PalmSB.29.3.2015

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


GATHERING FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

29 March 2015.  Palm B. (Purple).


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

Silence

LITURGY OF THE BRANCHES
Introduction
For the past five weeks of the Season of Lent we have been preparing... 
preparing for this moment in the story of Jesus' journey.

Now we are one week from Easter!

Today is what has traditionally been called 'Palm Sunday'. 
But you won’t hear about “palms” in this story from Mark. 
The gospel of John, written 30-40 years later, is the only one that says
people waved 'palm' branches for Jesus.

Anyway...  This is the day on which, our tradition tells us,
Jesus entered Jerusalem, and just days before his death.

So I invite you to reflect on
some of the feelings associated with Holy Week.
(Pause)

Let’s imagine we have come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.
We begin by listening again to Mark's story: 
to Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, his own city,
to encourage the people to see 
and experience God in new ways.

Traditional Gospel
Mark 11:1-11 (NRSV)

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples and said to them:
‘Go into the village ahead of you,
and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there
a colt that has never been ridden.

‘Untie it and bring it.  If anyone says to you,
‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this,
‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’

They went away and found a colt tied near a door,
outside in the street.

As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them:
‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’
They told them what Jesus had said,
and they allowed them to take it.

Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it.
And he sat on it.

Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.

Then those who went ahead
and those who followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple.

And when he had looked around at everything,
as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Silence

Gong sounded once
Jesus dared to live God’s way
in the midst of all the 'ups' and 'downs' of life.

We too are called to proclaim our faith faithfully
by the way we live, and treat one another.

Silence

Gong sounded a second time
Jesus wanted his disciples to live passionate,
justice seeking, God centred lives.

Silence

Gong sounded a third time
Jesus, as human face of God, shared his life
that others might sense the new signs of hope
in their everyday lives.

Silence

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Hymn In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
To Bring a City to its Sense(Tune: ‘Fingal’, ‘Detroit’, CM) 109 WNC
To bring a city to its sense,
a nation to its knees,
they welcomed Nazareth’s carpenter,
waved palms cut from the trees.

Hosannas filled the quiet air,
they strained to glimpse a view;
‘Messiah’ they acclaimed this man
whom Pharisees would sue.

He turned the table upside down,
he spun their world around,
he challenged preconceived ideas,
flung hatred to the ground.

This man had learnt too much, it seemed,
knew ways of right and wrong,
his ear attuned to righteousness
sensed discord in their song.

The politicians and the priests
were threatened by his choice;
the hypocrites would silence him,
and still we shun his voice. (APratt)

OR

Here in the Busy City(Tune: 76 76)   166 AOV2
Here in the busy city 
now let the church be seen
where lesser gods are worshipped
in money and machine;
where news is but sensation,
the Good News hardly heard
now let the church take action
in living out the word!

In policies and planning
the church be there to speak
to moderate the powerful,
to argue for the weak:
where law must sit in judgement
and love is little known,
there at the crisis centre
the Christ concern be shown.

Where litter chokes the gutter
and people go to waste,
where joblessness is bitter
and living lost its taste
to underlevened people
be proof of rising yeast,
in lives devoid of flavour
be saltiness released!

Here in the busy city
God walks on every street
in generous or greedy,
the honest or the cheat,
and daily we must offer
the good that goes unpriced
with vigour and with vision
the lifestyle of the Christ. (SEMurray)

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
Let us take a moment to settle into the silence.
Silence

Hear and feel your quiet breathing.
Hear and feel the quiet of this place
and this community of people.
Silence

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.
May our minds be open to new truth,
and our hearts be receptive to love,
as we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share. E-LBelcher
Silence

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our broad Religious Tradition
We continue our special Lenten series of listening to a reflection
by retired Uniting Church minister, Bruce Prewer.
Our reader is (NN).

In an Australian Accent:
"Tough Faith"
By Bruce Prewer. More Australian Psalms/86.

It was never easy!

This life of faith,
lived freely and lovingly
despite contemporary pride
and age-old enigmas,
has always been tough,
for Abraham, Sarah, Job,
Thomas, Mary, Augustine,
Luther, McKillop, Flynn.

Lord, we believe; 
save us from unbelief!

Pity the overt arrogance
of modern culture,
drunk on small achievements,
thinking that our era
has put paid to faith,
throwing away God
as a superstition
clutched by the ignorant.

It was never easy!
Choice, commitment,
whether to gamble one's all
on current self-adulation,
or to plunge into the Under-Swell
of hope and faith, spirit and truth,
flowing with creative love,
rampant with celebration
and the glory of Christ.

Lord, we believe; save us from unbelief.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Palm Sunday Reflection: Twenty Centuries Past (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share an affirmation of belief.
The people stand as they are able

Twenty centuries past, what city has not heard of your coming?

From Beijing to Berlin, from Jerusalem to Johannesburg, 
from New York to New Delhi
surely the word has spread that you've come in peace, not violence
to enrich, renew, transform our lives and bring us to shalom?
All Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of God.  Hosanna in the highest.

Twenty centuries past, what city has not heard of your church?

From Catholic, Orthodox, Uniting or Anglican,
Evangelical, Progressive or Pentecostal
surely the message of acceptance, healing, confidence
in your royal advent, has been passed on through faithful living?
All Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of God.  Hosanna in the highest.

Twenty centuries past, what city has not rejected you?

From penthouse to tenement, from factory to leisure centre,
from theme park to concert hall,
surely the news is that this life is for taking, not giving
and what stands in the way of this lifestyle
must now be removed?
All Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of God.  Hosanna in the highest.

Twenty centuries past, what city does the Christ seek to enter?

From leafy suburb to shanty town, from housing estate
to West-End flat, from salon to slum,
surely the sign of the church free from pride, united in deed,
must be the welcome the Christ longs for as he enters our city?
All Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of God.  Hosanna in the highest.
(Adapt.J Young/lird)

Sharing 'The Peace'
This is a house of God.  A place of peace.
A place where we befriend one another. (Adapt.RMitchell/bb)
Let us greet one another as a sign of God's presence and peace.

The peace 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
"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. (SEMurray)

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:
Holy God, as you have touched us
All May we now touch others
with your love in us.  (Adapt.KGalloway/cw)

And so we take a 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  God, who cares for us,
The wonder of whose presence fills us with awe.

Let kindness, justice and love shine in our world.
Let your secrets be known here as they are in heaven.
Give us the food and the hope we need for today.

Forgive us our wrongdoing
as we forgive the wrongs done to us.
Protect us from pride and from despair
and from the fear and hate which can swallow us up.

In you is truth, meaning, glory and power,
while worlds come and go.
Amen. (MFurlong/nwi)

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)

CELEBRATING

If it is your tradition to celebrate Holy Communion on Palm/Passion Sunday...
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Offering
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.

Presentation
As the many threads are made one in the cloth,
as the many grains are made one in the bread,
as the many grapes are made one in the wine,
so we who are many are made one
when we gather at this table.  NSlee/bb

The Invitation
Here today, through bread and wine,
we renew our unity with one another,
and with all those who have gone before us in this place.

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

The Story
We are reminded again of the tradition that surrounds this story.

Long ago, on the night of his arrest,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it:
v2 'This bread is broken, as my body will be'.

And he handed it to his friends, inviting them to eat:
v2 'Remember all that I have been to you'.

Long ago, on that same night,
Jesus poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it,
and gave it to his friends:
v2 'This wine is poured out, as my life will be.
Remember me and give thanks for all I have given'.

Thanksgiving
Creating God, Source of Life, we offer our thanks.
Wn The smell of gums after rain,
Mn The surprise of ducks in flight,
Wn The taste of peach and plum and nectarine,
Mn For all gifts simple and profound,
in country and city,
in paddock, or back yard and on lake:
We give thanks.
All We give thanks.

We who hold all such good things in trust
join in the praise of all people:
All Holy! Holy! Holy!
Heaven and earth are holy and good.
Holy is peace.
All Holy is truth.  Holy is love.

In this season of transition
as the leaves begin their subtle change of colour
and our hearts cling to the warmth as the days shorten,
All once again we are reminded,
that new possibilities can rise from our failures
or disappointments
or what has come to an end.

We give thanks for all the influences in our lives
that have helped us to see beyond the present:
v2 that teach us to combine labour and rest,
that bring us the cycles of time and season,
that sustain us when we are in need.
All God loves in us;
God cares through us;
God laughs in us;
God cries in us, as nowhere else. (MMorwood/pns)

Especially we give thanks for Jesus of Nazareth,
gatherer of folk,
teller of stories,
breaker of bread,
pourer of wine,
weaver of lives.
v2 In his life, wisdom, stories and social vision
we recall the words he spoke to call forth in us
love, care and respect for one another:
All And we believe the same Spirit of God
that came to visibility in Jesus
yearns for visible expression in us.

Bread and Wine
So we take this bread and this wine...
The bread is broken... the wine poured, in silence.

Bread broken…
Wine poured out… for the life of the world.

Communion
Come, taste of this same bread and wine...
Gifts of the earth.
Work of human hands.
Distribution of bread and wine, in continuous line

After Communion
May the bread and the wine and the sharing
and the remembering be a blessing on us all.

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
We Are Not Our Own(Tune: 'Nexus', 89 85)   317 (v1-2) SLT
We are not our own.  Earth forms us,
human leaves on nature's growing vine,
fruit of many generations,
seeds of life divine.

We are not alone.  Earth names us:
past and present, peoples near and far,
family and friends and strangers
show us who we are.

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

May our journey’s in life
All Shine with a star’s delight.
May our days and our years
All Weave together a wondrous tapestry.
May our unfolding stories
All
Dance with the grace of every blessing. (Adapt.KWehlander/wob)

Words of Blessing
May beauty delight you.
May tenderness envelop you.
May love nurture you.

And may silence give you peace. (WWallace/wob)
All Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont).We Are Not Our Own(Tune: 'Nexus' 89 85)    317 (v3-4) SLT
Therefore let us make thanksgiving,
and with justice, willing and aware,
give to earth, and all things living,
liturgies of care.

Let us be a house of welcome,
living stone upholding living stone,
gladly showing all our neighbours
we are not our own! (BWren)
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:
(AOV2) As One Voice2. Uniting God's People in Song. Manly Vale. Willow Connection.
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.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003. Let Justice Roll Down. A Worship Resource for Lent, Holy Week & Easter. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.
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.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Mitchell, R. C. & G. A. Ricciuti. 1992. Birthings and Blessings. Liberating Worship Services for the Inclusive Church. New York. Crossroads.
Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London: Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Prewer, B. D. 1996. More Australian Psalms. Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers.
Seaburg, C. (ed). 1993. The Communion Book. Boston. UUMA.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993.  Boston. UUA.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London.  SPCK.
Ward, H. & J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK.
Withrow, L. 1995. Seasons of Prayer. Resources for worship. London. SPCK.

Web sites/Other:
Belcher, UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

rexae74@gmail.com