Sunday, August 11, 2019

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for August 11, 2019 - Presiders: Kim Panaro, ARCWP, and Julie Corron, ARCWP

Kim Panaro, ARCWP, and Julie Corron, ARCWP, led a Liturgy in Celebration of Belonging.

Welcome and Theme: Welcome to you all, especially our guests for today’s special St. Baldrick’s celebration in memory of Ben Stowell. Our theme this morning is “There’s Enough for Everybody.” Our liturgy today is also in memory of Sr. Monica Murphy, who died suddenly this week. We will be praying in solidarity with members of our Upper Room family and our brothers and sisters from St. Vincent de Paul, who will be at Pyramid Life Center celebrating Sr. Monica in a memorial today as well. In this same spirit of Enough, we invite you to remain after liturgy to continue our celebration as Rev. Kathie Ryan and Sam Stewart shave their heads to raise awareness and money for research into childhood cancer. 

Opening Song: “We Are All Angels” by Karen Drucker


First Reading is a testimonial from Edwina Gateley

It was late at night. I was walking down the street in a rough neighborhood.   As I approached a large old stone church on the corner, I noticed a group of women sitting on the steps which led to the sidewalk. They were homeless bag ladies. Seeing me coming, one of them called out: “Come and join us.  We’re having a picnic!.”  I was somewhat bemused at the thought of a picnic on church steps at ten o’clock at night… I headed over to the church.

One woman was perched on the top step, and the other four women sat on the lower steps.  In the center step stood a large plastic bottle half full of ginger ale  (probably fished out from some restaurant garbage bin.)  Next to the bottle there was a battered box of Dunkin Donuts.  “Sit down. Join us!” The woman on the top step declared. She then lined up six styrofoam cups (which I assume she had dug out from the garbage outside the local McDonalds) and half-filled each one with ginger ale.  As she poured the ginger ale into each cup she  declared: “There’s enough for everybody.  There’s enough for everybody.” 

Then, after handing  each one of us a cup, she  broke in pieces the battered Dunkin Donuts holding them up and declaring again, “There’s enough for everybody.”

Each of us was ceremoniously handed a piece of donut...  

In silence, we sipped the ginger ale and ate the donut piece. 

In the silence and hospitality of that moment I knew with utter certainty, that we were participating in a Eucharist.  And I knew, on a deep level, that God is often to be found in places we cannot even imagine. As darkness fell, the women hobbled down the steps to their shopping carts and disappeared into the night.

These are the inspired words of Edwina Gateley and the community affirms them by saying: Amen.



Luke 12:1, 15, 29-31; 34

Meanwhile thousands of people had gathered, a crowd so dense that they were trampling each other. Jesus spoke first to the disciples: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” 
Then he told the crowd, “Avoid greed in all its forms. Your life isn’t made more secure by what you own-even when you have more than you need.”

“Don’t set your hearts on what you’ll eat or drink. Stop worrying! All the nations of the world seek these things, yet your Abba God well knows what you need. Set your sights on the kingdom of God, and all these other things will be given to you as well.  For wherever your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be.”

These are the inspired words from the gospel of Luke and the community affirms them by saying: Amen.

Shared Homily

Julie's Homily Reflection:  In our first reading, Edwina Gateley recounts a story of generous hospitality from those who have the least to give, on the steps of a church that is, in Rome at least, obscenely wealthy. Edwina was gracious enough to humbly accept this gift, this sacred meal. Would you be? Or would you cringe at the dumpster dive menu? It’s one thing to give to the poor and then go back to our comfortable lives. It’s quite another to join in the lives of those living on the margins the way Edwina or Sr. Monica or Jesus did.

Then the gospel continues where last week’s left off, challenging us about what is enough and about our trust in the Divine Mystery. “Your life isn’t made more secure by what you own-even when you have more than you need.” Ouch, so much for retirement planning. And “For wherever your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be.” In the old days, they used to say that you could tell what someone valued by looking at their check register to see where their money went. How we spend our money, our time, our talents, that is what we truly value. Do our lives actually reflect what we think they do? Or are we at risk of “the yeast of the Pharisees,” hypocrisy? If it’s not about what we think or say but what we do that matters, do we need to make some adjustments to bring our actions into alignment with our beliefs? If all we had was flat ginger ale and stale doughnuts, could we trust that we had enough to share? Could we trust that there’s enough for everybody? Or are we too scared to give freely of our money, our time, or our talents?

What did you hear? What will you do? What will it cost you?
As part of our shared homily, we invite you to share on today’s readings. To give everyone a chance, we ask that you keep your shares to one minute. Thank you.

Statement of Faith

All: We believe in one God, 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 God's Word,
bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion,
bright star in the firmament of God's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

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

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

We believe that God's 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.

Eucharistic Prayer of Belonging

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….”

Presider 1:  We pray for these and all unspoken concerns. Amen.

Presider 2:  We are a priestly people. We are anointed. With open hands let us pray our Eucharistic prayer as one voice:

All: O Nurturing, Mothering one, You are always with us. We are grateful for Your constant loving and unconditional presence. At times we forget that You are holding us, attending to us. We fall and You pick us up. You send strangers, friends and family to our aid. We are never without Your Light and Spirit.

We experience great joy and we experience great pain and suffering. You are with us in the joy and the pain and suffering. When we experience Your presence we long to sing our hymn of praise:

Presider 2: Please join us in Alleluia, Sing!

All: Creator and Lover of all beings, we cannot grow in the darkness of this world without Your Light. Our desire to be in Your light is a gift from You. Help us keep our hearts and minds open to You through our love and care for each other and all creation.

Presider 2: Please extend your hands in blessing

All: This bread and wine is a sign of Your nourishment and a sign of Your great love. Your Spirit is upon us and we belong to You and one another.

We thank you for Jesus, simple servant, lifting up the lowly, revealing you as God-With-Us, revealing us as one with you, and all creation.

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.

Presiders stand at table, Presiders lift 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:

All: 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.

Bread and wine is transformed by Your Spirit and we are transformed when we open ourselves to Your Spirit. Every time we share this bread and wine we choose to be transformed. We choose to love as You love us.

As we celebrate and recognize You in this bread and wine we love and recognize you in each other. We are filled with gratitude and joy. Glory and Praise to you both now and forever. Amen

Presiders hold bread and cup:

Through him, we have learned how to live.
Through him, we have learned how to love.
Through him, we have learned how to serve.


Presider 1: Let us pray together the prayer of Jesus:

O Holy One, who is within, we celebrate your many names. Your wisdom come. Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us. Each day you give us all that 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.
The Prayer of Jesus as interpreted by Miriam Therese Winter

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

All: Loving Source of our being, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We live justly, we love tenderly, we walk with integrity in Your Presence.

Presider 1:  Let us pray our communion prayer together: 

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. We belong to the Loving One and to each other. Everyone is invited to receive at this friendship table.
Please pass the gluten-free bread and the nonalcoholic wine with the words: There’s enough for everybody.

Presider 1: Our Communion Meditation is: Lilies of the Field by John Michael Talbot.


Presider 2:  Please extend your hands and pray our blessing together.
All:  May we continue to be the Face of God to each other. May the certainty of our connectedness to one another and all creation ignite us to love more fully.  May we, like Jesus be a shining light and a blessing for all.  Amen.

Closing Song: Room At The Table by Carrie Newcomer

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