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9 Lessons and Carols of God’s Love

A note of introduction

This carol service is a local response to loving the traditional 9 lessons and carols but being aware that starting with ‘the fall of man’ is not the main Good News that our progressive church wants to express!


The service gives an ‘history with a thread of meaning’; demonstrating in an hour how our faith tradition traces the activity of God’s liberating grace through the generations of the earth. It is the Christmas season so the focus of the story is the incarnation: God’s irretrievable commitment to the human community. The service explores the meaning of the incarnation in sharing good news, the broad scope of God’s love, and the incarnation of God’s love in charity, in adversity, and in our place (where Christmas is a summer festival!)
Kaurihohore is a historic country church where Highland Scottish settlers arrived in the 1860s after a famine-plagued attempt at settlement in Nova Scotia. This service is intentionally accessible to people who do not have much knowledge of church things and we welcome feedback.
The Rev Martin Dickson, Parish Minister.

Piper outside to welcome people with a festive air.
NRSV BIBLE in pulpit
The only lights on are the Christmas lights
Music voluntary


The Rev Martin Dickson, Parish Minister

Mihi (indigenous welcome), acknowledgement of God, earth and the dead. And the people.

Kia tau ki a koutou,
te atawhai me te rangimarie o te Atua.
Grace and peace to you from God.

Welcome to whole and diverse community

Welcome to DIGNITARIES; school principal, Kauri Community elders, Youth, school members
– Explain instruments for carols
Congregation as hosts – tikanga (traditions) of the place; honouring strands of history brought together, our real lives, and inclusion of all people according to the gospel
Introduction to the evening, hymns in hymn books, symbols, extra readings, picnic (toilets at school, tea and coffee in back room).

Join us on a story.(reading)

Centering Prayer

Let us pray
All: Eternal and loving God,
wonderfully creating us in your own image,
becoming human in Jesus,
sharing the flesh and blood of our humanity.
So fill us with your spirit that we may come to share in your divinity;
and that in the company of those who knew your birth among us, we may sing glory and know your peace.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Bethlehem and Egypt, of Nazareth and Jerusalem.

1. Creation
For love, God gave up power and made the world to have a relationship with.
Christians understand that the very movement-of-creation, the divine-Word, became supremely visible in Jesus. So we celebrate his birth!
Bible Readings: Genesis 1:1-5 & John 1:1-5
(Creation from Jewish and Christian perspectives)
Richard Smith, parish elder

Symbols: Lights turned on. Crib scene animals

Hymn: All creatures of our God and King 13 verses 1,4

Averill Gerry, organ and Janice Davison, accordion.

When you see this sign, use your instruments!

2. Covenant
God’s commitment to all people is from the beginning of time and will continue beyond the end of time..
Bible Readings: Genesis 9:12-16 (Noah)
Symbol: rainbows
Choir Sings: I heard the bells on Christmas day
Accordion only

3. Choice
In this traditional story a woman dares to believe new possibilities can be conceived when it seems impossible. So she chooses to work in partnership with God for a better world.
Bible Reading: Luke: 1:26-33 (Gabriel & Mary)
Symbol: Angel wings

Carol: Hark the herald angels 59 (verses 1,3)

4. Birth
God is more than a theory or a story, when we suddenly realise the Holy Spirit of the Universe present to us in a person. “Immanuel = God-with-us”
Bible Reading: Luke: 2:1-7 (Birth of Jesus)
Alan Rowe, parish elder
Symbol: baby in crib
Carol Silent night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Mārie te pō, tapu te pō
Marino, marama
Ko te Whaea,
me te Tama
Tama tino, tapu rā
Moe mai i te aio
Moe mai i te aio.

5. Good news for all people
Christianity has a long history of people getting excited that hopes for a better world are seen to be fulfilled.
Reading: John 1:9-12,14,16-18
(God became known in Jesus)
Reading Luke: 2:8-16 (Angels & shepherds)
Symbol: Instruments (harp?) – on table and played enthusiastically

Carol: While shepherds watched 94

(verses 1,2,6)
Prayer of Intercession
We make good news real by joining together in open compassion for one another; making us more fully human, and making visible the possibilities of a better world for others.
A prayer from Iona, Scotland.

6. God’s presence overcoming fear
As people experienced God-with-them in Jesus, so throughout our personal spiritual journeys we discover that at the heart of creation there is a saving Love present, greater than the deathly force of fear in ourselves or others. We recognise this in praising the one we call “God”.
Reading Matthew 2: 1-15a
Symbol: candle in barbed wire – white ribbon
Music & Song Duet “Hallelujah”
Own guitar
Chris Parry and Rosie Riggir

7. Sharing love
At this Christmas festival we participate in God’s generosity by opening our homes, serving food, enjoying people’s abilities and sharing gifts. At all times we share God’s generosity in hospitality and working for justice because we see God present in each and every person.
Bible Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
The great commandment
Modern Reading: Henri Nouwen:
Who shows the way to God.
Symbol: CWS poster
Carol: Good King Wenceslas
A Carol for Saint Stephen’s Day; Dec 26th
Both instruments
All: Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even.
Accordion only
Women: Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel.

Organ only
Men: “Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Both instruments
All: Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.

All: In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian folk, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing!

Christian World Service Advent Appeal – retiring offering

– CWS is the agency established by New Zealand churches for their development and aid programmes.
–CWS works with partner groups who address the root causes of poverty and injustice in their local communities and countries. People are not viewed as victims who cannot help themselves, but as agents of their own development.
CWS has 66 years of proven achievement and expertise working with overseas partners. They are proud to say many earlier partners do not need them any more.
-In the past year 82% of CWS expenditure went to international partner programmes, making much needed change in their communities.
– You may make a offering at the door when you depart, as your part in this sharing the good things of the world.

8. Making Christmas ours
Modern Reading: Joy Cowley: 24th December
Symbol: boogie board
Prayer of Thanksgiving
From the Saint Hilda Community, England.

Carol: Upside-down Christmas

Organ only
Carol our Christmas, an upside-down Christmas;
snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Accordion only
Sing of the gold and the green and the sparkle,
water and river and lure of the beach.
Sing in the happiness of open spaces,
sing a nativity summer can reach!

Both Instruments
 Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe,
made in the moment a woman gives birth;
hope is the Jesus gift, love is the offering,
everywhere, anywhere, here on the earth.

A New Zealand Christmas carol

by Shirley Murray, music by Colin Gibson.
Go in peace
to love and serve the world
and may God go before you,
Christ Jesus walk with you
and the Spirit lift up your feet. Amen
Music voluntary
Retiring Offering: For the Christian World Service Christmas Appeal
Please make your donation at the door, take an envelope or go to to receive a tax receipt.
Picnic on the Lawn
Please join us! Tea and coffee are available in the room to the back of the church.


Staying Connected – Contact Information
Post: PO Box 4118, Kamo 0141, Whangarei, New Zealand

Nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ùr
Scottish Gaelic, the original language of this church.

Merry Christmas an a Guid Hogmanay

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