Saturday, July 15, 2017

ARCWP 2017 Annual Retreat Closing Liturgy: Celebration of the Divine Presence, In, Around and Among Us

Dotty Shugrue ARCWP co-presides at liturgy for ARCWP Retreat

Centering Prayer / Call to Gather: Come Be Beside Us by Jan Phillips

Come be beside us.
Come be around us.
Come be within us.
Come be among us.

Welcome and Theme
Presider 1:

Opening Prayer
Presider 2:

Opening Song: You Are the Voice by David Haas

Refrain: You are the voice of the living God,
calling us now to live in your love;
to be children of God once again!

1. Praise for the light that shines through the night,
from darkness to light,
from death to new life,
and praise to the morning that brings forth the sun,
to open our eyes to our God!
to open our eyes to our God! 


2. Praise for the water that springs from the sea,
the seed that gives life to all who believe.
God's love overflowing, our hearts know the joy
To be daughters and sons of our God!
To be daughters and sons of our God!


3. Praise for the singing and praise for the dance,
with new heart and voice,
all raise the song
of praise to creation;
all heaven and earth,
come sing of Glory of God!
come sing of Glory of God!

First Reading: Joel 2:28–29

“I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity;
your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old ones shall dream dreams,
and your young shall see visions.
On all men and women
Will I pour out my Spirit in those days.”

These are the inspired words of the prophet Joel, and we affirm these words by saying, Amen.

Responsorial Psalm:  Spirit of the Living God
Sung by Michael Crawford

Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.
Melt me mold me
Fill me use me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.

Second Reading: Adapted from Christ in the Margins
By Edwina Gateley

It is time for all of us to recognize and to proclaim the Holy One.  It is time to be prophetic about this One who is present in the folks who are pushed aside, dismissed, left out, undermined, underfed, unhoused, or simply unseen and unheard.

It is time for all of us to stop marching along with the status quo in search of security, power, and control, but to stumble instead towards the margins where we will encounter a magic and a mystery that will plunge us trembling but rejoicing into the realm of the Holy One.

We are invited into such a time and such a place where we will recognize the Divine Presence, the Beloved – always new, always unexpected. In such a time indeed, and only in such a time, along with all the Holy One’s prophets, fools, artists, mystics, poets, and children will we realize a new Jerusalem. The invitation is always there. The Beloved is always waiting. It is never too late to see, and to become, "The face of the Holy One in the margins."

These are the inspired words of the Edwina Gateley, and we affirm these words by saying, Amen.

Celtic Alleluia

Gospel: Jn. 15: 1, 9-12

I am the vine and the Holy One is the vine grower.
As the Holy One has loved me,
So have I loved you.
Live on in my love.
And you will live on in my love,
If you follow what I have taught you.
I tell you all of this that my joy may be yours,
And your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment:
Love one another as I have loved you.

Shared Homily

Statement of Faith

Presider 1: Please join in praying our 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.


Presider 1: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares, and concerns. Please feel free to voice your concerns beginning with the words, “I bring to the table…”(Presider 1at conclusion)  We pray for these and all unspoken concerns. Amen.

Presider 2:  O Holy One, you have been called by many names by many people in the centuries of our planet’s life. Yet, no name truly defines you or describes you.  We celebrate you as the marvelous, loving energy of life who caused us and our world to be. We celebrate you as the Source of light and life and love, and we celebrate your presence and all-ways care.

Presider 1: Please (gather around our friendship table and) join in praying the Eucharistic prayer together:  (Eucharistic prayer taken from the work of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane)

All: 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, Loving God, our spirits dance and sing this song of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker

We are holy, holy, holy 

We are holy, holy, holy
We are holy, holy, holy

We are whole...

Spirit divine,  
Come to me 

Feeling love, 
Healing me 

Open my heart, 
Allow me to see 

Beauty & love 
Lives in me 

You are holy, holy, holy

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.

(Presiders approach the table and invite all to extend hands)
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

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.

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.

He then raised high the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine saying:

Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life,
for you and for everyone,
for liberation from every oppression.
Whenever you do this, Re-member me!

Loving God, 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,
Life-giving God,
At this time and all time and in all ways.

Presider 2: Let us pray together the prayer of Jesus:

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: The Holy One’s peace is with you.
All: And also with you.

Presider 1: Please share a sign of peace and return to your seats when the music ends.

Peace Song: Prayer for Peace by David Haas

Peace before us.
Peace behind us.
Peace under our feet.
Peace within us.
Peace over us.
Let all around us be peace.

Love before us…
Light before us…
Christ before us…

Presider 2: Please join in our prayer for the breaking of the bread:
(presiders break the bread during prayer)

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.

(Presiders lift bread and wine)

Presider 1: This is the Bread of Life.  How blessed are we who are called to the table.

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.

Communion Song: The Beauty of the Dancer by Sara Thomsen

You see the beauty of the dancer
You hear the beauty of the song
You feel the beauty all around you
You wonder whether you belong.
You are where you belong!

You are the beauty of the dancer
You are the beauty of the song
You are the beauty all around you
You’re standing right where you belong
You’re standing right where you belong!

all above you
all below you
all around you
all within you

Beauty all above you
Beauty all below you
Beauty all around you
Beauty all within you

You see the beauty of the dancer
You hear the beauty of the song
You feel the beauty all around you
You wonder whether you belong

You are the beauty of the dancer
You are the beauty of the song
You are the beauty all around you
You’re standing right where you belong!

You are beauty
You are beauty
All above you
All below you
All around you
All within you

You are beauty
You are beauty

Beauty all above you
Beauty all below you
Beauty all around you
Beauty all within you

Presider 2: Let us pray:
May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion penetrate us, that we may penetrate the numbness that continues our society’s injustices. May we know that we are loved.  May we continue to be the face of God to each other and may our name be a blessing in our time!  Amen.

Presider 1: Please join in singing our Closing Song

Closing Song: Dance, Then, Wherever You May Be
By John Ogrodwczyk

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.

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 till horizon's end.


I danced in the cities under coal skies black
I danced in the forest where the trees fell fast
I danced on the waters where poison rivers flowed
Still I dance and hope, love's just biding I know


There are those that doubt and fear what they don't know
They run and they fight, seeds of hate they sow
But they cannot take my soul, from their chains I will break free

I'm the Light in the darkness for all humanity.

ARCWP Retreat; Slideshow; A Thousand Years

ARCWP Retreat: We are the face of God, Notes from Marianne Williamson Presentation: How to Overcome Your Struggles"

Some ARCWP Community Insights:
We rejoice in the light inside of us, Spirit working within us, moving through us to effect change for justice and healing in our church and world. 

Insight, awareness, connection and action.

We focus on liberation theology and mujerista theology- "at onement, not atonement!" The personal  is the social is the political is the religious.

Peaceful mind through centering prayer.
Get up every day and put on God.

Do good, do what we can do to promote cosmic consciousness of our oneness. 
Circle of love, circle of companionship demonstrate for justice!
The power of hatred is broken through conviction.

Love is at the center.

Small actions like telephone calls to legislatures to promote change and justice.
taking part in demonstrations to stand up for justice.

Mariane Willamson Summary of notes:

The only thing that will transform world wide-terrorism is to love with conviction.
Hatred backed by so much money and arms.

We have a power that is greater than bullets, the power of love!

All spiritual traditions lead to the same mountain., interconnection that we share!
Darkness does not hesitate to claim its power in economic injustice, permanent war machine, second highest child poverty rate in the U.S, and  highest massive incarceration in the world.

We cannot embrace the power of darkness.

Multi national take over this country and we must pass laws to make changes.
So much darkness, you need to pray, meditate, download light.

Try not to take into the stress of the day by using your spiritual resources.

5 minutes with Holy Spirit will bless our thoughts for the day!

Claiming the light and filling it up with grace and love!

Spirit lives through us and moves through us!

Not in denial, you are in transcendence!

We are looking at keeping our children safe and our planet safe!

Lighten up -

Work of God is through you.
Go out into the world  with spiritual energy
God cannot do for us what God cannot go through us!
Do not wimp out on the job that needs to be done!

Abolitionist Movement came out  of Quaker Spiritual Tradition.

Suffragette Movement came out of Quaker Spiritual Tradition.
They had in common "cosmic companionship."
They sat in silence and listened to God.
It led to do something about suffering of others, Resist!
Sit in silence, incorrect is intolerable.

Spiritual power is through us, grace of God working through us!

People of earth, thoughts of heaven is in us.
Time for us to be grown-ups in the world.
We need to work on making things infinitely right!
We need to rejoice in our infinite possibilities.

Spiritual revolution of our times! 

Theology is in interwoven with the story of people.
It is not God's job to feed poor children. 
God says to us how can you let children starve?

Just as individuals seek conversion so must citizens own bad stuff that comes from our country.

Every child is one of our children and the earth is our home!