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1 Christian Aid Week 9-15 May 2010 Order of service
Opening responses Supporters’ voice:Coming from a comfortable background, I’ve always been comfortable. But to actually be there, to see it, to smell it, and the heat – I am frightened of the poverty I might see. All: Lord, open our eyes to see the reality of your world today. 2
Supporters’ voice: These are real stories, these are real people who are suffering. All: Lord, open our ears to hear the voices of those who are unheard. Supporters’ voice: I don’t want to go as an onlooker, a voyeur. I want to get away from the idea of me giving and them taking. I want to ‘walk alongside’. All: Lord, open our hearts to respond with compassion. Help us to walk alongside the poor. 3
Prayer of confession Supporters’ voice: It's easy where we are for our hearts to become hard and bone-like. From time to time, we need to expose ourselves to areas of hurt and human suffering because when our hearts are soft God can use us. This is an opportunity to say, 'Yes God, my heart is in your hands. Soften my heart, soften my heart towards people who matter to you’. 4
All:Loving God, We have looked away from those who long for change. We have not heard those who speak up for love. Our hearts have sometimes been cold. Lord, forgive us and transform us. Help us to see with your eyes. Help us listen as if you were speaking. 5
All: Show us how to live as if we believe in a new tomorrow. Through Jesus Christ our Lord who walked alongside us. Amen Leader:May our passionate God who makes all things new forgive us and renew us, draw us close and warm our hearts. All:Amen 6
Offering our actions and gifts Leader: We offer our gifts and actions today, believing we can change tomorrow. In front of you you’ll see a gift envelope and an action card asking the prime minister to take urgent action to address the causes of poverty. In response to all you’ve seen and heard today, fill out the card and think about how much you can afford to give. If you are a UK tax payer please also take the time to complete the Gift Aid declaration – this will make your gift worth even more. 7
[A couple of minutes’ silence follow before the leader invites people to come forward with their gifts and cards.] Leader:We have seen the power of working in community. We pray now for all involved in Christian Aid Week, as they go out into our own community so that lives may be changed. [The leader may invite those active in Christian Aid Week to come forward.] 8
Kenyans’ voice:A few of us think differently. We think that you can get out of this situation if you bring people together… Supporters’ voice:People can achieve so much when they come together and decide that enough is enough. All: Father God, we are challenged by the strength of community we have seen in Kenya. Make our own community strong, we pray. 9
All:Help us to stand together to look poverty in the face, and to begin to dismantle the structures that hold it in place. Enough is enough. Supporters’ voice: To fight poverty is to realise that we are all one. Kenyans’ voice:May the Lord bless you. When you help us to overcome these problems, it's like you're helping the family of Christ. 10
All: Lord bless those who have made strangers family, as they pour out rich gifts to those living in poverty this Christian Aid Week – gifts of time, open homes, creativity and energy. Thank you for their audacity to believe in change, and the courage to see change through. Kenyans’ voice:I’ve managed to uplift myself from the slum to a much, much better place. 11
Supporters’ voice: We want the kingdom to come. And if we seek God’s Kingdom, we will have a glimpse of heaven. Commissionees:Lord, as we seek to uplift those you love, make us aware that it is you we are lifting up. And as we offer up our gifts this week, may we see your kingdom breaking through. In the name of your son Jesus, who gave all he had to give, Amen 12
Prayer for Christian Aid Week Father God in heaven, We thank you for the people of Nairobi, of Kenya, and of poor communities around the world. Thank you for their dreams and aspirations to improve their lives and give their children better futures. Thank you for the challenge to make their dreams our dreams, their children’s future, our future. 13
Thank you for vision. Thank you for faith to believe all is possible. Thank you for courage to turn ideas into action, and hope to endure until they become reality. In Jesus' name, Amen. 14
Closing responses Supporters’ voice:People may say, 'Oh, it's not possible. You can't eradicate poverty.' But we've seen it happening… It's not a dream anymore for these people.’ Kenyans’ voice:I have learnt that change is possible. Now I know I have a broader horizon. All:We thank you Father God for those whose change is here. 15
Kenyans’ voice:I hope for a brighter future, a good future. This gives me the strength to fight on. All:We hope on behalf of those, Lord, who have yet to see change come. Supporters’ voice: It's about facing all the suffering of the world and this is the journey we've been on. All:Set us on a new road, Lord. Help us see the way ahead. 16
Leader: May the God of life who walks with us from hope to change, walk with us now and always. All:Amen 17
18 Christian Aid Week 9-15 May 2010 Christian Aid Week
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