Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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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.


“There is a need for the religious traditions… to appreciate that the primary sacred community
is the universe itself, and that every other community
becomes sacred by participation in this primary community”

16 May 2021.  Easter 7B. (White).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“Nearly all the best things that come to me in life
have been unexpected, unplanned by me”
Carl Sandburg

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, 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 gather 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/Video 

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

We gather now,
harvesters of an all-pervasive grace,
unexpected benefactors of the deed
to this great and glorious cosmic inheritance. (Bruce Sanguin/idp)

Let us then celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community 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
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Resurrection All Around Us
(Tune: ‘Ode to Joy’, 87.87D)
Resurrection all around us,
hearts arise and leap for joy
Hope eternal grows within us,
voices silenced now employ
Live in joy of new beginnings,
live in harmony and love
Finding strength to meet each trial,
conquering sorrow, being love.

Being human, honouring Jesus,
in a covenant of grace
Living the divine commandment,
one with all the human race
Leading strong for peace and justice,
doing away with hate and fear
Finding ways to work together,
keeping voice and vision clear.

Celebrate the light within us,
love divine and human spark
Reaching out to be inclusive,
everyone a work of art
Light the flame of love around us,
echoing through the stars above
Holding hands, in peace surround us,
being human, being love.  

Opening Sentences
God of the past who has fathered and mothered us
We know your presentness.
God of the future who is always ahead of us
We trust your presentness.
God of the present here in the midst of us
All  We celebrate your presentness.  (Adapt.Ruth Burgess/pfd)

Act of Awareness
In the midst of our everyday
we are faced with choices and possibilities.

Creativity and hope are bubbling, birthing within us.

Each day brings opportunities to lift us,
to fascinate us… to challenge us,
our relationships, our minds, our bodies.

May we strive to see beyond our limitations.
May that which lies waiting in our hearts
come to birth within and through us.
May we live into each new day the fullness of each possibility…


We pray:
God of good presence all around us
help us to find and celebrate the goodness
that is given to us in this new day.  (Francis Macnab/fwb)

May it be so.
All  May it be so with us.

Hymn/Song "O River Mother, Spirit of Creation" (Tune: 'O Perfect Love',                 6RP 
O river mother, spirit of creation,
flowing so freely since the dawn of time,
source of all life and onward propagation, 
summer's bright warmth and winter's frozen rime.

Once from a riven altar, out through history,
your source of life flowed on to all the earth;
then cosmic letters formed the timeless story,
charged with your passion, grace and love and worth.

Now at the point in time of our existence,
through faith and science we discern our place.
We understand your gentle, calm persistence
folding around us with your love and grace.

O river mother, flowing to the future,
on past the present that we see and feel,
take us, flow with us, kindly love and nurture
virtues that make your presence strong and real.  © Andrew Pratt

People sit

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.


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 and the water placed on an outside garden

Centering Silence
          Centering silence has its roots in the earliest of monastic traditions of the ‘desert Fathers (abbas)/Mothers (ammas)’
          and the Christian mystic tradition… Relaxing into ‘quietness’ creates the space for deep listening and draws you into yourself

How good it is to be alive!
Yes, we feel the beat of our own hearts,
the pulsing of life in our veins,
the rhythm of our breathing.

We come into the silence of this time with gratitude for this day.

We come with our needs.
And we come because we have gifts to share.

In our coming and in our going
may we be strengthened
in our bonds of love and peace.

Music of Reflection


Wisdom from the World/Religious Traditions
          “Wisdom is not just special knowledge about something. Wisdom is a way of being, a way of inhabiting the world.
          The beauty of wisdom is harmony, belonging and illumination of thought, action, heart and mind.”
(John O’Donohue)

Reader:  Into the silence of our hopes and dreams,
words work upon us to break, crack, open us to new understanding.
All  May we experience, in these words,
a seeking after truth, that we may lift ourselves
to this same desire.
 (Gretta Vosper/ab)

• Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 (NRSV/adapted)

In those days Peter stood up among the believers
(together the crowd numbered about 120 persons) and said,
“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled... concerning Judas,
who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus
for he was numbered among us
and was allotted his share in this ministry. 

"One of those who have accompanied us during all the time Jesus lived among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day when he was taken up from us,
one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.”

So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas... and Matthias.

Then they prayed and said,
“Lord, you know everyone’s heart.
Show us which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this ministry and apostleship
from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”

They cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias.
And he was added to the eleven apostles.


• “Be Praised by Butterfly”
By Mary Goergen.
Earth Prayers/299

Be praised, my God, by butterfly and dragonfly wings exercising for their first flight.
Be praised by lightning and thunder causing spring showers.
Be praised by the silent voice of grass growing and trees budding.
Be praised by all the coloured flower trumpets of spring.
Be praised by downy feathers freshly dried
on newly hatched ducklings and chicks.
Be praised by the songs of birds, crickets and frogs.
Be praised, my God, by all your creation which tells of new life.

• John 17: (Selected verses/NRSV)

After Jesus had spent time teaching his disciples, he took some time out for prayer.
This story commences in the midst of that prayer...


“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world.
They were yours, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word...

“For the words that you gave to me I have given to them,
and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you;
and they have believed that you sent me...

“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.
Holy One, protect them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one, as we are one.

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them
because they do not belong to the world,
just as I do not belong to the world.

“I am not asking you to take them out of the world,
but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.

“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection


An Affirmation of Faith   (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share an affirmation of faith.
The people stand as they are able

We believe in a light that smothers darkness.
All  It tears through every shadow in our world,
and leaves a clarity brighter than the sun,
and we name that light: God!

We believe in a love that crushes hatred,
All  and leaves a space for forgiveness,
to rebuild, redesign, and re-create our world,
and we name that love: God!

We believe in a truth that rips through injustice
All  revealing a different vision for our world:
of freedom, fairness, and future,
and we name that truth: God!

We believe in a hope that rattles oppressors,
All  shaping the intent of the Creator
for a people destined for love,
and we name that hope: God!

We believe in a time towards which all history travels,
All  where all our lives will be held,
and bound into eternity,
and we name that time:
God!  (Allan Leggett)


Litany: The Manifold Richness of Life
v1  Let us rejoice in the manifold richness of life, about us and within:
within us as understanding and choice,
about us as a fair and bountiful nature,
and the works of generous souls;
All  We rejoice in the abundant life.

v2  In the immemorial story of humankind;
of struggle and venture,
of sowing and reaping,
of mirth and zest,
of rites and assemblies,
of mating and feasting,
of ordered custom and new liberties won;
All  We rejoice in the story of humanity.

v1  In the finding of facts and in shapes of moulded form,
in motions of the dance and of melody,
in storied images of grief and ecstasy,
in new visions of order;
All  We rejoice in the beauty of art
and the power of knowledge.

v2  For the rest of home, the comfort of friends,
and the unending charm of persons;
for the desire to work and to create,
for the broad earth and the affairs of toil open before us;
All  We are thankful for home and friends
and life’s labour.

v1  For prophets and reformers who cry shame upon social wrong,
for leaders of the people who are wise in the policies of state,
for many forms of effort to build a commonwealth
where all may reach their highest good: we are thankful;
All  Let us cherish the state that mighty ends may be achieved.

v2  For shrines of faith where goods are praised and evils faced,
where sorrows are healed and high purposes kindled,
where our spirits are brought to that accord with all things
which is at once our noblest task and most sublime joy:
we are thankful.
All  Let us upbuild the church in strength to minister
ever more abundant life and peace to all the world
(Von Ogden Vogt (1879-1964)

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you.
All And also with you. (David Galston/q)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours


Facing the person with right hand on your heart and a slight bow of the head…

The Divine in me honours the Divine in you.

The Light in me recognises the Light in you.

The spirit within me sees the spirit within you.

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
God of the Northerlies”  (Tune: ‘Matangi’                                                              45 HoS
God of the northerlies, giver of grace;
warm and enveloping, fill every place.
Nurture the earth, water the seeds.
God of the northerlies, fulfil our needs.

Christ of the easterlies, life-giving Son;
earthly, renewing, in you we are one.
Hope is reborn, changing our hearts.
Christ of the easterlies, your peace impart.

Spirit of westerlies, gust through our lives;
shaking, disturbing the scheme we devise.
Teach us your truth, gift us your word,
God of the westerlies, faithfulness stirred.

God of the southerlies, polar defined,
crisply and sharply reshaping our minds.
Challenge our ways, strengthen our wills.
God of the southerlies, your love fulfills.

God of the north and the east, south and west,
Creative Process, by whom we are blest,
breeze through our lives, earnest and strong;
Spirit, keep blowing and lure us along.  (Bill Bennett/Last verse adapted, RAEH)


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? (Binkley & McKeel/jke)

In Solidarity
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 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)


As we have received, so we give:
freely, cheerfully and liberally.

In the Beginning...
v1  In the beginning was God