Pentecost5A.5.7.2020

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
5 July 2020.  Pentecost 5A. (Green).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“The scripture about the wonder of life is written by oceans,
atmosphere, and the babies of bacteria, plants, and other lives”
(Paul R. Fleischman)

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

Now is the time to dance heaven's dance,
Time to discern eternity's face,
Moment of knowing beyond all sight,
Day of God's smile and tender embrace.
  (William L Wallace)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Let the light we kindle go before us,
strong in hope,
wide in good will,
inviting the day to come.

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, 10. Terrorist Attacks,
 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) Some specific resources on Terrorism HERE
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Everything Has its Own Season” 
(Tune: ‘Westminster Abbey’)                                       26 TMT
Everything has its own season;
time for darkness and for day;
time for sound and silent stillness,
action's time or thinking's way;
time for waking, time for sleeping,
time for work, and time for play.

Everything has its right timing,
time to hold or to let go,
compromise or for confronting,
time for joy or tears of woe;
time for dying and new living,
time for yes and time for no.

Each of these are special timings-
all belong in life's great web.
Help us, Christ, discern the patterned
life arising from the dead,
and embrace your timeless loving
with awareness you have fed.  (William L Wallace)

OR

Celebrate the Glory(Tune: ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’)
O come raise your voices, sing with joy and gladness
Sing of the marvel and the wonder we know
Born in the heart and shared the wide world over
Come, celebrate the story
Come, celebrate the story
Come, celebrate the story
The story of love.

Through countless trials, in the bleakest hours
Over the barriers that lay in their way,
Millions have carried light into the darkness
We celebrate their stories
We celebrate their stories
We celebrate their stories
The stories of love.

Wonder of wonders, strength beyond all knowing:
Human compassion meeting needs in the world.
Ours is the task to carry on this story
To celebrate the glory
To celebrate the glory
We celebrate the glory
The glory of love.   (R. Scott Kearns 2010)
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
We are called to celebrate, not just by words spoken,
but also by miracles recalled:
All  
a baby's first cry, the petals of a rose,
mist-covered hills, the restless tides of the seas,
human love, human hope.

We respond with gratitude: 
All  with joy, with wonder,
at life’s boundless possibilities.
  (Adapted. Gordon B McKeeman) 

Act of Awareness
We have been placed within the interwoven fabric of nature…
May we appreciate its beauty:
mountains and valleys, rivers and plains,
sea and sky, and all of the earth with its
its vast array of plant and animal life which it sustains.

OR

We pray:
Blossom of Love, give us courage and an open spirit
as we consider the life and teachings of Jesus.

May we feel an invitational embrace
beckoning us to fullness of life where we
celebrate beauty and
engage the causes of suffering.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song "We Can Change the World”  (Tune: ‘Jerusalem’)                                           68 SNS
How can we change the world we know?
How can creation safely grow?
What can we do to stem the flow
Of evil now and long ago?
We dream of pictures bold and bright,
Of children squealing with delight,
Of strong integrity for the right,
Of darkness conquered by the light.

How can we change the world to be
Where ev’ryone is safe and free?
How can we make society
A kind and just community?
We dream that fear will have no place;
When war will cease and leave no trace;
When all humanity, every race,
Will greet each other and embrace.

We can do more than only dream;
We can enhance love’s wondrous 
And when the torment is extreme
Be sources from which hope can stream.
We can refuse to bow to greed;
We can speak up for those who bleed;
We can, with sympathy, help to feed
The hungry ones and those in need.

In Christ we have the way laid bare;
Follow his calling, if we dare;
God’s love is costly, so beware
God’s claims can take us anywhere.
But in God’s love we can be strong;
And be triumphant over wrong;
And in our joy we sing a song,
For in God’s love we all belong.  
(George Stuart) 

OR

"God Of The Galaxies"  (Tune: Cheam)                                                                           54 AA
God of the galaxies spinning in space,
God of the smallest seed, our living source,
yours is the gift of this beautiful place.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Careless and covetous, gross are our greeds,
taking the riches the garden provides,
wasting its goodness, forgetting its needs.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Forests and rivers are ravaged and die,
raped is the land till it bleeds in its clay,
silenced the birdsong and plundered the sea.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Let there be beauty, and let there be air
fragrant with peace, never poisoned with fear,
freed from the plagues of pollution and war.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Life is a holy thing, life is a whole,
linking each creature and blessing us all,
making connections of body and soul.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.
  (Shirley Erena Murray)
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
Let us now settle into silence and stillness.
(Silence)

Let us centre our minds and our hearts.
We are one with the universe.
We are one with the sun and the stars.
We are one with the earth.
We are one with the One who is mystery…
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
Reader:  Into this day will break moments of awareness,
tiny shards of light that illumine
the whole reality of existence.
All 
May these readings be such a moment
and may we be blessed by their gift. 
(Gretta Vosper/ab)

• "Changing Times"
(Author Unknown)

I remember when I was about 15, a friend of mine walked up to the bus stop where I was waiting and told me that President Kennedy had been assassinated.  By the end of the day this was confirmed on every TV station and newspaper, and we all realised that the world, as we knew it, had changed. Probably the younger generation felt the same way on the 11 September 2000, when two jets flew into the twin towers in New York.

Since then a lot of changes have occurred on the world stage, and also in our own lives, and it seems to some that changes occur more rapidly as one gets older.  In many communities, in the workplace and even in our own families, changes take place and we need to adjust to them.

John O’Donohue, in his book Anam Cara describes the effect of change on many people in the workplace who believe “naively in the systems in which they are involved. When they are suddenly laid off, or the system collapses, or someone else is promoted, they feel wounded and demeaned… Their energy was claimed and used, but their souls were never engaged.”

Wherever change is occurring, it depend on the person’s own value systems, attitudes, personality and spirituality how easy they find it to “embrace” change and move according to the expectations of those around them.

Kathy Galloway, in her verse quoted below, speaks about the ability to remain “real” and human while going through this change process, whether we are managers, employees, parents, partners, helpers, carers, siblings or friends. We all should have the right (I believe) to say “ I am real, I am hurting, I am grieving, I am finding this difficult” and we all need support and understanding. 
Even though we may be called on to be the strong one, or the leader, or even the “change agent” we need to make others realise that all participants are going through the process together.
I'm not a symbol
I'm not a statistic
I'm not the inches in somebody's column.
I'm not admirable, but
I'm not pitiable either.
I'm simply human.

If you turned me inside out,
you'd find fury, fear, regret and sorrow
struggling with the love and longing,
hope and wonder,
and all my neediness.

Please take these things seriously.
Don't pietise or glamorise or trivialise or sermonise.
They are the marks of my life,
gift and loss,
wound and offence.

Please respect them.
I am at odds with all that requires me to be a symbol.
I insist on being real.

It is most important, Kathy stresses, to recognise the humanity and the reality of each one of us. 
She says “it is in the reality of our own lives, that we are the most personal, most relational most loved and precious.”
Let us try and remember this the next time change comes our way, next month, next week, maybe tomorrow…

• Matthew 11:25-30  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus exclaimed,
'I bless you, O God, Ruler of heaven and earth,
for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and
revealing them to mere children.

'It is true, Abba, because you have graciously willed it so.

'You have given everything over to me.
No one knows me but you, Abba, and
no one knows you, Abba, except me
and those to whom I  choose to reveal you.'

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.

'Shoulder my yoke and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

'Yes, my yoke is easy, and my burden light.'

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

God is with us.  This we celebrate.
For we have seen the signs of grace
in every place,
in every generation.
All  The beauty of the creation, in all its pristine wonder,
is not the only dwelling place of the creator.

This, our God, is born again in cities
as well as country stables.
All  Is found in holy places and the supermarket,
sits with us in coffee shops,
and by the one who hopefully sings a song
on the streets of this day.

The spirit dances on concrete
All  and holds in comfort those who walk
with briefcase and shopping bag.

The God who is more than we can ever name or know
All  is beside us in every work place and every hidden home
of our body, mind and soul.  (Dorothy McRae-McMahon/Adapt./ith)

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.

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Deeper Love(Tune: ‘O Waly, Waly’, 88.88)
For deeper love we spread the bread
I won’t be full till all are fed
Till every soul has home and bed
The rest of us can’t move ahead

For deeper love we share the wine
I cannot taste the love divine
Till every soul has walked the line
And you’ve had yours like I’ve had mine

Now Mary sings her birthing song
Till every voice can sing along
And voices weak will rise up strong
Her choir is one where all belong

No one’s saved till all are healed
As Jesus on the Mount revealed
Your life and mine forever sealed
Just like the lilies of the field

We follow where the Christ has led
To table that for all is spread
And no one’s sitting at the head
But deeper love in wine and bread.  
(Jim Burklo)

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:
As one heart is lifted
All  May we share its celebration
As one heart is burdened
All  
May we share the pain it knows.   Gretta Vosper/wwg

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

When we are grieving or sad,
When we are challenged,
When we need help,
All   This flame guides us out of the darkness.

When we are cheerful,
When we celebrate,
When we accomplish a great task,
When we return to a place that makes us happy,
All   This flame reminds us to share our happiness with others (Adapt/APalmer)

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   O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos
you create all that moves in light.
Hear the one Sound that created all others,
in this way the Name is hallowed in silence.

Your rule springs into existence
as our arms reach out to embrace all creation.
Let all wills move together
in your vortex, as stars and planets
swirl through the sky.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:
subsistence for the call of growing life.

Lighten our load of secret debts as
we relieve others of their
need to repay.

Keep us from hoarding false wealth,
and from the inner shame of
help not given in time.  
(Matthew Fox/ormw)

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.