ReignXC.20.11.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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

Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2016.
(In the USA published by Wipf & Stock)

Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
Suggestion: ’Refresh’ each page before reading to make sure to get my latest edition


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
20 November 2016. Reign of Christ C. (White).
OR
Jesus and his Kingdom of Nobodies Sunday (John Shuck)


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

In the name of our God who shares divinity with us
In the name of our God who shares humanity with us
In the name of our God who unsettles and inspires us… 
(JSchaffran)

OR

Holy and beautiful the custom
which brings us together,
In the presence of the Most High. (Robert F Leavens/slt)

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

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Faith Writes the Hymn(Tune: 'Woodlands', 10 10 10 10. 411 TiS)         10 TEL
Faith writes the hymn that celebrates the world,
tomorrow's world, more hopeful than today's;
God sets the key for faith to call the tune,
and make of us the instruments of praise.

Faith uses song to stir us and move on,
to rally and to raise our spirits high,
to whistle up the courage to be changed,
and lift our wings in learning how to fly.

Faith need a song to heal our deepest pain:
lament and loss would silence us in tears.
God gives us music to anoint the soul,
and speak in ways that only sorrow hears.

Faith writes the hymn that keeps us singing hope,
although we cannot see the sun will shine;
faith sets a lively rhythm to our step,
and draws our hearts to beat with the divine. Shirley Erena Murray
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Deep within us, creeping past the facts
that stand before us, is hope:
All  
And we lift up our hearts to God.

We walk towards the barriers to change,
believing they will fall to your power:
All  And we lift up our hearts to God.

We gather up the remnants of our energy
and wait for the extra we pray will come:
All  And we lift up our hearts to God.

In the moments of our lowness,
in the doubts which rise among us,
in the depths of weakness and failing,
All  God’s hand is discovered beneath our wavering,
and we are called again to hope.
  (mph 1993)

Act of Awareness
May all sentient beings be well and enjoy the root of happiness:
Free from suffering and the root of suffering.
May they not be separated from the joy beyond sorrow.
May they dwell is spacious equanimity
Free from craving, fear, and ignorance (Adapt.Bodhisattva Vows/slt)

OR

We pray:
Spirit of God, you are the breath of life within us.
You call us to be one with you.
You breathe among us in all of creation.
Give us the strength and courage to live in your love.
May it be so.

Hymn  We Sing Now Together(‘Kremser’, 12 11 13 12)    67 SLT
We sing now together our song of thanksgiving,
rejoicing in goods which the ages have wrought,
for Life that enfolds us, and helps and heals and holds us,
and leads beyond the goals our forbears once sought.

We sing of the freedoms which martyrs and heroes
have won by their labor, their sorrow, their pain;
the oppressed befriending, our ampler hopes defending,
their death becomes a triumph, they died not in vain.

We sing of the prophets, the teachers, the dreamers,
designers, creators, and workers, and seers;
our own lives expanding, our gratitude commanding,
their deeds have made immortal their days and their years.

We sing of community now in the making
in every far continent, region, and land;
with those of all races, all times and names and places,
we pledge ourselves in covenant firmly to stand. (Edward T Buehrer)

OR

Hymn to Christ the Companion"       1FTS
Where two or three are gathered
in the name of Christ,
there will we know his presence,
share in a love unpriced.
He will be with us always,
even to journey's end;
found in our humblest neighbour,
present in foe and friend.

Forward our path together,
through a mysterious land,
darkened by our unknowing,
desert of rock and sand.
Spirit of Christ before us,
lead us through storm and night;
beacon of hope unfailing,
draw us towards your light.

Spur us to seek each other,
following the pilgrim way,
and, if our footsteps falter,
feed and sustain, we pray.
Broken the bread you offer,
shared is the cup you pour,
calling to true communion
now and for ever more.

O loving Christ-companion,
bond us, that we may be
one in our common purpose,
one in our loyalty;
strong for the weak and powerless,
open to truth, and pain,
daring to stand for justice,
working to bring your reign.  
Colin Gibson.
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
“Time”
By Marjorie Dobson.
Multi-coloured Maze/178

Time is measured and regulated and passes
at the same speed each minute, hour and day.

Our perception of time is a different matter altogether.
If we are waiting for something to happen,
time can appear to pass very slowly.

If we are particularly busy, or enjoying a special occasion,
time seems to fly.

Young people are eager to grow up:
older people find it difficult to believe
how many years have passed.

Historians look back and point at significant lessons that we should learn:
scientists predict a future that sometimes
does not seem to offer a great deal of hope…

Time runs in circles and cycles.
Day follows night; weeks turn into months, then months into years.
One generation follows another.

Our lives are locked and linked by time.

Silence
Let silence be placed around us now, like a mantle.
Let us enter into it, as through a small secret door…
(Silence)

O God, may the mantle of silence
become a cloak of understanding
to warm our hearts this day.  (Adapted/Kate McIlhagga/ghs)
(Silence)

EXPLORING

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

Hebrew Scriptures:
Jeremiah 23:1-6 
(NRSV)

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel,
concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people:
It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away,
and you have not attended to them.

So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord.

Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock 
out of all the lands where I have driven them,
and I will bring them back to their fold,
and they shall be fruitful and multiply.

I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them,
and they shall not fear any longer,
or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.

The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
and he shall reign as king and deal wisely,
and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
And this is the name by which he will be called:
“The Lord is our righteousness.”

OR

From the World around us:
"Deep Incarnation”
By Elizabeth Johnson (An Extract)

Born of a woman… and the Hebrew gene pool, Jesus of Nazareth was a creature of earth,
a complex unit of minerals and fluids, an item in the carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen cycles,
a moment in the biological evolution of this planet. 

Like all human beings, he carried within himself the signature of the supernovas and the geology and life history of the Earth.
The atoms comprising his body once belonged to other creatures.
The genetic structure of his cells made him part of the whole community of life
that descended from common ancestors in the ancient seas.

RealJesus1


Traditional Gospel:
Luke 23:35-43 (Inclusive Text)

The people stayed before the cross watching Jesus.
As for the leaders, they jeered at Jesus.
'He saved others,' they said, 'let him save himself if he is Christ of God, the Chosen One.'

The soldiers mocked too, and when they approached to offer
Jesus vinegar they said, 'If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.'

Above Jesus there was an inscription:
'This is the King of the Jews.'

One of the criminals hanging there abused him.
'Are you not the Christ?' he said. 'Save yourself and us as well.'

But the other spoke up and rebuked that one.
'Have you no fear of God at all?' he said, 'you got the same sentence,
but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did.
'But this one has done nothing wrong.'

'Jesus,' he said, 'remember me when you come into your kingdom.’
'Indeed, I promise you,' Jesus replied, 'today you will be with me in paradise.'

OR

Matthew 5:1-12  (Inclusive Text)

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill.
There he sat down and was joined by the disciples.

Then Jesus began to speak.  This is what he taught them:
How happy are the poor in spirit:
theirs is the unfolding of the divine dream.

How happy the gentle:
they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called beloved of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
theirs is the unfolding of the divine dream.

(For those interested...
You can purchase a copy of the Inclusive Texts/Readings (AU$50) from:
Inclusive Language Project
PO Box 1303
Toombul QLD 4012 Australia)

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

Beckoning Christ,
you call us out of our comfortable ghetto of 'us' and 'them'
to risk discipleship without walls.
All  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where God is worshipped above all other.

Wn  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where prayer is offered day and night.

All  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where we can share what we are
with others who love you.

Mn  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where each person has something to give to the whole.
All  You call us into a world-wide fellowship
where compassion and respect shape missionary endeavour.

Keep on beckoning us out of our safe havens
into your rich fellowship
of challenge and reconciliation, faith and hope. 
Kate Compston/sco

OR

We affirm the unfailing renewal of life.
All  Rising from the earth, and reaching for the sun,
all living creatures shall fulfill themselves.

We affirm the steady growth of human companionship.
All  Rising from ancient cradles and reaching for the stars,
people the world over shall seek
the ways of understanding.

We affirm a continuing hope.
All  That out of every tragedy
the spirits of individuals shall rise
to build a better world.
 (Leonard Mason/slt)

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
"He Came Singing Love"  (Tune: Singing love) 59 AA
He came singing love
and he lived singing love;
he died singing love.
He arose in silence.
For the love to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.

He came singing faith
and he lived singing faith;
he died singing faith.
He arose in silence.
For the faith to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.

He came singing hope
and he lived singing hope;
he died singing hope.
He arose in silence.
For the hope to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.

He came singing peace
and he lived singing peace;
he died singing peace.
He arose in silence.
For the peace to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.  
Colin Gibson. 

Offerings
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place
and beyond, shall now be received.

Presentation
Valuing God, help us to find a meaning in life,
a purpose, a belonging.
Help us to find pleasure in receiving from life
and satisfaction in enriching life
(Francis Macnab/h).

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)

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.

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 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
Call To Action”  (Tune: ‘Wir Pflugen’, 76 76D. 130 TiS)     69 (v1-2) SNS
When bad laws are not questioned,
Good policies not tried,
Then God is kept in heaven
And God within denied.
For when we sit in silence
Much wrong can go unchecked;
We need to speak out loudly,
Make governments reflect.

We may voice opinions
Although with censored voice;
Let shouts be strong,
Against all wrong;
We really have no choice.

The Jesus we have heard of,
Was always strong to state
That he was for the weak ones,
The poor and not the great.
He challenged all the leaders;
Would not be overawed.
He saw injustice rampant;
And equity ignored.

We should voice opinions
To gain a listening ear;
Let shouts be strong,
Against all wrong;
We need to interfere.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challenges
of our lives and our world...
The Community Candle is extinguished

In our lives, may we know the holy meaning,
the mystery that breaks into it every moment.
All  May we live at peace with our world
and at peace with ourselves.