Pentecost25B.15.11.2015

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
15 November 2015.  Pentecost 25B. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion

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

Come in.  Come into this place
which we make special by our presence.
Together we make it a holy place
with our every act of celebration and worship.

So 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
"I Love To Tell The Story" (Stanza 1, A.Chankey 1834-1911 Stanza 2, DDewey 1993)
I love to tell the story
of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and his glory,
of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story
because I know it's true;
It satisfies my longings
as nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story.
'Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story,
of Jesus and his love.

I love to tell the story;
the story changes things!
It challenges the powers;
it whispers, thunders, sings!
It births the holy presence
in moments of surprise,
It heals, empowers and strengthens,
and opens ears and eyes!

I love to tell the story,
of Jesus and his glory,
Because it is God's story,
of justice, love and peace!
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Among us the spirit of Creativity God conceives new life
All And we feel the life within us.
In our history Jesus the Sage makes gentle entry
All
And we see the light before us.
Within our dreams the truth of our God is revealed
All
We await the hope of the world.

Act of Awareness
Gathered here, we sense the Sacred in this place.
May we be awakened again to
the mysteries that humble us,
the realities that orient us,
the beauty that informs us,
the fellowship that sustains us,
and the creativity that heightens and deepens our living,
    that we may give ourselves in honesty and openness
    to the larger life before us.
(Adapt/Clarke Wells) 

OR

We pray:
God of all life we give thanks for the signs
of your love and creativity
that surround us and bless us.
May it be so.

HymnA Man of Ancient Time and Place(Tune: ‘Tallis’ Canon’, 88 88)
A man of ancient time and place
with foreign speech and foreign face,
reveals the glory, power and grace
of costly, unexpected love.

A rabbi, schooled in Moses’ Law,
a male, amending Herod’s flaw,
arouses wonder, rage and awe
with costly, unexpected love.

By teasing word and healing deed,
a leper touched, an outcast freed,
he bears the fruit and plants the seed
of costly, unexpected love.

The cost we barely can surmise
when, lifted up before our eyes,
the face of God we recognize
in crucified, unfathomed love.

May faith and hope within us grow,
the way of Christ to tell and show,
and may the Spirit breathe and blow
in costly, unexpected love. Brian Wren
The people sit

OR

For those in the Northern hemisphere
Wild Waves of Storm(Tune: ‘Wild Waves’, 4 10 10 10 4)        80 SLT
Wild waves of storm,
the wonder of the wind and crashing sea,
nature in power and might and majesty,
yet wonder more in deep tranquillity,
sea, calm and still.

Migrating birds,
in flocks intent upon far distant shore
great wonder hold; yet there is wonder more
when lonely eagle, watchful on a post,
sits, calm and still.

All people one
in urgent haste, on some great enterprise,
hearts beating fast, great dreams to realize,
yet in the soul a dream of richer prize,
serene and still.

Then striving cease:
from troubled turmoil seek an inward goal;
tranquillity shall make the spirit whole.
Be still, and know a Presence in the soul,
serene, alive.
(SHKnight/adapt)

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
"Meeting the Sacred”
Norman Habel. Rainbow of Mysteries/11

When a mystery
breaks the surface of nature
my consciousness quivers.
I meet the sacred,
sense the spiritual,
and wonder.

When a mystery
rises from the depths of nature
my mind seeks wisdom.
I meet the sacred,
discern the spiritual,
and wonder.

When a mystery
reveals its presence in nature
my spirit is startled.
I meet the sacred,
celebrate the spiritual,
and wonder.

Centering Silence
In this time of silence may we move
from busy-nessto quietness…
(Silence)

God of lifeGod of peace
God of wonders that will not cease…
Present with us now.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our Biblical Tradition
A reading from our biblical tradition shall now be read by (NN).

Traditional Gospel:
Mark 13:1-8 (NRSV)

As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said,
“Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” 

Jesus asked him,
“Do you see these great buildings?
Not one stone will be left here upon another;
all will be thrown down.”

When Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives
opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,
“Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign
that all these things are about to be accomplished?”

Then Jesus began to say to them,
“Beware that no one leads you astray.
Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.

“When you hear of wars and rumours of wars,
do not be alarmed; this must take place,
but the end is still to come.

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom
against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines.

“This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”

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

We are a cloth of diverse colours
made from many gifts and graces.
All  
We are the people flowing forth from Creator God,
surprising ourselves with the things which can be done.

We are raw material for rewarding relationships
as our lives interweave,
All  
contributing one to the other,
holding each other firm when one is weak or breaking
.

We are each worthy of being respected and cared for
All  
essential to the pattern,
skilled in our appointed tasks,
sources of laughter and sharers of tears.

We commit ourselves to work together,
All  
that one day, this world may be a place
where all people live in justice, freedom and peace
(Adapt.DMcRae-McMahon/bst)

OR

Christ our life, you are alive
All  
in the beauty of the earth
in the rhythm of the seasons
in the mystery of time and space,
Alleluia.

Christ our life, you are alive
All
in the tenderness of touch
in the heartbeat of intimacy
in the insights of solitude,
Alleluia.

Christ our life, you are alive
All  
in the creative possibility
of the dullest conversation
the dreariest task
the most threatening event,
Alleluia.

Christ our life, you are alive
All  
to offer re-creation
to every unhealed hurt
to every deadened place
to every damaged heart,
Alleluia.

You set before us a great choice.
Therefore we choose life.
The dance of resurrection soars and surges
through the whole creation.
It sets gifts of bread and wine upon our table.
All
This is grace, dying we live.
So let us live. KGalloway/cw

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 greet/share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn The people stand, as they are able, to sing
This Land of Bursting Sunrise(Tune: ‘Andujar’, 76 86D)           82 SLT
This land of bursting sunrise,
all lavender and blue,
its cloud-strewn, light-swept day skies flow,
and every day renew.
To east the glow of dawning,
to west the blaze of night,
‘round all the long horizon’s rim,
the everlasting light!

This land of open vistas,
life rooted deep and free,
the canyoned plains, the mountains vast,
plumb earth’s immensity.
Here in life’s fragile balance,
the sun and stars above,
find hand in hand, and heart to heart,
the everlasting love.
(JHHolmes)

OR

Joy's Creation(Tune: ‘Lauda Anima’, 87 87 87) 
Praise the birth of Joy's creation, 
joy of wisdom, love and peace: 
joy that lifts the human spirit, 
joy so true it shall not cease. 
Celebrate the joy of living, 
giving hearts a glad release. 

Praise with gladness Joy's creation, 
joy of strength to guide our way: 
joy that heals a grieving sadness, 
leads the heart to dance and play. 
Celebrate the joy of healing, 
bringing hope to each new day.

Praise with gladness Joy's creation, 
joy of laughter, hope and worth: 
joy that conquers pain and sorrow, 
joy that gives the soul new birth. 
Celebrate the joy of goodness, 
changing tears to wondrous mirth.

 Praise with gladness Joy's creation, 
joy to face despair and need: 
joy that blesses hearts in action, 
joy infusing all our deeds. 
Celebrate the joy of kindness, 
make it our most noble creed. © Rev. Peggy McDonagh, 2003 All rights reserved 
The people sit

CELEBRATING

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)

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
Be with us, Loving God, in the breaking:
in the breaking of the day
in the breaking of the bread
in the breaking of our lives
in the breaking of our hearts
in the breaking of our hopes.

Be with us, Loving God,
for you alone can make us whole.

Thanksgiving
We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For the love we name Creativity God, and all that is.
For the person we name Jesus
and his message of peace, justice and inclusiveness
that is the realm of God.
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit
always present on the breath of life.
All
We give thanks for love, peace, and justice...
and for the presentness of the sacred in the midst of life.

The same stream of life that runs through our veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measure.
All It is the same life that shoots in joy
through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass,
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers... (Rabindranath Tagore/Edited)

The Celebration
Jesus gathered with his friends
to tell them of a re-imagined way of living and being.

A way that did not conform
to the standards of the Roman Empire
or any other system of governance
that suppressed people
until starvation and deprivation resulted in death.

He knew that human nature was such that despite good intentions it often betrayed itself…
And he named the betrayal when he said,
there is one among us who will deny what I say.

The Story/Bread and Wine
So in solidarity with all those who have gone before us,
with all those who share the time with us,
and in preparation for all those who will come after us…
Let us break bread together.

We remember…
at the end of a journey and in various places,
among friends and when invitations were given him by strangers,
gathered round a table...

Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it:
‘Blessed is the Holy One of Israel,
sovereign of all that is who brings forth
the bread from the ground...

And he shared it out to all present.

We remember…
Jesus poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it:
‘Blessed is the Holy One of Israel,
sovereign of all that is who brings forth
the grape from the vine...

And he offered that also to all present. 

Bread... the very stuff of life.
Wine... fruit of the vine.

May the spirit within us
All
be a source of healing and consolation
May the spirit within us
All strengthen us when we feel weak,
warm us when we are cold-hearted,
bend us when we are stubborn,
move us when we are uncaring,
guide us in the way of love.
May the spirit within us
All
shine in all we do.

Communion
By eating this bread and drinking this wine
we become one in hope.
The bread and the wine is served

After Communion
Today we have gathered around a table
to remember and celebrate…
May this experience remind us
to see the world as a place of wonder,
to find ourselves in each face that we see,
and to hallow the times that we share together. (GVosper/ab. Adapted)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand, as they are able, to sing
From Atoms To Planets(Tune: ‘Kemeza’, 12 11 12 11)   108 (v1-2) WNC
From atoms to planets eternity changes;
the hues and the colours that cover the earth,
through seasons and cycles, the world rearranges,
but sure is the love that has brought us to birth.

The wind and the weather distort vegetation,
the breakers are pounding and shaping the shore.
Our lives are spun round as each grief re-determines
the things that are doubtful and those that are sure.
Remain standing

Parting Words
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God
who is found in ordinary and surprising places.
The Community Candle is extinguished

As we depart one from another,
let our hearts be secure through every human season.
All
Let our hearts be secure
in seasons of anguish as in seasons of joy,
in seasons of failure as in seasons of success,
in seasons of uncertainty as in seasons of security.

Let our hearts be secure in this dual reality:
we are worthy recipients of love and support
we can never earn,
All
and we are worthy providers of love
and support others cannot earn.

Let our hearts be secure,
All
for hearts know and understand
and will respond if invited in. JA.Hobart

Words of Blessing
Fall in love with living
Wrestling with the chaos and the pain
Within ourself and within the world.

Join the celebration of life,
Dancing with the angels and the clowns.
And may the God of peace and joy,
Who is continually making all things new,
Embrace you
As a partner
In the divine creating (JBoyce-Tillman/wb)
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont). From Atoms To Planets(Tune: ‘Kemeza’, 12 11 12 11)   108 (v3) WNC
Amid all this turmoil, this change and mutation,
the strained intertwining of living and strife,
one thing remains constant, relentless, determined:
that God goes on loving in death as through life (Andrew Pratt).
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.
Habel, N.
Rainbow of Mysteries. Meeting the Sacred in Nature. Kelowna: Copper House/Wood Lake Publishing, 2012.
Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Iona Community. 2001. 
Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1996.
The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Liturgies for Living and Dying. Melbourne: JBCE.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. 
Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and songs. London: Stainer & Bell Ltd.
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.
Vosper, G. 2008. 
With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Toronto: HarperCollins.
Vosper, G. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, &  J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. London: SPCK.

Web sites/Other:
Wells, Hobart. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
B Wren. "A Man of Ancient Time..." Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
Peggy McDonagh. “Joy’s Creation”.  St Stephen’s Non-Theistic Project. http://stephen.srv.ualberta.ca/publications/non-theistic-liturgy-resources/#sthash.0Sd5KwzN.wLO2Tlw4.dpbs

rexae74@gmail.com