Epiphany3C.24.1.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:
www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

24 January 2016. Epiphany 3C. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
(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, teach us, Spirit of our God,
the language of your way,
the lessons that we need to live,
the faith for every day. 
Shirley E Murray

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
A Community Candle is lit

This is the light that is lit for everyone who comes into the world.
Bear this light to others, one by one.
Let the flame go from life to life
till all is lit with its warmth. 
(Eliz. Strong)

(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
"Sing High to God"   (Tune: 'Woodlands'. 10 10 10 10. 161 TiS)
Sing high to God, who once upon a time
(Before all time!) Took love to shape a dream
And poured it into life creating words
That gave to all that is: a role, a name.

Give thanks to Christ who calls us to be one
And learn to use the future tense today
To keep the dream alive the vision clear:
A world at peace, the human race at play.

Pray that the Holy Spirit may proceed
Empowering us to see Christ's mission through
Transform the dream to speech, enact the word
Put flesh on hope, make God's intent come true.

Let not, O God, the vision we have caught
Fade as we rise, nor let it die away;
Give us the faith with passion to pursue
That dream's fulfilment in the light of day. 
FKaan.
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
May our time together renew our hope.
All  
May the stories we share refresh our courage.
May the songs we sing lift our spirits.
All  
May the words we speak invigorate us.
May the touch of hands, the sound of laughter,
the sight of faces new and familiar,
All  restore us in faith.
  C O Dame

Act of Awareness
It is good to be alive!
To share life with each other
in this wonder-filled and evolving universe.
We are most grateful.

May wisdom dawn in us
so we may see all things in clarity.

OR

We pray:
Spirit of life, we gather here in loving community.
Keep us in mind of the responsibilities of being human.
Give us the strength to endure, but more,
help us to bring strength to each other.

May we exclude no one intentionally,
but may our church be inclusive as we say it is.
May our coming and our going be blessed,
this day and forever more.
All   May it be so with us!

Hymn God’s Word, God’s World”  (Tune: ‘The Streets of Laredo’ - trad.)
Come people of faith from the bounds of Australia,
let’s share in the vision of what we might be:
a part of God’s world that is vibrant with colour,
a landscape for life that is open and free.

God’s world has one table for all kinds of people,
God's world is a home all are welcome inside,
God's way is the way beyond stigma and dogma,
God's Spirit the surfboard that dares us to-ride.

God's Word is alive in the challenge of Jesus:
to look with his eyes at the world that we know,
to stand with conviction, to care with compassion,
to make new connections, to pray as we go.

Let's relish the changes the Word rearranges,
with bushfires of bias stamped out from the start,
let's savour the flavour of full-bodied living,
the world of Christ Jesus, the way of the heart 
Shirley Erena Murray
The people sit after the hymn

Welcome
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.
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 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

And reflecting on life as Australians...
Come to us, Creating God,
as the One who walks the way of ordinary people.
All 
 Come to us, as the One who weeps over the city.

Come to us,
as the One who deeply understands
the paradox of life which rises from death.
All 
 Come to us, in a language of grace
that we may approach you
in vulnerable hope.

Give us new life if the old has been destroyed in us.
All
  Give us openness if we have closed our hearts to your future.
Give us courage, if we tread this land in fear of bringing our gifts.
All
  Give us wisdom, when we forget to listen to the learnings of our history.
Give us joy when we see the breadth of your imagination
expressed in the differences between us.
All 
 Differences of race and culture,
differences of history and journey,
differences in our experience of you.

Bind us together as those
who feel your love under our feet
in the warmth of this, our holy ground.
All  
Dance within our life, O Spirit of God,
that we may be transformed by your eternal passion
for making all things new.  
DMcRae-McMahon/bst

EXPLORING

Readings from our Biblical Tradition
Some readings from our biblical tradition shall now be read.

Early Church:
i Corinthians 12:12-14, 27 
(Inclusive text)

Just as the human body, though it is made up of many parts,
is a single unit because of all these parts, though many,
make one body, so it is with Christ.

In the one Spirit we were all baptised,
Jews as well as Greeks,
slaves as well as free citizens,
and one Spirit was given to all to drink.

Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts...

Now you together are Christ's body;
but each of you is a different part of it.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 4:14-21 
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee.
And his reputation spread throughout the countryside.
He taught in the synagogues and everyone praised him.

Jesus came to Nazara, where he had been brought up,
and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did.

Jesus stood up to read and they handed him
the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

Unrolling the scroll Jesus found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of God has been given to me, and has anointed me.

I have been sent to bring good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim God's year of favour.

Jesus then rolled up the scroll,
gave it back to the assistant and sat down.

And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him.

Contemporary Exploration

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

For our community gathered here,
for the spirit that called us together and drew us to this place:
All  We give thanks this day.

For moments we have shared with others;
for times when we have reached out across barriers
of distance and fear;
for times when others have reached out to us;
for moments when we have discovered another along our path:
All  We give thanks this day.

For this community of celebration and growth,
introspection and solitude,
and for those moments of 'that peace which passes all understanding':
All  We give thanks this day.

For our gathering together out of distant places;
for our weaving together out of many separate selves
this hour of celebration and worship:
All  We give thanks this day. 
JMauldin

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

May a heart of peace rest with you. (DGalston/q)
All  And also with you.

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Perfect Singer”  (Tune:  ‘Catherine’, 77 77. 622 TiS)    332 SLT
Perfect Singer, songs of earth
rise on every field and hearth;
let our voices sound again
ancient songs of joy and pain.

All your creatures strive for life
suffer hurt in angry strife,
seek compassion, find release
in the covenant of peace.

Sing a sacred melody
for the justice that shall be;
let our harmonies resolve
dissonance in steadfast love.

Steadfast Seeker, find our song
woven into lives made strong;
let the patterns of surprise
kindle hope with each sunrise. 
GKBeach
The 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:
In this abundant blessing
All  
We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All  May love abound (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 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)

CELEBRATING

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Invitation
In faith and love, gathered in this place,

we celebrate the brightness of community

and the season of early Summer called 'Balalambar'
 (Season of Butterflies)
by the Djab Wurrung and Jardwidjarli People.

The Offering
Let us bring our offerings and gifts of bread and wine, to this feast.

The Presentation
God of splendour,
your goodness sustains us,
and your graciousness gives us hope.

May we and these gifts of bread, wine and money
be used to further your way of love, hope, and justice.
Amen.

Thanksgiving
God of the summer’s day,
All  praise and wonder be.
God of the lingering sunset and early dawn,
All  praise and wonder be.

God of the hot north wind and the refreshing shower,
God of the shady tree and the cool water bag,
God of the ripening harvest and sparkling sea,
All  praise and wonder be.

All creation blesses the creator, the source of energy and life.

We also remember the ways of Jesus
who walked the dusty roads of Galilee,
who taught from seashore and mountainside,
and who told stories of the sower and the seed,
the lilies of the field,
and the birds of the air.

May we, too, know your presentness in the beauty of creation.

We also remember, Creativity God,
that your care for this earth and your people can be denied;
for your goodness was abused
and the Holy One was betrayed.

On the night of his arrest, so our tradition tells us,
Jesus, the Holy One, again shared a supper with his friends.
Through grain and grape, bread and wine,
he spoke of his coming death and new life,
asking them to remember him.

May we feel your touch, hear your call,
experience your grace, and
know your strength in our lives
All  As we celebrate your life in our midst.

Breaking of the Bread/Pouring of Wine
Jesus took bread,
offered thanks, broke it, and
gave it to those gathered with him:
v2  'Bread broken - for you. Take this, all of you'

He poured a cup of wine
offered thanks for it, and
gave it too to those gathered with him:
v2   'Wine poured out for you. Take this - all of you.'

It is through the goodness and creativity of God
we have this bread and wine to offer...

bread, that was once scattered as grain in a paddock
and gathered together
and baked into a loaf;

wine, that was once grapes grown on a hillside
and gathered together
and pressed into juice.

Communion
Come, for all is now ready.
The bread and the wine will be served in small groups around the Table

After Communion
Companion Christ,
we have eaten broken bread
and poured out wine.

We now commit ourselves to a life of justice and compassion.

Sustain us as we journey from this place
that we might meet you
in the faces and places of our neighbours.

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
“I Dream of a Church”
I dream of a church that
Joins in with God’s laughing
As she rocks in her rapture
Enjoying her art.
She’s glad of her world
In its risking and growing
‘tis the child she has borne
And holds close to her heart.

I dream of a church that
Joins in with God’s weeping
As she crouches, weighed
Down by the sorrow she sees.
She cries for the hostile
the cold and no-hoping
For she bears in herself
Our despair and disease.

I dream of a church that
Joins in with God’s dancing
As she moves like the wind
And the wave and the fire.
A church that can pick up
Its skirts, pirouetting
With the steps that can signal
God’s deepest desire.

Parting Words
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place...
The Community Candle is extinguished

With faith in the creative powers of life,
With hope for the future of life in this world,
With love for all others who share this life with us,
Let us go forward together in peace.
All  Our worship in this sacred space has ended.
Let our service begin.

Words of Blessing
Go as far as your courage takes you,
for you cannot go beyond the reach of God.

Give as extravagantly as you may,
for you cannot spend all the riches of God.

Care as lavishly as you are able,
for you cannot exhaust the love of God.

Keep journeying as a friend,
for God will always be with you.
(BHughes)
All May it be so!

Hymn (Cont.)  “I Dream of a Church”
I dream of a church that can
Join in God’s loving
As she bends to embrace
the unlovely and lost.
A church that can free
By its sharing and daring
The imprisoned and poor
And then shoulder the cost.

God, make us a church that
Joins in with your living
As you cherish and challenge
Rein in and release.
A church that is winsome
Impassioned, inspiring
Lioness of your justice
And lamb of your peace.
KCompston/cw
The people sit after the hymn, then prepare to leave

Recessional Music

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:
Burgess, R. 2001. A Book of Blessings. Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications.
Duncan, G. (ed). 1998. Seeing Christ in Others. An anthology for worship, mediation and mission. Norwich: The Canterbury Press.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2006. Brisbane: Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1996. The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Liturgies for living and dying. Melbourne: JBCE.
Morely, J. 1992. All Desires Known. Expanded edition. London: SPCK.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993.  Boston. UUA.
Uniting in Worship. Leader’s Book. 1988. Melbourne: Uniting Church Press.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Toronto: HarperCollins.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. London: SPCK.
Withrow, L. 1995. Seasons of Prayer. Resources for worship. London: SPCK.

Web sites/Other:
Strong, Dame, Belcher, 
Mauldin. UUA Worship Web. Boston. http://uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/index.php
L Bruce Miller. 2004. Edmonton, Canada.
Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
"God's Word, God's World".  
Shirley Erena Murray. Direct for the author.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. <http://www.questcentre.ca/>

rexae74@gmail.com