Revd Rex A E Hunt

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17 September 2017. Pentecost 15A/Creation 3A. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion
Outback/Wilderness Sunday

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 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 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 outback/wilderness 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.  
(Adapted. Norman Habel/soc)

v2  Together this day, let us sense the face of God in all creation.

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
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Spirit of God, Creation's Force
(Tune: ‘Fulda’, 88 88)
Sprit of God, creation's force,
and power of evolution's course,
gave breath of life to humankind
and then inspired inventive mind.

Spirit of history's linked events
has shown repeated evidence
of hidden influence, working through
all our world leaders try to do.

Spirit of prophet's utterance
proclaimed in needy circumstance
a word of God, through human voice
with challenge to courageous choice.
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
We invite the outback to worship with us:
Uluru and the red centre,
deep gorges and mountain ranges.

We invite the flora to sing in the sun:
All ghost gums and spinifex,
mallee trees and Sturt’s desert pea. 
We join with the fauna of the outback in praising God:
roaming dingos and wallabies,
old goannas and hovering hawks.

We invite the Dreaming to join us in praise:
All songs of ancient custodians deep in the rock,
spirits of life deep in the sand and the hills.

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

Act of Awareness
In all our living, may we be freed
to see things afresh,
to be more fully alive,
and have the courage to keep faith in
the future of humanity.


We pray:
Creating God, whose rugged beauty fills our planet,
may we discern your vibrant presence among us,
especially in the wonders of our outback.

May our spirits be lifted to rejoice with the sand 
and the wind and the wild of the outback .
May it be so with us.

Hymn (Cont.) "Spirit of God, Creation's Force(Tune: ‘Fulda’, 88 88)
Spirit of power and truth and grace,
renew today the human race,
bestowing gifts, producing fruits,
promoting godly attributes.

Spirit, possess and fill us whole,
fill every heart and mind and soul,
infuse our being with your power
that we may serve this present hour. (RFirth, adapted. (c) 1997


Spring Has Now…(Tune: ‘Blackburn’, 76 76D)    63 SLT
Spring has now unwrapped the flowers,
day is fast reviving,
life in all her growing powers
toward the light is striving.
Gone the iron touch of cold,
winter time and frost time,
seedlings working through the mold
now make up for lost time.

Herb and plant that, winter long,
slumbered at their leisure,
now be stirring green and strong,
find in growth their pleasure.
All the world with beauty fills,
gold and green enhancing;
flowers make glee among the hills,
set the meadows dancing.  (PCantiones, 1582)
The people sit                              

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


Take the eucalyptus leaf you received at the door,
rub it between your fingers, break it, smell it,
and share with the person next to you
some memories of the outback, a desert, 
or somewhere in the wild where we have visited or lived.


We remember the sand and spinifex and brush turkey.
The places we have visited and stayed a while.
When we felt close to Earth 
and been embraced by the Southern Cross.
All We remember and rejoice.

Away from the busyness of life and in the silence of this place,
let us now give thanks
for the outback, filled with a mysterious silence!

Sung reflection:

HC -CarolChrist2

All   As this day dawns in beauty,
we pledge ourselves
to repair the web.  
(Carol P Christ/swc)

Earth is a sanctuary, a sacred planet
filled with the presentness of God.
All A home for us to share with our kin.
(Norman Habel/soc)


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

From the World Around us:
"In the Kimberley..."
By Bruce Prewer. Australian Psalms/15.

This outback landscape
is not the right place
for camera and video;
its scale is much too big,
its colours too rich
and a person too small.

The best we can do
is just be here,
overawed by it all.

If that is how it is
with one small parcel
of an ancient land,
why am I so quick
to wordily dogmatise
about the mind of God?

In such sublime territory,
isn't awed worship
the only way to be wise?

Traditional Gospel:
Matthew 18:23b-34  (Inclusive Text)

The reign of God may be compared to a ruler
who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.

When he began the reckoning,
one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him;
and, as he could not pay,
the master ordered him to be sold,
together with his wife and children and all his possessions,
and payment to be made.

So the slave fell on his knees before the master, saying,
‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’

And out of compassion for him,
the master of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.

But that same slave, as he went out,
came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii;
and seizing him by the throat, he said,
‘Pay what you owe.’

Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him,
‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’

But he refused.

Then he went and threw him into prison
until he would pay the debt.

When his fellow slaves saw what had happened,
they were greatly distressed,
and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place.

Then his master summoned him and said to him,
‘You wicked slave!
I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.
Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave,
as I had mercy on you?’

And in anger his master handed him over to be tortured
until he would pay his entire debt.

Contemporary Exploration and an Address on Spring HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection


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

We celebrate a God
All  who lives and speaks in sunsets,
in love-wrapped gifts,
and fleeting butterflies.

We celebrate a Christ
All  who honoured our humanness,
who climbed trees,
skinned knees;
who laughed and cried,
loved and wept, bled and died.

We celebrate a Spirit,
All  who mystically joins us
to people everywhere,
and incorporates us into Christ.

We celebrate a church,
All  seeking, however imperfectly,
to act justly, love mercy,
and walk humbly with our God.
  (Adapted. Dorothy McRae-McMahon/eoj)

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.
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 People stand as they are able, to sing
Big Bang" (Tune: 'Amazing Grace' or other suitable CM tune)

We seek the source of all that was
of all that is to be;
the ground of being, source of life
that set creation free 

The cataclysmic cosmic force,
God's rollercoaster ride,
may give a glimpse back into time
as particles collide.

For here we watch, observe, compute
and try to understand
the time before we even thought
what physics might demand.

But even if we comprehend
or wonder at these things,
Higgs boson, quasars, pulsars, quarks,
we need the faith God brings.

The test of all we ought to be
is in the common place,
our depth of kindness, strength of love,
that demonstrate God's grace.  (© Andrew Pratt 10/9/2008 ( )
People sit


Holy Mystery, Holy Wisdom(Tune: ‘Austrian’, 87 87D)
Holy Mystery, Holy Wisdom
Wholly Love who guides our way,
Loving Presence, Source of Being,
Now transform us day by day.
Words of Scripture tell our stories,
Voices rise in gifts of song,
Calling us to loving action,
Faith-filled as we journey on.

We are partners in creation,
Bound by love to all around,
Seeking justice and compassion,
Sharing truths that we have found.
Spirit - Source of Inspiration,
Love - our song along the way,
Holy Mystery, Holy Wisdom –
Source of hope with each new day.  (© Gayle Simonson, 2005)

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
In the light and beauty of day
All We give thanks in awe and wonder.
In the dark and stillness of night
We dream of healing and hope.  (Gretta Vosper/wwg)

And so we take this flame and light our special care candle.
The Care Candle is lit

v2   When we are grieving or sad,
When we are challenged,
When we need help,
The flame of this candle guides us out of the darkness.

v3   When we are cheerful,
When we celebrate,
When we accomplish a great task,
When we return to a place that makes us happy,
The flame of this candle reminds us
to share our happiness with others.  (Adapted. A Palmer)

The Abba’ Prayer:  (Optional)
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Abba/Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate

All  God - heart of the world:
revealed through every aspect of creation:
understood through our awareness.

May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly
so that your love is reflected in the way we live.
May we always be thankful for the food we eat
and the friends we have.
May we forgive those who transgress against us
and be forgiven for our own.

In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat
and not be compromised by hesitation.
Through our freedom, may your justice
be seen and heard and experienced
forever and ever.  Amen.
  (Sherri J Weinberg)


With the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat


"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?

Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.

By our smallest actions, we become part of a bigger world.
The smallest giving can be an expression
of the good spirit of generosity and caring.
May we carry through the doorway of each new day
this good spirit of generosity and caring.  
(Adapted. Francis Macnab/h)

Centering Words
The earth has gone the round of seasons:
from the vibrant green of spring's new life
to the lush richness of warm summer,
to the brilliant fulfillment of riotous autumn,
to the generosity and self-giving of winter.

Now we gather again, touched by the promise
of new life in the spring.

As we celebrate the renewal of life and hope,
we also celebrate the presentness
of the Spirit of Life and Hope and Creativity,
everywhere around and within us.

No matter who you are, or where you are
on life's journey, you are welcome
at this table with it's symbols of God's Creative Presence.
All In company with all who seek nourishment at this table,
we come to celebrate community, and to share
these life-giving symbols. 
(Jerry Stinson/adapted)

v3  In the early spring, pale green blades of wheat
broke through the earth's surface.

v4  This hand of mine began to take shape millions of years ago