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Online Inclusive Gathering – Shameless – 18 October 2020

On Sunday, 18th October at 4pm (GMT) we will gather on Facebook Live (or on YouTube) with interactive discussions afterwards at 5:15. (Join via this Zoom link.**).  This is the monthly Sunday when we orient our worship gathering and discussion around a book or a podcast … This month we are reflecting on the book Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber.  If you would like to see a video of Nadia in action, click here

Welcome (Danielle)

Song –  I don’t want to go (Ali)

Question for Sharing 

“Do you have a hidden skill or super-power that most people don’t know about? If so, what is it?”

Prayer – Our Unity

Creator God, our holy and perfect parent, all that we are and ever will be has its source and future in you. Your mercy heals our disappointments and family failures. Your Spirit plumbs the depths of our love.

You knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. You know us better than we know ourselves. Jesus called you “Father” and so will we, even if we don’t fully understand what that means.

Our Father who art in heaven…our Father who brings a small measure of your heaven to every place your people are. Our Father who art in everything. You are in every part of your creation, even in those places we fear you have forsaken. Our Father who art in prisons, our Father who art in the neonatal ICU, who art in orphanages and luxury homes, Our Father who are in public schools, and law offices, and book stores, and psychiatric units, our Father who art in heaven, Holy is your name.

Ever since the beginning, when Adam blamed you for giving him the woman who “made him sin,” ever since Jacob claimed it was your goodness and not his lust for power that made him steal his brother’s birthright; ever since the beginning, we have attributed our failures to you and your name – your name has been hallowed. Your holiness has withstood generations of humans who have used your name in vain, used your name to shame or exclude others.

Today we have come to open your word together. We have come to discover a new way of life, a new way to love, a new way to live together in unity with all your Creation, as children of one Heavenly Father.

Mould and mend us and shape us, we pray. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever Amen.

Reading – Genesis 3:1-13 & An Excerpt from Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

From Shameless … 

The very first expression of shame was over our naked, sexual bodies. And since then, we earthlings have tried to define and control and condemn human sexuality.

Shame has an origin, and it is not God. When Adam and Evie tried to avoid God, God said, ‘Where are you?’ And they said, ‘We were naked and tried to hide from you because we were afraid.’ God then said to them, ‘Wait. Who told you you were naked?’

Who told them they were naked? My money is on the snake. For some reason God allows us to live in a world where alternatives to God’s voice exist, and those alternatives are where shame originates.

Maybe you, too, are hiding, having listened to a voice other than God’s. Who told you that you have to lie to be accepted? Who told you your body is not beautiful and worthy to be loved? Who told you that your sexual expression is something to be ashamed of? Who told you that?

My money is on the snake. And he is a damned liar.

Reflection– on Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber (David)

Song –  Condition (David Waring)

Love Feast 

Song – Watching & Waiting (David Benjamin Blower)

What’s Coming up (Danielle) *

Blessing: “May we live fully, love wastefully and have the courage to be all that God has created us to be.”

After our Worship Gathering, you are invited to join us at 5:15 on Zoom for a chat! We’ll break into 2 groups – one group will chat about themes from today’s gathering, and the other group will have just a casual natter! Most of our Community Group leaders will be on the Zoom to say hello.  Join us via this link (Meeting ID: 853 6699 5635, Passcode: 123674)

*If you are part of our community and would like to make a gift toward Inclusive Gathering Birmingham, you can do that here. Anything you give helps to support the costs of making church happen and allows us to be generous as a community. There’s no pressure to give!

If you’ve got any questions about Inclusive Gathering Birmingham or would like to have a chat with someone from our community, please email newchurchbirmingham@gmail.com and we’ll be in touch.

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