Pentecost3C.5.6.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
5 June 2016. Pentecost 3C. (Green).
Environment Day


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

We gather here as the human ones of creation.
We name ourselves threads in the web of life.
We give thanks for connection,
that we are all part of one another
and that we are part of the sacred (StAndrew's Wellington, NZ).

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Divine spark from sacred dark
Symbol of our holy intent
illuminate this hour. 
KHuff

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
Praise Death and Birth amid the Stars  (Tune: ‘Lasst Uns Erferuen’, 88 88 Alleluia)
Praise birth and death amid the stars
Whence came all atoms that we are
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise cosmic temporality
Each moment precious as can be
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Praise birth and death upon this Earth
Rejuvenation and rebirth
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise beauty, rise, and then depart
Fullness of spirit, breaking heart
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!  (© Connie Barlow)

OR

God Beyond, Within, Between”  (Tune: ‘St Magnus’ 86 86, 378 TiS)   20 SNS2
God is beyond, within, between;
The now and what has been;
God in the future and before;
The ever wondrous 'More'.

God is beyond gods we create
Ev'n those we venerate.
God is beyond what is beyond,
But still our hearts respond.

God is within, the force we know
In all life's ebb and flow,
In God we live and move and be,
And touch and taste and see.

And God we know is in between,
Involved but still unseen,
When fostering in you and me
A rich community.

God is within to sanctify;
Beyond to glorify;
God is between to beautify;
Of this we testify. 
George Stuart
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Life rises in our midst:
All  sometimes hard-won life.
It surprises us when it blossoms forth at unexpected times:
All  and in unexpected places.
It comes with power stronger than death:
All  
life born of faithfulness,
life born of courage,
life born of God.  (Dorothy McRae-McMahon/plpm)

Act of Awareness
Within us is the courage of creators,
to make bold plans,
to make wise use of materials and powers.

Progress is not inevitable,
except when we take that which is merely possible,
and by our determination
make it inevitable. (Kenneth Patton/sscl)

OR

We pray:
Surprising God,
whose love leads us to new experiences,
may we be open to your presence among us and within.

Let us sense your presence in the sights and sounds of this day.
May it be so.

Hymn When our Heart is in a Holy Place” 1008 STJ
Refrain:
When our heart is in a holy place,
When our heart is in a holy place,
We are blessed with love
And amazing grace,
When our heart is in a holy place.

When we trust the wisdom in each of us,
Ev’ry colour every creed and kind,
And we see our faces in each other’s eyes,
Then our heart is in a holy place.
Refrain:

When we tell our story from deep inside,
And we listen with a loving mind,
And we hear our voices in each other’s words,
Then our heart is in a holy place.
Refrain:

When we share the silence of sacred space,
And the God of our Heart stirs with in,
And we feel the power of each other’s faith,
Then our heart is in a holy place.
Refrain:
The people sit after the hymn

OR

Songs of Spirit”  (Tune: ‘Servetus’, 77 77D)    13 SLT
Songs of spirit, like a prayer
breathing in the ambient air;
singing in the morning light,
in the radiance of the day,
in the twilight shadows grey,
in the brooding hush of night;
dark or light, or storm, or fair
singing, singing everywhere.

In the burgeoning of spring,
in the summer’s scented bloom,
in the autumn’s mellow glow,
in the winter’s ice and snow;
shade, or shine, or joy, or gloom,
as the seasons come and go,
bleak and bare, or blossoming
still the songs that sing and sing!

Singing, singing everywhere,
at the heart of everything;
in my soul I hear them sing;
mystic music of the spheres;
songs that, with my utmost art,
I can only catch in part;
broken echoes, cold and bare,
of the songs my spirit hears. (Marion F Ham)

OR

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)
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.

Meditation
“Christpower”
By John Shelby Spong.
Jesus for the Non-religious/292.

Look at him!

Look not at his divinity,
but look, rather, at his freedom.
Look not at the exaggerated tales of his power,
but look, rather, at his infinite capacity to give himself away.
Look not at the first-century mythology that surrounds him,
but look, rather, at his courage to be,
his ability to live, and
the contagious quality of his love.

Stop your frantic search!
Be still and know that this is God:
this love,
this freedom,
this life,
this being;

And
when you are accepted, accept yourself;
when you are forgiven, forgive yourself;
when you are loved, love yourself.
Grasp that Christpower
and dare to be yourself!

That is, I believe the pathway to God,
the God whom I have en-countered in the
profoundly human Jesus.
Shalom!

OR

"Corellas at Dawn"
By Bruce Prewer. From the author’s web site.

 Like doves,
a white cloud of corellas
descend on a dead tree,
turning a grey, damp dawn
into a thing of beauty.

 Come, Spirit of love,
baptise the barren limbs
of our discouragement
with a flock of new hopes
and clothe our drabness
with your pure loveliness.

 In your tough mercy
dig us out of our hiding places.
Touch our eyes with healing
that we may look without hurt or fear
on that holy Light
which makes all things new.

Silence
Let there now be a quiet time among us.
(Silence)

May the silence remind us of the best hours we have known,
and strengthen our resolve
to live in that spirit
which gives the better meaning to our lives.
Bob Holmes
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our Biblical Tradition
Let us now listen to a story from our biblical tradition.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 7:11-17  (A New New Testament)

Shortly after, Jesus went to a town called Nain,
his followers and a great crowd going with him.

Just as he approached the gate of the town,
there was a dead man being 
carried out - an only son,
and his mother was a widow.
A large number of the town were with her.

When he saw her, the Master was moved with compassion for her,
and he said to her: “Do not weep."

Then he went up and touched the bier,and the bearers stopped;
and Jesus said: “Young man, I am speaking to you - rise!"

The dead man sat up and began to talk,
and Jesus restored him to his mother.

Everyone was awestruck and began praising God.
“A great prophet has arisen among us,” they said;
“and God has visited his people."

And this story about Jesus spread all through Judea,
and in the neighbouring countries as well.

Contemporary Exploration (For Environment Day)

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share a celebration of faith.
The people stand as they are able

We celebrate our God
All  who is not afraid of our minds with all their questions,
and all their doubting searchings for the truth.

We celebrate our God
All  who knows and loves our deepest hearts,
whose compassion is always greater than ours
so that the measure of our kindness
is always less than that of God.

We celebrate our God
All  who engages with our souls,
linking us with the mystery of the universe,
the endlessness of eternity,
yet is as close to us in our beings as a parent with a child.
    Dorothy McRae-McMahon/plpm

OR

A Litany: “Come Celebrate…" (Optional)
Come and celebrate God who calls women to tend the flame.

All  
Did not our hearts burn within us?
Come and celebrate the courage of women who heard their call and,
with a fire in their bones, stepped out of the shadow.

All  Did not our hearts burn within us?
Come and celebrate the lives of women who,
even in their mountaintop experiences, never forgot their valleys.
All  Did not our hearts burn within us?
Come and celebrate the work of women who
recognised the risen Lord in the breaking of bread
and in the opening of scripture.
All  Did not our hearts burn within us?
Come and celebrate the perseverance of women
who are still struggling to have their gifts recognised by their churches.
All  Did not our hearts burn within us?
Come and celebrate women who paved the road to ordination for others
and encourage us to work for those who will follow.

All  Did not our hearts burn within us? (Su Yon Pak)

OR

Celebrating the Earth
v1
We light and put in place this candle for the land, sea and sky.
A green candle is put in place and lit

v2  We remember the richness of Planet Earth:
All
mountains unfolding to desert and plain,
seas swaying to the rhythm of tides,
skies reflecting the colours of light.

v3 We place this green cloth for the creatures of Earth.
A large green cloth is placed near/around the candle

v2 We remember creatures of land, air and sea:
All
horses running for the joy of living,
parrots chatting on roofs and branches,
dolphins leaping from sea to sky
.

v4 We place these leaves for the fruits of Earth.
A branch of green leaves is put beside the candle

v2 We remember fruits of the land:
All
grasses bursting with nourishing grain,
flowers exuding colour and fragrance,
trees renewing the sweetness of air.

v5 We put this book in place for humanity.
A collection of sayings and poems is put on the green cloth near the candle

v2 We remember all sages and prophets:
All
through them recalling the power of love;
through them reclaiming a spirit of compassion;
through them embracing Earth and each other. (Adapt.PCNV Earth Liturgy)

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. (David Galston/q)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Where Does Compassion Start?(Tune: ‘Love Unknown’, 66 66 4444, Also ‘Compassion’ by Colin Gibson)   45 PaT
(A response to the ‘Charter for Compassion’)

Where does compassion start?
How does compassion grow?
Her seed is at the heart
of every faith we know:
compassion honours others' place,
dethroning self with willing grace.

How does compassion thrive
in worlds of greed and grief?
Her goodness stays alive
through those of strong belief:
compassion, luminous and clear,
outshining wastes of war and fear.

Where is compassion's role
in cultures, or in creeds?
At centre, with the soul
who feels another's needs:
compassion brings the touch of friend,
a bandage that will bind and mend.

Dynamic is the power
that heals, restores and gives,
connecting at the core
with everyone who lives,
transcending culture, colour, race,
compassion builds the house of peace. (Shirley Erena Murray, 2009. © Hope Publishing)

OR

"What Stands Tall"
What stands tall when all has fallen,
remains when strength is gone?
What can heal the broken spirit,
'mid chaos find a song?
It is love and love alone.
It is love and love alone.

What consoles an aching spirit,
brings joy despite the pain?
What can soothe our hurt fill'd anger,
sees sharing wealth as gain?
It is love and love alone.
It is love and love alone.

What inspires responsibility,
sees worth in great and small?
What views self and others equally,
seeks peace and joy for all?
It is love and love alone.
It is love and love alone.

What will feed our hungry children,
will bind the wounds of war?
What will speak sweet peace in conflict,
what makes the spirit soar?
It is love, respect and care,
within and then with others gladly shared,
at home and ev'rywhere.
It is love and love alone.
It is love and love alone.
It is love. (© Scott Kearns)

OR

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)

CELEBRATING

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 (Gretta Vosper/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 (Optional)
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate

All  O God, you love us like a good parent,
and are present in every aspect of our existence.
May your nature become known and respected by all.
May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice
be the reality for everyone
as we live by the Jesus Way.

Give us all that we really need to live every day for you.
And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures.
Keep us from doing those things which are not of you,
and cause us always to be centred on your love
For you are the true reality in this our now,
and in all our future.
In the Jesus Way we pray. Amen.
David Sorrill

OR

All  Mother, Father, God, Universal Power.
Remind us daily cf the sanctity of all life.

Touch our hearts with the glorious oneness of all creation,
As we strive to respect all the living beings on this planet.

Penetrate our souls with the beauty of this earth,
As we attune ourselves to the rhythm and flow of the seasons.

Awaken our minds with the knowledge to
achieve a world in perfect harmony
And grant us the wisdom to realize that we
can have heaven an earth.
  (Jo Poore/ep)

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)

Offerings
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.

Presentation
The generosity of life is around us.
Even in difficult times
we can discover the spirit of generosity.

May we receive this generosity for our growing enrichment,
and may we give to this generosity
for the world's growing compassion (Francis Macnab/h).

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Where the Love of God”  (Tune: ‘Reconciliation’)   76 (v1-2) FFS
Where the love of God is guiding,
there is now another way:
new awareness of compassion
learned from one another;
love, the face of God in Jesus,
new creation's thrust,
love, transforming tears and terror