Weekly Intercessions and Worship Notes for 9th July

Resources for Worship 

Dear Friends,

Worship is at the heart of our life as God’s people.  Whatever else we do, worship is at the core as it is through meeting God – in the hymns and the music, the movement and the silence, the Word and the words, in friend and stranger as well as in bread and wine – that we are fed and sustained.  This encounter with God lifts our spirits and gives our lives direction, our prayers focus and our faith a grounding in the everyday realities of life.  

Faithfully, week after week, ministers, elders, and lay preachers lead God’s people in worship.  Part of my ministry is to help with that task by co-ordinating the provision of Worship Notes which assist in the careful preparation of worship. Our Worship Notes offer all the prayers needed (and some that might not be!), notes on the readings that could be built into a sermon, and suggestions for hymns (which might be used or might stimulate the thinking of those who lead worship).  This week our notes have been provided by the Rev’d Jonnie Hill who uses the Song of Songs passage as the basis for his liturgy and reflections – a passage not often preached on.  This Sunday is the only time Song of Songs appears in the Lectionary and this passage is rich in imagery from the natural world – even if the name of God does not appear in the entire book.  The book is interesting as it is written from the perspective of a female lover; today’s passage is full of sensual imagery.  The passage about two lovers has often been used (and made safe) by the Church seeing it as an image of Christ and His Church.  The notes can be found here https://urc.org.uk/your-faith/prayer-and-worship/worship-notes/  

This resource is designed to help plan worship locally. We also offer services by PowerPoint (which can be adapted) if you’d prefer to facilitate worship that way as a form of pulpit supply.  Sign up here if you’d like to access those materials and drop me a line so I can send you the current set of PowerPoint material for pulpit supply along wit the audio and print versions to distribute locally to those who can’t get to church and don’t have access to the Internet.

Jonnie prepared the sample intercessions some months ago so we also ask some of our folk to prepare weekly intercessions which are more topical and could be used in small groups, personal prayer as well as Sunday worship.  This week’s intercessions have been written by myself and weave some resonances from many of the readings – not just Song of Songs – and some contemporary issues in the news this week.   These can be downloaded here.

Finally, we are building up a list of prayers that can be useful as people craft worship or wish to use in their own prayer life.  We’ve arranged the material by season on the website – click on the Your Faith tab, then Prayer and Worship, then Prayers for Church Seasons or click here.  We have lots of resources there and will be adding some more soon.

I hope you find them useful – do let us know your thoughts on these resources as you use them.

with every good wish

Andy

The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship
 

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