Pentecost17C.6.10.2019

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
6 October 2019. Pentecost 17C. (Green).
Celebrating Community: The Jesus Banquet

Pet Sunday

Worth Pondering
“If we can go to special places, built by humans, which are designated as sacred,
surely we can go to special places, shaped naturally, which are recognized as sacred… 
There is a strong monotheistic tradition of cutting down the sacred groves.
What we need is to realise that to have a sense of sacred place is not tree worship… but
is rather the acknowledgement of the awesome,
and the overriding and the overwhelming”
(Jerome Stone)

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 or 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

Jesus calls us to an inclusive community.
Yet he promises no greatness and no soft beds.
He calls us only to follow.

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

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) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism
HERE

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"
Dreaming of a New Faith"  (Tune: 'Mainzer’ 88.88)                               33 SNS2
We seek a faith community,
One which promotes inquiry,
And which eschews rigidity,
Yet opens to the mystery.

For God cannot be held inside
The thoughts and words that we provide;
Nor in our creeds which can divide;
Nor dogma that is glorified.

But dreams can challenge and correct;
Can prompt us question and reflect;
And with sincerity, to respect
The other faiths which some reject.

Our common dreams can be the seeds
Growing new truths a new age needs;
Our dreams can quash divisive creeds
From which exclusiveness proceeds.

Our common dreams can then ignite
Flames which can burn with wisdom's light;
And then responding with delight
Uncover more divine insight.  (George Stuart)

Remain standing

Opening Sentences
As surely as we belong to the universe
, we belong together.

All 
We gather here to transcend the isolated self.
To reconnect,
To know ourselves to be at home,
Here on earth, under the stars,
Linked with each other. 
(Margaret A Keip)

Act of Awareness
We are part of all that sustains or destroys life.
Creation and destruction occur in continually unfolding ways.
And so may we open our ears to the continually unfolding Word.

Life speaks to us in new and vital and imperative ways.
With all the power we have been given,
let us be silent and open to listening…
for nourishment,
for comfort,
for challenge and new focus.  (St Stephen’s Project).

OR

We pray:
God, source of life, may we be blessed with your presentness.

Each day may we be transformed so we become
more human, more friendly
towards our neighbour and all of creation.
May it be so.

Hymn  Maker of Mystery” (Tune: By Colin Gibson)                                   47 FFS
Maker of mystery,
dreamer of what will be,
well-spring and fertile ground of all our growing:
tending the buried seed,
foreseeing every need,
you draw us into life beyond our knowing.

Christ, strong and living vine,
spreading through space and time,
deep rooted in the love of God our mother:
dying, you live and share
your strength with us, to bear
ripe fruit in season for the life of others.

Wild Spirit, springing green,
coiled in the depths unseen,
promise of fruit within the seed maturing:
new life, you grow and swell,
burst from the outgrown shell,
hundredfold yield in every age ensuring.

Living and loving God,
sing in the pulse of our blood,
help us to know you in your own creation,
love you, the life of all,
serve you and hear your call
from our first forming to our full salvation.  
Marnie Barrell

OR

"Spring Has Now Unwrapped..." (Tune: 'Blackburn', 76.76D)                              63 SLT
Spring has now unwrapped the flowers,
day is fast reviving,
life in all her growing powers
toward the light is striving.
Gone the iron touch of cold,
winter time and frost time,
seedlings working through the mold
now make up for lost time.

Herb and plant that, winter long,
slumbered at their leisure,
now be stirring green and strong,
find in growth their pleasure.
All the world with beauty fills,
gold and green enhancing;
flowers make glee among the hills,
set the meadows dancing.  
(Piae Cantiones, 1582)
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.

OR

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)

Reflection
“Robust Spirit”
By Bruce Prewer.
More Australian Prayers/53

O robust Spirit!
Enemy of sentimental delusions!

Come with your cyclonic love
and blow away our tents,
so that we may once more
look upon the midnight stars
and shiver with wonder
at your love for us
who love each other selectively
and worship you but fitfully.

O robust Spirit!
Friend of pilgrims and cross-bearers!
Toughen us for the journey
that awaits the pure in heart.

Music of Celebration

Centering Silence
Let us gather together in the silence of this place,
which now we make holy
by our every act of worship.  Bob Holmes/adapted
(Silence)

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two reflections from our broad religious tradition shall be read by (NN).

May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this reading.

All   And may our minds be fertile soil

in which it may grow strong and true.  (Gretta Vosper/ab)

From the World Around us:
“The Longing of Nature”
John O’Donohue. Eternal Echoes/14-15.

Celtic spirituality reminds us that we do not live simply in the thoughts, feelings or relationships.
We belong on the earth.
The rhythm of the clay and its seasons sings within our hearts.
The sun warms the clay and fosters life.
The moon blesses the night.
In the uncluttered world of Celtic spirituality there is a clear view of the sacrament of nature as it brings forth visible presence.
The Celts worshipped in groves in nature and attended to the silent divinity of wild places.
Certain wells, trees, animals and birds were sacred to them. 

Where and what a people worship always offers a clue to where they understand the source of life to be.
Most of our experience of religion happens within the walled frame of church or temple.
Our God is approached through thought. word and ritual.

The Celts had no walls around their worship.
Being in nature was already to be in the Divine Presence.
Nature was the theatre of the diverse drama trudges of the Divine Imagination.
This freedom id beautifully echoed in the lyric poem: 
      Ah blackbird it is well for you,
      Wherever in the thicket you next,
      Hermit that sounds no bell,
      Sweet, soft fairylike is your note
. (Trans. Myles Dillion)

The contemplative presence of nature is not ostentatious or cluttered by thought.
Its majesty and elegance drift into voice in the single, subtle note of the blackbird.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 17:5-10 (Inclusive Text)

The apostles said to Jesus, "Increase our faith.”
Jesus replied,
"Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree,
'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."

"Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep,
would say when the servant returned from the fields,
'Come and have your meal immediately'?

“Would you not be more likely to say,
'Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You can eat and drink yourself afterwards'?

“Must you be grateful to the servant for doing your bidding?
So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say,
'We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty."

Contemporary Exploration and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

The people of God have a human face.
All  We laugh, we weep, we wait in hope.
We lift our eyes
All  
and stub our toes,
we love,
All  
and struggle,
we fail,
All  
we stand and always we stand on trembling ground.

But God is God