Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke with Barbara Reid OP


My Notes from Lecture:
In her thought-provoking lecture, biblical scholar Sr. Reid offers an exploration of Luke's portrayals of women and the challenges that his ambiguous message about Mary Magdalene and women proclaimers of the Word pose for today's Church. No evidence of her being a prostitute or sinner. Pope Gregory the Great conflated Luke 7. She is not the forgiven woman or woman caught in adultery or with anonymous woman who anointed Jesus.
The Gospels actually say that she and other Galilean women ministered with Jesus, witnessed his death and was the first to encounter the Risen Christ. Luke 8 identifies Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Susanna as business partners with Jesu, accompanying him as he goes from town to town.
In the story of the Risen Christ, the women tell Peter the good news of the Risen One, but, their word is rejected.
No woman outside infant narrative speak, women choose the better part by remaining silent. Luke 24:9 Women are subject, but not believed in Resurrection narrative
Luke intent on restricting women to silent, passive roles.
Reduces naming women until 24:10.
Role of male disciples to give witness, primacy of Peter.
If women desire to speak, they will not be believed.
For men to interpret and proclaim, according to Luke.
Witness of women dismissed as nonsense!
Silencing of women in Luke and Acts.
Now, in more recent years, Barbara Reid has a different perspective on Luke.
In Luke 1 and 2, the women do speak in prophetic voice.
There are positive portrayals of women in Luke.
So now she believes we can conclude that there is a more ambiguous message in Luke about silencing of women and hearing their prophetic witness .
In Luke there is significant proclamations by Mary and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth interprets action of God in taking her humiliation away,
Elizabeth gives a threefold blessing on Mary.
The Magnificat has parallels in Exodus 15 as well as Hannah's prayer.
This is a canticle that the early Christians sang. (Miriam, Hannah, and on the lips of Mary what God is doing for them. Not totally Luke's composition but he put this on Mary's lips because they were hymns that we sung in the early church.
Mary, mother of Jesus, response echoes response to discipleship, "let it be done unto me according to your will." forshadows Jesus response.
Mary's reflectionJesus feeding hunger and healing acts, and parables.
Ana's canticle echoes Zechariah and arcs forward to road of Emmaus. 
She now believes that in Luke women are not more silent than men.
Connections between Galilean women in Luke 8 and Luke 23 and 24.
Different conclusion: Now 
1-2 linked to 23-24
Sr. Barbara sees rejection of women by male disciples  in  Luke 23 and 24 as the treatment of women at tomb, as affirmation of women who proclaimed the Word faithfully.
Women are  the connection back to Jesus ministry in Galilee.
Women who saw crucifixion were ones who followed from Galilee Luke 8:1-3
Luke 24:6-8 implies that these women were present in chapter 9 and 15
Women as faithful discples both hear the word and act on the word.
The Galilean women remembered his word, and acted on it, God's remembrance of mercy in saving action. 
The women are the good soil who bear fruit.
The women at tomb remembered Jesus words in Galilee and continue his saving action.
The women's spontaneous proclamation 24:10 continue to proclaim the word to the male apostles.
Luke 24:10 the name of women witneses
 are given.
Although Luke 23 and 24, can be read as affirming women's roles.
In Acts, women fall completely silent.
Luke has a double message, so,we must take a dual approach,
enter into it and stand apart from it and raise questions for well-being of church and world. 
We should ask questions about why women cannot proclaim Gospel.
Do not women and lay men merit preaching the mystery of faith?
Preacher of Sunday homilies can be women of holiness, should not be limited to men.
Need for a more incisive presence of women ministering in the church!
Mary of Magdala and the Galilean women are beacons of hope that the word preached by women will be heard and preached.
Images of God should not be limited to male only metaphors.
Crisis of imagination when the only name for God is father.
Myriad images in scripture for God, some are feminine, some are masculine.
It matters. 
In our public prayer, how do we address God.
If we only speak with male language, then we are saying that males are creating more in the image of God than women are .
Need to rewrite liturgies and hymns.
"God is more than two men and a bird", as Sandra Schneiders said.


 once said. 















Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy in Honor of 55th Anniversary of Vatican II and Feast Day of St. John XXIII, Oct. 14, 2017


Lee Breyer and Kathryn Shea ARCWP co-presiding at MMOJ Liturgy in Sarasota, Florida


             Presiders:  Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Lee Breyer
                           Music Minister: Linda Lee Miska

                                        Theme: John and Francis: comments, expectations & promises                                             


Opening Expression

Presider:  Welcome everyone.  As I mentioned in my “pre-liturgy preface,” today’s liturgy takes us back in time when many of us and our parents began evolving from the Church of our childhoods (pre-1962) to where and what it is today…and also to where the promise of Pope Francis may take us in the future. As we know, we will have an opportunity to voice those ideas in our homily shortly, but right now let us place ourselves in this today…now…in St. Andrew’s Church…at a MMOJ liturgy. (pause)  And as we gather ourselves together in mind and spirit, let us remember we are truly a holy people. So, let us sing what might be called “our camp song” … Karen Drucker’s “We are holy.”

We are Holy, You are holy, I am holy,  We are holy….

Opening Hymn:  “Sing A New Church”    #413 vs. 1,3,5

Opening Prayer

Presider:  Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council with this edited prayer.  Almighty God, in you we place our confidence, not trusting in our own strength to renew the people of your holy community everywhere on planet earth.  Look down kindly on our efforts to regenerate ourselves so that we may respond to your Spirit leading us on to be worthy witnesses to your messages today and all the days of this council.  To you be love, power and glory forever and ever.  Amen.  And to Pope John’s prayer, we add…

ALL:   Loving God, bless all of us gathered here now and all of those of our community who are not with us today.  Raise up in all of us the spirit that filled Saint John years ago in undertaking such a blessed mission and supported him throughout till his return to you.  We ask this of you, in the names of Jesus - our Brother, and the Spirit - our Wisdom and Sustainer.



Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness

(Let us pause briefly while we reflect on our need to grow more in love for one another.)

Presider:  Compassionate God, to whom all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and from whom no secrets can be hidden, cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Holy Wisdom.  We thank you for sending your Spirit to us so that, with her strength, we may live more fully according to your will.  Through your grace, all peoples, wherever they may be on this earth, are one family …and you have made every one of us worthy to be called your sacred people. 

ALL:  Christ Jesus, we ask you to instill in us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to be forgiving to our brothers and sisters, whoever and wherever they may be. Give us the courage and strength to extend your merciful presence that is your gift - through us –  to all those with whom you share your unending love.  May this be so, without exception.   Amen.

Glory to God

Presider: let us give glory to our loving Creator.

(Sung)  Glory to God, Glory, O praise God, alleluia.  Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God.  (3x)

Liturgy of the Word

Presider:  The preface to each of the four readings is: “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” to the music of the Taize community.

ALL: Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
First reading: This is a selection from: Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church

ALL: Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
Second reading: This is a selection from Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

ALL: Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
Third reading:  This is a selection from Gaudium et Spes, the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.

ALL: The acclamation before and after the fourth reading: Alleluia (Celtic Version).
Fourth reading:  This is selection from Dei Verbum, the Constitution on Divine Revelation

Shared Homily/Community Reflections

Homily starter: The “performance” of John XXIII and the “promise” of Francis


Profession of Faith

ALL:  We believe in God, the creator of all, whose divinity infuses all existence with the sacred, and who’s very being is the heart of the universe.  We believe in Jesus, the Christ, the loving expression of God to humankind, the sacred messenger of God’s word, the carrier of God’s healing and boundless compassion.  We believe in the Spirit, the breath of God in the cosmos who strengthens us to be instruments of peace and justice in a hope-filled world.  We surely believe in all this!

Prayers of the Community

Presider:  We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayer. We are always mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each of us.  And so, we bring the needs of the people to our loving and merciful God.  After each intercession, our response is: Compassionate God, bless our petitions.

God of healing and grace, we ask for your loving care for those caught up in the devastating fires in California and for those who risk their time and safety to be of help to them. Compassionate God, bless our petitions. (intentions)

Presider:  Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns and care for one another, here and throughout the world, especially at this time of extreme need. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence everywhere.  We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.
Judy, Cathy, Elena, Joan, Karen and Mary Al


Offertory Procession and Song: “Seed , Scattered, and Sown”   #386   verses 1 & 3

Gathering of the Gifted

Presider:  Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his.  Everyone is welcome to share in this meal. (The invitation is to everyone to join around God’s family table.)

ALL:  Loving and caring God, we – your people – are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus.  Through your universal presence, we are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who shares your gift of compassion especially to all those who are marginalized and oppressed.  May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers.  May we live always as prophetic witnesses to the gospel of Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.

Presider:  Let us lift up our hearts.
ALL: We lift them up to our gracious God who has gifted us with overflowing love so that we may share it with everyone, everywhere.

Presider: Let us recognize the presence of our God who dwells in each one of us.
ALL: Namaste!  Namaste! Namaste! (3 x)

Eucharistic Prayer

Voice 1:  Ever loving God, we do well always to give you thanks for your bonding with us, your family.  In you we live and move and have our very being.  That Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven. Her dwelling in us gives us the hope of unending peace and joy with you. And so, in gratitude, we SING with thankful praise….

ALL:  Holy, Holy, Holy God, God of power, God of light.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed are all who come in the name of our God.  Hosanna in the highest; Hosanna in the highest.

Voice 2:  We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history - and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, Jesus burned with the constant vision of his mission.  He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well-lived.  And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may pay the same price as he did. 

Voice 3:  And when his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  He even provided an example of this wisdom for all people in all ages to come.  He did so by opening wide his arms on a cross…and then died. The Spirit, who raised him from the dead showed us by her action that life is eternal and that love is immortal.  Jesus, the Christ, lives with us today …as he will through the end of time.

ALL: (With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together):  We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share his final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, blessed, broke and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it.  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world.  Do this in memory of me.    (Pause)

In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine, blessed it and gave it to them saying: take this all of you and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  Do this in memory of me.

Communal Blessing of Cups and Plates

All: (With an outstretched arm we pray)
Loving God, Source of all Being, in this moment we are gathered as a community to celebrate and remember your extravagant affection for your creation. As we pause to recall how wondrous is your love for us, we ask you to bless these cups and plates made by human hands and intended as vessels to hold the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus our Brother during liturgical celebrations. May they be symbols of Jesus’ promise to be with us always and his mandate to be His body and blood to each other. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Eternal Word, and Sofia Holy Spirit Wisdom. Amen.

(Bridget Mary sprinkles the cups and plates with holy water and then the community does the same while chanting)
 
(Bridget Mary sprinkles holy water as Alleluia is sung during blessing)

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever... (sung)…Amen.  (X times!)

The Prayer of Jesus

ALL: (holding hands):  Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…

Presider:  Understanding God, we have just prayed that “your kindom may come” among us.  Strengthen us with your grace and love so that we can truly open our hearts to make it happen in the fullness of time.

The Sign of Peace

Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.”  Look on the faith of those gathered here today and …

ALL:     …. grant us that peace.  O Loving God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace throughout the world, to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions.  Amen.

Presider:   May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another as we join hands in a circle of love and sing:  Let there be peace on earth   #532  using the following:

(“…with God as creator, family all are we…” and “With every breath I take, let this be...”)


                Litany for the Breaking of the Bread,

Presider:  Loving God… All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of nonviolence, peace and justice, we will live justly.

Presider:  Loving God… All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of understanding and compassion, forgiveness and healing everywhere in your name.  We will love tenderly.

Presider:  Loving God… All: you call us to speak truth to power and live with equality towards all.  We will walk humbly with you.

Presider:  This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world.  He calls us to share our bread on the altar of the world.  Everyone is invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.  ALL:  We are the Body of Christ.

Pre-Communion Prayer

Presider: Gracious God, as we come to share the richness of your table, we cannot forget the poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters, our families and neighbors.

Men:  We cannot eat this bread and forget those who are hungry.  O God, your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment for all your people.

Women:  We cannot drink this wine and forget those who are thirsty.  O God, this very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice.

ALL:  We cannot listen to your words of peace and not grieve for a world at war’s doors.

Communion:  Instrumental 

Post  Communion Hymn:  “Here I Am God” #377 all verses

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Presider:  Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we shared Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and with one another.  May wonder and thanksgiving fill our hearts with grace and gratitude as we experience the cost of discipleship with you as we heard in today’s Gospel.  And may we continue to realize that Jesus lives in us and that we reflect him to our brothers and sisters.  ALL:  Amen.

Introductions, Gratitudes, and Announcements


Community Blessing


Closing Community Blessing
(Let us all extend an arm to one another a mutual blessing)

ALL:   May you, our gracious God, bless everyone in our community as we do our best to “pay forward” the cost of discipleship.  We ask this of you -- in the name of God, our Creator -- in the name of Jesus, our bearer of the message of love -- and in the name of the Spirit, our inspiration and strength.   May we reflect them as we care and minister to one another and to all those whom we meet on our journey.   May we always remember, with gratitude, that we are the face of God to the world. Amen.
 
Closing Hymn:  The Spirit is A-Movin”  #454, verses 1, 4 and 5.

Closing Community Commissioning:  

Presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ, let us be the sacred people that God created us to be.  Let our service continue.

ALL:  Thanks be to God.  Let it be so.  Alleluia, let us live the gospel!

Lee and Kathryn


Bridget Mary and Kathryn, "the twins"
Jack Duffy one of founding members of MMOJ Community, returns to Florida for a visit
MMOJ Community invites everyone to come to a Dutch-Treat dinner after weekly liturgy. All are welcome!






 

Growing Our Movement, Sharing with Catholic Community in N. VA. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP addressing NOVA Community, Arlington, VA.

On Sunday, October 8, 2017, I attended the NOVA Community's liturgy in Arlington VA. NOVA is an intentional Catholic Eucharistic Community whose members gather at 10:00 AM at Kenmore Middle School for Mass.

Marie Pinho RIP, a member of NOVA Community, donated funds for the growth of our ARCWP movement. I gave an update on our recent trip to Ireland to meet with women called to ordination. This outreach was funded in part by the Marie Legacy Fund. See Aug 1-31 for update on blog about liturgies and meetings in Ireland. 



The generosity of donors, like Marie, helps us continue our work for justice and equality for women through ordination in a renewed priestly ministry that serves inclusive, egalitarian communities in the Roman Catholic Church. We are leading the church into its future now. 


I rejoice in all those who accompany us on our journey to live the fullness of God's love in a discipleship of equals. 


To find out more about us and to participate in our mission, visit our website at www.arcwp.org


 Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, sofiabmm@aol.com

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Table of Plenty" with John Michael Talbot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylIITcR_PBo&feature=youtu.be


Table of Plenty
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

Your fields will flower in fullness
Your homes will flourish in peace
For I, the giver of home and harvest
Will send my rain on the soil





A Must See Video on Women Apostles and their Prominent Role in Life of Jesus: Mary of Magdala, Samaritan Woman, Martha and St. Catherine of Siena with Theologian Mary Catherine Hilkert OP

https://youtu.be/oZGrAYr3esI
Outstanding resource on prominent women in the Gospel and St. Catherine of Siena who reflect hospitality, friendship, and table  companionship. She advocates for women preaching Gospel as examples of "incisive female presence" and contemporary apostles 
and missionary disciples. "We are each called to go and tell", like St. Mary of Magdala. 

"Three Takeaways from the Contraceptive Mandate Religious Liberty Debacle" by Patricia Miller

http://religiondispatches.org/three-takeaways-from-the-contraceptive-mandate-religious-liberty-debacle/?utm_source=Religion+Dispatches+Newsletter&utm_campaign=ed9b003021-RD_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_742d86f519-ed9b003021-84562481

There were two major winners in Trump’s long-expected executive order to gut ObamaCare’s contraceptive mandate:  the Catholic bishops, who ginned up this particular culture-war debacle in the first place, and the evangelical right, which was happy to take up the fight once they realized it meant limiting women’s reproductive choices.
Losers, of course, are the potentially hundreds of thousandsof women who will lose contraceptive coverage. As Linda Greenberg noted in the New York Times, “It’s hard to overstate the radical nature of what has just happened”:
The new rules, which went into immediate effect, create exceptions that are anything but limited. They are, in fact, there for the taking. Any “entities” that claim not only religious but also “moral” objections to birth control are entitled to refuse to comply with the federal contraception mandate that until last Friday was enabling 55 million women to receive birth control without charge as part of their work- or college-related health insurance coverage.
This, of course, is exactly what the Catholic bishops were gunning for all along—a total exemption from the mandate for anyone who wants it merely for objecting to the provision of birth control with no work-around for the women involved. “These regulations are a cheaply calculated move by President Trump to pander to his ultra-right base. This purely political decision is not about protecting religious freedom, but about privileging one set of special interests at the expense of women nationwide,” said Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, vice president of Catholics for Choice, in a statement.
Coupled with the administration’s new guidance on religious liberty, which leans heavily toward the right-wing definition of religious liberty, it’s clear that these culture war battles over religiously motivated opt-outs and exemptions will become a permanent feature of our society as religious conservatives seek to consolidate and expand their gains. Looking ahead to the religious liberty fights of the future, there are three lessons that can be learned for the fight over the contraceptive mandate.
The first is that narratives, not facts, move culture war debates. It doesn’t matter that an IOM panel recommendedthe inclusion of the contraceptive mandate in the list of no-brainer preventative services that should be included in the basic cost of a health care plan. It doesn’t matter that all the evidence shows that contraceptives are overwhelmingly safe and beneficial to women and society. It doesn’t matte that a lack of contraceptive access, especially to the more effective long-term kinds, drives up rates of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. It doesn’t matter that a ridiculously high percentage of Catholic women use “artificial” means of birth control or that emergency contraceptives aren’t abortifacients, even as the Catholic bishops screamed that Catholics were being forced to effectively subsidized abortion.
It was that narrative, that believing Catholics were being forced to go against their religious beliefs to support abortion, which—just like Trump does with his racist dog-whistles—exposed the old scars of anti-Catholicism and turned many conservative Catholics against not only the mandate but the ACA and the Obama administration. It was the Becket Fund’s stroke of genius to further perfect and humanize that narrative by making the self-sacrificing Little Sisters of the Poor the face of gentle Catholic opposition to the big government’s abortion-pill pushing.
The second lesson is that culture war politics make strange bedfellows. Historically and theologically, most evangelical denominations haven’t been particularly hostile to contraception. But as I’ve noted here in RD, that began to change around the early 2000s. Not only did evangelicals cotton to the sexually conservative framework of Humanae Vitae at a time that the idea of male headship was making a resurgence in the evangelical mainstream, but they instantly recognized the beauty of the Catholic bishops linking of birth control and same-sex marriage under a religious liberty frame.
But the most important lesson is that from small wedges, big things can come. What is now a major culture war issue began as an obscure insurance matter. The Catholic bishops worked throughout the 1980s and 1990s to ensure that Catholic health plans participating in government programs were allowed to take a pass on providing abortion and then contraception. They ratcheted up the pressure for exemptions when the FDA approved emergency contraceptives in the late 1990s.
Right now it’s bakers and photographers who are making the strongest claims for religious liberty exemptions because they’re asserting that it’s a matter of creative expression. But what about the future? With everything from mortgage lenders to trucking companies asserting they are being guided by “Christian principles,” isn’t it just a matter of time before one such company asserts their right, as a closely-held Christian company, to refuse serve a person or persons with what they consider a sinful lifestyle, be it a same-sex couple or a transgender individual, in a matter as personal and explicitly tied to couple-hood as getting a mortgage or moving house?
Already Cherry Creek Mortgage, which calls itself a “Christian-based company,” has allegedly refused to cover the wife of one of their female employees in the company’s health plan, prompting a lawsuit in California. It’s seems doubtful that given it’s current composition and past sympathy toward brazenly broad religious liberty claims the Supreme Court will fail to support these obviously oppressed Christians. The only question now is how far they will get with their claims.

25 Years of Women's Priestly Ministry in southern African, Anglican News

http://www.anglicannews.org/blogs/2017/10/25-years-of-womens-priestly-ministry-in-southern-africa.aspx


"Attendees reflected on the pains of exclusion, inequality and injustice that women experience in the Church and in various communities. To this, the women responded by making a commitment to work collaboratively for the transformation of many practices that promote exclusion and marginalisation of women.
Perhaps this event could serve as a reminder that “we are pilgrims on a journey”, and that in this very journey of our faith, we continue to recognise Christ in each other, and in servanthood."

All Are One: Interspiritual Prayer Alliance to Meet in Salt Lake City on Sunday October 22nd, Clare Julian Carbone ARCWP and All Are One Committee



Bridget Mary's Comment: This is our profound spiritual reality. We are one . Each of us is a reflection of the Holy One and and a member of God's family. Our diversity is a gift we are called to celebrate .
 "Oneness is not a Miracle. It is the Diversity of the One that is the Miracle! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

If You Find Christ in the Beggar at Church Door, You will Embrace the Body of Christ in Eucharist


Tribute to Joyce Boin, my Sister, by Lorraine Sharpe Meyer ARCWP


Since you weren’t there I’ll try to write a summary of my extemporaneous graveside service:

Joyce Boin


 When asked about death Jesus is said to have said that our God will say “come blessed one, I have been waiting for you since the foundation of the world “. What Jesus didn’t know that we now know is that the foundation of the world is at least 13 billion years ago, that fragments of dust banged and expanded for billions of years until one just happened to be where light and warmth was perfect to cause some molecules to become fluid. Then water ran for billions of years until amazingly, the first cell divided and life. Billions of years of creatures evolved into human. Humans have continued to refine and one day one perfect little one was born who was such a joy to everyone her parents called her Joyce. We here all have known Joyce. She had her own unique way of being and loving that the world before never saw and will never be duplicated. So we know that as we return this little bit of stardust to the earth that it miraculously came from, we are not burying Joyce. Joyce’s love lives in eternal life and lives in each of us. Take a minute of silence now to think of one way in which Joyce will continue to live in you.



After a minute about 5 or 6 people shared poignant remembrances then we concluded with everyone raising their hand in blessing. Our loving God, we are grateful for the wonderful gift of the universe, for our place in it, for all of our loved ones and especially that we have had Joyce in our lives. As we return this stardust to the earth from which she came, we trust your plan that we continue to love each other as Joyce did and as you give us to do. Amen.