Saturday, January 27, 2018

"People Ask Important Questions of the Church's Representatives" by Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP

Spiritual Abuse

# TimesUp: Spiritual Equality for Women in All Religions, All Traditions, #TIMESUP Spiritual Equality for Women Now. Interfaith Minister Gen Anderson posted this statement on the doors of churches, temples and mosques around LA, then she flew to the Vatican and posted it there. This is her sermon and her action.

women's ordination

'Feminism and Faith in Union' event celebrates Catholic feminist activism
Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of Future Church, and Sheila Peiffer, president of the Women's OrdinationConference board of directors, were among the 16 women who offered prayers at the Feminism and Faith in Union prayer service in Union Square. They were joined by women from ...
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Weinstein, #MeToo, and the Ordination of Women
The tales of Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo campaign may seem far removed from the debate over the ordination of women. But they are not. They a...
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, 4th Week of Extraordinary Times January 27, 2018 Co-Presiders: Anna Davis and Kathryn Shea, ARCWP Music Minister: Linda Lee Miska

Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Anna Davis

Theme: We Were Made For These Times

Welcome & Centering Prayer

Presider: Oh Holy One, gather us in and be with us as we share this sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you. Help us learn to embrace with exuberant joy all that transpires in our world and our lives, knowing that nothing can separate us from your joy and your love. Be with us as we walk each day in conscious awareness of our responsibility to bring forth your kindom on Earth. Help us to make room at the table for all of our brothers and sisters, especially the marginalized, so that they may experience your love, compassion, and peace and be fully embraced as children of God. ALL: AMEN.

Opening Hymn: “Room at the Table” – Carrie Newcomer (words on last page)

Community Reconciliation

(Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in love with others and with creation.)

Presider: Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden. We thank you for sending your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will. Through your grace, all peoples, wherever they may be on this earth, are one family …and you have made all of us – with no exceptions – worthy to be called your sacred people.

ALL: Christ Jesus, we ask for the grace to realize our continual need to grow in understanding, compassion and caring for ourselves, for others, and for our planetary home. We ask you teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to forgive our brothers and sisters, whoever and wherever they may be. Give us the strength to extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift – through us – to all those with whom you share your unending love. We ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.

Glory to God

Presider: Let us give glory to our loving Creator.

(Sung) Glory to God, Glory, O praise God, alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God. (3x)

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: "We Were Made For These Times" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes ALL: Thanks be to God

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes
American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.


Psalm 104, Responsorial: Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth. #806

Second Reading: Called to Say Yes by Edwina Gateley ALL: Thanks be to God

Edwina Gateley
Called to Say Yes
From Edwina Gateley, There Was No Path So I Trod One (1996, 2013)
We are called to say yes.
That the kin-dom might break through
To renew and to transform
Our dark and groping world.
We stutter and we stammer
To the lone God who calls
And pleads a New Jerusalem
In the bloodied Sinai Straights.
We are called to say yes
That honeysuckle may twine
And twist its smelling leaves
Over the graves of nuclear arms.
We are called to say yes
That children might play
On the soil of Vietnam where the tanks
Belched blood and death.
We are called to say yes
That black may sing with white
And pledge peace and healing
For the hatred of the past.
We are called to say yes
So that nations might gather
And dance one great movement
For the joy of humankind.
We are called to say yes
So that rich and poor embrace
And become equal in their poverty
Through the silent tears that fall.
We are called to say yes
That the whisper of our God
Might be heard through our sirens
And the screams of our bombs.
We are called to say yes
To a God who still holds fast
To the vision of the Kin-dom
For a trembling world of pain.
We are called to say yes
To this God who reaches out
And asks us to share
a crazy dream of love.
These are the inspired words of Edwina Gateley and we affirm these words by saying, Amen.

Gospel Acclamation: ALL: Alleluia (Celtic version)

Gospel: Mark 1:21-28 ALL: Thanks be to God

Homily Starter: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP

The highlight of my week, was the People’s March last Saturday at the Bayfront.  Between 7,000 and 10,000 people marched locally and 1 in every 100 woman participated nationwide.  This march, unlike last year, was not just a Woman’s March.  It was a People’s March.  There were young and old, black and white, all genders, all faiths, and all parties; coming together with one strong message: We will not give up and we will not give in to hatred.  We will not give in to misogyny.  We will not give in to injustice. We will not give in to inequality.  And we will, most certainly, not give in to or support a country that is morally corrupt.
We are indeed made for these times. Of this, I have no doubt.  Our first reading speaks to the point that we are needed and that is all we can know.  Clarissa goes on to say, “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul”.  There were so many wonderful shining souls marching last weekend.  This was Seth’s first march.  He was absolutely Gods’ wingman the entire time and I wish you could have all seen him.  He chanted, he ranted, he sang, he prayed, and he flirted with the pretty girls.  He was just so happy to be there and to be a part of it and so full of joy.  He kept saying, “Mom, we’re supposed to be here speaking up for our country and our people.”  The entire next day, and the next day, he thanked us for taking him and said he felt so powerful.  How cool is that?
In our second reading, Edwina tells us “we are called to say yes.”  “So that rich and poor embrace and become equal in their poverty.  We are called to say yes to this God who reaches out and asks us to share a crazy dream of love.” 
We are called.  Maybe not all of us are called to march, but we are called, none the less.  And our answer must be “yes”.   These are desperate times, but we were meant for these times. 
Our Gospel reading tells of Jesus driving out the demon by simply demanding that the demon leave.  He speaks with complete authority, and the evil departs.  We all need to speak with the same authority, because God gave us the authority to do the same, and even greater works.   He didn’t say, “Pray to me or my Creator to heal the sick.”  He said, “Go heal the sick.”  We have the power and authority to do great things.  Jesus gave authority to his apostles when he said, “when they deliver you up do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your God who speaks in you.”  (Mathew: 10 19-20).  We have been given the authority by God through Jesus. 

There is a great scene in Star Wars, New Hope episode, when Obi-Wan, the Droid R2D2, and Luke Skywalker are attempting to enter a city controlled by the Storm Troopers.  The Troopers were looking for R2D2.  When Obi-Wan stopped at the gate and the Storm Trooper saw R2D2, Obi-Wan looked directly in his eyes, made a gesture with his hand, and said, “This is not the Droid you are looking for.”  The Storm Trooper turned to the others and said, “This is not the Droid we are looking for.” Obi-Wan spoke with such authority and he was immediately listened to.  We too have the power to speak with such authority.  The Force is will all of us.      
This week, I just finished the book Origin, by Dan Brown.  It is a fascinating and somewhat controversial book.  And I promise not to be a spoiler alert, but I do want to share one line toward the end. “Tyranny and oppression are no match for compassion…that the fanatical shouts of the bullies of the world are invariably silenced by the unified voices of decency that rise up to meet them.  It is these voices - these choirs of empathy, tolerance, and compassion - that I pray one day will sing from this mountaintop.”
There can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. 

Let us spend the next couple of minutes going deep within ourselves to muster up all the energy, compassion, healing and light we can, and send it out to the Universe with our love. 

Shared Homily/Community Reflections

Profession of Faith

ALL: We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery beyond all definition and 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.

Prayers of the Community

Presider: We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayer. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each of us. And so, we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, please respond: Compassionate God, we ask you to bless our petitions. (intentions)

Presider: Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns and care for one another, here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world. We ask this in your Holy name. Amen.

Offertory Procession and Song: “We Are Called” #628 all verses

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 made for our use. It will become for us the bread of life.

ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Presider: Blessed are you, God of Love, 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.

Gathering of the Gifted

Presider: Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his. There is room at the table for everyone. (The invitation is to everyone to join around God’s family table.)

ALL: Loving and caring God, we – your people – are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who shares your gift of compassion especially to all those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. May we live always as prophetic witnesses to the gospel of Jesus. Amen.

Presider: Companions, let us recognize the presence of our God who is with us here now.

ALL: Fill us with reverence for our Creator, for one another, and for all creation.

Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.

ALL: We lift them up to the One who has gifted us with love so that we may be an expression of that love to all others, with no exceptions.

Presider: God dwells in each one of us.

ALL: Namaste! Namaste! (twice)

Eucharistic Prayer

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

Voice 1: 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

Voice 2: 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 names.

And we pray 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 grow and spread in all time – we pray for peace in their names.

And we pray 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 names.

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.

(Please extend hands over our gifts as we say together)

ALL: You pour out your spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we reflect 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, said 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!


Voice 3: Loving God, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we are called, and blessed 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 around 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.

ALL: For it is through our 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. AMEN

Presider: Gracious God, through us you have set the banquet table and invited all of us to the feast. Here we celebrate your divine love beyond what words can describe. Here your divine compassion connects us to the young and the old, the most and the least, the first and the last…your whole creation.

Presider: 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.

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever… (and everyone sings)…Amen.

ALL: (holding hands): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…

Presider: God, we have just prayed that “your kindom may come among us.” Strengthen in us your grace and love so that we may open our hearts to make it real – and our hands to serve one another.

The Sign of Peace

Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here today and …

ALL: …. grant us that peace. O Loving God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace throughout the world, to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions. Amen.

Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, and let us share that peace with one another as we join hands and sing, Let there be peace on earth #532 using the following:

 “… with God as creator, family all are we …” and “With every breath I take, let this …”

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread

Presider: Loving God… All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will live justly.

Presider: Loving God… All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of understanding and compassion, forgiveness and healing everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.

Presider: Loving God… All: you call us to speak truth to power and live equality. We will walk humbly with you.

Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. He calls us, his sacred people to open doors that are closed and share our bread on the altar of the world. All are invited to partake of this banquet of love. ALL: We are the Body of Christ.

Communion: Instrumental

After Communion Song/Reflection: “The Beauty of the Dance” – Kathy Sherman

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Presider: Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our

oneness with you and with one another. May we reflect, like Mary, your liberating, mothering

love for all your people everywhere. And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with our knowledge, understanding and experience of your love and compassion in us, your sacred people. We ask this in the name of her Son, Jesus the Christ. ALL: Amen.

Introductions, Gratitudes, and Announcements

Closing Community Blessing

(Let us all extend an arm to one another in mutual blessings)

ALL: May wonder and thanksgiving fill us. May compassion so permeate our very beings that we may penetrate the numbness that continues to spread in so many of 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.

Closing Community Commissioning

Presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ and the joy of God, let us be the joyful people that God created us to be. Let our service continue.

ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!

Closing Hymn: “We Are Marching” (words on last page)