Pentecost9C.17.7.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
17 July 2016. Pentecost 9C. (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

v1  "Let there be light!
v2  Let it shine in dark places,
in moments of pain,
in times of grief,
in the darkness of hatred,
violence,
oppression,
where there is discouragement and despair.
v1  Wherever darkness is to be put to flight,
"Let there be light!” 
Gordon B McKeeman

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
“Deep In The Human Heart”  (Tune: ‘Diademata’, 66 86D, 228 TiS)        SSA
Deep in the human heart
The fire of justice burns;
A vision of a world renewed
Through radical concern.
As Christians we are called
To set the captives free,
To overthrow the evil powers
And end hypocrisy.

This is our task today:
To build a world of peace;
A world of justice, freedom, truth,
Where kindness will increase;
A world from hunger freed,
A world where people share,
Where every person is of worth
And no-one lives in fear.

Taking the step of faith,
We leave the past behind,
And move into the future's world
With open heart and mind.
By grace we work with Christ,
As one community,
To bring new hope and fuller life,
To all humanity. William L Wallace/ssa

OR

Creativity – The Canberra Affirmation(Tune: ‘Austria’, 87 87D)     26 SNS2
When beliefs and rigid doctrines,
Like stone statues cold as death,
Discipline us into silence,
Rob us of life-giving breath;
We can voice our great discomfort
As we recognize the truth
That our life and all our living
Give us insight from our youth.

We would celebrate evolving;
In the webs of life we bond
To the cosmos and our family,
Humans here and those beyond;
Thus we're called to live together
With respect for all that is,
For the cosmos and our planet
With respect for all that lives.

'Creativity' is present
Ever since before the start;
Brings to birth such great abundance;
Gives birth to a loving heart.
With this birthing of the novel
'Creativity' transforms;
Energy and life emerges;
Beauty seen in all its forms.

So we celebrate the myst'ry;
Stand in silence; look with awe;
Countless years in billions ended
Since the opening of the store
Of variety and brilliance,
Of the life-force and of grace;
It's amazing and so wondrous
We can claim to have a place. (George Stuart)
The people sit after the hymn

Opening Sentences
Let us acknowledge the awesome mystery
embodied in every person.
All
Through us Creativity God comes to unique
and personal expression. 

Let us give thanks for the abundance
of life on this earth.
All Through it we and all people may be nourished.

Act of Awareness
A sky, streaked with the promise of day,
and I am called to anticipate all that might be.

The heat of the day heavy upon me,
and I am challenged to acknowledge
the responsibilities I hold.

The shade of the afternoon, like grace, soothes me,
and I am offered a reflection of my own rich gifts.

The cool of the evening
set in the midst of a candlelit heaven,
and I am awed by the fulfillment of another day.

We open ourselves as those who seek the holy (Gretta Vosper/wab)

OR

We pray:
Abiding God of the morning, the afternoon, the evening,
grant us the joy of feeling ourselves
a part of your vast magnificence,
your all-encompassing love.
May it be so.

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
Amid all the noise in our lives,
we take this moment to sit in silence:
to give thanks for another day;
to give thanks for all those in our lives
who have brought us warmth and love;
to give thanks for the gift of life.
(Silence)

Let us open ourselves to the process of becoming more whole:
of living more fully;
of giving and forgiving more freely;
of understanding more completely
the meaning of our lives here on this earth.
  (Adapted/THaley)
Silence

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our Religious Tradition
A story from our religious tradition will be told by (NN).

Reader:  May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this reading.
All  And may our minds be fertile soil
in which it may grow strong and true
 (Gretta Vosper/ab)

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 10:38-42  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Jesus into her house.
She had a sister called Mary,
who sat down at Jesus' feet and listened to him speaking.

Now Martha, who was busy with all the details of hospitality, said:
‘Do you not care that my sister
is leaving me to do the serving all by myself?
Please tell her to help me.'

But Jesus answered,
'Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things,
and yet few are needed, indeed only one.

‘It is Mary who has chosen the better part;
it is not to be taken from her.'

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 as they are able

We believe that horizons of hope are never fixed.
All  They always move beyond, in the creativity of God.

We believe that powers of evil can not kill God.
All  God walks on free and leaps ahead of us
in the risen Christ of faith.

We believe that the Spirit can never be confined.
All  She dances forth in the world
and is found in surprising places,
leading us on until the end of time.
  (Adapt/Dorothy McRae-McMahon/bst)

OR

The 'Canberra Affirmation' can be found HERE

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
"Crowded Table, Urgent Faces" (Tune: ‘Maria’s Tune’ 87 87D. 420 TiS)
Crowded table, urgent faces, 
people longing for the bread, 
bread of life and bread for living, 
bread for rising from the dead;
Young and old, both men and women, 
those for whom this life is hard, 
those who live in warmth and comfort, 
those whose life is stained or tarred;

All are welcome, wise or foolish, 
at this table all are fed, 
sharing wine in celebration, 
eating Christ’s communion bread. 
Then in costly life and giving 
we will share what we receive, 
demonstrate in daily living 
all that we affirm, believe.  © Andrew Pratt 10/12/2005

OR

Song for Nelson Mandela(Tune: ‘Cwm Rhondda’, 569 TiS)
Now a mighty tree has fallen,
now the rainbow loses light,
tears of all the world are grieving
one who changed the wrong to right:
Refrain:
Give Mandela every honour,
all our hearts would wish to say:
thanks and blessings on this day!

Celebrate his towering spirit
fired to face his country's pain,
celebrate the mind and measure
that no prison could contain,
Refrain:

Every nation, every colour,
live the truth to set us free!
Reconcile us to each other,
holding fast his legacy.  ©  Shirley Erena Murray 2013
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
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
Offerings
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.

Presentation
Our tradition says we should give thanks and be generous...
May all givers be blessed because we need to be generous
in order to be whole.

Thanksgiving
God is the heart of life.
All  And we are the heartbeat.
May your hearts be filled with thanks 
and praise and songs of joy.
All  We rejoice in the miracle of life
and delight in our participation
(Sherri Weinberg).

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name God
and call the creator of heaven and earth and all that is.

For the person we name Jesus
and his message of peace, justice and inclusiveness
that is the realm of God.

For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit
always present on the breath of life
All  We give thanks for the love, peace and justice,
for prosperity, strength and freedom,
and for the presentness of God in the midst of life.

God of winter, the unpopular, slandered season, we praise you.
God of lightning, wind and storm, we praise you.
God of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns and stark hillsides;
of warm socks, coats and gloves,
raincoats, umbrellas and warm fires, we praise you.

So we join our celebration to all people, saying:
All  Holy, holy, holy, re-creating God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
All  
Hosanna in the highest.

Breaking of Bread/Sharing of Wine
We remember the time when Jesus faced
difficult decisions and destructive forces:
- in the days and nights of his searching,
- in finding ways to free others from images and ideas
that kept them captive and dependent and fearful of God,
- in breaking down social and religious barriers,
- in facing failure,
- in facing death (Michael Morwood/pns)

When we too experience the winter of our lives
may we find the courage to let go
and trust in your guiding, warming light.

And we remember
Jesus has shown us that life is stronger than death.

And as we eat together at this table
we remember the words and the actions of that meal...
He took bread, gave thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his friends.

He poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it,
and shared it also with his friends.

Ancient symbols.
Common acts.

Response
Jesus, human like us,
All  reveals to us our true identity, temples of God's spirit.
Jesus, human like us,
All  reveals God present and active throughout human history.
Jesus, human like us,
All  reveals God-always-with-us in our everyday loving.
Jesus, human like us,
All  challenges us to let his story be our story also (Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Communion
So we break and share bread and drink wine,
pledging ourselves to allow the spirit that moved in Jesus
to move freely in our lives.
The bread and wine is served

After Communion
God of amazing grace,
in the cold of the winter months
we are grateful for your presence, warming us.
All   We pray this presence will strengthen us
to follow in the way of Jesus, in this city.

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.

OR

Wisdom Be Our Guide… Ordinary People (Tune: ‘Serenam’, Colin Gibson)    60 (v1-2) TEL
Wisdom be our guide:
wisdom as in Jesus,
strong through storm and crisis,
turning terror’s tide.
Wisdom be our wings:
lift the human spirit,
banish bomb and bullet,
warlord posturings.
Refrain:
And with God’s help,
ordinary people,
we ordinary people
will turn the world around.
(Repeat Refrain)

Wisdom be our ground:
there new truths are growing,
streams begin new flowing,
seams of gold are found.
Wisdom be our friend:
warn us of our danger,
earth’s appalling hunger,
greed that has no end.
Refrain:
And with God’s help,
ordinary people,
we ordinary people
will turn the world around.

(Repeat Refrain)
Remain standing

Parting Words
As we prepare to leave this sacred space where we have celebrated together,
let us return to our work enlivened and renewed...
The Community Candle is extinguished

Companion God, from the depths of our hearts,
to the heights of our minds,
All  You are the enclosing hands, and the encircling arms.

May we see
All  touch, hear, taste, and smell
your presence in every moment.

Words of Blessing
May you always stand tall as a tree.