TransfigurationA.26.2.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt

International eMail:  rexae74@gmail.com
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My books, suitable for progressive religious thinkers…
• When Progressives Gather Together: Liturgy, Lectionary, Landscape… And Other Explorations. 
Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2016.
• Against the Stream: Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew. 
Preston: Mosaic Press/Morning Star Publishing, 2012/2013.
• Cards, Carols, and Claus. Christmas in Popular Culture and Progressive Christianity. 
Preston: Mosaic Press/Morning Star Publishing, 2013.
• (Edited with John W. H. Smith). 
Why Weren’t We Told? A Handbook on ‘progressive’ Christianity
Salem: Polebridge Press, 2012.
• (Edited with John W. H. Smith). 
New Life: Rediscovering Faith. Stories from Progressive Christians. 
Preston: Mosaic Press/Morning Star Publishing, 2013/2014.
• (Edited with Gregory C. Jenks). Wisdom & Imagination: Religious Progressives and the Search for Meaning
Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2014.

Should you wish to purchase any, contact me direct at:
rexae74@gmail.com
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Book Reviews and how to Purchase them.

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
26 February 2017. Transfiguration A. (White)
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of the Lord's style of Supper


Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
(An act towards reconciliation)

For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked
in this land, on their own country.
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.

We acknowledge the (NN) People and their stewardship
of this land throughout the ages.

(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sound three times

We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission
to do the same.  (Davidson Loehr)

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

We light this flame, a living symbol
of the one Life that animates and sustains
all things and all persons,
the one Life in which we all live and move
and have  our being,
and the one Life which perpetually gives of itself
to itself so as to become the many.  (Adapted. Ian Ellis-Jones/icuu-cl)

Note: (i) A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE
(ii) Additional Special Purpose Hymns that cover major international events or themes can be found HERE  They include the categories: 1. Bush (Brush) Fire, 2. Tsunami, Storms/Cyclones, 3. Earthquakes, 4. War/Remembrance, 5. Caregiving, 6. God as Mother, 7. Human Trafficking, 8. Disabled, 9. Migration/Refugees

Hymn Praises Singing(Tune: ‘Praise, My Soul’, 87 87 87)   8 SiF
Praise, my soul, the wondrous beauty
to discover everywhere:
painted sunset, morning glory,
cooling rain, and breezes fair.
Praises singing, praises bringing,
for the wonder that we share.

Praise, my soul, the sense of myst’ry,
knowledge we have yet to find,
much awaiting our discovery,
life’s details of every kind.
Praises singing, praises bringing,
for the questing, searching mind.

Praise, my soul, the deep compassion
freely offered, freely giv’n,
care that reaches past the barriers,
care that takes the stranger in.
Praises singing, our lives bringing,
joined with all we share a part.

Praise, my soul, the sense of justice,
seeing others equally,
full respect for rights and honour,
full respect for dignity.
Praises singing, our lives bringing,
t’wards a whole humanity.  (© Scott Kearns 2008)

Opening Sentences
May our brief, fragile lives build on the work of those
who went before us,
All  
Let it all happen.  No time is final.

May we create a sustainable foundation
for those who follow us,
All  
Let it all happen.  No age is final.

May we stretch our consciousness with open minds,
and a sense of humble curiosity,
All  
Let it all happen.  No belief is final.

May we have courage in uncertain times,
All  Let it all happen.  No mood is final.

May we recognise new beginnings in what
seem to be endings,
All  
Let it all happen.  No feeling is final.

We are the universe becoming conscious,
All  Let it all happen.  Breathe deeply and live now.   (C3Exchange web site, 6/2010)

Act of Awareness
They say the world is too much with us

And it's true.
It intrudes more often than not,
Blinding us to our innermost selves
And the sanctity of our consciousness
That lifts us out of our space-time allusion
To the promise of all that we really are.

You my friends and I are all in transit,
Located for just a while to beyond it all
Where we seek our peace and our real Be-ing
In our Ultimate Reality, our ineffability.  (Robert Halsey/vv)

OR

We pray:
Remind us, O Spirit, that life is worth living.
Remind us, O Creator, that the struggle for justice is worth undertaking.
Remind us, O Mercy, that love and action are one.  (Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)
May it be so.

Hymn  "The Majesty of Mountains"   139 AA
The majesty of mountains,
the sovereignty of skies,
the regal rock that arch above
where veils of vapour rise,
are gifts of God, the Lord of love,
the worshipful, the wise.

The running of the river,
the surging of the sea,
the grass that grows high on the hill,
the flower and fruiting tree,
our Saviour sends us, by whose will
all creatures came to be.

The Glory of the Godhead,
the Spirit and the Son,
the Father, faithful down the days:
to them, the Three-in-One,
while life shall last, be perfect praise
and highest honour done!  (M Perry)
The people sit.

Welcome
In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are worshipping at (NN) for the first time
or who have returned after an absence.

Your presence both enriches us and this time of celebration together.
Refer to printed liturgy
Fellowship hour following worship
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book

Music of Celebration

Silence
Let us now settle into silence and stillness.
(Silence)

Let us centre our minds and our hearts.
We are one with the universe.
We are one with the sun and the stars.
We are one with the earth.
We are one with the One who is mystery…
(Silence)

EXPLORING

Readings from our ReligiousTradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read by (NN).

From the World around us:
“Navajo Chant”

The mountains, I become part of it…
The herbs, the fir tree, I become part of it.
The morning mists, the clouds, the gathering waters,
I become part to it.
The wilderness, the dew drops, the pollen…
I become part of it.

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 17:1-9 (Scholars Edition)

Six days later, Jesus takes Peter and James and John
his brother along and he leads them off by themselves
to a lofty mountain.

He was transformed in front of them
and his face shone like the sun,
and his clothes turned as white as light.

The next thing you know, Moses and Elijah appeared to them
and were conversing with Jesus.

Then Peter responded by saying to Jesus:
‘Master, it’s a good thing we’re here.
If you want, I’ll set up three tents here,
one for you,
one for Moses, and
one for Elijah.’

While he was still speaking, there was a bright cloud
that cast a shadow over them.  And just then a voice
spoke from the cloud:
“This is my favored son of whom I fully approve. Listen to him!”

And as the disciples listened, the disciples prostrated themselves,
and were frightened out of their wits.

And Jesus came and touched them and said:
‘Get up; don’t be afraid.’

Looking up they saw no one except Jesus by himself.

And as they came down from the mountain,
Jesus ordered them:
‘Don’t tell anyone about this vision until the Son of Adam
has been raised from the dead.’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Private Reflection

AFFIRMING

An Affirmation  (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share an affirmation of our life together.
The people stand as they are able

v1 May this time together renew our hope.
v2  May the stories we have shared refresh our courage.
All  
May the songs we are singing lift our spirits.

v2  May the words we speak invigorate us.
All  May the touch of hands, the sound of laughter,
and the sight of faces new and familiar,
restore us in faith.  (Adapted. CODame)

Sharing 'The Peace
Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace
and of our shared friendship.

The peace of God is here... to stay.  (Iona)
All Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Wisdom Far Beyond(Tune: ‘Coronation Road’)  157 HoS
Wisdom far beyond our knowledge,
Word of endless mystery,
God, in whom is comprehended
all that was, is now, will be,
you have set us free to wander,
world on world, through time and space,
haunted by the hope of heaven,
nurtured by your constant grace.

Unimaginable lover,
faithful to eternity,
God, fulfilling and indwelling
all that was, is now, will be,
we can never stray beyond you,
loving Presence, you are here:
called to join your great adventure,
forth we go to find you there.

Beating heart of all creation,
first and final unity,
God who draws all things together,
all that was, is now, will be,
we have heard your distant music,
shared your dream of harmony:
now we go as reconcilers,
makers of community.

Focus of our search for meaning,
truth in our perplexity,
God the One by whom we measure
all that was, is now, will be,
centre of our heart’s devotion,
magnet of our questing mind,
spirit’s birth and soul’s companion,
journey’s end in you we find.  (Colin Gibson)

OR

Just as the Rainbow(Tune: ‘Colours of Hope’,  D C Damon)         22 PaT
Just as the rainbow, bright with its promise,

holds in its prism spectrums of light,
so do our human cultures and colours
bring to each other depth and delight.

Colours adorn us, colours define us,

colours enliven nature's own art,

colours divide us, stark in their meaning,
black and white judgments tear us apart.

Fear of the stranger, unspoken anger,

shades of misgiving show in our face,

colours of blood have stained our traditions,

led us to conflict, race against race.

God give us eyes to value our neighbour,

judging no colour, image or skin,
but where the heart is, open to friendship,
care and connection making us kin.

God give us wisdom, luminous thinking,
prizing this rainbow, sensing its scope,
finding the gold in icons of others,

working to paint the colours of hope.  
(Shirley Erena Murray)

CELEBRATING

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
We affirm we are all truly human,
All  
no more and no less than that.
None of us has endless energy,
All  nor an eternal capacity to cope with
the endless pressures of life.
Whatever happens, we are together
All  and we will be there for each other.  (Adapted. Dorothy McRae-McMahon/rlll)

And so we take a flame and light our special Care Candle…
The Care Candle is lit

For ourselves, for those named or remembered, and in solidarity with those
who have not the freedom to express their concern or celebration
for fear of discrimination or condemnation.

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of the sacred among us,
and to see the new possibilities of the now.

The Abba' Prayer:  (Optional)
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate

All   O presence and pow’r within us,
Being and Life of all.
How we are filled, how we o’erflow
with infinite love and gladness!

We shall this day sow grace and peace,
and show mercy to all,
and gentle loving-kindness.

And we shall be not so self-serving,
but a constant source of giving.

For ours is the essence,
and the wholeness,
and the fullness forever.  (Paul Alan Laughlin/4r)

With the Children
The children come to the conversation mat

Conversation:

"Somewhere someone”
The kingdom of love is coming because:
All   somewhere someone is kind when others are unkind,
somewhere someone shares with another in need,
somewhere someone refuses to hate, while others hate,
somewhere someone is patient - and waits in love,
somewhere someone returns good for evil,
somewhere someone serves another, in love,
somewhere someone is calm in a storm,
somewhere someone is loving everybody.
Is that someone you? (jke)

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S STYLE OF SUPPER
The Offerings
Let us bring our offerings and gifts of bread and wine,
as a symbol of our decision to be co-creators with God
in a safer and more inclusive world.

The Presentation
May Wisdom be in our minds, and in our thinking.
May Wisdom be in our hearts, and in our perceiving.
May Wisdom be with us all the days of our lives.  (Adapted. D L Neu/cw)

The Invitation
Today we gather around this table to remember and celebrate.
All  This day we will celebrate the
interconnectedness that is our life.

May what we touch and taste and remember, remind us
to see the world as a place of wonder,
All  And find ourselves in each face we see.  (Adapted. Gretta Vosper/ab)

Thanksgiving
We need thanksgiving, and for thanksgiving we need a voice:
to say the wordless things that lie at the heart of being,
to speak the pulsations of life:
the rising, shimmering sun,
the silent cycle of seasons,
the restless tides of breath,
the interlaced fabric of community,
the interdependence of humanity.
All  
We need a voice to say Amen to life
in its sameness and its variety,
in its simplicity and complexity,
in its joy and grief,
in its agony and ecstasy.  (Gordon B McKeeman/tcb)
(Pause)

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world...
For the love we name Creativity God, and all that is.
For the sage we name Jesus
and his message of peace, justice and inclusiveness
that is the realm of God.
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit
always present on the breath of life.
All  
We stand in wonder and awe.

We remember the tradition…
When, during a meal with friends, Jesus would tell them
of a re-imagined way of living and being.

A way that did not conform to the standards of the Roman Empire
or any other system of governance
that suppressed people, until
starvation and deprivation resulted in death.  (Sherri Weinberg)
All  In the name of all prophets and sages who sacrificed
their lives to hasten the coming of the reign
of mutual respect, we commit ourselves
to the unfolding of a better world.

Bread and Wine
And we remember the stories...

v1  Jesus took bread and blessed it,
acknowledging with gratitude the hands that produced it
and the earthly goodness that made it possible:
v2  the warmth of the sun,
the nourishment of earth,
the heat of the oven,
the skill of the baker, and
the faithfulness of the farmer…

v1  He broke the bread and gave it to his followers
in a spirit of devotion to the new community he dreamed of.

v2  In the same way, we break this bread
and share it with one another.
All  We give thanks for this bread.
The Bread is broken

v1  Jesus took a cup of wine and blessed it:
v2  symbol of fellowship and hospitality,
symbol of joy and celebration,
symbol of colour and fragrance, and
symbol of satisfaction of thirst…

v1 Thus do we lift this cup and drink this wine,
celebrating the blessedness of our fellowship
and this time together. (Adapted. Robert V Jones)
All  We celebrate together.
The Wine is poured

Bread... the very stuff of life.
Wine... fruit of the vine.

Communion
By eating this bread and drinking this wine
we become one in hope.
The Bread and the Wine is served

SCATTERING

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Imagination of the Heart
(Tune: ’Imagination’, 88 86)  104 (1-2) RP
Imagination of the heart
will rise on soaring wings of song;
will elevate our bland desires,
transcend our human wrong.

The spirit will inspire, define
the love that gives this passage worth,
the pain we gather on the way,
the trust of love's new birth.
People remain standing

Parting Words
Let us take on this week’s life
with renewed hope and imagination…
The Community Candle is extinguished

v1  O Shining One,
you are the flame burning within...

v2  Transfigure us, this day,
as we open into the radiance of the Christ
in each other, in song, in word, and witness.
All  May this be the day of our enlightenment,
when we see with clarity
the sacred life we are called to manifest. 
(Adapted. Bruce Sanguin/idp)

Words of Blessing
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
All  
Amen. May it be so!

Hymn (Cont.).Imagination of the Heart”  (Tune: ’Imagination’, 88 86)  104 (3-4) RP
We emulate that wild design,
the flaunting serenade to peace
that brought a saviour to his knees
that brought a thief release.

High-handed love, incarnate hope,
that freed our stony hearts by grace;
we offer praise, it is your due,
from all the human race.  (Andrew Pratt)
The people sit after the hymn

'This Week' at (NN)
Notices
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles

Music

Fellowship
Morning tea is now served.
You are invited to share in this time of fellowship


You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you
to share with another member of your family, or with a friend

I recommend the use of
LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches


Some of the Resources used in Shaping this Liturgy:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa.  Hymns and Songs for all Churches. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
Funk, R. Hoover, R. The Five Gospels. The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. New York. McMillan Press, 1993.
Halsey, R.
Voices from the Void. Singapore: Trafford Publishing, 2012.
(HoS)
Hope is our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.
Iona Community. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
Jones, Robert V. “Liturgy: The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper”. In private circulation from the author. L & L Seminar, 2005.
(SiF) Kearns, S. 2009. 
Sing it Forward. Traditional Hymns recast and rewritten for Non-exclusive Spiritual Communities. Canada: Toronto. Direct from the  author.
Laughlin, P. A. “Pray without Seeking. Toward a truly Mystical Lord’s Prayer” in
The Fourth R 22, 6, (2009), 20-24.
McRae-McMahon, D.
Rituals for Life, Love and Loss. Paddington. Jane Curry Publishing, 2003.
(PaT) Murray, S. E.  
A Place at the Table. New Hymns written between 2009 and 2013. Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 2013.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle.
Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press, 2005.
(RP) Pratt, A.
Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a Spiritual Journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins, 1991.
Sanguin, B. If Darwin Prayed. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Canada: Vancouver. ESC/Bruce Sanguin, 2010.
Seaburg, C. (ed).
The Communion Book. Boston. UUMA, 1993.
Vosper, G.
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.

Web sites/Other:
Davidson Loehr. 2008.  <www.austinuu.org>
Dame. UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. (2010)  <http://www.c3exchange.org/
Ellis-Jones. International Council of Unitarians & Universalistshttp://www.icuu.net/resources/chalice_archives/Chalice%20index.html
Sherri Weinberg. 2005. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport

rexae74@gmail.com