Lent3A.15.3.2020

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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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.


A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
15 March 2020. Lent 3A. (Purple).

Worth Pondering
xxxx


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 leadrs,
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

xxx

xxx

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Let there be joy in our coming together this morning.
And let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

xxx

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Miracle of Life(Tune: ‘Ode to Joy’, 87.87D)                                                       7 SiF
Miracle of life unfolding,
dazzling to our watching eyes,
far beyond full comprehension,
secrets of the earth and sky.
Each advance of understanding
each new piece of knowledge gained
leaves the soul amazed and humbled,
child-like wonder yet remains.

Nature teams with life abundant,
stunning in variety,
shape and size and colour diff’ring,
wondrous in complexity.
From a high, majestic mountain
to the contours of a shell,
Life has much to teach of diff’rence,
Rich we be to learn it well.

Filled with joy we stand in wonder
at the life in which we share,
Gratefully we find our spirits
sensing glory everywhere.
Sun and moon and tiny creature
in their beauty stir the heart,
leading us to sacred duty,
call us well to do our part.  © Scott Kearns 2008
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
There is a time for everything in creation:
Mn  a time for light and a time for darkness,
Wn  a time for sound and a time for silence,
Mn  a time for action and a time for reflection,
Wn  
a time for others and a time for oneself.
But all these times are God’s time
All  
and now is the time to be aware(Adapt. William L Wallace/htw)

OR

There is a song in my soul.
It rises from the very depths demanding expression.
All  I can only hear this song in the very deepest silence.

The melody is compassion. The lyrics are service.
All  The rhythm is activity. The harmony is fellowship.

The song will end when I become the song.
All  The song, the singer, and the singing.
All become One.

Fred Stella. http://www.c3exchange.org/bulletins/Bulletin03_02_14.pdf

Act of Awareness
Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,
 nourish the life of the world in our care:
 gift of great wonder, ours to surrender,
 trust for the children tomorrow will bear.  
(Shirley Erena Murray/tel)

OR

We pray:
Eternal God, we offer thanks and praise
for the opportunities we have
to celebrate your presentness in life this day.

My we be surrounded with a very real sense of this presentness
as we spend this time together.
May it be so.

Hymn When our Heart is in a Holy Place”                                              1008 STJ
Refrain:
When our heart is in a holy place,
When our heart is in a holy place,
We are blessed with love
And amazing grace,
When our heart is in a holy place.

When we trust the wisdom in each of us,
Ev’ry colour every creed and kind,
And we see our faces in each other’s eyes,
Then our heart is in a holy place.

Refrain:

When we tell our story from deep inside,
And we listen with a loving mind,
And we hear our voices in each other’s words,
Then our heart is in a holy place.

Refrain:

When we share the silence of sacred space,
And the God of our Heart stirs with in,
And we feel the power of each other’s faith,
Then our heart is in a holy place. 
JPoley

Refrain:
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.

CENTERING

Silence
Let us take a moment to settle into the silence.
(Silence)

May this time of shared silence reveal to us
a strength of the spirit which will
renew us, in our journey towards faith. 
(Bob Holmes)
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our Religious Tradition
Readings from our broad religious tradition shall be read by (NN) and (NN).

The Colour of Beauty (Part 3) - White
Extracts from John O’Donohue.  Divine Beauty. The Invisible Embrace

When we come to glimpse how colour arises, we begin to understand what a rich symbolic world colour suggests. Colour is not simply a surface pigment or covering. The very heart of an object glows through its colour, and colour is always reaching toward us. Without our eyes there is no colour...

The beauty of colour is an intricate play of presence and absence. A colour is never alone, for each reflected colour arises through the interplay of other hidden colours which we do not see. After the perished paleness of winter, the sight of a field of new spring grass is pleasing in its hope and urgency. Yet such a field of breathing greenness is the achievement of chlorophyll, which has breathed in the red and blue of the sunlight to reflect and release green. 

Colour is always a dance where the vital partners are invisible…

When we behold the magnificent and vanishing raiment of autumn colour, we are seeing a double valediction, the inner leave-taking of the hidden companion colours without which the outer autumn colours could never have attained visibility… All colour has its origin in the brightness of white.

Traditional Gospel:
John 4: 5-7, 9-15, 19-26, 39-42. 
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus came to the Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well is there and Jesus, tired by the journey,
sat straight down by the well.

It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her,
'Give me a drink.'

The Samaritan woman said to Jesus,
'What?  You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?'

Jesus replied:
'If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you:
Give me a drink, you would have been the one to ask,
and he would have given you living water.'

'You have no bucket', she answered 'and the well is deep:
how could you get this living water?
Are you greater than our ancestors Leah, Rachel and Jacob
who gave us this well and drank from it
with their descendants and flocks?'

Jesus replied:
'Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again;
but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again:
the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside,
welling up to eternal life.'

The woman said,
'Give me some of that water, so that I may never get 
and never have to come here again to draw water…'

'I see you are a prophet.' said the woman.
'Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain,
while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.'

Jesus said:
'Believe me, woman; the hour is coming when you will worship God
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

‘You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know;
for salvation comes from the Jews.
But the hour will come - in fact it is here already - when
true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth:
that is the kind of worshipper our God wants.

‘God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.'

The woman said to Jesus, 'I know the Messiah is coming - the Anointed One –  who will tell us everything.’
'I who am speaking to you,' said Jesus 'I am that one.'

Many Samaritans of the town had believed in Jesus
on the strength of the woman's testimony when she said,
'He told me all I have ever done,'
so when the Samaritans came up to Jesus,
they begged him to stay with them.

Jesus stayed for two days, and when he spoke to them
many more came to believe; and they said to the woman,
'Now we no longer believe because of what you told us;
we have heard this one ourselves
who we know really is the saviour of the world.'

Contemporary Exploration
Also a sermon by Gregory Jenks HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together a celebration of faith.
The people stand as they are able

What a joyful celebration when we come together
as a community of people on the Way,
All  a network of worshippers with common purpose,
a united walk towards the promised land.

Jesus goes ahead of us as the shepherd leads the sheep
All  and we hear the song of the redeemed
as prisoners are released, the blind given sight,
the exploited and oppressed are given new hope,
and the rainbow sign arcs above the pilgrims
who walk together to the city of peace.
  JJohansen-Berg/sco

OR

A Litany: The Womb of Stars
By Joy Atkinson. (No. 445, Singing The Living Tradition)

v1  The womb of stars embraces us;
remnants of their fiery furnaces
pulse through our veins.
All  We are of the stars, 
the dust of explosions 
cast across space.

v2  We are of the earth:
we breathe and live in the breath
of ancient plants and beasts.
All  Their cells nourish the soil; 
we build our communities 
on their harvest of gifts.

v1  Our fingers trace the curves carved
in clay and stone
by forebears unknown to us.
All  We are a part 
of the great circle of humanity 
gathered around the fire, the 
hearth, the altar.

v2  We gather anew this day
to celebrate our common heritage.
All  May we recall in gratitude 
all that has given us birth.

Sharing 'The Peace'
This is a house of God.  A place of peace.
A place where we befriend one another.
(Mitchell & Ricciuti/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/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Southern Hemisphere
On a Cool and Autumn Dawn(Tune: ‘Te Ripeka’)                                              110 HoS
On a cool and autumn dawn,
as the sun awoke the eastern sky,
we decided you were such a risk,
we abandoned you to die –
on a cool and autumn dawn.

On a cool and autumn morn,
as the sun began to climb above,
we nailed you to a kauri beam,
as your wounded eyes spoke of love –
on a cool and autumn morn.

On a cool and autumn noon,
as the sun lit every watching face,
you forgave our cries of heartless hate
with compassion and with grace –
on a cool and autumn noon

On a cool and autumn day,
as the sun began its western slide,
‘It is finished!’ came your cry of hope,
confident of Eastertide –
on a cool and autumn day.

On a cool and autumn eve,
in the fading light when hope seemed lost,
in the tomb we laid your mortal bones,
waiting for God’s Pentecost –
on a cool and autumn eve.  (Bill Bennett).

OR

Northern Hemisphere
Spirit of Springtime(Tune: ‘Verdure’)                                                              59 FFS
Spirit if springtime in creation’s garden,
tingling the senses,
tickling the earth,
sap that is rising where the seed was sleeping,
push for a new world
coming to birth!

Heard in the song that sweeps from bush to ocean,
seen in the sunlight,
felt in the blood,
surge of delight at every greening, growing,
God in the promise,
blossom from bud.

Fresh as the rain that washes clean our vision,
keen as the wind on
Pentecost day,
bright as the Spirit in the life of Jesus,
bold as the mindset
thinking his way.

Springtime of hope from out of winter’s clutches,
warm us to witness
woo us to see
beauty will break through rotted leaves and ashes,
joy will erupt, and
life will leap free!  
(Shirley Erena Murray)

Offering

Presentation
In a demanding, noisy world,
may we have moments when we can
hear the sound of a bird, and
hear the rustle of leaves on a tree branch.

In a demanding, noisy world, may we have time
to stop,
to wait,
to listen…

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? 
(xxx/jke)

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this safe space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs 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 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:
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Abba/Lord's Prayer and in your original language, as that is appropriate

All  Indwelling God,
infused throughout all existence,
we honour you with many names.

Your realm is within the human heart.
We accept life for all that it can be,
on earth as throughout all creation.

May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth,
and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own.

May we ever move from separation toward union,
to live in grace, with love in our hearts,
forever and ever. Amen.  
Fred F Keip.

PARTING

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Spirit of God, Creation's Force
(Tune: ‘Fulda’, 88.88)
Spirit of God, creation's force,
and power of evolution's course,
gave breath of life to humankind