Trinity/HereticsB.30.5.2021

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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xxx


A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
30 May 2021. Trinity B  (White).
All Heretics Day
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“At the opening ceremony of the American embassy in Jerusalem,
Benyamin Netanyahu exultantly proclaimed that in remembering history we make history.
What he should have said was that in repeating myths
we ensure the cycle of destruction”
(Dominic Kirkham)

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.

xxx

(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 gather here as the human ones of creation.
We name ourselves threads in the web of life.
We give thanks for connection,
that we are all part of one another
and that we are part of the sacred.  (StAndrew’s, Auckland)

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

OR

v1   Come, let us gather in this sacred place
Knowing every place is sacred
Where we find peace or energy
Where beauty flourishes
Where we share body, mind and heart…
Come, let us gather in this sacred place.  (Adapt.Bronwyn Angela White, 2001)
.

v2   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
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Hymn/Song People stand as they are able, to sing 
Through the Star-filled Realms of Evening (Tune: Ar Hyd Y Nos’, 84.84.88.84)                  34 SC
A modern version of ‘God that madest Earth and Heaven’

Through the star-filled realms of evening
Shines heavenly light.
Daylight gives a space for working,
Rest comes with night.

Love and strength from deep within us
Flood our lives when sleep enfolds us,
Dreams reveal the myst’ry in us
Each restful night.

In our waking, in our sleeping,
And as we die,
Myst’ry dwells within our living,
Each laugh and cry.

Darkness has no power to numb us
Nor has light the strength to blind us,
For the presence lives within us
As Earth and Sky.  (William L Wallace)

OR

The Celebration of Life”  (Tune: ‘Von Himmel Hoch’, LM)                                                       55 SSCL
Life is our reverence and good;
Our dances voice the body’s praise;
Our temples house life’s theme and mood;
Our songs and poems tell its ways.

Now welcome every living hour;
Delight in every‘ newborn day.
Life is our fame; death has no power
Unless our fear gives death its way.

The pliant muscle fills and bends;
The flesh is soft and will not break,
And healing patiently amends
Endurance for the future’s sake.

The seed will fill the emptied spire,
And ebbing clear the sweep to thrive;
The ashes grow the woods to fire,
And death is food to all that live,

We have eternity in full
In this quick sample of our days;
No terror, then, can render null
The joy of all our life and praise.  (Kenneth L Patton, 1967)

OR

I am a Part of the Pulse of Creation”  (Tune: ‘Pulse of Creation/Colin Gibson)
I am a part of the pulse of creation,
eternity caught in a moment of time,
part of the myst’ry, part of the beauty,
part of the wonderful gifting of God.

Mine is the world of the stars and the galaxies,
limitless energy, movement and mass,
mine the unfolding, mine the far-reaching,
gift of the infinite goodness of God.

I take my share in the act of creation,
finding new wonders, new worlds to explore,
faith’s evolution, hope’s resolution,
loving in tune with the music of God.

Born in the Spirit and waking to freedom,
seeking to grow to the measure of Christ,
part of the myst’ry, part of the beauty,
part of th wonder creation of God.  (© Colin Gibson)

Opening Sentences
God beyond all names and images,
All
  we worship you in faith.
God in the Christ with human face

All  
we worship you in truth.
God who moves, draws, forms and enlightens our life,
All  we worship you in Spirit.

God in relationship.
God the beginning and God the end,
you are our God.  Adapt/Pitt St. Uniting/eoj)

Act of Awareness
Here, in this space made sacred by our shared lives and yearnings,
may we find new courage,
new generosity of spirit,
forgiveness given and received,
and rededication to the higher purposes of our lives.

OR

We pray:
Source of Life and Love we name God
in you we live and move and have our being.

Jesus, Companion and Liberator,
with you we walk the way of love.

Empowering and Imaginative Spirit,
through you we are made one.

God, trinity of love, we seek you in the dance of life.
We embrace your love.
We would dance.
This is the meaning of the resurrection, that we can dance.
Alleluia.  (Adapt.Kathy Galloway/cw)
Amen.

Hymn/Song  Honouring Life”  (Tune: Metre 87.87)
God of courage, God of wisdom,
with our eyes we long to see
how to love each other fully,
honour our divinity.

Hurtful power, hate-filled living,
break the soul and rend the heart.
Ending human harmful action,
fear and tyranny depart.

Life is sacred, life is precious,
life of each, a gift of grace.
God's own beauty finds expression
in each cherished human face.

When we see all life has value,
healing stirs the heart awake.
Cherishing all human living,
bitter chains of hate we break.

When we claim the power within us
to uphold all human life,
we give birth to love's own kingdom,
peace and justice ease our strife.  (© Peggy McDonagh, 2003/Adapt)

OR

O Threefold God(Tune: Unity')                                                                                                          110 AA
O threefold God of tender unity,
life’s great unknown that binds and sets us free:
felt in our loving, greater than our thought,
you are the mystery found, the mystery sought.

O blaze of radiance, source of light that blinds,
the fiery splendour of prophetic minds,
you live in mystery, yet within us dwell;
life springs from you as from a living well.

Most loving Parent, Child of joys and pains,
creative Spirit, life-force that sustains,
in bone and flesh, in blood we touch your hand,
your face we see in water, air and land.

In every making, each creative dream
and in the flowing of life’s healing stream,
when love is born or people reconciled,
we share your life, O Parent, Spirit, Child.

O threefold God of tender unity,
life’s great unknown that binds and sets us free:
felt in our loving, greater than our thought,
you are the mystery found, the mystery sought.  
(William L Wallace)
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

Meditation
"Welcome stranger!"
By Susan Hardwick.
Entertaining Angels/3.

Welcome, Stranger!
Place your palm
against my own.

Let us interlace
our fingers.

Then together
we will weave
the threads of our lives
into a wondrous vision;

a bright new
tapestry of dreams,
of times to come.

Centering Silence
xxx

May we give thanks for all the silences in our lives:
the silence of sunrise,
the silence of mist on the lake,
the silence at the end of a story,
the silence between notes of music,
the silence between us here…
(Silence)
 

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the Religious Traditions
xxx

xxx

• “September Faith”
By Dennis McCarty. Thoughts from a Gentle 
Atheist/183

This is the nature of faith:
That every religion struggles to breathe life
Into the things it believes,
Struggles to give belief a body
By which it can move through the world.
It is the labor of a religion
To bring faith alive through faithful deeds.
Because only by such faithful action
Is spirituality made real.
Only by faithful action
Does religious belief achieve meaning
And relevance.

OR

• “Australia Street”
By Brenda Saunders. Eureka Street, Vol 22, No. 10. 21/5/2012

I know it's autumn when exotic imports

lose their cargo of leaves

Empty branches startle the sky

Northern cut-outs curling in the sun

catch on fence wire at the school

flooding gutters after rain

In summer the gumtree
in our yard
slims down, mindful of the dry spell

Oily crescents pressed underfoot
soften the asphalt under the line

Loose bark hangs in strips for weeks

like forgotten underwear
Gum nuts line the pathway to the bin

tiny hulls, our hidden progeny.

John 3:1-9: (NRSV)

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.
He came to Jesus by night and said,
'Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God;
for no one can do these signs that you do
apart from the presence of God.'

Jesus answered,
'Truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God
without being born from above.'

'But how can anyone be born after having grown old?' Nicodemus said...

'Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?'

Jesus answered,
'Truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God
without being born of water and Spirit.
What is born of the flesh is flesh,
and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

'Do not be astonished that I said to you,
You must be born from above.

'The wind blows where it chooses,
and you hear the sound of it,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.

'So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.'

Nicodemus said to Jesus,
'How can these things be...?'

Contemporary Word

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Litany in Praise of the Trinity (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

Worthy of praise from every mouth,
All  worthy of confession from every tongue,
worthy of worship from every creature,
All  
is your glorious name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

For you created the world in your grace,
All  and by your compassion you saved the world.

To your majesty, O God,
ten thousand times ten thousand bow down and adore,
All  
singing and praising without ceasing, and saying:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts;
heaven and earth are full of your praises.
All  Hosanna in the highest.  Nestorian Liturgy, 5th Century/UIW

OR

Litany to Cherish your Doubts (Optional)
People stand as they are able

Cherish your doubts, for doubt
is the attendant of truth.
All  Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge;
it is the servant of discovery.

A belief which may not be questioned
binds us to error, for there is
incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.
All  Doubt is the touchstone of truth;
it is an acid which eats away the false.

Let no one fear for the truth,
that doubt may consume it;
for doubt is a testing of belief.
All  The truth stands boldly and unafraid;
it is not shaken by the testing:

for truth, if it be truth, arises
from each testing stronger, more secure.
All  Those that would silence doubt are filled with fear;
their houses are built on shifting sands.

But those who do not fear doubt,
and know its use, are founded on rock.
All  They shall walk in the light of growing knowledge;
the work of their hands shall endure.

Therefore let us not fear doubt,
but let us rejoice in its help:
All  It is to be wise as a staff to the blind;
doubt is the attendant of truth. 
(Robert T Weston/slt)

Sharing 'The Peace'
xxx

You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours

OR

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Hymn/Song   People stand as they are able, to sing
God of Diversity(Tune: ‘Margaret’. By Colin Gibson)                                                        40 HoS
God of diversity, vibrant creation
is bursting with signs of extravagant joy.
In riot of blossom, in species unnumbered
we see that all difference is ours to enjoy.

God of diversity, nations and cultures
tell of the richness life offers to all.
In language and symbol, in story and doctrine
we clothe our experience, respond to your call.

God of diversity, humans embody
the interdependence of ear, eye and hand;
we struggle to learn, in this globe-become-village,
our need of each other in every land.

God of diversity, help us to honour
our different perspectives on things that are true,
as, knowing more deeply the God in Christ Jesus,
we learn how to worship with all who love you.  (Margaret Bond)

OR

Canyons Heave and Mountains Tumble” (Nepal Lament) (Tune: 88.88)
Canyons heave and mountains tumble,
earth beneath will shift and rumble,
quaking buildings tilting and falling
will God never heed our calling?
Like some hell afire with trouble,
children buried in the rubble:
seems there is no hope or reason,
fear unleashed, death finds its season.

Here in utter desperation
harmed by nature's harsh mutation,
will we ask 'is God against us’,
seeking to deny or test us?
When, O when, as life is rattled
and we feel dislodged, embattled,
will an avalanche of praying
turn a God bent on betraying?

Then when rubble ceases moving,
still God's grace, it seems, needs proving.
All our trust and hope is waning,
faith is taut, near breaking, straining.
Yet, as neighbours, sharing grieving,
let us bring God's love, relieving
fears that leave the world unsleeping
seeding trust, God's grace unceasing.  Andrew Pratt. © Stainer & Bell 12/5/2015

CELEBRATING

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:
As one heart is lifted
All  May we share its celebration
As one heart is burdened
All  
May we share the pain it knows.  (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 God 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)

Conversation with the children
Children gather on 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
Eternal Presence of God
may our lives be expanded and enhanced.

Let our gratitude for life be expressed in our generosity.
Let our faith be expressed in good causes.
Let our belief in the future find full expression
in our daily attitude of mind.
  Francis Macnab/fwb-adapt

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY IN THE TRADITION OF THE MEAL
Welcome to the Table
At this table we give thanks for
justice, love, peace and freedom.
Mn  At this table we give thanks for friends and strangers
together in community in this safe place.
Wm  
At this table we welcome old and young.

v2  A place at the table.  And all are invited.

Thanksgiving
We give thanks for the unfolding of matter,
mind,
intelligence,
and life
that has brought us to this moment in time.
All  
We celebrate our common origin with everything that exists.

v1  We celebrate the mystery we experience and address as ‘God’.
ground and sustainer of everything that exists,
in whom we live and move and have our being.

v2  And we acknowledge this mystery embodied in every human person,
aware that each one of us gives God unique and personal expression.
All  God is everywhere present.