Pentecost7A.23.7.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
23 July 2017. Pentecost 7A. (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

v1 Come in.  Come into this place
which we make special by our presence.

Where the ordinary is sanctified,
the human is celebrated,
the compassionate is expected.
Together we make it a holy place with our every act of celebration.

v2 Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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

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
Here Is A Canvas(Tune: 11.10.11.10)
Here is a canvas as broad as creation,
here is a palette of life and of light.
Here God is painting through each generation,
mixing fresh pigments to move or delight.

Artists have joined in the bright celebration,
capturing images, pictures that shine;
telling new stories, recording our hist’ry,
moments of harmony,  dancing through time.

Others reflecting, exploring and shaping,
seek to imagine, to let colours flow,
using their skills as they share in creation,
changing perspectives as images grow.

Now let us join in this same acclamation,
challenge perceptions and offer new ways,
new ways of seeing to share re-creation,
now in this place, in this time, in our days.  
© Andrew Pratt 24/4/2010

OR

O Threefold God”  (Tune: Unity)      110 AA
O threefold God of tender unity,
life’s great unknown that binds and sets us free:
felt in our loving, greater than our thought,
you are the mystery found, the mystery sought.

O blaze of radiance, source of light that blinds,
the fiery splendour of prophetic minds,
you live in mystery, yet within us dwell;
life springs from you as from a living well.

Most loving Parent, Child of joys and pains,
creative Spirit, life-force that sustains,
in bone and flesh, in blood we touch your hand,
your face we see in water, air and land.

In every making, each creative dream
and in the flowing of life’s healing stream,
when love is born or people reconciled,
we share your life, O Parent, Spirit, Child.

O threefold God of tender unity,
life’s great unknown that binds and sets us free:
felt in our loving, greater than our thought,
you are the mystery found, the mystery sought.  William L Wallace

Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
Let there be joy in our coming together this morning.
All
Let there be compassion heard in the
words we speak, and love in the songs we sing
.
Let there be silence for the voice within us and beyond us.
All
Let there be joy in our coming together.

Act of Awareness
Today we celebrate a dream awakening.
Today we celebrate with renewed hope in our hearts.
Today we act on an audacity of hopes and dreams for the future.

Today we begin the hard work for justice, equity and
compassion in all human relations,
for today is a day like no other and
it is ours to shape with vision and action.

Let us be together and celebrate a dream awakening.  (Adapt.Elizabeth M Strong)

OR

We pray:
Spirit of life, present in this hour...
may we always sense our presentness
when we gather in this sacred place. 

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

HymnGod With Joy We Look Around Us”  (Tune: ‘Regent Square’)
God with joy we look around us
At your world’s diversity.
Folk of every kind surround us
And you call your church to see;
All are made in your own image!
All are people whom you love.

In the times we’ve hurt each other,
Lord, we’ve hurt the ones you bless.
Hating sister, cursing brother,
We’ve denied what you express;
All are made in your own image!
All are people whom you love!

God, you sent a Saviour to us,
Breaking walls that would divide.
By your Spirit, now work through us
As we witness side by side;
All are made in your own image!
All are people whom you love!
  Carolyn Winfrey Gillette/sos
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

Silence
Now in this moment of silence together...
may it renew our hope
may it refresh our courage
may it lift our spirits
may it restore us in faith.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our Religious Tradition
Two stories from our biblical/broad religious tradition
shall now be told by (NN).

Hebrew Scriptures:
Genesis 28:10-19a 
(NRSV, adapted)

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran,
to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set.

Taking one of the stones of the place, 
he put it under his head and lay down in that place.

And he dreamed... that there was a ladder set up on the earth,
the top of it reaching to heaven;
and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

And the Holy One stood beside him and said,
“I am the Holy One, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring;
and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth,
and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east
and to the north and to the south;
and all the families of the earth
shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.

"Know that I am with you and will keep you
wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land;
for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said,
“Surely God, the Holy One is in this place and I did not know it!”

And he was afraid, and said,
“How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

So Jacob rose early in the morning,
and he took the stone that he had put under his head
and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

He called that place Bethel.

OR

From the World Around us:
“A Permeable Life”
By Carrie Newcomer

I want to leave enough room in my heart
For the unexpected,
For the mistake that becomes knowing,
For knowing that becomes wonder,
For wonder that makes everything porous,
Allowing in and out
All available light.

An impermeable life is full to the edges,
But only to the edges.
It is a limited thing.
Like the pause at the center of the breath,
Neither releasing or inviting,
With no hollow spaces
For longing and possibility.

I would rather live unlocked,
And more often than not astonished,
Which is possible
If I am willing to surrender
What I already think I know.

So I will stay open
And companionably friendly,
With all that presses out from the heart
And comes in at a slant
And shimmers just below
The surface of things.

OR

If in Southern Hemisphere:
"Waiting for Spring
By Raina Morreau

The lights don't work
but I know
I am still reflected in my mirror
soon the sun will come and help to prove me right

It's getting cold and I am worried
about getting through the winter
burning candles in my room to cut the chill

But I can just see myself in spring
dressed up like a past-due notice
pale yellow…
or collection agency green

and I can just hear my brother laughing
when we can afford to go have dinner

There will always, always be a spring
Wherever the sun has gone I will always be me

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 13:24-30 
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus put a parable before the crowds:
The reign of God may be compared to a sower who sowed good seed in a field.

While everybody was asleep an enemy came,
sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.
When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well.

The owner's servants came and said:
‘Was it not good seed that you sowed in your field?
If so, where does the darnel come from?’

‘Some enemy has done this’, the owner answered.
And the servants said:
‘Do you want us to go and weed it out?’

No, because when you weed out the darnel
you might pull up the wheat with it.
Let them both grow until the harvest.

And at harvest time I will tell the reapers:
‘First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt,
then gather the wheat into my barn’.

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 faith.
The people stand as they are able

We celebrate
that where people are gathered together in love
All  God is present and good things happen and life is full.

We celebrate
that we are immersed in mystery
that our lives are more than they seem
All  that we belong to each other
and to a universe of great creative energies,
whose source and destiny is God.

We celebrate
that the spirit of God beat in the heart of Jesus of Nazareth
All  and God's good news was heard by the broken and wounded.

We are glad that the spirit of peace
is present with us, the church,
All  as we gather to celebrate our common existence,
and the fidelity of God.

And most deeply we believe
that in our struggle to love,
All  we incarnate God in the world.

And so aware of mystery and wonder,
caught in friendship and laughter,
All  we become speechless before the joy in our hearts
as we celebrate the sacredness of life.
  (Adapt. John Shea/hu)

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 remain seated
Quiet Descending(Music: David A Barker)   11 TEN
Quiet descending like mist over water,
surrender the care of your heart to its calm.
Holy the places where footfalls sound softly,
for truth speaks its clearest where silence abides.

And awaken all the senses to the longing of the spirit.
Enliven your hearts yearning for truth.
Quiet descending like mist over water,
surrender the care of your heart to its calm.  (David A Barker)

OR

You Do Not Need To Come…(Tune: ‘Ominpresence’, 86 86 10 10)     4 TMT
You do not need to come, O God,
you are already here.
You do not need to go, O God,
you are already there.
It is our minds that need to be aware;
it is our hearts, O God, that need to care.

We are your hands and feet, O God,
the presence all can see.
We are the body and the blood,
the Christ in you and me.
It is our minds that need to be aware;
it is our hearts, O God, that need to care.

You do not need to go, O God,
you are already there.
You do not need to come, O God,
you are already here.
It is our minds that need to be aware;
it is our hearts, O God, that need to care.  (William L Wallace)

CELEBRATING

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 safe space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts

Listening Response:
May we have courage in uncertain times,
All  Let it all happen.  No mood is final.
May we recognise new beginnings
in what seem to be endings,
All  Let it all happen.  No feeling is final.  (3CExchange)

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 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.

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

Presentation
Bread, wine, money...
May these gifts be brought to life as:
new hope of healing,
fresh ways of coping,
a chance to rest,
a chance to work,
a way to live gracefully.

Thanksgiving
May it be well with you.
All  
And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All  
May we rejoice in the beauty that we areGretta Vosper/wwg

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name God…
For the person we name Jesus…
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit…
All  We give thanks for the love, peace and justice,
for prosperity, strength and freedom,
and for the presentness of the Sacred in the midst of life.

God of winter, the unpopular, slandered season…
God of lightning, wind and storm...
God of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns and stark hillsides;
of warm fires, coats and gloves,
brightened by Wyalong Wattle, Thryptomene and Native Sarsaparilla…
we open ourselves to all the possibilities life offers us.

Thus we join our celebration of life to all people, saying:
All  Holy, holy, holy, re-creating God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
All  
Hosanna in the highest.

Bread and Wine
We remember the times when Jesus faced difficult decisions and destructive forces:
- in the days and nights of his searching,
- in finding ways to free others from images and ideas
that kept them captive and dependent and fearful of God,
- in breaking down social and religious barriers,
- in facing failure,
- in facing death.   
(Michael Morwood/pns)

When we too experience the winter of our lives
may we find the courage to let go
and trust in God’s guiding, warming light.

And as we eat together at this table
we remember the importance and the words
and the actions of all meals in the tradition of Jesus…
Bread broken, Wine poured out

Response
Jesus, human like us,
All  
reveals to us our true identity, temples of God's spirit.
Jesus, human like us,
All  
reveals God present and active throughout human history.
Jesus, human like us,
All  
reveals God-always-with-us in our everyday loving.
Jesus, human like us,
All  
challenges us to let his story be our story also.

Communion
The Bread and Wine is served in the pews

SCATTERING

Hymn "God Of Our Every Day(Tune: Jansen)    52 (v1-2) AA
God of our every day,
friend who will walk our way,
light who can change the 
focus of our seeing:
capture our heart and mid,
be in the work we find,
till all we do becomes
your mode of being.

Speak to the spirit's void,
hands that are unemployed,
lives that are lived without
a true direction:
gifts that are hid, unearth,
lift us to know our worth
that in ourselves we see
your own reflection.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Let us take on this week’s life
with renewed hope and imagination...
The Community Candle is extinguished

For all that God can do within us,
for all that God can do without us,
All  Thanks be to God.

For all in whom Christ lived before us,
for all in whom Christ lives beside us,
All  Thanks be to God.

For all the Spirit wants to bring us,
for where the Spirit wants to send us,
All  Thanks be to God.

Words of Blessing
The calling of a magpie greets the gentle sunrise on an Winter morning.
May there be awakened in us long held hopes
and a keening of our longing for you, Gracious God.
All  
And we are blessed.  Amen.

Hymn (Cont) "God Of Our Every Day(Tune: Jansen)        52 (v3) AA
Shine through our winter's grey,
break through depression's day,
live in the little deaths
we die in growing:
meaning for whom we grope,
home of our strongest hope,
power and peace, through all
creation flowing.       
Shirley Erena Murray
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:
Abbott, M. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for Seasonal Use. Unley. MediaCom Education, 2001.
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa.  Hymns and Songs for all Churches. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
(TEN) Barker, D. A. Ten! New Songs for a New World. Canada. PDF Direct from the author.
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. Jesus and his Kingdom of Kquals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
Fox, M. One River, Many Wells. Wisdom Springing From Global Faiths. New York: Tarcher/Penguin Publishing, 2000.
Holy Bible. NRSV. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989.
Inclusive Readings. Year A. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2004.
Iona Community. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
Morwood, M.
Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2003.
C. W. Gillete. "God with Joy". Seasons of the Spirit/
Whole People of God. Canada.
Shea, J. The Hour of the Unexpected. Allen. Argus Communications, 1977.
Vosper, G. With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe.
Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.
(TMT) Wallace, W. L. The Mystery Telling. Hymns and Songs for the New Millennium. Kingston. Selah Publishing, 2001.
Withrow, L. Seasons of Prayer. Resources for Worship. London. SPCK, 1995.

Web sites/Other:
Newcomer, Strong. UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <http://www.c3exchange.org/
Words by Nan Fink Gefen, taken from an Evolutionary Passover Haggadah by Tree Bressen.
Andrew Pratt.  “Here is a Canvas”. Direct from the author.
Raina Morreau. 
"Waiting for SpringFrom Eureka Street 20, 21 (2/11/2010)

rexae74@gmail.com