Pentecost7C.3.7.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE

28 July 2019. Pentecost 7C. (Green).
Celebrating Community: The Jesus Banquet

Worth Pondering
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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

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Gathering Music

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

Let the light we kindle go before us,
Strong in hope,
wide in good will,
Inviting the day to come.
  (Adapt/ G K. Beach)

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Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
When God’s Spirit”  (Tune: “Abbot’s Leigh’, 87.87D)                            146 RP
When God's spirit lends a lightness
to the songs we want to sing,
when we celebrate the brightness
that the love of God can bring;
then the grace of God surprises,
and our faith in God grows strong,
as the praise that we have sought for
is re-echoed in our song.

Here in song we find a freedom,
music wings our words on high,
now we know this is the season,
now we know the reason why
life is filled with exaltation,
joy inspires each love and life,
lifts beyond our expectation,
brings an end to former strife.

On beyond our pain and sorrow,
walking onward into light,
we will greet a new tomorrow
colours flaming out of night.
Light is dawning on the future,
guiding us within this maze;
love and grace will hold and nurture,
forming faith, reclaiming praise.  © 
Andrew Pratt
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Let us gather in celebration and community.
All  
It is good to be here.

Let us also pay deep attention to the world around us:
All  we are present with our eyes,
…to hear the sounds of creation
All  
we are present with our ears,
…to feel the pain of our fellow people
All  
we are present with our hearts,
…to smell the banquet of abundant life
All  
we are present with our lives.  (Adapt/Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Act of Awareness
You are in the story of the world.

You are the world coming to know itself.
May you trust that all you will ever say or do

Belongs in the story of the world. (Ean Huntington Behr)

OR

We pray:
Blossom of Love, give us courage and an open spirit
as we consider the life and teachings of Jesus.
May we feel an invitational embrace
beckoning us to fullness of life where we
celebrate beauty and
engage the causes of suffering.
May it be so.

Hymn In the Bulb there is a Flower”  (Tune: “Maria’s Tune”, 87.87D)
In the bulb there is a flower;
in the seed, an apple tree;
in cocoons, a hidden promise;
butterflies with soon be free!
in the cold and snow of winter
there's a spring that waits to be,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

There's a song in every silence,
seeking word and melody.
there's a dawn in every darkness,
bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future,
what it holds, a mystery;
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning;
in our time, infinity;
in our doubt there is believing;
in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection;
at the last, a victory,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.
  N A W Sleeth
The people sit after the hymn

OR

Nature’s Beauty(Tune: ‘Regent Square’, 87 87 47 Extend)                            4 SNS3
Nature knows her sounds and movements
Heard and seen each day and night;
All her life in rich abundance
Fills my heart with great delight;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world so bright.

Fearsome winds cause trees to whimper;
Storms can force the clouds to cry;
Raindrops, snowflakes dance together;
Sun and moon wink in reply;
Celebrate with adoration
All the wonders of the sky.

Celebrate all hidden textures;
Value all the roots below;
Celebrate all covered spendour;
Value beauty not on show;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world we know.

Creatures bold and creatures timid
Offer beauty, each unique;
Trees and flowers paint a picture
On the plain and mountain peak;
Celebrate with adoration;
All revealed for those who seek.

We are blest with such profusion;
Beauty bursts out everywhere;
If we take the time to ponder
We may find a thankful prayer;
Celebrate with adoration
Thankful for the world we share. (George Stuart)
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.

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to some stories from our broad religious tradition.

Early Church (Authentic Paul):
Galatians 6:14-18  (Inclusive Text)

Paul is writing to the small gathering of Jewish Christians in Galatia:
The only thing I can boast about is the cross of Jesus Christ,
through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not.
What matters is becoming an altogether new creature.

Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.
I want no more trouble from anybody after this;
the marks on my body are those of Jesus.

The grace of Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
my sisters and brothers.  Amen.

From the World Around us: (Responsive reading)
“In this Ordinary Place”
By Bret Hesla. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus/103.

May we awaken to the presence of God,
All  here in this ordinary place.
May we awaken to the power of love,
All  here in this ordinary crowd.
May we build a neighborhood of justice for all,
All  now in this ordinary time.
May we daily work to build a world at peace,
All  now with these ordinary hands.

Hymn In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
Perfect Singer”  (Tune:  ‘Catherine’, 77 77)   332 SLT
Perfect Singer, songs of earth
rise on every field and hearth;
let our voices sound again
ancient songs of joy and pain.

All your creatures strive for life
suffer hurt in angry strife,
seek compassion, find release
in the covenant of peace.

Sing a sacred melody
for the justice that shall be;
let our harmonies resolve
dissonance in steadfast love.

Steadfast Seeker, find our song
woven into lives made strong;
let the patterns of surprise
kindle hope with each sunrise. 
G K Beach

OR

The Footprints Where Your People Tread(Tune: ‘Irish’, 86.86)
The footprints where your people tread
have marked and marred the earth,
the global warming that we dread
has shadowed us from birth.

As climates change and nature shifts,
we play a god-less game.
We reap rewards from what we sow,
yet try to shift the blame.

O gracious God we pray for help,
that we might learn to live
in harmony within this world
with all you gave and give. © Andrew Pratt

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 11:1-13  (Inclusive Text)

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying,
and when Jesus had finished, one of the disciples said,
'Teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'

Jesus said to them,
'Say this when you pray:
Father, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come;
give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive
each one who is in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test.

Jesus also said to them,
'Suppose one of you has a friend and goes in the middle of the night to say:
My friend, lend me three loaves because a friend of mine,
a traveller, has just arrived at my house
and I have nothing to offer.

‘And suppose the householder answers from inside the house:
Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, 
and my children and I are in bed;
I cannot get up to give it to you!

‘I tell you, if this friend does not get up and give it to you for friendship sake,
persistence will be enough to make that friend get up
and give you all you want.

‘So I say to you: 
Ask, and it will be given to you;
search, and you will find;
knock, and the door will be opened to you.

‘For the one who asks always receives;
the one who searches always finds;
the one who knocks will always have the door opened.

‘What parent among you would hand a child a stone
when he or she asked for bread?
Or hand them a snake instead of a fish?
Or hand them a scorpion if they asked for an egg?

‘If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children
what is good, how much more will your loving God in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask!’

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

An Affirmation of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together an affirmation of faith.
The people stand as they are able

We believe in God
All  who made the world, loves it and smiles on it;
Wn  who created human beings to be different and asked them to get on with each other;
Mn  
who took the risk of leaving us alone, 
knowing that one day our differences

might threaten the earth's safety;
All 
who trusts us in full knowledge or our frailness.

We believe in Jesus, Human One
Wn  who came among us insignificantly, 
who grew among us uneventfully,
All  who walked among us incognito;
Mn  who, to change the world, became redundant 
and called others away from security;

who befriended those whose company would discredit him;
Wn  
who pardoned those who deserved to be condemned;
Mn 
who healed those who were hopeless cases;

Wn  
who spoke the deepest truths in the language of the living room;
who contradicted common sense
by accepting the cross and taking on the grave
and being liberated to live on the third day;
All  
who calls us, now as then, to a life which is absurd
by the standards of the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit
All  through whom God surprises, disappoints, lures and questions us;
Wn  who is the bringer of strength and source of humour;
Mn  who leads us to discover the truth we avoid;
who is a paradox - ever present yet unpredictable.
All  
And we believe that the foolishness of God
is wiser than the wisdom of the world:
and we rejoice that God has made it so.
  (Unknown)

OR

A Litany: "Our Home(Optional)v1  Our true home is in the present moment.
v2  To live in the present moment is a miracle.
v3  The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment,
to appreciate the eace and beauty that are available now.
All  Peace is all around us -
in the world and in nature -
and within us -
in our bodies and our spirits.
v1  Once we learn to touch this peace,
we will be healed and transformed.
All  It is not a matter of faith;
it is a matter of practice. (Thich Nhat Hanh/lp)

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other

May a heart of peace rest with you.
All  And also with you (David Galston/q).