Pentecost20B.10.10.2021

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

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.


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”

04 October 2021.  Pentecost 20B. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity,
we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then,
for the second time in the history of the world,
man will have discovered fire”
(Teilhard de Chardin)

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 worship 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

The creator of life
and the giver of life
is in our midst
All  Life in all its fullness is God’s offer to all.  (Adapt.WARC).

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  The people stand, as they are able, to sing
Colourful Creator (Tune: ‘Houghton’, 65.65D)                                                                 190 TiS
Colourful Creator, God of mystery,
thank you for the artist teaching us to see
glimpses of the meaning of the commonplace,
visions of the holy in each human face.

Harmony of ages, God of listening ear,
thank you for composers tuning us to hear
echoes of the Gospel in the songs we sing,
sounds of love and longing from the deepest spring.

Author of our journey, God of near and far,
praise for tale and drama telling who we are,
stripping to the essence struggles of our day,
times of change and conflict when we choose our way.

God of truth and beauty, Poet of the Word,
may we be creators by the Spirit stirred,
open to your presence in our joy and strife,
vessels of the holy coursing through our life.  Ruth C Duck
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
Let us acknowledge the awesome mystery
embodied in every person.
All  Through us God comes to unique and personal expression.

Let us give thanks
for the abundance of life on this earth.
All  Through it we and all people may be nourished.

Act of Awareness
In each moment of this day resides incredible power:
new life,
healing,
opportunity.

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.

OR

We pray:
Steadfast God, you visit us in our aloneness
but we express you best in our togetherness.
Empower us to the upbuilding
of that quality of fellowship
which is a true expression
of your presentness.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song God of Gumtree and of Quandong(Tune: ‘Blaenwern’, 87.87D)
God of gumtree and of quandong,
granite rocks and rolling plain;
God of pasture sheep and cattle,
fallow land and crops and grain:
You are always here around us
even when we do not know.
Help us realise your presence
that our Spirit life may grow.

Ploughing, seeding, patient waiting
for the harvest of the soil;
Shearing, branding, culling, feeding,
You are with us in our toil.
In the workshop, store and office,
classroom, kitchen, garden, too.
Help us see your gift and glory,
serve you well in all we do.

Scattered in our congregations
yet one body called to be;
reaching out to fellow Christians,
serving the community.
Thanks to You for love that binds us;
for the strength to do your will.
Father keep us true and faithful;
may we love and serve you still.  Neville Threlfall.

OR

"Let Justice Roll Down"                                                                                                       85 AA
Refrain:
Let justice roll down like a river,
let justice roll down like a sea,
let justice roll down like a river,
let justice begin through me.

Justice for all who go hungry,
crying to God to be fed,
left in a world of abundance
to beg for a morsel of bread.
Refrain:

Justice for those who are homeless,
victims of warfare or need,
trapped on the borders of no-where,
lost in the canyons of greed.
Refrain:

Justice for all who are powerless,
yearning for freedom in vain,
plundered, and robbed of their birth-right,
silently bearing their pain.  
(Colin Gibson)
Refrain:
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.

CENTERING

Reflection
"Making Sacred”
By Stephen M Shick. Consider The Lilies
/49.

Here we have gathered the elements of our lives.
Aware and unaware, we have carried them to this place:
the joy of waking and living,
the pleasure found in meaningful work,
the blush of health,
the pain of illness,
the grief of loss,
and the gift of love.

Some of these we have carried a long way.
Some have bent our backs until our eyes
could no longer see the horizon.
Some have carried us upward with purpose,
feathered wing in flight.

 All we have carried through the seasons of our lives
has brought us here to this place
we make sacred by our corning together
and reciting these gathering words: Come, you are welcome here.

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 open ourselves to the sacred silence of this place.
(Silence)

Breath of God, flowing free,
flow in and through us,
to cleanse and bring a new beginning,
a fresh start,
right relationships
and peace. (Kate McIlhagga/ghs)
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

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:  May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this/these reading/s.
All  And may our minds be fertile soil
in which it/they may grow strong and true. 
 (Gretta Vosper/ab)

• Psalm 22
A 21st century exploration by Francis Macnab. A Fine Wind Blowing/9-10.

The writer of this Psalm is experiencing the 'absence' of God.
And longs for the 'closeness' once knew.

God, we read that people in the past
believed in you; and you apparently gave them
the strength they sought.
So why are you so distant from me?

There have been times when I have reached out to you,
but you looked the other way!
My disillusionment comes under criticism from so many people.
And those I thought were my friends, fail to support me.
All  Truth is, in my heart of hearts,
I know that you gave me life at the beginning,
and I felt you cared for me.

But now I need you to be closer to me,
because nothing makes much sense anymore, 
and there are so many huge problems gathered around me.

In all this tale of misery,
I am talking to you because you know
my feelings and failings.
All  And you will save me - even from my own negative thoughts.
I continue to believe in your Presence
which is more powerful
than I can really understand.

You have planted within us the awareness
of a love which is eternal, yet very important and personal.
I continue to believe that people are valued by you,
even when they fall away from you.
All  You let that happen: but you go on feeling the pain
and you are ready to support them 
in their difficulties.

You are the Eternal God of us all:
and I dedicate myself anew to you.
Regardless of my feelings of insignificance and inadequacy,
I am in awe as I try to find a way to worship you.
All  One thing I can do.
I can be a carrier of your love
to people all around me.

• Mark 10:17-30 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up,
knelt and put this question,
'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'

Jesus said,
'Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.

'You know the commandments:
You must not kill;
You must not commit adultery;
You must not steal;
You must not bear false witness;
You must not defraud;
Honour your father and mother.’

And he said to Jesus,
'Teacher, I have kept all these since my earliest days.'

Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him and said,
'There is one thing you lack.
Go and sell everything you own
and give the money to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven;
then come, follow me.'

But his face fell at these words and he went away sad,
for he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus looked round and said to the disciples,
'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the realm of God!'

The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted,
'My children, how hard it is to enter the realm of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for a rich person to enter the realm of God.'

They were more astounded than ever.

'In that case,' they said to one another, 'who can be saved?'

Jesus gazed at them and said,
'For men and women it is impossible,
but not for God: because everything is possible for God.'

Peter took this up.
'What about us?' Peter asked.
We have left everything and followed you.'

Jesus said,
'I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not be repaid a hundred times over,
houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land
- not without persecutions -
now in this present time and,
in the world to come, eternal life.’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together a celebration of faith.
The people stand as they are able

Loving One, our Maker, our Friend,
All  the wonder of your presence
is a glory filling heaven and earth
and our own gathered hearts.

May our lives reveal that same wondrous presence
with everything we think and say and do
All  as your Spirit transforms us and all things.

Send us out together
All  to share your love in all this hurting world.  (LLovett-Olson)

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

OR

Namaste
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.
OR

The Light in me recognises the Light in you.
OR

The spirit within me sees the spirit within you.

Hymn/Song The people stand, as they are able, to sing
More than Tolerance(Tune: ‘Austria’, 87.87D)                                                            102 SNS
Coming to a place of candour,
Where beliefs and creeds confer;
We will not react with anger,
Nor tell others where they err.
Can we speak of faith and doctrine?
Can we listen - really hear?
As we meet can we imagine
That new insights may appear?

When we hear some diff'rent teaching,
When we try to understand;
Different faiths can be disturbing,
And can question where we stand;
We need not forsake devotion
If it's God whom we adore;
But we can share inspiration;
We can question and explore.

We can pledge to be accepting;
Put behind us lack of trust;
We can practise understanding,
Shun rebuke that is unjust.
If we can affirm each other,
Be as friend and not as foe,
We can meet and share together;
Plant respect and let it grow.  (George Stuart)
The people sit

CELEBRATING

Offerings

Presentation
Our gifts have been collected and are now presented...
In hope and thanksgiving
we offer them for the good of
our neighbours,
our city,
our world.

Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat

Conversation:

"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 this abundant blessing
All  
We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All  May love abound.  (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  O God, you love us like a good parent,
and are present in every aspect of our existence

May your nature become known and respected by all
May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice
be the reality for everyone
as we live by the Jesus Way

Give us all that we really need to live every day for you
And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures
Keep us from doing those things which are not of you,
and cause us always to be centred on your love

For you are the true reality in this our now,
and in all our future.
In the Jesus Way we pray
.  (DSorril)

SCATTERING

Hymn/Song  The people stand, as they are able, to sing
O Slowly, Slowly, They Return  (Tune” ‘Solothurn’, LM)                                              342 SLT
O slowly, slowly, they return
to some small woodland let alone:
great trees, out-spreading and upright,
apostles of the living light.

As patient stars they build in air
tier after tier a timbered choir,
stout beams upholding weightless grace
of song a blessing on this place.

They stand in waiting all around,
uprisings of their native ground,
down-comings of the distant light;
they are the advent they await.

OR

It All Depends”  (Tune: 'Te Horo')                                                                                        39(v1-2) FFS
It all depends on where I'm going
if I reach my anywhere,
but this I'm surely, surely knowing,
that I'll never leave God's care;
it all depends on when I'm travelling,
maybe now or maybe then,
but the Son of God will lead me
through each where and why and when.

It all depends on how I'm choosing
for the life that is in me,
but I will never lose the hand of Christ,
the one who walks with me;
if I stumble or I falter
he will steady me once more,
for there is no darkest pathway
that we cannot both explore.
Remain standing

Parting Words
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place…
The Community Candle is extinguished

As the spirit teaches inwardly,
may we involve ourselves in the grander issues of life:
All  those issues which make a compelling difference,
which create the good life for all humanity.  
Rob Holmes/hwm

Words of Blessing
May you always stand tall as a tree.
Be as strong as the rock Uluru.
As gentle and still as the morning mist.
Hold the warmth of the campfire in your heart.

And may the Creator Spirit
always walk with you.
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn/Song  (Cont). O Slowly, Slowly, They Return  (Tune” ‘Solothurn’, LM)            342(v4-5) SLT
Receiving sun and giving shade,
their life’s a benefaction made,
and is a benediction said
o’er all the living and the dead.

In fall their brightened leaves, released,
fly down the wind and we are pleased
to walk in radiance, amazed.
O light come down to earth, be praised.  (Wendell Berry)

OR

It All Depends(Tune: 'Te Horo')                                                                                            39(v3) FFS
It all depends on who comes with me
if I break or if I bend,
but this I'm surely, surely knowing,
God will be there at the end - 
in the laughter and the sadness,
in the pleasure or the pain,
by my side and all about me
God's own Spirit will remain.  Colin Gibson
The people sit

'This Week' at (NN)
Notices
Birthdays and Anniversaries
Significant Events
Journey Candles

Music

Fellowship
Morning tea is now served.
You are invited to share in this time of fellowship


You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you
to share with another member of your family, or with a friend

Please include any reproduction of hymns/songs for local church use
on your Music Licence returns, as appropriate


Some of the Resources used in Shaping this Liturgy:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and Songs for all Churches. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
(FFS)
Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
Holmes, R. H.
The Bob Holmes Worship Materials. Vol 1.  Little Falls. Self published, 1972.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2005.
Iona Community.
Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
McIlhagga, K.
The Green Heart of the Snowdrop. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2004.
Macnab, F.
A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in words that blow you away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2006.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon.
Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York. HarperCollins, 1996.
Shick, S. M.
Consider the Lilies. Meditations. Boston. Skinner House Books, 2004.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
(SNS) Stuart, G. Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Sydney. CPRT Sydney, 2006.
Neville Threlfall. “God of Gumtree and of Quandong”. Special Resources. UCA National Assembly.
The St Hilda Community. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and PrayersTogether in Song. Australian Hymn Book 2. London.  SPCK, 1996.
(TiS) . Sydney. HarperCollins Religious, 1999.
Vosper, G. With or Without God. Why the way we Live is More Important than what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.
Vosper, G. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.

Web Sites/Other:
Lovett-Olson, Sorril. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb>
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/


rexae74@gmail.com