Pentecost5A.9.7.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
9 July 2017.  Pentecost 5A. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


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

Refreshment Station/Water Basins
Pottery basins are set on stands near the entrance to the sanctuary. 
Attendees are invited to dip their hands in the cool water in the basins as they arrive. 
Or to rinse each other’s hands. 
That we may relax, be refreshed, and prepare for this time together.

(Note: A small sign is placed above the basin explaining that as they dip their hands in the water, they are invited to relax and try to mindfully set aside or release for a time anything that might be preventing them from being fully present—each traveler rinsing the “dust from the road”).

OR

(A suggestion of other words)
We come together from our separate lives,
each of us bringing our concerns, our preoccupations,
our hopes, and our dreams.

We are not yet fully present.
The traffic, the last-minute cooking, the final details still cling to us.
        Our bodies hold the rush of the past few hours.

It is now time to let go of these pressures
and really arrive…   

When you are ready, repeat silently to yourself: ‘Hineini’ or ‘Here I am’.
Hineini is used in the Torah to signify being present
in body, mind, and spirit.
        It means settling into where we are and simply being “here”. (Adapted/Nan Fink Gene)

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Now is the time to dance heaven's dance,
Time to discern eternity's face,
Moment of knowing beyond all sight,
Day of God's smile and tender embrace.
  (William L Wallace)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Let the light we kindle go before us,
strong in hope,
wide in good will,
inviting the day to come.

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

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Everything Has its Own Season” 
(Tune: ‘Westminster Abbey’)      26 TMT
Everything has its own season;
time for darkness and for day;
time for sound and silent stillness,
action's time or thinking's way;
time for waking, time for sleeping,
time for work, and time for play.

Everything has its right timing,
time to hold or to let go,
compromise or for confronting,
time for joy or tears of woe;
time for dying and new living,
time for yes and time for no.

Each of these are special timings-
all belong in life's great web.
Help us, Christ, discern the patterned
life arising from the dead,
and embrace your timeless loving
with awareness you have fed.  (William L Wallace)

OR

Celebrate the Glory(Tune: ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’)
O come raise your voices, sing with joy and gladness
Sing of the marvel and the wonder we know
Born in the heart and shared the wide world over
Come, celebrate the story
Come, celebrate the story
Come, celebrate the story
The story of love.

Through countless trials, in the bleakest hours
Over the barriers that lay in their way,
Millions have carried light into the darkness
We celebrate their stories
We celebrate their stories
We celebrate their stories
The stories of love.

Wonder of wonders, strength beyond all knowing:
Human compassion meeting needs in the world.
Ours is the task to carry on this story
To celebrate the glory
To celebrate the glory
We celebrate the glory
The glory of love.   (R. Scott Kearns 2010)
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
We are called to celebrate, not just by words spoken,
but also by miracles recalled:
All
a baby's first cry, the petals of a rose,
mist-covered hills, the restless tides of the seas,
human love, human hope.

We respond with gratitude: 
All with joy, with wonder,
at life’s boundless possibilities.
  (Adapted. Gordon B McKeeman) 

Act of Awareness
We have been placed within the interwoven fabric of nature…
May we appreciate its beauty:
mountains and valleys, rivers and plains,
sea and sky, and all of the earth with its
its vast array of plant and animal life which it sustains.

OR

We pray:
Blossom of Love, give us courage and an open spirit
as we consider the life and teachings of Jesus.

May we feel an invitational embrace
beckoning us to fullness of life where we
celebrate beauty and
engage the causes of suffering.
May it be so.

Hymn "We Can Change the World”  (Tune: ‘Jerusalem’)      68 SNS
How can we change the world we know?
How can creation safely grow?
What can we do to stem the flow
Of evil now and long ago?
We dream of pictures bold and bright,
Of children squealing with delight,
Of strong integrity for the right,
Of darkness conquered by the light.

How can we change the world to be
Where ev’ryone is safe and free?
How can we make society
A kind and just community?
We dream that fear will have no place;
When war will cease and leave no trace;
When all humanity, every race,
Will greet each other and embrace.

We can do more than only dream;
We can enhance love’s wondrous 
And when the torment is extreme
Be sources from which hope can stream.
We can refuse to bow to greed;
We can speak up for those who bleed;
We can, with sympathy, help to feed
The hungry ones and those in need.

In Christ we have the way laid bare;
Follow his calling, if we dare;
God’s love is costly, so beware
God’s claims can take us anywhere.
But in God’s love we can be strong;
And be triumphant over wrong;
And in our joy we sing a song,
For in God’s love we all belong.  
(George Stuart) 

OR

"God Of The Galaxies"  (Tune: Cheam)   54 AA
God of the galaxies spinning in space,
God of the smallest seed, our living source,
yours is the gift of this beautiful place.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Careless and covetous, gross are our greeds,
taking the riches the garden provides,
wasting its goodness, forgetting its needs.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Forests and rivers are ravaged and die,
raped is the land till it bleeds in its clay,
silenced the birdsong and plundered the sea.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Let there be beauty, and let there be air
fragrant with peace, never poisoned with fear,
freed from the plagues of pollution and war.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Life is a holy thing, life is a whole,
linking each creature and blessing us all,
making connections of body and soul.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.
  (Shirley Erena Murray)
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

Presentation of Water Basins
Words which acknowledge that the dust of many roads and many life experiences has been rinsed into the basins, and calls for the contents of the basins and the gathering to be transformed, renewed, and more fully alive

The dust of many roads and may life experiences
has been washed in this refreshing water.
For this place is a sacred place.

May we
greet one another with open hearts and minds;
inspire each other to consider new questions
and seek deeper meaning;
and cultivate both wisdom and compassion.

And may this time together empower us to take some new steps
so all our living is transforming and the
yearning of our hearts become reality.
The bowls of water are removed from the worship space

Centering 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)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
The readers are (NN) and (NN).

From the World Around us:
"Changing Times"
(Author Unknown)

I remember when I was about 15, a friend of mine walked up to the bus stop where I was waiting and told me that President Kennedy had been assassinated.  By the end of the day this was confirmed on every TV station and newspaper, and we all realised that the world, as we knew it, had changed. Probably the younger generation felt the same way on the 11 September 2000, when two jets flew into the twin towers in New York.

Since then a lot of changes have occurred on the world stage, and also in our own lives, and it seems to some that changes occur more rapidly as one gets older.  In many communities, in the workplace and even in our own families, changes take place and we need to adjust to them.

John O’Donohue, in his book Anam Cara describes the effect of change on many people in the workplace who believe “naively in the systems in which they are involved. When they are suddenly laid off, or the system collapses, or someone else is promoted, they feel wounded and demeaned… Their energy was claimed and used, but their souls were never engaged.”

Wherever change is occurring, it depend on the person’s own value systems, attitudes, personality and spirituality how easy they find it to “embrace” change and move according to the expectations of those around them.

Kathy Galloway, in her verse quoted below, speaks about the ability to remain “real” and human while going through this change process, whether we are managers, employees, parents, partners, helpers, carers, siblings or friends. We all should have the right (I believe) to say “ I am real, I am hurting, I am grieving, I am finding this difficult” and we all need support and understanding. 
Even though we may be called on to be the strong one, or the leader, or even the “change agent” we need to make others realise that all participants are going through the process together.
I'm not a symbol
I'm not a statistic
I'm not the inches in somebody's column.
I'm not admirable, but
I'm not pitiable either.
I'm simply human.

If you turned me inside out,
you'd find fury, fear, regret and sorrow
struggling with the love and longing,
hope and wonder,
and all my neediness.

Please take these things seriously.
Don't pietise or glamorise or trivialise or sermonise.
They are the marks of my life,
gift and loss,
wound and offence.

Please respect them.
I am at odds with all that requires me to be a symbol.
I insist on being real.

It is most important, Kathy stresses, to recognise the humanity and the reality of each one of us. 
She says “it is in the reality of our own lives, that we are the most personal, most relational most loved and precious.”
Let us try and remember this the next time change comes our way, next month, next week, maybe tomorrow…

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 11:25-30 
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus exclaimed,
'I bless you, O God, Ruler of heaven and earth,
for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and
revealing them to mere children.

'It is true, Abba, because you have graciously willed it so.

'You have given everything over to me.
No one knows me but you, Abba, and
no one knows you, Abba, except me
and those to whom I  choose to reveal you.'

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.

'Shoulder my yoke and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

'Yes, my yoke is easy, and my burden light.'

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

God is with us.  This we celebrate.
For we have seen the signs of grace
in every place,
in every generation.
All  The beauty of the creation, in all its pristine wonder,
is not the only dwelling place of the creator.

This, our God, is born again in cities
as well as country stables.
All  Is found in holy places and the supermarket,
sits with us in coffee shops,
and by the one who hopefully sings a song
on the streets of this day.

The spirit dances on concrete
All  and holds in comfort those who walk
with briefcase and shopping bag.

The God who is more than we can ever name or know
All  is beside us in every work place and every hidden home
of our body, mind and soul.  (Dorothy McRae-McMahon/Adapt./ith)

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
Deeper Love(Tune: ‘O Waly, Waly’, 88 88)
For deeper love we spread the bread
I won’t be full till all are fed
Till every soul has home and bed
The rest of us can’t move ahead

For deeper love we share the wine
I cannot taste the love divine
Till every soul has walked the line
And you’ve had yours like I’ve had mine

Now Mary sings her birthing song
Till every voice can sing along
And voices weak will rise up strong
Her choir is one where all belong

No one’s saved till all are healed
As Jesus on the Mount revealed
Your life and mine forever sealed
Just like the lilies of the field

We follow where the Christ has led
To table that for all is spread
And no one’s sitting at the head
But deeper love in wine and bread.  
(Jim Burklo)

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this safe space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs 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.   Gretta Vosper/wwg

And so we take this 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 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   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.  
(Matthew Fox/ormw)

OR

All  Our Father in heaven 
hallowed be your name 
your kingdom come 
your will be done 
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial 
and deliver us from evil. 

For the kingdom, the power, 
and the glory are yours, 
now and for ever. 
Amen.

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)

CELEBRATING

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Offerings
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received
.

Presentation
God of splendour, your goodness sustains us, 
and your graciousness gives us hope. 
Use us and these gifts of bread, wine and money 
to further your way of love, hope, and justice.

The Invitation
Jesus invited all to the feast of peace and new life.
Jesus risked everything in compassion.
Jesus promised to make himself known in the breaking of the bread.

Thanksgiving
We give thanks for the wonderful gift of reflective awareness
that allows us to recognise and name
the presence of a Creative Spirit
beyond all imagining, in our universe.
All
We give thanks.

Everything we have
Everything we see
Everything we do
Everyone we love and everyone who loves us
reveals this sustaining Presence and our total dependence on it.

We marvel and wonder at the size
and complexity of our universe.
We marvel and wonder at the development
of life on this planet.

We give thanks for the creative Presence 
that 'energises' this life and all that exists.

We recognise that human life gives this Presence
a particular way of coming to expression,
and that in us the Presence can
sing and dance,
speak and write,
love and create.

Conscious that we live, move, and have our being in this Presence,
we give thanks for people throughout history
who have affirmed this loving presence in all people.

For those who have invited people to give witness to this 
by lives characterised by 
gratitude, compassion,
generosity and forgiveness.

Especially we give thanks for Jesus of Nazareth.
All In him we see the presentness of God urging all of us
to make its creativity on earth more visible.
 (Adapt/ Michael Morwood/pns)

We also remember the meal tradition of Jesus
and the early Jesus movements…

So in that tradition, we take this bread and this wine
mindful of the Presence at work in our lives,
in the ordinary,
in the everyday,
All  and in our desire to love as generously as Jesus loved.

Bread and Wine
Bread is broken.

We break this bread in celebration of the great truth
that on this tiny planet,
hurtling through cold, empty space,
death is made the servant of life,
and out of death life is forever resurrected.

Wine poured out
This cup with its fruit of the vine,
is a celebration that things are not always as they seem:
that out of faithfulness and steadfastness,
out of suffering and sorrow,
may come unsought blessings.

Bread... the very stuff of life.  Broken.
Wine... fruit of the vine.  Cup full.

Communion
The bread and the wine will be served in the pews

After Communion
May the momentum of the Jesus movement:
strengthen and enable us
to capture the spirit of his words,
and living out the implications of those words
in our own time with our own creativity.  (Adapt.David Galston/q)

SCATTERING

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Choose Life(Tune: ‘St Cecelia’, 66 66)      6(v1-2) TMT
Choose life and turn from death,
make peace instead of war,
share love in place of hate,
and dance the Gospel life.

See beauty with your eyes,
make beauty with our hands,
live beauty in your lives
and dance the Gospel life.

OR

I Dream of a Church
I dream of a church that
Joins in with God’s laughing
As she rocks in her rapture