Easter6C.PluralismC.1.5.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

1 May 2016. Easter 6C/Pluralism Sunday. (White).
Celebration Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


religious_diversity


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

Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Each morning we are thankful
for the night just ended,
for the years that have been,
and for the day that is. 
(Kenneth Patton/hscl)

v2  Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit in silence

Note: (i) A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE
(ii) Additional Special Purpose Hymns that cover major international events or themes can be found HERE

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
God Who Carved... Landscape”  (Tune: ‘Dansey’).   31 FFS
God who carved this timeless landscape,
snow-clad ridge to valley plain,
power of surging race and river,
limestone crag and scarred terrain;
maker still of earth, fire, water,
artistry of sight and sound,
Southern lights and sunset splendour,
raise our eyes and you are found.

Calendar of nature's balance,
rhythms of the farming year,
shearing, milking, ploughing, pruning,
manger setting ever near!
lonely struggle in the byways,
nor'west dust or snow and flood,
fellowship of tears and laughter:

Lord, with you, we're understood.
Giving thanks for those before us,
village life and tussock track,
as we turn to face the future,
history's wind upon our back;
scattered are our congregations,
each now shares in ministry,
bonding strength of work together:
spirit of community. 
DGrierson

OR

More Than Tolerance(Tune: ‘Austria’, 87 87D. 93TiS)      102 SNS2
Coming to a place of candour,
Where beliefs and creeds confer;
We will not react with anger,
Nor tell others where they err.

Can we speak of faith and doctrine?
Can we listen - really hear?
As we meet can we imagine
That new insights may appear?

When we hear some diff'rent teaching,
When we try to understand;
Different faiths can be disturbing,
And can question where we stand;
We need not forsake devotion
If it's God whom we adore;
But we can share inspiration;
We can question and explore.

We can pledge to be accepting;
Put behind us lack of trust;
We can practise understanding,
Shun rebuke that is unjust.
If we can affirm each other,
Be as friend and not as foe,
We can meet and share together;
Plant respect and let it grow. (George Stuart)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
It is time.
The joy of the God, Spirit of Life, be with you all.
All  
And also with you.

It is time
for pausing and celebrating,
for thinking and thanking,
for listening and learning,
for confessing and forgiving.
All  A time for allowing ourselves
to be loved and cherished by a lover
who will never leave us or forsake us.

Act of Awareness
We receive fragments of holiness,
glimpses of eternity,
brief moments of insight.

Let us gather them up for the precious gifts that they are
and, renewed by their grace,
move boldly into the unknown. (Sara M Campbell/slt)

OR

We pray:
Generous God,
you bring light to our days and hope to our hearts.
We are grateful for your care.
You have invited us once more to this time of celebration.
May we be raised up to embrace your way of love.
May it be so.

Hymn 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. 
(George K Beach)

OR

Welcome Doubt! Refine our Thinking(Tune: ‘Drake’s Broughton’, Trochaic, 87 87)
Welcome doubt! Refine our thinking,
Urge us further into light;
Lead us to a greater dawning
From the shadows of our night.

Welcome knowledge! Food for wisdom,
Leaving prejudice behind;
Pledge of science, fruit of reason,
Seeking love with all our mind.

Welcome truth! But little caring
Whence it come, cost what it will;
Though it challenge deep conviction,
Truth shall be our focus still.

Welcome faith! Our thought transcending,
Touching mystery divine;
Joy of trusting, source of action,
Fervent hope’s courageous sign.

Welcome grace! Without deserving,
Unexpected, pride at bay;
Spirit’s riches shower upon us
As we give our lives away (David Stevenson).
The people sit after the hymn

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.

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Readings from a broad Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to some stories and sayings from
a collection of the world’s religious traditions.

Buddhism
“May Every Creature Abound”
The Buddha. From Life Prayers/29.

May every creature abound in well-being and peace.
May every living being, weak or strong, the long and the small
The short and the medium-sized, the mean and the great
May every living being, seen or unseen, those dwelling far off,
Those near by, those already born, those waiting to be born
May all attain inward peace.
Let no one deceive another
Let no one despise another in any situation
Let no one, from antipathy or hatred, wish evil to anyone at all.
Just as a mother, with her own life,
protects her only son from hurt
So within yourself foster a limitless concern
for every living creature.
Display a heart of boundless love for all the world
In all its height and depth and broad extent
Love unrestrained, without hate or enmity
Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie,
until overcome by drowsiness
Devote your mind entirely to this,
it is known as living here life divine.

Progressive Judaism:
“In the Beginning…”
Rabbi Arthur Waskow. The Shalom Centre. From Life Prayers/14.

In the beginning, darkness covered the face of the deep.
Then the rushing-breath of life hovered over the waters.
Let us breathe together.
Let us catch our breaths from the need to make, to do.
Let us be conscious of the Breath of Life.

We breathe out what the trees breathe in.
We breathe in what the trees breathe out.
Together we breathe each other into life.

Blessed is the One within the many.
Blessed are the Many who make one.

Hymn In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible, we will remain seated to sing
"See the Glory of the Morning"  (Tune: ‘St Cataherine,’ 87 87, 589 TiS)
See the glory of the morning:
autumn leaves of red and gold;
flashing silver sea, and sunlight,
new each dawning, never old.

God is painting from a palette
each kaleidoscopic scene,
visions that we greet with wonder
shot with crimson, streaked with green.

Every sight and sound is different,
every new epiphany
points to Gods eternal glory,
fires our joyous litany.  
(© Andrew Pratt)

Muslim:
(i) “Examples of the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings”
From A Brief Guide to Understanding Islam/50.

A man walking along a path felt very thirsty.
Reaching a well, he descended into it,
drank his fill, and came up.

Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out,
trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst.

The man said: ‘This dog is feeling the same thirst that I felt.’
So he went down into the well again,
filled his shoe with water,
and gave the dog a drink.
So, God thanked him and forgave his sins.

The Prophet was asked:
‘Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?"

He said:
‘There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.’

(i) "On beauty"
From the Islamic tradition, Hafiz writes:

How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
all its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being.
Otherwise, we all remain
too frightened (Quoted in MFox 2000).

Traditional Christian Scriptures:
Luke 6: 20-21, 24-25  
(Inclusive Text)

A large crowd had gathered to hear Jesus.
[Concerned at his rising popularity], Jesus said to the disciples:
'How happy are you who are poor; yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now; you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh…’

'But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

Alas for you when the world speaks well of you…’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany: Choose Life (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share litany affirming our faith in life.
The people stand as they are able

We say to ourselves:
All Choose life,
that you and your children may live.

We say to friends:
All Choose life,
that you and your children may live.

We say to the world:
All Choose life,
that you and your children may live.

The earth is our source of survival.
Deplete her resources, poison her waters,
and you will cultivate death.
All Choose life,
that you and your children may live.

The universe is our sacred canopy.
Clutter its space with the hardware of war,
and the stars and the planets will die.
All Choose life,
that you and your children may live.

Life is a fragile environment.
Upset the balance, and everything, everyone,
everywhere will disappear.
All Choose life,
that you and your children may live.
  (M T Winter/wpws)

Sharing 'The Peace'
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
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.  (© William L Wallace)

OR

We are Always Part of the Other(Tune: ‘Complexity’)
From the Collection Boundless Life

We are always part of the other
And the other is part of our-self
For nothing is as simple as it seems.

An oppressor dwells in each victim
And oppressors have victims within
For nothing is as simple as it seems.

In the light remains hidden darkness,
In the darkness remain rays of light
For nothing is as simple as it seems.

In our joy remains buried sorrow
In our sorrow there still lives the joy
For nothing is as simple as it seems.

In each puzzle lie all the answers,
In each answer a puzzle remains,
For nothing is a simple as it seems.

All the many contain the one Way,
In that Way all the others reside,
For nothing is as simple as it seems.

All beginnings lead to their endings,
From all endings beginnings emerge,
Yes nothing is as simple as it seems.

So let’s worship life’s woven patterns
Through embracing all life’s sacred grace,
The myst’ry on which every heart can feed.  © William L. Wallace on December 12, 2014
Music: <http://progressivechristianity.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Wallace.We-Are-Always-Part-Of-The-Other.pdf> 

CELEBRATING

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,