Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Liturgy, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Father's Day, June 16, 2018, Presiders: Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Lee Breyer, Musician Linda Lee Miller

Priest Lee Breyer and Kathryn Shea ARCWP

   Theme: Nothing can separate us from the love of Divine Presence

Welcome and Centering Prayer

Presider:  We have all been created by the same Great Mystery; we have all been shown by the example of the same Jesus of Nazareth how to live; we are all supported and strengthened by the same Spirit on our journeys. In many important ways, we are all one. And at this time, we come together to share stories of Jesus, break bread, and share in a banquet of love.  

Gathering Hymn:  As We Gather at Your Table  #314,  all 3 verses
Opening Prayer

All: O Lover of all, in our journeys into the heart of compassion…and that is you -- we celebrate the love that you continually unfold for us by your being in us -- in each one of us.  Help us to recognize and honor the “you” that is in the “me” of everyone.

You call us to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with all of creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to warmly welcome everyone with whom we come in contact as your presence among us. In communion with Jesus, our brother, and with the power of the Spirit, we will live your love poured out each day. Amen.

Community Reconciliation

Presider:  Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden.  Our desire is to be continually conscious of this in our own lives and recognize this in all we do with others.

All (with an outstretched arm):  May we reach deep within ourselves to hear Wisdom’s many messages, to faithfully understand them, and to respond to them with compassionate actions to our brothers and sisters.  May we emulate the virtues of pardon and peace that Jesus taught us so that we may- in turn - be more forgiving in our care for ourselves, for one another and for our planet Earth.
May we gather strength through the Divine Presence within us, to extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift – through us – to everyone, everywhere - with whom you share your unending love. 

We ask this in the name of all that is Holy.  Amen.


Presider:  Let us give glory to our loving Holy One.
All (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
Pat MacMillan proclaims reading

First Reading:  Ezekial 17: 22-24             
All:  Thanks be to God.

Psalm 92  
Responsorial:  Forever I will sing the goodness of our God.  #790

Joan Meehan proclaims reading

Second Reading:  Mark 4: 26-34            
All:  Thanks be to God.
Acclamation:Celtic Alleluia 

Priest: Lee Breyer
Gospel:  Luke 15: 11-14, 21, 31               
All:  Glory to you, O God.  

Shared Homily and Community Reflections

Profession of Faith
All:  We believe in the Divine Mystery, beyond all definition and understanding, the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist in the expanding universe. 

We believe in Jesus of Nazareth, the human Jesus, an enlightened soul who carried the message of God’s Word, who brought the ability to show us how to heal ourselves and others, and the heart of God’s compassion.  He is the bright star in the firmament of God’s prophets, mystics, and saints. And it is through him that we become a new people with a different story of salvation.  We are here to share his stories of the new message,  that we are all holy, we were born holy, and we shall be holy forevermore. 

We believe in the Spirit, the one that inspires our innermost life.  She keeps the Anointed One present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives.
She strengthens our call to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God’s love.  She is the one who helps us reach within ourselves so that she can heal and energize us when our spirits may grow weary in our lives.

And we believe that God’s 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 take it to share with those around us.  

Prayers of the Community

Presider: With heads and hearts mindful of God’s unconditional love embedded in each one of us, let us bring our needs and those of our community forward.  After each intercession, we respond:  Holy One, we offer these prayers.  (Intentions are mentioned here.)

Presider:  That those who suffer abuse, may be healed and empowered, we pray.
All:  Holy One, we offer these prayers.
Presider:  That those bound by hatred, hostility, and violence will be set free, we pray.  R.  
Presider:  That the sick may be healed, especially (mention names), we pray.  R.   
Presider:  That those who have gone ahead of us -- especially, Joe and Jodie Adler – will
      dwell forever in their heavenly home, we pray. R. 
Presider:  And for whom else do we pray at this time?  Other Intentions followed by R.

Presider: We hold these and all our unspoken intentions in our hearts and take them with us when we will gather around the Banquet Table. 

Offertory Song:   There is Only Love   (Karen Drucker)

Presider:  Blessed are you, Jesus of Nazareth, through your goodness we have this bread and this wine and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we remember how to live the new story.    
All:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider:  Divine Presence, we believe that you are always with us, loving in each of us and healing others through us.
All:  Namaste (with a nod…3x)

Presider:  Lift up your hearts.  
All:  We lift them up in tender love, open to serve.

Presider:  Let us give thanks for all that we have.
All: It is our joy to be grateful for our many blessings as we gather at our family table.                             
   (so… let us all  “gather at our family table”…)                          
Eucharistic Prayer

Voice 1Gracious Wisdom, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in both our blessedness and times of weakness.  You are always with us and live in us, and we in you.  In this festive meal, your Spirit is poured out to each of us gathered in this circle of your disciples to share your gift of shalom, our peace.  And we break out in joy as we sing our “family camp song.”

All: We are holy, holy, holy (3x), we are whole. You are…I am… We are (Karen Drucker)  

Voice 2:  Gracious God, you have set the banquet table and have invited all of us to the feast of unending delight. Here we celebrate your divine love beyond what words can describe.  Your divine compassion connects us to the young and the old, the least and the last, to everyone, everywhere, on our journey into the heart of your mercy.

Voice 3:  We thank you, Holy Mystery, for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history –and the gift of Jesus in faith. You brought him from among your people to baptize us in your Spirit.  His life was moved by his vision of your presence in himself and in his mission, and he recognized you in everyone he met.  He showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what was worth dying.

Voice 4:  And when his time on earth had come, to a close, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  And then, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in the ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died.  And the Spirit that lived in Jesus is resurrected in all of us who decide to live the new story.  Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.

All:  We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died. He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying:  take this all of you and eat it.  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world.  When you do this, remember me, and all I have taught you.   (pause a moment, then continue….)

All: In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this all of you and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  When you do this, remember me, and all I have taught you.  

Presider:  Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread.  The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  Let us proclaim this mystery of our faith.
All:  The Anointed One lives in us and through us in the world today.

Voice 5:  God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world.  We, your people, desire to grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and with everyone we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society.  They are all our brothers and sisters and are reflections of your presence within all your people.  We remember also those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially….(mention names, if you would like to…

All:  We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we can ever ask or imagine.    Amen. (sung, x times)

The Prayer of Jesus

All (sing): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…...

The Sign of Peace

Presider:  God, we know that you give us peace and unity beyond what any words can express.  You are here with us as we join hands in a circle of love and sing our prayer: “Let there be peace on earth.” (#532)
Litany at the Breaking of the Bread

Presider:  Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for 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 forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name.  We will love tenderly.

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

Presider:  This is Jesus, who calls us to open doors that are closed and share our bread and wine on the altar of the world. All are invited to eat and drink at this sacred banquet of love. 

All:  When we share in this meal, we who have always been worthy, commit to live your teachings, dear Jesus, and to tell your stories that allow Spirit to rise up within us and empowers us to bring the kin-dom of God to this world.  This is the good news of salvation.   

Presider:  Let us share and spread this good news!  ALL:  Amen.  (As we share this sacred meal, we say to one another with the passing of the bread, You are the love of God in the world.”  When we share the wine we say, “You are the peace of God in the world.”)

Communion Music:  Instrumental  

Post Communion Meditation Hymn:  Sacred Love   (Daniel Nahmood)

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Presider: Holy One, may this Eucharist in which we share Jesus’s healing love, deepen our oneness with you and with one another.  May we reflect like Mary, your mothering love for all your people everywhere.  And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with knowledge and understanding as we experience the infusion of your love and compassion in us, your sacred people.  We join in unity in this prayer with Mary, and her son, Jesus.
All:  Amen

Community Prayer of Gratitude and Remembrance for Joe Adler

Presider: MMOJ remembrance of our community brother, Joe Adler and his family.

Joe’s send-off song:    On Eagle’s Wings    #43

Closing Prayer

All:  May our hearts be glad on our journeys as we dream new dreams and see new visions.

May we live and work for mercy, peace and justice, in our hearts for ourselves and our brothers and sisters…whoever they are and wherever they are.

May we learn to bless, honor and hold in reverence one another and the planet Earth.

May we be the face of God to the world, reflecting a compassionate and caring presence in us to everyone we meet.

Closing Community Blessing  

All (extend an arm in mutual blessing):  May the Holy One, bless us all of us gathered here, in the name of God our Creator, in the name of Jesus our Liberator, and in the name of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier as we minister in love to one another and to all those we meet on our journey.  May our Loving God be with us as we continue on our paths and follow in the footsteps of Jesus -for we are the face of God to the world.  Amen.

Closing Song:  What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love.

Chorus: What the world needs now is love sweet love,
It’s the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

Lord we don't need another mountain;
There are mountains and hillsides,
Enough to climb.
There are oceans and rivers,
Enough to cross,
 Enough to last till the end of time.
Lord, we don't need another meadow;
There are cornfields and wheat fields,
Enough to grow.
There are sunbeams and moonbeams,
Enough to shine,
Oh listen Lord, if you want to know.


Presiders:   May we all go in the peace of Christ and spread our caring love for one another.  Let this be our mission…and let our service continue!  It is what the world needs now…and always.
All:   Thanks be to God; let it be so.


See Excellent Coverage of Children being separated at Border/ go to website, Families Belong Together

The horror of Children being separated from parents at Border

Then, go the website "Families Belong Together   

Father James Martin S.J.:"Blindly following the law is not “biblical.” A Jesuit Priest Challenges Jeff Session's use of Bible to Justify tearing Children Away from Parents at U.S.-Mexico Border

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recent use of the Bible to justify the Trump administration’s wantonly cruel migration policies, which now include tearing children away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, was disgraceful. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s comment in a press conference that following the law is “biblical,” and thus equating following Trump-era policies with a religious commitment, was equally craven.
In the first case, the Mr. Sessions is engaging in what is known as “proof-texting” that is, cherry-picking Bible passages to prove a point without referring to (or even understanding) the overall context of the quote. Often, especially in political battles, this technique is used to weaponize the Bible.
Mr. Sessions was referring to a famous (and infamous) passage in St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (13:1-5). The overlooked context here is that Paul was writing during a time of the severest persecutions and is encouraging the early Christians to keep out of trouble with civic authorities, as far as possible.
Sessions’s use of the Bible to justify wantonly cruel migration policies was disgraceful.The problem with proof-texting is that there is always another Bible verse, or in this case many Bible verses, that can be used to refute the one chosen. To rebut Mr. Sessions, one could easily respond with a line in that same passage in which St. Paul says, “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rm 13:8-9).
And as Michael Simone, S.J., an assistant professor of biblical studies at Boston College, points out, there are examples of breaking laws in the New Testament itself.
“Certainly other witnesses in the New Testament show Christians breaking the law when it serves God’s purpose,” he said in an email today. “In Acts 5:40-43, when the apostles are whipped and told no longer to preach Christ, they do so with even more vigor afterward.”
One could also point to Jesus’ own forceful words in the Gospel of Matthew, referring to how Christians should treat the stranger (in this case the migrant or refugee). Speaking about the Last Judgment, he says that whenever you mistreat someone, especially the poor, you are mistreating Jesus himself: “I was a stranger and you did not welcome me” (Mt 25: 31-46). This passage, by the way, is often called “The Judgment of the Nations.”
The passage cited by Mr. Sessions has been used to defend everything from slavery to Nazi-era laws.Ms. Sanders is on similarly dangerous grounds in asserting that following the law is “biblical.” There are multiple examples in the Bible of times when laws are judged by believers as unjust and are therefore not to be followed. Jesus himself was accused of breaking religious laws multiple times, as when he heals on the Sabbath, defends his disciples who have plucked grain from the fields on the Sabbath and comes into contact with the sick, thus incurring ritual impurity, among other examples.
In other words, there are just and unjust laws, and following the law blindly is in no way “biblical.” Thomas Massaro, S.J., a professor of moral theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara, said in an interview today: “For Christians, the law has to be more than simply the words of the civil law, taken at face value. No civil code can represent and exhaust all the values at stake or take account of all the circumstances that might require exceptions.”
Moreover, that passage cited by Mr. Sessions, from the Letter to the Romans, has been used to defend everything from slavery to Nazi-era law.The Bible should not be used to justify sin.
So how does one determine when a law is just or unjust? Father Massaro points to conscience: “Conscience comes in as each person interprets how he or she can comply with limited civil laws, informed by deeper principles and values that are not included in the laws on face value.
And in case it is not clear: It is not biblical to treat migrants and refugees like animals. It is not biblical to take children away from their parents. It is not biblical to ignore the needs of the stranger. It is not biblical to enforce unjust laws. The Bible should not be used to justify sin.
It should also be clear where Jesus stands on these questions. Jesus stands where he always stands and where we should stand: with the poor and marginalized.

"Preach Like A Girl" by Susan Sparks

Susan Sparks
"I knew I was called to be a preacher at six years old. While there were many signs, the clearest was my weekly Saturday night ritual of lining up an audience of stuffed animals so that I could do some preachin’ based on the Sunday School lesson for the next day.
The animals seemed to love it.
My Southern Baptist Church home, however, did not.
It all came to a head one hot July day when our Vacation Bible School teacher asked our class what we wanted to be when we grew up. I flung up my hand and quickly announced that I was going to be a preacher. The teacher sighed, looked over her reading glasses, and curtly spit out the message that literally changed the trajectory of my life: “Susan, God only calls men to preach.”
What else can you do at six years old when you hear such words? 
You change your dream. 
So, I decided to become a lawyer (same job as a preacher, just different clients). 
I spent 10 years as a litigator, but the voice from that tiny preacher kept circling back and eventually became too strong to ignore. At age 38, I joined the American Baptist Church, a denomination that ordains women, and entered seminary. 
Yet here in 2018, after 10 years as a trial lawyer, two graduate degrees, an honors thesis in seminary and 12 years as the senior pastor of a historic Baptist congregation, I am still not allowed to preach in that Southern Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I grew up.
Because I’m a woman.
As a lawyer, I can’t help but scratch my head at the logic. The Southern Baptists have no problem with women on the U.S. Supreme Court. They are happy to send a woman into space as an astronaut. Heck, they would have put Sarah Palin in the White House (bless their hearts, as we would say in the South). 
But a woman preacher -- in a pulpit? 
No. Way. 
Their argument is that scripture excludes women from ordination and leadership. Of course, all those who interpret that scripture within the Southern Baptist Church are . . . men. So, how does that work?
Their position hangs on a literal interpretation of passages such as 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 in which the Apostle Paul writes, “Let the women keep silent in church.” Of course, a literal interpretation of this passage would also mean that women may not sing or verbally praise God in worship. Anyone who has attended a Baptist service knows that is a manifest impossibility.

Paul makes a similar statement about the need for male authority and female silence in 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Even if we set aside the historical context of this scripture (his words were directed at marital issues and not ministry), there is the larger problem of selective enforcement. This same passage forbids women to wear gold jewelry or pearls, but we don’t hear much about that section. I guess the Southern Baptists decided that would be too much to enforce on us bling-lovin’ Southern sisters.

We also don’t hear much about Romans 16:7 where Paul describes Andronicus and Junia (a woman) as “outstanding among the apostles.” (Not surprisingly, some later translations changed the female name “Junia” to the male “Junias.”)
If you want to adopt a literal interpretation of the Bible, consider Acts 2:17-18: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” 
As I used to say in my prior legal career, “I rest my case.”
In one of his most famous parables, Jesus said that the Kingdom of heaven is like the landowner who entrusted his three workers with certain talents (money). Two invested the talents, doubled their value, and were rewarded. The third worker was punished, because he buried the money and barely returned what was given.
The Southern Baptist Church is burying the divine gifts borne by over fifty percent of God’s children. It is wasting these talents. 
We can no longer afford this unjust denial of vocation. 
We can no longer afford to stifle God’s call. 
Given the broken nature of our world today, I say we need all the help we can get--Supreme Court Justices, jet pilots, preachers, and all.
Postscript: This week, thanks to multiple revelations of abuse, including sexual misconduct conduct, by leaders of the Southern Baptist Church, the denomination is meeting to discuss a resolution acknowledging that, throughout the church’s history, male leaders and members of the church “wronged women, abused women, silenced women, objectified women.” While acknowledgment of this horrendous conduct is long overdue, shockingly, there is no inclusion in this resolution for the women who are “wronged and silenced” by being forbidden ordination, leadership, and/or the right to preach. This column is dedicated to them.
-- A trial lawyer turned stand-up comedian and ordained minister, Rev. Susan Sparks is the senior pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. To find out more, visit her website,

"Our Father" for a New Millennium by Silvia Brandon Perez ARCWP

Our Father Mother God who are everywhere present, 

sanctified be thy name, holy be thy name, blessed be thy name which is love, which is peace, which is abundance, which is beauty,

Thy order come
Thy beauty come
Thy sacred community come

In and to our bodies, our souls, our sisters and brothers, children of all colors, races, national origins, gender orientations, shapes, abilities or disabilities, languages and dialects,

In and to our animal sisters and brothers of all shapes and colors and phyla and nature, 

In and to our verdant fertility,

In and to our oceans, rivers, brooks, 

In and to our skies and our infinite stars and galaxies,

Thy will be done in our universe, our homes, our lives, our consciences and our consciousness, in our planets, in our galaxies, in all the created and uncreated, 

Thy will of love and peace and symmetry and beauty, 

On Earth as it is within Your precious being, everywhere present.

Give us all this day our holiness, our love and abundance, our health and safety, our strength and our endurance,

And forgive us our trespasses, our cowardice and our unkindness, our meanness and our despair, our assumptions and our prejudices,

As we forgive those who trespass against us, against goodness and kindness and mercy and compassion and peace and love

And leave us not in temptation, in egotism, in judgment of others, in a failure of conscience and resolve and steadfastness,

But deliver us from evil.


"Say Yes," by Bob Franke


¿Por qué se le pondrá tanta arandela al Proyecto de Jesús de Nazareth? Lo que leo y veo, respecto a la realidad eclesial, tanto en el interior de la Iglesia misma como fuera de ella, disculpen, pero es más doctrina, dogmas, reglas, normas y constituciones, que Evangelio.
La Intercomunión ya viene definida en el mensaje del Evangelio cuando leemos:

En aquel tiempo, dijo Juan a Jesús: “Maestro, hemos visto a uno que echaba demonios en tu nombre, y se lo hemos querido impedir, porque no es de los nuestros.” Jesús respondió: “No se lo impidáis, porque uno que hace milagros en mi nombre no puede luego hablar mal de mí. El que no está contra nosotros está a favor nuestro.”

Marcos 9: 38-40

La palabra “intercomunión” de por sí, la define  el diccionario diciendo: “Unión o relación entre varias iglesias, que se da de forma oficial”. Este tipo de obstáculos, se pueden solucionar con la práctica, que se va abriendo y derribando muros y fronteras.

Pareciera que la palabra “intercomunión” por su legalidad oficializada, por las normas, leyes y reglas suscritas en el papel, quisiera superar y sobreponerse a la palabra “común unión”= comunión.

La acción del Espíritu de Dios sopla donde quiere y es libre como el viento, no se deja atrapar y nadie puede atraparlo. Personalmente he tenido el privilegio de haber sido testigo de sus obras de intercomunión en comunión.

Seminario Conciliar de la Arquidiócesis de Medellín, donde se celebró hace 50 años la IIª Conferencia Episcopal Latinoamericana.

En la ciudad de Medellín hace 50 años (Agosto 26- Septiembre 8/68) en la celebración de la IIª. Conferencia Episcopal Latinoamericana (CELAM) en la Capilla del Seminario Mayor de la Arquidiócesis de Medellín, siendo arzobispo Monseñor Tulio Botero Salazar, pastor de grata memoria, se  celebró el acto más importante de Intercomunión=comunión, entre los 247 asistentes, incluyendo los obispos en dicha reunión. Hubo tres categorías de participantes: miembros efectivos con voz y voto, miembros con voz, pero sin voto y (secretarios ejecutivos del CELAM, miembros de la CLAR, invitados en calidad de expertos, asesores y los observadores, y no-católicos). La presencia de los laicos fue muy escasa. Aquí hubo obra y acción del Espíritu Santo, ya que sólo estaba previsto que hicieran presencia en los plenarios y contra todo lo previsto tanto los laicos como los miembros de otras confesiones cristianas no-católicas, pudieron estar presentes en comisiones y subcomisiones, como estaba previsto en el reglamento, art 20.e.

Con viva emoción y como testigo de lo acontecido, destaco el hecho histórico e imborrable, de intercomunión y comunión, que en Medellín, hace 50 años, se produjo. Once observadores no católicos, pidieron comulgar en la Eucaristía final. Permiso que les fue concedido y ante los aplausos de gozo y aprobación de la Asamblea, les ví avanzando por la nave central hacia el altar a comulgar: al obispo anglicano David Reed, al Hermano Roger de Taizé, seguidos de los  luteranos y presbiterianos…

Este hecho no ha sido registrado en la Historia de la Iglesia, se realizaron memorias fotográficas, pero fueron censuradas  por la ley y las normas y condenadas, al igual que el permiso que otorgó el arzobispo anfitrión: Monseñor Tulio Botero Salazar.

El Papa Francisco, es hoy  un aire fresco dentro de la Iglesia, igual que lo fueron en su momento Juan XXIII y Pablo VI. Alabo y bendigo el esfuerzo de intercomunión=comunión, dando gracias a Dios, por hacernos descubrir y realizar la fraternidad como hijas e hijos de Dios. Dios Madre y Padre lo guarde y lo proteja siempre.

*Presbítera católica romana.