Pentecost9A.10.8.2014

Revd Rex A E Hunt


eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

10 August 2014. Pentecost 9A. (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

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Every creature is a word of God,
and all creation is a book about God
 (Meister Eckhart).

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The community candle is lit

We light this flame as a symbol of the creativity of our faith:
the creativity to explore new avenues of religious insight;
the creativity to develop a caring community;
the creativity to envision a world of peace and freedom.  (Adapt.Wm J. Gardiner)

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
God, Composer and Conductor(Tune: ‘Regent Square’ OR ‘Westminster Abbey’)  34 HoS
God, composer and conductor
of earth’s matchless symphony,
makes from silence glorious music,
from discordance, harmony;
brings forth joy from deepest sorrow,
ecstasy from agony.

God, the architect and artist
of earth’s colours, textures, forms,
gives new wonder to our vision,
light in even darkest storms,
teaches that with understanding,
faith redeems and love reforms.

God of science, healer, teacher,
pushes out the boundaries
of capacity and knowledge,
challenges and gently frees
from the limits that restrain us,
offers opportunities.

God, creative spirit in us,
inspiration, force sublime,
leading us to new endeavour,
you, our living paradigm,
may we know your constant presence
now, and to the end of time. (Jocelyn Marshall)

OR

"Sing To Celebrate The City!”     122 AA
Sing to celebrate the city!
Sing the lives of people there,
sing the work of skill and beauty,
all who serve and all who care.
In the dictates of the dollar,
in the systems where we live,
find the currency of kindness,
eyes to smile and hearts to give.

We who are the city's traffic,
driving, driven, keeping pace,
name the God who makes us neighbours,
give our faith a human face;
in the workplace of God's people,
in the highrise and the home
our agenda is for justice -
changing lives for good to come.

Celebrate the art of living!
every colour, every sport,
every culture's dance and music,
every truth that love has taught -
be for God within the city,
life and loving are not priced:
light and lights of joyful worship,
set the table for the Christ!

Sing to celebrate the city!
Sing the lives of people there,
sing the work of skill and beauty,
all who serve and all who care.
  SEMurray
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
On a winter morning it is a good morning to be together!
All
Drawn by the warmth of faces familiar and new,
to the welcoming space of this sacred place.

In this safe place let us open ourselves to
new understanding,
reassurance, and hope
All
For this is a place where truth, love, and challenge meet.
It is a good morning to be together.  BCheatham/adapt.

Act of Awareness
We are born to make manifest
the glory of the Sacred that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others (Adapt.Marianne Williamson/ep)

OR 

We pray:
We have gathered here in community.
A place has been made for each of us.
Let what we say and do here be both real and honest,
thus preparing ourselves for the life of the world.
May it be so.

HymnWe Praise You God For You Have Made”  (Tune: ‘Duke Street’, 88 88. 439 TiS)
We praise you God for you have made
A world of such variety;
A world of colour, light and shade,
Of varied sexuality.

We come as ones who love you, God,
In many different frames and ways.
Indulge us, help us find a place
To share your loving, daring days.

We hold each other, hold us now
And never, ever let us go
God, give us generosity
That we may share the love we know 
(APratt/cl)
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

Silence
Let us now take some time to sit in comfort,
to breathe deeply,
to relax, in the presentness of God.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

Silence
May our spirits be renewed.
May our minds be open to new truth.
May we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share.
(Silence)

EXPLORING

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

The World Around us:
“No other plans. A story”
By Wm J Bausch. A World of Stories/336-37.

Upon Jesus’ arrival in heaven, a vast host of angels greeted him.
After the formalities,
they asked him whom he had left behind on earth
to finish the work he had begun.

Jesus replied,
‘Just a small group of men and women who love me.’
‘That’s all?’ asked the angels, astonished.

‘What if this tiny group should fail?’
Jesus replied:  ‘I have no other plans.’

Traditionl Gospel:
Matthew 14:22-33 
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and go on ahead to the other side
while he would send the crowds away.

After sending the crowds away, Jesus went up into the hills by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone,
while the boat, by now far out on the lake,
was baffling with a heavy sea,
for there was a head-wind.

In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went toward them,
walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the lake they were terrified.
'It is a ghost' they said, and cried out in fear.

But at once Jesus called out to them, saying
'Courage!  It is I!  Do not be afraid.'

It was Peter who answered,
'If it is really you, tell me to come to you across the water.'

'Come' said Jesus.
Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus
across the water, but as soon as Peter felt the force of the wind,
he took fright and began to sink.

'Save me!' he cried.
Jesus put out his hand at once and held him.
'You of little faith,' he said 'why did you doubt?'

And as they got into the boat the wind dropped.
Those in the boat bowed down before Jesus and said,
'Truly, you are the Begotten of God.'

Contemporary Exploration
• A Sermon suitable for this day can be found in my book, Against the Stream. Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew.

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany: ‘Basketful’ (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

Spirit of God,
brooding over the waters
of our chaos,
All inspire us to generous living.

Wind of God,
dancing over the desert
of our reluctance,
All lead us to the oasis of celebration.

Breath of God,
inspiring communication
among strangers,
All make us channels of your peace,

that we may give
in deep thankfulness,
All placing the overflowing basket
of our gifts
on the table
of rejoicing  (KMcIlhagga/ghs).

Sharing 'The Peace'
God makes peace within us.  Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us.  Let us share it.
(nwi)
Let us greet another as a sign of God's 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
Wisdom Be Our Guide(Tune: ‘Serenam’ Colin Gibson) 156 HoS
Wisdom be our guide:
wisdom as in Jesus,
strong through storm and crisis,
turning terror’s tide.
Wisdom be our wings:
life the human spirit,
banish bomb and bullet,
warlord posturings.
Refrain:
And with God’s help,
ordinary people,
we ordinary people
will turn the world around,
and with God’s help,
ordinary people,
we ordinary people
will turn the world around.

Wisdom be our ground:
there new truths are growing,
streams begin new flowing,
seams of gold are found.
Wisdom be our friend:
warn us of our danger,
earth’s appalling hunger,
greed that has no end.
Refrain:

Wisdom be our frame:
common sense with vision,
heart’s own intuition
giving love a name.
Wisdom be our light:
lead us and illumine
all that’s fully human,
simple, sane and right.
Refrain: (SEMurray)

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation
The riches of God's gracious love have been entrusted to us.
May we share the beauty of God
with all who walk with us, in caring service. (FMacnab/h)

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 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 God, you love us like a good parent, 
and are present in every aspect of our existence

May your nature become known and respected by all

May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice
be the reality for everyone
as we live by the Jesus Way

Give us all that we really need to live every day for you
And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures 

Keep us from doing those things which are not of you,
and cause us always to be centred on your love

For you are the true reality in this our now,
and in all our future.

In the Jesus Way we pray.  Amen.  DSorrill

SCATTERING

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Through Winter Cold(Tune: ‘Chilcombe’, Barry Brinson)139 (v1-2) HoS
Through winter cold and drifted snow,
through bitter wind and biting frost
the silent seeds of spring will grow
and buried dreams will not be lost.

Within God’s world, as seasons turn,
we sleep and grow, with changing need
to shed old concepts and to learn
the faith that sprouts like mustard seed.
Remain standing

Parting Words
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

May we go forth from this place
thankful for the life that sustains and renews us,
and open to the grace
that surrounds and surprises us.
All May we go forth from this place 
with openness and with thanksgiving!
  C.A.Howe 

Words of Blessing
The calling of a magpie greets the promising sunrise on a winter’s 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)  Through Winter Cold(Tune: ‘Chilcombe’)139 (v3-4) HoS
It is compassion warms the day
and hugs the lonely or the cold,
speaks out for justice, come what may
when people’s lives are bought and sold.

And as in winter, as in grief
the frozen heart of things in numb,
compassion melts our unbelief
and all is changed, for spring has come. (SEMurray) 
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 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:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa.Hymns and songs for all churches  . 1993. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Bausch, W. J. 1998.  
A World of Stories for Preachers and Teachers. Mystic: Twenty-Third Publications.
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.
(HoS)
Hope is our Song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. NZ: Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year A. 2004. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship BookThe Green Heart of the Snowdrop. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
McIlhagga, K. 2004. . Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Macnab, F. 1996. Hope:The deeper longings of the mind and heart . Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. 2005.
Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, liturgy, and songs without violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press. 
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition
. 1993. Boston. UUA.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A book of services and prayersWith or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. GtB: London.  SPCK.
Vosper, G. 2008. . Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Web sites/Other:
Gardiner, Sorrill, Cheatham, Howe. UUA Worship Web. Boston. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

rexae74@gmail.com