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A SERVICE OF WORD AND SACRAMENT

Season of Creation - Fauna Sunday, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
September 8, 2013

We worship with the whole fauna family.

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 148:10)


“Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Praise God!”


SONG OF PRAISE (181)


Come, O God of oceans wide:

shifting sands and crashing waves;

fish of every shape and size,

creatures of the reefs and caves.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


Come, Creator of the cat,

in the jungle, in the yard;

kookaburra and wombat,

species that we disregard.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


GREETING


Welcome! We worship this Sunday with the whole fauna family on Earth. We celebrate with birds, animals, reptiles and all our living relatives.

We listen to their sounds, watch their movements and wonder with them

as they praise their Creator.

We give thanks for and with our kin in creation.


Acknowledgement of traditional owners. Welcome to visitors.


GATHERING


In the name of the Creator of all fauna, the name of Christ, the Lamb of God, and the name of the Spirit, the breath in all life. Amen.

Holy! Holy! Holy! Earth is filled with God’s presence.


Christ, we come into your presence, today,

to worship in this sanctuary called Earth,

Holy! Holy! Holy! Earth is filled with your presence.


PENITENTIAL RITE


You are invited to come forward and light a candle in honour of a

cherished creature or species, or in remembrance of an extinct species.

You may name the family member as you light the candle

and remember one of our lost ones.

We share the sorrow of our fauna family.

We feel the loss. We share the sorrow.

We share the memory. And we are sorry! ...


ASSURANCE


Christ, who was deeply grieved in Gethsemane,

knows your sorrow and shares the suffering of all creatures.

Christ, teach us compassion for the life that suffers around us.


In the name of Christ:

I affirm your compassion.

Come now, embrace those in pain, and care for those in danger.

Shalom! Shalom! We embrace the suffering of all creation.


As we come home to Earth. God, have mercy.

As we share Earth with our kin. Christ, have mercy.

As we care for creatures in danger. God, have mercy.


Glory to God in the highest!

And on Earth peace with our kin in creation!


COLLECT


God, our Creator, we celebrate with all living creatures today.

Help us to see your presence, not only in human history

 but also in the stories of our kin in creation,

 the great fauna family.

Teach us to hear the good news of your loving care,

 proclaimed in the wild places.

Rejoice with us as we behold the mysteries of your Wisdom

 implanted in all life.

In the name of Christ who fills heaven and Earth. Amen.


The Liturgy of the Word


FIRST READING Job 39:1-12,26-30


PSALM 104


SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 1:10-23  


GOSPEL Luke 12:22-31


The Wisdom of God:

God’s word made new.


HOMILY


AFFIRMATION


We believe that God creates all things,

renews all things and celebrates all things.


We believe Earth is a sanctuary,

a sacred planet filled with God’s presence,

a home for us to share with our kin.


We believe that God became flesh and blood,

became a piece of  Earth,

a human being called Jesus Christ,

who lived and breathed and spoke among us,

suffered and died on a cross,

for all human beings and for all creation.

We believe that the risen Jesus is the Christ at the core of creation

reconciling all things to God,

renewing all creation and filling the cosmos.


We believe the Spirit renews life in creation,

groans in empathy with a suffering creation,

and waits with us for the rebirth of creation.


We believe that with Christ we will rise

and with Christ we will celebrate a new creation.


PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION


We thank God for a wondrous creation.

We celebrate with all fauna in creation.

We pray for all in danger and need.

We name them now.


... Jesus Christ, teach us to empathise with Earth.

Make our spirits sensitive to the cries of creation,

cries for justice from the land, the seas and the skies.

Jesus Christ, make our faith sensitive to the groans of the Spirit in creation, groans of longing for a new creation.

Jesus Christ, make our hearts sensitive to the songs of our kin,

songs of celebration from the sea, the forest and the air.

Christ, teach us to care. Amen.


The Liturgy of the Eucharist


OFFERING


God, our Creator,

through your love you have given us these gifts to share.

Accept our offerings as an expression of our deep thanks

and our concern for those in need,

including our fellow creatures on planet Earth.


PEACE


INVITATION


GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING


God is here.

God’s Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to God.

Let us give thanks to the God of love.

It is right to offer thanks and praise.


God, our Creator, source of everything that is,

we bring before you this day, bread and wine

and with it we bring before you all creation to say:

Thank you, God, thank you!

Thank you for weaving the web of creation

for living and dying among us to redeem us and all creation:

Thank you, God, thank you!

Thank you for rising to life,

permeating all things with your Spirit to heal and sustain all things:

Thank you, God, thank you!


Therefore with voices of thanks echoing throughout the cosmos

from the first day of creation until this very moment in time,

we praise and thank you, God, singing (761):

Holy, holy, holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,

Earth, sea and sky are full of your glory;

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of our God.

Hosanna in the highest.


Your presence is the living impulse in all things,

the Christ deep among us, filling Earth – land, sea and air;

in every element and place;

in the grain and the grape we share with you ...


INSTITUTION


THE LORD’S PRAYER


God our Motherand our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name, your dominion come,

your will be done, on Earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trialand deliver us from evil.


LAMB OF GOD


Lamb of God, who takes away all sin against heaven,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takes away all sin against Earth,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takes all sin from the world,

receive our prayer.


COMMUNION


Come, for all things are now ready.

Come to the table with all your kin and share with all in need:

the gift of healing for those in pain,

the gift of forgiveness for those in guilt,

the gift of assurance for those in doubt,

and the gift of hope for those in tears.

May we who share these gifts,

share Christ with one another and all our kin.


PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION


Let us give thanks for this meal.

We thank you Christ, for the meal we have celebrated with you

and we pray that through your body and blood we may be healed

and become agents of healing for our kin on Earth.

Amen.


The Sending Forth of the People of God


Notices.


BLESSING


Christ calls you to be his disciples,

to serve him with love and compassion,

to serve Earth by caring for creation.

Will you care for creation?

We will care for all creatures!

We will nurture our planet!

We will sustain our endangered kin.


May the Spirit of God,

who is above all and in all and through all,

fill you with the knowledge of God’s presence in Earth

and the life-blood of Christ within you.

Go in peace! Serving Christ and loving Earth!

We go in peace, serving Christ and loving Earth.


SONG ‘Song of the Wild’


Will you come back with Me to the birth of the Earth,

Before all its life forms evolved?

Will you sing with the heavens amazed at the sight:

A planet with secrets to unfold?


Will you praise,

Be amazed

With eyes as wide as a child’s?

Will you praise,

Be amazed

And sing the song of the wild?


Will you walk home with Me on the way to the wild

And watch baby birds break from their shells?

Do you know how I serve as a mid-wife to all,

The lion, the lizard and gazelle?


Will you gather with Me as the wading birds dance,

Preparing to migrate North once more?

Can you fathom the code I have fixed in their souls

To navigate oceans when they roar?


Will you sleep with your God in the desert one night

And wake with the creatures of the sand?

Can you fathom the wisdom instilled in their mind

To live without water, sun or man?


If you don’t feel at home with the rain forest snakes,

If you’re troubled when creatures change their skin,

Then surrender the claim that you rule on this Earth

And discover creation as your kin.



Acknowledgements:
Based on liturgy at seasonofcreation.com; ‘Song of Praise’ Additional words
by Andrew Collis, 2013; ‘Song of the Wild’ Words by Norman Habel, 2000.
Artwork: Pia Ravenari, Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat (http://moonvoice.dreamwidth.org).