Epiphany5A.6.2.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au

Web:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com



LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

9 February 2014. Epiphany5A. (Green).




Acknowledgement of Country

(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, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation


 


Gathering Music


Entry into the Celebration

Come into this place,

where the ordinary is sanctified,

the human is celebrated,

the compassionate is expected.


Come into this place.

Together we make it a holy place

with our every act of worship.


So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.


Lighting of Community Candle

The candle is lit


Life shines out of us from even

the darkest corners, beckoning us

to be drawn into its truth (GVosper/ab).


Hymn "Let Justice Roll Down”  85 AA

Refrain:

Let justice roll down like a river,

let justice roll down like a sea,

let justice roll down like a river,

let justice begin through me.


Justice for all who go hungry,

crying to God to be fed,

left in a world of abundance

to beg for a morsel of bread.

Refrain:


Justice for those who are homeless,

victims of warfare or need,

trapped on the borders of no-where,

lost in the canyons of greed.

Refrain:


Justice for all who are powerless,

yearning for freedom in vain,

plundered, and robbed of their birth-right,

silently bearing their pain (CGibson).

Refrain:


Opening Sentences

We are called to celebrate and worship,

not just by words spoken, 

but also by miracles recalled: 

All  a baby's first cry,

the petals of a rose,

mist-covered hills,

the restless tides of the seas,

human love,

human hope.


We respond:

All  with gratitude,

with joy,

with wonder,

at life's boundless possibilities (Adapt.GBMcKeeman)


Act of Awareness

Xxx


OR


We pray:

Calling God, you have gathered us into this community.

A place has been made for us.

Let what we say and do here

be real for us and honest to you

and prepare us for the life of the world.

May it be so!


Hymn "God Called Us" (Tune: ‘Duke Street’, 88 88. 439 TiS)

God, you have called us to this hour:

now two or three or many claim

the promised gift of living power.

as your church meets in Jesus' name.


Open our minds and set us free

from spite and hurt, that we may face

the dread responsibility

of your church, meeting in this place.


Encouraged by the risk you take

in trusting us to do your will,

we dare to offer, for your sake,

all this church gath'ring can fulfil. JWootton. © Stainer & Bell Ltd

The people sit.           (Title and last line adapted by RAEHunt)


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


Silence

Let silence be placed around us now, like a mantle.

(Silence)


O God, may this mantle of silence

become a cloak of understanding

to warm our hearts this day (Adapt.KMcIlhagga/ghs)

(Silence)


Readings from our Biblical Tradition

Two readings from our biblical tradition will now be read by (NN).


Hebrew Scriptures:

Isaiah 58:7-8, 9b-10 (Inclusive Text)


Thus says our God:

Share your bread with the hungry,

shelter the homeless poor into your house;

clothe the one you see to be naked,

and turn not from your own kin.


Then will your light shine like the dawn

and your wound be quickly healed over.

Your integrity will go before you

and the glory of God behind you...


If you do away with the yoke,

the clenched fist,

he wicked word,

if you give your food to the hungry,

and relief to the oppressed,

your light will rise in the darkness

and your shadows become like noon.


Traditional Gospel:

Matthew 5:13-16 (Inclusive Text)


Jesus said to the disciples:

You are the salt of the earth.

But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again?

It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out

to be trampled underfoot.


You are the light of the world.

A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden.

No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub;

they put it on a lamp-stand where it shines

for everyone in the house.


In the same way your light must shine in the sight of all,

so that, seeing your good works, they

may give praise to God in heaven.


Contemporary word


Silence for Private Reflection


A Celebration of Faith (Optional)

In response to the word reflected on let us stand and share

a celebration of faith.

People stand as they are able


We celebrate a God

All  who lives and speaks in sunsets,

in love-wrapped gifts,

and fleeting butterflies.


We celebrate a Christ

All  who honoured our humanness,

who climbed trees,

skinned knees;

who laughed and cried,

loved and wept, bled and died.


We celebrate a Spirit,

All  who mystically joins us

to people everywhere,

and incorporates us into Christ.


We celebrate a church,

All  seeking, however imperfectly,

to act justly, love mercy,

and walk humbly with our God. (Adapt.DMcRae-McMahon/eoj)


Sharing '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 People stand as they are able, to sing

Nothing is Lost…(Tune: ‘Greenlane’)   50 FFS

Nothing is lost on the breath of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God's breath is love, and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No feather too light, no hair too fine,

no flower too brief in its glory;

no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,

but is counted and told in God's story.


Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God sees with love and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No journey too far, no distance too great,

no valley of darkness too blinding;

no creature too humble, no child too small

for God to be seeking, and finding.


Nothing is lost to the heart of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God's heart is love, and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No impulse of love, no office of care,

no moment of life in its fulness;

no beginning too late, no ending too soon,

but is gathered and known in God's goodness (CGibson)


Reflections and Prayers

Care Candle:

We are people of all ages who enter this space

bringing our joys and concerns.

Joys and concerns shared.


Focused Thoughts:


Listening Response:

May our thoughts be filled with transformation,

All  May our words reflect the yearnings of our hearts.

And may the spirit that binds within us as we gather

All  Hallow each and every passing moment

we know here together (Adapt.GVosper/ab).


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


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 God - heart of the world: 

revealed through every aspect of creation:

understood through our awareness.


May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly

so that your love is reflected in the way we live.


May we always be thankful for the food we eat

and the friends we have.


May we forgive those who transgress against us 

and be forgiven for our own.


In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat

and not be compromised by hesitation.

Through our freedom, may your justice

be seen and heard and experienced 

forever and ever. Amen (SJWeinberg)


With the Children

The 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? (jke)


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF LEADERS OF SUNDAY CLUB AND CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

Teachers/helpers/Community worker come forward.

Children/parents form a circle around them.


v1  Once upon a time, in the beginning,

a labour of love was undertaken.


And a place was established where children

might find learning and love and acceptance,

and it was called Children's Sunday Club.


And the labour of love progressed.

And it was very good.


v2 We pray: 

We celebrate and give thanks for all teachers, helpers, musicians, community

workers, children and parents,

who are part of (NN) Sunday Club this new year.


May they be blessed in their ministry.

May we always be prepared to offer our support,

that they may never feel alone in their work.


And we celebrate the children in our midst...
We wish you a sense of wonder.
We wish you companionship that you may appreciate solitude.
We wish you a friend who will understand you, and
understanding so that you may have a friend.
We wish you may become all that you wish to be, and
more than you hope that you can be. (Adapt.BKaufmann)


v1 And the labourers looked at all that had been accomplished,

and the people rejoiced,

for it was very good.

Amen.


Acclamation

Teachers/children return to their seats


The Offerings Offerings/bread and wine are presented

Let us bring our offerings xxx.


The Presentation

God of splendour, your goodness sustains us,

and your graciousness gives us hope.

May these gifts of bread, wine and money

be used to further the way of love, hope,

and justice in our world.


SCATTERING

HymnWhere Are You Going?(Tune: ‘Pilgrim Tune’, 97 66 7)    86 (v1-3) RP

Where are you going? God only knows.

Walk on pilgrim, pilgrim sing.

It's not where you're going.

It's how you are changing.

Come on pilgrim! Pilgrim sing!


Walk with another, walk on as one.

Come on pilgrim, pilgrim sing.

Your friends will walk with you,

and others will join you.

Walk on pilgrims! Pilgrims sing!


Walk midst the water, walk through the fire.

Walk on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.

Your God will walk with you,

your God will protect you.

Come on pilgrims! Pilgrims sing!

People remain standing


Parting Words

The presentness of God reaches beyond this place...

The community candle is extinguished


Now may our wisdom show itself

in deeds of compassion

and in acts of understanding.

All May the fruits of the spirit

be apparent in our lives (Adapt.PRGiles).

Words of Blessing

May the God you see in all the colours of creation

arouse in you a sense of awe and wonder.

May the God who is a sacred presence be real to you.

May the God who is a source of inspiration and courage

keep calling you forward.

May your God go with you, and bless you (FMacnab)

All Amen! May it be so!


Hymn (Cont.).Where Are You Going?(Tune: ‘Pilgrim Tune’, 97 66 7)   86 (v4-6) RP

Climb up the mountain, follow the sun.

Come on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.

The leaves turn to auburn

to welcome the autumn.

Walk on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!


God is behind you, God is ahead.

Walk on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.

The winter may chill you,

the spring will enchant you.

Come on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing!


Summer is warming, spirit of joy.

Come on pilgrims, pilgrims sing.

Then dance as you travel,

sing 'hail resurrection'.

Walk on pilgrims!  Pilgrims sing! (Adapt.APratt)

The people sit after the hymn


'This Week' at (NN)

Notices

Birthdays and anniversaries

Significant events

Journey candles


Music


Fellowship

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:

(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and songs for all churches. 1993. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.

Binkley, C. G.; J. M. McKeel. 2001.  Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An international curriculum on the life and teaching of Jesus. CA: Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.

(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year A
. 2004. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.

McIlhagga, K. 2004.  The Green Heart of the Snowdrop. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.

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

Morwood, M. 2003.  Praying a New Story. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.

(RP) Pratt, A. 2006.  Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a spiritual journey. GtB: London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Vosper, G. 2009/2010.  Another Breath. Prayers for celebration and reflection. QLD: Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.


Web sites/Other:

McKeeman, Giles, Kaufmann. UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

Francis Macnab. St Michael’s Uniting Church Web site. VIC Melbourne.

rexae@optusnet.com.au