Advent2B.10.12.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
10 December 2017. Advent 2B. (Blue).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion

Worth Pondering during Advent
Two mature trees provide enough oxygen for a 
family of four


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

Gathering Music

Rich and Striking Visuals
          “The function of beauty… is to make us aware of a reality which is richer and deeper
          and more marvellous than anything we can dream or conceive.” (Henry N. Wieman)
          Artwork OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Slides 

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Advent is about the birth of something sacred.

For something sacred needs to be born:
born from the mating of what is,
and what might be.

It needs a manger.

So let us prepare a manger in our hearts
for the birth of the sacred.  (Davidson Loehr/First UU Church of Austin). 

OR

The season of Advent challenges us
to see God's vision of what is yet to be,
to hear God's voice calling anew,
to smell the scent of God in our world.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

In this special season, let us continue to celebrate
the richness and diversity of life.

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 these 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, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism
HERE

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
"God Given Energy, Flaring and Fiery"  (Tune: ‘Liebster Immanuel’, 11 10 11 10)
God given energy, flaring and fiery,
stella collisions of fury and pace;
shafts of the light from the cosmic conception
searing to earth from infinity's space.

Stars from eternity, driven by forces
formed at the birthing of matter and time;
mystical sinews restraining the planets,
elegant science and God's hidden rhyme;

These are the visions of wonder and rapture,
signs of significance, pointers to place,
drawing us out from our narrow discernment,
windows to love and God's infinite grace. 
Andrew Pratt

OR

If in Australia following the passing of the SSM (Same Sex Marriage) Legislation
For Everyone Born (A Place At The Table)”         6 PaT
For everyone born, a place at the table,
for everyone born, clean water and bread,
a shelter, a space, a safe place for growing,
for everyone born, a star overhead
And God will delight when we are creators
of justice and joy, compassion and peace:
yes, God will delight when we are creators
of justice, justice and joy!

For woman and man, a place at the table,
revising the roles, deciding the share,
with wisdom and grace, dividing the
for woman and man, a system that’s fair
And God will delight when we are creators…

For young and for old, a place at the table,
a voice to be heard, a part in the song,
the hand of a child in hands that are wrinkled,
for young and for old, the right to belong,
And God will delight when we are creators…

For just and unjust, a place at the table,
abuser, abused, with need to forgive,
in anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy,
for just and unjust, a new way to live
And God will delight when we are creators…

For everyone born, a place at the table,
to live without fear, and simply to be,
to work, to speak out, to witness and worship,
for everyone born, the right to be free
And God will delight when we are creators...

For gay and for straight, a place at the table,
a covenant shared, a welcoming space,
a rainbow of race and gender and colour,
for gay and for straight, a chalice of grace
And God will delight when we are creators
of justice and joy, compassion and peace:
yes, God will delight when we are creators
of justice, justice and joy!
(Shirley Erena Murray)
Remain standing after the hymn/song

Opening Sentences
The presentness of Creativity God is among us,
Wm  
in the wilderness of our cities,
Mn  furrowed by freeways and shaded by skyscrapers.
v2  Prepare a way…

The presentness of Creativity God is among us,
Wm  
in the wilderness of our countryside,
Mn  where farmers eke out a drought-feed existence.
v2  Prepare a way...

The presentness of Creativity God is among us,
Wm  
moving in the air, the land, and the waters,
Mn  making our world whole.
v2  Prepare a way...
All  Smooth the rough places, move the mountains;
let Creativity God’s glory be displayed.
(Adapt.Bruce Prewer/ap)

OR

A voice cries out in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way of our God.” 
All We hear God’s voice and so we come
to proclaim God’s justice for all.

A voice cries out in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way of our God.”
All We hear God’s voice and so we come
to announce peace to all our neighbours.

A voice cries out in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way of our God.”
All We hear God’s voice and so we come
to live out God’s unconditional love.

You cry out to us, O God,
calling us to come to you.
All Open our ears to hear your voice of love
that we might experience your unending grace
as we are gathered here today.

Open our ears to hear your voice of justice
that we might boldly work to realize your peace
throughout all creation. 
(Adapt.Jessica Perersen/ct)

Act of Awareness
The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And habit harden into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings (The Buddha/lp).

OR

We pray:
Gentle God, as the sun rises each day,
and light lifts our world out of darkness,
give new energy to our bodies,
new healing to our minds,
new strength to our spirits.
May it be so.

Hymn In the 19th century John Mason Neale translated the 9th century hymn ‘O come, O come, Emmanuel’.
As we sing this traditional Advent hymn we do so honouring our past, even as we affirm we have moved on in our religious journey and thinking.
O Come, Emmanuel”  (Tune: ‘Veni Emmanuel’, 88 88 & refrain)     265 TiS
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to
you, O Israel.

O come, O come, great Lord of might
who to the tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! rejoice!...

O come, O key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high
and close the path to misery.
Rejoice! rejoice!...

O come, O branch of Jesse, free
your own from Satan's tyranny;
from depths of hell your people save
and give them victory o'er the grave.
Rejoice! rejoice!...

O come, O dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by your advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! rejoice!

OR

The Earth is Our Cradle”          7 OHV
The earth is our cradle, our ground and our home.
The sky is our blanket, protective and warm.
The stars are our ancestors, ancient and bright,
their glow is a glimpse of our life’s burning light.

The creatures of land, the swimmers of sea,
the birds of the air, the green plants and trees:
They’re all of our siblings with equal share
in Earth as our home and duty to care.

Our ancient atoms arranged and reformed,
connect us and bind us with the stuff of the stars.
When all is over, our substance returned
to our elements birth-place, our atom’s next turn. 
(Christopher New)
The people sit

Welcome
In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are here 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.

THE CHILDREN LEAD US...
Advent Candle Lighting 2

Peace

v1   As this season of “sparkle and bright” unfolds around us,
the silent prayers of peace lie like stars
hidden in a clouded night,
v2 May we inspire the world with peace.
v3 May we touch it to our lives that in every place of stress, frustration, or fear,
we might feel the presence of peace easing our hearts
and transforming our lives.
v4 And may we share the its healing power with our children,
that they might become the inspiration through which
peace makes its way to a new yet-dreamt-of world.
Light candle

May Peace light the world this Christmas.

OR

Advent Candle of Trust
The winds are scented with every growing thing;
the jacaranda blossoms,
clothes fit for a royal person.
All
Come, Companion Jesus, Come. (Adapt.BPrewer/bpa)

Last Sunday we lit the first Advent candle, the candle of hope.
We light it again remembering the hope,
which will always be brought to birth
in, through, and among, all creation.
First candle is lit

The second Advent candle is the candle of trust.
In the stillness of our worship here we light it,
watching it burn and glow.
Second candle is lit

And we affirm that we are a people of God
willing to walk and live in partnership
with all who seek to be people of peace.

Presentation of the Christmas Bowl
Let us again remember that without hope and trust,
people struggle to find their way.
The Bowl is placed near the candles

Song  "Child of Christmas Story(Tune: ‘Incarnation’ 65 65)     12 (v1-2) AA
Child of Christmas story,
stable straw and star,
small and sweet and gentle:
tell us who you are.

Child whose baby finger
round our own is curled,
come to melt our hearts, and
come to change the world.  
Shirley Erena Murray
The children leave to go to Sunday Club

CENTERING

Centering Silence
Let there now be a silence among us…
(Silence)

May we become conscious in this moment
and in every moment of our gathering,
that the Holy One, Creativity God,
is the life giving energy pulsing through us...
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

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

(i) Traditional Gospel:
Mark 1:2-3   (Inclusive Text)

As it is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah,
Look, I am going to send my messenger before you,
who will prepare your way.

A voice cries in the wilderness:
‘Make ready a way for God,
clear a straight path.’

From the World around us:
"Apocalyptic Awakening"
By Bruce Sanguin. If Darwin Prayed/11.

O Holy One,
we are a sleepy lot,
slow to stir to the calling of the cosmos,
deaf to the cries of the Earth
and the forgotten ones,