Sunday, June 3, 2018

Michael Morwood Retreat Sponsored by the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community and the People's Catholic Seminary




The Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community and the People’s Catholic Seminary sponsored a weekend retreat led by Michael Morwood from June 1-3, 2018 in Albany, NY. The liturgy below concluded a weekend on God, Jesus and Prayer for the 21st Century Christian.

Michael has over 40 years’ experience in retreat, education, parish and adult faith development ministries, and is the author of 10 books, the most recent being Prayers for Progressive Christians. Michael’s particular interest is in helping adult Christians examine what we believe and why we believe it, what we imagine and why we imagine the way we do. 

In his prophetic voice, he is raising the right and obvious questions that all Christians must face. In his response he provides fresh and perceptive possibilities for a modern and relevant faith.Like many of the prophets before him, he has paid a very high price for articulating Christian faith in ways that resonate with a contemporary understanding of our place in the universe.

Click on the links below to get a glimpse of what we experienced this weekend. Jesus through at 21st century lens (Part 1-3).  

To learn more about Michael, visit his website at http://www.morwood.org.  Bring him to your progressive Christian Community!!!


Liturgy: “The Gifts We Are

Michael: Welcome and Theme
  
Opening Prayer: In the Name of All That IS
by Jan Novotka


In the name of all that is we come together. 
In the name of the stars and galaxies;
in the name of the planets, moons and the sun; 
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together. 
In the name of the ocean and the sea;
in the name of the mountain, desert and plain; 
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together. 
In the name of the buffalo and bear;
in the name of the turtle, eagle and whale; 
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together. 
In the name of the cactus and the fern;
in the name of the flower, tree and the herb; 
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together.
In the name of the elements of life;
in the name of the soil, water and air; 
in the name of all that is we come.

In the name of all that is we come together. 
In the name of the children of earth;
in the name of the Spirit breathing in all things;
in the name of all that is we come.

First Meditation: We Who Are Alive Today by Jan Phillips

We who are alive today are the eyes and ears,
the hands and feet of the Creative Force.

We are Thought Incarnate, Word made Flesh, Love materialized.
We are the consciousness of the earth: the universe knowing itself, seeing itself, singing to itself.

We are prophets of a new time, makers of a new myth,
where our Source dwells not on some heavenly throne
but in the very breath of living things: among us and within us.

We are made of heaven and earth, starlight and clay,
minerals and meteor dust. We are the Infinite Wave transformed into finite particles, spacetime compressed into the spec of a lifetime.

As the Cosmos multiplies and expands forever outward
so does it expand forever inward evolving us into beings of higher consciousness.

We who are alive today came here with a purpose, 
are in service to a mission: to extend mercy, to bring forth justice,
to re-member ourselves and converge as one.

We are creating tomorrow with our thoughts and words.
We are shaping ourselves and families, our communities and cities,
our cultures and civilizations by what we do and failed to do.

We are ascending into our potential, evolving into our God-ness,
co-creating the Whole that is the sum of our parts.

We who are alive today; let us sing out that the heaven we seek
is already around us, that wherever we look,
the Holy One is there, looking right back.

No matter what storms batter and buffet us, let us not lose heart,
for we are One with All and life holds us firmly in the palm of its hand.

These are the words of Jan Phillips and we affirm them by saying, AMEN!

© Jan Phillips 2013

Second Meditation: “The Gift You Are” by John Denver


Imagine a month of Sundays
Each one a cloudy day
Imagine the moment the sun came shining through
Imagine that ray of sunshine as you
Remember your darkest hour
With dawn still far away
Remember the way that you longed for morning's light
And think of yourself as a candle in the night
Make believe this is the first day
Everything all brand new
Make believe that the sun is your own lucky star
And then understand the kind of gift you are

[Chorus:]
The gift you are
Like the very first breath of Spring
The gift you are
All the joy that love can bring
The gift you are
All of our dreams come true
The gift you are
The gift of you

You are the promise of all the ages
You are the Prodigal Son
You are the vision of prophets and sages
You are the only one
Dream of a bright tomorrow
Know that your dream will come true
Carry your dream in a sparkling crystal jar
Then you will know the kind of gift you are

[Chorus]
The gift you are
Like the very first breath of Springtime
The gift you are
All the joy that love can bring
The gift you are
All of our dreams come true, yes they do
The gift you are
The gift of you
The gift you are
The gift of you

Shared Homily – Michael begins with homily starter. 

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Michael: Let us now celebrate in prayer the gifts we are and commit ourselves once again to being faithful to what we pray.

Prayer before Communion (From Prayers for Progressive Christians, Michael Morwood, p. 53)
(community prays prayer alternating sides)

We gather here conscious of the gift
each one of us is.
We are gifts of the universe
unfolding for billions of years
to produce a wondering and wonderful life-form
with awareness, appreciation, and creativity.

We are gifts of the universe,
bringing us forth
to sing, to dance
and to be joyful
on its behalf,
on behalf of all of creation.

We are gifts of the Great Mystery,
permeating
penetrating
and embracing
everything that exists,
and coming to human expression in us.

We are gifts of human love,
of commitment
of risk
of hope
of trust
of promise
of dreams of what could be.

We are gifts
of all the joy that love can bring,
of dreams come true,
of Divine possibilities.

We are earthen vessels,
gifted
with the power and impulses
that drive the universe.

We are earthen vessels,
charged with the Great Mystery
at work everywhere
in the vastness of the universe.

We are gifts
to be opened and shared,
called to be co-creators
of an evolving humanity,
enablers of the “kingdom of God”.

We come to this gathering
to affirm our commitment
to expansion, to risk
to possibilities
to the gift we want to be, and can be
for anyone whose lives we touch.

All: We gather around bread and wine
and the story of Jesus
who lived the gift
of human existence wholeheartedly.

We eat and drink today
thankful for every person and for every influence
in our lives
that have helped and opened us
to live beyond our fearful inner voices
and have led us to embrace life wholeheartedly.

We eat and drink
as a public sign of our readiness
to BE the gifts we are,
open to the Spirit of Life and Love
moving in our hearts and minds.

To wherever the Spirit of Life and Love
may lead us
we give our, Amen.

Michael: Introduction to Communion 
In the Eucharistic ritual, we use bread and wine as symbols to ritualize our personal commitment to follow the dream of Jesus. It is our commitment that is sacred and precious… and the bread and wine symbolize for us our public willingness to be faithful followers of Jesus. (Prayers for Progressive Christians by Michael Morwood, p. 41)
Four stations are set on a round table in the middle of the circle. Four people approach the table at one time. No line is formed.

Communion Meditation: The Beauty of the Dancer by Sara Thomsen

BLESSING

Michael: Please stand as we pray together our blessing:
(raise your hands in blessing)

All: May we continue to BE the gifts we are,
open to the Spirit of Life and Love
moving in our hearts and minds.
And may our name be a blessing in our time!  Amen.

Closing Song: Canticle of the Sun
By Marty Haugen


Other songs used during the retreat:

Everything is Holy Now by Peter Mayer


Galilee Song by Frank Anderson



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