Pentecost9B.25.7.2021

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


25 July 2021.  Pentecost 9B. (Green).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“It’s traditional for tradition to change.  It has for
centuries.  In fact the only constant thing in life, is change”
(Pat Parelli)

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

v2  Come into this sacred space. 
Come in bringing all of who you are. 
Rest and quiet your week-worn spirit, 
for you are here to touch again 
eternal springs of hope and renewal.  
(C Owen-Towle/adapt)

v1 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
"God of our Every Day
(Tune: Jansen)                                                                               52 AA
God of our every day,
friend who will walk our way,
light who can change the
focus of our seeing:
capture our heart and mind,
be in the work we find,
till all we do becomes
your mode of being.

Speak to the spirit's void,
 hands that are unemployed,
lives that are lived
without a true direction:

gifts that are hid, unearth,
 lift us to know our worth
 that in ourselves
we see your own reflection.

Shine through our winter's grey,
break through depression's day,
live in the little deaths
we die in growing:
meaning for whom we grope,
home of our strongest hope,
power and peace, through all
creation flowing.   
Shirley Erena Murray

OR

God Who Fills the Universe(Tune: ‘Francis David’. 77.66.7)                                           37 SLT
God who fills the universe
from the atom to the stars,
make firm my changeful heart
so I may do my part
and bring joy to all the earth.

God who webs the universe
with amazing mysteries,
make glad my fragile soul
so I can see life whole
and bring hope to all the earth.

God who keeps the universe
by the truths of living love,
make strong that love in me
so I can set it free
and bring peace to all the earth.  (Carl G Seaburg)

Opening Sentences
Like wind swaying through the trees on the (local hills)
or surging through thickets of wattle,
All
so, is God's presence with us.
We rejoice in your presence
All
Creator Spirit, Life-giving Spirit, Nurturing Spirit.

OR

The chorus of suns and planets announce
the beginning of a new day.
All  Each morning births new possibilities
and beckons fresh challenges.

The cycle of morning music and starry silence
promise second chances.
All  Each day provides new vistas
and promotes further exploration.

The laughter of oceans and the wailing of winds
reflect the human condition.
All  Each week declares we are in the world
and determines we are of the world.

The praises and prayers of all living things
affirm our connectedness.
All  Each month begs for our nurture
and betrays our own nature.

What can ever separate us?
Only the self-imposed isolation
of arrogance or ignorance.
All  What can draw us homeward?
Only the self-possessed compassion
of radical hospitality.
It begins with us.
It begins right now.
All  It embraces morning.
It bursts forth in music.
  (George Stewart)

Act of Awareness
It is good to be alive!
To share life with each other
in this wonder-filled and evolving universe.
We are most grateful.

May wisdom dawn in us
so we may see all things in clarity.

OR

We pray:
In all our living, may we
be freed to see things afresh,
be more fully alive,
and have the courage to keep faith in the future of humanity,
Creator Spirit, Life-giving Spirit, Nurturing Spirit.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song "We Celebrate the Web of Life" (Tune: 'Wiltshire', 86.86)                                175 SLT
We celebrate the web of life
its magnitude we sing;
for we can see divinity
in every living thing.

A fragment of the perfect whole
in cactus and in quail,
as much in tiny barnacle
as in the great blue whale.

Of ancient dreams we are the sum;
our bones link stone to star,
and bind our future worlds to come
with worlds that were and are.

Respect the water, land, and air
which gave all creatures birth;
protect the lives of all that share
the glory of the earth.  
(Alicia S Carpenter)
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
“Hopes”
Kevin Gillan.

hope isn't blue or loose or lost.
hope is full.

hope isn't tearful or funny

or berserk.


hope is cumulus and shag pile.
hope isn't

mood or diameter or pinned.

hope is hinge

hope is note

and bottle and flotsam and found.

hope isn't

pulpit or coal fired or concave.
hope is spinifex and singing.
hope is rain

OR

"Gathering"
By Rosemary Mitchel.
Birthings and Blessings/94.

God speaks!
with excitement!
with enthusiasm!
with new life!

God is present!
God is with us!
nothing can separate us!

Even when we feel unsure,
unclear,
confused,
even when we feel broken to the core of our being -
We hold fast to God's love,
God's acceptance,
we are always welcome in God's household.

We will each, once again, 
feel like a well-watered garden.
Full of life!
Radiant in the sun!
It will be good.
It is good.

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

Now let silence of this place once again gently enfold us.

(Silence)

Let us centre our minds and our hearts.
We are one with the universe.
We are one with the sun and the stars.
We are one with the earth.
We are one with the One who is mystery…
(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:   Now I don’t know if it happened this way or not,
but I know this story is true... (Native American Storyteller)

• "Just a Housewife"
By Cordelia Baker-Pearce. Celebrating Women/44.

I packed five cakes of bread and two small fishes,
Sent him off, my youngest lad,
To take his father's dinner to the field.

Came back alone he did, all goggle-eyed.

My fresh-baked bread that varmint gave away
To some young travelling preacher out of Galilee.

It fed five thousand people.
What a tale!
It can't be true... but if it is.

What kind of dough did these hands knead
This morning?

• John 6: 1-15 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee - or of Tiberias - and a large crowd follwed,
impressed by the signs Jesus gave by curing the sick.

Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with the disciples.
It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.

Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip,
'Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?'

Jesus said this only to test Philip, knowing exactly
what he was going to do.

Philip answered,
'Two hundred denarii would only buy enough bread to give them a small piece each.'

One of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said,
'There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish;
but what is that between so many?'

Jesus said to them,
'Make the people sit down'.
There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand people sat down.

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks and gave them out to all who were sitting ready,
and then he did the same with the fish,
giving out as much as was wanted.

When they had eaten enough Jesus said to his disciples,
'Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted.'

So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over
from the meal of five barley loaves.

The people, seeing this sign that Jesus had given, said,
'This really is the prophet who is to come into the world.'

Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force
and make him king, escaped to the hills alone.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

We are a cloth of diverse colours
made from many gifts and graces.
All  We are the people flowing forth from Creator God,
surprising ourselves with the things which can be done.

We are raw material for rewarding relationships as our lives interweave,
All  contributing one to the other,
holding each other firm when one is weak or breaking.

We are each worthy of being respected and cared for
All  essential to the pattern,
skilled in our appointed tasks,
sources of laughter and sharers of tears.

We commit ourselves to work together,
All  that one day, this world may be a place
where all people live in justice, freedom and peace. 
 (Adapt.Dorothy McRae-McMahon/bst)

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
“Celebrate the Bush and Cities” (Tune: ‘Brookside’, Melody: William L. (Bill) Wallace 
Harmony: Graham Hollobon Alternative Tune: ‘Abotts Leigh’
Musical Score: www.methodist.org.nz/resources/othernzhymns/Aotearoa hymns songsandchants

Celebrate the bush and cities,
Honour people and the land,
Weave their many diverse cultures
Till they form one golden strand.
Let the people bring together
All their many cultured ways
Finding deepest thoughts and feelings
Resonate in songs of praise.

Think of how the fearless migrants
Came in waka, ship or plane.
Each would claim this place as homeland,
Space they called their own domain.
Honour all who made the journey
Chasing dreams that surged ahead;
Celebrate each pioneer spirit
Whether living or long dead.

Let us reverence plants and creatures, 
Birds and fish of sea and stream,
Viewing bush as sacred temple,
Holding air in high esteem.
Then our children will inherit
More than family wills can bring;
They will share the world of Nature,
Drinking from life's sacred spring.
People sit

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,