Revd Rex A E Hunt
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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


23 January 2022. Epiphany 3C. (Green).
Children Sunday
Celebrating Community in the tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering:
“We are embedded within, and derivatives of, cosmic becoming”
(Paul R. Fleischman)

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 (N) Nation, past, present, and emerging,
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


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

Come, teach us, Spirit of our God,
the language of your way,
the lessons that we need to live,
the faith for every day. 
Shirley Erena Murray

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
A Community Candle is lit

This is the light that is lit for everyone who comes into the world.
Bear this light to others, one by one.
Let the flame go from life to life
till all is lit with its warmth. 
(Elizabeth Strong)

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

Hymn/Song   The people stand, as they are able to sing
At The Learning Curve's Beginning”   (Tune: Metre 87.87)
At the learning curve's beginning,
hardly knowing where we head,
finding how to learn, while living,
grasping all that's seen or said.

Looking through the sky that's soaring,
waiting at the ocean's shore,
filled with wonder at the seeing,
sensing God will offer more;

Filled with praise for revelation,
and for all we've yet to find.
Praise to God the source of wisdom,
and for each enquiring mind.  © Andrew Pratt 9/1/2008


"Sing High to God"   (Tune: Woodlands',
Sing high to God, who once upon a time
(Before all time!) Took love to shape a dream
And poured it into life creating words
That gave to all that is: a role, a name.

Give thanks to Christ who calls us to be one
And learn to use the future tense today
To keep the dream alive the vision clear:
A world at peace, the human race at play.

Pray that the Holy Spirit may proceed
Empowering us to see Christ's mission through
Transform the dream to speech, enact the word
Put flesh on hope, make God's intent come true.

Let not, O God, the vision we have caught
Fade as we rise, nor let it die away;
Give us the faith with passion to pursue
That dream's fulfilment in the light of day. 
Fred Kaan
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
May our time together renew our hope.
May the stories we share refresh our courage.
May the songs we sing lift our spirits.
May the words we speak invigorate us.
May the touch of hands, the sound of laughter,
the sight of faces new and familiar,
All  restore us in faith.
  C O Dame

Words of Awareness
It is good to be alive!
To share life with each other
in this wonder-filled and evolving universe.
We are most grateful.

May wisdom dawn in us
so we may see all things in clarity.


We pray:
Spirit of life, we gather here in loving community.
Keep us in mind of the responsibilities of being human.
Give us the strength to endure, but more,
help us to bring strength to each other.

May we exclude no one intentionally,
but may our church be inclusive as we say it is.
May our coming and our going be blessed,
this day and forever more.
All   May it be so with us!

Hymn/Song   God’s Word, God’s World”  (Tune: ‘The Streets of Laredo’ - trad.)
Come people of faith from the bounds of Australia,
let’s share in the vision of what we might be:
a part of God’s world that is vibrant with colour,
a landscape for life that is open and free.

God’s world has one table for all kinds of people,
God's world is a home all are welcome inside,
God's way is the way beyond stigma and dogma,
God's Spirit the surfboard that dares us to-ride.

God's Word is alive in the challenge of Jesus:
to look with his eyes at the world that we know,
to stand with conviction, to care with compassion,
to make new connections, to pray as we go.

Let's relish the changes the Word rearranges,
with bushfires of bias stamped out from the start,
let's savour the flavour of full-bodied living,
the world of Christ Jesus, the way of the heart.   
Shirley Erena Murray
The people sit after the hymn

Or in your own words

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


Centering Silence

Let us take a moment to settle into the silence.
Hear and feel your quiet breathing.
Hear and feel the quiet of this place and this community of people.

In this quiet hour may our spirits be renewed.
In this time of celebration,
may our minds be open to new truth,
and our hearts be receptive to love,
as we give thanks for this life we are blessed to share. E-LBelcher

Music of Reflection

And Reflecting on Life as Australians...
Come to us, Creating God,
as the One who walks the way of ordinary people.
 Come to us, as the One who weeps over the city.

Come to us,
as the One who deeply understands
the paradox of life which rises from death.
 Come to us, in a language of grace
that we may approach you
in vulnerable hope.

Give us new life if the old has been destroyed in us.
  Give us openness if we have closed our hearts to your future.
Give us courage, if we tread this land in fear of bringing our gifts.
  Give us wisdom, when we forget to listen to the learnings of our history.
Give us joy when we see the breadth of your imagination
expressed in the differences between us.
 Differences of race and culture,
differences of history and journey,
differences in our experience of you.

Bind us together as those
who feel your love under our feet
in the warmth of this, our holy ground.
Dance within our life, O Spirit of God,
that we may be transformed by your eternal passion
for making all things new.   
Dorothy McRae-McMahon/bst


Wisdom from the World/Religious Traditions


• i Corinthians 12:12-14, 27  (Inclusive text)

Just as the human body, though it is made up of many parts,
is a single unit because of all these parts, though many,
make one body, so it is with Christ.

In the one Spirit we were all baptised,
Jews as well as Greeks,
slaves as well as free citizens,
and one Spirit was given to all to drink.

Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts...

Now you together are Christ's body;
but each of you is a different part of it.


• “On Children”
Kahlil Gibran. The Prophet

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
and though they are with you
yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you can not visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.


• “Honoring Children”
By Linda Olson Peebles

Sitting on the ground,
with the huge universe of sky and space all around,
may we let our eyes be open to the miracle of life
in every person whom we see.

May our hearts and minds not be numb
or unaware or unconcerned.
The vibrancy of life is all around.
The power of love and nurture
is ours to bring into being,
to help ourselves and every child we meet.

Who we are and how we are with one another matters.
May we bring blessing and witness to
the sacredness of our being human.

• Luke 4:14-21  (Inclusive Text)

Jesus with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee.
And his reputation spread throughout the countryside.
He taught in the synagogues and everyone praised him.

Jesus came to Nazara, where he had been brought up,
and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did.

Jesus stood up to read and they handed him
the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

Unrolling the scroll Jesus found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of God has been given to me, and has anointed me.

I have been sent to bring good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim God's year of favour.

Jesus then rolled up the scroll,
gave it back to the assistant and sat down.

And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him.

Contemporary Exploration and HERE

Silence for Personal Reflection


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

For our community gathered here,
for the spirit that called us together and drew us to this place:
All  We give thanks this day.

For moments we have shared with others;
for times when we have reached out across barriers
of distance and fear;
for times when others have reached out to us;
for moments when we have discovered another along our path:
All  We give thanks this day.

For this community of celebration and growth,
introspection and solitude,
and for those moments of 'that peace which passes all understanding':
All  We give thanks this day.

For our gathering together out of distant places;
for our weaving together out of many separate selves
this hour of celebration and worship:
All  We give thanks this day. 

Sharing 'The Peace
Let us now take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you. (David Galston/q)
All  And also with you.



Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Perfect Singer”  (Tune:  ‘Catherine’, 77.77)                                                                    332 SLT
Perfect Singer, songs of earth
rise on every field and hearth;
let our voices sound again
ancient songs of joy and pain.

All your creatures strive for life
suffer hurt in angry strife,
seek compassion, find release
in the covenant of peace.

Sing a sacred melody
for the justice that shall be;
let our harmonies resolve
dissonance in steadfast love.

Steadfast Seeker, find our song
woven into lives made strong;
let the patterns of surprise
kindle hope with each sunrise. 
The people sit

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
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  Loving Presence, luminous in all creation,
hallowed be your name.
Thy kin-dom come.
May we reflect on earth
the yielding perfection of the heavens.

Help us to receive an illumined measure from the earth this day.
Forgive us when we trespass against others,
human and other than human,
as we forgive others who trespass against us.

Keep us on the path of wisdom
when we are tempted to take the selfish path.

May it be your rule we follow,
your power we exercise,
and your radiance that allures.

May this be the truth that guides our lives,
the ground from which our future will grow,
until we meet again.  (Bruce Sanguin/dddc)


Teachers/helpers/Community worker come forward.
Children/parents form a circle around them.

v1  Once upon a time, in the beginning,
a labour of love was undertaken.

And a place was established where children
might find learning and love and acceptance,
and it was called Children's Sunday Club.

And the labour of love progressed.
And it was very good.

v2  We pray:
We give thanks for all teachers, helpers, musicians, community
workers, children and parents,
who are part of (NN) Sunday Club this new year.

May they be blessed in their ministry.
May we always be prepared to offer our support,
that they may never feel alone in their work.

v1  And the labourers looked at all that had been accomplished,
and the people rejoiced,
for it was very good.
Teachers/children return to their seats

In faith and love, gathered in this place,

we celebrate the brightness of community

and the season of early Summer called 'Balalambar'
 (Season of Butterflies)
by the Djab Wurrung and Jardwidjarli People.

The Offering

The Presentation
God of splendour,
your goodness sustains us,
and your graciousness gives us hope.

May we and these gifts of bread, wine and money
be used to further your way of love, hope, and justice.
May it be so.

God of the summer’s day,
All  praise and wonder be.
God of the lingering sunset and early dawn,
All  praise and wonder be.

God of the hot north wind and the refreshing shower,
God of the shady tree and the cool water bag,
God of the ripening harvest and sparkling sea,
All  praise and wonder be.

All creation blesses the creator, the source of energy and life.

We also remember the ways of Jesus
who walked the dusty roads of Galilee,
who taught from seashore and mountainside,
and who told stories of the sower and the seed,
the lilies of the field,
and the birds of the air.

May we, too, know your presentness in the beauty of creation.

We also remember, Creativity God,
that your care for this earth and your people can be denied;
for your goodness was abused
and the Holy One was betrayed.

On the night of his arrest, so our tradition tells us,
Jesus, the Holy One, again shared a supper with his friends.
Through grain and grape, bread and wine,
he spoke of his coming death and new life,
asking them to remember him.

May we feel your touch, hear your call,
experience your grace, and
know your strength in our lives
All  As we celebrate your life in our midst.

Breaking of the Bread/Pouring of Wine
Jesus took bread,
offered thanks, broke it, and
gave it to those gathered with him:
v2  'Bread broken - for you. Take this, all of you'

He poured a cup of wine
offered thanks for it, and
gave it too to those gathered with him:
v2   'Wine poured out for you. Take this - all of you.'

It is through the goodness and creativity of God we have this bread and wine to offer…

Bread, that was once scattered as grain in a paddock
 and gathered together
 and baked into a loaf;

Wine, that was once grapes grown on a hillside
and gathered together
and pressed into juice.

Come, for all is now ready.