Pentecost8A.26.7.2020

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
26 July 2020. Pentecost 8A. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is.
The way we cope with it is what makes the difference”
(Virginia Satir)

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

Come into the joy of your divinity,
that the body-mind-spirit may be of one accord
in the fullness of life and of faith.

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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

May this flame remind us of the light of wisdom.
May the warmth of its glow remind us
of the warmth of God's empowering love.
  (Adapt. Vernon Marshall)

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  People stand as they are able, to sing
Sing Praise To All”  (Tune: ‘Lobe den Herren’, 14.14.4.7.8)
Sing praise to all that has offered us life and sustains us -
All that has opened our hearts to the love borne within us:
Family and friends,
Beauty we see without end -
Gifts that our lives lay before us.

Sing praise to all that has opened our minds to new vistas -
All that has called us to seek out new truths through the ages:
Vision and word,
Music that sought to be heard
These are the gifts that will mould us.

Sing praise to minds that will fashion our bold new tomorrows -
Yesterday's wisdom released from its dogma and credos.
Evermore free
To live out what we believe
Walking the path that Life hallows.  
(Gretta Vosper/wwg)

OR

Shake Up the Morning”  (Tune: ‘Shake up’).                                                      18 HSNW
Shake up the morning, let the dawn undress,
Let dew reglisten nature’s loveliness;
Waken the songbird and unseal the throat
That greets the daybreak with a crystal note.
Praise to the Lord, whose morning we inherit;
Praise creation’s fuse, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son who rises with the dawn,
Leaving graveclothes scarcely three days worn.

Shake up the world and let the Kingdom come,
The dumb be listened to, the lost find home;
Make earthly politics the stuff of prayer
Till want and warring are dispelled by care.
Praise to the Lord, whose world we inherit;
Praise God’s catalyst, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose choice it is to bless
Those who work for peace and live on less.

Shake up the Church and let all Christians show
That faith is real, that God is good to know;
Fashion new symbols of the coming age
When hope and love with take the centre stage.
Praise to the Lord, whose Gospel we inherit;
Praise God’s bird of love, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose will and words decree
All are one in this community.

Shake up the evening, let the shadows range
As clouds to castles in the sunset change;
Kindle the moon and stars which through each night
Reflect the glory of tomorrow’s light.
Praise to the Lord, whose evening we inherit;
Praise creation’s presence in the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose brightness none can kill,
Lighting paths for those who seek this will.  © WGWG Iona Community
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
We are awakened from a week of work and worry
to a morning of fresh beginnings and new horizons.
All  For this day of rest we give thanks and praise.

We are awakened from a night of tossing and turning
to a day of surprises and sanctuary.
All  For this day of peace we give thanks and praise.

We are awakened from the mundane and ordinary
by an invitation for search and celebration.
All  For this time of celebration we give thanks and praise.

This is the day that we are given.
Le  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Ri  This is a day like no other!
All  For senses awakened we give thanks and praise.
Blessed be
!  (George L Stewart/adapt)

Act of Awareness
Is it morning, really morning, or is it just another day?
A new beginning or just a continuing yesterday…?

May we greet each day as gift and blessing
fold its promise into who we will become,
and live the fullness of its teachings:
new thoughts,
new ideas,
new potentials,
new promises.

OR

We pray:
Though Winter covers our earth and cold frost stunts much growth,
yet the hope of Spring is awakening us.

For we all are the saplings God has
planted, watered and nurtured.
We and all creation are God’s handiwork,
a design of beauty.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  “We Gaze in Wonder…(Tune: ‘Gaze in Wonder’, 11.10.11.9)                30 WNC
We gaze in wonder at the morning’s dawning,
positive witness to God’s faithful grace;
we turn our backs, and in the shadow standing,
shield the light we need to find our place.

In arrogance, in darkness we will stumble,
screening our eyes, we turn away from light.
We venerate our skill, the rocket’s rumble,
deadens sense, distorting wrong and right.

As stewards of love, let’s contemplate creation,
filigree frosting of a winter’s pain;
God hold in hand elation, desperation,
born in death that we might live again.  (Andrew Pratt)

OR

Touch the Earth, Reach the Sky” (Tune: ‘Touch the Earth’, 6.7.9.8)                        301 SLT
Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Walk on shores while spirits fly
over the ocean, over the land,
our faith a quest to understand.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Children ask the reasons why.
In our lives the answers show,
and by our love they learn and grow.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
All are born and all shall die;
Life’s the time left in between,
to follow a star, to build a dream.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Hug the laughter, feel the cry.
May we see where we can give,
for this is what it means to live.

Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Soar with courage ever high;
spirits joining as we fly,
to touch the earth, to reach the sky. 
Grace Lewis-McLaren.
The people sit

Welcome
In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are worshipping 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 be still and know that all will be well,
that in all manner of things it will be well.
(Silence)

Questions linger…
Deep emotions are felt…
Fresh anticipation percolates, as this community
gathers together in this sacred place.

Draw your deep breath, knowing
you are welcomed and valued now, here.

Be at peace and at one with yourself
and with those close by…
(Silence)

Let us affirm we are not alone…
That we need others and others need us…
to be more of who we are,
to be challenged with new growth,
to be fully alive!
(Silence)

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:  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).

• “Outside Earth, Inside Body”
By Karan R. Aggarwala

The most remarkable things are happening as I witness them.
Rainclouds are pouring their offerings to the earth.
Night follows day and though I sit away from my window,
I can hear the monsoon outside.
Inside, a most favorable climate is taking form.
I feel wheat grass is growing on my head.
The air I breathe is being absorbed by the leaves in my lungs.
Volcanoes on my skin are small red spots.
And beneath rivers of lava-blood flow endlessly.
My heart is a pulsating magnetic core that is immanent yet transcendent.
Like flashes of lightning thoughts permeate my being and
run through my nervous-river system.
My eyes blink wearily as the sun and moon traverse the planet’s horizons.
My roots chew on the food that is offered at the dining table.
A gentle breeze enters the caverns of my nose and then recedes
somewhat like the tides at the beach.
My toes and heels are the twelve constellations
through which my earth-body translates.
Mountains gyrating with joy, geysers simmering with quiet energy,
forests remembering the past, glaciers knowing fragments of the future.

Hymn/Song  In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
Of the Multitude of Words” (Tune:  ‘Vienna’, 77.77)                                                  16 TMT
Of the multitude of words
held within the Bible's wall,
some bring life and some spread death,
some can liberate us all.

Should our use of sacred words
put all other views to flight?
Does our inner certainty
justify abuse of might?

Are our ways of using strength
open for the world to see?
Do they hide behind the texts
masking our transparency?

Loving God, the source of truth,
help us clearly to discern
what brings death and what brings life,
life for which our spirits yearn.

Then O God of spirit life,
we shall live with openness,
giving all the right to be
their true selves with graciousness. 
(William L Wallace)

• Matthew 13:31-33, 44-48  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus said to the crowds:
The reign of God is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown
it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree
so that the birds of the air come
and shelter in its branches.

The reign of God is like the yeast a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of flour
til it was leavened all through...

The reign of God is like treasure hidden in a field,
which someone has found, and hiding it again,
goes off happy, sells all and buys that field.

Again, the reign of God is like a merchant looking for fine pearls,
who finding one of great value
goes and sells all and buys it.

Again, the reign of God is like a dragnet cast into the sea
that brings in a haul of fish of every kind.
When it is full, the fishers haul it ashore.

Then sitting down, they collect the good in a basket
and throw away those that are no use.

Contemporary Exploration HERE and SPECIAL

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany: ‘Here in this Ordinary Place’ (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

May we awaken to the presence of God,
All  here in this ordinary place.
May we awaken to the power of love,
All  here in this ordinary crowd.
May we build a neighbourhood of justice for all,
All  now in this ordinary time.
May we daily work to build a world at peace,
All  now with these ordinary hands
(Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

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

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
Song for Planet Earth(Tune: 'Bunessan') 
Mystery and wonder greet Your creation;
out of the chaos galaxies grow:
may we discern Your purpose emerging –
inter-connections in all we know.

Kangaroos bounding through ancient fern gullies,
whales in the oceans, birds in the air:
we are a part of all this profusion,
may we yet grasp how stewards should care.

We are a nation of droughts and downpours,
yet blighting our world by a consumerist urge:
may we have grace to repent of our folly,
move with Your rhythm, conserve Your earth.

You have endowed us with wisdom and foresight,