Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Liturgy, Book Club and Birthday Party for Terry Binders

Katy and Mielo co-preside at liturgy
Mindy Lou Simmons, Music Minister at MMOJ
Theme: Render to Caesar what is Caesar's but give to God what is God's
Opening Prayer: God of all that is and that will be, you call us your children to discover your kindom within our hearts. Give us the wisdom we need to determine our debts to Caesar and to sift through the threat of swords and slavery. Let the values of the gospel rise clearly about the calls of our culture. Make us a humble people; sure of your love for every person and thing you have created. All praise to you, God our mother and father, living one with Jesus and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.
 Prayer for 29th Sunday, "Peoples Companion to the Breviary " p. 415. 
Book for Oct. Discussion
Sally, Mielo, Terry, Mary Al, Marie, Janet

Alicia proclaims the Gospel

Janet and Terry (front, who was celebrating her birthday)

Mary Al, Marie, Sally, Donna and Terry
Terry celebrates birthday
Billy and Bridget Mary
Mary Al, Sally, Cheri

"Synod's Actions Mean Improvement on Some Fronts-Where's the Movement on Women? " by Maureen Fiedler

"OK, the working document from the synod on the family was indeed a "pastoral earthquake" for the gay and lesbian community (no mention of transgender folks, as far as I can tell) and for divorced and remarried Catholics. The tone from the Vatican was so positive that I was conjuring up memories of the tone of the church at the time of the Second Vatican Council.However, nothing in this document addresses the key issue facing the contemporary church: the role of women. In this case, the synod needs to affirm the equal status of wife and husband in the family: their equal responsibility to support the family, care for children, make financial decisions, maintain the household. It's important for such an affirmation of equality to be heard in North America and Europe, but it is perhaps even more important in the developing world, where the status of women is often regarded as officially secondary to that of the male. Of course, the synod itself has an inequality problem, just like the church as a whole. One hundred percent of the prelates in official attendance at the synod are male. They are not representative of families, which usually, but not always, have one of each: a woman and a man. The synod is, to put it mildly, not representative of family reality. Women and married men are totally unrepresented. The married couples in attendance are a step forward, yes, but they are observers and occasional speakers; they cannot vote..."

Bridget Mary's Response:
I agree with Sister Maureen Fiedler's analysis of the Synod. The issue of women's equality is the elephant in the Church. Until the Vatican affirms women as equal images of God and opens all ministries to women, including the priesthood, women will be second-class citizens. The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is leading the way toward gender equality in our church by ordaining women to serve as equals in  inclusive communities where all are welcome. We are the "Rosa Parks" of the Catholic Church! Bridget Mary Meehan,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Prison Should Not Be For Profit: Please Sign Petition

End the practice of "taxing" the poor and minority families of prisoners. 
Terminate private for-profit prisons. When the state deprives someone of their liberty it is the state's responsibility to care for them, not to put inmates into a for-profit system. 
Terminate any system to collect fees from depositing funds from families to prisoner's accounts. 100% of the money sent by a family must be deposited for their loved ones. Those families did not intend to grant any gift to the corrections department. It is nothing less than extortion to force a poor family to pay a fee to send money to a loved one in prison or jail. 
End profits on prison telephone calls to home. Communication with family is a necessary component of rehabilitation that should be the primary goal of the justice system, and not a profit center that limits rehabilitation based on a free world families financial position. 

Prohibit any jurisdiction in the State of Florida from charging a prisoner for room and board. You lock someone up, taking care of them is a public responsibility. 

Establish commissary prices not to exceed a 1.5% profit over actual wholesale cost of goods sold to prisoners. 

Florida CURE

That's why I signed a petition to The Florida State House, The Florida
State Senate, and Governor Rick Scott.

Will you sign this petition? Click here:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vatican Alters Draft Report Translation About Gays/Conservatives Block Compassionate Attitude Toward Gays, Divorced and Remarried/Nothing Decided until Oct. 2015

"Meanwhile, during the press conference the Italian-to-English translator translated "intrinsically disordered" as "intrinsically messy," which will undoubtedly lead to a new line of T-shirts. For more on this controversy, see the report from Joshua J. McElwee.
Group A has "serious questions about the presentation of the principle of graduality." They want to make clear that it is not "the graduality of doctrine of faith and morals, but rather the gradual moral growth of the individual in his or her actions."
On Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, Group A bluntly says, "We did not recommend the admission to the sacraments of divorced and re-married people."
On the other hand, Group B calls for "the clear affirmation of the indissolubility of a valid sacramental union" but also stresses "the strong desire to invite and embrace sincere Catholics who feel alienated from the family of the church because of irregular situations." They recommend the "examination of possible paths of repentance and discernment by which, in particular circumstance, a divorced and remarried person might participate in the sacraments."
The 12-member drafting committee is now poring over the input from these and other language groups as it attempts to put together a revised report that will be voted on by the entire synod on Saturday. This final document will provide the starting point for further discussions in the church prior to the next synod in October 2015. So stay tuned -- nothing is settled yet."
[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasReeseSJ.]

"The Life of Scholar Activist Rosemary Ruether by Mary Hunt

..."Rosemary, along with colleagues Mary Daly and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, shaped feminist theology from their various Catholic starting points. Unfettered by ordination, they were able to devote the full measure of their talents to theology, philosophy and biblical studies, respectively. Sadly, the kyriarchal church does not appreciate, or perhaps even notice, their work. But the rest of the community is deeply in Rosemary's debt, beginning with the National Catholic Reporter, which has published more than 185 of her articles.
Rosemary has always been a self-identified Catholic, but never one confined by the institution. She claims herself in communion not with recalcitrant bishops, but with those who struggle for justice in both church and the wider cosmos. She wisely and consciously confines her Catholic work to 10 percent of her intellectual production, a tithe, as it were.
Letting the failures of the kyriarchal church, rather than the needs of the world, shape her priorities would have truncated her work on so many other vital issues. Heaven knows there is enough to do to reshape the institution that she could have focused exclusively on it and still not made much progress. Instead, Rosemary sees herself as an ecumenical, interreligious Catholic seeking out and creating "good church" wherever she can...."

"Going Home" by Rev. Judy Lee, RCWP

As I get older I sometimes long for home, and a time and place long before this place that is now home. If you have read the story of my first home and early years: The House on Sunny Street, you will know that going home to that exact physical location and visiting with my beloved family of origin there can not happen any more. But, I have learned that, thank God, there are many ways to go home again. Going home is any time we can connect with members of our chosen or given families and loved ones wherever they may be. And going home is when we can return to the place of our birth ,growing years, and earlier lives. Home for me now is in Fort Myers, Florida and it has been becoming my home since 1998 when I retired from fourteen years of being a Professor of Social Work at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Then I made my home near the school in West Hartford, Ct. Before that I was on the faculties of Columbia University SSW and NYU SSW and Manhattan was my home.   And before that for thirty-three years Brooklyn was my home. Our Good Shepherd family members and other chosen family here are home for us now. Yet, for me home will always be in Brooklyn, New York and New York City and in connecting with those who were part of that home and will always have a home in my heart. Thomas Wolf was wrong: you can go home again.
When we took our Good Shepherd kids to Washington D.C. in September I was able to connect with a sister friend from my youth,Martha Andrews Gentry. We were close friends throughout our teen years. Martha and I last saw each other at the second reunion of our Bethany church Youth Group in 2007.  Since then both of us faced and overcame serious life threatening illnesses and we both attribute our healing to faith in our loving God as much as to today’s advances in science and medicine. We were so happy to see each other as these photos show.  IMG_0131
We were also so happy to share our friendship with our Good Shepherd Youth. Martha is an artist and taught High School art as well. The teens were so happy to be welcomed into her lovely home, replete with her art and that of some of her students. It was exciting for all of us to join the very senior members of the Bethany Youth Group with the Good Shepherd Youth, coming full circle in a very special way.
IMG_0129Our Girls at Martha’s house with Martha in the background. 
IMG_0128How wonderful to be with Martha again! Martha is also a lay minister in her church, so here are the three pastorsIMG_0132
Also wonderful was having my closest cousin/sister Jackie Weinmann Marion of Colombia, Maryland join us in Washington for two days.  This was the icing on the cake!
Jackie with Felice and Natasha
IMG_0133It was also a blessing to meet with RCWP Bishop Andrea Johnson who gave a blessing to our young people.
IMG_0157Pastor Judy Beaumont and Bishop Andrea Johnson 
From October 10th -13th Judy B and I  were blessed to be able to go home to New York. The first person we were privileged to see was 90 year old Sim, or Aunt, Way Kam Lee. Sim is my former husband’s paternal Aunt and Sim and I had many wonderful experiences together in the 1960’s and in later visits . We laughed a lot as we helped each other with language and aculturation to each other’s cultures. This is Sim with the literal fruits of her summer’s labor. She grew these extraordinary fruits in her garden in Baldwin, New York and has just finished harvesting them.  Not only are they huge but they are heavy and yet she got each one into her basement for safe keeping. Here she is giving a “shark fin soup melon” to our driver Edward who is also Chinese. She also informed us that last year she got tired of waiting for painters to come so she painted her house inside and out-at 89!!!  She also works out at the gym every other day. She is truly amazing!
Sim, Way Kam LeeIMG_0024IMG_0027IMG_0026
Our next stop was our hotel in Westbury, LI where Cousin Pat Sullivan-King picked us up to pick up Cousin Dorothy Shotwell Stewart in Oakdale for a celebration in Sayeville for the whole family. We were celebrating Cousin Dorothy’s 92nd September 20th Birthday and Cousin Bobby Robinson’s 80th Birthday on October 9th. We were also celebrating the coming together of five generations of Shotwells and three branches of this family that has been in America since 1650. We were overjoyed at  having so many of the younger members joining with us.
IMG_0053This is Cousin Bob with his wife Barbara and Cousin Pat and Cousin Dorothy(seated). Cousin Dorothy is the daughter of our Grandmother Ella’s brother Henry Shotwell. Cousin Pat is my Grandmother Ella’s sister Augusta’s (Gussie’s) granddaughter. We met each other about eight years ago through the genealogical studies of Bob, and Dorothy’s sister, Lorraine Edith Shotwell Walton, now gone home to God, and Pat’s daughter in law, Beth. How blessed it is to be united with family. At 92 Cousin Dorothy is still doing her very beautiful and accomplished art work and caring for herself and her cat. Her sons and grandchildren live nearby and visit often. She is also truly amazing. And suddenly Bobby and I feel young!
Here I am with Bob’s family, his daughter Kathy and son Ken and his wife, Lisa, and Kathy’s children, Jordan, just returned from Naval deployment in Afghanistan,Michelle and Travis Jay,15, and his grand children withViviana Arcos, Jordan’s Colombian wife and and Efren Johannes Knoppert, his great grand son.  IMG_0049
This is Ken and Lisa, Kathy and George and Lori Whitlatch Post, who was present at my Ordination and visits us in Florida. IMG_0046
This is Bob and me with Richie Dougherty and Lillian Dougherty Ebner,our cousins. 
This is Lillian with her daughter April and her son Mason Gerald who is just a year old.
IMG_0030These are our newest cousins meeting for the first time, Efren Johannes Knoppert and Mason Gerald Andresen. 
IMG_0051 And this is our five generations of the Shotwell clan and spouses gathered for a group photo. What a blessed evening! 
The next three days were spent in New York City and Brooklyn. Here we stayed in an apartment of a friend of Danny’s on the 32nd floor in the WestVillage.This is the view from the window. We could also see the Empire State Building and both rivers!
IMG_0056  This is Bob and Danielle and Laura our chosen family members. Danielle is a retired social work practitioner and educator and long time special friend. When 911 occurred she was one of the social workers who gave her time to work with those who experienced tragic losses. Her other passion is youth group work and she is looking forward to meeting our Good Shepherd teens. She and Bob contribute generously to our ministry. Bob is a retired Distinguished Professor of Business at NYU. Danielle and I met Laura when we worked with homeless women in New York in the early 1980’s. Through a series of events Laura, a devout Jew found herself in a women’s shelter. We helped her to move on and she in turn gave her life to helping others who faced homelessness. Her mitzvot life teaches us about giving oneself for others. Each time we come to New York  Judy B and I visit with her and she is our inspiration.
Here we are exploring the HIgh Line Park in Chelsea, an area turned into an urban forest like garden on an elevated railroad track. And so we learned that even a big city can become green and change for the better. IMG_0058Judy B. with Danielle and Laura
Of course, Brooklyn never lags far behind Manhattan and the next day we explored DUMBO, the new waterfront area of Brooklyn Down Under Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass, meaning under the Brooklyn Bridge. This area is reclaimed from garbage, and decayed buildings and rats. It is now very upscale, but one wonders where the ordinary folks can afford to live. We also wondered about the many homeless people sleeping in the streets in lower Manhattan. Some of it is attributable to the affordability of new and powerful synthetic street drugs but, as Laura said in outrage, this is unacceptable. We reflected that to have a home is a blessing and a human right that everybody deserves.  Encountering the number of homeless sleeping on the streets of the city is how I was called by God to serve the homeless in the early eighties. I just could not tolerate the inhumanity in permitting this. It is clear that homelessness remains a major social justice issue NOW. How sad-and what a challenge!
One of my joys was to visit the NYU faculty housing where I initially lived while teaching at NYU.   I loved this third floor apartment with the tree in the windows and balcony over the court yard. This bit of green kept me sane in the city.
It was hard to leave my beloved New York City and extended family there, but I was equally happy to get home to Fort Myers and my family here.
with love and prayers,
Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP,
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community of Fort Myers

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 29 Sun. OT, Oct. 19, 2014 by Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Give to the emperor what belongs to the emperor,
and to God what belongs to God.
Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar.
This is most certainly Jesus talking,
according to the scholars of the Jesus Seminar.
Besides Mark’s Gospel,
this story appears in the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and Thomas,
and it’s in the Egerton fragments
with a different saying at the end.
It’s typical of Jesus,
giving a witty reply
that doesn’t really answer the question
and doesn’t tell his listeners what to do
other than to decide the claims of God
in relation to the claims of the state.
How do we do that?
Here in the United States,
we are blessed with legal separation of church and state,
a tradition that protects our right to practice our religion
without the violence and oppression faced by Christians
in more than 60 countries around the world,
like North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan,
Somalia, Mali, and Syria, to name a few.
But freedom of religion doesn’t mean
that we can ignore this Gospel.
Jesus tells us clearly to give to the ruler—our government—
what belongs to the government,
and to God what belongs to God.
What belongs to God?
But that doesn’t mean we can just ignore the government.
Unlike first century Israel, we decide who governs us.
We Catholic Christians have a long social justice tradition.
Both Old and New Testament scriptures show it to us:
from Genesis: we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper;
from Matthew: as you do to the least of these,
so you do to me.
Our tradition insists
on the principles of justice and the common good
for governing our various societies.
The American bishops have issued a statement spelling out
these principles of Catholic Social Teaching;
it’s called
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship:
A Call to Political Responsibility.
This “Faithful Citizenship” document asserts that it is necessary
that everyone participate in promoting the common good
and that everyone take an active part in public life.
Each one of us, with far greater political power
than Jesus and his disciples had in the Roman Empire,
has the right and the responsibility to decide
what Caesar should and should not do.
Here in Lucas County almost half of the people
belong to a religious organization—
a church, temple, synagogue, mosque.
More than half of those are Catholics,
about a fourth of the population.
It’s predicted that Lucas County
will have a 22% turnout in the November election.
Those statistics suggest
that too many of our Catholic brothers and sisters
are not practicing “faithful citizenship.”

Paul tells us in today’s letter to the Thessalonians
that we must preach
not with mere words
but by our actions.
Our Holy Spirit Catholic Community has dedicated itself
to concentrating our energy and our resources
on caring for the earth,
one of the seven key principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
That traditional teaching tells us
that we should live simply
to meet the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations
to meet their own needs;
that we have a moral obligation to protect our planet.
We’re working on that, and it’s an exciting mission.

Something else: right now, we face a local environmental issue
that we can voice our concern about.
Some of you will be at work and not able to go,
but those of us who can
will be in City Council Chambers
for the public hearing on the Lead Paint Abatement Ordinance
at 4 o’clock on Wednesday, October 29.
Our Community is a member of the Toledo Community Coalition
that has been working with ABLE and TUSA
to stop the damage to our children from lead poisoning,
and we’ll be there to give witness to the need for this law.
And there’s more: between now and November 4
every one of us will be looking at the candidates and issues,
and we’ll be praying for wisdom so that we’ll be ready
to vote our consciences
as faithful citizens of God’s good creation.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Silenced Irish Priest Brings Focus to Conscience on U.S. Tour

fr. tony Tony Flannery, an Irish priest censured by the Vatican and ordered to cease priestly ministry, due to his support for the ordination of women, and his questioning official teaching on homosexuality, contraception and the validity of second relationships, will tour the U.S. speaking on the importance of conscience in the Roman Catholic Church. 

The Catholic Tipping Point tour, sponsored by WOC and 11 progressive Catholic organizations, will cover 18 U. S. cities between October 22 and November 14, 2014.

Tony Flannery has been a member of the Redemptorist Congregation for over 50 years, and is a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Ireland. He is the author of several books including A Question of Conscience, Keeping the Faith, and The Death of Religious Life. 

After being ordered to silence and suspended from priestly ministry, Fr. Flannery spent a year trying to reach agreement with Vatican officials. When this was not successful, he began speaking publicly on the need for reform in the Church. 

Join us at an event near you!  

Wednesday, October 22, 7 PM: Washington, DC
Augustana Lutheran Church 
2100 New Hampshire NW Washington DC 20009
Contact: Katie Breslin 202.203.0931
Thursday, October 23, 7 PM:  Baltimore, MD
Faith Presbyterian Church
5400 Loch Raven Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21239
Contact: Sr. Jeannine Gramick 301.864.3604
Contact: Frank DeBernardo 301.277.5674
Friday, October 24, 7 PM: Philadelphia, PA
University of the Sciences  
McNeil Science and Technology Building
723 S 43rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Contact: Regina Bannan 215.545.9649
Saturday, October 25, 2 PM NYC
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
Contact: Francis Piderit 917.916.7575
Sunday, October 26,  3 PM West Warwick, RI
Emanuel Lutheran Church;
9 New London Ave.West Warwick, RI 02893 
Contact: Kathleen Pannozzi, 
Tuesday, October 28, 7 PM Boston, MA
First Church of Dedham
670 High Street Dedham, MA
Contact: Marianne Duddy-Burke  617.669.7810
Wednesday, October 29, 7 PM Syracuse, NY
May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 E. Genesee St. Syracuse, NY
Contact: Meg Ksander 315.673.1401
Saturday, November 1, 7 PM Cleveland, OH
Independence Middle School 
6111 Archwood 
Independence OH 44131
Contact: Deb Rose-Milavec 513.673.1401
Monday, November 3, 1 PM Detroit, MI
IBEW Union Hall
1358 Abbott St.
Detroit MI 48226
Contact: Fr. Tom Lumpkin 313.963.4539
Wednesday, November 5, 7 PM Minneapolis, MN
St. Frances Cabrini Church
1500 Franklin Ave S.E., Minneapolis, MN
Contact: Art Stoeberl 651.278.6630
Saturday, November 8, Call to Action Conference, 
8:30 AM & 2:15 PM Memphis, TN 
Contact: Ryan Hoffmann 703.531.9203
Monday, November 10, 7 PM Sarasota, FL
St. Andrews UCC
6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34238
Contact: Bridget Mary Meehan 703.505.0044
Wednesday, November 12, 7:30 PM San Antonio, TX
Viva! Bookstore at Viva Galleria
8407 Broadway San Antonio, TX
Contact: Deb Myers 210.585.6254
Thursday, November 13, 7 PM St. Louis, MO
St. Stanislaus Kostka Church 
1413 N. 20th St. St. Louis, MO
Contact: Jenn Reyes Lay 314.7077313
Saturday, November 15, 6 PM Phoenix, AZ
Shadow Rock UCC Church  
12861 N. 8th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85029
Contact: Dan Peitzmeyer 602.331.1998 
Contact: M. J. Benton 480.948.2028
Sunday, November 16, 2 PM Sacramento, CA
St. Marks' United Methodist Church
2391 St. Mark's Way Sacramento, CA
Contact: Caryl Callsen 209.295.2151
Tuesday, November 18, 7 PM Portland, OR
Central Lutheran Church
1829 NE 21st Ave Portland, OR
Contact: Nancy Barrett-Dennehy 508.238.1942 
Wednesday, November 19, 7 PM Seattle, WA
St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
1245 10th Ave E. Bloedel Hall Seattle, WA
Contact: Pat and Julie Callahan 206.329.1234
Fr. Flannery's tour is sponsored by American Catholic Council, Call to Action, Catholics for Choice, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholics United, CORPUS, DignityUSA, FutureChurch, National Coalition of American Nuns, New Ways Ministry, Quixote Center and Women's Ordination Conference.