Saturday, August 29, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for August 30, 2020 - Presiders: Debra Trees, ARCWP, and Margaret Dilgen


Embraced in God’s Gentle Wisdom, End of Summer, Beginning of Fall.

Welcome and Theme 

Greetings to our friends and family of the Upper Room both near and far. In the spirit of Jesus Christ and as a true fan of Paul, I wish you all Peace, Love and Grace. We come to this time in our year at the end of the Summer and beginning of Fall, ready to move forward in hope and joy. In September, the Upper Room will celebrate the Month of Creation. As we acknowledge our place in the great Circle, may we remember our connection to each other and to the created Cosmos. We bring our attention to this special time right now. We allow our awareness of who we truly are.

Opening Song:



Dance Then Wherever You May Be. 

By John Ogrodowczyk
I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon, and the stars, and the Sun
I came to the Earth and I danced on the sea
From the dust of stars I came to be.

Dance then, wherever you may be
I Am the Life in your dance you see!
And I'll lead you all, and you will dance with me,
For I am Life, The Great Mystery!

I danced for the strong and I danced for the weak,
I danced for those who wouldn't dance with me,
I danced for the rich and I danced for the poor,
I danced till the king’s gold lustered no more.

Dance then, wherever you may be
I Am Life, The Great Mystery!
And I'll lead you all wherever you may be
and I lead you all in your dance with me.

I danced in the springtime, in the summer and fall
I danced when the cold winds blew in winter's call
I danced in the rain under rainbow's bend,
I danced in the sun to horizon's end.

Dance then, wherever you may be
I Am the Life in your dance you see!
And I'll lead you all, and you will dance with me,
For I am Life, The Great Mystery!

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading:
A reading from Mary Magdalene Revealed by Meggan Watterson.

“We should clothe ourselves with the perfect Human, acquire for ourselves as he commanded us, and announce the Good news.” The Gospel of Mary, 10:11-13

This of course does not mean that we remain that way. Perfect, whole, unified, complete. It does not mean that we are infallible, and incorruptible, and that we float from now on several feet above the ground. It doesn’t mean that we have to always wear white, never have sex, and abstain from anything that would actually make us happy.

As humans, we forget, as Mary revealed to us. The chains of forgetfulness bind us again to the ego. The work we're being called to here though, is to “clothe ourselves with the perfect human.”

This experience of not just being this pain, and grief, and terror of the ego, but also this soul of love that loves through us.

The whole point is that it never ends. I keep thinking there will be this “X marks the spot”, this place where I free myself once and for all from myself. But there is no there… It isn't a failure to feel human, to be broken by heartbreak. It's the whole point. The choice we have, the opportunity that's presented to us in those moments of exquisite pain, is to also remember the soul.

We can bring in the other half of what it means to be human. Try to see it as our chance to reach a love that can withstand it. Not permanently; Just in this moment. That's all that matters. Find the presence of love in those moments when before you had abandoned yourself. Even if it's just a little love, a grain of sand, a mustard seed. Your love is enough.

These are sacred words from Meggan Watterson, and our community affirms them by saying, AMEN. 

Alleluia.

Gospel                                                                      MT 16:21-27
At that time, Jesus began to explain to his followers that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo much suffering at the hands of the councilors, and chief priests, and scholars, and be put to death, and rise on the third day. But Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him. “Master,” he said, “please God that will never be your fate!” Jesus however, turning to Peter, said: “Out of my way, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you look at things, not as God does, but as people do.” Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wishes to walk in my steps, let him renounce self, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save her life will lose it, but whoever, for my sake, loses her life will find it. What good will it do a person to gain the whole world if she forfeits her life? Or what will a person give that is of equal value with her life? For the Child of Humanity is to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he ‘will give to everyone what his actions deserve.’

These sacred words are from the Book of Matthew from the New, New Testament, and we affirm them by saying, AMEN.

Homily and Shared Reflections, Deb Trees and Margaret Dilgen.

Some of you may have seen the picture of Jesus laughing.  It’s a picture 
of Jesus caught in a hearty laugh, head flung back, eyes closed, obviously enjoying some joyful conversation with others.  It’s an image that is almost jarring when one first sees it. We have been taught to think of Jesus in terms of suffering, pain, death and martyrdom. Sacrifice of one’s life for the good of all.

Today’s gospel reading is that realization on the part of Jesus. He is aware of his calling and what it means. It is hard enough to do without others dissuading him. And so, his condemnation of Peter, and the explanation to his followers of what it means: You must give up your concept of who you are and follow your spirit self.

Mary Magdalene explains this to the disciples after Jesus’s death. They obviously still have not got it. And it is really a difficult concept to embrace. In her recent book, Mary Magdalene Revealed, Meggan Watterson takes a deep dive into these concepts of what Mary was trying to relay to the other followers of Jesus. Clothing ourselves as the “Perfect Human” embraces both Our Body and Our Soul. As we are created, we are both at the same time. We are called then to follow Jesus as the Child of Humanity. The One who gives us an example of living in Love, both Human and Divine.

But following our God-given awareness of our many callings requiring sacrifice and loss of self does not mean that we do so without JOY.  Happiness, Creativity, Love, Peacefulness, Hope and Grace anchor our very body and soul, our Human Beingness.

Awareness of the Suffering and Joy around us can call us to acts of Love and Expressions of all kinds of Human Emotions. We invite you to look at a recent YouTube reflection by Fr. Scott Vanderveer on “Loving without Getting Tired.” It’s a beautiful, eye-opening and helpful way to think about loving within our personal awareness and capabilities.

Happiness and Joy, Hope, Peace and Faith, Love, are just as much a part of our Human Heritage as Suffering and Pain. Let us reach with mature understanding towards our goals of clothing ourselves as Perfect Humans. Let us bring that beautiful awareness to each moment and each person we meet.

What did you hear, dear friends? How will it challenge you? What will you do about it?

Our shared homily is rich when we all participate.  If you feel called to say something, please unmute yourself and share your thoughts.

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

As we prepare for the sacred meal, we share our intentions.
pause for intentions
We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen.  

Presider 1 : Let us pray our Eucharistic prayer with open hearts and hands: 


Holy One, we yearn to be close to you and to live in the embrace of your gentle wisdom. Your divine grace and love lead us away from our anxieties, fears and distractions and toward all that is blessed and joyous. 

Each of us is divinely created in Your image. We are precious to you and to each other because of who we are. We are beloved and blessed in your unconditional love, quite apart from how we act or fail to act. 


Thankful for Jesus who treated all of Creation with respect and abundant love, we resolve to follow his example to be a light in the darkness. We recognize Your loving Presence here with us today and always, and we sing: 

Holy, Holy: Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy


All: Dearest Holy One, there are times when we feel scarcity and emptiness even though we know You love us more than our human imagination can grasp. May we have the presence of mind to live in Your love. We strive to see You reflected in every person we meet. Guide us in sharing our gifts and in being open hearted so that we may accept help from others. 
  
We thank you for Jesus, who knew what it was like to be an outsider in occupied and foreign lands. May his presence prompt us to bring gospel kindness and understanding to the divisions and conflicts of our time.

Presider 2: Please extend your hands in blessing.


All: We call upon your Spirit that is present in us at this Eucharistic table. We are grateful for the bread and wine that remind us of our call to be the light of Christ to the world.

All: On the night before he faced betrayal and death, Jesus shared supper with his 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.  

All lift the plate and pray: 

Presider 1: 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. (Bread is consumed)

All lift the cup and pray:
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. 
(Wine/juice is consumed) Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace. 

All: Holy One, your transforming grace inspires us to follow our consciences and bring comfort to wherever people are in need. We pray for wisdom, patience and persistence to make a difference in our world. We resolve to love as Jesus loved, to discern the better angels of our nature with hearts open to your Spirit. Amen. 

Presider 2: 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  

All: 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. 

May we have a moment of silence.

BLESSING 

Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing. 
May the infinite beauty and joy of Creation continue to astound us.
May the Presence of the Divine always comfort and inspire us 
May we be the face of the Holy One in all we say and do, and 
May we be a blessing in our time. AMEN.


Closing Song: Happy by Pharrell Williams.

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.
Clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth.
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.
Clap along if you feel that that’s what you want do.

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for 22nd Week in Extraordinary Time - August 29, 2020 - Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP, and Rev. Lee Breyer

22nd Week of Extraordinary Time
August 29, 2020
Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Rev. Lee Breyer
Music Minister- Linda Lee Miller
Theme: Walking With Jesus





Welcome and Gathering

Presider 1: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, where all are welcome.  At these difficult times, it is now more important than ever to gather together to be “companions on this journey” walking with Jesus.  It is a journey of unknown mystery.  We join together because, “wherever two or more of you are gathered in my Name, there is Love.”

Presider 2:  
We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond ALOUD AND MUTED where it says “All.” And during the songs, sing your heart out, while muted.  All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. Our readers today are Michael and Cheryl.  Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.
Let us now sing our opening song: All Belong Here.

Gathering Song: All Belong Here by The Many 

Opening Prayer

Presider 1:  Oh Holy One, we rejoice that our spiritual power to live the Gospel is rooted in the presence of Spirit within each and all of us. We rejoice that our oneness with Christ frees us from rules, projections and expectations that limit our ability to be a radiant reflection of your love and compassion. Like all holy ones before us, our call is to walk with Jesus and to love as Jesus loved  
All: Amen

Communal Reconciliation Rite

Presider 2: We pause now to remember the times we have let false messages about our unworthiness cloud our vision of the infinite depth of love within us.  Now imagine the imperfections, chaos and messes of your life illuminated by a love within you that is healing and transforming you as you evolve and grow in awareness of your divinity and humanity.
(Pause briefly. Then extend arm over your heart)

All: I love you, I forgive you, I am sorry, I thank you.


Liturgy of the Word

(Michael RIdgon) First Reading:  What Does It Look Like to Walk with Jesus in Real Life”- adapted from the writings of Chara Donahue

In the scriptures, we see that God walked in the Garden of Eden, we see many people described as those who walked with God, and we see people who walked in close proximity to Jesus but never knew him. We often hear the term “walk with Jesus” used in the church as a mark of solid faith, but what does that actually look like? In real life walking with Jesus means hills and valleys, times when we will feel energized, weary, challenged, and relieved. 
Walking with Jesus requires us to take steps of faith and that means we can’t always see where our feet will land. It is with trust that we walk into the unknown, and we have that trust because we know that we are loved, we are cared for, and we are a part of the Holy One and the Holy One is a part of us.  When we don’t know these things so deeply that they are alive within every part of us, it can feel impossible to walk by faith. 
Every day of your life you can walk alongside Jesus. Through the suffering, he is there. In the moments of joy, he is there. When you are lonely, he is there. In the moments when doubt presses in and tells you that you are alone, he is there. Every day, he is there, walking with you, holding you.  You are never alone. 

(Cheryl Brandi) Responsorial: Adapted from a reading by Roger Courtney

Our response is: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Jesus, you have called us to expand the realm of love throughout the world.  This love calls us into being – it expands our lives as it flows through us.  You taught us that life with you also requires the courage to be unpopular, to stand up to the wealthy and powerful on behalf of the poor and powerless.

ALL:  Response: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Jesus, you have called us to show selfless compassion for others, regardless of how different they are from us and to help others grow and develop their potential-to facilitate human becoming.

Response: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Jesus, you were not only an example to follow, but a vision of reality and the future that compels us to change and to act.  You call us to walk in the path of wholeness towards a new humanity.  You lead us away from a narrow legalistic, and ritualistic understanding of religion to one based on ideals of the heart-on boundary-shattering self-giving love and compassion.

Response: We walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Alleluia

(Lee Breyer) Gospel: An adapted Reading from the Gospel of Mathew 16:21–26
 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to confront him. “Never, Teacher!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of the Holy One, but merely human concerns.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny their own egos and earthly desires and be willing to bear unavoidable challenges and suffering as a part of the human experience.  They must walk with me, for whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life to be with me, will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 

Homily prelude: Christ You Walked Among the Grain Fields-Andrea de Carlo


Homily Starter: Kathryn

The theme for today’s liturgy came to me about two weeks ago in a dream, where I saw myself walking along a path behind our house, across the common area, toward the lake. I was alone and thinking about a number of things that were troubling me. I started to feel anxious about some of those things and wondering how they would work out, or more truthfully, how I could make them work out. (Yes! I am a control freak!) And then, as I walked, I saw a very vague image of a man standing next to me, to my right, clothed in white. I was startled at first, wondering who invaded my quite moment. And then he spoke, and simply said, “”Just walk with me.” There was an overwhelming sense of peace. And I kept walking toward the lake and the image stayed beside me, until it didn’t. I’ve had dream experiences like this before, especially as a child. But, this one was different. And to this very day, I’m not sure how. I just know, it changed me.

Life is a journey, often a short one, and almost always an uncertain one. There are parts of this journey we plan, like visits with family, trips, retreats, etc. This is the part of the journey I like best. And then there are parts of the journey, the unplanned and uncertain ones that are much more difficult to navigate. If 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us that things happen in life that are out of our control. This is definitely not my comfort zone! We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 since mid-March, racial unrest and injustice in our Nation continues; fueled by racist words and lies from our leaders who incite rage in those looking for a reason to hurt or kill. And then, there’s angry Mother Nature. We’ve seen devastating floods, wildfires burning out of control, and deadly tornadoes and hurricanes. I recently saw a meme on Facebook that said, “2020 is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.”

In our Readings today, we hear that walking with Jesus is not all a bed of roses. There are thorns as well, hills and valleys, tragedies and triumphs, and joy and sorrow. Even though we don’t choose the challenging and sometimes unbearable events in our life, we can choose how we perceive them, how we respond to them, how we integrate them into our spiritual framework. To “take up the cross” then is not an invitation for disciples, then or now, to start going around looking for crosses to bear. Trust me, crosses will be provided. As Martin Luther saw so clearly when he wrote in his Freedom of the Christian that anyone who has a spouse or a family already has built-in crosses enough.

So, go forth and walk in joy with Jesus, engage in conversations with him, listen deeply from within you and be the light in the world you are intended to be.

Community Sharing: What spoke to you in our readings or homily starter today?

Communal Statement of Faith

All: (Presider 2)  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 and for the Community

Presider 1: We now remember all those who need our prayers. Our response is:
All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 2: For all those suffering from Covid and all families who have lost a member due to the pandemic. All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 1: For all those suffering the loss of family members due to systemic, institutional racism. All: We remember and we pray.

Presider 2: We pray for our MMOJ community, especially for Bridget Mary and Diane who continue their medical treatments.
For what else should we pray?

Presider 1: We remember these and all unspoken intentions.
All: Amen.

Preparation Of The Gifts

Presider 1:  Blessed are You, Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread, to share, the Bread of Life. 

All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.  

Presider 2:  Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 

All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Presider 1:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence we are as we proclaim the liberating power of your Spirit, in our humanity and divinity, calling us to build the unity in a more compassionate and just world.  All:  Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

Voice 1:  Your Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in all who work for humanity’s healing and well-being especially now during this COVID pandemic and systemic racism. With thankful hearts, in the company of all holy women and men, your liberating Spirit rises up within us, works through us and we sing:

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy (adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)


We are Holy, Holy, Holy…3x 
, You are Holy, Holy, Holy, I am Holy, Holy, Holy, We are Holy, Holy, Holy

Voice 2:   O Heart of Love, Your Spirit moves through each of us and all holy ones before us and who come after us so that we remain in continuous communion with you.  Your Spirit moves through our humanity and our divinity. Your Spirit moves through the love within us, expanding in widening circles to embrace all people and creation in our evolving universe.

Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: (Presider 2) You Pour out Your Spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world.

All: (Presider 1): On the night before he died, Jesus came to the table with his family and the women and men he loved. Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying, Take, eat, this is my body. Remember me and all that I have taught you.”  (pause)

All (Presider 2) : After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying, “This is the cup of the covenant of my love. As often as You drink of it, remember me, and all that I have taught you.”

Voice 3:  Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
All: Christ has died in all those who have passed away from the Coronavirus and from police brutality.
Christ is rising in all those working for the well-being of humanity; searching for a vaccine, treatments and dismantling institutional racism and sexism.
Christ comes each day in our ministry, prayers and actions for a renewed world with justice and equality for all.

Voice 4:  Holy One, we remember and we are grateful for the companions who have gone before us: Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, and all holy women and men who are rising up in loving service to heal our world.  We are grateful for our brother, Jesus, and we walk with him….
(Presiders lift bread and wine)

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 worship you truly,
At this time and all time and in all ways.

Sung Amen

The Prayer of Jesus

Presider 2:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us.
All:  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 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  (Miriam Therese Winter)  

Sign of Peace:

Presider 1:  Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.” 
(Let us place our hands in front of us, palms up, as we sing, Peace Is Flowing Like a River
Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the people free. Love is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free. Healing's flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me. Flowing out into the desert, setting all the people free. Alleluia

Communion

Presider 2: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.
Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Presider 1:  This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to this table.  
All:  We are the Body and Blood of Christ for the world.                         

Please receive/share Eucharist now.

Communion Meditation/Reflection: In the Garden (He Walks with Me). Written by C. Austin Miles and sung by Linda Lee Miller   https://youtu.be/g-pBEm_-NHU

Gratitudes/Introductions/Announcements

Concluding Rite

Presider 2:   As you go forth to continue our ministries, we pray: Timeless One, Your eternal love wraps courage around us as we enter into your invitation to further our spiritual transformation. Your ageless presence draws us to you as we step forward, ready to embrace our walk with you.  Your sustaining peace rests within our every heartbeat and accompanies us into the unknown future. We go forth with gratitude and confidence. Amen.

Presider 1: Please extend Your hands as we pray our final blessing.

May we open our hearts to Hope,
to new beginnings, the possibilities of change and of dreams not yet lived.
May we open our hearts to Compassion,
The service we can offer, the sharing of our talents and the warmth of our hearts.
May we open our hearts to Wisdom.
The blessedness of divine guidance and the readiness to use our intuition and knowledge.
May we open to Divine Light,
The radiance within each person, the light that guides, consoles, and sustains.
Amen.
(Adapted from Seven Gates of Transformation in Prayer Seeds by Joyce Rupp)

Closing Song: All You Works of God, by Marty Haugen
https://youtu.be/vCTyaOcB4xk

Chorus All you works of God, Every mountain, star and tree, Bless the One who shapes your beauty, Who has caused you all to be one great song of love and grace, Ever ancient, ever new. Raise your voices, all you works of God.
Verse 1 Sun and moon: Bless your Maker! Stars of heaven: Chant your praise! Showers and dew: Raise up your joyful song!
Chorus All you works of God, Every mountain, star and tree, Bless the One who shapes your beauty, Who has caused you all to be one great song of love and grace, Ever ancient, ever new. Raise your voices, all you works of God.
Verse 5 Wells and springs: Bless your Maker! Seas and rivers: Chant your praise! Whales in the deep: Raise up your joyful song!
Chorus All you works of God, Every mountain, star and tree, Bless the One who shapes your beauty, Who has caused you all to be one great song of love and grace, Ever ancient, ever new. Raise your voices, all you works of God. 

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,
Please send an email to katyrcwp@tampabay.rr.com

If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to
www.marymotherofJesus.org where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.

Please support our community, send your check to:
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
% St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328

MMOJ Liturgy Songs for August 29, 2020

Gathering Song: All Belong Here by The Many 


Alleluia

Homily prelude: Christ You Walked Among the Grain Fields-Andrea de Carlo



All:  Holy, Holy, Holy (adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)


We are Holy, Holy, Holy…3x 
, You are Holy, Holy, Holy, I am Holy, Holy, Holy, We are Holy, Holy, Holy



Sung Amen

Sign of Peace
Peace Is Flowing Like a River
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob6HgTQ6lZ4&feature=youtu.be


Communion Meditation/Reflection: In the Garden (He Walks with Me). Written by C. Austin Miles and sung by Linda Lee Miller   



Closing Song: All You Works of God, by Marty Haugen
https://youtu.be/vCTyaOcB4xk

Chorus All you works of God, Every mountain, star and tree, Bless the One who shapes your beauty, Who has caused you all to be one great song of love and grace, Ever ancient, ever new. Raise your voices, all you works of God.
Verse 1 Sun and moon: Bless your Maker! Stars of heaven: Chant your praise! Showers and dew: Raise up your joyful song!
Chorus All you works of God, Every mountain, star and tree, Bless the One who shapes your beauty, Who has caused you all to be one great song of love and grace, Ever ancient, ever new. Raise your voices, all you works of God.
Verse 5 Wells and springs: Bless your Maker! Seas and rivers: Chant your praise! Whales in the deep: Raise up your joyful song!
Chorus All you works of God, Every mountain, star and tree, Bless the One who shapes your beauty, Who has caused you all to be one great song of love and grace, Ever ancient, ever new. Raise your voices, all you works of God. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

"Befriending Phoebe, a co-worker in the kingdom" by Colleen Gibson, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter

Museo_Pio-Cristiano crop.jpg

A woman is depicted at prayer in an ancient Christian mosaic seen in the Vatican's Pio Cristiano Museum. (Wikimedia Commons/Miguel Hermoso Cuesta)
  A woman is depicted at prayer in an ancient Christian mosaic seen in the Vatican's Pio Cristiano Museum. (Wikimedia Commons/Miguel Hermoso Cuesta)
Growing up, I never heard about St. Phoebe. She, like so many women of the early church, was lost to me for a long time.
The female doctors of the church — Catherine, Teresa, Thérèse, and, later, Hildegard — were beacons whose wisdom, faith and example I was drawn to. As a young adult, I grew to know and love Mary Magdalene, the apostle to the apostles, as well as a number of other women saints, who, each in her own way, invited me to be more fully myself and more fully engaged with my faith.
Not until my late 20s do I recall Phoebe's name surfacing in my consciousness and even then, I couldn't place her beyond the heading "women of the early church." The reasons she remained in the shadows of my consciousness are as much a reflection of my own life and learning as of the institutions that have taught me and their conscious and unconscious influence on our wider perspectives as individuals and a church.
Phoebe appears in Paul's letter to the Romans, in which he exhorts the Romans: "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae." Paul writes, "I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me" (Romans 16:1-2).
Brief though it is, this introduction is full of import. In these two verses, Paul provides critical information about the woman he has entrusted to deliver his letter to Rome.
Calling her sister, deacon and benefactor, Paul signals that Phoebe is his co-worker in the kingdom. He has chosen her to convey his message and it is his hope that they, like her, will come to believe and to support the Christian mission. By identifying Phoebe as a deacon, Paul indicates that she was a preacher and teacher of the faith and gives us the earliest written record of women's ordained ministry in the church.
When I first heard about Phoebe's ministry, I wondered how I hadn't heard about it sooner. A search of the Scriptures used at daily Mass revealed why Phoebe hadn't crossed my path. "In the continuous reading from Romans, verses one and two of chapter 16 are omitted," Benedictine Sr. Ruth Fox writes in her work on women in the Bible, "Thus churchgoers will never hear in our liturgy of Phoebe, a woman who was a deacon."
One can't be sure of the reason for this omission, but by excluding Phoebe (and the stories of many other women) from the lectionary, the church makes a distinctive choice about the models of church and stories of faith it chooses to lift up. Phoebe's absence from daily readings obscures the history of women deacons in our church and directs popular consciousness away from considering women's place in ordained roles of leadership in the church.
Phoebe is part of a much larger story of women deacons. In the Western church, from the first Christian communities through the 12th century, women carried out the ministry of the diaconate in its fullness, serving in the diaconal ministries: baptizing and anointing, proclaiming and preaching on the Gospel, caring for those on the margins, assisting in liturgy, and helping to sustain the life of the church through their ordained ministry.
Yet, in the 12th century, when the diaconate became a transitional ministry exclusively for men pursuing priesthood, women deacons ceased to be ordained.
For 800 years, the permanent diaconate lay dormant. Without the presence of permanent deacons, the diaconate became synonymous with the priesthood, with the transitional diaconate serving as a step on the way to priestly ordination. As time went on, this association became ingrained in the popular understanding of who deacons were and what deacons did.
Not until the time of the Second Vatican Council did the permanent diaconate again find its footing in the church.