Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au

Web:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


13 March 2011. Lent 1A. (Purple).

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, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation

(A hymn to help reflect on the earthquake in Japan can be found HERE)


Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration

It is a sacred time, this.

And a sacred place, this:

- a place for questions more profound than answers;

- vulnerability more powerful than strength;

- and a peace that can pass all understanding.

It is a sacred time, this. (UU Church of Austin)

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life

in the presentness of God.

Lighting of Community Candle

The candle is lit

We are safe.

We are together.

We are loved.

And so it will be (BGriffin/icuu-cl).

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Gather the Spirit
(Tune: ‘Gather the spirit’, 9 9 9 10/Refrain)  347 SLT

Gather the spirit, harvest the power.

Our sep'rate fires will kindle one flame.

Witness the mystery of this hour.

Our trials in this light appear all the same.


Gather in peace, gather in thanks.

Gather in sympathy now and then.

Gather in hope, compassion and strength.

Gather to celebrate once again.

Gather the spirit of heart and mind.

Seeds for the sowing are laid in store.

Nurtured in love, and con-science refined,

with body and spirit united once more


Gather in peace, gather in thanks.

Gather in sympathy now and then.

Gather in hope, compassion and strength.

Gather to celebrate once again.

Gather the spirit growing in all,

drawn by the moon and fed by the sun.

Winter to spring, and summer to fall,

the chorus of life resounding as one.


Gather in peace, gather in thanks.

Gather in sympathy now and then.

Gather in hope, compassion and strength.

Gather to celebrate once again. JScott

Opening Sentences

In bright sunlight, warm air, and barmy evenings,

seasons of colour and courage

All Creativity God is in our midst.

In hills outlined against the rising sun,

and the muted sounds of early morning walkers along the Ridge

All Creativity God is in our midst.

In the faces of families, and those alone,

the hurrying and the day dreaming

All Creativity God is in our midst.

In life touching other life, moments of kindness,

sharing of joys, caring for others

All Creativity God is in our midst.

Prayer of Awareness

We pray:

Surprising God, as you lead us into new experiences,

help us to be open to your presence 

among us and within.

Let us sense your glory in the sights

and sounds of this Lenten day.


HymnIn The Midst Of All Our Living(Tune: ‘Nettleton’, 87 87D. 392 TiS)  2 SiF

In the midst of every blessing

may my heart be filled with grace.

Streams of goodness, ever flowing

call for songs of highest praise.

May my words be filled with gratitude;

may my glad heart humble be.

As a holder of a blessing

May I share it gratefully.

In the midst of every trial

may my heart be filled with grace.

Streams of comfort, ever flowing

call for songs of highest praise.

May I find the strength within me;

may I sense it everywhere.

As I face what must be handled

may I find truth I can share.

In the midst of all our living

may our hearts be filled with grace.

Streams of goodness ever flowing

call for songs of highest praise.

May we seek and find encouragement;

may our choices worthy be.

As we journey on together,

may we know integrity Words © Scott Kearns 2008, inspired by Robert Robinson, 1758

The people sit.


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


Let us settle into silence and stillness.


Let us centre our minds and our hearts.
We are one with the universe.
We are one with the sun and the stars.
We are one with the earth.
We are one with the One who is mystery...



A Reading from our Biblical Tradition

A reading from our biblical tradition which is traditionally read
at the beginning of Lent, shall now be read by (NN).

Matthew 4:1-11 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights,

and after it, was very hungry.

The tempter came and said,

'If you are the One Born of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves’.

But Jesus replied, Scripture says,

'Not on bread alone is one to live

but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’.

The devil then took Jesus to the holy city

and made Jesus stand on the parapet of the Temple.

'If you are the One Born of God,

throw yourself down; for scripture says,

'God will put you in the charge of angels

who will support you on their hands

in case you hurt your foot against a stone.'

Jesus said to the devil, Scripture also says,

'You must not put your God to the test.'

Next, taking Jesus to a very high mountain

the devil showed Jesus all the nations of the world and their splendour.

'I will give you all these' the devil said,

'if you fall at my feet and worship me.'

Then Jesus replied,

Be off, Satan!  For scripture says:

'You must worship your God, God alone must you serve.'

Then the devil left Jesus and angels appeared and looked after him.

Contemporary Word

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

Silence for Private Reflection


Litany for Lent

The people stand, as they are able

Jesus invites us to a way of celebration,

meeting and feasting with the humble and poor.

All Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus beckons us to a way of risk,

letting go of our security.

All Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus challenges us to listen to the voices

of those who have nothing to lose.

All Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus points us to a way of self-giving,

where power and status are overturned.

All Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross,

where despair is transformed

by the promise of new life.

All Let us walk his way with joy (© JBerry/bot)

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. (Iona)

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).


With the Children

The children come to the conversation mat


"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

God the weaver, making patterns,

spinning threads throughout our days,

help us to discern your weaving

in the multi-coloured autumn maze (Adapt.MDobson/mcm)

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 caring for one another

All May we be untiring.

In sheltering one another

All May we be strong.

In holding one another

All May we be tender (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

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.


Hymn "When There Is No Star To Guide You" (Tune: ‘Ode to Joy’, 87 87D. 152 TiS)

When there is not star to guide you

and you cannot wait for day

and your ancient maps provide you

only hints to find the way,

keep within each other’s calling,

mark each time you make a turn,

shout for help if you are falling,

tell each other all you learn.

Be alert to shifts in weather;

if it turns to cold and frost

huddle closely all together,

check if any have been lost.

Listen for a river flowing,

feel for damper moving air,

trace from where the wind is blowing,

move on bravely but with care.

People remain standing

Words of Mission

The presentness of God reaches beyond this place...

The community candle is extinguished

For the blessings we each bestow on one another

with our energy, compassion, and prayer,

we give thanks.

All For the blessings we become to others in need,

we give thanks and remember

that we are not alone (DTaylor/fal).

Blessing Words

Go now and walk lightly upon the earth,

for the places in which you 






sleep, are holy.

Live simply.

Protect vulnerable creatures and places.

Resist evil.

Be of good courage.

Care for the earth.

Go now in the strength of Creativity God

to be a blessing to creation.

All Amen.

Hymn (Cont.). "When There Is No Star To Guide You" (Tune: ‘Ode to Joy’, 87 87D. 152 TiS)

If you think you have discovered

with your lantern in the dark

some clear path the dark has covered

let the others bring their light.

Test your single lone perception

in their gathered shining beams,

what you saw may be projection

fed by shadows, fears and dreams.

You may sometimes trip and stumble

on a hidden root or stone

but remember as you grumble

that you do not fall alone.

And in risking dark expanses

never marked on map or chart

you will find that faith advances

through the landscape of your heart © TTroeger.

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:

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.

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

(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.

(SiF) Kearns, S. 2009.  Sing It Forward. Traditional hymns recast and rewritten for non-exclusive spiritual communities. Canada: Toronto. Direct from the  author.

Morely, J. (ed). 1992.  Bread of Tomorrow. Praying with the world’s poor. GtB: London. SPCK/Christian Aid.

Pickett, H & E. (ed). 2005.  For All That Is Our Life. A meditation anthology. MA: Boston. Skinner House Books.

(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993.  MA: Boston. UUA.

Troeger, T. 1994.  Borrowed Light. Hymn texts, prayers, and poems. NY: New York. Oxford University Press.

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

Web sites:

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

Griffin. International Council of Unitarians & Universalists. http://www.icuu.net/resources/chalice_archives/Chalice%20index.html