Pentecost2B.14.6.2009

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

14 June 2009.  Pentecost 3B. (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

Come into this place, where the ordinary is sanctified,
the human is celebrated,
the compassionate is expected.

Come into this place.
Together we make it a holy place
with our every act of worship.

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 Where the love of God(Tune: ‘Reconciliation’)   76 FFS
Where the love of God is guiding,
there is now another way:
new awareness of compassion
learned from one another;
love, the face of God in Jesus,
new creation's thrust,
love, transforming tears and terror
into health and trust.

Where the truth of God is driving,
there is now another way,
shining through our times' confusion,
sharp with revelation:
words that stifle sense or spirit
changed and redefined,
crosses raised to teach division
lowered, left behind.

Where the life on earth is cherished,
there is now another way,
where a child may grow in safety,
where there's peace and shelter,
when we hold the fragile planet
in our conscious care,
when we see again as sacred
all we are and share.

God will lead us on this mission,
God, the flightpath and the power,
lifting all who grasp the vision
into understanding:
so the heart and hope within us
set each other free,
where the love of God is guiding,
this shall come to be. SMurray

Opening sentences
Let the light fall warm and gentle on the earth.
Let the carrawongs sing their morning song.
And let God's people say Amen.
All Amen.

Let the tools be stored away.
Let the work be over and done.
And let God's people say Amen.
All Amen.

Let the sun rise up and vegetables grow.
Let hearts be glad and minds be calm.
And let God's people say Amen.
All Amen.

Prayer of awareness
We pray:
God, help us to listen to our inner spirit;
to the inner yearning to belong to something
greater than ourselves.

Help us to listen to our inner spirits
and find there the presence
of your good encouraging spirit (FMacnab/h)
Amen.

Hymn "The ceaseless flow of time" (Tune: 459(i) TiS, McKee  86 86)   350 SLT
The ceaseless flow of endless time
no one can check or stay;
we'll view the past with no regret,
nor future with dismay.

The present slips into the past,
and dream-like melts away;
the breaking of tomorrow's dawn
begins a new today.

The past and future ever meet
in the eternal now:
to make each day a thing complete
shall be our new year vow. JStorey

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

Meditation
"Mystery"
By Gordon B. McKeeman.

How does one address a mystery?
Cautiously...

Let us go cautiously, then,
to the end of our certainty,
to the boundary of all we know,
to the rim of uncertainty,
to the perimeter of the unknown which surrounds us.

Reverently...

Let us go with a sense of awe,
a feeling of approaching the powerful holy
whose lightning slashes the sky,
whose persistence splits concrete with green sprouts,
whose miracles are present in every place and moment.

Hopefully...

Out of our need for wholeness in our own lives,
the reconciliation of mind and heart,
the conjunction of reason and passion,
the intersection of the timeless with time.

Quietly...

For no words will explain the inarticulate
or summon the presence that is always present
even in our absence....

Simply be in the intimate presence of mystery,
unashamed,
unadorned,
unafraid.

Silence
Let us now commit ourselves to be in silence,
to rest for a moment,
to enter a time of peaceful reflection.

Let us allow this space, this place, to offer its care to us,
restful in its quiet, away from
the busyness of our everyday life.
(Silence)

Music

EXPLORING

Readings from broad religious tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be offered.
They will be read by (NN).

The world around us:

"A gentle presence"
By Chuck Lathrop.  More than words/142-43.

For the church to call itself to work as Jesus did,
in poverty and under oppression,
is to seek an unaccustomed stance.

It is to be, stand, and operate from the point of view
of the world’s victims and losers.
It is to live and preach the gospel from the bottom up.
It is a falling down, a downward mobility, if you will,
into the commonality of human existence.

It is neither nice nor comfortable.
In addition, it is confrontational and conflictual.

Because of such a stance, the church, while it is committed
to and in the world, will also be at odds with the world ‘as it is’.

Such obedience to God will necessarily mean it will be
a minority phenomenon, a threat to any
political or cultural status quo.

The ramifications are many, the cost is high.

Gospel:

Mark 4:26-32 (NRSV)

Jesus said,
'The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
and would sleep and rise night and day,
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he does not know how.

'The earth produces of itself,
first the stalk,
then the head,
then the full grain in the head.

'But when the grain is ripe,
at once he goes in with his sickle,
because the harvest has come.'

Jesus also said,
'With what can we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable will we use for it?

'It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on earth.

‘Yet when it is sown it grows up
and becomes the greatest of all shrubs,
and puts forth large branches,
so the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.'

Contemporary word

Silence for personal reflection

AFFIRMING

A litany in times of change and travelling on
The people stand as they are able

When hope invites us to journey
elusive, beckoning onward
but never in our grasp:
All God of wisdom and promise give us courage to travel on.

When dreams glimmer in the distance,
fading, clouded and hidden
or shining with new brightness:
All God of wisdom and promise give us courage to travel on.

When established patterns collapse
into the uncertainty of the unknown
and security dissolves into a memory:
All God of wisdom and promise give us courage to travel on.

When the illusion of success
threatens to divert us
and silence our souls' yearning:
All God of wisdom and promise give us courage to travel on.

When we think our journey has ended
in the star-lit glow
only to find the end is a new beginning:
All God of wisdom and promise give us courage to travel on. JBerry/ssb

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
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)

CELEBRATING

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

Presentation
Compassionate God,
may we serve you night and day,
wherever we are, in all we do.

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)

SCATTERING

Hymn "Lord of earth and all creation" (Tune: ‘Praise my soul')      672(v1-2) TiS
Lord of earth and all creation,
let your love possess our land:
wealth, and freedom, far horizons,
mountain, forest, shining sand:
may we share, in faith and friendship,
gifts unmeasured from your hand.

People of the ancient Dreamtime,
they who found this country first,
ask with those, the later comers,
will our dream be blessed or cursed?
Grant us, Lord, new birth, new living,
hope for which our children thirst.
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

Go in peace, 
All embraced by the light and warmth of our gathering.

Go in love,
All ready again to struggle on.

Go in beauty,
All shining forth like a lamp for freedom SLammert.

Blessing words
Go into this week,
held together by the love of God
clothed with the nature of Jesus our Companion
reinforced by the strength of the Holy Spirit.
All Amen.

Hymn (Cont). "Lord of earth and all creation" (Tune: ‘Praise my soul')     672(v3) TiS
Lord, life-giving healing Spirit,
on our hurts your mercy shower;
lead us by your inward dwelling,
guiding, guarding, every hour,
Bless and keep our land Australia:
in your will her peace and power. (MR & HMThwaites)
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). 2001.  Shine on, star of bethlehem. A worship resource for advent, christmas and epiphany. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Faith forever singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. 
Iona Community. 2001.  Iona abbey worship book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Macnab, F. 1996. Hope:  The deeper longings of the mind and heart. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Schaffran, J; Pat Kozak. 1992.  More than words. Prayer and ritual for inclusive communities. NY: New York. Crossroad.
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.
Together in song. Australian hymn book 2. 1999. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.
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/>

rexae@optusnet.com.au