Pentecost3B.13.6.2021

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.

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”


13 June 2021.  Pentecost 3B. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion

Worth Pondering
“You can’t put sawdust in a meat pie
and expect it to be tasty”
Roy Miles

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

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

As we gather together on this day, at this time, in this place
may we recognise and affirm:
the pieces of possibility,
the bits of good, we bring,
allowing our individual gifts
to weave a patchwork of celebration and justice.

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
(Silence)

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

As we light our flame today, may it:
remind us of the ongoing process of evolution,
reminding us of the first gasping breath, the first clumsy step,
the first drop of warm milk, the first curious thought…

All these are wonders of the Universe.  (Adapt.JCH. Public domain)

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
"Softly Shout for Joy”  (Tune: 'Laudes Domini’, 666D)                                                    2 SNS
When beauty casts its glow,
When children play in snow
I softly shout for joy!
When students get to know,
When trees, unnoticed, grow
I softly shout for joy!

If rich folk wish to share,
If people show they care
I softly shout for joy!
If discipline is fair,
If hope grows from despair
I softly shout for joy!

If stubborn tyrants bend,
If different races blend,
I softly shout for joy!
If outcasts find a friend,
If broken friendships mend
I softly shout for joy.

When God is clearly found
In everything around
I softly shout for joy!
Together we are bound
In love that’s quite profound
And so I shout for joy!  (George Stuart)

OR

Go-Between God (Tune: ‘Clover Place’, D C Gamon)                                                    9 PaT
Go-between God, in the Spirit of Jesus,
reaching and welcoming, crossing divides,
let me be part of your bridge-building people,
making connections where prejudice rides.

Let me see value in colours and cultures
new to my landscape of habit or thought;
let me find treasures in other traditions,
gifts of new insight that strangers have brought.

Let me find truths in another faith’s scripture,
let me share wisdom wherever it shines,
lighting our differing pathways to worship,
seeking the scope of your stunning designs.

Let me accept revelation in science,
all that enhances the life of the earth,
let me reject all that threatens her nature,
testing technology’s status and worth.

Let me be part of a new evolution
honouring others who honour the good,
artists in living out love without labels,
standing in places where Jesus has stood.  (Shirley Erena Murray)

Opening Sentences
v1  Come along with me as a sojourner in faith.

v2  Bring along a sense of expectancy
a sense of high hopes
a glimpse of future possibility
a vivid imagination.
For God's creation is not done.
All  
We are called to pioneer forth toward a future yet unnamed.
As we venture forward
we leave behind our desires for
a no-risk life,
worldly accumulations,
certainty of answers.
Let us travel light in the spirit of faith and expectation
toward the God of our hopes and dreams.
All  
Let us be a witness to God's future breaking in.

v1 Come along with me as a sojourner in faith
secure in the knowledge
that we never travel alone.
(S Greg-Schroeder)

Act of Awareness
Each morning brings a newness that we need but step into.
It can wash us,
lift us,
heal us,
hold us
just as each of us has need.

May we be open to the power that lies dormant within us.
May we be full with a confidence in our own strength.
May we move from the routines that we follow
to the fullness of life that we might live.  (Gretta Vosper/hb).

OR

We pray:
Calling God, you have gathered us into this community.
A place has been made for each of us.
Let what we say and do here
be real for us and honest to your creativity,
and prepare us for the life of the world.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song   "The Way Ahead”  (Tune: Normandy’, 87.87.D)                                            5 MTH
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, © Stainer & Bell)

OR

God Who Sets Us On A Journey(Tune: ‘Canvas’’)                                                      32 FFS
God who sets us on a journey
to discover, dream and grow,
lead us as you led your people
in the desert long ago;
journey inward, journey outward,
stir the spirit, stretch the mind,
love for God and self and neighbour
marks the way that Christ defined.

Exploration brings new insights,
changes, choices we must face;
give us wisdom in deciding,
mindful always of your grace;
should we stumble, lose our bearings,
find it hard to know what's right,
we regain our true direction
focused on the Jesus light.

End our longing for the old days,
grant the vision that we lack –
once we've started on this journey
there can be no turning back;
let us travel light, discarding
excess baggage from our past,
cherish only what's essential,
choosing treasure that will last.

When we set up camp and settle
to avoid love's risk and pain,
you disturb complacent comfort,
pull the tent pegs up again;
keep us travelling in the knowledge
you are always at our side;
give us courage for the journey,
Christ our goal and Christ our guide.  
Jill Dine

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

Meditation
"Gratitude"
By Michael R Leduc.

May we look with gratitude upon this day,
for the beauty of the world,
or the first radiance of dawn
and the last smoldering glow of sunset.

Let us be thankful for physical joys,
for hills to climb and hard work to do,
for music that lifts our hearts in one breath,
for the hand-clasp of a friend,
and for the gracious loveliness of children
who remind us of the wonders of life.

May we be appreciative above all
for the concern and love of those around us,
for the exceeding bliss of the touch of the holy
which suddenly awakens our drowsy souls
to the blessed awareness of the divine
within us and within others.

For all of this,
and for the countless other blessings present in our lives,
let us be grateful
.

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 there be a time of silence between us…
(Silence)

May the silence remind us of the best hours we have known,
and strengthen our resolve to live in that spirit
which gives the better meaning to our lives. 
(Bob Holmes)
(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:  The delight of a story well-known fills our hearts
as we listen for its familiar end.
All 
May we hear in these stories, familiar and new,
both wisdom and meaning for the days ahead.

• “Miracles do Happen”
By Peter Gebhardt. Eureka Street, Vol 22, No. 10, 28/5/2012

It might only be a small one,
     a dandelion dancing
in the heat of the day,
     it lands on you
     a moment of silver
     of lace
brief
     the melting of an icicle
          of a snowflake
               thousands of stars
          snow on red berries
          the bloodtide turns
          the stars seek watchers
          patterns in simplicity
the miracle of friendship,
the warmth of embrace,
the celebration of dawn.

• Mark 4:26-32 (NRSV)
Jesus said,
'The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
and would sleep and rise night and day,
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he does not know how.

'The earth produces of itself,
first the stalk,
then the head,
then the full grain in the head.

'But when the grain is ripe,
at once he goes in with his sickle,
because the harvest has come.'

Jesus also said,
'With what can we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable will we use for it?

'It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on earth.

‘Yet when it is sown it grows up
and becomes the greatest of all shrubs,
and puts forth large branches,
so the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith  (Optional)
People stand as they are able

‘A Lifelong Sharing’
v1  Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning.
v2  Love has to be put into action and that action is service.
All  
Whatever form we are,
able or disabled,
rich or poor,
it is not how much we do,
but how much love we put in the doing;

v1  A lifelong sharing of love with others.  (Mother Teresa)

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  People stand as they are able, to sing
We Laugh, We Cry(Tune: ‘Credo’, Irreg.)                                                                     
 354 SLT
We laugh, we cry, we live, we die;
we dance, we sing our song.
We need to feel there’s something here
to which we can belong.
We need to feel the freedom
just to have some time alone.
But most of all we need close friends
we can call our very own.

And we believe in life,
and in the strength of love;
and we have found a need to be together.
We have our hearts to give,
we have our thoughts to receive;
and we believe that sharing is an answer.

A child is born among us and
we feel a special glow.
We see time’s endless journey
as we watch the baby grow.
We thrill to hear
imagination freely running wild.
We dedicate our minds and hearts
To the spirit of this child.

And we believe in life,
and in the strength of love;
and we have found a time to be together.
And with the grace of age,
we share the wonder of youth;
and we believe that growing is an answer.

Our lives are full of wonder and
our time is very brief.
The death of one among us
fills us all with pain and grief.
But as we live, so
shall we die and when our lives are done
the memories we shared with friends,
they will linger on and on.

And we believe in life,
and in the strength of love;
and we have found a place to be together.
We have the right to grow,
we have the gift to believe;
that peace within our living is an answer.

We seek elusive answers to
the questions of this life.
We seek to put an end to
all the waste of human strife.
We search for truth,
equality, and blessed peace of mind.
And then, we come together here,
to make sense of what we find.

And we believe in life,
and in the strength of love;
and we have found a joy being together.
And in our search for peace,
maybe we’ll finally see;
even to question, truly, is an answer.  (Shelly Jackson Denham)
People sit

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 joy and in sorrow
All  We do not walk alone. 
(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  Holy Being,
whom we call by many different names,
Blessed are you.
Blessed are we in you.

May we create with you
a realm of mercy, peace and justice.
May love be done in the here and now
as it is in the infinite.
May we share life in bread and hope.

For our failures to love, we need forgiveness.
May we find the paths of reconciliation.
In the midst of evil's every incarnation,
From the powers that possess our spirits and our structures,
May we find liberation.

In the power that is love, we seek
to live and move and have our being.
May it be so,
now and forever. 
(NancyLSteeves/StSC.N-TP)

CELEBRATING

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?
(xxx/jke)

Offerings

Presentation
As a river without an outlet becomes stagnant,
so life which receives but does not give
becomes polluted and sour.

As we give, we know we will be refreshed
as well as being a blessing to others.

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY IN THE TRADITION OF THE MEAL
Thanksgiving
May it be well with you.
All  
And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All  
May we rejoice in the beauty that we are.  Gretta Vosper/wwg

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name God…
For the sage we name Jesus…
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit…
(Silence)

God of winter, the unpopular, slandered season;
God of lightning, wind and storm;
God of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns
and stark hillsides; of warm socks, coats and gloves,
raincoats, umbrellas and warm fires,
we open ourselves to all the possibilities life offers us.

So we join our celebration to all people, saying:
All  Holy, holy, holy, re-creating God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
All
  Hosanna in the highest.

The Celebration
When Jesus gathered with his friends
to tell them of a re-imagined way of living and being,
the conversations often went
on into the time for a meal.

Jesus ate and conversed
with the high and mighty,
with the pious and self-righteous, and
with those considered outcasts and sinners.
His table fellowship included everyone.

He often told them stories that caused them 
to wonder and ask questions.
He also welcomed these opportunities
to eat with those who disagreed with him
and engaged them in open discussion.

In this way, the issues of life and death,
justice and injustice,
conflict and peace,
goodness and evil
were talked through and made real to ordinary people…

We are here to carry on this tradition
of seeking for truth and recognising goodness
wherever they may be found.
All  This being so, we who are followers of Jesus in these times
gather around this table to pledge ourselves anew
to his words and ways.  
(Robert Jones)

Bread and White Wine
v1 Now, in the way humans have made certain things
and certain actions holy throughout the ages,
we offer this bread