Pentecost6C.26.6.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

International eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
26 June 2016. Pentecost 5C. (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

Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

We light our candle to illuminate the world we seek.
A lit candle is a protest.
It is a non-conformist.
It says to the darkness, ‘I beg to differ’. 
(Indian Proverb/adapted)

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Shake up the Morning”  (Tune: ‘Shake up’)      18 HSNW
Shake up the morning, let the dawn undress,
Let dew reglisten nature’s loveliness;
Waken the songbird and unseal the throat
That greets the daybreak with a crystal note.
Praise to the Lord, whose morning we inherit;
Praise creation’s fuse, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son who rises with the dawn,
Leaving graveclothes scarcely three days worn.

Shake up the world and let the Kingdom come,
The dumb be listened to, the lost find home;
Make earthly politics the stuff of prayer
Till want and warring are dispelled by care.
Praise to the Lord, whose world we inherit;
Praise God’s catalyst, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose choice it is to bless
Those who work for peace and live on less.

Shake up the Church and let all Christians show
That faith is real, that God is good to know;
Fashion new symbols of the coming age
When hope and love with take the centre stage.
Praise to the Lord, whose Gospel we inherit;
Praise God’s bird of love, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose will and words decree
All are one in his community.

Shake up the evening, let the shadows range
As clouds to castles in the sunset change;
Kindle the moon and stars which through each night
Reflect the glory of tomorrow’s light.
Praise to the Lord, whose evening we inherit;
Praise creation’s presence in the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose brightness none can kill,
Lighting paths for those who seek his will. © Iona Community

OR

"God Molds the Shapes of Life  "(Tune: Little Conard 66 66 88. 469 TiS)   38 TMT
God molds the shapes of life,
drawing the flow of tides,
firing the sunlight's blaze,
glazing the night with pride:
God gives the love which warms and moves
the patterned rhythm life provides.

Ponder the rising sap
changing to leaf's decay;
think of the winter's death
turning to spring's new day,
and in these cycles find the shapes
of all God dreams and all God makes.

Pulse of the veins and lungs,
seasons of human hearts -
patterns that intertwine,
shaping our thought and art;
all these are part of nature's flow -
the life of God we reap and sow.

Sing to the God of change,
chaos, and fine design;
hallow the ordered forms
filled with the life divine.
In God the universe is one
and sings the hymn which God first sung! (William L Wallace)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
As surely as we belong to the universe
,
we belong together.


We join here to transcend the isolated self.
To reconnect,
To know ourselves to be at home,
Here on earth, under the stars,
Linked with each other (MAKeip).

OR

As a workman gathers his tools,
as a poet gathers her images,
as a musician gathers his band,
as a scholar gathers her arguments,
as a writer gathers his stories,
as a preacher gathers her texts…
All  
So God gathers people for serviceSBrown/sco

Act of Awareness
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.

OR

We pray:
Spirit of Life, bless us through this day
and through this life, till this day ends,
and a new day dawns.
May it be so.

Hymn  “Give Respect to Humankind(Tune: ‘Warrington’, 88 88. 207 TiS)   60 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.

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

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
“The Spirit of God”
By Napoleon Lovely (Adapted).
Hymns for the Celebration of Life/343.

The spirit of God is wonderful to us;
It is revealed in all the ways of creation:
in the ordered course of the stars
and in the unpredictable ways of living things,
In the heat of blazing suns
and in the warmth of human affections.

God’s will is revealed in the majesty of abiding law,
in judgments that are just,
and in the mercy which redeems the penitent
and upholds the humble of heart.

For God’s abode is not only in the heavens;
God dwells in the human heart.

The highways of history are God’s:
but by the humble path of service we enter into God’s kingdom.
God surprises us in homely tasks,
God walks with us on lonely tracks.
God’s beauty is in our lives,
and God’s spirit defines our righteousness.

OR

“A Reflection”
By Robert Halsey. Voices from the Void/51

Sea birds ride the thermal currents,
Gliding, diving, soaring,
Celebrating life,
Alive with the energy
We all share with earth, sea and sky.

Sit quietly, gaze out across the sea,
Listen to the waves,
To the ocean’s secrets
Carried from distant unknown shores,
And you will grow smaller
And smaller till you become
As one lost in the surging and the sounds,
Till you feel you are a part
Of the heaving mass with which you are one
As you lose yourself
To find another somewhere else.
Silence

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Reading from our Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to a story from our religious tradition.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 9:51-62  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus and some others set out on the road for Jerusalem.

Some went on ahead into a Samaritan village to make preparations,
but the people would not receive Jesus
because he was making for Jerusalem.

Seeing this, the disciples James and John said,
'Do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?'

But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.

As they travelled along they met someone on the road who said to Jesus,
'I will follow you wherever you go.'

Jesus answered,
'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, 
but I have nowhere to lay my head.'

To another Jesus said, 'Follow me.'

This one replied, 'Let me go and bury my parents first.'
But Jesus answered, 'Leave the dead to bury the dead;
your duty is to go and spread the news of the realm of God.'

Another said, 'I will follow you, but first let me go and say good-bye to my people at home.'

Jesus said: 'Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back
is fit for the realm of God.'

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

If celebrating the founding of the UCA on this date…
A Litany: ‘A Call to be Church’ (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together the litany, 'A Call to be Church'.
The people stand as they are able

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Le: enable us to create - across cultural, age and class boundaries –
a laboratory of peace,
testing out your vision of community and love
as we struggle live with our differences.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Ri: enable us to be a parable of the Kingdom,
allowing the upside-down values of your commonwealth
to nudge us away from the acquisitive and self-regarding attitudes of our day.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Le: enable us to be a sign of contradiction among the nations,
pointing to hope in the midst of disillusion,
offering non-violent resistance when evil threatens,
accepting loss of prestige or wealth in the cause of justice.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Ri: enable us to be a place of welcome and warmth,
where what is ignored elsewhere may be heard and honoured,
where sorrows may be shared and stories told,
where hard questions may be asked and new ideas greeted with joy.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
All  enable us to be a 
community of praise,
cracking open the dry husks of cynicism and despair,
being clowns and jesters for Christ,
celebrating the mystery of faith in stillness and song.
  KCompston/sco

OR

A Litany of Thanksgiving (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

For the first people of this land
and their ways of belonging in this place,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks.

For all those who have come to these shores
from many lands and many traditions,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks.

For this land of rich or sparse beauty,
its diverse and varied people,
and our vocation in this land,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks.

For all who have seen the vision of unity
in this country and across the world,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks.

For those whose efforts, in the power of the Holy Spirit,
led to the inauguration of the Uniting Church in Australia in 1977,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks. 

For those called to lead us
in Assemblies, Synods and Presbyteries
and in every congregation,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks.

For every faithful person
who has used the gifts given them
to serve God and others in quiet and humble places,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks.

For the mistakes through which we have learned
and the challenges that have stretched our faith,
All  We lift up our hearts and give thanks.

And with all pilgrim people who have travelled this life,
as companions and encouragers for us,
All  we bring praise and honour, glory and blessing,
now and for ever.

Lighting of UCA candles
In June 1977, people from all over this city,
shared with others all over Australia, in the inauguration
of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Since that time we have been enriched
by the vision of this fellowship -
as a multicultural pilgrim people,
always on the way towards a promised goal.

A candle is lit
v1  We light this candle for our heritage in the
Congregational tradition,
with its commitment to freedom
and to the power of the priesthood of all believers
All
We stand in that great tradition.
And we affirm that the Uniting Church
has moved on in its journey as a pilgrim people of God.

A second candle is lit
v2  We light this candle for our heritage in the
Methodist tradition,
with its commitment to social justice
and its enthusiasm in communicating the gospel.
All
We stand in that great tradition.
And we affirm that the Uniting Church
has moved on in its journey as a pilgrim people of God.

A third candle is lit
v3  We light this candle for our heritage in the
Presbyterian tradition,
with its respect for scholarship and its deep
understanding of the nature of the church.
All
We stand in that great tradition.
And we affirm that the Uniting Church
has moved on in its journey as a pilgrim people of God. (Robert Faser)

A fourth candle is lit
v4  We light this fourth candle to celebrate that many others,
from different traditions,
and who have been born since 1977,
are now a vital part of the Uniting Church tradition.
Silence

Thanks be to God!
All  
Thanks be to God!

Doxology  (Tune: ‘Fairhill’, 88 88. 768(ii) TiS)
Praise God, the love we all may share;
Praise God, the beauty everywhere;
Praise God, the hope of good to be;
Praise God, the truth that makes us free.
Amen.  
PHewett

If NOT celebrating the founding of the UCA on this date…
Litany: (Optional)
People stand as they are able

May our brief, fragile lives build on the work
of those who went before us,
All
 Let it all happen.  No time is final.

May we create a sustainable foundation
for those who follow us,
All 
Let it all happen.  No age is final.

May we stretch our consciousness with open minds,
and a sense of humble curiosity,
All 
Let it all happen.  No belief is final.

May we have courage in uncertain times,
All 
Let it all happen.  No mood is final.

May we recognise new beginnings
in what seem to be endings,
All 
Let it all happen.  No feeling is final.

We are the universe becoming conscious,
All 
Let it all happen.
Breathe deeply and live now.
(3C Exchange)

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 People stand as they are able, to sing
Through Winter Cold(Tune: ‘Chilcombe’)    139 HoS
Through winter cold and drifted snow,
through bitter wind and biting frost
the silent seeds of spring will grow
and buried dreams will not be lost.

Within God’s world, as seasons turn,
we sleep and grow, with changing need
to shed old concepts and to learn
the faith that sprouts like mustard seed.

It is compassion warms the day
and hugs the lonely or the cold,
speaks out for justice, come what may
when people’s lives are bought and sold.

And as in winter, as in grief
the frozen heart of things in numb,
compassion melts our unbelief
and all is changed, for spring has come. (Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

CELEBRATING

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
May our eyes, our ears, and our mouths be opened.

Let us be doers of the word and not hearers only,
taking on those tasks set before us with uncommon vision
and wholehearted expectation (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 this abundant blessing
All  We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All  
May love abound (Gretta Vosper/wwg)

And so we take this 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 new possibilities of the now.

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  O presence and pow’r within us,
Being and Life of all.
How we are filled, how we o’erflow
with infinite love and gladness!

We shall this day sow grace and peace,
and show mercy to all,
and gentle loving-kindness.

And we shall be not so self-serving,
but a constant source of giving.

For ours is the essence,
and the wholeness,
and the fullness forever.
 (Paul Alan Laughlin/4r)
Amen.

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
We Are Many”  (Tune: ‘Hamilton’.)   67 (v1-2) FFS
We are many, we are one,
and the work of Christ is done
when we learn to live in true community,
as the stars that fill the night,
as a flock of birds in flight,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine;
as the branches of a tree,
as the waves upon the sea,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine.

All division is made whole
when we honour every soul,
find the life of God in every you and me,
as the fingers of a hand,
as the grains that form the sand,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine;
as the threads upon a loom,
as a field of flowers in bloom,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine.
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

With faith to face our challenges,
With love that casts out fear,
With hope to trust tomorrow,
All We accept this day as the gift it is: 
a reason for rejoicing.
(Gary Kowalski)

Words of Blessing
The creative power of God go with us.
The compasionate love of Jesus go with us.
The driving force of the Spirit go with us,
as we follow our calling to link God to all people. (Marjorie Dobson/sco)

All AmenMay it be so with us.

Hymn (Cont  We Are Many”  (Tune: ‘Hamilton’.)   67 (v3) FFS
We will join creation's song,
make a world where all belong,
build as one in peace and loving harmony,
as the voices of a choir,
as the flames within a fire,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine;
as the snowflakes in the snow,
as the colours of a bow,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine.  
Colin Gibson