation:

We give you thanks.


For your love for us, compassionate and patient, which has carried us through our pain, wept beside us when we have failed you and ourselves, and waited with us in our confusion:

We give you thanks.


For your love for us, strong and challenging, which has called us to risk for you, asked for the best in us, and shown us how to serve;

We give you thanks.


O God, we come to celebrate that your Holy Spirit is present deep within us, and at the heart of all life. Forgive us when we forget your gift of love. Awaken us to the love that Christ offers, and draw us into your presence.


Guided Prayer for Awakening- with time also for silent prayer from our hearts


O God, we come asking for you to wake us up from our slumber. Help us to understand how to worship you more fully;

Awaken your people, O Lord.


[time of silent prayer]


Help us to understand how you want us to serve you;

Awaken your people, O Lord.


[time of silent prayer]


Help us to understand how to love each other so that the world will know that we are your disciples;

Awaken your people, O Lord. Awaken us.


[time of silent prayer]


In closing, may we take to our hearts the words of Professor Cornel West:


"If the Kingdom of God is in us,

we should leave a little bit of heaven wherever we go."


In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.



The Lord’s Prayer (Composed by Major Cilla Bone)


Our Father in heaven,


We acknowledge that you are OUR loving parent,

the One who loves all humankind equally.

You are saddened when you see

how selfish your children can be.


hallowed be your name,


We acknowledge that your holiness is

in marked contrast to our unworthiness.


We are sorry that we sing loud songs of adoration

in one breath and then fail to use those same voices

to protest the poor treatment of others.


your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.


It's what you want.

We say it is what we want.

Yet we fail to see that unless we treat

all people with dignity;

welcome the stranger, the asylum seeker,

and stand up for the marginalized –

then earth does not resemble heaven.


Every time a stranger is refused hospitality,

earth looks a little less like heaven.


Give us today our daily bread.


That sounds so selfish,

when people on boats put their lives on the line,

with little bread or water.


And then have to endure

living conditions that are untenable.


As individuals, and as a nation,

we constantly put our own needs before others,

unworthily protecting all that we claim is ours –

our land, our culture, our wealth.


Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.


May our political and church leaders humbly listen to

what you have to say.


Please help politicians on both sides of government

be prepared to forget votes and look to a better solution.


And may church leaders of all denominations

be courageous enough to speak out for justice and mercy.


Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.


For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours now and forever.


We pledge to work with you,

regardless of personal cost,

to establish the Kingdom here on earth.





Song      Come as You Are (TiS 693)



‘Come as you are: that’s how I want you.

Come as you are; feel quite at home,

close to my heart, loved and forgiven.

Come as you are: why stand alone?


‘No need to fear, love sets no limits;

no need to fear, love never ends;

don’t run away shamed and disheartened,

rest in my love, trust me again.


‘I came to call sinners, not just the righteous;

I came to bring peace, not to condemn.

Each time you fail to live by my promise,

why do you think I’d love you the less?


‘Come as you are; that’s how I love you;

come as you are, trust me again.

Nothing can change the love that I bear you;

all will be well, just come as you are.’


Words and music by permission Spectrum Publications, Melbourne

CCLI #260394





Let us pray:


Blessed are you,

O Lord our God,

Creator and Redeemer of the whole world;

from you we receive the gift of life,

and by your grace we have gifts to offer you.


Accept our offerings and our lives

in praise and thanksgiving,

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who brings us again from death to life,

and holds forward the promise

of your everlasting kingdom.




The offering will be used for the congregation’s continuing mission and ministry in these changing times. Please make your offering through a Bank Deposit or a personal cheque whichever is convenient to you.


Account Name: Boronia Park Uniting Church

BSB: 634-634               

Account: 100023784

Reference: Offering      


Please contact Robyn Harvey, Treasurer on 0418 783 290 or robyn.49@bigpond.net.au for more information about how to make Direct Debit.


If you are in a position to help others, Sydney Community Services, where we have donated foods and goods to support the need in our local community, may ask us to donate ANY pasta sauce or chunk soup cans. SCS has passed their appreciation for our donation. If needed to pick up donations from your home, let Robyn or Seung Jae know.


And many thank those who have donated for your sharing love and generosity.



Word of mission: The Sabeel Centre, Jerusalem


Almighty and merciful God,

whose Son became a refugee

and had no place to call his own;

look with mercy on those who today

are fleeing from danger,

homeless and hungry.


Bless those who work to bring them relief;

inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;

and guide the nations of the world towards that day

when all will rejoice in your commonwealth

of justice and of peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.






KidsLife Episode 5