Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Together in Thanks, Together in Faith, Caring for the Earth Together: Venice Interfaith Community Service Thanksgiving Service


Come to the Table of Plenty: A Prayerful Reflection and Dialogue on Thanksgiving Eve 2017 for Interfaith Service by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

1.    Play Song/
Words and music by John Michael Talbot
 Come to the feast of heaven and earth!
 Come to the table of plenty!
 God will provide for all that we need
 Here at the table of plenty
O come and sit at my table
Where saints and sinners are friends
I wait to welcome the lost and lonely
To share the cup of my love
O come and eat without money
Come to drink without price
My feast of gladness will feed your spirit
With faith and fullness of life.
My bread will ever sustain you
Through days of sorrow and woe
My wine will flow like a sea of gladness
To flood the depths of your soul



1.   Reflection
“There was a lady who was visiting a church one Sunday.
The sermon seemed to go on forever, and many in the congregation were dozing off. After the service, she walked up to a very sleepy-looking gentleman, extended her hand in greeting, and said, "Hello, I'm Gladys Dunn."And the gentleman replied, "You're not the only one, ma'am, I'm glad it's done too!"

I assure you, my sisters and brothers, this will not be your experience! At Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, our presiders, including our ordained priests, offer a homily starter which is followed by the community participating in a shared homily. After over 2000 years, Catholics in our communities have a lot to say about how God’s Word is impacting their lives. We believe that the Spirit of God speaks through the whole community and is guiding us as we live a new model of inclusivity, hospitality in our communities where all are welcome.

So in light of this tradition, this evening I will begin my homily with a guided meditation on reflecting together on the many blessings of our lives, our earth and our calling to to be a “table of plenty” for those we meet each day and for those we will never know. 

 

“The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy,” says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. "Gratitude can change our world in immensely important ways, because if you're grateful you're not fearful, and if you're not fearful you're not violent. If you're grateful you act out of a sense of enough and not of a sense of scarcity and you are willing to share."  

David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful https://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful

The God of Inclusive Love invites us to celebrate the wholeness and humanity of everyone especially our sisters and brothers who are poor and marginalized and in need of us providing a table of plenty for them.

 

So, on this Thanksgiving Eve, I invite you to reflect on gratitude, name the Table of Plenty in your life, in creation and give thanks as we care for the Earth together.

(Rachel’s Song plays softly in background)



3. Meditation at Table of Plenty
Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and journey into the depths of your soul, the still point of your being, where you relax in the Presence of the Holy One who loves you beyond your wildest dreams at the Table of Plenty…

Open yourself to experience the boundless love, healing energy, and blessings of the Holy One within you…  Be aware of any thoughts, images or feelings that fill your heart…

Give thanks for the great blessings of your life…  family… friends, loved ones…special people ..our earth. Give thanks for each one in the circle of love at the Table of Plenty…

In your prayerful imagination, see creation in an expanded circle around the Table of Plenty… Give thanks for the boundless blessings of each living creature and our earth…. Be aware of any thoughts, images or feelings that fill your heart…

Now reflect on any ways you can live each day with a grateful heart and share your blessings at the Table of Plenty with others especially those in need as we care for the earth together...

As you are ready, jot down on your card, or make a mental note of your special blessings that you wish to name at your Table of Plenty as we now bring our meditation to a close…



4. Sharing in small groups/Community sharing with all: time permitting
Share with onenear you- your greatest blessings, practices that help you live gratefully each day, and ways we can share our blessings with others.

5. Conclude with song again


Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004, sofiabmm@aol.com

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