Easter6C.26.5.2019

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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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
26 May 2019.  Easter 6C. (White).
Celebration Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“Don't practice what you preach.
Practice what you don't preach”
(Jeremy Sherman)


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 and present,
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


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/Slides 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Each morning we are thankful
for the night just ended,
for the years that have been,
and for the day that is. 
(Kenneth Patton/hscl)

v2  Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit in silence

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 
HERE

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
More Than Tolerance” (Tune: ‘Austria’, 87.87D)          102 SNS2
Coming to a place of candour,
Where beliefs and creeds confer;
We will not react with anger,
Nor tell others where they err.
Can we speak of faith and doctrine?
Can we listen - really hear?
As we meet can we imagine
That new insights may appear?

When we hear some diff'rent teaching,
When we try to understand;
Different faiths can be disturbing,
And can question where we stand;
We need not forsake devotion
If it's God whom we adore;
But we can share inspiration;
We can question and explore.

We can pledge to be accepting;
Put behind us lack of trust;
We can practise understanding,
Shun rebuke that is unjust.
If we can affirm each other,
Be as friend and not as foe,
We can meet and share together;
Plant respect and let it grow. (George Stuart)

OR

God Who Carved... Landscape”  (Tune: ‘Dansey’).                          31 FFS
God who carved this timeless landscape,
snow-clad ridge to valley plain,
power of surging race and river,
limestone crag and scarred terrain;
maker still of earth, fire, water,
artistry of sight and sound,
Southern lights and sunset splendour,
raise our eyes and you are found.

Calendar of nature's balance,
rhythms of the farming year,
shearing, milking, ploughing, pruning,
manger setting ever near!
lonely struggle in the byways,
nor'west dust or snow and flood,
fellowship of tears and laughter:

Lord, with you, we're understood.
Giving thanks for those before us,
village life and tussock track,
as we turn to face the future,
history's wind upon our back;
scattered are our congregations,
each now shares in ministry,
bonding strength of work together:
spirit of community. 
Doug Grierson
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
It is time.
The joy of the God, Spirit of Life, be with you all.
All  
And also with you.

It is time
for pausing and celebrating,
for thinking and thanking,
for listening and learning,
for confessing and forgiving.
All  A time for allowing ourselves
to be loved and cherished by a lover
who will never leave us or forsake us.

Act of Awareness
We receive fragments of holiness,
glimpses of eternity,
brief moments of insight.

Let us gather them up for the precious gifts that they are
and, renewed by their grace,
move boldly into the unknown. (Sara M Campbell/slt)

OR

We pray:
Generous God,
you bring light to our days and hope to our hearts.
We are grateful for your care.
You have invited us once more to this time of celebration.
May we be raised up to embrace your way of love.
May it be so.

Hymn Perfect Singer”  (Tune: ‘Catherine’, 77.77)                 332 SLT
Perfect Singer, songs of earth
rise on every field and hearth;
let our voices sound again
ancient songs of joy and pain.

All your creatures strive for life
suffer hurt in angry strife,
seek compassion, find release
in the covenant of peace.

Sing a sacred melody
for the justice that shall be;
let our harmonies resolve
dissonance in steadfast love.

Steadfast Seeker, find our song
woven into lives made strong;
let the patterns of surprise
kindle hope with each sunrise. 
(George K Beach)

OR

Welcome Doubt! Refine our Thinking(Tune: ‘Drake’s Broughton’, Trochaic, 87.87)
Welcome doubt! Refine our thinking,
Urge us further into light;
Lead us to a greater dawning
From the shadows of our night.

Welcome knowledge! Food for wisdom,
Leaving prejudice behind;
Pledge of science, fruit of reason,
Seeking love with all our mind.

Welcome truth! But little caring
Whence it come, cost what it will;
Though it challenge deep conviction,
Truth shall be our focus still.

Welcome faith! Our thought transcending,
Touching mystery divine;
Joy of trusting, source of action,
Fervent hope’s courageous sign.

Welcome grace! Without deserving,
Unexpected, pride at bay;
Spirit’s riches shower upon us
As we give our lives away.  (David Stevenson).

OR

"See the Glory of the Morning"  (Tune: ‘St Cataherine,’ 87.87)
See the glory of the morning:
autumn leaves of red and gold;
flashing silver sea, and sunlight,
new each dawning, never old.

God is painting from a palette
each kaleidoscopic scene,
visions that we greet with wonder
shot with crimson, streaked with green.

Every sight and sound is different,
every new epiphany
points to Gods eternal glory,
fires our joyous litany.  
(© Andrew Pratt)
The people sit after the hymn

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.

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Readings from a broad Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to some stories from our broad religious traditions.

From the World Around us:
“The Freedom Within”
By Kenneth Patton.
Songs and Services for the Celebration of Life/82-83

A man once lived who changed his mind about the world.
He made a new set of answers about the heavens.
He changed the location and the significance of mankind in the scheme of things.
His mind was his free world, where he lived unmolested with his new answer’s.
He lived in a new world, while all of his fellows lived in the old world still.

He was not only wise; he was cagey.
He knew that the world of religion and politics was not as free
          as the world he maintained in his head.
He knew that his own mind was a roomier, saner,
          more charitable world than human society.

So he kept his freedom and his answers to himself.
His theories were published as he lay dying,
          when the angry priests and their torturers could not get to him.
After all, why should he make himself the victim of other men’s stupidity and cruelty?

They raged against him, but he was safe within the fortress of the grave.
But while he lived, he maintained his freedom and chance
          to do his work by living within the fortress of his own mind.
Since there was no freedom outside, he kept to his freedom within.

His name was Copernicus.
We named the universe after him.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 6: 20-21, 24-25  (Inclusive Text)

A large crowd had gathered to hear Jesus.
[Concerned at his rising popularity], Jesus said to the disciples:
'How happy are you who are poor; yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now; you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh…’

'But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

Alas for you when the world speaks well of you…’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany: Choose Life (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share litany affirming our faith in life.
The people stand as they are able

We say to ourselves:
All  Choose life,
that you and your children may live.

We say to friends:
All  Choose life,