Pentecost6B.4.7.2021

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”


4 July 2021.  Pentecost 6B. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see,
and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
Be curious”
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 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/Videos 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

We dare to dream.
We dare to hope…
In a new day – starting today.

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  The people stand as they are able, to sing
A Moment of Wonder”  (Tune: St Catherine’s Court’, 12.11.12 .1)                                1 MTH
A moment of wonder, amazement and grandeur,
a time when God’s glory shines clear through our lives,
God’s grace is beyond us, yet lives in each heartbeat,
the source of creation from which peace derives.

The eyes of our minds are enlightened with splendour,
inherited glory, the song of the saints
is ours for the asking, by faith becomes present
as life is set dancing, devoid of restraints.

O this is the spirit of joy and obedience,
it’s bending our pride to the purpose of God,
the rhythm, the harmony, gracefully springing:
our feet follow faithfully where Jesus trod.  (Andrew Pratt. © Stainer & Bell Ltd)

OR

Celebrate the Cosmic Birthing”  (Tune: ‘Hymn to Joy’)
Celebrate the cosmic birthing,
Flash of primal energy:
Swirling gases, densing matter
Stuff of galaxies to be.
Celebrate the life-force pulsing
through these 15 billion years,
Trillion, trillion stars emerging
From the cradle of the spheres.

Celebrate the white-heat furnace-
life evoking mother sun;
Celebrate her planet-offspring
Nine, in cosmic dance as one.
Celebrate her favoured daughter,
Earth, in cloak of fragile green;
Cragging rocks, and sounding ocean-
Surface-lashed, beneath serene.

Join the mystic dance of species,
Chaining, weaving, circling, one
Strong-competing, close depending,
Life swift ending, new begun.
Sing our senseful keen awareness-
Form and sound, scent, taste and hue.
High achieving, passing, transient-
Living, dying born anew.  (Ian Cairns)

Opening Sentences
We have come to celebrate
the God of creation,
the God of justice,
All  
and the God of profound inspiration
and source of all creativity and living.

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:
Creativity God
you have made us one with this earth,
to tend it and bring forth fruit;
may we share in the labour of all creation
to give birth to your hidden glory.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song "One In Love, We Meet Together" (Tune: ‘Hyfrydol’ 87.87D) 
One in love, we meet together,
one in time, and never apart.
We in flesh as brother, sister,
makes us one in mind and heart.
All incarnate, we would offer,
all we most sincerely prize,
Learning though traditions differ
how they join to make us wise.

One in outlook, always searching,
not to bind in common creed,
As a people, be more ready
to respond to other’s need.
Here we are so finely fashioned,
understanding, here to serve,
Never narrow in compassion,
empathy without reserve.

As in Christ, may we discover
that to give is to receive,
That in God the good is present,
ever, always we perceive.
Not by chance the world’s creation,
not by chance was life begun,
God is love and our vocation
is to love ‘til love has won.  (Adapted by Betty Van Till/C3Ex)

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
A Green Heart"
By Kate McIlhagga. The Green Heart of the Snowdrop
/100.

Into a dark world
a snowdrop comes,
a benison
of hope and peace,
carrying within it
a green heart,
symbol of God's renewing love.

Come to inhabit our darkness
Lord Christ,
for dark and light
are alike to you.

May nature's white candles of hope
remind us of your birth
and light our journey 
through these winter days and beyond.

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

In the moment of silence which we now share,
may each speak a personal prayer...

Whether to seek forgiveness
To renew strength to do rightly
To commend a loved one to God
Or to quest for a greater knowledge of the spirit.

Let us gather together in the silence of this place,
which now we make holy
by our every act of celebration.  
Bob Holmes/adapted

OR

Our thoughts we now centre on all that is good,
on all that we know is worthy,
so we may focus attention on the richness of truth
restoring our inner-selves for the journey.
(Silence)

To all that is worthy,
to all we believe is true,
to all we deeply value,
we commit ourselves anew.  (Adapt.Scott Kearns/wol)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Wisdoms 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 be struck by the wisdom of these words
and marked by hearing them.
All  For within story lies meaning, and
within meaning, the wisdom for which we seek. 
(Gretta Vosper/ab)

• "A Journey of Questions"
By Edward Cox. Dare to Dream/119.

Christian questions question Christians,
so Christians shy away from questions.
Catchphrase Christians carry answers:
The-Son-Of-God-Saves-Sinners-Amen
…the cow jumped over the moon.

Jesus had a life to live:
loving, hating, eating, sleeping, dying (rising),
So a boy from (name town) joins a Jew from Nazareth
on a journey of questions,

Don't worry about answers, keep asking 'why?'

• Mark 6:1-13 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus went to his hometown, accompanied by the disciples.
With the coming of the sabbath Jesus began teaching in the synagogue, 
and most of them were astonished.

They said,
'Where did this one get all this?
What is this wisdom that has been granted him,
and these miracles that are worked through him?

'This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary,
the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon?

'His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’
And they would not accept him.

And Jesus said to them,
'Prophets are only despised in their own country
among their own relations and in their own house.'

And he could work no miracle there,
though he cured  a few sick people by laying hands on them.

Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith.
Then Jesus went to other villages, teaching.

Jesus summoned the Twelve
and began to send them out in pairs
giving them authority over the unclean spirits.

And Jesus instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff,
no bread,
no haversack,
no coppers in their purses.

They were to wear sandals, but Jesus added,
'Do not take a spare tunic,' and said to them,

'If you enter a house anywhere, stay there
until you leave the district.

'And if any place does not welcome you
and people refuse to listen to you,
as you walk away shake off the dust from under
your feet as a sign to them.'

So they set off to preach repentance.
And they cast out many devils,
and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

OR

• "Earth Praises"
By Mary de La Valette
. Earth Prayers/398.

I do not have to go
To Sacred Places
In far-off lands.
The ground I stand on
Is holy.

Here, in this little garden
I tend
My pilgrimage ends.

The wild honeybees
The hummingbird moths
The flickering fireflies at dusk
Are a microcosm
Of the Universe.

Each seed that grows
Each spade of soil
Is full of miracles.

And I toil and sweat
And watch and wonder
And am full of love.

Living in place
In this place.
For truth and beauty
Dwell here.

OR

• Mark 4: 1-9 (NRSV)

Jesus began to teach beside the sea.
Such a very large crowd gathered around him that
he got into a boat on the sea and sat there,
while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.

He began to teach them many things in parables,
and in his teaching he said to them:
'Listen!  A sower went out to sow.

‘And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.

‘Other seed fell on rocky ground,
where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly,