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.

27 September 2020. Pentecost 17A/Creation 4A. (Green).
River Sunday

Worth Pondering
“The past is not dead.  It lives in us even now.  The evolutionary universe,
the ancient environment, the emergence of complex life—all are
recapitulated in every moment of our existence”
(David Bumbaugh)

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

(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 rivers 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 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) Specific resources on Terrorism
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Let Justice Roll Down"                                                                                                    85 AA
Let justice roll down like a river,
let justice roll down like a sea,
let justice roll down like a river,
let justice begin through me.

Justice for all who go hungry,
crying to God to be fed,
left in a world of abundance
to beg for a morsel of bread.

Justice for those who are homeless,
victims of warfare or need,
trapped on the borders of no-where,
lost in the canyons of greed.

Justice for all who are powerless,
yearning for freedom in vain,
plundered, and robbed of their birth-right,
silently bearing their pain.
  (Colin Gibson)


O River Mother, Spirit of Creation(Tune: ‘Highwood’,
O river mother, spirit of creation,
flowing so freely since the dawn of time,
source of all life and onward propagation,
summer's bright warmth and winter's frozen rime.

Once from a riven altar, out through history,
your source of life flowed on to all the earth;
then cosmic letters formed the timeless story,
charged with your passion, grace and love and worth.

Now at the point in time of our existence,
through faith and science we discern our place.
We understand your gentle, calm persistence
folding around us with your love and grace.

O river mother, flowing to the future,
on past the present that we see and feel,
take us, flow with us, kindly love and  nurture
virtues that make your presence strong and real.  (© Andrew Pratt 25/1/2004)
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
We invite the rivers to worship with us:
the Murray, the Darling and all the streams that flow to the sea.

We invite the country creeks to sing:
All  perch, eel and platypus,
trout streams and gleaming fountains.
We invite the fauna to praise God with us:
ibis, heron and mountain duck,
dragonflies and sleepy tortoises.

We join with the waters in praising God:
All  waterfalls singing upstream
and waves dancing at the river mouth.

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

Act of Awareness
Spring... is a time of revelation:
the revealing of that which is eternal,
which we see every year,
but still need to be reminded to see it in a new way.

But there is also the revelation of that which is new.
Every spring we encounter something never before seen.
It is that very newness
which embodies hope and potential
for the wholeness which is yet to be.

Let us allow spring to unfold slowly
that we may appreciate the true mystery
of rebirth and renewal.  (Edited. Terasa Cooley)


We pray:
Creating God, we celebrate your refreshing presence
among us and our kin in creation,
especially in the rivers,
the creeks and the wetlands of Earth.

May our spirits be lifted to rejoice with
the vibrant world of the rivers.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  "In Water We Grow(Tune: Paderborn',                                   494 TiS
In water we grow,
secure in the womb.
and speechlessly know
love's safety and room.
Baptizing and blessing
we publish for good
the feeling, caressing
safe keeping of God.

In water we wash:
the dirt of each day,
its trouble and rush
are carried away.
In Christ re-created
by love's cleansing art,
self-will and self-hatred
dissolve and depart.

In water we dive,
and cannot draw breath,
then surface alive,
rebounding from death.
OUr old self goes under,
in Christ dead and drowned.
We rise, washed in wonder,
by love clad and crowned.

In water we dwell,
for by its deep flow
through bloodstream and cell,
we live, think, and grow.
Praise God, love outflowing,
whose well of new birth
baptizes our knowing,
and waters the earth.  (Brian Wren)
People sit

In your own words

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


Take the river stone you received at the door,
rub it between your fingers, feel its surface and edges,
and share with the person next to you
a special memory of the rivers, creeks
or wetlands you have enjoyed.

We remember the rivers across our planet.
Rivers and wetlands that are the lifeblood of Earth