20 September 2020_Pentecost 16_Service of Thanksgiving for and Blessing for a Child

18 Sep 2020 by Seungjae Yeon in: Worship Online



This country garden in Hillandale is a wonderland of layered, flowering perennials and ornamental grasses.
For heady flowers, try planting bubblegum-scented port wine magnolia (Michelia figo). It's a good choice for filling a difficult shady spot, or for a dense hedge. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Brunfelsia latifolia) is making a comeback with its sweet purple, mauve and white blooms. Spicy boronias and honey-scented Geraldton wax are fragrant native options. Lilac brings joy to cold-climate gardens, along with mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius).
Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is first choice for clothing a fence. It's better behaved and longer flowering than common jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum), offering creamy, scented blooms from spring into summer.
Photo: Claire Takas | Story: House & Garden



Preparing for Worship


This week we continue to use one of rites provided in Uniting in Worship 2 (the Uniting Church’s book of worship). This is an ecclesial rite called A Service of Thanksgiving for and Blessing of a Child. This rite is altered in the context of the congregation to be suitable for various family circumstances. You may bless your child/children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews near and far in joining the rite. Please don’t forget to pray and bless our young people of the congregation as you worship God this moment.


Also, as we are celebrating the season of spring 2020, I would encourage all of us to receive all meanings of spring season – preparation, readiness, newness and hopefulness though we are all struggling in the pandemic. We hope that as we worship together, wherever we are, we look to God who may invite us to see a beauty of this season and a hope in his Son Jesus Christ.



Acknowledgement for the First Peoples


I/We would like to begin by acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to their Elders past and emerging. I/We extend that respect to them with our faithful prayer in this worship.

Poem as Prayer


Art by Mary Southard, The Cosmic Dance

Behold This Newborn Child


Each time a child is born,

particularly after a grandparent dies,

we sense that life goes on.

All is not lost.

There is a deep resilience,

stronger than the grasp of death.


The babe is lifted high

toward the welcoming stars,

a young life

with just a kernel of ripening,

a new resident

in the heart of existence.


All those gathered proclaim:


“Behold, behold, this newborn one!

Let us nurture and keep alive

The sacred mystery of hope

Hallowed in this young one’s heart.

We sow our dreams of a future

in this freshly birthed promise

to guide and guard this child.

Always we will remember

Our oneness in the dancing cosmos.”


The stars say not a word.

They bow in reverence

to this creature,

whose adult hands will hold

power enough

to blow up a planet,

or seed a waiting garden.


The stars smile,

for they too have hope,

and night

turns toward the dawn.

 Joyce Rupp, The Cosmic Dance, p. 111


For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6




Hymn: Guide me, O thou great Jehovah




Verse 1

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,

pilgrim through this barren land;

I am weak, but thou art mighty;

hold me with thy powerful hand.

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,

feed me till I want no more,

feed me till I want no more.


Verse 2

Open now the crystal fountain,

whence the healing stream doth flow.

Let the fire and cloudy pillar

lead me all my journey through.

Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,

be thou still my strength and shield,

be thou still my strength and shield.



Verse 3

When I tread the verge of Jordan,

bid my anxious fears subside.

Death of death, and hell's Destruction,

land me safe on Canaan's side.

Songs of praises, songs of praises

I will ever give to thee,

I will ever give to thee.

William Williams, 1762



Bible Reading: Matthew 20:1-16 (New Living Translation)

Christy Kim



Parable of the Vineyard Workers

20 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard.He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.

“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner,12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”


This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


NEXT SUNDAY – 27 September 2020

The Sunday worship will be prepared and led by the people of Boronia Park

Uniting Church.


               Bible Reading – Matthew 21:23-32 (NLT), Alan Keast

               Prayers of the People – Justin Han

                               Local churches’ Prayer Cycle: All Christian churches and

                                           communities in the City of Ryde and Hunters Hill

                               World Cycle of Prayer: Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela




Seung Jae Yeon



Your word is a lamp to my feet, Lord.

Your word is a light to my path.

(Psalm 119:105)


Before I begin my sermon sharing with you all, I would tell that I have sensitively studied and reflected on the passage because many citizens, permanent residents, temporary working visa holders, refugee status visa holders who currently struggle to find job for their family and own living. I also pray to God that the current pandemic will no longer hurt anyone’s profit making in business and employment. And God be with those who are in difficult circumstances.


This passage from Matthew 20 may remind us the following words from Isaiah’s prophecy.


“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)


God might want all creatures to come before him and to be fed whatever they need without cost. That may challenge our idea of living today because we live by our labour and its financial rewards. We may think about this first then reflect on the passage and its lesson for us today.


This moment, again, we have come to worship, thinking about who we are in the reign of God, simply the kingdom of God. We come and worship, no matter where we dwell or stay, under a place where the sun shines or the moon reflects. God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Father and Mother, when we call, he listens, answering our prayers, forgiving our mistakes and providing what we need. Thus, we trust in God and give him our heart-full praises. This may be our destiny in life given by God through his Son Jesus Christ.


God sent his Son in a form of his Creation, a human. Also let him be part of all human life and its lifestyle through the time and space in ancient Judean region. It was very different to what we now live here in Australia. In general, our young people are at school for training whereas we, the grown-up do things for living under terms of condition or contract at work. Many people would have any form of work securely in order to manage their current and future financial plan. Our young people study at school, training themselves for their future carrier. One day, they will need to think about their employment or any income source for living. In reality, it is no doubt that security in job and income source is most important matter for all human beings in this era.


However, Jesus, in this parable, brings a different perspective to us. In times of weakness and fragile, for those who were still not hired by anyone or any vineyard, the owner kept going to get workers for his business. He has strength and needs more human-power for his vineyard. Those who spent their time in labour market, and their load were heavy and too much to bear in their daily life. So the presence of the owner in the market place would have been very powerful and hopeful for those not hired for that day. They could have thought that they stretched their arms to get help from the owner in exchanging their labour to daily wage. I found that the grace in the presence of vineyard owner is there and may the unemployed depend on it no matter whenever they were hired by him that day. In hour of need, the owner, the kingdom of God, came to rescue, saying ‘come and find your own value.’ I believe that this is grace divine and path that we may tread to wholeness of body and spirit in God our Father. The kingdom of God which we may find from the image of the owner, always seek to find us, leading us to the path where we find how much God values us as who we are. In God’s heart and love, you and I, and many are all precious equally. Jesus points out that in the parable. He had and now has equal grace to us all.


I want us to think about two things with you: firstly, God’s plan and purpose is always greater than ours. Sometimes it is very different to what we might think. Isaiah 55 witnesses who God is to us, saying,


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (8-11)


We do not know where God’s purpose is in this time of pandemic. We do not know how long in God’s test we struggle to keep our faith alive. We do not know what message we would pass to younger generation as all face the same challenges. We do not really know how we might touch lives by love and hope of Jesus Christ though we cannot meet with them? The words of God from his prophecy may give us assurance that he and his path continue to lead us in a right direction. What would we do now? Simply trust and obey the word of God, and pray to God for your own and others that there might be reasons in his test.


And secondly, Jesus always welcomes all his people – no matter what season in life they live, they are believers or not, only as who they really are. Especially in this worship we will give thanks to God and bless upon all young people around us like our Lord Jesus Christ who always welcomed young ones, and all who came to him. They were sinners in Jewish religion, and the crowd/ochlos/minjung under the Roman rulers. He said, “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” What was the easiest way for him to see all God’s people? Just welcome and take their burden away from them which they could not do by themselves. The Son of God, the Holy One in Jesus, was only able to let them find rest in him. Social position, wealth, gender, colour, languages were all useless and meaningless for Jesus. He was and is the Lord of all in the past, present and forever. The kingdom of God be always near us. Please come and find rest. Door is open wide if you seek, find and knock. Why do you hesitate to come rest in God? Don’t you know you have deserved it? For us, Jesus Christ became poor, low and humble then naked and crucified. And after three days, he rose from the dead to the life everlasting. It is all about him for you, me and many.


Let us stand before the risen Lord Jesus Christ if he seeks to find us for God's kingdom. Let us be the vineyard worker who was picked up by the owner and by his own will. Let us be the vineyard owner who faithfully go and find anyone who may be in hour of need. And let us be the people of God wherever we are, who follow, responding God’s call, not once, not in a particular season of your life, but every single moment, though you would deem your faith little than ever before. When you answer, God be there for you to come and give you rest.





Prayers of the People

Phoebe Kim


Heavenly Father,


Thank you for allowing us to still be together in online worship. As the beautiful spring has come, we are grateful, humbled and our hearts are bursting with hope.


You have blessed us with a beautiful first month of spring and as we enjoy the warmth, we trust in the light that you shine upon us.


That light you shine calls on us to act for peace. It calls on us to advocate for those suffering. It calls on us to ensure that everyone in our community – both here in Boronia Park and the world, can see your light.


God of grace and mercy, we too easily ask what others do and get, instead of realising you value us just as we are whether as early arrivals or new arrivals in your vineyard. Take away our resentment and teach us the art of caring for each other particularly during this pandemic.


This week, in our world cycle of prayers, we think of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. We think of all the people in these countries – your people, your followers. We pray that you shine your light on their leaders to guide them with your wisdom but more importantly, your compassion. Help them see the vulnerable and innocent living in these societies who suffer from their corruption. Bless these nations with your healing hands. May they feel your presence and guide them as they make lasting and dire decisions.


In our Inter church council, we pray for Glades Hill Presbyterian Church and Kalos Korean Presbyterian Church. Our sisters and brothers in Christ are in our hearts. May you be with these church families, their mission, and their faith as they serve your name and love within their communities.


We think of our own church and beloved congregation here. We think of those who are unwell, Judy, Tom, Elaine, and any others I may have missed. Please keep them safe and remind them that they are loved by us here at Boronia Park. Remind them that you are always with them.


We thank you for our minister Seungjae and his beautiful family. We thank you for members who contributes to the service in various ways. Thank you for our beautiful friends and family in Christ that we get to have fellowship with.


We pray all these things in your name,



Let us continue to worship God.


A Service of Thanksgiving for

and Blessing of a Child/Children





The elder responsible for the care of the family brings forward the parent(s), the child, and any sisters and brothers or wider family, and introduces them to the congregation.



I present to you N (parent 1) and N (parent 2)

who have come to give thanks

for their child/children, N (child/children’s name).

With them, we give our thanks to God.




Jesus said,

‘Let the children come to me;

do not try to stop them;

for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.


Truly I tell you:

whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child

will never enter it’.

And he put his arms around them,

laid his hands on the,

and blessed them.                 Mark 10:14-16


The minister says:


All life is from God,

and children are a gift from the Lord.



Within a family,

the presence of a child/children

is joyous and solemn.


In their presence, we see the wonder

of God’s loving creativity among us.


We are now to share the joy of this family

whose life has been enriched

by the gift of child/children, N (child/children’s name).



Responsive Psalm Reading


God, be gracious to us and bless us

and make your face to shine upon us,

that your way may be known upon earth,

your saving power among all nations.


Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you judge the people with equity

and guide the nations upon earth.


Let the people praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.


The earth has yielded its increase;

God, our God, has blessed us.

O God extend your blessing upon us;

may the whole world worship you.           

Psalm 67



Prayer of Thanksgiving


Let us pray:


O God,

like a mother who comforts her children,

you sustain, nurture and strengthen us;

like a father who cares for his children,

you look upon us with compassion and goodness.


We give you thanks for the presence of N (child/children’s name),

and for the joy that has come to this family.


Confirm her/his/their joy by a lively sense

of your presence with her/his/them.


Give them calm strength and patient wisdom

as she/he/they seek(s) to bring her/his/their child/children

to love all that is true and noble,

just and pure,

lovable and gracious,

excellent and admirable,

following the example of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.





The Blessing of the Child/Children


The minister may touch the child/children’s head, hands and feet as indicated.


May God grant you grace

to grow in wisdom and understanding,

(touch head)

to work with Christ for justice in the world,

(touch hand)

and to walk with the Spirit in the ways of peace;

(touch feet)

and the blessing of the Holy One,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

be upon you this day and for evermore.


The people respond:





Dedication of the Parent(s)


The minister addresses the parent(s):


Do you receive N as a gift from God?


I/We thankfully receive N

as a gift from God.


With humility and hope

we dedicate ourselves

to love and care for her/him,

and to set before her/him the Christian faith

by teaching and example.


In this we ask for the power of the Holy Spirit

and the prayers of the Church.

Congregational Response


The minister says:


The Church is the family of Christ,

the community in which we grow in faith and commitment.


The people say:


We rejoice in God’s blessing of N (child/children’s name).

We seek God’s grace to be a community

in which the gospel is truly proclaimed to all.

We will support you and your child/children,

and pray that through our love

she/he may come to know God’s love.





Concluding Prayer


Gracious God,

you entrusted your Son Jesus

to the protection and care of Mary and Joseph,

their families and community.


You have now entrusted this child/children to her/his family.

Strengthen N (parent 1) and N (parent 2) by your Holy Spirit,

and help this congregation

to be caring community in Christ.


May N^be brought by grace

(or names of younger generation from our congregations)

to the sacrament of baptism/confirmation,

and come, with all your people,

to the fullness of your kingdom of love and peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.




^Sebastian (Jenny’s), Olivia, Vivian (Melody’s), Jayden, Michelle (Carmen’s), Heather, Daniel, Joshua (Grace’s), Emily, Ashley (Christy’s), Jack (Gabby’s), Oscar, Bianca (Olivia’s), Zachary, Isabella (Lenny’s), Lily, James, Lizzy, Kenesha (Allison’s), Anthony (Lettie’s), Jemma (Jenny’s), Susan, Sophia, Grace & Ilyas (Phoebe’s), William and Jessica (Jeff’s)



Song: Like a Candle




Like a candle burning wildly,

raging soft against the night,

spark that leaps to clear the shadows

sending warm disturbinglight.


We are called to live the passion,

hope stands strong against all pain.

For it’s only in the burning

that the candle shows its flame.


Like a river running freely,

rapids swirl beside our feet,

swiftly flowing from the high land

comes to rest, still waters meet.


All our journeys rising, falling,

making turns we least expect,

when the Spirit churns within us,

know God’s power through the test.


Like an angel walking lightly

on this fragile earth of clay,

touching folk with raw compassion,

laughing, playing on the way.


Freely living ev’ry moment

in the mystery of grace.

Giving, dying, living, rising,

see the beauty of God’s face.


See the hope that burns in darkness,

show compassion, strong and kind,

bind the hurt and broken-hearted,

be God’s hands and voice and eyes.


Sing a new song ev’ry sunrise,

climb to places out of reach,

walk in freedom of God’s Spirit,

as we die so we shall live.


Walk in freedom of God’s Spirit,

as we die so we shall live.


CCLI Song # 206394

Words: Craig Mitchell

Music: Tim Beale, Roger Imms



Offering and Prayer


The offering will be used for the congregation’s continuing mission and ministry including young people and youth 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.


Let us pray:


God of Great gifts,

we give you these gifts today

knowing that you are the Father of gifts.

You mother us constantly

providing for us, caring for us.


As we have been abundantly provided for,

so we give abundantly to the work that you give us to do,

the work of the church,

the care for those who are poor.

Accept these gifts in Jesus’ name. 



Attributed to Carol Penner




Our Wednesday Learning For Leisure and its craft group have been knitting beanies, teddies, scarves all winter for the Uniting Hats for Homeless project. They are given out to homeless people in Sydney and in country areas as well. Robyn Harvey, Margaret Maxwell, Margaret Treble, and Elaine Wallbank contributed their gifts in knitting, making at least 100. The total so far is 2216. Robyn says, "lots of love and laughter goes into each piece." We are so proud of you all. Blessings. (Photo and story from Robyn Harvey's Facebook)

Once the group get to 2,500 they are then making masks for homeless people to keep them safe until we can have the vaccine. If you are in position to donate 100% cotton material to make the masks, please contact Robyn (0418 783 290 or robyn.49@bigpond.net.au). She will be happy to pick up material from you.  



Benediction: The Upside-Down Kingdom


Go out from here

as workers in God’s upside-down kingdom,

where the last are first and the first are last,

where needs are met in miraculous ways,

and there is grace enough for all!


And may the blessing of God,

the love of Jesus Christ,

and the presence of the Holy Spirit

surround you and sustain you in the coming days.



Retrieved from re-worship.blogspot.com


May God bless you all at this time of your life.