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The Role of Women in Upholding the Dignity and Integrity of All God’s Creation

  • Processional with the ACWC banner
  • Preparation – Each member representing denominations and Christian organizations will bring water in pots and to pour it into one large vessel placed in the centre.

Leader: Call to Worship – Psalm 103: 1-5
With all my heart I praise the Lord
And with all that I am I praise his holy name
With all my heart I praise the Lord
I will never forget how kind he has been
The Lord forgives our sins, heals us when w e are sick
And protects us from death
His kindness and love are a crown on our heads
Each day that we live, he provides for our needs
And gives us the strength of a young eagle

Almighty God, you are the source and creator of all our life, we praise you and honour you on this special occasion as we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Asian Church Women’s Conference. Gracious Father, we thank you for your faithfulness to us through the past fifty years and for your bountiful blessings on the ACWC through the years. We remember with gratitude all those who have worked tirelessly to carry on the work of the ACWC. Today we worship you, not because it is a duty, but because you have called us to witness to the world our faith in God, to search together for God’s righteousness in our life and words, here and now. For you are the glory and the power, your name be praised now and for ever more. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer – to be sung

Hymn - Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness, Oh God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been thou forever will be

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness mercy and love

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Leader : Let us thank God for women all over the world who proclaim
Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Response : We praise your name O Lord
Leader : For redeeming us and for giving us the fellowship of the Spirit and
for enabling us to work together as women
Response : We praise your name O Lord
Leader : In darkness you have been our light, in adversity and temptation a
rock of strength, in our joys the very crown of joy, in our labours
all sufficient rewards
Response : We praise your name O Lord
Leader : For the opportunity you have provided to each one of us women to
be in solidarity with each other.
Response : We praise your name O Lord
Leader : For the gift of the Good News which challenges and transforms
our social, economic, political and cultural structures and
Response : We praise your name O Lord

Scripture Reading: Old Testament – Esther 4: 8-14
New Testament – Matthew 26: 6- 13

Hymn: Make me a blessing
Out in the highways and byways of life
Many are weary and sad
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife
Making the sorrowing glad

Chorus: Make me a blessing, make me a blessing
Out of my life may Jesus shine
Make me a blessing, O Saviour I pray
Make me a blessing to someone today

Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love
Tell of His power to forgive
Others will trust Him if only you prove
True every moment you live

Give as ‘twas given to you in your need
Love as the Master loved you
Be to the helpless a helper indeed
Unto your mission be true

Voices of Women (in conflict situations)
Voice 1: I am a displaced woman, living in a refugee camp with no basic facilities, no food, no drinking water, no clothing. My children are starving. We have no proper shelter, no proper sanitation and so many health hazards! My husband is no longer with me and I am vulnerable to many forms of abuse. I am so helpless and lonely and I cannot go on living like this!

Voice 2: I am a victim of the tsunami and I still don’t have a proper home to call my own. I have been moving from place to place hoping to have a permanent shelter but there is no one willing to take responsibility for me and my family. Even now with all the natural disasters taking place around me like floods and earth slides, it is just overwhelming for me to live. The fear and trauma I faced after what happened is hard for me to face. I have nightmares almost every night.

Voice 3: My husband is an alcoholic. He comes home drunk every day and beats me up. He does not provide for me and the children. I live each moment in fear not knowing when he will walk in and start beating me. He abuses me sexually too and I am mentally drained out. I don’t know what to do.

Voice 4: Because I am a woman, wherever I go people look down on me. I am not given a place in society and because of the ethnic war that continues in our land I do not want to reveal my identity for fear of harassment, rejection and abduction.

Voice 5: Because I am a woman, I am not considered for employment. Even if I am selected I am paid less than the men are paid. I have to work from morning till night but do not earn enough to feed my family. I also have to work hard at home to take care of my family but I am not even appreciated. It is a thankless task.

Voice 6: I am a woman who is not beautiful. My parents are poor and cannot afford to give a dowry so I remain single. Even during my growing years my father and brothers always got the best of everything. I did not get a proper education. My father educated only the boys. Because I was a girl I didn’t need an education. I always had to care for my younger brothers and sisters while my parents were away at work. My older sister who is married is also suffering because her mother-in-law is ill-treating her as she didn’t bring a dowry. I cannot understand why this has happened to me.

Voice 7: Being a woman in the Church I have to arrange the flowers, pour the tea, help in sales and bazaars. I also teach in the Sunday School and sing in the choir. But when it comes to positions of leadership I am always overlooked because I am a woman.

Prayer of Confession
Leader : O God, we confess that when you asked for our hands that you
might use them for your purpose, we gave them for a moment,
then we withdrew them, for the work was hard.
Response : God forgive us
Leader : You asked for our mouths, to speak out against injustice.
But we gave you a whisper so that we might not be accused.
Response : God forgive us
Leader : You asked for our eyes, to see the pain of women.
But we closed them, for we did not want to see.
Response : God forgive us
Leader : You asked for our life, that you might work through us.
But we gave a small part that we might not get too involved.
Response : God forgive us
All : God forgive us our calculated efforts to serve you only when it is
convenient for us to do so, only in places where it is safe to do so,
and only with those who make it easy to do so.
Creator God forgive us, renew us, send us out as a usable instrument that we might take seriously the meaning of your Cross.
God of mercy, in your Son you offer us unconditional forgiveness for the sins we truly confess. Grant us your pardon for those sins we acknowledge and those we do not have the courage to confront:
When, by our actions we have impeded your will;
When, through our indifference to others we have taken away their hope;
When, through indifference to the obedience of your laws and through weakness we have not responded in the way you wished, either personally or as communities.
Come to us in your mercy, to repair our broken lives and to hasten the hour of full communion among us, in the name of the love of Jesus Christ. Amen


Hymn – I surrender all
All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour
I surrender all

All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now

All to Jesus I surrender
Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine
Let me feel the Holy Spirit
Truly know that Thou art mine

All to Jesus I surrender
Lord, I give myself to Thee
Fill me with Thy love and power
Let Thy blessing fall on me

All to Jesus, I surrender
Now I feel the sacred flame
Oh, the joy of full salvation
Glory, glory to His name!
Special Prayer for Your Prayer Partner


Dedication of offerings

Closing Hymn


All – Proclamation of Good News for Women
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news to all the women of the world

To those who are weighed down with guilt, it is forgiveness
To those who sin, it is redemption and renewal
To those who are oppressed, it is freedom
To those who live with fear, it is peace
To those who are despised and rejected, it is kinship with the God who endured the shame of the cross
To those who are bound by culture and tradition, it is emancipation by One who treated women as equals
To those who cannot trust, it is dependence upon One who has proven Himself trustworthy
To those who are lonely, it is friendship with the Best Friend women ever had
To those who are devalued, it is a new identity as joint-heirs of the grace of God
As women who follow the Lord Jesus Christ, we are compelled by His love, commanded by His Word, and gifted by His Spirit to share this Gospel with those who have not seen or heard the salvation of our God.
We will radiate His light into the dark corners of women’s experience;
We will bear His life to those who are dying;
We will share our bread with those who are hungry;
We will declare His promise of resurrection to those who have no hope;
We will proclaim His empowerment to those who are powerless;
We will bring affirmation to those who do not know they are made in the image of God;
We will see with the eyes of Jesus, weep with His tears, hear with His ears, speak with His words, touch with His hands, embrace with His arms, and feel with His heart
Until that great day comes
When every woman, man and child will know the glorious grace and goodness of our God.


*. The Liturgy is composed by the National Association of Church Women ( NACW) in Sri Lanka.


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