Pentecost2A.14.6.2020

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae74@gmail.com
 OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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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
14 June 2020.  Pentecost 2A. (Green).
Multicultural Sunday

Worth Pondering

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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)
          Multi-sensory 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

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 this life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

The light waits – 
Who will keep the light burning in our day?
Who will take the light into the world?
Who will carry the light into another year?
All  Who will carry the light if we do not?

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

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
O Source of Many Cultures”  (Tune: ‘King’s Lynn’, 76.76D)                                             62 WNC
O Source of many cultures,
of lives, beliefs and faith;
you brought us all together
to share one world in space;
Now show us how to honour
each vision of your way,
to live within the tension
of difference you display.

The colour and the culture,
that kept us both apart,
are gifts that we can offer,
a means for us to start
a journey with each other,
till hand in hand we show,
through mutual understanding,
respect and love can grow. 
Andrew Pratt

OR

A Firemist and a Planet”  (Tune: ‘Thornbury’, 76.76D)                                                   343 SLT
A firmest and a planet
a crystal and a cell,
a starfish and a saurian,
and caves where ancients dwelt;
the sense of law and beauty,
a face turned from the sod
- some call it evolution,
and others call  it God.

Haze on the far horizon,
the infinite tender sky,
the ripe, rich tints of [wheat]fields,
and wild geese sailing high;
and over high and low-land,
the charm of golden rod
- some people call it autumn,
and others call it God.

Like tides on crescent sea-beach,
when moon's so new and thin,
into our hearts high yearnings
come welling, surging in,
come from the mystic ocean
whose rim not foot has trod
- some people call it longing,
and others call it God.

A sentry lone and frozen,
a mother starved for her brood,
and Socrates' dread hemlock,
and Jesus on the rood;
and millions, who, though nameless,
the straight, hard pathway trod,
- some call it consecration,
and others call it God.  (William H Carruth)
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
We come together today as a fellowship of people
called (NN) to celebrate our unity and diversity.
All  
We affirm that it is good to belong to a
multicultural church in a multicultural land.

Life is more interesting with our differences -
in colour, language, customs,
and the ways we think, pray and celebrate.

Our pioneers came from lots of different places around the world.
We are different, yet because of the Holy One, we are one.
All  Let us celebrate the journeys of all our companions.

Act of Awareness
Marvel at life!
Strive to know its ways!
Seek wisdom and truth,
the gateways
to life’s mysteries!

Wondrous indeed is life! (Adapt. Rabbi Rami M Shapiro/ep)

OR

We pray:
God of dreams and visions, renew our vision.
Put a spring in our feet as we set our face
towards the new challenges in store for us.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  "Pilgrims Together(Tune: ‘Monk's Gate’. 65.65.6.6.6.5)
From our different paths and pasts,
Come we together.
Here to sing, to weep, to laugh,
Pilgrims together.
Although the path is long,
One Spirit guides us on.
It is a joy to become,
Pilgrims together.

Feel the fire's warmth and light,
Shine through the darkness.
Come together, share a meal,
Eat, drink together.
Sisters and brothers are we,
Remembering Christ's journey.
His life we celebrate and share,
Pilgrims together.

Once we've rested, strength renewed.
On, on we travel.
Christ our Lord has gone before,
Fear not nor tremble.
For one thing sure are we,
God's children called to be,
Forgiven and set free,
Pilgrims together. 
(Helen Richmond)
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

Silence
Let there now be silence among us…

Look, listen, in the silences of your own hearts.
Hear the gentle sound of the rising
of the Sacred within you.

Look, listen, in the silences of your common humanness.  (MPH2006)
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
Reader:  Into the silence of our hopes and dreams,
words work upon us to break, crack, open us to new understanding.
All  
May we experience, in these words,
a seeking after truth, that we may lift ourselves
to this same desire.
  (Gretta Vosper/ab)

• “The Centre of all Days, all Races”
Walt Whitman. #501. HCL

I know that the past was great and the future will be great,
And I know that both curiously conjoint in the present time,

And that where I am, or you are,
this present day, there is the center of all days, all races,

And there is the meaning, to us, of all that ever has come of races
and days, or ever will come.

• Matthew 9:35-10:1.  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus went about all the cities and villages
teaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and every sickness.

At the sight of the crowds Jesus' heart
was moved with pity for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then Jesus said to the disciples,
'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few,
so ask the One who oversees the harvest to send labourers to the harvest.'

Jesus summoned the twelve disciples,
and gave them authority over unclean spirits
with power to cast them out
and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

We are a cloth of diverse colours
made from many gifts and graces.
All  We are the people flowing forth from Creativity God,
surprising ourselves with the things which can be done.

We are raw material for rewarding relationships
as our lives interweave,
All  contributing one to the other,
holding each other firm when one is weak or breaking.

We are each worthy of being respected and cared for
All  essential to the pattern, skilled in our appointed tasks,
sources of laughter and sharers of tears.

We commit ourselves to work together,
All  that one day, this world may be a place
where all people live in justice, freedom and peace.
 (Adapted/Dorothy McRae-McMahon/bst)

Sharing 'The Peace
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you.
All
 And also with you.  (David Galston/q)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours

OR

Namaste
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.
OR

The Light in me recognises the Light in you.
OR

The spirit within me sees the spirit within you.

CELEBRATING

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Playful God”  (Tune: ‘Joyful God’. 77 87)                                                                  75 RP
Playful God, you laugh and dance
at every indication
that we have caught a glimpse, a glance
of magic in creation.

Tearful God, you weep and mourn,
you share our desolation;
in every doubt, in pain and grief,
we need your consolation.

Joyful God, we praise your name
in every situation.
Your love will even live through death,
you promise resurrection.

Mighty God, creative heart
and source of our elation,
accept our praise, our lives, our all,
our ceaseless adoration. 
Andrew Pratt

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

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
Let each of us find a window
All
 To see beyond our own enclosures.
Let each of us find a door
All
 To open ourselves into new being.  (Adapt.Kenneth Patton/sscl)

And so we take a 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 the 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  Indwelling God,
infused throughout all existence,
we honour you with many names.

Your realm is within the human heart.
We accept life for all that it can be,
on earth as throughout all creation.

May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth,
and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own.

May we ever move from separation toward union,
to live in grace, with love in our hearts,
forever and ever.  Amen.
  Fred F. Keip

OR

All  Our Father in heaven 
hallowed be your name 
your kingdom come 
your will be done 
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial 
and deliver us from evil. 

For the kingdom, the power, 
and the glory are yours, 
now and for ever. 
Amen.

With the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat

Conversation

"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)

Offerings

Presentation
We give thanks, generous God,
because we owe you more than we can ever repay.

Bless all givers because we need to be generous
in order to be whole.

CELEBRATING (MULTICULTURAL) COMMUNITY IN THE TRADITION OF THE MEAL  (Optional)
“Wisdom has set her table.
Come eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 
Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight” (Proverbs 9:2,5-6)

Welcome to the Table
At this table we give thanks for justice, love, peace and freedom.
Mn  At this table we give thanks for friends and strangers
together in community in this safe place.
Wm  At this table we welcome old and young.

v2  A place at the table.  And all are invited.

Thanksgiving
We give thanks for the unfolding of matter,
mind,
intelligence,
and life
that has brought us to this moment in time.
All   We celebrate our common origin with everything that exists.

v1  We celebrate the mystery we experience and address as ‘God’.
ground and sustainer of everything that exists,
in whom we live and move and have our being.

v2  And we acknowledge this mystery embodied
in every human person,
aware that each one of us gives God
unique and personal expression.
All  God is everywhere present.
In grace-filled moments of sharing.
In carefully created communities of loving solidarity.

v2  We are one with everything, living and nonliving, on this planet.
Connected.
Interrelated.
Interdependent.

The Story
v1  We remember the stories from our tradition...

How on many occasions Jesus would share
a meal with friends.
Bread and wine shared in community.

v2  For everyone born, a place at the table...

v1 How the bread would be taken,
a blessing offered, and then shared between them.
And all of them ate.

How some wine would be poured out,
a blessing offered, and then passed between them.
And all of them drank.

v2  The bread and the wine symbolised human lives
interconnected with other human lives,
and the power of giving and receiving.

v1 May the passion for life as seen in Jesus,
and in the lives and struggles of many other
committed and faithful people then and now,
enable us to dare and to dream and to risk...
All  Together may we re-imagine the world.

Together may we work to make all things new.
All
 Together may we celebrate the possibilities and hope
we each have and are called to share.

v2  For everyone born, a place at the table...

Bread and Wine
Bread is broken several times

v1  We break the bread for the broken earth,
ravaged and plundered for greed.
All   May there be healing of our beautiful blue and green planet.

v1  We break this bread for our broken humanity,
for the powerful and the powerless
trapped by exploitation and oppression.
All   May there be the healing of humanity.

v1 We break this bread for those who follow other paths:
for those who follow the noble path of the Buddha,
the yogic path of the Hindus;
the way of the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs;
and the descendants of Abraham, children of Hagar and Sarah.
All   May there be healing where there is pain and woundedness.

v1 We break this bread
for the unhealed hurts and wounds
that lie within us all.
All   May we be healed.

White wine is poured into a cup

v2  Wine, fruit of the vine,
nurtured, tended, harvested,
and pressed out for us to drink.
All  Wine, liquid sunlight,
prepared for our delight.

v2  Wine, gift of nature,
offering earth-bound humans
hints of other worlds,
other realities,
other possibilities.
All   Pouring out this wine
we remember people of all ages
who searched down new paths, advancing 
understanding, 
compassion, 
knowledge.

v2  Pouring out this wine
we are reminder of the call
All  to live fully,
to love wastefully, and
to be all that we can be.

Communion
To eat and drink together reminds us
of the deeper aspects of human fellowship,
for from time immemorial
the sharing of bread and wine
has been the most universal of all symbols of community.
The elements to be served at three points

Bread/Grape Juice: recalling our historic connections with the ancient Middle Eastern church and the reformation in Europe.
Rice Cracker/Jasmine Tea: remembering our proximity to Asia and the huge growth of the church there.
Banana Chip/Coconut Milk: remembering Australian partnerships and the development  of the church in the Pacific islands.

After Communion
We give thanks that we have gathered together
in this sacred place.
All  We rejoice in the giftedness of each person here.
We are grateful for who we are for each other.
May we continue to be truly thankful
in all we do and in all we become.

The Liturgy
Shaped from resources created by and adapted from: Carter Heyward, L Bruce Miller, Michael Morwood, Shirley Erena Murray, David Bumbaugh, David Galston, John S Spong, Rex Hunt, the Iona Community.

SCATTERING

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
For the Music of Creation
(Tune: ‘Russington’, 87.87D)                                                            41(v1-2) AA
For the music of creation,
for the song your Spirit sings,
for your sound's divine expression,
burst of joy in living things:
God, our God, the worlds composer,
hear us, echoes of your voice:
music is your art, your glory,
let the human heart rejoice!

Psalms and symphonies exalt you,
drum and trumpet, string and reed,
simple melodies acclaim you,
tunes that rise from deepest need,
hymns of longing and belonging,
carols from a cheerful throat,
lilt of lullaby and love song
catching heaven in a note.
Remain standing

Parting Words
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place...
The Community Candle is extinguished

May we go forth in the certainty of faith,
in the knowledge of love, and in the vision of hope.
All And in our going, may we be blessed
with all good things on this day and forever more.
  Harold Babcock

Words of Blessing
May the God who dances in creation,
who embraces us with human love,
who shakes our lives like thunder,
bless us and drive us out with power
to fill the world with her justice.
All  
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn/Song (Cont)For the Music of Creation(Tune: ‘Russington’, 87.87D)                                       41(v3) AA
All the voices of the ages
in transcendent chorus meet,
worship lifting up the senses,
hands that praise and dancing feet;
over discord and division
music speaks your joy and peace,
harmony of earth and heaven,
song of God that cannot cease! 
Shirley Erena Murray
The people sit after the hymn

'This Week' at (NN)
Notices
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles

Music

Fellowship
Morning tea is now served.
You are invited to share in this time of fellowship

You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you
to share with another member of your family, or with a friend.


Some of the Resources used in Shaping this Liturgy:
Abbott, M. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for Seasonal Use. Unley. MediaCom Education, 2001.
Alleluia Aotearoa.  Hymns and Songs for all Churches. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel.
Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
(HCL) 
Hymns for the Celebration of Life. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964.
Inclusive Readings. Year A. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2004.
McRae-McMahon, D. The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Liturgies for Living and Dying. Melbourne. JBCE, 1996.
Mission Prayer Handbook: God’s Word. God’s World. Sydney. National Assembly, Uniting Church in Australia, 2006.
Patton, K. Services and Songs for the Celebration of Life. Boston. Beacon Press, 1967.
Pratt, A. Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a Spiritual Journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
Pratt, A. Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2002.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon.
Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins, 1991.
Helen Richmond.
Special Resources. UCA National Assembly. (Issued from time to time).
(SLT) Singing The Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993. 
Vosper, G. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). Celebrating Women. New Edition. London. SPCK, 1995.
Withrow, L.
Seasons of Prayer. Resources for Worship. London. SPCK, 1995.

Web sites/Other:
Babcock, Keip. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA.  www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/
Sherri Weinberg. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport, 2004.
Jerry Stinson. “The Encounter of Progressive Christian Theology with the Language of Prayer and Ritual on Sunday Morning”. Westar Institute/Westar Leaders Seminar. March 2006.
David Galston.
Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/

rexae74@gmail.com