Lent5B.25.3.2012

Revd Rex A E Hunt


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

25 March 2012.  Lent 5B. (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, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

As we live, we are transmitters of life.
And when we fail to transmit life,
life fails to flow through us (D H Lawrence)

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

Lighting of the Candle
The community candle is lit

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"As Our Congregation…(Tune: 392 TiS, ‘Nettleton’ 87 87D)    43 WNC
As our congregation gathers
lift our lives, with love amaze;
offer some melodious treasure,
fill our hearts with wondering praise.

Crashing brass and singing cymbals,
soaring organ, sound and light;
fill this space with awe and thunder,
lift us through the veil of night.

Then a sudden, silent stillness
holds an echo in the air:
on a knife edge, balanced, waiting,
in the silence, you are there.

Joy beyond imagination,
love incarnate, hope to hold,
faith we cannot sound or fathom,
gripped in wonder, we behold. APratt
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
v1 We gather in reverence before the wonder of life,
the wonder of this moment,
the wonder of being together, so close yet so apart.
All Each hidden in our own secret chamber,
each listening, each trying to speak.

v2 Yet none fully understanding,
none fully understood.
v1 We gather in reverence before all intangible things,
that eyes see not, nor ears can detect;
All that hands can never touch,
that space cannot hold, and
time cannot measure  (SLFahs/C3Exchange web site)

OR

Arise, O Living Spirit, embrace the day ahead,
All   awake our eyes and ears for wonder.
Invoke anew the wisdom which is our daily bread.
All   Protect anew the pilgrim of the dawn. (Diarmuid O’Murchu)

Prayer
We pray:
God of all life, we give thanks for the signs
of love and creativity that surround us
and bless us in each moment.
Amen.

Hymn "Now Light is Less"   (Tune: Sursum Corda, 10 10 10 10)    54 SLT
Now light is less; noon skies are wide and deep;
the ravages of wind and rain are healed.
The haze of harvest drifts along the field
until clear eyes put on the look of sleep.

The garden spider weaves a silken pear
to keep inclement weather from its young.
Straight from the oak, the gossamer is hung.
At dusk our slow breath thickens on the air.

Lost hues of birds the trees take as their own.
Long since, bronze wheat was gathered into sheaves.
The walker trudges ankle deep in leaves;
the feather of the milk-weed fluters down.

The shoots of spring have mellowed with the year.
Buds, long unsealed, obscure the narrow lane.
The blood slows trance-like in the altered vein;
our vernal wisdom moves through ripe to sere. (TRoethke)
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
Let us now take a moment to settle into the silence of this sacred place.
(Silence)

May our silence grow profound
as we are embraced by the spirit
of our highest hopes.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.

The first is the fifth and final in a series we are hearing during Lent,
written by retired Uniting Church minister, Bruce Prewer.

The other is from the storyteller we call Mark, who's audience
was one of the early Jesus Movement communities.
Our reader is (NN).

In an Australian accent:
"All seasons" 
By Bruce Prewer. Brief Prayers for Australians Vol 3./62.

Open our lives, loving Spirit,
to the opportunities of every season.

In the season of success give us gratitude and humility.
In the season of frustration give us patience and serenity.
In the season of failure give us repentance and sincerity.

May the glory of your loving presence
saturate and fill all our days.

Gospel:
Mark 11:15-19  (Scholars Version)

They came to Jerusalem.

And Jesus went into the temple and began chasing the vendors
and shoppers out of the temple area,
and he turned the banker’s tables upside down,
along with the chairs of the pigeon merchants,
and he wouldn’t even let anyone carry a container through the temple area.

Then he started teaching and would say to them,
“Don’t the scriptures say, ‘My house is to be regarded as a house of prayer for all peoples’? - but you
have turned it into ‘a hideout for crooks’!”

And the ranking priests and the scholars heard this
and kept looking for a way to get rid of him.

The truth is that they stood in fear of him, and that the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.

And when it grew dark, Jesus and his disciples
made their way out of the city.

Contemporary Word

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

An Affirmation of Faith
In response to the word refelected on, let us stand
and share an affirmation of faith.
The people stand as they are able

v1 We believe in a sacred power within and around us.
v2 A Divine Source that we call by many names
and experience in many ways,
that empowers and heals,
that calls us forth.

All We believe in our creativity.
v1 Making and transforming beauty out of words and notes,
images and colours, lines and pictures...
and silence.

All We believe in doing justice.
v2 Justice that compels and empowers us
to risk whatever we must risk to create a climate
in which all people can be who they are.

All We believe in our dreams.
v1 We experience the world as it is,
in both its ugliness and beauty,
and we see what it can become.

All We believe in making peace.
v2 A peace that is based on openness,
honesty and compassion.

All We believe in hope.
v1 We expect change to continue to occur in our world.
We rely on our courage to continue
to bring about these changes.

All We believe in love.
v2 A passionate love within and around us
that laughs and cries,
challenges and comforts,
a healing love that perseveres.

All We believe in potential.
v1 We know who we are,
painful as that can be at times,
yet we continue to call each other
to become more of who we are.

All We believe in celebrating.
v2 We remember and we commemorate.
We create rituals.
We play and dance, and sing and love well.

All We believe in our diversity.
v1 We affirm our many shapes and sizes,
colours and traditions,
emotions and thoughts,
differences and similarities.

All We believe in life.
v2 Life that wells up within
and flows out of us like a streaming fountain.

All We believe we are good and holy,
a sacred part of all creation. SKramer/cl

The Peace
This is a house of God.  A place of peace.
A place where we befriend one another. (Adapt.RMitchell/bb)

Let us greet one another as a sign of God's presence and 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 People stand as they are able, to sing
"Simply To Be" (Tune: "Kapiti") 118 HoS
Simply to be, to be in stillness,
simply to trust that God is here,
simply to know the Holy Presence,
is to be blessed:
so am I blessed.

Simply to hold the given moment,
simply to lay concern aside,
simply to to let the heart be speaking,
is to be blessed:
so am I blessed.

so am I blessed within God's keeping,
so am I freed from pointless stress,
steadied to feel the soul replenished,
given this grace,
folded in peace. (SEMurray)
People sit

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

Presentation  People stand as gifts are presented
We give thanks to God for our life
and the courage we are given to live it.

Let our gratitude for life be expressed in our generosity.
Let our faith be expressed in good causes.
Let our belief in the future find full expression
in our daily attitude of mind.  (FMacnab/fwb)
People sit

Conversation 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:
Holy God, as you have touched us
All May we now touch others
with your love in us.  (Adapt.KGalloway/cw)

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.

Focused Thoughts:
The 'Abba' Prayer:
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as appropriate

All God, who cares for us,
The wonder of whose presence fills us with awe.

Let kindness, justice and love shine in our world.
Let your secrets be known here as they are in heaven.
Give us the food and the hope we need for today.

Forgive us our wrongdoing
as we forgive the wrongs done to us.
Protect us from pride and from despair
and from the fear and hate which can swallow us up.

In you is truth, meaning, glory and power,
while worlds come and go.
Amen.  (MFurlong/nwi)

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
Brother, Sister.../The Call of Christ”  (Tune: 'Servant Song', 87 87, 650 TiS)
Brother, sister I'm beside you,
Let me be as Christ to you,
Pray that I might have the grace
to let you be as Christ to me.

We are pilgrims on a journey
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will share your problems with you
I'll support you in your space
I will help you run your distance
I will look you in the face.

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

Let us go from this place, facing and serving the world
with confidence, generosity and integrity.
All Let us live out the heart of religion which is to bring together
all that is divided, to live in the moment, to love mightily
and to reverence the mystery, beauty and spirituality
of all things and all people  (C3Exchange web site).

Blessing Words
And now may the blessings of life
be upon us, and upon this congregation.

May the memories we gather here give us hope for the future.
May the love that we share
bring strength and joy to our hearts,
and the peace of this community be with us
until we meet again.
All Amen.

Hymn (Cont).Brother, Sister.../The Call of Christ”  (Tune: 'Servant Song', 87 87, 650 TiS)
I'll remember that God made you
I'll not take your dignity
I'll encourage you in your skills
to create and feel and be.

Brother, sister I'm beside you,
Let me be as Christ to you,
Pray that I might have the grace
to let you be as Christ to me. (Presbyterian Church, NZ/sco)
The people sit

'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 he 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). 2002. Courage to Love. An Anthology of Inclusive Worship Material. 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.
Funk, R. W; R. W. Hoover. 1993.  The Five Gospels. The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. NY: New York. MacMillan Press.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. NZ: Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
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.
Mitchell, R. C; G. A. Ricciuti. 1992.  Birthings and Blessings. Liberating Worship services for the Inclusive Church. NY: New York. Crossroads.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. GtB: London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Prewer, B. D. 1992. Brief Prayers for Australians. Vol 3. SA: Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993.  MA: Boston. UUA.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. GtB: London.  SPCK.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. GtB: London. SPCK.

Web sites:
"Opening Sentences1" C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <www.christ-community.net/>
"Opening Sentences2". 
Diarmuid O’Murchu  <http://www.diarmuid13.com/the-cosmic-walk/the-cosmic-walk-1/home-1>

rexae@optusnet.com.au