Pentecost13C.14.8.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

14 August 2016. Pentecost 13C. (Green)
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


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

In Southern hemisphere
v1.  Let us not wish away the winter.
It is a season to itself,
not simply the way to spring.
v2.  When northern trees rest, growing no leaves, gathering no light,
they let in sky and trace themselves
delicately against dawns and sunsets.
v1.  Let us therefore praise winter,
rich in beauty, challenge, and pregnant negativities (Adapt.GCrosby/slt543).

OR

In Northern hemisphere
In bright sunlight, warm air, and barmy evenings,
seasons of colour and courage
All
The sacred is in our midst.

In hills outlined against the rising sun,
and the muted sounds of early morning walkers
along the Ridge
All The sacred is in our midst.

In the faces of families, and those alone,
the hurrying and the day dreaming
All The sacred is in our midst.

In life touching other life, moments of kindness,
sharing of joys, caring for others
All The sacred is surely in our midst. (3C Exchange)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

As we light our flame today, may it:
remind us of the ongoing process of evolution,
reminding us of the first gasping breath, the first clumsy step,
the first drop of warm milk, the first curious thought…
All these are wonders of the Universe (Adapt.JCH. Public domain)

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
Let There Be Light(Tune: Concord)     20 SiF
Let there be light,
let there be understanding,
let all the nations gather
let them be face to face.

Open our lips,
open our minds to ponder,
open the door to wisdom,
opening into grace.

Perish the sword,
perish the angry judgment,
perish the wars and hunger,
perish the fight for gain.

Let there be light, 
open our minds to wonder,
opening to each other
leading to peace on earth. FWDavis 1936-1976, alt. by Scott Kearns, 2008
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Come.
Let us be joined in seeking
the aspirations of the heart.

Come.
Let us be joined in giving voice to those melodies
which can heal the wounded soul.
All  
Come.
Let us be joined in speaking the words
which set us free. (CODame)

Act of Awareness
In all our living, may we be freed
to see things afresh,
to be more fully alive,
and have the courage to keep faith in
the future of humanity.

OR

We pray:
As we listen to the life of our city,
may we sense a Sacred Presence in its murmuring rhythms,
its working and walking and talking,
its colours and faces and longings.
May it be so.

Hymn Chant For The Seasons(Tune: ‘Praha’, Irreg.)   73 (v2) SLT
Autumn cold has turned the star-wheel,
winter is upon us. (Repeat)
Grey the windy storms,
cold upon our cheeks
the wet rain glistens, glistens.
Autumn cold has turned the star-wheel,
winter is upon us.
leaping is the fire,
golden in the glass
the cider glows like amber.
Autumn cold has turned the star-wheel,
winter is upon us. (MLBelletini)

OR

"Peace Is Generosity" (Tune: 'Trial', Swee Hong Lim)      32 PaT
Peace is generosity,
peace is right and duty,
not diminishment of life
but its zest and beauty,
not the silence of the dead
not the tears of grieving
but the dynamic of a world
rich beyond believing.

Peace is not the child of fear
nor what terror teaches,
peace is quick to give and serve
where compassion reaches;
not oppression in return,
grudges unforgiven,
but the good of all for all
and the gift of heaven
(Shirley Erena Murray)
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.

OR

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)

Reflection
“Hope"
By Mary Brogan. Let Justice Roll Down/239.

We need hope for the future
in our nostalgia
for half-forgotten summer days
really only days past.

We need hope of pardon
in our regrets
which drift through our minds
like autumn clouds of dying leaves.

We need hope of comfort
in our fears and anxieties
fed by the long hours of darkness
in winter.

Hope of the World,
born in a summer's heat,
gives us hope
at your coming
so that we may be newly created
With you this and every day. (Adapted)

Silence
Let us listen to the depths of being…

our busyness calling for quietness,
our emptiness calling for renewed strength,
our sadness calling for some consolation,
our joy calling for some celebration.

May we touch again that strength and wisdom
that helps us to know again the helping resources
that are given to us. (Adapt/Francis Macnab/fwb)

Silence

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our Religious Tradition
A story from our religious 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 these readings be such a moment
and may we be blessed by their gift
(Gretta Vosper/ab)

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 12: 49-53 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus said to the disciples:
“I have come to bring fire to the earth,
and how I wish it were blazing already!

“There is a baptism I must still receive,
and how great my distress till it is over!

“Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.

“For from now on a household of five will be divided:
three against two and two against three;
the father divided against the son,
son against father, mother against daughter,
daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against daughter-in-law,
daughter-in-law against mother-in-law".

OR

New Gospel:
Thomas 18:1-2 (A New New Testament)

His followers said to Jesus:
"Tell us how our end will be".

Jesus said:
"Have you discovered the beginning that you ask about the end?
For, in the place where the beginning is,
there the end will be.

"Blessed is the one who takes a stand in the beginning.
That one will know the end,
and will not experience death".

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together a litany “Our lives”.
The people stand as they are able

v1 The sky does it simply, naturally
day by day by day
v2 the sun does it joyfully
like someone in love
like a runner on the starting-line

v1 the sky, the sun,
they just can't help themselves
v2 no loud voices, no grand speeches
but everyone sees,
and is happy with them.
All  
Make us like that, Holy One,
so our faith is not in our words but in our lives,
not in what we say but in who we are,
passing on your love like an infectious laugh:
not worried,
not threatening,
just shining
like the sun, like a starry night,
like a lamp on a stand,
light for life –
your light for our lives. (Kathy Galloway/pod)

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
A Fantastic Journey(Tune: ‘Greensleves’, 87 87 68 67)      3 SNS3
We wander through the bright starry sky
Where the constellations go rushing by;
We run with comets and stars give chase
As we sing with the silence of deep space.
Come join with the universe
In a celebration of dance and verse;
Keep time with the waltzing dawn
As we sing when a star becomes new-born

We make our way through the atmosphere
To the world we know, but we disappear
Into the place where the atoms sing,
Where the cells all divide and cause birthing;
Come join with the micro-chip
In celebration of partnership;
Keep time as electrons spin
With nonillions we cannot imagine.

We meet the mystery where're we go;
In the stars above and the ground below;
With God as partner in everything
Within God we have life and have being;
Come join in a wild embrace
In a celebration of blissful grace;
Keep time, just as Jesus did,
In a life and a love that is sacred (George Stuart).

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
From the earth we have come;
All  
By its fruits we live.
We celebrate the goodness of life,
All  Whence comes our health and our endurance (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.

And let us recommit ourselves to the inclusive ways of Jesus.

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

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION OR JESUS BANQUET
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,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.

Presentation
In a world so full of what is wonderful,
ever changing, ever surprising us with life’s
power and beauty, may we accept with gratitude,
all that gladdens us, and with fortitude
all that brings us grief.

Let us be learning always,
from all that we see and do, and
from all that happens to us. (Adapt.A Powell Davies/lth)

Welcome to the Table
v1 At this table we give thanks for
justice, love, peace and freedom.
Mn  
At this table we give thanks for friends and strangers
together in community in this safe place.
Wm  At this table we welcome old and young.
v2 A place at the table.  And all are invited.

Thanksgiving
We give thanks for the unfolding of matter,
mind,
intelligence,
and life
that has brought us to this moment in time.
All
We celebrate our common origin with everything that exists.

v1 We celebrate the mystery we experience and address as ‘God’.
ground and sustainer of everything that exists,
in whom we live and move and have our being.
v2 And we acknowledge this mystery embodied
in every human person,
aware that each one of us gives God
unique and personal expression.
All
God is everywhere present.
In grace-filled moments of sharing.
In carefully created communities of loving solidarity.

We are one with everything, living and nonliving, on this planet.
Connected.
Interrelated.
Interdependent
.

The Story
v1  We remember the stories from our tradition…
How on many occasions so our tradition says,  Jesus would share
a meal with friends.
Bread and wine shared in community.
v2  For everyone born, a place at the table...

v1  How the bread would be taken,
a blessing offered, and then shared between them.
And all of them ate.

v2  How some wine would be poured out,
a blessing offered, and then passed between them.
And all of them drank.

v2  The bread and the wine symbolised human lives
interconnected with other human lives,
and the power of giving and receiving.
v1  May the passion for life as seen in Jesus,
and in the lives and struggles of many other
committed and faithful people then and now,
enable us to dare and to dream and to risk…
All  
Together may we re-imagine the world.
Together may we work to make all things new.
All  
Together may we celebrate the possibilities and hope
we each have and are called to share.
v2  For everyone born, a place at the table...

Bread and Wine
Bread is broken several times

We break the bread for the broken earth,
ravaged and plundered for greed.
All  
May there be healing of our beautiful blue and green planet.

We break this bread for our broken humanity,
for the powerful and the powerless
trapped by exploitation and oppression.
All  
May there be the healing of humanity.

We break this bread for those who follow other paths:
for those who follow the noble path of the Buddha,
the yogic path of the Hindus;
the way of the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs;
and for the descendants of Abraham,
the children of Hagar and Sarah.
All  
May there be healing where there is pain and woundedness.

We break this bread
for the unhealed hurts and wounds
that lie within us all.
All  
May we be healed.

Wine is poured into the cup.

This is the cup of peace and of new life for all.
A sign of love for the community of hope.
All  
A reminder of the call
to live fully,
to love wastefully, and
to be all that we can be.

Communion
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.
The bread and wine are served

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
From Atoms To Planets(Tune: ‘Kemeza’, 12 11 12 11)   108 (v1-2) WNC
From atoms to planets eternity changes;
the hues and the colours that cover the earth,
through seasons and cycles, the world rearranges,
but sure is the love that has brought us to birth.

The wind and the weather distort vegetation,
the breakers are pounding and shaping the shore.
Our lives are spun round as each grief re-determines
the things that are doubtful and those that are sure.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts
the mystery and the wonder of this season…
The Community Candle is extinguished

May we ever strive to see beyond our limitations,
choose beyond our immediate needs,
All
and live into each day, the fullness of its opportunity.
As light into light. (Gretta Vosper/hb)

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) From Atoms To Planets(Tune: ‘Kemeza’, 12 11 12 11)   108 (v3) WNC
Amid all this turmoil, this change and mutation,
the strained intertwining of living and strife,
one thing remains constant, relentless, determined:
that God goes on loving in death as through life (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 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. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2002.
Davies, A. P. 1956. 
The Language of the Heart. A book of prayers. Washington, DC. All Soul’s Church.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003. 
Let Justice Roll Down. A worship resource for lent, holy week & easter. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.
Galloway, K. (ed). 1996. 
The Pattern of Our Days. Liturgies and resources for worship. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2007. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
(SiF) Kearns, S. (ed). 2009. 
Sing It Forward. Traditional hymns recast and rewritten for non-exclusive communities. In circulation from the author.
Macnab, F. 2006. 
A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in words that blow you away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
(PaT) Murray, S. E.
A Place at the Table. New Hymns written between 2009 and 2013. Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 2013.
Patton, K. 1967.
Services and Songs for the Celebration of Life. Boston: Beacon Press.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002.
Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and songs. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. 1993.  Boston. UUA.
(SNS3) Stuart, G.
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 3. Toronto: G Stuart, 2011.
Taussig, H. (ed).
A New New Testament. A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
Vosper, G. 2004/2010. 
Holy Breath. Prayers for worship and reflection. New & Revised edition. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.

Web sites/Other:
Dame. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/> 
Sherri Weinberg. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport. 2004.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. <http://www.questcentre.ca/>

The Communion/Banquet Liturgy:
Shaped from various resources created by and adapted from: Carter Heyward, L Bruce Miller, Michael Morwood, Shirley Murray, David Bumbaugh, John S Spong, Rex Hunt, the Iona Community. Published in: Hunt, R. A. E. Hunt & J. W. H. Smith (ed) Why Weren't We Told? A Handbook on progressive Christianity. Salem: Polebridge Press, 2013

rexae74@gmail.com