Pentecost6C.21.7.2019

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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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
21 July 2019. Pentecost 6C. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“If the only tool you have is a hammer,
you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
(Abraham Maslow)

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 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

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

We light our candle to illuminate the world we seek.
A lit candle is a protest.
It is a non-conformist.
It says to the darkness, ‘I beg to differ’. 
(Indian Proverb/adapted)

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
Shake up the Morning”  (Tune: ‘Shake up’)                                           18 HSNW
Shake up the morning, let the dawn undress,
Let dew reglisten nature’s loveliness;
Waken the songbird and unseal the throat
That greets the daybreak with a crystal note.
Praise to the Lord, whose morning we inherit;
Praise creation’s fuse, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son who rises with the dawn,
Leaving graveclothes scarcely three days worn.

Shake up the world and let the Kingdom come,
The dumb be listened to, the lost find home;
Make earthly politics the stuff of prayer
Till want and warring are dispelled by care.
Praise to the Lord, whose world we inherit;
Praise God’s catalyst, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose choice it is to bless
Those who work for peace and live on less.

Shake up the Church and let all Christians show
That faith is real, that God is good to know;
Fashion new symbols of the coming age
When hope and love with take the centre stage.
Praise to the Lord, whose Gospel we inherit;
Praise God’s bird of love, the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose will and words decree
All are one in his community.

Shake up the evening, let the shadows range
As clouds to castles in the sunset change;
Kindle the moon and stars which through each night
Reflect the glory of tomorrow’s light.
Praise to the Lord, whose evening we inherit;
Praise creation’s presence in the Holy Spirit;
Praise to the Son whose brightness none can kill,
Lighting paths for those who seek his will. © Iona Community

OR

"God Molds the Shapes of Life  (Tune: 'Little Conard’, 66.66.88)                   38 TMT
God molds the shapes of life,
drawing the flow of tides,
firing the sunlight's blaze,
glazing the night with pride:
God gives the love which warms and moves
the patterned rhythm life provides.

Ponder the rising sap
changing to leaf's decay;
think of the winter's death
turning to spring's new day,
and in these cycles find the shapes
of all God dreams and all God makes.

Pulse of the veins and lungs,
seasons of human hearts -
patterns that intertwine,
shaping our thought and art;
all these are part of nature's flow -
the life of God we reap and sow.

Sing to the God of change,
chaos, and fine design;
hallow the ordered forms
filled with the life divine.
In God the universe is one
and sings the hymn which God first sung! (William L Wallace)
Remain standing

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


We join 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.  (MAKeip).

OR

As a workman gathers his tools,
as a poet gathers her images,
as a musician gathers his band,
as a scholar gathers her arguments,
as a writer gathers his stories,
as a preacher gathers her texts…
All  
So God gathers people for serviceSBrown/sco

Act of Awareness
As we listen to the life of our city,
may we sense a Sacred Presence in
its murmuring rhythms,
its working and walking and talking,
its colours and faces and longings.

OR

We pray:
Spirit of Life, bless us through this day
and through this life, till this day ends,
and a new day dawns.
May it be so.

Hymn  “Give Respect to Humankind(Tune: ‘Warrington’, 88.88)                          60 SNS2
Giving respect to humankind
Is wise and good for there we find
Images of the God we praise
And love expressed in countless ways.

Giving respect to humankind
Can help us all to leave behind
Thoughts of revenge and words of spite;
Can prompt resolve to re-unite.

Giving respect to humankind
Arises from our heart and mind;
As we reflect on those we know
May caring thoughts have constant flow.

Giving respect to humankind
Is Jesus' theme; His word defined
How we might live affirming all
The human beauty in us all.

So let us honour humankind
With God's own image, so combined,
We find ourselves equipped to prize
The gentle, lovely, kind and wise.
(George Stuart)
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
“The Spirit of God”
By Napoleon Lovely (Adapted).
Hymns for the Celebration of Life/343.

The spirit of God is wonderful to us;
It is revealed in all the ways of creation:
in the ordered course of the stars
and in the unpredictable ways of living things,
In the heat of blazing suns
and in the warmth of human affections.

God’s will is revealed in the majesty of abiding law,
in judgments that are just,
and in the mercy which redeems the penitent
and upholds the humble of heart.

For God’s abode is not only in the heavens;
God dwells in the human heart.

The highways of history are God’s:
but by the humble path of service we enter into God’s kingdom.
God surprises us in homely tasks,
God walks with us on lonely tracks.
God’s beauty is in our lives,
and God’s spirit defines our righteousness.

OR

“A Reflection”
By Robert Halsey. Voices from the Void/51

Sea birds ride the thermal currents,
Gliding, diving, soaring,
Celebrating life,
Alive with the energy
We all share with earth, sea and sky.

Sit quietly, gaze out across the sea,
Listen to the waves,
To the ocean’s secrets
Carried from distant unknown shores,
And you will grow smaller
And smaller till you become
As one lost in the surging and the sounds,
Till you feel you are a part
Of the heaving mass with which you are one
As you lose yourself
To find another somewhere else.
Silence

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Readings from our Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to a reflection and a story from our broad religious tradition.

From the World Around us:
“Puddles”
Peta Edmonds. Eureka Street, 7 April 2014

Waiting for the rain to stop
The low grey clouds are like petticoats,
The puddles are pieces of a broken mirror,
the raindrops roll upon the muddy ground
like chocolate maltesers.
I'm waiting for the sun to break through
like a blond headed child in a blue rain coat.

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 10:38-42  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Jesus into her house.
She had a sister called Mary,
who sat down at Jesus' feet and listened to him speaking.

Now Martha, who was busy with all the details of hospitality, said:
‘Do you not care that my sister
is leaving me to do the serving all by myself?
Please tell her to help me.'

But Jesus answered,
'Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things,
and yet few are needed, indeed only one.

‘It is Mary who has chosen the better part;
it is not to be taken from her.'

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

If in the Northern hemisphere
Summer Solstice Liturgy (Bonfire Night) 
Notes:
Movement/Dance 
There are two opportunities for dance during the ritual: 
(i) When the fire is lit - decide beforehand on what steps/gestures the group will do. 
(ii) At the end of the ritual - it is suggested that participants dance around the fire. Decide beforehand on the steps of the dance. Be creative in using steps, chains, etc. 
Music
Musicians, CD player and/or drums… And Irish dance music...

Opening
We gather on this the longest day of the year 
to praise the Life Force Energy which flared forth 
the kindling of time and space 
and continues to create. 
All
 We raise our hearts in gratitude 
for the mystery of the sun, 
the mystery of light and of fire.

Lighting the Fire
(If outside… keep the fire as small as possible and contained on stones or in a container so as not to disturb the creatures of the soil)

May the lighting of this fire inflame the hearts of all with love and passion. 
May this fire bring blessings of peace and protection to all. 
All  May this fire remind us of the first spark of light 
which flared forth at the beginning of time.
Candles or tea-lights are distributed. The leader lights a large candle and light is passed around the circle. 
The leader raises the candle and leads the hymn of praise (Below):

(If inside… Candles or tea-lights only are used. The leader lights a large candle and light is passed around the circle. 
The leader raises the candle and leads the hymn of praise:

Sacred is this fire of midsummer's eve. 
Sacred is the light of our sun. 
Sacred is the Source of All Life, 
Who kindles light and fire.
All  
How beautiful the light! 
How glorious its splendour!
 

Sacred is the moment when you sparkled forth a fireball of love and creativity. 
Sacred was that kindling fourteen billion years ago. 
Sacred is the birthing of supernovas, 
The fiery activity of stars, 
The formation of galaxies, 
The formation of elements.
All
  How beautiful the light! 
How glorious its splendour!
  

Sacred was the calling forth of our Milky Way. 
Sacred was the seeding of our sun aflame with brilliant energy. 
Sacred was the blaze that whirled the planets and shaped our earth. 
Sacred was the formation of Earth's crust and atmosphere. 
Sacred are the trees, the plants, the flowers 
All kissed into life by Sun.
All
  How beautiful the light! 
How glorious its splendour!
 

Sacred are the fish that swim, and birds that fly, 
All creatures that breathe the fire of creativity. 
Sacred the creation of humankind 
With Sun's burning love and passion.
All
  How beautiful the light! 
How glorious its splendour!

Sacred is the spark of fire in all that is. 
Fire that reflects your eternal light. 
Each heart aflame with a flame of fire. 
Each eye reflecting your burning love. 
Sacred is this holy night 
Aglow with star-light, moon light, fire light, candle light, Love light.
All
  How beautiful the light! 
How glorious its splendour!
 

Blessing
v1  May the light of our Solstice celebration glow in our homes. 
v2  May the fire of blessing glow on our hearths. 
All  May the fire of creativity ignite our imaginations. 
v3  May the fire of this celebration bring attention to our gardens/fields and their inhabitants. 
v4  May the fire of love drive out the darkness of hunger and poverty. 
All  May the fire of passion enkindle in all a great enthusiasm for life. 
v5  May the fire of healing soothe and comfort all. 
All  May the fire of God's passionate, eternal light encircle all. (Adapted/Kathleen Glennon/hs)
Further content/adaption is available at St Stephen’s College Non-Theistic Liturgy Project web site

If in Southern Hemisphere...
A Litany Celebrating ‘Winter’  (Optional)
People stand as they are able

v2  Winter, a time of snow and wetness.
All  
The days are short and cold,
the deciduous trees are bare.

v3  Winter, a time for cutting away
dead wood from roses,
All  
and pruning unwanted branches from grapevines.

v4  Winter, a time of shaping things
All  and tying up the waste,
a time for clearing, cool and passionless.

v1  Yet, in this time, there is still growth:
the flower withers to form the seedcase,
just as souls need to be empty
before they can be filled to overflowing.

v2  Under the earth, tubers shrink
and turn inside out, sending up
the shafts of stem and sending down
the anchoring roots.
All  Underneath everything, in the darkness,
new life is seething, yearning
to break through the surface.

v3  The husks fall away from the seed
All  and the ticking kernel starts to shoot.  (Adapt.Trish Watts/s).
Silence

v1  There is a modern Jewish Seder service, which celebrates
the regeneration in the world of trees and plants.
It is held at this time – at mid-winter.

Likewise, nuts and fruit, used in this service, being the rebirthing aspects
of a plant's life-cycle, are the only foods
that require no death,
not even the death of a plant.

Our living trees send forth their fruit and seeds
in such profusion that they overflow
beyond the needs of the next generation.

In honour of that celebration, during ‘Sharing the Peace' this morning,
nuts and fruit will be distributed, symbolising
the promise of mid-winter in our time and place.

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 People stand as they are able, to sing
Through Winter Cold(Tune: ‘Chilcombe’)                                       139 HoS
Through winter cold and drifted snow,
through bitter wind and biting frost
the silent seeds of spring will grow
and buried dreams will not be lost.

Within God’s world, as seasons turn,
we sleep and grow, with changing need
to shed old concepts and to learn
the faith that sprouts like mustard seed.

It is compassion warms the day
and hugs the lonely or the cold,
speaks out for justice, come what may
when people’s lives are bought and sold.

And as in winter, as in grief
the frozen heart of things in numb,
compassion melts our unbelief
and all is changed, for spring has come. (Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

CELEBRATING

With the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat

Conversation:

"Somewhere someone:"