Pentecost5B.5.7.2009

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

5 July 2009.  Pentecost 5B. (Green).
Celebrating community: Sacrament of Holy Communion


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 make the space sacred by our resolve 
to project onto the pathways of tomorrow
our best reflections. (Adapt.SShick/ctl

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 "Where is purpose?" (Tune: 'Austria', 87 87D)   55 SNS
Lord our God we often ponder,
Where is meaning?  What is life?
Anxious troubled, stressed by living;
Is there any end to strife?
In the isolation crying,
Is there anyone who care?
Is there life or only dying?
Can we challenge God?  Who dares?

There is purpose in our wandering,
Found in others and their plight.
Found outside the limitations
Of our self and of our sight.
Found in pleasure and in sorrow,
Found by those who wish to seek;
Found today and found tomorrow;
Found by 'strong' and found by 'weak'.

Open life to hidden beauty;
To the cosmos and its charm;
To the love and joy around us
Giving us a sense of calm.
If we open all our windows,
Loving breeze may softly blow;
Union with another's caring,
God's own healing starts to flow.

As with nature and its vision,
Showing rainbows after rain,
Birth of babies of all species,
Wonderment replaces pain.
So the cross with all its cruelty,
Soaked in tragedy and crime;
Yet it marks God's loving presence
Brings new life for endless time. GStuart

Opening sentences
God of the good presence all around us
All help us to find and to celebrate
the goodness that is given to us
in this new day.  FMacnab/fwb

Prayer of awareness
We pray:
Spirit of Life, open us to good ways to celebrate the simple joys of life,
so we can contribute some goodness to this new day.
Amen.

Hymn "Wake, now my senses" (Tune: Slane, 10 10 10 10, 547 TiS)    298 SLT
Wake, now my senses, and hear the earth call;
feel the deep power of being in all;
keep, with the web of creation your vow,
giving, receiving as love shows us how.

Wake, now my reason, reach out to the new,
join with each pilgrim who quests for the true;
honour the beauty and wisdom of time;
suffer your limit, and praise the sublime.

Wake, now compassion, give heed to the cry;
voices of suffering fill the wide sky;
take as your neighbour both stranger and friend,
praying and striving their hardship to end.

Wake, now my conscience, with justice your guide;
join with all people whose rights are denied;
take not for granted a privileged place;
God's love embraces the whole human race.

Wake, now my vision of ministry clear;
brighten my pathway with radiance here;
mingle my calling with all who will share;
work toward a planet transformed by our care.  TJS Mikelson

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
"Let us be gentle with ourselves"
By Barbara Cheatham 

Let us be gentle with ourselves just now. 
For a few moments, 
let us release ourselves from a world that is 'too much with us',
too noisy,
too frantic,
too demanding,
too judging.

Let us be gentle with ourselves just now.
For a few moments,
let us release ourselves into the calm, still world
that waits to receive us,
where the quiet is broken only by sounds of our own making,
by those of our children near-at-hand,
by passers-by in the street outside,
by a bird,
an airplane high overhead.

Within this welcoming quiet, let us befriend ourselves.
Where we would unfairly and endlessly
berate ourselves for our imperfections,
let the tongue of harsh judgment be silent.

We will do better tomorrow.
We will rise to the occasion.
We will surprise the world
with our goodness and achievements.

For now, let us simply rest in the gentleness of this moment,
letting the healing hand of
self-understanding and forgiveness
touch us with peace.

Silence

Music

EXPLORING

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

The world around us:

"A journey of questions"
By Edward Cox. Dare to dream/119.

Christian questions question Christians,
so Christians shy away from questions.
Catchphrase Christians carry answers:
The-Son-Of-God-Saves-Sinners-Amen
…the cow jumped over the moon.

Jesus had a life to live:
loving, hating, eating, sleeping, dying (rising),
So a boy from (name town) joins a Jew from Nazareth
on a journey of questions,

Don't worry about answers, keep asking 'why?'

Gospel:

Mark 6:1-13 (Inclusive Text)

Jesus went to his hometown, accompanied by the disciples.
With the coming of the sabbath Jesus began teaching in the synagogue,
and most of them were astonished.

They said,
'Where did this one get all this?
What is this wisdom that has been granted him,
and these miracles that are worked through him?

'This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary,
the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon?

'His sisters, too, are they not here with us?'

And they would not accept him.

And Jesus said to them,
'Prophets are only despised in their own country
among their own relations and in their own house.'

And he could work no miracle there,
though he cured  a few sick people by laying hands on them.
Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith.

Then Jesus went to other villages, teaching.

Jesus summoned the Twelve
and began to send them out in pairs
giving them authority over the unclean spirits.

And Jesus instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff,
no bread,
no haversack,
no coppers in their purses.

They were to wear sandals, but Jesus added,
'Do not take a spare tunic,' and said to them,

'If you enter a house anywhere, stay there
until you leave the district.

'And if any place does not welcome you
and people refuse to listen to you,
as you walk away shake off the dust from under
your feet as a sign to them.'

So they set off to preach repentance.
And they cast out many devils,
and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

Contemporary word

Silence for personal reflection

AFFIRMING

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

We celebrate that where people 
are gathered together in love
All God is present and good things happen
and life is full.

We celebrate that we are immersed in mystery
that our lives are more than they seem
All that we belong to each other
and to a universe of great creative energies,
whose source and destiny is God.

We celebrate that the spirit of God 
beat in the heart of Jesus of Nazareth
All and God's good news was heard
by the broken and wounded.

We are glad that the spirit of peace 
is present with us, the church,
All as we gather to celebrate our common existence,
and the fidelity of God.

And most deeply we believe 
that in our struggle to love,
All we incarnate God in the world.

And so aware of mystery and wonder,
caught in friendship and laughter,
All we become speechless before the joy in our hearts
as we celebrate the sacredness of life. (Adapt.J Shea/hu)

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.
All Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn of the Month
Where are the voices(Tune: ‘Portent’)   75 FFS
Where are the voices for the earth?
Where are the eyes to see her pain,
wasted by our consuming path,
weeping the tears of poisoned rain?

Sacred the soil that hugs the seed,
sacred the silent fall of snow,
sacred the world that God decreed,
water and sun and river flow.

Where shall we run who break this code,
where shall tomorrow's children be,
left with the ruined gifts of God,
death for the creatures, land and sea?

We are the voices for the earth,
we who will care enough to cry,
cherish her beauty, clear her breath,
live that our planet may not die. (SMurray)

CELEBRATING

Conversation with the children

"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
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.

Pastoral prayer

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

All Life-Giver, Pain-Bearer, Love-Maker.
Source of all that is and that shall be.

Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo
through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed
by all peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done
by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever.  Amen. (UIW2)

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
Through these gifts we offer our thanks:
for all we have,
for all we are.

Especially the gift of our lives.

Thanksgiving
God of fresh bread and new wine,
we sense your presentness among us
in grace-filled moments of sharing,
in carefully created communities of loving solidarity,
in holy times of birthing new life amid all the suffering.

We delight in the moving of your steadfast Spirit
demanding that we find water for the thirsty,
demanding that we prepare meals
for all who hunger, and
encouraging us to welcome all in our midst.

As we share this meal
may we be nourished by the dangerous memory
of Jesus and his friends,
who dared to feed those no one else would feed,
who included the ‘sinners’ that society shunned and oppressed,
who drew healing energy out of people past hope of healing,
who heard the cries of people dried up and desperate,
and nourished them with living water,
and life-giving bread.

This daring community uplifted the
power of justice and righteousness.
All This daring community embraced those who were
searching, longing, and
aching for acceptance and love.

The story
Our tradition says…
On the night that Jesus was betrayed for his dreaming and daring and healing,
and according to the rules of hospitality and meal customs...

Jesus took bread, gave thanks 
and looking at his friends passed the bread to them.
And all of them ate from it.

The bread symbolised human lives
interconnected with other human lives,
and the power of giving and receiving.

Then Jesus took a cup of wine and after giving thanks,
he passed the cup to his friends.
And all of them drank from it.

Holy One, we remember the death and life of Jesus,
and the many committed faithful people then and now,
who have kept alive the dangerous memories of
fresh bread,
new wine, and
living water,
prepared, and shared and blessed, for all.

All May our lives give birth
to your healing power in us and among us,
that turns 
water into wine,
bare tables into feast,
outsiders into beloved friends.

Together may we make all things new.
All Together may we make your presence real in and around us.

Bread and Wine
This is the Bread of compassion and hope.
Bread broken

This is the Cup of blessing and of new life.
Wine poured

These the signs of love for the community of hope.
Let us share this meal together.

Communion
The bread and wine will be served in the pews

After Communion
Divine Presence in all of life we give thanks
for the gift of love that reaches into our hearts,
for the refreshment of this food that renews us,
for the memories of Jesus and his passion for justice and truth.
All May we be awakened to live faithfully and boldly,
with deep compassion and integrity  (Adapt/CHeyward).

SCATTERING

HymnInspired by love and anger(Tune: ‘Salley Gardens. Irish Trad)    44 LA
Inspired by love and anger, disturbed by need and pain,
informed of God's own bias, we ask him once again:
'How long must some folk suffer?  How long can few folk mind?
How long dare vain self-interest turn prayer and pity blind'

From those forever victims of heartless human greed,
their cruel plight composes a litany of need:
'Where are the fruits of justice?  Where are the signs of peace?
When is the day when prisoners and dreams find their release?'

From those forever shackled to what their wealth can buy,
the fear of lost advantage provokes the bitter cry,
'Don't query our position!  Don't criticize our wealth!
Don't mention those exploited by politics and stealth!'
Remain standing

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

Remembering that the universe is much larger
than our ability to comprehend,
All let us go from this time together
with the resolve to allow wonder,
to find space to open up our minds
and illumine our lives. MNLeaming

Blessing words
May the places where you walk become sacred spaces of the Holy God...
The places where you take your stand be signposts to the love of Christ...
The places where you rest be filled with the renewing grace of the Spirit.
All Amen!  DMcRae-McMahon/ith

Hymn (Cont). Inspired…(Tune: ‘Salley Gardens. Irish Trad)   44 LA
To God, who through the prophets proclaimed a different age,
we offer earth's indifference, its agony and rage:
'When will the wronged be righted?  When will the kingdom come? 
When will the world be generous to all instead of some?'

God asks, 'Who will go for me? Who will extend my reach?
And who, when few will listen, will prophesy and preach?
And who, when few bid welcome, will offer all they know?
And who, when few dare follow, will walk the road I show?'

Amused in someone's kitchen, asleep in someone's boat,
attuned to what the ancients exposed, proclaimed and wrote,
a saviour without safety, a tradesman without tools
has come to tip the balance with fishermen and fools. (Bell & Maule)
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:
Bell, J; G. Maule. 1990.  Love and anger. Songs of lively faith and social justice. Gt.B: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
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). 1995.  Dare to dream. A prayer and worship anthology from around the world. GtB: London. Fount/HarperCollins.
Faith forever singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. 
Inclusive readings. Year B. 2005. Qld: Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001.  Iona abbey worship book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
McRae-McMahon, D. 2001.  In this hour. Liturgies for pausing. VIC: Thornbury. DesBooks.
Macnab, F. 2006.  A fine wind is blowing: Psalms of the bible in words that blow you away. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Shea, J. 1977.  The hour of the unexpected. TX: Allen. Argus Communications.
Singing the living tradition. 1993.  MA: Boston. UUA.
Stuart, G. 2006.  Singing a new song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. Second edition. NSW: Sydney. CPRT Sydney.
The St Hilda Community. 1996.  The new women included. A book of services and prayers. GtB: London.  SPCK.
Uniting in Worship 2. 2005. NSW: Sydney. Uniting Church Press.
Vosper, G. 2008.  With or without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Web sites:
UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. UUA. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
The Liturgy of Holy Communion is influenced by the theology of Carter Heyward.

rexae@optusnet.com.au