Pentecost14B.29.8.2021

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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Suggestion:
’Refresh’ each page before reading  to make sure to get my latest edition

The Other Lectionary’ - a suggested ‘southern hemisphere’ Lectionary (with a few Resources added) offered in parallel to,
or even replacement of, the RCL which is in standard use by many.

A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE

“There is a need for the religious traditions… to appreciate that the primary sacred community
 is the universe itself, and that every other community becomes sacred
by participation in this primary community”

2 September 2018.  Pentecost 15B. (Green).

Worth Pondering
“Now I don’t know if it happened this way or not,
but I know this story is true”
(
Native American Storyteller)

Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
(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 of the (NN) Nation, past, present, emerging,
and their stewardship of this land throughout the ages.

First Peoples Statement to the Nation 2017 called “Uluru Statement from the Heart” HERE
A Response from Common Dreams5 Conference of Religious Progressives,
Australia/South Pacific 2019  HERE


(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Rich and Striking Visuals
          “The function of beauty… is to make us aware of a reality which is richer and deeper
          and more marvellous than anything we can dream or conceive.” (Henry N. Wieman)
          Artwork OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Video 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

v1  We clasp the hands of those that go before us,
And the hands of those who come after us.

v2  We enter the little circle of each other’s arms,
And the larger circle of lovers,
whose hands are joined in a dance,

v1  And the larger circle of all creatures,
Passing in and out of life, who move also in a dance,

v2  To a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it,
Except in fragments.  (Wendell Berry)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Note: (i) A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE
(ii) Additional Special Purpose Hymns that cover major international events or themes can be found HERE  They include these categories: 1. Bush (Brush) Fire, 2. Tsunami, Storms/Cyclones, 3. Earthquakes, 4. War/Remembrance, 5. Caregiving, 6. God as Mother, 7. Human Trafficking, 8. Disabled, 9. Migration/Refugees, 10. Terrorist Attacks, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) Specific resources on Terrorism HERE
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Beautiful Presence(Tune: ‘Beautiful Presence’)                                                                
9 HoS
Beautiful presence, how can we name you?
Words are too small for the one who is all.
How can we speak of your gentleness in us,
the warmth of our hearts in response to your call?
Refrain:
Beautiful presence, ocean of love,
strong as forever, soft as a dove.
Words often fail us, but this we know true,
you live within us as we live in you.

There have been times of spiritual blindness,
when error and pain have distorted our sight.
Beautiful presence, you were there with us,
to show us how darkness can turn into light.
Refrain:

Nothing that happens to us will be wasted,
all of our living is grounded in grace.
Gently you take down the walls of division,
leading us on to a larger place.  (Joy Cowley)
Refrain:

Opening Sentences
v1
A morning mist,
the gleam of a new day,
faintly we discern the possibilities that are before us.
Wm 
Energy rising, plans turning to action,
we build our every yesterday
from the living of our days.

v2 May we live our hope into tomorrow.
Mn 
May we wrap our lives around
the challenges of today.

v1 And in the quiet of the sacred space,
may we listen at the centre of our being
for the truth of our inner voice
that sets before us the purpose of this day.  (Adapt.Gretta Vosper/ab)

Act of Awareness
We receive fragments of holiness,
glimpses of eternity,
brief moments of insight.

Let us gather them up for the precious gifts that they are
and, renewed by their grace,
move boldly into the unknown.  (Sara M Campbell/slt)

OR

Creating God, extend our vision to perceive
that this is your world.
You are in it.
You pervade it.
You enfold it.
It is immersed in you.

Open our eyes to see in the depth of reality
your grace
your goodness
your glory.
To see that we dwell in you.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  Nature’s Beauty(Tune: ‘Regent Square’, 87.87.47 Extend.)                       4 SNS3
Nature knows her sounds and movements
Heard and seen each day and night;
All her life in rich abundance
Fills my heart with great delight;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world so bright.

Fearsome winds cause trees to whimper;
Storms can force the clouds to cry;
Raindrops, snowflakes dance together;
Sun and moon wink in reply;
Celebrate with adoration
All the wonders of the sky.

Celebrate all hidden textures;
Value all the roots below;
Celebrate all covered spendour;
Value beauty not on show;
Celebrate with adoration;
Thankful for the world we know.

Creatures bold and creatures timid
Offer beauty, each unique;
Trees and flowers paint a picture
On the plain and mountain peak;
Celebrate with adoration;
All revealed for those who seek.

We are blest with such profusion;
Beauty bursts out everywhere;
If we take the time to ponder
We may find a thankful prayer;
Celebrate with adoration
Thankful for the world we share.  (George Stuart).

Welcome
In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are gathering 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 the Gathering.
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.

CENTERING

Centering Silence
        Centering silence has its roots in the earliest of monastic traditions of the ‘desert Fathers (abbas)/Mothers (ammas)’
        and the Christian mystic tradition… 
Relaxing into ‘quietness’ creates the space for deep listening and draws you into yourself

Let us be still for a few moments and co-create a space for
more gratitude,
greater compassion,
sensitive understanding,
soft human emotions,
and honesty.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the World/Religious Traditions
        
“Wisdom is not just special knowledge about something. Wisdom is a way of being, a way of inhabiting the world.
        The beauty of wisdom is harmony, belonging and illumination of thought, action, heart and mind.”
(John O’Donohue)

Reader:  May we be struck by the wisdom of these words
and marked by hearing them.
All  For within story lies meaning, and
within meaning, the wisdom for which we seek. 
 (Gretta Vosper/ab)

• “Beatitudes for Aung San Suu Kyi”
By Paul Mitchell. Eureka Street eZine. Vol 22, No. 14.  23 July 2012

Blessed are those who watched
with storm-cloud eyes
the ground open to swallow them
while fork-tongue drivers
drove whipcrack highways
on luxury serpents.

Blessed
are those run down & flattened
fang-holed & spat on
for good measure of the trade index.

Blessed, those daughters set on high wires
to balance dollar signs, while bored crowds
jeered for another fall in interest rates.

Blessed
too those with empty chests, soles ripped
from their shoes, fed to dogs.

But most blessed
are those who stole the hound scraps
nailed them to their feet
& kept on marching.

OR

• “Spring”
By Marjorie Dobson. A World of Blessing/159-60

Spring is full of energy -
like its name.
It coils and tenses and waits
and then jumps out at us,
bursting with vigour
and new life
and shouts its presence
with a this-is-what-you’ve-been-waiting-for attitude.

Spring blesses us in an aggressive new way.
Bare trees suddenly thrusting out new leaves.
Flowers shaking their defiant colours,
even at the occasional return of wintry weather.
Animals and birds proudly parade young ones.
Lawns and hedges cry out for mowers and trimmers.
And the sun gains strength and length of days
and by its energy
urges us to get out and do something…

We give thanks for the urgent message of renewal
that blesses us with each spring.

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

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'.

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word let us stand and share together a celebration of faith…
The people stand as they are able

v1  Ever present God,
Like water bubbling down a mountain stream;
washing clean what has been soiled;
carving new channels for the river of life;
soothing the thirst of explorers, pilgrims and trampers…

v2  Like wind blowing through the valleys of (Name);
disturbing, disruptive intensity;
or gently reviving zephyr;
blowing us together into communities
of compassion and hospitality…

v3  Like a giant Kauri watching over northern forests;
guardian of ancient wisdom;
sanctuary where the small and vulnerable find protection;
beauty and stability;
enduring strength persisting over the centuries.

v1 God in the faces of your people;
a rich tapestry of cultures, religions, nationalities and ages;
holding difference together within a single family;
luring us all towards a shared and generous future.
All
 Open the windows of our minds, our imaginations
and our deepest sensitivity, so we may know ourselves
to be embraced by grace,
touched with possibility, and
invited to share in the creation of new futures.
generously and compassionately.  
(Keith Rowe with adaptions RAEHunt)

SharingThe Peace’
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you.  (David Galston/q)
All
And also with you.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

OR

Namaste
Facing the person with right hand on your heart and a slight bow of the head…

The Divine in me honours the Divine in you.
OR

The Light in me recognises the Light in you.
OR

The spirit within me sees the spirit within you.

Hymn/Song   People stand as they are able, to sing
World Without End(Tune: ‘Slane1’, Irreg.)
Praise to the Lord for the joys of the earth:
Cycles of seasons and reason and birth,
Contrasts in outlook and landscape and need,
Challenge of famine, pollution and greed.

Praise to the Lord for the progress of life:
Cradle and grave, bond of husband and wife,
Pain of youth growing and wrinkling of age,
Questions in step with experience and stage.

Praise to the Lord for his care of our kind:
Faith for the faithless and sight for the blind,
Healing, acceptance, disturbance and change,
All the emotions through which our lives range.

Praise to the Lord for the people we meet,
Safe in our homes or at risk in the street:
Kiss of a lover and friendship’s embrace,
Smile of a stranger and words full of grace.

Praise to the Lord for the carpenter’s son,
Dovetailing worship and work into one:
Tradesman and teacher and vagrant and friend,
Source of all life in this world without end.  © Iona Community

CELEBRATING

Offerings

Presentation
By our smallest actions,
we become part of a bigger world.

The smallest giving can be an expression
of the good spirit of generosity and caring.

May we be helped to carry through the doorway
of each new day, this good spirit
of generosity and caring.  (Francis Macnab/h)

Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the gathering may

“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? 
 (Binkley & McKeel/jke)

In Solidarity
Care Candle
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response
In this abundant blessing
All
 We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All
 May love abound.  (Gretta Vosper/wwg)

And so we take this flame and light our special care candle…
The Care Candle is lit

For ourselves, for those named or remembered,
and in solidarity with those who have not the freedom 
to express their concern or celebration
for fear of discrimination or condemnation…

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of the sacred among us,
and to see new possibilities of the now.

The ‘Abba’ Prayer:  (Optional)
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Abba/Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as appropriate

All  God, lover of us all, most holy one.
Help us to respond to you.
To create what you want for us here on earth.

Give us today enough for our needs.
Forgive our weak and deliberate offences,
just as we must forgive others when they hurt us.

Help us to resist evil and to do what is good.
For we are yours, endowed with your power
to make our world whole.
Amen.  
(Lara Winkley/cw)

SCATTERING

Hymn/Song  People stand as they are able, to sing
Of Home…(Tune: ‘Woodlands’, 10.10.10.10)
To dream of home while on that dusty road
meant Nazareth, yet they neared Bethlehem,
that house of bread; another sign of home,
a place for birth, yet there's no room for them.

And home is where there's room for love and life,
a place to rest, or noisy, or unblessed,
with, sometimes, hidden laughter, buried strife;
yet this is where we are and make the best.
Remain standing

Parting Words
As we prepare to leave this sacred space
where we have celebrated together,
let us return to our work and school
enlivened and renewed…
The Community Candle is extinguished

May you know fully and deeply the blessings
of each of your heart's seasons.
The inward turning of Winter
Springtime's lush renewal
The effortless, steady growth of summer
And Autumn's rich harvest.

May your passage from season to season be blessed—
Eased by hands to hold,
and by the light of love to guide you on.  (Andrew Pakula)

Words of Blessing
Go in peace
and celebrate the presence of God in your lives.
All
 Amen!  May it be so with us!

Hymn/Song  (Cont). Of Home…(Tune: ‘Woodlands’, 10.10.10.10)
Great God, they called you 'love' and so you are,
incarnate, given over to our hands.
Your love above all else will take us far,
then draw us home again from many lands. 
© Andrew Pratt 2009
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 this time 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.

Please include any reproduction of hymns/songs for local church use
on your Music Licence returns, as appropriate


Some of the Resources used in Shaping this Liturgy:
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An International Curriculum on the Life and Teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 2001.
Duncan, G. (ed). A World of Blessing. Benedictions From Every Continent and Many Cultures. Norwich. The Canterbury Press, 2000.
Holmes, R. H. The Bob Holmes Worship Materials. Vol 1.  Little Falls. Self published, 1972. 
(HoS)
Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2005.
Macnab, F.
Hope:  The Deeper longings of the Mind and Heart. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 1996.
(WNG) Pratt, A.
Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2002.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon.
Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins, 1991.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
(SNS3) Stuart, G.
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 3. Toronto. G Stuart, 2011.
Vosper, G.
With or Without God. Why the Way we Live is More Important than What we Believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.
Vosper, G.
Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane, 2009/2010.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed).
Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK, 1995.

Web sites/Other:
Berry, Pakula.
UUA Worship Web. Boston. UUA. < www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
“World Without End”.
Iona Community, Scotland.
Bruce Prewer Web Site. Bendigo.
“Ever Present God…” Keith Rowe. Direct from the author.
David Galston.
Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/
Rob Kleinheksel. C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <http://www.c3exchange.org/
“Of Home…” Andrew Pratt. Direct from the author

rexae74@gmail.com