Monday, July 3, 2017

Mary, Mother of Jesus Community and the Upper Room Community Celebrate Liturgy with Theme: Body of Christ

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida and the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community of Albany, New York join in prayer for upcoming ordinations.  On Saturday, July 8, four members of the Association of Roman Catholic Priests will be ordained in Albany, New York: Lindy Sanford (priest); Lynn Kinlan, Margaret Alderman and Anne Keller (deacons). 

Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP
As part of her program of preparation, Lynn wrote the Eucharistic prayer that was prayed in both communities last weekend.  Lynn's homily starter and Eucharist Prayer are printed below with pictures from both communites. 
Theme: Body of Christ
 Today, the readings remind us that we are part of God’s holy people, part of the Body of Christ in which “Christ” means anointed one.  We are reminded that each one of us is anointed, called and welcomed to be part of something so much larger and greater than ourselves. There is a dynamic balance to be achieved inside this Body of Christ for it offers both security and serenity as well as change and challenge.

Theresa Rodriguez, representative of MMOJ Community presents stoles to priest Kathryn Shea ARCWP, co-presider at Eucharistic Liturgy

Deb Tress places stole on Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP Albany
Theresa Rodriguez, MMOJ Community representative, presents stole to Deacon Elena Garcia ARCWP as co-presider

Deb Trees places stole on Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP Albany
Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Elena Garcia co-preside at MMOJ liturgy in Sarasota, Florida on July 1, 2017
Opening Prayer:  Holy One, we ask for Your Wisdom to understand how each of us is beloved and precious. You help us to know deep within that none of us are separated from You as the Christ. Help us to always remember that we are more like each other than we are different. ALL: Amen
Lynn Kinlan and Mary Theresa Streck co-preside at Upper Room Liturgy
Homily Starter July 2 by Lynn Kinlan

Paul is writing to the people of Ephesus which was home to one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis from the 6th century BCE through to the year 268, during which time it was destroyed and rebuilt three times over. Ephesus attracted tourists from all over because of their world renowned temple so Paul is pretty wise in telling them we are joined together in Christ and we rise to become a holy temple. He presents them and us with an eternal Christ- wonder, greater than all the wonders of this earth.

In the Mathew gospel, there’s a difficult contest of sorts set up by the words ascribed to Jesus when he says the disciples must love him more than their family. I sense he is referring to relationships that pull us away from the Divine rather than radiating the Divine. Some family relationships secure us within the Body of that holy Christ temple and some tempt us to lose our way. Jesus sounds really challenging but he is only preparing his friends for the road ahead that will be more difficult than they can ­­­­know. The parent who has warned a child that ‘the world is not fair’ has spoken like Jesus does here. Anyone who has second guessed a friend with, “are you sure you want to go there?” has spoken like this Jesus of the Mathew gospel.

Then, Jesus goes onto say, You who have found your life will lose it, and you who lose your life for my sake will find it.

Finding our place, finding our lifesource, means being part of a whole larger than ourselves, a sum greater than its parts. This means joining in community prayerfully and physically, dedicating ourselves to more than our own self interest, our own desires or needs. Not just looking out for the other guy but being willing to do it at our own peril or with discomfort. We may not literally lose our lives as some of the martyred disciples did, but we may have to face unpleasant truths surrender comfortable ideas about ourselves, be willing to be remade, let go of the familiar and not be the happy go lucky go along, get along person with blinders on. Living with integrity and courage, with love and discernment can mean forgoing popularity, profit and preconceived notions.

And sometimes, it means giving up or going against someone or something that means the world to us, like when we are tempted to:

· agree with a loved one even when they’re wrong; or

· stay in a job that compromises our principles; or

· Stay with a childhood faith that is familiar because change is just too daunting; or

· remain silent in the face of prejudice or racism or misogyny because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings;

And then, we have to ask, am I putting Jesus first? Am I doing what I’m meant to do, being whom I am called to be, or am I losing my way?

When we let go of what used to be important for the sake of finding ourselves in Jesus, what do we end up with? We find our very own way, our best self, and our finest hour, the serenity of knowing that everything fits together and makes sense. We discover Wholeness. We find a life in Christ, anointed and embraced, we uncover community which surpasses all distinctions, all differences, all divisions. We find the soulful knowledge that we are strangers and aliens no longer.

by Lynn Kinlan

All: Source of Love and Light, we join together in unity of Spirit, love and purpose with all Your people everywhere, living and crossed over. With all of creation across billions of galaxies, we open our hearts and souls to become One in the mystical Body of the Cosmic Christ. In your loving, embrace we are liberated from division, fear, conflict, pride and injustice. We are transformed into wholeness. With gratitude, we meld ourselves into You, into the one Cosmic Body that knows all, shelters all and transforms all into love, abundant and eternal.
United in one voice, we sing of the glory of all Creation with these words of praise and thanks:
Holy, Holy Holy by Karen Drucker
We are holy, holy, holy, You are holy, I am holy.

We thank you, Holy One,  for the incarnation of Jesus, a radical balance of human and divine who points our way and who strives with us in our time of need. We yearn with passion to live as Jesus, one with you and your Spirit, in peace and justice with all.
May our desire to a part of the Body of Christ join us to all living things. We seek to heal the differences that isolate us across the globe so that we may live and breathe in solidarity with all your people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or class. May we have the imaginative sympathy and love of Your Spirit to go beyond the confines of time and space into the Oneness of forever and ever where Love abides.
Co-presider: Please extend your hands in blessing.
All:  Together, we call on Your Spirit, present in these gifts – bread that satisfies our hunger and wine that quenches our thirst – to make us more deeply One, living in the fullness of holy compassion and Sophia wisdom.

Anticipating the likelihood of betrayal, arrest and pain, Jesus wanted more than anything to be with his friends at a Seder, to share the meal, exchange stories and create fond memories. To strengthen the bonds of friendship that evening, Jesus washed the feet of his friends in an act of love and humility.

All: Back at the table, he 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)

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 in you. Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. (pause)

As we prepare to feast on grain and grape, we seek the wildfire blessing of Your Spirit, that it might sweep through our lives and urge us toward wholeness.
Knowing that Jesus spent his time with the lowly and hurting, the needy and shunned, we seek to be alert to how we can bring the love and unity of the Body of Christ to wherever and with whomever is in need. We ask for the grace to see with the eyes of Jesus, touch with the hands of Jesus and heal with the heart of Jesus. Amen.
Co-presider:  Let us join with disciples of all ages to pray together:
All:     O Holy One, who is 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 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    (Miriam Therese Winter)

Litany for the Breaking of Bread

Co-presider:  Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread:

All:  Loving Source of the Divine, You call us to live the gospel of peace and justice in harmony and with joy. We will live justly, love tenderly and walk with integrity in Your Presence.

Co-presider:  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 within the mystical Body of Christ, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.
Co-presider:  Our Eucharistic celebration is all inclusive. We belong to the Divine and to each other and nothing can separate us. Everyone is invited to receive at this friendship table. Please pass the bread and wine with the words “You are the Body of Christ.”
Communion:  Instrumental

After Communion Song/Reflection:  “If Not Now” by Carrie Newcomber,
sung by Mindy Simmons

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Co-presider:  Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our
oneness with you and with one another.  May we reflect, like Mary, your liberating, mothering
love for all your people everywhere.  And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with our knowledge, understanding and experience of your love and compassion in us, your body of Christ to the world.  .   ALL:  Amen.

Closing Community Blessing
(Let us all extend an arm to one another in mutual blessings)

ALL:   May we continue to be the Face of God to each other. May the harmony of being connected across culture, race, time and space create in us the yearning to love as One Body, joyfully and persistently. May each of us shine with the terrific love of Jesus.
Closing Community Commissioning

Co-presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ, let us be the body of Christ that the Holy One created us to be.  Let our service continue.

ALL:  Thanks be to God.  Let it be so!

Closing Hymn:  “Go Make a Difference” – #504, all verses

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