Epiphany8A.27.2.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt


eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au

Web:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com



LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

27 February 2011. Epiphany8A. (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


The following Hymn by Andrew Pratt may be suitable for those remembering the New Zealand earthquake
Earthquake”  (Tune: xxx, 88 88.)
If God created all we see
then ours is still a timeless cry;
we cannot understand God's sense;
we ask again the reason why.

Was this prefigured by a cross,
this site of human agony;
the tumbled timbers, broken walls,
where people struggle to be free?

This cannot be the way of God,
yet God is in this quaking mess,
is in the people crying out
in pain and terminal distress.

God seeks the dying, nail pierced hands
reach deep within this grief and loss.
Our every word or touch of love
speaks of the gift of grace and cross.  ©Andrew Pratt 16/8/2007
His Blog site can be accessed HERE


GATHERING

Gathering music


Entry into celebration

We are here to derive meaning in our actions

All When I change, the world changes

We are here to deepen our understanding of ourselves

in order to strengthen our understanding of others

All When I change, the world changes

We are here to abolish prejudice with an appreciation

for our diversity and differences

All When I change, the world changes

We are here to spend time away from

the usual influences and re-learn reality

All When I change, the world changes (Adapt.TGGallardo)


So, at this time and in this place,

let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life

in the presentness of God.


Lighting of community candle

The candle is lit


Flame, embolden us to embrace change.

Flame, inspire us to work for change.


Hymn God in all(Tune: ‘Wunderbarer Konig’, 668 668 33 66. 121 TiS)

All the cosmos beaming,

All creation gleaming,

So we stand in awe and silence.

Galaxies are dancing,

Stars, the night enhancing,

Constellations claim our reverence.

God’s own heart

Seen in part

Shines in all the brilliance;

Shows forth God’s transcendence.


Microscopic sources

Hold such mighty forces

In the atom’s sacred magic.

Germs can be our masters,

Makers of disasters,

So minute, yet cause the tragic.

Smaller still

Genes, with skill,

Breed God’s inborn presence

In our human essence.


Love when given dearly

And received sincerely

Each proclaim our human beauty.

When we make connection,

Share in real affection

Brings to birth much more than duty.

God perceived;

Love conceived.

We can live more gently,

Sharing joy intently.


God in all, surrounding,

Source of life abounding,

Ground of being; spirit swelling.

Inmost at our centre,

There we all encounter

God as love and grace indwelling.

We adore

Evermore

God the wondrous mystery;

Worshipped down through history (GStuart)


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.


Prayer

We pray:

With wonder we watch the world unfold before us each day.

Ordinary, simple things, slowly bring awe

and wonder to our everyday, and

we can find blessing all about us.


May such feelings keep us aware, always,

of the subtle textures if life (Adapt.GVosper/hb)

Amen.


HymnAs a chalice cast of gold(Tune: ‘Inward Light’ 77 77 77) 476 TiS

As a chalice cast of gold,

burnished bright and brimmed with wine,

make me, Lord, as fit to hold

grace and truth and love divine.

Let my praise and worship start

with the cleansing of my heart.


Save me from the soothing sin

of the empty cultic deed

and the pious, babbling din

of the claimed but unlived creed.

Let my actions, Lord, express

what my tongue and lips profess.


When I bend upon my knees,

clasp my hands or bow my head,

let my spoken, public pleas

be directly, simply said,

free of tangled words that mask

what my soul would plainly ask.


When I dance or chant your praise,

when I sing a psalm or hymn,

when I preach your loving ways,

let my heart add its amen.

Let each cherished, outward rite

thus reflect your inward light. TTroeger

The people sit.


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

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.

In this gathering of old and new friends

may we be ready to extend ourselves to those in need,

and with trust

to receive the hand that is offered.

(Silence)


In this time of celebration,

may our minds be open to new truth,

and our hearts be receptive to love,

as we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share GKowalski

(Silence)


Music of reflection


EXPLORING

A reading from our biblical tradition

Continuing a reading from our biblical tradition,

as recorded by the storyteller we call Matthew.

It shall be read by (NN).


Gospel:

Matthew 6: 24-25, 31-34 (Scholars Edition)


‘No one can be a slave to two masters.

No doubt that slave will either hate one and love the other,

or be devoted to one and disdain the other.


‘You can’t be enslaved to both God and a bank account!


‘That’s why I tell you: Don’t fret about your life -

what you’re going to eat and drink, or

about your body – what you’re going to wear.


‘There is more to living than food and clothing,

isn’t there?  So don’t fret.


‘These are all things pagans seek.

After all, your heavenly Father is aware that you need them.


‘You are to seek (God’s) domain, and his justice first,

and all these things will come to you as a bonus.


‘So don’t fret about tomorrow.

Let tomorrow fret about itself.

The troubles that the day brings are enough’.


Contemporary word


Silence for private reflection


AFFIRMING

A litany

In response to the word reflected on let us stand

and share a Litany inviting us to ‘touch’ the lives of others.

People stand as they are able


Holy God, as you have touched us, may we

now touch others with your love.

(Silence)


The oppressed and the persecuted,

crying out for the liberating touch of justice

All Touch them with your justice in us.


The poor and the outcast,

crying out for the life-giving touch of compassion

All Touch them with your compassion in us.


The battered victims of war and violence,

crying out for the healing touch of peace

All Touch them with your peace in us.


The lost and the lonely,

crying out for the welcoming touch of friendship

All Touch them with your friendship in us.


The prisoners of their own fear and cruelty,

crying out for the generous touch of mercy

All Touch them with your mercy in us.


And those we love,

crying out for the continuing touch of love

All Touch them with your love in us.


v1 May our lives be the place where you touch us

v2 and we touch others in your name (Adapt.KGalloway/cw)


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 of the month

Wisdom far beyond(Tune: ‘Coronation Road’) 157 HoS

Wisdom far beyond our knowledge,

Word of endless mystery,

God, in whom is comprehended

all that was, is now, will be,

you have set us free to wander,

world on world, through time and space,

haunted by the hope of heaven,

nurtured by your constant grace.


Unimaginable lover,

faithful to eternity,

God, fulfilling and indwelling

all that was, is now, will be,

we can never stray beyond you,

loving Presence, you are here:

called to join your great adventure,

forth we go to find you there.


Beating heart of all creation,

first and final unity,

God who draws all things together,

all that was, is now, will be,

we have heard your distant music,

shared your dream of harmony:

now we go as reconcilers,

makers of community.


Focus of our search for meaning,

truth in our perplexity,

God the One by whom we measure

all that was, is now, will be,

centre of our heart’s devotion,

magnet of our questing mind,

spirit’s birth and soul’s companion,

journey’s end in you we find (CGibson).


CELEBRATING

With the children

The children come to the storyteller’s 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)


The offerings Offerings/bread and wine are presented

Let us bring our offerings as a symbol of our decision

to be co-creators with God in a safer

and more inclusive world.


The presentation The people stand as they are able

We look for a gentler humanity, a kinder world:

with our money and with our hearts,

with our minds and with every good intention,

let this be our prayer and our deed FMacnab

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 the light and beauty of day

All We give thanks in awe and wonder.

In the dark and stillness of night

All We dream of healing and hope (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 Indwelling God,

infused throughout all existence,

we honour you with many names.


Your realm is within the human heart.

We accept life for all that it can be,

on earth as throughout all creation.


May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth,

and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own.


May we ever move from separation toward union,

to live in grace, with love in our hearts,

forever and ever. Amen FFKeip


SCATTERING

Hymn Come and find the quiet centre(Tune: ‘Sanctum/Jullian Bray)   10 (v1-2) FFS

Come and find the quiet centre

in the crowded life we lead,

find the room for hope to enter,

find the frame where we are freed:

clear the chaos and the clutter,

clear our eyes, that we can see

all the things that really matter,

be at peace, and simply be.


Silence is a friend who claims us,

cools the heat and slows the pace,

God it is who speaks and names us,

knows our being, touches base,

making space within our thinking,

lifting shades to show the sun,

raising courage when we're shrinking,

finding scope for faith begun.

People remain standing


Words of mission

Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.

As we do, may we embrace the challenges

of our lives and our world...

The community candle is extinguished


We are people of hope.

We are people of new life.

We are people of vision.

All Together may we be co-creators with Creativity God

in building a new world of wholeness.


Blessing words

v1 May the road never seem so long to the homestead.

May the sea breeze always blow softly on our verandah.

May you always find shade from the blazing sun.

May the rain fall on your paddocks just when you need it.

v2 Until we meet again God hold you

in the lee of the thunderstorm (ANichols/wob).

All Amen.


Hymn (Cont.) Come and find the quiet centre(Tune: ‘Sanctum/Jullian Bray)  10 (v3) FFS

In the Spirit let us travel,

open to each other's pain,

let our lives and fears unravel,

celebrate the space we gain:

there's a place for deepest dreaming,

there's a time for heart to care,

in the Spirit's lively scheming

there is always room to spare! SEMurray

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:

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.

Duncan, G. (ed). 2000.  A world of blessing. Benedictions from every continent and many cultures. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.

(FFS) Faith forever singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.

Funk, R. W; R. W. Hoover. 1993.  The five gospels. The search for the authentic words of Jesus. NY: New York. MacMillan Press.

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

(TiS) Together in song. Australian hymn book 2. 1999. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.

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

Vosper, G. 2004/2010.  Holy Breath. Prayers for worship and reflection. New & Revised edition. QLD: Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.

Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995.  Celebrating women. New edition. GtB: London. SPCK.


Web sites:

George Stuart. “God in all”. Direct from author.

Gallardo, Kowalski, Keip. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

rexae@optusnet.com.au