Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
Remember to bookmark my web site:

Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
’Refresh’ each page before reading - especially if you are using Google Chrome - to make sure to get my latest edition

22 April 2018.  Easter 4B. (White).
Earth Day

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 Gathering space. 
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 traveller 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

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

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 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 

Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
The Arching Sky of Morning Glows  (Tune: ‘Tallis’ Canon’, L.M.)       330 SLT
The arching sky of morning glows
like frescoes high in vaulted rows. 
The ragged hills of greening spring 
like chorus masters bid us sing.

The colours of our contoured land
no artist born could hue as grand,
but contours of the human heart
sole groundings are for every art.

When ever sounds the sacred sigh
beneath this gable of the sky,
the forms of art and spirit blend,
by craft and morn our hearts transcend.  (Mark L. Belletini)


God of Diversity(Tune: ‘Margaret’. By Colin Gibson)      40 HoS
God of diversity, vibrant creation
is bursting with signs of extravagant joy.
In riot of blossom, in species unnumbered
we see that all difference is ours to enjoy.

God of diversity, nations and cultures
tell of the richness life offers to all.
In language and symbol, in story and doctrine
we clothe our experience, respond to your call.

God of diversity, humans embody
the interdependence of ear, eye and hand;
we struggle to learn, in this globe-become-village,
our need of each other in every land.

God of diversity, help us to honour
our different perspectives on things that are true,
as, knowing more deeply the God in Christ Jesus,
we learn how to worship with all who love you. (Margaret Bond)

Opening Sentences
As we enter into this sacred place,
put away the pressures of the world that ask us
to perform,
to take up masks,
to put on brave fronts.
Silence the voices that ask you to be perfect.
This is a community of compassion and welcoming.
All We bring all that we are and all that we yet can be,
to this safe and holy place.

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/sscol)


We pray:
God of sky and God of earth, we honour
your presence within us and beyond.

May we be empowered with a loving and just peace.
May it be so.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Song   "Song of Faith"  (Tune: Abbeyfield, 87 87 87 87)   57 FFS
Song of faith that sings forever
through God's people, ages long,
Word that holds the world together
when our hearts take up the song,
always, always somewhere sounding,
though the source we do not see,
counterpoint to all despairing
it is hope that sets the key.

Song of faith in exultation,
rising through the vaults of prayer,
tune of simple celebration
offered up in open air,
song in chapel and cathedral,
descant to our daily tone,
song from sickbed or in prison:
faith must often sing alone.

And when life would overwhelm us,
when there seems no song to sing,
hear the constant voice of courage
out of fear and suffering:
all who've loved and trusted Jesus,
all who lift us to be strong,
endless, endless are the voices
of the faith that makes the song. 
(Shirley Erena Murray)


People are God’s Language(Tune: ‘Ellers’, 10 10 10 10)           71 SNS2
People are language through whom God can speak;
Heard by the list'ners, found by those who seek;
Heard in a whisper, never in a roar;
Heard in compassion, not through formal law.

People are language through whom God can care
With words of comfort when we see despair;
Spoken in kindness, yet with certainty;
Heard with delight when calming misery.

People are language through whom God can plead
For peace and mercy, for the ones in need;
Spoken in strength, with poise and dignity,
Calling for justice and for liberty.

Sharing of love with acts of gentleness,
Sharing the load with deeds of thoughtfulness,
We can ensure the message can be heard;
For we are language of God's living word.  (George Stuart)

Welcome  In our 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 the
yearning of our hearts become reality.
The bowls of water are removed from the Gathering space

Continuing the series of ‘After Easter’ meditations
by Michael Benedikt… Jewish by birth.

“God is here now and at hand”
Michael Benedikt. God is the Good We Do. Theology of Theopraxy/6.

God is not out there,
or back then.
God is here, now,
and at hand.

We are larger, each one of us, than all of the galaxies combined.

This is why the rabbis said:
“to redeem one person is to redeem the world”.


"Just as You Are: A Progressive Christian Welcome”
by Jim Burklo

We follow the way of Jesus.
He opens our hearts
To know that our true selves are one with God, who is Love.
Jesus saves us from fear, from selfishness, from meaninglessness.
He leads us to serve with compassion and act for justice.
He moves us to curiosity and creativity.
He brings us together in the community of the church,
Where we grow in Divine Love,
Build with others a more heavenly world,
And worship God with humble joy.
We listen for Holy Spirit whispers:
We wait for her to stir our souls
In silent contemplation.

We treasure the living, progressing Christian tradition.
We creatively employ the sacred myths of the Bible
To express our spiritual experience
Beyond the bounds of creeds or beliefs.
We interpret anew our ancient practices of prayer and worship.
We embrace what is good in our religion, and in others,
And release what stands in the way of the law of Love.
We follow the way of Jesus,
And we invite you to walk with us,
Just as you are.

Centering Silence
Let us again listen to the silence of this sacred space.
A space made ready for us by willing hands.

Now let silence gently enfold us.

In this day made fresh,
In the chorus of birds,
In the scent of wild flowers,
We embrace this day in hope.



Readings from Biblical Tradition
Two readings from our biblical tradition shall now be read by (NN).

First Reading/Hebrew Scriptures: (Responsive)
Psalm 23
(Accompanied by drum beat)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
The Lord lets me rest in green pastures
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
by still waters he leads me, restores my soul.
All  God leads me in paths that are right and true
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
for the sake of the name of my Shepherd, the Lord.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me


No drum beat
Even though I walk through the valley,
the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, - they comfort me.

Drum beat
You prepare a table before me,
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
and I’m safe from those who would harm me.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
With oil on my head you anoint me.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
My cup overflows with God’s goodness,
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 
goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
and I’ll live in God’s  house all my days.
All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me


All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me.  (WPoG)

Traditional Gospel:
John 10:11-18 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus said:
"I am the good shepherd.
Good shepherds lay down their lives for their sheep.

"The hirelings, since they are not the shepherds
and the sheep do not belong to them,
abandon the sheep and run away
as soon as they see a wolf coming,
and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep.

"I am the good shepherd.
I know my own and my own know me,
just as God, who sent me, knows me, and I know God.

"And I lay down my life for the sheep.
There are other sheep I have that are not of this fold,
and these I have to lead as well.

"They too will listen to my voice,
and there will be only one flock and one shepherd.

"God loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.

"No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will,
and as it is in my power to take it up again.

"And this is the command I have been given
by the One who sent me." 

Contemporary Exploration and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection


A Litany of the ‘Ordinary’ (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on,
let us share a litany celebrating the ‘ordinary’.
The people remain seated

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)


If celebrating Earth Day…
“Simply Cherish The Earth
By William F Schulz

Regardless of our differences, there are a host of affirmations
that we embrace as the basis for our faith.
Whatever we think the holy may be,
Creation itself is holy.
All  We make no distinctions between the natural and the supernatural, 
the secular and the sacred. 
We simply cherish the earth and all its creatures, 
the stars in all their glory.

Life’s gifts are available to everyone,
not just the chosen or the saved.
All  Only human artifice or blind ill fortune can separate us 
from the source of our blessings.

That which is Divine, Precious, or Profound
is made evident not in the miraculous or otherworldly,
but in the simple and the everyday.
All  We look not to the heavens 
or an afterlife for our meaning, 
but to the exuberance of this life's unfolding.

Human beings themselves are responsible
for the planet and its future.
All  Social and environmental justice is a religious obligation. 
The future is never fated.

Every one of us is held in Creation's hand.
We share its burdens and its radiance.
Hence strangers need not be enemies.
All  The earth is our cherished home; 
all its inhabitants our companions.

Although death confronts us all,
we love life all the more,
perhaps because we loose it.
All  An honourable and impassioned life 
may not deny death its due, 
but it can surely deny it of its victory.

If Remembering ANZAC Day:  (A Reflection followed by Silence)
By Jena Woodhouse
(Published in Eureka Street, Vol 27 No. 8. 25 April 2017)

Getting off the bus at Woden,
I fell into conversation
with another passenger called Robyn,
who then waited with me
for the bus to Manuka, to see
me off, the way friends will,
or people who are closer: family, kin.

I told her I had visited
the War Memorial.
She said she'd never known
her father, who'd been killed
in action, somewhere. No,
she couldn't tell me where,
she'd been only three. She'd not
been out to view his name,
embossed in metal on the wall.
Her health was poor, she wasn't sure
she'd manage all the walking.
But growing up, she'd missed the father
she had no remembrance of.
She'd always felt the lack of him —
an ache time could not ease

Sharing 'The Peace'
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey,
you are welcome here in this safe and sacred place.
So let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.

The peace and presence of God is here... to stay. (Iona)
All Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
All Creatures of Our God”  (Tune: ‘Lasst Uns Erfreuen’, 88.88. Alleluias)
(Leader spoken, Sung response)

v1  Praise God, you holy ones…
Praise Wisdom Sophia, all shining stars.

All creatures of our loving God,
Lift up your voice with praise and laud,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
You blazing sun with golden beam.
You silver moon with softer gleam!
O praise God! O praise God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

v2  Praise God, highest heavens…
She established you forever and ever.

You rushing wind, air, clouds, and rain,
By which all creatures you sustain.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
You rising morn, in praise rejoice,
You lights of evening, find a voice
O praise God! O praise God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

v3  Praise Wisdom Sophia, all the Earth…
Storm winds that fulfill God’s word.

You swirling water, flowing clear,
Make music for your God to hear,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
You glowing fire who lights the night,
Providing warmth, enhancing sight…
O praise God! O praise God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

v1  You mountains and all you hills.
You creeping things and flying birds.

Dear gentle Earth, who day by day
Unfolds your blessings on our way,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruit that in you grow,
Let them God's glory also show!
O praise God! O praise God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

v2  Let God be praised by all the faithful ones,
By the people/women of (name your group), the people close to God.

Let all on Earth our Creator bless,
And praise our God in holiness,
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!’  (Adapted from the original by Diann Neu)


God The One Forever Making(Tune: ‘Making New’, Wm Wallace/Suxanne Lennon. Alternate Tune: ‘Deerhurst’, J Langran)
God the One forever making
All the old into the new,
Source of all creative passion
Found in each emerging view,
You are God forever dreaming,
You are Spirit in each part,
You are Christ the Sacred Presence
Found within each human heart.

Through our worship, with its rituals,
We can shape new songs of praise,
We can touch without molesting,
Share in all God’s pictured ways.
Every person is creative
Like the God who gives us birth;
As God’s priests and as God’s prophets
We hold power to change this Earth.

When we pray for other people,
When we meet them face to face,
Our imagination helps us
Share the others’ pain with grace.
Every person is creative
Like the God who gives us birth;
As God’s movers and God’s shakers
We hold power to change this Earth.

In a world of many viewpoints,
Many shapes of social norms,
We will value our own vision
While respecting other forms.
Every person is creative
Like the God who gives us birth;
As God’s movers and God’s shakers
We hold power to change this Earth.

Every day has new beginnings,
Every heart creative fire,
Waiting, waiting for the fanning
Sparked by Spirit’s deep desire.
You are God forever dreaming
You are Spirit in each part,
You are Christ the Sacred Presence
Found within each human heart. (William L Wallace)


Faith Writes the Hymn(Tune: ‘Woodlands’, 10 10 10 10)       10 TEL
Faith writes the hymn that celebrates the world,
tomorrow’s world, more hopeful than today’s;
God sets the key for faith to call the tune,
and make of us the instruments of praise.

Faith uses song to stir us and move one,
to rally and to raise our spirits high,
to whistle up the courage to be changed,
and lift our wings in learning how to fly.

Faith needs a song to heal our deepest pain:
lament and loss would silence us in tears.
God gives us music to anoint the soul,
and speak in ways that only sorrow ears.

Faith writes the hymn that keeps us singing hope,
although we cannot see the sun will shine;
faith sets a lively rhythm to our step,
and draws our hearts to beat with the divine.  (Shirley Erena Murray)


If remembering ANZAC Day
A Century Passes”  (Tune: ‘Engelberg’, 101010.6 or’Sine Nomine’, 101010.10)   127 MTH 
When using SINE NOMINE the alternative verse endings shown in square brackets should be sung.

A century passes, memories will fade;
war’s sun goes down, sharp pain is hid in shade.
Yet still we pray for peace, as those men prayed;
we will remember them. [we will remember, we will remember.]

Ten times ten thousand fell amid that rage.
What is the gain we measure from that age,
once reaped from carnage on that harrowed stage?
We will remember them. [We will remember, we will remember.]

While some were buried, others have no grave,
unmarked they fell, yet all, we say, were brave,
and still we stand in thanks for all they gave:

we will remember them. [we will remember, we will remember.]

Then let us work and move and strive for peace
until the grace of God can bring release,
and then all nations sing and never cease:
Alleluia! [Alleluial Alleluial]  (Andrew Pratt. © Copyright 2014 Stainer & Bell Ltd)


Honour the Dead”. Hymn for Anzac Day(Tune: ‘Anzac’, 10 10 10 10)    61 HoS
Honour the dead, our country's fighting brave,
honour our children left in foreign grave,
where poppies blow and sorrow seeds her flowers,
honour the crosses marked forever ours.

Weep for the places ravaged by our blood,
weep for the young bones buried in the mud,
weep for the powers of violence and greed,
weep for the deals done in the name of need.

Honour the brave whose conscience was their call,
answered no bugle, went against the wall,
suffered in prisons of contempt and shame,
branded as cowards, in our country's name.

Weep for the waste of all that might have been,
weep for the cost that war has made obscene,
weep for the homes that ache with human pain,
weep that we ever sanction war again.

Honour the dream for which our nation bled,
held now in trust to justify the dead,
honour their vision on this solemn day:
peace known in freedom, peace the only way.  (Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.

Here today, 
we renew our unity with one another,
and with all those who have gone before us in this place.

Here today, 
we renew our communion with the earth
and our interwovenness with the broken ones of the world.

Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat


"Somewhere someone":
The kingdom of love is coming because:
All  somewhere someone is kind when others are unkind,

somewhere someone shares with another in need,
somewhere someone refuses to hate, while others hate,
somewhere someone is patient - and waits in love,
somewhere someone returns good for evil,
somewhere someone serves another, in love,
somewhere someone is calm in a storm,
somewhere someone is loving everybody.
Is that someone you? (jke)

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
In the light and beauty of day
All We give thanks in awe and wonder.

In the dark and stillness of night
All We dream of healing and hope.  (Gretta Vosper/wwg)

And so we take this flame and light our special care candle...
The Care Candle is lit

For ourselves, for those named or remembered, and in solidarity with those

who have not the freedom to express their concern or celebration
for fear of discrimination or condemnation.

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of the sacred among us,
and to see the new possibilities of the now.

The 'Abba' Prayer:  (Optional)
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Abba/Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as appropriate

All  Father, may your name be holy.
May your rule take place.
Give us each day our daily bread.

Pardon our debts, for we ourselves pardon
everyone in debt to us.

And do not bring us to trial
into a trying situation.  
(Burton Mack/Q) 


Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
A Firemist and a Planet(Tune: 'Thornbury', 76 76D)    343 (v1-2) SLT
A firemist and a planet,
a crystal and a cell,
a starfish and a saurian,
and caves where ancients dwelt;
the sense of law and beauty,
a face turned from the sod
- some call it evolution, 
and others call  it God.

Haze on the far horizon,
the infinite tender sky,
the ripe, rich tints of [wheat]fields,
and wild geese sailing high;
and over high and low-land,
the charm of golden rod
- some people call it autumn, 
and others call it God.

Parting Words
Let us take on this week’s life with renewed hope and imagination...
The Community Candle is extinguished

May we truly pay attention to the world as it is,
with all its joys and sorrows.
All And may we learn to find joy in savoring
rather than consuming.  (Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Words of Blessing
Go forth into this day with confidence in the
enabling spirit of God that challenges and
nurtures you to growth.
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont).A Firemist…(Tune: 'Thornbury', 76 76D)   343 (v1-2) SLT
Like tides on crescent sea-beach,
when moon's so new and thin,
into our hearts high yearnings
come welling, surging in,
come from the mystic ocean
whose rim not foot has trod
- some people call it longing,
and others call it God.

A sentry lone and frozen,
a mother starved for her brood,
and Socrates' dread hemlock,
and Jesus on the rood;
and millions, who, though nameless,
the straight, hard pathway trod,
- some call it consecration,
and others call it God.  
Wm H Carruth
The people sit

'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles


Morning tea is now served.