Sunday, June 23, 2019

Upper Room Liturgy of Renewal - June 23, 2019 - Presiders: Julie Corron, ARCWP, and Debra Trees, ARCWP

Welcome and Theme: Welcome. Thank you for joining us as we celebrate our liturgy of Renewal. Let us now be renewed by our faith in the Holy One and faith in each other.

Opening Prayer and Peace Prayer:  Let’s begin with a moment of peace. If everyone could close their eyes. Take a moment and bring your awareness to your breath. Take a deep breath in and then sigh it out.

Repeat these words silently to yourself: May I know peace.
Now bring your awareness to those sitting in the circle around you here at the Upper Room this morning. Silently send this wish to everyone here: May you know peace as I wish to know peace.

Finally, let your awareness widen out so that you can send this wish to all beings everywhere: May you know peace as I wish to know peace.

Take a deep breath in and out. When you’re ready, you can open your eyes.

Opening Song: Please join us in our opening song, All Are Welcome by Marty Haugen


First Reading

 1 COR 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
What I have passed on to you, I received from Christ – That on the night he was betrayed, our Savior, Jesus,
took bread, gave thanks and broke it, saying, "This is my body, which is broken for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way after supper, he took the cup and said,  "This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Whenever you drink it, do it in remembrance of me."
For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, 
you proclaim Jesus’s death until Christ comes.


Gospel LK 9:11B-17

Jesus welcomed the crowd and spoke to them about the reign of God,
and healed all those who were in need of healing.
As sunset approached, the Twelve came and said to Jesus,
"Dismiss the crowd, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and food, for this is a remote and isolated area.”
Jesus answered them, "Give them something to eat yourselves!"
The disciples replied, "We have nothing but five loaves and two fish. Or do you want us to go and buy food for all these people?"
There were about five thousand gathered.
Jesus said to the disciples,
"Have them sit down in groups of fifty or so."
They did so and got them all seated.
Then, taking the five loaves and two fishes,
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven,
said a blessing over them, broke them
and gave them to the disciples for distribution to the crowd.
They all ate and until they were satisfied, and, when the leftover fragments were collected, there were twelve baskets full.
These are the inspired words of Luke and the Community affirms them by saying Amen.

Julie’s Homily Starter:

Today’s readings are both about meals. For Jesus, meals were an opportunity for radical inclusivity, a chance to be with people who weren’t necessarily the pillars of society. Jesus welcomed all to his friendship table. 

In Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan’s book The First Paul, they distinguish between letters definitely written by Paul, those not written by Paul, and those of uncertain origin. Our first reading is the authentic, radical Paul recounting the story of the last supper. It echoes the words of consecration that we will soon say together, “This is my body…this is my blood….” Then we heard the story of the loaves and the fishes, so familiar to us. The scholars of the Jesus Seminar found the words to not be authentically those of Jesus but the story is important enough to be in all four gospels. Why is that? What does this story teach us? Is it simply a miracle story, a magic trick of making lots of food appear out of the air? Or is the miracle that the food was there all along and Jesus convinced everyone to share it? Or is there another layer to the story?

Barbara Reid points out that “In the world of Jesus, the expression ‘body and blood’ was a way of speaking of the whole person.” So if we take the two readings together, Reid would have us ask ourselves, “How do we replicate the giving of our whole selves, body, mind, and spirit, to the One who is the Source of all nourishment so that we may be broken open in love for the life of the world?”

Maybe it’s by loving God then loving ourselves so that we can then love others. Not by sacrificing all but by nourishing and renewing ourselves so that we can in turn give of ourselves in a healthy way.

What did you hear? What will you do? What will it cost you?

Deb's homily reflection:

As we continue in our work of touching the lives of others, let us remember to renew ourselves, replenish our hearts, and take care of our love and energy, as Jesus has shown us.

Sign of the Cross, Shield and Filter for our Healing and Renewal.
+ In the name of Peace, and Love, and Grace. Amen. +

Note: During the homily reflections, Chris Shaw was describing the Welcome Table at the St. John/St. Ann’s Center in Albany’s South End. Please contact Deven for more information (

Statement of Faith:

All: We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding,
the heart of all that has ever existed,
that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Word,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of divine love,
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace in the world.

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine kin-dom is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.

Presider 1: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we lay our stoles upon the table as a sign that just as Jesus is anointed, so is each of us. And we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns.  Please feel free to voice your concerns beginning with the words “I bring to the table….” 

We pray for these and all unspoken concerns. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist
adapted from Diarmuid O’Murchu

Presider 2:  With open hands let us pray our Eucharistic Prayer together:

All: Gracious God, source and sustenance of life, redeeming presence to the pain and brokenness of our world, Holy Spirit, who enlivens and inebriates all that exists, we beseech your healing power upon us and all we pray for today.

Down through the ages, you rescue us from darkness.
you light up our ways with wise and holy people. You restore our spirits and you revive our dwindling hope.

May the Spirit of life and wholeness transform us that we may be refreshed in our inner being and be empowered to bring mercy, love, and healing to those whose lives we touch.

For all you bring to our lives, and for all we seek amid
pain and suffering, we acclaim your love and greatness,
and we join with all creation to sing our hymn of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy
(Words and music by Karen Drucker)

Presider 2: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: Source of our health and wholeness, healer of body, mind, and spirit, we bring before you the darkness of our world, and the pain and suffering of your people.
We seek to be healed and made whole; we seek to be reconciled and united; we seek peace in our hearts and in our world.

Presiders stand at the table.

All: We ask you to awaken anew in our hearts the empowering grace of your abundant Spirit, who infuses these gifts of bread and wine with the transforming energy of life, to nourish and sustain us in our time of need.

On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the people closest to him. Like the least of household servants, he washed their feet. Once again he showed us how to love one another.

Presider 1 lifts bread.

All: Back at the table, he took the Passover Bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread and offered it to them saying, Take and eat, this is my very self.

Presider 2 lifts the cup as community prays the following:

Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life in you.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you.

In faith and hope we are sustained,
In grace our dignity reclaimed,
In praise we thank our God.
As we gather around this friendship table, we recall God’s
blessing and love from ages past, and we celebrate anew
the gift of life which we share among us at this Eucharistic feast.

The bread we break and the cup we share are symbols of our world of abundance where all are invited to partake of the fullness of life. But that life we often impede by our greed and selfishness, and by our exploitation of other people.

So grant that we may strive to create a world where suffering and pain are diminished, where justice and peace are restored, and where all people can live in health and wholeness, united in acclaiming the God of life, whose abundance is offered to each and to all, until the Kin-dom
arrives in the fullness of time.

This prayer we make in the name of our healing and nurturing God through, with, and in whom we offer these gifts, sources of life, love, and goodness, now and forever.  Amen.

Presider 1: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:

All: O Holy One, who is within, around and among us, 
We celebrate your many names. 
Your Wisdom come. 
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us, 
Each day you give us all we need; 
You remind us of our limits, and we let go. 
You support us in our power, and we act with courage. 
For you are the dwelling place within us,  
the empowerment around us, 
and the celebration among us, now and forever.  Amen  
(Miriam Therese Winter) 

Prayer for the Breaking of Bread

Presider 2:  Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread.

(Presiders break the bread)

All:  O Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly. You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.

(Presiders hold up bread and wine)

Presider 1: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

All: What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share
communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Presider 2: Our Eucharistic celebration is all inclusive. All are invited to share at this friendship table. Please pass the gluten-free bread and non-alcoholic wine with the words, “You are made new in God.”

Presider 1: Our communion meditation is Anointed by Kathy Sherman


Presider 1: Let us raise our hands and bless each other.

All: May we continue to be the face of the God to each other. May our companionship make us new each day. May our name be a blessing in our time. Amen.

Closing Song: Companions on the Journey by Carey Landry

The liturgy today was created by Julie Corron as part of her preparation for ordination as a deacon. Julie will be ordained a deacon on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Albany, NY. 

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