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WELCOME HOME

Date: 29/06/2014/Speaker: Ngiam Su-Lin

FIRST REALISE EVERYONE is EQUAL

God, we give you thanks for this your church, the Free Community Church. Thank you for calling us together, and the freedom given knowing we are yours, created in your image, and bound by love.

As we gather today in our new home, we give you thanks for leading us here, for your presence in this place, and for your Spirit that fills our hearts; teaching us to do your will. At this milestone in our journey together, let us remember what FREE means and may this be our collective prayer.

F : FIRST
We remember how you first loved us, teaching us how to love; to love others who we find unlovable, to love others who are different from us. Thank you for showing us what it means to lay down our life for our friends, to love justice, to demonstrate love through compassion.

Continue to teach us how to put others first, to die to our self-centered egos and wants, to model that first love that is creative and generative.

R : REALISE
Help us to be aware of needs around us, in our homes, communities, society and in other countries. Give us that consciousness, and Spirit move our conscience, to participate, to act, to have the courage to be that agent of change, as we are each called in different ways.

Give us that sensitivity to be self-aware, to know when you are refining us to be more Christ-like. Help us to be faithful and grant us the capacity to grow, change and be transformed.

E : EVERYONE
May your Spirit of inclusivity infuse this place and enlarge our hearts, that all who experience us understands that diversity is celebrated, and we are each uniquely and beautifully made, reflecting different facets of your glory. Help us to live this out in our everyday, to everyone.

E : EQUAL
Even as we seek equality for ourselves because of our sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, age, qualifications, physical conditions and whatever renders us to be treated less than equal, help us not to forget that often in our marginality, we too treat others as unequal.

Grant us your vision God to see ourselves, and each other as you see us, and enable us to realise that unless we treat one another as equals, we are not truly free.

And may the blessed words Welcome Home always be a part of us, may they follow us wherever we go, warming our hearts; and may they always be on our lips as words that embrace and bless others, like the breath of God giving life.

Let us now spend some time meditating through expressions of gratitude from some church members, brought over from a previous service at Geylang. Each of them have experienced a different homecoming. As each expression is read out, let it speak to you and spend some time in silence reflecting and offer up your own prayer of gratitude or supplication.

1. For giving me the courage to leave my comfort zone.

2. For FCC, a place where we can be ourselves and to bless others with what we have been given

3. For walking beside me and never forsaking me but carrying me through when things are too difficult to bear.

4. For the new people I have met who have changed me.

5. For finally understanding what family means.

Let us close by affirming our faith together by praying an inclusive version of the Lord¡¯s Prayer:

Our Father/Mother who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kindom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Amen.