Revd Rex A E Hunt

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4 June 2017. Pentecost A. (Red).

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 and their stewardship
of this land throughout the ages.

(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)

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
The spirit of imagination is a gift to all people.
The spirit of faithfulness is the gift of the earth.

The spirit of hope breathes
in the homeless and marginalised in this city.
All  The spirit of freedom
was announced by those who went before us
and we proclaim it again today.

The spirit of love is a gift to the church in every age.
All  We see the flame of the Spirit of God.
The Pentecost Candle is lit.

The spirit is dancing, moving, struggling, rising
and calling to the ends of the earth.
All  We have seen the flame of the spirit in our midst.
Thanks be to God.  (Dorothy McRae-McMahon/eoj-adapt)

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

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’, 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
It is time! Spirit, move in the heart of God
Come, warm into the rock of our beginnings,
alive with original blessings.

Spirit, run in the streets of the city.
Flow to the deep brown roots of our belonging.
Spirit, invade the air.
Stretch widely with whispering wings,
and cover us with your healing.

Spirit, soar in the mobile phone towers and shop fronts.
Carry the seed, call the song of the dance in the heart of God.
Wake us to hope and freedom.
  (Dorothy McRae-McMahon/eoj)


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 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

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:
"Wind, Wind. A Reflection on the Spirit"
By William Loader  

Wind, wind,
you come from nothingness and go to nothingness,
and when you are still,
there is nothing we see, nothing we hear,
and you surround us in our not seeing and not knowing.

Wild, wild wind,
you whip the seas, whirling great water spouts and fountains,
crashing the foamed edges of the shore,
sweeping the unsuspecting fisherman from the slippery rocks,
terrifying force, uncontrollable, beyond our power.

Wind, wind, wondrous wind,
hovering at the birth of creation,
whisking secretly among the wonders of new life,
bearing the seed, lifting high the heads of mighty trees,
swirling among the grasses, celebrating life.

Wind, wind, gentle wind, 
wind of our breathing, our life, our hope,
renewing, refreshing,
sighing in our stress,
moaning in our pain,
still in our dying.

O wind, wind,
you breathed upon the clay and there was life,
you danced down to the forehead of a Galilean 
and there was hope,
you shook the foundations of community 
and there was Pentecost.


"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  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,