EasterDayB.5.4.2015

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com

For continuing access make sure you bookmark my Web site:
www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


GATHERING FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

5 April 2015.  Easter Day B. (White).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


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

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

v1 Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
(Silence)

Life is a gift for which we are grateful.
All  We gather in community to celebrate
the glories and mysteries of this great gift.  MMontgomery/slt

v2  Today we celebrate:
new life,
new joy,
new possibilities.
All  We give thanks for the Spirit of Life
visible in Jesus,
visible in us,
visible in people in all walks of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

We light this flame and give praise for
the gifts that lift and inspire our living:
   music, art, creativity and all beauty.

Act of Awareness
The world is always radiant.
Whether at night under the dimmest starlight,
or at noon under the brightest sun,
the world is giving forth a vast legend.

It only awaits the involvement of the eye,
the engagement of the ear.

So let us live this moment in all its fullness,
for in it is all realisation, all time.  (Adapt.Kenneth Patton/sscl)

OR

We pray:
God of terror and joy, you arise to shake the earth.

Open our graves and give us back the past;
so that all that has been buried
may be freed and forgiven,
and our lives may return to you.
May it be so.

Hymn A traditional hymn
All People That On Earth Do Dwell
(Tune: ‘Old 100th, 88 88)    59 TiS
All people that on earth do dwell.
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice:
him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell;
come ye before him and rejoice.

Know that the Lord is God indeed;
without our aid he did us make:
we are his folk, he doth us feed,
and for his sheep he doth us take.

O enter then his gates with praise,
approach with joy his courts unto;
praise, laud and bess his name always,
for it is seemly so to do.

For why the Lord our God is good;
his mercy is for ever sure;
his truth at all times firmly stood,
and shall from age to age endure. (Wm Kethe, 16th century)

OR

Where Are You Going?(Tune: ‘Pilgrim Tune’, 97 66 7)    86 RP
Where are you going?  God only knows.
Walk on pilgrim, pilgrim sing.
It's not where you're going.
It's how you are changing.
Come on pilgrim!  Pilgrim sing!

Walk with another, walk on as one.
Come on pilgrim, pilgrim sing.
Your friends will walk with you,
and others will join you. 
Walk on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!

Walk midst the water, walk through the fire.
Walk on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
Your God will walk with you,
your God will protect you.
Come on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing! 

Climb up the mountain, follow the sun.
Come on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
The leaves turn to auburn
to welcome the autumn.
Walk on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!

God is behind you, God is ahead.
Walk on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
The winter may chill you,
the spring will enchant you.
Come on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!

Summer is coming, spirit of joy.
Come on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
Then dance as you travel,
sing 'hail resurrection'.
Walk on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!  (Andrew Pratt)

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

Centering Silence
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.
(Silence)

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.
Silence

Easter Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"We Are An Easter People" (Tune: Irregular)    146 AA
We are an Easter people,
ours is an Easter faith,
the yeast is rising in our hearts,
our wine has vintage taste.
Refrain:
Christ is risen,
Christ is risen,
risen in our lives.

We are an Easter people,
ours is an Easter faith,
our tears are freed to flow and heal
our shattered hopes and hearts.
Refrain:

We are an Easter people,
ours is an Easter faith,
our fears have died, we rise to dream,
to love, to dance, to live.  (William L Wallace)

Refrain:

RECOLLECTION OF BAPTISM
v1   In very early Christianity,
when the people gathered to worship on Easter morning,
they would be reminded of their baptism
as they witnessed the baptism of others.

This morning we, more than 20 centuries later, follow in that tradition.
Water is poured into the font

Come, Spirit of Life, Beyond all Names,
enfold us, impel us, refresh us
As water is sprinkled over the congregation...

Always remember you are baptised and be thankful...

v2   Baptised into a new way of being,
a new humanity,
fit for the glory and dignity
of this one Earth community…

And raised up,
a new creation grasping for life,
that we might grasp the full extent
of the mystery of being –
Alive! Creative! Compassionate! (Adapted from Bruce Sanguin/idp)

EXPLORING

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

The World around Us:
"Easter morning"
By Bruce Prewer. More Australian Psalms/151. 

Black light transforms
the clouds in the east,
the swamphens wake
at this new dawning.

Against the sky
sacred ibis wend
like angel forms,
to hopeless mourning.

The sun comes up
and the magpies sing.

God is alive
in everything this Easter morning.

OR

“Thank God for Bursting Life!”
By Shirley Erena Murray. A Place at the Table/37

Thank God for bursting life, for greening leaf, for sign of Spring’s sowing!
The Easter sunrise brings the light that can illumine all our knowing!
What crucifixion failed to kill, is well alive this Day:
   a peace-determined Way,
   God’s realm of hope and promise,
   of peace lived in promise,
as Jesus lived this promise.

Thank God for courage raised to roll away the stones of dead traditions,
to crack the codes of death, to give the fearful powers no free permission!
What crucifixion failed to kill, is well alive this Day:
   a fairer, kinder Way,
   a signatory to justice,
   commitment to justice,
as  Jesus lives this justice.

Thank God for feisty souls who let no weight of history deter them!
Who liberate the faith, who let the Easter air revive and stir them!
What crucifixion failed to kill, is well alive this Day:
   non-violent, this Way,
   a charter for compassion,
   the power of compassion,
as Jesus lived compassion.

Thank God for fresh-baked bread, the loaf we share,
the yeasty fragrance rising.
The bubbling up of hope, the wine outpoured in joy of God’s devising!
What crucifixion failed to kill, is well alive this Day:
   the Gospel-driven Way;
   the human spirit’s freedom,
   the risen life’s freedom,
as Jesus lived this freedom.

Traditional Gospel:
Mark 16: 1-8. (Inclusive Text/NRSV)

When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome,
bought spices with which to go and anoint Jesus.

And very early in the morning on the first day of the week
they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.
They had been saying to one another,
'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?'

But when they looked they could see that the stone - which was very big -
had already been rolled back.

On entering the tomb they saw a youth in a white robe
seated on the right-hand side,
and they were struck with amazement.

But the youth said to them:
'There is no need for alarm.
You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: 
Jesus has risen, and is not here.

'See, here is the place where they laid him.

'But you must go and tell the disciples and Peter:
Jesus is going before you to Galilee;
it is there you will see him, just as he told you.'

So they went out and fled from the tomb,
for both terror and amazement had seized them.

And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Contemporary Exploration
 
And an article on 'Communal Resurrection' by Dom Crossan
 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-dominic-crossan/the-communal-resurrection-jesus_b_847507.html

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Easter Litany: ‘Out of the Depths'  (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

When we are all despairing;
when the world is full of grief;
when we see no way ahead,
    and hope has gone away:
All   Roll back the stone.

Although we fear change;
although we are not ready;
although we’d rather weep
    and run away:
All  Roll back the stone.

Because we’re coming with the women;
because we hope where hope is vain;
because you call us from the grave
    and show the way:
All  Roll back the stone.  (Janet Morley/cw)

OR

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

v2  Beckoning Christ, you call us
out of our comfortable ghetto of 'us' and 'them'
to risk discipleship without walls.
All  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where God is worshipped above all other.

Wn  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where prayer is offered day and night.
All  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where we can share what we are
with others who love you.

Mn  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where each person has something to give to the whole.
All  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where compassion and respect
shape missionary endeavour.

v1  Keep on beckoning us out of our safe havens
into your rich fellowship of challenge and reconciliation,
faith and hope.  (Kate Compston/sco)

OR

A Litany: “Life in All its Fullness” (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

Bless you Wise and Holy One,
for your down-to-earth vision
of the best of what human life can be.
All Bless you Wise and Holy One,
for your call to life in all its fullness…

v1  when we honour who we are as easily
as we are enthralled by what others
want us to be;

v2  when we stop pursuing happiness
and let it embrace us;

v3  when we love
not in the hope of getting
but for the joy of giving;

v4  when love is not
what-you-can-do-for-me
but what-we-can-be together;

v5  when we choose our leaders
not for their image
but for their imagination,
not for the politics they play
but for the principles they live;

v6  when our economy thrives
on our expressing who we are
not on our spending what we have;

v7  when the earth itself
is our communion table;

v8  when we bite into theology's questions
as readily as we swallow technology’s answers;

v9  when we celebrate today as not just all we have
but all we need.
Silence

Bless you Wise and Holy One
All  for calling us to life in all its fullness,
not just hereafter, but here and now. 
(NSDEsdon.edited/ea)

Sharing 'The Peace'
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey,
you are welcome at this table with it's symbols of God's Creative Presence.
All In company with all who seek nourishment at this table,
we come to celebrate community,
and to share these life-giving symbols. (Jerry Stinson. L&L Seminar)

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

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
"
Simply To Be" (Tune: "Kapiti”)    118 HoS
 Simply to be, to be in stillness,
 simply to trust that God is here,
 simply to know the Holy Presence,
 is to be blessed: so am I blessed.

Simply to hold the given moment,
simply to lay concern aside,
simply to to let the heart be speaking,
is to be blessed:
so am I blessed.

so am I blessed within God's keeping,
so am I freed from pointless stress,
steadied to feel the soul replenished,
given this grace,
folded in peace.  
(Shirley Erina Murray)

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs 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 (Gretta Vosper/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 the Abba/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. (Burton Mack/Q)

CELEBRATING

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
In praise and gladness lift your voices.
In praise and gladness lift your eyes.
In praise and gladness lift your hearts.
Worship God, Ground and Source of Life, in thankfulness (APowell/cnc)

Thanksgiving
God is the heart of life.
All And we are the heartbeat.
May our hearts be filled
with thanks and praise and songs of joy.
All We rejoice in the miracle of life
and delight in our participation.  (Sherri Weinberg)

We give thanks for the invitation to be at this table,
for here we are shown our lives...

The daily bread of our work and care,
the wine of delight, pressed from the fruits of our creativity
and our brokenness, with all its pain and self-knowledge.

We celebrate the life that is ours
for we know we are precious in God’s sight.

We celebrate the life on the one called Jesus,
pattern of reality for us:
life that is love revealed
love given and received
love in action.

Therefore, with all your lovers throughout the ages we praise you saying:
All  Holy, holy, holy, resurrecting God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
All
Hosanna in the highest.

Bread and Wine
We give thanks for the Spirit of New Life active in our lives
as it was in the life of Jesus.

At this gathering in this sacred place
we take bread as Jesus took bread,
and we remember as Jesus remembered,
the constant presence
of the Spirit of Life and Love.

We break and share this bread
as Jesus broke and shared it.
(Break bread)

All  We share it as our pledge of openness to the Spirit in our midst,
and in acknowledgement of our eternal connectedness
with the Spirit of Life.

We take wine and pour it as Jesus poured it.
(Wine poured)

We drink as Jesus invited his friends to drink,
mindful of a relationship of love and trust
between ourselves and the Spirit of Life,
All believing as Jesus believed,
that 
beyond pain and darkness and death,
life in the Spirit continues in ways beyond our imaginging.
(Adapt. Michael Morwood).

Silence

Communion
The gifts of God for the people of God.
The Bread and Wine are served as people gather in one large circle around the worship space

After Communion
v1  Living God, we give thanks
for this time shared around this table.

v2  From now on, whenever we walk in strange places,
All we shall find your footprints there;
whenever we meet with unknown faces,
All  
we shall see your image there;
whenever we face nameless terror,
All  
we shall hear your 'Fear not' there;
whenever we stumble into unexpected joy,
All  
we shall feel your heartbeat there.

Wherever we go
All  we start from here.

SCATTERING

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
"We Shall Go Out With Hope Of Resurrection" ( #809 Meth. Hymn Book)

We shall go out with hope of resurrection.
We shall go out from strength to strength go on.
We shall go out and tell our stories boldly,
Tales of love that will not let us go.
We'll sing our songs of wrongs that can be righted.
We'll dream our dreams of hurts that can be healed.
We'll weave a cloth of all the world united
Within the vision of a Christ who sets us free.

Parting Words
Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts
the mystery and the wonder of this season...
The Community Candle is extinguished

And now may we go forth
in the certainty of faith,
in the knowledge of love,
and in the vision of hope.
All And in our going, may we be blessed.

Words of Blessing
Go out from this place to your daily journey through life.

Take with you God's story which gives you
strength and sustenance for the journey.

Fashion relationships of inclusion and reconciliation,
and a life-style that loves and treats people
and the earth gently, as God does.

Remember always  we are members of the body of Christ.
And may the Holy One surprise you on the way.
All  
Amen. May it be so!

Hymn (Cont). "We Shall Go Out With Hope Of Resurrection" (Tune: #809 Meth. Hymn Book)
We'll give a voice to those who have not spoken.
We'll find a word for those whose lips are sealed.
We'll make the tunes for those who sing no longer,
Vibrating love alive in every heart.
We'll share our joy with those who still are weeping.
Chant hymns of strength for hearts that break in grief,
We'll leap and dance the resurrection story
Including all within the circles of our love.  June Boyce-Tillman
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 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:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa.
 Hymns and Songs for all Churches. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Duncan, G. (ed). Seeing Christ in Others. An Anthology for Worship, Mediation and Mission. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 1998.
Duncan, G. (ed). Entertaining Angels. A Worship Anthology on Sharing Christ’s Hospitality. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 2005.
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 B. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2005.
Mack, B. L.
The Lost Gospel. The Book of Q and Christian Origins. New York. HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.
Morwood, M. 
Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2003.
Murray, S. E. A Place at the Table. New Hymns written between 2009 and 2013. Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 2013.
McCracken, J. (ed).
Celebrating the New Church. Liturgical Resources for Today. Blackburn. HarperCollins, 1998.
Patton, K. Services and Songs for the Celebration of Life. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.
(RP) Pratt, A.
Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a Spiritual Journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
Prewer, B. D.
More Australian Psalms. Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers, 1996
Sanguin, B. If Darwin Prayer. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Canada: Vancouver. ESC/Bruce Sanguin, 2010.
Stinson, J. “The encounter of progressive christian theology with the language of prayer and ritual on Sunday morning”. Westar Institute/Westar Leaders Seminar. March 2006
(TiS) Together in Song. Australian Hymn Book 2
. Sydney. HarperCollins Religious, 1999.
Vosper, G.
With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.

Web sites/Other:
"We Shall Go Out With Hope...". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
Sherri Weinberg. 2005. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport.
David Galston.
Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/

rexae74@gmail.com