Sunday, July 4, 2021

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy of Interdependence - July 4, 2021, Presiders: Dennis McDonald, ARCWP, and Deven Horne

We Are All One Family, Born of the Same Spirit

(Deven) Welcome:  Good morning and welcome everyone. Today, Dennis McDonald and I, Deven Horne, invite you to celebrate the secular and sacred holiday of “interdependence”. The readings and reflections today open our minds and hearts to see the strings that connect our lives in the great cosmic web of life. May we feel the tug at our heartstrings of the ties that bind us.

(Dennis) Opening Prayer: Great Mystery, we gather this morning in the knowledge that all of creation is connected through the ever living source of life and love which flows throughout the Universe.  May we celebrate the interdependence we have with the bountiful earth, the teeming seas, the trees of the forest, our sister and brother animals, and the birds of the air. Let us recognize our need for one another, and the gifts each of us brings to our table of thanksgiving this day and always. Amen 

Opening Song: By Breath by Sara Thomsen 

Liturgy of the Word

(Mary S.) Reading 1: A reading from the works of Howard Thurman

We must proclaim the truth that all life is one and that we are all of us tied together. Therefore it is mandatory that we work for a society in which the least person can find refuge and refreshment. . . . You must lay your lives on the altar of social change so that wherever you are, there the Kingdom of God is at hand! 

These are the inspired words of Howard Thurman, and our community affirms them by saying, Amen.

(Santa) Reading 2: A reading from Sherri Mitchell, a member of the Penobscot people

N’dilnabamuk—“all my relations.” Many people have heard Native

people say “all my relations” after speaking or offering prayers.

But what does it really mean? All societies organize around some

sort of core principle. The core principle for Wabanaki societies is

relationship. Our story begins with an understanding that we are

related to all beings within creation. The two legged, the four

legged, the winged, the beings that crawl and slide along the

ground, the plants, the trees, and the living Earth are all our

relatives. Everything is interconnected and interdependent; the

well-being of the whole determines the well-being of any

individual part. We recognize that connection in our prayers, and

the understanding that the whole is shifted by every action of

each individual. There is one life, one breath that we all breathe.

Therefore, when we take any action out in the world, even when

we pray for ourselves, we impact all life. This belief forms the

foundational understanding [that] weaves through all of our other

values. It’s the thread that ties them all together. . . .

These are in the inspired words of Sherri Mitchell, a daughter of

the Holy One.  Our community affirms these words by saying,



(Mike O’Brien) Gospel: A reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians

The body is one, even though it has many parts; all the parts—many though they are—comprise a single body. And so it is with Christ. It was by one Spirit that all of us, whether we are Jews or Greeks, slaves, or citizens, were baptized into one body. All of us have been given to drink of the one Spirit. And that Body is not one part; it is many.

You, then, are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it.

These are the inspired words from the First Letter to the Corinthians, and our community affirms these words by saying, Amen.

Shared Homily - Dennis McDonald

As our country celebrates the 4th of July today, we must recall that in order to bring an end to British rule at the time, 13 separate colonies came together, working in unison, although not without struggle and disagreement, to stand against the injustice they experienced at the hands of a ruling monarch across the ocean. There was a need to be interdependent, to forge a common purpose, and to proclaim their dissolution of the bonds with England.  It was in being united in purpose that they were able to move forward and form the beginning of a new nation. 

And so, although we celebrate independence today, it is really interdependence that allows us to do so.  It is the recognition that we can’t go it alone, that we need connection to each other and all of creation to continue to bring about a world of love, compassion, and justice. 

N’dilnabamuk—“all my relations”, what a wonderful concept given to us in our second reading. The Wabanaki people live by this principle that we are related to all of creation. Thomas Aquinas called this “interconnectivity” stating “that all things are related to each other is evident from the fact that all are interconnected together to one end. The perfection of any one thing considered in isolation is an imperfection, for one thing is merely one part of the entire integrity of the universe arising from the assembling together of many singular perfections.” He goes on to say, “beauty is a way, a door, to the divine whether beauty be found in nature’s sunsets or trees or animals or sky; or whether it be found in the human works of poetry and music and truth-seeking and truth-telling and work for justice and compassion.”

We are called to recognize “all my relations” as we follow the way of Jesus and his message of love, compassion, and justice for all of creation.  The response to this call takes many shapes from caring for and speaking out for the environment, to reaching out and providing care to the suffering, to standing in solidarity with those fighting for justice and equality.  In all of this outreach it is important to recognize the need for interdependence/interconnectivity. It is recognizing that no one person can go it alone, that it takes a community of people with a common purpose to bring about change that will benefit all.  

Our Gospel reading calls to mind that we are members of the Body of Christ, all bringing our special “part” to that Body, connecting to “all my relations” to build one “single body” that as Howard Thurman states, works “for a society in which the least person can find refuge and refreshment”, and I would add where the divine plan for all creation finds fulfillment.  

What does “N’dilnabamuk – “all my relations” say to you? What might it mean to you to “lay your lives on the altar of social change”? Where do you see interdependence play out in your life?

(Kathie & Debbie) 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

(Dennis) As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, and just as Jesus is anointed, so is each of us. We bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns.

We bring these and all deeply held blessings, cares, and concerns to the table of friendship and peace. 

Eucharistic Prayer 

(Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane)

(Deven) Please join in saying the Eucharistic Prayer

O Holy One, we stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history – a time when humanity must choose its future. 

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds both peril and great promise.

May we recognize that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. 

United with our vast universe, with our Mother-Planet and her people everywhere, with one another and You, Holy One, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise: 

Holy, Holy: Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy

(Dennis) We give grateful thanks for those who came before us, for all those who gave from their hearts, who gave from their lives, that there might be a better world, a safer world, a kinder world, we pray for peace in their name. 

And for the children, that they may live, that they may have children of their own and that it will go on - this great blossoming that is meant to go on and on – we pray for peace, in their name. 

And for all peoples of this earth who have no voice in this,

For the animals that have no voice in this,

For the plants, the trees, the flowers that have no voice in this,

For all who share this earth with us, we pray for peace in their name.

We thank you for our brother, Jesus. He showed us so simply, so tenderly, how the world is in our hands. He had nothing in this world but your love, companions on the journey, and his very self. Together, that was more than enough, and that remains our clarity in the midst of confusion: the miracle of healing, new hope, nurturance, nourishment, liberation, and life.

(Deven) Please extend your hands in blessing. 

Your Spirit is upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape. They are gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

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

All lift their plate and pray the following:

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

Take and eat; this is my very self.

All lift their cup and pray the following:

He then raised high 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 and drink)

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.  

Please receive Communion saying: We are united in Divine Love

Communion Song :  O Siem (Joyful Greeting) by Susan Aglukark

Post-Communion Prayer

(Dennis) Loving Source of All, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and consecrated and sent into the world to establish justice and show the blessed fulfillment that comes with simplicity and the giving of ourselves in love.  We will make new our commitment to the harmony of the original vision of creation. 

We will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and our small circles. Like Jesus, in all openness, we will be filled with your own Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

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,

O Holy One,

At this time and all time and in all ways.

And we say yes to You!

(Sharon) Let us pray together the prayer of Jesus:

O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,

We celebrate your many names.

Your Wisdom come.

Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,

Each day you give us all 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)   


(Deven) Please extend your hands as we pray together our blessing: 

May God bless you that you remember 
we are all called
to continue God's redemptive work
of love and healing 
in Divinity’s place, in and through Divinity’s name,
in Divinity’s Spirit, continually creating
and breathing new life and grace
into everything and everyone we touch. Amen

Adapted from Prayer from Franciscan Missionary Society

Closing Song: America, the Beautiful by Jesse Palidofsky & John Morris 

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