Pentecost26C.13.11.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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Rex A E Hunt 
When Progressives Gather Together:
Liturgy, Lectionary, Landscape… And Other Explorations

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
13 November 2016. Pentecost 26C. (Green).
Celebration Solidarity: Liturgy of the 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 here as the human ones of creation.
We name ourselves threads in the web of life.
We give thanks for connection,
that we are all part of one another
and that we are part of the sacred (StAndrew’s, Auckland).

So 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
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

"The Ceaseless Flow of Time(Tune: 459(i) TiS, McKee  86 86)   350 SLT
The ceaseless flow of endless time
no one can check or stay;
we'll view the past with no regret,
nor future with dismay.

The present slips into the past,
and dream-like melts away;
the breaking of tomorrow's dawn
begins a new today.

The past and future ever meet
in the eternal now:
to make each day a thing complete
shall be our new year vow
(John Storey).
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
v1  The choices we make craft us
into who we are becoming.
v2  Whether good or ill,
it is what comes from within
that tells of who we are.
All  
As we gather this morning,
may we sense the immense import of that reality,
v1  and find, deep within ourselves,
All
  the power to create,
to birth ourselves into being (Adapt.Gretta Vosper/ab)

OR

From the corners of this city,
from the confusion of life,
from the loneliness of our hearts
All  
Gather us, O God.

To feed our minds,
to fire our imagination,
to free our hearts
All  Gather us, O God (Burgess & Polhill/e&a)

Act of Awareness
The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And habit harden into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings
(The Buddha/lp).

OR

We pray:
God of surprises,
startle us with truth we do not see,
amaze us with your power and grace,
beckon us, and lead us
far above restricted hope and narrow faith.
May it be so.

Hymn  Wild Waves of Storm(Tune: ‘Wild Waves’, 4 10 10 10 4)   80 SLT
Wild waves of storm,
the wonder of the wind and crashing sea,
nature in power and might and majesty,
yet wonder more in deep tranquillity,
sea, calm and still.

Migrating birds,
in flocks intent upon far distant shore
great wonder hold; yet there is wonder more
when lonely eagle, watchful on a post,
sits, calm and still.

All people one
in urgent haste, on some great enterprise,
hearts beating fast, great dreams to realise,
yet in the soul a dream of richer prize,
serene and still.

Then striving cease:
from troubled turmoil seek an inward goal;
tranquillity shall make the spirit whole.
Be still, and know a Presence in the soul,
serene, alive.
(SHKnight/adapt)
The people sit after the hymn

OR

Where Does Compassion Start?(Tune: ‘Love Unknown’, 66 66 4444.  341 TiS)
(A response to the ‘Charter for Compassion’)

Where does compassion start?
How does compassion grow?
Her seed is at the heart
of every faith we know:
compassion honours others' place,
dethroning self with willing grace.

How does compassion thrive
in worlds of greed and grief?
Her goodness stays alive
through those of strong belief:
compassion, luminous and clear,
outshining wastes of war and fear.

Where is compassion's role
in cultures, or in creeds?
At centre, with the soul
who feels another's needs:
compassion brings the touch of friend,
a bandage that will bind and mend.

Dynamic is the power
that heals, restores and gives,
connecting at the core
with everyone who lives,
transcending culture, colour, race,
compassion builds the house of peace.
(Shirley Erena Murray, 2009. © Hope Publishing)
People sit

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
Let us take a moment to settle into the silence.

Hear and feel your quiet breathing.
Hear and feel the quiet of this place
and this community of people.

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.
In this gathering of old and new friends
may we be ready to extend ourselves to those in need,
and with trust to receive the hand that is offered.

In this time of celebration, may our minds be open to new truth,
and our hearts be receptive to love,
as we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share. E-LBelcher

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our Biblical Tradition
Two readings from our biblical tradition shall be read by (NN).

Hebrew Scriptures:
Isaiah 65:17-22, 25  (NRSV)

I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind.

But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.

I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people.
No more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime...

They shall build houses and inhabit them.
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit.
They shall not plant and another eat.
They shall not labor in vain.

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent - its food shall be dust!

They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain,
says the Lord.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 21:5-9, 14-19  (Inclusive Text)

When some were speaking about the temple,
remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said,
'All these things you are staring at now -
the time will come when not a single stone
will be left on another: all will be destroyed.'

And they put to Jesus this question:
'Teacher,' they said, 'when will this happen, then,
and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?'

'Take care not to be deceived,' Jesus said,
because many will come using my name and saying,"I am the one," and, "The time is near at hand.”
'Refuse to join them.

'And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened,
for this is something that must happen
but the end is not so soon...

'Keep this carefully in mind:
you are not to prepare your defence,
because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom
that none of your opponents will be able to
resist or contradict.

'You will be betrayed even by parents, relations and friends;
and some of you will be put to death.

'You will be hated by all on account of my name,
but not a hair of your head will be lost.
Your endurance will win you your lives.'

Contemporary Exploration
"A Reflection from the Charter of Compassion

Following the Presidential vote in USA

the invitation has arrived
to step into our courage
and our full humanity

from this day forward
the harm can only unfold
and multiply and spread

with our silence
with our consent
with our participation

we will not be silent
we do not consent and
we will not participate
in legitimating violence, lies and division

the love that we are
the love that connects us all
the love that bends history
even in this dark moment
towards liberation 

We are one 
we are many and
we are one
it is time 
dear friends 
the revolution of love
must be completed 

And it is only possible 
if on this day
we commit our lives 
to walking the hard road 
because there is now only one way forward 
            (Adapted from work by Taj James, founder and Executive Director of the Movement Strategy Center)

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

v1 There comes a time
All  
to break the silence.
v2 There comes a time
All  to move beyond fear.

v1 There comes a time
All  
to speak one’s truth, even if it will not be welcome.
v2 There comes a time
All  to call into question what has gone before.

v1 There comes a time
All  
for the singing of a new song, for the claiming of power. 
v2 There comes a time
All  
when we find courage, we dare to know who we are,
and who we love.

v1 There comes a time
All  
when friends are there, holding us so gently in their love.
(Pause)

v1 There comes a time when the truth at last makes us free.
Life will not be denied!
All
Let all hearts swell in glad acceptance,
joyful with the sense of always becoming.
v1 For out of the cosmos, out of earth, out of ourselves,
there rises spirit... It rises irresistible in us. (Adapt.KGibbons/C3)

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

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

Hymn "Imagining Stars”  (Tune: ‘Stuttgart’, 87 87. 291 TiS)  21 SNS2
When, at night, the stars shine on us
Light years from our tiny earth,
Songs and psalms provoke the questions
Of our fragile human worth.

These gigantic specks are burning,
Balls of fire, as at play;
Stars in billions share their light and
Thus create a Milky Way.

We still gaze in raw amusement,
Contemplating timeless space;
Numberless, the stars keep stories
Hidden from our human race.

Tiny holes in heaven’s flooring
Letting light beyond shine through;
Stars invite us to imagine
What it is we cannot view.

Myst’ry strides across the canvas
Of the picture we might paint;
Sacredness is grandly present;
Let us praise without restraint
(George Stuart).

CELEBRATING

With the Children
The children come to the conversation mat

Conversation:

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:
Each day brims over with possibility.
All  In every second lie choices, chances,
in numbers too great for us to comprehend.

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 (Gretta Vosper/hb)

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  O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos
you create all that moves in light.
Hear the one Sound that created all others,
in this way the Name is hallowed in silence.

Your rule springs into existence
as our arms reach out to embrace all creation.
Let all wills move together
in your vortex, as stars and planets
swirl through the sky.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:
subsistence for the call of
growing life.

Lighten our load of secret debts as
we relieve others of their
need to repay.

Keep us from hoarding false wealth,
and from the inner shame of
help not given in time. (Matthew Fox/ormw)

CELEBRATING SOLIDARITY: LITURGY OF THE BANQUET 3 (Of the Justice Imperative)
Offerings
Let us bring our offerings and our gifts of bread and wine…

From each according to ability.
All  To each according to need
(David Galston/q).

Welcome
Welcome to this banqueting table.
This is a table of hospitality,
of sharing, and of celebration.

We break bread and pour wine
because these are the gifts that strengthen
our journey together.

Remembering our Common Humanity…
v1  We remember and honour the justice imperative
that is the biblical heritage:
justice is not belief but action,
not silence but voice,
not tolerance but compassion.
v2  A banquet reminds us of our common humanity
and our common need for just relationships.
All  
Jesus said, “If you love those who love you,
what merit is there in that?
An outlaw can do the same thing.

And if you give only to those who give back to you,
do you really expect congratulations?

Rather, love your enemies, do good,
and lend without expecting anything in return.”

Bread and Wine
v1  The call to follow justice is easy to issue,
but the resolve to follow justice is difficult to muster.
Together, let us be a community
that not only issues the word
but follows the dictate.

v2  May our community be one that holds
the strength of compassion and the resolve to act.
May we be a people who unites
our words with our deeds.
All  
For the dignity of life and the hope of humanity,
may it be so.

v1 We break bread as an act of solidarity.
We pour wine as an act of sharing.
Welcome to this banquet celebration.

You are invited to participate (David Galston/q).
All share the bread and the wine in small groups

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Deep in the Heart of God" (Tune: 'Tyrolese', 86 86 86 86)
Deep in the heart of God there lurks
A mischief making note,
A gurgle of suppressed delight
A chuckle in the throat.

Deep in the heart of God there lies
A reservoir of pain,
A cross-marked agony of love
Filled and refilled again.
Remain standing

Parting Words
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God
who is found in ordinary and surprising places.
The Community Candle is extinguished

May the quality of our lives be our benediction.
All And a blessing to all whom we touch.
(PRGiles)

Words of Blessing
The calling of a magpie greets the gentle sunrise
on a bright Spring morning.
May there be awakened in us long held hopes
and a keening of our longing for the sacred in life.
All
Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont) "Deep in the Heart of God" (Tune: 'Tyrolese', 86 86 86 86)
God of our laughter and our tears,
Transcending human thought,
You share our fun in life, our fears,
By incarnation brought:

Father of Jesus Christ, the clown,
Whose Spirit gives us breath,
Hear us, who look to you to crown
Our merriment, our death.
Ian Fraser/ea
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:
Burgess, R. & C. Polhill. 2004. Eggs and Ashes. Practical & liturgical resources for Lent and Holy Week. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2005. Entertaining Angels. A worship anthology on sharing Christ’s hospitality. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
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.
Fox, M. 2000.
One River, Many Wells. Wisdom springing from global faiths. New York. Tarcher/Penguin Publishing.
Holy Bible. NRSV. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2007. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1996.
Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York: HarperCollins.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. 2009.
Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto. G Stuart.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010.
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane: The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.
Vosper, G. 2004/2010.
Holy Breath. Prayers for Worship and Reflection. New & Revised edition. 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.

Web sites/Other:
Giles, Belcher, Giles. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/
Shirley Erena Murray. ‘Where Does Compasiion Start’. From the author
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacyhttp://www.questcentre.ca/
K. Gibbons. C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <http://www.c3exchange.org

rexae74@gmail.com