Saturday, September 22, 2018

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community 25th Sunday of Extraordinary Time – September 22, 2018 Co-Presiders: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP & Sally Brochu, ARCWP Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons

Theme: God delights in children.

GATHERING SONG:  “We Gather Here To Celebrate” by  Mindy Lou Simmons

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:  Amen.
Presider:  My sisters and brothers, God is with you!  ALL:  And also with you.

Rite of Reconciliation, Healing and Transformation

Presider: We pause now to ask forgiveness for our failures to love one another and all beings on earth. We join together aware of our creative energy of divine love in each and all of us. (Pause several seconds) Let us live the words of this prayer in all our relationships:
ALL: Let us be sensitive to how easily we can hurt others, for which we ask forgiveness.

ALL: O Holy One, You are the passionate presence of love from which all 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 community gathered here today and for the God-given gifts that we bring to our community and the world. ALL: Alleluia

ALL: (sung) #919 - “Glory to God. glory, O praise God, Alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God ”  X2

First Reading:  Excerpt from Prayers for Progressive Christians by Michael Morwood (Response: Amen

Responsorial Psalm 27 (Nan Merrill rendition)
Second Reading:  Letter of James 3:16 - 4:3 (Response: Amen
Gospel Acclamation: #565 – Alle, Alle, Alleluia  (sung)
Gospel:  Mark 30: 30-37 (Response: Glory and praise to Jesus, the Christ)

Today’s Gospel comes at just the right time if we consider what is being revealed today, We are hearing of thousands of children having been physically and emotionally destroyed by sexual abuse perpetrated by the people they thought represented God. The truth about God is that we hear Jesus saying WELCOME the children, notice how lovely they are, take delight in them as I do, let them absorb your mind, let them be more important to you than your business dealings. Else where he says if anyone thinks it’s OK to harm the children, he should have a stone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea to drown! Are we listening? Jail might be too easy a sentence!
It is thought-provoking to wonder what Jesus means when he tells us to be LIKE children. If we want to be “great,” not famous or wealthy or powerful, but TRULY great as in being part of God’s vision, we must be like children. The child comes to earthly life as God’s work of art – beautiful, innocent, radiant, without guile, only beautiful and loveable. The child can live and grow as the God-created person as long as her surroundings permit it. But when the surroundings begin to put the child on the defensive, she then begins to develop characteristics that eventually take the shape of an outer person, an “ego,” to deal with the world she encounters. The ego is a protective outer layer and is not the true person God sent into the world. Sadly most of our lives are spent interacting with the world, ourselves and even God using this “ego person” because the created person disappears behind it and may never be seen or heard from again! It is THAT person, the child God sent into the world, that Jesus wants us to be. The Kingdom of God can only be made up of truth and love in the form of people OF God. So Jesus is saying, “Return to being the child God created you to be.“ Or, depending on your theology, he would be saying “Return to being that part of God that God put here in an earthly setting. BE the incarnatiosn of God!” “You came as a child. BE that child.”
We may have no recollection of who we were as infants or even as youngsters. We can relocate that child by asking the Spirit to open us to knowing her. We can speak to that child and call her back, inviting her to live now. Sometimes older family members have never lost sight of who you really are. One of my grandmothers always addressed the child she saw from birth and called forth that child in spite of the external characteristics I put on. And when she died, her second daughter, my Aunt Patty, did the same with me, even through oppressive times and deep discouragement in my life – which brought out very negative characteristics. When Patty died, I had to take responsibility for my own inner child, my own gifts from God, my own call to live the incarnation here on earth. Which all points out our dual responsibilities: of doing the work to find and be the person God created, and to look for and call out the God person in everyone else, especially those given to us in our personal circumstances.
In our community we are blessed to have a couple who adopted a child at an early age in spite of warnings from doctors that he would never walk or talk and could not be expected to live beyond the age of two. Through a loving calling forth and welcoming of the child within, they now enjoy (and so do we!) a young man who not only walks but dances, not only speaks but is a prophet, and who has
reached the ripe old age of 28! A blessing for everyone, he has never strayed far from being the child God created and is not bothered by a cumbersome ego. He is a walking, talking member of the Kingdom of God. Namaste.
For ourselves, we must begin by listening and observing ourselves in our interactions with others, with ourselves, with God. It is in attentive, sincere listening that we detect the false self. At the same time, the true self is uncomfortable - and wishes the false self would stop talking! Thomas Merton first used those terms of the true and false selves and Richard Rohr has carried on with them in many of his recent writings which can help us in our desire to be “real” – to be the child God created – in order to enjoy life in the Kin-dom, to be delighted by a life in God, and to delight God.


Profession of Faith:
 ALL: We believe in one God, a divine mystery beyond all definition and understanding. God the Creator, is the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that will ever exist. God's divinity infuses the entire cosmos, making everything in it sacred.

We believe in Jesus, the messenger of God's Word, bringer of God's healing and the center of God's compassion. Through his incarnation, we have become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness.

We believe in the Spirit, the Wisdom that strengthens our call to follow Jesus who is a vehicle of God's love, a source of God's compassion and truth, and the instrument of God's peace in the world.

And we believe that God's kin-dom is here now and will be forever.  It is stretched out all around us for those with eyes to recognize it, and hands to share it with everyone.....with no exceptions.


Presider:  Let us rejoice together in the dance of creation, that we may care for the earth in which the Holy One is revealed,
ALL: We awaken to your call.
Presider: That all the people affected by Hurricane Florence be comforted and touched by the care and generosity of people, we pray. ALL: We awaken to your call.
Presider: That the People of God be sustained by the Spirit, in their awareness that they are the Church, we pray. ALL: We awaken to your call.
Presider: That those who are hungry and homeless, especially the children, that they may receive the food and shelter they so badly need, we pray. ALL: We awaken to your call.
Presider: That those who have crossed over may dance forever in God’s presence (names), we pray ALL: We awaken to your call.
Presider: For what else shall we pray?

Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. Strengthen us as we strive to respond to the needs of your people. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.

Offertory Song: (Recording)
“We Gather At Your Table” – 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.

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. 

Please come up and gather around our table in a circle of love. All are welcome.


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:  Blessed are you, gracious God of all life. Through your goodness we have this bread, wine, all creation and our own lives to offer.    ALL:  Blessed be God forever. 

Presider: Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we respond to your call to use our gifts in loving service to our sisters and brothers.  ALL:  Blessed be God forever. 

Presider: As we recognize God within each other, let us greet one another at this table.
ALL: Namaste! Namaste! Namaste!

Presider:  The Holy One dwells within you.  ALL:  And loves through you. 
Presider: Lift up Your hearts.  ALL:  To God and one another we lift them. 
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. 

Voice One: Gracious Wisdom, we bring these gifts to this banquet table that they may become the Christ Presence. Through your love and compassion, we are connected to each other ….. the young and the old, the least and the last….everyone, everywhere, no exceptions.

We Are Holy, Holy, Holy  (You, I , We) – Karen Drucker

Voice Two: Holy One, we thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. His life was moved by his consuming vision of your presence in himself and in his mission. He extended that when he also recognized your presence in every person he met. He showed us through his example, not only how we should live, but also what was worth dying for.

Voice Three: And when his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life as a witness for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught ….his conviction that love is stronger than death. He then opened wide his arms ….and died. The Spirit that lived in Jesus raised Jesus to new life. This same Spirit of resurrection will raise each of us to new life.

(All Extend Hands) 
All: We celebrate the outpouring of your Spirit on these gifts as we remember.
 On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to 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. When we eat this bread, we proclaim the life of Christ alive in all of us. (Pause)  

All: In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, 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. When we drink this cup, we proclaim the life of Christ alive in all of us.   

Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation and the earth” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

ALL:  Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ lives in us ad love through us in the world today.     Amen (sung). 

Presider:  Let us join hands and raise our voices as we sing the Prayer Jesus taught us:
ALL:  Our Father and Mother…….
Presider:  Deliver us, God of Love, from every evil and grant us peace in our day.  In your mercy keep us holy in your sight and protect us from all anxiety and fear.  We watch and wait, discerning signs that You are continually with us.
ALL:    Amen.
                                                                        THE SIGN OF PEACE

Presider: The peace of Jesus Sophia is always with you.
ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Let us reach out to each other in peace as we sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” (using words “Creator’ and “family”

Presider: Loving God,
ALL:  You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
Presider: Loving God,
ALL:  You call us to be the presence of Jesus in the world. We will love tenderly.
Presider:  Loving God,
ALL:  You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Presiders:  Let us eat the bread of life and drink the wine of unending delight in memory of Jesus.  All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.   ALL:  We are the Face of God.. 

Communion: “Blessed Are the Gifts” by Mindy Lou Simmons 

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

Prayers of Gratitude/ Introductions/Announcements

Presider: Jesus’ Gentle Spirit is within us
ALL:  healing, empowering and loving through us.

(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)
ALL:  May our gracious God, bless us all gathered here, in the name of God our Creator, in the name of Jesus our Brother, in the name of the Holy Spirit our Wisdom, as we care and minister to one another in love, for we are the Body of Christ and the face of God to the world.  Amen.

Presider:  Go in the peace of Christ to love tenderly and do justice.  Let our service continue! 
ALL:  Thanks be to God. 

CLOSING HYMN: (Recording) - Words are in Hymnal #606

“I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light” – Live Hymnal Word, Vol. III

MMOJ Community Enjoys Supper at Dutch Valley in Sarasota after Liturgy

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