Pentecost25C.6.11.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

International eMail: rexae74@gmail.com
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Rex A E Hunt 
When Progressives Gather Together:
Liturgy, Lectionary, Landscape… And Other Explorations

Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2016
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
6 November 2016. Pentecost 25C. (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

The morning comes and now is!
Greet the day with gladness
and welcome the evening with praise. 
(Adapted)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

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
Everything in God”  (Tune: ‘Lobe den Herren’, 111 TiS)         9 SNS
God is the One in whom we all have life-giving purpose.
Spirit encompassing all and yet present within us.
Breath of each birth:
Source of all beauty and worth:
Found in us all, yet mysterious.

Have faith in virtue, have hope in great beauty abounding;
Hear words of love, and then listen for laughter resounding;
When, with delight,
We turn the darkness to light;
God, we discern, is surrounding.

Home in our world amidst wonder of life with its splendour;
Movement and colour show nature's abundant agenda.
God is thus found
In air and sea, on the ground.
God is displayed by each gender.

Greet the creation, the magic of each constellation;
Stars without number and planets of unknown location
Whirling around,
Far beyond sight, sense and sound.
All share in God's incarnation.

God is the One in whom we live and move and have being:
Spirit within as we ponder our faith and believing:
Here and elsewhere,
Past, present, future to share,
God, the beginning and ending. 
(George Stuart)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
This safe and sacred place welcomes us this day.

Let us trust enough to open our ears and hearts.
All
We have heard of God's deeds in other times;
our pioneers have kept the story alive for us.
Let us listen to God's word for today.
All
We long for a faith that makes sense today.
We want to keep the story alive for new generations.

God's story is for all people.
All It is ours to receive and share.

Act of Awareness
Life is our reverence and good;
Our dances voice the body's praise;
Our temples house life's theme and mood;
Our songs and poems tell its way (Kenneth Patton/sscl)

OR

We pray:
Spirit of life and love, we have gathered in this place, again.
May we create here a circle of love, ever expanding, ever growing.
A place of wisdom.
A place of connection.
A place of hope.
May it be so!

Hymn  In the Singing”  (Tune: 'Bread of Peace’, Carlton Young)   38 FFS
In the singing, in the silence,
in the hands expectant, open,
in the blessing, in the breaking,
in the Presence at this table,
Refrain:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
be the wine of grace:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
be the bread of peace.

In the question, in the answer,
in the moment of acceptance,
in the heart’s cry, in the healing,
in the circle of your people,
Refrain:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
be the wine of grace:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
be the bread of peace.
  (
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.

Reflection
“A God for all Seasons”
By Kate Compston.
Dare to Dream/31.

Springtime God,
coming alive within us like pale shoots
thrusting through frozen earth,
we need your persistent love to disturb
the impacted soil of our hearts' rigidity.

Summer God,
growing luxuriously, blossoming with heady scents,:
holding us in your warm embrace,
we need these times of perceived presence
to draw upon in cooler seasons.

Autumn God,
falling and dying in Christ,
etched with the colours of vulnerability,
we need the fellowship of your wounds
to dignify our brokenness.

Winter God,
dormant and distant,
starkly challenging our self-absorption,
we need your austerity to nudge us
into a warm compassion for your suffering ones.

Silence
Let us open ourselves to the sacred silence of this place.
(Silence)

Generous God, enfold us in the depths of love and there hold us.
Renew.
Refresh.
Restore us.
Saturate us with unending peace.
(Silence)

EXPLORING

A reading from our Biblical Tradition
A reading from our biblical tradition shall be read by (NN).

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 20:27-38
(Inclusive Text)

Some Sadducees... approached Jesus and put a question to him:
'Teacher, we have it from Moses in writing
that if a man's married brother dies childless,
the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother.

'Well, then, there were seven brothers.
The first, having married, died childless.
The second and then the third married the widow.
And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children.
Finally the woman herself died.
Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?'

Jesus replied:
'The children of this world take wives and husbands,
but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world
and in the resurrection from the dead, do not marry
because they can no longer die,
for they are the same as the angels,
and being children of the resurrection they are children of God.

'And Moses too implies that the dead rise again,
in the passage about the bush where he calls God the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

'God is not God of the dead, but of the living to whom all are in fact alive'.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

We believe in God who cares for all
All  especially vulnerable and powerless people.

We affirm the right of all people
to decent living conditions:
All  housing, health services, education, 
food and clothing, fun and leisure.

We assert that God is with us in all that life brings us;
that God loves us as we are at any moment in our life:
All  in our anger and rage, in our pain and grief,
our complaints and despair,
our joy and delight.

We hope for the day that will come
when God’s justice and mercy, love and peace,
will be realities in this world.
All  We commit ourselves to show what we believe,
by the way we take care of God’s creation
and how we live together in community.
  (UCA Special resources)

Sharing 'The Peace'
This is a house of God.  A place of peace.
A place where we befriend one another. 
(RMitchell/bb)

Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace and of our shared friendship.

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
"Simply To Be" (Tune: "Kapiti”)     118 HoS
 Simply to be, to be in stillness,
 simply to trust that God is here,
 simply to know the Holy Presence,
 is to be blessed:
 so am I blessed.

Simply to hold the given moment,
simply to lay concern aside,
simply to to let the heart be speaking,
is to be blessed:
so am I blessed.

So am I blessed within God's keeping,
so am I freed from pointless stress,
steadied to feel the soul replenished,
given this grace,
folded in peace. (Shirley Erena Murray)

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 shall now be received.

Presentation
God, 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.  
(Francis Macnab/h)

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 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 Life-Giver, Pain-Bearer, Love-Maker.
Source of all that is and that shall be.

Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed
by all peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever. Amen.
  (UIW2)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"The Majesty of Mountains"        139 (1-2) AA
The majesty of mountains,
the sovereignty of skies,
the regal rock that arch above
where veils of vapour rise,
are gifts of God, the Lord of love,
the worshipful, the wise.

The running of the river,
the surging of the sea,
the grass that grows high on the hill,
the flower and fruiting tree,
our Saviour sends us, by whose will
all creatures came to be.
Remain standing

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

May we leave this place seeking an uncharted,
but freely chosen, way to wholeness
All  Knowing we have companions along the way.
  Bets Wienecke

Words of Blessing
May Creativity God be with you on the smooth paths.
May Jesus the Companion be with you in the storms.
May the Empowering Spirit be with you at all times.
All
Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont) "The Majesty of Mountains"        139 (3) AA
The Glory of the Godhead,
the Spirit and the Son,
the Father, faithful down the days:
to them, the Three-in-One,
while life shall last, be perfect praise
and highest honour done! 
MPerry.
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. Dare to Dream. A prayer and worship anthology from around the worldRaumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
Duncan, G. (ed).
. London. Fount/HarperCollins, 1995.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a new day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
(HoS) Hope is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. NZ: Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. Brisbane: Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2006.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Macnab, F. 1996. Hope: The deeper longings of the mind and heart. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Mitchell, R. C. & G. A. Ricciuti. 1992.  
Birthings and Blessings. Liberating worship services for the inclusive church. New York. Crossroads.
Patton, K.
Services and Songs for the Celebration of Life. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.
Special Resources. UCA National Assembly. (Issued from time to time).
(SNS) Stuart, G.
Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. Sydney. CPRT Sydney, 2006.
Uniting in Worship 2. Sydney. Uniting Church Press, 2005.
Vosper, G. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important than what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.

Web Sites/Other:
Wienecke. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/

rexae74@gmail.com