Pentecost4C.7.7.2019

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
7 July 2019. Pentecost 4C. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“If you are demanding rights for yourself which you won’t extend to others,
that’s not freedom. It’s privilege”
(David Marr)


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, present, and emerging leaders,
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

As we gather together in this sacred place
may we recognise and affirm:
the pieces of possibility,
the bits of good, we bring,
allowing our individual gifts to weave a patchwork of peace.

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the 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
"The Ceaseless Flow of Time(Tune: ‘McKee’,  86.86)                                           
350 SLT
The ceaseless flow of endless time
no one can check or stay;
we'll view the past with no regret,
nor future with dismay.

The present slips into the past,
and dream-like melts away;
the breaking of tomorrow's dawn
begins a new today.

The past and future ever meet
in the eternal now:
to make each day a thing complete
shall be our new year vow.  (John Storey)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
v1 The choices we make craft us
into who we are becoming.
v2  Whether good or ill,
it is what comes from within
that tells of who we are.
All  As we gather this morning,
may we sense the immense import of that reality,
v1  and find, deep within ourselves,
All  the power to create,
to birth ourselves into being.  
(Adapt.Gretta Vosper/ab)

OR

From the corners of this city,
from the confusion of life,
from the loneliness of our hearts
All  Gather us, O God.

To feed our minds,
to fire our imagination,
to free our hearts
All   Gather us, O God. (Burgess & Polhill/e&a)

Act of Awareness
The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And habit harden into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings (The Buddha/lp).

OR

We pray:
God of surprises,
startle us with truth we do not see,
amaze us with your power and grace,
beckon us, and lead us
far above restricted hope and narrow faith.
May it be so.

Hymn Celebrate a New Day Dawning" (Tune: ‘Joyful, Joyful’)
Celebrate a new day dawning,
sunrise of a golden morn;
Christ Sophia dwells among us,
glorious visions now are born,
Equal partners 'round the table,
we make dreams reality;
Calling out our gifts we nurture
hope beyond all we can see.

Christ Sophia lights the pathway
to a world of harmony;
Sister Brother love surrounds us,
nourishing our synergy.
Earth joins in our rich communion,
grateful for our healing care;
Leaping deer and soaring eagles,
all earth's fullness now can share.

Sing a song of jubilation,
dance with joyous revelry,
Clapping trees and laughing rivers
join our call to liberty.
Free at last to blossom fully,
flow'ring forth in beauty bright.
We become a new creation,
bursting open into light. (Aldredge-Clanton/ctl)
The people sit after the hymn

OR

We Are a Wheel(Four part round)                                                                    145 AA
We are a wheel, a circle of life.
We are a wheel, a circle of power.
We are a wheel, a circle of light,
circling the world this sacred hour. (Betty Wendelborn, from Hildegard of Bingen)
People sit

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.

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

Hear and feel your quiet breathing.
Hear and feel the quiet of this place
and this community of people.

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.
In this gathering of old and new friends
may we be ready to extend ourselves to those in need,
and with trust to receive the hand that is offered.
Silence

In this time of celebration, may our minds be open to new truth,
and our hearts be receptive to love,
as we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share. E-LBelcher

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Reading shall be read by (NN).

If in Australia and celebrating the end of NAIDOC Week
“The First-born”
By Jack Davis

Where are my first-born, said the brown land, sighing;
They came out of my womb long, long ago.
They were formed of my dust - why, why are they crying
And the light of their being barely aglow?

I strain my ears for the sound of their laughter.
Where are the laws and the legends I gave?
Tell me what happened, you whom I bore after.
Now only their spirits dwell in the caves.

You are silent, you cringe from replying.
A question is there, like a blow on the face.
The answer is there when I look at the dying,
At the death and neglect of my dark proud race.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 10:1-10  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him,
in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit.

Prior to them starting out, Jesus said:
'The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few,
so ask the owner of the harvest to send labourers to the harvest.

'Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals.
Salute no one on the road.
Whatever house you go into, let your first words be,
"Peace to this house!"

'And if people of peace live there, your peace will go and rest on them.
If not, it will come back to you.

'Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, 
for the labourer deserves wages. 
Do not move from house to house.

'Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome,
 eat what is set before you.
Cure those in it who are sick, and say, 
"The realm of God is very near you.

OR

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 7: 36-50 (Inclusive Text)

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal.

When he arrived at the Pharisee's house
and took his place at the table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town.
She had heard Jesus was dining with the Pharisee
and had brought with her an
alabaster jar of ointment.

She stood behind him at his feet, weeping,
and her tears fell on his feet,
and she wiped them away with her hair;
then she covered his feet with
kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself,
‘If this man were a prophet,
he would know who this woman is who is touching him
and what a bad name she has.’

Then Jesus took him up,
‘Simon, I have something to say to you…

There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt;
one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty.

‘They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both.
Which of them will love him more?’

‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose,’ answered Simon.
Jesus said, ‘You are right.’

Then he turned to the woman.
‘Simon,’ he said, ‘You see this woman?
I came into your house,
and you poured no water over my feet, 
but she has poured out her tears over my feet
and wiped them away with her hair.

‘You gave me no kiss, 
but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. 

‘You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

‘For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins,
must have been forgiven her,
or she would not have
shown such great love.

‘It is the one who is forgiven little who shows little love.

Then Jesus said to her…
‘Your sins are forgiven.’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

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

v1  There comes a time
All  to break the silence.
v2  There comes a time
All  to move beyond fear.

v1  There comes a time
All  to speak one’s truth, even if it will not be welcome.
v2  There comes a time
All  to call into question what has gone before.

v1  There comes a time
All   for the singing of a new song, for the claiming of power.
v2   There comes a time
All   when we find courage, we dare to know who we are,
and who we love.

v1  There comes a time
All  when friends are there, holding us so gently in their love.
(Pause)

v1  There comes a time when the truth at last makes us free.
Life will not be denied!
Al  Let all hearts swell in glad acceptance,
joyful with the sense of always becoming.
v1&2   For out of the cosmos, out of earth, out of ourselves,
there rises spirit... It rises irresistible in us.  (Adapt.KGibbons/C3)

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

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

Hymn  "Imagining Stars(Tune: ‘Stuttgart’, 87.87)                                                   21 SNS2
When, at night, the stars shine on us
Light years from our tiny earth,
Songs and psalms provoke the questions
Of our fragile human worth.

These gigantic specks are burning,
Balls of fire, as at play;
Stars in billions share their light and
Thus create a Milky Way.

We still gaze in raw amazement,
Contemplating timeless space;
Numberless, the stars keep stories
Hidden from our human race.

Tiny holes in heaven’s flooring
Letting light beyond shine through;
Stars invite us to imagine
What it is we cannot view.

Myst’ry strides across the canvas
Of the picture we might paint;
Sacredness is grandly present;
Let us praise without restraint.  (George Stuart).

CELEBRATING

Offerings

Presentation
May what we give today be blessed.
May all that we receive today
enrich our lives
and the lives of others.

With the Children
The children come to the 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? (Binkley & McKeel/jke)

Reflections and Prayers
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:
Each day brims over with possibility.
All  
In every second lie choices, chances,
in numbers too great for us to comprehend.
May we ever strive to see beyond our limitations,
choose beyond our immediate needs,
All  and live into each day,
the fullness of its opportunity. 
(Gretta Vosper/hb)

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  O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos
you create all that moves in light.
Hear the one Sound that created all others,
in this way the Name is hallowed in silence.

Your rule springs into existence
as our arms reach out to embrace all creation.
Let all wills move together
in your vortex, as stars and planets
swirl through the sky.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:
subsistence for the call of growing life.

Lighten our load of secret debts as
we relieve others of their
need to repay.

Keep us from hoarding false wealth,
and from the inner shame of
help not given in time.  (Matthew Fox/ormw)

PARTING

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Deep in the Heart of God"
(Tune: 'Tyrolese', 86.86.86.86)
Deep in the heart of God there lurks
A mischief making note,
A gurgle of suppressed delight
A chuckle in the throat.

Deep in the heart of God there lies
A reservoir of pain,
A cross-marked agony of love
Filled and refilled again.
Remain standing

A Celebration of Women
As we prepare to leave let us continue to celebrate the role of women
in this place
in our biblical tradition, 
and in society…

The colour purple is a significant colour in our lives.
Purple for the dignity of women…
of biblical women,
of women in history.
(Either a candle or coloured ribbon/cloth can be used. Text to be altered accordingly)...

We stand up for and commit ourselves to the dignity of women.
All   We light this purple candle for the dignity of women.
The purple candle is lit/purple ribbon put in place

The colour white is another significant colour in our lives.
White for the singlemindedness of women…
of contemporary women in the community, in parliament, in the church.

We stand up for and commit ourselves to the singlemindedness of women.
All  We light this white candle for the singlemindedness of women.
The white candle is lit...

The colour green is a third significant colour.
Green for the hope of the women's movement…
biblical women and women in history who dared to stand tall.

We stand up for and commit ourselves to the hope of the women’s movement.
All  We light this green candle for the hope of all women(Coralie Ling/cmw. Adapted)
The green candle is lit...

Parting Words
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God
who is found in ordinary and surprising places.
The Community Candle is extinguished

May the quality of our lives be our benediction.
All And a blessing to all whom we touch. (PRGiles)

Words of Blessing
Go now, into the world God loves so much,
to bear the fruit of love.
Go in peace and with delight
for God the source of life and love goes with us.
In this is great blessing!
All Amen! May it be so!

Hymn (Cont) "Deep in the Heart of God" (Tune: 'Tyrolese', 86.86.86.86)
God of our laughter and our tears,
Transcending human thought,
You share our fun in life, our fears,
By incarnation brought:

Father of Jesus Christ, the clown,
Whose Spirit gives us breath,
Hear us, who look to you to crown
Our merriment, our death.   Ian Fraser/ea
The people sit after the hymn

'This Week' at (NN)
Notices
Birthdays and anniversaries
Significant events
Journey candles

Music

Fellowship
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:
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. & C. Polhill. Eggs and Ashes. Practical & Liturgical Resources for Lent and Holy Week. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2004.
Davis, J. 
The First-born and Other Poems. Sydney. Angus and Robertson, 1970.
Duncan, G. (ed). 
Entertaining Angels. A Worship Anthology on Sharing Christ’s Hospitality. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 2005.
Duncan, G. (ed).
Courage to Love. An Anthology of Inclusive Worship Material. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 2002.
(FFS). 
Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
Fox, M.
One River, Many Wells. Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths. New York. Tarcher/Penguin Publishing, 2000.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2013.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 
Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. 
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century LyricsVolume 2.Toronto. G Stuart, 2009.
Vosper, G. 
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane: The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.
Vosper, G.
Holy Breath. Prayers for Worship and Reflection. New & Revised edition. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2004/2010.

Web sites/Other:
Giles, Belcher. UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/
Shirley Erena Murray. ‘Where Does Compasiion Start’. From the author
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacyhttp://www.questcentre.ca/
K. Gibbons. C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <http://www.c3exchange.org/

rexae74@gmail.com