Revd Rex A E Hunt


Web site:


9 January 2011. Baptism of Jesus A. (White).

Acknowledgement of land

(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 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 music

Entry into celebration

The gong is sounded three times

In sacred times of word, wonder, and awe.

In ordinary days of work and play.

In every moment, Creativity God is with us. (Adapt.TShuman/worship-rcl)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life

in the presentness of God.

Lighting of the community candle

The candle is lit

We light this flame and give praise for

the gifts that lift and inspire our living:

music, art, creativity and all beauty.

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing

Celebrate each difference(Tune: ‘Intercessor’, 11 10 11 10. 587 TiS)

We cannot make an easy, safe distinction,

all people are our neighbours, none denied.

The voices of all nations heard beside us:

all sisters, brothers, none we should deride.

The wall between the peoples has been broken.

In love of God divisions disappear.

As seen in Christ, we recognise our neighbours.

We greet unusual faces without fear.

We celebrate each difference God has given.

Each nation, black and white, both straight and gay,

the able and the challenged, God has offered,

that we might share together, learn and pray

Remain standing

Opening sentences

As we enter into this sacred place,

put away the pressures of the world that ask us

to perform,

to take up masks,

to put on brave fronts.

Silence the voices that ask you to be perfect.

This is a community of compassion and welcoming. (EAHewitt/adapted)

All We bring all that we are and all that we yet can be,

to this safe and holy place.

Prayer of awareness

We pray:

The Spirit of Creativity is all around us.

We are grateful for the possibility of being

ever more aware, human and alive.

Our world touches us in so many ways.

May we consider all that is - the beautiful,

and that which we don't want to read of

and think about.

May the joys and the concerns of this present day

move and jolt us to our greater selves

and our greater thoughts. (Adapt.RKleinheksel/c3e)


Hymn Celebrate each difference(Tune: ‘Intercessor’, 11 10 11 10. 587 TiS)

We meet with those who paint a different picture,

who value God in words not yet our own.

In dialogue we offer one another

a vision we could never find alone.

This God we seek is greater than each difference;

the source and ground of all variety,

the centre and the soul of all creation,

erasing hate with love, to set us free. APratt/ea

The people sit after the hymn


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.


Now let silence gently enfold us.


In this day made fresh,

In the chorus of birds,

In the scent of wild flowers,

We embrace this day in hope.


Music of reflection


Reading from our biblical tradition

A reading from our biblical tradition shall be read by (NN).


Matthew 3:13-17 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John.

John tried to dissuade Jesus.

'It is I who need baptism from you,' John said, 'and yet you come to me!'

But Jesus replied,

'Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way,

do all that righteousness demands.'

At this John gave in to Jesus.

As soon as Jesus was baptised and came up from the water,

suddenly the heavens opened up and Jesus saw

the Spirit of God descending like a dove

and coming down on him.

And a voice spoke from heaven:

'This is my Child, my Beloved, on whom my favour rests.'

Contemporary word

Silence for personal reflection


A celebration of faith

In response to the word reflected on, let us stand

and share together a celebration of faith.

The people stand as they are able

The people of God have a human face.

All We laugh, we weep,

we wait in hope.

We lift our eyes

All and stub our toes,

we love,

All and struggle,

we fail,

All we stand

and always we stand

on trembling ground.

But God is God

and Jesus is the Christ

and the Spirit

will lift up our feet.

All God is in the centre,

God is at our endings.

Nothing lies beyond

the love of God in Christ. (Pitt St. Uniting Church/eoj)

The peace

Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace

and of our shared friendship.

The peace of God is here... to stay.

All Thanks be to God.

You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn God of dawn(Tune: ‘Abbot’s Leigh, 87 87D, 153 TiS)

God of dawn, each day’s renewal

brings the world into your light.

As your sun defeats the shadows,

drives away the darkest night:

we would greet this new beginning

as your call to start again,

lead us on with hope and courage,

make your will and purpose plain.

Christ, you walked the world as we do,

knew its human pain and loss.

As your love broke through the barriers

by your death upon the cross;

we still speak your gospel message,

though two thousand years have gone.

Help us now translate its meaning

in this present world of wrong.

Holy Spirit, inspiration,

light and truth and root of prayer,

as your challenge moves us forward

taking us we know not where:

we will follow your direction,

though the way may not be clear.

Shape us, change, recreate us,

so the future holds no fear.

Praise to God, who spoke creation,

giving life to time and space.

Praise to Christ, whose living presence

showed the world your human face.

Praise the Spirit, daily witness

to you ever-loving way.

Take us now and reawake us,

challenge us to use this day (MDobson/mcm).


"Bring in your new world" (Tune: 'Salisbury Street')   13 HoS
Bring in your new world, child of the sun,
God's shining Presence, bright in your essence,
Christmas begun;
bring to our sad world light and delight,
singing and laughter, hope as our shelter,
stars to our night.

Bring in your new world, child of the east,
dangerous leader, born to be pleader,
prophet and priest;
come with your judgement, voice for the poor,
born to collision, God's righteous vision
here at our door.

Bring in your new world, child of all time,
peace without border, peace the new order,
lion with lamb;
come in the healing, sharing of bread,
justice and freedom, signs of the kingdom,
everyone fed.

Bring in your new world, child of our earth,
holding creation in your compassion,
waiting your birth;
come little human, cry your first breath,
cry out God's kindness, light out of blindness,
life out of death (SEMurray)


Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,

shall now be received.

Presentation  The people stand as they are able, as the gifts are presented

We give thanks to God for our life

and the courage we are given to live it.

Let our gratitude for life be expressed in our generosity.

Let our faith be expressed in good causes.

Let our belief in the future find full expression

in our daily attitude of mind. (FMacnab/fwb)

The people sit

Reflections and prayers

Care candle:

We are people of all ages who enter this space

bringing our joys and concerns.

Joys and concerns shared.

Listening response:

In this abundant blessing

All We share the joy.

In this, our time of need,

All May love abound (GVosper/wwg)

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful

of the presentness of God among us,

and to see the new possibilities of the now.

The Care candle is lit

Pastoral prayers:

The Abba Prayer:

You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate

All O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos

you create all that moves in light.

Hear the one Sound that created all others,

in this way the Name is hallowed in silence.

Your rule springs into existence

as our arms reach out to embrace all creation.

Let all wills move together

in your vortex, as stars and planets

swirl through the sky.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:

subsistence for the call of growing life.

Lighten our load of secret debts as

we relieve others of their need to repay.

Keep us from hoarding false wealth,

and from the inner shame of

help not given in time (MFox/ormw)


Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing

Look in wonder(Tune: ‘Look in wonder’)     29 (v1-2) TEL

Look in wonder, hold in honour

all the beauty of the earth!

World, surrender to her splendor:

God's own blessing for her birth;

sense and savor every colour,

every season, sun to star,

see the measure of this treasure,

all we nurture, all we mar.

Every creature by its nature

shares the cycle, life's design,

every human, man and woman

joins the circle, moves the line;

look in horror, look in anger –

these are lifestreams we destroy!

Tree and river gone forever,

bird and flower dead to joy.

Remain standing

Reflection: “now what” (Optional)

now what will you do


with those gifts?

now what will you do

with that love

God has given to you -

to share with those 

you don't like?

now what will you do

with that hope

God put under the tree -

can you pass it on

to a despairing neighbor?

now what will you do

with that joy 

you didn't expect -

hoard it all for yourself

or hand it to a grieving widow?

now what will you 

do with that grace

God stuck in your stocking -

leave it there

or find the stranger who needs it?

now what will you do

with all that forgiveness

God has given to you

in the Babe -

throw it out

with the wrapping paper

or offer it to the one

who has hurt you so much?


that Christmas is over,

what will you do? (© TMShuman, 2006)

Words of mission

Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts

the mystery and the wonder of this season...

The community candle is extinguished

We have a calling in this world: 

All we are called to honour diversity, 

to respect differences with dignity, 

and to challenge those who would forbid it. 

We are people of a wide path. 

All Let us be wide in affection 

and go our way in peace JM.Rickard 

Blessing words

The world you go into is a world filled with

challenges, with crises, with pain, with disappointment.

You go as people who know these things intimately

because you have felt them, experienced them,

and railed against them.

Go now as those who would see not only what the world is

but what we can make it be, and

may your hands, your heart, your voice

be turned toward making it so.

Go in peace! (GVosper/wwg)

All In peace!


Hymn (Cont)Look in wonder(Tune: ‘Look in wonder’)     29 (v3) TEL

In this garden, Eve and Adam

still are given time and place,

ours to cherish, ours to nourish,

ocean, water, land and space;

God, unnerve us, God, forgive us:

how we plunder, waste and war!

Give new meaning to earth's greening,

that the beauty thrives once more. SEMurray 

The people sit after the hymn

'This week' at (NN)


Birthdays and anniversaries

Significant events

Journey candles



Morning tea is now served.

You are invited to share in the moment of fellowship.

You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you

to share with another member of your family, or with a friend

I recommend the use of

LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches

Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:

Dobson, M. 2004.  Multi-coloured maze. Drama, hymns, prayers and poems for worship and everyday living. GtB: London. Stainer & Bell.

Duncan, G. (ed). 2005.  Entertaining angels. A worship anthology on sharing Christ’s hospitality. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.

(HoS) Hope is our song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009.  NZ: Palmerston North. The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Fox, M. 2000.  One river, many wells. Wisdom springing from global faiths. NY: New York. Tarcher/Penguin Publishing.

Inclusive readings. Year A. 2004. QLD: Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.

Iona Community. 2001.  Iona abbey worship book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.

McRae-McMahon, D. 1993.  Echoes of our journey. Liturgies of the people. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.

Macnab, F. 2006.  A fine wind is blowing: Psalms of the bible in words that blow you away. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.

(TEL) Murray, S. E. 2008.  Touch the earth lightly. New hymns written between 2003 & 2008. IL: Carol Stream. Hope Publishing.

Vosper, G. 2008.  With or without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Web sites:

Hewitt, Rickard. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston.

Thom M Shuman.  [w-rcl] Liturgy web site.

C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI.  <>