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.

29 March 2020. Lent 5A. (Purple).
Celebrating the Liturgy of the Banquet

Worth Pondering
"When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms,
don’t say to yourself, 'It looks like the end of the world.’

"What you’re seeing is love in action.  What you’re seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other,
for our grandparents, for our imuno-compromised siblings, for people we will never meet.

"People will lose jobs over this.  Some will lose their businesses.  And some will lose their lives.  All the more reason to take a moment,
when you’re out on your walk, or on your way to the store, or just watching the news,
to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.

"Let it fill you and sustain you.  It isn’t the end of the world.
It is the most remarkable act of social solidarity we may ever witness.”
(Paul Williams)

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, emerging,
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

The creator of life and the giver of life is in our midst.
Life in all its fullness is God’s offer to all.  (Adapt.WARC)

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
"Wake, Now My Senses" 
(Tune: Slane',                                                            298 SLT
Wake, now my senses, and hear the earth call;
feel the deep power of being in all;
keep, with the web of creation your vow,
giving, receiving as love shows us how.

Wake, now my reason, reach out to the new,
join with each pilgrim who quests for the true;
honour the beauty and wisdom of time;
suffer your limit, and praise the sublime.

Wake, now compassion, give heed to the cry;
voices of suffering fill the wide sky;
take as your neighbour both stranger and friend,
praying and striving their hardship to end.

Wake, now my conscience, with justice your guide;
join with all people whose rights are denied;
take not for granted a privileged place;
God's love embraces the whole human race. 
Thomas J S Mikelson


Here Is A Canvas(Tune:
Here is a canvas as broad as creation,
here is a palette of life and of light.
Here God is painting through each generation,
mixing fresh pigments to move or delight.

Artists have joined in the bright celebration,
capturing images, pictures that shine;
telling new stories, recording our hist’ry,
moments of harmony,  dancing through time.

Others reflecting, exploring and shaping,
seek to imagine, to let colours flow,
using their skills as they share in creation,
changing perspectives as images grow.

Now let us join in this same acclamation,
challenge perceptions and offer new ways,
new ways of seeing to share re-creation,
now in this place, in this time, in our days.  © Andrew Pratt 24/4/2010

Opening Sentences
Praise to Creativity God, present through the ages,
source of our living.
Praise to Creativity God, dancing within our lives,
transforming and overflowing our lives.

Act of Awareness
We have gathered in this sacred place, again.
May we continue to create here a circle of love,
ever expanding,
ever growing.

A place of wisdom.
A place of connection.
A place of hope.


We pray:
May our coming and our going be blessed,
this day and forever more.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  Brother, Sister...” (Tune: 'Servant Song', 87.87)
Brother, sister I'm beside you,
Let me be as Christ to you,
Pray that I might have the grace
to let you be as Christ to me.

We are pilgrims on a journey
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will share your problems with you
I'll support you in your space
I will help you run your distance
I will look you in the face.

I'll remember that God made you
I'll not take your dignity
I'll encourage you in your skills
to create and feel and be.

Brother, sister I'm beside you,
Let me be as Christ to you,
Pray that I might have the grace
to let you be as Christ to me.  (Richard Gillard)

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
I invite you now into a time of silence

May this time of silence together
renew our hope
refresh our courage
lift our spirits
restore us in faith.


This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.

Excerpt from his books, To Bless the Space Between Us
Ordering Info: https://johnodonohue.com/store
Co. Clare / Ireland - 2020

Music of Reflection


Wisdom from our Religious Traditions
A reflection from a modern poet and a story from our biblical tradition
shall be read by (NN).

“Colour of Beauty” (Part 5) - Blue
Extracts from John O’Donohue. Divine Beauty. The Invisible Embrace

Distance and light often conspire to create unexpected beauty.
On certain summer days the dark mountains become suffused with delicate blue fog.
In the distance the mountains lose their coarse eroded aspect and assume the dream of being shrouded in delicate muslin of blue…

Distance loves blue. More often than not distance will choose to express its faraway-ness in blue.
Somehow it feels appropriate that distance and loss have the same colour and the colour of such sorrow is blue…

Yet blue is a strange colour. It holds night and day within it.
Though the land is mostly without blue, this makes clearance to intensify the blue of sky and water.
The earth could have no more perfect covering that the sky. Earth and sky complement and counterpoint each other so perfectly because each is invested with the predominantly absent colour of the other.
The earth is green, the sky has no green. The sky is blue, the earth has no blue…

Blue seems to be the colour of the infinite - an endless expanse where darkness and brightness dwell in blue light.


From the World around us:
“Australian Street”
By Brenda Saunders. Eureka Street, Vol 22, No. 10. 21/5/2012

I know it's autumn when exotic imports

lose their cargo of leaves

Empty branches startle the sky

Northern cut-outs curling in the sun

catch on fence wire at the school

flooding gutters after rain

In summer the gumtree
in our yard
slims down, mindful of the dry spell

Oily crescents pressed underfoot

soften the asphalt under the line

Loose bark hangs in strips for weeks

like forgotten underwear
Gum nuts line the pathway to the bin

tiny hulls, our hidden progeny.

Traditionl Gospel:
Matthew 26: 6-13. 
(Inclusive Text)

While Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment,
and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.

But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said,
‘Why this waste? This ointment could have been sold for a large sum,
and the money given to the poor.’

But Jesus, aware of this, said to them,
‘Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me.
For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.

‘Bypouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial

‘Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world,
what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’

Contemporary Exploration HERE and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection


A Litany: Life in All its Fullness (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

Bless you Wise and Holy One,
for your down-to-earth vision
of the best of what human life can be.
All  Bless you Wise and Holy One,
for your call to life in all its fullness…

v1 when we honour who we are as easily
as we are enthralled by what others want us to be;

v2  when we stop pursuing happiness and let it embrace us;

v3  when we love not in the hope of getting
but for the joy of giving;

v4  when love is not what-you-can-do-for-me
but what-we-can-be together;

v5  when we choose our leaders not for their image