Sunday, July 12, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy of Transformation - July 12, 2020 - Presiders: David DeBonis and Kathleen Ryan, ARCWP

Liturgy of Transformation

Dave: Welcome and Theme 
Kathie and I welcome everyone here today as we consider our roles as sowers of the Word and how our very uniqueness makes us the most powerful messengers. 
Kathie: Opening Prayer:  The Holy One is calling. What do we hear? We hear, we are loved, and in all ways we are enough. We hear love one another, as I love you. Let us answer the call with a heart full of gratitude and a resounding yes! Amen.

Opening Song: Turn, Turn, Turn


First Reading: A reading from Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber.

In this first reading, Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber discusses her experience speaking at the 2012 Lutheran youth Gathering in the Superdome.
“Some of your parents and pastors were really upset that I was your speaker tonight. They thought someone with my past shouldn’t be allowed to talk to thousands of teenagers. And you know what I have to say about that ‘They are absolutely right.’ Somebody with my past of alcoholism and drug use and promiscuity and lying and stealing should not be allowed to talk to you. But you know what? Somebody with my present, who I am now, should not be allowed to either. I am a sarcastic, heavily tattooed, angry person who swears like a truck driver. I am a flawed person who really should not be allowed to talk with you.   But you know what? That’s the God we are dealing with people!”
The kids went nuts. Clapping, screaming, on their feet.  I was floored. I had no idea they were even listening.
“Let me tell you about this God.” I told them that this is a God who has always used imperfect people, that this is a God who walked among us and ate with all the wrong people and kissed leapers. I told them that this is a God who is especially present to us in the most offensively ordinary things: wheat, wind, water words. I told them that this God has never made sense.
“And you don’t need to either, because this God will use you, this God will use all of you, and not just your strengths, but your failures, and your failings. Your weakness is fertile ground for a forgiving God to make something new and make something beautiful so don’t ever think that all you have to offer are your gifts.”
After the talk a young girl hugged me and said “I think you saved my life tonight.”
Sometimes the fact that there is nothing about you that makes you the right person to do something is exactly what God is looking for.

These are the inspired words adapted from the book Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber and the community responds by saying AMEN.

Alleluia:   Spirit of the Living God

Gospel: A reading from the Gospel of Matthew.

Later that day, Jesus left the house and sat down by the lake shore. Such great crowd gathered that he went and took a seat in a boat, while the crowd stood along the shore. He addressed them at length in parables:
“One day a farmer went out sowing seed. Some of the seed landed on a footpath where birds came and ate it up. Some of the seed fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. This seed sprouted at once since the soil had no depth but when the sun rose and scorched it, it withered away for lack of roots. Again, some of the seeds fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and chocked it. And some of it landed on good soil, and yielded a crop thirty, sixty, even a hundred times what was sown. Let those who have ears to hear, hear this!”
These are the inspired words of a disciple name Matthew and the community responds by saying AMEN.


Dave: Homily
I think the various types of soil described in today’s Gospel reading usually receive the most attention and I have to admit it is difficult to resist assigning certain people or groups to the various soil types. (I tried to resist it but could not).  Theologian Elizabeth Johnson, in her analysis of this Gospel reading, cautions us against doing this and believes that each of us most likely represents several different kinds of soil, depending on the day and the specific circumstance that we face.  

But thanks to a very insightful and encouraging analysis of this Gospel passage by Elizabeth Johnson, I believe that the more useful message in this gospel is don’t let our “imperfect soil” interfere with our role as sowers.

Johnson suggest that just as it appears that the sower carelessly scatters his seed without any strategy, wasting much of it on bad ground where there is little chance of a growth, so too Jesus spends his time with tax collectors, sinners, lepers, the marginalized. One might question whether this is the best way to spread his message. And Jesus leaves his mission in the hands of the apostles, who had shown themselves to be less than a reliable group. Once again, the question could be asked, where is the strategy in that?  

Johnson explain it: “Jesus' investment in his disciples shows that he simply will not give up on them, in spite of their many failings. We trust that he will not give up on us either, but will keep working on whatever is hardened, rocky, or thorny within and among us.”
Johnson suggests that we “avoid playing it safe, sowing the word only where we are confident it will be well received.”  She calls us to be creative and “take risks for the sake of the gospel” by generously “sowing the word, even in perilous places.”  The priests and deacons of the Upper Room community have created the soil to allow those of us who are willing to live out this creative and risk-taking approach.   

And in our first reading, we have another excellent example of this. We hear from Nadia Bolz Weber -an admittedly imperfect messenger -taking the Word to a potentially perilous place—a Superdome full of teenagers! And what is the message she delivers. She essentially tells the young people that God needs them and will use them---all of them. That they are chosen not despite their weaknesses but because of them.  Weber echoes the words of Elizabeth Kulber-Ross who notes “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, suffering, struggle, loss”  
So, let’s really try to take the words of the first reading to heart. “Don’t ever think that all you have to offer are your gifts.” The Divine will use it all—the joys and the tears, the successes and the failures, the light and the darkness because all of these make you the person you are.  

We are called to continue, with all of our own imperfections, to generously and relentlessly work the soil in the expected, as well as the unexpected places and, like Jesus, to believe that we can produce something truly beautiful.
Shared Reflections

Kathie: Statement of Faith

We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding,
the heart of all that has ever existed,
that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Word,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

 We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of divine love,
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace in the world.

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine kin-dom is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.

 Dave:  As we prepare for the sacred meal, we   bring to the table our prayers and intentions.

            “We bring to the table all those suffering from COVID including their families and caregivers.
            We bring to the table all those who have experienced racism in the past and present and we pray that all will open their hearts to truly understand this suffering.
            We bring to the table our government officials that they hear and listen to the guiding wisdom of the spirit.
            We bring to the table our sister Nancy who is dancing in heaven with all our family and friends who have crossed over ahead of her. .
            We especially bring to the table Suzanne, Jeanne and Dennis as they experience this great loss.
            We bring to the table Patsy Gunn, the mother of Rev. Shanon Sterringer, who crossed over recently. May Shannon and her family be filled with peace.
            Finally, we bring to the table all who are present on zoom today and all who could not join us that they will experience and know the love of the Divine.
Presider 1: We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen. 

Kathie: With open hearts and hands let us pray our Eucharistic prayer in one voice:

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us as we set our hearts on belonging to you. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all creation.

You know our limitations and our essential goodness and you love us as we are. You beckon us to your compassionate heart and inspire us to see the good in others and forgive their limitations. Acknowledging your presence in each other and in all of creation, we sing:

Blessed be our God! 
Blessed be our God!  
Joy of our hearts, source of all life and love!  
God of Heaven and Earth! 
God of Heaven and Earth! 
Dwelling within, calling us all by name!  
Alleluia, sing! Alleluia, sing! 

Kathie: Guiding Spirit, when opposing forces in us tug and pull and we are caught in the tension of choices, inspire us to make wise decisions toward what is good.

We thank you for our brother, Jesus, and for all our sisters and brothers who have modeled for us a way to live and love in challenging times. Inspired by them, we choose life over death, we choose to be light in dark times.

Dave: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: We are ever aware of your Spirit in us and among us at this Eucharistic table and we are grateful for this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in the world.

All: On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet. 

Everyone please lift plate as we pray:

When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying: 
Take and eat, this is my very self.
 (pause)   (Community consumes the bread)  

Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you.
(pause)   (Community drinks from the cup)

We share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace.

All: Holy One, your transforming energy is within us and we join our hearts with all who are working for a just world.  We pray for wise leaders in our religious communities. We pray for courageous and compassionate leaders in our world communities. 

We pray for all of us gathered here and like Jesus, we open ourselves up to your Spirit, for it is through living as he lived that we awaken to your Spirit within,
moving us to glorify you, at this time and all ways.

Kathie Presider 2: Let us pray as Jesus taught us: 

Holy One, you are within, around and among us.
We celebrate your many names.
Your wisdom come; your will be done,
unfolding from the depths within us.
Each day you give us all that we need.
You remind us of our limits and we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us,
now and forever, Amen.  
Adapted by Miriam Therese Winter 

Dave: Loving source of our being, you call us to live the gospel of peace and justice. We choose to live justly, love tenderly, and walk with integrity in your presence.


Dave:  Please extend your hands in our final blessing.

ALL:  May the Fire of Love ignite our hearts and radiate through us.
May the Spirit truth and justice burn within us.
May we continue to be the face of the Holy One, and
May we be a blessing in our time.

Closing Song: Go Light Your World
Words and music by Chris Rice

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Zooming Through Ten Years of History with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ARCWP Annual Meeting 2020 - Videos

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests celebrated highlights of our ordinations, ministry, the history of our movement today on Zoom! 

Kudos to Donna Rougeux  Panaro ARCWP, Kim Panaro ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP for producing these first two videos of memories of our memories and milestones. 

I narrated the third video of our history "Women Priests Then and Now" and Mary Theresa added the slides and edited this youtube video below. In this slide show, we make the connection between women in official liturgical roles at church altars in early Christianity and highlight research done by archaeologist theologian Dorothy Irvin in Rome showing women functioning in roles of deacons, priests and bishops. Dr. Ally Kateuz,  author of Mary and the Early Christian Women: Hidden Leadership, points out that there is no early Christian art where only men are at the the church altar and that early Christian women routinely performed as clergy in orthodox churches. Our slide show shows a brief history of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement and concludes with the foundation of ARCWP in 2010. 

As we celebrate our 10 year anniversaries and milestones, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is prophetic movement pioneering a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals. 

One moment in Time;

Who I was born to Be

Women Priests Then and Now

2:00 pm - 2:10 pm. Final wrap up (Kathie -10 mins)

Friday, July 10, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for the 15th Sunday in Extraordinary Time - Presiders: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP, and Sally Brochu, ARCWP

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
Fifteenth Sunday in Extraordinary Time, July 11, 2020  
Presiders: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP and Sally Brochu, ARCWP
Lectors: Cheryl Brandi and  Joan Meehan
IT: Pat MacMillan
Theme: We can see beyond what we see with our eyes.

Presider 1: Welcome to Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida where all are welcome.  It is a delight to have so many join us from all over the country. Please know that all are welcome and if you are joining us for the first time we extend a very warm welcome. We hope you will introduce yourself near the end of the liturgy. Please have bread and wine or juice ready for Communion.

With this Zoom technology, we are able to hear certain voices while keeping our personal computers on “mute.”  If you feel drawn to share at the Prayers of Petition and the Shared Homily, please unmute your microphone, speak, and re-mute yourself. Even though you are muted, please respond when “All is indicated,” and don’t forget to sing your heart out! Nobody is listening, and it feels great!
Our opening song is:

OPENING SONG   “Shelter Me” written by Michael Joncas, sung by Spiritu

Presider 2:  Ever-present and Everyday God, draw our focus to you so that we may see and hear things as they really are, and as you see them. Help us to identify truth in order to speak it, as you would have it spoken. Continue to invite us in a movement toward our full life in you. Become our very life.   ALL: Amen.
Presider 1: Let us now take a moment to think of the times we have failed to love others and ourselves.

ALL:  Loving God, make us quick to see where and when we block your loving Spirit and thereby slow down the progress of creation to its completion in you. When we find it hard to forgive, help our egos to step aside and allow your Spirit to flow, bringing about a change of heart.  Amen.

All: (please extend your hands in blessing): Everyday God, teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to forgive one another for our failures, to ourselves, to others and our planet Earth. Help us say “Please forgive me”.  
When we have hurt someone, either intentionally or unintentionally, help us say “I’m sorry.
Help us see the goodness in people and how and when they have loved us into life. Please,  help us to say ”Thank you”.
And help us remember to speak the  words “I love you” that is like sweet honey for the soul.

ALL: Glory to you, God and the Good of all creation. Be with us as we walk the path of the evolutionary process where we are called to grow into the fullness of you, with eyes fully open to see and ears better able to hear. Help us to see the goodness and beauty that surrounds us, that speaks of you. For all your goodness, we praise you. Amen.

                                    LITURGY OF THE WORD

 FIRST READING: (Cheryl Brandi)
The first reading is from the Book of Isaiah 55:10-11

For just as from the heavens the rain and snow came down and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the sower and bread for food.
So will my word be that goes forth from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will carry out my desire and hope, achieving the end for which I sent it.
These are the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah and we affirm them by saying:
So be it!

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 66:  (Cheryl Brandi)
 Psalm 66 interpreted by Nan Merrill.

Sing a joyful song to the Beloved all the earth, and praise Love’s name;
Sing in glorious exultation!
We say to You, “How magnificent are your ways:
So great is your power that fear and doubt vanish before You;
You are our Teacher for all ages:
We, who choose to listen and learn, sing songs of gratitude and joy.”

ALL - Response: Sing a joyful song to the Beloved all the earth and praise Love’s name.

You Have allowed us to fall into the net:
You have watched us reap all that we have sown;
We went through fire and through water,
yet you have brought us through our pain and into your dwelling place.
I enter your Heart surrendered to Love.

ALL - Response: Sing a joyful song to the Beloved all the earth and praise Love’s name.

I commend my soul into your keeping;
All that my lips uttered, all that my mouth promised
when I was in trouble and pain,          
I offer up to You.
Blessed be the holy Name of the Beloved,
Loving Companion Presence, who embraced me, and renewed my life.

ALL - Response: Sing a joyful song to the Beloved all the earth and praise Love’s name.


 GOSPEL READING: (Joan Meehan)
 A reading from the Gospel according to Mathew 13:10-15
Matthew 13:10-15

… the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven,
but to them it has not been given.
For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance,
But from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive,
and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’
‘You will indeed listen, but never understand,
And you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
And their ears are hard of hearing,
And they have shut their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn –
and I would heal them.”

This is the Good News as told by the followers of the Apostle Mathew and we affirm these words by saying “Amen”.

Gospel Acclamation Alleluia (2nd Half)

Homilist: If you feel called to share, unmute yourself, raise your hand and wait to be asked to speak.  Mute yourself again after speaking

HOMILY- (Janet Blakeley)
God reaches and teaches us through our senses.    Hear, O Israel, the Lord Your God is One.   Hear.   That word has the potential to help us evolve on our journey to God, depending on how we respond to it.   Hearing – can be passive.   The sound falls on the eardrum.   Listening – requires some noticing.   Paying  attention  indicates a mental involvement.   Understanding something new about God – borders on being relational.  
Jesus, too, uses the familiar to nudge us along.   He talks about being able to see and hear, but hints that there is a degree of these two activities beyond the senses – a spiritual degree.  It requires being attentive with the heart and soul, learning to recognize the ways of God.   We have that capacity, but he warns that we can lose it.   Talents or giftedness never used or cultivated remain dormant and eventually will be lost.
So that we may see and hear as Jesus would have us do, we must cultivate seeing as God sees and hearing as God does.   The way to do that is to put our customary ways aside for a while and turn to look at God.   By becoming more familiar with God, just by consciously paying attention, we begin to know the ways of God, how God is, including how and what God sees and hears.   Even if we spend time seeming to learn nothing, as time goes by, our attentiveness begins to carry over into the day and we find ourselves changing in what we are able to see, hear, and love.
It was one of my life’s blessings to have a wonderful supervisor in spiritual direction – Bill Connelly, a Boston Jesuit.   As he was legally blind, what he taught came not from books but from experience.   Because of this, his teaching was authentic to the core.   One of his unforgettable teachings was how to deal with a problem.   “Of course you use your intellect to sort it out, but if you find yourself getting nowhere –just going around and around – you are looking at the wrong thing.   Take your focus off the problem and look at God.”   That is not to say “take the problem to God” in the sense of talking about it, because you’ll be looking at the problem again!   Just look and listen to God’s self.
He was telling us to expose ourselves to God’s ways.   This simple way of praying seems to change things.   Problems don’t go away, but things do change, especially ourselves.   Our capacity to see and hear evolves.   In time, we do begin to see and hear something of what God sees and hears. These days, many people are nearing despair about the state of the world because there is just too much for anyone to grasp, let alone make right!   Bill Connelly would say, “Quit looking at the problem.   The answer is not found in the problem!   Look at God.”   Learn how to see and hear what’s really going on.
In this community, we understand evolution to mean the results of God’s inviting us (and everything else) to come closer to God’s self.   We would consider an invitation to growth in seeing and hearing to be evolution.   To demonstrate this – let’s listen to a new source – the Gospel of Thomas.   This Gospel was not included in the canon of the Bible, but for early Christians it was a well-known and accepted collection of the sayings of Jesus.   About 50% of them are familiar to us and the rest have that familiar Jesus “ring” to them.
Saying # 108:  Jesus said, “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me.   I myself will become that person, and what is hidden will be revealed to that person.”   Reading it is one thing.   Reading it contemplatively is quite another.
Jesus said: “Whoever drinks from my mouth” meaning whoever takes in my words, swallows them, digests them…  “will become like me.”   That might be all a person would hope for – to be like Jesus.   Most of us are trying to do just that.  
“I myself will become that person.”   Jesus takes us beyond the first thought, in which we may become like him, to saying he will become us!   What a leap in understanding that suggests!   And what surrender on our parts!  
“And what is hidden will be revealed to that person.”
At this point, we could go right back to today’s Gospel and “get it,” because by lingering over words and thoughts we have evolved in our understanding.   We have moved to another place in our seeing and hearing, as Jesus said we could.   Let those with eyes, see and those with ears, hear.
The message of Bill Connelly seems more meaningful than ever: take your focus off the dilemma and focus on Jesus.   Let yourself become like Jesus.   Let Jesus become you.   All will be resolved. In this day and age, one might simply say “Keep your eyes on the prize.”   
STATEMENT OF FAITH  (Taken from “The Friends in Faith” and shared by Joan Meehan)
All: Gathered together as people of faith, we profess our belief in God who is larger than we can name, unable to be contained, yet present in each one of us.   We have come to know this God in the living of our lives, and in the holiness of the earth we share.

We believe in a God revealed in all peoples, all genders, religions, and orientations.   We embrace a compassionate God who champions justice and mercy, and is always faithful when we call.   Our God gives and forgives, patiently loving without conditions.

We gratefully believe in a God who feels our deepest struggles and celebrates our deepest joys.   A God who both dances with us in celebration and holds us when we cry.   This God is not the “other” to us but shares our breath in every moment and promises we are never alone.

We believe in a God who believes in us – believes that we are precious and incredible gifts, worthy to claim image and likeness to the divine.   We hold fast to our God who journeys with us, who continually calls us to choose the shape of our days through the choices we make.   This God accepts us as we are and shares our hope we have for becoming.   This is the God in whom we believe, our Creator, our Mother and Father, who became human in Jesus, our brother.   Our God is the Spirit of Life, the voice that continues to speak love, and asks us to answer.   In this God we choose to believe.   Amen.


Presider 2: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. 
Creator God, we look with you at the various life forms that exist on this beautiful Earth, and ask you to open the eyes and hearts of all humans to the destruction we seem unable to prevent ourselves from causing.
All: Holy One, hear our prayer.

We see with you our overworked and stressed friends and neighbors who care for the sick and who keep our civilization running.   Stand beside them, strengthen them, and work through them.
All: Holy One, hear our prayer.

For what else shall we pray?  
            Unmute your microphone. e Speak your concern when there is an opening.
            Re-mute your microphone.

We pray for these and all unspoken concerns that we hold in our hearts.  
All: Amen.

“Everyday God” – Bernadette Farrell

(Please set out your own bread and wine.)

Presider 1: Blessed are you, God of all life.    Through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, these prayers of the heart, and our own lives to offer.   Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we respond to your call to use our gifts in loving service to our sisters and brothers.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Presider 2: God is within you, blessing the world through you.
All: And within you.
Presider 2: O Holy One, we lift up our hearts to You, You who gently invite us to enter into a deeper relationship with you that will affect how we live our lives and make decisions.   This transformation seems to come through difficulties and pain, yet you are there with us always.   Come Holy Spirit, be with us and with all who have gone before us, as we lift up our hearts in praise and sing:

All: We are holy, holy, holy (Karen Drucker)

Presider 1: Our Holiness is your Holiness within us. Help us to seize opportunities to reveal it to the world.

All: You pour out Your Spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world. On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the men and women he loved.   He washed their feet.   For this they would remember him.  

Presider 2 : Please lift the bread as we pray the Prayers of Consecration:
All: When he returned to his place, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat of the Bread of Life, my body, given to strengthen you.   Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. (pause)

Presider 2: Please lift the cup as we pray:
All: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace saying: Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life in you.   Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. (pause)

Presider 1: Let us share this bread and cup, and welcome everyone to the Banquet as we live the gospel of justice and peace in our world.

ALL: We are called to do everything Jesus did, to be the living presence of a love that does justice, of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates laughter, of a light that illumines right choices and confronts the darkness of every injustice and inequity.

All: We trust you to continue to share with us your own Spirit, the Spirit that filled Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, his loving and healing that all honor and glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever.
All: Amen!  (Linda)

Presider 2: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
Prayer of Jesus: “Our Father and Mother…”

Sign of Peace: Presider 1: If you are with others now, please turn to them and give them a sign of peace. Then let us all face the screen and express a sign of peace to one another.   “May God’s peace be with you”,

Prayer for the Breaking of the Bread
Presider 2: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread.
All: O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.
We will live justly.   O God of Compassion, You call us to be your presence in the world.   We will love tenderly.   O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power.   We will walk with integrity in your presence.
(All hold up the bread and wine.)
Presider 1: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.   Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.
All: Through him, we have learned how to live.                                                 
Though him, we have learned how to love.                                                                       
Through him, we have learned how to serve. AMEN.

Presider 2: Please now receive Communion with the words “I am (You are) the Body of Christ” and “I am (You are) the Blood of Christ”

Presider 1: Let us raise our hands and bless each other.
All: May you be blessed with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.  
May you seek truth boldly and love deeply within your heart.
May you continue to be the face of the Holy One to all you meet.
May your name be a blessing in our time.

Prayers of Thanksgiving, Introductions, Announcements:

Closing Prayer:
Presider 2: Creator God, how good it is to enjoy community in your presence. We hope to carry this life-giving joy with us throughout the week. Please grace our days with your love as we carry all this good out into our daily lives
ALL: Amen.

Closing Song:  Day by Day from Godspell