ReignofChristA.20.11.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

20 November 2011. Reign of Christ A. (White).

OR

Jesus and his Kingdom of Nobodies Sunday (John Shuck)

Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


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, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Come in bringing all of who you are.
Calm your hurried pace.
For this hour let the cares, the fretfulness and worry, be set aside.

Know that you are not alone. 
There is strength and caring support for you here. (Adapt. CSOwen-Towle)

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Candle
The community candle is lit in silence

We light this flame as a symbol of the light
we would keep glowing in our lives:
the light of Christ.

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"You Are Born In Us Again”  (Tune: ‘Dunstan’)    52 COC
You are born in us again
Like the warmth of the summer wind you come,
to melt away the icicles of vanity and pride;
you come to blow the very doors of loving open wide.
Like the warmth of the summer wind you come,
like the warmth of the summer wind you come.

You are born in us again
Like the scent of the summer rain you come,
You come to quench the thirsty and to freshen up the land;
you come to clean away the dust that settled in our hand.
Like the scent of the summer rain you come,
like the scent of the summer rain you come.

You are born in us again
Like the light of the summer sun you come,
to give light to the places that have never seen the Son;
you come now to embrace us, you’re the holy, holy one.
Like the light of the summer sun you come,
like the light of the summer sun you come.  MWilson
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
As we gather to remember and share stories of faith,
let us also rejoice in the presentness of Creativity God.
All Before our stories began, there was God;
through all our days, God’s presentness
in there, energising us.

Indeed, God’s spirit is moving among us,
about to do a new thing in our midst.
All We will sing praises and offer thanks.
We seek to grow in faith
and in love for one another.

Act of Awareness
Xxx

OR

We pray:
Christ be with me, Christ before me,
Christ be after me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left. (Adapt. St Patrick)
May it be so.

Hymn "Life Awakes(Tune: ‘Easter Hymn’, 77 77. 362 TiS)
Life awakes upon the earth, Alleluia
Bursting forth in joyous birth, Alleluia
Come we now to celebrate, Alleluia
Part of earth, to earth relate, Alleluia

From the powers of our mind, Alleluia
From the talents of our hands, Alleluia
From the joy that fills the heart, Alleluia
Gladsome praise in every art, Alleluia

Let the spirit of this day, Alleluia
Shine its light with deeper ray, Alleluia
Adding to our common hours, Alleluia
With its life uplifting powers, Alleluia  (Author unknown)

OR

E=mc2: Einstein/Science/Religion (Tune: ‘Stewardship’ 11 10 11 10)
God is less tangible than a neutrino
(taking a short-cut? Or faster than light?
Challenging theories, sustained suppositions).
Can we be certain that we are so right?

All our theology, all speculation
must be provisional, never a creed.
Is the best test of 'divine' revelation
how it is mending those broken, in need;

Open to challenge, to intellect, reason;
forging new concepts in culture and place;
yet in humility focusing loving,
open, accepting and channelling grace? © Andrew Pratt 26/9/2011
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 the safety of this sacred place
I invite you now into a time of silence.
(Silence)

May our ears be attuned to hear
the great symphony of the universe, and
in the solo of another’s face...
(Silence)

Spoken Reflection
"Imagine Integrity"
By Bruce Sanguin. If Darwin Prayed/162.

Mighty and tender God,
you, the deep within all,
you, the encompassing heart of all,
we enter now into your kin-dom,
your community of wholeness,
a realm of peace.

We bring our hunger,
and the hunger of the world.
We bring our inner stranger,
and the exiled of the world.
We bring our hurting selves,
and the hurting of the world.
We open to healing.

Inspired,
we dare to imagine integrity
in our inner life, our relationships,
our planet, and our political systems.

We dare to imagine the reign of Christ.
Love's Servant,
your heart
for an unfolding cosmos.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

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:
"When my mind is still and alone..."
Adapted from Paul H Beattie.

When my mind is still and alone with the beating of my heart,
I remember many things too easily forgotten:
the purity of early love;
the maturity of unselfish love that seeks nothing but another's good;
the idealism that has persisted through all the tempest of life.

When my mind is still and alone with the beating of my heart,
I can sense my basic humanity,
and then I know all men and women
are my brothers and sisters.
Nothing but my own fear and distrust can separate me
from the love of friends.

When my mind is still and alone with the beating of my heart,
I know how much life has given me:
the history of the race,
friends and family,
the opportunity to work, 
the chance to build myself.

Then wells within me the urge to live more abundantly,
with greater trust and joy,
with more profound seriousness and earnest striving,
and yet more calmly at the heart of life.

OR

“Christ on the Margins”
By Marlene Marburg.

He upturns the table
They upturn the soapbox
He reads the raw underside
They read the soapie side
He speaks of love and vulnerability
They speak of law and certainty
He is crucified …
They are crassified.

TRaditional Gospel:
Matthew 25:31-46  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus said to the disciples:
When the Promised One comes in glory, with all the angels, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
All the nations will be gathered before him,
and he will separate people one from another
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
and he will put the sheep at his right hand
and the goats at the left.

Then the king will say to those at his right hand,
Come, you that are blessed of God,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
for I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me.

Then the righteous will answer him,
When was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,
or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

And when was it that we saw you a stranger
and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?

And when was it that we saw you sick
or in prison and visited you?’

And the king will answer them,
Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family, you did it to me.

Contemporary Word

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Litany: ‘Call to be Church’ (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together the litany, ‘Call to be church’.
The people stand as they are able

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Le  enable us to create - across
cultural, age and class boundaries –
a laboratory of peace,
testing out your vision
of community and love as we struggle
live with our differences.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Ri  enable us to be a parable of the Kingdom,
allowing the upside-down values of your commonwealth
to nudge us away from the acquisitive
and self-regarding attitudes of our day.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Le  enable us to be a sign of contradiction among the nations,
pointing to hope in the midst of disillusion,
offering non-violent resistance when evil threatens,
accepting loss of prestige or wealth in the cause of justice.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
Ri  enable us to be a place of welcome and warmth,
where what is ignored elsewhere may be heard and honoured,
where sorrows may be shared and stories told,
where hard questions may be asked and new ideas greeted with joy.

Our God, you call us to be Church:
All  enable us to be a community of praise,
cracking open the dry husks of cynicism and despair,
being clowns and jesters for Christ,
celebrating the mystery of faith in stillness and song.  KCompston/sco

Sharing '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  People stand as they are able, to sing
"The Pen is Greater" (Tune: 'Gragareth', 8 8 8) 320 SLT
The pen is greater than the sword.
To wield a blade or write a word
we need the skill which hands accord.

A surgeon takes a knife to heal;
assassins do the same to kill.
Each acts according to their will.

I pick the cherries from a tree,
or break the branch and let it die.
For good or ill, my hands are free.

With fingers I can soothe a brow,
or make a fist and strike a blow,
kindness or cruelty bestow.

Then let us now this lesson see:
like life itself our hands can be
for evil used, or charity. (JAStorey)
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.

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
In joy and in sorrow
All We do not walk alone (GVosper/wwg)

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 the sacred among us,
and to see new possibilities of the now.

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

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)

CELEBRATING
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Offerings
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.

Presentation  People stand as the gifts are presented
As we bring our offerings forward,
may our whole life move forward,
in good faith,
with good feelings,
and with a good belief about the future. (Adapt.FMacnab/h)
People sit

Welcome to the Table
Friends, we are about to share in the sacred story
and celebrate the feast of the resurrection.

Thanksgiving
God is with you.
All   And also with you.
God is within you.
All   And also within you.
Let us lift up our hearts and give thanks to our God.
(BSanguin/idp)
All It is right to give our thanks and praise.

God of this vast cosmos,
Incarnate Love,
garbed in a blue-green mantle,
a floating pearl of great price,
(BSanguin/idp)
All   We give thanks.

God of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar,
All May we know you.

God of Miriam and Moses,
God of Mary and Joseph, James and John,
Hilda and Brendan,
Caroline Chisholm and Charles Strong,
Florence Nightingale and John Shelby Spong.
All May we touch you.

God of the dispossessed,
God of the mid-wives of faith,
God of the remembered, and the overlooked.
All May we make a place for you.

We remember Jesus
born and raised at Nazareth,
teaching wisdom in Galilee and Jerusalem,
crucified by political power, but remembered alive always.

We remember the apostles and martyrs of the early church
and the countless number of unnamed,
exceptional beings who have emerged
to guide us and set our feet upon a compassionate path...
All As those of past ages were empowered,
so may we in our time and place, be nourished and strengthened
by being in community with all creation.

Breaking of Bread/Pouring of Wine
Long ago, our tradition says,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it:
he said it was like his body, an offering of self, broken,
that we might know the way of peace,
with all creation...

And he handed it to his friends,
inviting them to eat.
Bread is broken

Long ago, that same tradition says,
Jesus poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it;
He said it was like his blood,
a pouring out of his very being in the service of life,
a self-donation, inspired by the way of the cosmos.

And he gave it to his friends.
Wine is poured out

Communion
May this bread connect us more closely
to the sacred in our midst, and with
our neighbors near and far.

May this fruit of the vine remind us
of the inter-connectedness of people
in our street and around the world.
The bread and wine is served in a large circle

After Communion
Blessed be God who has raised us and shaped us from the dust. 
All Blessed be God who has brought us to this table.
Blessed be God who has given us the bread of life.
All Blessed be God who has fed us with the food of love.
Our hands and our hearts were empty.
All Blessed be God who has filled us with hope. (MAbbott/sc)

Let us go out risking the reality of the gospel.
All We go in the name of Christ.

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Christ, the Tent God Pitched(Tune: ‘Picardy’. 87 87 87. 684 TiS)   1 (v1-3) TMT
Christ, the tent God pitched among us
tabernacled on this earth,
as the sacred mystic presence
which sustains our spirits' growth,
for in Christ the Word incarnate
God's new world is brought to birth.

We are called to live as pilgrims,
from our birth until that day,
when our bodies have their ending
in their earthly home of clay,
but not all who walk that journey
find the true, the living way.

We can trap ourselves in systems,
and destroy life's primal stream,
or can dance in life's adventure
to the edges of our dream,
binding beauty, love, and justice
into one great holy theme.
Remain standing

Parting Words
The presentness of God reaches beyond this place...
The candle is extinguished

May we open ourselves ever more fully to that Eternal Mystery
which lures us onward toward life and creativity.
All May we find the courage to live our faith,
to speak our truth, and to strive together for a world
where freedom abounds
and justice truly does roll down like water.

May we know the fullness of love without fear,
and the serenity of peace without turmoil.
All May we hold one another
in the deep and tender places with compassion,
and may we grace one another
by sharing our own vulnerabilities,
All
being ever mindful of the divinity within
that makes soulmates of us all.  CMeyer

Words of Blessing
As the kookaburra gently settles on the tree, receive the gift of peace.
As the flame rises with light and warmth, receive the gift of life.
As the wind moves and dances round the earth,
receive the gracious gift of the Spirit.  (Adapt.DStewart/wb)
All Amen. May it be so.

Hymn (Cont) "Christ, the Tent God Pitched(Tune: ‘Picardy’. 87 87 87. 684 TiS)   1 (v4-5) TMT
Leaving all that breeds oppression
let us learn to travel light,
with no temple but our body,
and as shelter for the night,
pitch a pilgrim tent for dwelling
in the place of sheer delight.

Christ is found within each canvas
painted with the earth and sky,
in the singing and the dancing
and within the people's cry,
for the world is space for singing
God's great song that never dies.  WWallace
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:
Abbott, M. 2001.  Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for seasonal use. SA: Unley. MediaCom Education.
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.
(COC) Carol our Christmas. A book of New Zealand carols. 1996. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. 
Duncan, G. (ed). 2000. A World of Blessing. Benedictions from every continent and many cultures. 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.
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. 1996. Hope: The deeper longings of the mind and heart. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Sanguin, B. 2010. If Darwin Prayed. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Canada: Vancouver. ESC Publishers.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
Wallace, W. L. 2001. The Mystery Telling. Hymns and songs for the new millennium. NY: Kingston. Selah Publishing.

Web sites/Other:
Meyer, Sorrill. UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Andrew Pratt. "E=mc2". Direct from the author.
“Christ on the Margins” Marlene Marburg. Eureka Street eZine, 31 October 2011

rexae@optusnet.com.au