Pentecost7A.19.7.2020

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
19 July 2020. Pentecost 7A. (Green).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“While some Christians find the idea that we ‘come from the apes’ offensive,
our greatest hope for planetary survival may lie precisely in making this connection.
We can literally re-member ourselves,
we can locate ourselves as members, not as rulers,
of a great procession of life”
(Bruce Sanguin)


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

v1 Come in.  Come into this place
which we make special by our presence.

Where the ordinary is sanctified,
the human is celebrated,
the compassionate is expected.
Together we make it a holy place with our every act of celebration.

v2 Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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

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
(iii) Some specific resources on Terrorism HERE

Hymn/Song   The people stand as they are able, to sing
Here Is A Canvas(Tune: 11.10.11.10)
Here is a canvas as broad as creation,
here is a palette of life and of light.
Here God is painting through each generation,
mixing fresh pigments to move or delight.

Artists have joined in the bright celebration,
capturing images, pictures that shine;
telling new stories, recording our hist’ry,
moments of harmony,  dancing through time.

Others reflecting, exploring and shaping,
seek to imagine, to let colours flow,
using their skills as they share in creation,
changing perspectives as images grow.

Now let us join in this same acclamation,
challenge perceptions and offer new ways,
new ways of seeing to share re-creation,
now in this place, in this time, in our days.  
© Andrew Pratt 24/4/2010

OR

O Threefold God”  (Tune: Unity)                                                                          110 AA
O threefold God of tender unity,
life’s great unknown that binds and sets us free:
felt in our loving, greater than our thought,
you are the mystery found, the mystery sought.

O blaze of radiance, source of light that blinds,
the fiery splendour of prophetic minds,
you live in mystery, yet within us dwell;
life springs from you as from a living well.

Most loving Parent, Child of joys and pains,
creative Spirit, life-force that sustains,
in bone and flesh, in blood we touch your hand,
your face we see in water, air and land.

In every making, each creative dream
and in the flowing of life’s healing stream,
when love is born or people reconciled,
we share your life, O Parent, Spirit, Child.

O threefold God of tender unity,
life’s great unknown that binds and sets us free:
felt in our loving, greater than our thought,
you are the mystery found, the mystery sought.  William L Wallace

Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
Let there be joy in our coming together this morning.
All   
Let there be compassion heard in the
words we speak, and love in the songs we sing
.
Let there be silence for the voice within us and beyond us.
All   
Let there be joy in our coming together.

Act of Awareness
Today we celebrate a dream awakening.
Today we celebrate with renewed hope in our hearts.
Today we act on an audacity of hopes and dreams for the future.

Today we begin the hard work for justice, equity and
compassion in all human relations,
for today is a day like no other and
it is ours to shape with vision and action.

Let us be together and celebrate a dream awakening.  (Adapt.Elizabeth M Strong)

OR

We pray:
Spirit of life, present in this hour...
may we always sense our presentness
when we gather in this sacred place. 

May all who enter here find comfort
and wisdom in this community.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song God With Joy We Look Around Us”  (Tune: ‘Regent Square’)
God with joy we look around us
At your world’s diversity.
Folk of every kind surround us
And you call your church to see;
All are made in your own image!
All are people whom you love.

In the times we’ve hurt each other,
Lord, we’ve hurt the ones you bless.
Hating sister, cursing brother,
We’ve denied what you express;
All are made in your own image!
All are people whom you love!

God, you sent a Saviour to us,
Breaking walls that would divide.
By your Spirit, now work through us
As we witness side by side;
All are made in your own image!
All are people whom you love!
  Carolyn Winfrey Gillette/sos
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
Now in this moment of silence together...
may it renew our hope
may it refresh our courage
may it lift our spirits
may it restore us in faith.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
Reader:  We listen for truth, yet it is elusive - a thought here, a verse there.
All  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)

• Genesis 28:10-19a  (NRSV, adapted)

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran,
to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set.

Taking one of the stones of the place, 
he put it under his head and lay down in that place.

And he dreamed... that there was a ladder set up on the earth,
the top of it reaching to heaven;
and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

And the Holy One stood beside him and said,
“I am the Holy One, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring;
and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth,
and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east
and to the north and to the south;
and all the families of the earth
shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.

"Know that I am with you and will keep you
wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land;
for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said,
“Surely God, the Holy One is in this place and I did not know it!”

And he was afraid, and said,
“How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

So Jacob rose early in the morning,
and he took the stone that he had put under his head
and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

He called that place Bethel.

OR

• “A Permeable Life”
By Carrie Newcomer

I want to leave enough room in my heart
For the unexpected,
For the mistake that becomes knowing,
For knowing that becomes wonder,
For wonder that makes everything porous,
Allowing in and out
All available light.

An impermeable life is full to the edges,
But only to the edges.
It is a limited thing.
Like the pause at the center of the breath,
Neither releasing or inviting,
With no hollow spaces
For longing and possibility.

I would rather live unlocked,
And more often than not astonished,
Which is possible
If I am willing to surrender
What I already think I know.

So I will stay open
And companionably friendly,
With all that presses out from the heart
And comes in at a slant
And shimmers just below
The surface of things.

OR

If in Southern Hemisphere:
• "Waiting for Spring
By Raina Morreau

The lights don't work
but I know
I am still reflected in my mirror
soon the sun will come and help to prove me right

It's getting cold and I am worried
about getting through the winter
burning candles in my room to cut the chill

But I can just see myself in spring
dressed up like a past-due notice
pale yellow…
or collection agency green

and I can just hear my brother laughing
when we can afford to go have dinner

There will always, always be a spring
Wherever the sun has gone I will always be me

• Matthew 13:24-30  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus put a parable before the crowds:
The reign of God may be compared to a sower who sowed good seed in a field.

While everybody was asleep an enemy came,
sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.
When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well.

The owner's servants came and said:
‘Was it not good seed that you sowed in your field?
If so, where does the darnel come from?’

‘Some enemy has done this’, the owner answered.
And the servants said:
‘Do you want us to go and weed it out?’

No, because when you weed out the darnel
you might pull up the wheat with it.
Let them both grow until the harvest.

And at harvest time I will tell the reapers:
‘First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt,
then gather the wheat into my barn’.

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 faith.
The people stand as they are able

We celebrate
that where people are gathered together in love
All  God is present and good things happen and life is full.

We celebrate
that we are immersed in mystery
that our lives are more than they seem
All  that we belong to each other
and to a universe of great creative energies,
whose source and destiny is God.

We celebrate
that the spirit of God beat in the heart of Jesus of Nazareth
All  and God's good news was heard by the broken and wounded.

We are glad that the spirit of peace
is present with us, the church,
All  as we gather to celebrate our common existence,
and the fidelity of God.

And most deeply we believe
that in our struggle to love,
All  we incarnate God in the world.

And so aware of mystery and wonder,
caught in friendship and laughter,
All  we become speechless before the joy in our hearts
as we celebrate the sacredness of life.
  (Adapt. John Shea/hu)

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 remain seated
Quiet Descending(Music: David A Barker)                                                                     11 TEN
Quiet descending like mist over water,
surrender the care of your heart to its calm.
Holy the places where footfalls sound softly,
for truth speaks its clearest where silence abides.

And awaken all the senses to the longing of the spirit.
Enliven your hearts yearning for truth.
Quiet descending like mist over water,
surrender the care of your heart to its calm.  (David A Barker)

OR

You Do Not Need To Come…(Tune: ‘Ominpresence’, 86.86.10.10)                                 4 TMT
You do not need to come, O God,
you are already here.
You do not need to go, O God,
you are already there.
It is our minds that need to be aware;
it is our hearts, O God, that need to care.

We are your hands and feet, O God,
the presence all can see.
We are the body and the blood,
the Christ in you and me.
It is our minds that need to be aware;
it is our hearts, O God, that need to care.

You do not need to go, O God,
you are already there.
You do not need to come, O God,
you are already here.
It is our minds that need to be aware;
it is our hearts, O God, that need to care.  (William L Wallace)

CELEBRATING

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)

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:
May we have courage in uncertain times,
All  Let it all happen.  No mood is final.
May we recognise new beginnings
in what seem to be endings,
All  Let it all happen.  No feeling is final.  (3CExchange)

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 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)

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY IN THE TRADITION OF THE MEAL
Offerings

Presentation
Bread, wine, money...
May these gifts be brought to life as:
new hope of healing,
fresh ways of coping,
a chance to rest,
a chance to work,
a way to live gracefully.

Thanksgiving
May it be well with you.
All  
And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All  
May we rejoice in the beauty that we areGretta Vosper/wwg

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name God…
For the person we name Jesus…
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit…
All  We give thanks for the love, peace and justice,