Pentecost11C.8.8.2010

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
8 August 2010. Pentecost 11C. (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 celebration
The gong is sounded three times

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

Lighting of community candle
The candle is lit

Life is a gift for which we are grateful.
We gather in community to celebrate
the glories and the mysteries of this gift.  MMontgomery/slt

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Colourful creator”      (Tune: 'Houghton', 65 65D)    190 TiS
Colourful Creator, God of mystery,
thank you for the artist teaching us to see
glimpses of the meaning of the commonplace,
visions of the holy in each human face.

Harmony of ages, God of listening ear,
thank you for composers tuning us to hear
echoes of the Gospel in the songs we sing,
sounds of love and longing from the deepest spring

Author of our journey, God of near and far,
praise for tale and drama telling who we are,
stripping to the essence struggles of our day,
times of change and conflict when we choose our way.

God of truth and beauty, Poet of the Word,
may we be creators by the Spirit stirred,
open to your presence in our joy and strife,
vessels of the holy coursing through our life.  RCDuck
Remain standing

Opening sentences
God of all living, we have seen your presence
in the rhythm and surprises of our years.
All You have accompanied us through all that is past.
So we thank you.

We recognise your closeness in this day.
All You challenge and encourage us in each act and decision.
So we praise you.

Now we look for you
in the promises which stretch before us.
All You meet us with hope.
So we trust you.

Prayer
We pray:
Spirit of life and hope, we sense your presence in this place.
Awaken us again to the mysteries that humble us,
the realities that orient us,
the beauty that informs us,
the fellowship that sustains us,
and the creativity that heightens and deepens our living,
that we may give ourselves in honesty and openness
to the larger life before us.
Amen.  (Adapt.CWells)

Hymn "Here we gather"  (Tune:  'Holy Manna')    4 SIF
Here we gather, here we come together
Seeking wisdom, seeking truth.
Minds are ready, hearts are open
To receive what each can give,
Drawing deep from wells of knowledge
Sharing insights old and new,
As we gather, as we come together
Finding wisdom, finding truth.

As we gather, as we come together
Seeking comfort, seeking strength,
Minds are ready, hearts are open
To receive what each can give,
Needs and fears expressed and honoured
Care extended warm and free,
As we gather, as we come together
Finding comfort, finding strength.

Wide world over, we will come together
Seeking justice, seeking peace.
Minds are ready, hearts are open
To receive what each can give,
Deep respect and deep compassion
Lives committed to the cause,
Wide world over, we will come together
Bringing justice, bringing peace. © Scott Kearns 2008
The people sit after the hymn

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.

Reflection
“A friendship blessing”
By John O’Donohue. Anam Cara/60.

May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to your self.

May you be able to journey to that place in your soul
where there is great love, warmth, feeling and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.

May you be brought in to the real passion,
kinship and affinity of belonging.

May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
may they bring you all the blessings, challenges,
truth and light that you need for your journey.

May you never be isolated;
but may you always be in the gentle nest
of belonging with your anam cara - soul friend.

Silence
“Sh'ma:  An interpretation for the 21st Century”.
Adapted from Rabbi Arthur Waskow.

Sh'sh'sh'ma Yisra'el? 
Hush'sh'sh…
Listen, you Godwrestlers!

Pause from your wrestling and hush'sh'sh to hear.
Hear in the stillness the still silent voice,

The silent breathing that intertwines life;
Yahh elohenu, 
Breath of Life, is our God.
Each breath unique…

Listen, you Godwrestlers!
The world is one,
All its parts are intertwined…,
Silence

Special music

EXPLORING

Reading from our religious tradition
A story from our religious tradition will be told by (N).

Even as we seek understanding, our minds,
too often, shelter us from the realities we might uncover.
All   May we have the courage to hear and hold truths
found within these words   (GVosper/ab)

Gospel:
Luke 12:32-34 (Scholars Edition)

'Don't be afraid, little flock, for it has delighted your Father
to give you his domain.

"Sell your belongings, and donate to charity;
make yourselves purses that don't wear out,
with inexhaustible wealth in heaven, where no robber can get to it
and no moth can destroy it.

"As you know, what you treasure is your heart's true measure".

NON-LECTIONARY SPECIAL
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 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 will put the sheep at the right hand
and the goats at the left.

‘Then the king will say to those at the 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 (Guest preacher)

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.
The people stand as they are able

We celebrate a God
All who lives and speaks in sunsets,
in love-wrapped gifts, and fleeting butterflies.

We celebrate a Christ
All who honoured our humanness,
who climbed trees, skinned knees;
who laughed and cried, loved and wept, bled and died.

We celebrate a Spirit,
All who mystically joins us to people everywhere,
and incorporates us into Christ.

We celebrate a church,
All seeking, however imperfectly, to act justly, love mercy,
and walk humbly with our God.
  (Adapt.D McRae-McMahon/eoj)

The peace
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
Through winter cold(Tune: ‘Chilcombe’)        139 HoS
Through winter cold and drifted snow,
through bitter wind and biting frost
the silent seeds of spring will grow
and buried dreams will not be lost.

Within God’s world, as seasons turn,
we sleep and grow, with changing need
to shed old concepts and to learn
the faith that sprouts like mustard seed.

It is compassion warms the day
and hugs the lonely or the cold,
speaks out for justice, come what may
when people’s lives are bought and sold.

And as in winter, as in grief
the frozen heart of things in numb,
compassion melts our unbelief
and all is changed, for spring has come.
(SEMurray)

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation  The people stand as they are able, as the gifts are presented
May our giving and our actions 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.
The 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.

Listening response
As one heart is lifted
All  May we share its celebration
As one heart is burdened
All  May we share the pain it knows  (GVosper/wwg)

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of God among us,
and to see the new possibilities of the now.
The Care candle is lit

And let us recommit ourselves to the inclusive ways of Jesus.

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

All God - heart of the world:
revealed through every aspect of creation:
understood through our awareness.

May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly
so that your love is reflected in the way we live.
May we always be thankful for the food we eat
and the friends we have.
May we forgive those who transgress against us
and be forgiven for our own.

In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat
and not be compromised by hesitation.

Through our freedom, may your justice
be seen and heard and experienced
forever and ever.  SJWeinberg

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Nothing is lost…”  (Tune: ‘Greenlane’)     50 (v1-2) FFS
Nothing is lost on the breath of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's breath is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No feather too light, no hair too fine,
no flower too brief in its glory;
no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,
but is counted and told in God's story.

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God sees with love and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No journey too far, no distance too great,
no valley of darkness too blinding;
no creature too humble, no child too small
for God to be seeking, and finding.
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 community candle is extinguished

After the words, a quiet.
After the songs, a silence.
After the crowd only the memory recalls the gathering.
All Peace and justice have need of us
after the words, the music, and the gathering.

God grant you the depth for dedication to justice.
All God grant us the will to be apostles of peace.  (Adapt.MCoots) 

Blessing words
May the God who dances in creation,
who embraces us with human love,
who shakes our lives like thunder,
bless us and drive us out with power
to fill the world with her justice.
All Amen.

Hymn (Cont)  "Nothing is lost…”  (Tune: ‘Greenlane’)     50 (v3) FFS
Nothing is lost to the heart of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's heart is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No impulse of love, no office of care,
no moment of life in its fulness;
no beginning too late, no ending too soon,
but is gathered and known in God's goodness.  (CGibson)
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:
Duncan, G. (ed). 2002. Courage to love. An anthology of inclusive worship material. 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 Publishing.
Hope is our song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009.  NZ: Palmerston North. The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
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.
Kearns, S. (ed) 2009.  
Sing it forward. Traditional hymns recast and rewritten for non-exclusive communitiesIn circulation from the author.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993.  Echoes of our journey. Liturgies of the people. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
O’Donohue, J. 1997. Anam cara. Spiritual wisdom from the celtic world. GtB: London. Bantam Books.
Singing the living tradition. 1993.  MA: Boston. UUA.
Together in song. Australian hymn book 2. 1999. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.

Web sites:
Wells, Coots. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. UUA. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/> 
Sherri Weinberg. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow. Shalom Center.

rexae@optusnet.com.au