PentecostA.31.5.2020

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
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 
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 

Silence

Arrival
v1  We arrive, each of us, jostled and distracted,
Trailing clouds of many days of hurry and worry.

v2  We come to center ourselves once more;
To touch again that place inside
Where we are most at home with who we have become;

v1  To find once more that place of calm
Where we're not isolated from each other.

v2  We come to re-weave the unraveling fabric of community;
To re-connect once more with the larger human family;
To remind ourselves that we belong,

v1  And to remember what it is we belong to.

v2  We come to re-affirm those values which we would have
Find their way into our lives and our relationships;
To choose again our better selves, and the
Ways we know of peace and gentleness and joy.

v1  We come —
To center ourselves, To open ourselves, To remember ourselves,
All  And to celebrate the life we share together.  (Mike Young/tcb)

Gathering Music/Prelude
At the conclusion of the Music the Gong is sounded three times

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

OR

Rhythmic, Mothering, Holy Spirit”  (Tune: ’St Catherine’, 87.87)                                            140 RP
Rhythmic, mothering, holy spirit,
childhood voice we understand;
love’s cascade, we’re bathed within it,
tide of love that warms the strand.

Homely sense of God around us,
light in darkness, joy in play;
so secure for God has found us,
fire by night and cloud by day.

As we grow and leave the safety
of the home that we know best,
life’s sharp flavours turn more tasty,
freedom gives a greater test.

Sometimes we feel lost, forsaken,
sometimes filled with holy joy,
each sensation will awaken
love that nothing can destroy.

Babbling, bubbling, foaming spirit,
lead us onward to the height,
then confirm, and let us sense it:
God is ours and love beams bright.  (
Andrew Pratt/© Stainer & Bell)

OR

"Enemy of Apathy” (Tune: 'Thainaky’, 11.11.11.11)                                                                      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)

OR

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.

OR

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’, 9.9.9.10/Refrain)                              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.
Refrain:
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
Refrain:

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.
Refrain:       
Jim Scott
The people sit

OR

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

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 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.)
(Silence) 

Music of Reflection  (Solo, sung)
"Touch the Silence”  (Tune: ‘Lumina', Irregular, #110 HCL)
Touch the Silence within yourselves,
Let your own quietness be heard.
Hold to the calm within yourselves
As to the only word.  (Mike Young/tcb)                                             

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
Reader:  May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this/these reading/s.

All
 And may our minds be fertile soil
in which it/they may grow strong and true.  (Gretta Vosper/ab)

• 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.

OR

• "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?