Revd Rex A E Hunt

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3 December 2017. Advent 1B. (Blue).

Eureka Rebellion Sunday
The Eureka Rebellion was a rebellion in 1854,
instigated by gold miners in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia,
who revolted against the colonial authority of the United Kingdom.

Worth Pondering During Advent
In fifty years one tree recycles more than $37,000
worth of water, provides $31,000 worth of erosion control,
gives $62,000 worth of air pollution control,
and produce $37,000 worth of oxygen

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


Gathering Music

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)
          Artwork OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Slides 

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Advent is about the birth of something sacred.
For something sacred needs to be born:
born from the mating of what is,
and what might be.
It needs a manger.

So let us prepare a manger in our hearts
for the birth of the sacred.  (Davidson Loehr/First UU Church of Austin) 

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

In this special season, let us celebrate the richness
and diversity of life.

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, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism HERE

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Rejoice! Rejoice!”  (Tune: ‘O Come Emmanuel’)
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel.
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until a Liberator is near.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Our freedom is at hand.
The Dawn of Justice shines upon the land.

Come now, dear friends, for Advent time is here;
It’s time to cast out doubt and crippling fear -
For presently, before our wondering eyes,
This season will bring forth its own surprise.

O come, O Wisdom, sister of us all,
Prepare our ears to hear a wondrous call.
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in your ways to go.

Let us together ponder how we may
Initiate a new and better day.
In numbers we are strong, our faith is great;
No more delay lest justice come too late.  (Words adapted from the original by Diana Neu/rb)


"All Will Be Well" (Tune: 'Julian', Alison Carey)       4 HoS
All will be well,
all things shall be well!
This is the peace
of the deep blue dream;
this is the light
of divinity.
this is the flow
of love'e healing stream.

All will be well,
all things shall be well!
Deeper than pain
lies buried delight;
deeper than grief
dwell life's joyful songs;
all of our wounds
can nurture new light.

Now is the time
to dance heaven's dance;
time to discern
eternity's face;
moment of knowing
beyond all sight;
day of God's smile
and tender embrace.  (William L Wallace)


Advent Song”      281 (v1-3) GA
Gather in hope, people of God.
Sing the Advent song!
Song of faith, song of trust,
a song to welcome the Christ.

Let the warmth of our love,
like the long summer days,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.
Let our will for justice,
as strong as the sun,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.

Let our thirst for the truth,
like the dry, parched earth,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.
Let our dream for peace,
as bright as the sky,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.

Let the prophet be heard,
like the blaze of fire,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.
Let the poor and the rich,
as the lamb and the lion,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.
Refrain:       Dedrie Browne
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
The presentness of Creativity God is among us,
in the wilderness of our cities,
Mn  furrowed by freeways and shaded by skyscrapers.
v2  Prepare a way…

The presentness of Creativity God is among us,
in the wilderness of our countryside,
Mn where farmers eke out a drought-feed existence.
v2 Prepare a way...

The presentness of Creativity God is among us,
moving in the air, the land, and the waters,
Mn  making our world whole.
v2  Prepare a way...
All  Smooth the rough places, move the mountains;
let Creativity God’s glory be displayed. 
(Adapt.Bruce Prewer/ap)


We know not at what hour
we will experience our God,
All  whether in the middle of the night or at the break of day,
at a time to come or in this very hour.

We know not in what place
we will experience our God,
All  whether in the darkness of a city alley
or on a beach warmed by the sun’s rays,
in a far-off, distant land or in the stillness of this place.

We know not through whose face
we will experience our God,
All  whether in the tired eyes of a stranger
or in the warm embrace of a loved one,
within a people yet unknown
or within this community of faith.

Ever-present God, we come together today
with the hope that we will encounter you.
All  Keep us awake; keep us alert
that as we pray and as we sing,
as we make a joyful noise and as we keep holy silence
we might encounter you in this time,
in this place, within this community.  
(Jessica Petersen/ct)

Act of Awareness
Sing out happiness upon the morning.
Celebrate the famous sun and the comely earth.
Think upon love, that it may grow within us,
and compassion, that it may call us to its service.  (Kenneth Patton/sscl)


We pray:
God of all time bless this season of Advent.

May we recognise your presentness,
rather than merely scuttle to and fro,
in a frenzy of cooking and shopping,
parties and glitter.

For this season is precious time... of waiting, of hoping.
May it be so.

Hymn "May God's Wisdom"  (Tune: ‘Stuttgart’, 87 87)
May God's wisdom deep within us
Shape the joy within our hearts,
Smooth the road we travel gently
Using all our loving arts.

May fair blossoms dropping petals
On the living path we tread,
Make a cushioned, glorious carpet,
Fragrancing the way ahead.

May we root our dreams and longings
In a true integrity,
Clearing out all that will hinder
Love's own creativity. 
June Boyce-Tillman/wb
The people sit

In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are here 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.

Advent Candle Lighting 1
v1   As this season of “sparkle and bright” unfolds before us,
the glimmering promises of hope lie like boxed jewels
awaiting an adoring light.

v2 May we hold fast to hope’s patient possibilities.
v3 May we lift them high that they might catch the light of our dreams
and shine bright in our broken world.
v4 And may we instil hope’s challenge in the hearts of our children
that they, too, will live it into meaning–pouring their lives,
as we do ours, into making it real:
for themselves,
for each other,
for the world.

Light candle

v1   May Hope light the world this Christmas.  (Gretta Vosper)


Advent Candle of Hope
Summer is in the air:
we look for the joys ahead;
for holy-days and recreation,
waiting and incarnation.
Come, Companion Jesus, Come.  (Adapt.Bruce Prewer/bpa)

The first candle
This candle reminds us of the light of hope.
In the stillness of our worship here, we light this candle,
watching it burn and glow,
and we affirm once again that we are a people of God.
The candle is lit.  

Presentation of the Christmas Bowl
Let us remember that without hope,
people struggle to find their way.
The Bowl is placed near the candle

Blessing of the Christmas Bowl
The story of the Christmas Bowl can be found HERE

We pray:
God of hope,
we pray a blessing on this Christmas Bowl,
all who give to it,
and all whose lives will be affected by it.

May our hearts burn within us,
enabling us to become reflections of Christ's love,
and hope in the world.
All  Amen. May it be so.

Song  "Child of Christmas Story(Tune: ‘Incarnation’, 65 65)  12 (v1) AA
 Child of Christmas story,
 stable straw and star,
 small and sweet and gentle:
 tell us who you are.  (
Shirley Erena Murray)
The children leave to go to Sunday Club


Centering Silence
Let there now be a silence among us…

May God’s stillness and peace rest upon us.
May God’s presence permeate all our living.
May God’s blessing bloom around us.

Music of Reflection


Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
The reader is (NN).

(i) Traditional Gospel:
Mark 1:2-3   (Inclusive Text)

As it is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah,
Look, I am going to send my messenger before you,
who will prepare your way.

A voice cries in the wilderness:
‘Make ready a way for God,
clear a straight path.’

From the World Around us:
By Bruce Sanguin. If Darwin Prayed/12.

O Holy One,
we acknowledge that we have domesticated
and downsized you,