Pentecost8A.30.7.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
30 July 2017. Pentecost 8A. (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

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

Come into the joy of your divinity,
that the body-mind-spirit may be of one accord
in the fullness of life and of faith.

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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

May this flame remind us of the light of wisdom.
May the warmth of its glow remind us
of the warmth of God's empowering love.
  (Adapt. Vernon Marshall)

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  People stand as they are able, to sing
Sing Praise To All”  (Tune: ‘Lobe den Herren’, 14 14 4 7 8)
Sing praise to all that has offered us life and sustains us -
All that has opened our hearts to the love borne within us:
Family and friends,
Beauty we see without end -
Gifts that our lives lay before us.

Sing praise to all that has opened our minds to new vistas -
All that has called us to seek out new truths through the ages:
Vision and word,
Music that sought to be heard
These are the gifts that will mould us.

Sing praise to minds that will fashion our bold new tomorrows -
Yesterday's wisdom released from its dogma and credos.
Evermore free
To live out what we believe
Walking the path that Life hallows.  
(Gretta Vosper/wwg)

OR

Shake Up the Morning”  (Tune: ‘Shake up’).    18 HSNW
Shake up the morning, let the dawn undress,
Let dew reglisten nature’s loveliness;
Waken the songbird and unseal the throat
That greets the daybreak with a crystal note.
Praise to the Lord, whose morning we inherit;
Praise creation’s fuse, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son who rises with the dawn,
Leaving graveclothes scarcely three days worn.

Shake up the world and let the Kingdom come,
The dumb be listened to, the lost find home;
Make earthly politics the stuff of prayer
Till want and warring are dispelled by care.
Praise to the Lord, whose world we inherit;
Praise God’s catalyst, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose choice it is to bless
Those who work for peace and live on less.

Shake up the Church and let all Christians show
That faith is real, that God is good to know;
Fashion new symbols of the coming age
When hope and love with take the centre stage.
Praise to the Lord, whose Gospel we inherit;
Praise God’s bird of love, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose will and words decree
All are one in this community.

Shake up the evening, let the shadows range
As clouds to castles in the sunset change;
Kindle the moon and stars which through each night
Reflect the glory of tomorrow’s light.
Praise to the Lord, whose evening we inherit;
Praise creation’s presence in the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose brightness none can kill,
Lighting paths for those who seek this will.  © WGWG Iona Community
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
We are awakened from a week of work and worry
to a morning of fresh beginnings and new horizons.
All For this day of rest we give thanks and praise.

We are awakened from a night of tossing and turning
to a day of surprises and sanctuary.
All For this day of peace we give thanks and praise.

We are awakened from the mundane and ordinary
by an invitation for search and celebration.
All For this time of celebration we give thanks and praise.

This is the day that we are given.
Le Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Ri This is a day like no other!
All For senses awakened we give thanks and praise.
Blessed be
!  (George L Stewart/adapt)

Act of Awareness
Is it morning, really morning, or is it just another day?
A new beginning or just a continuing yesterday…?

May we greet each day as gift and blessing
fold its promise into who we will become,
and live the fullness of its teachings:
new thoughts,
new ideas,
new potentials,
new promises.

OR

We pray:
Though Winter covers our earth and cold frost stunts much growth,
yet the hope of Spring is awakening us.

For we all are the saplings God has
planted, watered and nurtured.
We and all creation are God’s handiwork,
a design of beauty.
May it be so.

Hymn  “We Gaze in Wonder…(Tune: ‘Gaze in Wonder’, 11 10 11 9)   30 WNC
We gaze in wonder at the morning’s dawning,
positive witness to God’s faithful grace;
we turn our backs, and in the shadow standing,
shield the light we need to find our place.

In arrogance, in darkness we will stumble,
screening our eyes, we turn away from light.
We venerate our skill, the rocket’s rumble,
deadens sense, distorting wrong and right.

As stewards of love, let’s contemplate creation,
filigree frosting of a winter’s pain;
God hold in hand elation, desperation,
born in death that we might live again.  (Andrew Pratt)

OR

Touch the Earth, Reach the Sky” (Tune: ‘Touch the Earth’, 6 7 9 8)     301 SLT
Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Walk on shores while spirits fly
over the ocean, over the land,
our faith a quest to understand.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Children ask the reasons why.
In our lives the answers show,
and by our love they learn and grow.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
All are born and all shall die;
Life’s the time left in between,
to follow a star, to build a dream.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Hug the laughter, feel the cry.
May we see where we can give,
for this is what it means to live.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Soar with courage ever high;
spirits joining as we fly,
to touch the earth, to reach the sky. 
Grace Lewis-McLaren.
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 be still and know that all will be well,
that in all manner of things it will be well.
(Silence)

Questions linger…
Deep emotions are felt…
Fresh anticipation percolates, as this community
gathers together in this sacred place.

Draw your deep breath, knowing
you are welcomed and valued now, here.

Be at peace and at one with yourself
and with those close by…
(Silence)

Let us affirm we are not alone…
That we need others and others need us…
to be more of who we are,
to be challenged with new growth,
to be fully alive!

Let us be guided by love and imagination for what is yet to be:
this season of winter (in the southern hemisphere)
and for the rest of our lives.  (Bob Kleinheksel)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some readings from our broad religious tradition
shall now be read by (NN).

Hebrew Scriptures:
Psalm 105
By Francis Macnab. A Fine Wind is Blowing/41.

• The psalm’s author has survived the difficulties and dangers of life.
He acknowledges the great source of his strength and resilience. 
And thanks God he can sing songs of praise.

Is there anything more important than knowing we have touched the very depths of joy?

We come alive to the beauty of all creation;
we feel a strength we had not known before.

We become conscious of an expansive presence around us.
And we want to sing, and give thanks to God.

We think of the risks and dangers of the past.
But we survived them.

We went through some dark and difficult times.
But we are stronger.

We did not know what the future would bring
or what direction to take.
But we found a way.

We thought we were up against the impossible.
But we discovered the possible.

We have drawn on the source of all strength and hope,
and that strength and hope have brought us to this moment.

We feel in the very depths of our being
a sense of our expanded identity and belonging.

Inner joy swells within us, and we give thanks to God.
If we knew how to make an adequate response,
we would praise that God from now
and until our life's end.

From the World Around us:
From “Living Buddha, Living Christ”
By Thich Nhat Hanh

When we are mindful, touching deeply the present moment,
we can see and listen deeply, and the fruits are always
understanding,
acceptance,
love,
and the desire to relieve suffering and bring joy.

OR

“A Story: The Woman and the Stone”
A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains
found a precious stone in a stream.

The next day she met another traveller who was hungry,
and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.

The hungry traveller saw the precious stone
and asked the woman to give it to him.
She did so without hesitation.

The traveller left, rejoicing in his good fortune.
He knew the stone was worth enough
to give him security for a lifetime.

But a few days later he came back
to return the stone to the wise woman.
"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is,
but I give it back in the hope that you can give me
something even more precious.

“Give me what you have within you
that enabled you to give me the stone."

Hymn In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
Of the Multitude of Words” (Tune:  ‘Vienna’, 77 77. 440 TiS)     16 TMT
Of the multitude of words
held within the Bible's wall,
some bring life and some spread death,
some can liberate us all.

Should our use of sacred words
put all other views to flight?
Does our inner certainty
justify abuse of might?

Are our ways of using strength
open for the world to see?
Do they hide behind the texts
masking our transparency?

Loving God, the source of truth,
help us clearly to discern
what brings death and what brings life,
life for which our spirits yearn.

Then O God of spirit life,
we shall live with openness,
giving all the right to be
their true selves with graciousness. 
(William L Wallace)

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-48 
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus said to the crowds:
The reign of God is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown
it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree
so that the birds of the air come
and shelter in its branches.

The reign of God is like the yeast a woman took
and mixed in with
three measures of flour
til it was leavened all through...

The reign of God is like treasure hidden in a field,
which someone has found, and hiding it again,
goes off happy, sells all and buys that field.

Again, the reign of God is like a merchant looking for fine pearls,
who finding one of great value
goes and sells all and buys it.

Again, the reign of God is like a dragnet cast into the sea
that brings in a haul of fish of every kind.
When it is full, the fishers haul it ashore.

Then sitting down, they collect the good in a basket
and throw away those that are no use.

Contemporary Exploration HERE and SPECIAL

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany: ‘Here in this Ordinary Place’ (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

May we awaken to the presence of God,
All  here in this ordinary place.
May we awaken to the power of love,
All  here in this ordinary crowd.
May we build a neighbourhood of justice for all,
All  now in this ordinary time.
May we daily work to build a world at peace,
All  now with these ordinary hands
(Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

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
Song for Planet Earth(Tune: 'Bunessan') 
Mystery and wonder greet Your creation;
out of the chaos galaxies grow:
may we discern Your purpose emerging –
inter-connections in all we know.

Kangaroos bounding through ancient fern gullies,
whales in the oceans, birds in the air:
we are a part of all this profusion,
may we yet grasp how stewards should care.

We are a nation of droughts and downpours,
yet blighting our world by a consumerist urge:
may we have grace to repent of our folly,
move with Your rhythm, conserve Your earth.

You have endowed us with wisdom and foresight,
minds that can focus, dreams that bring life: 
may we have wills to embrace all creation,
to faithfully serve You doing the right. (Neil Wilkinson, 2007)
People sit.

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)

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

Presentation
May a good feeling be found in our hearts
as these gifts are used to
help free some people from hunger,
lift some people from their distress,
and encourage some people to be part of a better world.

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:
We turn to Life, to that vast creativity

All  that empowers the universe
as the ocean animates the wave,


seeking to let go of that which blocks our healing.

All  May we open ourselves even now

to the wonder of Life.

And so we take a 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 the 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.

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Spirit of God(Tune: ‘Passion Chorale’ 76 76D)
Spirit of God pervading
the earth as swirling mist,
enveloping creation,
her presence shall persist;
she rests on men and women,
she shares her gifts with all,
and we respond in freedom,
rejoicing at her call.

Her wisdom keeps creating
new wonders to behold,
through her creation's story
is constantly retold.
Mountain and river valley
acclaim her name with praise,
the glacier and the desert
as one their voices raise.

Midst folk she freely mingles
to challenge and inspire,
dream dreams, and share visions,
rekindle sparks of fire,
a passion for God's mission
we all are called to share
'til heaven and earth both mirror
koinonia and care.
Remain standing

Parting Words
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place...
The Community Candle is extinguished

May the flame that has brightened our time together
warm our hearts, light our paths,
All and inspire our vision, as we once again
go our separate ways.
(FRDay)

Words of Blessing
Walk well your journey in peace and in justice.

May you be wrapped in the shawl of God's loving.
May you be cherished.
May you be blessed.
All  Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont) "Spirit of God(Tune: ‘Passion Chorale’ 76 76D. 339 TiS)
Spirit of God empowering
each of us as we sing,
our faith-skills and whole being
before you now we bring.
Embrace us with your blessing,
transform us through your word,
so we may live confessing,
the love and grace of God. 
(LSanderson/sco)
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:
(HSNW) Bell, J. & G. Maule. Heaven Shall Not Wait. Wild Goose Songs Vol. 1. Revised edition. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 1989.
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. 
Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
(SCO) Duncan, G. (ed). Seeing Christ in Others. An Anthology for Worship, Mediation and Mission. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 1998.
Fox, M. One River, Many Wells. Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths. New York. Tarcher/Penguin Publishing, 2000.
(HoS) Hope is our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009. 
Inclusive Readings. Year A. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2004.
Macnab, F. 2006.  A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in words that Blow you away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. 
Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press, 2005.
(WNC) Pratt, A. Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London: Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2002.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
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.


Web sites/Other:

Bob Kleinheksel
. <www.C3Exchange.org>
Day.  UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
George L Stewart. UUChurch of San Francisco. <www.uusf.org>
Neil Wilkinson. "Song for Planet Earth". Direct from the author.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/
Words by Nan Fink Gefen, taken from an Evolutionary Passover Haggadah by Tree Bressen.

rexae74@gmail.com