Easter3A.8.5.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

8 May 2011. Easter 3A. (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

(If you plan to celebrate Mothers Day
Revd Ian Lawton's sermon is HERE
and a 2010 Liturgy can be found HERE)


GATHERING

Gathering music

Entry into the celebration
The gong is sounded three times

With fragments of hope and scraps of courage,
we gather together in this sacred and safe place.

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

For Easter which reminds us that love is our greatest challenge, we light the flame.

For gathering today in this sacred space, we light the flame.

For the opportunity to be together as a community,
to remember the past,
to plan for our future,
to be alive in our present… we light the flame. (DB Sorrells/edited)

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Imagining stars(Tune: ‘Stuttgart’. 87 87) 21 SNS2
When, at night, the stars shine on us
Light years from our tiny earth,
Songs and psalms provoke the questions
Of our fragile human worth.

These gigantic specks are burning
Balls of fire, as at play;
Stars in billions share their light and
Thus create a Milky Way.

We still gaze in raw amazement,
Contemplating timeless space;
Numberless, the stars keep stories
Hidden from our human race.

Tiny holes in heaven’s flooring
Letting light beyond shine through;
Stars invite us to imagine
What it is we cannot view.

Myst’ry stride across the canvas
Of the picture we might paint;
Sacredness is grandly present;
Let us praise without restraint. (GStuart)
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:
Autumn Easter God, may we be empowered
to look to the future with hope:
unafraid of our dreams,
realistic about our limitations,
yet never losing hope in our potential
to live courageously in today and for tomorrow.
Amen.

Hymn Autumn comes in all its fullness(Tune: 'Hamilton Avenue', 87 87)   8 HoS
Autumn comes in all its fullness
harvesting both land and hearts
Autumn has its birth in winter
in the stillness where life starts.
Refrain:
Every death brings hope of birthing,
every birth enfolds life's end,
for the seasons of our living
mirror patterns nature penned.

Autumn gives us time for choosing
seeds which bear the richest fruits,
fragile life which we can nurture
into just or vain pursuits.
Refrain:

Buried in autumnal endings
lies the shoot that bursts the tomb,
for the letting go in autumn
sows the seed that births the bloom. (WLWallace)
Refrain:
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

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

May our silence bring to us
a surprising wonder of faith in life, all of life,
howsoever it has come to us.  (Bob Holmes/wm).
(Silence)

Music of reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our religious tradition
A familiar story from our biblical tradition shall be read by (NN).

Gospel:
Luke 24:13-24, 28-35.  (Inclusive Text, adapted)

Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem,
and they were talking together about all that had happened.

Now as they talked this over, Jesus came up and walked by their side,
but something prevented them from recognizing him.

Jesus said to them, 'What matters are you discussing as you walk along?'

They stoped short, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered,
'You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem
who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days?'

'What things?' Jesus asked.

'All about Jesus of Nazareth', they answered,
'who proved to be a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people.

'And how our chief priests and our leaders
handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified.
Our own hope had been that this Jesus would be the one to set Israel free.

'And this is not all; two whole days have gone by 
since it all happened, and some women from our group have astounded us:
they went to the tomb in the early morning,
and when they did not find the body there,
they came to tell us they had seen a vision of angels
who declared Jesus was alive.

'Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported,
but of Jesus they saw nothing...'

When they drew near to the village to which they were going,
Jesus made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them.
'It is nearly evening,' they said, 'and the day is almost over.'

So Jesus went in to stay with them.

Now while Jesus was with them at the table, he took the bread and said the blessing;
then broke it and handed it to them.
And their eyes were opened and they recognised Jesus;
but he had vanished from their sight.

They said to each other,
'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road...

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem...

'It is true. The Christ has risen and has appeared to Simon!'

Then they told their story of what had happened on the road
and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of the bread.

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

Silence for personal reflection

AFFIRMING

A litany:  ‘Thanksgiving’
The people stand as they are able

For the gift of the universe in all its vastness:
All For the enormous, for the tiny,
For refreshment, for a challenge,
For gentle beauty, for fierce beauty,
For all the variety of place and season… we give thanks.

For the inheritance in our world, from generations past:
All For landscape,
For craft and skill,
For breed and variety in livestock and crops,
For wildlife untamed,
For fertility maintained… we give thanks.

For our existence in this fragile, green planet:
All For air,
For space,
For moisture,
For food… we give thanks.

For those who represent us all in caring for this planet:
All For gardeners,
For foresters,
For scientists,
For farmers… we give thanks.

For the breaking of bread,
For the filling of the cup,
For the presence of the sacred in earthly things…
All We give thanks and praise(The Arthur Rank Centre/adapted/hfw)

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

CELEBRATING
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)

Offerings
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.

Presentation  The people stand as they are able, for the presentation of gifts
As the many threads are made one in the cloth,
as the many grains are made one in the bread,
as the many grapes are made one in the wine,
so we who are many are made one
when we gather at this table.  NSlee/bb
People sit

AFFIRMING
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:
We turn to Life, to that vast creativity

All  that empowers the universe

as the ocean animates the wave,

seeking to let go of that which blocks our healing.

All  May we open ourselves even now

to the wonder of Life.

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)

SCATTERING

Hymn “God of diversity(Tune: ‘Margaret’. By Colin Gibson) 40 (v1-2) HoS
God of diversity, vibrant creation
is bursting with signs of extravagant joy.
In riot of blossom, in species unnumbered
we see that all difference is ours to enjoy.

God of diversity, nations and cultures
tell of the richness life offers to all.
In language and symbol, in story and doctrine
we clothe our experience, respond to your call.
Remain standing

Words of mission
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.  (Adapted/PRGiles) 

Blessing words
May our lives be blest according to the depth of our love,
the persistence of our faith,
our willingness to forgive and be compassionate,
and in proportion to our yearning to be free.  PHBeattie
All Amen!

Hymn (Cont) “God of diversity(Tune: ‘Margaret’. By Colin Gibson) 40 (v3-4) HoS
God of diversity, humans embody
the interdependence of ear, eye and hand;
we struggle to learn, in this globe-become-village,
our need of each other in every land.

God of diversity, help us to honour
our different perspectives on things that are true,
as, knowing more deeply the God in Christ Jesus,
we learn how to worship with all who love you. (MBond)
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:
Adam, D. 1994.  The open gate. Celtic prayers for growing spiritually. GtB: London. Triangle/SPCK.
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.  Harvest for the world. A worship anthology on sharing in the work of creation. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Holmes, R. H. 1972.  The Bob Holmes worship materials. Vol 1.  NY: Little Falls. Self published.
(HoS) Hope is our song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. NZ: Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
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.
(TEL) Murray, S. E. 2008.  
Touch the earth lightly. New hymns written between 2003 & 2008. IL: Carol Stream. Hope Publishing.
(SNS2) 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.

Web sites:
Sorrells, Hewitt, Giles, Beattie. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

rexae@optusnet.com.au