Pentecost20A.22.10.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:
www.rexaehuntprogressive.com

Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
Suggestion:
’Refresh’ each page before reading - especially if you are using Google Chrome - to make sure to get my latest edition


A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE

22 October 2017. Pentecost 20A. (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

In sacred times of word, wonder, and awe.
In ordinary days of work and play.
In every moment, the sacred is with us.
(Adapt.Tom Shuman/worship-rcl)

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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

We are safe.
We are together.
We are loved.
And so it will be.
(Brian Griffin/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 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, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism 
HERE

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Neutron Stars Collide”  (Tune:  ‘Intercessor’)
Two stars collide, but love is not diminished,
while ripples thunder out through time and space,
the universe has shuddered down the centuries,
but nothing will unsettle given grace.

We look into the void, detect the difference
where gravity, disrupted, ripples on.
Our understanding, stressed through awe and wonder,
can count again the knowledge that’s been won.

Yet wisdom is much more than calculation,
than observations grounded on this earth,
we reach out through a mystery that surrounds us,
toward the source that brought us all to birth.
© Andrew Pratt 16/10/2017 after the detection of gravitational waves caused by the collision to two neutron stars.

OR

Welcome" (Tune: 'Regent Square', 87 87 47 extended)   1 SNS3
We are thankful for a greeting
And a welcome we all prize;
We are here for celebration,
Searching for what satisfies;
With a welcome as we gather
We can feel our spirits rise.

'Welcome' i the way of Jesus;
'Welcome' is his promised word;
Welcome is for saints and sinner;
All are welcome; all have erred;
Jesus speaks his word of welcome -
We respond for we have heard.

We all join in affirmation
Of the love of God we know;
Like the vastness of an ocean
Love is here in constant flow;
I am welcome; you are welcome;
Jesus says, "Let it be so." (Adapt.George Stuart)

OR

"Sing for God’s Glory”  (Tune: ‘Lobe den Herren’, 14 14 4 7 8)
Sing for God’s glory that colors the dawn of creation,
racing across the sky, trailing bright clouds of elation;
sun of delight
succeeds the velvet of night,
warming the earth’s exultation.

Sing for God’s power that shatters the chains that would hold us,
searing the bleakness of fear and despair that would mold us,
touching our shame
with love that will not lay blame,
reaching out gently to find us.

Sing for God’s justice disturbing each easy illusion,
tearing down tyrants and putting our pride to confusion;
lifeblood of right,
resisting evil and slight,
offering freedom’s transfusion.

Sing for God’s saints who have travelled faith’s journey before us,
who in our weariness give us their hope to restore us;
in them we see
the new creation to be,
spirit of love made flesh for us.
(Kate Galloway.Adapt.)
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
v1 Children of the earth and sky,
we are nurtured, sustained,
given warmth and light
from above and below.
All Supported by earth's strong, firm crust,
we build our homes,
plough the paddocks,
plant our gardens and orchards.

v2  When we turn from self and seek to be aware,
we will find holy light
in human faces,
in blossom, birdsong, and sky.
All Then earth is truly our home,
and we are one with all earth's creatures,
Parents of earth's children yet to be. 
(Adapt.Alice Berry)

Act of Awareness
In all our living, may we be freed
to see things afresh,
to be more fully alive,
and have the courage to keep faith in
the future of humanity.

OR

We pray:
Abiding God, grant us the joy of feeling ourselves
a part of your vast magnificence,
your all-encompassing love.
May it be so.

Song  "Everything That Has Voice" (Tune: 'Sing for Peace', Marty Haugen)    9 TEL
Everything that has voice,
sing for peace,
speak for peace,
given chance, given choice,
work for peace,
write for peace,
resonating everywhere,
echoing our common care:
everything that has voice,
sing for peace!

All the world longs for peace
cries for peace,
dies for peace,
let the children, every place
sleep in peace,
grow in peace,
home and country safe to be
where the spirit rises free,
all the world longs for peace,
cries for peace.

Everyone who has breath,
you and I,
passers-by,
every tenant of the earth
plant for peace,
gather for peace,
cultivate a neighbourhood
cherishing our neighbours' good:

everyone who has breath,
live for peace!
  (Shirley Erena Murray)

OR

Amazing Love”  (Tune: 'Amazing Grace', 86 86)
Amazing Love that Jesus told,
Two thousand years ago,
A story new, a story old,
A love we all can know.

He spoke to crowds in Palestine,
He speaks to us today,
He tells us all of love divine,
To us he shows the way.

The realm of God is one of love,
Of justice and of peace.
It’s not about a realm above -
Through love this world release.

What we want done to us, can be
The rule by which we live;
To follow it will make us free
To share, to love, to give.

The story comes to challenge us,
It’s not the easy road,
For us to love, as Jesus loved,
To bear another’s load.

The realm of God is here with us
When love and peace we share,
Although we fail, we know God’s grace,
It’s love that helps us there.

Amazing love that Jesus told,
Two thousand years ago,
A story new, a story old,
A love for all to know.  Margaret Rolfe
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
In the safety of this sacred place I invite you now into a time of
gratitude, reflection, renewal and hope.
(Silence)

Great possibilities do await us.
The grandeur of life, of which we are a part,
fill us with hope… if we seek to choose it.
(Silence)

Fifteen billion years ago, in a great flash
the universe flared forth into being.
In each drop of existence
a primordial energy blazed with an intensity
never to be equaled again... (Berry & Swimme)

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:
‘The Web’
By Jeanette Stokes. Birthings and Blessings/84.

As I walked through the bush one morning during autumn,
I came across a perfectly formed spider’s web bright with dew.
The delicately woven strands reminded me that
as we live and work… we spin out the thread of life
that connects and supports us all.

The web of support that joins me to my friends is like a lifeline.
Sometimes I can almost feel it – tiny golden threads
tying my heart to the hearts of others.
My passion for life… fueled by theirs.
And my life is never the same.

I am a porous being.
There are spaces in my soul like the open places in a web.
Other people pass through me.
I am changed and sometimes I am born again
to a whole new way of being, of understanding myself
my work, and the world.

The dreams we spin need to be tied to something.
The spider’s web I saw was attached
to the graceful curve at the end of
a wild blackberry cane.

As we live and work together we can create and maintain
a web of connection that will support us all.

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 22:15-22 (Inclusive Text)

When the chief priests and Pharisees had heard the parables,
they realised that Jesus was speaking about them.
Then they went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said.

So they sent their disciples to Jesus, along with the Herodians, saying:
‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth,
and show deference to no one, for a person’s rank means nothing to you.

‘Tell us, then, what you think.
Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’

But Jesus, aware of their malice, said:
‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?
Show me a coin used for the tax.’

And they brought him a denarius.

Then Jesus said to them:
‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’
They answered: ‘The emperor’s.’

Then Jesus said to them:
‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s
and to God the things that are God’s.’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany: Order and Change (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

v1  At this time and in this place we give thanks
for all that is familiar and ordered in our lives:
v2  The regular beating of our heart
and the pattern of our breathing
v3  The dusk of evening and the dawn of morning,
the ebb and flow of tides
and the lapping of waves on the shore.
v2  For newly-learned hymns and much-loved stories
v3  For your constant love,
and the love and care of our family and friends.
Pause

v1  We give thanks for everything that changes and challenges us:
v2  For surprises and holidays,
the unexpected meeting with a friend,
the chance to do something different.
v3  For new people and new ideas in our life.
Pause

v1  For children growing up, teenagers becoming adults,
and for every decade of life with its special privileges and challenges.
v2  For good news and bad,
for problems and difficulties that make us think again.

v1  For grief over things we have lost,
and people we are separated from
v3  For the pain and joy of life that makes every day new.
v1  May we treasure our past and our traditions without becoming rigid.
All To rejoice in long-established and comfortable relationships
without excluding new possibilities;
to value our routines and order
without losing our spontaneity
and avoiding new challenges.

v1  And may the Spirit of Life
All enliven us in our apathy,
encourage us in our creativity,
reassure us in our uncertainty and fear. 
(Adapt.WWilkie/cnc)

OR

(If in the Southern Hemisphere)
A Spring Litany
v1 Spring is the celebration of the return
of vibrant colour to our world.
v2 With each budding leaf and every blade of grass
the earth is enlivened again.
All  The rhythm of the change of seasons
beats with the hope of new beginnings.

v1 The world is awash in hues of green,
the colour of expectancy.
v2 With water and sunshine it will soon host
rainbows and wildflowers.
All  The rhythm of the changing heart
beats hope at the break of a new day.

v1 The prism of creation casts its light on humanity.
v2 Like all living things, we are varied shades
of a diverse and wonderful spectrum.
All  The rhythm of the changing mind
beats love at the sight of difference.

v1 May the hands I hold today,
emblems of the infinite palate, be warmed
by the common blood that courses through eternal veins.
All  The rhythm of the changing life
beats praise for our common embrace
. (George L Stewart/adapt/www.uusf.org)

(If in the Northern Hemisphere)
Autumn Litany
For cool nights and sunny autumn days,
Ch  for crunchy leaves to walk through
Wn
and crisp red apples to bite into…
All  We offer grateful thanks.

For trees the colour of flame,
Mn  For smoky fires of burning leaves,
Ch  for netball practice and football games...
All  We give a heartfelt thanks.

For holidays, processions and decorated floats,
Ch  for warbling magpies (your bird?) and gentle rain,
Wn  winter knitting, and after winter, spring again...
All  We give thanks for all these glorious things.

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.
May a heart of peace rest with you. (David Galston/q)
All And also with you.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours

Hymn People stand, as they are able, to sing
To God the Process(Tune: ‘Edith’)        140 HoS
Gloria! Gloria!

To God the process, God the life,
to God compassion’s spring,
to God the boundless way of love,
to God in everything,
to God the inner Christ of faith,
to God the wine and bread,
to God the sacred energy,
the fabric and the thread.

To you, O God, we sing our praise,
we join the cosmic song,
we walk the path that Jesus walked,
we turn our thoughts from wrong.
For you delight in each of us
and we delight in you.
With hearts on fire we live your praise
in all we think and do.

Amen, Amen, Amen, O God,
to you be endless praise.
Shalom, Shalom, Shalom, O God,
our hearts to you we raise.
For you empower and you fulfil
our latent energy,
the universe within our lives
shall dance your liturgy.

Gloria!   (William L Wallace)

OR

The Silent Stars…(Tune: ‘Surrey’, 88 88 88)       7 RP
The silent stars, the turning globe,
the rivers rushing to the sea;
the certain rising of the sun,
all witness to God's sovereignty;
yet human values shift and drift.
God's wisdom is the greater gift.

Our human toil is wearisome,
while those who die are lost to mind.
Our great endeavours turn to dust,
there's nothing new for us to find.
We chase for rainbows through the rain
and own a deeper loss than gain.

Then what remains for us to do,
what satisfying task or scheme
will fill this endless stream of days,
will help us sound a greater theme?
God give us wisdom, knowledge, joy.
Plant hope that nothing can destroy.
 (Andrew Pratt)
People sit

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation
May we look for a gentler humanity, a kinder world:
with our money and with our hearts,
with our minds and with every good intention...
Let this be our earnest desire.  
Adapt.Francis Macnab/fwb

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; Griefs and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
As one heart is lifted