Revd Rex A E Hunt

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2 September 2012.  Season of Creation 1B/Pentecost 14B. (Green).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion
Planet Earth Sunday

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 Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

With respect and gratitude for the original custodians of this land,
we gather together this day
to affirm in hope and faith,
that we can create a sacred space of welcome
for all who live in Australia.

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

v2 Fountain of life…
Pulse of life…Breath of life…
Earth is filled with the presentness of God.

v1 A planet filled with the presence of God
All a living green blue planet,
peoples from every corner of creation,
the vast reaches of space above us,
and the rocks and hills and wonders of the wild.

v2 Together this day, let us sense the face of God in all creativity.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"God of the Galaxies"
(Tune: "Cheam")   54 (v1-3) AA
God of the galaxies spinning in space,
God of the smallest seed, our living source,
yours is the gift of this beautiful place.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Careless and covetous, gross are our greeds,
taking the riches the garden provides,
wasting its goodness, forgetting its needs.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Forests and rivers are ravaged and die,
raped is the land till it bleeds in its clay,
silenced the birdsong and plundered the sea.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.
Remain standing after the hymn

Opening Sentences
v1 Planet Earth, spinning silently through space:
All Celebrate your beauty and your grace,
your special place in our solar system.

v1 Planet Earth, gleaming green and blue:
All Rejoice in your ocean currents
as they dance and swirl with hope.

v1 Planet Earth, pulsing with life:
All Join in praise with all your fauna and flora
as they sing their songs with praise.

v1 Planet Earth, enveloped in the breath of God:
All Bless all your creatures this day
with the life-giving breath of God.

v1 Planet Earth, our precious, fragile home:
All Celebrate, with all your children,
God’s presence in our planet home.

v2 Spin, Planet Earth, spin!
All Sing, Planet Earth, sing! (Adapt.NHabel/soc)

Act of Awareness
The thought manifests as the word.
The word manifests as the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And habit hardens into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings
(The Buddha/lp).


We pray:
Creating God, whose renewing breath fills our planet,
may we discern your vibrant, creative presence among us.
And may our spirits be lifted
as we rejoice with Planet Earth
and all its inhabitants, this day.
May it be so.

Hymn "God of the Galaxies"   (Tune: "Cheam")   54(v4-5) AA
Let there be beauty, and let there be air
fragrant with peace, never poisoned with fear,
freed from the plagues of pollution and war.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth.

Life is a holy thing, life is a whole,
linking each creature and blessing us all,
making connections of body and soul.
Let us care for your garden
and honour the earth. (Shirley Erena Murray)

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.


Take the symbol (rosemary/gum leaf/lavender)
you received at the door, rub it between your fingers,
smell it, and share with the person next to you
a special memory of Earth as a planet
that stirred your spirit or sense of wonder.

We remember our excitement 
when we first saw the orb of Earth,
the mystery of a living green blue planet,
a fragile speck of stardust
made into a magnificent home.
We remember and rejoice.

Now away from the busyness of life
and in the silence of this place,
let us give thanks
for the gift of Planet Earth, filled with mystery!

We celebrate the song of our planet!
All Sing! Planet Earth! Sing! (NHabel/soc)

Music of Celebration


Readings from our broad Religious Tradition

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

From the world around us:

"Here we are, God"

By Joan Metzner. Earth Prayers/84.

Here we are, God - a planet at prayer.

Attune our spirits that we may hear your harmonies

and bow before your creative power

that we may face our violent discords

and join with your Energy

to make heard in every heart your hymn of peace.

Here we are, God-a militarized planet.

Transform our fears that we may transform our war fields

into wheatfields, arms into handshakes,

missiles into messengers of peace.

Here we are, God-a polluted planet.

Purify our vision that we may perceive ways

to purify our beloved lands, cleanse our precious waters,

de-smog our life-giving air.

Here we are, God-an exploited planet.

Heal our heart, that we may respect our resources,

hold priceless our people, and provide for

our starving children an abundance of daily bread.


Mark 7:1-4a, 5-8, 15-20 (Inclusive Text/adapt)

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,  

and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands,

that is, without washing them.

For the Pharisees, and the Jewish people in general,

follow the tradition of the elders and never eat

without washing their arms as far as the elbow,

and on returning from the market place

they never eat without first sprinkling themselves...

So these Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus,

'Why do your disciples not respect

the tradition of the elders but eat their food

with unclean hands?'

Jesus answered,

'It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah rightly prophesied

in this passage of scripture:

This people honours me only with lip service,

while their hearts are far from me.

'The worship they offer me is worthless,

the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.

You put aside the commandment of God

to cling to human traditions'.

Jesus then called the people to him again and said,

'Listen to me, all of you, and understand.

'Nothing that goes into people from outside

can make them unclean;

it is the things that come out of people

that make them unclean...

Jesus left the crowd and entered the house,

where the disciples asked about the parable.

So Jesus said,

'Do you also fail to understand?

Do you not see that what goes into a person from outside
cannot make them unclean, since it enters,

not the heart but the stomach,

and goes out into the sewer?

'It is what comes out of a person that makes them unclean'.

Alternate Reading - Season of Creation
John 1:1-5 (Inclusive Text)

In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God and the Word was God.

The Word was with God in the beginning.
Through this word all things came to be,
without whom not one thing had its being.

All that came to be had life in the Word
and that life was the light of humankind,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.

Contemporary Word

Contemporary Word 3 (From a past year/Reading)

Silence for Personal Reflection


A Celebration of Faith

In response to the word reflected on, let us stand

and share together a celebration of faith.

The people stand as they are able

In desert and bushland, mountain and water,

we see the signs that God is with us.

All  In grass that grows through cities 

of concrete and brick,

we see the signs that God is with us.

In the faces of people whom God so loves,

All  we see the signs that God is with us.

In our brokenness,

there is the hope of wholeness.

All  In our emptiness, there is the hope of fullness.

In our deaths,

All  lies the hope of resurrection life.

This is the Word in Christ to us.

All  The flame of the Holy Spirit

lives in this place and travels with us. (Adapt.DMcRae-McMahon/eoj)

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

Spirit of Springtime(Tune: ‘Verdure’)59 FFS

Spirit if springtime in creation’s garden,

tingling the senses,

tickling the earth,

sap that is rising where the seed was sleeping,

push for a new world

coming to birth!

Heard in the song that sweeps from bush to ocean,

seen in the sunlight,

felt in the blood,

surge of delight at every greening, growing,

God in the promise,

blossom from bud.

Fresh as the rain that washes clean our vision,

keen as the wind on

Pentecost day,

bright as the Spirit in the life of Jesus,

bold as the mindset

thinking his way.

Springtime of hope from out of winter’s clutches,

warm us to witness

woo us to see

beauty will break through rotted leaves and ashes,

joy will erupt, and

life will leap free! (SEMurray)

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:

Creation thrums with Being

and peals the Word - 'I am'.

All We sometimes remember

to whisper the antiphon, 'We are'. (VArnold/es)

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  Good caring presence within us, around us, and above us;

Hold us in a sense of mystery and wonder.

Let the fullness of your goodness be within us and around us.

Let all the world know your ways of caring and generosity.

May we find we have all we need

to meet each day without undue anxiety.

Overlook our many stupidities,

and help us to release everyone from their stupidities.

May we know we are accepted.

Strengthen us that we will reach out to the best,

always with the faith

to rise above the ugly realities of our existence.

And we celebrate the gifts you have given us:

the rich kingdom of life’s possibilities,

the power to do good and the triumphs of good,

and the moments when we have seen

the glory and wonder of everything.

You are life’s richness.

You are life’s power.

You are life’s ultimate meaning.


And for everyone.

And for ever more.  Amen. (FMacnab/fwb)


Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat


"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)



Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,

and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.


May the presentness of the Sacred be in the breaking:

in the break of day

in the breaking of the bread

in the breaking of our lives

in the breaking of our hopes…

May the presentness of the Sacred make us whole.

Gathering Words

The earth has gone the round of seasons:

from the vibrant green of spring's new life

to the lush richness of warm summer,

to the brilliant fulfillment of riotous autumn,

to the generosity and self-giving of winter.

Now we stand again, touched by the promise

of new life in early spring.


Loving and caring God, how fertile your genius!

You shape everything.

You fill the world with what you do.

You search us out and know us.

All that we are is open to you.

Look not upon our sin but upon our faith.

Break down all barriers which we erect against your love.

Cover us with the blanket of your peace. 

And let your justice reach to the ends of the earth. (Adapt.BJLee/afw)

All  So that we can come glad to this celebration.

When our days become over-busy

and our spirits are bleached like spinifex...

All  Flood us with a downpour of mercy!

When we take things for granted 

and gratitude goes to sleep...

All  Put a new song on our tongues.

When life’s abrasive pressures fray us,

loosing our hold on the Still Centre...

All  Tell us again about nesting magpies,

golden daffodils and pink prunus blossom

- symbols of Creative Mystery. (Adapt.BPrewer/ap)



May God be with you.

All  And also with you.

Open your hearts.

All  We open them to God and to one another.

Let us give thanks to God.

All  It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is right and our joy to give thanks

world-gazing, hope-cheering God, our cherisher.

We offer our praise for the changing moods of nature:

for sunshine and showers of an early spring day,

for the rich brown earth beneath our feet,

and for the clouds, the winds, the dusk and the dawn.

All  We hold all such good things in trust.

So, in the company of each other,

and in company with people throughout the world

we declare as generations before us have declared:

All  Holy, holy, holy, hope-breathing God, 

heaven and earth are full of your glory. 

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.

All  Hosanna in the highest.

We also offer our praise for Jesus our Companion,

who taught all to care 

for the birds of the air

and the grass of the paddock,

as a mother or a father cares for a child.

We remember that night among friends, reclined at table...

Jesus again shared a meal with his friends.

Through grain and grape, bread and wine,

and in fellowship together,

Jesus spoke of his enduring love for each of them.

So we take this bread and this wine, 

All  ever mindful of the Creative Spirit at work in our lives,

making our living a source of renewal and hope,

a springtime of promise and resurrection.

Bread and Wine

Bread is broken


We break this bread in celebration of the great truth

that on this tiny planet, hurtling through cold, empty space,

death is made the servant of life,

and out of death, life is forever resurrected.

Wine poured out

This cup with its fruit of the vine,

is a celebration that things are not always as they seem:

that out of faithfulness and steadfastness,

out of suffering and sorrow,

may come unsought blessings.


To eat and drink together reminds us

of the deeper aspects of human fellowship,

for from time immemorial

the sharing of bread and wine has been

the most universal of all symbols of community.

Bread and wine served

After Communion

We give thanks that we have gathered together

in this sacred place.

We rejoice in the giftedness of each person here.

We are grateful for who we are for each other.

We consider ourselves blessed in and by the Creative Spirit.

May we continue to be truly thankful

in all we do and in all we become.


Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Great Lover Calling Us To Share" (Tune: 'Galilee', 88 88. 402 TiS)

Great Lover, calling us to share

your joy in all created things

from atom-dance to eagles' wings,

we come and go, to praise and care.

Though sure of resurrection-grace,

we ache for all earth's troubled lands

and hold the planet in our hands,

a fragile, unprotected place.

Your questing Spirit longs to gain

no simple fishing-ground for souls,

but as life's story onward rolls,

world more joyful and humane.

Remain standing

Words of Mission

Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.

As we do, may we embrace the challenges

of our lives and our world...

The candle is extinguished

Hold again the fragrant symbol in your hands

and go forth to serve.

Will you care for Planet Earth?

All We will remember our planet home!

We will nurture our planet!

We will celebrate life!

Blessing Words

May God bless us not with clean air alone.

But the will to keep our air clean.

May God bless us not with a vision

of a healthy planet alone.

But with the will to do all in our power

to restore and maintain our planet’s health.

May God bless us not with a change of heart

in the great world leaders alone to save our planet.

But with a change in our own heart to use

our own power to save the planet. (Adapt.DJMcGill/lp)

All Amen!

Hymn (Cont). "Great Lover Calling Us To Share" (Tune: 'Galilee', 88 88. 402 TiS)

As midwives who assist at birth,

we give our uttermost, yet grieve

lest folly, greed or hate should leave

a spoiled, aborted, barren earth.

Self-giving Lover, since you dare

to join us in our history,

embracing all our destiny,

we'll come and go with praise and care. BWren

The people sit                                                © Stainer & Bell Ltd

'This Week' at (NN)


Birthdays and anniversaries

Significant events

Journey candles



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:

(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and songs for all churches. 1993. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.

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.
(FFS) 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.

Lee, B. J. (ed). 1987. Alternative Futures For Worship. Vol 3. The Eucharist. MIN: Collegeville. The Liturgical press.

Macnab, F. 2006. A Fine Wind is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in Words that Blow You Away. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.

McRae-McMahon, D. 1993. Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.

Prewer, B. D. 1983. Australian Prayers. SA: Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers.

Roberts, E; E. Amidon. 1996. Life Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey. NY: New York. HarperCollins.

Roberts, E; E. Amidon. 1991. Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. NY: New York. HarperCollins.

Seaburg, C. (ed). 1993. The Communion Book. MA: Boston. UUMA.

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/Other:

Norman Habel Creation Liturgies. <>

"Great Lover...". B Wren. Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site:
V Arnold. Eureka Street eZine 20, 23. 23/11/10.