Pentecost7C.Trees.28.7.2019

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

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

Worth Pondering
“In the business of living one must not live by certainties
but by visions, risks and passion”
(
Charles Birch)

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

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

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)

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
May We Cast the Vision (Tune: ‘King’s Weston’)
Are we not still dreaming

of a world of peace,

where all live in freedom

and all hatred’s ceased?
Are we not still hoping

for a fair new day,

one for which all suffering

long before did fade?

Have we not the knowledge

that can feed each child,

shelter ev’ry family,

nations reconcile?

Have we not the wisdom

to look back and see

all that’s come between us

throughout history?

Can we not be faithful

to the call of love;

all it builds between us,

is that not enough?

Can we not find reasons

to reach out and share –

all we own, together –

all because we care?

On this day, we’re dreaming

of a world made bright,

freed from all its sorrows,

living into light.

May we feel the courage

stirring deep within.

May we cast the vision

and this work begin.  (2017 gretta vosper)

OR

Faith is a Forest”  (Tune: ‘Mo-Li-Hua’, Irreg)                                                 194 SLT
Faith is a forest in which doubts play and hide,
insight can hear the still small voice deep inside.
Web of Life, may this thread I weave
strengthen commitment to all I believe.
Vision be my guide as I seek my way,
lead me into this tender day;
speak through me in all I do and say.

Seeds of both meek and strong are scattered in air
dignity shines undimmed by bigotry’s glare.
Web of Life, may this thread I weave
help me hear witness to all I believe.
Justice be my guide as I seek my way,
lead me into this tender day;
speak through me in all I do and say.

Fortune and famine ride the swift winds of change;
sorrow and pleasure seem united in dance.
Web of Life, may this thread I weave
mingle compassion with all I believe.
Mercy be my guide as I seek my way,
lead me into this tender day;
speak through me in all I do and say.  (Shelly J Denham)
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.

OR

“Trail Closed Ahead Due to Tree Failure”
By Jim Burklo, 2009

“I stood and meditated on its implications.

“By its logic, the gracefully shaped brown nuts scattered on the trail must have resulted from acorn stem failure.  The lovely medallions of yellow and orange on the ground were the result of leaf atrophy.  The blue feather of a Stellar’s Jay, lying on a bed of fallen redwood needles, was the consequence of plumage dislocation.  The bleached bones of the opossum lying in the dry grass of the meadow were the result of insufficient coyote evasion.  And the mountain upon whose flanks I walked was the result of a fault.

“It seemed to me that the tree’s passing merited a different sign:  ‘At the kink in the trail ahead, you will circumambulate the remains of a tall tanbark oak which from a pretty acorn grew, many decades ago.  For years of seasons, wet and dry, it lifted branches and serrated leaves skyward, communing with sun and wind.  Old and full of days, it died with flourish, dropping in one grand whoosh to the ground.  Walk around it and wonder.  May your footsteps be prayers of thanksgiving for its life.  And may this kink in the trail remain as a memorial to it, long after its trunk crumbles into rich forest soil’.” 

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