Saturday, September 12, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy to celebrate the Season of Creation - Sunday, September 13, 2020 - Presiders: Dennis McDonald, ARCWP and Lindy Sanford-Martinez, ARCWP

The Harmony of Creation

Please join us between 9:30 and 9:55 am via Zoom 

Here is the Zoom link:


Should you not be able to connect via ZOOM, here is the phone-in information (audio only).

Phone Number: (646) 558-8656

Meeting ID: 825 1215 9155

Dennis: Introduction of Theme:

Welcome to all here present.  We gather this day to celebrate Creation, reminding ourselves that we are a part of creation and have been provided the opportunity to care for this planet we call home.  We reflect today on our role as co-creators and care-givers of the Earth, and the call to bring harmony to all that we touch with the love and beauty with which the Holy One graces Her creation.


Let us celebrate with joy the indwelling of our God among us and all of creation.  Welcome, sisters and brothers, to the table where broken word and bread nourish us and feed our spirit. 


Opening Song: For the Beauty of the Earth

Lindy: Opening Prayer:

Creator, Source of all that we are, we gather to honor your Creation as an integrated and holy system of plant, animal and human life placed lovingly side by side with water, air, wind, and earth. We pray for the imagination and resolve to establish a supportive ecology so that all of Creation may not just survive but thrive as a continuing sign of your wondrous love. Amen.



First Reading:

A reading from a speech attributed to Chief Seattle given to President Franklin Pierce.


You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the Earth is rich with the lives of our kin.

Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the Earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth. If we spit upon the ground, we spit upon ourselves.

This we know – the Earth does not belong to us – we belong to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the Earth – befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth. We did not weave the web of life – we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.


Second Reading:

A reading from the works of Joyce Rupp


I had never seen sunflowers. When I went it was too late.  The faded yellow and brown tattered heads drooped on bent stems, reminding me of the curved-over woman in Luke’s Gospel with her head reaching toward her heart.  Something nudged me to get out of the car and look more closely.


Once I walked into the field, disappointment turned to wonder. Because of such abundance, the seeds’ weight forced the stems to bow and bend. My thoughts became absorbed in how much it costs the plants to bring forth this rich harvest. I noticed flocks of goldfinches deliriously feeding on seeds spilling out from sunflowers that were now transformed into nourishment, easily giving of their summered lives to enrich others.


As I walked out of the field, I felt urged to return. Something more waited to be learned from the surrendered sunflowers. Two days later I walked slowly through the field, the heavily hanging heads brushing against my body as if to say, “Listen, we have something more to tell you.” And speak they did, about the energy of release, the ability to freely liberate what had been their glory, how the dying field held not only a harvest of fulfillment but of what it contained, an acceptance of giving away what was really never theirs to keep.


Those heavy, drooping heads replete with ripened seeds spoke to me of personal diminishment, of loss bound to come sooner or later. Not only does this transition happen to individuals. Societies and organizations also experience seasons of bending low. Dying comes before rising. Death arrives before new birth. Few want to accept this reality. But accept it or not, this pattern shapes how growth usually occurs. Unable to hold their heads high any longer, the sunflowers bowed to the way life naturally unfolds, the ageless pattern of life, death, rebirth—sunflowers teaching me anew that I, too, wend my way through this configuration, slowly bending the stem of my life, allowing my head to reach my heart—accepting, releasing, fulfilling.


These are the inspired words of Joyce Rupp...and we confirm them by saying “Amen”.


Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia



A reading from the Gospel named for Matthew, disciple of Jesus. (Mt 6:26-30)


“Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet our God in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you more important than they?  Which of you by worrying can add a moment to your lifespan? And why be anxious about clothing? Learn a lesson from the way the wildflowers grow. They don’t work; they don’t spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in full splendor was arrayed like one of these.

If God can clothe in such splendor the grasses of the field, which bloom today and
are thrown on the fire tomorrow, won’t God do so much more for you—you who have so
little faith?


These are the inspired words from the Gospel named for Matthew, disciple of Jesus, and the community affirms them by saying, Amen.


Shared Homily: Lindy

            Opening our season focused on Creation last week Lynn spoke of creation as Incarnation…It is so important that we do.  We forget that each animal, each plant, tree, rock and soil… even wind, fire and fish, ever star in every galaxy, and every universe are all hiding places for the Spirit and body of God…  We forget that we, too, are a hiding place for that Spirit… the love, mystery and wonder we rarely think about. 

            Our world is filled with chaos right now.  Illness, frustration, poor laws, good laws being ignored, demonstrations, and anger holds our attention.  Waves of fear all this causes tempt us every day.

            Rarely do we think of the wonder around and within us or of the Love that created us hiding within each of us.


The Earth is our Mother.  The soil is rich with the lives and deaths… even the ashes of dead plants and animals …and our kin.  She is richer with our care of her soil, her streams, her trees and her mountains, her beaches and oceans….and the seasons. Our eyes and our hearts show us tiny insects, divergent animals and birds… the sun and the moon, and so many stars… All that beauty turns into wonder when we open ourselves.  Our hearts and souls are filled with awe by the abundance before us.  With joy we begin to understand that we are small, small parts of Creation.  Like ever leaf and little butterfly… like every fish and flower… like every branch and every bird…everything we need is here.  In the cycles of the seasons She will take care of us.

            Our mistakes litter our lives.  They distract us, too, from the wonder of Creation.  We forget that mistakes often become seeds sprinkled into our minds and into our hearts.  If we let them sprout there, fed by the loving Spirit with us, they grow into something new.  As they do we begin to feel new ideas… rays of warmth and healing…the peace and joy we call Spirit.  Fed by them we can heal our little corner of the world bit by bit.


 Oh, the wonder of being part of Creation.



Statement of Faith 

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. 

Dennis: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns.  Please, in silence, offer any intentions you bring to the table….” (pause)


We pray for these and all unspoken concerns. Amen.




Lindy: Please join us, with arms raised, in the praying of the Eucharistic Prayer.

All: Great Mystery surrounding us, we lift up our hearts to understand that our spirits are one. You are with us, and we live. Everything lives because of you, and everything is one.


Your wisdom moves among us like the wind, and we are blessed.

So now we enter into the oneness of creation, attune ourselves to join in the harmony, let ourselves embrace that oneness with thankfulness and joy. And so, we join with all of creation and sing in glory for the beauty that encircles us.


Holy, Holy: Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy

All: Creator of the whole universe, we glory in the environment, especially forests, that surround us. May we have the vision and strength to protect all forest ecosystems and the whole of Your creation, which have been corrupted by human exploitation, pollution, and destruction, so that the whole of creation may be renewed and made whole,

We join with the earth and with each other, to bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air.

We join with the earth and with each other to renew the forests, to care for the plants, to protect the creatures.

We join with the earth and with each other to celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars.

We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of the earth and the renewal of life.


We join together and call the Spirit upon the gifts of the earth, bread and wine, as we bless them and remember our call to be the Body of Christ in the world.


On the night before he died, he sat at a table with friends and relived with them his work, his teaching and wisdom of the universe. Then he went among them as servant, washing their feet, touching their hearts. 


When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:  

Take and eat, this is my very self.


Pause and consume the bread.


Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying: 

Take and drink. 

Whenever you remember me like this, 

I am among you. 


Pause and drink from the cup.


Mystery of Life present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures, embrace with tenderness all that exists. May the power of divine love pour upon us, that we may protect life and beauty. Help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards divine light and love. We are thankful for the pulse of life that fills us each day. May we be encouraged and strengthened for our struggle for justice, love and peace in the world.

Dennis: Let us pray the prayer of Jesus:


Let us pray as Jesus taught us with an eye toward this Season of Creation:


Generous Creator, the intricate and elegant biodiversity of our world is your hallowed autograph on our lives, on our souls and in our hearts.

We yearn for the wholeness of being in harmony with Your will and with all living things.

Each day we draw on your creative, life-giving energy with gratitude and awe as we find nourishment in, seed and field, river and forest.

May we be stewards and co-creators with you in caring for the gifts of Your Creation. 

We acknowledge our shortcomings, especially our neglect of the environment on this Creation Sunday. We seek to be reconciled with those we have hurt and we resolve to do better. 

With your unfailing wisdom and the wind of Your Spirit, inspire us that we may reach out and love one another and care for the world, our home.

Strengthen us to work for local and global justice so that we may one day reap a harvest of equality and fairness as if they were wildflowers, propagating spontaneously, unerringly and in surprising abundance. Amen.


Communion Meditation Song: Holy Ground


Lindy: Let us raise our hands and pray our closing blessing:


Go out from this place, ready to hear creation’s call.

Go out, ready to answer, “I am here, standing up for you!”

And as you go, know that the love of Divine Mystery surrounds you,

the peace of Christ empowers you,

and the companionship of the Spirit moves within you

and all of creation, now and always. AMEN                                      


Closing Song: Sing Out Earth and Skies – Marty Haugen

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