Pentecost11A.16A.28.8.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au
Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

28 August 2011. Pentecost 11A/16A. (Green).


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

May our lives and our world be reawakened,
as together we come alive to the
wonder and surprise of this day

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

Lighting of the Candle
The community candle is lit in silence

Let us rejoice in the company of this gathered people.

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
We Look in Wonder”  (Tune: ‘Lasst uns erfreuen’, 88 88+. 3 AHB)    5 SNS
When we, in wonder, look beyond;
And with the cosmos feel a bond;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
When we, in wonder, sleep and dream;
Imagine virtue is supreme;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

When we, in wonder, look around;
Entranced with every sight and sound;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
When we, in wonder, catch a smile;
Ponder on thoughts that are worthwhile;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

When we, in wonder, look below;
Watch tiny ants run to and fro;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
When we, in wonder, greet the dawn,
Enchanted as each day is born;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

When we, in wonder, meet the night;
Then rest in God 'till morning light;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
When we, in wonder, look about;
Know God is here. We wish to shout
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!  GStuart
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
Among us, Creativity God conceives new life
All And we feel the life within us.

In our history this nurturing makes gentle entry
All And we see the light before us.

Within our universe this energy is revealed
All We await the hope of the world.

Prayer
We pray:
Come into this place.
Come in bringing all of who you are.

Know that you are not alone.
There is strength and caring support for all here.
Enter into this safe house of celebration.  Adapt/C S. Owen-Towle
Amen.

Hymn "Song of Faith(Tune: Abbeyfield, 87 87 87 87)      57 FFS
Song of faith that sings forever
through God's people, ages long,
Word that holds the world together
when our hearts take up the song,
always, always somewhere sounding,
though the source we do not see,
counterpoint to all despairing
it is hope that sets the key.

Song of faith in exultation,
rising through the vaults of prayer,
tune of simple celebration
offered up in open air,
song in chapel and cathedral,
descant to our daily tone,
song from sickbed or in prison:
faith must often sing alone.

And when life would overwhelm us,
when there seems no song to sing,
hear the constant voice of courage
out of fear and suffering:
all who've loved and trusted Jesus,
all who lift us to be strong,
endless, endless are the voices
of the faith that makes the song.  SEMurray
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.

CENTERING

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)

Music of Reflection

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)

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read by (NN).

From the world around us:
"Be with those who explore"
By Michael Leunig. Seeing Christ in Others/10.

God be with those who explore in the cause of understanding;
whose search takes them
far from what is familiar and comfortable
and leads them into danger or terrifying loneliness.

Let us try to understand their sometimes strange or difficult ways;
their confronting or unusual language;
the uncommon life of their emotions,
for they have been affected and shaped and changed
by their struggle at the frontiers of a wild darkness,
just as we may be affected, shaped and changed
by the insights they bring back to us.

Bless them with strength and peace.

OR

"Anticipated Spring..."
By Terasa Cooley

In this time of anticipated spring
let us allow ourselves to extend the anticipation -
to value the time of budding before blooming,
of seeding before sprouting.

This is a time of revelation:
the revealing of that which is eternal,
which we see every year,
but still need to be reminded to see it in a new way.

There is also the revelation of that which is new.
Every spring we encounter something never before seen.
It is that very newness
which embodies hope and potential
for the wholeness which is yet to be.

Let us allow spring to unfold slowly
that we may appreciate the true mystery
of rebirth and renewal.

Gospel:
Matthew 16:21-27  (Inclusive Text)

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering
at the hands of the elders
and chief priests
and scribes,
and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

And Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, saying,
'God forbid it!  This must never happen to you.'

But he turned and said to Peter,
'Get behind me, Satan!
You are a stumbling block to me;
for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.'

Then Jesus told his disciples,
If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

'For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

'For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?
Or what will they give in return for their life?

'For the Promised One is to come with angels
in the glory of the Most High,
and will repay everyone for what has been done.

Contemporary Word

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany of Thanks and Praise
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share a Litany of Thanks and Praise.
The people stand as they are able

We are awakened from a week of work and worry
to a morning of fresh beginnings and new horizons.
All For this day of rest we give thanks and praise.

We are awakened from a night of tossing and turning
to a day of surprises and sanctuary.
All For this day of peace we give thanks and praise.

We are awakened from the mundane and ordinary
by an invitation for search and celebration.
All For this time of celebration we give thanks and praise.

This is the day that we are given.
Le Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Ri This is a day like no other!
All For senses awakened we give thanks and praise.
Blessed be!
(GLStewart/adapt)

The Peace
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.
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  The people stand, as they are able, to sing
Silent Spring Song(Tune: ‘Huia’) 36 TEL
Now is the time for a reckoning,
now all is flowering and flourishing,
God, help your children
mindfully listen:
soon there may just be a silent spring.

Silent the voices in bush and tree,
silent the creatures of air and sea,
God, help your children
mindfully listen:
ours are the hands that took earth for free.

We are the root of the earth’s unease,
we are the pirates who dredge the seas,
God, help your children
mindfully listen:
ours is the creed doing as we please.

We are bounty of all you give,
we are the sorrow that makes you grieve,
God, help your children
mindfully listen:
mindfully choose how the world will live!  (SEMurray)

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation  People stand as the gifts are presented
Let the world be changed,
Let the rules be changed,
Let there be a place for everyone.

Bring God’s realm near,
Let all be welcome here,
And may there be for all a just share.  (GHewitt/ea)
People sit

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:
May we today be touched by grace.
May we move beyond viewing this life  only through a frame,
Wm  but touch and be touched by it,
Mn know it and be known by it,
All Love it, and be loved by it (Chinook Psalter/ep).

And so we take this flame and light our special care candle.
The Care candle is lit

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of God among us,
and to see new possibilities of the now.

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  O God, you love us like a good parent, 
and are present in every aspect of our existence

May your nature become known and respected by all
May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice
be the reality for everyone
as we live by the Jesus Way

Give us all that we really need to live every day for you
And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures 
Keep us from doing those things which are not of you,
and cause us always to be centred on your love

For you are the true reality in this our now,
and in all our future.
In the Jesus Way we pray.  Amen.  DSorrill

SCATTERING

Hymn "A Touching Place(Tune: ‘Dream Angus’ irregular)    677 (v1-2) TiS
Christ's is the world in which we move;
Christ's are the folk we're summoned to love;
Christ's is the voice which calls us to care,
And Christ is the one who mets us here.
Refrain:
To the lost Christ shows his face,
to the unloved he gives his embrace,
to those who cry in pain or disgrace,
Christ makes, with his friends, a touching place.

Feel for the people who most avoid
strange or bereaved or never employed.
Feel for the women and feel for men
who feel that their living is all in vain.
Refrain:

OR

A Mirage, Nothing More(Tune: ‘From Strength to Strength’, 66 86D, 570 TiS)
A mirage, nothing more,
that’s how God often seems,
for even though we keep the faith,
is God a God of dreams?
We pray by night and day,
but answers seem remote,
and then detractors laugh at us,
make fun of us and gloat.

We’ve done our very best,
at least that’s what we thought,
and yet you’ve left us, lost, bereft,
without the God we sought.
Then when we need you most,
when every hope has gone,
we hear the whisper of a voice,
you bid us carry on.
Remain standing

Words of Mission
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God
who is found in ordinary and surprising places.
The candle is extinguished

Walk with us as we move out from our security.
Motivate us to take risks like Jesus.
Reassure and recommit us to a life of service
All With no strings attached, where we
will live for justice and peace.  (Adapt. GDuncan/ea)

Blessing Words
May this God bless us, embrace us, and send us forth
renewed,
refreshed,
revitalised.

May we live each day in the name of Love,
and include all in the circle of Love,
and treat all with a spirit of Love.  (MTWinter/wpws)
All Amen.

Hymn (Cont) "A Touching Place(Tune: ‘Dream Angus’ irregular)    677 (v3-4) TiS
Feel for the parents who've lost their child,
feel for the women whom men have defiled,
feel for the baby for whom there's no breast,
and feel for the weary who find no rest.
Refrain:
To the lost Christ shows his face,
to the unloved he gives his embrace,
to those who cry in pain or disgrace,
Christ makes, with his friends, a touching place.

Feel for the lives by life confused,
riddled with doubt, in loving abused;
feel for the lonely heart, conscious of sin,
which longs to be pure but fears to begin.
Refrain: (Bell& Maule).

OR

Hymn (Cont.) A Mirage, Nothing More(Tune: ‘From Strength to Strength’, 66 86D, 570 TiS)
In each and every one
you make your presence real,
the dream takes on reality,
your love provides the seal.
Your faithfulness is true,
we find you in our friends,
and when we join our hands through grace,
we know love never ends. © Andrew Pratt 13/8/2011
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). 2005.  Entertaining Angels. A worship anthology on sharing Christ’s hospitality. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 1998.  Seeing Christ in Others. An anthology for worship, mediation and mission. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. 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..
Roberts, E; E. Amidon. 1991.  
Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 prayers, poems, and invocations for honoring the earth. NY: New York. HarperCollins.
(SNS) Stuart, G. 2006. Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. NSW: Sydney. CPRT Sydney.
(TiS) Together in Song. Australian hymn book 2. 1999. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.
Winter, Miriam T. 1987.  Women Prayer. Women Song. Resources for ritual. CT: Hartford. Meyer Stone Books.

Web sites/Other:
Owen-Towle, Cooley, Kowalski, Sorrill. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
George L. Stewart. UUChurch of San Francisco.  <www.uusf.org>
Andrew Pratt. "A Mirage, Nothing More". Direct from the author.

rexae@optusnet.com.au