ReignXC.24.11.2019

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
24 November 2019. Reign of Christ C. (White).
OR
Jesus and his Kingdom of Nobodies Sunday


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 (N) Nation, past, present, or emerging,
and their stewardship of this land throughout the ages.

First Peoples Statement to the Nation 2017 called “Uluru Statement from the Heart” HERE
A Response from Common Dreams5 Conference of Religious Progressives,
Australia/South Pacific 2019 HERE


(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

In the name of our God who shares divinity with us
In the name of our God who shares humanity with us
In the name of our God who unsettles and inspires us… 
(JSchaffran)

OR

Holy and beautiful the custom
which brings us together,
In the presence of the Most High. (Robert F Leavens/slt)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

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/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Faith Writes the Hymn(Tune: 'Woodlands', 10.10.10.10)                                         10 TEL
Faith writes the hymn that celebrates the world,
tomorrow's world, more hopeful than today's;
God sets the key for faith to call the tune,
and make of us the instruments of praise.

Faith uses song to stir us and move on,
to rally and to raise our spirits high,
to whistle up the courage to be changed,
and lift our wings in learning how to fly.

Faith need a song to heal our deepest pain:
lament and loss would silence us in tears.
God gives us music to anoint the soul,
and speak in ways that only sorrow hears.

Faith writes the hymn that keeps us singing hope,
although we cannot see the sun will shine;
faith sets a lively rhythm to our step,
and draws our hearts to beat with the divine.  Shirley Erena Murray
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Deep within us, creeping past the facts
that stand before us, is hope:
All  
And we lift up our hearts to God.

We walk towards the barriers to change,
believing they will fall to your power:
All  And we lift up our hearts to God.

We gather up the remnants of our energy
and wait for the extra we pray will come:
All  And we lift up our hearts to God.

In the moments of our lowness,
in the doubts which rise among us,
in the depths of weakness and failing,
All  God’s hand is discovered beneath our wavering,
and we are called again to hope.
  (mph 1993)

Act of Awareness
May all sentient beings be well and enjoy the root of happiness:
Free from suffering and the root of suffering.
May they not be separated from the joy beyond sorrow.
May they dwell is spacious equanimity
Free from craving, fear, and ignorance.  (Adapt.Bodhisattva Vows/slt)

OR

We pray:
Spirit of God, you are the breath of life within us.
You call us to be one with you.
You breathe among us in all of creation.
Give us the strength and courage to live in your love.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song   We Sing Now Together(‘Kremser’, 12.11.13.12)                                              67 SLT
We sing now together our song of thanksgiving,
rejoicing in goods which the ages have wrought,
for Life that enfolds us, and helps and heals and holds us,
and leads beyond the goals our forbears once sought.

We sing of the freedoms which martyrs and heroes
have won by their labor, their sorrow, their pain;
the oppressed befriending, our ampler hopes defending,
their death becomes a triumph, they died not in vain.

We sing of the prophets, the teachers, the dreamers,
designers, creators, and workers, and seers;
our own lives expanding, our gratitude commanding,
their deeds have made immortal their days and their years.

We sing of community now in the making
in every far continent, region, and land;
with those of all races, all times and names and places,
we pledge ourselves in covenant firmly to stand.   (Edward T Buehrer)

OR

Hymn to Christ the Companion"                                                                                  1FTS
Where two or three are gathered
in the name of Christ,
there will we know his presence,
share in a love unpriced.
He will be with us always,
even to journey's end;
found in our humblest neighbour,
present in foe and friend.

Forward our path together,
through a mysterious land,
darkened by our unknowing,
desert of rock and sand.
Spirit of Christ before us,
lead us through storm and night;
beacon of hope unfailing,
draw us towards your light.

Spur us to seek each other,
following the pilgrim way,
and, if our footsteps falter,
feed and sustain, we pray.
Broken the bread you offer,
shared is the cup you pour,
calling to true communion
now and for ever more.

O loving Christ-companion,
bond us, that we may be
one in our common purpose,
one in our loyalty;
strong for the weak and powerless,
open to truth, and pain,
daring to stand for justice,
working to bring your reign.  
Colin Gibson.
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
“Time”
By Marjorie Dobson.
Multi-coloured Maze/178

Time is measured and regulated and passes
at the same speed each minute, hour and day.

Our perception of time is a different matter altogether.
If we are waiting for something to happen,
time can appear to pass very slowly.

If we are particularly busy, or enjoying a special occasion,
time seems to fly.

Young people are eager to grow up:
older people find it difficult to believe
how many years have passed.

Historians look back and point at significant lessons that we should learn:
scientists predict a future that sometimes
does not seem to offer a great deal of hope…

Time runs in circles and cycles.
Day follows night; weeks turn into months, then months into years.
One generation follows another.

Our lives are locked and linked by time.

Silence
Let silence be placed around us now, like a mantle.
Let us enter into it, as through a small secret door…
(Silence)

O God, may the mantle of silence
become a cloak of understanding
to warm our hearts this day.  (Adapted/Kate McIlhagga/ghs)
(Silence)

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall be read by (NN).

Hebrew Scriptures:
Jeremiah 23:1-6 
(NRSV)

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel,
concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people:
It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away,
and you have not attended to them.

So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord.

Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock 
out of all the lands where I have driven them,
and I will bring them back to their fold,
and they shall be fruitful and multiply.

I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them,
and they shall not fear any longer,
or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.

The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
and he shall reign as king and deal wisely,
and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
And this is the name by which he will be called:
“The Lord is our righteousness.”

OR

From the World Around us:
"Deep Incarnation”
By Elizabeth Johnson (An Extract)

Born of a woman… and the Hebrew gene pool, Jesus of Nazareth was a creature of earth,
a complex unit of minerals and fluids, an item in the carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen cycles,
a moment in the biological evolution of this planet. 

Like all human beings, he carried within himself the signature of the supernovas and the geology and life history of the Earth.
The atoms comprising his body once belonged to other creatures.
The genetic structure of his cells made him part of the whole community of life
that descended from common ancestors in the ancient seas.

RealJesus1


Traditional Gospel:
Luke 23:35-43 (Inclusive Text)

The people stayed before the cross watching Jesus.
As for the leaders, they jeered at Jesus.
'He saved others,' they said, 'let him save himself if he is Christ of God, the Chosen One.'

The soldiers mocked too, and when they approached to offer
Jesus vinegar they said, 'If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.'

Above Jesus there was an inscription:
'This is the King of the Jews.'

One of the criminals hanging there abused him.
'Are you not the Christ?' he said. 'Save yourself and us as well.'

But the other spoke up and rebuked that one.
'Have you no fear of God at all?' he said, 'you got the same sentence,
but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did.