Saturday, December 2, 2017

Wonderful Resources for Growing in Faith, Love and Justice

 
Sunday Website of St. Louis University: http://www.liturgy.slu.edu/ 
 
Pastor Dawn:  https://pastordawn.com/
 
Religious Institute (multi-faith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual, gender, and reproductive health, education, and justice in faith communities and society):
 
Iglesia Descalza Blog (a voice from the margins of the Catholic Church):  http://iglesiadescalza.blogspot.com/2017/ 
 
Wijngaards Institute - Women Can Be Priests: http://www.womenpriests.org/introduction/
 
Equal in Faith (appears that this website has not been updated since 2015. There are a few resources)  http://equalinfaith.org/
 
Center for Action and Contemplations (Richard Rohr website): https://cac.org/
 
Bible History Daily: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/biblehistorydaily/  (offers free e-books on various topics related to early Christianity)
 
W.A.T.E.R (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual): http://www.waterwomensalliance.org/
 
Gratefulness (Br. David Steindl-Rast): https://gratefulness.org/
 
Catholica (Australian Site): http://www.catholica.com.au/index.php

 

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Hold Graveside Remembrance in honor of 4 Church Women: Jean Donovan, Maura Clark, Dorothy Kazel, and Ita Ford on Dec. 2 on the Anniversary of their Murder in El Salvador in 1980

Members of Mary Mother of Jesus  Inclusive Catholic Community gathered to remember our courageous sisters who gave their lives for justice in their service of the poor in El Salvador. 






We prayed at Jean Marie Donovan's grave in Sarasota this evening. 
Our service began with singing: Be not Afraid and then we prayed:



"Today we honor a dedicated lay woman. , missionary and martyr, whose memory must never be forgotten. As the great Ignatius of  Antioch once said, "It is  in the blood of martyrs we find the seeds of faith." Let our faith be nourished as we gather before the earthly remains of our sister, and our desire be enkindled to follow in like commitment to the death."



We reflected on the courage of the four church women and prayed that they may rest in peace. Our concluding hymn was "We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly, we are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God."
(See scanned service below photos)






Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community First Sunday of Advent Liturgy with Elena Garcia ARCWP and Karen Hylen, MIndy Lou Simmons, Music Minister





 

Liturgy First Sunday of Advent December 3. 2017


Advent Candle Lighting Prayer
Presider: Like our ancestors, we honor the cycles and the seasons that remind us of the ever-changing flow of life of which we are a part. Ritual acts give life meaning – they honor and acknowledge the unseen web of Life that connects us all.

ALL: Hope, like a seed buried deep within the earth; hidden, covered by layers of disappointment, struggle and pain; buried yet stretching, growing and becoming. Hope, like a seed becoming new life. We light a candle for hope.

Presider:  lights candle

We light this first candle and remember the Holy One, our Mother, who created light and life out of darkness by loving.  The dark shadow of space leans over us and we are mindful that the darkness of greed, exploitation, and hatred also lengthens its shadow over our small planet Earth.  

ALL: Loving God, as we begin our Advent pilgrimage, grant us the courage to hope.
Hope for your presence.
Hope for your peace.
Hope for your promise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Let us kindle the light of hope!  Amen

Gathering Song: You Come, You Come Emmanuel
You come, you come, Emmanuel,
You gather all who stumbled and fell.
You share your life, you share your love;
Your dawn breaks forth in wondrous light above.

Refrain:
Rejoice, rejoice, O people of the earth! In God's great love we comprehend our worth!

You come, with grace, O Source of Light,
You teach us to find courage in the night.
Your way is justice, mercy and peace,
Your wisdom is the path to true release. Refrain.

OPENING PRAYER
Presider: Nurturing God, you became human in Jesus and showed us how to live life to the fullest. You know what it means to laugh and cry, walk and talk, love and be loved. We know that your mothering presence is always with us. May we, like Mary, live in hope and expectation of your coming and may we recognize your presence within us in everything we say and do.  ALL: Amen

ALL: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. O loving God, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. O Jesus Christ, holy child of our loving God; you fill us with joy in your presence. You who are with our God, receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One; you alone are Messiah. You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ; with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God. Amen.

Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou   R: Thanks be to God
Psalm 80 Res: Restore us O Holy One; let your face shine upon us, teach us to love (Nan Merrill)
Second Reading: 1Corinthians 1:3-9     R:  Thanks be to God
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia # 44 “Litany of the Word”
Gospel: Mark 13:33-37        R: Glory and praise to you Jesus the Christ

Homily Starter/ Dialogue Homily
Elena Garcia ARCWP
Homily for 1st Sunday of Advent

Last week we celebrated the end of the Liturgical year A. and today we begin year B. The operative word there is Begin.  Yes, beginnings are full of all kinds of emotions.  Fear, uncertainty, joy, anticipation, discomfort, relief. These can be experienced as we search for or begin a new job, a few months before retirement, months before the birth of a child.  In all of these beginnings, there are elements of preparation, and waiting.

Here we are again in Advent.  And we know it culminates in the celebration of Christmas.  As we mature we tend to engage in reminiscing about Christmases past. For some they have pleasant memories and for others of us they may have been visited by unpleasant life happenings. 

In preparing for this Advent,I began to reminisce on the countless Advent seasons in my lifetime. I remembered when we were not allowed to sing Christmas carols until Midnight Mass and when there were no decorations until a few days before the Birth of Jesus. No need for me to expound on all the signs of Christmas surrounding us for several months now.
So now I ask, what does Advent mean to me now, at this time?  How do I muddle through all these distractions to the real preparation and searching for Jesus in my midst?

For some ideas let us unwrap a bit of the messages found in today’s readings.  Maya Angelou begins with a description of the darkness that nature is capable of bestowing on us. And yet into this climate of fear and apprehension, Hope is born. It rides on our shoulders and spreads around the earth.  And peace, which at first is experienced as a whisper, becomes louder and louder until it becomes louder than the explosion of bombs! We are challenged to look at our world and speak the word aloud. Peace.

Paul reminds us that God, through whom we have been called into intimacy with Jesus, is faithful.   And we have been given the gifts of the spirit to achieve that intimacy. As we recall the litany of gifts we received at confirmation- namely, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, courage, reverence, and wonder, it can seem like we might not have opened some of those gifts. Ah, but I have come to understand that if we do not unwrap those gifts they remain useless, my sisters and brothers. As Alice Camille says: “The full complement of gifts is in us ready to serve.” She suggests: “Why not organize the spiritual gifts as they are utilized in our lives, from greatest to least.”   And then look at what’s at the bottom and how we can open that gift for service?  If Wisdom- find a mentor. If Knowledge- read a spiritual book or take a class and so on.

In the Gospel, we heard: “Be watchful, be alert! You do not know when the time will come.”
The watchfulness that Jesus speaks about in today’s gospel is not about waiting in dread, nor is the object of our vigilance unknown. It is rather the attentive listening for the familiar footsteps of the returning beloved.  Waiting for the return of a long-expected loved one can seem impossibly long. Think of how you feel when your loved one, who has been away from you for whatever reason, is expected to arrive at any moment, and then that beloved is at the door! And we are ready with open arms.   (Story of son Drew)

Let us pledge this Advent season to be aware, awake and alive. To lift our gaze and notice what is around us. Let us listen to the person talking to us. This very day Jesus wants to come into our homes and into our hearts and consciousness. It is our choice whether or not to let him be born here. Do we see and hear him?
Be still and listen.

Questions to ponder for Advent
·     How can I find and share Peace with the world?
·     What spiritual gift(s) do I want to unwrap during this season?
·     How can I begin or continue to respond to the call to intimacy with Jesus?











Profession of Faith: ALL: We believe in God who is Creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes us and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge injustices. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey. We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our church and in the world. We believe that all are one in the community of creation. We believe that God calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously. Amen

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

Presider: Into our troubles and weaknesses,
Into the barren places of our souls, Come loving God,
ALL: Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

Presider: Into the war torn and the refugee,
Into those who live in conflict, Come loving God,
ALL: Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

Presider: Into the homeless and the unemployed,
Into those who feel abandoned, Come loving God,
ALL: Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

Presider: Into the sick and the disabled,
Into those with Ebola and with cancer, Come, loving God.
ALL: Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

Presider: Into the poor and the starving,
Into those who are oppressed or abused, Come loving God.
ALL: Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

Presider: Into the lives of loved ones,
Into those from whom we are estranged, Come loving God.
ALL: Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

Presider: Into our joys and celebrations,
Into our work and our achievements, Come, loving God.
ALL: Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

Presider: O Christ we long for your coming. Hasten that day when those who seek you in every nation will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south and sit at table in Your Kindom. Hasten the day when your Kindom will come in all its glory and suffering and pain and sickness and oppression and death will be overcome forever. Hasten the day when we will be resurrected as a great multicultural family and live in peace, harmony, joy and love together in your kindom.
~ written by Christine Sine on Godspace for the 1st Sun of Advent

Offertory Hymn: Open the Eyes of my Heart (Pulse Praise Band)

Open the eyes of my heart, God
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You; I want to see You.

Open the eyes of my heart, God
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You; I want to see You.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
To see You high and lifted up,
Shining in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love;
As we sing holy, holy, holy...


To see You high and lifted up,
Shining in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love;
As we sing holy, holy, holy...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Holy, holy, holy, Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy, I want to see You.

Holy, holy, holy, Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy, I want to see You.


PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS

Presider: 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 may we become your new creation.  ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider: God is with you.  ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.  ALL: We lift them up to God.
Presider: Let us give thanks and praise to our God.
(Please join us around the table of life)


CALLED TO WORSHIP (BEGINNING OF ADVENT)

Voice One: In the midst of frenzied shopping and end-of-year weariness,
we spread out a purple cloth, (a purple cloth is spread over the communion table)
read again the ancient stories, (a Bible is placed on the table)
and light a candle in the darkness, (a candle is placed and lit) to celebrate a visitation.

Voice Two: Gathered here we declare our intention to live as if the greatest gift in the world were about to be placed into our hands, (a wrapped parcel is laid on the table),
and as if the Giver has understood our deepest needs, our most heartfelt prayers.

Voice Three: Like Mary, may we be surprised by our calling;
like Simeon and Anna, may the years increase our faith;
like sleepy shift workers on a hillside, may our eyes be opened;
like Joseph may we listen to our dreams;
for this season requires our creative imagination.

Voice Four: There is a Presence in our world that asks to be seen, who will stay awake?
There is one coming to our world that seeks a welcome, who will offer hospitality?
Even now Jesus the Christ is moving towards us.
(written by Ann Siddall, posted on the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre and Faith Community)
Song: Prepare ye the way of our God (repeat)

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

Voice One: Mothering God, you brought forth all creation from your Life-Giving Womb. O Love of the Ages, we praise you and leap for joy in your presence.

Voice Two: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in Mary’s womb, in a shining star, in humble shepherds, in a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. You embrace us with infinite love in every situation and relationship. You dwell in the depths of our hearts.

Voice Three: We invite you this day to deepen our awareness of your boundless love as we gather around the table of abundant life. With grateful hearts, we proclaim your praise.

ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy, Creator of heaven and earth. All beings are pregnant with your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are you who dwell in all things. Hosanna in the highest.

Voice Four: Praise to you all-giving God, born of Mary. You are the body and blood of woman. We glorify you, nurturing God for the dawning of the sacred promise of God’s Anointed, fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ.

Voice Five: We celebrate the birth of Jesus Our newborn Emmanuel, who came to give us the fullness of life. During this holy season, we share the bread of freedom and lift the cup of salvation.

(raise hands toward bread and wine for the Invocation of the Holy Spirit)
ALL: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine, that they may become the body of Christ.
Presider: As Jesus gave birth to the New Covenant, he took the bread and shared it with all who were present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and eat it. This is my body.  
Presider: Then Jesus took a cup of wine, blessed you, Loving God, and the cup with all those who were present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and drink from the covenant, poured out for you and for everyone. Do this in memory of me.
Presider: Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our nurturing God.
ALL: Christ, by your life, death and rising, you have blessed us with abundance that will never end.
 
Second Invocation of the Holy Spirit: (Place a hand on the shoulder of the person to your left and your right)
ALL: God of all people, you call us “beloved.” Give us courage to accept your faith in us and to live your compassion in the world. You infuse us with Sophia, Holy Wisdom, to serve you in the last and the least.

Voice Six: As we wait with joyful hearts for the fulfillment of your loving presence in our lives, we remember, the prophets, martyrs and saints who have gone before us: Deborah, Isaiah, Mary of Magdala, Peter, Martha, Bishop Oscar Romero, Ita Ford, Maura Clark, Jean Donovan and all those we remember as heroes and heroines in our church who inspire us today.
(Community names whom they want to remember living and dead.)

Voice Seven: God of our dreams, may we give birth to the Word Made Flesh in us every day. May we give birth to the church of our dreams
and hopes. May we give birth to a deep reverence for earth and live in harmony with all creatures on the earth.

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and Glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

THE PRAYER OF JESUS
ALL: Our Father and Mother….

THE SIGN OF PEACE
Presider: Let us join hands and hearts and pray for peace in our world as we sing “peace is flowing like a river”, love, joy, alleluia



LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
ALL: Loving God, you call us to speak truth to power. 
We will do so.
Loving God, you call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.        
 We will do so.
         Loving God.  you call us to be your presence in the world. 
We will do so.



Presider: This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us forever. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.

ALL: May we be who we are, The Body of Christ.

Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ.
ALL: AMEN
.

COMMUNION SONG: INSTRUMENTAL
POST COMMUNION SONG: Hills of the North Rejoice (Brotherhood of Hope)


PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Presider: God of new beginnings, thank you for nourishing us in your sacrament. May your tender presence continue to open our hearts to the daily miracles of life that surround us each day, through Emmanuel, God-with-us.  ALL: AMEN

INTRODUCTIONS, GRATITUDES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

CONCLUDING RITE

Presider: Our God is with you.   ALL: and also with you.
BLESSING
(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL: May our loving God fill us with radiant joy. May our liberating God fill us with deep peace, and may our compassionate God bless us always with strength to serve the broken and excluded. Amen

Presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ and the joy of God, let us be the joyful and compassionate people that God created us to be. And let our service continue!
ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!

RECESSIONAL SONG: LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE ON US (Kathy Sherman)
Let your light shine on us
Let your light shine on us
Let your light shine on us, and we will be light for the world. 2x
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your heart beat in us
Let your heart beat in us
Let your heart beat in us, and we will be love for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your joy sing in us
Let your joy sing in us
Let your joy sing in us, and we will be hope for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your peace live in us
Let your peace live in us
Let your peace live in us, and we will one for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your light shine in us
Let your light shine in us
Let your light shine in us, and we will be light for the world. 2x
-->
We will be one and the kindom will come.