Revd Rex A E Hunt

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13 July 2014. Pentecost 5A. (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


Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

'Today is a day the Lord has made',
says an old religious writer,
'let us therefore rejoice and be glad in it'.

It is indeed!
For it is a sacred time, this.
And a sacred place, this.

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.


We gather here
to celebrate,
to seek the truth,
to grow in love,
to join in service.

We gather here inspired by life's beauty
yet seeking to find healing for its pain,
to honour our kinship with each other and with the earth;
and to create a more compassionate world,
beginning with ourselves.

We gather here
to wonder at the mystery that gave us birth;
to find courage for the journey's end;
and to listen for the wisdom that guides us
in the quietness of this moment. (GKowalski)

As we gather, let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The community candle is lit

We light this flame to affirm that new truth is ever waiting 
to break through to illumine our minds,
May we be always open to the rich possibilities
such an experience brings us.

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
A Man of Ancient Time and Place  (Tune ‘Tallis’ Canon’, 88 88, 443 TiS)
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.

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
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
v1 Sisters and brothers, open your hearts,
for faith has come,
and in faith you are set free.
Wm Free, not to mind your words, but to speak the truth in love.
Mn Free, not to look up to some, and down to others,
but to look kindly eye-to-eye.

v2 So clothe yourself in Christ.
And praise God.  (D L Tuck.adapt/ctl)

Act of Awareness
May your spirit sing
when you feel the mystery of life
pulsing throughout our planet.


We pray:
Spirit of life, present in this hour...
may we sense your presentness as we gather in this sacred place.

Let all who enter here find comfort
and wisdom in this community.
May it be so.

Hymn  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! (WLWallace)


God of Unexplored Tomorrows”  (Tune: ‘Marching’, 87 87. 165 TiS)    27 FFS
God of unexplored tomorrows,
of today and yesterday,
God of rock and flowing river,
be our refuge, be our way.

Guardian rock above, before us,
strong foundation where we build,
landmark through the haze of doubting,
shelter where our fears are stilled,

Be the cleansing, quenching water,
irrigate, disturb and move,
stir us from our easy shallows,
current of refreshing love.

God of rock and flowing river
now and ever with us stand,
to transform our land of promise
into each one's promised land.  BJones
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.


Centering Silence
Let silence be placed around us now, like a mantle.
Let us enter into it,
as through a small secret door;
to emerge into an acre of peace,
where stillness reigns and God is present.

May this mantle of silence become
a cloak of understanding
to warm our hearts this day.  (Adapt.Kate McIlhagga/ghs)


Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some readings from our biblical tradition shall now be read.
The reader is (NN).

Hebrew Scriptures:
Isaiah 55:10-11  (Inclusive Text)

Thus says our God:
'As the rain and the snow come down from heavens and do not return without watering the earth,
making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread to the eating,
so the word that goes forth from my mouth
does not return to me empty,
without carrying out my will
and succeeding in what it was sent to do.'

From the World around us:
"Spirit of life"
By Pam Wyley. Gentle Rain on Parched Earth/89.

Out of the ordinariness of the bare earth,
you brought the extra ordinariness of human life
All Your spirit lives within us, O God.

In the ordinariness of the bare earth
we plant grain from last year's harvest
All Your spirit lives within us, O God.

Out of the ordinariness of water
comes the life of the seed
All Your spirit lives within the water, O God.

In human life and in the life of the seed
lies the life of this community
All Your spirit lives within this community, O God.

From the life of God
comes creation and recreation
All Your spirit lives within creation, O God.

Out of the heart of God comes peace and hope
All Your spirit lives within us, O God.


If in the Northern Hemisphere

"Humming to Snails"
Marjorie Skwire. For All That Is Your Life/31.

What did you do on summer vacation?
Our children have been answering this question all week in class-rooms all over the city,
but I'm afraid no one will ask me.
So I've decided to tell you anyway.
I learned to hum to snails.

On a lazy Sunday afternoon in July,
I sat with my ten-year-old cousin on the rocky shore of the Damariscotta River in Maine.
I watched as he patiently held a snail that he had plucked from the rocks - and hummed to it!
I didn't know whom to watch, the boy or the snail,
but soon I saw two antennae appear from the shell
and the snail began to dance!

Of course, I had to try it.

It wasn't long before all the other adults had moved from the porch
down to the rocks, each one holding a snail
and humming to it.
A dance troupe of snails!

Two things stuck me about the experience.
One was the quiet power of that youngster in teaching us something about our world.
He didn't tell us anything but allowed us to discover it for ourselves.
We forgot our adult anxieties about looking silly
and abandoned ourselves to humming.

The other was in the form of a theological question.
Is there something out there in the universe humming for us to come out of our shell,
urging us to dance?

Trying to understand what moves us is
one of the reasons we come together in a religious community.

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
The Gospel's Story Brings Us Here  (Tune: 544 AHB, 76.86, adapted)
The Gospel's story brings us here
to share our love of God;
the whirl of all that life has brought
each scar, each laugh, each thought.

Each one's story, culture's stamp:
we bring each gift to God
we'll work together, share our part,
we'll learn God's gracious art.

The love of Jesus sets our goal:
to give without reserve,
to offer all, not count the cost,
to work for Pentecost.  © APratt, 2003, Adapted
The people sit

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 13:1-9  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such crowds gathered round 
that Jesus got into a boat and sat there.

The people all stood on the beach,
and Jesus told them many things in parables.

He said:
'Imagine a sower going out to sow.
As the seeds were sown, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up.

'Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil
and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth;
but as soon as the sun came up
they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away.

'Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.

'Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop,
some a hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty.

'Listen anyone who has ears!'

Contemporary Exploration

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

Our land is alive with the glory of God:
All desert sands hum and gum trees dance,
brown grasses sing
All and mountains breathe their stillness.

All created things add their rhythm of delight
All and even the stones rap out their praise.

Let our voices mingle with the song of the earth.
All May our hearts join the beat of her joy.

For our triune God is with us:
All our creator surrounds and upholds us.
Christ Jesus walks beside and before us.
The Spirit moves within and between us.

Blessed be God, our wonder and our delight.  JTymms/mgs

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
Beautiful Presence(Tune: ‘Beautiful presence’)   9 HoS

Beautiful presence, how can we name you?

Words are too small for the one who is all.

How can we speak of your gentleness in us,

the warmth of our hearts in response to your call?


Beautiful presence, ocean of love,

strong as forever, soft as a dove.

Words often fail us, but this we know true,

you live within us as we live in you.

There have been times of spiritual blindness,

when error and pain have distorted our sight.

Beautiful presence, you were there with us,

to show us how darkness can turn into light.


Nothing that happens to us will be wasted,

all of our living is grounded in grace.

Gently you take down the walls of division,

leading us on to a larger place. (JCowley)



With the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat


"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)

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

May we serve the deeds which honour a companionate God
night and day, wherever we are, in all we do.

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:
As one heart is lifted
All May we share its celebration
As one heart is burdened
All May we share the pain it knows  (GVosper/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:
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate

All   O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos,
you create all that moves in light.
Hear the one Sound that created all others,
in this way the Name is hallowed in silence.

Your rule springs into existence
as our arms reach out to embrace all creation.
Let all wills move together
in your vortex, as stars and planets
swirl through the sky.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:
subsistence for the call of growing life.

Lighten our load of secret debts as
we relieve others of their
need to repay.

Keep us from hoarding false wealth,
and from the inner shame of
help not given in time. (MFox/ormw)


Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Love is a Verb
Don’t count on love to come flying in your window.
Don’t count on love to mysteriously appear,
Born from above as an answer to your troubles,
Filling your heart with intentions most sincere.
Love isn’t there, some possession bought or found.
Love is no thing, nothing good to have around.
Yet people, at times, can be loving in their actions.
Love is a verb, not a noun.

Love as a noun may be kind and may be patient,
But love as a noun always tends to be unreal.
When love becomes loving, then real things start to happen,
And love is received as a fact, not an ideal.

Not boastful nor rude, never selfish, slow to anger,
Is love the abstraction, a virtue some would praise.
But living here and now calls for down to earth expression,
And love can’t expect to be approved in all its ways (WFlanders).
Remain standing

Parting Words
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God
who is found in ordinary and surprising places.
The candle is extinguished

Worship need not cease.
It can echo in our lives,
in our words,
in our deeds,
in our moods,
in our dreams.

Carry worship with you wherever you may go.
Be a blessing in your going out and your coming in.  G B. McKeeman

Words of Blessing
Go in peace and faith.
If you are tired, may you find rest.
If you are anxious, may you find peace.
If you are lonely, may you find friends.

Go in peace and faith,
for nothing can separte you
from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
All Amen. May it be so.

Hymn  “Spirit of Peace 58 FFS
Spirit of peace,
Spirit of truth,
Spirit of life,
Spirit of earth,
Spirit of Jesus,
Spirit of love,
only one Spirit,
Spirit of God. (John Murray)


Spirit of Life(Tune: ‘Spirit of Life’ 8 12 8 12 8 10) 123 SLT
Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me. (CMcDade)

The people sit after the hymn

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


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). 2002.  Courage to Love. An Anthology of Inclusive Worship Material. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. 2000. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Fox, M. 2000.  
One River, Many Wells. Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths. New York. Tarcher/Penguin Publishing.
Habel, N.
Rainbow of Mysteries. Meeting the Sacred in Nature. Kelowna: Copper House/Wood Lake Publishing, 2012.
Hope is our Song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. 
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.
McIlhagga, K. 2004.  The Green Heart of the Snowdrop. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Moving with God's Spirit. A Collection of Prayers, Hymns, Affirmations and Reflections. 1997. Perth. Uniting Church in Australia, National Assembly.
Pickett, H & E. (ed). 2005.
For All That is Our Life. A Meditation Anthology. Boston: Skinner House Books.
Singing The Living Tradition. Boston: UUA, 1993.
Vosper, G. 2008.  With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Web sites/Other:

McKeeman. UUA Worship Web. Boston. <>
Andrew Pratt "The Gospel's Story Brings Us Here". Hymns and words blog site. UK. <>
W Flanders. "Love is a Verb" .
Brian Wren. "A Man of Ancient Times". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: