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Worship preparation

Consider songs, prayers, creative activity ideas, stories and newspaper articles that you think may contribute to worship development. Consider various forms and expressions of prayer you may use. Use the sites below to explore some suggestions and ideas.

If you have resources and suggestions that are not listed below, contact Ps Annette so that she can make it available. She also has access to hard copy resources such as music, leadership material, creative worship ideas and Bible study materials. She can also let you know about materials that are available for loan from other congregations within the partnership.

2018 is Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary. Mark is the Gospel for that year. Rev Peter has put together some material highlighting themes and issues for the rest of the Church year. This goes until the start of Advent at the beginning of December 2018. Download the file here.

2019 is Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary. Luke is the Gospel for this year.


There are video resources available from a variety of sources. They come in the form of DVDs or YouTube videos. Project Connect is one such and provides DVDs of services, service elements including children's stories, hymns and sermons for a fee. You can contact them via There are other Uniting Church sourced resources available on the web via YouTube but these tend to selected services or sermons. A Google search will assist here but Springvale Uniting Church Melbourne and St David's Uniting Church Newtown have started a range. Mostly these resources are of a traditional nature.

Putting together a service

  • Click here to open a Preparation guide for services.

  • Click here to open a guide for putting together an order of service for a full service. This document includes a sample order of service ready for you to insert prayers and litanies for the particular service you are developing. The links below provide resources you can use for this.

  • Click here to open a guide for conducting shorter and informal services.

Services for the coming weeks

With the lifting of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, on-site worship services have resumed and details can be found on our Events page. A range of video worship services and document files that are printable are also available. You can find them on our Worship Services web page. Feel free to distribute these to those who cannot access video material or are not tech savvy. Check regularly for updates.

Sermon and reflection resources for the coming weeks

In addition to some of the great links mentioned below that provide reflections, resources and actual sermons, there is a great new resource published by Pilgrim Theological College, Melbourne. It is a podcast produced by Rev Fran Barber and Rev Dr Robyn Whitaker. They begin with particular focus on Advent. They also have a great podcast with Rev Bill Loader from Murdoch University on Matthew's Gospel for Year A. Check out the site, By the well and you find some great ideas for your preparation.

PAST events

The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Dr Deidre Palmer, visited the Partnership on the weekend of 19th and 20th October. She preached at our special Partnership service at the Gisborne Uniting Church on 20th October. She then joined us for lunch and a Q&A session on the work of the Assembly. See the November edition of PiP for a full wrap-up of her visit.

President Q&A 1.jpg

Meeting the Neighbours: building interfaith understanding

A forum exploring the issues of our time with a Uniting perspective. 


Dr. Julie Rudner - program convener: Communication, Planning and Development at the Department of Social Studies and Communications, La Trobe University

Ms April Kailah - Interfaith Community Development of the Uniting Church of Victoria and Tasmania.

Held: October 10th

Dr Julie Rudner has kindly provided her PowerPoint notes and the document, "Social Cohesion in Bendigo" referred to in her presentation. The document, "Social cohesion in Bendigo", was written for the Victorian Multicultural Commission is also available this link.

Ms April Kailah also spoke of her work with the Uniting Church and the report she recently presented, "Resilient Women Project – Muslim Women and their Experiences of Prejudice". This link will take you to the page where you can download the report.

Peter Barcham Lecture

Eastern Orthodox Icons, observed by a Western Iconographer"

Peter  Blackwood  is a retired minister of the Uniting Church who has served both in parishes and on the Synod staff in Melbourne.  His doctoral thesis was on the Old Testament psalms and he is a keen amateur musician.

Peter has painted many icons and he conducts workshops in Melbourne for people interested in painting (or "writing") their own icons.

These workshops are called "icon schools".


Icons are vividly coloured representations of people and stories from the Old and New Testaments, also of notable Christians down the ages.

Every Orthodox church around the world has numerous large icons, and many Orthodox believers have smaller icons in their homes.

Icons have both teaching and inspirational functions. Even more, they are a focus for prayer and reflection. The largest Orthodox Church is in Russia, but there are self-governing Orthodox churches in many countries. The largest Orthodox Church in Australia, by far is the Greek Orthodox.

2020 PETER BARCHAM LECTURE: Bronwyn Pike "Have the agencies of the churches' community services outgrown their faith-based parents? - is the dog wagging the tail or tail wagging the dog?"

Bronwyn Pike is the CEO of "Uniting", the umbrella body for the welfare and community service organisations of the Uniting church. She has been a member of the Victorian Parliament, holding portfolios in education, health, aged care and housing. When she began her role in Uniting in 2019, she faced the issue of how these many organisations relate to the Church, their "parent". Congregations of the UCA are decreasing in size and in number, so is the dog wagging the tail or the tail wagging the dog?

Bronwyn will address an issue not just facing the Uniting Church. It is a question of the relationship of faith based communities and their related community service agencies.

2019 Peter Barcham lecture - Clare Boyd-Macrae
Clare Boyd-Macrae.jpg

Clare Boyd-Macrae

2019 PETER BARCHAM LECTURE: Clare Boyd-Macrae “Prayer and contemplation in 21st century suburbia”

Clare is an author of several books and contributor to Melbourne's The Age newspaper. She has always had a passion for prayer and in particular, prayer of contemplation and meditation. She shares here her deep passion in the context of her own story. Her presentation includes a practical experience of meditative prayer. In addition to her presentation, Clare has generously shared a short paper on prayer. It is practical and written from her own perspective.


Barney Swartz delivered the annual Peter Barcham Lecture on 19th February at Gisborne Uniting Church. Barney is a senior fellow of the Centre for Public Christianity and for 32 years wrote for "The Age" newspaper on both religion and classical music. He continues to research and write on religion, music, politics and social issues. Barney's topic was "The challenge of secularism".

Peter Barcham Lecture 2018 - Barney Swartz
00:00 / 00:00


Dr Rachael Kohn delivered the annual Peter Barcham Lecture on 6th March 2017 at the Gisborne Uniting Church. Rachael has hosted The Spirit of Things on ABC Radio for years and has won awards for her books and broadcasts. She's been nominated as one of the 50 most influential thinkers in Australia. Her topic for this lecture was ''Faith Has Nothing to Fear''.


For further information, please see:

Rachael Kohn:

Spirit of Things:

external resources

Lent/easter resources

Websites, books, photographs, podcasts and downloads recommended by the Centre for Theology and Ministry for Lent and Easter 2017.

Significant sites

 "Regenerating the Church" -

The Port Phillip West Presbytery’s web site supporting and encouraging the development of its “Regen Strategy”. Explores Fresh Expressions of Church, emerging missional projects and new ways of being a Church in mission. Highly recommended.


The Port Phillip West Presbytery


The Victorian and Tasmanian Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia -

The site also has a great page of links for a variety of resources. You can also use the site to find links to other UCA sites and resources.

The Centre for Theology and Ministry has a great database of seasonal resources available for download. Go to and click on the appropriate link for the season you are considering. Chris Barnett also has regular emails of resources for all age worship and for ministry with children and families. See his pages at and His email address is available on these pages if you wish to sign up for his regular emailing.

Labyrinth links

There are several significant links regarding Labyrinths. The first two are US based sites, one is an international locator of Labyrinths and the 4th is an Australian based site.

Creative worship links

The following links may be of use to those exploring fresh expressions of church, developing and emerging church or exploring alternative ways of doing church. There is a focus on worship and engagement. Take time to explore and enjoy! Be encouraged and let your ideas grow. Please be aware that while I have had a look at most of the sites, I cannot guarantee the content of any, nor does their inclusion below suggest support for their ideas, philosophies or theologies.


Church web sites

The web site of “Café Church” in Melbourne.


Leadership and general links

This web site has a wide range of resources and guides for faith sharing in a positive and ethical manner. It includes links to an app for your iPhone/Android phone or tablet. It poses some great questions and topic for discussion starting and conversation.

The web site for Rev Rex A E Hunt. May be of interest to those who are interested in exploring “Progressive” understandings of Christian theology. The site has suggested resources as well as liturgies. The liturgies tend to use a traditional structures even though non-traditional symbols and ideas may be used.

This is a link to a Lutheran resource called Renew 52. It has lots of short articles on leadership and renewal of the church.

Fresh Expressions, Alt Worship, Emerging Church sites

The South Australian Synod’s Fresh Expressions web page.

The Methodist Church in the UK’s web site for the Fresh Expressions movement.

The US web site for the Fresh Expressions movement.

The UK web site for the Fresh Expressions movement. Has an Anglican flavour.

A US based web site with lots of resources around Christian leadership. These include coaching and other support.

In the web site's own words, "beautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world's most generous community of photographers." Very much worth the time to explore.


Worship web sites

A lectionary based web site of links to resources for worship, both traditional and contemporary. It is one of the most extensive collection of links to web resources I have found. Highly recommended. 

Has a range of links to various Alternative Worship sites. Some of the links are not well maintained.

Bill Loader’s site. Bill is a Uniting Church minister and lecturer at Murdoch University in Western Australia in New Testament Studies. His material is great for sermon preparation and reflection focusing on the New Testament lectionary readings.

Howard Wallace’s site. Howard is a Uniting Church minister and former lecturer in Old Testament at the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne. His material great for both sermon and worship preparation with a focus on the Old Testament lectionary readings.

This is a link to obtain a copy of the coming year's Revised Common Lectionary for the Uniting Church in Australia. 

A blog site, which collates prayers in a variety of styles for the lectionary readings each week. There are a small number of other resources, such as reflections, calls to worship and confessional prayers.

A blog by storyteller and biblical scholar Richard Swanson. Thoughts are useful for sermons or other reflections. Thought provoking, quite radical at times, sometimes a bit US-centric, but worth a look.

This is the site for Benedictus Church Canberra. It has a reflections page with the sermons/reflections for previous years according to the lectionary. Some are text but recent reflections are in downloadable mp3s. They also run regular retreats and details are on their site.


Creative worship and prayer

The WellSpring Centre is an ecumenical Christian spirituality centre, fostering a contemplative awareness of the presence of God and encouraging people to explore what this means for them in all of life. They provide Spiritual Direction, offer retreats and a range of events. It is based in Ashburton, an Eastern suburb of Melbourne. Highly recommended.

Has some great ideas for worship and practical and creative prayer ideas. Very useful for multi-age worship.

A fantastic contemporary worship focused web site established many years ago by Ann Scull. It is lectionary based with lots of creative ideas and links. It is kept up to date and retains links to resources from previous years. Highly recommended.

Has some interesting multimedia resources. Some need to be purchased. It has a focus on meditative prayer. Its home page of also has links to great resources.

Has a wide range of ideas and instruction in the preparation of worship for an emerging church or fresh expressions community. There are links to resources they provide.

The web page for the Fresh Expressions web site linking into worship.

Has some interesting resources such as dramas, poetic readings and creative ideas for download. To access the complete resource, one has to register.

Has some interesting resources and creative ideas for prayer and worship. Has a youth focus but the resources may suit all ages.

A selection of videos including music, comedy and inspirational videos from the US. You might need to pick through the offerings to find something that is useful.

This is David MacGregor’s web site. David is a Uniting Church minister in Queensland. His site provides lectionary based suggestions of contemporary music. You can also access many of David’s own songs for download. Highly recommended.

A blog suggesting contemporary songs by Brunswick UCA member Natalie Sims. Has suggestions from TIS as well as a range of other resources. Great for exploring beyond that.

A great site with lots of video resources for worship and reflection. It is subscription based but you can check out its selections before signing up.

Traditional worship

The latest resources, including videos, liturgies and information about the Christmas Bowl from Act for Peace.

Has a range of prayers, litanies and sermons that are lectionary based. Is unashamedly Australian in its character. While seeking to contemporize worship, still has a strong traditional structure to the way worship is undertaken.

A useful site with worship starters and ideas. Also has great blogging links.

The site for Nathan Nettleton’s material. Nathan is a Baptist minister in South Yarra, a suburb of Melbourne. He is a leader is the Ancient – Future styling of worship. The site is lectionary based Nathan’s paraphrase of the lectionary readings expressed in Aussie idiom. It also has a collection of litanies and sermons.

UCA minister Geoff Shrowder’s weekly lectionary-based blog, with suggestions for worship, prayers and hymn suggestions from TIS, AHB and SA.

Lectionary based that has full orders of service with hymn suggestions from TIS, AHB and SA as well as a full text sermon. Litanies and prayers tend to be brief and traditional. Some communion litanies and special days prayers are incorporated into the services.

More links on the way…

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