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Worship Sheet for Sunday 8  May              New hope, fresh opportunities   

We’re holding our Souper Sunday service and lunch this week in support of the Church of Scotland’s HIV Programme. We are pleased to welcome the Moderator of the General Assembly Lord Wallace. In 2nd Corinthians Paul reminds us that though outwardly we might appear weak, God can work wonders in us and through us.
Call: Come and meet us here Lord, you people are gathered. Come and use us with all our flaws and frailties. Come Lord, and equip us by your Spirit that we may worship you and serve you and our neighbour for your glory. Come sisters and brothers, let us worship God.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Loving God, we thank you for all your gifts, and especially for your love shown to all humankind through Jesus Christ, your Son. We thank you for your constant compassion, for your caring, guiding, protecting and forgiving. We thank you for loving all of us, despite our lack of love for you and our failure to love our neighbours. Loving God, forgive us our feeble faith, our willingness to exclude people from our circles of concern through prejudice, self-centredness or lack of understanding. Forgive us for failing to respond appropriately to the concerns of people who are marginalised in life. Loving God, as we rejoice in your love for all, and appreciate the transforming power of your pardon, we ask you to help us recognize our responsibility towards you and the world you have given us. Encourage us to learn from Jesus as we try to live and love like him. And now we join together in the words of the prayer which Jesus taught, saying: Our Father…

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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2nd Corinthians 4:1-15.   Treasure in earthen vessels.          
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Thought- There is a sense in which we Christians have feet in two camps – the world in which we live and in eternity. We have to face all the troubles and pressures of living in the modern world, including viruses, price rises and the indirect effects of war. We are not immune from trouble. But we have the reassurance that God is with us always – even and perhaps esp in our troubles. And that offers us a real hope for the future. It’s not just that “things will be put right when we are in heaven” – our hope impacts on the way that we live out our lives here and now. Hope sheds new light on the possibilities now and helps us to rise to the challenges that face us rather than us feeling that we are simply pawns with no say, no influence. That is something that is behind the strategy of the HIV Programme – to give hope to people whose lives often don’t show much in the way of opportunity and a future. Some assistance, to help people get on their feet, to see that there are steps that can lead them to a more positive future can really be a catalyst to unlock the possibilities and drive forward change. In the Church we will give some examples of what the programme is doing but for now please be assured that we can make a difference. And of course, making a difference isn’t restricted to the HIV Programme – in all sorts of ways we can all be used to give people hope. And maybe it begins when we realise that we are NOT useless, that we don’t need to run ourselves down – we may be frail vessels, a bit broken, but God can use us – we have the treasure of his love in our hearts and that can lead to real hope – not only for us, but for others as we live out and tell out Jesus’ message of love and hope.  

Praise: CH4 449 Rejoice the Lord is King v 1,2 & 5    
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Our prayers for a world in which HIV still causes such suffering and stigma. Let us pray: God of life ... and death … and life restored, in a world where HIV has caused such suffering and heartache, may your Church raise up hope for those whose lives are in such turmoil: for those who are ill, may effective treatments be available and affordable; for those who are stigmatised in their communities, may your peace be known; for those whose family members have died, may love and care be on hand. On this day when we recall the fight against this virus, we give thanks for the decades of frontline research which has brought such unimagined progress towards limiting suffering. Bless the scientists, the medical staff and the policy-makers whose working lives are dedicated to making the world a place where life can be lived positively by people of all ages. And lastly, we bring before you the partner projects of the Church of Scotland HIV Programme, working in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and right here in Scotland. Thank you for their dedication and for your love lived out in their deep and inspiring Christian commitment. We continue to pray for all those affected by the invasion of Ukraine including those who have come to Scotland. In our prayer walk this week we remember those who live or work in Tolmount Cres and in a world that sorely needs us to live and offer God’s hope in Jesus we pray for all who are in need of his loving touch whether locally or far away. SILENCE.
Lord, hear our prayers spoken and unspoken for the sake of our Saviour Jesus. Amen.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.