Sunday, July 15, 2018

ARCWP Retreat Liturgy: July 15, 2018, Ft. Myers, Florida

Call to Gather, and center with Breath of One Life
Breath of the One Life
by Jan Novotka

Breath of the One Life, 
blow through me, 
flow thought me, 
Breath of Life.
Great Source of All That Is, 
hidden within, 
renews the face of the Earth.

Breath of the One Life, 
blow through me, 
flow thought me, 
Breath of Life.
Conscious awareness 
stillness within, 
renews the face of the Earth.

Breath of the One Life, 
blow through me, 
flow thought me, 
Breath of Life.
Love and compassion, 
life deep within, 
renews the face of the Earth.

(As Opening Prayer is Sung, Members from different regions set the table including candles representing people who have crossed over and members who are not with us on retreat)

Opening Song: We Come to Your Feast 
Michael Joncas
We place upon your table
a gleaming cloth of white:
the weaving of our stories,
the fabric of our lives;
the dreams of those before us,
the ancient hopeful cries,
the promise of our future:
our needing and our nurture
lie here before our eyes.

Refrain: We come to your feast,
we come to your feast:
the young and the old,
the frightened, the bold,
the greatest and the least.
We come to your feast,
we come to your feast
with the fruit of our lands
and the work of our hands,
we come to your feast.

We place upon your table
a humble loaf of bread:
the gift of field and hillside,
the grain by which we're fed;
we come to taste the presence
of him on whom we feed,
to strengthen and connect us,
to challenge and correct us,
to love in word and deed.

We place upon your table
a simple cup of wine:
the fruit of human labor,
the gift of sun and vine;
we come taste the presence
of him we claim as Love,
his dying and his living,
his leading and his giving,
his love in cup outpoured. 

We gather 'round your table,
we pause within our quest,
we stand beside our neighbors,
we name the stranger "guest."
The feast is spread before us;
you bid us come and dine:
in blessing we'll uncover,
in sharing we'll discover
your substance and your sign. 

Presider: We come together in the presence of God who is the Source of all Being, and of Jesus our brother and of Spirit Sophia, our wisdom. 
ALL:  Alleluia

Rite of Reconciliation and Healing:
Presider: We pause now to ask forgiveness for our failures to love one another and all beings on earth. We join hands aware of the creative energy of divine love in each of us and all of us . (Pause for several seconds) Let  us  live the words of this prayer in all our relationships: “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.”
All: I Love You, I'm Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You 

ALL:  Glory to God glory, O praise God alleluia, Glory to God glory, o praise the name of our God. (3 times)

Presider: O Holy One, You are the passionate presence of love from which life began on earth and continues to evolve in unending delight in us and in all creation. We give thanks and praise as we celebrate our BeComing who we are called to be, mystics, prophets and celebrators of the fullness of life.
All: Alleluia


Readings: First Reading: Amos 7:12-15 : “Go prophesy to my people.”

Sung by Kathryn Christian

I'll not be afraid
You are with me always
I will trust in you
Through this night
I feel your Spirit rise
Deep within me calling
To let go and find new light

For you have formed me
In my mother's womb
My days are safely secured
If I take the wings
of the morning to the sea
There you will follow me

O God you have searched me
And you have known me
When I fall and when I arise
You search out my path
And you guide me knowing
Every word upon my heart

For you have formed me
In my mother's womb
My days are safely secured
If I take the wings
of the morning to the sea
There you will follow me

Where can I run
From your loving Spirit?
Where can I flee from your grace
If I ascend to heaven
You are waiting
When in darkness
You are still there

For you have formed me
In my mother's womb
My days are safely secured
If I take the wings
of the morning to the sea
There you will follow me

Second Reading: Reading from Spong, ( cited in Incarnation by Diarmuid O’Murchu )
“The Kingdom of God comes when we are empowered to live fully, to love wastefully, and to be all we are capable of being.”

Gospel Acclamation:  ALLELUIA!    (sung)

Gospel: Mark 6:7-13 “They cast out many demons, and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. “

Shared Homily : Janet Blakeley

Homily for 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Janet Blakeley
ARCWP Annual Retreat, 2018

Two elements in today’s readings caught my attention.   They did no more than catch my attention - no helpful insights came, no additional scholarly ideas – because it seemed the rest was to unfold at this retreat.   Not reassuring to the homilist, but God has God’s ways…

The first element I noticed was Amos, the unlikely prophet.   Those “in the know’” were displeased with his claiming to be a prophet.   They muttered amongst themselves “Not sophisticated.   Not educated.   Doesn’t speak well.   Something of a ‘nobody’ really…”  

But Amos, in his pure simplicity, said “Yup.   That’s me.   And the Holy One has asked me to speak for him to all the other people!   Ain’t that grand?!?   And without waiting for their responses, he hurried off to begin speaking for God. 
From our arrival on Thursday, I began the attentive listening that would tell us what God wished to say about unlikely prophets.   The next day Wanda talked to us about the importance of listening to God.   She told of ways she and Miriam have listened and signs they have recognized and the amazingly rich variety of ministries that resulted from that attentiveness.   Like you, I sat quietly thinking “This is really wonderful.”  

And then God gave me a nudge.   Actually it was more like a pointed jab in the ribs to get my attention.   God said, “Unlikely Prophet!”   I said “Oh.   Oh!   Oh – the homily!”     At the next break I wrote down everything I had noticed about Wanda.   (And since we are going to talk about Wanda, you need to know that she gives us permission.)

Indeed, here was Wanda, not having what you would immediately see as a commanding presence.   In other words, she did not resemble Charlton Heston in the role of Moses in “The Ten Commandments”!   In the first place, she was a she! She did not speak the King’s English but peppered her sentences with spicy references, and softened her words with a sweet southern accent.   She was jolly, natural, and friendly.   She accepted God’s call and eagerly waited to hear more.  She spoke to all kinds of people and they felt themselves invited in.   Her ministry grew and grew!   Her sidekick, Miriam, is equally funny and real.    In fact she may be an even more unlikely prophet!  

So – if the human expectations of maleness, sophistication, tons of education, correctness, etc. are not God’s criteria for a prophet, what are?   Apparently the first is to be happy in your humanity.   Then to have a love of people so great that you are bursting to share your greatest treasure with them.   But above all the desire to know what God wants said and done – enough so that you are willing to listen, wait, and watch for the signs.  

The second element that caught my attention was the Gospel describing  Launching Day for a new prophetic movement – one that would last for thousands of years.   But here was Jesus, the prophet par excellence, sending out not one but twelve unlikely prophets.   They were not sophisticated or highly educated.   But they were happy in their humanity, really wanted to share their new-found treasure, and showed themselves willing and ready to listen to the directives of Jesus, which on that day were to “Go, cast out unclean spirits, and heal the sick.” 

They had absolutely nothing to bolster their confidence or give them comfort.   Jesus was specific about that.   “Take nothing with you!”   Not even a little notecard to pull out when trying to remember the steps to casting out demons!

Look around you.   WE are a motley crew of unlikely prophets – are we not?!   And Jesus sends us out today.   Are we prepared?   Do we know enough?   Do we get the words right?   Are we strong in all the areas where we will need strength?   Does it matter?

Like all unlikely prophets before us, we have what it takes:
            a love - a reverence for - our own humanity,
a longing to share our greatest treasure with others so they might know how good God is, and how much they are loved by God,
and a loving commitment to listening to God, knowing that is the only way to discern what and how She wants said and done.

Now we ask ourselves:
Am I an Unlikely Prophet?
What are my credentials that say I am?

Profession of Faith: (We Who Are Alive Today, by Jan Phillips)

 ALL:  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.

Presider:  Let us rejoice together in the dance of creation.
That we may care for the earth in which the Holy One is revealed, we pray
Response: We awaken to your call.

Presider:  That those in leadership in our church may let go of fear of the new and wholeheartedly join in the dance, we pray
Response: We awaken to your call.

R. Presider:  That theologians may have courage to respond to the rhythm of truth in spite of condemnation, we pray...
R.We awaken to your call.

Presider:  That those who have crossed over may dance forever in God's presence, we pray...
R. We awaken to your call.

(Other Intentions)

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presider:  We gather around the table with the gifts of bread, wine, and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we trust your Presence at work in our lives doing infinitely more than we can imagine.
ALL:  Blessed be God for forever. 


Presider: The Holy One dwells within you.  
ALL:  And loves through you.  

Presider:  Lift up your hearts. 
ALL:  We lift them up to the Great Spirit dwelling everwhere.

Presider: Let us give thanks that we are co-creators in the miracle of life.
ALL:  It is right to proclaim our oneness with All.

Side One:
We give thanks for the God of amazing surprises, Creator of tiny bugs and awesome planets, We marvel at the Designer of earth's wonders and Giver of life and laughter. We contemplate your passionate love hidden, yet revealed, everywhere in the cosmos.

Side  Two:
We give thanks for the holy dance of life in your faithful love always with us. We jump for joy as we experience Love’s connections and creative energy evolving through our universe.

Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker

We are holy, holy, holy 

We are holy, holy, holy
We are holy, holy, holy

We are whole...

Spirit divine,  
Come to me 

Feeling love, 
Healing me 

Open my heart, 
Allow me to see 

Beauty &; love 
Lives in me 

You are holy, holy, holy
I am holy, holy, holy

Side One:
We affirm the women and men through the ages who have danced Love's cosmic dream of communion with hearts ablaze. We pause now to remember those who have shown us how to step lightly on the path to holiness and wholeness. (Time for spontaneous remembrance)

Side Two:
As we eat and drink this bread and wine we remember Jesus  who showed us how to live fully and to love tenderly.

(please all extend hands as we recite the epiclesis and consecration together)

We are filled with the same Spirit that was in Jesus as we now invoke the Divine Presence upon our gifts of bread and wine and upon us in this feast of transforming nurturing love.

On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with his friends. At this meal, he took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take and eat.  Whenever you do this, you remember me

At the end of the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine, gave it to his friends and said:
Take this, all of you, and drink. Every time you do this, you remember me.

Presider: Let us proclaim the Sacred Mystery:
ALL: We rejoice that the Spirit of God is within us, within everyone. and within all creation.

Side One:
Although we come from diverse backgrounds, we are one body, for we all share in this one bread. And so, as we honor Jesus in this sacred meal, may we cherish each other and all people as the face of God in  our world.

Side Two:
We commit our lives to prophetic witness in acts of forgiveness, healing, and justice. We commit ourselves to support all who suffer rejection on the margins and to work for non-violence and equality.

ALL: Like Jesus we believe in to the infinite power of Divine Love reaching out to everyone with healing words, liberating actions and transforming presence.

ALL:  Our Father and Mother…

 Presider:  The peace of Jesus Sophia is always with you.  ALL: And also with you.  
Presider:  Let us share peace to each other in gesture and song with this beautiful 

Prayer for Peace by David Haas

Presider: (Lead gestures to music)
Peace before us.
Peace behind us.
Peace under our feet.
Peace within us.
Peace over us.
Let all around us be peace.

Love before us…
Light before us…
Christ before us…

ALL:   Aware of our sisters and brothers who suffer injustice ,  we speak truth to power,  Aware of discrimination and exploitation against LGBTQI and immigrants, we work for justice and equality, Aware of  our connection with everyone and everything, we are beComing who we are called to be.

Presider:  Let us eat the bread of life and drink the wine of unending delight in memory of Jesus. ALL:  We are the face of God.

Kathy Sherman

Do not be afraid, It is I who am sending you.
I will go with you, wherever you go.
Do not be afraid, for my Spirit is upon you.
You will work miracles in my name.
You can heal the brokenhearted.
You can feed all those who hunger.
You will touch the eyes of the blind and they will see.
You will welcome to the table the poor and the unwanted. 
You will shine like bright stars in the night.
Be not afraid, I am with you.

Do not be afraid, It is I who believe in you.
I will go with you, you will have all you need.
Do not be afraid, for my courage will uphold you.
You will work miracles in my name.
You can stand with those who struggle.
Give comfort to the weeping.
You will be a voice for the ones who can’t be heard.
You will celebrate the journey.
With Your justice, love, and beauty
Making hearts and minds and bodies whole.
Be not afraid, I am with you.

Do not be afraid, It is I who am loving you.
I will go with you, you will know I am near.
Do not be afraid, for my fire burns in your heart.
You will work miracles in my name.
You can live with bold compassion,
Embracing all creation,
You will dance away divisions for a time that’s now.
You can sing a song of blessing
And the song will be remembered
And that song will ring out for all times.
Be not afraid, I am with you. Be not afraid, I am with you,
With you, with you.

Presider:  Spirt of life, we celebrate our beComing, as we go forth  renewing our hopes and dreams to live gospel equality and justice.. May we contemplate your Power and  Presence within us as we live as companions of Jesus and one another in loving service,  ALL:  Amen

Presider:   Jesus Sophia is within us  
ALL:  and heals, empowers and loves through us

(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL:  The blessing of God, the eternal goodwill of God, the shalom of God, the wildness and warmth of God, be among us as we go in peace celebrating our BeComing Who We Are Called to Be.
We go forth as dancing prophets and mystic visionaries of our cosmic communion with all life,
in the Name of the Great Mystery,
in  the Name of our brother Jesus,
and in the name of Sophia wisdom dancing with us  .

Presider:   Go in the peace of Jesus Sophia to love tenderly and do justice.  

We Go Forth
By Jan Novotka

We stand here together
Hand in hand, side by side.
We walk into mystery
For the sake of all.
We go forth, as one,
As one, we stand strong.
Letting go, letting in,
We emerge with new wings.

Liturgy created by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

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