Sunday, December 31, 2017

Upper Room Liturgy - New Year's Eve 2017

Debra Trees and Joan Chesterfield, ARCWP led the Upper Room liturgy with the theme: "Recognizing God’s Love in Us.” Deb’s homily starter and Joan’s homily conclusion are printed below the readings.

Margaret Dilgen placed stoles on Deb and Joan and blessed and thanked them for leading the community liturgy.

Opening Prayer and Song: Prayer for Peace by David Haas

A Reading from Paul’s letter to the Colossians 
COL 3: 12-17

Brothers and sisters:
As God's holy and beloved,
clothe yourself with heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Bear with one another, forgive whatever grievances you have against another;
Forgive in the same way as the Holy One has forgiven you.
Above all else, put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.

And let the peace of the Holy One, reign in your hearts.
As members of one body, you have been called to that peace.
And be thankful.
Let the word of the Holy One dwell in you richly.
Instruct and guide one another wisely,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts.
And whatever you do, in speech or in action,
do everything in the name of our brother, Jesus,
giving thanks to the Holy One through him.

These are the inspired words of Paul, disciple of Jesus, and we affirm these words by saying, Amen.


This is the Gospel according to Luke
LK 2:22, 39-40

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem
to present him to the Holy One.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the Hebrew law,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the grace of the Holy One was upon him.

These are the inspired words of Luke, disciple of Jesus and we affirm these words by saying, Amen.

Homily Starter by Debra Trees

This week in the liturgical calendar, the Holy Family and Mary are emphasized.  Family traditionally has been viewed as patriarchal, and that is a major theme of the readings from this weekend. Yet Barbara Reid points out in Abiding Word: Sunday Reflections for Year B that although the patriarchal theme runs through the complete readings, the concepts of family, with mother and father being equal in authority and responsibility in loving and respectful ways, is more of the contemporary worldview.  Paul’s themes of Christian virtues and actions then become the focus, and allow us in our present communities to “put on” the Jesus that we follow and love.

Here is the key: “They will know we are Christians, by our Love…”  These actionable virtues, of heartfelt compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, forbearance, and love, the bond of perfection,  help us to truly be followers of Jesus. Diane Bergant, in her Preaching Lectionary for Year B, notes that all of these virtues are relational.  They exist in community, whether that is relationship with ourselves or between two people, or in action with others in larger groups. They require “unselfish sensitivity and demand great sacrifice.”   Personal and relational, this is what Jesus asks us to do.

With all of this in mind, how are we responding to the “New Years’ Resolutions” that we all feel compelled to contemplate on the cusp of one year to another?  Can we think of ourselves as wonderful  expressions of a God who loves us unconditionally, bearing with us, and loving us above all else, with compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience?  Can we look at our Resolutions for the New Year from the point of love, of goodness, of choices that reflect our love of ourselves and others? This might mean not from our sense of “I am not enough”, but from our sense of “How can I love myself and others even more?”

Let the Peace of the Holy One reign in our hearts.  Let us join together always, in a community of love: singing, praising, supporting and thanking our God and each other.

Blessings of Christmas! Happiest of New Years!  What have you heard; What will you do; What will it cost you?

Homily Conclusion by Joan Chesterfield
One way of making a healthy change in our lives is t begin by paying attention to the way we think. Here are some words from Frank Outlaw for us to contemplate as we begin the new year:

Pay attention to the quality of our thinking.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it will become your destiny.”

Statement of Faith

Presider 1:
As we prepare for this sacred meal, we lay our stoles upon the table as a sign that just as Jesus is anointed, so each of us is anointed.

 Presider 2: Holy One, You reside within us, and we, within You.  Hear us now as we bring our concern and our gratitude to this, our table….(Please feel free to voice your concerns beginning with the words, “I bring to the table…”)  We pray for these and all unspoken concerns. Amen.

Presider 1: Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together:

All: O Holy One, you have birthed us in goodness, gifted us with life and cherished us in love. In the heart of our being, your Spirit dwells; a Spirit of courage and vision, a Spirit of wisdom and truth.

In the power of that same Spirit, we lift our hearts in prayer, invoking anew the gift of wisdom and enlightenment, that we may continue to praise and thank you, in union with all who sing the ancient hymn of praise:

Alleluia Sing! by David Haas

ALL: Holy One, we see around us the work of your hands, the fruit of your wisdom and love. The unfolding story of creation witnesses unceasingly to your creative power.  We, your creatures, often deviate from that wisdom, thus hindering your creative presence in our midst.

Sending among us Jesus, our brother, you birth afresh in our world the power of Sophia-Wisdom, and in the gift of Your Spirit, your creative goodness blooms anew, amid the variety and wonder of life.

Presider 2: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: We invoke Your Spirit upon the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

Presiders stand at table, Presider 1 lifts bread. 
All: Gathering the disciples around the table of shared wisdom, Jesus took the Passover Bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread and offered it to them saying, Take and eat, this is my very self.

Presider 2 lifts the wine as community prays the following:

After the meal, Jesus
took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them 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.

In faith and hope we are sustained; in grace and dignity reclaimed. In praise, we thank you.

In union with all peoples living and dead, we unite our thoughts and prayers, asking wisdom and courage:
to discern more wisely your call to us in the circumstances of our daily lives;
  • to act justly and courageously in confronting the pain and suffering that desecrates the Earth and its peoples;
  • to take risks in being creative and proactive on behalf of the poor and marginalized;
  • and to love all people with generosity of heart, beyond the labels of race, creed and color.

And may we ever be aware and alert to the new things Your Spirit makes possible in us, as our world unfolds amid pain and beauty, into the fullness of life to which all are called, participating in the wise and wonderful work of co-creation.

Like Jesus, we will open up wide all that has been closed about us, and we will live compassionate lives, for it is through living as Jesus lived, that we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to glorify you, O Holy One, at this time and all ways.

Presider 1: Let us pray the prayer Jesus:

Beloved One who dwells within the soul of my Being
Whose name is I Am, veneration to your holy name.
Your kin-dom is here, Your will prevails throughout the earth
as it does in the heavenly realms of my soul.
You open your hands and satisfy the hunger of all living beings.
You heal all hearts of sorrow so that they in turn may show forgiveness
to those whose minds are shrouded in ignorance of the Self.

Beloved One who imparts to all the sense of choice
so we may finally come to choose You, who are Truth,
and thus find everlasting freedom.
Glory to your name, oh Truth, for yours is the kin-dom of existence
of peace and love.  All power and glory emanates from You alone
Who imparts to all the wisdom, the light, the love and courage
to refer to themselves as I Am. Amen
By Mooji

Presider 2: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread:
Presiders break the bread

All:   O Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.  We will live justly. You call us to be Your presence in the world.  We will love tenderly
You call us to speak truth to power.  We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Presiders lift the bread and wine

Presider 1: "This is the bread of life. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

All:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Presider 2: Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive. You are a spark of the Divine and nothing can separate you from God’s love. All are welcome to receive at this friendship table.  Please pass the bread with the words: You are the Body of Christ. Please pass the cup with the words: You are the Face of God.

Presider 1: Please join in singing our communion song, Within Our Hearts be Born by Michael Joncas


Presider 2 : Let us pray our blessing together:

We rejoice that Jesus' teaching sets us free to believe that we live in God and that God lives and comes to wonderful expression in us.
We believe in an eternal dimension to this intimate connectedness, giving meaning to who we are.

We give thanks for God being with us in the love from family and friends, in whatever has been, in the circumstances of life now, and in whatever the future holds for us.

Our Christmas prayer is that we may recognize and actively acknowledge the presence of the sacred in places we are reluctant to look: in the stables of our own lives, among the downtrodden in our society, in refugees, in people who are different from us.

May we recognize God-in-us and give generous expression to this wonderful gift we all share.

From Michael Morwood, Christmas Prayer, Emmanuel, God is with Us.

Presider 1: Please join in singing our closing song: Sing Out Earth and Sky by Marty Haugen.

Christmas Blessings and Happy New Year 2018,
From the Upper Room, Albany, NY.

Happy New Year: Feast of Mary, Mother of Jesus, our Sister, Friend, Prophet of Justice, Peace and Equality

Mary, sister, friend, and prophet we rejoice that you accompany us in our work for gender equality for women in the church in our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement.  Like you,  who confronted patriarchal domination in your prayer for justice, the Magnificat, we  are filled with love and hope as we pray for a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
The Virgin and Child (The Madonna of the Book) | Sandro Botticelli.
Elizabeth Johnson affirms Mary, mother of Jesus, as our sister in the communion of saints. "In the creed, the communion of saints, is the belief that all God-seekers, including the living and the dead, are joined into a sacred community by the power of the Spirit.  Since Mary was a first-century Jewish woman of faith, and since she obviously also died, she belongs in this company of grace..Modeled on companionship, it names those who have died as a "great cloud of witnesses" who accompany the living through the encouragement of their remembered lives." (Heb12:1) Within this vast cloud of witnesses, particular persons emerge who witness God's promise in special ways...Yes, a Jewish village woman of faith friend of God and prophet."  (Abounding in Kindness, p.295)

The precise title “Mother of God” goes back at least to the third or fourth century. In the Greek form Theotokos–God-bearer–it became the touchstone of the Church’s teaching about the Incarnation. The Council of Ephesus in 431 insisted that the holy Fathers were right in calling the holy virgin Theotokos. At the end of this particular session, crowds of people marched through the street shouting: “Praised be the Theotokos!” The tradition reaches to our own day. In its chapter on Mary’s role in the Church, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church calls Mary “Mother of God” 12 times.


Other themes come together at today’s celebration. It is the Octave of Christmas: Our remembrance of Mary’s divine motherhood injects a further note of Christmas joy. It is a day of prayer for world peace: Mary is the mother of the Prince of Peace. It is the first day of a new year: Mary continues to bring new life to her children—who are also God’s children.

Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace Message
Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of welcoming immigrants and refugees in today’s World Day of Peace message.  He reminds us that we are “one family” and that “God does not discriminate.” Therefore, he says we can create peace by “welcoming, promoting, protecting, and integrating” the 250 million people displaced and run out from their homes..
Let us spread this message of peace and love.

Andre Rieu Live in Dublin, I love waltzes, enjoy!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Feast of the Holy Family December 30, 2017 Presiders: Sally Brochu, ARCWP & Janet Blakeley, ARCWP Music Ministers: Linda Lee Miska Lectors: Mary Al Gagnon & Janet Blakeley

Anointing of priest Katy Zatsick ARCWP in preparation for surgery
(Anointing of Sick attached after Communion, below)

Janet Blakeley ARCWP, Katy Zatisck ARCWP and Sally Brochu ARCWP

Let us begin in the name of our God: a God of Love, Wisdom, and Liberation.
Opening Song: “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” – (words on second-last page)
Sally Brochu ARCWP and Janet Blakeley ARCWP Presiders at Holy Family Liturgy
PENITENTIAL RITE (All raise hands extended in prayer)
ALL: God, the Father and Mother of Mercy, through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from your infinite love. May You give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and our earth. We make this prayer in the name of God our Creator, and of Jesus, our brother, and of the Holy Spirit, our wisdom. Amen.
Presider: O God, your love is compassionate and merciful, yet we so often fear you. Open our eyes to your goodness and let us realize the full life to which we are called. We ask this O God of the evolving universe who invites each of us to focus on you and the beauty that rests in each of us. Amen.
ALL: Glory: sung – “Glory to God, glory, O praise and alleluia, Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God”
First Reading: From a letter “A Christmas Thought for our Christian Friends and Neighbors” written by Rabbi Victor Urecki, Congregation B’nai Jacob, Charlestown, West Virginia. (December 2017)
Responsorial Psalm 128 – “ Blessed are those who love the Lord and walk in his ways”.
Second Reading: A reflection “ The Incarnation Means God is in the Ordinary” by Ronald Rolheisner, OMI, President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. (December 2017)
Gospel Acclamation – #565 – “Alle, Alle, Alleluia”
Gospel: Luke 2: 22-40
Sally Brochu ARCWP proclaims Gospel and preaches Homily Starter

Homily Starter / Shared Homily
Year B - Feast of the Holy Family
December 30, 2017
Sally Brochu, ARCWP

“So G-d throws open the door of this world and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What G-d ever came so tender we could touch him. So fragile that we could break him? So vulnerable that his bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the one who loves you to death”. Ann Voscamp

This short paragraph is what began my focus for today's homily starter. It is  actually the opening paragraph to the First Reading, where a Jewish Rabbi, reached out in love and friendship to all of us Christians. He really speaks of the entire human family, diverse in so many ways including religious traditions and beliefs, yet we can still call each other sister and brother. We are all made in the likeness of God – yes, each of us – and each person in part of the “many-faced faces that is spoken of in our second reading.

The second reading boldly proclaims that the Incarnation speaks of God's unimaginable desire for intimacy with each of us that he came as a vulnerable child. This Christ Child was born into an ordinary family and made visible God's incredible love for us. There is nothing written about Jesus and his immediate family as he grew in wisdom, yet his was an ordinary family with its struggles and disappointments, its joys and the ordinary celebrations of life in a Jewish family. Mary, although young, was a woman steeped in Jewish tradition and lead the family in Seder prayers and provided hospitality to all who visited. She was not the self-effacing, humble woman that is too often depicted in literature, but a young Jewish woman fully engaged in life.  Joseph, though not given much visibility in Scripture, must have been a good man and provider for his family, teaching his son his trade as carpenter. Scripture also speaks of Jesus having  other siblings, not an only son as many think. This was an ordinary family, like ours, not the pious, without struggle family. They were a ordinary family and yes they were holy. Jesus expanded the idea of family, not just his extended family but to include all his followers and beyond.

So on this Feast of the Holy Family, we need to broaden our concept of family to include all of the world's families, including ours. Now you might say “ You don't know my family! They are anything but holy!” To some degree that might be true, however, if we could see them as God sees them, then we could see the goodness, the hurt, the incredible pain, the disappointments, the hopelessness and yes, deep down, the need to be loved and seen as lovable, even when that is hard for us to see.
Today's Gospel is what Rabbi Urecki spoke of as one of our sacred stories, “stories that unite us and inspire us to look for G-d. But it isn't just looking for God in these scriptures but in our ordinary, every day living, within our families, our friends, our country, our world. This is what Ron Rolheisner spoke of as the domestic church where “every home is a monastery, every child is the Christ Child and all food and drink is a sacrament”. These are powerful and challenging words. It is really seeing as God sees, and loving as God loves, and seeing the multi-faced faces of God in all whom we meet. It is seeing the ordinary as holy. The world would be so different if we all could live with this in mind.
Presider: Let us now proclaim our statement of faith:
All: We believe in God, the Creator – the source of everything that exists in the universe. We believe that God’s divinity infuses all life, in all forms, everywhere with holiness. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, through whom we have become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life in the cosmos and the One who keeps the Christ vision present to everyone, searching for meaning and wholeness. We believe that you energize those people whose spirits may grow weary in the process. We say: Amen to courage, to hope, to the spirit of truth. We say amen to the partnership and equality of all persons, genders, and colors. We believe in justice and peace for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this, O God, we surely believe.

Presider:  Aware of God’s unconditional love for us, we, as people of faith, lift up our needs to our gracious God.
Response:  Let the Christ within us, respond in love.
Presider: We pray for peace in our world , and in our hearts.
Presider: We pray for wisdom and courage to discern more wisely your call to us in the circumstances
of our daily lives

Presider: We pray that we will choose to act justly and courageously in confronting the pain and
suffering that desecrates the Earth and its peoples

Presider: And for what else shall we pray? 
Presider:  Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns for one another, here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for peace, justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world.  As we always do, we make these prayers to you, O God, our Creator, to Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit,  our Wisdom Amen.
Offertory Song: #700 – “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman”  

Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer…this grain of the earth that human hands have prepared for our use.  It will become for us the bread of life.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer…this fruit of the vine that human hands have prepared for our use.  It will become for us our spiritual drink.

All: Blessed be God forever.
 Presider (the invitation is to all):  Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his.  Everyone is welcome to share in this meal. Please join us around our family table.
Presider:  Let us give thanks to the Creator of all that exists.
All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
Presider:  Let us acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit among us gathered at the family table.
All: Help us develop our respect and reverence for you, for one another, and for all creation.

Presider:  Let us lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up to the One who lives in us –  and loves others through us.

Presider: Christ dwells in each one of us.
All: Namaste!

Voice: Wise and faithful God, you have birthed us in goodness,
gifted us with life and cherished us in love.
In the heart of our being, your Spirit dwells;
a Spirit of courage and vision, a Spirit of wisdom and truth.
We are Holy,Holy, Holy, etc. (You, I, We) (Karen Drucker)
Voice: Creator God, we see around us the work of your hands,
the fruit of your wisdom and love. The unfolding story of
creation witnesses unceasingly to your creative power.
We, your creatures, often deviate from that wisdom,
thus hindering your creative presence in our midst.
Voice:Sending among us Jesus, you birth afresh
in our world the power of Sophia-Wisdom, and in the
gift of the Spirit, your creative goodness blooms anew,
amid the variety and wonder of life.
Voice: That same Spirit we invoke upon the gifts of this
Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape,
that they may become the body and blood of Jesus –
to nurture afresh in us the discerning gifts of
wisdom, light and truth.
ALL: Invoking the memory of tradition:
Gathering the disciples around the table of shared wisdom,
Jesus took bread; blessed you God of all good gifts,
broke the bread and along with the cup
handed to those seeking nourishment,
with these words: Take this all of you, eat and drink:
This is my body which will be given up for you.
ALL: After the meal, Jesus took another cup,
poured out in a spirit of solidarity and empowerment.
Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with his friends,
saying: Take this all of you and drink from it;
this is the cup of my life-blood,
the life of the new and everlasting covenant.
In prophetic solidarity, it is poured out for you and for all.
Sustain one another in the power of sacred memory.
Voice: In the power of this Eucharistic meal, bless us afresh
with the gift of the Spirit, that our hearts may be open
and receptive as you invite us into the fullness of life.
ALL:In the wisdom of our triune God, Creator, Liberator, and Holy Spirit,
we are blessed with the gifts of this Eucharistic table, and with all
the good things bestowed upon our world, now and forever.  .
Amen: (sung) #936 “Amen, Amen, A—men”
ALL: (sung) Our Father and Mother…………
Sign of Peace
Presider : As we prepare to bring our gifts in the celebration of this Eucharist, let us strive to be faithful to the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.  And where we struggle, may God transform us to be a healing balm of love.  Divine healer of all, we pray.
All: Amen.
Presider: Let us share a sign of peace with one another as an expression of our recognizing the Christ that lives within each of us.  
Intrumental: “Silent Night”
Presider: Let us join then with the disciples of all ages, as we pray together:
ALL: Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
Presider: This is Jesus, who called women and men to be partners and equals, and who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.
Presider: Jesus, you invite us to receive you and become you for others. We are the Body of Christ. May the Source of Life whose power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, be given glory through all generations. Amen
Distribution of Bread and Wine: You are the Body of Christ. You are the Blood of Christ.
Communion Song: Instrumental and moment of silence
After Communion Song: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (Words on back sheet)
Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions, Announcements

Anointing of Katy Zatsick ARCWP by Mary Mother of Jesus Community
before Removal of Hardware surgery on January 5, 2018

Presider: All are invited to gather around Katy as we invoke God’s grace and blessing on her and her surgical team.

ALL:  Glory be to you Source of all being, Eternal word and Holy Spirit Sofia, as it was in the beginning is now and will be forever. Amen

Presider: Loving Mother and Father God, from our mother’s womb you pronounced our names and you have soothed us saying, “Do not worry about tomorrow”.

Voice 1: We thank you that you pour out your Spirit upon us within each day.
Voice 2: We thank you that your loving blessings are sufficient for us within each moment that we live.

ALL: We Pray for our beloved sister Katy that she will know your peace in her heart as she waits to undergo hip surgery in January.  We ask for a peace that surpasses all understanding and guards her heart and mind. A peace offered by Jesus every minute of every day.

Voice 3: May she rest into your promises and lean back into your love for her with total confidence in your loving providence. Remove from her heart all painful anxiety. 

Voice 4:  Holy Spirit guide the hands and hearts of the nurses and surgeons who will work with Katy, giving her hope, relieving her pain and bringing restoration.

ALL: We believe with a most lively and unlimited confidence that we are safe in the arms of your Divine Providence when we are most vulnerable.

Presider:  Katy, the same spirit that moved in Jesus dwells in you and fills you with love and peace beyond all imagination.  All of your loved ones in this community and the communion of saints join us in prayer. In their name and in the name of God we now anoint you for your healing journey.  (anoint Katy’s forehead and hands)

ALL: Katy, you are embraced by the Holy One and by all who are praying for you.  May you feel the power of divine love healing, comforting and strengthening you. In the name of God our Creator, Jesus our Brother and Holy Spirit Wisdom. Amen.

Presider: Let us pray as Jesus taught us.
ALL: Our Father and Mother…

Chant: “All is Well” (by Karen Drucker)

All is well. I can rest. I am safe. All is well. (Repeat)
Final Blessing (all extend hands)
Presider: As we go forth from this sacred space, let us purposefully look with new eyes and hearts, always with the purpose of enhancing life, as we recognize the Christ within all whom we meet, all of us members of the human family.
All: Amen
Closing Song: “# 385 – “Take Christ to the World (Sing twice)

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

  It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the Earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the Earth, good will to all,
From heaven’s all gracious King”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
O humble God, in Jesus born,
You know our human stress:
You felt our pains, you cried our tears,
You lived our loneliness.
May we know you in all who hurt,
In strangers ’round our Earth;
Exploited lives; and those who ache
For food, a home, self-worth.
  Will we go out to seek the Christ
To find God manifest
Within all people south and north,
In children east and west?
Yet in our search to find God’s gift
Amid the clam’ring din,
Will we acknowledge God in us,
The Christ who dwells within?

Little Town of Bethlehem

  O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light,
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

No longer dreamless, Bethlehem,
You bear the wounds of war;
Can words of peace make conflict cease,
When freedom is no more?
No! Therefore work for justice,
Let swords thrust none apart.
When all are free, the world may see
Christ born in every heart!

Teach us to live the trusting life,
To act with humbleness;
To rid our souls of pride and hate,
In all things thee to bless;
Make us in thine own image,
To serve our human race, 
Fair stewards of the priceless things,
True justice, hope and grace.

Make us content with simple joys,
Free us from willful waste,
No longer ruled by avarice,
Slaves to a worthless taste,
Give minds and hearts to seek
No treasures but from thee,
And share with us a boundless faith
Displayed in charity.

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community continued the celebration of Holy Family Liturgy with some of the members of our "holy family" at Red Lobster. All who attend our liturgies are always invited to join us for supper after liturgy.