Pentecost18A.8.10.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
8 October 2017. Pentecost 18A. (Green).


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, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Hope brings us here:
hope of inspiration,
hope of comfort,
hope of enlightenment,
hope of love.  
(CReed/wah)

Then let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit in silence

May we be open to this light,
and to the rich possibilities that it brings us.

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 these 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, 10. Terrorist Attacks
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism 
HERE

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Wake, Now My Senses" (Tune: 'Slane', 10 10 10 10)        298 SLT
Wake, now my senses, and hear the earth call;
feel the deep power of being in all;
keep, with the web of creation your vow,
giving, receiving as love shows us how.

Wake, now my reason, reach out to the new,
join with each pilgrim who quests for the true;
honour the beauty and wisdom of time;
suffer your limit, and praise the sublime.

Wake, now compassion, give heed to the cry;
voices of suffering fill the wide sky;
take as your neighbour both stranger and friend,
praying and striving their hardship to end.

Wake, now my conscience, with justice your guide;
join with all people whose rights are denied;
take not for granted a privileged place;
God's love embraces the whole human race.

Wake, now my vision of ministry clear;
brighten my pathway with radiance here;
mingle my calling with all who will share;
work toward a planet transformed by our care.  TJS Mikelson
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
v1 A morning mist,
the gleam of a new day,
faintly we discern the possibilities that are before us.
All Energy rising, plans turning to action,
we build our every yesterday
from the living of our days.

v2  May we live our hope into tomorrow.
All May we wrap our lives around
the challenges of today.

v1 And in the quiet of the sacred space,
may we listen at the centre of our being
for the truth of our inner voice
v2  that sets before us the purpose of this day.  (Adapt.Gretta Vosper/ab)

Act of Awareness
We are part of all that sustains or destroys life.
Creation and destruction occur in continually unfolding ways.
And so may we open our ears to the continually unfolding Word.

Life speaks to us in new and vital and imperative ways.
With all the power we have been given,
let us be silent and open to listening…
for nourishment,
for comfort,
for challenge and new focus. (St Stephen’s Project).

OR

We pray:
We are gathered here in community.
A place has been made for each of us.
Let what we say and do here be real for us
in preparation for the life of the world.
May it be so.

Hymn "Where the Road Runs Out"     156 AA
Where the road runs out and the signposts end,
where we come to the edge of today,
be the God of Abraham for us,
send us out upon our way.
Refrain:
Lord, you were our beginning,
the faith that gave us birth.
We look to you, our ending,
our hope for heaven and earth.

When the coast is left and we journey on
to the rim of the sky and the sea,
be the sailor's friend, be the dolphin Christ,
lead us in to eternity.
Refrain:

When the clouds are low and the wind is strong,
when tomorrow's storm draws near,
be the spirit bird hovering overhead
who will take away our fear. 
Colin Gibson
Refrain:
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.

CENTERING

Centering Silence
Let there now be a silence between us for a time.
(Silence)

May that which is the continual longing of the spirit
find strength in the secret places of our hearts.  
(Bob Holmes/wm)
(Silence)

How did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world
all its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
against its Being.
Otherwise, we all remain
too frightened.  (Hafiz/It felt love)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

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

From the World Around us:
“O Taste and See”
Kathy Galloway. Celebrating Women/134.

Now is the time for the good wine
Pressed from the fruit of the tree
Now is the time for rejoicing
In the place where the feast will be.
O taste and see
And refresh us with love.

Leave all the cares of the growing
Just let the mystery sing
Magic of ripening and pruning
And the fullness that time will bring
O taste and see
And refresh us with love.

Sweet-tasting cup of our loving
Promise of pleasure and pain
Take it and drink of it deeply
For the new life it will contain
O taste and see
And refresh us with love.

If in Northern Hemisphere
“Autumn Meditation”
By Elizabeth Strong.

We know the leaves are dying.
We know that their blaze of beauty is a preparation for death.
It is a time when we appreciate the effort of nature
to rise above the ordinariness of life and death.

It is a time when we visibly comprehend glory and wonder.

We feel now that the air is cool and crisp.
We feel now a clearing from the skies
of the heaviness of the hazes of summer.

It is a time when we appreciate the crispness and sharpness
of the realities of life and death.

It is a time when we physically comprehend the relief
that clarity and insight can bring.

We hear now the dry rustle of plants and grasses.
We hear now a crackling from the earth
that tells of the withering of the fullness of life.
It is a time when we appreciate approaching rest
from the frantic fullness.

It is a time when we hear a different voice within,
and know that life is settling down for a well deserved wintering.

Let it be so within each of our lives
as we prepare for an autumn in our own life cycle.
For we all need rest and respite
if we are to understand and appreciate
the rhythm of life in our soul.

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 21:33-46  (Inclusive Text)

‘Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
Listen to another parable. 

There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, 
put a fence around it, 
dug a wine press in it, 
and built a watchtower. 

Then the landowner leased it to tenants 
and went to another country.

When the harvest time had come, 
the owner sent slaves to the tenants to collect his produce.

But the tenants seized the slaves and 
beat one, 
killed another, and 
stoned another.

Again the owner sent other slaves, more than the first; 
and they treated them in the same way.

Finally the owner sent his son to them, saying, 
‘They will respect my son.’

But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 
‘This is the heir; come, 
let us kill him and get his inheritance.’

So they seized the son, 
threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, 
what will he do to those tenants?/

The chief priests and elders said to Jesus,
'The owner will put those wretches to a miserable death, 
and lease the vineyard to other tenants 
who will give the produce at the harvest time.' 

Jesus said to them,
'Have you never read in the scriptures: 
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 
this was God’s doing, 
and it is amazing in our eyes?

'Therefore I tell you, the realm of God 
will be taken away from you and given to a people 
that produces the fruits of it'.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

May we be aware of our weaknesses -
and strengthened by that awareness.
Wn.  May we be conscious of our shortcomings -
and alerted by that consciousness.
Mn.  May we know our limitations -
and be humbled by that knowledge.

Thus may we come to pay less attention
to our weaknesses, shortcomings, limitations -
All  And to give greater attention
to possible areas of continuing growth:
awareness, consciousness, knowledge!
  RTDick

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.
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
Go-Between God(Tune: ‘Clover Place’, D C Gamon)     9 PaT
Go-between God, in the Spirit of Jesus,
reaching and welcoming, crossing divides,
let me be part of your bridge-building people,
making connections where prejudice rides.

Let me see value in colours and cultures
new to my landscape of habit or thought;
let me find treasures in other traditions,
gifts of new insight that strangers have brought.

Let me find truths in another faith’s scripture,
let me share wisdom wherever it shines,
lighting our differing pathways to worship,
seeking the scope of your stunning designs.

Let me accept revelation in science,
all that enhances the life of the earth,
let me reject all that threatens her nature,
testing technology’s status and worth.

Let me be part of a new evolution
 honouring others who honour the good,
 artists in living out love without labels,
 standing in places where Jesus has stood.  
(Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

CELEBRATING

Offerings
Our offerings for the celebration of life and ministry in this place
and beyond, shall now be received
.

Presentation
Inspired by stories of compassionate people,
may we find a good feeling in our hearts
so through these gifts we can
help free some people from hunger,
lift some people from their distress, and
encourage some people to be part of a better world.

With the Children
Children gather on 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)

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

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
In joy and in sorrow
All  We do not walk alone.  (Gretta Vosper/wwg)

And so we take this flame and light our special care candle...
The Care Candle is lit

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 new possibilities of the now.

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

All  Gracious Spirit,
Who loves us like a mother,
Whose realm is blooming among us now.
And within.

We pray that your compassion guide us in every action.
Give us what we need for each day,
and help us to be satisfied with the miracle of that alone.

Forgiver, whose embrace brings us to wholeness without our asking,
May we reconcile ourselves to one another in humility.
And may we cancel the crushing debts that imprison our neighbours
So that communities of joy and health may flourish.

May we neither profit from nor ignore evil.
But ever work to thwart it with non-violence
As we co-create the realm of peace in this world.
Now and each day.
Amen.  
(Brett Hesla/wsj)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
A Man of Ancient Time and Place(Tune ‘Tallis’ Canon’, 88 88)
A man of ancient time and place
with foreign speech and foreign face,
reveals the glory, power and grace
of costly, unexpected love.

A rabbi, schooled in Moses’ Law,
a male, amending Herod’s flaw,
arouses wonder, rage and awe
with costly, unexpected love.

By teasing word and healing deed,
a leper touched, an outcast freed,
he bears the fruit and plants the seed
of costly, unexpected love.
Remain standing

Parting Words
As we prepare to leave this sacred space where we have celebrated together,
let us return to our homes and work enlivened and renewed...
The Community Candle is extinguished

Go into the world:
dance, laugh, sing and create.
All  We go with the encouragement of God.

Go into the world:
risk, explore, discover and love.
All  We go with the empowerment of God.

Go into the world:
believe, hope, struggle and remember.
All  We go with the assurance of the love of God.

Words of Blessing
May the Spirit which flows through all creation,
that speaks through the prophets and the poets,
and which acts through those who care,
be with us here today, and awaken us
to the unconquerable power of life.  
(CReed/wah)
All
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont) A Man of Ancient Time and Place”  (Tune ‘Tallis’ Canon’, 88 88)
The cost we barely can surmise
when, lifted up before our eyes,
the face of God we recognize
in crucified, unfathomed love.

May faith and hope within us grow,
the way of Christ to tell and show,
and may the Spirit breathe and blow
in costly, unexpected love.  
Brian Wren
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.
Holmes, R. H. The Bob Holmes Worship Materials. Vol 1.  Little Falls. Self published, 1972.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year A. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2004.
Iona Community. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
(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.
Reed, C. We Are Here. A Book of Prayer for Corporate Worship. London. Lindsey Press, 1992.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
Vosper, G.
With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.
Vosper, G.
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane: The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.

Web sites/Other:
Dick, Strong. UUA Worship Web. Boston. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Brian Wren. "A Man of Ancient Time". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: <www.hymns.uk.com>
St Stephen’s Non-Theistic Project
. http://stephen.srv.ualberta.ca/publications/non-theistic-liturgy-resources/#sthash.0Sd5KwzN.wLO2Tlw4.dpbs

rexae74@gmail.com