Pentecost7C.3.7.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
3 July 2016. Pentecost 7C. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


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

Let the light we kindle go before us,
Strong in hope,
wide in good will,
Inviting the day to come.
  (Adapt/ G K. Beach)

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

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
When God’s Spirit”  (Tune: “Abbot’s Leigh’, 87 87D. 153 TiS)   146 RP
When God's spirit lends a lightness
to the songs we want to sing,
when we celebrate the brightness
that the love of God can bring;
then the grace of God surprises,
and our faith in God grows strong,
as the praise that we have sought for
is re-echoed in our song.

Here in song we find a freedom,
music wings our words on high,
now we know this is the season,
now we know the reason why
life is filled with exaltation,
joy inspires each love and life,
lifts beyond our expectation,
brings an end to former strife.

On beyond our pain and sorrow,
walking onward into light,
we will greet a new tomorrow
colours flaming out of night.
Light is dawning on the future,
guiding us within this maze;
love and grace will hold and nurture,
forming faith, reclaiming praise.  © 
Andrew Pratt
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Let us gather in celebration and community.
All  
It is good to be here.

Let us also pay deep attention to the world around us:
All  we are present with our eyes,
…to hear the sounds of creation
All  
we are present with our ears,
…to feel the pain of our fellow people
All  
we are present with our hearts,
…to smell the banquet of abundant life
All  
we are present with our lives.  (Adapt/Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Act of Awareness
You are in the story of the world.

You are the world coming to know itself.
May you trust that all you will ever say or do

Belongs in the story of the world. (Ean Huntington Behr)

OR

We pray:
Blossom of Love, give us courage and an open spirit
as we consider the life and teachings of Jesus.
May we feel an invitational embrace
beckoning us to fullness of life where we
celebrate beauty and
engage the causes of suffering.
May it be so.

Hymn In the Bulb there is a Flower”  (Tune: “Maria’s Tune”, 87 87D, 420 TiS)
In the bulb there is a flower;
in the seed, an apple tree;
in cocoons, a hidden promise;
butterflies with soon be free!
in the cold and snow of winter
there's a spring that waits to be,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

There's a song in every silence,
seeking word and melody.
there's a dawn in every darkness,
bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future,
what it holds, a mystery;
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning;
in our time, infinity;
in our doubt there is believing;
in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection;
at the last, a victory,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see
  N A W Sleeth
The people sit after the hymn

OR

Nature’s Beauty(Tune: ‘Regent Square’, 87 87 47 Extend.)     4 SNS3
Nature knows her sounds and movements
Heard and seen each day and night;
All her life in rich abundance
Fills my heart with great delight;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world so bright.

Fearsome winds cause trees to whimper;
Storms can force the clouds to cry;
Raindrops, snowflakes dance together;
Sun and moon wink in reply;
Celebrate with adoration
All the wonders of the sky.

Celebrate all hidden textures;
Value all the roots below;
Celebrate all covered spendour;
Value beauty not on show;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world we know.

Creatures bold and creatures timid
Offer beauty, each unique;
Trees and flowers paint a picture
On the plain and mountain peak;
Celebrate with adoration;
All revealed for those who seek.

We are blest with such profusion;
Beauty bursts out everywhere;
If we take the time to ponder
We may find a thankful prayer;
Celebrate with adoration
Thankful for the world we share. (George Stuart)
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.

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to some stories from our broad religious tradition.

Early Church (Authentic Paul):
Galatians 6: 14-18  (Inclusive Text)

Paul is writing to the small gathering of Jewish Christians in Galatia:
The only thing I can boast about is the cross of Jesus Christ,
through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not.
What matters is becoming an altogether new creature.

Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.
I want no more trouble from anybody after this;
the marks on my body are those of Jesus.

The grace of Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
my sisters and brothers.  Amen.

From the World Around us: (Responsive reading)
“In this Ordinary Place”
By Bret Hesla. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus/103.

May we awaken to the presence of God,
All  here in this ordinary place.
May we awaken to the power of love,
All  here in this ordinary crowd.
May we build a neighborhood of justice for all,
All  now in this ordinary time.
May we daily work to build a world at peace,
All  now with these ordinary hands.

Hymn In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
Perfect Singer”  (Tune:  ‘Catherine’, 77 77)   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. 
G K Beach

OR

The Footprints Where Your People Tread(Tune: ‘Irish’, 86 86)
The footprints where your people tread
have marked and marred the earth,
the global warming that we dread
has shadowed us from birth.

As climates change and nature shifts,
we play a god-less game.
We reap rewards from what we sow,
yet try to shift the blame.

O gracious God we pray for help,
that we might learn to live
in harmony within this world
with all you gave and give. © Andrew Pratt

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 10:1-10  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him,
in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit.

Prior to them starting out, Jesus said:
'The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few,
so ask the owner of the harvest to send labourers to the harvest.

'Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals.
Salute no one on the road.
Whatever house you go into, let your first words be,
"Peace to this house!"

'And if people of peace live there, your peace will go and rest on them.
If not, it will come back to you.

'Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer,
for the labourer deserves wages. 
Do not move from house to house.

'Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome,
 eat what is set before you.
Cure those in it who are sick, and say, 
"The realm of God is very near you."

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

We believe in God
All who made the world, loves it and smiles on it;
Wn who created human beings to be different and asked them to get on with each other;
Mn
who took the risk of leaving us alone, 
knowing that one day our differences

might threaten the earth's safety;
All
who trusts us in full knowledge or our frailness.

We believe in Jesus, Human One
Wn who came among us insignificantly, 
who grew among us uneventfully,
All who walked among us incognito;
Mn who, to change the world, became redundant 
and called others away from security;

who befriended those whose company would discredit him;
Wn
who pardoned those who deserved to be condemned;
Mn
who healed those who were hopeless cases;

Wn
who spoke the deepest truths in the language of the living room;
who contradicted common sense
by accepting the cross and taking on the grave
and being liberated to live on the third day;
All
who calls us, now as then, to a life which is absurd
by the standards of the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit
All through whom God surprises, disappoints, lures and questions us;
Wn who is the bringer of strength and source of humour;
Mn who leads us to discover the truth we avoid;
who is a paradox - ever present yet unpredictable.
All
And we believe that the foolishness of God
is wiser than the wisdom of the world:
and we rejoice that God has made it so.
  (Unknown)

OR

A Litany: "Our Home(Optional)
v1  Our true home is in the present moment.
v2  To live in the present moment is a miracle.
v3  The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment,
to appreciate the eace and beauty that are available now.
All  Peace is all around us -
in the world and in nature -
and within us -
in our bodies and our spirits.
v1  Once we learn to touch this peace,
we will be healed and transformed.
All  It is not a matter of faith;
it is a matter of 
practice. (Thich Nhat Hanh/lp)

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

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

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Let Justice Roll Down”            85 AA
Refrain:
Let justice roll down like a river,
let justice roll down like a sea,
let justice roll down like a river,
let justice begin through me.

Justice for all who go hungry,
crying to God to be fed,
left in a world of abundance
to beg for a morsel of bread.
Refrain:

Justice for those who are homeless,
victims of warfare or need,
trapped on the borders of no-where,
lost in the canyons of greed.
Refrain:

Justice for all who are powerless,
yearning for freedom in vain,
plundered, and robbed of their birth-right,
silently bearing their pain.
Refrain: (Colin Gibson)

OR

Hymn of Confidence (Tune: ‘Sing Hosanna’, 10 8 10 9 & Refrain)
God is worthy of praises unending
for such love, faithfulness and grace;
let the church grasp anew our high calling
to bear witness to God’s wide embrace.
Refrain:
Come, O God, empower our witness
by your Spirit’s wind extend our range;
may we set our sails in earnest
confident in times of change.

Jesus calls us to constant renewal
as we serve him in testing times;
we can cling to the past at our peril
but in faith we trace the future’s signs.
Refrain:

In the Spirit we have great resources:
unity in diversity;
we grow strong as we welcome each other
as God’s servants working mutually.
Refrain:

We are one in our faith and our mission
of God’s call steadfastly aware;
so we offer ourselves for the kingdom
with enthusiasm backed by prayer. (Don Evans. Direct from the author) 
Refrain:

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:
We turn to Life, to that vast creativity
All
 that empowers the universe
as the ocean animates the wave,
seeking to let go of that which blocks our healing.
All
May we open ourselves even now
to the wonder of Life.

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 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 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.

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)

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION OR THE JESUS BANQUET
Offerings
In faith and love, gathered in this place,
we celebrate the brightness of community

and the season of Winter called 'Chinnup'
 (Season of Cockatoos)
by the Djab Wurrung and Jardwidjarli People.

Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.
Bread, wine, money presented

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.