Revd Rex A E Hunt
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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.

6 September 2020. Pentecost 14A/Creation 1A. (Green).
Forest Sunday
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little,
and builds itself. It’s called a tree”
(George Monbiot)

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/Video 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration (Sung, Solo voice)
Be Still… (Tune: ‘Be Still and Know That I Am God’)
Be still and feel the presence of God,
the presence pulsing, pulsing through Earth, 
be still and feel the pulse of God.

Be still and hear the Spirit of God,
the Spirit breathing, breathing through Earth,
be still and hear the breath of God.

Be still, behold the glory of God,
the glory filling, filling this Earth,
be still, behold the face of God.  (Norman C Habel)
(The gong is sounded three times)

The God of the forests be with you.
All  And also with you.

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit in silence

v2  Fountain of life...
Pulse of life...
Breath of life...
All  Earth is filled with the presentness of God.

v1  A planet filled with the presentness of God
All  quivering in the forests,
vibrating in the land,
pulsating in the wilderness,
shimmering in the rivers.
v2  Together this day, let us sense
the face of God in all creation. (Adapted. Norman Habel/soc)

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) Some specific resources on Terrorism
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Morning, So Far To See(Tune: ‘Schonster herr Jesu’, 66.96.68)                               42 SLT
Morning, so fair to see,
night, veiled in mystery –
glorious the earth and resplendent skies!
Pilgrims, we march along,
singing our joyous song,
as through an earthly paradise.

Tall are the verdant trees;
deep are the flashing seas;
glorious each wonder the seasons bring.
Brighter is faith’s surmise,
singing in pilgrim eyes,
from which our waking spirits spring.

Age after age we rise,
‘neath the eternal skies,
into the light from the shadowed past:
still shall our pilgrim song,
buoyant and brave and strong,
resound while life and mountains last.  (Vincent B Silliman)


"O For A Thousand Trees"  (Tune: ‘Richmond’, 86.86)                                                          21 HH
O for a thousand trees to sing
And join with us this day,
With ferns and frogs and butterflies:
A forest hymn of praise.

Come celebrate with all the land,
Let species rare begin,
With geese and owls and cockatoos:
A choir of country kin.

How can we hear creation groan,
The outback cry in pain?
With desert dragons we rejoice
When Earth is born again.

Let ev’ry stream and river flow
In song toward the sea;
With whale and seal and albatross
We thank God we are free.

O for a thousand trees to sing,
And join with us this day,
With ferns and frogs and butterflies:
A forest hymn of praise.  (
Norman Habel)
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
We invite the forests to worship with us:
Mountain ash and eucalypts,
quivering ferns and glistening moss!
We quiver with the trees as they shake before God:
when tempests and tornadoes hit,
and raging winds invade the forest.
We invite tall trees to celebrate life:
Huon pines and ironbark,
tall timber where lizards and lichen
find their home!

We invite the forest night-life to sing:
All  Green tree frogs and timid moths,
ancient owls and swirling bats!
We join with the fauna of the forest in praising God:
All  Lyrebirds and black cockatoos,
platypuses, pythons and butterflies!

We celebrate the song of the forest!
All  Sing, forest, sing!  
(Norman Habel/soc)

Act of Awareness
The sacred is everywhere,
At the heart of everything
That was, is, or to be...

It isn't what one says
But in what one does
That we discover where the sacred is
And is marked by peace and love.  (Edited. Robert Halsey/vv)


We pray:
Creativity God, whose renewing breath fills our planet,
may we discern this vibrant presence among us,
especially in the mysteries of the forest.

May our spirits be lifted to rejoice with the forest