Pentecost13B.19.8.2018

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
19 August 2018.  Pentecost 13B. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


Worth Pondering
“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical.
It is the source of all true art and science. [S]/he to whom this emotion is a stranger,
who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead”
(Albert Einstein)


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

Rich and Striking Visuals
          “The function of beauty… is to make us aware of a reality which is richer and deeper
          and more marvellous than anything we can dream or conceive.” (Henry N. Wieman)
          Artwork OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Slides 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning is a new arrival.  (Rumi/lp)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of this life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Note: (i) A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE
(ii) Additional Special Purpose Hymns that cover major international events or themes can be found HERE  They include these categories: 1. Bush (Brush) Fire, 2. Tsunami, Storms/Cyclones, 3. Earthquakes, 4. War/Remembrance, 5. Caregiving, 6. God as Mother, 7. Human Trafficking, 8. Disabled, 9. Migration/Refugees, 10. Terrorist Attacks, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism 
HERE

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Playful God”  (Tune: ‘Joyful God’. 77.87)       75 RP
Playful God, you laugh and dance
at every indication
that we have caught a glimpse, a glance
of magic in creation.

Tearful God, you weep and mourn,
you share our desolation;
in every doubt, in pain and grief,
we need your consolation.

Joyful God, we praise your name
in every situation.
Your love will even live through death,
you promise resurrection.

Mighty God, creative heart
and source of our elation,
accept our praise, our lives, our all,
our ceaseless adoration.  
(Andrew Pratt)

OR

Seek Not Afar for Beauty”  (Tune: ‘Sursum Corda’, 10.10.10.10)         77 SLT
Seek not afar for beauty; lo! it glows
in dew-wet grasses all about your feet;
in birds, in sunshine, childish faces sweet,
in stars and mountain summits topped with snows.

Go not abroad for happiness; behold
it is a flower blooming at your door.
Bring love and laughter home, and evermore
joy shall be yours as changing years unfold.

In wonder-workings, or some bush aflame,
we look for Truth and fancy it concealed;
but in earth's common things it stands revealed,
while grass and flowers and stars spell out the name.  
(Minot Judson Savage)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Sing to Life a new song!
All  Sing to Life, all Creation!
Sing of compassion and
temper your deeds with kindness.
All  
Sing to all the world and tell
of the miracles that sustain us daily.  (Rami M Shapiro/lp)

Act of Awareness
In all our living, may we be freed
to see things afresh,
to be more fully alive,
and have the courage to keep faith in
the future of humanity.

OR

We pray:
May the spirit of wisdom, comfort and inspire us.
The symbols of life are all around us:
light and noise,
infants and adults,
birds and animals,
colours and movement,
words of goodwill,
songs of joy.

May we be helped to recognise the symbols of life.
May they be renewed everyday,
as we are inspired to share them generously.
May it be so with us.

Hymn  No Number Tallies Nature Up”  (Tune: ‘Resignation’, CMD)             79 SLT
No number tallies nature up, 
no tribe its house can fill, 
it is the shining fount of life 
and pours the deluge still. 
And gathers by its fragile powers 
along the centuries 
from race on race the rarest flowers, 
its wreath shall nothing miss.

It writes the past in characters
of rock and fire and scroll,
the building in the coral sea,
the planting of the coal.
And thefts from satellites and rings
and broken stars it drew,
and out of spent and aged things
it formed the world anew.

Must time and tide forever run,
nor winds sleep in the west?
Will never wheels which whirl the sun
and satellites have rest?
Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more,
and mix the bowl again;
seethe, Fate, the ancient elements,
heat, cold, and peace, and pain.

Blend war and trade and creeds and song,
let ripen race on race,
the sunburnt world that we shall breed
of all the countless days.
No ray is dimmed, no atom worn,
the oldest force is new,
and fresh the rose on yonder thorn
gives back the heavens in dew.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882, rev.)

OR

"World Without End" (Tune: ‘Slane1’, Irreg.)
Praise to the Lord for the joys of the earth:
Cycles of seasons and reason and birth,
Contrasts in outlook and landscape and need,
Challenge of famine, pollution and greed.

Praise to the Lord for the progress of life:
Cradle and grave, bond of husband and wife,
Pain of youth growing and wrinkling of age,
Questions in step with experience and stage.

Praise to the Lord for his care of our kind:
Faith for the faithless and sight for the blind,
Healing, acceptance, disturbance and change,
All the emotions through which our lives range.

Praise to the Lord for the people we meet,
Safe in our homes or at risk in the street:
Kiss of a lover and friendship’s embrace,
Smile of a stranger and words full of grace.

Praise to the Lord for the carpenter’s son,
Dovetailing worship and work into one:
Tradesman and teacher and vagrant and friend,
Source of all life in this world without end.  © Iona Community

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 silence be placed around us now, like a mantle.

Let us enter into it,
as through a small secret door;
stooping,
to emerge into
an acre of peace,
where stillness reigns
and the Sacred is present.
(Silence)

May the mantle of silence
become a cloak of understanding
to warm our hearts this day. (Adapt. Kate McIlhagga/ghs)
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from the Biblical Tradition
A reading from our biblical tradition shall now be offered.

Traditional Gospel:
John 6: 51-58 
(Inclusive Text)

'I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I shall give
is my flesh, for the life of the world.'

Then the crowds started arguing with one another:
How can this one give us his flesh to eat? they said.

Jesus replied:
'I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat my flesh or drink my blood,
you have no life in you.

'Those who do... have eternal life,
and I will raise them up on the last day.

'For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
Those who do eat and drink, live in me, and I live in them.

'As the living God sent me, and I live because of God,
so whoever eats (and drinks) draw life from me.

'This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate, they are dead.

But anyone who eats this bread will live forever’.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

In the Southern Hemisphere
A Litany as We Prepare for Early Spring (Optional)

The people stand as they are able

v1 The icy frosts of winterGive way to springtime dew.Frost-bitten fuchsias
Struggle to burst forth in new bud.
All
  Thanks be to Creativity God.

v2  Early morning dew on cobwebs,
Hangs like crystal on the weeds
along the roadside,
Reminding us of creations's plan
for all creatures; great and small.
All 
Thanks be to sacred all around and within.

v1  The winter has been short and dry;
Cold wind never quite giving way to needed rain
Driving its clouds on towards the coast;
But the seed lying in the thirsty ground
Has still burst forth.
All
  Thanks be to creativity.

v2  We cannot hold you in the spider's web, O God;
We cannot hold you in the winds that drive the windmill;
All  For you are also in the thirsty ground,
The budding fuchsia, and the struggling seed.

v3  Daffodil and jonquil 
Filling fields and lining driveways,
Cheer the heart;
Perfumed daphney awakens dulled senses;
And songbirds declare the joy of living.
All
  Thanks be for life - all of life.

v1 We cannot hold you in the daffodil or daphne;
All  
For you are also in the air we breathe 
And in the magpie's song
v1 Reminding us again of creation's surprises.
All  Great is the harmony, Creativity God. (Adapt. Pam Wyley/grpe)

OR

Litany: Heart of Matter
Blessed be you, harsh matter, barren soil, stubborn rock:
you who yield only to violence;
All  You who force us to work
if we would eat.

Blessed be you, perilous matter, violent sea,
untamable passion:
All  You who unless we fetter you will devour us,

Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever new-born;
All  You who, by constantly shattering our mental categories,
force us to go ever further and further
in our pursuit of the truth.

Blessed be you, universal matter, unmeasurable time,
boundless ether, triple abyss of stars
and atoms and generations;
All  You who by overflowing and dissolving
our narrow standards of measurement
reveal to us the dimensions of God.  
(Teilhard de Chardin/slt)

Sharing 'The Peace
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

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
Spirit of Springtime(Tune: ‘Verdure’)     59 FFS
Spirit if springtime in creation’s garden,
tingling the senses,
tickling the earth,
sap that is rising where the seed was sleeping,
push for a new world
coming to birth!

Heard in the song that sweeps from bush to ocean,
seen in the sunlight,
felt in the blood,
surge of delight at every greening, growing,
God in the promise,
blossom from bud.

Fresh as the rain that washes clean our vision,
keen as the wind on
Pentecost day,
bright as the Spirit in the life of Jesus,
bold as the mindset
thinking his way.

Springtime of hope from out of winter’s clutches,
warm us to witness
woo us to see
beauty will break through rotted leaves and ashes,
joy will erupt, and
life will leap free!  
(Shirley Erena Murray)
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?  (Binkley & McKeel/jke)

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 this abundant blessing
All  
We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All  
May love abound.  (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:  (Optional)
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Abba/Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as appropriate

All  Loving Presence, luminous in all creation,
hallowed be your name.
Thy kin-dom come.

May we reflect on earth
the yielding perfection of the heavens.
Help us to receive an illumined measure from the earth this day.

Forgive us when we trespass against others,
human and other than human,
as we forgive others who trespass against us.

Keep us on the path of wisdom
when we are tempted to take the selfish path.

May it be your rule we follow,
your power we exercise,
and your radiance that allures.

May this be the truth that guides our lives,
the ground from which our future will grow,
until we meet again.  (Bruce Sanguin/dddc)

CELEBRATING

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Offerings
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
and our gifts or bread and wine, shall now be received.

Presentation
May our sharing and our giving be blessed.
May all that we give today and all that we receive,
be for the enrichment of our life
and the lives of others.

Thanksgiving
May it be well with you.
All  And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All  
May we rejoice in the beauty that we are.  (Gretta Vosper/wwg)

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name as God…
For the sage we name Jesus…
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit…
(Silence)

God of winter, the unpopular, slandered season;
God of lightning, wind and storm;
God of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns
and stark hillsides; of warm socks, coats and gloves,
raincoats, umbrellas and warm fires,
we open ourselves to all the possibilities life offers us.

So we join in the canticle of the cosmos, saying:
All  
Holy, holy, holy, re-creating God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Bread and Wine
We remember the times when Jesus faced
difficult decisions and destructive forces:
- in the days and nights of his searching,
- in finding ways to free others from images and ideas
that kept them captive and dependent and fearful of God,
- in breaking down social and religious barriers,
- in facing failure,
- in facing death.  
(Michael Morwood/pns).

When we too experience the winter of our lives
may we find the courage to let go
and trust in your guiding, warming light.
(Silence)

And as we eat together at this table
we remember 
the importance and the words of many sages…
and the actions of all meals
 in the tradition of Jesus.

He took bread, gave thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his friends.
Bread broken

He poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it,
and gave it also to his friends.
Wine poured out

Response
In sharing this meal, we enter a new covenant,
with the Sacred, with all creation, and with one another,
All
a promise to walk gently upon this planet,
to raise our voice in the service of life,
to love kindness,
and to seek justice.  (Bruce Sanguin/idp).

Communion
The Bread and Wine is served

After Communion
God of amazing grace,
in the cold of the winter months
we are grateful for your presence, warming us.

We pray this presence will strengthen us
to follow in the way of Jesus, in this city.

SCATTERING

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Faith is a Forest”  (Tune: ‘Mo-Li-Hua’, Irreg)         194(v1-2) SLT
Faith is a forest in which doubts play and hide,
insight can hear the still small voice deep inside.
Web of Life, may this thread I weave
strengthen commitment to all I believe.
Vision be my guide as I seek my way,
lead me into this tender day;
speak through me in all I do and say.

Seeds of both meek and strong are scattered in air
dignity shines undimmed by bigotry’s glare.
Web of Life, may this thread I weave
help me hear witness to all I believe.
Justice be my guide as I seek my way,
lead me into this tender day;
speak through me in all I do and say.

OR

God Who Carved... Landscape(Tune: ‘Dansey’, 87.87)      31(v1-2) FFS
God who carved this timeless landscape,
snow-clad ridge to valley plain,
power of surging race and river,
limestone crag and scarred terrain;
maker still of earth, fire, water,
artistry of sight and sound,
Southern lights and sunset splendour,
raise our eyes and you are found.

Calendar of nature's balance,
rhythms of the farming year,
shearing, milking, ploughing, pruning,
manger setting ever near!
lonely struggle in the byways,
nor'west dust or snow and flood,
fellowship of tears and laughter:
Lord, with you, we're understood.
Remain standing

Parting Words
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place…
The Community Candle is extinguished

Blessed is the One within the many.
All  Blessed are the Many who make one.  (Arthur Waskow/lp).

Words of Blessing
Walk softly.
Speak truthfully.
Love gently.
Breathe deeply.
Live wisely.
Go in peace.  (EGehrmann)
All Amen. May it be so!

Hymn (Cont). Faith is a Forest”  (Tune: ‘Mo-Li-Hua’, Irreg)         194(v3) SLT
Fortune and famine ride the swift winds of change;
sorrow and pleasure seem united in dance.
Web of Life, may this thread I weave
mingle compassion with all I believe.
Mercy be my guide as I seek my way,
lead me into this tender day;
speak through me in all I do and say. 
(Shelly J Denham)

OR

God Who Carved... Landscape(Tune: ‘Dansey’, 87.87)     31(v3) FFS
Giving thanks for those before us,
village life and tussock track,
as we turn to face the future,
history's wind upon our back;
scattered are our congregations,
each now shares in ministry,
bonding strength of work together:
spirit of community.  
(Denham Grierson)
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:
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2005.
Iona Community. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
Liebelt, P. & N. Nicholls. (ed). Gentle Rain on Parched Earth. Worship Resources for Rural Situations. Melbourne. JBCE, 1996.
McIlhagga, K. The Green Heart of the Snowdrop. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2004.
Macnab, F. A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in Words that Blow you Away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2006
Morwood, M. Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2003.
(RP) Pratt, A. Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a Spiritual Journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York. HarperCollins, 1996.
Sanguin, B. If Darwin Prayed. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Vancouver: EOS, 2010.
Sanguin, B. Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos. An ecological Christianity. Canada: Kelowna. CopperHouse, 2007.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
Vosper, G. With or Without God. Why the Way we Live is More Important than what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK, 1995.

Web sites/Other:
Gerhmann. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
"World Without End". Iona Community, Scotland.

rexae74@gmail.com