Revd Rex A E Hunt

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11 September 2016. Season of Creation2/Pentecost 17C. (Green).
Theme: Fauna Sunday

Worth Pondering
“We are webs of reality, woven out of the threads of culture, biology, and cosmos…
As webs of reality each of us is a manifestation
of a larger part of the universe as a whole”
(Karl Peters)

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


Gathering Music

The gong is sounded three times

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

This flame is warm as the companionship of friends is warm.
Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Entry into the Celebration
v2  Fountain of life…Pulse of life…Breath of life…
All  Earth is filled with the presentness of God.
v1 Holy! Holy! Holy!
All fauna are f
illed with the presentness of God.
Holy! Holy! Holy!
Earth is filled with the presentness of God.
v2 Together this day, let us sense
the face of God in all creativity. (Norman Habel/soc)

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 the 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

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Song of the Wild (Music: Anjali Habel-Ortrell)      6 (v1-3) HH
Will you come back with me to the birth of the earth,
Before all its life forms evolved?
Will you sing with the heavens amazed at the sight:
A planet with secrets to unfold?
Will you praise,
Be amazed
With eyes as wide as a child’s?
Will you praise,
Be amazed
And sing
The song of the wild?

Will you walk home with me on the way to the wild
And watch baby birds break from their shells?
Do you know how I serve as a mid-wife to all,
The lion, the lizard and gazelle?

Will you gather with me as the wading birds dance,
Preparing to migrate north once more?
Can you fathom the code I have fixed in their souls
To navigate oceans when they roar?
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
The Spirit of God has hovered over the waters…
We invite our fauna family to worship with us,
All our kin living on this planet,
from the busiest bee to the tallest giraffe.

We remember our ancient relatives who became extinct,
Dinosaurs, dodos and Tasmanian tigers,
giant marsupials and the woolly mammoths.
We join our brothers and sisters in praising God,
All  Gliding eagles and watchful meerkats,
Gorillas in the mist and polar bears in the snow.
We summon the kin we have come to love,
The stray cat and the backyard dog,
the koala, the pony, and the little lamb.

All our fauna family in the wild,
Raise your voices to the skies
in a family festival of praise.

Sing, family, sing! (Norman Habel)

Act of Awareness
Let  us be united;
Let us speak in harmony;
Let our minds apprehend alike.

Common be our prayer;
Common be the end of our assembly;
Common be our resolution;
Common be our deliberations.
Alike be our feelings;
Unified be our hearts;
Common be our intentions;
Perfect be our unity (The Rig Veda/ep).


We pray:
We celebrate with all living creatures today.
May we sense the presentness of God not only in human history,
but also in the stories of our kin in creation,
the great fauna family.

May we care for all life on this Earth.
May it be so.

Hymn (Cont.) Song of the Wild”  (Music: Anjali Habel-Ortrell)    6 (v4-5) HH
Will you sleep with your God in the desert one night
And wake with the creatures of the sand?
Can you fathom the wisdom instilled in their mind
To live without water, sun or man?

If you don’t feel at home with the rain forest snakes,
If you’re troubled when creatures change their skin,
Then surrender the claim that you rule on this Earth
And discover creation as your kin.  (© Norman Habel, 2000)
The people sit after the hymn

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.


A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who may be joining us for a first time.

Your presence enriches this gathering and contributes to 
the creative evolution of community. 
Thanks for the gift of you! 
 (Central United, Moncton, Canada)

This morning we continue the Season of Creation.
And the second theme is Fauna Sunday.

As you entered the Gathering space this morning you received a candle.
Hold it quietly in front of you.
Remember birds and animals you have loved
or with whom you felt a spiritual kinship.
Share your memories with the person next to you.


We remember too those of our kin who are endangered
those who have had their homes destroyed
and those who have become extinct,
through human greed and exploitation.
We hear creation groaning.
We hear fellow creatures crying out in pain.
And we hear members of fauna family weeping..

Now away from the busyness of life
and in the silence of this sacred place,
let us give thanks for the gift of all fauna,
and the mystery of an endless horizon
stretching out across the Earth.

We celebrate with our fauna family.
Sing, family, sing!

Music of Celebration


Reading from our broad Biblical Tradition
A story from our biblical tradition will be told by (NN).

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

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 15: 1-10

The tax collecters and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say,
and the Pharisees and the scribes complained.
'This person,' they said, ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.

'So Jesus spoke this parable to them:
'Who among you with a hundred sheep, losing one,
would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till it was found?
And having found it, would the shepherd not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then,
when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours?    
   "Rejoice with me,” the shepherd would say, 'l have found my sheep that was lost.” 

‘In the same way, I tell you, these will be more rejoicing in heaven
over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous who have no need of repentance.‘

‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one,
light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it?
And then, when she had found it, call together friends and neighbours?   
   "Rejoice with me," she would say, "l have found the drachma I lost.”

‘In the same way, l tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God
over one repentant sinner.‘


“The Wild and the Sacred”
By Thomas Berry

To understand the human role in the functioning of Earth,
we need to appreciate the spontaneities found in every form of existence in the natural world,
spontaneities that we associate with the wild - that which is uncontrolled by human dominance.
We misconceive our role if we consider that our historical mission is to “civilize” or to “domesticate” the planet,
as though wildness is something destructive rather than the ultimate creative modality of any form of earthly being.
We are not here to control.
We are here to become integral with the larger Earth community. 
The community itself and each of its members has ultimately a wild component,
a creative spontaneity that is its deepest reality, its most profound mystery.

We might reflect on this sense of the wild and the civilized when the dawn appears through the morning mist.
At such times a stillness pervades the world - a brooding sense, a quiet transition from night into day.
This experience is deepened when evening responds to morning,
as day fades away, and night comes.

Season of Creation2 Gospel: (Open English Bible/A New New Testament)
Luke 12: 22-28

And Jesus said to his disciples:
"That is why I say to you, Do not be anxious about the life here
- what you can get to eat; nor yet about our body - what you can get to wear.

"For life is more than food, and the body more than its clothes.
Think of the ravens - they neither sow nor reap;
they have neither storehouse nor barn; and yet God feeds them!
And how much more precious are you than birds!

"But which of you, by being anxious, can prolong your life a moment?
And, if you cannot do even the smallest thing,
why be anxious about other things.

"Think of the lilies, and how they grow.
They neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you,
even Solomon in all his splendor was not robed like one of these.

If, even in the field, God so clothes the grass which is living today
and tomorrow will be thrown into the oven,
how much more will he clothe you, you of little faith!


New Gospel:
The Gospel of Thomas 36:1-5 (A New New Testament)

Jesus said:
"Do not worry, from morning to evening and from evening to morning,
about your food, about what you are going to eat,
or about your clothing, what you are going to wear.

"You are far better than the lilies, which do not card nor spin.
As for you when you have no clothes, what will you put on?
Who might add to your status?
That one will give you your clothes".

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection


A Litany (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, and in solidarity
with the fauna of the world, let us stand and share together
a Country Creation litany.
The people stand as they are able

The eastern sky announces to creation, the new day dawned;
Magpie warbling, young lambs bleating,
Awakening hunter instincts in crow and hawk.
All the earth proclaims God's wonder.

Mountains outlined against the morning sky
proclaims your steadfastness and majesty;
Pink heath, flannel flower, wet with dew;
Deer and kangaroo quietly grazing.
All the earth proclaims God's wonder.

The western plains stretch far, the western plains stretch wide,
Proclaiming the wideness of God's mercy;
Freshwater dam, salt lake and swampland,
Home of the pelican, swan and crane,
The fox in his lair, enemy of stock and farmer,
All the earth proclaims God's wonder.

When day is done the sky proclaims God's timeless beauty;
In fiery sunset's glorious hue;
Amid this mix of beauty and destruction,
Creating, re-creating,
Dusk comes quietly,
Broken only by corellas
Their calIs filIing the faded light.
All  All the earth proclaims God's wonder (Pam Wyley/grpe).

Sharing 'The Peace
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you.
  And also with you. (David Galston/q)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
On This Good Earth”  (Tune: ‘Bowen', D C Damon)    29 PaT
On this good earth, God's generous creation,
all people have the right to live and share,
and when our footprint marks a mindful measure,
one step is taken for the world's repair.

In this good earth that crumbles in our fingers
we plant the food for more than present need:
the health and hope of future generations
lies in our care of water, air and seed.

On this good earth that pulses with life's rhythm,
we pray for greening of another spring,
and learn the cost of wasting God's abundance
when we are careless of its nourishing.

From every land, let voices rise in worship
to thank our God for marvels given birth,
the gifts of life in bounty and in beauty,
our privilege to care for this good earth. (Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit


Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.

May our hearts be opened, our hands unclenched,
and our ears unclogged, that we may
feel and touch and taste and see
the breath and play of Creativity God around us.

With the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat


"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? (jke)

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
In this abundant blessing
We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All  May love abound.  (Gretta Vosper/wwg)

And so we take a 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 the 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 that is appropriate

All  Loving Presence, luminous in all creation,
hallowed be your name.
Thy kin-dom come.

May we reflect on earth
the yielding perfection of the heavens.
Help us to receive an illumined measure from the earth this day.

Forgive us when we trespass against others,
human and other than human,
as we forgive others who trespass against us.
Keep us on the path of wisdom
when we are tempted to take the selfish path.

May it be your rule we follow,
your power we exercise,
and your radiance that allures.
May this be the truth that guides our lives,
the ground from which our future will grow,
until we meet again. 
(Bruce Sanguin/dddc)


Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Nature’s Beauty(Tune: ‘Regent Square’, 87 87 47 Extend)              4(v1-3) SNS3
Nature knows her sounds and movements
Heard and seen each day and night;
All her life in rich abundance
Fills my heart with great delight;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world so bright.

Fearsome winds cause trees to whimper;
Storms can force the clouds to cry;
Raindrops, snowflakes dance together;
Sun and moon wink in reply;
Celebrate with adoration
All the wonders of the sky.

Celebrate all hidden textures;
Value all the roots below;
Celebrate all covered spendour;
Value beauty not on show;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world we know.
Remain standing

Parting Words
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challengesof our lives and our world…
The Community Candle is extinguished

Remembering again our kin – all fauna and wild life…
Will you care for Planet Earth?
We protect those of our kin in the wild who are endangered.
We will empathise with the Oceans.
We will be sensitive to the cries of creation.
We will celebrate life!

Words of Blessing
As we go from this place may we be
full of desire and wonder,
full of longing and praise, and
full of the courage to love. (Rosie Miles/bb)
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont) “Nature’s Beauty(Tune: ‘Regent Square’, 87 87 47 Extend.)             4(v4-5) SNS3
Creatures bold and creatures timid
Offer beauty, each unique;
Trees and flowers paint a picture
On the plain and mountain peak;
Celebrate with adoration;
All revealed for those who seek.

We are blest with such profusion;
Beauty bursts out everywhere;
If we take the time to ponder
We may find a thankful prayer;
Celebrate with adoration
Thankful for the world we share
(George Stuart).
The people sit after the hymn

'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:
Abbott, M. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for seasonal use. Unley. MediaCom Education, 2001.
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.
Burgess, R.
A Book of Blessings. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
(HH) Habel, N.
Habel Hymns 1. Songs to Celebrate with Creation. Adelaide: Flinders Press, 2004.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2013. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Liebelt, P. & N. Nicholls. (ed). Gentle Rain on Parched Earth. Worship Resources for Rural Situations. Melbourne. JBCE, 1996.
(PaT) Murray, S. E. A Place at the Table. New Hymns written between 2009 and 2013. Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 2013.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon.
Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
Sanguin, B.
Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos. An Ecological Christianity. Canada: Kelowna. CopperHouse, 2007.
(SNS3) Stuart, G.
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 3. Toronto: G Stuart, 2011.
Taussig, H. (ed).
A New New Testament. A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts. New York. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
The St Hilda Community. 1996.
The New Women Included. A book of services and prayers. London.  SPCK.
Tucker, M. E. & J. Grim. (ed).
Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community. Mary knoll. Orbit Books, 2014.
Vosper, G.
With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.
Vosper, G. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.

Web sites/Other:
Norman Habel. Season of Creation. <>