Pentecost20C.27.10.2019

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
27 October 2019. Pentecost 20C. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“While religion in some form or another seems to be a cultural universal,
it is unlikely that we evolved as a species to be religious.
Rather, it seems far more likely that we evolved an entire repertoire of mental aptitudes
and discovered that we could also entertain religious ideas as a by-product”
(Donald M. Braxton)

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, and emerging,
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

'Today is a day the Lord has made',
says an old religious writer,
'let us therefore rejoice and be glad in it'.
It is indeed!

So 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
"
God Of All Time"  (Tune: ‘Infinite')                                                                   49 AA
God of all time, 
all seasons of our living,
source of our spark, 
protector of our flame,
blazing before our birth,
 beyond our dying,
God of all time,
we come to sing your name.

Here in this place
where others have been building,
we come to claim
the legacy of faith,
take, in our turn
the telling of your story,
and though we tremble,
speak your hope, your truth.

Spirit who draws
our fragile selves together,
Spirit who turns
a stranger to a friend,
be at this table
where we greet each other,
be in the peace
we pass from hand to hand.

Let us not die
from poverty of caring,
let us not starve,
where love is to be shared.
Come, break us
open to receive your healing:
your broken body
be our wine and bread.  (Shirley Erena Murray).

OR

(For those in the Northern Hemisphere)
Autumn Comes in all its Fullness
(Tune: 'Hamilton Avenue', 87.87)                                     8 HoS
Autumn comes in all its fullness
harvesting both land and hearts

Autumn has its birth in winter

in the stillness where life starts.
Refrain:

Every death brings hope of birthing,

every birth enfolds life's end,
for the seasons of our living
mirror patterns nature penned.

Autumn gives us time for choosing
seeds which bear the richest fruits,

fragile life which we can nurture

into just or vain pursuits.

Refrain:

Buried in autumnal endings

lies the shoot that bursts the tomb
for the letting go in autumn
sows the seed that births the bloom.  (William L Wallace)

Refrain:
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Our suburbs reflect your face, O God.
All  
In wrinkles of kindness
and hands touching hand.

Our suburbs sound with your voice, O God.
All  
In calls for new justice
and laughter in the streets.

Our suburbs breathe with your life, O God.
All  
In green grass in bitumen,
and new hope in the people.

Act of Awareness
May the wonders of this world
stun us with their splendour
until we appreciate
that their goodness is richer than gold
and ought to be preserved as sacred treasure.

They are the original artwork of evolution
and the fingers of God (Norman Habel/rom).

OR

We pray:
Illuminating God, 
each sunrise and sunset
reminds us of your constant presence.

Awaken in each of us
the possibility for new life, new vision
and renewed energy. 
(Trisha Watts/s)
May it be so.

Hymn "From Season to Season"  (Tune: 11.11.11.11 anapaestic)                                     111 WNC
From season to season, through death and re-birth,
this world, through its phases, shows love has no dearth.
Such love is for sharing, to do good to all,
to nurture well-being, to echo God's call.

Through sensitive reason we fathom the need
of neighbours, of nature; we subjugate greed.
We offer each other the kiss of God's peace,
embracing earth's harmony, hatred will cease.

Through summer and autumn, through winter's release,
we welcome spring's coming with nature's increase.
All praise for the gifting of harvest and life,
all power to the ending of all human strife. 
(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.

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
“We Build Temples in the Heart”
By Patrick Murfin.

We have seen the great cathedrals, stone laid upon stone,
carved and cared for by centuries of certain hands;
seen the slender minarets soar from dusty streets
to raise the cry of faith to the One and Only God;
seen the placid pagodas where gilded Buddhas squat
amid the temple bells and incense.

We have seen the tumbled temples half-buried in the sands,
choked with verdant tangles,
sunk in corralled seas, and
old truths toppled and forgotten.

We have even seen the wattled huts,
the sweat lodge hogans,
the wheeled yurts,
and the Ice Age caverns
where unwritten worship
raised its knowing voices.

But here we build temples in our hearts.
Side by side we gather.

Centering Silence
Let us take a moment to settle into the silence.
(Silence)

In these brief moments of silence and meditation may we find strength.
May our lives be rich in affection,
deep in understanding and
sympathy for each other.

May the blessings of life be known to all.  Bob Holmes/adapted
(Silence)  

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Reading from our Religious Tradition
A story from our religious tradition shall be read by (NN).

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

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 18:9-14  
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus told the following parable to some people
who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else.

Two people went up to the temple to pray,
one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer,
'I thank you, God, that I am not grasping,
unjust, adulterous, like the rest of humankind,
and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here.

'I fast twice a week. I pay tithes on all I get.'

The tax collector stood some distance away,
not daring even to look up to heaven, but in humility said,
'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

This one, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not.
For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, 
but those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Contemporary Exploration HERE and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us join together
in 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.
All  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,
All  we see the signs that God is with us.
In our brokenness,
there is the hope of wholeness.
All  In our emptiness, there is the hope of fullness.
In our deaths,
All  lies the hope of resurrection life.

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

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take some time to celebrate each other.

The peace of God is here... to stay (Iona).
All Thanks be to God.