Sunday, June 7, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Trinity Sunday - June 7, 2020 - Presiders: Donna Panaro, ARCWP, and Julie Corron, ARCWP

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Liturgy 2 - Celebration of Belonging, June 7, 2020
Welcome and Theme — Presider 1—Good morning and welcome! Today is Holy Trinity Sunday and we are celebrating the Joy of Community. Whether in person or electronically, there are many communities for us, the communities where we live or work, communities that share our interests, our faith community of the Upper Room, and, as Pride Month begins, let us also remember our sisters and brothers of the LGBTQ community.

Opening Prayer — Presider 2 We sit together in the awareness of the Holy One, Just as the trinity is a reminder that the Holy One has many facets, there remains one whole,, one great Mystery. We too reflect many ways to be human but remain One whole people. We are woman and man, gay and straight, younger and older, talkers and listeners, artists and scholars. Many persons coming together in union with each other so that our differences each add to the richness and strength of our one common life on the journey inward.  It is in and through our relationships with ourselves, the Divine and each other that we live in the great mystery of Oneness. For this we are so grateful today. Amen. Blessed Be, Namaste
Peace — Presider 1 — Because our communities are full of human beings, even in the midst of joy, friction can sometimes arise. As we begin our liturgy, this hour when we come together to celebrate the Good News, let’s take a moment to connect with those humans and soothe that friction by sending them love, peace, and ease. Whether you sing along or let the music wash over you, imagine sending these wishes to yourself and those you love, the wider community, and then to all beings everywhere.

Opening Song: Loving Kindness – Karen Drucker
Traditional Buddhist Prayer


May I be filled with loving kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be well
May you be peaceful and at ease
May you be happy

May we be filled with loving kindness
May we be well
May we be peaceful and at ease
May we be happy

I am filled with loving kindness
I am well
I am peaceful and at ease
I am happy

LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading:
Excerpt from The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr

God (and uniquely the Trinity) cannot be known as we know any other object-such as a machine, an objective idea, or a tree-which we are able to “objectify.” We look at objects, and we judge them from a distance through our normal intelligence, parsing out their varying parts, separating this from that, presuming that to understand the parts is always to be able to understand the whole. But divine things can never be objectified in this way; they can only be “subjectified” by becoming one with them! When neither yourself nor other is treated as a mere object, but both rest in an I-Thou of mutual admiration, you have spiritual knowing. Some call this contemplative knowing.
Such knowing intuits things in their wholeness, with all levels of connection and meaning, and perhaps how they fit in the full scheme of things. Thus, the contemplative response to the moment is always appreciation and inherent re-spect (“to look at a second time”) because I am now a part of what I am trying to see. Our first practical and partial observation of most things lacks this respect. It is not yet contemplative knowing. Frankly, when you see things contemplatively, everything in the universe is a mirror!
These are the inspired words of Richard Rohr and the community affirms them by saying AMEN.
Second Reading:
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
And now sisters and brothers, I must say goodbye. Mend your ways. Encourage one another. Live in harmony and peace and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones send greetings to you.
These are the inspired words of Paul and the community affirms them by saying AMEN.
Alleluia

Gospel Reading: John 3:16-18
Yes, God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life. God sent the Only Begotten into the world not to condemn the world, but that through the Only Begotten the world might be saved. Whoever believes in the Only Begotten avoids judgment, but whoever doesn’t believe is judged already for not believing in the name of the Only Begotten of God.
These are the inspired words of John and the community affirms them by saying AMEN.
Homily Starter—Presider 1
We have three readings this morning. It is Trinity Sunday after all. The first reading is from Richard Rohr’s book about the Trinity, The Divine Dance. In it, he talks about how we know this Trinity in a different way than we know other things. It’s not an objective or scientific knowing but a spiritual knowing, a contemplative knowing. It is seeing with the “eye of the heart” for those of you reading Mary Magdalene Revealed. For someone like me, that kind of knowing is hard to articulate but deep and powerful when it happens.
In our second reading, Paul has some very practical advice for living in community. Encourage each other, get along, greet each other with a holy kiss—a little challenging with social distancing but you get the idea. This is the kind of advice Mister Rogers gives to kids but sometimes we adults lose sight of.
Which brings us to our gospel from John. “God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, … that through the Only Begotten the world might be saved.” This is often interpreted as being saved by Jesus’ death on the cross but here’s another possibility. What if the world is saved not by Jesus’ death but by living the Way Jesus lived? What if love is what saves us? Jesus lived in very challenging times, times of martial law, pestilence, and poverty, and still he showed solidarity to those living on the margins, eating with them, loving and healing them. Let us love those on the margins as we love each other. Let us live the Way of Jesus and know his love and healing ourselves.
What did you hear? What will you do? What will it cost you?
Shared Homily

Presider 2: Let us pray our Statement of Faith together
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 1At this time let us bring to mind our intentions, blessings and concerns. Dennis will read the intentions received from the community. (Dennis reads the intentions.)
Presider 1: Let us silently add any additional intentions. (pause) We offer these prayers from our hearts. 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:

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



We are holy, holy, holy,
We are holy, holy, holy,
We are whole.

Spirit Divine, Come to Me,
healing Love, healing Me.
Open my heart, allow me to see,
Beauty and love, lives in me.

You are holy, holy, holy…


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.

(All lift their 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.
(All consume their bread.)

(All lift their cups.)

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.
(All consume their wine.)

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

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

AMEN.

Presider 1: Our Communion Song is Peace Is Flowing Like a River.By Carey Landry



Peace is flowing like a river,
flowing out of you and me.
Flowing out into the desert,
setting all the captives free.

Love is flowing like a river, …
Healing’s flowing like a river, …
Alleluia, alleluia…
Presider 1Let us pray together the prayer of Jesus:

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 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
  
BLESSING
Presider 2:  Please extend your hands and pray our blessing together
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. 
All: Amen.
Closing Song; Sing a New Church
by Michelle Sherliza and Delores Dufner



Summoned by the God who made us,
Rich in our diversity,
Gathered in the name of Jesus,
Richer still in unity.

Refrain:
Let us bring the gifts that differ,
And in splendid varied ways.
Sing a new church into being,
One of faith and love and praise.
Radiant risen from the water,
Robed in holiness and light,
Male and female in God’s image,
Male and female, God’s delight.
Refrain
Trust the goodness of creation;
Trust the Spirit strong within.
Dare to dream the vision promised,
Sprung from seed of what has been.
Refrain
Draw together at one table,
All the human family;
Shape a circle ever wider
And a people ever free.
Refrain

Extra Background reading

(Will not be used in the liturgy)

Taken from Daily Meditations of Richard Rhor at the Center for Action and Contemplation on May 30, 2020

Practice: Finding Our Teachers

Authentic solidarity requires a series of conversions. It requires our voluntary displacement from our position(s) of privilege—whether that be class, race, gender, physical ability, nationality, or religion—toward someone not like us in a real and tangible way. We may need to develop an appreciation for traits that our culture might not deem “acceptable” or even valuable. Only through relationships can we know what kind of help or advocacy is truly desired. Solidarity is not about “I’m helping you,” but a commitment to walking and learning together. And of course, learning together requires us to be in dialogue, with the understanding that I have much to learn. The following practice from psychologist Roger Walsh’s book Essential Spirituality is one way to develop this skill.

If we choose to, we can see everyone as our teacher. Those people who have admirable qualities can inspire us; those with destructive qualities can remind us of our shortcomings and motivate us to change. Confucius was very clear about this:

“When walking in the company of two other men I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy; the bad points of the other I correct in myself.”

When we meet kind people, we can develop feelings of gratitude and use those people as role models to inspire our own kindness and generosity. We can also learn from unkind people. Seeing how sensitive we are to criticism and hostility, we can remember how sensitive others are and resolve to treat them gently. We can also practice forgiveness and find how much better this feels than smoldering with resentment for days.

To begin this exercise, select an initial time period such as a morning or a day. During that time, try to see each person you meet as a teacher bringing you an important lesson. Your challenge is to recognize what that lesson is, then to learn as much as you can from this person. At the end of the day, look back and review your interaction with each person, the lessons each one brought, and what you learned.

As exercises like these are repeated, the eye of the soul gradually opens and we become increasingly aware of the sacred within us and around us. Every person becomes a teacher and a reminder of our spiritual nature, while every experience becomes a learning opportunity . . . and we see the world as a sacred schoolhouse designed to heal and awaken us, and to teach us how to heal and awaken others. What greater gift could the world offer?

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