Pentecost19C.2013

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
29 September 2013. Pentecost 19C. (Green).


Acknowledgement of Country
(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

Sing out happiness upon the morning.
Celebrate the famous sun and the comely earth.
Think upon love, that it may grow within us,
and compassion, that it may call us to its service.  KPaton/sscol

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The candle is lit

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"The Spring Has Come"         140 AA
The spring has come,
let all the church be part of it!
The world has changed,
and God is at the heart of it!
New light, new day,
new colour after winter grey.
New light, new day,
the spring has come,
let all the church be part of it!

The sun is warm,
let all God's children play in it!
The world expands,
let's spread the gospel way in it!
New leaf, new thrust,
new greening for the love of Christ.
New leaf, new thrust,
the sun is warm,
let all God's children play in it!

The spring has come,
new people are the flowers of it!
Through wind and rain,
new life is in the showers of it!
New bud, new shoot,
new hope will bear the Spirit's fruit.
New bud, new shoot,
the spring has come,
new people are the flowers of it!  SEMurray
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Among us the spirit of Creativity God conceives new life
All And we feel the life within us.

In our history Jesus the Sage makes gentle entry
All And we see the light before us.

Within our dreams the truth of our God is revealed
All We await the hope of the world.

Act of Awareness
How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
all its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being.
Otherwise, we all remain
too frightened (Hafiz'/ifl).

OR

We pray:
Holy One of many names,
whose presence we most often recognise only in retrospect,
bless us this day.
May it be so.

HymnPerfect Singer”  (Tune:  ‘Catherine’, 77 77. 622 TiS)   332 SLT
Perfect Singer, songs of earth
rise on every field and hearth;
let our voices sound again
ancient songs of joy and pain.

All your creatures strive for life
suffer hurt in angry strife,
seek compassion, find release
in the covenant of peace.

Sing a sacred melody
for the justice that shall be;
let our harmonies resolve
dissonance in steadfast love.

Steadfast Seeker, find our song
woven into lives made strong;
let the patterns of surprise
kindle hope with each sunrise.  (GKBeach)
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.

Meditative Silence
How good it is to be alive!

Yes, we feel the beat of our own hearts,
the pulsing of life in our veins,
the rhythm of our breathing.

We come into the silence of this time with gratitude for this day.
(Silence)

We come with our needs.
And we come because we have gifts to share.

In our coming and in our going
may we be strengthened
in our bonds of love and peace.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
A story from our broad religious tradition shall be read by (NN).

Reader:  Until we can see ourselves in the words we read
and the stories we hear, it is easy
to remark on the rest of the world.
All  May the light of these words fall strong
upon each of us, that we can find the truth they reveal
in our own hearts this day.
(GVosper/ab)

From the world around us:
“Thoughts while picking raspberries”
By Sara Jonsberg. For All That Is Our Life/10.

City people make assumptions:
that there will be food at the store,
that the air conditioning will come on when wanted,
that the earth will keep spinning,
keep looking blue and green from space,
keep making life.

So that's why I pick raspberries,
celebrate each broccoli crown,
eat fried green tomatoes,
crawl around looking for cucumbers,
bend double over pea vines,
thin carrots,
weed turnips,
collect varieties of squash.

I don't want to assume.
I want to care.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 16:19-31 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus told the following story:

'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen

and feast magnificently every day.


And at the gate there lay a beggar called Lazarus,

covered with sores, who longed to fill himself

with the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. 


Dogs even came and licked his sores.


Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels

to be in the company of Sarah and Abraham.

The rich man also died and was buried.


In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Sarah and Abraham a long way off
and Lazarus resting in their company.

So the rich man cried out,

"Sarah and Abraham, pity me

and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,

for I am in agony in these flames." 


"My child," they replied, "remember that during your life

good things came your way,

just as bad things came the way of Lazarus.


“Now Lazarus is being comforted here

while you are in agony.  But that is not all:

between us and you a great gulf has been fixed,

to stop anyone wanting to, crossing from our side

to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours."


The rich man replied,

"I beg you then to send Lazarus to my family house,

since I have five brothers, to give them warning

so they do not come to this place of torment too."


"They have Moses and the prophets," they replied,

"let them listen to them."


"Ah, no, Sarah and Abraham," said the rich man,

"but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent."


Then they answered,

"If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets,

they will not be convinced even if someone

should rise from the dead."


Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

We are a cloth of diverse colours
made from many gifts and graces.
All  We are the people flowing forth from Creator God,
surprising ourselves with the things which can be done.

We are raw material for rewarding reltionships
as our lives interweave,
All  contributing one to the other,
holding each other firm
when one is weak or breaking.

We are each worthy of being respected and cared for
All  essential to the pattern, skilled in our appointed tasks,
sources of laughter and sharers of tears.

We commit ourselves to work together,
All  that one day, this world may be a place
where all people live in justice, freedom and peace.  (Adapt.D McRae-McMahon/bst)

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other. 

May a heart of peace rest with you (DGalston/q).
All And also with you.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"How Can We Confine?" (Tune: 'Wentworth', 55 55)     69 WNC
How can we confine
God within our mind,
held within a creed,
humanly designed.

How can we be sure
that the way we know
is the only path
that this God might show?

Surely such a joy
cannot be contained
by a simple plan,
humanly explained.

People of all faiths
let us all conspire;
source and ground of life
answer our desire.

As we long to know
answers to our plight,
take us, lead our quest,
dancing to the light. (APratt)

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
Source of all our best imagination,
may we be infused with that energy and desire
to step beyond our safe boundaries and zones of comfort,
to see new possibilities, and
to have the courage to pursue them.  (FMacnab/fwb)

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 joy and in sorrow
All  We do not walk alone  (GVosper/wwg)

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 Care candle is lit

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 Most compassionate Life-giver,
may we honour and praise you: 
may we work with you to establish
your new order of justice, peace and love.

Give us what we need for growth,
and help us, through forgiving others,
to accept forgiveness.
Strengthen us in the time of testing,
that we may resist all evil.

For all the tenderness, strength and love are yours,
now and forever.  Amen.  (WWallace)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"God Given Energy, Flaring and Fiery"  (Tune: ‘Spean’, 11 10 11 10, 310(ii) TiS)
God given energy, flaring and fiery,
stella collisions of fury and pace;
shafts of the light from the cosmic conception
searing to earth from infinity's space.

Stars from eternity, driven by forces
formed at the birthing of matter and time;
mystical sinews restraining the planets,
elegant science and God's hidden rhyme;
Remain standing

Parting Words
Let us take on this week’s life with renewed hope and imagination...
The community candle is extinguished

With faith in the creative powers of life,
With hope for the future of life in this world,
With love for all others who share this life with us,
Let us go forward together in peace.
All  This celebration in this sacred space has ended.
Let our service begin.

Words of Blessing
Go in peace, embraced by the light and warmth of our gathering.
Go in love, ready again to struggle on.
Go in beauty, shining forth like a lamp for freedom.  SLammert 
All May it be so. Amen!

Hymn (Cont) "God Given Energy, Flaring and Fiery"  (Tune: ‘Spean’, 11 10 11 10, 310(ii) TiS)
These are the visions of wonder and rapture,
signs of significance, pointers to place,
drawing us out from our narrow discernment,
windows to love and God's infinite grace.  © APratt
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:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and songs for all churches. 1993. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Hafiz, quoted in Fox, M. One River, Many Wells. Wisdom Springing From Global Faiths. New York: Tarcher/Penguin Publishing, 2000.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2006. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Macnab, F. 2006. A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in words that blow you away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1996. The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Liturgies for living and dying. Melbourne. JBCE.
Patton, K. 1967.  Services and Songs for the Celebration of Life. Boston. Beacon Press.
Pickett, H & E. (ed). 2005.  For All That Is Our Life. A meditation anthology. Boston. Skinner House Books.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002.  Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and songs. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
(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.

Web sites/Other:
Lammert. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/> 
"God Given Energy" Andrew Pratt Hymns and words blog site. UK.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. <http://www.questcentre.ca/>
William Wallace. 'The Abba Prayer'. Direct from the author.

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