Saturday, August 1, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for 18th Sunday in Extraordinary Time - Presiders: Terri Kersch and Kathleen Ryan, ARCWP

Welcome and Theme    
Our theme today is our strong belief that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  In each of our chosen readings, we will be challenged to trust in The Holy One.  Just as the Apostles were asked, we too are told to heed the words of the Prophet Isaiah as he promises an everlasting Covenant of blessings. We are challenged to trust the abundant empathy, compassion and generosity of Jesus. 

Presider 2: Opening Prayer:  Today we are challenged on every side. Our world is in disarray due to the Covid 19, Racism, the economy and political divisions.  We stand together in our community ready to listen to Your word, and to take action in love. Bless our efforts and hold us tenderly as we walk this journey together.

Opening Song: Come to the Water by John Foley, SJ
LITURGY OF THE WORD

A reading from the letters of Paul to the Romans (8:35-39)
Brothers and Sisters, What will separate you from the love of Christ?
Trouble? Calamity? Persecution? Hunger? Nakedness? Danger? Violence? Yet in all this we are more than conquerors because of God who has loved us. For I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angel nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither heights nor depths nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

These are the inspired words of Paul a disciple of Jesus.
The community affirms these words with Amen.

Alleluia  



A reading from the Gospel of Matthew
When Jesus heard about the beheading of his friend and cousin, John the Baptist, he left Nazareth by boat and went to a deserted place to be alone. The crowds heard of this and followed him from their towns on foot.  When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast throng, his heart was moved with pity, and he healed their sick.
As evening drew on, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “this is a deserted place and it is already late.  Dismiss the crowds so they can go to the villages and buy some food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them: “There is no need for them to disperse. Give them something to eat yourselves.”
“We have nothing here” they replied, but five loaves and a couple of fish.”
“Bring them here,” Jesus said. The he ordered the crowds to sit on the grass. Taking the five loaves and two fishes, Jesus looked up to heaven, blessed the food, broke it, and gave it to the disciples, who in turn gave it to the people. All those present ate their fill. The fragments remaining when gathered up, filled twelve baskets.  About five thousand families were fed.

These are the inspired words of Matthew a disciple of Jesus.
The community affirms these words with AMEN.

(pause) 

 Homily
What will separate us from the love of God?  There are so many examples of Trouble, Calamity, Persecution, Hunger, Nakedness, and Violence in today’s world. How on earth are we to garner the courage and strength to trust this man called Jesus? How can we believe that not only is there enough, but that there is an abundance to meet all need? Today’s readings are an invitation and a carefully orchestrated lesson plan – Jesus is the Master Teacher.

We, today’s disciples, are invited and instructed to be active students in the learning process.  The lessons are the same today as in Jesus time:  to trust the love of our God, and to live deeply in the knowledge that we cannot be separated from that love. 
Just like any school class, some of the disciples just wanted to get it over with…’dismiss the crowds so they can go home and get food for themselves’. But the lesson was not over that quickly.  The twelve Apostles were instructed to gather the fish and loaves, feed the masses after Jesus blessed and broke the bread, and then gather the remnants…12 disciples, 12 baskets of leftovers – nothing was to be wasted.  The disciples learned visually and tangibly the lesson of abundance. 
So what is our lesson amidst the Trouble, Calamity, Persecution, Hunger, Nakedness, and Violence of 2020?  We are given the same instruction as the Apostles: to be active learners in the lesson of abundance.  We are asked not only to assess – how many gifts…fishes/loaves/crumbs of bread do we have?  But we are challenged to use those gifts…every crumb.

Not only are we required to use our gifts, but we are asked to trust, take Holy One at her word that we are loved, giving us the bold courage to collect and use every crumb of talent and gift we have to feed needs of the many in our midst.  Our life course brings many tough questions:  Are we aware and able to acknowledge that we are both needy and a disciple?  Are we willing to freely offer our gifts and talents in nourishment to the ‘other’ or do we want to send them off to find their own way?  Can we recognize the amazing impact of gifts freely given?  Are we willing to waste nothing…even our mistakes or missteps are part of the lesson of love.  And finally, do we have what it takes to ask the Holy One to use our gifts, large and small, and even our shortcomings, in ways we might not even imagine?

We at the Upper Room are so blessed; our many needs are met with abundance.  The Upper Room offers us a study guide to the love of our God - through the gift of clergy, the inspiration, leadership challenge to explore our faith and the richness of our community Apostles.  Each one of us, as the needy and Apostle, are blessed with abundant support, guidance, and a myriad of examples of God’s love, even in these most difficult of times.

This morning, the Master Teacher Jesus leaves us with one final exam question: amidst the Trouble, Calamity, Persecution, Hunger, Nakedness, and Violence  of today, how are you living fully and growing in the trust that nothing can separate you from the love of God?

Shared Reflections

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

Presider 1:  As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to the table our prayers and intentions: (Terri read the intentions.)                       
Terri: We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen. 

Presider 2: With open hearts and hands let us pray our Eucharistic prayer in one voice:

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us as we set our hearts on belonging to you. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all creation.

You know our limitations and our essential goodness and you love us as we are. You beckon us to your compassionate heart and inspire us to see the good in others and forgive their limitations. Acknowledging your presence in each other and in all of creation, we sing:

Song:   Here In This Place
Presider 2: Guiding Spirit, when opposing forces in us tug and pull and we are caught in the tension of choices, inspire us to make wise decisions toward what is good.

We thank you for our brother, Jesus, and for all our sisters and brothers who have modeled for us a way to live and love in challenging times. Inspired by them, we choose life over death, we choose to be light in dark times.

Terri: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: We are ever aware of your Spirit in us and among us at this Eucharistic table and we are grateful for this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in 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 them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet. 

Community lifts their plates

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)   Community consumes the bread  

Community lifts the 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.

(pause)  Community drinks from the cup

We share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace.

Presider 2: Holy One, your transforming energy is within us and we join our hearts with all who are working for a just world.  We pray for wise leaders in our religious communities. We pray for courageous and compassionate leaders in our world communities. 

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.

Presider 1: Let us pray as Jesus taught us: 

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 

Communion Song:  Shepherd Me O God


Loving source of our being, you call us to live the gospel of peace and justice. We choose to live justly, love tenderly, and walk with integrity in your presence.

BLESSING

 Please extend your hands in our final blessing.

ALL:  May the Fire of Love ignite our hearts and radiate through us.
May the Spirit 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: Sing A New Church
https://youtu.be/ETV1DXQk_Gk?t=14



Cultural Evolution Beyond Patriarchal Gender Ideology by Louis T. Gutierrez, Augm 2020

http://www.pelicanweb.org/solisustv16n08page24.html

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for 18th Sunday in Extraordinary Time - August 1, 2020 - Presiders: Elena Garcia, ARCWP, and Linda Lee

 MMOJ inclusive Catholic Community 
18th week in extraordinary Time                                            
               August  1, 2020                                            
 Presiders: Elena Garcia ARCWP and Linda Lee 
 Readers Maryal Gagnon and Lee Breyer                                                     Music Minister-  Linda Lee Miller


Theme: Life calls us to listen and respond.

Welcome and Gathering
Presider 1:    We warmly welcome you to the inclusive catholic community of Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota, Florida where all are welcome.  Because of the pandemic, we have been unable to gather in St. Andrew UCC where we have met for many years.  At these difficult times, it is now more important than ever to gather together to support one another.  As usual, God has brought good out of what seems bad, and has given us the gift of being able to go beyond the boundaries of space and time to include friends and family from north and south, east and west- something we would love to have done before, but couldn’t imagine how!  
Presider 2:  With this new technology we are learning new ways to experience liturgy.   These include being able to hear prayers, readings and music while keeping our personal computers on “mute.”  At certain times we invite sharing from the community, as at The Prayers of the Community and The Shared Homily.  If you feel drawn to share, you must unmute your microphone, speak, and re-mute yourself.  Even though your microphone is muted, wherever you are, please respond where the liturgy is marked “All,” and feel free to sing your heart out! Please have bread and wine/juice in front of you during the Liturgy.

Let us begin with our Gathering Song: Anthem by Tom Conry   https://youtu.be/Vqn1P9fHpps


REFRAIN
We are called, we are chosen, we are Christ for one another.
We are promised to tomorrow, while we are for him today.
We are sign, we are wonder, we are sower we are seed.
We are harvest, we are hunger. We are question, we are creed.

VERSE
Then where can we stand justified? In what can we believe?
In no one else but Christ who suffered, nothing more than Christ who rose.
Who was justice for the poor. Who was rage against the night. Who was hope for peaceful
people.  Who was light.   Repeat REFRAIN


OPENING PRAYER

Presider 1:  O loving God of many names, you share your divinity with all of creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with all of creation. You call us to live life to the fullest and to journey into your heart of compassion always striving to unite our will to yours. In communion with Jesus, our brother and with the power of Holy Spirit Sophia, grant us the strength to respond with joy to your call and to trust in your providence to be able to overcome all adversity.  ALL: AMEN.

COMMUNAL RECONCILIATION RITE

Presider 2: Let us pause for a moment to reflect, on a time when in hindsight we wish we had been less judgmental, more patient, more compassionate, more present, kinder and forgiving. Now imagine this person(s) or situation in the light of healing love as we ask for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Please place  your hand over your heart and say the “Ho’oponopono Prayer.”  
ALL:   I am sorry.   Please forgive me.   Thank you.   I love you. 

GLORIA

Presider 1:  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 1:  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 1:  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 Sophia Wisdom 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: Romans 8: 31-39 (Maryal)
So what do you think? With God on our side, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Godself to the worst by sending God’s own Son, is there anything else God wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us - who was raised to life for us!- is in the presence of God this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not anger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
                                                      We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing---- not a thing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
This is a contemporary reading of The Epistle to the Romans as found in “The Message” by Eugene Peterson, and our response is AMEN

Psalm 145 (Lee)
Response: My soul yearns for you, Eternal Flame of Love
Each generation must learn anew the efficacy of silence, the wisdom of turning inward, that your Light might be their guide to holiness, and your Love nurture them toward wholeness

Response: My soul yearns for you, Eternal Flame of Love
Yet, many there are who turn from you in fear, denying their birthright.
Their denial will lead them further into alienation; loneliness will companion them

Response: My soul yearns for you , Eternal Flame of Love
Gratitude and quiet joy overflow as I recall the abundant blessings of your grace!
Lift up your hearts, all you who choose the path of Life! My heart is Lifted up!
Response: My soul yearns for you, Eternal Flame of Love.


Gospel Acclamation: (Alleluia)  Jan Phillips

Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:13-21  (Linda Lee)
When Jesus heard of the death of his cousin John the Baptizer, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake where he was.
When he saw them coming he was overcome with pity and he healed their sick.
Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper”.
But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper”
“All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said.
Jesus said, “Bring them hear.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer , blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples . The disciples gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone into the night.
This is a contemporary reading from Matthew found in The Message by Eugene Peterson.
And we respond: So Be It !

Repeat Gospel Acclamation         https://youtu.be/IC4nbwmQDVw

Shared Homily Starter:

COMMUNAL STATEMENT OF FAITH
Presider 1
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 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.


PRAYERS OF THE COMMUNITY

Presider 2: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. 
In this time of bewilderment and fear, we ask you to give us the courage to take care of one another. For those who are ill, especially those who are frightened and alone, for those who cannot access health care, for those who are homeless and lost we pray.                        
HEAR OUR PRAYER.

In the midst of our sadness and grief, we ask you to give us words to comfort one another. For those who are dying, and for those who have already died from this virus, for those who tend them and for those with no one to tend to them, we pray.                                              
HEAR OUR PRAYER.
In the midst of our own anxiety we ask you to give us the courage to support one another as you would. For those who are unexpectedly unemployed, for employers who share what they can, for our government and financial institutions and those who lead them, we pray.                     HEAR OUR PRAYER.

In the midst of our struggle to ensure a healthy future for all who live on this planet, we ask you to give us the hope that surpasses our current understanding. For health care workers, spiritual leaders and our faith communities, for artists and poets, for prophets and teachers we pray.            
HEAR OUR PRAYER.
                         
In the midst of our growing awareness that all life on earth is connected, we ask for the heart to respect and cherish all life. That all peoples recognize that we are all your children we pray.           HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Presider 2: For what else shall we pray?         

(Unmute your microphone. Speak your concern when there is an opening. Re-mute your microphone.)    Respond to each petition with:   HEAR OUR PRAYER.
                                                                                                                
Presider 2: We pray for these and all the unspoken concerns we hold in the silence of our hearts.               
HEAR OUR PRAYERS

PRESENTATION OF GIFTS
(Please set out your own bread and wine.)

Presider 1:  Blessed are you, God of all life.    Through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, these prayers of the heart, and our own lives to offer.   Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we respond to your call to use our gifts in loving service to our sisters and brothers.

ALL:        Blessed be God forever.

Presider 1: God is within you, blessing the world through you.

ALL: And within you.

Presider 1: O Holy One, we lift up our hearts to You, You who gently invite us to enter into a deeper relationship with you that will affect how we live our lives and make decisions.   This transformation seems to come through difficulties and pain, yet you are there with us always.   Come Holy Spirit, be with us and with all who have gone before us, as we lift up our hearts in praise and sing:

All: We are holy, holy, holy (Karen Drucker)    https://youtu.be/orKBBIj5LZA

Presider 1: Our Holiness is your Holiness within us. Help us to seize opportunities to reveal it to the world.

Extend hands over the bread and wine as we pray:
ALL:  Pour out Your Spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world. On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the men and women he loved.  He washed their feet.  For this they would remember him.

Presider 1: Please lift the bread as we pray the Prayers of Consecration:

ALL:  When he returned to his place, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat of the Bread of Life, my body, given to strengthen you.   Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. (pause)

Presider 1 : Please lift the cup as we pray:

ALL: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace 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. (pause)

Presider 2: Let us share this bread and cup, and welcome everyone to the Banquet as we live the gospel of justice and peace in our world.

ALL: We are called to do everything Jesus did, to be the living presence of a love that does justice, of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates laughter, of a light that illumines right choices and confronts the darkness of every injustice and inequity.

ALL: We trust you to continue to share with us your own Spirit, the Spirit that filled Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, his loving and healing that all honor and glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever. Amen

Presider 1:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us:                                                                                                              
ALL:   Our Father and Mother who are in heaven, whose presence is with us always, and whose spirit dwells within. Hallowed be your name. May your kingdom come, and may your will be done, in our lives, and on earth, just as it is in heaven. Thank you for giving us this day, all that we need for sustenance, nourishment and growth. Forgive us, forgive us when we turn away from your love, when we trespass against you and those you put in our lives. Help us to forgive those who turn away from love and who trespass against us.  Keep us from yielding to temptation. Direct us away from anything or anyone that would distract us from your will, your highest good for our lives. Deliver us and protect us from all that is evil. For all glory and power is yours Almighty God just as it was in the beginning, it is now and always shall be, world without end. 

All SING: AMEN  (LINDA LEE MILLER) https://youtu.be/Dy76fpfkNsg
Presider 2:  Sign of Peace: (If you are with others now, please turn to them and share a sign of peace. Then let us all face the screen and express a sign of peace to one another.)  
“May God’s peace be with you”

Presider 2: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread.
ALL:  O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.  
O God of Compassion, You call us to be your presence in the world.   We will love tenderly.  
O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
(All hold up the bread and wine.)

Presider 2:  This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.   Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

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.

SANCTUARY:  LINDA LEE   Sanctuary:  https://youtu.be/lQtTF3lWTc8

God prepare me to be a sanctuary,
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving,
I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

God prepare me to be a sanctuary,
Acting boldly in your name.
Seeking justice where there’s hurting
Offering hope where, there is pain.
                                                      
God prepare me to be a sanctuary.                                                                                                       Pure and holy, tried and true.                                                                                                               With thanksgiving,                                                                                                                                       I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Presider 1:   Please now receive Communion with the words “ I am (You are) the Body of Christ” and “I am (You are) the Blood of Christ”  The music that follows provides us with the opportunity to remain silent and listen to the words or to sing along as the Spirit moves us.


COMMUNION MUSIC
“I am the One within you” by Ryan and Drucker   (Zoom).    https://youtu.be/N8Fi9dK_6dY                 

  I am the infinite presence.
I am the one in all.
I am the truth in beauty,
The answer to Spirit’s call.

I am the one within you.
I am the one you seek.
Within your heart there is a doorway.
The arms of love await you...with these golden wings take flight.
(Sung through twice)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
BLESSING
Presider 1: Let us raise our hands and bless each other.
ALL:    May you be blessed with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.  
May you seek truth boldly and love deeply within your heart.
May you continue to be the face of the Holy One to all you meet.
May your name be a blessing in our time.

Presider 1:  Prayers of Thanksgiving, Introductions, Announcements:                         
                                                               CLOSING PRAYER
ALL:  O Holy One we believe that Jesus, your Incarnate Word lives in you and in us. Strengthen our faith, hope and love that your reign will be proclaimed in our lives and the presence of your Spirit be manifested in our thoughts words and actions. We ask this through
Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.  AMEN                                                                                                             
                                                                       CLOSING SONG

 “The Greatest Thing”- Linda Lee words & music by Mark Pendergast  https://youtu.be/KmCbaTxI1Mk          
 
1.The greatest thing in all my life is knowing you.
The greatest thing in all my life is knowing you.
I want to know you more. I want to know you more.
The greatest thing in all my life is knowing you.
2. .... is loving you.

3. ... is serving you.

4. ... is sharing you. 

5. ... is seeing you. 

6. ... is being you.