Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
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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.

Another Liturgy for this day, World Water Day, is available HERE


“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"

21 March 2021.  Lent 5B. (Purple).

Worth Pondering
“If you put effort into understanding what life is,
you will feel wonder”
(Paul Fleischman)

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/Videos 

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

As we live, we are transmitters of life.
And when we fail to transmit life,
life fails to flow through us
(D H Lawrence)

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

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
"As Our Congregation…(Tune: ‘Nettleton’ 87.87D)                                                                  43 WNC
As our congregation gathers
lift our lives, with love amaze;
offer some melodious treasure,
fill our hearts with wondering praise.

Crashing brass and singing cymbals,
soaring organ, sound and light;
fill this space with awe and thunder,
lift us through the veil of night.

Then a sudden, silent stillness
holds an echo in the air:
on a knife edge, balanced, waiting,
in the silence, you are there.

Joy beyond imagination,
love incarnate, hope to hold,
faith we cannot sound or fathom,
gripped in wonder, we behold. 
Andrew Pratt
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
v1  We gather in reverence before the wonder of life,
the wonder of this moment,
the wonder of being together, so close yet so apart.
Each hidden in our own secret chamber,
each listening, each trying to speak.

v2  Yet none fully understanding,
none fully understood.
v1  We gather in reverence before all intangible things,
that eyes see not, nor ears can detect;
All  that hands can never touch,
that space cannot hold, and
time cannot measure.  (SLFahs)


Arise, O Living Spirit, embrace the day ahead,
All   awake our eyes and ears for wonder.

Invoke anew the wisdom which is our daily bread.
All   Protect anew the pilgrim of the dawn.
  (Diarmuid O’Murchu)

Act of Awareness
We come together in this hour...
in a wider search for truth and purpose.

In this quest, 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.

Let all who enter this sacred place
find comfort and solidarity in this community.


We pray:
God of all life, we give thanks for the signs
of love and creativity that surround us
and bless us in each moment.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  "Now Light is Less" (Tune: 'Sursum Corda',                                         54 SLT
Now light is less; noon skies are wide and deep;
the ravages of wind and rain are healed.
The haze of harvest drifts along the field
until clear eyes put on the look of sleep.

The garden spider weaves a silken pear
to keep inclement weather from its young.
Straight from the oak, the gossamer is hung.
At dusk our slow breath thickens on the air.

Lost hues of birds the trees take as their own.
Long since, bronze wheat was gathered into sheaves.
The walker trudges ankle deep in leaves;
the feather of the milk-weed fluters down.

The shoots of spring have mellowed with the year.
Buds, long unsealed, obscure the narrow lane.
The blood slows trance-like in the altered vein;
our vernal wisdom moves through ripe to sere.
(Theodore Roethke)
The 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 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

Let us now take a moment to settle into the silence of this sacred place.

May our silence grow profound
as we are embraced by the spirit
of our highest hopes.

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.
 May we experience, in these words,
a seeking after truth, that we may lift ourselves
to this same desire.
  (Gretta Vosper/ab)

• "All Seasons" 
By Bruce Prewer. Brief Prayers for Australians Vol 3./62.

Open our lives, loving Spirit,
to the opportunities of every season.

In the season of success give us gratitude and humility.
In the season of frustration give us patience and serenity.
In the season of failure give us repentance and sincerity.

May the glory of your loving presence
saturate and fill all our days.


• "In Respect for Stephen Hawking”
By Andrew Pratt. 

Beyond impossibility
where concepts such as time and space
evaporate, are meaningless,
there flows an endless stream of grace.

Deep in the darkness laughter rocks
as human minds are changed and swayed,
as concrete truths are shaken down
and doctrines challenged or betrayed.

The greatest minds that have evolved
have opened wonder, filled with awe,
have pointed to infinity
yet left a darkness to explore.

Unmeasured depths of gracious love,
of Godly mischief reach and range,
while new beginnings light our world,
unlooked for, awesome, wondrous, strange.

• Mark 11:15-19  (Scholars Version)

They came to Jerusalem.

And Jesus went into the temple and began chasing the vendors
and shoppers out of the temple area,
        and he turned the banker’s tables upside down,
        along with the chairs of the pigeon merchants,
                    and he wouldn’t even let anyone carry a container through the temple area.

Then he started teaching and would say to them,
“Don’t the scriptures say, ‘My house is to be regarded as a house of prayer for all peoples’? - but you
have turned it into ‘a hideout for crooks’!”

And the ranking priests and the scholars heard this
and kept looking for a way to get rid of him.

The truth is that they stood in fear of him, and that the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.

And when it grew dark, Jesus and his disciples
made their way out of the city.


• John 12:20-30  (Inclusive Text)

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 
These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, 
and put this request, ‘We should like to see Jesus.’

Philip went to tell Andrew,
and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. 

Jesus replied to them:
‘Now the hour has come
for the Human One to be glorified.

'I tell you, most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.

'Anyone who loves their life will lose it;
Those who hate their life in this world
will keep it for eternal life.

'Those who serve me, must follow me,
for where I am, my servants will be there too.
Those who serve me, my God will honour.

'Now my soul is troubled.
What shall I say;
O God, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.
Most loving God, glorify your name!’

A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’

People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder;
others said, It was an angel speaking to him.’ 

Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.

‘Now sentence is being passed on this world;
now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I shall draw all to myself.’

For those interested…
You can purchase a copy of the Inclusive Texts/Readings (AU$50) from:
Inclusive Language Project
PO Box 1303
Toombul QLD 4012 Australia

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection


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

v1  We believe in a sacred power within and around us.
v2  A Divine Source that we call by many names
and experience in many ways,
that empowers and heals,
that calls us forth.

All  We believe in our creativity.
v1  Making and transforming beauty out of words and notes,
images and colours, lines and pictures...
and silence.

All  We believe in doing justice.
v2  Justice that compels and empowers us
to risk whatever we must risk to create a climate
in which all people can be who they are.

All  We believe in our dreams.
v1  We experience the world as it is,
in both its ugliness and beauty,
and we see what it can become.

All  We believe in making peace.
v2  A peace that is based on openness,
honesty and compassion.

All  We believe in hope.
v1  We expect change to continue to occur in our world.
We rely on our courage to continue
to bring about these changes.

All  We believe in love.
v2  A passionate love within and around us
that laughs and cries,
challenges and comforts,
a healing love that perseveres.

All  We believe in potential.
v1  We know who we are,
painful as that can be at times,
yet we continue to call each other
to become more of who we are.

All  We believe in celebrating.
v2  We remember and we commemorate.
We create rituals.
We play and dance, and sing and love well.

All  We believe in our diversity.
v1  We affirm our many shapes and sizes,
colours and traditions,
emotions and thoughts,
differences and similarities.

All  We believe in life.
v2  Life that wells up within
and flows out of us like a streaming fountain.

All  We believe we are good and holy,
a sacred part of all creation. SKramer/cl

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
Presentness – The Canberra Affirmation(Tune: ‘Ascalon’, 668D)                                       27 SNS2
There is a 'presentness'
In our midst that we confess;
Sensed both within and beyond us all;
This 'presentness' can be
Transforming constantly
In each event and overall.

We give this 'presentness'
Many names which do express
The faith of those with religious creed;
'God', 'Sacred' and 'Divine'
'Love' and 'The one true vine'
Can prompt the caring act and deed.

We recognise these names
Are but only passing frames
For all the pictures we have been taught;
Each image we attempt
Can never be exempt
From all prevailing views and thought.

To this grand mystery,
Our response can only be
Far and beyond what we understand;
For our ability
To search infinity
Can never match such high demand. (George Stuart)


In Northern Hemisphere:
Lo, the Earth Awakes Again”  (Tune: ‘Easter Hymn’, 77.77 with alleluias)                         318 HCL
Lo, the earth awakes again
From the winter’s bond and pain.
Bring we leaf and flower and spray
To adorn this happy day.

Once again the world comes true,
All the earth shall be made new.
Now the dark cold days are o’er,
Light and gladness are before.

Change, then, mourning into praise,
And, for dirges, anthems raise.
How our spirits soar and sing,
How our hearts leap with the spring!
Alleluia!  (Samuel Longfellow, 1887)
People sit


Let our gratitude for life be expressed in our generosity.
Let our faith be expressed in good causes.
Let our belief in the future find full expression
in our daily attitude of mind. 
(Francis Macnab/fwb)

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:
Holy God, as you have touched us
All  May we now touch others
with your love in us.  (Adapt.Kate Galloway/cw)

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  God, who cares for us,
The wonder of whose presence fills us with awe.

Let kindness, justice and love shine in our world.
Let your secrets be known here as they are in heaven.
Give us the food and the hope we need for today.

Forgive us our wrongdoing
as we forgive the wrongs done to us.
Protect us from pride and from despair
and from the fear and hate which can swallow us up.

In you is truth, meaning, glory and power,
while worlds come and go.
Amen.  (MFurlong/nwi)


Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Brother, Sister.../The Call of Christ(Tune: 'Servant Song', 87.87)

Brother, sister I'm beside you,
Let me be as Christ to you,
Pray that I might have the grace
to let you be as Christ to me.

We are pilgrims on a journey
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will share your problems with you
I'll support you in your space
I will help you run your distance
I will look you in the face.

Parting Words
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God who is found
in ordinary and surprising places.
The Community Candle is extinguished

Let us go from this place, facing and serving the world
with confidence, generosity and integrity.
All  Let us live out the heart of religion which is to bring together
all that is divided, to live in the moment, to love mightily
and to reverence the mystery, beauty and spirituality
of all things and all people.  (C3Exchange web site, 2009)

Words of Blessing
And now may the blessings of life