Revd Rex A E Hunt
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
18 September 2016. Season of Creation3/Pentecost 18C. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion
Theme: Storm Sunday
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
The gong is sounded three times
Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit
This flame is warm as the companionship of friends is warm.
Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
Entry into the Celebration
v2 Fountain of life…
Pulse of life…Breath of life…
All Earth is filled with the presentness of God.
v1 Holy! Holy! Holy!
All the elements are filled with the presentness of God.
All Holy! Holy! Holy!
Earth is filled with the presentness of God.
v2 Together this day, let us sense
the face of God in all creativity. (Norman Habel/soc)
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 They include the categories: 1. Bush (Brush) Fire, 2. Tsunami, Storms/Cyclones, 3. Earthquakes, 4. War/Remembrance, 5. Caregiving, 6. God as Mother, 7. Human Trafficking, 8. Disabled, 9. Migration/Refugees
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
“Climate is Warming” (Tune: ‘The Ash Grove’, 12 11 12 11D, 531 TiS) 44 (v1-3) SNS2
As climate is warming
Will bees keep on swarming
If we just continue to damage the earth?
Will birds and sea-creatures
With beautiful features
Forever be lost by denying their worth?
Will trees and each flower
Succumb to the power
Of poisons and toxins we put in the air?
As ice-caps diminish,
A sign of the finish,
We must meet this crisis and show that we care.
If we start to measure
Some things that we treasure
It may cause us anguish to let these things go;
For comfort and leisure,
Our life-style and pleasure,
We claim we have earned and don't wish to forgo;
But we can all ponder
And face what we squander,
Then start to make change in the way that we live;
We can curb excesses;
Each harms and oppresses
The poor and the weak; we take what they don't give.
To greenhouse emissions
We make our additions
And by them we foster some possible gloom,
But with perseverance
We can make a diff’rence;
We can work to limit the fuel we consume,
We'll tell each law-maker
That every green acre
Is ours to look after and not to destroy,
God's bounty possessing;
We're stewards of blessing;
We meet our commitment with challenging joy.
“Let All the Beauty…” (Tune: ‘Danby’, LM) 326 SLT
Let all beauty we have known
illuminate our hearts and minds.
Rejoice in wonders daily shown,
in faith and joy, and love that binds.
We celebrate with singing hearts
the loveliness of sky and earth,
the inspiration of the arts,
the miracle of ev’ry birth.
Life’s music and its poetry
surround and bless us through our days.
For these we sing in harmony,
together giving thanks and praise. (Dana McLean Greeley)
The spirit of Creativity God has hovered over the waters…
This day we invite the elements of the storm to worship with us.
All The wild winds and the dark clouds,
the lightning flash and the thunder roll.
We invite the hurricane to join us in wonder:
All The fierce gales and blinding rains,
the crashing waves and swaying trees.
But with our invitation there are questions.
All Where is Creativity God in all of this?
In the storm?
In the cyclone?
In the tsunami?
In the thunder of the storm,
All Or in the stillness after the storm?
Act of Awareness
In these early days called Springtime,
we give thanks for the opportunity we have
to worship and celebrate this day.
May we be surrounded with a very real sense
of the sacred as we spend this time together.
As we face the storms of this world, we celebrate
the wonders of the wind and the weather.
May we see the presentness of Creativity God
not only in the forces of nature, but also
among those who suffer from natural disasters.
May we continue to care for all life on this Earth,
especially in the face of change or disaster.
May it be so.
Hymn (Cont). "Climate is Warming" (Tune: ‘The Ash Grove’, 12 11 12 11D, 531 TiS) 44 (v4-5) SNS2
With nature so fragile,
Yet dazzling and fertile,
We ponder its beauty, its charm and its grace;
With life so abundant,
Confounded we are with so much to embrace.
Yet these green-house gases
Pollute in their masses;
We need to decrease them; we know that we should!
When nature is bleeding
We hear urgent pleading
To change our behaviour; we know how we could!
If we stop this warming
Then bees will keep swarming
And sweetness of honey remains for our taste.
Then birds and sea creatures
And hills and sea beaches
Will stay in their magic, unharmed by our waste.
The charm every hour
Of trees and each flower
Will bring us to silence in wonder and awe.
With God so surrounding
In beauty astounding
We kneel in God's presence to praise and adore. (George Stuart)
“We Are The Earth…” (Tune: ‘Ein’ Feste Burg’, 87 87 66 66 7) 30 SLT
We are the earth upright and proud;
in us the earth is knowing.
It’s winds are music in our mouths,
in us its rivers flowing.
The sun is our hearth-fire;
warm with the earth’s desire,
and with its purpose strong,
we sing earth’s pilgrim song;
in us the earth is growing.
We lift our voices, fill the skies
with our exultant singing.
We dedicate our minds and hearts,
to order, beauty bringing.
Our labor is our strength;
our love will win at length;
our minds will find the ways
to live in peace and praise.
Our day is just beginning. (Kenneth L Patton)
The people sit after the hymn
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.
A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who may be joining us for a first time.
Your presence enriches this gathering and contributes to
the creative evolution of community.
Thanks for the gift of you! (Central United, Moncton, Canada)
This morning we continue the Season of Creation.
And the third theme is Storm Sunday.
As you entered the Gathering space this morning
you received a twig of rosemary.
Rub it between your fingers and share with the person next to you
a special memory of a storm or extreme weather
that raised questions for you.
We remember fierce storms in our lives, moments
when we raised questions about our role
in our changing and sometimes dangerous world.
All We remember asking ‘why?’
Now away from the busyness of life
and in the silence of this sacred place,
let us give thanks for the gift of all the elements,
and the mystery of an endless horizon
stretching out across the Earth.
Question, family, question!
All Question, family, question.
Music of Reflection
Reading from our broad Biblical Tradition
A story from our biblical tradition will be told by (NN).
Reader: Into this day will break moments of awareness,
tiny shards of light that illumine
the whole reality of existence.
All May this reading be such a moment
and may we be blessed by its gift (Gretta Vosper/ab)
Luke 16:1-8a (Inclusive Text)
Jesus said to the disciples,
‘There was a rich householder who had a steward
who was denounced for being wasteful with the householder's property.
The householder called for the steward and said,
‘What is this that I hear about you?
Draw me up an account of your stewardship
because you are not to be my steward any longer.’
Then the steward thought,
‘Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do?
Dig? I am not strong enough.
Go begging? I should be too ashamed.
'Ah, I know what I will do to make sure
that when I am dismissed from office
there will be some to welcome me into their homes.’
So the steward called the master's debtors one by one saying to the first,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
‘One hundred measures of oil,’ was the reply.
The steward said,
'Here, take your bond, sit down straight away, and write 50.’
To another the steward said,
‘And you, how much do you owe?
’'One hundred measures of wheat," was the reply.
The steward said,
'Here, take your bond and write 80.’
And the master praised the dishonest steward for astuteness…
“To Wantonly Destroy a Living Species”
By Thomas Berry
The ecological age fosters the deep awareness of the sacred presence within each reality of the universe.
There is an awe and a reverence due to the stars in the heavens, the sun, and all heavenly bodies;
to the seas and the continents; to all living forms of trees and ﬂowers;
to the myriad expressions of life in the sea; to the animals of the forests and the birds of the air.
To wantonly destroy a living species is to silence forever a divine voice.
Our primary need for the various life forms of the planet is a psychic, rather than a physical, need.
The ecological age seeks to establish and maintain this subjective identity, this authenticity at the heart of every being.
If this is so of the prehuman phase of life, it is surely true of the human also.
Season of Creation3 Gospel: (Open English Bible/A New New Testament)
Luke 8: 22-25
One day about that time, Jesus got into a boat with his followers and said to them:
"Let us go across the lake."
So they put off.
While they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep.
A squall swept down the lake,
and their boat was filling and they were in danger.
So they came and roused him.
"Master, Master," they cried, "we are lost!”
Jesus rose and rebuked the wind and the rushing waves,
and they fell, and a calm followed.
"Where is your confidence?" he exclaimed.
But in great awe and amazement they said to one another:
"Who can this be, who commands even the winds and the waves,
and they obey him?”
The Thunder: Perfect Mind 1:2-5; 2:7-10
Look to me, all you who contemplate me
Audience, hear me
Those expecting me, receive me
Don't chase me from your sight
Don't let your voice or your hearing hate me
Don't ignore me any place, any time
Be careful. Do not ignore me
I am the first and the last...
I am both awareness and obliviousness
I am humiliation and pride
I am without shame
I am ashamed
I am security and I am fear
I am war and peace
Pay attention to me...
Silence for Personal Reflection
A Litany (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together a litany for the Earth.
The people stand as they are able
v1 Earth teach me!
Le Earth teach me patience
as the plants grow slowly
Ri Earth teach me hope
as the first shoots break through
Le Earth teach me courage
as the wild animals protect their young
Ri Earth teach me blessing
as the sun rises each day
Le Earth teach me loving kindness
as the birds migrate for winter
Ri Earth teach me freedom
as the birds who fly alone
Le Earth teach me celebration
as the apples come to full fruit
Ri Earth teach me yearning
as the rain nourishes the drought.
v1 Earth teach me. (Margie Abbott/sotc)
Sharing 'The Peace’
God makes peace within us. Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us. Let us share it. (nwi)
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
“Wild Waves of Storm” (Tune: ‘Wild Waves’, 4 10 10 10 4) 80 SLT
Wild waves of storm,
the wonder of the wind and crashing sea,
nature in power and might and majesty,
yet wonder more in deep tranquility,
sea, calm and still.
in flocks intent upon far distant shore
great wonder hold; yet there is wonder more
when lonely eagle, watchful on a post,
sits, calm and still.
All people one
in urgent haste, on some great enterprise,
hearts beating fast, great dreams to realize,
yet in the soul a dream of richer prize,
serene and still.
Then striving cease:
from troubled turmoil seek an inward goal;
tranquillity shall make the spirit whole.
Be still, and know a Presence in the soul,
serene, alive. (Sydney H Knight/adapt)
With the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat
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
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Concerns shared
In this abundant blessing
All We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All May love abound (Gretta Vosper/wwg)
And so we take a 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 the 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 that is 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 COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION, OR THE JESUS BANQUET
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.
May our hearts be opened, our hands unclenched,
and our ears unclogged, that we may
feel and touch and taste and see
the breath and play of Creativity God around us.
May it be well with you.
All And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All May we rejoice in the beauty that we are. Gretta Vosper/wwg
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 the spring.
As we celebrate the renewal of life and hope,
we also celebrate the presentness
of the Spirit of Life and Hope and Creativity,
everywhere around and within us.
No matter who you are, or where you are
on life's journey, you are welcome
at this table with it's symbols of God's Creative Presence.
All In company with all who seek nourishment at this table,
we come to celebrate community, and to share
these life-giving symbols. (Jerry Stinson/adapted)
We celebrate the changing mood of nature:
for sunshine and showers of a spring day.
for the nesting and cheerfulness of birds,
and the flowers of bush and garden…
wattle, heath, and bottle brush.
We give thanks, O Holy God.
All We give thanks.
We who hold all such good things in trust,
in the company of each other,
and in company with people throughout the world
declare as generations before us have declared:
All Holy, holy, holy, hope-breathing 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.
And we celebrate our knowledge of Jesus the Companion,
who taught all to care for
the birds of the air,
and the grass of the paddock;
living expressions of the Spirit of Life in our midst.
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
mindful of the Spirit at work in our lives.
Thus making our living a source of renewal and hope.
Breaking Bread/Pouring 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
We give thanks that we have
gathered together in this sacred place,
and been refreshed at this table.
We rejoice in the giftedness of each person here.
We are grateful for who we are for each other.
May we go forth into the world in courage and peace.
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
“Hurricane” (Tune 25 TiS, ‘Martyrdom' 86 86)
The mingled tears of memory,
of present grief and fear,
reminders for humanity
that death is always near.
The hurricane, the tidal wave,
the terrorist attack,
that fracture faith, unsettle hope,
can cause belief to crack.
For where is God? And what is love
within this finite frame,
where life is trampled underfoot,
destroyed by winds that maim?
Can God be found in broken lives,
where chaos seems to rule?
Forsaken on a cross Christ hung,
made wisdom look a fool.
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place…
The Community Candle is extinguished
Remembering again the elements – storm and the silence…
Will you care for Planet Earth?
All We will wonder at the elements around us.
We will protect those of our fauna kin.
We will empathise with the Oceans.
We will be sensitive to the cries of creation.
We will celebrate life!
Words of Blessing
May God the starmaker cradle and circle you.
May God the storyteller beckon and encourage you.
May God the life changer challenge you and cherish you.
May you walk in the light of God’s love and laughter
all the moments of your nights and days. (Ruth Burgess/bb)
All Amen! May it be so!
Hymn (Cont) “Hurricane” (Tune 25 TiS, ‘Martyrdom' 86 86)
His broken hands reach out to heal,
through human hands today;
compassion sees the need for love
and God still makes a way.
And so amid these mingled tears
we cling to those who care,
and in the silence come to feel
the love of God is there. © Andrew Pratt 31/8/2005
The people sit after the hymn
'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
Morning tea is now served.
You are invited to share in this time 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:
Abbott, M. 2001. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for Seasonal Use. Unley. MediaCom Education.
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.
Burgess, R. 2001. A Book of Blessings. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Sanguin, B. If Darwin Prayed. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Vancouver: EOS, 2010.
Stinson, J. 2006. “The encounter of progressive christian theology with the language of prayer and ritual on Sunday morning”. Westar Institute/Westar Leaders Seminar. March 2006.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto: G Stuart, 2009.
(SLT) Singing The Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
Taussig, H. (ed). A New New Testament. A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London. SPCK.
Tucker, M. E. & J. Grim. (ed). Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community. Mary knoll. Orbit Books, 2014.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
Vosper, G. 2004/2010. Holy Breath. Prayers for worship and reflection. New & Revised edition. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.
Norman Habel. Season of Creation. www.seasonofcreation.com
Andrew Pratt "Hurricane" Hymns and words blog site. UK.