Mother.Easter5A.10.5.2020

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
10 May 2020. Easter 5A. (White).
Mother's Day

Worth Pondering
“Tears not only represent feelings but are also lenses
through which we gain an alternative vision”
(
Estes)

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


GATHERING

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 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

We clasp the hands of those that go before us,
And the hands of those who come after us.
All   We enter the little circle of each other’s arms,
And the larger circle of lovers,
whose hands are joined in a dance,

And the larger circle of all creatures,
Passing in and out of life, who move also in a dance,
All   To a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it,
Except in fragments
(Wendell Berry)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The community candle is lit

We light this flame to honour our past.
We light this flame to endorse our present as a community.
We light this flame to symbolise our future.

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, 10. Terrorist Attacks, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) Some specific resources on Terrorism HERE
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
"I Am That Great And Fiery Force
(Tune: 'Duke St. 88.88)                                             27 SLT
I am that great and fiery force
sparkling in every thing that lives;
in shining of the river's course,
in greening grass that glory gives.

I shine in glitter on the seas,
in burning sun, in moon and stars.
In unseen wind, in verdant trees
I breathe within, both near and far.

And where I breathe there is no death,
and meadows glow with beauties rife.
I am in all, the spirit's breath,
the thundered word, for I am Life. 
Hildegard of Bingen, 12th Cent.
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
For our community gathered here,
for the spirit that called us together and drew us to this place:
All  
Let us give thanks.

For moments we have shared with others;
for times when we have reached out across barriers of distance and fear;
for times when others have reached out to us:
All  Let us again give thanks.

For our weaving together out of many separate selves
this hour of celebration and reflection:
All We give thanks this day
(JMauldin/adapted)

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.

OR

We pray:
The Spirit of Creativity is all around us.
We are grateful for the possibility of being ever more aware, human and alive.
Our world touches us in so many ways.

May we consider all that is - the beautiful,
and that which we don't want to read of and think about.

May the joys and the concerns of this present day
move and jolt us to our greater selves
and our greater thoughts.  Robert K
leinheksel/adapted
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  "We Celebrate the Web of Life" (Tune: CM)                                                    175 SLT
We celebrate the web of life
its magnitude we sing;
for we can see divinity
in every living thing.

A fragment of the perfect whole
in cactus and in quail,
as much in tiny barnacle
as in the great blue whale.

Of ancient dreams we are the sum;
our bones link stone to star,
and bind our future worlds to come
with worlds that were and are.

Respect the water, land, and air
which gave all creatures birth;
protect the lives of all that share
the glory of the earth.  (Alicia S Carpenter)

OR

God of Gumtree and of Quandong”  (Tune ‘Blaenwern’)
God of gumtree and of quandong,
granite rocks and rolling plain;
God of pasture sheep and cattle,
fallow land and crops and grain:
You are always here around us
even when we do not know.
Help us realise your presence
that our Spirit life may grow.

Ploughing, seeding, patient waiting
for the harvest of the soil;
Shearing, branding, culling, feeding,
You are with us in our toil.
In the workshop, store and office,
classroom, kitchen, garden, too.
Help us see your gift and glory,
serve you well in all we do.

Scattered in our congregations
yet one body called to be;
reaching out to fellow Christians,
serving the community.
Thanks to You for love that binds us;
for the strength to do your will.
Father keep us true and faithful;
may we love and serve you still. 
Neville Threlfall.
The people sit after the hymn

Welcome
In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are gathering here 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.

CENTERING

Meditation
"Spirit of Life"
By Barbara Hamilton-Holway

Spirit of life, in us and around us,
here is our chance, once again,
to live like we wish the world would live.

May we find within ourselves
the courage to be who we are.

May we know when it is time to listen
and when it is time to speak.

May we trust ourselves to be the ones to find
the words that need to be said
or to do what needs to be done.

May we trust one another
and know there are many ways to go through life.

May we know that
though we cannot change some of what life gives to us,
we can choose how we deal with what we are given.

We are coming into our power,
and together we can make possible justice and love.
We are all connected;
we depend upon one another more than we know.

We are one body.
So be it.
Blessed be.

Centering Silence
There is a moment when noise ceases.
When the busy world is quiet
and the day's work is done.

In that moment... in this silence...
may we know God's presentness and God's peace.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
Reader:  May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this/these reading/s.
All  
And may our minds be fertile soil
in which it/they may grow strong and true. 
(Gretta Vosper/ab)

• “To My Mother”
By Akbar Ahmed.

When I walk at night alone
in the deep wadis of her sobs

or when I know that each time I drive fast
or laze the reply to her letters;

when I know that at midnight
she sits up praying to her God
to keep me warm and whole,

when I know that she will still bless me
though I give her eyes cause to tears,

when I know that all my warts and ways
will turn to gold at her simple touch,

then I see through her the God she sits rotating her
beads to and then I know that her God
will always be there for me to reach out and touch.

OR

Goddess of the Leafy vine,
You who sprout from the brown soil
Of creation and are yet diving;
You who creep along the earth
And wind up tree trunks to see the sky;
You who flourish with greenness
And burst forth with ripe red fruit;
Send your church into the world
As the fragile tendril of your love
Longing to gain its foothold:
That all peoples become one with Christ
And dwell with you as Easter people,
Together with You and the Holy Spirit,
World without end.  Amen.
(Mary Kathleen Speegle Schmitt, Seasons of the Feminine Divine: Christian 
Feminist Prayers for the Liturgical Cycle, NY. Crossroad. 1993)

• Mary 4: 1 - 5:9  (A New New Testament)

When the Blessed One had [finished teaching],
he greeted them all, saying, “Peace be with you!

“Bear my peace within yourselves!
Beware that no one lead you astray saying, ‘Look over here!’  or ‘Look over there!’
For the Child of Humanity is within you!
Follow it!

“Those who seek it will find it.
Go then and proclaim the good news of the realm.

“Do not lay down any rules beyond what I determined for you,
nor give a law like the lawgiver,
lest you be confined by it.”

When he had said this, he departed.

But they were pained.
They wept greatly saying, “How shall we go to the nations
and proclaim the good news of the Child of Humanity?

“If they did not spare him, how will they spare us?”

Then Mary stood up.
She greeted them all, and said to her brothers and sisters,
“Do not weep and be pained, nor doubt,
for all his grace will be with you and shelter you.

“But rather let us praise his greatness,
for he has prepared us and made us Humans.”

When Mary said this,
she turned their heart to the Good,
and they began to discuss the words of the Savior.

OR

• John 14:1-7a.  (Inclusive Text, adapted)

Jesus said to the disciples:
'Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house, if there were not, I should have told you.

'I am now going to prepare a place for you and after I have gone to prepare you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am, there may you be too.

'You know the way to the place where I am going.'

Thomas said to him,
“We do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus said:
'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Nobody can come to the One who sent me except through me.
If you know me, you know the One who sent me.'

Contemporary Exploration
And I reckon Marcelo Gleiser’s article from 2014 is also worth reflecting on

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Litany of Women's Voices (Optional)
v1  Mother God
Spirit-filled Woman
Source of all living things
It was you who breathed life into me.

v2  In your likeness I was formed.
The darkness of your sacred womb enwraps me in the silence of the Holy One
Your creative energy pulsates through every fibre of my being.
You birth forth life within me.

v3  Your abundant breasts continue to sustain my very being.
You carry me close to your heart
And sing your song of love to me.

v4  You hold me close to your heart
And sing your song of love to me.
You hold me close to you and comfort me.
Cradled in your arms, I am at peace.

v5  You bathe me with life-giving waters of your giftedness.
Reflected in your eyes is my dignity as woman.
You nurture me and guide me

v1-5  To proclaim my sacredness as woman of God
You call me forth to image your compassion, love and joy
To a broken world.
All  Together we dance life's passionate song.  (Mary Kemen/w)

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment 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

OR

Namaste
Facing the person with right hand on your heart and a slight bow of the head…

The Divine in me honours the Divine in you.
OR

The Light in me recognises the Light in you.
OR

The spirit within me sees the spirit within you.

CELEBRATING

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
"You Hold Us With a Tender Parent's Hand"  (Tune: "Song 1", Orlando Gibbons)                     152 HoS
You hold us with a tender parent's hand,
empower when the load is hard to bear,
uplift us when we hesitate or fall,
surround us with your unremitting care.
You give us courage when our faith is weak;
guide all our deeds, inspire the words we speak.

We give you thanks for unexpected joys,
a sudden smile, reunion with a friend,
delight of violets' fragrance in the air,