Revd Rex A E Hunt

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6 September 2015.  Season of Creation 1B/Pentecost 15B. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion
Planet Earth Sunday

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 Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

With respect and gratitude for the original custodians of this land,
we gather together this day
to affirm in hope and faith,
that we can create a sacred space of welcome
for all who live in Australia.

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

v2 Fountain of life…
Pulse of life…Breath of life…
Earth is filled with the presentness of God.

v1 A planet filled with the presence of God
a living green blue planet,
peoples from every corner of creation,
the vast reaches of space above us,
and the rocks and hills and wonders of the wild.

v2 Together this day, let us sense the face of God in all creativity.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"God of the Galaxies"
(Tune: "Cheam")   54 (v1-3) AA
God of the galaxies spinning in space,
God of the smallest seed, our living source,
yours is the gift of this beautiful place.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Careless and covetous, gross are our greeds,
taking the riches the garden provides,
wasting its goodness, forgetting its needs.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Forests and rivers are ravaged and die,
raped is the land till it bleeds in its clay,
silenced the birdsong and plundered the sea.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
v1 Planet Earth, spinning silently through space:
All Celebrate your beauty and your grace,
your special place in our solar system.

v1 Planet Earth, gleaming green and blue:
Rejoice in your ocean currents
as they dance and swirl with hope.

v1 Planet Earth, pulsing with life:
Join in praise with all your fauna and flora
as they sing their songs with praise.

v1 Planet Earth, enveloped in the breath of God:
Bless all your creatures this day
with the life-giving breath of God.

v1 Planet Earth, our precious, fragile home:
Celebrate, with all your children,
God’s presence in our planet home.

v2 Spin, Planet Earth, spin!
All Sing, Planet Earth, sing! (Adapt.NHabel/soc)

Act of Awareness
The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And habit hardens into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings
(The Buddha/lp).


We pray:
Creating God, whose renewing breath fills our planet,
may we discern your vibrant, creative presence among us.
And may our spirits be lifted
as we rejoice with Planet Earth
and all its inhabitants, this day.
May it be so.

Hymn "God of the Galaxies"   (Tune: "Cheam")   54(v4-5) AA
Let there be beauty, and let there be air
fragrant with peace, never poisoned with fear,
freed from the plagues of pollution and war.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Life is a holy thing, life is a whole,
linking each creature and blessing us all,
making connections of body and soul.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth. (Shirley Erena Murray)

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.


Take the symbol (rosemary/gum leaf/lavender)
you received at the door, rub it between your fingers,
smell it, and share with the person next to you
a special memory of Earth as a planet
that stirred your spirit or sense of wonder.

We remember our excitement 
when we first saw the orb of Earth,
the mystery of a living green blue planet,
a fragile speck of stardust
made into a magnificent home.
We remember and rejoice.

Now away from the busyness of life
and in the silence of this place,
let us give thanks
for the gift of Planet Earth, filled with mystery!

We celebrate the song of our planet!
All Sing! Planet Earth! Sing! (NHabel/soc)

Music of Celebration


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

From the World around us:
"Here we are, God”
By Joan Metzner.
Earth Prayers/84.

Here we are, God - a planet at prayer.
Attune our spirits that we may hear your harmonies
and bow before your creative power
that we may face our violent discords
and join with your Energy
to make heard in every heart your hymn of peace.

Here we are, God-a militarized planet.
Transform our fears that we may transform our war fields
into wheatfields, arms into handshakes,
missiles into messengers of peace.

Here we are, God-a polluted planet.
Purify our vision that we may perceive ways
to purify our beloved lands, cleanse our precious waters,
de-smog our life-giving air.

Here we are, God-an exploited planet.
Heal our heart, that we may respect our resources,
hold priceless our people, and provide for
our starving children an abundance of daily bread.

(i) Traditional Gospel:
Mark 7: 24-30 (NRSV)

Jesus set out and went to the region of Tyre.

He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there.
Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman
whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him,
and she came and bowed down at his feet.

Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin.
She begged Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter.

He said to her,
"Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair
to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."

But she answered him,
"Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."

Then Jesus said to her,
"For saying that, you may go. The demon has left your daughter."

So she went home, found the child lying on the bed,
and the demon gone.

(ii) Traditional Gospel:
Mark 7:31-37 (Inclusive Text)

Returning from the region of Tyre,
Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee,
right through the Decapolis region.

And they brought to Jesus a deaf man
who had an impediment in his speech;
and they asked Jesus to lay his hand on him.

Jesus took him aside in private, away from the crowd,
put his fingers into the man's ears,
and touched his tongue with spittle.

Then looking up to heaven, Jesus sighed and said:
'Ephphatha', that is, 'Be opened'.

And the deaf one's ears were opened,
and the ligament on his tongue was loosened,
and he spoke clearly.

And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it,
but the more he insisted,
the more widely they published it.

Their admiration was unbounded,
'He has done all things well', they said,
'he makes the deaf to hear and the mute speak'.

Alternate - Season of Creation
Traditional Gospel:
John 1:1-5 (Inclusive Text)

In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God and the Word was God.

The Word was with God in the beginning.
Through this word all things came to be,
without whom not one thing had its being.

All that came to be had life in the Word
and that life was the light of humankind,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection


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

In desert and bushland, mountain and water,
we see the signs that God is with us.
In grass that grows through cities 
of concrete and brick,
we see the signs that God is with us.

In the faces of people whom God so loves,
we see the signs that God is with us.

In our brokenness,
there is the hope of wholeness.
In our emptiness, there is the hope of fullness.

In our deaths,
lies the hope of resurrection life.

This is the Word in Christ to us.
The flame of the Holy Spirit
lives in this place and travels with us. (Adapt.DMcRae-McMahon/eoj)

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
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

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:
Creation thrums with Being

and peals the Word - 'I am’.
We sometimes remember
to whisper the antiphon, 'We are'. (VArnold/es)

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  Good caring presence within us, around us, and above us;
Hold us in a sense of mystery and wonder.

Let the fullness of your goodness be within us and around us.
Let all the world know your ways of caring and generosity.
May we find we have all we need
to meet each day without undue anxiety.

Overlook our many stupidities,
and help us to release everyone from their stupidities.
May we know we are accepted.
Strengthen us that we will reach out to the best,
always with the faith
to rise above the ugly realities of our existence.

And we celebrate the gifts you have given us:
the rich kingdom of life’s possibilities,
the power to do good and the triumphs of good,
and the moments when we have seen
the glory and wonder of everything.

You are life’s richness.
You are life’s power.
You are life’s ultimate meaning.
And for everyone.
And for ever more.  Amen. (FMacnab/fwb)


Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat


"Somewhere someone…:"

The kingdom of love is coming because:
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)

Our offerings for the celebration of community in this place and beyond:
our gifts, our bread, and our wine…
shall now be received

May the presentness of the Sacred be in the breaking:
in the break of day
in the breaking of the bread
in the breaking of our lives
in the breaking of our hopes…
May the presentness of the Sacred make us whole.

Gathering Words
The earth has gone the round of seasons:
from the vibrant green of spring's new life
to the lush richness of warm summer,
to the brilliant fulfillment of riotous autumn,
to the generosity and self-giving of winter.

Now we stand again, touched by the promise
of new life in early spring.

Loving and caring God, how fertile your genius!
You shape everything.
You fill the world with what you do.
We come together, glad, to this celebration.

When our days become over-busy and our spirits bleached like spinifex…
All  May we be f
looded with a downpour of mercy!

When we take things for granted and gratitude goes to sleep…
All  May 
a new song be found on our tongues.

When life’s abrasive pressures fray us,
loosing our hold on the Still Centre…
We we be reminded about nesting magpies,
golden daffodils and pink prunus blossom
- symbols of Creative Mystery.


May God in this early Spring journey with you.
All  And also with you.
Open your eyes, your ears, and your hearts.
We open them to the earth and to one another.
Let us give thanks for creativity in our lives.
As we offer both thanks and praise.

It is right and our joy that we should give such thanks...

We offer our praise for the changing moods of nature:
for sunshine and showers of an early spring day,
for the rich brown earth beneath our feet,
and for the clouds, the winds, the dusk and the dawn.
We hold all such good things in trust
as we care for the earth.

So, in the company of each other,
and in company with people throughout the world
we declare as generations before us have declared:
Holy, holy, holy, hope-breathing God, 
the universe is full of your glory. 
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the sacred.
Hosanna in the highest.

We also offer our praise for Jesus our Companion,
who taught all to care for the birds of the air
and the grass of the paddock,
as a mother or a father cares for a child.

We remember that night among friends, reclined at table…
Jesus again shared a meal with his friends.

Through grain and grape, bread and wine,
and in fellowship together,
Jesus spoke of his enduring love for each of them.

So we take this bread and this wine, 
ever mindful of the Creative Spirit at work in our lives,
making our living a source of renewal and hope,
a springtime of promise and resurrection.

Bread and Wine
Bread is broken

We break this bread in celebration of the great truth
that on this tiny planet, hurtling through cold, empty space,
death is made the servant of life,
and out of death, life is forever resurrected.

Wine poured out

This cup with its fruit of the vine,
is a celebration that things are not always as they seem:
that out of faithfulness and steadfastness,
out of suffering and sorrow,
may come unsought blessings.

To eat and drink together reminds us
of the deeper aspects of human fellowship,
for from time immemorial
the sharing of bread and wine has been
the most universal of all symbols of community.
Bread and wine served

After Communion
We give thanks that we have gathered together in this sacred place.

We rejoice in the giftedness of each person here.
We are grateful for who we are for each other.
We consider ourselves blessed in and by the Creative Spirit.

May we continue to be truly thankful
in all we do and in all we become.


Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Great Lover Calling Us To Share"
(Tune: 'Galilee', 88 88. 402 TiS)
Great Lover, calling us to share
your joy in all created things
from atom-dance to eagles' wings,
we come and go, to praise and care.

Though sure of resurrection-grace,
we ache for all earth's troubled lands
and hold the planet in our hands,
a fragile, unprotected place.

Your questing Spirit longs to gain
no simple fishing-ground for souls,
but as life's story onward rolls,
world more joyful and humane.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challenges
of our lives and our world…

The candle is extinguished

Hold again the fragrant symbol in your hands
and go forth to serve.

Will you care for Planet Earth?
We will remember our planet home!
We will nurture our planet!
We will celebrate life!

Words of Blessing
May God bless us not with clean air alone.
But the will to keep our air clean.

May God bless us not with a vision
of a healthy planet alone.
But with the will to do all in our power
to restore and maintain our planet’s health.

May God bless us not with a change of heart
in the great world leaders alone to save our planet.
But with a change in our own heart to use
our own power to save the planet. (Adapt.DJMcGill/lp)
All Amen. May it be so!

Hymn (Cont). "Great Lover Calling Us To Share" (Tune: 'Galilee', 88 88. 402 TiS)
As midwives who assist at birth,
we give our uttermost, yet grieve
lest folly, greed or hate should leave
a spoiled, aborted, barren earth.

Self-giving Lover, since you dare
to join us in our history,
embracing all our destiny,
we'll come and go with praise and care. BWren. 
© Stainer & Bell Ltd
The people sit                                                

'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles


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.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. 2000. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.

Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. QBrisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.

Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.

Lee, B. J. (ed). 1987. Alternative Futures For Worship. Vol 3. The Eucharist. Collegeville. The Liturgical press.

Macnab, F. 2006. A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in Words that Blow You Away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.

McRae-McMahon, D. 1993. Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE.

Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1996. Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York. HarperCollins.

Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1991. Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins.

Seaburg, C. (ed). 1993. The Communion Book. Boston. UUMA.

The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London.  SPCK.

Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK.

Web Sites/Other:

Norman Habel Creation Liturgies. <>

"Great Lover...". B Wren. Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site:
V Arnold. Eureka Street eZine 20, 23. 23/11/10.