Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:

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

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.

15 March 2020. Lent 3A. (Purple).

Worth Pondering
“To claim a miracle is to make an interpretation of faith,
not just a statement of fact”
John Dominic Crossan)

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.

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)
          Multi-sensory artwork
OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Slides 

Refreshment Station/Water Basins
Pottery basins are set on stands near the entrance to the Gathering space. 
Attendees are invited to dip their hands in the cool water in the basins as they arrive. 
Or to rinse each other’s hands. 

That we may relax, be refreshed, and prepare for this time together.

(Note: A small sign is placed above the basin explaining that as they dip their hands in the water, they are invited to relax and try to mindfully set aside or release for a time anything that might be preventing them from being fully present—each traveller rinsing the “dust from the road”).


(A suggestion of other words)
We come together from our separate lives,
each of us bringing our concerns, our preoccupations,
        our hopes, and our dreams.

We are not yet fully present.
The traffic, the last-minute cooking, the final details still cling to us.
Our bodies hold the rush of the past few hours.

It is now time to let go of these pressures and really arrive…   

When you are ready, repeat silently to yourself: ‘Hineini’ or ‘Here I am’.
Hineini is used in the Torah to signify being present
in body, mind, and spirit.

It means settling into where we are and simply being “here”. (Adapted/Nan Fink Gene)

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

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/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,
a time for others and a time for oneself.
But all these times are God’s time
and now is the time to be aware(Adapt. William L Wallace/htw)


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)


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/Song  When our Heart is in a Holy Place”                                                        1008 STJ
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.


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.


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. 

The people sit after the hymn

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 the Gathering
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.


Presentation of Water Basins
Words which acknowledge that the dust of many roads and many life experiences has been rinsed into the basins, and calls for the contents of the basins and the gathering to be transformed, renewed, and more fully alive

The dust of many roads and may life experiences
has been washed in this refreshing water.
         For this ordinary place is a sacred place.

May we
greet one another with open hearts and minds;
inspire each other to consider new questions
and seek deeper meaning;
and cultivate both wisdom and compassion.

And may this time together empower us to take some new steps
so all our living is transforming and the
yearning of our hearts become reality.
The bowls of water are removed from the Gathering space and placed on a garden

Centering Silence
Let us take a moment to settle into the 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)

Music of Reflection


Wisdom from our Religious Traditions
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