Easter2A.1.5.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au
Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

1 May 2011. Easter 2A. (White).
Pluralism Sunday
Celebrating community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


You can find more information on Pluralism Sunday HERE


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

Gathering music

Entry into the celebration
The gong is sounded three times

We gather here to celebrate life's beauty and find healing for its pain;
to honour our kinship with each other and with the earth,
and to be inspired to create a more compassionate world,
beginning with ourselves.  GKowalski/adapted

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life
in the presentness of God.

Lighting of the community candle
The community candle is lit

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Progressive Hymn(Tune: 'Marching', 87 87)
When life juggles with our learning,
with the things we thought secure,
then it seems the artist’s palette
spins and faith becomes obscure.

In the wash of different colours,
as we seek for shape and form,
others paint their faith by numbers
forcing God to fit some norm.

But when life has torn the canvas,
when the numbers twist and slip;
then we need to find an image
that will help our hope to grip:

holding us, when we're past holding,
grounding when we're insecure,
till we find a faith, not drifting,
still dynamic, free, yet sure. © Andrew Pratt 28/5/2010
Remain standing

Opening sentences
To worship is to stand in awe under a heaven of stars,
before a flower, a leaf in sunlight
or a grain of sand.
All To worship is to sing with the singing beauty of the earth.
To pause, to be silent... and receptive.  (JTrapp/adapted)

Prayer of awareness
We pray:
May the Spirit of Wisdom comfort and inspire us.
The symbols of life are all around us:
light and noise,
infants and adults,
birds and animals,
colours and movement,
words of goodwill, songs of joy.

May we recognise and renew these symbols of life everyday;
and be inspired to share them generously.
Amen.

Hymn "He came singing love(Tune: ‘Singing love’)    59 AA
He came singing love
and he lived singing love;
he died singing love.
He arose in silence.
For the love to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.

He came singing faith
and he lived singing faith;
he died singing faith.
He arose in silence.
For the faith to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.

He came singing hope
and he lived singing hope;
he died singing hope.
He arose in silence.
For the hope to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.

He came singing peace
and he lived singing peace;
he died singing peace.
He arose in silence.
For the peace to go on
we must make it our song:
you and I be the singers.  CGibson.
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.

CENTERING

Meditation with many voices
"The gift"
By Zam Walker. Timeless prayers for peace/114.

v1 God grant us the gift of dreaming:
v2 The dream of a world enjoying its extraordinary colour and beauty;
not viewing life through tunnel-vision, grey-tinted spectacles.
v3 The dream of breadth and variety in glorious harmony;
not definition through division, prejudice and ignorance.
v4 The dream of acceptance and inclusion;
not judgement and exclusion.
v5 The dream of your love and humour;
not our idolatry and self-righteousness.
v6 The dream of 'we might'; not 'we can not'.
(Silence)

v1 God give us the vision and imagination to dream
and enable us to make the dream a reality.

Silence
We come now into the silence of this place
with gratitude for this day.
(Silence)

We come with our needs.
And we come because we have gifts to share.

In our coming and in our going
may we be strengthened
in our bonds of love and peace.
(Silence)

Music of reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our religious tradition
Some readings from our broad religious tradition
shall be read by (NN) and (NN).

Celtic spirituality:
"Soul... and imagination"
John O'Donohue. Anam Cara/183

The soul... is the place where the imagination lives.

The imagination is the creative forces in the individual.
It always negotiates different thresholds and
releases possibilities of recognition and creativity
which the linear, controlling, external mind will never even glimpse.

The imagination works on the threshold that runs between
light and dark,
visible and invisible,
quest and question,
possibility and fact.

The imagination is the great friend of possibility.
Where the imagination is awake and alive
fact never hardens or closes but remains open,
inviting you to new thresholds of possibility and creativity.

Sufi mysticism:
"Divine dancing"
Rumi, Sufi mystic

When you dance
the whole universe dances.
The world dances around the Sun.
The morning light breaks,
Spinning up with delight.

How could anyone
Touched by your love
Not dance like a weeping willow?

Today I spin wildly
throughout the city;
I am the cup-bearer,
My head is the cup.
Perhaps a scholar will see me
and drop his books.
Perhaps the world will see me
and forget all its sorrows.

Hymn
Children of the human race(Tune: ‘Aberystwyth’, 77 77D. 211(i) TiS) 302 SLT
Children of the human race,
off-spring of our Mother Earth,
not alone in endless space
has our planet given birth.
Far across the cosmic skies
countless suns in glory blaze,
and from untold planets rise
endless canticles of praise.

Should some sign of others reach
this, our lonely planet Earth,
differences of form and speech
must not hide our common worth.
When at length our minds are free,
and the clouds of fear disperse,
then at last we’ll learn to be
Children of the Universe. (JAStorey)

Gospel:
John 20:19-23, 30-31.  (Inclusive Text)

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, 
the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the people. 

Jesus came, stood among them and said to them, 
'Peace be with you,' 
and showed them his hands and his side. 

The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Risen One who said to them again,
'Peace be with you. 
'As our God sent me, so I am sending  you.'  

After saying this, Jesus breathed on them and said, 
'Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven;
For those whose sins you retain, they are retained...' 

Now there are many other signs  that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, 
but they are not recorded in this book.
These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the one born of God, and that believing this
you may have life through Jesus' name.

Contemporary Word• A Sermon suitable for this day can be found in my forthcoming book, Against the Stream. Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew.

Contemporary Word 2

Silence for personal reflection

AFFIRMING

A litany:  ‘Sometimes we wonder’
The people stand as they are able

v1 The creation is alive with the glory of God,
yet sometimes we wonder.
All After the music has died away and
we are faced with the challenges of a new day –
sometimes we wonder…

v1 Wonder whether we have the heart to keep going.
All The way ahead seems unclear
and so much is changing around and within us…
v2 Sometimes we wonder whether we have the imagination to keep hoping.
All
When the pain and struggles of our hurting world
catch at our throats and draw us into despair…
Wn Then into our weariness new life is breathed.
Mn Into our helplessness fresh dreams are poured.
All And we rise upon wings like eagles.
We run and no longer feel tired.
Thanks be to God.  (unknown and adapted)

The peace
God makes peace within us.  Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us.  Let us share it. (nwi)
Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.

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
Where the light of Easter Day(Tune: ‘Crusader’) 58 TEL
Where the light of Easter Day
shines through our life, then faith can say,
Christ is living,
Christ is moving,
Christ is changing all the world
Here is God’s good kingdom!

Where the yeast of love will rise,
bubbling with God’s new enterprise,
Christ is living,
Christ is moving,
Christ is working through the world
Here is God’s good kingdom!

Where a child can grow in trust,
where there is joy that powers are just,
Christ is living,
Christ is moving,
Christ will colour all the world
Here is God’s good kingdom!

Where the harvests ripen in peace,
where all the sounds of gunfire cease,
Christ is living,
Christ is moving,
Christ is healing all the world
Here is God’s good kingdom!

Where the Spirit’s flame burns bright,
where there is truth and health and light,
Christ is living,
Christ is moving,
Christ will resurrect the world
Here is God’s good kingdom! (SEMurray)

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?  (jke)

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 Most compassionate Life-giver,
may we honour and praise you:
may we work with you to establish
your new order of
justice, peace and love.

Give us what we need for growth,
and help us, through forgiving others,
to accept forgiveness.

Strengthen us in the time of testing,
that we may resist all evil.
For all the tenderness,
strength and love are yours, now and forever.
Amen.  (WWallace)

CELEBRATING
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Welcome to the Table
v1  At this table we give thanks for
justice, love, peace and freedom.
Mn
At this table we give thanks for friends and strangers
together in community in this safe place.

Wm
At this table we welcome old and young.

v2  A place at the table.  And all are invited.

Offerings
We bring our gifts for ministry in this place, and in the wider world.

Presentation  The people stand as the gifts are presented
In hope and thanksgiving we offer these gifts of money, bread and wine.
May they be the necessary nutrients of
a new creation,
an Easter re-formation.

Thanksgiving
We give thanks for the unfolding of matter,
mind,
intelligence,
and life
that has brought us to this moment in time.
Gifts from an Easter God.
All We celebrate our common origin with everything that exists.

v1  We celebrate the mystery we experience and address as ‘God’.
ground and sustainer of everything that exists,
in whom we live and move and have our being.
v2  And we acknowledge this mystery embodied
in every human person,
aware that each one of us gives God
unique and personal expression.
All God is everywhere present.
In grace-filled moments of sharing.
In carefully created communities of loving solidarity.

v1  We are one with everything, living and nonliving, on this planet.
Connected.
Interrelated.
Interdependent.
v2  Webs of life within a web of life!

The story
We remember the stories from our tradition...

How on many occasions Jesus would share
a meal with friends.
Bread and wine shared in community.
v2  For everyone born, a place at the table...

How the bread would be taken,
a blessing offered, and then shared between them.
And all of them ate.

How some wine would be poured out,
a blessing offered, and then passed between them.
And all of them drank.

v2  The bread and the wine symbolised human lives
interconnected with other human lives,
and the power of giving and receiving.
v1  May the passion for life as seen in Jesus,
and in the lives and struggles of many other
committed and faithful people then and now,
enable us to dare and to dream and to risk...
All  Together may we re-imagine the world.
Together may we work to make all things new.
All Together may we celebrate the possibilities and hope
we each have and are called to share.

v2 For everyone born, a place at the table...

Bread and Wine
Bread is broken after each response OR at each 'We break...'

We break the bread for the broken earth,
ravaged and plundered for greed.
All May there be healing of our beautiful blue and green planet.

We break this bread for our broken humanity,
for the powerful and the powerless
trapped by exploitation and oppression.
All May there be the healing of humanity.

We break this bread for those who follow other paths:
for those who follow the noble path of the Buddha,
the yogic path of the Hindus;
the way of the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs;
and for the children of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar,
the Jews, and the Muslims.
All May there be healing where there is pain and woundedness.

We break this bread
for the unhealed hurts and wounds
that lie within us all.
All May we be healed.

Wine is poured into the cup.
This is the cup of peace and of new life for all.
A sign of love for the community of hope.
All A reminder of the call
to live fully,
to love wastefully, and
to be all that we can be.

Communion
To eat and drink together reminds us
of the deeper aspects of human fellowship,
for from time immemorial
the sharing of bread and wine
has been the most universal of all symbols of community.
People invited to move to the four corners of the space where the bread and wine will be served

After Communion
Divine Presence in all of life,
we give thanks that we have gathered together
in this sacred place.
All We rejoice in the giftedness of each person here.
We are grateful for who we are for each other.
May we continue to be truly thankful
in all we do and in all we become.
(This liturgy for Holy Communion has been shaped from resources created by and adapted from: Carter Heyward, L Bruce Miller, Michael Morwood, Shirley Murray, David Bumbaugh, John S Spong, Rex Hunt, the Iona Community, and was first celebrated some years ago at The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought, Canberra ACT, Austalia.)

SCATTERING

"People are God's language" (Tune: 'Ellers', 10 10 10 10 10. 301 RCH)     71 (1-2) SNS2
People are language through whom God can speak;

Heard by the list'ners, found by those who seek;

Heard in a whisper, never in a roar;

Heard in compassion, not through formal law.

People are language through whom God can care

With words of comfort when we see despair;

Spoken in kindness, yet with certainty;

Heard with delight when calming misery.

Remain standing

Words of mission
Let us embrace the wonder of this week
with expectation and imagination...
The community candle is extinguished

With hope and wisdom
All Living God, inspire us.
With compassion and involvement
All Living God, inspire us.
With openness and love
All Living God, inspire us.
With courage to face the reality and complexity of life
All
Living God, inspire us.  RWatson/cl

Blessing words
May the freshness of the dawn enliven our spirits
May the rising of the sun enlighten our minds
May the noon-tide of the day warm our hearts
May the sunset clothe us with restfulness.  Wm Wallace/wb
All Amen!

"People are God's language" (Tune: 'Ellers', 10 10 10 10 10. 301 RCH).   71 (v3-4) SNS2
People are language through whom God can plead

For peace and mercy, for the ones in need;

Spoken in strength, with poise and dignity,

Calling for justice and for liberty.

Sharing of love with acts of gentleness,

Sharing the load with deeds of thoughtfulness,

We can ensure the message can be heard;

For we are language of God's living word (GStuart).

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.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003.  Timeless prayers for peace. Voices together from around the world. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2002.  Courage to love. An anthology of inclusive worship material. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2000.  A world of blessing. Benedictions from every continent and many cultures. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
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.
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.
Stuart, G. 2009.  
Singing a new song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. Volume 2. NSW: Toronto. G Stuart.
The St Hilda Community. 1996.  The new women included. A book of services and prayers. GtB: London. SPCK.
"Divine dancing" By Rumi, in M. Fox. 2000.
One rive, many wells. Wisdom springing from global faiths. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.
O'Donohue, J. 1997.
Anam cara. Spiritual wisdom from the celtic world. London: Bantam.
(SLT)
Singing the living tradition. 1993. Boston: UUA.
Vosper, G. 2008.  
With or without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Web sites:
Trapp, UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Andrew Pratt blog site site: <hymnsandbooks blog>

rexae@optusnet.com.au