Please note that St. Andrew's Church will be closed for all worship and other activities until further notice.



SCOTTISH CHARITY NUMBER SC006235 THE CHARITY’S LEGAL NAME St Andrews Church of Scotland: Dumbarton

Order of Worship

Sunday 22nd March 2020

Fourth in Lent Mothers Day Service led by Rev Ian Johnson


Hymn = Church Hymnary 4   MP = Mission Praise   JP = Junior Praise




Hymn  181 For the beauty of the earth (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)


Reading Ephesians 5: 8-11 (Good News Bible)


Prayer for others

Hymn  182 Now thank we all our God (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)



Welcome and let us worship God

‘Send out your light and your truth to be my guide; let them lead me to your holy hill, to your dwelling place’


1 For the beauty of the earth,
for the beauty of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies.

  • Christ our God, to you we raise
    this our sacrifice of praise.
  • 2 For the beauty of each hour
    of the day and of the night,
    hill and vale, and tree and flower,
    sun and moon and stars of light: [Refrain]

 For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind's delight,
for the mystic harmony
linking sense to sound and sight: [Refrain]

4 For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild: [Refrain]

5 For each perfect gift and sign
of your love so freely given,
graces human and divine,
flowers of earth and buds of heaven: [Refrain]

 Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1835-1917)

Opening Prayer

Loving God

On Mother’s Day we think about the care and concern of our family for us

 – especially mums, grans, aunts, sisters and daughters

But it is also a time to think about your care and concern for us

 your love is constant, faithful and true

 you are our best and most faithful friend

 always there for us

 always working for the best for us

 but also ready to speak plainly when we need it

as we get nearer to Good Friday and Easter

 we remember how much your love for us cost

 that Jesus was ready to suffer and die for us

 but you showed us on Easter Day

 that goodness, love and truth always have the last word

forgive us for the times we have not appreciated your love

 for the times that we have not appreciated the love and kindness of family and friends

help us to begin again

 and with your Spirit’s help

 try to be the people you want us to be

 the people you know we can be

Through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen

Bible reading

Ephesians 5: 8-11

You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord’s people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light, for it is the light that brings a rich harvest of every kind of goodness, righteousness and truth. Try to learn what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light.


Today, in the wider community people are marking Mother’s Day, thinking about the females in their lives – mums, grans, aunts, sisters, wives, daughters, cousins – who have been role models, or who have been involved in caring for them, and helping them to be the people they are. Usually they are positive thoughts, but sometimes negative: from the ‘To the Best Mum in the world’ card, through the exasperated ‘Mother!’, to situations where relations have broken down. Broken relationships are not just confined to families, they can be found with neighbours, colleagues and former friends.

In these difficult times, with so much anxiety about Covid-19, and its implications not only for people’s health, but also their jobs, finances and homes, relationships between people are so important. Some are living for weeks on their own, and feeling lonely or suffering from ‘cabin fever’; some are living in close proximity with family and it is beginning to get on their nerves; some are worried about things like shopping, paying bills and so on. It is a time when we are all being encouraged to think about our family, our friends, our neighbours, complete strangers, and do what we can to support them – whether doing practical jobs or keeping in touch (by phone, letter or e-mail).

Relationships form an important part of the Letter to the Ephesians. The area around the ancient city of Ephesus – on what is now the West coast of Turkey – was and is populous and prosperous. It was a major highway from Italy and Greece to the Middle East, and as well as people it attracted ideas. Some groups took some of what Jesus said, and fitted it to their own ideas of life, the universe and everything. Some were vague philosophies, some cults. Some used terms like ‘darkness’ and ‘light’. In his letter, Paul wanted to address some key things about the Christian understanding of Jesus, and following him:

  • Jesus wasn’t just another rabbi or thinker. He was someone special, unique. He was fully human but had God’s very nature. In him God took human form and experienced human living with its ups and downs, including the ‘down’ of suffering and death. But the story went on, because on Easter Day he rose to new life. He offers that new life to everyone, and through it a new relationship with God
  • Being in a new relationship with God through Jesus is not just a personal thing for each individual. We are also in a relationship with everyone else who has a relationship with Jesus. Paul used the image of a body to describe the interaction of people. Other images used elsewhere are family, friends, even plants or trees. Whichever is used it speaks of a living relationship with real people, growing, developing, depending on others, supporting and caring for others. Followers of Jesus are not meant to follow him on their own (an important thought for all those socially isolated or distanced)
  • Following Jesus has an impact on how we live, how we treat others. There are things that are inappropriate, and things that should be part of everyday life. We are called to live as he lived, to become more like him, to live by his standards and values. Much of what Jesus said is about relationships, respecting others as people whom God loves, and for whom Jesus suffered and died. In the previous chapter Paul says things like: no more lying; don’t stay angry all day; do not use hurtful words, but only helpful ones; get rid of bitterness, passion and anger; no more shouting or insults. Following on from today’s reading he suggests ways for living out everyday relationships (such as they were at that time)
  • It’s hard. It’s almost impossible to do that. But through God’s living presence – what we call the Spirit or Holy Spirit – God helps us to strive to be like Jesus, to live lives that are pleasing to God.

For all of us, God sets out his challenge to follow Jesus. It isn’t all cute and cosy stuff. It can be really hard at times, but by living Jesus’ way we can bring about a better, safer world, and know the peace and joy of being part of God’s family.

Prayers for others

Caring God

You care about everyone in the world

You are always working to try to put right the wrongs caused by people or nature

On Mother’s Day today we pray for our families and friends

 but especially for mums grans aunts sisters and daughters

 for all who are expecting a baby

 and those for whom talk of babies brings tears

We pray for all affected by the Coronavirus epidemic

 those who have lost loved ones

 those who have the illness especially in severe form

 those who are caring for them

 those who are worried about job, home, income, food

 those feeling lonely and isolated

 those feeling frustrated and with cabin fever

and we remember too that there were many in all these categories before Coronavirus occurred

 we pray for all charged with policy making that they will be inspired by wisdom and compassion

We pray for all those struggling to cope with life for those receiving treatment,

 those waiting for treatment,

 and those for whom there is no treatment

 for those who long to live in peace and safety

 especially people in many parts of the Middle East and parts of Africa

 for those who have fled from their homes seeking safety

We pray for your church

 our own congregation, the wider church in Dumbarton and the worldwide church

We bring to you our prayers for people and situations of special concern to us

And we sum up our prayers in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us

Our Father, who art in heaven,

 hallowed be thy name;

 thy kingdom come;

 thy will be done;

 on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

 as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation;

 but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

 the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen


1 Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things hath done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

2 Oh, may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever-joyful hearts
and blessèd peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.

3 All praise and thanks to God
who reigns in highest heaven --
the Father and the Son
and Spirit -- now be given:
the one, eternal God,
whom earth and heaven adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

 Martin Rinkart (1586-1649)

 Translated Catherine Winkworth (1827-78)


Secure in God’s love

 be steadfast in his service

 and the blessing of God Almighty,

 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

 rest and remain with you,

 today, and every day, and for ever. Amen


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