Pentecost10C.24.7.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
24 July 2016.  Pentecost 10C. (Green).


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

Today will be a joyful day.
This is our promise to each other
and to a world often taken aback by genuine invitation.
All Today will be a joyful day.
Enter, rejoice, and come in
. (George Stewart/www.uusf.org)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

May this flame  remind us of the light of wisdom.
May the warmth of its glow
remind us of the warmth of God's everlasting love.  (Adapt/VMarshall) 

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

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Sing to Celebrate the City!   122 AA
Sing to celebrate the city!
Sing the lives of people there,
sing the work of skill and beauty,
all who serve and all who care.
In the dictates of the dollar,
in the systems where we live,
find the currency of kindness,
eyes to smile and hearts to give.

We who are the city's traffic,
driving, driven, keeping pace,
name the God who makes us neighbours,
give our faith a human face;
in the workplace of God's people,
in the highrise and the home
our agenda is for justice -
changing lives for good to come.

Celebrate the art of living!
every colour, every sport,
every culture's dance and music,
every truth that love has taught -
be for God within the city,
life and loving are not priced:
light and lights of joyful worship,
set the table for the Christ!

Sing to celebrate the city!
Sing the lives of people there,
sing the work of skill and beauty,
all who serve and all who care.
  Shirley Erena Murray

OR

"Companions, Let Us Pray Together" (Tune: ‘Companions’)      21 HoS
Companions, let us pray together,
in this place affirm our faith.
Our God who made us is here among us;
we stand together in God's grace.
Refrain:
We are whanau, we are one,
brothers, sisters, of the Son.
We are reaching for our freedom,
the prize that Christ has won.

The broken Christ stands here among us,
shares our suffering and our pain;
in breaking bread we find empowerment
to live in aroha again.
Refrain:

The risen Christ bring light and laughter,
celebrates the life we share;
the poured out wine of Christ's self-giving
inspires us to reach out and care.
Refrain:

Now let us sing to God who loves us
and accepts us as we are;
go out from here and live that message,
proclaim our oneness near and far.
Refrain: (David Clark/Witi Ihimaera)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Through this celebration and worship,
we leave for a time the daily sequence of events,
to examine life in its eternal dimensions and consequences:
All  
asking questions about our values
our directions
our goals, and
our relationships.

Let us spend this time in the presentness 
of the Sacred One - God.
All  Praise be for this gathered community
in this sacred place, for all people.

Act of Awareness
It is good to be together this morning!
With thankful hearts we have come 
to celebrate
the bounty of the day,

to bask in the warmth of this community,
to share with friends the tides of our lives,

to entertain, perennially, our hopes for a better future.

We come here, to be together, because this is how
we believe our lives are best lived:
in questioning and in conversation,

in compassion and in service,

in gratitude and in joy,

in companionship, and in love.

It is good to be together with you this morning! (AWohler)

OR

We pray:
Abiding God, grant us the joy of feeling ourselves
a part of your vast magnificence,
your all-encompassing love.
May it be so.

Hymn "Dear Mother God(Tune:  ‘Intercessor’ 11 10 11 10, 587 TiS)
Dear Mother God, your wings are warm around us,
We are enfolded in your love and care,
Safe in the dark, your heartbeat's pulse surround us,
You call to us, for you are always there.

You call to us, for we are in your image.
We wait on you, the nest is cold and bare -
High overhead your wingbeats call us onward,
Filled with your power, we ride the empty air.

Let not our freedom scorn the needs of others -
We climb the clouds until our strong heart sings -
May we enfold our sisters and our brothers,
Till all are strong, till all have eagles' wings.
  (Janet Wootton/cw)
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.

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.

May we be ready to extend ourselves to those in need,
and with trust to receive the hand that is offered. 

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.
  Emmy Lou Belcher
Silence

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some stories from our broad religious tradition will be told by (NN).

May we be struck by the wisdom of these words
and marked by hearing them.
All  For within story lies meaning, and
within meaning, the wisdom for which we seek (Gretta Vosper/ab)

The World Around us:
“Out of the Depths”
By Kathy Galloway. Celebrating Women/15-16.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O God,
Hear my voice, O God, listen to my pleading.

My voice is weak, O God, my God,
Although it speaks for many.
It is the voice of Sarah, shamed before her servant,
Barren, and given no worth.
It is the voice of Hagar, abused by her mistress,
Driven out into the desert with her child.
It is the voice of Rachel, weeping for her children,
Weeping, for they are all dead.
It is the voice of Mary, robbed of her humanity,
Woman, yet not woman.
It is the voice of Martha, taught to be a servant,
Challenged to choose for herself.
It is the voice of a nameless woman, bought and sold,
Then given back to herself.

It is the voice of women, groaning in labour,
Sweating in toil, abandoned in hardship,
Weeping in mourning, awakened in worry,
Enslaved in dependency, afraid of their weakness.

Do you hear my voice, O God, my God?
Can you answer me?

The words I hear all speak to me of men.
You said I am also in your image,
You are my father, are you also mother,
Comfort-bringing like the loving arms?

Do you hear my voice, O God, my God?
Can you answer me?

I can sing your song of praise no longer,
I am not at home in this world any more.
My heart is full of tears for my sisters,
They choke my words of joy.

Do you hear my voice, O God, my God?
Can you answer me?

You sent your son, a man, to love me,
But him they killed also.
What is the new life that you promise me?
I do not want more of the same.

OR

"Blessing for Winter Meal"
Bronwyn Angela White. You Who Delight Me/55.

When winter seems darkest
and all is laid bare
the whole of creation is ours.

We gather for comfort, for courage, for change
this abundance is ours to share

We prune and shape, and let the new buds form
we open our arms and turn our face to the light

The fruit of our labours,
the bounty of earth is ours

We share it, and bless each other.

Silence

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 11:1-13  (Inclusive Text)

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying,
and when Jesus had finished, one of the disciples said,
'Teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'

Jesus said to them,
'Say this when you pray:
Father, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come;
give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive
each one who is in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test.

Jesus also said to them,
'Suppose one of you has a friend and goes in the middle of the night to say:
My friend, lend me three loaves because a friend of mine,
a traveller, has just arrived at my house
and I have nothing to offer.

‘And suppose the householder answers from inside the house:
Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, 
and my children and I are in bed;
I cannot get up to give it to you!

‘I tell you, if this friend does not get up and give it to you for friendship sake,
persistence will be enough to make that friend get up
and give you all you want.

‘So I say to you: 
Ask, and it will be given to you;
search, and you will find;
knock, and the door will be opened to you.

‘For the one who asks always receives;
the one who searches always finds;
the one who knocks will always have the door opened.

‘What parent among you would hand a child a stone
when he or she asked for bread?
Or hand them a snake instead of a fish?
Or hand them a scorpion if they asked for an egg?

‘If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children
what is good, how much more will your loving God in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask!’

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

The people of God have a human face.
All  We laugh, we weep, we wait in hope.
We lift our eyes
All  a
nd stub our toes,
we love,
All  
and struggle,
we fail,
All  
we stand, and always we stand on trembling ground.

But God is God
and Jesus is the Christ
and the Spirit will lift up our feet.
All God is in the centre,
God is at our endings.
Nothing lies beyond the love of God in Christ.
  (Adapt.Pitt St. Uniting Church/eoj)

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
Down The Ages(Tune: ‘Woodland’ 77 77)      2 SLT
Down the ages we have trod
many paths in search of God,
seeking ever to define
the Eternal and Divine.

Some have seen eternal good
pictured best in parenthood,
and a Being throned above
ruling over us in love.

There are others who proclaim
God and Nature are the same,
and the present God-head own
where creation’s laws are known.

There are eyes which best can see
God within humanity,
and God's countenance there trace
written in the human face.

Where compassion is most found
is for some the hallowed ground,
and these paths they upward plod
teaching us that love is God.

Though the truth we can't perceive
this at least we must believe,
what we take most earnestly
is our living Deity.

Our true God we there shall find
in what claims our heart and mind,
and our hidden thoughts enshrine
that which for us is Divine (John A Storey)

OR

Miracle of Life(Tune: ‘Ode to Joy’, 87 87D)      7 SiF
Miracle of life unfolding,
dazzling to our watching eyes,
far beyond full comprehension,
secrets of the earth and sky.
Each advance of understanding
each new piece of knowledge gained
leaves the soul amazed and humbled,
child-like wonder yet remains.

Nature teams with life abundant,
stunning in variety,
shape and size and colour diff’ring,
wondrous in complexity.
From a high, majestic mountain
to the contours of a shell,
Life has much to teach of diff’rence,
Rich we be to learn it well.

Filled with joy we stand in wonder
at the life in which we share,
Gratefully we find our spirits
sensing glory everywhere.
Sun and moon and tiny creature
in their beauty stir the heart,
leading us to sacred duty,
call us well to do our part © Scott Kearns 2008

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation
In the gift of this money we express our affirmation
of this congregation and our hope this congregation
will be a continuing and valuable part of our lives.

May we be surrounded each day
with a spirit of generosity and strength,
so we may respond to life
with generosity and strength.

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:
In the light and beauty of day
All  
We give thanks in awe and wonder.
In the dark and stillness of night
All  
We dream of healing and hope  (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 see the 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 that is appropriate

All  O presence and pow’r within us,
Being and Life of all.
How we are filled, how we o’erflow
with infinite love and gladness!

We shall this day sow grace and peace,
and show mercy to all,
and gentle loving-kindness.

And we shall be not so self-serving,
but a constant source of giving.

For ours is the essence,
and the wholeness,
and the fullness forever. 
(Paul Alan Laughlin/4r)
Amen.

(To check out a collection of prayers in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, go to Prayers/Affirmations/Manifestos)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"God Of Our Every Day(Tune: Jansen)     52 (v1-2) AA 
God of our every day,
friend who will walk our way,
light who can change the 
focus of our seeing:
capture our heart and mind,
be in the work we find,
till all we do becomes
your mode of being.

Speak to the spirit's void,
hands that are unemployed,
lives that are lived without
a true direction:
gifts that are hid, unearth,
lift us to know our worth
that in ourselves we see
your own reflection.
Remain standing

OR

Where People are Friendly…(Tune: ‘Loch Lomond’, 11 9 11 9)     99 (v1-2) MTH
Where people are friendly and walking as one,
the sound of the spirit is ringing;
right her in a world so discordant with strife,
in harmony, know God is singing.

So tell all the world that our God is alive,
the spirit of God is forgiving;
surviving the hatred, the greed that is rife,
God’s love cannot die, is still living.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Let us embrace the wonder of this week with expectation and imagination...
The Community Candle is extinguished

As we depart one from another,
let our hearts be secure
through every human season.
All  Let our hearts be secure
in seasons of anguish as in seasons of joy,
in seasons of failure as in seasons of success,
in seasons of uncertainty as in seasons of security.
  (John A Hobart/adapted)

Words of Blessing
Bless us God.
All of us God.
Every one of us.
Every part of us.

Bless us God.
This day.
And ever more.
All Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont) "God Of Our Every Day(Tune: Jansen)   52 (v3) AA 
Shine through our winter's grey,
break through depression's day,
live in the little deaths
we die in growing:
meaning for whom we grope,
home of our strongest hope,
power and peace, through all
creation flowing (Shirley Erena Murray).

OR

Where People are Friendly…” (Tune: ‘Loch Lomond’, 11 9 11 9)     99 (v3) MTH
Sing praises for all of the wonderful works
we see with our eyes newly open;
when grace has awakened God’s love in our hearts,
where love is the word that is spoken. (Andrew Pratt)

The people sit after the hymn

'This Week' at (NN)
Notices
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles

Fellowship
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:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and songs for all churches. 1993. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
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.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2006. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001.
Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
(SiF) Kearns, S. (ed). 2009. Sing it Forward. Traditional Hymns Recast and Rewritten for Non-Exclusive Communities. In circulation from the author.
Laughlin, P. A. 2009.  “Pray without seeking. Toward a truly mystical Lord’s Prayer” in The Fourth R 22, 6, 20-24.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993.  Echoes of Our Journey. Liturgies of the people. Melbourne. JBCE.
(MTH) Pratt, A. 
More Than Hymns. Words for a Lyrical Faith. London. Stainer & Bell, 2015.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993.  Boston. UUA.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010. 
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.
Vosper, G. 2008.  With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK.
White, B. A. 
You Who Delight Me. Words of Spirit and Faith. Wellington: Steele Roberts Publishers, 2012.

Web sites/Other:
Wohler, Marshall, Belcher, Hobart. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

rexae74@gmail.com