Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost at Upper Room, Albany NY - Federation of Christian Ministries Commissions Mary Theresa Streck

Pentecost 2016 – Liturgy of Commissioning for Ministry


Presider 1: Welcome to our Inclusive Catholic Community. Today we celebrate feast of Pentecost and our community’s feast day.  We celebrate the Holy One of burning bushes, who enlivens us with a passion for life, for justice, for creativity, for renewal, for play.  In the Hebrew Scripture, Shekinah, the dwelling place of God, appeared in the symbols of cloud, light and fire, accompanying the people of God through the wilderness. She travels with us through our life journey and reveals a glimpse of the powerful feminine presence that dwells within, around and among us, always and forever.

Opening Prayer

Presider 2: Holy One, Holy Fire, Creative Energy within us and within all, we open ourselves to Your Spirit. We celebrate with burning hearts your presence and the warmth of your compassionate love.  We rejoice in the outpouring of your gifts everywhere as we work for justice, equality and peace in our world. Amen.
Please join in singing our opening song.

Opening Song: Sing a New Church
by Michelle Sherliza and Delores Dufner



Dan: Good morning, My name is Daniel Pellegrin…  (Dan introduces himself and tells community about the Federation of Christian Ministries).

It is with great joy that the Federation publically commissions Mary Theresa Streck as she continues her call from the Holy One that has been affirmed by this community and the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.

 Endorsement by the Federation of Christian Ministries Is our way of recognizing those who have been called to ministry in service to the People of God. It is our official declaration that these persons are In good standing with the Federation of Christian Ministries, have a relationship of accountability, and have met certain ethical and competency standards to serve in varied ministries.


Dan: Please join me as we commission Mary Theresa.

Dan: Mary Theresa, are you resolved in mind and spirit to continue faithful service to those given into your care?

Mary Theresa: I am.

Dan: Brothers and Sisters, are you resolved in mind and spirit to faithfully stand with her in her ministry through prayer, affirmation and support?

All: We are.

Dan: Please raise your hands in blessing Mary Theresa. (pause)

Holy Wisdom, You alone are the source of our courage and responsiveness in service.  We ask your special blessings on Mary Theresa as she is sent forth, commissioned to do your work.

All: You bless her service to others.  May it always be guided by the sacred covenant of Your loving care.

Dan: You give her the graces she needs to bring Your Presence to those she serves.

All: Use her as Your instrument as she continues her ministry led by your Spirit.
Use her eyes to look with compassion on those who are broken in spirit;
Use her hands to touch with tenderness those who are suffering;
Use her lips to speak words of comfort to those who are in sadness or fear.

Dan: Mary Theresa, Your community and the Federation of Christian Ministries blesses you, anoints you and commissions you to continue your ministry.

Kathie places a stole on Mary Theresa and anoints her hands with these words: Receive this stole as a symbol of your call to use your gifts in the service of others.
Anointing: Like Jesus, you are anointed to live the Gospel.


Dan presents Mary Theresa with pin and certificate of commissioning.

Presentation of Stoles and Commissioning of community

Presider 1: On this our feast day, we celebrate the gifts of the Spirit in our faith community. We use the symbols of stoles and anointing with chrism as a reminder of our baptismal call to live the fullness of the gifts of the Spirit in ministry to all.

MT places stole on and Kathie and anoints her hands and they proceed to place stoles on, Dan, Jim, Kim, Deb and Dennis and anoint their forehead and hands. They then help to place stoles on others in the community.

As a stole is placed on each person the following is prayed:  Receive this stole as a symbol of your call to use your gifts in the service of others.

As each person’s hands are anointed the following is prayed: Like Jesus, you are anointed to live the Gospel.  

Song during anointing: 
Anointed by Kathy Sherman
 (Please support this artist by downloading her songs from iTunes or purchasing them at:

Do not be afraid, It is I who am sending you.
I will go with you, wherever you go.

Do not be afraid, for my Spirit is upon you.
You will work miracles in my name.
You can heal the brokenhearted.
You can feed all those who hunger.
You will touch the eyes of the blind and they will see.
You will welcome to the table the poor and the unwanted.
You will shine like bright stars in the night.
Be not afraid, I am with you.

Do not be afraid, It is I who believe in you.
I will go with you, you will have all you need.

Do not be afraid, for my courage will uphold you.
You will work miracles in my name.

You can stand with those who struggle.

Give comfort to the weeping.
You will be a voice for the ones who can’t be heard.
You will celebrate the journey.

With Your justice, love, and beauty
Making hearts and minds and bodies whole.
Be not afraid, I am with you.

Do not be afraid, It is I who am loving you.
I will go with you, you will know I am near.

Do not be afraid, for my fire burns in your heart.

You will work miracles in my name.
You can live with bold compassion,
Embracing all creation,

You will dance away divisions for a time that’s now.
You can sing a song of blessing
And the song will be remembered
And that song will ring out for all times.
Be not afraid, I am with you. Be not afraid, I am with you,
With you, with you

First Reading: A reading from the prophet Joel
 (Joel 2:28)

Thus says our God: “I will pour out my own Spirit on all of humankind. Your sons and daughters will prophesy; your elder folk shall dream dreams, your children shall see visions and even upon the lowliest, the poor, the woman, the forgotten man, will I pour out my spirit. I will work wonders throughout creation.”
This is the inspired word of the prophet Joel.

Responsorial: Fire of Love by Kathy Sherman
Fire of Love
Burn within us.
Fire of Love
We are your flame.

Second Reading: Take Nothing for the Journey by Joyce Rupp

Heal and proclaim…
were the twelve afraid?
Did they wonder if they could do those things?
Compare to the quality of your ministry,
did they feel inadequate and unworthy?
What persuaded them to go? Your words?
Your friendship? Their enthusiasm?
Your deep belief that they could do it?

And you said:
 "take nothing for the journey."
What did you mean?
Trust or more than trust?
Did you perhaps imply that we can't wait
until we have all the possible things we need?
That we can't postpone "doing"
until we are positive of our talents?
That we can't hold off our commitment
until we are absolutely sure
we won't make a mistake?

I think of all the excuses and reasons
we can give for not serving and giving:
no time, no talent, no knowledge,
no energy, no assured results.
You say, "take nothing.
 Don't worry about your inadequacies.
I will provide for you.
Go! Just go! Go with my power.
Risk the road, risk the work.
Go! I will be with you.
What else do you need?"

This is the inspired word of visionary and mystic, Joyce Rupp


Gospel: A reading from the Gospel of John
Jn 20:19-22

On the evening of that first day of the week,
the doors were locked in the room,
where the disciples were,
for fear of the Temple Authorities,
Jesus came and stood among them
and said, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this,
he showed them the marks of crucifixion.
The disciples were filled with joy when they saw Jesus,
who said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As Abba God sent me, so I am sending you.”
After saying this Jesus breathed on them and said,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.”

This is the inspired word of John, disciple of Jesus.

Shared reflections

Statement of Faith

All: We believe in one God, 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 God's Word,
bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion,
bright star in the firmament of God's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

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

We believe that God's 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.

Presentation of the bread and wine

Presider 1: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal we become your new creation.

All: O Holy One, You dwell in all of us, and you accept our gifts and our worship that we offer in service to our faith community. We do this in memory of our brother, Jesus. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

Presider 2: Please join in praying our Eucharistic prayer:

All: O Divine Flame of Love, your glowing embers dance in our hearts. Your passionate presence kindles our souls. You purify us with the searing truth that ignites our spirits. As the glowing embers of a fire penetrate the cold around us, so your tenderness sets our hearts aglow. We celebrate your nearness this day as we remember your Pentecost miracles.

The wind of your life has blown across our world in the gentle breezes and thunder storms of your vision in your prophets and visionaries among us. We praise and exalt you forever with grateful hearts as we sing:

Holy Holy Holy  - Karen Drucker
We are Holy, Holy, Holy…
You are Holy, Holy, Holy,…
Spirit divine, Come to me 

Feeling love, Healing me .

Open my heart, Allow me to see,
Beauty & love, Lives in me.

Passionate God, you kindle your fire of enthusiasm within us. You speak to us with assurance and excitement and reveal to us the infinite, boundless, depths of your love for us.

You awaken us to your promises to be always present in our lives, no matter what the obstacles or setbacks we experience. You consume us with such a hunger and thirst for justice that our words and actions inflame others to become signs of your justice.

You give us eyes to see human need, hearts to care for our sisters and brothers and hands and feet to lighten others burdens.

Invocation of the Holy Spirit (extend your hands in blessing)

You bless us O Holy One and you enliven all that exists. You transform these gifts of bread and wine, and our lives, by boundless grace that nourishes and sustains us on our journey.

On the night before he faced his own death for the sake of the life of everyone of us, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions. He reminded them of what he taught them and bent down and washed their feet.

(Presiders lift bread)

He returned to his place at the table, lifted the Passover bread and spoke the blessing, and then broke the break with these words,

Take and Eat, this is my very self. (pause)

(Presiders lift wine)

Jesus then raised high the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine with these words:

Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life for you and for everyone. Whenever you do this, you remember me.

Christ of the Cosmos you are the spark of love in whom we believe; the Wisdom of Sophia in whom we trust; and the desire for justice that consumes us.

As we celebrate the memory of Jesus, we remember the communion of saints and all who have inspired and loved us.

May our hearts be joyful as we dream new dreams and see new visions. May we recognize Christ present in every person everywhere. May we, like Jesus, become Spirit Fire, as we fan the flames of love over all of creation.  

Presiders hold Bread and wine.

…for it is through living as Jesus lived,
That we awaken to your Spirit within,
Moving us to glorify you,
O Holy One,
At this time and all ways.


Prayer of Jesus

Presider 1: Let us pray together the prayer that Jesus taught us.
(based on John Dominic Crossan (2010, The Greatest Prayer)

Oh Cosmic Householder,
You are the Source of our wisdom,
protector and provider,
embracing all that dwells in the cosmos,
naming all for holiness and justice,
in the Companionship of Empowerment,
spread throughout the entire creation,
as willed by Holy Wisdom.
In justice, may all be sustained by daily food,
and relieved of the burden of crippling debts.
Lead us not into collusion with any type of violence,
and deliver us from all forms of violent oppression.
For yours is the empowering desire to radiate on earth
the non-violent justice of enduring hope.

Sign of Peace
Presider 2: The Holy One’s light shines in you. Please greet each other with a sign of peace.
Song: May the Christ Light by Kathy Sherman
May the Christ Light shine in you.
May the Christ Light shine in me.
Then together we will shine in God’s love to the world.

Prayer for the Breaking of the Bread

Presider 1: Please join in praying the prayer for the breaking of the bread:

All: Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.
We will live justly.  

Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. 
We will love tenderly.

Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. 
We will walk with integrity.

(Presiders hold up bread and wine)

Presider 2: Let us pray our communion prayer together.

All:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Presider 1: Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive. You are a spark of the Divine and nothing can separate you from God’s love. All are welcome to receive at this friendship table.  As you pass the bread, please say: “The Spirit of God rests upon you!”  and as you pass the wine, “You are the Face of God.”
Please join in singing our communion song.

Communion Song: We Go Forth and Spirit Moves By Jan Novotka

We stand here together
Hand in hand, side by side.
We walk into mystery
For the sake of all.
We go forth, as one,
As one, we stand strong.
Letting go, letting in,
We emerge with new wings.

(pause for quiet reflection)

Final Blessing

Presider 2:  Please join in praying the blessing together:

All: May we open our hearts to The Holy One who strengthens us to carry out our ministry faithfully, calls us to love, heal and reconcile, guides us in our work for justice and peace for all.
We are called, consecrated, and sent forth to live the Gospel! Amen.

Presider 1: Please join in singing our closing song:

Closing Song:
Let your Light Shine in Us – Kathy Sherman

Let your light shine in us. (3x)
and we will be light for the world.

Let your light shine in us. (3x)
and we will be light for the world.
We will be one and the kin-dom will come.

Let your heart beat in us.  (3x)
And we will be love for the world.
We will be one and the kin-dom will come.

Let your joy sing in us. (3x)
And we will be hope for the world.
We will be one and the kin-dom will come.

Let your peace live in us. (3x)
And we will be one for the world
We will be one and the kin-dom will come.

Let your light shine in us (3x)
and we will be light for the world.

Let your light shine in us. (3x)
and we will be light for the world.
We will be one and the kin-dom will come.

With gratitude to Helen Blanchette, Joan Chesterfield and Jim Marsh for the beautiful pictures!

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