Sunday Worship, 12 June 2022

Sunday 12 June 2022

Welcome

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13: 14

Hymn 5 O Lord our Lord

Baptism

  • what baptism is

Baptism is all about Jesus:

 following his example and following his command

At the start of his ministry, Jesus went from Nazareth down to the River Jordan and was baptised by John

After Easter the Risen Jesus told his disciples to carry on his work:

 they were to go and get other people to follow Jesus too,

 to teach them about him, and baptise them.

Baptism is a sign for us and for the whole world:

 of how much God loves us

 of God’s promises to us in Jesus

 of God’s call and challenge to us

 of our response to God’s invitation

Baptism is a sign of all these things

 but it is also more than a sign:

 in the waters of baptism Jesus meets us and makes us his own.

  • what it means for Darcey
  • you have become part of Jesus’ family, a worldwide family
  • you may know God as your Father, Jesus as your Lord and Friend, God’s Spirit with you always to help you try to live the way God wants
  • when life is difficult, you can be assured that God knows and understands the challenges you are facing
  • all God’s promises, about his love, his forgiveness, his help, and the life beyond this life, are for you
  • God challenges you to follow Jesus all your days
  • Promises

Baptism is aboutDarcey becoming part of Jesus’ family,

 learning about him, about his values and standards,

 his forgiveness and his love

We ask her parents to affirm that they will try to do this

 and involve Darcey in the life of the church, coming regularly to worship

We ask family and friends to help Dougie and Linda in this task

As we do so, we remember Jesus’ promises to us

 that he is always ready to help us,

 and to forgive us when we make mistakes.

Would Dougie and Linda and the godparents please come forward:

Will you help Darcey to learn about God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? WE WILL

Will you helpDarcey to learn about Jesus? WE WILL

Will you encourage Darcey to be part of the church, sharing in its life together? WE WILL

Will you try as a family to live by Jesus’ values and standards? WE WILL

A question for the representatives of the congregation, speaking on behalf of the whole church of Jesus Christ:

Will you welcome Darcey among us at all times, ensuring that here she find the love of Jesus, here she will be able to learn about Jesus;

and will you continue to hold her and her parents before God in prayer? WE WILL

  • Baptism

Darcey, for you Jesus Christ came into the world:

      for you he lived and showed God’s love

      for you he suffered the darkness of the cross

      for you he triumphed over death

      and rose in newness of life.

All this he did for you, Darcey

 though you do not understand it yet.

Darcey, I baptise you

 in the name of the Father,

 and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

  • Words of blessing for Darcey

Darcey, through all that life will bring

 may God’s presence strengthen you,

 God’s life guide your actions,

 God’s joy lift your heart.

Through Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Aaronic Blessing (Hymn 796)

Darcey is now baptised into Jesus Christ.

We receive and welcome her as a member

 of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ

As her parents we encourage you to remind Skye of her baptism

 of the promises that are for her

 and to guide and encourage her to walk in Jesus’ way

 so that in due time she may respond to Jesus in faith and love herself

PRAYER

Father God

Bless and guide Darcey

 may she grow in strength, wisdom and grace

 may she work to bring justice and wholeness to your world

 may she be a bearer of peace and healing

 may she come to the point

 where she hears your call and follows in the way of Jesus our Lord

Bless and guide Dougie and Linda in the days and years ahead

 as they try to provide a secure and happy home for Darcey

 as they try to keep her from all the dangers

  that surround children growing up today

 as they try to tell her about Jesus and his way of living.

Bless us all

 that we may always welcome children and their families among us

 that we may always remember them in our prayers.

 Through Jesus our Lord. Amen

Hymn 641Seek ye first

Opening Prayer

Lord our God

We call you Father –

 because that is what Jesus called you

 and he told us to follow his example

 because you want us to be your children

We praise and adore you

 for bringing into being all that is

 for your continuing care for your world

 for your loving concern for us,

 such that you gave your Son to suffer and die for us

Lord Jesus Christ

 your Father’s only and well-beloved Son

  from before the beginning of time

 you came into our world as one of us

 you came to make your Father known to us

 you came to make known his will for us

 you came to win us for him, for ever

Holy Spirit of God

 power of God active in the world

 creating, sustaining, healing, empowering

 gift of the Father to his people

 to draw us closer to Jesus and to each other

With the whole company of your people

 in heaven and on earth

 we join in bringing you our thanks and praise this day

 confessing and repenting of our failings

 and seeking anew your blessing and guidance

  on all that we do and say

Through Christ our Lord we pray

Choir item

Bible reading

Deut 34: 1-4, 9

Jn 16: 5-15

Hymn CH3 87 Be thou my vision

Reflection

I’m going to build a timeline of the church and Dumbarton, using my grandmother’s washing line. Although it broke some years ago, it is still 21m long, long enough for 1m per century. You may not all see it, so I’ll second some volunteers to help:

  • I’ll start it at the back, with the turn of the eras, and have Easter about 30AD, when the crannog at Milton was in operation
  • Move forward a bit to the building of the Antonine Wall fort at Old Kilpatrick, and maybe some fortifications by the locals at Dumbarton, keeping a wary eye on what was going on. This was an era of persecution for the church in the Roman Empire
  • Constantine legalised Christianity in 313, and already there were Christian groups in Britain
  • Locals claim Patrick as coming from hereabouts – as do most other areas as far down the West Coast as Cornwall. We don’t know of any Christian groups here at that time, but through trade people from here would probably have encountered Christians, and maybe there was some kind of church
  • From the 6th to the 9th centuries was a Golden Age for Dumbarton and the church here. There is reference to Rhydderch Hael ap Tudwal, the king on the Rock, being a friend of Columba. The kings were wealthy and powerful and the church was strong (but maybe a bit too wealthy and worldly for its own good)
  • Then disaster struck: the Vikings came and needed 200 longships to take away the captives and the loot. But if it was like other places at that time, the church hung on, poor, weak, but still serving God
  • Alexander II founded the Royal Burgh 800 years ago this year, but had to offer tax incentives to get people to come and live here. The church hung on in there
  • The mid-16th Century saw Mary Queen of Scots leave Dumbarton for France, and the start of around 150 years of upheaval and division with the Reformation
  • The 19th Century saw the town begin to flourish, new churches were built, but there were splits and rivalries. Churches began to think of new ways of relating to the community, with things like the Guild and the BB
  • By the late 20th Century the town was in decline and having to reinvent itself. So was the church
  • We’re not at the end of the timeline, but where are the town and the church going? Are they going in the same direction, or at the same speed?

In the context of the long history of Dumbarton shown on that washing line timeline, none of us can witness everything that has been, and everything that will be – only God can do that. Change is an integral part of life. Sometimes we associate ‘change’ with ‘change and decay in all around I see’. But everyone who knows Darcey knows that she will change and grow, and they look forward to each stage of that development. Over the centuries some people have seen times of prosperity and influence, some have only encountered difficulty and decline, but whatever we live through, God journeys with us, and stands with us. His promises will never fail.

Wherever people in Dumbarton are on that washing line timeline God calls them to show his care and concern to those round about them, and to share with them the Good News of Jesus, to help them discover the difference that knowing and trusting God can make to their lives.

We don’t know what the future holds, for Darcey, for you, for me, for anyone, what shape the church will be, how responsive people will be to its message. We do know that in this and every age God wants Dumbarton to be a place of peace and justice, wholeness and fullness of life, where people are not lonely, hungry, or struggling. He wants it to be a place where he is known and worshipped, where people are able to bring him their thanks and praise, learn about him and share their experiences with others. That is his challenge to the Christian community in Dumbarton – for the 2020s, the rest of the 21st Century, and as long as there are people living here.

Our contribution to the timeline might be short (mine is only 8 cms) but God wants every one of us to contribute to it, to ensure that the work of building his Kingdom keeps going forward sometimes starting afresh each day.

Hymn 198 Let us build a house

Prayers for others

Gracious God

We give thanks for your constant love and care

We give thanks for the faithful witness of those who have gone before us

Because you are a God who cares, who strives for truth, for justice and for peace

we bring you our prayers for those in need

those who are ill, those who worry about them,

  those who care for them

 those waiting for or receiving treatment

  and those for whom there is no treatment

 those who are feeling lonely, down

  or grieving a friend or loved one

 those who don’t have enough to eat

  don’t have somewhere to call home

 those who are worried about family, friends, work, home,

   money

 those who long to live in peace and safety

we pray for the Queen and her family

 for the Government

 all in positions of leadership in this and every land

we pray for your church

 the worldwide church, the wider church in Dumbarton

  our own congregation

We bring to you our prayers for people and situations of special concern to us

And we sum up our prayers in the one that Jesus taught us

Hymn MP178 Go forth and tell

Blessing

And the blessing of God Almighty

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

rest and remain with you

today, and every day, and for ever

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