Pentecost5B.27.6.2021

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”


27 June 2021.  Pentecost 5B. (Green).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“The only world we know experientially
is the one we have ourselves created”
(John Palka)

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

We make the space sacred by our resolve 
to project onto the pathways of tomorrow
our best reflections.  
(Adapt. Stephen M. Shick/ctl

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

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
"Where Is Purpose?"
(Tune: 'Austria', 87.87D)                                                                  55 SNS
Lord our God we often ponder,
Where is meaning?  What is life?
Anxious troubled, stressed by living;
Is there any end to strife?
In the isolation crying,
Is there anyone who care?
Is there life or only dying?
Can we challenge God?  Who dares?

There is purpose in our wandering,
Found in others and their plight.
Found outside the limitations
Of our self and of our sight.
Found in pleasure and in sorrow,
Found by those who wish to seek;
Found today and found tomorrow;
Found by 'strong' and found by 'weak'.

Open life to hidden beauty;
To the cosmos and its charm;
To the love and joy around us
Giving us a sense of calm.
If we open all our windows,
Loving breeze may softly blow;
Union with another's caring,
God's own healing starts to flow.

As with nature and its vision,
Showing rainbows after rain,
Birth of babies of all species,
Wonderment replaces pain.
So the cross with all its cruelty,
Soaked in tragedy and crime;
Yet it marks God's loving presence
Brings new life for endless time.  
George Stuart

OR

Where Are The Voices(Tune: ‘Portent’)                                                                        75 FFS
Where are the voices for the earth?
Where are the eyes to see her pain,
wasted by our consuming path,
weeping the tears of poisoned rain?

Sacred the soil that hugs the seed,
sacred the silent fall of snow,
sacred the world that God decreed,
water and sun and river flow.

Where shall we run who break this code,
where shall tomorrow's children be,
left with the ruined gifts of God,
death for the creatures, land and sea?

We are the voices for the earth,
we who will care enough to cry,
cherish her beauty, clear her breath,
live that our planet may not die.  (Shirley Erena Murray)

Opening Sentences
God of the good presence all around us
All
help us to find and to celebrate
the goodness that is given to us
in this new day.  
Francis Macnab/fwb

Act of Awareness
Before us each day are challenges.
The choices we make craft us into who we are becoming.

May we ever open our eyes to the newness of our days.
May we sense the surge of wonder just beneath the surface of the ordinary.
May we find purpose in each breaking moment.  (Adapt.Gretta Vosper/ab)

OR

We pray:
Spirit of Life, open us to good ways to celebrate the simple joys of life,
so we can contribute some goodness to this new day.
May it be so.
All   May it be so with us.

Hymn/Song  "Wake, Now My Senses" (Tune: ‘Slane', 10.10.10.10)                                  298 SLT
Wake, now my senses, and hear the earth call;
feel the deep power of being in all;
keep, with the web of creation your vow,
giving, receiving as love shows us how.

Wake, now my reason, reach out to the new,
join with each pilgrim who quests for the true;
honour the beauty and wisdom of time;
suffer your limit, and praise the sublime.

Wake, now compassion, give heed to the cry;
voices of suffering fill the wide sky;
take as your neighbour both stranger and friend,
praying and striving their hardship to end.

Wake, now my conscience, with justice your guide;
join with all people whose rights are denied;
take not for granted a privileged place;
God's love embraces the whole human race.

Wake, now my vision of ministry clear;
brighten my pathway with radiance here;
mingle my calling with all who will share;
work toward a planet transformed by our care. 
Thomas J S Mikelson

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
"Let us be Gentle with Ourselves"
By Barbara Cheatham
 

Let us be gentle with ourselves just now. 
For a few moments, 
let us release ourselves from a world that is 'too much with us',
too noisy,
too frantic,
too demanding,
too judging.

Let us be gentle with ourselves just now.
For a few moments,
let us release ourselves into the calm, still world
that waits to receive us,
where the quiet is broken only by sounds of our own making,
by those of our children near-at-hand,
by passers-by in the street outside,
by a bird,
an airplane high overhead.

Within this welcoming quiet, let us befriend ourselves.
Where we would unfairly and endlessly
berate ourselves for our imperfections,
let the tongue of harsh judgment be silent.

We will do better tomorrow.
We will rise to the occasion.
We will surprise the world
with our goodness and achievements.

For now, let us simply rest in the gentleness of this moment,
letting the healing hand of
self-understanding and forgiveness
touch us with peace.

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 be still and know that all will be well,
that in all manner of things it will be well.
(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 these readings.

All  And may our minds be fertile soil

in which they may grow strong and true.  
(Gretta Vosper/ab)

• "The Wisdom of Science"
By David Rhys Williams. (c3Exchange)

Blessed are they who have vision and wonder enough
to behold a guiding star 
All  in the dark mystery which girdles the earth.

Blessed are they who have imagination enough
to detect the music of celestial voices
All  in the midnight hours of life.

Blessed are they who have faith enough
to contemplate a world of peace and justice
All  in the midst of present wrongs and strife.

Blessed are they who have wisdom enough to know that
All  the kingdom of heaven is very close at hand.

OR

If in Northern Hemisphere
• "Summer Meditation”
Inspired by Burton Carley's 'September Meditation’
(Adapted by Rex A E Hunt) 

I do not know if the seasons remember their history 
or if the days and nights by which we count time 
remember their own passing. 

I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting 
or if the eucalypt remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars. 

I do not know if the cockatoo remembers yesterday's mob gathering on 'the block’, or
if the robin remembers the meaning of winter. 

I do not know if the air remembers summer heat
or if the night remembers the moon. 

I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring,
or if the water remembers a swimmer's splashing delight. 

Perhaps that is the reason for our births:
to be the memory for creation. 

Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
'What can you tell me about summer?'

• Mark 5:21, 25-34 (Inclusive Text)

When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around and he stayed by the lakeside...

Now there was a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for 12 years.
After long and painful treatment under various doctors,
she had spent all she had without being any the better for it.
In fact she was getting worse.

She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him
through the crowd and touched his cloak.
'If I touch even his clothes', she had told herself, 'I shall be well again.'
And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly,
and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint.

Immediately aware that power had gone out from him
Jesus turned round in the crowd and said,
'Who touched my clothes?'

The disciples said,
'You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, ‘Who touched my clothes?’

But Jesus continued to look all around to see who had done it.
Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling
because she knew what had happened to her,
and she fell at his feet and told Jesus the whole story.

'My daughter', Jesus said, 'your faith has restored you to health; 
go in peace and be free of your complaint.'

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith for Progressive Christians (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand and share together, a celebration of faith…
People stand as they are able

v1  We worship and adore God,
All  source, essence, and aim of all things,
spirit that enlivens all beings.

v1  We follow the way of Jesus, who found God in himself
and shared a way for others to find God in themselves.
All  He was born through love,
He lived for love,
He suffered for love,
He died for love,
But love never dies.

v1  We submit ourselves to the leadings of the love that is God,
All  that we may be compassionate to all beings,
that we may live and serve in community with others,
that we may ask for and offer forgiveness,
that we may praise and enjoy God forever.
 (Jim Burklo/b&b)

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
"Arms Only For Embracing”   (Ingrid Rogers)
My child, I want a world for you
we have not had before
where people build community
and no-one thinks of war,
where people use their arms only for embracing.

My child, I see a world that's just
where all can dwell secure,
a world where need and hunger cease
'cause people help the poor,
and want to use their arms only for embracing.

My child, I wish you could grow up
untouched by greed and hate,
within a world community
that's whole and unafraid,
since people use their arms only for embracing.

My child, I want to rest assured
that after I am gone,
more generations fill the earth
and life continues on,
'cause people use their arms only for embracing.

We ought to use our arms only for embracing...

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?
(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 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  Life-Giver, Pain-Bearer, Love-Maker.
Source of all that is and that shall be.

Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo
through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed
by all peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done
by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever.  Amen.  (UIW2)

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY IN THE TRADITION OF THE MEAL
Offerings

Presentation
Through these gifts we offer our thanks:
for all we have,
for all we are.

Especially the gift of our lives.

Thanksgiving
God of fresh bread and new wine,
we sense your presentness among us
in grace-filled moments of sharing,
in carefully created communities of loving solidarity,
in holy times of birthing new life amid all the suffering.

We delight in the moving of your steadfast Spirit
demanding that we find water for the thirsty,
demanding that we prepare meals
for all who hunger, and
encouraging us to welcome all in our midst.

As we share this meal
may we be nourished by the dangerous memory
of Jesus and his friends,
who dared to feed those no one else would feed,
who included the ‘sinners’ that society shunned and oppressed,