Thursday, January 28, 2016

"God is Everyone's God and Love is Everyone's Call" by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Two doves nested on my window ledge the other day. In the coming weeks, if all goes well, a baby dove will emerge!

The glory of God is often right in front of us.  

Our loving God lives in us, moves through us and loves through us, and our loving God lives in every dove, every flower, and in all earth's creatures. Everything is sacred.  

We walk on holy ground every single day! 

Let us smell the perfume of the  roses, gaze at the fluffy, white clouds, feel the raindrops cleanse our skin, and enjoy the warmth of sunshine caress our bodies.

St. Theresa of Avila, a sixteenth century mystic, reformer and Doctor of the Church reminds us that our call is to live life fully and be in love!

"Remember if you want to make progress on the path  and ascend to the places you have longed for, the important thing is not to think much but to love much and to do whatever best awakens you to love.'

While learning can open us wonderful insights, deep knowledge and lead us to wisdom and understanding, love can guide us into the embrace of God where all are one and all belong. 

God is everyone's God and love is everyone's call. 
Let us celebrate the beauty of life before our eyes each day!

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Homily for Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 4th OT, Jan 31, 2016 by Beverly Bingle, RCWP

What is it that makes Jesus' neighbors so mad at him
that they want to throw him over the hill?
Some are truly amazed at the truth of his insights into the scripture,
but others complain
that he isn't working those miracles for them
like he did in Capernaum.
He responds by telling them that miracles require faith,
and he gives them two examples, neither of them Jews.
His friends and neighbors recognize the truth of what Jesus says,
knowing that those despised foreigners,
the Canaanites and the Syrians,
have the deep faith they themselves lack.
They reject his message.
But he knew his mission,
so he stood up, told the truth,
and went on his way doing what he was called to do.
_____________________________________________
Religion can bring out the worst in people.
They think their dogma and their ritual makes them better.
They exclude people
and begin to think that God wants them
to hate the “other”
and kill the “foreigner.”
_____________________________________________
It still happens.
Just as the citizens of Nazareth forgot the commands of the Torah
to “love the alien as yourself;
for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt,”
people today can forget the Great Commandment of love.
Religion can get distorted into fanaticism and bigotry.
_____________________________________________
On the other hand,
we know that religion can also bring out the best in people,
helping them to become more tolerant and loving.
We each have to ask ourselves what religion brings out in us.
Our first reading, that stirring passage from Jeremiah,
tells us that God has a mission for each one of us
that is only ours to do.
Jeremiah also tells us that It won't be easy
but that we will bear fruit.
_____________________________________________
We are fortunate here in Northwest Ohio
to be able to see the good that religion can bring out in others.
We are blessed with many prophets among us.
Some of you know Paul and Kathleen from Liberty Center,
who have left the snowy north for the winter,
but not to vacation.
They are trekking through the southwestern desert
to leave caches of water and food
for desperate refugees from South American terrorism
who cross into the United States at the risk of their lives.
And some of you know Sandy and Lin in West Toledo,
adopting and fostering so many special needs kids
that I've lost count.
And there's Sister Ginny
putting together an alternative to suspension for school kids
at the Padua Center.
And Marcia and Rose and hundreds of others
lobbying to get the lead poisoning
out of the homes of the poorest kids among us.
And Karen Shepler bringing our community together
in an ongoing dialogue to combat racism.
And Woody and Judy creating a way for followers of every faith
to work together as a community of justice and peace.
And, there's our own Tree Toledo,
scores of people planting trees
so future generations will have breathable air.
And then there's you,
prophets anointed by God
to bear the good news everywhere you go.
You're out there in the food pantries and the soup kitchens,
visiting people in the hospitals and nursing homes
and at home and at Hospice.
You're at the funeral home
comforting your friends when they lose a loved one,
tutoring and coaching and cheering for your grandkids,
donating to Rahab's Heart and disaster relief,
racing for the cure,
and praying in the quiet of the morning
and the still of the night.
_____________________________________________
Like Jeremiah, like Jesus, you
have been anointed by God to prophesy to the nations.
You look at the world and speak out,
sometimes with words but more often with action,
and with that patient, kind love that Paul preached about.
Sometimes you suffer rejection for standing up and speaking out.
The rejection can take different forms;
it can be personal or situational or social or cultural.
You could be passed over for promotion or fired,
you could be bullied or beat up,
betrayed by the people you trust the most,
or just plain ignored
when you try to do what's right
or speak up about something that's wrong.
But you do it anyway.
_____________________________________________
God has given each of us,
as the poet Mary Oliver describes it,
this “one wild and precious life”
and charged each of us with a unique mission.
It's unique because we each have different gifts to bring to it;
but it's the same for all of us:
we are all sent to love:
love God,
love neighbor,
love one another.
Amen!

--
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church
)

"Irish American Cardinal Raymond Burke Blames Women for Church’s Problems" by Dara Kelly/ /"Cardinal Burke Excommunicated Women Priests and Banned My Books" by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-American-Cardinal-Raymond-Burke-blames-women-for-churchs-problems.html
by  Dara Kelly @irishcentral  January 27,2016 01:19 AM


"Burke, 66, the firebrand conservative who was recently demoted by Pope Francis to the ceremonial post as patron of the Order of Malta, pointed to the introduction of altar girls as an example.
Serving mass is a “manly” job argues the Irish American Cardinal, and so the participation of women and girls in the daily life of the church has had a chilling effect that has led to a drop in morale and priestly vocations.
“Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved."
Bishop Patricia Fresen Ordains Ree  Hudson and Elsie McGrath priests in St. Louis in Nov. 2007
Not only do boys not want to share altar time with the girls, they resent how much better girls do their jobs apparently...."
Bridget Mary's Response:
 I find Irish American Cardinal Raymond Burke's comments blaming women for Church's problems an example of extreme misogyny. Full disclosure, I am Irish born as most of my readers know. What you may not know is that my books were banned by him after I was ordained. 

 And though I have never met the former Cardinal of the St. Louis Missouri diocese, I believe that Cardinal Burke and his brother bishops have been the gift that keeps on giving! Every time they condemn or excommunicate women priests, our movement grows.  And in one sense, you could say that the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is a holy shakeup rocking the church! Now, in my view,  this is a real good thing, and should not be a red flag of impending doom and gloom, as Cardinal Buke fears. As we grow, we are changing the church, one inclusive community at a time. www.arcwp.org
After my ordination as a Roman Catholic Women Priest in Pittsburgh in 2006, Cardinal Burke ordered Liguori Publications to drop my books. At that time I had published six books which had over 100,000 in sales with Liguori, Many of my books even had imprimaturs:The Healing Power of Prayer, Nine Ways to Reach God, Affirmations from the Heart of God, Praying with a Passionate Heart, Praying with Women of the Bible and Praying with Celtic Holy Women. So, I put them on amazon.com and they are available there to this day. See sidebar on blog if you want to see the entire list of 20.
In 2007, Patricia Fresen ordained Elsie McGrath and Ree Hudson in St. Louis, Missouri.  Weeks before the ordination, Cardinal Burke sent an emissary with several warning letters of interdict and excommunication. Ree informed me that much of the letter was written in Latin! At the same time, Cardinal Burke went so far to stop the ordination that he contacted a high ranking Jewish Rabbi who lived in Rome. Rabbi Susan Talve and her congregation welcomed us with open arms at their Synagogue.  At that time, I was doing media for RCWP and a "media frenzy was created because of the Cardinal's opposition. 
Read the story here:
"The area women, Rose Marie Hudson, 68 ,of Festus, and Elsie Hainz McGrath, 69, of St. Louis, were ordained as priests in November 2007.   They currently co-pastor a faith community and hold a worship service for about 35 people Sunday evenings at the first Unitarian Church of St. Louis.
Bridget Mary Meehan, a spokesperson for Womenpriests, said Burke is not authorized to excommunicate Fresen because she lives outside the Diocese of St. Louis.   Monsignor John Shamleffer, the archdiocese’s chief canon lawyer, said Burke is within his right to respond to disobedience within his geographic jurisdiction, regardless of Fresen’s residence outside the U.S. “Excommunication is not meant to be a penalty,” he said, but a “wakeup call” aimed at helping the women “see the error of their ways and return to full communion with the church.”
A total of 10 women priests  have been excommunicated since ordinations began in 2002.  The original “Danube Seven” were excommunicated within weeks of their ordination on the Danube River in Germany. Meehan indicated there are  53 women candidates for priesthood, deacons and priests in North America and elsewhere around the world.
In a statement on March 13, Hudson and McGrath said that they “and all Roman Catholic Womenpriests, reject the penalties of excommunication, interdict, and any other punitive actions from church officials. We are loyal daughters of the church, and we stand in the prophetic tradition of holy disobedience to an unjust man-made law that disciminates against women.”
They cited the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote that Catholics must obey their own conscience, “if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority.”
Salon reported the Womenpriest movement “is the most flamboyant and incendiary challenge to the Roman Catholic Church’s unrelenting discrimination against women.” “They are asking, Is Sexism a sin? How does the Church reconcile its teaching that women and men are created in God’s image, that once baptized, there is ‘no male or female’ and ‘all are one in Christ Jesus,’ with its contention that women cannot represent the ultimate sacred or hold ultimate power through ordination because they are, literally, the wrong ‘substance’?”

Burke Lecture: An Ecological Inquiry; Jesus and the Cosmos by Dr. Elizabeth Johnson




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf8-L3i1eF0

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Feminist Interpretation of Bible :Link Wisdom Commentary introduces feminist interpretation of every Bible book

http://globalsistersreport.org/news/spirituality/wisdom-commentary-introduces-feminist-interpretation-every-bible-book-36811

Jan. 25, 2016 in 
Reid pitched her idea to editors at Liturgical Press, who were excited and gave her the green light. 
Reid assembled an eight-woman board of feminist scholars to help her coordinate the project, and in November, the first three of what will ultimately be a 58-volume series of feminist biblical commentary were published: Hebrews, Haggai and Malachi, and Micah.
Titled the Wisdom Commentary — a nod to both the figure of Woman Wisdom as portrayed in the Bible and to the oft-ignored wisdom of female biblical interpreters — the series features authors from a diverse array of religious, racial and cultural backgrounds, including Korean United Church minister HyeRan Kim-Cragg and International Council of Christians and Jews past-president Deborah Weissman.
It's an effort, Reid said, to mirror the very same inclusive society that mendacious structural powers have historically used the Bible to suppress.
"We want to illustrate that there's no one feminist way of interpreting the Scripture and that, just like other biblical scholars, feminist biblical scholars have more than one way of understanding the text as well," she said, adding that in some instances, a single volume of the Wisdom Commentary will highlight dissenting viewpoints.
The Wisdom Commentary isn't introducing a new way of understanding Scripture. In fact, Reid is keenly aware that the series is carrying a torch lit almost two millennia ago: In her editor's introduction to the Wisdom Commentary, Reid notes that one of the first women to openly question the use of Scriptures to support patriarchal structures was a second-century consecrated virgin named Helie who refused to accept that Paul's first letter to the Corinthians made marriage compulsory.
More recently, Reid told GSR, women like Sharon RingeCarol NewsomElisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Athalya Brenner-Idanhave greatly advanced the field of feminist hermeneutics.
However, Reid hopes that by its unprecedented scope, the Wisdom Commentary will showcase the best of current feminist biblical scholarship and inspire more people to join the ongoing conversation. Schüssler Fiorenza and Brenner-Idan both serve as editorial consultants for the project, and Schüssler Fiorenza is penning the volume on Ephesians.
Reid said she hopes this series will prove to skeptics that looking at the Bible through a feminist lens isn't a fringe activity.
"Feminist biblical interpretation is not something far out and strange," she said. "It has now become so widely a part of how we do biblical interpretation that I had no trouble finding enough authors to do these volumes. It's really taken its place at the academy, and newer biblical scholars are very familiar with it and know how to do it."
That being said, Reid knows that feminist theology is still relatively new and that, as a result, much more work will need to be done to advance a Scripture-based vision of inclusive dignity and equality even after her series. In the meantime, however, she said she's felt the Holy Spirit at work throughout Wisdom Commentary's creation process.
"I think one of the things the Spirit does is bring newness to birth," Reid said. "She's a creative Spirit who brings joy and delight. And I've felt that very strongly throughout this project — the creativity that she is inspiring and the delight that she is unleashing in being able to share more widely these very important perspectives that are being put forth in this commentary series."
The fourth volume of the Wisdom Commentary series, a study of Baruch and Jeremiah, comes out next month. Afterward, Reid expects six to eight volumes to be published every year until the series is complete.
[Dawn Araujo-Hawkins is Global Sisters Report staff writer. Her email address isdaraujo@ncronline.org. Follow her on Twitter: @dawn_cherie.]

Dorothy Day: "Words Are Not Enough, You Have To Do Something!" , Bridget Mary Meehan: ARCWP "We Are Ordaining Women Priests to Promote Justice in the Roman Catholic Church"


On one occasion, Dorothy Day challenged a young priest: "Words are not enough, she said. " You have to do something. " ( God of Love, p.99)


We find "Dorothy Days" everywhere today who are doing something  to promote justice for the marginalized, oppressed and wounded in our world and in our church.

Love of God, compassion and justice go together, like hand in glove.




I am reminded too that these words can also be applied to the Catholics who feel rejected by the institutional church. They are no longer welcome at the Banquet table of Christ's love in the Eucharist.

Some are unwelcome because they are Gay, Lesbian, Transgender. Some are divorced and remarried without an annulment. At this time the Vatican is still working out the details on the internal forum guidelines that may open the door a crack for divorced and remarried. Some women feel unwelcome because of the church's sexist teachings and structures prohibiting women's ordination. The list goes on and on.






Contemporary theologians have made the case for justice and equality in the church and the world. Their words speak eloquently the message that the will of God in our time is the full equality of women in the church and world.



The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement have taken Dorothy's Day's admonition to heart and are acting to make change a reality in the Roman Catholic Church: "Words are not enough, You have to do something.'



Indeed, as Dorothy Day challenges, we are acting!  In prophetic obedience to the Spirit, we are breaking an unjust law  to bring gender equality and justice to our church. We make the connections between abuse and violence toward women in the world and discrimination toward women in the church. Women priests are bringing healing to centuries old misogyny.



 We are ordaining women and men in our communities in apostolic succession as a prophetic act of  obedience to the Spirit so that gender equality is a reality now in our grassroots faith communities.  We are in 13 countries and over 35 states in the United States. 



Let us rejoice and give thanks that the Spirit of God is working through us to create a new justice for women in empowered, inclusive, compassionate communities of faith!




I think Dorothy Day, blessed prophet of justice and equality,  is cheering us on! 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

Monday, January 25, 2016

"The Wounds of Rejection" by Joan Chittister, from Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About Life




The wounds of rejection
We were still grieving the loss of laughing, loving Danny when the call came. A young woman who had visited the monastery over the years had heard about the death of Danny. And then, at about the same time, she came to know, too, of an exhibitor who presented show dogs in competition. This trainer and dog exhibitor, she learned, intended to have one of her highly bred golden retrievers euthanized.

This dog had simply had the misfortune to “outgrow the standard of the breed.” He was, in other words, too tall or too broad or too something to compete. He was no good for stud. In fact, he was of no financial good to her at all anymore. He had to go.

Did we want him, the girl on the phone pressed?  If we would promise to take him, she was sure she could negotiate some kind of agreement to make it possible. We weren’t over Danny yet. But we did love dogs. The house might not be ready for another dog. But it might be easier to accept when we were used to having one around than it would be later. We didn’t have the time to think it through. But if we didn’t think quickly, this dog was going to be dead.

I took him.

…oh, was he trained! It was almost pitiable to watch him. Call the dog to come and he trundled across the room and threw himself flat on his face in front of you. No joy in coming. No joy in getting there. He had been robotized to the point of pain.

Somehow or other, in anticipation of dog show ribbons and championships, puppyness had been stripped right out of Duffy. We had an old dog, an empty kind of dog, in a young dog who had never found life for himself. It had been given to him in short phrases: come, sit, down, and stay. All of them are valuable things to know, but all of them, in his case, had been exaggerated to the point of meaninglessness.

My first attempt to free Duffy was to decide that no one who was involved with caring for him would ever give him a command again. It was the one clear gift I could think of to prove to him the trustworthiness of his essential dogness.

“Duffy,” I would say silently as I looked into his deep, wise, and knowing eyes, “you are enough just as you are. You have had all the shaping into someone else’s expectations that you will get for the rest of your life. From now on, all you need to learn is how to be yourself.”

Then the lesson became clear: It is when we become ourselves that people have the least control of us and we have the beginning of the whole of ourselves. Then, like Duffy, we will begin to bloom.

—from Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About Life by Joan Chittister (BlueBridge).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Baptismal Rite for the 21st Century

Rite of Baptism
Enzo Knox Van Bergen
Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community
Albany, NY
January 24, 2016

WELCOME


Presider 1: It is with great joy that we, The Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community welcome Kellie and T’Quomas Van Bergen, with their son Enzo Knox, to this celebration of Baptism. Enzo was born on November 4, 2015 at 8:31 pm. His mother and father and extended family welcomed him to this beautiful world on that special day. Today, we formally welcome Enzo to the Christian Community through the sacrament of Baptism.

Presider 2: Let us pray. O Holy One, you continually remind us that you love your creation by sending us brand new possibilities in the form of daughters and sons.  May Enzo grow in his understanding of your infinite love as he learns the meaning of faith through service. May he come to appreciate his responsible place as co-creator of his life in You. Amen. (pause)
Please join in singing our opening song: All Are Welcome

Opening Song: All Are Welcome


LITURGY OF THE WORD

Presider 1: The first reading is about the special place of each person in God’s love.  People sometimes say, when talking about a time before someone was even conceived, that he or she was “no more than a gleam in the parents’ eyes”.  We find that same way of thinking, not literally, but as a metaphor about how God holds us in love, in this passage from Psalm 139 read by Paula Reynolds.


First Reading: Psalm 139
O Holy One, My Beloved, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting places
and are acquainted with all my ways.

For you yourself created my inmost parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will thank you because I am marvelously made;
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.

My body was not hidden from you,
while I was being made in secret
and woven from the elements of the earth.

You beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book;
they were fashioned day by day,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your creations, O Holy One!

Presider 2: Our Second reading is from a letter written by the apostle Paul to the followers of Jesus at Corinth and read by T'Quomas Van Bergen.

Dear Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one, though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many,
are one body, so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Now the body is not a single part, but many.
You are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.

These are the inspired words of Paul, disciple of Jesus.

Alleluia: (Sung)

Presider 1: Our Third reading is from the Gospel of Luke read by Andrea Lopez

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Holy One is upon me,
and has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Holy One.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

These are the inspired words of Luke, disciple of Jesus.

SHARED HOMILY

BAPTISMAL RITE

Reception of the Child

Presider 2: I invite Kellie, T’Quomas and Enzo to stand with Enzo’s Godparents Earl and Cathy.

Presider 1: (to the parents) Kellie and T’Quomas, what do you ask of this Christian Community?

Kellie and T’Quomas: We ask that our son Enzo be welcomed into the Christian community through the sacrament of Baptism.

Presider 2: By asking for Baptism within the Christian community, you are promising to teach Enzo to live justly, to love tenderly and to walk with integrity for all to see and celebrate. You are promising to teach him about his brother, Jesus and his message of love.  Do you promise to do this to the best of your ability?

Kellie and T’Quomas: We do.

Presider 1: (to the godparents) Earl and Cathy, do you promise to help Kellie and T’Quomas as they teach Enzo about the Source of All Life and about Jesus, our brother?

Godparents: We do.

Baptismal Ritual

Presider 1: In our ritual today, we use many sacramental symbols and signs. We now begin the baptismal ritual with a blessing of the water and the oil.

Kellie: O Holy One, Source of all that is, we experience your grace through sacramental signs, which tell us of your unseen presence.

T”Quomas: At the dawn of creation, Your Spirit breathed on the waters making them the wellspring of all holiness.

Godparent 1 (Earl): The water of the Red Sea, through which our ancestors traveled, is a symbol of our liberation from all that holds us captive. In the waters of the Jordan River, our brother Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John, and anointed with your Spirit.

Godparent 2 (Cathy): After the resurrection, the disciples of Jesus celebrated baptism in water and the Spirit with those who answered Your call to holiness.

Kellie: From age to age, oil has been used to anoint the priests, prophets, leaders and visionaries.

Presider 2: (to all present)  Please extend your hands in blessing the water and oil .
O Holy One, you call us to be co-creators of a world filled with blessing and abundance. As co-creators with you, we bless this water and oil as a symbol of your grace filled presence in our community.  (pause)

Baptismal Promises
(Each person is invited to light a candle and place it on the table by baptismal font.)

Presider 1: In this part of the baptismal ritual, Kellie and T’Quomas make baptismal promises for Enzo. I invite everyone to renew their baptismal promises and respond “I do” to each of the following:

Do you promise to see what is good for your sisters and brothers everywhere, rejecting injustice and inequity, living with the freedom and responsibility of children of God?

All: I do.

Presider 2: Do you promise to work for the realization of God’s vision of harmony and right relations among all peoples, rejecting the idols of money, property, color, sex and position?

All: I do.

Presider 1:
Do you promise to seek peace and live in peace in one human family, rejecting prejudice and half-heartedness in every form, and all barriers to unity?

All: I do.

Presider 2:
Do you promise to cherish the universe, and this precious planet, working creatively to renew and safeguard the elemental sacraments of air, earth, water and fire?

All: I do.

Presider 1:
Do you believe in God, the Source of all life, in Jesus, our brother who loved and lived among us so that all might live with abundant fullness; in the breath of God’s center, the Spirit who continues the work of forgiveness and reconciliation, birthing and blessing, challenge and hope, so that together we can continue the work of creation?

All: I do.

Presider 2: Kellie, T’Quomas, Cathie and Earl, please bring Enzo to the baptismal font.

Pouring of Water

Presider 1: (As T’Quomas pours water over Enzo’s head)
We baptize you, Enzo
-        in the name of our God who is the Source of all life,
-        in the name of our God revealed in our own humanity,
-        in the name of our God whose Spirit invites and inspires us as co-creators. Amen.

Anointing with Oil

Presider 2: (As Kellie anoints Enzo’s forehead)
Enzo, you were conceived in love and welcomed to life with love. We anoint you with this oil in recognition that human love is sacred, that you are sacred.

Presentation of Stole

Presider 1: (as Earl places stole on Enzo) Enzo, we present you with this stole. May it remind you that you carry in the depths of your being the Spirit of Life and Love itself. 


Lighting Candle

Presider 2: (as Cathy lights Enzo’s candle from the community’s candles) Enzo, may this candle remind you of Jesus, who opened peoples’ minds and hearts to see the “light” of God’s presence within them.




Presentation of Child to Community

Presider 1: (Kellie and T’Quomas lift Enzo and present him to the community) It is with great joy that we welcome Enzo Knox Van Bergen to the Christian Community.


LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Presider 2: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to the table our blessings, cares, and concerns. (at conclusion) Presider:  With love and gratitude we pray for these concerns and those which remain unspoken.  Amen.

Presider 1:  O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you. We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

Presider 2: Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together. 

All: God beyond our words, God of every simple truth, God of each and all of us, we gather to give thanks.  We open our awareness to the goodness of all of creation, to remember our responsibility to serve. 

We open this circle to the memory of all those who have gone before us, and joined with all that is alive, we lift up our lives and sing: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)

We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation and life.


On the night before he faced his own death and for the sake of living fully, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.
Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing over these gifts

Presider 1 lifts the bread as community prays the following:

Back at the table, Jesus took the Passover Bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread and offered it to them saying,

Take and eat, this is my very self. (Pause)

Presider 2 lifts the wine as community prays the following:


Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life
Poured out for you and for everyone, that you might really be free. Whenever you remember me like this,   I am among you.
(pause)

O Holy One, we are grateful for the gift of your Spirit, always inviting us to be co-creators with you.  And like Jesus . . .

Standing where he stood,
and for what he stood,
and with whom he stood,
we are united in your Spirit,
and worship you with our lives,

Amen!

Presider 1: Let us pray together the prayer of Jesus:

O Holy One, who is within, 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.
The Prayer of Jesus as interpreted by Miriam Therese Winter

Presider 2: Please join in our 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 in your presence.

Presider 1: Let us pray our communion prayer together. (Presiders hold up bread and wine)

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 2: Our Eucharistic celebration is all inclusive. You are one with the Divine and nothing can separate you from God’s love. All are welcome to receive at this friendship table.



Please join in singing our communion song: We Are Called

BLESSING

Presider 1:  May we continue to be the face of God to each other.  May we call each other to extravagant generosity!  May our light shine for all to see, and may our name be a blessing in our time!



All: AMEN                              

Presider 1: Please join in our closing song, Forever Young, and then share a sign of peace.

Closing Song:   Forever Young