Mother’sDayB.9.5.2021

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

 Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
Suggestion: ’Refresh’ each page before reading to make sure to get my latest edition

xxx

A GATHERING LITURGY
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

“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.”

9 May 2021. Mother's Day.

Worth Pondering
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined,
and that we can do nothing to change it,
look before they cross the road”
Stephen Hawking

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


GATHERING

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 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

We are held by an awesome beauty.
 Above, below, surrounding us is the constant presence of Life…  
(Gretta Vosper/hb)

So 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) Specific resources on Terrorism HERE
xxx

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Praise to God, the World’s Creator"  (Tune: 'Abbot's Leigh', 87.87D)
Praise to God, the world’s creator,
Source of life and growth and breath,
Cradling in her arms her children,
Holding them from birth to death.
In our bodies, in our living,
Strength and truth of all we do,
God is present, working with us,
Making us creators too.

Praise to God our saving Wisdom,
Meeting us with love and grace,
Helping us to grow in wholeness,
Giving freedom, room, and space.
In our hurting, in our risking,
In the thoughts we dare not name,
God is present, growing with us,
Healing us from sin and shame.

Praise to God, the Spirit in us,
Prompting hidden depths of prayer,
Firing us to long for justice,
Reaching out with tender care.
In our searching, in our loving,
In our struggles to be free,
God is present, living in us,
Pointing us to what shall be.  (Jan Berry/cw)

OR

xxx

Remain standing

Opening Sentences
v1  We live at mystery's edge
watching for a startling luminescence or a word to guide us.
All  
In fragile occurrence the Holy One
presents oneself and we must pause...

Daily, there are glimmers, reflections of a seamless mercy
revealed in common intricacies.
All  These circles of grace spill out around us
and announce that we are part of this mystery.  Keri Wehlander/sosob

v2  Out of waiting comes birth, from the East comes the sunrise
(First bowl of flowers)

v3  Out of the seed comes new life
(Second bowl of flowers)

v4  Out of winter comes the spring
(Third bowl of flowers)

v5  Out of sleep comes the awakening.  (Margie Abbott/soc)
(Fourth bowl of flowers)  

Act of Awareness
We give thanks for the opportunities we have
to gather in this sacred space and celebrate our life together.
We will live this day as if it is the only day we have to live.
And we will sleep each night as if unnumbered tomorrows
will follow our each and every awakening.  (Adapt. Kenneth Patton/sscl)

OR

As we continue to share in this Easter season, may we be helped to say
yes to life,
yes to a new beginning,
yes to the presence that gives us courage
for whatever is ahead of us.

OR

We pray:
Living God, we offer thanks and praise
for the vitality of your presence in our midst,
and for this opportunity to come together
to celebrate our common hope.

Be the creativity that sustains us
in these changing and challenging times.
May it be so.

Lighting of Community Candle
Community Candle is lit

Hymn/Song   "Dear Mother God"  (Tune: Intercessor’, 11.10.11.10)
Dear Mother God, your wings are warm around us,
We are enfolded in your love and care,
Safe in the dark, your heartbeat's pulse surround us,
You call to us, for you are always there.

You call to us, for we are in your image.
We wait on you, the nest is cold and bare -
High overhead your wing beats call us onward,
Filled with your power, we ride the empty air.

Let not our freedom scorn the needs of others -
We climb the clouds until our strong heart sings -
May we enfold our sisters and our brothers,
Till all are strong, till all have eagles' wings.  (Janet Wootton/cw)

The people sit

Welcome    
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.

Reflection
“Valiant Women”
A compilation by Miriam Therese Winter and others

v1 Throughout history and at present,
there have been and are many valiant women,
generous, gifted, who have given of themselves
for the benefit of others
with little or no recompense.

v2  I picked a rose this morning...
Strong in colour,
with dew resting gently on its petals.

It’s fragrance filled my spirit.

As I picked it,
it’s thorns scratched my hand,
and blood mixed with the dew.

And I was reminded of life, and all that comes with it.
A rose is placed on the table near the Community Candle

v1  Today we celebrate, honour and mourn
the role and place of women in this world.

The strength and colour of women,
the fragrance and wholeness of women,
the damaged and bleeding women,
the relationships between women and men,
the life of women and men we know and don’t know.

We come to God, who created women as well as men.

OR

"Womanly God"
By Mary Ann Ebert. Celebrating Women/133.

Womanly God, who are you?
The weaver of warm garments and magic tapestries;
The homemaker, welcoming and accepting;
The sister, second half - disturbingly other;
THe listening, reassuring friend, silent consolation;
The delightful daughter, discovering and dancing;
The encouraging teacher, suggesting new words, new vision;
The backbreaker planter of fields, weeding, reaping; the treader of wine;
The nurse with full breasts and herbal remedies;
The virgin bride, the fulfilling wife, the desolate widow;
The free creative maiden; the long-living treasury of wisdom;
The wind that make the heart sing.

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
xxx

xxx

• Proverbs 31:10-31 (Adapted and paraphrased)

Who shall find a valiant woman?
Look! We are all around you...
unheralded,
invisible,
some say non-existent,
but we know otherwise.

She is in the work rooms of industry and on every functioning enterprise.
Broadminded, her global perspective is a source of nurture for her.
She rises early, before the dawn,
to prepare food for her family
and organise the tasks of the day...
contributing,
setting standards,
changing the course of history.

She considers her options, then makes her move,
investing the experience she already has
or even profits previously earned.

She works diligently, taking pride in her inner resources and strengths.

When her gifts are encouraged and their value affirmed,
she will work well into the night,
entering wholeheartedly into even the menial tasks...

She opens her heart to the needy,
she is generous with the poor,
yet she does not neglect her family’s needs