Revd Rex A E Hunt

International eMail:  rexae74@gmail.com
For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:

My books, suitable for progressive religious thinkers…
When Progressives Gather Together: Liturgy, Lectionary, Landscape… And Other Explorations.
Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2016.
• Against the Stream: Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew.
Preston: Mosaic Press/Morning Star Publishing, 2012/2013.
• Cards, Carols, and Claus. Christmas in Popular Culture and Progressive Christianity.
Preston: Mosaic Press/Morning Star Publishing, 2013.
• (Edited with John W. H. Smith).
Why Weren’t We Told? A Handbook on ‘progressive’ Christianity.
Salem: Polebridge Press, 2012.
• (Edited with John W. H. Smith). New Life: Rediscovering Faith. Stories from Progressive Christians.
Preston: Mosaic Press/Morning Star Publishing, 2013/2014.
• (Edited with Gregory C. Jenks). Wisdom & Imagination: Religious Progressives and the Search for Meaning.
Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2014.

Should you wish to Purchase or read Reviews any, or contact me:

Suggestion: ’Refresh’ each page before reading - especially if you are using Google Chrome - to make sure to get my latest edition

12 February 2017. Epiphany6A. (Green).
Evolution Weekend

An article by Michael Zimmerman on Evolution Weekend…

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, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation


Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

v1  Come into this place,
where the ordinary is sanctified,
the human is celebrated,
the compassionate is expected.

v2  Come into this place.
Together we make it a holy place
with our every act of celebration.

v1 & v2  So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Life shines out of us from even
the darkest corners, beckoning us
to be drawn into its truth.  (Gretta Vosper/ab)

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/Refugees

God of the Northerlies”  (Tune: ‘Matangi’ 10 10 6 10)      45 HoS
God of the northerlies, giver of grace;
warm and enveloping, fill every place.
Nurture the earth, water the seeds.
God of the northerlies, fulfil our needs.

Christ of the easterlies, life-giving Son;
earthly, renewing, in you we are one.
Hope is reborn, changing our hearts.
Christ of the easterlies, your peace impart.

Spirit of westerlies, gust through our lives;
shaking, disturbing the scheme we devise.
Teach us your truth, gift us your word,
God of the westerlies, faithfulness stirred.

God of the southerlies, polar defined,
crisply and sharply reshaping our minds.
Challenge our ways, strengthen our wills.
God of the southerlies, your love fulfils.

God of the north and the east, south and west,
Creative Process, by whom we are blest,
breeze through our lives, earnest and strong;
Spirit, keep blowing and lure us along.  
(Bill Bennett/Last verse adapted, RAEH)


I am Part of the Pulse of Creation
Words and Music: © Colin Gibson (2013). eMail: colin.gibson@clear.net.nz
I am part of the pulse of creation,
eternity caught in a moment of time,
part of the myst’ry
part of the beauty,
part of the wonderful gifting of God.

Mine is the world of the stars and the galaxies,
limitless energy, movement and mass,
mine the unfolding,
mine the far reaching,
gift of the infinite goodness of God.

I take my share in the act of creation,
finding new wonders, new worlds to explore;
faith’s evolution,
hope’s resolution,
loving in tune  with the music of God.

Born in the Spirit and waking to freedom,
seeking to grow to the measure of Christ,
part of the myst’ry,
part of the beauty, 
part of the wondrous creation of God.

Opening Sentences
In the beginning was creativity
All And the creativity was with God,
and the creativity was God.

All things came into being
through the mystery of creativity;
All Apart from creativity nothing
would have come into being. 
(Gordon Kaufman/ibc)

Act of Awareness
It is good to be alive!
To share life with each other
in this wonder-filled and evolving universe.
We are most grateful.

May wisdom dawn in us
so we may see all things in clarity.


We pray:
Calling God, you have gathered us into this community.
A place has been made for us.
Let what we say and do here
be real for us and honest to you
and prepare us for the life of the world.
May it be so!

Hymn  Creative Love(Tune: 'Truth from Above’ LM)      289 SLT

Creative love, our thanks we give

that this our world, is incomplete,
that struggle greets our will to live,
that work awaits our hands and feet.

That we are not yet fully wise,

that we are in the making still -

as friends who share one enterprise
and strive to blend with nature's will.

What though the future long delay,
and still with faults we daily cope?
It gives us that for which we pray,
a field for toil and faith and hope.

Since what we choose is what we are,

and what we love we yet shall be,

the goal may ever shine afar -

the will to reach it makes us free.  
(W deW Hyde)


"God Called Us" (Tune: ‘Duke Street’, 88 88)
God, you have called us to this hour:
now two or three or many claim
the promised gift of living power.
as your church meets in Jesus' name.

Open our minds and set us free
from spite and hurt, that we may face
the dread responsibility
of your church, meeting in this place.

Encouraged by the risk you take
in trusting us to do your will,
we dare to offer, for your sake,
all this church gath'ring can fulfil.  (J Wootton. © Stainer & Bell Ltd)
The people sit.           (Title and last line adapted by RAEHunt)

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

Let silence now be placed around us now, like a mantle.

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


Readings from our ReligiousTradition
Some readings from our broad religious tradition
will now be read by (NN) and (NN).

Hebrew Scriptures:
Isaiah 58:7-8, 9b-10 (Inclusive Text)

Thus says our God:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the homeless poor into your house;
clothe the one you see to be naked,
and turn not from your own kin.

Then will your light shine like the dawn
and your wound be quickly healed over.
Your integrity will go before you
and the glory of God behind you...

If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist,
the wicked word,
if you give your food to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness
and your shadows become like noon.


From the World Around us:
An extract from…
It’s Natural!  A 'Forgotten Alternative' for Progressive Spirituality
By Rex A E Hunt

No matter how beautiful some may consider it, a supernatural worldview, and the practices that reinforce it, anaesthetizes us to things we need to do if we are to create sustainability for our planet, our children, and their children. “Stripped of a divine plan, we are challenged to be active participants who can mould the world around us rather than simply passive recipients who engage, now and again, in acts of devotion with the hope of altering the course of events.” (Gretta Vosper)

So, where to start personally?  Well… start by taking a three year old child, (maybe your grandson or grand-daughter) for a walk along some wet-lands track. Do not plan to be in a hurry. Every twig. Every coloured stone. Every duck. Every small grasshopper or lizard to cross your path will be an occasion for closer ‘looking’ and excitement. Such is the enchantment of a three year old for the natural world. 

Start with your own life. With the fifty trillion cells of your body that are converting energy to make protein right now so you can read/hear these words. Or… with the awareness that the body you are carrying around now won’t be the body you’ll be carrying around seven years from now. It will have completely rebuilt itself from the inside out. 

Allow yourself to be shaped by this creativity. This wonder. Webs of culture, life, and cosmos, “resulting in unending successions of ever-evolving levels of living forms”. (Karl Peters)  Each day “lifts its head from the dew-strung grasses and offers new hope, new possibilities, extra chances”. (Gretta Vosper)  Because every moment is pregnant with possibility. The miracle of each moment awaits our sensual wonder. Hosannah! Not in the highest, but right here. Right now. This. Horizontal transcendence. Nature embedded in humanity. Humanity embedded in nature.

There is no good reason to believe that taking nature to heart leaves a person with any fewer spiritual benefits than taking to heart the teachings of supernaturalist traditions.


“Where Are We Going”
The last paragraph of Lloyd Geering’s
From the Big Bang to God/186

“… the future of the human race remains an open question. On the one hand we must take full account of the perilous crises already facing us; like black clouds on the horizon, they indicate an imminent period of storms that could lead to catastrophic outcomes. It does seem unlikely that humans worldwide will be able to muster the willpower and the unity of action to avoid them altogether. 

"On the other hand, we can draw hope from the Great Story of how we came to be here at all. It is a truly awe—inspiring universe that has brought us forth and, at least on this planet, has come to consciousness in us, displaying the human inventiveness, creativity and entrepreneurial skills that have helped to make us the creatures we are. And this potential may lead us to as—yet—unimaginable heights. 

"If our descendants survive and evolve to reach an even more exalted state of being than ours, they will have arrived at what our forbears long aimed for when in their traditions (Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim or Christian) they hoped, respectively, to enter Nirvana, the Promised Land, the unity of all nations, or the Kingdom of God.”


Traditional Gospel 1:
Matthew 6: 26, 28-29 (NRSV)

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap
nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they...?

And why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they neither toil nor spin,
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory
was not clothed like one of these.

“Consider the Lilies”
By Stephen Shick.  Consider the Lilies/1.

It is not newness we seek
but the fresh return of the eternal.
He said, the truth is not hidden in mountains,
it is not far off,
it is in your hand, your heart, your mouth.
‘So do it,’ he said.

He spoke in parables, mostly about money
and the truth it can't buy.

Consider the mustard seed, he said,
how it grows into the largest shrub.
From it, he said,
know your true wealth and power.

Consider the birds that nest in the shrub, he said,
how they sing in the spring.
From them, he said,
know your true heart's song.

Consider the lilies, he said,
and don't worry.
The truth is at hand.

With the seed and the lilies
nothing new arrives,
and even the mockingbird
sings songs that other birds once knew.

Nothing arrives with newness.
All is waiting to be reborn.


Traditional Gospel 2:
Matthew 5:21-24, 27-28, 31-35 (Scholars Edition)

• As you know, our ancestors were told,
‘You must not kill’, and ‘Whoever kills will be subject to judgment’.
But I tell you: Those who are angry with a companion
will be brought before a tribunal.

And those who say to the companion, ‘You moron,’
will be subject to the sentence of the court.

And whoever says, ‘You idiot,’ deserves the fires of Gehenna.

So, even if you happen to be offering your gift at the altar
and recall that your friend has some claim against you,
leave your gift there at the altar.

First go and be reconciled with your friend,
and only then return and offer your gift…

• As you know, we once were told,
‘You are not to commit adultery.’
But I tell you: Those who leer at a woman and desire her
have already committed adultery with her in their hearts…

• We were once told,
‘Whoever divorces his wife should give her a bill of divorce.’
But I tell you: Everyone who divorces his wife
(except in the case of infidelity) makes her the victim of adultery;
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery…

• Again, as you know, our ancestors were told,
‘You must not break an oath,’ and ‘Oaths sworn
in the name of God must be kept.’
But I tell you: Don’t swear at all.  Don’t invoke heaven, because
it is God’s footstool, and don’t invoke Jerusalem, because
it is the city of the great king…

Contemporary Exploration HERE or HERE

Silence for Private Reflection


Litany: Web of Life
The people stand as they are able

All We create a web of life.
v1 This is finally the time to let go of that crazy notion
that we can live separate and aloof from one another.

All We create a web of life.
v2  This is the time at last
that we can come home to each other,
to our mutual belonging.

All We create a web of life.
v3  And we create a web of life
out of which every single one of us
can use everything our stories have given us.

All We create a web of life.
v4  Every part of our lives... even the cruelty,
even the abuse, even the addictions,
even the loneliness, even the failures...

All We create a web of life.
v5  A web of life is created within
which you can rest in that knowing.

v1  Because out of that you can act.
Out of that, all power is yours.
Out of that, you travel light.
Out of that, you can step forward.

v2 We create a web of life.
All  Let every encounter be a homecoming
as we step forward now for the healing of our world.
v1 The world is not going to be saved by good people or noble people.
v2 The world is going to be healed by ordinary people,
like you and me,
  who are not afraid of pain
and who are not afraid to love each other.  (
S Lammer)


"Evolving Affirmation of Faith”
By Gretta Vosper

v1   I am human.
My ancestors were stars;
their atoms move in me yet.
v2   I am human.
My life is intertwined with your life,
with all that is animate in the world,
and with Earth itself.
So, too, is my future.

v3   I am human.
My understanding of reality is limited
to what my mind can comprehend,
my senses appreciate,
and my courage bear.
I am human.
And I see, too,
that you are also.

Sharing 'The Peace
Let us take some time 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
Nothing is Lost… (Tune: ‘Greenlane’)   50 FFS
Nothing is lost on the breath of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's breath is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No feather too light, no hair too fine,
no flower too brief in its glory;
no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,
but is counted and told in God's story.

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God sees with love and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No journey too far, no distance too great,
no valley of darkness too blinding;
no creature too humble, no child too small
for God to be seeking, and finding.

Nothing is lost to the heart of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's heart is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No impulse of love, no office of care,
no moment of life in its fulness;
no beginning too late, no ending too soon,
but is gathered and known in God's goodness.  (Colin Gibson)


"God is Surroundly Inherent" (Tune: "Wunderbarer Konig", 668D 33. 66)  14 SNS2

All the cosmos beaming;

All creation gleaming;
So we stand in awe and silence.

Galaxies are dancing;

Stars, the night enhancing;

Constellations claim our reverence.
God's own heart

Seen in part,

Shines in all the brilliance;

Shows forth God's transcendence.

Microscopic sources

Hold such mighty forces

In the atom's sacred magic.

Germs can be our masters;

Makers of disasters;

So minute, yet cause 'the tragic'.

Smaller still

Genes, with skill,

Breed God's inborn presence
In our human essence.

God is all, surrounding;

Source of life abounding;

Ground of being, spirit swelling.

Inmost at our centre,

There we all encounter
God as love and grace indwelling.
We adore

Worshipped down through history,

God the wondrous mystery.  (
George Stuart)


With the Children
The children gather on the conversation mat


"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)

Teachers/helpers/Community Worker come forward.
Children/parents form a circle around them.

v1   Once upon a time, in the beginning,
a labour of love was undertaken.

And a place was established where children
might find learning and love and acceptance,
and it was called Children's Sunday Club.

And the labour of love progressed.
And it was very good.

v2  Let us reflect on he importance of what we are doing today... 
We celebrate and give thanks for all teachers, helpers, musicians, community
workers, children and parents,
who are part of (NN) Sunday Club this new year.

May they be blessed in their ministry.
May we always be prepared to offer our support,
that they may never feel alone in their work.

And we celebrate the children in our midst…
We wish you a sense of wonder.
We wish you companionship that you may appreciate solitude.
We wish you a friend who will understand you, and
understanding so that you may have a friend.

We wish you may become all that you wish to be, and
more than you hope that you can be.  (Adapted. B Kaufmann)

v1 And the labourers looked at all that had been accomplished,
and the people rejoiced,
for it was very good.

Teachers/children return to their seats

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Today We Celebrate  (Tune: ‘St. Peter’. 86 86) 
Today we come to celebrate 
the start of a new year. 
With joyful hearts we dedicate 
the faith we hold so dear.

 With each new year our children grow,
they blossom in our sight.
They live with zeal and help to show
love's joy and deep delight. 

With understanding and in trust
we've built a sacred space.
Through learning, teaching, sharing too
our children we embrace.

 In gratitude we name our thanks
for smiles and fun and play.
We pray for young hearts in our midst,
for love to guide their way. 

With trusting hearts and eager minds
we welcome this new day,
to celebrate community
and love that guides our way.   (© Rev. Peggy McDonagh, 2003 All rights reserved)

The Offerings
Let us bring our offerings forward
as a symbol of our ministry in this place.

The Presentation
In a world so full of what is wonderful,
ever changing, ever surprising us with life’s
power and beauty, may we accept with gratitude,
all that gladdens us, and with fortitude
all that brings us grief.

Let us be learning always,
from all that we see and do, and
from all that happens to us.  
(Adapted. A Powell Davies/lth)

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:
May our thoughts be filled with transformation,
May our words reflect the yearnings of our hearts.
And may the spirit that binds within us as we gather
All  Hallow each and every passing moment
we know here together.   (Adapted. Gretta Vosper/ab)

And so we take a 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  God - heart of the world: 
revealed through every aspect of creation:
understood through our awareness.

May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly
so that your love is reflected in the way we live.

May we always be thankful for the food we eat
and the friends we have.

May we forgive those who transgress against us 
and be forgiven for our own.

In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat
and not be compromised by hesitation.
Through our freedom, may your justice
be seen and heard and experienced 
forever and ever. Amen.  (Sherri J Weinberg)


HymnWhere Are You Going?(Tune: ‘Pilgrim Tune’, 97 66 7)    86 (v1-3) RP
Where are you going? God only knows.
Walk on pilgrim, pilgrim sing.
It's not where you're going.
It's how you are changing.
Come on pilgrim! Pilgrim sing!

Walk with another, walk on as one.
Come on pilgrim, pilgrim sing.
Your friends will walk with you,
and others will join you.
Walk on pilgrims! Pilgrims sing!

Walk midst the water, walk through the fire.
Walk on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
Your God will walk with you,
your God will protect you.
Come on pilgrims! Pilgrims sing!
People remain standing

Parting Words
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place…
The Community Candle is extinguished

Now may our wisdom show itself
in deeds of compassion
and in acts of understanding.
May the fruits of the spirit
be apparent in our lives.  (Adapted. P R Giles)

Words of Blessing
May the God you see in all the colours of creation
arouse in you a sense of awe and wonder.
May the God who is a sacred presence be real to you.
May the God who is a source of inspiration and courage
keep calling you forward.

May your God go with you, and bless you.  (Francis Macnab)
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont.).Where Are You Going?(Tune: ‘Pilgrim Tune’, 97 66 7)   86 (v4-6) RP
Climb up the mountain, follow the sun.
Come on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
The leaves turn to auburn
to welcome the autumn.
Walk on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!

God is behind you, God is ahead.
Walk on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
The winter may chill you,
the spring will enchant you.
Come on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!

Summer is warming, spirit of joy.
Come on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.
Then dance as you travel,
sing 'hail resurrection’.

Walk on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!  (Adapted. Andrew Pratt)
The people sit after the hymn

'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles


Morning tea is now served.
You are invited to share in this time of fellowship

You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you
to share with another member of your family, or with a friend

I recommend the use of
LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches

Some of the Resources used in Shaping this Liturgy:
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
Davies, A. P.
The Language of the Heart. A Book of Prayers. Washington, DC. All Soul’s Church, 1956.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
Funk, R. W. & R. W. Hoover. The Five Gospels. The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. New York. MacMillan Press, 1993.
Geering, L. G.
From the Big Bang to God. Our Awe-inspiring Journey of Evolution. Wellington. Steele Roberts, 2013
Holy Bible. NRSV. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.
Kaufman, G. In the Beginning… Creativity. Minniapolis. Fortress Press, 2004.
McIlhagga, K.
The Green Heart of the Snowdrop. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2004.
McRae-McMahon, D.
Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE, 1993.
(RP) Pratt, A.
Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a Spiritual Journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
Shick, S. M.
Consider The Lilies. Meditations. Boston: Skinner House Books, 2004.
Singing The Living Tradition. Boston: UUA, 1993.
(SNS2) Stuart, G.
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto: G Stuart, 2009.
Vosper, G.
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.

Web sites/Other:
McKeeman, Giles, Lammer, Kaufmann. UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Francis Macnab
. St Michael’s Uniting Church Web site. VIC: Melbourne.
"God Called Us".
J Wootton. Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
Sherri Weinberg. 2004. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. <http://www.questcentre.ca/>
Gretta Vosper. Direct from the author. Used with permission.
Colin Gibson. “Pulse of Creation”. Direct from the author. Used with permission.
Peggy McDonagh. “Today we Celebrate”. One of several resources list at St Stephen’s Non-Theistic Project. <http://stephen.srv.ualberta.ca/publications/non-theistic-liturgy-resources/#sthash.0Sd5KwzN.wLO2Tlw4.dpbs>