PentecostA.4.6.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
4 June 2017. Pentecost A. (Red).


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”).

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

God's spirit calls us into the future,
God's spirit calls us to new vision,
God's spirit calls us in compassionate love

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the (red) Pentecost candle
The spirit of imagination is a gift to all people.
All  
The spirit of faithfulness is the gift of the earth.

The spirit of hope breathes
in the homeless and marginalised in this city.
All  The spirit of freedom
was announced by those who went before us
and we proclaim it again today.

The spirit of love is a gift to the church in every age.
All  We see the flame of the Spirit of God.
The Pentecost Candle is lit.

The spirit is dancing, moving, struggling, rising
and calling to the ends of the earth.
All  We have seen the flame of the spirit in our midst.
Thanks be to God.  (Dorothy McRae-McMahon/eoj-adapt)

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

Sung Response  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Halle, Halle, Halle   720 TiS
(Sung twice)

Halle, halle, halle - lu - jah!
Halle, halle, halle - lu - jah!
Halle, halle, halle - lu - jah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Remain standing after the hymn

OR

Pentecost(Tune: ‘Streets of Laredo’)
The backwash of rumour unsettles the faithful,
that Jesus has risen, the morning has come,
when all of the world will be shaken and driven,
the spirit is waiting, will rise with the sun.

The locks are unbroken, disciples are waiting,
each ear is attuned for an uncommon sound:
the footsteps of soldiers, a hidden informant,
the spirit is waking to turn them around.

In hushed conversation they plan out a future,
not knowing for certain what fate has in store,
when flames curl around them, warm hearts and clear voices,
the spirit has found them behind that closed door.

And now we wait with them, we follow tradition,
we echo the story that we’ve heard before,
God’s spirit is near us, around and within us,
empowering, informing what God has in store.

So let us go out in the power of that spirit
to live lives like Jesus, to cheer and restore
the ones who are broken, derided, forsaken,
the spirit is moving, the future is sure.  © Andrew Pratt 2010

Opening Sentences
It is time! Spirit, move in the heart of God
All  
Come, warm into the rock of our beginnings,
alive with original blessings.

Spirit, run in the streets of the city.
All  
Flow to the deep brown roots of our belonging.
Spirit, invade the air.
All  
Stretch widely with whispering wings,
and cover us with your healing.

Spirit, soar in the mobile phone towers and shop fronts.
All  
Carry the seed, call the song of the dance in the heart of God.
Wake us to hope and freedom.
  (Dorothy McRae-McMahon/eoj)

Act of Awareness
In all our living, may we be freed to see things afresh,
to be more fully alive,
and have the courage to keep faith in
the future of humanity.

OR

We pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, come,
Breathe into our hearts this day.

Bless our celebration and inspire us,
that we may live Spirit-filled lives
of love and compassion for all.
May it be so.

Hymn Gather the Spirit”  (Tune: ‘Gather the spirit’, 9 9 9 10/Refrain)      347 SLT
Gather the spirit, harvest the power.
Our sep'rate fires will kindle one flame.
Witness the mystery of this hour.
Our trials in this light appear all the same.
Refrain:
Gather in peace, gather in thanks.
Gather in sympathy now and then.
Gather in hope, compassion and strength.
Gather to celebrate once again.

Gather the spirit of heart and mind.
Seeds for the sowing are laid in store.
Nurtured in love, and con-science refined,
with body and spirit united once more
Refrain:

Gather the spirit growing in all,
drawn by the moon and fed by the sun.
Winter to spring, and summer to fall,
the chorus of life resounding as one.
Refrain: 
Jim Scott
The people sit

OR

Miracle of Life(Tune: ‘Ode to Joy’, 87 87D)       7 SiF
Miracle of life unfolding,
dazzling to our watching eyes,
far beyond full comprehension,
secrets of the earth and sky.
Each advance of understanding
each new piece of knowledge gained
leaves the soul amazed and humbled,
child-like wonder yet remains.

Nature teams with life abundant,
stunning in variety,
shape and size and colour diff’ring,
wondrous in complexity.
From a high, majestic mountain
to the contours of a shell,
Life has much to teach of diff’rence,
Rich we be to learn it well.

Filled with joy we stand in wonder
at the life in which we share,
Gratefully we find our spirits
sensing glory everywhere.
Sun and moon and tiny creature
in their beauty stir the heart,
leading us to sacred duty,
call us well to do our part.   © Scott Kearns 2008
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.
Bowls of water removed from the worship space

Centering Silence
Let us take a moment now to settle into the silence.
Hear and feel your quiet breathing.
Hear and feel the quiet of this place
and this community of people.

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.
In this gathering of old and new friends
may our minds be open to new truth,
and our hearts be receptive to love,
as we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share.  (Emmy Lou Belcher-adapt.)
(Silence) 

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Three stories from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
Our reader is (NN).

Early Christianity:
Acts 2:1-4  (Inclusive text)

When Pentecost day came around,
the apostles had all met in one room,
when suddenly they heard
what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven.
The noise filled the entire house where they were sitting.

And something appeared to them
that seemed like tongues of fire;
these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak foreign languages,
as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.

The World Around Us:
"Wind, Wind. A Reflection on the Spirit"
By William Loader  
(Adapted)

Wind, wind,
you come from nothingness and go to nothingness,
and when you are still,
there is nothing we see, nothing we hear,
and you surround us in our not seeing and not knowing.

Wild, wild wind,
you whip the seas, whirling great water spouts and fountains,
crashing the foamed edges of the shore,
sweeping the unsuspecting fisherman from the slippery rocks,
terrifying force, uncontrollable, beyond our power.

Wind, wind, wondrous wind,
hovering at the birth of creation,
whisking secretly among the wonders of new life,
bearing the seed, lifting high the heads of mighty trees,
swirling among the grasses, celebrating life.

Wind, wind, gentle wind, 
wind of our breathing, our life, our hope,
renewing, refreshing,
sighing in our stress,
moaning in our pain,
still in our dying.

O wind, wind,
you breathed upon the clay and there was life,
you danced down to the forehead of a Galilean 
and there was hope,
you shook the foundations of community 
and there was Pentecost.

OR

"The Cry"
Nikos Kazantzakis. Report to Greco.

Blowing through heaven and earth,
and in the heart of every living thing,
is a gigantic breath - a great Cry - which we call God.

Plant life wished to continue its motionless sleep next to stagnant waters,
but the Cry leaped up within it and violently shook its roots:
"Away, let go of earth, walk!"

Had the tree been able to think and judge,
it would have cried:
"I don't want to.
What are you urging me to do?
You are demanding the impossible!"

But the Cry, without pity, kept shaking its roots and shouting,
"Away, let go of the earth, walk!"

It shouted in this way for thousands of eons;
and lo! as a result of desire and struggle,
life escaped the motionless tree and was liberated.

Animals appear - worms - making themselves at home in water and mud.
"We're just fine here," they said.
"We have peace and security; we're not budging!"

But the terrible Cry hammered itself pitilessly into their loins.
"Leave the mud, stand up, give birth to your betters!"
"We don't want to! We can't!"
"You can't, but I can. Stand up!"

And lo! After thousands of eons, humans emerged, trembling on their still unsolid legs.

The human being is a centaur; our equine hoofs are planted in the ground,
but our body from breast to head is worked on and tormented by the merciless Cry.

We have been fighting again for thousands of eons,
to draw ourselves, like a sword,
out of the animalistic scabbard.

Humanity calls in despair,
"Where can I go?
I have reached the pinnacle, beyond is the abyss."
And the Cry answers,
"I am beyond. Stand up!"

All things are centaurs.
If this were not the case, the world would rot into inertness and sterility.

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Praise to the Living God”  (Tune: ‘Leoni’, 66 84D)    215 SLT
Praise to the living God,
all praised be The Name,
which was, and is, and is to be,
for aye the same.
The one eternal God
ere aught that now appears:
the first, the last, beyond all thought
or timeless years!

Unformed, all lovely forms
declare God’s loveliness,
no holiness on earth
can e’er The Name express
whose love enfolds us all;
whose laud the earth displays,
Yea, everywhere, above, below,
is perfect praise.

The spirit floweth free,
high surging where it will,
in prophet's word did speak of old,
and speaketh still.
The Torah rest secure,
and changeless it shall stand,
deep writ upon the human heart,
on sea and land.

Eternal life hath God
implanted in the soul;
such love shall be our strength
and stay while ages roll.
Praise to the living God!
All praised be The Name
which was, and is, and is to be,
for aye the same!  (From the Jewish Yigdal c. 13th cent.)

OR

"Make Spaces for Spirit!" (Tune: 'Erena', Colin Gibson)      96 HoS
Make spaces for Spirit! For energy rising.
for Pentecost presence, the wind and the fire,
a new kind of language, a vice and a vision
to shift and uplift us, to rouse and inspire.

Make spaces for action by spirited people:
the leader, the teacher, the healer of ill,
the builder, the artist, the bringer of laughter,
the melding and welding of spirit and will.

Make spaces for graces, the gifts of the Spirit,
the fruit of the garden where love is the spring,
the water of blessing, the incense of worship,
the wine poured for sharing, the hope that will sing.

Make spaces for Spirit by changing of systems,
by opening prisons, by debtors' release,
the flaming of courage, the firing of justice,
the Spirit of Jesus, the coming of peace.  
(Shirley Erena Murray)

Traditional Gospel:
John 7: 37-39 
(NRSV)

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out,
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.

“As the scripture has said,
‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him
were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit,
because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Contemporary Exploration HERE and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany for Pentecost 1 (Optional)
The people stand.

Flame of purity:
Le  Light us up.
Flame of beauty:
Ri  
Light us up.
Flame of wisdom:
Le  
Light us up.
Flame of friendship:
Ri  
Light us up.
Flame of true speech:
Le  
Light us up.
Flame of true seeing:
Ri  
Light us up.

Breath of God, blow away all that is unclean:
All  Rain of God, revive our withered lives.
Wind of God, blow us to wild places as you will:
All  Breeze of God, refresh us as you desire.
River of God, flow through us and heal our land:
All  River of God, flow through us and heal our land.

OR

Litany for Pentecost 2 (Optional)
On this day of Pentecost, 
our stories tell how God 
sends the Holy Spirit

v2  to come among us:
v1  as dove
v2  to move us,
v1  as wind
v2  to cleanse us,
v1  as fire
v2  to consecrate us.

All  Spirit of the living God, come upon us.
v1  Fill us with your empowering strength,
v2  empower us with your full love;
v1  send us into the world
proclaiming your mighty works in every tongue.
v2  Help us be the church that goes forward
to where there is need.
v1 Build us into a place
that makes a haven for those discriminated against.
All  Make us a church of disciples
filled with the wonder and creative imagination
of your love for ever more!
  (Seasons of Prayer)

OR

Litany: We Give Thanks...  (Optional)
We give thanks for the life that pulsates within us
All  breath and heartbeat, joy and sorrow, dance and stillness.

We give thanks for the life that ebbs and flows between us
All  loving, understanding, creating, embracing and letting go.

We give thanks for the web of life that surrounds and sustains us
All  feeding, protecting, teaching, inspiring mutual care.

We give thanks for the source of all life,
All  this living universe, of which our lives
are an expression.
   (Ian Lawton.C3Exchange)

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take some time 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

CELEBRATING

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
As The Wind Song(Tune: ‘Wairua Tapu’ – Holy Spirit)       7 HoS
As the wind song through the trees,
as the stirring of the breeze,
so it is with the Spirit of God,
as the heart made strangely warm,
as the voice within the storm,
so it is with the Spirit of God.

Never seen, ever known
where this wind has blown
bringing life, bringing power to the world,
as the dancing tongues of fire,
as the soul’s most deep desire,
so it with the Spirit of God.

As the rainbow after rain,
as the hope that’s born again,
so it is with the Spirit of God,
as the green in the spring,
as a kite on a string,
so it it is with the Spirit of God,

making worlds that are new,
making peace come true,
bringing gifts, bringing love to the world,
as the rising of the yeast,
as the wine at the feast,
so it is with the Spirit of God.  (Shirley Erena Murray)

OR

Take a Grape…(Tune: ‘Yamsong’, Colin Gibson)      127 HoS
Take a grape and an apple, take a pomegranate too,
take a fig, and a melon, take an apricot or two,
take a date and an olive, throw some nuts into a bowl,
and you’ll have a fruit salad that is good for the soul.
It’s the bounty of nature and lovely to see:
they are food for the body, the fruits of the tree.
Refrain:
By planting and growing and tending with care,
we may harvest the crop and enjoy it here.

Take some barley and wheat, take a cucumber too,
take an onion, some beans and a lentil or two,
take some millet and leeks, add some salt (not a lot),
pour in water, make soup in a pot.
It’s the bounty of earth and the sun and the rain,
and there’s food for the soul in the growth of the grain.
Refrain:

Take some love and some patience, some faithfulness too,
take some joy and some kindness, take a good deed or two,
take some gentle behaviour, add some peace and self-control,
and you’ll have a fruit salad that is good for the soul.
They’re the fruits of the Spirit and lovely to see,
all the fruits of the life of the Spirit in me.   (Colin Gibson)
Refrain:

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

Presentation
God of all times and places,
may our offerings reflect confidence and inclusiveness.

And may the programs and concerns we undertake,
build up the Church among us and far beyond us.

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:
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 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  Loving Presence, luminous in all creation,
hallowed be your name.
Thy kin-dom come.

May we reflect on earth
the yielding perfection of the heavens.
Help us to receive an illumined measure from the earth this day.

Forgive us when we trespass against others,
human and other than human,
as we forgive others who trespass against us.
Keep us on the path of wisdom
when we are tempted to take the selfish path.

May it be your rule we follow,
your power we exercise,
and your radiance that allures.

May this be the truth that guides our lives,
the ground from which our future will grow,
until we meet again.  
(Bruce Sanguin/dddc)

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Jesus Left Them. God Empowered Them” 
(Tune: ‘Marching', 87 87)
Jesus left them. God empowered them.
Spirit flamed from age to age.
And that Spirit can't be silenced,
now's our time to take the stage.

Every nation that had gathered
was invited on that day;
and the Spirit still unites us:
Pentecost has come to stay.
Remain standing

Parting Words
As we prepare to leave this sacred space
where we have worshipped together,
let us return to our work enlivened and renewed...
The Pentecost/Community Candle is extinguished

Now may our wisdom show itself
in deeds of compassion and in acts of understanding.
All May the fruits of the spirit
be apparent in our lives.
  (Adapted/Philip R Giles)

Words of Blessing
May God’s breath stream within you.
May God’s breath renew you.
May God’s breath invigorate you.
Walk with confidence into this day. 
(Traditional Jewish blessing/wb)
All
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont)Jesus Left Them. God Empowered Them(Tune: ‘Marching', 87 87)
As disciples came together
they would hold a common purse;
shared their meals, their wealth and praises,
kingdom values they'd rehearse.

Still, today, we'll trace that pattern,
working for the good of all,
in our politics and preaching,
faithful to the gospel's call.  © Andrew Pratt, 2003, Stainer & Bell Ltd.
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:
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.
Duncan, G. (ed).
A World of Blessing. Benedictions from every Continent and many Cultures. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 2000.
Holy Bible. NRSV. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989.
(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.
McRae-McMahon, D. Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE, 1993.
Sanguin, B. Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos. An Ecological Christianity. Canada: Kelowna. CopperHouse, 2007.
Kearns, S. (ed). 2009. Sing it Forward. Traditional Hymns Recast and Rewritten for Non-Exclusive Communities. In circulation from the author.
(SLT)
Singing The Living Tradition. Boston: UUA, 1993.
(TiS)
Together in Song. Australian Hymn Book 2. 1999. Sydney. HarperCollins Religious. Copyright enquiries: http://www.togetherinsong.org/.
Vosper, G.
With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.

Web sites/Other:
Belcher, Giles. UUA Worship Web. Boston. < http://www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
"Wind" William Loader Web site. WA: Perth.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/

Andrew Pratt. "Jesus Left Them...". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com  ALSO  “Pentecost” Direct from the author
Ian Lawton. C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <http://www.c3exchange.org/

rexae74@gmail.com