Pluralism.5.5.2019

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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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.


A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
5 May 2019. Easter 3C. (White).
Pluralism Sunday

Worth Pondering
“Today we live, but by tomorrow, today will be a story.
The whole world, all human life, is one long story”
(Rabbi Reb Zebulun)

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 and present,
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

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/Slides 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Let there be joy in our coming together this morning.
Let there be truth heard in the words we speak and the songs we sing.

Let there be help and healing for our disharmony and despair.
Let there be silence for the voice within us and beyond us.
Let there be joy in our coming together.
  Carl Seaburg

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

For gathering today in this sacred space,
we light the flame. 

For the opportunity to be together as a community,
to remember the past,
to claim our future,
to be alive in our present,
we light the flame.  (Apt./David Sorrells)

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) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism 
HERE

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
I Danced in the Morning…” 
(Tune: ‘Lord of the Dance’)                242 TiS
I danced I the morning when the world was begun,
and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun;
and I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
at Bethlehem I had my birth:
Refrain:
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the dance, said he;
and I’ll lead you all where ever you may be,
and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe and pharisee,
but they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me.
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John,
they left with me and the dance went on:
Refrain:

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame:
the holy people said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high,
and they left me there on a cross to die:
Refrain:

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;
it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone;
but I am the dance and I still go on:
Refrain:

They cut me down and I leap up high,
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you as you live in me:
I am the Lord of the dance, said he: (Sydney Carter)

Refrain:
Remain standing

OR

Easter 4(Tune: ‘Fulda’)
Was it the shaking ground that moved
the stone, that freed the resting Word,
that called the Christ to life again:
God's Spirit, breathing, moved and stirred?

Whatever cause, we may not know,
but Mary heard a calming voice,
that turned her life around again,
that gave her reason to rejoice.

The world still spinning, recollects
that God survived all human scorn;
that lives were changed for ever more
in meeting love alive, re-born.

This is the Voice that turns us round,
that calmly offers grace to cope;
that gives us strength to live again,
that gives us cause to sing our hope.  (© Andrew Pratt 1/4/2011).

Opening Sentences
Through this time of celebration,
we leave for a time the daily sequence of events,
to examine life in its eternal dimensions 
and consequences:
All  
asking questions about our values
our directions, our goals, and our relationships.

Let us spend this time in the presentness
of the Sacred One - God.
All  Praise be for this gathered community
in this sacred place, for all people.

Act of Awareness
We are part of all that sustains or destroys life.
Creation and destruction occur in continually unfolding ways.
And so may we open our ears to the continually unfolding Word.

Life speaks to us in new and vital and imperative ways.
With all the power we have been given,
let us be silent and open to listening…
for nourishment,
for comfort,
for challenge and new focus.  (St Stephen’s Project).

OR

We pray:
God, help us to listen to our inner spirits...
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. 
Francis Macnab
May it be so!

Hymn (Cont) Morning has Broken”  (Tune: ‘Bunessan’, 55 54D)            156 TiS
Morning has broken
like the first morning;
blackbird has spoken
like the first bird.
Praise for the singing,
praise for the morning,
praise for them, springing
fresh from the word.

Sweet the rain’s new fall
sunlit from heaven,
like the first dewfall
on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
of the wet garden,
sprung from completeness
where his feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight;
mine is the morning
born of the one light
Eden saw play.
Praise with elation,
praise every morning,
God’s recreation
of the new day. (EFarjeon)
The people sit after the hymn

OR

Holy Mystery, Holy Wisdom(Tune: ‘Austrian’, 87.87D)
Holy Mystery, Holy Wisdom
Wholly Love who guides our way,
Loving Presence, Source of Being,
Now transform us day by day.
Words of Scripture tell our stories,
Voices rise in gifts of song,
Calling us to loving action,
Faith-filled as we journey on.

We are partners in creation,
Bound by love to all around,
Seeking justice and compassion,
Sharing truths that we have found.
Spirit - Source of Inspiration,
Love - our song along the way,
Holy Mystery, Holy Wisdom –
Source of hope with each new day.  (© Gayle Simonson, 2005).

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.

Music of Celebration

EXPLORING

(i) Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Let us now listen to some stories from our broad religious tradition.

(i) From our World Around us:
"I Celebrate Diversity!”
An extract from “In Celebration of Diversity” 
By John T Squires. 
An Informed Faith, Blog, 31 July 2018.

I celebrate diversity.

When I stand outdoors in the evening, in the shimmering light of the moon, and look far, far out into the distance, I see a glittering array of shining lights, far beyond our own solar system, planets and stars sending streams of light from so far, far away. Each one is different, yet together they co-operate to form the galaxy, the universe, the whole wondrous cosmos.

When I stand outdoors in the morning, and bathe in the warmth of the rising sun, I look around me, and see the shades of green in the leaves of trees and plants near to me. Each green is different: strong, vibrant greens; subtle, delicate greens; sage green and olive green, emerald and seaweed and teal greens, the green of mint and the green of Granny Smith apples.

When I wander through the countryside, placing my feet one after another on the earth beneath me, I can find myself walking on dark red soil, or on sandy white soil, on heavily-compacted brown clay, or on thickly-packed peaty soil. Each soil is different, and together they provide the terra firma on which all the land-based creatures of our world live…

Diversity is not a binary matter… it is a spectrum, with positions all along the way (and beyond on each side). We see signs of diversity all around us in the world.

And diversity is integral to the creative, regenerative, reconciling work that we undertake in our mission as the church, called and sent to serve as messengers of the good news, sharing God’s abundant grace and liberating hope.

So, I celebrate diversity!!

OR

“Christian Toleration?”
By Sue Brown. Seeing Christ in Others/98.

Toleration is often
exalted as a virtue.
I am not so sure.

I know I do not yearn to be 'tolerated'.
Did the father barely tolerate the prodigal?
Does the father merely tolerate us all?

I tolerate, without much thought,
the motorway at dawn,
stale air in city streets,
siren and motor horn.

I tolerate an icy wind,
I tolerate the daily grind.
I tolerate the miscellany
of pulsating humankind

Do I tolerate my brothers and my sisters?
I know I do not long to be tolerated.
I long to be
loved,
understood,
welcomed.

Hebrew Scriptures:
Psalm 30