Revd Rex A E Hunt

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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.

31 May 2020. Pentecost A. (Red).

Worth Pondering
“Theology can never begin by assuming that it already has the answer.
Any theology that does not begin with radical doubt is basically dishonest”
(B. Brandon Scott )

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, and 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 

(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


Refreshment Station/Water Basins
Pottery basins are set on stands near the entrance to the sanctuary. 
Attendees are invited to dip their hands in the cool water in the basins as they arrive. 
Or to rinse each other’s hands. 
That we may relax, be refreshed, and prepare for this time together.

(Note: A small sign is placed above the basin explaining that as they dip their hands in the water, they are invited to relax and try to mindfully set aside or release for a time anything that might be preventing them from being fully present—each traveler rinsing the “dust from the road”).


(A suggestion of other words)
We come together from our separate lives,
each of us bringing our concerns, our preoccupations,
our hopes, and our dreams.

We are not yet fully present.
The traffic, the last-minute cooking, the final details still cling to us.
        Our bodies hold the rush of the past few hours.

It is now time to let go of these pressures
and really arrive…   

When you are ready, repeat silently to yourself: ‘Hineini’ or ‘Here I am’.
Hineini is used in the Torah to signify being present
in body, mind, and spirit.
        It means settling into where we are and simply being “here”. (Adapted/Nan Fink Gene)

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

God's spirit calls us into the future,
God's spirit calls us to new vision,
God's spirit calls us in compassionate love

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the (red) Pentecost Candle
May this dancing flame inspire us to fill our lives with
the ideals of love, justice and truth.  
(J L Quarles)
The Pentecost Candle is lit.

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) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism HERE

Sung Response  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Halle, Halle, Halle  (Tune: ‘Halle Halle’)                                                                    720 TiS
(Sung twice)

Halle, halle, halle - lu - jah!
Halle, halle, halle - lu - jah!
Halle, halle, halle - lu - jah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Remain standing after the hymn


Pentecost(Tune: ‘Streets of Laredo’)
The backwash of rumour unsettles the faithful,
that Jesus has risen, the morning has come,
when all of the world will be shaken and driven,
the spirit is waiting, will rise with the sun.

The locks are unbroken, disciples are waiting,
each ear is attuned for an uncommon sound:
the footsteps of soldiers, a hidden informant,
the spirit is waking to turn them around.

In hushed conversation they plan out a future,
not knowing for certain what fate has in store,
when flames curl around them, warm hearts and clear voices,
the spirit has found them behind that closed door.

And now we wait with them, we follow tradition,
we echo the story that we’ve heard before,
God’s spirit is near us, around and within us,
empowering, informing what God has in store.

So let us go out in the power of that spirit
to live lives like Jesus, to cheer and restore
the ones who are broken, derided, forsaken,
the spirit is moving, the future is sure.  © Andrew Pratt 2010


"Enemy of Apathy” (Tune: 'Thainaky’,                                                               418 TiS
She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters,
Hovering on the chaos of the world’s first day;
She sighs and she sings, mothering creation,
Waiting to give birth to all the Word will say.

She wings over earth, resting where she wishes,
Lighting close at hand or soaring through the skies;
She nests in the womb, welcoming each wonder,
Nourishing potential hidden to our eyes.

She dances in fire, startling her spectators,
Waking tongues of ecstasy where dumbness reigned;
She weans and inspires all whose hearts are open,
Nor can she be captured, silenced or restrained.

For she is the Spirit, one with God in essence,
Gifted by the Saviour in eternal love;
She is the key opening the scriptures,
Enemy of apathy and heavenly dove.  (John Bell and Graham Maule)

Opening Sentences
We gather as seekers of truth and beauty.
All  In the face of a world too often false and ugly

We gather as a community of love
All  Before a world too often unloving.

We gather to nurture our souls in a puzzling,
even dangerous, universe.
All  In faith, let us reason.
In spirit, let is relish paradox.
Let us bring forth our best, to bestow
Like seed in an empty land. 
 (Dennis McCarty/tga)


v1  Do not give easy or unthinking response 
to this day’s call to celebration. 

Having inherited the church from Peter and the others
who gathered so long ago on Pentecost in Jerusalem,
we now recognize that God’s Spirit fills us
so that we may dream dreams and see visions.
v2  The call to celebration today is a summons
to be touched by holy fire.
All  Even now the flames may dance above our heads,

v2  Igniting our concerns for justice and peacemaking
so that they blaze into commitment.
All  Even now the flames may be burning into our hearts,

v1  Animating us, leaving us no peace as individuals
until God’s justice and peace fill the earth
as the waters fill the seas.
All  Prophets, visionaries, dreamers! 

v2  Let us all celebrate God’s love 
with courage and with hope.  (Jerry Stinson)

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.


We pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, come,
Breathe into our hearts this day.

Bless our celebration and inspire us,
that we may live Spirit-filled lives
of love and compassion for all.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  Gather the Spirit”  (Tune: ‘Gather the Spirit’,                  347 SLT
Gather the spirit, harvest the power.
Our sep'rate fires will kindle one flame.
Witness the mystery of this hour.
Our trials in this light appear all the same.
Gather in peace, gather in thanks.
Gather in sympathy now and then.
Gather in hope, compassion and strength.
Gather to celebrate once again.

Gather the spirit of heart and mind.
Seeds for the sowing are laid in store.
Nurtured in love, and con-science refined,
with body and spirit united once more

Gather the spirit growing in all,
drawn by the moon and fed by the sun.
Winter to spring, and summer to fall,
the chorus of life resounding as one.
Jim Scott
The people sit


Miracle of Life(Tune: ‘Ode to Joy’, 87.87D)                                                            7 SiF
Miracle of life unfolding,
dazzling to our watching eyes,
far beyond full comprehension,
secrets of the earth and sky.
Each advance of understanding
each new piece of knowledge gained
leaves the soul amazed and humbled,
child-like wonder yet remains.

Nature teams with life abundant,
stunning in variety,
shape and size and colour diff’ring,
wondrous in complexity.
From a high, majestic mountain
to the contours of a shell,
Life has much to teach of diff’rence,
Rich we be to learn it well.

Filled with joy we stand in wonder
at the life in which we share,
Gratefully we find our spirits
sensing glory everywhere.
Sun and moon and tiny creature
in their beauty stir the heart,
leading us to sacred duty,
call us well to do our part.   © Scott Kearns 2008
The people sit

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 worship.
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.


Presentation of Water Basins
Words which acknowledge that the dust of many roads and many life experiences has been rinsed into the basins, and calls for the contents of the basins and the gathering to be transformed, renewed, and more fully alive

The dust of many roads and may life experiences
has been washed in this refreshing water.
For this place is a sacred place.

May we
greet one another with open hearts and minds;
inspire each other to consider new questions
and seek deeper meaning;
and cultivate both wisdom and compassion.

And may this time together empower us to take some new steps
so all our living is transforming and theyearning of our hearts become reality.

Bowls of water removed from the Gathering space to an outside garden

Centering Silence
Let us take a moment now to settle into the silence.
Hear and feel your quiet breathing.
Hear and feel the quiet of this place
and this community of people.

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.
In this gathering of old and new friends
may our minds be open to new truth,
and our hearts be receptive to love,
as we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share.  (Emmy Lou Belcher-adapt.)

Music of Celebration


Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Three stories from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
Our reader is (NN).

Early Christianity:
Acts 2:1-4  (Inclusive text)

When Pentecost day came around,
the apostles had all met in one room,
when suddenly they heard
what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven.
The noise filled the entire house where they were sitting.

And something appeared to them
that seemed like tongues of fire;
these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak foreign languages,
as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.


The World Around Us:
"The Cry”
Nikos Kazantzakis.
Report to Greco.

Blowing through heaven and earth,
and in the heart of every living thing,
is a gigantic breath - a great Cry - which we call God.

Plant life wished to continue its motionless sleep next to stagnant waters,
but the Cry leaped up within it and violently shook its roots:
"Away, let go of earth, walk!"

Had the tree been able to think and judge,
it would have cried:
"I don't want to.
What are you urging me to do?
You are demanding the impossible!"

But the Cry, without pity, kept shaking its roots and shouting,
"Away, let go of the earth, walk!"

It shouted in this way for thousands of eons;
and lo! as a result of desire and struggle,
life escaped the motionless tree and was liberated.

Animals appear - worms - making themselves at home in water and mud.
"We're just fine here," they said.
"We have peace and security; we're not budging!"

But the terrible Cry hammered itself pitilessly into their loins.
"Leave the mud, stand up, give birth to your betters!"
"We don't want to! We can't!"
"You can't, but I can. Stand up!"

And lo! After thousands of eons, humans emerged, trembling on their still unsolid legs.

The human being is a centaur; our equine hoofs are planted in the ground,
but our body from breast to head is worked on and tormented by the merciless Cry.

We have been fighting again for thousands of eons,
to draw ourselves, like a sword,
out of the animalistic scabbard.

Humanity calls in despair,
"Where can I go?
I have reached the pinnacle, beyond is the abyss."
And the Cry answers,
"I am beyond. Stand up!"

All things are centaurs.
If this were not the case, the world would rot into inertness and sterility.

Hymn/Song   People stand as they are able, to sing
"Pulsing Spirit" (Tune: ‘Beach Spring’, 87.87D)
Pulsing Spirit, rippling river,
Source of mercy’s tender might,
gentle power, humble glory,
subtle, ever dancing light:
healing Wisdom in us flowing,
now reveal our human worth.
Play beneath the muddied waters:
Come renew the face of earth!

Spirit, free, unbounded motion,
beauty’s mirror, heart’s delight,
gift abundant all around us,
flood the world with life and light.
Fountain ancient, ever springing,
play in new creative ways.
Lift us, stream of lavish loving,
high on waves of joyful praise!  
© Delores Dufner


Praise to the Living God”  (Tune: ‘Leoni’, 66.84D)                                    215 SLT
Praise to the living God,
all praised be The Name,
which was, and is, and is to be,
for aye the same.
The one eternal God
ere aught that now appears:
the first, the last, beyond all thought
or timeless years!

Unformed, all lovely forms
declare God’s loveliness,
no holiness on earth
can e’er The Name express
whose love enfolds us all;
whose laud the earth displays,
Yea, everywhere, above, below,
is perfect praise.

The spirit floweth free,
high surging where it will,
in prophet's word did speak of old,
and speaketh still.
The Torah rest secure,
and changeless it shall stand,
deep writ upon the human heart,
on sea and land.

Eternal life hath God
implanted in the soul;
such love shall be our strength
and stay while ages roll.
Praise to the living God!
All praised be The Name
which was, and is, and is to be,
for aye the same!  (From the Jewish Yigdal c. 13th cent.)


"Make Spaces for Spirit!" (Tune: 'Erena', Colin Gibson)                                    96 HoS
Make spaces for Spirit! For energy rising.
for Pentecost presence, the wind and the fire,
a new kind of language, a voice and a vision
to shift and uplift us, to rouse and inspire.

Make spaces for action by spirited people:
the leader, the teacher, the healer of ill,
the builder, the artist, the bringer of laughter,
the melding and welding of spirit and will.

Make spaces for graces, the gifts of the Spirit,
the fruit of the garden where love is the spring,
the water of blessing, the incense of worship,
the wine poured for sharing, the hope that will sing.

Make spaces for Spirit by changing of systems,
by opening prisons, by debtors' release,
the flaming of courage, the firing of justice,
the Spirit of Jesus, the coming of peace.  
(Shirley Erena Murray)

Celebrating with the Psalmist (In the spirit of Psalm 104):
"The Mystery of Life"
By Norman Habel. Rainbow of Mysteries/209-210

Sky life! Amazing!
A living Presence fills the sky
like a wild and wondrous night rider!
All  You make the clouds your chariot!
You ride on the wings of the wind!
You make the winds your messengers!
Fire and flame your ministers!

Bird life! Amazing!
A deep impulse causes the rivers to flow
and the birds of the air to celebrate!
All  You make springs gush forth in the valleys!
They flow between the hills!
By the streams the birds have their habitations!
They sing among the branches!

Plant life! Amazing!
A life impulse in the ground
creates plants to sustain and celebrate!
All  You cause the grass to grow for the cattle
and make plants for people to cultivate,
to bring forth food from the Earth,
and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.

Tree life! Amazing!
Trees are planted, watered, and nurtured
personally by a true tree lover.
All  The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly!
The cedars of Lebanon that God planted!
In them the birds build their nests!
The stork has its home in the fir trees!

Sea life! Amazing!
All  Yonder is the sea, great and wide!
Creeping things innumerable are there!
There go the ships!
And Leviathan that you created to play with!

Land life! Amazing!
All  When you hide your face they are dismayed!
When you take away their breath they die!
When you sent forth your breath, they are created!
And you renew the face of the ground!

All life! Celebrate!
All  May the Presence of the Lord last forever!
May the Lord celebrate the Lord’s works!

Traditional Gospel:
John 7: 37-39 

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out,
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.

“As the scripture has said,
‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him
were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit,
because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Contemporary Exploration HERE and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection


A Litany for Pentecost 1 (Optional)
The people stand.

Flame of purity:
Le  Light us up.
Flame of beauty:
Light us up.