Pentecost13B.23.8.2015

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

23 August 2015.  Pentecost 13B. (Green).


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

Each new day is a gift.
Each new phase of life brings generous possibilities.
Each new question brings learning and growth (FMacnab/h).

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

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

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Sing for God’s Glory
(Tune:  ‘Lobe den Herren’, 14 14 4 7 8  111 TiS)
Sing for God’s glory that colors the dawn of creation,
racing across the sky, trailing bright clouds of elation;
sun of delight succeeds the velvet of night,
warming the earth’s exultation.

Sing for God’s power that shatters the chains that would hold us,
searing the bleakness of fear and despair that would mold us,
touching our shame with love that will not lay blame,
reaching out gently to find us.

Sing for God’s justice disturbing each easy illusion,
tearing down tyrants and putting our pride to confusion;
lifeblood of right, resisting evil and slight,
offering freedom’s transfusion.

Sing for God’s saints who have travelled faith’s journey before us,
who in our weariness give us their hope to restore us;
in them we see the new creation to be,
spirit of love made flesh for us. (K Galloway.Adapt.)
Remain standing

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. (EA Hewitt/adapt)
All We bring all that we are and all that we yet can be,
to this safe and holy place.

Act of Awareness
We have gathered in this sacred place, again.
May we continue to create here a circle of love,
ever expanding,
ever growing.

A place of wisdom.
A place of connection.
A place of hope.

OR

We pray:
Surprising God,
whose love leads us to new experiences,
help us to be open to your presence
among us and within.

Let us sense your glory
in the sights and sounds of this day.
May it be so.

HymnGreat God of Many Names(Tune: 66 84 + Choru: 444)   39 WNC
Great God of many names:
Jehovah, Allah, Lord,
Christ, Brahman, Spirit, Adonai;
We worship you.
Chorus:
Whatever name,
whichever face,
we worship you.

With pomp and pageantry
Beneath an onion dome,
Or in a bare and simple room,
we worship you.
Chorus:

In chapel, mosque or shrine
we wait to praise your name,
through icon, book or choir
we worship you.
Chorus:

With tabla or guitar,
or with a thousand lights,
through fasting, feasting, fellowship
we worship you.
Chorus:

With formal dress or free,
we meditate or dance,
through pesach, hajj or nam simran
we worship you.
Chorus:

Whatever name or creed,
enlightenment or book,
we seek you through our pilgrimage
and worship you.
Chorus:                (APratt)
People sit

OR

Down the Ages” (Tune: ‘Woodland’ 77 77)      2 SLT
Down the ages we have trod
many paths in search of God,
seeking ever to define
the Eternal and Divine.

Some have seen eternal good
pictured best in parenthood,
and a Being throned above
ruling over us in love.

There are others who proclaim
God and Nature are the same,
and the present God-head own
where creation’s laws are known.

There are eyes which best can see
God within humanity,
and God's countenance there trace
written in the human face.

Where compassion is most found
is for some the hallowed ground,
and these paths they upward plod
teaching us that love is God.

Though the truth we can't perceive
this at least we must believe,
what we take most earnestly
is our living Deity.

Our true God we there shall find
in what claims our heart and mind,
and our hidden thoughts enshrine
that which for us is Divine.   (JAStorey)
People sit

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)

In these brief moments of silence may we find strength.
May our lives be rich in affection,
deep in understanding and
sympathy for each other.

May the blessings of life be known to all. Bob Holmes/adapt
(Silence) 

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be offered.

Responsive Psalm: (Optional)
Psalm 84
A 21st century exploration by Francis Macnab.

O God, from my place in the working world,
and in the wide wilderness of life,
I long for that sure sense of knowing what it is all about.
All  
I yearn for that experience of joy
to come to my whole body and soul.

I look for your presence as a pathway to life's fullness.

Even the birds as small as a sparrow and the swallow,
show me the way to your presence.

Though we are often wounded and hurt in this fractured world,
we discover that this world also has its source of healing.
All  
We are all enriched and our hearts are made stronger
as we tap into that power that flows into us.
The very sight of a spring of water
arouses our anticipation of  being refreshed and renewed.
From all our external involvements,
we hear the call of our inner spirits.

O Lord of all Being you remind us that you take hold of us.
A moment in your presence is worth more
than many years in the wilderness of life.
All  
I will be happy to stay only at the edge of your presence
than be carried away by my own self-serving pursuits.
Pause

God - you stand in front of us when we fear the future.
In our dark times you bring the sun to shine again.
All  
Out of our troubles you point us
to the pathway of our best bliss.
And as we receive: we are rich indeed! (FMacnab/fwb)

Traditional Gospel:
John 6:60-61, 63-64a, 65-69 (Inclusive Text/adapted)

Jesus has been in the synagogue.

He had just finished teaching the disciples about
the bread come down from heaven...

After hearing it, may of the followers of Jesus said:
'This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?'

Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it, and said…
'It is the spirit that gives life,
the flesh has nothing to offer.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
'But there are some of you who do not believe'....

'This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless it is granted by God.'

After this, many of the disciples left and stopped going with Jesus.
Then Jesus said to the Twelve,
'What about you, do you want to go away too?'

Simon Peter answered,
'Teacher, whom shall we go to?
You have the message of eternal life, and we believe;
we know that you are the Holy One of God.'

OR

From a Religious Neighbour:
"Let us be United”
From The Rig Veda.
Earth Prayers/93.

Let us be united,
Let us speak in harmony,
Let our minds apprehend alike.

Common be our prayer,
Common be the end of our assembly,
Common be our resolution,
Common be our deliberations.

Alike be our feelings,
Unified be our hearts,
Common be our intentions,
Perfect be our unity.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

An Affirmation of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand 
and share together an affirmation of faith…
The people stand as they are able

v1 We believe we are here because of the eternal generosity
of that Holy Lover whom we call God.

v2  Because God is, there is a universe;
All  
galaxies, sun, moon, and the green earth.
Because God is,
All  there are mountains and plains,
streams and seas, forests and grasslands,
Because God is,
All  
there are living creatures;
seagulls and wallabies,
parrots and butterflies.
Because God is,
All  
we are breathing, thinking, feeling, self-aware creatures,
asking deep questions 
and reflecting in prayer.
Because God is,
All  
we are made for loving,
and by the grace of our Brother Jesus,
we find the liberty to be people
of uncalculating compassion. (Adapt. BDPrewer)

Because God is,
All  
we have a Spirit-Friend who inspires and counsels,
comforts and gives new life
to both young and old,
straight and gay,
friend and stranger.

v1 We believe in God,
All  
who’s nature is creativity, shaping our lives and
the lives of our neighbours, luring us all to live life
generously and compassionately. (RAEHunt)

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

May a heart of peace rest with you.
All
And also with you. (Galston/q)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
"Everything That Has Voice" (Tune: 'Sing for Peace', Marty Haugen)   9 TEL

Everything that has voice,

sing for peace,

speak for peace,

given chance, given choice,

work for peace,

write for peace,

resonating everywhere,

echoing our common care:

everything that has voice,

sing for peace!

All the world longs for peace
cries for peace,

dies for peace,

let the children, every place

sleep in peace,

grow in peace,

home and country safe to be

where the spirit rises free,

all the world longs for peace,

cries for peace.

Everyone who has breath,

you and I,

passers-by,

every tenant of the earth

plant for peace,

gather for peace,
cultivate a neighbourhood

cherishing our neighbours' good:
everyone who has breath,

live for peace! (Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation
By our smallest actions,
we become part of a bigger world.
The smallest giving can be an expression
of the good spirit of generosity and caring.

May we be helped to carry through the doorway
of each new day, this good spirit
of generosity and caring. (FMacnab/h)
The 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? (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:
May we have courage in uncertain times,
All
Let it all happen.  No mood is final.
May we recognise new beginnings
in what seem to be endings,
All
Let it all happen.  No feeling is final. (3CExchange)

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  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. (BSanguin/dddc)

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Morning has Broken” 156 (v1-2) TiS
Morning has broken
like the first morning;
blackbird has spoken
like the first bird. 
Praise for the singing,
praise for the morning,
praise for them, springing
fresh from the word.

Sweet the rain’s new fall
sunlit from heaven,
like the first dewfall
on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
of the wet garden,
sprung from completeness
where his feet pass.
Remain standing

Parting Words
As we prepare to leave this sacred space
where we have celebrated together,let us return to our work and schoolenlivened and renewed…
The Community Candle is extinguished

May we also remember that each day
offers more things than we can do.
All
May we do what needs to be done,
postpone what does not,
and be at peace with what we can be and do.

Therefore, may we learn to separate
that which matters most
All
and that which matters least of all

Words of Blessing
May you always stand tall as a tree.
Be as strong as the rock Uluru.
As gentle and still as the morning mist.

Hold the warmth of the campfire in your heart.
And may the Creator Spirit
always walk with you. (EPike/grpe)
All Amen. May it be so!

Hymn (Cont). Morning has Broken” 156 (v3) TiS
Mine is the sunlight;
mine is the morning
born of the one light
Eden saw play.
Praise with elation,
praise every morning,
God’s recreation
of the new day.
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:

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.
Holmes, R. H. 1972.  The Bob Holmes Worship Materials. Vol 1.  Little Falls. Self published.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Liebelt, P. & N. Nicholls. (ed). 1996. Gentle Rain on Parched Earth. Worship Resources for Rural Situations. Melbourne. JBCE.
Macnab, F. 1996.
Hope: The Deeper Longings of the Mind and Heart. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
(TEL) Murray, S. E. Touch the Earth Lightly. New Hymns written between 2003 & 2008. Carol Stream. Hope Publishing, 2008.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1991. 
Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins.
Sanguin, B. 2007.
Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos. An Ecological Christianity. Canada: Kelowna. CopperHouse.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
(TiS)
Together in Song. Australian Hymn Book 2. 1999. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.

Web Sites/Other:
Hewitt. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
"Sing For God's Glory". Iona Community, Scotland.
Bruce Prewer Web Site. VIC: Bendigo.
"May we have courage". C3Exchange. <www.c3exchange.org
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/

rexae74@gmail.com