Pentecost21A.25.10.2020

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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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
25 October 2020. Pentecost 21A. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“In the very act of giving,
I experience my strength, my wealth, my power”
(
Erich Fromm)

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)
          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

In sacred times of word, wonder, and awe.
In ordinary days of work and play.
In every moment, the sacred is with us.
(Adapt.Tom Shuman/worship-rcl)

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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

We are safe.
We are together.
We are loved.
And so it will be.
(Brian Griffin/icuu-cl)

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 
HERE
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Neutron Stars Collide”  (Tune:  ‘Intercessor’)
Two stars collide, but love is not diminished,
while ripples thunder out through time and space,
the universe has shuddered down the centuries,
but nothing will unsettle given grace.

We look into the void, detect the difference
where gravity, disrupted, ripples on.
Our understanding, stressed through awe and wonder,
can count again the knowledge that’s been won.

Yet wisdom is much more than calculation,
than observations grounded on this earth,
we reach out through a mystery that surrounds us,
toward the source that brought us all to birth.
© Andrew Pratt 16/10/2017 after the detection of gravitational waves caused by the collision to two neutron stars.

OR

Welcome" (Tune: 'Regent Square', 87.87.47 extended)                                                        1 SNS3
We are thankful for a greeting
And a welcome we all prize;
We are here for celebration,
Searching for what satisfies;
With a welcome as we gather
We can feel our spirits rise.

'Welcome' i the way of Jesus;
'Welcome' is his promised word;
Welcome is for saints and sinner;
All are welcome; all have erred;
Jesus speaks his word of welcome -
We respond for we have heard.

We all join in affirmation
Of the love of God we know;
Like the vastness of an ocean
Love is here in constant flow;
I am welcome; you are welcome;
Jesus says, "Let it be so." (Adapt.George Stuart)

OR

"Sing for God’s Glory”  (Tune: ‘Lobe den Herren’, 14.14.4.7.8)
Sing for God’s glory that colors the dawn of creation,
racing across the sky, trailing bright clouds of elation;
sun of delight
succeeds the velvet of night,
warming the earth’s exultation.

Sing for God’s power that shatters the chains that would hold us,
searing the bleakness of fear and despair that would mold us,
touching our shame
with love that will not lay blame,
reaching out gently to find us.

Sing for God’s justice disturbing each easy illusion,
tearing down tyrants and putting our pride to confusion;
lifeblood of right,
resisting evil and slight,
offering freedom’s transfusion.

Sing for God’s saints who have travelled faith’s journey before us,
who in our weariness give us their hope to restore us;
in them we see
the new creation to be,
spirit of love made flesh for us.  
(Kathy Galloway.Adapt.)
Remain standing after the hymn/song

Opening Sentences
v1  Children of the earth and sky,
we are nurtured, sustained,
given warmth and light
from above and below.
All  Supported by earth's strong, firm crust,
we build our homes,
plough the paddocks,
plant our gardens and orchards.

v2  When we turn from self and seek to be aware,
we will find holy light
in human faces,
in blossom, birdsong, and sky.
All  Then earth is truly our home,
and we are one with all earth's creatures,
Parents of earth's children yet to be. 
(Adapt.Alice Berry)

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.

OR

We pray:
Abiding God, grant us the joy of feeling ourselves
a part of your vast magnificence,
your all-encompassing love.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  "Everything That Has Voice" (Tune: 'Sing for Peace', Marty Haugen)            9 TEL
Everything that has voice,
sing for peace,
speak for peace,
given chance, given choice,
work for peace,
write for peace,
resonating everywhere,
echoing our common care:
everything that has voice,
sing for peace!

All the world longs for peace
cries for peace,
dies for peace,
let the children, every place
sleep in peace,
grow in peace,
home and country safe to be
where the spirit rises free,
all the world longs for peace,
cries for peace.

Everyone who has breath,
you and I,
passers-by,
every tenant of the earth
plant for peace,
gather for peace,
cultivate a neighbourhood
cherishing our neighbours' good:

everyone who has breath,
live for peace!
  (Shirley Erena Murray)

OR

Amazing Love”  (Tune: 'Amazing Grace', 86.86)
Amazing Love that Jesus told,
Two thousand years ago,
A story new, a story old,
A love we all can know.

He spoke to crowds in Palestine,
He speaks to us today,
He tells us all of love divine,
To us he shows the way.

The realm of God is one of love,
Of justice and of peace.
It’s not about a realm above -
Through love this world release.

What we want done to us, can be
The rule by which we live;
To follow it will make us free
To share, to love, to give.

The story comes to challenge us,
It’s not the easy road,
For us to love, as Jesus loved,
To bear another’s load.

The realm of God is here with us
When love and peace we share,
Although we fail, we know God’s grace,
It’s love that helps us there.

Amazing love that Jesus told,
Two thousand years ago,
A story new, a story old,
A love for all to know.  Margaret Rolfe
The people sit

Welcome
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

Centering Silence
In the safety of this sacred place I invite you now into a time of
gratitude, reflection, renewal and hope.
(Silence)

Great possibilities do await us.
The grandeur of life, of which we are a part,
fill us with hope… if we seek to choose it.
(Silence)

Fifteen billion years ago, in a great flash
the universe flared forth into being.
In each drop of existence
a primordial energy blazed with an intensity
never to be equaled again... (Berry & Swimme)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

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:  The delight of a story well-known fills our hearts
as we listen for its familiar end.
All  May we hear in these stories, familiar and new,
both wisdom and meaning for the days ahead.

• "To Reflect On…”
By William L Wallace. Courage to Love/19.

There is no pain greater than not being able to be yourself.

True humility is not the putting down of the self
but the putting down of roots into the earth,
the cultures of the earth
and the mystery which we call God.

To enter the wilderness
is to discover one’s true home.

What you are seeking lies within you.
No one can give it to you.
All you have to do is to own it.

The greatest achievement is to learn
to be
and to rest in that awareness.

Abandon yourself to the otherness
and you will find yourself in the process.

Nurture the mystic within you
for she is the guardian of the most sacred mysteries.
She alone is the ‘you’ that cannot be destroyed;
for her name is compassionate wisdom
and her aspect is divinity.

When you can see the divine in yourself
You will be able to see the divine everywhere.
When you reverence the divine in yourself
You will be able to reverence the divine everywhere.
When you nurture the divine in yourself
You will be able to nurture the divine everywhere.

OR

• ‘The Web’
By Jeanette Stokes. Birthings and Blessings/84.

As I walked through the bush one morning during autumn,
I came across a perfectly formed spider’s web bright with dew.
The delicately woven strands reminded me that
as we live and work… we spin out the thread of life
that connects and supports us all.

The web of support that joins me to my friends is like a lifeline.
Sometimes I can almost feel it – tiny golden threads
tying my heart to the hearts of others.
My passion for life… fueled by theirs.
And my life is never the same.

I am a porous being.
There are spaces in my soul like the open places in a web.
Other people pass through me.
I am changed and sometimes I am born again
to a whole new way of being, of understanding myself