Pentecost15C.28.8.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
28 August 2016. Pentecost 15C. (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

Silence
The gong is sounded three times

Entry into the Celebration
Come in.
Come into this place
which we make special by our presence.

Let us celebrate the richness and and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

The light waits – 
Who will keep the light burning in our day?
Who will take the light into the world?
Who will carry the light into a new year?
All  
Who will carry the light if we do not?

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
On The Dusty Earth Drum”  (Tune: ‘Wem in Leidenstagen’, 65 65)    74 SLT
On the dusty earth drum 
beats the falling rain;
now a whispered murmur,
now a louder strain.

Slender, silvery drum-sticks
on the ancient drum
beat the mellow music
bidding life to come.

Chords of life awakened,
notes of greening spring,
rise and fall triumphant
over every thing.

Slender, silvery drum-sticks
beat the long tattoo
God the Great Musician,
calling life anew. (Joseph S Cotter)
Remain standing

OR

We Stand in Awe(Tune: ‘Crucifer’,  10 10)     60 SNS4
Refrain:
We stand in awe; the mystery is supreme;
The cosmos sings aloud the sacred dream
.

All time and space proclaim this melody
Of order and chaos, strange complexity.
Refrain:
We stand in awe…

Stars shine above; our sun gives warmth and light;
We bathe in its gifts and that with great delight.
Refrain:
We stand in awe…

Earth in its beauty showers us with wealth,
All things that we need for human zest and health.
Refrain:
We stand in awe…

With all of nature in diversity
We are the heirs of endless energy.
Refrain:
We stand in awe; the mystery is supreme;
The cosmos sings aloud the sacred dream.  (George Stuart)

Opening Sentences
As we enter into this sacred place,
put away the pressures of the world that ask us
to perform,
to take up masks,
to put on brave fronts.

Silence the voices that ask you to be perfect.
This is a community of compassion and welcoming. (EAHewitt/Adapt)
All  We bring all that we are and all that we yet can be,
to this safe and holy place.

OR

Live your truth.
All
Express your love.
Share your enthusiasm.
All
Take action toward your dreams.
Walk your talk.
All
Dance and sign to your music.
Embrace your blessings.
All
Make today worth remembering. (Steve Maraboli/C3Exchange)

Act of Awareness
When the new day dawns and the sun lights up the sky,
the land awakes!
Our sleeping eyes and slumbering hearts
combine to greet the day.
Horizon breaks to welcome yet another dawn of hope and joy
to reproduce in our waiting world
just one more touch of God's creative Spirit.

OR

We pray:
God, help us to listen to our inner spirits…
To the inner yearning to belong
to something greater than ourselves.

Help us to listen to our inner spirits
and find there the presence
of your good encouraging spirit.
May it be so.

Hymn Whispering Gently”    77 FFS
Whispering gently the breeze from the mountain
beckons our senses to what it may say;
fresh from the snows that are melted by sunshine,
stirred by the kingfisher flying away.
Refrain:
Blue sky, Lord of creation,
freshen our faith,
blossom our love.
Deep green, Lord of creation,
springtime of faith,
the Spirit of love.

Bursting with colour the orchards surround us,
grasses that grow in the warmth of the green;
heralds of gold in the flowers of the bushland,
nature announces that spring should be seen.
Refrain:

Birth of the new is a sign of your Spirit,
God the creator and Jesus our Lord;
lambs on the hillsides and calves on the pastures,
leaping in sunshine and dancing your word.
Refrain:

Spirit of hope in the Christ who renews us,
lighten our winter of anguish with spring;
washed with the showers of loving forgiveness,
warmed by the rays of the love that you bring. (Bill 
Bennett/Adapt)
Refrain:
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)

Silence
Now let silence gently enfold us.
(Silence)

As individually we exhale, another moment
falls into history.
Another…
Another… (Gretta Vosper/ab)
(Silence)

May we accept this gift of precious life
with all its possibilities before us.

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
A poem and a story from our broad religious tradition
shall now be offered by (NN) and (NN).

Reader: Collected thoughts re-awaken the yearning after life
that too often slumbers in our hearts.
All
May these words be about this urgent work
and plant ourselves within us,
an effervescence of awareness of this world (Adapt.Gretta Vosper/ab)

From the World Around Us:
“Words”
By John O’Donohue. 

Words may know the way to reach the dark
Where the wild sweetness of a hillside
Is distilled in a hive under grass.

Words may tell how the rhythm of tide
Can soften its salt-voice on the shore
Through music it steals when stone confides.

Words may capture how the ravens soar
In silk black selves far into the blue
To seek the nest of nights colour hoard.

Words may live under ground out of view
Holding a vanished world etched in scrolls
Under sands where streets lay and youth grew.

When the red vapour breathes through the soul
And pain closes down the ease of the day
Words stagger back to silence and fold.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 14:1, 7-13  (Inclusive Text)

On a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house
of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely.

Jesus then told the guests a parable, having noticed how they
picked the places of honour.  Jesus said this,
'When someone invites you to a wedding feast,
do not take your seat in the place of honour.

‘A more distinguished person than you may have been invited,
and the person who invited you both may come and say,
"Give up your place to this one."

‘And then, to your embarrassment,
you would have to go and take the
lowest place.

‘No, when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place
and sit there, so that, when your host comes, you may hear,
"My friend, move up higher."

‘In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured.
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves will be exalted.'

Then Jesus said to the host,
'When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends,
relations or rich neighbours, in case they
repay your courtesy by inviting you in return.

‘No, when you have a party, invite the poor,
the crippled, the lame, the blind;
that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

An Affirmation of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together an affirmation of faith.
The people stand as they are able

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit
we were all baptised into one body.
All  
We are one body.

We affirm all that is good in each other:
our God-given dignity and integrity,
our companionship, and common pilgrimage:
All  
We are one body.

We acknowledge the wounds we share:
in our society and in ourselves,
our brokenness, and our dis-ease:
All  
We are one body.

We are one body.
All We are the body of Christ. (Richard Watson/ctl)

OR

A Litany: 'Commitment to Life’
In the midst of hunger and war
All  
We celebrate the promise of plenty and peace

In the midst of oppression and tyranny
All  
We celebrate the promise of service and freedom.

In the midst of doubt and despair
All  
We celebrate the promise of faith and hope.

In the midst of fear and betrayal
All  
We celebrate the promise of joy and loyalty.

In the midst of hatred and death
All  
We celebrate the promise of love and life.

In the midst of sin and decay
All  
We celebrate the promise of salvation and renewal.

In the midst of death on every side
All  
We celebrate the promise of the Living Christ. (From Pattern of Our Days/71)

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
Thank You For The Music(Tune: ‘Transformation’, Jillian Bray) 
      15 PaT
God, we thank you for the music in our lives,
nourishing the sense as the spirit thrives,
tunes that are our timeless treasures,
rhythms given dance and play,
harmonies whose blended beauty takes our breath away.

God, we thank you for the music of the earth,
for creation given voice when given birth,
crashing wave and splashing water,

chirping cricket, cheerful bird,

murmuring of trees and grasses where the wind has stirred.

God, we thank you for the music of our faith

singing on through joy and trouble, life and death,

journey songs of traveling people,

sorrow songs that cry despair,

glorias and alleluias, lifted praise and prayer.

Let our world be rich with music, making peace,

let the instruments of concord never cease,

gather strength from all our voices,

every tone we can employ:

music from the heart of heaven fill our lives with joy! (Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation
We look for a gentler humanity, a kinder world:
with our money and with our hearts,
with our minds and with every good intention,
let this be our prayer and our deed. (Adapt.Francis Macnab/fwb)

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:
Do not wait to open your heart.
All  
Let yourself go into the Mystery.
Sometimes the threads have no weave.
All  The price of not loving yourself is high.  (Jim Cohn/lp)

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 Weinberg

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Give Respect to Humankind(Tune: ‘Warrington’, 88 88. 207 TiS)   60 (v1-3) SNS2
Giving respect to humankind
Is wise and good for there we find
Images of the God we praise
And love expressed in countless ways.

Giving respect to humankind
Can help us all to leave behind
Thoughts of revenge and words of spite;
Can prompt resolve to re-unite.

Giving respect to humankind
Arises from our heart and mind;
As we reflect on those we know
May caring thoughts have constant flow.
Remain standing

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

For the blessings we each bestow on one another
with our energy, compassion, and prayer, we give thanks.
All
For the blessings we become to others in need,
we give thanks and remember
that we are not alone. (Douglas Taylor/fal) 

Words of Blessing
May you always stand tall as a tree.
Be as strong as the rock Uluru.
As gentle and still as the morning mist.
Hold the warmth of the campfire in your heart.

And may the Creator Spirit
always walk with you. (Elizabeth Pike/grpe)
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont)Give Respect to Humankind(Tune: ‘Warrington’, 88 88. 207 TiS)  60 (v4-5) SNS2
Giving respect to humankind
Is Jesus' theme; His word defined
How we might live affirming all
The human beauty in us all.

So let us honour humankind
With God's own image, so combined,
We find ourselves equipped to prize
The gentle, lovely, kind and wise. (George Stuart)
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:
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.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2002.
Courage to Love. An Anthology of Inclusive Worship Material. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
(FFS)
Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. 2000. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. 
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2006. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001.
Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Liebelt, P. & N. Nicholls. (ed). 1996. 
Gentle Rain on Parched Earth. Worship resources for rural situations. Melbourne. JBCE.
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.
O’Donohue, J.
Conamara Blues. London. Doubleday, 2000.
Pickett, H & E. (ed). 2005.
  For All That is our Life. A Meditation Anthology. Boston. Skinner House Books.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon.
Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York. HarperCollins, 1996.
(SLT)
Singing The Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
(SNS2) Stuart, G.
Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with New Century lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto. G Stuart, 2009.
(SNS4) Stuart, G.
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 4. Toronto. G Stuart, 2013.
The St Hilda Community. 1996.
The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London.  SPCK.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010. 
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.

Web sites/Other:
Hewitt. UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Sherri Weinberg. 2004. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport
Steve Maraboli. “Live your truth…" www.c3westmichigan.org/

rexae74@gmail.com