Pentecost5C.14.7.2019

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:
www.rexaehuntprogressive.com

Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
Suggestion:
 ’Refresh’ each page before reading - especially if you are using Google Chrome - to make sure to get my latest edition

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
14 July 2019. Pentecost 5C. (Green).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded,
‘This is better than we thought!  The universe is much bigger than our prophets said,
grander, more subtle, more elegant’?”

(Carl Sagan)

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 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

Gathering Music

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 

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

v1 We are called.
We are named.
We are constituted and owned.
Our very bones are knit together,
Our sinews and muscles woven,
And blood poured through our veins. 

v2 We are called here,
Reformed, renewed and reconstituted as the people of God.
By the goodness of God we are here today
made new as the body of Christ.

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
“Spirit of Grace(Tune: ‘Kremser” 12.11.12.12)
Come fire of the Spirit, God’s presence revealing.
Come love of the Trinity, live among us.
Inspiring, uniting and giving us your healing –
Strong Spirit bringing justice, good Spirit of grace.

You move in the cosmos, creating, redeeming.
The bush and the desert, the rivers, the seas,
You call us to cherish as stewards of your dreaming –
We praise you living Spirit, good Spirit of grace.

You drive out suspicion, resentment, division.
You foster inclusive community care.
Empower us with passion and drive us into mission.
We praise you Holy Spirit, good Spirit of grace.

The love of the Spirit, the love of Christ Jesus,
The love of the Father, poured out in our midst.
Creation’s new future will grow afresh among us;
The gift of God’s good Spirit, the Spirit of grace.  © Robert Bos

OR

Travelling the Road to Freedom”  (Tune: ‘Travelling’)                                          52 EOA
Travelling the road to freedom.
Who wants to travel the road with me?
Feted by noise and branches
And banners hanging from every tree;
Cheered on by frenzied people,
Puzzled by what they hear and see:
Travelling the road to freedom,
Who wants to travel the road with me?

Travelling the road to freedom.
Who wants to travel the road with me?
Partnered by staunch supporters
Who, come the dark, will turn and flee;
Nourished by faith and patience,
Neither of which is plain to see:
Travelling the road to freedom,
Who wants to travel the road with me?

Travelling the road to freedom.
Who wants to travel the road with me?
Tipping the scales of justice,
Setting both minds and captives free;
Suffering and yet forgiving,
Even when my friends most disagree:
Travelling the road to freedom,
Who wants to travel the road with me?

Travelling the road to freedom.
I am the Way, I’ll take you there.
Choose to come on the journey,
Or choose to criticise and stare.
Earth’s mesmerising evil
Only a traveller can repair.
Travelling the road to freedom,
I am the Way, I’ll take you there.  (Bell/Maule)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
v1  A morning mist,
the gleam of a new day,
faintly we discern the possibilities
that are before us.
All  
Energy rising,
plans turning to action,
we build our every yesterday
from the living of our days.

v2  May we live our hope into tomorrow.
All  
May we wrap our lives around
the challenges of today.

v1 And in the quiet of the sacred space,
ma y we listen at the centre of our being
for the truth of our inner voice
v2  that sets before us the purpose of this day.  
(Adapt.Gretta Vosper/ab)

OR

v1  Mysterious God, Word beyond words.
Wm  
You hide in the ancient rocks
and lie still in a red dust land.
Mn  You play in the cosmos and dance with the stars.
All  You are one with us to share our lives,
in our joys, our sorrows.
You step out before us to fulfil our dreams.

v2  Pilgrim God, we speak many languages,
we share many cultures
we sing many songs; 
All  
Together we seek to be your church in this place,
Companion on the way!  (Robert Hoskin/adapted)

Act of Awareness
Let all who enter this sacred place
find comfort in this community.

Gathered here, we sense the Sacred in this place.
May we be awakened again to
the mysteries that humble us,
the realities that orient us,
the beauty that informs us,
the fellowship that sustains us,
and the creativity that heightens and deepens our living,
that we may give ourselves in honesty and openness
to the larger life before us.
(Adapt/Clarke Wells)

OR

We pray:
God, help us to listen to our inner spirit;
to the inner yearning to belong to something
greater than ourselves.

May we listen to our inner spirits
and find there the presence
of your good encouraging spirit.
May it be so.

Hymn Children of the Human Race” (Tune: ‘Aberystwyth’, 77.77D)                              302 SLT
Children of the human race,
off-spring of our Mother Earth,
not alone in endless space
has our planet given birth.
Far across the cosmic skies
countless suns in glory blaze,
and from untold planets rise
endless canticles of praise.

Should some sign of others reach
this, our lonely planet Earth,
differences of form and speech
must not hide our common worth.
When at length our minds are free,
and the clouds of fear disperse,
then at last we’ll learn to be
Children of the Universe. (John A Storey)
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.

Reflection (A story)
“When Misfortune Threatened”
By Elie Wiesel.  In Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals/36.

When the great Rabbi Israel Shem Tov
saw misfortune threatening the Jews,
it was his custom to go into a certain part of the forest to meditate.

There he would light a fire, say a special prayer,
and the miracle would be accomplished
and the misfortune averted.

Later, when his disciple Rabbi Magid, had occasion,
for the same reason, 
to intercede with heaven,
he would go to the same place in the forest and say:
"Master of the Universe, listen!
I do not know how to light the fire,
but I am still able to say the prayer."

And again the miracle would be accomplished.

Still later, Rabbi Moshe, in order to save his people once more,
would go into the forest and say,
"I do not know how to light the fire.
I do not know the prayer,
but I know the place and this must be sufficient."

It was sufficient and the miracle was accomplished.

Then it fell to Rabbi Abraham to overcome misfortune.
Sitting in his armchair, his head in his hands, he spoke to God:
"I am unable to light the fire, and I do not know the prayer,
and I cannot even find the place in the forest.
All I can do is tell the story, and this must be sufficient.”
And it was sufficient.

God made humanity because God loves stories.

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to some readings from our religious tradition.
Our reader is (NN).

May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in these readings.

All   And may our minds be fertile soil

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

Hebrew Scriptures:
Psalm 100
Paraphrasing by Francis Macnab.
A Fine Wind is Blowing/38.

People of every land, let your whole body burst with joy.
You have been given the gift of Life.

God gives us these precious moments,
within the great span of eternal time.

He shows us a caring spirit;
Kindness and love
are also planted within us.
The soul of the world expands and great songs
are waiting for us to sing.

People of every land on Earth, celebrate the joy of life.
Be glad to be alive.
The God of life has given you a voice to sing.
The God of life gave us life.

We are the people of God.
We share every day in the goodness he provides.
Therefore let us celebrate.

From our own doorway to every doorway of life
let us breathe our thanks and praise.
The God of life continually shows us goodness.
He opens us to the eternal
transforming experience of love.

In all the changing aspects of life,
we will rejoice that there is something that lasts forever.

In an Australian Accent:
“Australian Benedicite”
By Paul Walton (adapted)

v1  Let all creation bless the Lord
All  
Sing God’s praise, exalt God for ever.
v2  Bless the Lord you heavens;

v1  Bless the Lord sun and moon;
bless the Lord, stars of heaven:
v2  Bless the Lord, all you elemental forces;
bless the Lord, black holes and galaxies;
All  
Let all creation bless the Lord
Sing God’s praise, exalt God for ever.

v1  Bless the Lord all you sun-drenched spaces,
bless the Lord, you high plains;
v2  Bless the Lord, you reefs and rivers,
bless the Lord, you forests and beaches;
v1  Bless the Lord, Uluru and Nullarbor,
bless the Lord, Kosciusko and Carpentaria;
v2  Bless the Lord, you great gums and acacias,
bless the Lord, rainforest and mallee scrub;
All  
Let all creation bless the Lord
Sing God’s praise, exalt God for ever.

v1  Bless the Lord you creatures of the bush;
bless the Lord all you fish, you birds of the air;
v2  Bless the Lord all you people,
bless the Lord, Aborigine, Islander, latecomer
v1  Bless the Lord, you public servant and engineer,
bless the Lord, firefighter and artist,
v2  Bless the Lord, politicians and teachers,
bless the Lord, all you nurses and scientists:
All  
Let all creation bless the Lord
Sing God’s praise, exalt God for ever.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 10:25-37  (Inclusive Text)

(i)  There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said,
'Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'

Jesus said,
'What is written in the Law? What do you read there?'

The lawyer replied,
'You must love your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your strength, 
and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.'

'You have answered right,' said Jesus. 'Do this and life is yours.'

But the lawyer was anxious to be justified and said to Jesus,
‘And who is my neighbour?'

Hymn  In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
When I Needed a Neighbour…”  
(Tune: ‘Neighbour’, 13.10 and refrain)                         629(v1) TiS
When I needed a neighbour, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour, were you there?
Refrain:
And the creed and the colour and the name won't matter,
were you there?

(ii)  Jesus replied,
A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho
and fell into the hands of brigands;
they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead.

Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road,
but when the priest saw the man,
he passed by on the other side.

Hymn Remain seated to sing...
When I Needed a Neighbour…”  
(Tune: ‘Neighbour’, 13.10 and refrain)                           629(v2-3) TiS
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there, were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?
Refrain:

I was cold, I was naked, were you there, were you there?
I was cold, I was naked, were you there?
Refrain:

(iii)  In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him,
and passed by on the other side.

Hymn Remain seated to sing...
When I Needed a Neighbour…”  
(Tune: ‘Neighbour’, 13.10 and refrain)                          629(v4-5) TiS
When I needed a shelter, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a shelter, were you there?
Refrain: 

When I needed a healer, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a healer, were you there?
Refrain:

(iv)  But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him
was moved with compassion when he saw him,
went up and bandaged his wounds,
pouring oil and wine on them.

The Samaritan then lifted him on to his own mount,
carried him to the inn and looked after him.

Next day, the Samaritan took out two denarii
and handed them to the innkeeper saying:
"Look after him and on my way back I will make good
any extra expense you have."

‘Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the one
who fell into the brigands' hands?' 

'The one who showed compassion,' the lawyer replied.

Hymn Remain seated to sing...
When I Needed a Neighbour…”  
(Tune: ‘Neighbour’, 13.10 and refrain)                            629(v6) TiS
When they put me in prison, were you there, were you there?
When they put me in prison, were you there?
Refrain:

(v)  Jesus said, 'Go and do the same yourself.'

Hymn Remain seated to sing...
When I Needed a Neighbour…”  
(Tune: ‘Neighbour’, 13.10 and refrain)                           629(v7) TiS
Wherever you travel, I'll be there, I'll be there,
wherever you travel, I'll be there.  (S
ydney Carter)
Refrain:

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Litany: (Optional)
People stand as they are able

May our brief, fragile lives build on the work
of those who went before us,
All
 Let it all happen.  No time is final.

May we create a sustainable foundation
for those who follow us,
All 
Let it all happen.  No age is final.

May we stretch our consciousness with open minds,
and a sense of humble curiosity,
All 
Let it all happen.  No belief is final.

May we have courage in uncertain times,
All 
Let it all happen.  No mood is final.

May we recognise new beginnings
in what seem to be endings,
All 
Let it all happen.  No feeling is final.

We are the universe becoming conscious,
All 
Let it all happen.
Breathe deeply and live now. 
 (3C Exchange)

Sharing 'The Peace’
And let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.

The peace of God is here... to stay. (Iona)
All
Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
God of Diversity (Tune: ‘Margaret’ By Colin Gibson)                                            40 HoS
God of diversity, vibrant creation
is bursting with signs of extravagant joy.
In riot of blossom, in species unnumbered
we see that all difference is ours to enjoy.

God of diversity, nations and cultures
tell of the richness life offers to all.
In language and symbol, in story and doctrine
we clothe our experience, respond to your call.

God of diversity, humans embody
the interdependence of ear, eye and hand;
we struggle to learn, in this globe-become-village,
our need of each other in every land.

God of diversity, help us to honour
our different perspectives on things that are true,
as, knowing more deeply the God in Christ Jesus,
we learn how to worship with all who love you. (Margaret Bond)

CELEBRATING

With the Children
Children gather on 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:
Creation thrums with Being

and peals the Word - 'I am’.

All  We sometimes remember
to whisper the antiphon, 'We are'. (VArnold/es) (Eureka Street eZine 20, 23. 23/11/10)

And so we take this 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 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 presence and pow’r within us,
Being and Life of all.
How we are filled, how we o’erflow
with infinite love and gladness!

We shall this day sow grace and peace,
and show mercy to all,
and gentle loving-kindness.

And we shall be not so self-serving,
but a constant source of giving.
For ours is the essence,
and the wholeness,
and the fullness forever. (Paul Alan Laughlin/4r)
Amen.

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY IN THE TRADITION OF THE MEAL
Offerings

Presentation
Enable us, who stand upon the shoulders
of those who have gone before,
to catch a vision of what can yet be.
All
  Through these gifts we invest in God’s realm
which is always here, yet always coming.

Thanksgiving
May it be well with you.
All And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All May we rejoice in the beauty that we are. Gretta Vosper/wwg

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name God…
For the sage we name Jesus…
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit…
(Silence)

If in the Northern hemisphere
God of the summer’s day and the (holiday) season, 
All
 Praise and wonder be.
God of the lingering sunset and early dawn, 
All  Praise and wonder be.
God of the hot southern winds and the refreshing shower,
God of the shady tree and the cool water bag,
God of the ripening harvest and sparkling sea, 
All
 Praise and wonder be.

OR

If in the Southern hemisphere
God of winter, the unpopular, slandered season;
God of lightning, wind and storm;
God of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns and stark hillsides;
of warm socks, coats and gloves,
raincoats, umbrellas and warm fires,
All  we open ourselves to all the possibilities life offers us.

So we join our celebration to all people, saying:
All  
Holy, holy, holy, re-creating God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
All  
Hosanna in the highest.

Bread and Wine
We remember the times when Jesus faced
difficult decisions and destructive forces:
- in the days and nights of his searching,
- in finding ways to free others from images and ideas
that kept them captive and dependent and fearful of God,
- in breaking down social and religious barriers,
- in facing failure,
- in facing death.  (Michael Morwood/pns)

When we too experience the winter of our lives
may we find the courage to let go
and trust in your guiding, warming light.
(Silence)

And as we eat together at this table
we remember 
the importance and the words
and the actions of all meals in the tradition of Jesus…

He took bread, gave thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his friends.
Bread

He poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it,
and gave it also to his friends.
Wine

Response
Everyone is welcome to be here.
All  In this way, we lift up a world of inclusion,
where all people live with respect and dignity.

Everyone present will receive a share.
All  
In this way, we lift up a world of generosity,
where, as in the examples of Jesus,
abundance overcomes scarcity so all are fed.

Everyone is invited now to take a portion,
and to see others also receive.
All  
In this way, we lift up a world of sufficiency,
where entrenched systems of privilege are challenged,
wealth is shared equally, and all are satisfied with enough.  (Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Communion
So in the meal tradition of Jesus
we break and share bread and pour out and drink wine,
pledging ourselves to allow the spirit that moved in Jesus
to move freely in our lives.
The Bread and Wine is served

PARTING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Faith has Set us on a Journey(Tune: Venture)                                                     14(v1-2) FFS
Faith has set us on a journey
past the landmarks that we know,
taking risks with no insurance
but the Word that tells us “Go!”
Friend or job or home or lover
we may need to leave behind,
outworn truths and ways of thinking,
baggage to the past consigned.

Some are swags of easy conscience
who with others hitch a ride,
some are tourist-package Christians,
dollar-safe, with Book and guide.
There are others on this journey -
those who long and pray and search,
heave the stones to free the structures,
love the Christ and leave the Church.
Remain standing

Parting Words
As we prepare to leave this sacred space
where we have worshipped together,
let us return to our work enlivened and renewed…

The Community Candle is extinguished

Be assured that God’s presence goes with us.
All  
We face the world with renewed faith and hope;
God’s word abides with us.
Let your hearts burn within you as you dare to trust.
All  God’s love is real and alive in us.
Live in gratitude each and every day;
All  
We will love sincerely and live confidently.

Words of Blessing
May the blessing in the strength of the Brindabellas,
the calm of Lake Burley Griffin
the freshness of gum tree and wild flower remain with you...

And may God's strength, peace and creativity
go with you always.
All
Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont  "Faith has Set us on a Journey" (Tune: Venture)                                         14(v3) FFS
We are this unlikely people
in the Body knit as one,
company of clowns and cripples -
some are wise and some can run.
Prophets are our travel agents,
gospel-makers lay this road:
to the place of peace and promise
faith will take us into God.  Shirley Erena Murray
The people sit after the hymn

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

Recessional 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:
Anderson, H. & E. Foley. Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals. Weaving Together the Human and the Divine. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass Inc., 1998
(EOA) Bell, J. & G. Maule. Enemy of Apathy. Wild Goose Songs Vol. 2. Revised edition. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 1990.
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.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2000.
(HoS)
Hope is our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.
Iona Community.
Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
Laughlin, P. A. “Pray without seeking. Toward a truly mystical Lord’s Prayer” in
The Fourth R 22, 6, 20-24, 2009.
Macnab, F.
A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in Words that Blow you away. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2006.
Morwood, M.
Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2003.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle.
Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs Without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press, 2005.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
Vosper, G.
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought, Brisbane, 2009/2010.
Vosper, G.
With or Without God. Why the Way we Live is More Important than What we Believe. Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.

Web sites/Other:
Clark-Wells, Hewett. UUA Worship Web. Boston.  http://uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/index.php>
Nathan Nettleton. <www.laughingbird.net>  © 2003.
Robert Hoskin. Special Resources. UCA National Assembly. 2007

rexae74@gmail.com