Pentecost11C.31.7.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
31 July 2016. Pentecost 11C. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion/Jesus Banquet


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

We gather together the strands of our hectic lives
and offer each other, this day, a breathing space...

We come in our 21st century lives
to retell stories from the past
to glean the meaning from the Jesus life
to be the Christ—the 'god bearers'—of our day (Adapt.Bronwyn A White/ywdm).

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

This is the light that is lit for everyone who comes into the world.
Bear this light to others, one by one.
Let the flame go from life to life 
till all is lit with its warmth. 
(Elizabeth Strong)

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
Our Life has its Seasons”  (Tune: ‘Kotuku')    113 AA
Our life has its seasons,
and God has the reasons
why spring follows winter,
and new leaves grow,
for there's a connection
with our resurrection
that flowers will bud
after frost and snow.
Refrain:
So there's never a time to stop believing,
there's never a time for hope to die,
there's never a time to stop loving,
these three things go on.

There's a time to be planting,
a time to be plucking,
a time to be laughing,
a time to weep,
a time to be building,
a time to be breaking,
a time to be waking,
a time to sleep,
But there's never a time to stop believing,
there's never a time for hope to die,
there's never a time to stop loving,
these three things go on.

There's a time to be hurting,
a time to be healing,
a time to be saving,
a time to spend,
a time to be grieving,
a time to be dancing,
a time for beginning,
a time to end,
But there's never a time 
to stop believing,
there's never a time for hope to die,
there's never a time to stop loving,
these three things go on. (Shirley Erena Murray)

OR

Watch and Wonder
The hand that carves exquisite birds;
the mind that writes astounding words;
the child who smiles a thousand joys;
the day which Love and Life employs.

The wrinkles lining wisdom’s face;
All those who give in simple grace;
the changing leadership of geese;
the dusky night that brings sweet peace.
Refrain:
Worship now the Holy One!
Unknown Source of moon and sun;
peace and chaos, space and time;
All of us evolving, born Divine!

To wonder then with heart and mind;
is worship of the truest kind.
To watch from depths within one’s soul
enables Love to make us whole.

’Tis time to voice our deep content.
’Tis time to give our strong assent.
The Spirit thrives in all that lives.
The Spirit loves, the Spirit gives!  (Emily Kierstead/ea)
Refrain:
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
We are moved to awe and wonder at the grandeur,
the poetry, the richness of natural beauty.
All  
It fills us with joy and thanksgiving.
 

And then all that has divided us will merge
and compassion will be wedded to power, 
All  
Softness and wonder will come to a world that is harsh and unkind 
And then both men and women will be gentle; 
All  
both women and men will be strong. 

And then no person will be subject to another’s will 
All will be rich and free and varied 
All  
And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many 
All will share equally in Earth’s abundance 
All  
And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old 
All will nourish the young 
All  
And then all will cherish life’s creatures 
All will live in harmony with each other and the Earth 
All  
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again. (C3Exchange) 

Act of Awareness
We live our lives with little regard
for the import of each moment.
They come to us
in regular and rapid succession,
and we live through each of them into the next.
A simple, ongoing process
into which our lives are set at birth
and through which we will proceed unto our deaths.

Yet in each moment resides incredible power -
new life, healing, opportunity,
and we, who move near-blindly through them
look to one another as we gather
that we may do together
to the truth of our potential.

May our singing be filled with transformation,
our words reflect the yearning of our hearts,
and the spirit that build within us as we gather
hallow each and every passing moment
we know here together (Gretta Vosper/ab).

OR

We pray:
God of the important and the common place,
you reach into our lives through story.

Open our hearts to be attentive:
that seeing, we may perceive,
and hearing, we may understand,
and understanding, we may act.
May it be so.

Hymn "God Called Us"  (Tune: ‘Duke Street’. 88 88)
God, you have called us to this hour:
now two or three or many claim
the promised gift of living power.
as your church meets in Jesus' name.

Open our minds and set us free
from spite and hurt, that we may face
the dread responsibility
of your church, meeting in this place.

Encouraged by the risk you take
in trusting us to do your will,
we dare to offer, for your sake,
all this church gath'ring can fulfil. JWootton. © Stainer & Bell Ltd (Title and last line adapted/RAEHunt)
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
In this time of silence together in this sacred place...
may it renew our hope
may it refresh our courage
may it lift our spirits
may it restore us in faith.
Silence

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our Religious Tradition
A story from our religious tradition will be told by (N).

Reader:  May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this reading.

All  And may our minds be fertile soil

in which it may grow strong and true (Gretta Vosper/ab)

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 12:13-21 
(Inclusive Text)

A man in the crowd said to Jesus,
'Teacher, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.'

'My friend,' Jesus replied 'who appointed me your judge, 
or the arbitrator of your claims?'

Then Jesus said to them,
'Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind,
for people's lives are not made secure by what they own,
even when they have more than they need.'

Then Jesus told them a parable:
'There was once a rich man who,
having a good harvest from his land, thought to himself,
"What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops."

Then that man said,
"This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns
and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them,
and I will say to my soul:
My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come;
take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time."

But God said to him,
"Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul;
and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?"

So it is when people store up treasure for themselves
in place of making themselves rich in the sight of God.

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

In God, Source of Life
All  our deaths are not the final word,
our moments of crisis are part of eternal possibility,
and our weakness is taken up into the courage of God.

As followers of Jesus of the Way,
All  our humanness is touched with divine life,
our tears are mingled with longing love,
and our solidarity with those who suffer
is joined by divine presence.

In the Spirit of Creativity,
All  there are no boundaries on the dream,
there is no end to hope,
and we will never live beyond the cherishing of God.
 (Adapt.Dorothy McRae-McMahon/bst)

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

Life is the Greatest Gift of All”  (Tune: ‘Brother James’ Air’, 86 86 86)      331 SLT
Life is the greatest gift of all
the riches on this earth;
life and its creatures, great and small,
of high and lowly birth:
so treasure it and measure it
with deeds of shining worth.

Mind is the brightest gift of all,
its thought no barrier mars;
it seeks creation’s hidden p[lan,
its quest surrounds all bars;
it reins the wind, it chains the storm,
it weighs the outmost stars.

We are of life, its shining gift,
the measure of all things;
up from the dust our temples lift,
our vision soars on wings;
for seed and root, for flower and fruit,
our grateful spirit sings. 
William E Oliver

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:
Let each of us find a window
All
To see beyond our own enclosures.
Let each of us find a door
All
To open ourselves into new being (Adapt.Kenneth Patton/sscl)

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  God - heart of the world:
revealed through every aspect of creation:
understood through our awareness.

May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly
so that your love is reflected in the way we live.
May we always be thankful for the food we eat
and the friends we have.
May we forgive those who transgress against us
and be forgiven for our own.

In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat
and not be compromised by hesitation.

Through our freedom, may your justice
be seen and heard and experienced
forever and ever.
  Sherri J Weinberg

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,
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)

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Offerings
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.

Presentation
May our actions be blessed through what we have been moved to share.
And may our love and concern for others be increased.

Welcoming to the Table
At this table we give thanks for justice, love, peace and freedom.
All
At this table we give thanks for friends and strangers.
At this table we welcome old and young.
All are invited. 
(Carter Heyward)

Thanksgiving
Source of Life and Creativity whom we name God,
we are gathered together in this sacred place.

Here we offer praise and thanksgiving.
Here we remember the words and deeds
of the one called Jesus of Nazareth.

We remember that wherever he came, people rediscovered their humanity,
became filled with new meaning and purpose,
and found a new courage to live,
not just for themselves but for others.

We remember how he spoke of a new reality he called the realm of God,
already among us yet coming in ever greater fullness,
creating communities of justice, love and peace.

We remember how he spoke in parables about
a lost coin, a lost child and a sheep that strayed,
in order to proclaim your inclusive love.

And we remember our tradition over the ages…
How, in a meal with his disciples, he took bread in his hands,
blessed it, broke it, and shared it with them:
‘Let the bread you share be the means of my presence with you for all time.’

After the meal, Jesus poured a cup of wine:
‘Share this cup, all of you, as a remembrance of the open meals I shared with all.’

Bread and Wine
So now we take this bread and wine,
breaking it and pouring it out…
that they might be shared among us as equals.
Bread broaken, wine poured out

May they nourish and sustain us on our life’s journey:
transforming, enabling, and empowering us,
as we continue to follow in the way of Jesus.  (Adapt.Robert Osing, L&L Seminar)

Communion
Let us break bread together.
All  
Together, we celebrate the festival of our liberation.
Bread and Wine served

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
God Marks No Ending…”  (Tune: ‘Intercessor’, 11 10 11 10. 587 TiS)    150 (v1-2) RP
God marks no ending, only new beginnings,
until the consummation of our lives;
God keeps no count of losses, nor of winnings,
we move through grace, the holy spirit thrives.

So as we go beyond this time, this setting,
remembering all the laughter and the tears,
we go with God in faith, so not regretting
the moments shared, the hopes, the dreams, the fears.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challenges of our lives and our world...
The Community Candle is extinguished

As we leave this place of worship and celebration:
may we remember that each day
offers more things than we can do.
All May we do what needs to be done,
postpone what does not,
and be at peace with what we can be and do.

Therefore, may we learn to separate
that which matters most
All and that which matters least of all.

Words of Blessing
And now may the blessings of life be upon us, and upon this congregation.

May the memories we gather here give us hope for the future.
May the love that we share bring strength and joy to our hearts,
and the peace of this community be with us until we meet again.
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont) God Marks No Ending…”  (Tune: ‘Intercessor’, 11 10 11 10. 587 TiS)  150 (v3) RP
Though parted for a while, we travel onward,
not knowing what the future has in store.
This phase will close, the spirit draws us forward,
we've tasted love, but God has promised more  (Andrew Pratt)
The people sit after the hymn

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

Music

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. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel.
Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
Duncan, G. (ed). Entertaining Angels. A Worship Anthology on Sharing Christ’s Hospitality. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 2005.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2006.
Iona Community. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
McRae-McMahon, D. The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Liturgies for Living and Dying. Melbourne. JBCE, 1996.
Osing, R. 2006.  Liturgy: Holy Eucharist. In private circulation from the author.
Patton, K. Services and Songs for the Celebration of Life. Boston. Beacon Press, 1967.
(RP) Pratt, A. Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a spiritual journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
(SLT) Singing The L
iving Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.
Wallace, W. L.
The Mystery Telling. Hymns and Songs for the New Millennium. Kingston. Selah Publishing, 2001.
White, B. A.
You Who Delight Me. Words of Spirit and Faith. Wellington: Steele Roberts Publishers, 2012.

Web sites/Other:
Strong. UUA Worship Web. Boston.  < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/> 
Sherri Weinberg. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. 2004. NZ: Devonport.
"God Called Us". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
Carter Heyward, quoted in L Bruce Miller. Edmonton, Canada
C3Exchange Community, Spring Lake. MI. . <http://www.c3exchange.org/>

rexae74@gmail.com