Worship for Sunday 9th October 2022, by Rev. Catharine Hughes

This week’s worship will look at how one small voice can make a big difference, particularly thinking about the Climate Emergency.

Invitation to worship

Praise God, all you people of the earth.

Blessed be God forever.

From the rising of the sun to its setting

Blessed be God forever.

As high as the tree soaring above the forest,

As beautiful as the river flowing through many lands,

As rich as the ecosystems of an abundant earth,

As close as the smallest creature on the ground,

So good is the God of all creation.

Blessed be God forever.



Sing praise to God on mountain tops

Sing praise to God on mountain tops

And in earths lowest place,

From blue lagoon to polar waste,

From ocean to oasis.

No random rock produced this world

But God’s own will and wonder.

Thus hills rejoice and valleys sing

And clouds concur with thunder.


Sing praise to God where grasses grow

And flowers display their beauty,

Where Nature weaves her myriad web

Through love as much as duty.

The seasons in their cycle speak

Of earth’s complete provision.

Let nothing mock inherent good

Or treat it with derision.


Sing praise to God where fishes swim

And birds fly in formation,

Where animals of every kind

Diversify creation.

All life that finds its home on earth

Is meant to be respected.

Let nothing threaten, for base ends,

What God through grace perfected.


Sing praise to God where humankind

Its majesty embraces,

Where different races, creeds and tongues

Distinguish different faces.

God’s image in each child of earth

Shall never pale or perish.

So treat with love each human soul

And thus God’s goodness cherish.

Words: John L Bell & Graham Maule © 1989, 2018 WGRG, Iona Community

Prayers of love towards God

God of all life, of all ages, of all places;

God of all people, of all voices, of all accents;

God of all signs, of all symbols, of all songs…

We praise you.


God of all life, we worship you this day,

You who are ever new, yet from the beginning of time,

Our all-embracing God, who never leaves nor forsakes us.

We praise you.


God of all people, we worship you this day,

You who speaks in all languages across the globe,

Yet is the God who speaks directly to us in ways we can hear.

We praise you.


God of all signs, we worship you this day,

You who we meet in bread and wine, in cross and candle,

Our God who sings over us with joy.

We praise you.


But even as words of praise pass our lips

We know we have not always lived

As those who are loved, forgiven and set free.


We have allowed ourselves to be imprisoned by tradition,

Captivated by habit,

Limited by fear.


We have exploited the world you have made,

Misused your precious gifts,

Used other people’s weakness to get what we want.


We are sorry.

We come in humility before you,

Asking for forgiveness…


…and rising again, sure in the knowledge

That your love surpasses all understanding,

And we can stand before you,

Hearing your voice:

‘Your sins are forgiven.’


Adapted from prayers in The Word in the World: Prayers for Christian Worship Book 2 compiled by Donald Hilton



All things bright and beautiful – John Rutter

Words from STF 100

All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all.


Each little flower that opens,

Each little bird that sings,

He made their glowing colours,

He made their tiny wings.


The purple heathered mountain,

The river running by,

The sunset, and the morning

That brightens up the sky.


The cold wind in the winter,

The pleasant summer sun,

The ripe fruits in the garden,

He made them every one.


He gave us eyes to see them,

And lips that we might tell

How great is God Almighty,

Who has made all things well.


2 Kings 5.1-3, 7-15
Naaman healed of leprosy

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, ‘Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!’

When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: ‘Why have you torn your robes? Make the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, ‘Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.’

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, “Wash and be cleansed”!’ 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.’


Luke 17.11-19

Jesus heals ten men with leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’

14 When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’19 Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’



Both our readings today speak of healing, specifically of leprosy. The word translated as leprosy in the bible was used for many serious skin conditions and may have not have referred to the specific disease that we know today. Nevertheless, the diseased were shunned from society, labelled unclean and ostracised.

Disease is not judgmental of race or class or wealth. Naaman was a general in the Aramean army. He was successful, held in high regard, no doubt both wealthy and powerful as he had retained one of the best female slaves from a previous attack. And it took the bold voice of that girl to speak to her mistress, his wife, about the prophet in Samaria who could cure him.

Similarly, when he was dissatisfied with Elisha’s ‘cure’ it took the bravery of the servants to speak to him, to point out that if the ‘cure’ had been complicated or expensive he would have done it without question, so what harm can come from a quick dip (or seven) in the Jordan?

How often is it the ‘little people’ who have the greatest impact?

Are we listening for the small voices? Are we hearing those who speak out?

When it comes to climate change the impact of Greta Thunberg going on strike from school on a Friday had more impact than all the dire warnings of the scientists and politicians. Perhaps we, too, should have the courage to speak out about issues that concern us, and to listen to the voices of the next generation.

If we seek the healing of God’s world we need to listen to the small voices, such as the people of the developing world who are already suffering crop failure, famine, flooding and drought due to the effects of climate change.

And we need to listen to the voice of those who show us the error of our ways, picking at our arrogance in the exploitation of the planet and overuse of fossil fuels.

And we need to pay attention to those commands to do small things, for therein may lie the healing power of God, both for us as individuals and for the climate and world.

Who are the people ‘speaking truth to power’ today?

Can you be that bold voice?

What can you do to ease the effects of climate change?



The truth that sets us free

When the wheel of fate is turning

And the mills of God grind slow,

When the past seems more attractive

Than the future we don’t know,

When our confidence is waning

And we lack security,

Comes the timeless word of Jesus

That the truth will set us free.


Is it war or economics,

Is is danger or deceit,

Is it unforeseen depression,

Fear of failure to compete?

Have the times which once were changing

Led where no one wants to be?

Shall we live by lies on offer

Or the truth that sets us free?


With real faith there will be doubting,

And with loss there will be grief.

No one knows the contradictions

Which will exercise belief.

Against conflicts life might bring us,

God provides no guarantee,

Just this word of hope and healing:

Know the truth will set you free.


So, dear Jesus, make us willing

To unmask convenient lies,

To protest wherever power

Closes conscience, ears and eyes;

And release our expectations

Of your kingdom yet to be,

Born in courage, joy and justice

And the truth that sets us free.

Words: John L Bell © 2012, 2018 WGRG, Iona Community


Prayers for others

God of all creation,

And of all creatures,

We pray today for the peacemakers, for the seekers of justice,

To stand in solidarity across many dividing lines and barriers.

We pray for those who have lost loved ones to violence,

And for safety, security, human rights and dignity for all,

Not just for some.

We pray for the courage to continue working together

For a world of justice, peace and equality.

Loving God,

Hear our prayer.


God of all creation,

We give you thanks for agreements that safeguard the environment.

We pray for those who seek to make this a reality,

Especially those following up on climate change agreements

Made in Paris in 2015 and at COP26 in Glasgow.

May their efforts be fruitful.

Loving God,

Hear our prayer.


God of all creation,

We remember those who are far from power.

We pray for

Those vulnerable in the face of flood and drought, wind and weather,

Those vulnerable in the face of impersonal global markets,

Those crying out for help and just ice in times of distress.

Loving God,

Hear our prayer.


May all of us be inspired by the Word that makes all things new;

To speak words of truth,

Words of dignity,

Words of peace,

Words of life,

In the name of the Word who became flesh.


Kathy Galloway, from ‘Living Faithfully in the Time of Creation’ © Kathy Galloway & Katharine M Preston (Wild Goose publications, 2021)


Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us.

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

The power and the glory,

For ever and ever,





STF 689 – Summoned by the God who made us


Summoned by the God who made us

Rich in our diversity,

Gathered in the name of Jesus,

Richer still in unity.

Let us bring the gifts that differ

And, in splendid, varied ways,

Sing a new Church into being

One in faith and love and praise.


Radiant risen from the water,

Robed in holiness and light,

Male and female in God’s image,

Male and female, God’s delight.




Trust the goodness of creation;

Trust the Spirit strong within,

Dare to dream the vision promised

Sprung from seed of what has been.


Bring the hopes of every nation;

Bring the art of every race.

Weave a song of peace and justice;

Let it sound through time and space.


Draw together at one table

All the human family;

Shape a circle ever wider

And a people ever free.