Lent3C.28.2.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
28 February 2016. Lent 3. (Purple).


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) 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 struck three times

Come into this gathering.
May this time together be creative
Of a new outreach of trust and confidence
That life was meant to be lived at the full tide.
  Bob Holmes

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
"Whispers Rippled Through The Cosmos(Tune: 'Nettleton', 87 87. 392 TiS)
Whispers rippled through the cosmos,
pan-galactic breath of God;
marking paths of whirling planets,
stellar strings where stars first trod.

Major chords of constellations
ringing on the staves of time,
soften to a sombre minor,
echoes of an ancient rhyme.

God is in this wild confusion
bringing order, giving grace;
author, ground of all creation,
fount of being, Lord of space.

All transcendent power and glory
now distilled, condensed, confined;
shaped while shaping rich resources
cradling waiting humankind
  © Andrew Pratt
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
In hope, in longing
All  
We're glad to come together.
In trust, in community
All  
We're glad to come together.
In many moods, in many shapes and sizes
All  
We're glad to come together.
In peace, in joy
All  
We're glad to come together.
In solidarity with those who struggle
All  
We're glad to come together in this Lenten season(Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Act of Awareness
Silently a flower blooms.
In silence it falls away.

Yet here now, in this moment, at this place,
the world of the flower,
the whole of the world is blooming.

This is the talk of the flower,
the truth of the blossom:
the glory of eternal life is fully shining here (Adapt.ZShinayama/lp)

OR

We pray:
Remind us, O Spirit, that life is worth living.
Remind us, O Creator, that the struggle for justice is worth undertaking.
Remind us, O Mercy, that love and action are one.
May it be so.  (Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Hymn  "Past and Present"   (Tune: 'Cwm Rhondda' 87 87 47, 569 TiS)   28 TMT
Past and present, with our dreaming,
Join to make us what we are;
Ancient wisdom, ancient follies
Shape the way we love and care:
Give us reverence,
Give us wisdom,
From the past for life today,
From the past for life today.

Make us mindful of the present -
Ev'ry force, each strength, each flaw;
Free us from those selfish motives
Which consume us more and more:
Give us vision,
Give us courage,
For this modern age of change,
For this modern age of change.

We must face the future's challenge
To create a better earth
Hand in hand with all who labour
Dream and suffer for its birth:
For through sharing
And through caring
We shall build community,
We shall build community.
  William Wallace
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.

CENTERING

Meditation
"Resting in the Grace of the World"
Wendell Berry.
Earth Prayers/102.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.  For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Centering Silence
Let us take a moment to settle into the silence of this place.
(The charka is sounded)

Silence

May our silence grow profound
as we are embraced by the spirit
of our highest hopes. BHamilton-Holway
(The charka is sounded)

Silence

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our Religious Tradition
Some readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be offered.
Our reader is (NN).

The World Around Us:
"Grounded Faith"
By Henry Nelson Wieman. Reprinted in Outstretched Wings of the Spirit/17.

Faith is essential to religion.
A faith is a transforming and activating belief.  It is belief becoming dynamic, functioning in life...

What we call our faith is the total, integrated structure of all of our beliefs,
made coherent and rational, and constantly tested out
and either reaffirmed or corrected by continuing life experience.
It becomes the foundation for our personal morale and morals
as we confront the challenges of daily life.

Faith is our character.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 13:1-9 (Inclusive Text)

Some people arrived and told Jesus about Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with that their sacrifices.

At this Jesus said to them,
‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that
were greater sinners than any other Galileans?

‘They were not, I tell you.
No, but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.

‘Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them?
Do you suppose that they were more guilty
than all the other people living in Jerusalem?

‘They were not, I tell you.
No, but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.’

Jesus told this parable:
‘A vinedresser had a fig tree planted in his vineyard
and came looking for fruit on it but found none.

‘The vinedresser the said to the one who looked after the vineyard,
Look here, for three years now I have been coming
to look for fruit on this fig tree, and finding none.

Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?

‘The vineyard worker replied,
Leave it one more year and give me time to dig around it and manure it:
it may bear fruit next year;
if not, then you can cut it down.’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

Beckoning Christ,
you call us out of our comfortable ghetto of 'us' and 'them'
to risk discipleship without walls.
All You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where God is worshipped above all other.

Wn You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where prayer is offered day and night.
All
You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where we can share what we are with others who love you.

Mn You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where each person has something to give to the whole.
All You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where compassion and respect shape missionary endeavour.

Keep on beckoning us out of our safe havens
into your rich fellowship of
challenge and reconciliation, faith and hope. 
KCompston/sco

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

May a heart of peace rest with you.
All And also with you. (Galston/q)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Celebrate the Cosmic Birthing(Tune: ‘Hymn to Joy’)
Celebrate the cosmic birthing,
Flash of primal energy:
Swirling gases, densing matter
Stuff of galaxies to be.
Celebrate the life-force pulsing
through these 15 billion years,
Trillion, trillion stars emerging
From the cradle of the spheres.

Celebrate the white-heat furnace-
life evoking mother sun;
Celebrate her planet-offspring
Nine, in cosmic dance as one.
Celebrate her favoured daughter,
Earth, in cloak of fragile green;
Cragging rocks, and sounding ocean-
Surface-lashed, beneath serene.

Join the mystic dance of species,
Chaining, weaving, circling, one
Strong-competing, close depending,
Life swift ending, new begun.
Sing our senseful keen awareness-
Form and sound, scent, taste and hue.
High achieving, passing, transient-
Living, dying born anew. (Ian Cairns)
The people sit

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:
Creation thrums with Being
and peals the Word - 'I am’.
All 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 (Optional)
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as appropriate

All  Eternal Spirit
Source of all that is and ever shall be,
Loving Parent in whom we discern heaven,
May knowledge of your holiness inspire all peoples.

And may your commonwealth of peace and freedom
flourish on earth, until all of humankind
heed your call to justice and compassion.

May we find the bread that we need for today.
And for the hurts we cause one another
may we be forgiven in the same measure
that we forgive.

In times of trial and temptation,
help us to be strong;
When life seems overwhelming,
Help us to endure;
And thus from the yoke of sin deliver us.

May you reign in the power of human love,
Now and forever. 
(Tom Hall)

CELEBRATING

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
The Offering 
Let us bring our offerings as a symbol of our ministry
in this place and beyond.

The Presentation 
Open our eyes, our ears, our mouths.
Let us be doers of the word and not hearers only,
taking on those tasks set before us
with uncommon vision and
wholehearted expectation. 
Francis Macnab/h

Invitation
Friends we are about to share in the sacred story
and celebrate community together in a symbolic meal.

This time of the year each day grows a little shorter,
and, as each week passes, we move closer
to the winter equinox.

As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
let us also take delight
in the abundance of the simple things in life
which are the true source of joy (EHays/ep).

Thanksgiving
In time beyond our dreaming Creativity God hovered over the water,
and was revealed in fire and storm and precious law.

Likewise, humanity in this creative likeness evolved on this earth,
along with earth’s minerals and waters, flowers and fruits,
living creatures of grace and beauty!
All  
We offer this our thanks and praise.

In the 40 days of Lent,
we also remember the love made manifest in the
birth, life, and stories of Jesus of Nazareth.

In his healing acts and radical teachings
we recall the words he spoke
to call forth love, care and respect for one another.

And so, with Elizabeth who prophesied a birth,
Martha who longed for The Anointed One,
and James and John who sought to follow on the Way,
we join together, saying:
All  
Holy, holy, holy, vulnerable God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

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

Bread and Wine
We remember…
Long ago, so our tradition says, Jesus took bread,
offered thanks for it, and broke it.
Bread broken

He handed it to his friends, and invited them to eat.

We remember…
Long ago, so our tradition also says, Jesus poured a cup of wine,
offered thanks for it, and gave it to his friends.
Wine poured out

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

Communion
Let us share this bread and wine knowing that our lives are forever changed
by this and every breaking of bread.
Bread and wine served in continuous line

After Communion
v2  Life affirming God, bless this table-gathering of your people.
May the supper shared together, strengthen us
in our witness to the world.

In the Southern hemisphere:
"End of Summer…"
 Today, so our yearly calendar says, also marks the end of summer.
 When we begin to celebrate a time of transition,
 a season of change - one of the hinges of the year.

We also welcome each other back
to the world of responsibilities and duties
to the home-bound, work-bound joys and duties
of autumn followed by winter followed by spring.

The work and the promise of another year intrude
even though our hearts still cling
to warm sunlight, blue skies...
to long days and short nights.

On this last Sunday of summer then, I would share with you a summer gift.
Gifts are distributed - flowers, herbs, twigs, etc.

In these baskets are some tiny fragments of summer remains:
captured sunlight, quiet herb gardens, bbq conversations,
walks in the bush or along the beach.

As we end one season - summer, and begin another - autumn,
you are invited to take one of these gifts.
Take it home with you, put it away somewhere special -
a place where you will not encounter it every day,
but at frequent intervals,
when you are most in need of a bit of summer.

Then, in the midst of hectic activity,
may it give you pause to relive for a moment
the relaxed and lazy hours of summer
when life gather strength and renews itself (Adapt.DBumbaugh/tcb).

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Jesus – The Canberra Affirmation(Tune: ‘Triumph’, 87 87 87)  28 (v1-2) SNS2
We would honour one called Jesus –
Wisdom teacher, Jewish sage;
Nurtured by his own tradition
And religion of his age;
Long ago he took his journey; setting forth from Galilee.

Through distinctive oral sayings,
By the parables he told
Of inclusiveness and justice,
Of integrity so bold
He invited others trust in his great vision for his day.

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

Those who dodge growing pains
will never arrive at their full spiritual height.

As you prepare to leave this sacred place,
pray that you may have the courage to stretch once more
towards the goals set by the Man of Nazareth.
All  There is no shame in failing.
But there is in not trying.  (Bruce Prewer).

Words of Blessing
May the love that gives to life its beauty,
the reverence that gives to life its sacredness,
and the purposes that give to life its deep significance,
be strong within each of us and lead us
into ever deepening relationships with all of life. 
GGBrooks
All
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont.) “Jesus – The Canberra Affirmation (Tune: ‘Triumph’, 87 87 87)   28 (v3) SNS2
Life, one's neighbour and the 'sacred'
Re-imagined when he taught;
Table fellowship was open -
Symbol of his warm support;
As we too share in his vision, we affirm and follow him. GStuart
The people sit after the hymn

'This Week' at (NN)
Notices
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Significant events
Journeys

Recessional 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:
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). 1998.
Seeing Christ in Others. An anthology for worship, mediation and mission. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Harrington, D. S. 1980. 
Outstretched Wings of the Spirit. On being intelligently and devotedly religious. Boston.  UUA.
Holmes, R. H. 1972.  The Bob Holmes Worship Materials. Vol 1.  Little Falls. Self published.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2006. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Morely, J. 1992.  All Desires Known. Expanded edition. London. SPCK.
Macnab, F. 1996. Hope: The deeper longings of the mind and heart. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. 2005. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, liturgy, and songs without violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrin Press.
Prewer, B. D. 1983.  Australian Prayers. Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1991. 
Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 prayers, poems, and invocations for honoring the earth. New York. HarperCollins.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1996.
Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York: HarperCollins.
Seaburg, C. (ed). 1993.  The Communion Book. Boston. UUMA.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. 2009.  Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto. G Stuart.
(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:
Hamilton-Holway. UUA Worship Web. Boston. http://uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/index.php
Bruce Prewer Web Site
. VIC: Bendigo.
Andrew Pratt
. UK. eMail hymn service from the author.
"Listening Response". Eureka Street eZine
20, 23. 23/11/10.
"Celebrate the Cosmic Birthing". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. <http://www.questcentre.ca/>

rexae74@gmail.com