Pentecost9C.11.8.2019

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
11 August 2019. Pentecost 9C. (Green)
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“Creativity implies some sort of dissatisfaction
with the way things are”
(
Matthew Fox)

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

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  "Let there be light!
v2  Let it shine in dark places,
in moments of pain,
in times of grief,
in the darkness of hatred,
violence,
oppression,
where there is discouragement and despair.
v1  Wherever darkness is to be put to flight,
"Let there be light!” 
Gordon B McKeeman

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
“Deep In The Human Heart”  (Tune: ‘Diademata’, 66.86D)                           SSA
Deep in the human heart
The fire of justice burns;
A vision of a world renewed
Through radical concern.
As Christians we are called
To set the captives free,
To overthrow the evil powers
And end hypocrisy.

This is our task today:
To build a world of peace;
A world of justice, freedom, truth,
Where kindness will increase;
A world from hunger freed,
A world where people share,
Where every person is of worth
And no-one lives in fear.

Taking the step of faith,
We leave the past behind,
And move into the future's world
With open heart and mind.
By grace we work with Christ,
As one community,
To bring new hope and fuller life,
To all humanity. William L Wallace/ssa

OR

Creativity – The Canberra Affirmation(Tune: ‘Austria’, 87.87D)                26 SNS2
When beliefs and rigid doctrines,
Like stone statues cold as death,
Discipline us into silence,
Rob us of life-giving breath;
We can voice our great discomfort
As we recognize the truth
That our life and all our living
Give us insight from our youth.

We would celebrate evolving;
In the webs of life we bond
To the cosmos and our family,
Humans here and those beyond;
Thus we're called to live together
With respect for all that is,
For the cosmos and our planet
With respect for all that lives.

'Creativity' is present
Ever since before the start;
Brings to birth such great abundance;
Gives birth to a loving heart.
With this birthing of the novel
'Creativity' transforms;
Energy and life emerges;
Beauty seen in all its forms.

So we celebrate the myst'ry;
Stand in silence; look with awe;
Countless years in billions ended
Since the opening of the store
Of variety and brilliance,
Of the life-force and of grace;
It's amazing and so wondrous
We can claim to have a place. (George Stuart)
The people sit after the hymn

Opening Sentences
Let us acknowledge the awesome mystery
embodied in every person.
All  
Through us Creativity God comes to unique
and personal expression. 

Let us give thanks for the abundance
of life on this earth.
All  Through it we and all people may be nourished.

Act of Awareness
A sky, streaked with the promise of day,
and I am called to anticipate all that might be.

The heat of the day heavy upon me,
and I am challenged to acknowledge
the responsibilities I hold.

The shade of the afternoon, like grace, soothes me,
and I am offered a reflection of my own rich gifts.

The cool of the evening
set in the midst of a candlelit heaven,
and I am awed by the fulfillment of another day.

We open ourselves as those who seek the holy.  (Gretta Vosper/wab)

OR

We pray:
Abiding God of the morning, the afternoon, the evening,
grant us the joy of feeling ourselves
a part of your vast magnificence,
your all-encompassing love.
May it be so.

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
Amid all the noise in our lives,
we take this moment to sit in silence:
to give thanks for another day;
to give thanks for all those in our lives
who have brought us warmth and love;
to give thanks for the gift of life.
(Silence)

Let us open ourselves to the process of becoming more whole:
of living more fully;
of giving and forgiving more freely;
of understanding more completely
the meaning of our lives here on this earth.
  (Adapted/THaley)
Silence

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our Religious Tradition
A story from our religious tradition will be told by (NN).

Reader:  May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this reading.
All  And may our minds be fertile soil
in which it may grow strong and true. 
 (Gretta Vosper/ab)

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 12:32-34 (Scholars Edition)

'Don't be afraid, little flock, for it has delighted your Father
to give you his domain.

"Sell your belongings, and donate to charity;
make yourselves purses that don't wear out,
with inexhaustible wealth in heaven, where no robber can get to it
and no moth can destroy it.

"As you know, what you treasure is your heart's true measure".

OR

Traditional Gospel2:
Matthew 25:31-46  
(Inclusive Text)

Jesus said to the disciples:
‘When the Promised One comes in glory,
with all the angels, then he will sit on the throne of glory.

‘All the nations will be gathered before him, 
and he will separate people one from another 
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
and will put the sheep at the right hand
and the goats at the left.

‘Then the king will say to those at the right hand,
Come, you that are blessed of God,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
for I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me.

‘Then the righteous will answer him,
When was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,
or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, 
or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?

‘And the king will answer them,
Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family,
you did it to me.'

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 that horizons of hope are never fixed.
All  They always move beyond, in the creativity of God.

We believe that powers of evil can not kill God.
All  God walks on free and leaps ahead of us
in the risen Christ of faith.

We believe that the Spirit can never be confined.
All   She dances forth in the world
and is found in surprising places,
leading us on until the end of time.
  (Adapt/Dorothy McRae-McMahon/bst)

OR

The 'Canberra Affirmation' can be found HERE

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)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Crowded Table, Urgent Faces" (Tune: ‘Maria’s Tune’, 87.87D)
Crowded table, urgent faces, 
people longing for the bread, 
bread of life and bread for living, 
bread for rising from the dead;
Young and old, both men and women, 
those for whom this life is hard, 
those who live in warmth and comfort, 
those whose life is stained or tarred;

All are welcome, wise or foolish, 
at this table all are fed, 
sharing wine in celebration, 
eating Christ’s communion bread. 
Then in costly life and giving 
we will share what we receive, 
demonstrate in daily living 
all that we affirm, believe.  © Andrew Pratt 10/12/2005

OR

Song for Nelson Mandela(Tune: ‘Cwm Rhondda’)
Now a mighty tree has fallen,
now the rainbow loses light,
tears of all the world are grieving
one who changed the wrong to right:
Refrain:
Give Mandela every honour,
all our hearts would wish to say:
thanks and blessings on this day!

Celebrate his towering spirit
fired to face his country's pain,
celebrate the mind and measure
that no prison could contain,
Refrain:

Every nation, every colour,
live the truth to set us free!
Reconcile us to each other,
holding fast his legacy.  © Shirley Erena Murray 2013
Refrain:

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:
We turn to Life, to that vast creativity

All  
that empowers the universe
as the ocean animates the wave,

seeking to let go of that which blocks our healing.

All  May we open ourselves even now

to the wonder of Life.

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 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 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

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)

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY IN THE TRADITION OF THE MEAL
Offerings

Presentation
Our tradition says we should give thanks and be generous...
May all givers be blessed because we need to be generous
in order to be whole.

Thanksgiving
God is the heart of life.
All  And we are the heartbeat.
May your hearts be filled with thanks 
and praise and songs of joy.
All  We rejoice in the miracle of life
and delight in our participation
(Sherri Weinberg).

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name God
and call the creator of heaven and earth and all that is.

For the person we name Jesus