Revd Rex A E Hunt
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2 May 2021  Pluralism Sunday
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion

Worth Pondering
“Imagine how differently history would have evolved if every Inquisitor or Jihadist
could tolerate wonder, instead of forcing personal conclusions onto others”
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.


(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


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

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
"O God of Stars and Sunlight" (Tune: 'Munich', 76.76D)                                              11 SLT
O God of stars and sunlight,
whose wind lifts up a bird,
in marching wave and leaf-fall
we hear your patient word.
The colour of your seasons
goes gold across the land:
by green upon the tree-tops
we know your moving hand.

O God of cloud and mountain,
whose rain on rock is art,
your plan and care and meaning
renew the head and heart.
Your word and colour spoken,
your summer noons and showers
by these and by your day-shine,
we know your world is ours.

O God of root and shading,
of boughs above our head,
we breathe in your breathing,
our spirit spirited.
We walk beneath your blessing,
your seasons and our way,
O God of stars and sunlight,
O God of night and day.  (John Holmes/Adapted)


Rainbow Colours”  (Tune: ‘Halton Holgate’, 87.87)                                                 112 MTH
Help us trace your rainbow colours
through these days of change and choice,
holding firmly to your promise:
all the world can praise, rejoice.

In a world of contradictions
let your justice change our ways,
then with mercy fire compassion,
let no bias mar our praise.

Let us nurture fresh expressions,
different ways of being church,
sharing love and understanding,
joining people in their search.

Let us go with common purpose,
though distinctive from our birth;
welcome all to share our vision,
go as one to all the earth.

Through diversity and difference,
rainbow colours of our race,
let us share without distinction
God’s demanding, loving grace.  (AndrewPratt. © Stainer & Bell)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Among us the spirit of Creativity God conceives new life
And we feel the life within us.
In our history Jesus the Sage makes gentle entry
And we see the light before us.
Within our dreams the truth of our God is revealed
We await the hope of the world.


Out of a community of diverse heritage and belief,
we come together to share our hope, 
and to create good in the world

The teachers of all traditions and times
have taught that we are called to mercy, generosity,
and mutual care
  and that to be good is to serve. 

We know that there can be no enduring happiness for humanity
so long as suffering and want go unrelieved;
 until all may be sheltered, none of us is truly at home.

May the power of our various faiths
sustain us in this work, that we may be
the hands of holy creativity and justice;
 and together build a better world.   (Adapted.Kendyl Gibbons)

Act of Awareness
We stand before our sisters and brothers,
the named and the unnamed,
the known and the unknown,
with thanksgiving for all the bounties of the human world:
for the arts,
for the sciences,
for mercies shown and given.  (Adapt.Kenneth Patton/sscol)


We pray:
Be with us, O God, in 
our thinking,
our feeling, and
our being.

Touch us where we need to feel your presence
and encourage us where we need your inspiration.
May it be so.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

At times our own light goes out
and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame within us.  (Albert Schweitzer)

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) Some specific resources on Terrorism 

Hymn/Song  Progressive Hymn”  (Tune: 87.87)
When life juggles with our learning,
with the things we thought secure,
then it seems the artist’s palette
spins and faith becomes obscure.

In the wash of different colours,
as we seek for shape and form,
others paint their faith by numbers
forcing God to fit some norm.

But when life has torn the canvas,
when the numbers twist and slip;
then we need to find an image
that will help our hope to grip:

holding us, when we're past holding,
grounding when we're insecure,
till we find a faith, not drifting,
still dynamic, free, yet sure.  © Andrew Pratt 28/5/2010


Our World Is One World”  (Tune: ‘Chernobyl’, 58.86.4)                                       134 SLT
Our world is one world
what touches one affects us all:
the seas that wash us round about,
the clouds that cover us,
the rains that fall.

Our world is one world
the thoughts we think affects us all:
the way we build our attitudes,
with love or hate, we make,
a bridge or wall.

Our world is one world
it’s ways of wealth affects us all:
the way we spend, the way we share,
who are the rich or poor,
who stand or fall.

Our world is one world
just like a ship that bears us all:
where fear and greed make many holes,
but where our hearts can hear,
a different call.  (Cecily Taylor)

(In your own words)

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


“Fire of the Spirit”
By Hildegard of Bingen

v1   Fire of the Spirit,
life of the lives of creatures,
spiral of sanctity,
bond of all natures,
glow of charity,
lights of clarity,
tastes of sweetness to the fallen,
be with us and hear us.

v2 Composer of all things,
joy in the glory,
strong honour,
be with us and hear us.

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

Amid all the noise in our lives,
we take this moment to sit in silence:
to give thanks for another day;
to give thanks for all those in our lives who have brought us warmth and love;
to give thanks for the gift of life. 
(Tim Haley)

Music of Reflection


Wisdom from the Religious Traditions


• Hebrew Scriptures:
Psalm 98

O sing a new song to the Eternal.
Shout praise, all earth, break into music and song!
Praise the Eternal with the lyre,
with lyre and song.

Let the sea and all within it thunder praise,
the world and its inhabitants,
let rivers clap their hands,
let mountains sing in chorus.

O sing a new song to the Eternal.

• Hindu Scriptures:
"The Stream of Life"
Rabindranath Tagore

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world
and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy
through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked
in the ocean-cradle of birth and death,
in ebb and in flow.

I feel  my limbs are made glorious
by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages
dancing in my blood this moment.

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Children of the Human Race”  (Tune:  ‘Aberystwyth’, 77.77D)   302 SLT
Children of the human race,
off-spring of our Mother Earth,
not alone in endless space
has our planet given birth.
Far across the cosmic skies
countless suns in glory blaze,
and from untold planets rise
endless canticles of praise.

Should some sign of others reach
this, our lonely planet Earth,
differences of form and speech
must not hide our common worth.
When at length our minds are free,
and the clouds of fear disperse,
then at last we’ll learn to be
Children of the Universe.  (John A Storey)
People sit

• Gospel of Jesus:
Selected from the writings of the storyteller we call Luke

The Reign of God is not coming as you hope to catch sight of it.
No one will say "Here it is" or "There it is"
for the Reign of God is now in your midst...

Look how the lilies neither spin nor weave,
and yet I tell you Solomon in all his grandeur
was never robed like one of them...

Where your treasure lies, your heart will lie there too...

No one lights a lamp to put it under a bowl, but on a stand,
so that those who come in can see the light...

Wisdom is vindicated by all her children...

Figs are not gathered from thorns,
and grapes are not picked from a bramble bush...

Do unto others as you would have them do to you

• xxxxx

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection


An Affirmation for Pluralism Sunday
The people stand as they are able

We affirm the unfailing renewal of life.
All  Rising from the earth, and reaching for the sun,
all living creatures shall fulfill themselves.

We affirm the steady growth of human companionship.
All   Rising from ancient cradles and reaching for the stars,
people the world over shall seek the ways of understanding.

We affirm a continuing hope.
All  That out of every tragedy
the spirits of individuals shall rise
to build a better world.  
(Leonard Mason/slt)

The Peace
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours



Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing

People sit

Conversation with the Children
Children gather on 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?  (xxx/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 a 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