Easter3B.19.4.2015

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au
Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


I will be undertaking an overseas speaking tour in September 2015, speaking in Phoenix AZ. USA - at The Fountains United Methodist Church (6 Sept and 8 Sept); in Nova Scotia (Canada) over a whole weekend (11-13 Sept) at the Tatamagouche Centre; and in Britain
in Manchester (23 Sept) and Newcastle-on-Tyne (26 Sept). If you are nearby it would be great if we could catch up.


GATHERING FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

19 April 2015.  Easter 3B. (White).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


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

We gather here as the human ones of creation.
We name ourselves threads in the web of life.
We give thanks for connection,
that we are all part of one another
and that we are part of the Sacred (StAndrew’s, Auckland).

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
God Present To All
(Tune: ‘Ombersley’ 88 88. 567 TiS)
Creation sings amazing songs;
This is a place where God belongs
In movement, colour to behold
In past and future yet untold.

Source of all life's vitality
Enlivens love consistently;
We see God's presence in each face,
In kindly deeds and acts of grace.

Deep in our soul with vision clear
We see God's presence re-appear
Each time a human babe is born,
Each time we rise to greet the dawn.

Wonderful visions constantly
Express great beauty as we see
God's presence in humanity,
So vivid once in Galilee. (GStuart)

OR

"Nothing Is Lost..." (Tune: 'Greenlane')        50 FFS
Nothing is lost on the breath of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God's breath is love, and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No feather too light, no hair too fine,

no flower too brief in its glory;

no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,

but is counted and told in God's story.


Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God sees with love and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No journey too far, no distance too great,

no valley of darkness too blinding;

no creature too humble, no child too small
for God to be seeking, and finding.


Nothing is lost to the heart of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God's heart is love, and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No impulse of love, no office of care,
no moment of life in its fulness;

no beginning too late, no ending too soon,

but is gathered and known in God's goodness.
 (CGibson)

(Note: A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE)

Opening Sentences
v1  As we gather together on this Autumn morning,
may we weave here a patchwork of peace:

v2  The soft deep blue of sensitivity and understanding;
Wm  The red energy of creativity;
Mn  The white heat of convictions;

v1  The risky, fragile green of new growth;
Wm  The golden flashes of gratitude;
Mn  The warm rose of love.
All  Together, in our gathered diversity,
we form the whole.  So be it. (BWienecke)

Act of Awareness
You are in the story of the world.

You are the world coming to know itself.
May you trust that all you will ever say or do

Belongs in the story of the world. (Ean Huntington Behr)

OR

We pray:
God of light and colour, we offer our grtitude
for the glories of red and yellow, brown and green:
all the shades of this autumn season.
May our lives be lived in appreciation of all that life offers us.
May it be so.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Hymn Chant for the Seasons”  (Tune: ‘Praha’, Irreg.)   73 (v1) SLT
Summer-time has turned the star-wheel,
autumn is upon us. (Repeat)
Sweet the angling sun,
sweet upon the air
the smell of blue mist rising.
Summer-time has turned the star-wheel,
autumn is upon us.
Glorious the trees,
glorious the sight
of rust leaves, falling.
Summer-time has turned the star-wheel,
autumn is upon us.

OR

Hymn Autumn Comes in all its Fullness(Tune: 'Hamilton Avenue', 87 87)  8 HoS

Autumn comes in all its fullness

harvesting both land and hearts

Autumn has its birth in winter

in the stillness where life starts.
Refrain:

Every death brings hope of birthing,

every birth enfolds life's end,
for the seasons of our living
mirror patterns nature penned.

Autumn gives us time for choosing
seeds which bear the richest fruits,

fragile life which we can nurture
into just or vain pursuits.

Refrain:

Buried in autumnal endings
lies the shoot that bursts the tomb
for the letting go in autumn
sows the seed that births the bloom. (WLWallace)

Refrain:

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

Meditation
Continuing the series of ‘After Easter’ meditations
by Michael Benedikt… Jewish by birth.

“God is conceived in good will”
Michael Benedikt. God is the Good We Do. Theology of theopraxy/6.

God is conceived in good will.
God is nurtured by understandings of virtue.
But God is brought to life and flourishes 
only in actual good doings.

These are God's body, God's life.

"His" hands guide the good surgeon's hands;
"His" voice sounds as the good teacher’s voice.
God arrives just on time, and every time
a person has a choice
and sees that it is good,
and makes it good,
and can rest
because it remains so.

Silence
Let us again listen to the silence of this sacred space.
A space made ready for us by willing hands.
(Silence)

May we give thanks for all the silences in our lives:
the silence of sunrise,
the silence of midst on the lake,
the silence at the end of a story,
the silence between notes of music,
the silence between us here…
(Silence)

Music

EXPLORING

Readings from broad Biblical Tradition
Two readings from our broad biblical tradition shall now be read by (NN).

World Around Us:
Psalm 1
A 21st century exploration by Francis Macnab. A Fine Wind is Blowing/2.

There are many pathways in front of us.
We see some people take pathways that turn-out
to  be destructive and unhealthy.
All  But our happiness and well-being depend on us
taking the pathways that keep us connected
with the best purposes
and with the best spirit.

Look carefully at the tree that flourishes beside the river -
its leaves are healthy and it bears fruit in season.
We can be like the tree.
All  But we can forget all that and become
like chaff blown in all directions by the wind.

God of all life has created in us a desire to be the best we can be.
When we follow that desire,
our whole being is strongly affirmed.
All  But when we become indifferent to that desire,
we lose our connection with the best purposes
and the best spirit.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 24:35-44  (Inclusive Text)

The disciples told their story of what happened on the road
and how they had recognized Jesus at the breaking of bread.

They were still talking about this when Jesus himself stood among them and said,
'Peace be with you!'

In a state of alarm and fright, they thought
they were seeing a ghost.  But Jesus said,
‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts
rising in your hearts?  Look at my hands and feet;
yes, it is I indeed.

‘Touch me and see for yourselves;
a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.'

And as Jesus said this he showed them his hands and feet.

Their joy was so great that they could not believe it,
and they stood dumbfounded; so Jesus said to them,
'Have you anything here to eat?'

And they offered Jesus a piece of grilled fish,
which he took and ate before their eyes.

Contemporary Exploration HERE and Earth Day HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Earth Litany (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, and in celebration of the season of Autumn,
let us share a special Earth litany.
The people remain seated

v1 After the sun of Summer has done its work,
people gather in threshing fields,
vineyards,
orchards and
home vegetable gardens,
to celebrate their reward.

v2 The seeds entrusted to Mother Earth in the Spring
have been watched, watered and weeded
until the time of harvest is at hand.

This morning, we celebrate the season of change and reward - Autumn. 
And witness it daily in the changing colours of the leaves.

v1 But let us also remember the earth and our attachment to it.

Welcome are all earth’s lands, each for its kind.
Wm Welcome are lands of pine and gum tree,
welcome are lands of the lemon, coconut and fig.
Mn
Welcome are lands of gold.
All Welcome are lands of rye and oats,
welcome those of the grape and nut.

v1 Welcome are lands of sugar and rice.
Welcome the cotton lands,
Wm welcome those of the onion and potato.
Mn Welcome are mountains, valleys, sands and forests.
All Welcome the rich river flats, 
open paddocks and grassed park lands.

v1 Welcome the measureless farmlands,
welcome the teeming soil of orchards, pineapple and honey.
Wm Welcome just as much the other more hard-faced lands,
Mn lands rich as lands of vegetables or wheat and fruit lands,
lands of mines, lands of rugged ores,
W
m
lands of coal, copper, lead, tin and iron.
All Welcome are all earth’s lands, each for its kind. 
(WWhitman. Adapted RAEHunt)

OR

Celebrating the Earth (Optional)
v1 We light this candle for the land, sea and sky.
A Candle is lit
v2 We remember the richness of Planet Earth:
All mountains unfolding to desert and plain,
seas swaying to the rhythm of tides,
skies reflecting the colours of light.

v3 We light this candle for the creatures of Earth.
A second Candle is lit
v2 We remember creatures of land, air and sea:
All horses running for the joy of living,
parrots chatting on roofs and branches,
dolphins leaping from sea to sky.

v4 We light this candle for the fruits of Earth.
A third Candle is lit
v2 We remember fruits of the land:
All grasses bursting with nourishing grain,
flowers exuding colour and fragrance,
trees renewing the sweetness of air.

v5 We light this candle for humanity.
A fourth Candle is lit
v2 We remember all sages and prophets:
All through them recalling the power of love;
through them reclaiming a spirit of compassion;
through them embracing Earth and each other
 (Adapt.PCNV Earth Liturgy)

Sharing 'The Peace'
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey,
you are welcome here in this safe and sacred place.
So let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.

The peace and presence of God is here... to stay.
All Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Where are the Voices(Tune: ‘Portent’)75 FFS
Where are the voices for the earth?
Where are the eyes to see her pain,
wasted by our consuming path,
weeping the tears of poisoned rain?

Sacred the soil that hugs the seed,
sacred the silent fall of snow,
sacred the world that God decreed,
water and sun and river flow.

Where shall we run who break this code,
where shall tomorrow's children be,
left with the ruined gifts of God,
death for the creatures, land and sea?

We are the voices for the earth,
we who will care enough to cry,
cherish her beauty, clear her breath,
live that our planet may not die. (SEMurray)

OR

"Sing with Me, Friends!(Tune: ‘Faithnotes’)40 TEL
Sing with me, friends, for God invites us,
find a new song to resonate!
Savor the signs of God around us,
beauty that minds and hands create-
celebrate joy,
celebrate hope,
celebrate this good world!

Sing with me, friends, through calm and crisis,
sing when the roads we take are rough,
stay with our dream of common purpose,
God will provide us strength enough-
stay through the loss,
stay through the pain,
suffering shapes our world.

Sing with me, friends: we need each other,
widening circles on the way,
tending the earth with care together,
taking small measures every day,
singing for life,
singing for peace,
nurturing this good world! (SEMurray)
People sit

Conversation 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:
In the light and beauty of day
All We give thanks in awe and wonder.
In the dark and stillness of night
All We dream of healing and hope (GVosper/wwg)

And so we take this flame and light our special care candle.
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…
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 appropriate

All  Father, may your name be holy.
May your rule take place.
Give us each day our daily bread.

Pardon our debts, for we ourselves pardon
everyone in debt to us.

And do not bring us to trial
into a trying situation. (BMack/Q)

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
God the weaver, making patterns,
spinning threads throughout our days,
help us to discern your weaving
in the multi-coloured autumn maze. (Adapt.MDobson/mcm)

Thanksgiving
v1  In faith and love, gathered in this place,

we celebrate the brightness of community

and the season of Autumn called 'Gwangal Moronn'
  (Season of Honey Bees)
by the Djab Wurrung and Jardwidjarli People...

v3  We remember the stories and traditions of our faith:
of Jesus in the garden appearing to Mary and calling her by name...

of Jesus appearing to the disciples and saying, 'Peace be with you'...

of Jesus appearing to Thomas and saying, 'Do not doubt, but believe'...

of Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus, talking to his followers...

of Jesus sharing breakfast on the beach with some companions...

v2  This is the table of hospitality and solidarity
It is to be made ready for those who have heard the teachings of Jesus
and want to know more, as they seek to follow him.

So come,
you who have much faith  and you who have little;
you who have been here often and you who have not been for a long time;
you who have tried to follow and you who have failed...
Come. (Iona)

Bread and Wine
v1  We also remember at the end of a journey,
among friends, gathered round a table...
Jesus took bread...
v2 Be gentle when you touch bread.
Let it not lie, uncared for, unwanted.
So often bread is taken for granted.

v3  There is such beauty in bread -
beauty of sun and soil,
beauty of patient toil.
Wind and rain have caressed it,
Jesus blessed it!

Be gentle when you touch bread.

v1  Jesus took bread, said a blessing...
v2 Bread is a lovely thing to eat.
God bless the barley and the wheat.
A lovely thing to breathe is air,
God bless the sunshine everywhere.

v3  The world is a lovely place to know,
God bless the folk who come and go.
Alive is a lovely thing to be,
Giver of life we say Bless thee.

v1  Jesus took bread, said a blessing, and broke it...
v2 Break the bread. Remember me.

Come to me, and
I will refresh you,
I will restore you,

v3  Come to me, I am the bread of life,
the bread that comes down from heaven.

v1  Remember me...
v2   Remember me, I am known in the breaking...
in the breaking of the day,
in the breaking of the bread.

v1  Later he poured a cup of wine thanking the Source of Life for it...
v2 The cup is full of blood-red wine
made from the crushing and the bruising of the grapes.

By the loss of life,
by the cutting down and the pressing,
the Spirit is set free.

Allowed to ferment, the Spirit is at work.

v3  Remember me.
Remember me, my crushing, my bruising,
my three-day fermenting, my rising...

This is the wine that makes glad the hearts of all.

v1  Do this as you remember me.
v2 Remember me.

v1  Drink this in remembrance, all of you.
v2  Be filled with my Spirit.
v3  Let my life fill yours, inebriate you,
give you courage, fill you with joy.
All Alleluia.  Amen.

Communion
Let us share this bread and wine
as Jesus and our tradition taught us,
knowing that our lives are forever changed
by this and every breaking of bread. (From various Iona resources)
The bread and wine is served

After Communion
We have been welcomed, healed, restored, fed, and empowered.

May we be sent out to live and work to God’s presence and glory.
This day and always. 
All Amen.

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Shake Up The Morning(Tune: ‘Shake up’).         18 (v1-3) 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 his community.

Parting Words
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God who is found
in ordinary and surprising places.
The Community Candle is extinguished

If there is any sense to seasons it it this:
That time is timeless and time is life.
All  Not Spring nor Summer, not even Autumn is gone.
Each will be what it becomes, as Winter will be Spring.

The seasons play their walk-on parts,
All  and we can hardly hear the lines,
much less know the plot, except the final line:
'Life abides'.

OR

v1 As we begin to take our leave from this place,
made sacred by our presence together,
may we take the daily things of life and see them as sacred.
v2 May we perform simple acts of love and prayer,
and real works of reform and renewal.
v1 May we love deeply the earth which gives us air to breathe,
water to drink, and food to sustain us.
v2 May we remember that life is begotten from stardust,
radiant in light and heat.
v1 We are all one - all of creation,
all that now live,
all that have ever lived.
1&2 Remember we are stardust, and to stardust we return.

v1 Remember we are connected and to connection we return.
v2 Remember we are part of the great mystery.
1&2 Remember we are stardust and to stardust we return. (PLehman/SGriffith.Adapted) 

Words of Blessing
In the love of God, may we be warmed and welcomed.
In the joy of Jesus, may we be strengthened and made whole.
In the breath of the Spirit, may we be challenged and blessed. (RBurgess/bb)
May it be so.
All  
May it be so with us.

Hymn (Cont).Shake Up The Morning(Tune: ‘Shake up’).      18 (v4) HSNW
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 his will. © Iona Community
The people sit

'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:
Adam, D. Tides and Seasons. Modern Prayers in the Celtic Tradition. London: Triangle/SPCK, 1989.
Adam, D. The Edge of Glory. Prayers in the Celtic Tradition. London: Triangle/SPCK, 1985.
(HSNW) Bell, J. & G. Maule. 1989. Heaven Shall Not Wait. Wild Goose Songs Vol. 1. Revised edition. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Benedikt, M. 2007. God Is The Good We Do. Theology of Theopraxy. New York. Bottino Books.
Burgess, R. 2001. A Book of Blessings. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Dobson, M. 2004. Multi-coloured Maze. Drama, Hymns, Prayers and Poems for Worship and Everyday Living. London. Stainer & Bell.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. 2000. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Mack, B. L. 1993. The Lost Gospel. The Book of Q and Christian Origins. New York. HarperSanFrancisco.
Macnab, F. 2006. A Fine Wind Is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in Words That Blow You Away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
(TEL) Murray, S. E. 2008.  Touch the Earth Lightly. New Hymns written between 2003 & 2008. Carol Stream. Hope Publishing.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Web Sites/Other:
Behr, Wienecke. UUA Worship Web. Boston. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
George Stuart. “God Present To All” Direct for author.
"Stardust" 
Paula Lehman and Sarah Griffith <churchinfo@plymouth.org>
"We gather..." St Andrew's on the Terrace. St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Auckland, NZ. <http://www.standrews.org.nz/>

rexae74@gmail.com