Pentecost4B.24.6.2012


Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

24 June 2012.  Pentecost 4B. (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

We gather in community
to rest from our labours,
to greet our neighbours,
and to open our being to insight and intuition
of that greater reality of which we are a part.

May we find in our time together inspiration and renewal.
May we touch the holy in each other
and be touched by the graciousness of life.
May we find here a calm peacefulness
that will carry us through the days ahead.

We are the sisters and brothers of all that is,
cherishing the earth,
embracing its life.

v2 Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life
in the presentness of God.
(Silence)

Lighting of the Community Candle
The candle is lit

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
In The Bulb There Is A Flower(Tune: “Maria’s Tune”, 87 87D, 420 TiS)
In the bulb there is a flower;
in the seed, an apple tree;
in cocoons, a hidden promise;
butterflies with soon be free!
in the cold and snow of winter
there's a spring that waits to be,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

There's a song in every silence,
seeking word and melody.
there's a dawn in every darkness,
bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future,
what it holds, a mystery;
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning;
in our time, infinity;
in our doubt there is believing;
in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection;
at the last, a victory,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see. NAW Sleeth

Opening Sentences
In darkness seeds are drawn to germinate,

flowers prepare to bloom and our dreams unfold.
All Darkness is gift.

In darkness, the edges blur.
Boundaries between reality and fantasy,
between friend and stranger become fluid,
opening new possibilities.
All Darkness is gift.

In darkness, when our eyes rest, our ears
become more attentive to the sounds
of story, of lullaby, of wind, of loved ones breathing in the night.
All Darkness is gift.

In the darkness, we find space for reflection;
for deep, dream filled and refreshing sleep.
We are bidden to journey into the unconscious.
All Darkness is gift.

In the darkness of the womb, we were formed in great complexity.
Under the cover of darkness, many creatures have their being.
Only in the deepest darkness, can we see the star- studded sky.
All Darkness is a gift of grace.
As we think back on the shortest day,
may we also celebrate the many gifts of darkness
during this season of winter.
 (Adapt.NLSteeves/st.pn-t)

OR

God of all time, God of eternity
All  our years belong to you.
Our endings are often your beginnings.
Al
l  Our dreamings are often your realities.
You affirm our past
All  
and give life to our future.

Act of Awareness
In each moment of this day resides incredible power:
new life,
healing,
opportunity.

May this time together empower us to take some new steps
so all our living is transforming and the
yearning of our hearts become reality.

OR

We pray:
Surprising God,
whose love leads us to new experiences,
help us to be open to your presence
among us and within.

Let us sense your glory in the sights
and sounds and celebrations of this winter day.
May it be so.
All   May it be so with us.

Hymn Celebrate Each Difference”  (Tune: ‘Intercessor’, 11 10 11 10. 587 TiS)
We cannot make an easy, safe distinction,
all people are our neighbours, none denied.
The voices of all nations heard beside us:
all sisters, brothers, none we should deride.

The wall between the peoples has been broken.
In love of God divisions disappear.
As seen in Christ, we recognise our neighbours.
We greet unusual faces without fear.

We celebrate each difference God has given.
Each nation, black and white, both straight and gay,
the able and the challenged, God has offered,
that we might share together, learn and pray

We meet with those who paint a different picture,
who value God in words not yet our own.
In dialogue we offer one another
a vision we could never find alone.

This God we seek is greater than each difference;
the source and ground of all variety,
the centre and the soul of all creation,
erasing hate with love, to set us free. APratt/ea

OR

Colour and Fragrance(Tune: ‘O Barvy Vune’, 55, 55, 11, 11)   78 SLT
Colour and fragrance, magical rhythm,
sweet changing music will change us with them:
life within life, inner light gently glowing,
surely you seem to be God’s vision growing.

O starry heavens, worlds of all splendour,
suns without number, new life engender:
wheel in a wheel with the light brightly glowing,
moving in harmony, God’s vision growing.

Handful of pebbles, high mountain passes,
depths of the ocean, dew on the grasses:
great things and small, with the light gently glowing,
word of the wordless song, God’s vision growing.

Delicate beings, lace-wing and sparrow
in field and forest, clover and yarrow:
life greeting life with the light brightly glowing,
none are too small to be God’s vision growing.

In human eyes burns the soul of living,
illumines altars of loving giving:
greeting, we meet, seeing light brightly glowing,
share in a greater life, God’s vision growing.

Shaper of all things, to us you’ve given
our chance to keep here on earth, a heaven.
Moving in harmony, light gently glowing,
may we be, gratefully, God’s vision growing. (NFCapek/GUlp)

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

Reflection
"Ladders"
By Jennifer Brooks. For All That Is Our Life/56-57.

Two men walked casually, each with a wooden ladder,
carried unceremoniously over the shoulder
as if the long and awkward burden
were no more than a sweatshirt,
or half-full bag, or at most a child of two
draped there for a few laughing moments.

But they went on from one job to another, 
the bucket one held (and waved in careless gesture)
suggesting window-washers headed for the next pane.

The little puzzle of why they carried ladders
along the busy road was nothing to the beauty of their walking,
the unconscious grace  as they kept the long tools in parallel
(all the while talking, shrugging, chuckling)
and seemingly unaware of the swathe they cut
without harm to passers-by.

No pas-de-deux at center stage could capture so lovingly
the rapture of ordinary life made remarkable
by mastery and unselfconscious pride.

Centering Silence
Let us now settle into silence and stillness.
(Silence)

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…
(Silence)

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

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

The world around us:

"The big wave"
By John Bell. Present on Earth/43-44.

Na He was sleeping.

Je (Snores)

Na …sleeping in the bow of the boat,
the sleep of a child... 
the sleep of a happy child…

A  Jesus, did you see that wave?

Je (Snores)

Na He was sleeping,

Je (Snores)

Na  and nothing disturbed him…
not the wind...
not the weather…

B  Jesus, this is getting rough!

C  Jesus, this is getting really rough!

D  Jesus, did you see that wave?

Je (Snores)

Na  The sound of the sea…
the sound of the pounding...
the break of the waves...
the creak of the boat…

B  Jesus, I'm scared!

C  Jesus, I'm terrified!

A  Jesus, I'm going to spew (be sick)!!!

Je  (Snores)

Na  I will keep him,
keep him in perfect peace whose mind is set on me…
waking or sleeping…
waking or sleeping…

B  Jesus, can you swim?

C  Jesus, we're sinking!

A  Jesus, do something!

A,B,C  Waken up!  Jesus, Jesus!  Come on!  Help us!

Je  (Loudly)  Shshshsh…
(Ouieter)  Shshshsh…
(Sternly)  …Oh where's your faith?
…even your little faith?

In the storm, in the darkness,
I am with you.
Let the waves roar,
but don't be distressed.

Otherwise you may never hear me saying,
'Peace!
Be Still.'

Gospel:
Mark 4: 35-41 (Inclusive Text)

With the coming of evening, Jesus said to the disciples,
'Let us cross over to the other side.'

And leaving the crowd behind they took Jesus,
just as he was, in the boat;
and there were other boats were with them.

Then it began to blow a gale and the waves 
were breaking into the boat so that the boat was almost swamped.

But Jesus was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep.

They woke Jesus up and said,
'Teacher, do you not care? We are going down?'

And Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,
'Quiet now! Be calm!'

And the wind dropped, and all was calm again.
Then Jesus said to them,
'Why are you so frightened? 
How is it that you have no faith?'

They were filled with awe and said to one another,
'Who can this be?

Even the wind and the sea obey him?'

Contemporary Word

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Lighting of the UCA Anniversary Candles
In June 1977, the then members of this congregation,
along with people from all over (NN),
shared in the inauguration of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Since that time we have been enriched
by the vision of this fellowship - 
as a pilgrim people,
always on the way towards a promised goal.

v1  A candle is lit
We light this candle for our heritage in the
Congregational tradition,
with its commitment to freedom
and to the power of the priesthood of all believers .
All We stand in that great tradition.
And we affirm that the Uniting Church
has moved on in its journey as a pilgrim people of God.

v2  A second candle is lit
We light this candle for our heritage in the
Methodist tradition,
with its commitment to social justice
and its enthusiasm in communicating the gospel.
All We stand in that great tradition.
And we affirm that the Uniting Church
has moved on in its journey as a pilgrim people of God.

v3  A third candle is lit
We light this candle for our heritage in the
Presbyterian tradition,
with its respect for scholarship and its deep
understanding of the nature of the church.
All We stand in that great tradition.
And we affirm that the Uniting Church
has moved on in its journey as a pilgrim people of God.

v4  A fourth candle is lit
We light this fourth candle to celebrate the other great traditions,
which are now joined with us in this congregation:
Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, AOG, Lutheran, Orthodox,
‘church alumni’, Home church:
in all their diversity and all their faith.
All We stand in these great traditions too
while moving on as a pilgrim people of God.

In Christ we are one.
In Christ everything is made new.
Thanks be to God!

OR

A Celebration of Faith
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share together, a celebration of faith…
People stand as they are able

v1 The creativity of God fills the universe.
v2 Like rain falling upon the earth
and sun warming the rocks,
All the heart of God flows over us all in renewing grace and love.

v1 The generosity of Christ fills our lives.
v2 With company on the journey
and mercy in understanding,
All the Bread, the Way and the Truth set us free to live again.

v1 The faithfulness of the Spirit fills our future.
v2  It surrounds us with a cloud of hope
and lifts our tired feet once more.
All In courage born of costly life, it calls and sings and dances on.

v1 We are the people of freedom.
v2 We lay down our past in God’s forgiveness.
All We will walk on into God’s new day.

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. (Iona)
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
I Will Talk To My Heart”  (Tune: ‘Stillness’)    69 HoS
I will talk to my heart in the stillness,
I will talk to my heart when I pray,
I will let go of all my resentment
till compassion is my inner Way.
Refrain:
Trust the stillness,
trust the oneness,
trust the Way on inner prayer;
trust the stillness
trust the oneness,
trust the life of God we share.

I will watch all my thoughts in the stillness
I will watch all my thoughts when I pray,
I will watch all the stream of my thinking
till compassion is my inner Way.
Refrain:

I will dwell in the space of my oneness,
I will dwell in that space when I pray,
I will let go of all my divisions
till compassion is my inner Way.
Refrain:   (WWallace)
People sit

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation People stand as they are able
May the blessings of God bring these gifts to life:
new hope of healing;
fresh ways of coping;
a chance to rest;
a chance to work;
a way to live gracefully.
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.

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 God 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 appropriate

All  Holy Being,
whom we call by many different names,
Blessed are you.
Blessed are we in you.

May we create with you
a realm of mercy, peace and justice.
May love be done in the here and now
as it is in the infinite.
May we share life in bread and hope.

For our failures to love, we need forgiveness.
May we find the paths of reconciliation.
In the midst of evil's every incarnation,
From the powers that possess our spirits and our structures,
May we find liberation.

In the power that is love, we seek
to live and move and have our being.
May it be so,
now and forever. (NancyLSteeves/StSC.N-TP)

SCATTERING

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"God Molds The Shapes Of Life"  (Tune: Little Conard 66 66 88)    38 TMT
God molds the shapes of life,
drawing the flow of tides,
firing the sunlight's blaze,
glazing the night with pride:
God gives the love which warms and moves
the patterned rhythm life provides.

Ponder the rising sap
changing to leaf's decay;
think of the winter's death
turning to spring's new day,
and in these cycles find the shapes
of all God dreams and all God makes.
Remain standing

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

v1 We give thanks for the life and wonder that thrives within us
All breath and heartbeat, joy and sorrow, dance and stillness

We give thanks for the life that thrives between us
All loving, understanding, creating, imagining, embracing and letting go

v2 We give thanks for all the life forms that surround and support us
All the web of life that feeds and protects us and also needs our care

We give thanks for the life of the future
hidden in the present moment
All inviting us to walk the path of infinite compassion

v1 We give thanks for the source of all life,
All this living universe, of which our lives are an expression. (ILawton/C3Ex)

Blessing Words
Go in peace.

And may the Holy God surprise you on the way,
Christ Jesus be your company
and the Spirit lift up your life. (wcc/isit)
All Amen.

Hymn (Cont). "God Molds The Shapes of Life"  (Tune: Little Conard 66 66 88)   38 TMT
Pulse of the veins and lungs,
seasons of human hearts -
patterns that intertwine,
shaping our thought and art;
all these are part of nature's flow -
the life of God we reap and sow.

Sing to the God of change,
chaos, and fine design;
hallow the ordered forms
filled with the life divine.
In God the universe is one
and sings the hymn which God first sung!  WWallace
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 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.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. NZ: Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. QLD: Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
In Spirit and In Truth. A Worship Book. 1991. Switzerland: Geneva. World Council of Churches. Seventh Assembly. 
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Mitchell, R. C; G. A. Ricciuti. 1992. Birthings and Blessings. Liberating worship services for the inclusive church. NY: New York. Crossroads.
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.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. GtB: London.  SPCK.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we Live is more important that what we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
(TMT) Wallace, W. L. 2001. The Mystery Telling. Hymns and Songs for the New Millennium. NY: Kingston. Selah Publishing.
Wild Goose Worship Group. 2002. Present on Earth. Worship Resources on the Life of Jesus. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.

Web sites/Other:
Ian Lawton. C3 Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <www.c3exchange.org/>
"In the Bulb...". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
Nancy L Steeves.
St Stephen's College - Non-Theistic Liturgies. <http://www.ualberta.ca/ST.STEPHENS/resources/>

rexae@optusnet.com.au