PentecostB.24.5.2015

  Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


GATHERING FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

24 May 2015.  Pentecost B. (Red).


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

In the presence.
In the peace.
In the power, of God.

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
(Silence)

Lighting of the Community Candle
The candle is lit

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"She Comes Sailing on the Wind"   51 (v1-3) ISIT
Refrain:
She comes sailing on the wind, 
her wings flashing in the sun;
on a journey just begun, she flies on.
And in the passage of her flight,
her song rings out thro' the night,
full of laughter, full of light, she flies on.

Silent waters rocking on the morning of our birth,
Like an empty cradle waiting to be filled.
And from the heart of God the Spirit moved upon the earth,
Like a mother breathing life into her child.

Many were the dreamers whose eyes were given sight,
When the spirit filled their dreams with life and form.
The deserts turned to gardens, broken hearts found new delight,
And then down the ages still She few on.

(To a) gentle girl from Galilee, a gentle breeze She came,
A whisper softly calling in the dark,
The promise of a child of Peace, whose reign would never end,
Mary sang the spirit song within her heart.

OR

(Sing the additional/all verses of above hymn (printed below)

Opening Sentences
v1 Come, from every corner of the earth,
v2 from every time and place
v1 from south and north
v2 from east and west,
v3 gather...
v4 gather...
v5 gather...
v6 gather...

v1 For the spirit of God is being poured out upon us
v2 even now
v3 in this place
v4 upon the young and the old
v5 the women and the men
v6 straight and gay
All
upon each of us here. (SoS/Adapt)

Act of Awareness
We come from different places to this sacred place
of communal caring and celebration.

In the time which we now share
may we be open to the creative spirit
of kindness and compassion.

And may we be enriched by the company of each other,
and drawn closer to the heart of life.

OR

We pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, come,
Breathe into our hearts this day.
Bless and inspire this time of celebration and fellowship,
that we may live Spirit-filled lives
of love and compassion for all.
May it be so.

Hymn "She Comes Sailing on the Wind"   51 (v4-5) ISIT
Refrain:
She comes sailing on the wind, 
her wings flashing in the sun;
on a journey just begun, she flies on.
And in the passage of her flight,
her song rings out thro' the night,
full of laughter, full of light, she flies on.

Flying to the rivers, She waited circling high,
Above the child now grown so full of grace.
As he rose up from the water, She swept down from the sky,
And She carried him away in her embrace.

(Long) after the deep darkness, that fell upon the world,
 After dawn return’d in flame of rising sun.
 The Spirit touched the earth again, again her wings unfurled,
 Bringing life in wind and fire as She flew on.
GLight
Seated after hymn

OR

Sing of a Sacred Circle(Tune: ‘Sacred circle', 75 65) 23 TMT
Sing of a sacred circle
round the sky and earth,
binding plants and creatures,

linking death and birth.

Sing of that ring of mystery,

changed by fearsome greed;

pawned for Judas silver,

sold for idols' needs.

See how a people's loving
greens the Mammon ring;

hear the people's sharing,
help creation sing.

Sing of the Gospel ring-time;

love embracing earth;

vibrant sphere of our living,
circle death and birth.
(WWallace)
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.

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

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.
In this gathering of old and new friends
may we be ready to extend ourselves to those in need, 
and with trust to receive the hand that is offered. 

In this time of celebration,
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

Readings from Biblical Tradition
Some stories from our extended biblical traditions.
Our reader is (NN).

Hebrew Scriptures 1:
Genesis 11: 1-8  (NRSV)

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.
And as the people migrated from the east,
they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar
and settled there.

And they said to one another,
'Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.'
And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.

Then they said, 
'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens,
and let us make a name for ourselves; 
otherwise we shall be scattered abroad
upon the face of the whole earth.'

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower,
which mortals had built.  And the Lord said,
'Look, they are one people, and they have all one language.
And this is only the beginning of what they will do;
Nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.

'Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there,
so they will not understand one another’s speech.'

So the Lord scattered them all over the face of all the earth,
and the people left off building the city.

Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord
confused the language of all the earth.

Hebrew Scriptures 2:
Ezekiel 37 (Selected verses)  (NRSV)

The hand of the Lord God came upon me,
and brought me out by the spirit of the Lord
and set me down in the middle of a valley.

It was full of bones.

He said to me, “Human One, can these bones live?”
I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”

Then the Lord God said to me,
“Prophesy to these bones, and say to them:
O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord God...

I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you,
and cover you with skin, and put breath in you,
and you shall live.

And you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Igniting the Pentecost Flame
The spirit of imagination is a gift to all people.
All
The spirit of faithfulness is the gift of the earth.
The spirit of hope breathes
in the homeless and marginalised in this city.
All The spirit of freedom
was announced by those who went before us
and we proclaim it again today.
The spirit of love is Christ’s gift to the church in every age.
All
We see the flame of the Spirit of God.

The Pentecost flame is ignited.

The spirit is dancing, moving, struggling, rising and calling to the ends of the earth.
 All
We have seen the flame of the spirit in our midst.
Thanks be to God. (Adapt.DMcRae-McMahon/eoj)

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Enemy of Apathy" (Tune: ‘Thainaky’ 11 11 11 11)    418 TiS
 She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters
 Hovering on the chaos of the world's first day;
 She sighs and she sings, mothering creation,
 Waiting to give birth to all the Word will say.

She wings over earth, resting where she wishes,
Lighting close at hand or soaring through the skies;
She nests in the womb, welcoming each wonder,
Nourishing potential hidden to our eyes.

She dances in fire, startling her spectators,
Waking tongues of ecstasy where dumbness reigned;
She weans and inspires all whose hearts are open,
Nor can she be captured, silenced or restrained.

For she is the Spirit, one with God in essence,
 Gifted by the Saviour in eternal love;
 She is the key opening the scriptures,
 Enemy of apathy and heavenly dove.
(Bell & Maule)
People sit

OR

Pentecost(Tune: ‘Streets of Laredo’)
The backwash of rumour unsettles the faithful,
 that Jesus has risen, the morning has come,
 when all of the world will be shaken and driven,
 the spirit is waiting, will rise with the sun.

The locks are unbroken, disciples are waiting,
each ear is attuned for an uncommon sound:
the footsteps of soldiers, a hidden informant,
the spirit is waking to turn them around.

In hushed conversation they plan out a future,
not knowing for certain what fate has in store,
when flames curl around them, warm hearts and clear voices,
the spirit has found them behind that closed door.

And now we wait with them, we follow tradition,
we echo the story that we’ve heard before,
God’s spirit is near us, around and within us,
empowering, informing what God has in store.

So let us go out in the power of that spirit
to live lives like Jesus, to cheer and restore
the ones who are broken, derided, forsaken,
 the spirit is moving, the future is sure. © Andrew Pratt 17/4/2010

Early Church:
Acts 2:1-4.  (Inclusive Text)

When Pentecost day came around, the apostles had all met in one room,
when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven.
The noise filled the entire house where they were sitting.

And something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire;
these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak foreign languages,
as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.

Contemporary Exploration
• A Sermon suitable for this day can be found in my book, Against the Stream. Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew.

Contemporary Word2

Contemporary Word3

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Pentecost Litany (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

v1 On this day of Pentecost, our stories tell how God sends the Holy Spirit
 v2 to come among us:
 v1 as dove
 v2 to move us,
 v1 as wind
 v2 to cleanse us,
 v1 as fire
 v2 to consecrate us.
 All  Spirit of the living God, come upon us.

v3 Fill us with your empowering strength,
v4 empower us with your full love;
v3 send us into the world
proclaiming your mighty works in every tongue.
v4 Help us be the church that goes forward
to where there is need.

v1 Build us into a place that makes a haven for those discriminated against.
 All
Make us a church of disciples filled with the
wonder and creative imagination
of your love for ever more!
(LWithrow/sp)

Sharing 'The Peace'
God makes peace within us.  Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us.  Let us share it
(nwi).
Let us greet another as a sign of God's 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 (Several times)
Blow Through Me Breath of God
Blow through me breath of God
Blo-----w through me
Like a pipe, like a flute, like a reed, making melody
The cosmic song in me, breath of God. (MTWinter)
People sit

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

Presentation
As we have received, so we give:
freely, cheerfully and liberally.

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 Life-Giver, Pain-Bearer, Love-Maker.
Source of all that is and that shall be.

Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo
through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed
by all peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done
by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever.  Amen. (UIW2)

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"
Loving Spirit" (Tune: Felicity)   94ii (v1-3) AA
Loving Spirit, loving Spirit,
you have chosen me to be,
you have drawn me to your wonder,
you have set your sign on me.

Like a mother, you enfold me,
hold my life within your own,
feed me with your very body,
form me of your flesh and bone.

Like a father, you protect me,
teach me the discerning eye,
hoist me up upon your shoulder,
let me see the world from high.

Remain standing

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

Go out and live as citizens of God’s realm.
All  Into God’s hands, we commit our spirits.
You are a chosen people.
Through you, the family of faith may grow.
All  Others will know they are God’s own through us.
 Be empowered as you tell
of the wonderful deeds of God in your life.
All
  We will share the love
we have received, with others.

Words of Blessing
The worship of this gathered community in this sacred place, is ended.

May the holy mystery of God be found along the road.
The wonder of the costly love of Jesus embrace you.
And the Spirit bless and keep you, always.
All
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont). "Loving Spirit" (Tune: Felicity)   94ii (v4-5) AA
 Friend and lover, in your closeness
I am known and held and blessed:
in your promise is my comfort,
in your presence I may rest.

Loving Spirit, loving Spirit,
you have chosen me to be,
you have drawn me to your wonder,
you have set your sign on me.
SMurray. 
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.
Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
(ISIT) In Spirit and in Truth. A Worship Book. 1991. Geneva. World Council of Churches. Seventh Assembly.
Macnab, F. 1996. Hope: The Deeper Longings of the Mind and Heart. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993.  Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE.
Seasons of the Spirit/Whole people of God. Canada.
(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.
(TiS) Together in Song. Australian Hymn Book 2. 1999. Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.
Uniting in Worship 2. 2005. Sydney. Uniting Church Press.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
(TMT) Wallace, W. L. 2001. The Mystery Telling. Hymns and Songs for the New Millennium. Kingston. Selah Publishing.
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/>
Andrew Pratt. "Pentecost". Direct from the author.

rexae74@gmail.com