Revd Rex A E Hunt
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Other Resources for the Season:

2 September 2018.  Season of Creation 1B/Pentecost 15B. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion
Planet Earth Sunday

Worth Pondering
"It's not the meaning of life, it's the meaning in life”
Robert Fulghum

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 and their stewardship
of this land throughout the ages.

(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


Refreshment Station/Water Basins
Pottery basins are set on stands near the entrance to the Gathering space. 
Attendees are invited to dip their hands in the cool water in the basins as they arrive. 
Or to rinse each other’s hands. 
That we may relax, be refreshed, and prepare for this time together.

(Note: A small sign is placed above the basin explaining that as they dip their hands in the water, they are invited to relax and try to mindfully set aside or release for a time anything that might be preventing them from being fully present—each traveller rinsing the “dust from the road”).


(A suggestion of other words)

We come together from our separate lives,
each of us bringing our concerns, our preoccupations,
our hopes, and our dreams.

We are not yet fully present.
The traffic, the last-minute cooking, the final details still cling to us.
Our bodies hold the rush of the past few hours.

It is now time to let go of these pressures and really arrive…   

When you are ready, repeat silently to yourself: ‘Hineini’ or ‘Here I am’.
Hineini is used in the Torah to signify being present
in body, mind, and spirit.

It means settling into where we are and simply being “here”.  (Adapted/Nan Fink Gene)

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/Slides 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

With respect and gratitude for the original custodians of this land,
we gather together this day
to affirm in hope and faith,
that we can create a sacred space of welcome
for all who live in Australia.

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

v2  Fountain of life…
Pulse of life…Breath of life…
Earth is filled with the presentness of God.

v1 A planet filled with the presence of God
a living green blue planet,
peoples from every corner of creation,
the vast reaches of space above us,
and the rocks and hills and wonders of the wild.

v2  Together this day, let us sense the face of God in all creativity.

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) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism 

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"God of the Galaxies"
(Tune: "Cheam")   54 (v1-3) AA
God of the galaxies spinning in space,
God of the smallest seed, our living source,
yours is the gift of this beautiful place.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Careless and covetous, gross are our greeds,
taking the riches the garden provides,
wasting its goodness, forgetting its needs.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Forests and rivers are ravaged and die,
raped is the land till it bleeds in its clay,
silenced the birdsong and plundered the sea.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.


"Praise the God of Evolution”  (Tune: ‘Praise my Soul…)     14(v1-3) HH3
Praise the God of evolution,
Spinning stars through time and space,
Turning matter into music,
Symphonies of cosmic grace.
Celebrate your evolution!
Join the chorus of the skies.

Praise the God of evolution,
Turning light bursts into years,
Making gravity a partner
In the dance of solar spheres.
Celebrate your evolution!
Thank the stars for gravity.

Praise the God of evolution,
Swirling planets left and right,
Waiting for that special moment
When ourt came in sight.
Celebrate your evolution!
Hail the birth of baby Earth.
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
v1 Planet Earth, spinning silently through space:
All  Celebrate your beauty and your grace,
your special place in our solar system.

v1 Planet Earth, gleaming green and blue:
Rejoice in your ocean currents
as they dance and swirl with hope.

v1 Planet Earth, pulsing with life:
Join in praise with all your fauna and flora
as they sing their songs with praise.

v1 Planet Earth, enveloped in the breath of God:
  Bless all your creatures this day
with the life-giving breath of God.

v1 Planet Earth, our precious, fragile home:
Celebrate, with all your children,
God’s presence in our planet home.

v2 Spin, Planet Earth, spin!
All  Sing, Planet Earth, sing!  (Adapt. Norman Habel/soc)

Act of Awareness
The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And habit hardens into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings.  
(The Buddha/lp).


We pray:
Creating God, whose renewing breath fills our planet,
may we discern your vibrant, creative presence among us.
And may our spirits be lifted
as we rejoice with Planet Earth
and all its inhabitants, this day.
May it be so.

Hymn "God of the Galaxies"   (Tune: "Cheam")   54(v4-5) AA
Let there be beauty, and let there be air
fragrant with peace, never poisoned with fear,
freed from the plagues of pollution and war.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Life is a holy thing, life is a whole,
linking each creature and blessing us all,
making connections of body and soul.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.  (Shirley Erena Murray)


"Praise the God of Evolution”  (Tune: ‘Praise my Soul…)          14(v4-5) HH3
Praise the God of evolution,
Stirring oxygen with love,
Turning gases into waters,
Wombs in tune with light above.
Celebrate your evolution!
Breathe the air of life itself.

Praise the God of evolution,
Forming embryos to view,
Turning molecules to mammals,
Birthing lives like me and you.
Celebrate your evolution!
Join the song of life on Earth.  (1999. Norman Habel)
People are seated

Welcome In your own words
A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are worshipping 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 worship.
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.


Presentation of Water Basins
Words which acknowledge that the dust of many roads and many life experiences has been rinsed into the basins, and calls for the contents of the basins and the gathering to be transformed, renewed, and more fully alive

The dust of many roads and may life experiences
has been washed in this refreshing water.
For this place is a sacred place.

May we
greet one another with open hearts and minds;
inspire each other to consider new questions
and seek deeper meaning;
and cultivate both wisdom and compassion.

And 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.
If using the Calling the bowls of water are put in place


If using the Remembering
 the bowls of water are removed from the Gathering space

Four different voices each with a symbol

Faces East, blows a feather
v1  Spirit of the East,
Filled with the winds of the air cycle,
Breathing the universe in and out again,
All  Come, bring beauty to planet Earth
during this season of Spring.

Faces South, presents a potted plant
v2  Spirit of the South,
Filled with the creation of the Earth cycle,
Producing food to feed hungry creatures,
All   Come, bring beauty to plant Earth
during this season of Spring.

Faces West, takes water from a bowl, and sprinkles the gathered
v3  Spirit of the West,
Filled with the flow of the water cycle,
Pouring moisture in and through and out of you,
All   Come, bring beauty to planet Earth
during this season of Spring

Faces North, lights a nest of candles
v4  Spirit of the North,
Filled with the metabolism of the fire cycle,
Producing energy to warm our bodies,
All   Come, bring beauty to planet Earth
during this season of Spring.
  (Adapted. Diann New/rb)


Take the symbol (rosemary/gum leaf/lavender)
you received at the door, rub it between your fingers, smell it,
and share with the person next to you
a special memory of Earth as a planet
that stirred your spirit or sense of wonder.

We remember our excitement 
when we first saw the orb of Earth,
the mystery of a living green blue planet,
a fragile speck of stardust
made into a magnificent home.
We remember and rejoice.

Now away from the busyness of life
and in the silence of this place,
let us give thanks
for the gift of Planet Earth, filled with mystery!

We celebrate the song of our planet!
All Sing! Planet Earth! Sing!  (Norman Habel/soc)

Music of Celebration


Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be offered.

From the World Around us:
"Here we are, God”
By Joan Metzner.
Earth Prayers/84.

Here we are, God - a planet at prayer.
Attune our spirits that we may hear your harmonies
and bow before your creative power
that we may face our violent discords
and join with your Energy
to make heard in every heart your hymn of peace.

Here we are, God-a militarized planet.
Transform our fears that we may transform our war fields
into wheatfields, arms into handshakes,
missiles into messengers of peace.

Here we are, God-a polluted planet.
Purify our vision that we may perceive ways
to purify our beloved lands, cleanse our precious waters,
de-smog our life-giving air.

Here we are, God-an exploited planet.
Heal our heart, that we may respect our resources,
hold priceless our people, and provide for
our starving children an abundance of daily bread.


“The Emergence of the Earth”
Lloyd Geering. From the Big Bang to God/41

Cosmologists predict that in some four billion years Earth will be swallowed up by the sun, which by that time will be entering its dying phase by expanding into a red giant.

While we may not lose any sleep over that far-off cosmic event, we do need to remember that Earth remains vulnerable to whatever may come wandering into our solar system from outer space; in fact, we are bombarded daily with tiny meteors that we see as shooting stars. Most of them do no harm since they are burnt up in the atmosphere, but very occasionally we encounter larger ones, like the one that created the moon and the one that brought an end to the dinosaurs only 65.4 million years ago. Earth was formed more by accident than by any design, and it remains subject to such chance cosmic events. It does not exist for any particular reason, even though from our subjective viewpoint it may seem that Earth exists for the purpose of bringing forth life in general and of creating us in particular.

Traditional Gospel:
Mark 7:1-4a, 5-8, 15-20 (Adapt/Inclusive Text)

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,  
and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands,
that is, without washing them.

For the Pharisees, and the Jewish people in general,
follow the tradition of the elders and never eat
without washing their arms as far as the elbow,
and on returning from the market place
they never eat without first sprinkling themselves...

So these Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus,
'Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders
but eat their food with unclean hands?'

Jesus answered,
'It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah rightly prophesied
in this passage of scripture: This people honours me only with lip service,
while their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless,
the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.
You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.

Jesus then called the people to him again and said,
'Listen to me, all of you, and understand.

'Nothing that goes into people from outside can make them unclean;
it is the things that come out of people that make them unclean...

Jesus left the crowd and entered the house,
where the disciples asked about the parable.

So Jesus said,
'Do you also fail to understand?
Do you not see that what goes into a person from outside cannot make them unclean, 
since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?

'It is what comes out of a person that makes them unclean'.

Alternate - Season of Creation
Traditional Gospel:
John 1:1-5 (Inclusive Text)

In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God and the Word was God.

The Word was with God in the beginning.
Through this word all things came to be, without whom not one thing had its being.

All that came to be had life in the Word and that life was the light of humankind,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection


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

In desert and bushland, mountain and water,
we see the signs that God is with us.
In grass that grows through cities 
of concrete and brick,
we see the signs that God is with us.

In the faces of people whom God so loves,
we see the signs that God is with us.

In our brokenness,
there is the hope of wholeness.
In our emptiness, there is the hope of fullness.

In our deaths,
lies the hope of resurrection life.

This is the Word in Christ to us.
The flame of the Holy Spirit
lives in this place and travels with us.  (Adapt.Dorothy McRae-McMahon/eoj)

Sharing 'The Peace
God makes peace within us.  Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us.  Let us share it (nwi).
Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.

The peace of God is here... to stay. (Iona)
All Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Spirit of Springtime(Tune: ‘Verdure’)    59 FFS
Spirit if springtime in creation’s garden,
tingling the senses,
tickling the earth,
sap that is rising where the seed was sleeping,
push for a new world
coming to birth!

Heard in the song that sweeps from bush to ocean,
seen in the sunlight,
felt in the blood,
surge of delight at every greening, growing,
God in the promise,
blossom from bud.

Fresh as the rain that washes clean our vision,
keen as the wind on
Pentecost day,
bright as the Spirit in the life of Jesus,
bold as the mindset
thinking his way.

Springtime of hope from out of winter’s clutches,
warm us to witness
woo us to see
beauty will break through rotted leaves and ashes,
joy will erupt, and
life will leap free!
(Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

Reflections and Prayers
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:
Creation thrums with Being

and peals the Word - 'I am’.
We sometimes remember
to whisper the antiphon, 'We are’.  (Vic Arnold/es)

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  Good caring presence within us, around us, and above us;
Hold us in a sense of mystery and wonder.

Let the fullness of your goodness be within us and around us.
Let all the world know your ways of caring and generosity.
May we find we have all we need
to meet each day without undue anxiety.

Overlook our many stupidities,
and help us to release everyone from their stupidities.
May we know we are accepted.
Strengthen us that we will reach out to the best,
always with the faith
to rise above the ugly realities of our existence.

And we celebrate the gifts you have given us:
the rich kingdom of life’s possibilities,
the power to do good and the triumphs of good,
and the moments when we have seen
the glory and wonder of everything.

You are life’s richness.
You are life’s power.
You are life’s ultimate meaning.
And for everyone.
And for ever more.  Amen.  (Francis Macnab/fwb)


Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat


"Somewhere someone…:"

The kingdom of love is coming because:
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)

Our offerings for the celebration of community in this place and beyond:
our gifts, our bread, and our wine…
shall now be received

May the presentness of the Sacred be in the breaking:
in the break of day
in the breaking of the bread
in the breaking of our lives
in the breaking of our hopes…
May the presentness of the Sacred make us whole.

Gathering Words
The earth has gone the round of seasons:
from the vibrant green of spring's new life
to the lush richness of warm summer,
to the brilliant fulfillment of riotous autumn,
to the generosity and self-giving of winter.

Now we stand again, touched by the promise
of new life in early spring.

Loving and caring God, how fertile your genius!
You shape everything.
You fill the world with what you do.
We come together, glad, to this celebration.

When our days become over-busy and our spirits bleached like spinifex…
All  May we be f
looded with a downpour of mercy!

When we take things for granted and gratitude goes to sleep…
All  May 
a new song be found on our tongues.

When life’s abrasive pressures fray us,
loosing our hold on the Still Centre…
We we be reminded about nesting magpies,
golden daffodils and pink prunus blossom
- symbols of Creative Mystery.


May God in this early Spring journey with you.
All  And also with you.
Open your eyes, your ears, and your hearts.
We open them to the earth and to one another.
Let us give thanks for creativity in our lives.
As we offer both thanks and praise.

It is right and our joy that we should give such thanks...

We offer our praise for the changing moods of nature:
for sunshine and showers of an early spring day,
for the rich brown earth beneath our feet,
and for the clouds, the winds, the dusk and the dawn.
We hold all such good things in trust
as we care for the earth.

We also offer our praise for Jesus our Companion,
who taught all to care for the birds of the air
and the grass of the paddock,
as a mother or a father cares for a child.

We remember that night among friends, reclined at table…
Jesus again shared a meal with his friends.

Through grain and grape, bread and wine,
and in fellowship together,
Jesus spoke of his enduring love for each of them.

So we take this bread and this wine, 
ever mindful of the Creative Spirit at work in our lives,
making our living a source of renewal and hope,
a springtime of promise and resurrection.

Bread and Wine
Bread is broken

We break this bread in celebration of the great truth
that on this tiny planet, hurtling through cold, empty space,
death is made the servant of life,
and out of death, life is forever resurrected.

Wine poured out

This cup with its fruit of the vine,
is a celebration that things are not always as they seem:
that out of faithfulness and steadfastness,
out of suffering and sorrow,
may come unsought blessings.

To eat and drink together reminds us
of the deeper aspects of human fellowship,
for from time immemorial
the sharing of bread and wine has been
the most universal of all symbols of community.
Bread and Wine served


Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Our Mother Earth(Tune: ‘Nun Danket’,        100(v1-2) SNS
It is our Mother Earth 
To whom we owe allegiance, 
For ever since our birth 
She’s shared from her abundance; 
The air we need for breath, 
The plants we need for food, 
Cycles of life and death, 
All have our gratitude. 

From oceans, lakes and streams,
We draw much from their waters;
They are where nature dreams
Of bearing sons and daughters.
Then to the air and skies,
With energy and glee,
She moves with grace and flies
With polished artistry. 
Remain standing


Earth Was Given as a Garden”  (Tune: ‘Hyfrydol’, 87.87D)            207(1-2) SLT
Earth was given as a garden,
cradle for humanity;
tree of life and tree of knowledge
placed for our discovery.
Here was home for all your creatures
born of land and sky and sea;
all created in your image,
all to live in harmony

Show to us again the garden
where all life flows fresh and free.
Gently guide your sons and daughters
into full maturity.
Teach us how to trust each other,
how to use for good our power,
how to touch the earth with rev’rence.
Then once more will Eden flower.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challenges
of our lives and our world…

The Community Candle is extinguished

Hold again the fragrant symbol in your hands
and go forth to serve.

Will you care for Planet Earth?
We will remember our planet home!
We will nurture our planet!
We will celebrate life!


Let us go forth to walk in beauty.
All   May beauty be within us.
May beauty be around us.
May beauty be ours in eternal life
(Diann New/rb)

Words of Blessing
May God bless us not with clean air alone.
But the will to keep our air clean.

May God bless us not with a vision
of a healthy planet alone.
But with the will to do all in our power
to restore and maintain our planet’s health.

May God bless us not with a change of heart
in the great world leaders alone to save our planet.
But with a change in our own heart to use
our own power to save the planet. (Adapt. Daniel J McGill/lp)
All  Amen. May it be so!

Hymn (Cont). Our Mother Earth(Tune: ‘Nun Danket’,        100(v3-4) SNS
So how can we but grieve 
When we observe pollution, 
And not try to achieve 
Some rehabilitation? 
Repulsive is the sight 
Of dirty, pois’nous slime, 
Of smog that hides the light. 

We must reverse this crime!
Let us avoid the doom;
We know that nature’s bleeding;
We must let flowers bloom;
We should heed all the pleading
To change what we all do,
To stop inflicting harm,
And so help to renew
All nature’s fragile charm. 
(George Stuart)


Earth Was Given as a Garden”  (Tune: ‘Hyfrydol’, 87.87D)            207(v3) SLT
Bless the earth and all your children,
one creation: make us whole,
interwoven, all connected,
planet wide and inmost soul.
Holy mother, life bestowing,
bid our waste and warfare cease.
Fill us all with grace o’er-flowing.
Teach us how to live in peace. 
(Roberta Bard Ruby)
The people sit                                                

'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles


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.

I recommend the use of
LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches.

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.
Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
(HH3)  Habel, N. Habel Hymns 3. Songs to Explore ‘The Mysteries’ of Evolution and Ecology. Adelaide: Habel, 2012.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2005.
Iona Community.
Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
Lee, B. J. (ed).
Alternative Futures For Worship. Vol 3. The Eucharist. Collegeville. The Liturgical Press, 1987.
Macnab, F.
A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in Words that Blow You Away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2006.
McRae-McMahon, D.
Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE, 1993.
Neu, D. L. Return Blessings: Ecofeminist Liturgies Renewing the Earth. Cleveland. Pilgrim Press, 2002.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York. HarperCollins, 1996.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon.
Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins, 1991.
Seaburg, C. (ed).
The Communion Book. Boston. UUMA, 1993.
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.
The St Hilda Community. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London.  SPCK, 1996.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed).
Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK, 1995.

Web Sites/Other:
Norman Habel Creation Liturgies. <>
Refreshment Station. Words by Nan Fink Gefen, taken from an Evolutionary Passover Haggadah by Tree Bressen.
V Arnold. Eureka Street eZine 20, 23. 23/11/10.