Pentecost24B.8.11.2015

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

8 November 2015.  Pentecost 24B. (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

As we gather together on this spring day
may we recognise and affirm:
the pieces of possibility,
the bits of good, we bring,
allowing our individual gifts
to weave a patchwork of peace.

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 The people stand, as they are able, to sing
"Spirit of God, Creation's Force"
(Tune 245 TiS Fulda, 88 88)
Spirit of God, creation's force,
and power of evolution's course,
gave breath of life to humankind
and then inspired inventive mind.

Spirit of history's linked events
has shown repeated evidence
of hidden influence, working through
all our world leaders try to do.

Spirit of prophet's utterance
proclaimed in needy circumstance
a word of God, through human voice
with challenge to courageous choice.

Spirit of power and truth and grace,
renews today the human race,
bestowing gifts, producing fruits,
promoting godly attributes.

Spirit, possess and fill us whole,
fill every heart and mind and soul,
infuse our being with your power
that we may serve this present hour. 
RFirth/adapted. (c) Stainer & Bell Ltd
Remain standing

Two further Hymns for consideration by those sharing in Remembrance Day
(i)  “Honour the Dead”. (Tune: ‘Anzac’, 10 10 10 10)      61 HoS
Honour the dead, our country's fighting brave,
honour our children left in foreign grave,
where poppies blow and sorrow seeds her flowers,
honour the crosses marked forever ours.

Weep for the places ravaged by our blood,
weep for the young bones buried in the mud,
weep for the powers of violence and greed,
weep for the deals done in the name of need.

Honour the brave whose conscience was their call,
answered no bugle, went against the wall,
suffered in prisons of contempt and shame,
branded as cowards, in our country's name.

Weep for the waste of all that might have been,
weep for the cost that war has made obscene,
weep for the homes that ache with human pain,
weep that we ever sanction war again.

Honour the dream for which our nation bled,
held now in trust to justify the dead,
honour their vision on this solemn day:
peace known in freedom, peace the only way.
Shirley Erena Murray

(ii) “Remembrance(Tune: ‘Little Cornard’)
Once crimson poppies bloomed
out in a foreign field,
each memory reminds
where brutal death was sealed.
The crimson petals flutter down,
still hatred forms a thorny crown.

For in this present time
we wait in vain for peace,
each generation cries,
each longing for release,
while war still plagues the human race
and families seek a hiding place.

How long will human life
suffer for human greed?
How long must race or pride,
wealth, nationhood or creed
be reasons justifying death
to suffocate a nation's breath?

For everyone who dies
we share a quiet grief,
the pain of loss remains,
time rarely brings relief,
and so we will remember them
and heaven sound a loud amen.
© Andrew Pratt 15/10/2012

Opening Sentences
We live at mystery's edge
watching for a startling luminescence
or a word to guide us.
All
In fragile occurrence the Holy One is present,
and we must pause...

Daily, there are glimmers,
reflections of a seamless mercy
revealed in common intricacies.
All
These circles of grace spill out around us
and announce that we are part of this mystery. KWehlander

Act of Awareness
We come together in this hour…in a wider search for truth and purpose.

In this quest, may we
greet one another with open hearts and minds;
inspire each other to consider new questions
and seek deeper meaning;
and cultivate both wisdom and compassion.

Let all who enter this sacred place
find comfort in this community.

OR

We pray:
We have come together in this safe space
to reflect upon our lives,
to pray for ourselves and others, and
to deepen our understanding we have for each other.

May we embrace this time together.
May it be so.

Hymn "All-Present, All-Visible, Source of All Life" (Tune: ‘Immortal, Invisible’)
All-present, all-visible, Source of all life,

Within and around us, through joy and through strife.
Most Sacred, Eternal, You move on the earth,

You beckon and call forth new life and new birth.

Enlivened, extravagant, Sower of seeds,

Abundant, abounding, Your mercy exceeds.
Unhindered, unbridled, you shine forth your grace,
That we may do likewise, revealing Your face.



You care for Creation, O Mother of all,

Great mountains, clear waters, and flowers so small.

The earth is Your temple, for all life to share,

So help us be stewards of healing and care.



Transcendent, uncharted, and still close at hand,
Encompassing people from near and far lands.
Within each new moment, throughout life and death,

Your praises are sung out from all that has breath! (SKlosterboer/p&f)

OR

Let My Spirit Always Sing(Tune: 'Rebekah')   41 FFS
Let my spirit always sing,
though my heart be wintering,
though the season of despair
give no sign that you are there,
God to whom my days belong,
let there always be a song.

Though my body be confined,
let your word engage my mind,
let the inner eye discern
how much more there is to learn,
see a world becoming whole
through the window of the soul.

Let your wisdom grace my years,
choose my words and chase my fears,
give me wit to welcome change,
to accept, and not estrange,
let my joy be full and deep
in the knowledge that I keep.

Let my spirit always sing,
to your Spirit answering,
through the silence, through the pain
know my hope is not in vain,
like a feather on your breath
trust your love, through life and death. Shirley Erena Murray
The people sit

OR

Christ Is Our Peace(Tune: ‘Suantrai’)   16 AA
Christ is our peace, Christ is our health,
he the true Word, his the true wealth –
gifts to be shared by the simple and poor:
peace in your land, peace at your door.

Peace in your mouth, peace in the hands
open to truth, to love's demands;
those who would go with Christ also must bleed -
bright is the flower, burst is the seed.

Who work for peace find the true wealth,
who heal the hurt find their own health
peace will flow on through the hearts that believe:
this may we know, thus may we live
(Shirley Erena Murray).
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

Reflection
"A Springtime Prayer”
By George A Tyger

O power of springtime,
Spirit of green grasses
and warm breezes;
Goddess of creativity
   of birth
   of life renewed
You sing all about us at this time.

The birds call your sacred name.
Buds burst forth with your vestment.
The sun reaches higher into the sky
   shining the light of this new day
   through the windows of your cathedral,
   this world.

O power of springtime 
forgive us our speediness
and our racing before your
   eternal grace
   that we do not see the myriad
   miracle world we share.

Open our eyes with your warmth
and our hearts with your beauty
slow our minds with awe and wonder.

Dear Spirit of green grasses
and warm breezes;
let us find here 
in these moment of quiet
   the grace of your breath
   as we breathe into our bodies
the spirit of spring.

OR

For those in the Northern Hemisphere...
“Autumn Meditation”
By Elizabeth Strong. (Adapted).

We know the leaves are dying.
We know that their blaze of beauty is a preparation for death.
It is a time when we appreciate the effort of nature
to rise above the ordinariness of life and death.
It is a time when we visibly comprehend glory and wonder.
And we worship with thanks.

We feel now that the air is cold and crisp.
We feel now a clearing from the skies
of the heaviness of the hazes of summer.
It is a time when we appreciate the crispness and sharpness
of the realities of life and death.
It is a time when we physically comprehend the relief
that clarity and insight can bring.
And we worship with thanks.

We hear now the dry rustle of plants and grasses.
We hear now a crackling from the earth
that tells of the withering of the fullness of life.
It is a time when we appreciate approaching rest
   from the frantic fullness.
It is a time when we hear a different voice within,
and know that life is settling down
for a well deserved wintering.

Let it be so within each of our lives
   as we prepare for an autumn in our own life cycle.
For we all need rest and respite if we are to understand
and appreciate the rhythm of life in our soul
that enables us to worship with thanks.

Centering Silence
At this time, let us be embraced
by the silence of this sacred place.
(Silence)

We know so well our own needs.
We know that we, ourselves need
understanding, affection and recognition.

May we this day, increase our resolve
to give more generously of ourselves,
to risk more of ourselves, and
where necessary, stand ready to forgive and begin anew.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

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

The World Around us:
"Spirit of Life”
By Barbara Hamilton-Holway

Spirit of life, in us and around us,
here is our chance, once again,
to live like we wish the world would live.

May we find within ourselves
the courage to be who we are.
May we know when it is time to listen
and when it is time to speak.
May we trust ourselves to be the ones to find
the words that need to be said
or to do what needs to be done.

May we trust one another
and know there are many ways to go through life.
May we know that
though we cannot change some of what life gives to us,
we can choose how we deal with what we are given.

We are coming into our power,
and together we can make possible justice and love.
We are all connected;
we depend upon one another
more than we know.

We are one body.
So be it. Blessed be.

Traditional Gospel:
Mark 12:38-44  (Inclusive Text)

In teaching Jesus said,
'Beware of those scribes who like to walk about in long robes,
and to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares,
to take the front seats in the synagogues
and the places of honour at banquets;
these are the ones who swallow the property of widows,
while making a show of lengthy prayers.

'The more severe will be the sentence they receive.'

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people
putting money into the treasury,
and many of the rich put in a great deal.

A poor widow came and put in two small coins,
the equivalent of a penny.

Then Jesus called the disciples and said to them,
'I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in
than all who have contributed to the treasury;
for they have all put in money they had over,
but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed,
all she had to live on.'

Contemporary Exploration HERE and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith… (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand 
and share together a celebration of faith.
The people stand as they are able

God of all living, we have seen your presence
in the rhythm and surprises of our years.
All
You have accompanied us through all that is past.
So we give thanks
.

We recognise your closeness in this day.
All
You challenge and encourage us
in each act and decision.
So we offer our praise.

Now we look to you in the promises which stretch before us.
All
You meet us with hope and call us to freedom
to live as your new people.
So we commit ourselves again,
to live as committed people of faith. MDurber.Adapted/sco

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

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

Hymn  The people stand, as they are able, to sing"God Gives Us A Future"  (Tune: ‘Camberwell’ 65 65D)    687  TiS
God gives us a future
daring us to go
into dreams and dangers
on a path unknown.
We will face tomorrow
in the Spirit's power
we will let God change us
for new life starts now.

We must leave behind us
sins of yesterday
for God's new beginning
is a better way.
Fear and doubt and habit
must not hold us back:
God gives hope, and insight
and the strength we lack.

Holy Spirit, teach us
how to read the signs
how to meet the challenge
of our troubled times.
Love us into action
stir us into prayer
till we choose God's life, and
find our future there. (Elizabeth J Smith)

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

Presentation
We have been blessed abundantly
and given opportunities to share.
All
May we who stand upon the shoulders
of those who have gone before, be enabled
to catch a vision of what can yet be.

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
As one heart is lifted
All
May we share its celebration
As one heart is burdened
All May we share the pain it knows (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  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)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand, as they are able, to sing
Nothing Is Lost…(Tune: ‘Greenlane’)   50 (v1-2) FFS
Nothing is lost on the breath of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's breath is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No feather too light, no hair too fine,
no flower too brief in its glory;
no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,
but is counted and told in God's story.

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God sees with love and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No journey too far, no distance too great,
no valley of darkness too blinding;
no creature too humble, no child too small
for God to be seeking, and finding.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Let us embrace the wonder of this weekwith expectation and imagination…
The Community Candle is extinguished

For the blessings we each bestow on one another
with our energy, compassion, and prayer,
we give thanks.
All  
For the blessings we become to others in need,
we give thanks and remember
that we are not alone. (Adapt.DTaylor/fal)

Words of Blessing
As the kookaburra gently settles on the tree,
receive the gift of peace.

As the flame rises with light and warmth,
receive the gift of life.

As the wind moves and dances round the earth,
receive the gracious gift of the Spirit. (Adapt.DStewart/wb)
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont). Nothing Is Lost…(Tune: ‘Greenlane’)   50 (v3) FFS
Nothing is lost to the heart of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's heart is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No impulse of love, no office of care,
no moment of life in its fulness;
no beginning too late, no ending too soon,
but is gathered and known in God's goodness. (Colin Gibson)
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:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and Songs for all Churches. 1993. Raumati: New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
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). 2000. 
A World of Blessing. Benedictions from every Continent and many Cultures. Norwich: The Canterbury Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 1998. 
Seeing Christ in Others. An Anthology for Worship, Mediation and Mission. Norwich: The Canterbury Press.
(FFS)
Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. 2000. Raumati: New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. 
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane: Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Pickett, H & E. (ed). 2005.
 For All That Is Our Life. A Meditation Anthology. Boston: Skinner House Books.
(TiS)
Together in Song. Australian Hymn Book 2. 1999. Sydney. HarperCollins Religious. Copyright enquiries: http://www.togetherinsong.org/.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. 
The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London:  SPCK.
Vosper, G. 2008. 
With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Toronto: HarperCollins.

Web sites/Other:
Wehlander, Strong,Tyger, Hamilton-Holway. UUA Worship Web. Boston: UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/
R Firth. "Spirit of God...". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
“All Present, All Visible”. S Klosterboer.  http://processandfaith.org/resources/liturgy/hymn-creation-sunday
"Remembrance". Andrew Pratt. Direct from the author. andrewpratt@btconnect.com

rexae74@gmail.com