Revd Rex A E Hunt
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
29 June 2014. Pentecost 3A. (Green).
Acknowledgement of Country
(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
Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times
From the wintry white wastes of the Antartic,
to the burning summer heat of the Equator,
the seasons of the year
spice and flavour our universe. (SHardwick/hfw)
Let us then celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
Lighting of the Community Candle
The community candle is lit
This flame is warm as the companionship of friends is warm.
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"O Beauty Ever Ancient" (Tune: 'Manor Place', Colin Gibson) 107 HoS
O beauty ever ancient,
O beauty ever new,
divine and Holy Presence
my being sings to you.
my being sings to you!
O beauty in creation,
in world of sound and sight,
O Beauty in the silence,
in darkness as in light,
O beauty that is movement
in liquid line of grace,
O beauty that is stillness
in lovely form or face,
O beauty of the Spirit
where love is shining through,
O beauty ever ancient,
O beauty ever new,
"For This Great Sunburnt Land" (Tune: ‘Nun Danket’. 106(i) TiS)
For this great sunburnt land
We join in celebration,
With all its native life,
The joy of God's creation:
Fresh lakes and tall blue gums
Who raise their voice on high,
Black swans that sweep with grace
Across the morning sky.
Now thank we, God, this day
For pioneers with vision,
Who found this heritage
A gift from God's deep passion.
O God of this wide land,
Grant us the faith to see,
You filled its soul with song,
A sacred mystery.
With this great sunburnt land
We join in celebration,
With roos and cockatoos
And mobs from ev'ry nation;
Custodians God chose
For bush and billabong,
We join with grateful voice
To sing this country strong. © NHabel/hh
Remain standing after the hymn
Empowering God, when the road ahead looms endless,
All empower us to be companions
for one another along the road.
Inspiring God, when the road forward is blocked,
All inspire in us creative responses
that move us beyond the barriers.
Enabling God, when the road before us divides,
All enable us to feel your presence luring us on.
Act of Awareness
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)
As we listen to the life of our city, may we sense
a Sacred Presence in its murmuring rhythms,
its working and walking and talking,
its colours and faces and longings.
May it be so.
Hymn “God Beyond, Within, Between” (Tune: ‘St Magnus’, 86 86. 378 TiS) 20 SNS
God is beyond, within, between;
The now and what has been;
God in the future and before;
The ever wondrous 'More'.
God is beyond gods we create
Ev'n those we venerate.
God is beyond what is beyond,
But still our hearts respond.
God is within, the force we know
In all life's ebb and flow,
In God we live and move and be,
And touch and taste and see.
And God we know is in between,
Involved but still unseen,
When fostering in you and me
A rich community.
God is within to sanctify;
Beyond to glorify;
God is between to beautify;
Of this we testify. (GStuart)
The people sit
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.
Let there be a silence among us…
May God’s stillness and peace rest upon us.
May God’s presence permeate all our living.
May God’s blessing bloom around us.
Music of Reflection
Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
The reader is (NN).
Genesis 22:1-2, 9-14 (NRSV)
God tested Abraham. God said to Abraham,
“Take you son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah,
and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains…
When they came to the place that God had shown him,
Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order.
He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to, kill his son.
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said,
And he said, "Here I am."
The angel of the Lord said,
"Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him;
for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son,
your only son, from me."
And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns.
Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up
as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Abraham called that place "The-Lord-will-provide";
as it is said to this day,
"On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided”.
From the world of theology:
“Jesus as rebel”
By B Brandon Scott, in Re-imagine the World/138.
Jesus' revolt takes a very special form.
He revolts in parable.
I see no evidence that Jesus was leading a political revolution
or that he had a social program in mind.
He clearly affected the lives of people, but he was not a social organizer or activist.
Although the idea is now out of fashion,
Jesus the oral storyteller seems to me closer to a poet.
The activist will always be dissatisfied with the poetic vision,
but change comes about because a creative individual has that vision.
Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Matthew 10: 40-42 (Inclusive Text)
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows:
'Those who welcome you welcome me;
and those who welcome me welcome the One who sent me.
'Those who welcome a prophet because that person is a prophet
will have a prophet's reward; and those
who welcome the righteous because they are righteous
will have the reward of the righteous.
'Those who give so much as a cup of cold water to one
of these little ones because they are my disciples,
then I tell you solemnly, they will most certainly not lose their reward.'
Silence for Personal Reflection
A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on let us stand
and share together a celebration of our faith.
The people stand as they are able
We give thanks for the shared life we experience in each other
and that the way we live and celebrate together
will encourage that life.
All We affirm that we see and experience this life in our midst.
It invites other life in us.
It gives life to people beyond us.
We affirm that in each of our sacred places life can be sustained,
All that in us new life can emerge and grow,
and that hope for life is to be cherished every day.
And as we gather in this our sacred place
during this season of winter, we hold ourselves open
to all the new possibilities before us.
All We commit ourselves to go on trying to care for each other,
giving and receiving in a sharing of gifts and graces,
that we may continue to be part
of the transforming life of God. (Adapt. D McRae-McMahon/plpm)
Sharing 'The Peace'
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
“Let My Spirit Always Sing” (Tune: 'Rebekah') 41 FFS
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.
We give thanks for our life and the courage we are given to live it.
Let our gratitude for life be expressed in our generosity.
Let our faith be expressed in good causes.
Let our belief in the future find full expression
in our daily attitude of mind. (Adapt.FMacnab/fwb)
With the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat
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
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and concerns shared.
In the light and beauty of day
All We give thanks in awe and wonder.
In the dark and stillness of night
All We dream of healing and hope (GVosper/wwg)
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 Care candle is lit
The 'Abba' Prayer:
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate
All Indwelling God,
infused throughout all existence,
we honour you with many names.
Your realm is within the human heart.
We accept life for all that it can be,
on earth as throughout all creation.
May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth,
and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own.
May we ever move from separation toward union,
to live in grace, with love in our hearts, forever and ever.
Amen. Fred F. Keip
Hymn “When Life Juggles” (Tune: 87 87)
When life juggles with our learning,
with the things we thought secure,
then it seems the artist’s palette
spins and faith becomes obscure.
In the wash of different colours,
as we seek for shape and form,
others paint their faith by numbers
forcing God to fit some norm
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challenges
of our lives and our world...
The candle is extinguished
We have come together
to share our concerns,
to speak words of inspiration and
to sing words of hope.
All May we now commit ourselves to do what we can
to ease the burdens of others who suffer, and
to work for a more wholesome environment for us,
and for all the generations that will follow. (Bob Kaufmann/adapted)
Words of Blessing
The peace of this ancient earth to you...
of the high blue heavens which embrace it,
and the winds which blow freely over it.
The peace of splintered light sparkling on gum leaves,
and gentle rain falling on parched earth.
The peace of star-jewelled skies and full-orbed moons,
of breathless dawns and splendid dying suns.
And the peace of the God of Peace to you (Eliz. Howie/grpe).
All Amen. May it be so.
Hymn (Cont) "When Life Juggles” (Tune: 87 87)
But when life has torn the canvas,
when the numbers twist and slip;
then we need to find an image
that will help our hope to grip:
holding us, when we're past holding,
grounding when we're insecure,
till we find a faith, not drifting,
still dynamic, free, yet sure. © Andrew Pratt 28/5/2010
'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
Morning tea is now served.
You are invited to share in the moment 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:
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. 2001. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An international curriculum on the life and teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003. Harvest for the World. A worship anthology on sharing in the work of creation. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
(HH) Habel, Norman. 2004. Habel Hymns 1. Songs to celebrate with creation. Adelaide. Flinders Press.
(HoS) Hope is Our Song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Inclusive Readings. Year A. 2004. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Liebelt, P; N. Nicholls. (ed). 1996. Gentle rain on parched earth. Worship resources for rural situations. Melbourne. JBCE.
McRae-McMahon, D. 2001. Prayers for Life's Particular Moments. Thornbury. DesBooks.
Macnab, F. 2006. A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in words that blow you away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Scott, B. B. 2001. Re-imagine the World. An introduction to the Parables of Jesus. CA: Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
(SNS) Stuart, G. 2006. Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. Sydney. CPRT Sydney.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
Keip, Kaufmann, UUA Worship Web. Boston. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Andrew Pratt. "When Life Juggles" Direct from the author.