A Light on the Hill

Order of Service – 3rd September 2023

The Order of Service follows below.

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Kardlayirdi Karnungga
The light on the hill

Season of Creation – Forest Sunday
September 3rd, 2023
Preacher: Rev Linda Driver
Liturgical colour: aqua

We acknowledge the Kaurna people as the traditional carers of the land on which our church is built.

Images of ‘living things’ and gum leaves are provided for people to take as they enter.

Online: As you are waiting you are invited to find a gum leaf or other scented leaf from your garden and have bread and juice ready so that you can share in communion during the service.


Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country

Welcome! Niina marni!

Lighting of the Candles and Introit – As the wind song through the trees

Swee Hong Lim (Hope is our Song 7)

Call to Worship

In the name of the Creator, the fountain of life, the name of Christ, the pulse of life, and the name of the Spirit, the breath of life. Amen.
Holy! Holy! Holy!
Earth is filled with God’s presence.

Christ, we come into your presence today to worship in this sanctuary called Earth,
A planet filled with your presence,
quivering in the forests,
vibrating in the land,
pulsating in the arid lands,
shimmering in the rivers.

God, reveal yourself to us in this place and show us your face in all creation.
Holy! Holy! Holy!
Earth is filled with God’s presence.

We Sing: O For a Thousand Trees

  1. O for a thousand trees to sing
    And join with us this day,
    With ferns and frogs and butterflies:
    A forest hymn of praise.

  2. Come celebrate with all the land,
    Let species rare begin,
    With geese and owls and cockatoo:
    A choir of country kin.

  3. Let ev’ry stream and river flow
    In song toward the sea;
    With whale, and seal and albatross
    We thank God we are free!

  4. O for a thousand trees to sing
    And join with us this day,
    With ferns and frogs and butterflies:
    A forest hymn of praise.

Words: © Norman Habel 2004. Melody: O For a Thousand Tongues. Habel Hymns Volume One. Songs for Celebrating with Creation Used with permission: https://seasonofcreation.com/creation-songs/ All rights reserved. ONE LICENSE, License #A‑604444.


We remember the first garden, when God planted a forest of trees.
We remember the gardens
and the forests of our childhood,
the places where we played in the past,
when we felt close to Earth and to trees.

We remember and rejoice. Thank you, God, for trees,
for forests and bushland,
filled with wonder and mysteries!

Prayer of Confession

We are sorry. As part of the human community, we say sorry for being thoughtless and greedy, for ignoring the destruction of our forests, the death of ancient giant trees and creatures that have depended upon them.
We are sorry.
We are sorry.

Assurance of Forgiveness / Affirmation

Christ hears our confession from the cross and forgives our sins against the forest.
Christ, teach us to love Earth
and reconcile with Earth as our home.

Passing of the Peace

The peace of our God be with you.
And also with you.

Community News and Notices

Current or previous BP E-news and to sign up to receive BP E-news

Song: Getting to Know You

Choir Only – Sing once through.

As we learn, about you today
As you learn, about us today
As we learn, together on the way
God is here with us to-day.

Getting to know you conversation with Linda

We Sing – Congregation sings twice.

As we learn, about you today
As you learn, about us today
As we learn, together on the way
God is here with us to-day.

Tune from Love and Anger song 70. African American traditional. © . Wild Goose Resource Group. Words M Harris

Children’s Time

Children may go downstairs for Sunday School. Parents, you are welcome to join your child in Sunday School if you feel your child may need your assistance. Alternatively, you may wish for your child to remain with you for the duration of worship. Activity packs are available at the entrances.

Choral Anthem: – Lord of the redgum

Gillies Ambler / Rosemary Nairn

Introduction to Bible Readings

May the Spirit of God open our eyes to see, our ears to hear,
and our hearts to understand.

Bible Reading: Genesis 2:4b-17 (NRSVue)

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no vegetation of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground, but a stream would rise from the earth and water the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold, and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

Acts 17:22-28 (NRSVue)

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely spiritual you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all peoples to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps fumble about for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we, too, are his offspring.’

John 3:1-16 (NRSVue)

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with that person.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

”Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

The Gospel of Christ, Light of the world.
Thanks be to God.


We Sing: God of Creation

  1. God of Creation, gentle life-giver,
    present at birth and all through our days;
    author of sunrise, song in the night sky
    here in this place, we offer our praise.

  2. Jesus, companion, teacher and healer,
    friend of the grieving, suffering, the poor
    stand with your people, whisper among us
    promise of mercy, goodness for all.

  3. Spirit of comfort, blow through creation,
    stir up new life, breathe peace through our world.
    Healer of hearts, and hope for tomorrow,
    weave all our sorrows into new dawn.

  4. Here we give thanks for life in its fullness,
    blessings received, your gifts to us all.
    Make us a people filled with compassion,
    selflessly giving, serving your world.

All Together All Right, 605.Craig Mitchell © 2010. Words used with permission under copyright CCLI Licence No. 137219. Copyright cleared music for churches


To give electronically please go to bpuc.org/give

Alternatively, there is an offering bowl near the lectern on the left-hand side as you exit the church.

Offering Prayer

Prayers of the People

Holy Communion:

Setting of the Table

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

May God be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to our God.

Let us give thanks to God our Creator.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

… with everything visible and invisible, imagined and unimaginable, we sing in thanks and praise:
Holy, holy, holy God,
wisdom, strength and hope.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory,
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest!

Words of Institution

… and be his faithful followers, showing your love for all of creation.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory is yours God of Love,
for ever, Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,

allowed be Your name,

your Kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us in the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours

now and forever. Amen.

Breaking of the Bread


Prayer After Communion

We Sing: Trees of the Field

(To be sung twice)

You shall go out with joy and be led forth in peace,
and the mountains and the hills shall break forth in singing.
There’ll be shouts of joy, and the trees of the field shall clap,
shall clap their hands,
and the trees of the field shall clap their hands, and the trees of the field shall clap their hands,
and the trees of the field shall clap their hands, and you’ll go out with joy.

Steffi Geiser Rubin 1950-Based on Isaiah 55: 12. Words, music and arrangements by permission Lillenas Publishing, Nashville. Used with permission under CCLI Licence No. 137219. Copyright cleared music for churches.

Sending Forth and Benediction


Go in peace, serving Christ and loving Earth!
We go in peace,
serving Christ
and tending Earth!

Choral Blessing: – May the road rise up to meet you

Quem Pastores


Come and share morning tea together, in the basement. There are stairs behind the organ and a ramp between the church and the car park leading to the basement.

Some of the liturgy in this service is adapted from Seasons of the Spirit, Wood Lake Publishing; and the Forest Sunday resource from the Season of Creation https://seasonofcreation.org/;

Season of Creation Discipleship Ideas

You are invited to try one or more of the following as Spiritual Disciplines during the Season of Creation:

  • Go to the Royal Show!
    Can you find any living things that relate to the Karrawirra Pari (Torrens River)?
    Seek out animals and plants and wonder at the unique part they play in our world.
    What other ways do the Royal Show help us celebrate Creation?

  • Watch the documentary, “Forests”, narrated by David Attenborough, part of the Our Planet series. Available on Netflix. More information here: https://www.ourplanet.com/en/explore/forests/

  • Get to know your local trees.
    What species are they?
    What plants and animals depend on them?
    Are they healthy?

  • Go for a slow walk along Karrawirra Pari.
    Engage your senses: watch, listen, smell and touch.

  • Check out the Nature Festival guide and plan what activities you might participate in. Find more information here: https://www.naturefestival.org.au/events (search for ‘tree’ and see how many activities are available!)