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.

18 October 2020. Pentecost 20A. (Green).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“Awe is something that is evoked. We do not manufacture it;
it is not a product of will power or of naked patriarchy therefore.
It is a gift, a grace. We undergo it and we receive it”
(Matthew Fox)

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
The gong is sounded three times

It is a sacred time, this.
And a sacred place, this:
   - a place for questions more profound than answers;
   - vulnerability more powerful than strength;
   - and a peace that can pass all understanding.
It is a sacred time, this.  (UU Church of Austin)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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

We light this candle to celebrate 
the inherent worth and dignity of every person
and to share that love which is ultimately 
beyond even our cherished reason, 
that love which unites us. 

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

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Eternal Love(Tune: ‘Manna’, 88.68.86)
Eternal Love, your grace we praise
which shapes and comforts all our days,
evolves the world we know.
Let worship, symbols come of age
to help us read beneath the page
and test the status quo!

Renewing Love, in Jesus met
defying limitation yet
particular in all;
confronting still the edifice
of ignorance and prejudice,
responding to our call.

But still your truth we faintly see
though church and scripture guarantee
to point us on our way.
A darkened mirror blurs our sight
while false ideas obscure the light
and spurn the shining ray.

Thanks be for scholars, prophets too
who lead the quest for insights new
as old convictions fade.
May we in faith by Spirit led
in Jesus’ footsteps bravely tread
and never be afraid!  (© David Stevenson 2010)
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
As surely as we belong to the universe
we belong together.

All We gather here to transcend the isolated self.
To reconnect,
To know ourselves to be at home,
Here on earth, under the stars,
Linked with each other.  (MAKeip)

Act of Awareness
Wonder and wisdom,
the fullness of beauty,
hope explored, revealed, delivered...

Who are we that such gifts are ours,
to uplift, astound, make whole?

In awe, we gather. (Adapt/Gretta Vosper/ab)


We pray:
God of all life we give thanks for the signs of love and creativity
that surround us and bless us,
past, present and future.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song Celebrate Each Difference”  (Tune: ‘Intercessor’,
We cannot make an easy, safe distinction,
all people are our neighbours, none denied.
The voices of all nations heard beside us:
all sisters, brothers, none we should deride.

The wall between the peoples has been broken.
In love of God divisions disappear.
As seen in Christ, we recognise our neighbours.
We greet unusual faces without fear.

We celebrate each difference God has given.
Each nation, black and white, both straight and gay,
the able and the challenged, God has offered,
that we might share together, learn and pray

We meet with those who paint a different picture,
who value God in words not yet our own.
In dialogue we offer one another
a vision we could never find alone.

This God we seek is greater than each difference;
the source and ground of all variety,
the centre and the soul of all creation,
erasing hate with love, to set us free.  Andrew Pratt/ea
The people sit


Climate Change(Tune: ‘St Bernard’, 86.86)                                                           42 SNS2
God’s presence sings a joyous song
When life’s in harmony;
But climate change – it is so wrong;
It can cause tragedy.

If green-house gases fill outdoors
They poison nature’s womb;
And global warming which they cause
Can bring about our doom.

The carbon foot-print that we leave
Will alter future days;
It can increase or can retrieve
The follies of past ways.

Our children surely have the right
To futures still unseen;
To see the stars and moon at night;
To oceans pure and clean.

We cannot ask a god above
To rectify our woes;
But when we treat the earth with love
God’s caring overflows.  (George Stuart)
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.


Centering Silence
Let there now be a silence between us for a time.

May the silence which we now share quieten us,
touch our need,
refresh our courage,
enlarge our wonder.

We began
as a mineral.  We emerged into plant life
and into the animal state, and then into being human,
and always we have forgotten our former states,
except in early spring when we slightly recall
being green again... (Rumi)

Music of Reflection


Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
          “Wisdom is not just special knowledge about something. Wisdom is a way of being, a way of inhabiting the world.
          The beauty of wisdom is harmony, belonging and illumination of thought, action, heart and mind.”
(John O’Donohue)

Reader: We listen for truth, yet it is elusive - a thought here, a verse there.
 May we collect it all, write what is worthy on our hearts,
and let the rest spill past our consciousness
leaving us clear and whole. 
(Gretta Vosper/ab)

• “I am not Afraid of Death”
By Julia Esquivel.

I am no longer afraid of death,
I know well its dark and cold corridors
leading to life.

I am afraid rather of that life
which does not come out of death,
which cramps our hands
and slows our march.

I am afraid of my fear
And even more of the fear of others,
who do not know where they are going,
Who continue clinging to what they think is life
Which we know to be death!

I live each day to kill death;
I die each day to give birth to life,
and in this death of death, I die a thousand times
and am reborn another thousand
through that love
from my People,
which nourished hope!

• Matthew 22:15-22 (Inclusive Text)

When the chief priests and Pharisees had heard the parables,
they realised that Jesus was speaking about them.

Then they went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said.

So they sent their disciples to Jesus, along with the Herodians, saying:
‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth,
and show deference to no one, for a person’s rank means nothing to you.

‘Tell us, then, what you think.  Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’

But Jesus, aware of their malice, said:
‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?
Show me a coin used for the tax.’

And they brought him a denarius.

Then Jesus said to them: ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’
They answered: ‘The emperor’s.’

Then Jesus said to them:
‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s
and to God the things that are God’s.’

Contemporary Exploration
• A Sermon suitable for this day can be found in my book, Against the Stream. Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew.

Silence for Personal Reflection


A Litany: ‘Commitment to Life’ (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

In the midst of hunger and war
All  We celebrate the promise of plenty and peace

In the midst of oppression and tyranny
All  We celebrate the promise of service and freedom

In the midst of racism and despair
All  We celebrate the promise of faith and hope

In the midst of fear and betrayal
All  We celebrate the promise of joy and loyalty

In the midst of hatred and death
All  We celebrate the promise of love and life

In the midst of sorrow and decay

All  We celebrate the promise of creativity and renewal

In the midst of death on every side
All  We celebrate the promise of the Living Christ.  

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


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.

The Light in me recognises the Light in you.

The spirit within me sees the spirit within you.

Hymn/Song   People stand as they are able, to sing
Celebrate the Cosmic Birthing(Tune: ‘Hymn to Joy’)
Celebrate the cosmic birthing,
Flash of primal energy:
Swirling gases, densing matter
Stuff of galaxies to be.
Celebrate the life-force pulsing
through these 15 billion years,
Trillion, trillion stars emerging
From the cradle of the spheres.

Celebrate the white-heat furnace-
life evoking mother sun;
Celebrate her planet-offspring
Nine, in cosmic dance as one.
Celebrate her favoured daughter,
Earth, in cloak of fragile green;
Cragging rocks, and sounding ocean-
Surface-lashed, beneath serene.

 Join the mystic dance of species,
Chaining, weaving, circling, one
Strong-competing, close depending,
Life swift ending, new begun.
Sing our senseful keen awareness-
Form and sound, scent, taste and hue.
High achieving, passing, transient-
Living, dying born anew.  (Ian Cairns)


Where Are The Voices” (Tune: ‘Portent’)                                                                  75 FFS
Where are the voices for the earth?
Where are the eyes to see her pain,
wasted by our consuming path,
weeping the tears of poisoned rain?

Sacred the soil that hugs the seed,
sacred the silent fall of snow,
sacred the world that God decreed,
water and sun and river flow.

Where shall we run who break this code,
where shall tomorrow's children be,
left with the ruined gifts of God,
death for the creatures, land and sea?

We are the voices for the earth,
we who will care enough to cry,
cherish her beauty, clear her breath,
live that our planet may not die.  
(Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

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? 
(Binkley & McKeel/jke)

In Solidarity
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:
We turn to Life, to that vast creativity

All  that empowers the universe
as the ocean animates the wave,

seeking to let go of that which blocks our healing.

All  May we open ourselves even now

to the wonder of Life.

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

For ourselves, for those named or remembered, and in solidarity with those
who have not the freedom to express their concern or celebration
for fear of discrimination or condemnation.

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of the sacred among us,
and to see new possibilities of the now.

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  Gracious Spirit,
Who loves us like a mother,
Whose realm is blooming among us now.
And within.

We pray that your compassion guide us in every action.
Give us what we need for each day,
and help us to be satisfied with the miracle of that alone.

Forgiver, whose embrace brings us to wholeness without our asking,
May we reconcile ourselves to one another in humility.
And may we cancel the crushing debts that imprison our neighbours
So that communities of joy and health may flourish.

May we neither profit from nor ignore evil.
But ever work to thwart it with non-violence
As we co-create the realm of peace in this world.
Now and each day.
(Bret Hesla/wsj)



Inspired by stories of a Sacred compassion,
may we find a good feeling in our hearts,
so through these gifts we can
help free some people from hunger,
lift some people from their distress, and
encourage some people to be part of a better world.

The Invitation
Jesus invited all to the feast of peace and new life.
Jesus risked everything in compassion.
Jesus was known in the breaking of the bread.

The Celebration
When Jesus gathered with his friends