Saturday, June 27, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community -Liturgy for Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Presiders: Jim Marsh, ARCWP, and Lindy Sanford-Martinez, ARCWP

Stonewall Inn  - June, 2020
Welcome and Theme: Good morning and welcome to the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community in Albany, NY.

Today is particularly poignant for me. In the early hours of this day some fifty-one years ago, an event was taking place at a bar in NYC that would challenge and transform our world for significant numbers of people. It was a bar frequented by “drags” and “queens” as well as by many young people who were homeless because of “unwelcoming” families. Many of us probably did not know of this event; certainly main stream media, if it covered it at all, was written from the perspective of the police. And remember that the Civil Rights movement and the Viet Nam war were in full swing with demonstrations as well.

Three months ago, a stealth virus was beginning to wreak its havoc. When we gathered in person on March 8th to celebrate the Second Sunday in Lent, there were 564 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 21 deaths. As we gather today, our country has seen more than 2.5 million cases and have experienced nearly 125,000 deaths in just 16 weeks. Let that sink in.

Just a little over a month ago, we witnessed through our technology the murder of George Floyd which has unleashed and empowered the “Black Lives Matter” movement across the world. George was not the first for sure. There was Breonna Taylor, an EMT gunned down in her own home for a drug raid gone bad. There was Ahmaud Arbrey who was murdered for simply “jogging while black.” There were Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and so many more black lives that ended senselessly. And let us not forget the Matthew Shepherds of the world and the 16 transgendered people who have been murdered just this year. Do you suppose Judy Shepherd, the black mothers, the Arab, Palestinian or Israeli mother cries any less than the other, when it’s her child?

And so my friends, let us pray for and seek a renewed abundance of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, right judgment, fortitude (courage), piety (reverence) and a joyful awe of God as we share word and fellowship this day.

Let us begin our prayer in song:  Lift Every Voice and Sing by James W Johnson 
https://youtu.be/w4EdnxNjrhc                      
Lift every voice and sing ‘til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won."
Lift every voice and sing ‘til earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies.
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us.
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on 'til victory is won.

Now God of our weary years,
And God of our silent tears.
Thou who has brought us thus far on our way.
Thou who has by thy might
Led us into the light.
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us.
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on 'til victory is won.

LITURGY OF WORD

Reading 1:   2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16A
One day Elisha went to Shunem. There was a wealthy woman who urged him to stay for a meal. In the course of time, whenever Elisha traveled that way he would stop for a meal. So she said to her husband, “I have come to believe that the person who stops for a meal is a prophet of God. Let us set up a small room on the roof with a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp. Then he can stay here whenever he comes to see us.”
One day when Elisha arrived, he went up to his room to rest. Rested, he asked Gehazi, his disciple, “Can something be done for her?” His disciple answered, “Well yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”
Elisha said, “Call her.” She was called and stood in the doorway. “About this time next year you will be holding a son in your arms” promised Elisha.

These are inspired words from our Jewish ancestors; let us respond: AMEN!

Alleluia      Dennis on behalf of community


Gospel Reading:             Matthew 10:1, 7, 16-20, 37-42
Jesus called twelve of his followers, and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and heal sickness and dis-ease of all kinds.
As you go, make this proclamation: “the Reign of heaven has drawn near.”
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be on your guard. People will haul you into court; they will flog you in the synagogues. Don’t worry about how to speak or what to say. You will be given what you should say when the time comes, because it will be the Spirit of your Abba/Amma God speaking through you.”
“Those who love mother or father, daughter or son more than me are not worthy of me. Those who will not carry the cross, following in my footsteps, are not worthy of me. You who have found your life will lose it, and you who lose your life for my sake will find it.
Those who welcome you also welcome me, and those who welcome me, welcome the One who sent me. Those who welcome prophets will receive the reward reserved for the prophets themselves. Those who welcome holy people just because they are holy will receive the reward of the holy ones. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones just for being a disciple will not lack a reward.”

These are inspired words from Matthew, the evangelist; let us respond: AMEN!

Homily Starter:   Jim  Marsh, ARCWP
                                                                                                     
I know my intro today ties many happenings together. There are two things I will emphasize, namely hospitality and being prophet.

In ancient times, hospitality was considered a sacred duty. We know this from the many Torah stories we hear throughout our liturgical year. Our Muslim and Hindu sisters and brothers also considered it very important. In the Qur’an, one serves God by “doing good to orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer you meet, and those who have nothing.” (4:36) Hindu scripture says “The guest is a representative of God.”

Hospitality is big business today—it generates billions of dollars and employs many. For the most part, who are the many that work in this industry?

Bars were certainly hospitable places for gay people to congregate. It provided a “safe space/place” to be ourselves for many, many years. But oftentimes, liquor licenses were denied to establishments that catered to a homosexual clientele, and such establishments were often run by the mob, who would “pay off” (bribe) the police. “Raids” were not uncommon; sometimes advance notice was even given. Such was the situation 51 years ago at the Stonewall Inn. The clientele consisted of drags, queens, and homeless young people. Yes, there was a caste system within the “closeted” world, and these folks were considered a minority. It all began to change on June 28th when they said “Enough!” and fought off the police and “rioted” for the next six days. The following year on Sunday, June 28, 1970, the first Pride demonstration was held; not sure it was even called a parade until several years later. And soon boundaries were being shaken and broken all across the world. Were these folks prophets?

In our first reading today, proclaimed so well by Suzanne, we hear a snippet of a story about a prophet and a woman who offers hospitality. What we didn’t hear was that Elisha sought to repay her generous act, but this unnamed woman says she has all she needs, a home among family. Elisha says your reward then will be a son born next year.

As I indicated when I first sent out this Gospel reading, I included a few lines ahead of the lectionary selection. Without this, I thought the words “Those who love mother, father, son or daughter more than me are not worthy of me” seem very harsh and what was Jesus thinking, if he said such. As I read all of chapter 10, I realized he was trying to prepare them for their work after he was gone. He was being forthright in telling them it would be difficult, even dangerous (taking up the cross), but don’t worry or be overwhelmed. The Spirit of Abba God will give you all you need, so go “expel unclean spirits, heal sickness and dis-ease of all kinds.” The very last paragraph may be the most important. It reminds me of his “parable of great surprise” in chapter 25. You know it so well: “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.”  This gospel speaks of hospitality and openness; even offering only a cup of cold water will be rewarded.

In her book, The Time is Now, A Call to Uncommon Courage, Sister Joan Chittister says we all are called to be courageous prophets. Just as the prophets of old were never silent, we too must find our voice. In another of her writings, she says Hospitality is the way we come out of ourselves. It is the first step toward dismantling the barriers of the world. Hospitality is the way we turn a prejudiced world around, one heart at a time.”

Marsha P Johnson, a drag queen who was at the Stonewall Inn on that now famous evening, said this in an interview in 1992, “How many years does it take for people to see that we’re all brothers and sisters, and human beings in the human race?”

“If you want peace, work for justice.” (Paul VI)


And so my friends, what did you hear?

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.

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Lindy:        As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring our personal cares, concerns and blessings as well as the needs of our world. Dennis will give voice to those shared by the community this week …… Dennis will give a silent opportunity for us to acknowledge other concerns before ending with “We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. AMEN!

Jim:            Mindful of our Jewish ancestors’ blessing prayers at Shabbat meals, we pray ……
                  Blessed are You, Eternal God, Creator of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. It is our spiritual food!

Lindy:        Blessed are You, Eternal God of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine. It is our spiritual drink!

Men:          O great Lover of the Universe, we thank you for creating us in your image and giving us a share in co-creation. May we be responsible stewards of all your good gifts.

Women:      O nurturing Mother of the Universe, we are grateful for your presence with us. Mindful of our limitations, you know our essential goodness and love us as we are. You inspire us to see the good in others and forgive their limitations with compassionate hearts. Acknowledging your incarnation is us and all creation, together we sing:


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

Men:          Guiding Spirit, when opposing forces tug and pull at us, grace us with gifts of wisdom, knowledge, understanding and right judgment to make wise decisions and gift us with courage and fortitude to act always for the common good.

Women:      We thank you for our brother, Jesus, and for all sisters and brothers who have modeled for us a way to live and love in challenging times. Inspired by their example, may we be peacemakers and reconcilers, choosing life over death, becoming beacons of light and hope in dark times.

Please extend your hands (epiclesis)
All:             We are ever aware of your Spirit in us and among us. We invoke your Spirit anew upon these simple gifts of bread and wine, that they and us might truly be Christ present to the world.

                  On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught, and to fix that memory clearly, he bent down and washed their feet.

                                             Lindy lifts bread
                  When he returned to his place at 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.

                                             after a pause, Jim lifts cup      
                  Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:        Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you.

Lindy:        Together, let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

All:             Christ has died in all those who have passed away from COVID, from police
brutality, and all those who have suffered violent crimes arising from hatred.

Christ rises in all those working for the well-being of humanity—whether it be researching a vaccine, providing medical care and treatment, or dismantling institutional racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and transphobia.

Christ comes again and is made present each day in our lives by our actions, if only by offering a cup of water to the least and the last among us.

Men:          Holy One, we join our hearts with all who are working for a just world.  We pray for wise leaders in all religious communities. We pray for courageous and compassionate leaders in our country and across the globe.

Women:      We pray for all of us gathered here and like Jesus, we open ourselves up to your Spirit, for it is through living as he lived that we awaken to your Spirit within,
moving us to glorify you, at this time and all ways. Amen.

Lindy:        Let us pray as Jesus taught:

Holy One, you are 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.  (Adapted by Miriam Therese Winter)

Jim:            My friends, gifts of God for God’s people. May we become what we eat and drink!
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.

                  As we Eat and Drink, let us listen to the words of our meditation song

Peace Prayer of St. Francis
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEoyqMG1bDA

Jim:            Let us offer a Prayer of Thanksgiving  (DidacheInstruction, 100CE)

Men:          For the thanksgiving, give thanks this way: First, for the cup: We thank you, Abba God, for the sacred vine of David your son, whose meaning you made clear to us through our brother Jesus, yours ever be the splendor.

Women:      And for the bread fragment: We thank you, Amma God, for the life and wisdom whose meaning you made clear to us through Jesus, Myriam and Mary of Magdala, yours ever be the splendor.

All:             As this fragment was scattered high on hills, but by gathering was united into one, so let your people from earth’s ends be united into your single reign, for yours are splendor and glory through Jesus, the Christ, down the ages.

Lindy:        Let us extend our hands in blessing each other with these words:

All:             May the Fire of Love ignite our hearts and radiate through us.
May the Spirit of truth and justice burn within us.
May we continue to be the face of the Holy One, and
May we be a blessing in our time.  AMEN!


Closing Song:       Believe Out Loud   (Words and Music by David Lohman © 2010)

It's time to proclaim aloud the faith that we hold dear.
It's time to reach out to the rejected.
It's time to stand up and say, "No more!"
It's time to declare a Word of Welcome,
bring everyone through the opened doors.
It's time to believe out loud,
It's time to be strong and proud,
It's time to believe, believe out loud!

1.       Our God remains unchanging,
yet in so many ways the Holy One's still speaking,
for this we offer praise.
Yet God's all-loving guidance too often goes unheard.
But there is yet more wisdom to break forth from God's Word!  Refrain

2.       If thoughts like love and justice are more than hollow words,
we'll listen for the Spirit and let our hearts be stirred.
We'll learn to think in new ways, the doors we'll open wide.
The table's set and ready, bring everyone inside!  Refrain

3.       The love of God is boundless, we're never turned away.
And out of this abundance, this gift we must repay.
We've got to stand with millions who've heard the Spirit's call,
and shout it from the mountains: “God’s love is meant for ALL!”  Refrain
___________________________________________________________
In my prior work for the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR), we were part of the advisory board that formed what was to ultimately become Believe Out Loud. The inspiration came from polling done by the Public Religion Research Institute. (Don’t freak out. This is going to get a bit wonky for a few moments!) In short, the polling revealed that in matters concerning LGBTQ issues, a majority of people in the pews felt they were more progressive than their clergy, and therefore remained silent, waiting for the clergy to begin the conversation. Remarkable, the same polling showed that a majority of clergy felt that they, in fact, were more progressive than their congregants, and therefore remained similarly silent. So that means that a majority of people of faith – clergy and laity – are supportive of LGBTQ inclusion, yet so few were talking about it. Too many of us were keeping the light of God’s Inclusion very well-hidden (Matthew 5:15). Therein lies the need to believe out loud. The common misperception is that people of faith are, by and large, anti-LGBTQ, and LGBTQ people are anti-faith. This polling, and so much like it, shatters that false dichotomy.

I found this all tremendously exciting, and Believe Out Loud has gone on to do great things to lift up the voices of pro-LGBTQ people of faith. When Believe Out Loud and its website had its big launch in early 2010, in addition to working for IWR, I was also serving as Minister of Music at Living Table United Church of Christ. We were among a handful of ecumenical congregations across the country who took part in that launch. And I thought that the occasion screamed for a theme song!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Liturgy for 13th Week in Ordinary Time -Presiders: Dotty Shugrue, ARCWP and Joan Pesce

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Dotty Shugrue ARCWP and Joan Pesce, Presiders

Theme: We too are sent….

Welcome and Gathering

Presider:  Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community, where all are welcome.  At these difficult times, it is now more important than ever to gather together to support one another as “companions on this journey”, a journey of the unknown.  For “wherever two or more of you are gathered in my Name, there is love.”

Presider: We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says, All.  All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. During the shared homily we ask you to raise your hand if you would like to contribute and unmute yourself. Please have bread and wine/juice in front of you as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Let us begin now with our gathering song:

Opening Song: We Are Called (Breaking Bread #617) Linda Lee-Miller 

Verse 1:

Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of our God!
We are called to be light for the kin-dom, to live in the freedom of the city of God!
We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly,
we are called to serve one another; to walk humbly with God.

Verse 2:

Come! Open your heart! Show your mercy to all those in fear!
We are called to be hope for the hopeless, so all hatred and blindness will be no more!
We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly,
we are called to serve one another; to walk humbly with God.

Opening Prayer

We gather today as Church Community to celebrate Jesus’s request that when we “break bread and share wine” we do this in his memory. 
Today we reflect on what it means to be a “sent church.”  We ask for Divine Wisdom to inspire us with new insight in ways that we may do as the disciples did and bring the message of Jesus as shared today through the reflections of Matthew.  We live today in an atmosphere of fear enhanced by a lack of leadership, as we face the greatest disruptions in our life time in our broken country

We are witnessing Americans who are driven to the streets in massive demonstration.  We recognize that the environment of hate being born today is deeply rooted in the very fabric of our society.

As people of faith we believe in our collective power, to send Spirit Divine to heal our broken country, our broken world.   And together we say

ALL:  So be it!

Transformation/Reconciliation Prayer

Our broken country continues to struggle with a deadly disease.  What can I do amidst such sickness and death?

ALL:  Transform us O Holy One

We are surrounded by hate and injustice.  We have witnessed brutality and evil in our streets.

All:  Transform us O Holy One

We live surrounded by fear, with a deep lack of faith in the power of Divine within each of us.

All:  Transform us O Holy One

Gloria

Presider:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us, whose Sacred Word is shared by us in our world.

ALL:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace; peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another as we reach out to one another and ask for blessing. 

Presider:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for the health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all who serve our special needs in numerous ways.

ALL:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who sent Jesus who teaches us how to live the Gospels, who brings hope and healing to all those in need. 

Presider:  O Holy One, you are one with us.  We are strong in our faith and will live life in hope and faithfulness to you, to be Church committed to the message of the Gospels.
We depend upon the ever-present Spirit to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.  

ALL:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, Amen

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading:  2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16
A reading from the second book of Kings.

Reader:  Janet Blakley

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her.  Afterward, whenever Elisha passed by, they dined together.  One day the woman told her husband, “I know that Elisha is a prophet. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it with a bed, table, chair and lamp, so there will be a place for him to stay.” Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight. Elisha then said to his attendant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.” Gehazi did so, and when the woman arrived Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tell her, ‘You have lavished all this care on us, what can we do for you? Can we put in a good word for you with the commander of the army?”  The woman replied, “I am living among my own people.” Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” “Yes! Gehazi answered. “She has no children, and her husband is getting on in years.”  “Call the woman,” said Elisha. When she had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be holding a child in your arms.”  “Please,” she protested, “you are a prophet; do not deceive your faithful one.”
The inspired word of the Prophets. 

And the people affirm with the words: So be it!

Psalm:  39

Response:  I will sing the story of Your love, Adonai, forever.

I will sing the story of Your love, /Adonai, forever,
I will proclaim Your faithfulness/to all generations.
Your true love is firm as the ancient earth, / Your faithfulness fixed as the heavens.

R.  I will sing the story of Your love, Adonai, forever.

Happy the people who have learned to acclaim You, / who walk in the light of Your presence!
In Your Name they will rejoice all day long;/Your righteousness will lift them up.

R. I will sing the story of Your love, Adonai, forever.

You are the strength in which they glory;
Through Your favor we hold our heads high.
Our God is our shield;/the holy One of Israel is our ruler.

R. I will sing the story of Your love, Adonai, forever.

Contemporary Reading

Reader:  Joan Pesce

Awakening in the Cosmos by Dr. Barbara Holmes

Richard Rohr writes: “My friend and fellow CAC teacher Dr. Barbara Holmes has the ability to bear witness to the expansiveness of the cosmos, the major systemic shifts taking place in society, and the small and sacred moments of daily life—all at the same time. Her writing is a poetic and prophetic call for us to wake up and pay attention to everything that is happening around us”.
It is time to awaken to self, society, and the cosmos, for none of us has the luxury of sleepwalking through impending cultural and scientific revolutions. In the last sermon that he preached before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. urged us to “remain awake through a great revolution.”
Although we have a fascination with space and the possibility of life in other realms, we steadfastly refuse to respond when the universe invites us to broaden our lines of sight. We are beckoned by blazing sunsets and the pictures returned by powerful telescopic lenses, yet, on any given day, we court a busyness that beguiles us into focusing on the limited perspectives in our immediate space.
Today, scientific information about the universe is increasing exponentially while ethnic and racial balances within the United States are shifting radically. In the scientific realm, the epistemological foundations for hierarchy, dominance, and rationality are crumbling, while proponents of gender, class, [racial,] and sexual equity have found their public voices.
We are not hamsters on a wheel, waiting to fall into the cedar shavings at the bottom of the cage. We are seekers of light and life, bearers of shadows and burdens. We are struggling to journey together toward moral fulfillment. We are learning to embrace the unfathomable darkness where God dwells with enthusiasm that equals our love of light. Physics and cosmology have metaphors and languages to help us awaken to these and other possibilities.  We are not just citizens of one nation or another, but of the human and cosmic community.
Awareness is the moment when we rise with eyes crusted from self-induced dreams of control, domination, victimization, and self-hatred to catch a glimpse of the divine in the face of “the other.” Then God’s self-identification, “I am that I am / I will be who I will be” (Exodus 3:14) becomes a liberating example of awareness, mutuality, and self-revelation.
This reflection is the inspired words of Dr. Barbara Holmes and the people affirm it by saying:
ALL:  SO BE IT!
 ALL:   Alleluia Jan Phillips

The Gospel:  Gospel Reading:  Matthew 10:37-42

Reader Sally Brochu

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew.

Jesus said, “Those who love mother or father, daughter or son more than me are not worthy of me. Those who will not carry with them the instrument of their own death—following in my footsteps—are not worthy of me.

You who have found your life will lose it, and you who lose your life for my sake will find it.

“Those who welcome you also welcome me, and those who welcome me welcome the One who sent me.

“Those who welcome prophets just because they are prophets will receive the reward reserved for the prophets themselves.

“Those who welcome holy people just because they are holy will receive the reward of holy ones.

“The truth is, whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these lowly ones just for being a disciple will not lack a reward.

The inspired words of Matthew.
And the people respond: So be it!

All:  SO BE IT!

HOMILY STARTER: Dotty Shugrue ARCWP

What are your experiences in “being sent” by the Christ.

Profession of Faith

We believe in our Creator who has not forgotten us, and is ever and always present with us.

We believe in Jesus, the Word incarnate, who journeyed on the earth, blessing the sick, making whole the broken, healing many, instilling faith in his followers so that they insure his legacy till the end of time.

We believe in Christ, the everlasting Presence in our world in our universe.

We believe in the Spirit of Life, the breath of wisdom Sophia, who stays present and real to us during this great human struggle we face today.

We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who walk with us in love as we continue our life journey.

We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our Church and our world.  Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.

General Intercessions

Presider:  We pray that the Holy One renew in our hearts our commitment to journey always in faith and hope as we reach out and support, comfort and love those closest to us, pray together for all the needs of the citizens of the earth.

We pray for those persons who are protesting the injustices levied on our African-American brothers and sisters, we pray that their pain and suffering will finally be heard.

We pray for the families who have lost loved ones because of Covid 19

We pray for all those “first line” Americans who directly care for the sick and dying and those who provide needed service to all of us during this time of distress.

We pray today with heavy hearts, we pray with deep sadness, we pray as we try so desperately to calm our fears and to find ways to support those in such horrific pain.

We pray for those individuals who intentionally disrupt peaceful protest to create chaos, for those who foster fear in a time where many plead for leadership and for healing.

Presider:  And together we say:  

ALL:  SO BE IT!

OFFERTORY

God Beyond All Names – Bernadette Farrell

God, beyond our dreams, you have stirred in us a memory,
You have placed your powerful Spirit in the hearts of humankind.

Refrain:  All around us, we have known you;
               All creation lives to hold you,
               In our living and our dying
               We are bringing You to birth.

God, beyond all names, you have made us in your image,
We are like you, we reflect you, we are woman, we are man.  R

God, beyond all words, all creation tells your story,
You have shaken with our laughter; you have trembled with our tears.  R

God, beyond all time, you are laboring within us;
We are moving, we are changing, in your Spirit ever new.  R

God of tender care, you have cradled us in goodness,
You have mothered us in wholeness, you have loved us into birth.  R

Invite Community to place their bread and cup of wine before them
  
Presider: Ever present Sacred Spirit, you who hold us in your loving hands, we offer these gifts of bread 
and wine as we celebrate your life with us. These gifts are made sacred through our faith.
We ask this in the name of Jesus our brother.  Amen

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

*(The Eucharist Prayer is adapted from “The Prayer of Thanksgiving” which originates from the 1945 discovery of 52 documents, nearly all of them Christian, in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.  It is believed to be one of the original prayers used when early Christians gathered together to “break and share bread and wine in memory of Jesus.” It can be found in A New NEW Testament edited by Hal Taussig)

Presider:  The Holy One is with you.
All:   Let us give thanks.  

Presider: We give thanks to you.  Every life and heart stretches toward you, O name untroubled, honoring the name of God, praised with the name Creator.  To everyone and everything comes the kindness of the Holy One and love and desire.

Presider:  And if there is sweet and simple teaching, it gifts us mind, word and knowledge; mind, that we may understand you; word, that we may interpret you; knowledge: that we may know you.  We rejoice and are enlightened by your knowledge; we rejoice that you have taught us about yourself.  We rejoice that in the body you have made us divine through your knowledge.


“We are Holy, Holy, Holy”

We are Holy, holy, holy.
We are holy, holy, holy.
We are holy, holy, holy.
We are whole.
(Repeat refrain with You are holy, I am holy,…)

Presider: The thanksgiving of the human who reaches you is this alone; that we know you.  We have known you, O light of mind.  O light of life we have known you.  O womb of all that grows, we have known you.  O womb pregnant with the nature of Creator God, we have known you. O never-ending endurance of the Spirit of Life who gives birth, so we worship your goodness.  One wish we ask:  we wish to be protected in knowledge, One protection we desire; that we do not stumble in this life.  When they said these things in prayer, they welcomed one another, and they went to eat their holy food, which had no blood in it. 

Presider: (Please place your bread and your cup of wine before you)

In this sacrament of breaking bread and blessing wine, we pause and call upon Spirit Divine to bless this bread and wine which is made sacred through our faith.  We celebrate with one another as we remember Jesus walked this same earth we walk today.
During Jesus’s life on this earth he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society.   Because of his ministry Jesus was feared by the authority of his day.

ALL:  On the evening of the Jewish Seder Jesus gathered with his close friends for a meal.  He reminded them of what He had taught them. He washed their feet as an act of love.

Jesus returned to his place at the table and spoke to his companions.  He lifted the Passover bread, and spoke the blessing, He broke the bread saying these words:

        “Take and eat, this is my very Self.  Do this in memory of Me.”

Jesus then lifted the cup filled with wine. He spoke the blessing and said:
“Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life for you and for everyone.  Whenever you do these things, remember Me.”

Presider:  Let us proclaim the mysteries of our faith.

ALL: We believe, we proclaim, we live as Jesus lives.

ALL:  For it is through learning to live as he lived,
And why he lived, and for whom he lived,
That we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to celebrate life with you
life-giving Creator Spirit, At this time, and all time, and in all ways. 

Presider:  Let us pray in the manner that Jesus taught his companions to pray:

ALL:  O Holy One, you are 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.
(adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)

(sing) Amen. Linda Lee-Miller

Presider: 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: Please now receive Communion with the words “Receive the bread of life”. And “Receive the cup of sacred wine”

Presider:  As we celebrate the memory of Jesus in our sharing of Eucharist, we remember all those people in particular who walk with us in the search for the Divine.  We remember families we know and those we do not know who suffer because of the Covid virus.  We remember the communion of saints, and we celebrate all of life with thanksgiving.

Communion Song:  Prayer of St. Francis/Make me a channel of your Peace (Breaking Bread #523:  Linda Lee-Miller

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, God, And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

O God, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand. To be loved, as to love, with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive, And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Closing Prayer

Presider:  O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, So Be It!  Richard Rohr

INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Presider:  Together we raise our hands in a blessing of one another.

May the blessing of the Holy One hold you on your journey.
May the blessing of Spirit Life give all families peace.
May the blessing of Divine Mystery protect all those alone.
ALL:  Amen

Presider:  Go forth and bring peace to all those you meet.

ALL: “We are sent as disciples of the Christ ”

Closing Song:  May the Longtime Sun by Sara Thomsen

May the long time sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light, pure light that's within you
Guide your way home