Easter4B.26.4.2015

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

26 April 2015.  Easter 4B. (White).


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

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
God of Diversity(Tune: ‘Margaret’. By Colin Gibson)
40 HoS
God of diversity, vibrant creation
is bursting with signs of extravagant joy.
In riot of blossom, in species unnumbered
we see that all difference is ours to enjoy.

God of diversity, nations and cultures
tell of the richness life offers to all.
In language and symbol, in story and doctrine
we clothe our experience, respond to your call.

God of diversity, humans embody
the interdependence of ear, eye and hand;
we struggle to learn, in this globe-become-village,
our need of each other in every land.

God of diversity, help us to honour
our different perspectives on things that are true,
as, knowing more deeply the God in Christ Jesus,
we learn how to worship with all who love you. (MBond)

Opening Sentences
As we enter into this sacred place,
put away the pressures of the world that ask us
to perform,
to take up masks,
to put on brave fronts.
Silence the voices that ask you to be perfect.
This is a community of compassion and welcoming. (EAHewitt/adapt)
All We bring all that we are and all that we yet can be,
to this safe and holy place.

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

Act of Awareness
Sing out happiness upon the morning.
Celebrate the famous sun and the comely earth.
Think upon love, that it may grow within us,
and compassion, that it may call us to its service (KPatton/sscol)

OR

We pray:
God of sky and God of earth, we honour
your presence within us and beyond.

May we be empowered with a loving and just peace.
May it be so.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Hymn "Song of Faith"  (Tune: Abbeyfield, 87 87 87 87)   57 FFS
Song of faith that sings forever
through God's people, ages long,
Word that holds the world together
when our hearts take up the song,
always, always somewhere sounding,
though the source we do not see,
counterpoint to all despairing
it is hope that sets the key.

Song of faith in exultation,
rising through the vaults of prayer,
tune of simple celebration
offered up in open air,
song in chapel and cathedral,
descant to our daily tone,
song from sickbed or in prison:
faith must often sing alone.

And when life would overwhelm us,
when there seems no song to sing,
hear the constant voice of courage
out of fear and suffering:
all who've loved and trusted Jesus,
all who lift us to be strong,
endless, endless are the voices
of the faith that makes the song. (SEMurray)

OR

People are God’s Language(Tune: ‘Ellers’, 10 10 10 10. 301 RCH)           71 SNS2
People are language through whom God can speak;
Heard by the list'ners, found by those who seek;
Heard in a whisper, never in a roar;
Heard in compassion, not through formal law.

People are language through whom God can care
With words of comfort when we see despair;
Spoken in kindness, yet with certainty;
Heard with delight when calming misery.

People are language through whom God can plead
For peace and mercy, for the ones in need;
Spoken in strength, with poise and dignity,
Calling for justice and for liberty.

Sharing of love with acts of gentleness,
Sharing the load with deeds of thoughtfulness,
We can ensure the message can be heard;
For we are language of God's living word (GStuart)

Welcome  In our 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 here now and at hand”
Michael Benedikt. God is the Good We Do. Theology of theopraxy/6.

God is not out there,
or back then.
God is here, now,
and at hand.

We are larger, each one of us, than all of the galaxies combined.

This is why the rabbis said:
“to redeem one person is to redeem the world”.

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

Now let silence gently enfold us.
(Silence)

In this day made fresh,
In the chorus of birds,
In the scent of wild flowers,
We embrace this day in hope.
(Silence)

Music

EXPLORING

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

First Reading/Hebrew Scriptures: (Responsive)
Psalm 23 (Accompanied by drum beat)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
The Lord lets me rest in green pastures
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
by still waters he leads me, restores my soul.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
God leads me in paths that are right and true
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
for the sake of the name of my Shepherd, the Lord.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

Silence

No drum beat
Even though I walk through the valley,
the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, - they comfort me.
Silence

Drum beat
You prepare a table before me,
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
and I’m safe from those who would harm me.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
With oil on my head you anoint me.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
My cup overflows with God’s goodness,
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 
Surely
goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
and I’ll live in God’s  house all my days.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

Quieter

All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
Whisper

All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me. (WPoG)
Silence

Traditional Gospel:
John 10:11-18 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus said:
"I am the good shepherd.
Good shepherds lay down their lives for their sheep.

"The hirelings, since they are not the shepherds
and the sheep do not belong to them,
abandon the sheep and run away
as soon as they see a wolf coming,
and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep.

"I am the good shepherd.
I know my own and my own know me,
just as God, who sent me, knows me, and I know God.

"And I lay down my life for the sheep.
There are other sheep I have that are not of this fold,
and these I have to lead as well.

"They too will listen to my voice,
and there will be only one flock and one shepherd.

"God loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.

"No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will,
and as it is in my power to take it up again.

"And this is the command I have been given
by the One who sent me." 

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany of the ‘Ordinary’ (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on,
let us share a litany celebrating the ‘ordinary’.
The people remain seated

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. (JNelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

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. (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
God The One Forever Making(Tune: ‘Making New’, Wm Wallace/Suxanne Lennon. Alternate Tune: ‘Deerhurst’, J Langran)
God the One forever making
All the old into the new,
Source of all creative passion
Found in each emerging view,
You are God forever dreaming,
You are Spirit in each part,
You are Christ the Sacred Presence
Found within each human heart.

Through our worship, with its rituals,
We can shape new songs of praise,
We can touch without molesting,
Share in all God’s pictured ways.
Every person is creative
Like the God who gives us birth;
As God’s priests and as God’s prophets
We hold power to change this Earth.

When we pray for other people,
When we meet them face to face,
Our imagination helps us
Share the others’ pain with grace.
Every person is creative
Like the God who gives us birth;
As God’s movers and God’s shakers
We hold power to change this Earth.

In a world of many viewpoints,
Many shapes of social norms,
We will value our own vision
While respecting other forms.
Every person is creative
Like the God who gives us birth;
As God’s movers and God’s shakers
We hold power to change this Earth.

Every day has new beginnings,
Every heart creative fire,
Waiting, waiting for the fanning
Sparked by Spirit’s deep desire.
You are God forever dreaming
You are Spirit in each part,
You are Christ the Sacred Presence
Found within each human heart. (WilliamWallace)

OR

Faith Writes the Hymn(Tune: ‘Woodlands’, 10 10 10 10)       10 TEL
Faith writes the hymn that celebrates the world,
tomorrow’s world, more hopeful than today’s;
God sets the key for faith to call the tune,
and make of us the instruments of praise.

Faith uses song to stir us and move one,
to rally and to raise our spirits high,
to whistle up the courage to be changed,
and lift our wings in learning how to fly.

Faith needs a song to heal our deepest pain:
lament and loss would silence us in tears.
God gives us music to anoint the soul,
and speak in ways that only sorrow ears.

Faith writes the hymn that keeps us singing hope,
although we cannot see the sun will shine;
faith sets a lively rhythm to our step,
and draws our hearts to beat with the divine. (ShirleyEMurray)

OR

If celebrating ANZAC Day
Honour the Dead”. Hymn for Anzac Day(Tune: ‘Anzac’, 10 10 10 10)    61 HoS
Honour the dead, our country's fighting brave,
honour our children left in foreign grave,
where poppies blow and sorrow seeds her flowers,
honour the crosses marked forever ours.

Weep for the places ravaged by our blood,
weep for the young bones buried in the mud,
weep for the powers of violence and greed,
weep for the deals done in the name of need.

Honour the brave whose conscience was their call,
answered no bugle, went against the wall,
suffered in prisons of contempt and shame,
branded as cowards, in our country's name.

Weep for the waste of all that might have been,
weep for the cost that war has made obscene,
weep for the homes that ache with human pain,
weep that we ever sanction war again.

Honour the dream for which our nation bled,
held now in trust to justify the dead,
honour their vision on this solemn day:
peace known in freedom, peace the only way. (ShirleyEMurray)
People sit

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

Presentation
Here today, 
we renew our unity with one another,
and with all those who have gone before us in this place.

Here today, 
we renew our communion with the earth
and our interwovenness with the broken ones of the world.

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.
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…

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) 

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
A Firemist and a Planet(Tune: 'Thornbury', 76 76D)    343 (v1-2) SLT
A firemist and a planet,
a crystal and a cell,
a starfish and a saurian,
and caves where ancients dwelt;
the sense of law and beauty,
a face turned from the sod
- some call it evolution, 
and others call  it God.

Haze on the far horizon,
the infinite tender sky,
the ripe, rich tints of [wheat]fields,
and wild geese sailing high;
and over high and low-land,
the charm of golden rod
- some people call it autumn, 
and others call it God.

Parting Words
Let us take on this week’s life with renewed hope and imagination...
The candle is extinguished

May we truly pay attention to the world as it is,
with all its joys and sorrows.
All And may we learn to find joy in savoring
rather than consuming. (JNelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Words of Blessing
Go forth into this day with confidence in the
enabling spirit of God that challenges and
nurtures you to growth.
All
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont). A Firemist…(Tune: 'Thornbury', 76 76D)   343 (v1-2) SLT
Like tides on crescent sea-beach,
when moon's so new and thin,
into our hearts high yearnings
come welling, surging in,
come from the mystic ocean
whose rim not foot has trod
- some people call it longing,
and others call it God.

A sentry lone and frozen,
a mother starved for her brood,
and Socrates' dread hemlock,
and Jesus on the rood;
and millions, who, though nameless,
the straight, hard pathway trod,
- some call it consecration,
and others call it God. Wm H Carruth
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:
Benedikt, M. 2007. God is the Good We Do. Theology of Theopraxy. New York. Bottino Books.
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.
(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.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. 2005. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs Without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.
Mack, B. L. 1993. The Lost Gospel. The Book of Q and Christian Origins. New York. HarperSanFrancisco.
Morwood, M. 2003.  Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Patton, K. L. 1967. Services and Songs for the Celebration of Life.  New Resource Material. Boston. Beacon Press.

(TEL) Murray, S. E. 2008.  Touch the Earth Lightly. New Hymns written between 2003 & 2008. Carol Stream. Hope Publishing.
Seasons of the Spirit/Whole people of God. Curriculum. Canada and Australia.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993.  Boston. UUA.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. 2009. Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto. G Stuart.
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:
Hewitt. UUA Worship Web. Boston. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
William Wallace. "God the One...
Musical Score: http://progressivechristianity.org/resources/god-the-one-forever-making/

rexae74@gmail.com