Revd Rex A E Hunt

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The Other Lectionary - a suggested ‘southern hemisphere’ Lectionary (with a few Resources added) offered in parallel to,
or even replacement of, the RCL which is in standard use by many.


22 December 2019. Advent 4A. (Blue).

Worth Pondering
“The modern natural sciences… increasingly disclose an interconnected world, 
a world that is fundamentally and inclusively natural and within which 
mind and body are interrelated, self and other are profoundly related, 
human and nonhuman are mutually dependent, 
and faith and reason are integral aspects of one another”
(Michael Hogue)

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 of the (NN) Nation, past, present, and emerging leaders,
and their stewardship of this land throughout the ages.

First Peoples Statement to the Nation 2017 called “Uluru Statement from the Heart” HERE
A Response from Common Dreams5 Conference of Religious Progressives,
Australia/South Pacific 2019 HERE

(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


Rich and Striking Visuals
          “The function of beauty… is to make us aware of a reality which is richer and deeper
          and more marvellous than anything we can dream or conceive.” (Henry N. Wieman)
          Artwork OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Slides 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Advent Wreath – ‘Source of light’
Advent 4
v1 Orange flame burning
fire, breathing, consuming,
refining our thoughts.
Light fourth candle

v2 Holy God Spirit
we give thanks for the flame,
symbol of your presentness that never fails.
We pray for all people
that we may keep the Advent flame alight in our lives,
may we not to extinguish it when Christmas is past.
All Amen. (Adapted-HJohnston/ssb)


Advent 4: “Water”
v1   Today, we remember water and light
with this candle of love.
Without clean water,
life on our planet cannot exist.

v1  Yet we humans foul the oceans and rivers
with the toxic chemicals and other garbage of our lifestyles.
v2  We light this fourth advent candle…
The candle is lit

All  And as we do we renew our commitment
to live gently and lovingly,
with the water that gives life.

v1   May it be so.

Presentation of the Christmas Bowl
v5  Without love, people struggle to find their way.
The bowl, made by the children previously, is placed near the Advent wreath

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 these 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, 10. Terrorist Attacks, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing.  Children move to Sunday Club.
"Carol our Christmas(Tune: Reversi)                                                                    9 AA
Carol our Christmas,
an upside down Christmas;
snow is not falling and
trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and
welcome the Christ Child,
warm in our sunshine and
sweetness of air.

Sing of the gold and the
green and the sparkle,
water and river and lure
of the beach.
Sing in the happiness
of open spaces,
sing a nativity summer
can reach!

Shepherds and musterers
move over hillsides,
finding, not angels,
but sheep to be shorn;
wise ones make journeys
whatever the season,
searching for signs of the
truth to be born.

Right side up Christmas belongs
to the universe,
made in the moment
a woman gives birth;
hope is the Jesus gift,
love is the offering,
everywhere, anywhere,
here on the earth.  (Shirley Erena Murray)

Remain standing

Opening Sentences
The season of Advent challenges us
to see God's vision of what is yet to be,
to hear God's voice calling anew,
to smell the scent of God in our world.

Act of Awareness
It is a still place where love is
and the way is very simple
it is so simple that I cannot understand
how hard it is to find the way
into the silence where love is.  (Jean Clark/cw)


v1 We pray:
Now is the moment of magic, when candles are kindled
and clear voices whisper secret music.
So here's a blessing:
it is the warmth of summer love that enables us to overcome
the barriers we place around ourselves, and
love that strengthens us to take risks.

v2 And here’s another blessing:
we already possess all the gifts we need,
we've already received our presents:
ears to hear music,
eyes to behold lights,
hands to build true peace on earth
and to hold each other tight in love. 
May it be so.

O Come, Emmanuel”  (Tune: ‘Veni Emmanuel’, 88.88 & refrain)                                265 TiS
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O come, great Lord of might
who to the tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high
and close the path to misery.
Rejoice! rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O branch of Jesse, free
your own from Satan's tyranny;
from depths of hell your people save
and give them victory o'er the grave.
Rejoice! rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by your advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.
The people sit after the hymn

Note: About that hymn for progressives… 
"O Come, O Come, Emanuel” is a classic Advent carol.  (And we are, after all, in the season of Advent – NOT Christmas, not yet!) 
But many of the words are problematic. 
“O come, O come, Emmanuel / And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here / Until the Son of God appear.”

The ideas are supercessionist --- implying that Judaism is obsolete, not relevant, past its use-by date.
Can we really sing this and not come across as demeaning and superior?
Is it time to rewrite (or ditch) this verse?
 (Dr John Squires)


O Come, Light’s Dawning”  (Tune: ‘Veni Emmanuel’)
Traditional Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, light’s dawning, burn within my soul,

The tinder of my heart you can make whole.

O come, ignite my passion to see

the truth of who I am, who I can be.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

To fear I bid farewell

that light may come within my heart to dwell.

O come, light’s beauty, come amongst and cheer

our spirits by your radiant presence here.

O come, ignite our passion to see

that we can live in peace and harmony,

Rejoice!  Rejoice!

To anger bid farewell

that light may come within our hearts dwell.

O come, light’s wisdom, be our certain guide

as arrogance and greed we set aside,

O come, ignite our passion to see,

the beauty born in all humanity.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!

To privilege bid farewell

that light may come within our hearts to dwell

O come, light’s piercing truth, come and reveal

all that our planet needs from us to heal.

O come, ignite our passion to see

the splendour in Earth’s vast diversity.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!

To darkness bid farewell

that light may come within our hearts to dwell.  (© 2012 Gretta Vosper, direct from author)

In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are worshipping at (NN) for the first time