Revd Rex A E Hunt
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
17 May 2015. Easter 7B. (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
Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times
We gather now,
harvesters of an all-pervasive grace,
unexpected benefactors of the deed
to this great and glorious cosmic inheritance. (BSanguin/idp)
Let us then celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
“Resurrection All Around Us” (Tune: ‘Ode to joy’, 87 87D)
Resurrection all around us,
hearts arise and leap for joy
Hope eternal grows within us,
voices silenced now employ
Live in joy of new beginnings,
live in harmony and love
Finding strength to meet each trial,
conquering sorrow, being love.
Being human, honouring Jesus,
in a covenant of grace
Living the divine commandment,
one with all the human race
Leading strong for peace and justice,
doing away with hate and fear
Finding ways to work together,
keeping voice and vision clear.
Celebrate the light within us,
love divine and human spark
Reaching out to be inclusive,
everyone a work of art
Light the flame of love around us,
echoing through the stars above
Holding hands, in peace surround us,
being human, being love. (GKlinger/C3Exchange)
(Note: A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE)
God of the past who has fathered and mothered us
All We know your presentness.
God of the future who is always ahead of us
All We trust your presentness.
God of the present here in the midst of us
All We celebrate your presentness. (Adapt.RBurgess/pfd)
Act of Awareness
In the midst of our everyday
we are faced with choices and possibilities.
Creativity and hope are bubbling, birthing within us.
Each day brings opportunities to lift us,
to fascinate us… to challenge us,
our relationships, our minds, our bodies.
May we strive to see beyond our limitations.
May that which lies waiting in our hearts
come to birth within and through us.
May we live into each new day the fullness of each possibility…
God of good presence all around us
help us to find and celebrate the goodness
that is given to us in this new day. (FMacnab/fwb)
May it be so.
All May it be so with us.
Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit
Hymn "O River Mother, Spirit of Creation" (Tune: 'O Perfect Love', 11 10 11 10) 6RP
O river mother, spirit of creation,
flowing so freely since the dawn of time,
source of all life and onward propagation,
summer's bright warmth and winter's frozen rime.
Once from a riven altar, out through history,
your source of life flowed on to all the earth;
then cosmic letters formed the timeless story,
charged with your passion, grace and love and worth.
Now at the point in time of our existence,
through faith and science we discern our place.
We understand your gentle, calm persistence
folding around us with your love and grace.
O river mother, flowing to the future,
on past the present that we see and feel,
take us, flow with us, kindly love and nurture
virtues that make your presence strong and real. © APratt
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.
Concluding the series of ‘After Easter’ meditations
by Michael Benedikt… Jewish by birth.
"Nothing is holy except that we sanctify it”
Michael Benedikt. God is the Good we Do/10.
Nothing is holy except that we sanctify it;
and thus everything is potentially holy
except cruelty, disease, and untimely death.
God stills our rage: "He maketh us to lie in green pastures."
God teaches by example and by encouragement.
God teaches by trust.
God speaks to us in that ''still, small voice"
that does not come from anything except life
working itself out,
blind at first,
but then giving itself eyes,
and then eyes to see those eyes.
How good it is to be alive!
Yes, we feel the beat of our own hearts,
the pulsing of life in our veins,
the rhythm of our breathing.
We come into the silence of this time with gratitude for this day.
We come with our needs.
And we come because we have gifts to share.
In our coming and in our going
may we be strengthened
in our bonds of love and peace.
Music of Reflection
Readings from Biblical Tradition
Two readings from our biblical tradition shall now be offered
Our reader is (NN).
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 (NRSV/adapted)
In those days Peter stood up among the believers
(together the crowd numbered about 120 persons) and said,
“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled... concerning Judas,
who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus
for he was numbered among us
and was allotted his share in this ministry.
"One of those who have accompanied us during all the time Jesus lived among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day when he was taken up from us,
one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas... and Matthias.
Then they prayed and said,
“Lord, you know everyone’s heart.
Show us which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this ministry and apostleship
from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
They cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias.
And he was added to the eleven apostles.
John 17: (Selected verses/NRSV)
After Jesus had spent time teaching his disciples, he took some time out for prayer.
This story commences in the midst of that prayer...
“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world.
They were yours, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word...
“For the words that you gave to me I have given to them,
and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you;
and they have believed that you sent me...
“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.
Holy One, protect them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one, as we are one.
“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them
because they do not belong to the world,
just as I do not belong to the world.
“I am not asking you to take them out of the world,
but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.
“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”.
Silence for Personal Reflection
An Affirmation of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share an affirmation of faith.
The people stand as they are able
We believe in a light that smothers darkness.
All It tears through every shadow in our world,
and leaves a clarity brighter than the sun,
and we name that light: God!
We believe in a love that crushes hatred,
All and leaves a space for forgiveness,
to rebuild, redesign, and re-create our world,
and we name that love: God!
We believe in a truth that rips through injustice
All revealing a different vision for our world:
of freedom, fairness, and future,
and we name that truth: God!
We believe in a hope that rattles oppressors,
All shaping the intent of the Creator
for a people destined for love,
and we name that hope: God!
We believe in a time towards which all history travels,
All where all our lives will be held,
and bound into eternity,
and we name that time: God! (ALeggett)
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey,
you are welcome here in this safe and sacred place. (JStinson)
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 of the Northerlies” (Tune: ‘Matangi’ 10 10 6 10) 45 HoS
God of the northerlies, giver of grace;
warm and enveloping, fill every place.
Nurture the earth, water the seeds.
God of the northerlies, fulfil our needs.
Christ of the easterlies,
earthly, renewing, in you we are one.
Hope is reborn, changing our hearts.
Christ of the easterlies, your peace impart.
Spirit of westerlies,
gust through our lives;
shaking, disturbing the scheme we devise.
Teach us your truth, gift us your word,
God of the westerlies, faithfulness stirred.
God of the southerlies,
crisply and sharply reshaping our minds.
Challenge our ways, strengthen our wills.
God of the southerlies, your love fulfills.
God of the north and the
east, south and west,
Creative Process, by whom we are blest,
breeze through our lives, earnest and strong;
Spirit, keep blowing and lure us along. (BBennett/Last verse adapted, RAEH)
Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat
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
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and concerns shared.
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…
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
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.
As we have received, so we give:
freely, cheerfully and liberally.
In the Beginning...
v1 In the beginning was God
v2 In the beginning, the source of all that is
v3 In the beginning, God yearning,
v4 God moaning,
v1 God labouring
v2 God giving birth
v3 God rejoicing
v4 And God loved what had been made
v1 And God said, "It is good".
v2 Then God, knowing all that is good, is shared
v3 Held the earth tenderly in embracing arms
v4 God yearned for relationship
v1 God longed to share the good earth
v2 And humanity was born in the yearning of God
v3 We were born to share the earth.
v4 In the earth was the seed
v1 In the seed was the grain
v2 In the grain was the harvest
v3 In the harvest was the bread
v4 In the bread was empowerment.
v1 And God said, All shall eat of the earth
v2 All shall eat of the seed
v3 All shall eat of the grain
v4 All shall eat of the harvest
v1 All shall eat of the bread
v2 All shall eat of the power.
v3 God said, You are my people
v4 My friends
v1 My lovers
v2 My sisters
v3 And brothers
v4 All of you shall eat
v1 Of the bread
v2 And the power
v3 All shall eat.
v4 Then God, gathering up courage in love, said
v1 Let there be bread!
v2 And God's people, God's friends and lovers, knelt on the earth
v3 planted the seeds
v4 prayed for rain
v1 sang for the grain
v2 made the harvest
v3 cracked the wheat
v4 pounded the flour
v1 kneaded the dough
v2 kindled the fire
v3 filled the air with the smell of fresh bread
v4 And there was bread!
v1 And it was good!
v2 We, the people of God in this place, say today
v3 All shall eat of the bread
v4 And the power.
v1 We say today
v2 All shall have power
v3 And bread.
v4 Today we say
v1 Let there be bread.
v2 And let there be empowerment!
v3 Let us eat of the bread and the power!
v4 And all will be filled. (Carter Heyward/cw/adapted)
Breaking of the Bread
We remember, at the end of a journey,
among friends, our tradition says Jesus took bread...
v5Be gentle when you touch bread.
Let it not lie, uncared for, unwanted.
So often bread is taken for granted.
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.
Jesus took bread, said a blessing...
v5 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.
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.
Jesus took bread, said a blessing,
broke it and shared it with his friends.
Remember all that I have been to you.
v5 Do this, meet together, break the bread, remember me.
Remember me at the feeding of the five thousand-
You do not have to perish in the wilderness -
Come to me, and I will refresh you,
I will renew you,
I will restore you.
Come to me, I am the bread of life,
The bread that comes down from heaven.
Remember me, I am known in the breaking...
in the breaking of the day,
in the breaking of the bread.
Our tradition continues...
Later Jesus poured a cup of wine,
thanked the Source of Life for it and shared it too with his friends.
v5 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.
Remember me, my crushing, my bruising,
my three-day fermenting,
This is the wine that makes glad the hearts of all.
Do this as you remember me.
v5 Remember me.
Drink this in remembrance, all of you.
Be filled with my Spirit.
Let my life fill yours,
give you courage,
fill you with joy. (DAdam)
Let us share this bread and wine as we have been taught,
knowing that our lives are forever changed
by this and every breaking of bread.
The bread and the wine is served
We have been welcomed.
We have been fed.
We have ben empowered.
May we go out to live and work for the healing of the earth.
This day and always.
Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Called as Partners in Christ's Service" (Tune: 'Abbot's Leigh', 87 87D)
Called as partners in Christ's service,
Called to ministries of grace,
We respond with deep commitment
Fresh new lines of faith to trace.
May we learn the art of sharing,
Side by side and friend with friend,
Equal partners in our caring
To fulfil God's chosen end.
Christ's example, Christ's inspiring,
Christ's clear call to work and worth,
Let us follow, never faltering,
Reconciling folk on earth.
Men and women, richer, poorer,
All God's people, young and old,
Blending human skills together
Gracious gifts from God unfold.
Let us take on this week’s life
with renewed hope and imagination...
The Candle is extinguished
May you walk with God
All May you walk with God
in the daily unfolding
All in the daily unfolding
in the sharp pain of growing
All in the sharp pain of growing
in the midst of confusion
All in the midst of confusion
in the bright light of knowing.
All in the bright light of knowing.
May you walk with God
All May you walk with God
and live in God
All and live in God
and remain with God
All and remain with God
All forever. Amen. (MTWinter/wpws-Adapted)
Words of Blessing
The blessing of God:
make and remake you in the image of God (RBurgess/bb).
All Amen. May it be so.
May peace be within us.
May peace be around us.
May peace be beside us.
May peace be between us.
May we walk peacefully with Mother Earth.
May peace fill our days and nights.
May peace fill the earth.
All Let it be so. (DLNew/cw)
Hymn (Cont). "Called as Partners in Christ's Service" (Tune: 'Abbot's Leigh', 87 87D)
Thus new patterns for Christ's mission,
In a small or global sense,
Help us bear each other's burdens,
Breaking down each wall or fence.
Words of comfort, words of vision,
Words of challenge, said with care,
Bring new power and strength for action,
Make us colleagues, free and fair.
So God grant us for tomorrow
Ways to order human life
That surround each person's sorrow
With a calm that conquers strife.
Make us partners in our living,
Our compassion to increase,
Messengers of faith, this giving
Hope and confidence and peace. © JPHuber
The people sit
'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
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. 1989. Tides and Seasons. Modern Prayers in the Celtic Tradition. London. Triangle/SPCK.
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.
Burgess, R. & K. Galloway. (ed). 2000. Praying for the Dawn. A Resource Book for the Ministry of Healing. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Burgess, R. 2001. A Book of Blessings. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2000. A World of Blessing. Benedictions from every continent and many cultures. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Allan Leggett. ‘Affirmation’. Direct from the author.
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.
(RP) Pratt, A. 2006. Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a spiritual journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Sanguin, B. If Darwin Prayed. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Vancouver: EOS, 2010.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
Stinson, J. 2006. “The encounter of progressive christian theology with the language of prayer and ritual on Sunday morning”. Westar Institute/Westar Leaders Seminar. March 2006.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK.
Winter, Miriam T. 1987. Women Prayer. Women Song. Resources for Ritual. Hartford. Meyer Stone Books.
G Klinger. "Resurrection All Around Us". C3 Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <www.c3exchange.org>
J P Huber. “Called as Partners”. LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches.