Saturday, September 14, 2019

US-based Female Bishop Wants to Hear from Irish Women Who are 'Ready to Lead' by Hayley Halpin

US-based female bishop wants to hear from Irish women who are 'ready to lead'

The US-based group is holding a conference today in Dublin.

Bridget Mary Meehan (centre) saying Mass
Bridget Mary Meehan (centre) saying Mass
Image: Bridget Mary Meehan
Roman Catholic Women Priests is hoping to have a conversation with Irish women to see if their message “touches their soul and fires their spirit”. 
The US-based group, which promotes equal rights and justice for women in the Catholic Church, is holding a conference today in Dublin. 
The association has held events in the Republic of Ireland and the North in 2017. 
They believe in defying the Vatican’s ban on women becoming members of the clergy. 
The group claims that the Vatican states the ordained women are excommunicated. However, they do not accept this and are of the stance that they are “loyal members of the church”. 
Bridget Mary Meehan, based in Florida in the US, is speaking at the event. 
Explaining the purpose of the association, Meehen said: “It is a renewed model and we believe it’s really more in line with the model that Jesus had because his table was always open to everyone. 
We’re trying to really put in play here, and everywhere in the Catholic Church, a new model that welcomes everyone, that’s hospitable to everyone, that everyone finds their home there.
The Association believes that everyone should be welcome in the Church, such as the LGBT community and those who have been divorced. 
“What we feel is very missing in the Roman Catholic Church is the rights of women, the equality of women, the leadership of women as spiritual equals,” Meehan said. 
The movement began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. The first women bishops were ordained by a male Roman Catholic bishop.
Meehan explained that they call this man ‘Bishop X’.
“He is a bishop who ordained these two women in secret because he wanted it to be a women-led movement, so he just did the first ordinations of these women bishops,” Meehan explained.
From there, the movement began to spread across North America, Latin America and elsewhere in Europe. 
Meehan, born in Co Laois, emigrated to the US in 1956. She was ordained in 2006. 
The Vatican does not recognise the women. Meehan said she had been ex-communicated from the Catholic Church. 
Nonetheless, after she was ordained, Meehan set up a congregation in her home in Florida. 
“There were Catholics who were ready. They were sick and tired of the exclusivity of the institution,” she said. 
“They were tired of their friends who were divorced and remarried not finding a spiritual home in a church that they loved. They were tired of gays being treated as second class citizens and women.”
Through the years, her congregation grew in numbers and in 2008 she began renting a premises. Now, her congregation has up to 50 members at times. 
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests currently has congregations in 13 countries and 34 states in the US. 
Irish conference 
Today, the association is holding a conference at the Maldron Hotel beside Dublin Airport this afternoon between 2pm and 4pm.
Meehan will be speaking alongside Mary Theresa Streck, another member of the association, and theologian Angela Hanly. 
Meehan is hoping the event will “gather women who really want to have a serious conversation” about their movement. 
“We’re looking for women who are leading inclusive communities now, who are ready to do it now, or who are already doing it now,” she said. 
She added that they are aware of a group of women in Dublin who are already involved in an “inclusive community”. 
Speaking of those who may turn up to the event, Meehan said: “We want to have a conversation with them to see if it’s something that really touches their soul and fires their spirit as a new way of bringing about justice in the church.”


Ireland Panel Presentation on Women in Inclusive Church Leadership in the Roman Catholic Church with Irish Theologian Angela M. Hanley, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP- September 14, 2019


Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP welcomes participants
Twenty participants engaged in an open animated dialogue in naming the challenges and innovative strategies for empowering women in the Roman Catholic Church today at the Maldron Hotel at the Dublin Airport.  Joe Mulvaney, author of Speak Out for Reform in the Catholic Church from Dublin, Ireland welcomed and introduced the panel: Dr. Angela Hanley from Athlone, Ireland, author of Whose à la Carte Menu?: an Exploration of Catholic Themes in Context, Justified by Faith: an Irish Missionary Experience in Malawiand co-editor (with Dr David Smith) of Quench not the Spirit, a book of essays to honour the late Fr Seán Fagan, Dr. Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP and Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP from the United States. 

Irish Theologian Angela Hanley

Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP (left) shares experiences of inclusive ministry, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, (middle) Dr. Angela Hanley (on right)
Mary Theresa and I shared the movie on "Women in Inclusive Church Leadership" about the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. See link below.

 We discussed the importance of ordination in ARCWP as a renewal model of inclusive egalitarian ministry that is circular in governance and that incorporates contemporary theologies and sacramental ministries. We gave examples from our experiences of our faith communities in the United States. eg. baptism involving parents pouring water, anointing with oil etc.

Some said they would have loved to have poured water over their children/grandchildren at their baptism! That would have been an awesome, grace-filled experience of original blessings.
Myra Noonan from Dublin area shares experience of a course on women's  scripture studies in People's Catholic Seminar

Myra Noonan, from Dublin area, talked about the impact of her involvement in a course on women in scripture presented by People's Catholic Seminary and the value of interactive learning and community sharing with candidates from ARCWP on blogger and zoom. 

Myra's testimony:

Howard Thurman writes in his article ‘Mystic’, based on the 2nd edition of Barbara Holmes’ work Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church; “In the inflated realm of mythical oppression, villains are so villainous that no one sees themselves reflected in the image. Few can trace accrued privileges to specific and intentional evil acts. Similarly, victims become so quintessentially and epically victimized that all escape routes from the condition are sealed off by a maze of self-doubt, blaming, and low self-esteem. The antidote to this phenomenon is to attend to the details, to understand the specific events, ancestors, life stories, causes of oppression, and avenues of social change. Historical and spiritual specificity is salvific. Then and only then can the movement toward moral flourishing begin.”[1] 
I was blessed to meet Bridget Mary and Mary Theresa a year ago and I have to say my life has changed so much in that year. I embarked on a course of learning through the People’s Catholic Seminary and it was truly a wonderful and enlightening experience. Through monthly conferences on Zoom I met other like minded people who I never would have met ordinarily. We shared an interest in unearthing stories and hidden truths for the first time of the women who lived in the first century and breathed new life into the names Phoebe, Mary and Martha, Chloe, Lydia, Prisca, Mary Magdalene, Junia, and Mary Mother of Jesus. We met with these wonderful interesting flesh and blood characters and discovered how important and vital their roles were in the start of Christianity. I also came to appreciate that there are still many more characters to learn about waiting to be discovered. We got to know our ancestors for the first time through research and reading and sharing what we ourselves had found. It was an exciting and fruitful process. I realized knowledge is no longer reserved for the elite. It belongs to all of us. It was amazing how knowing the details of other women’s lives almost two thousand years ago could challenge me, inspire me, encourage me. It is truly difficult to complain about felt hardships and inconveniences when you learn how many times Prisca and her husband had to leave and set up home in a new place, establish new businesses and ties all the while serving a growing and developing church in its infancy. And how they did it with courage, consistency and such a strong faith?
Chester Beatty was a philanthropist who gathered artefacts from around the world. He built up a private library and on his death bequeathed his collection to the Irish people. In the Chester Beatty library, in the centre of Dublin, papyrus folios and fragments of Greek New Testament documents which he acquired, written as far back as 200 AD, are framed and presented in a row of nine. The last one in the line is a copy of Acts 17: 9-17. Beneath the weathered fragment, the written library information informs the reader that this piece from the Book of Acts “refers to the conversion of prominent Greek women” and continues by saying that this is “one of the few references to women in leadership roles in the New Testament.” I must admit I felt discomfort on reading this but did not fully appreciate why. Later reading the English text in the New Revised Standard Version Bible I found the Greek words from the ancient manuscript translated as; “11 These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, including not a few Greek women and men of high standing.” This translation informed me why I felt discomfort on reading the information at the library. The evidence is there in the Bible. “Not a few Greek women.” No, not a few, more than a few. In fact, perhaps many more. Is it not possible that the commonly understood view that women were not predominantly leaders in the Early Church is  just a misperception and that indeed the spread of the early sect called Christianity owes just as much to the women as  well as to the men in the early years?
Within the last 100 years there has been a huge acquisition of knowledge that had been previously lost. Elizabeth Johnson in her book Quest for the Living God writes: “So compelling are these insights that rather than being hoarded by the local communities that first realized them, they are offered as a gift and a challenge to the worldwide church.  We are living in a golden age of discovery.”[2] The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostic Gospels of Nag Hamaddi, even the Gospel of Mary Magdalene in Cairo, all in the last century mean Christians have been given a unique insight into other historical realities apart from the Orthodox Church’s previous teachings.

The computer has opened up the world of Scripture to the ordinary person. No longer is Latin the language to be translated and interpreted. Anyone with an interest can read in their colloquial tongue what exactly modern day scholars have discovered in recent times. Often the presentation is straight and to the point not high brow and alienating, but available to all. Yet it continues to baffle me how educated people I speak to have no idea how  Phoebe of Cenchreae was entrusted to bring important letters from Greece to Rome. Or how  Lydia of Philippi risked social and business exclusion by insisting on giving shelter to Paul and his missionaries. They have no idea how Priscilla and Aquila were hugely important to Paul’s ministry in the early days of the movement with Prisca given pride of place by Paul in this relationship. They have no idea how Junia, who may have actually spent time with Jesus himself, was deliberately interpreted as a man’s name for centuries and now is considered by most investigative theologians to have  been a woman. I wonder how, when the facts are there in the Scriptures telling us intriguing details about these women, people still do not know of the importance of their lives. The simple truth is we have not been taught about them. Throughout my thirteen years of education in Roman Catholic schools in Ireland and all those Sundays at Mass, I cannot say I once remember hearing their names. I have only really grown to love and care for them as real living persons myself in the past year. But once you meet them you can never go back to forgetting about them. And why would you want to? Their stories are amazing and deserve to be told.
Out of the torn and dusty pages of words written long ago a new day is dawning, and new life is rising, one where we are called to be co-readers and co-learners and by sharing our experiences the Spirit of the written word can and will emerge. You do not need a doctorate to learn this information although indeed learning this information may bring some people down that path. This is open to all who wonder and hunger for what is true. I would encourage anyone who feels drawn to this learning to give it a try. I have found the rewards to be rich and fulfilling and only the start of more exciting learning to come. But also in the bigger scheme of things and referring to Howard Thurman’s statement. How salvific will it be for the Christian churches for the individual to attend to the details, to remember the true herstory?

[1]Taken from Mystic  by Howard Thurman in on 27/07/2019 based on
Barbara Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church, 2nd ed. (Fortress Press: 2017), 80.

[2] Elizabeth A. Johnson, Quest for the Living God.Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God. (London: Continuum International Publishing Group,2007) 1.

Colm Holmes from We Are Church Ireland shared an enthusiastic endorsement of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement because he said that over the years he has seen the fruits of the Spirit in our ministries.  

You Tube Movie: Women in Inclusive Church Leadership-Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)

Angela Hanley presented the following insightful reflection on the ecclesial experience of the RC Church in Ireland. 

Myra Noonan presented the following reflect about her experience in People's Catholic Seminary. 

YouTube Movie: Women Priests Then and Now

Mary Theresa, Amanda and Bridget Mary

Mary Theresa, Bridget Mary and Florence

Mary Theresa, Myra Noonan and Bridget Mary

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Extra- Ordinary Time Exaltation of the Holy Cross September 14, 2019 Presiders: Elena Garcia, ARCWP and Katy Zadsick ARCWP Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons

Theme:  How is The Cross Any Kind of Victory?

Welcome and Centering Prayer
Presider:  Oh Holy One, we gather with you as we share this sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you.  Our faith sustains us in all that we do.  We recognize that if we had the faith of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. We envision moving mountains. We know that you are with us as we walk each day in conscious awareness of our responsibility to bring forth your kindom on Earth. And to this, we say,
All:  Amen.
Gathering Hymn:  “We Gather Here To Celebrate”     (Mindy Lou Simmons)
We gather here to celebrate one God universal                                                                                                                                We gather here to celebrate the Joy within                                                                                                                                    In unity we celebrate the beauty of diversity.                                                                                                                         Come join us in our fellowship, welcome friends.
You are my sister you are my brother                                                                                                                                          In the one divine mind we are one with each other                                                                                                                      So join with me in unity, let us celebrate, our divinity                                         Repeat: We gather here…..
Opening Prayer
Presider:  Compassionate God,  as we celebrate the victory of the cross, help us to be mindful of the challenge set before us by Jesus to allow His message to transform our lives. As we journey, strife to build the kindom and profess Christs message of love and forgiveness, grant us the courage to accept his transforming power.   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 your 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.  Amen.

All (Sung):  Glory to God, glory, O praise God, Alleluia.  Glory to God, glory.
O praise the name of our God. (3X)
Community Reconciliation
(Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in love with others and with creation.)
Presider:  Creator God to whom all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and from whom no secrets can be hidden, cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Holy Wisdom. 
All:  We take your Word into our minds and hearts and we open them to new understanding.
Presider:  We ask for the grace to continually acknowledge our need to grow in goodness and caring for ourselves, for others and for our earth. 
All:  We accept your love and understanding of the frailty of our human nature.  
Presider:  And we join with you, Jesus the anointed one, believing the strength and insight of Spirit Sophia will lead us to deeper dedication to justice, equality and peace in our world.   All:  Amen.

Liturgy of The Word
First Reading: Numbers 21:4b-9   
The first reading: Numbers 21:4b-9
The Israelites traveled from Mount Hor along the road to the see of Reeds in order to avoid Edom. But the people grew impatient along the way, and they addressed their concerns to God and Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? We have no bread! We have no water! And we are disgusted with this terrible food!
Then YHYH sent venomous snakes among the people. They fatally bit many of the people. So the people came to Moses and said: “We sinned when we spoke against YHWH and against you. Intercede for us, and ask that God remove the snakes from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people. And YHWH said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it on the end of a pole. Anyone who is bitten and looks at it will live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then whenever the people were bitten by a snake, they looked at the bronze snake and lived.
These are inspired words found in the Book of Numbers
And we respond:  Thanks be to God

Psalm 78 
Responsorial:  Listen well, O peoples of the earth, to inner promptings of the Spirit.

Let Silence enter your house that you may hear!
For within your heart Love speaks: not with words of deceit,
But of spiritual truths to guide you upon the paths of peace.   Response……..

Since the birth of consciousness armed with free will, many have rebelled against the Creator.
They have refused to live according to Love’s way. They forgot their purpose and the beautiful Plan, and all that had been given as gift.                                       Response……..

All through the ages the earth has yielded its bountiful harvest; yet valleys and mountains, forests and fields have been misused. Greed has become the great destroyer of life, taking without offering back, consuming the earth with abandon. Generations to come will suffer from our willful ways.                                                                    Response……..

Even so, the Source of all life remains faithful, ever ready to lead us out of the wilderness, to speak to us in the Silence of our hearts.  Love will guide us to the New Jerusalem,  to the mountain of Hope, the City of Light! Love will be an everlasting Presence to all who call upon Love’s Name. to all who open their hearts to Love.             Response
Second Reading:  “Passion of Christ, Passion of the World”
The 2nd Reading is taken from “The Passion of Christ, Passion of the World”
Where God seems not to be, where God seems to have withdrawn, there we shall find God most intensely present. This  logic contradicts the logic of reason. This is the logic of the cross. The logic of  the cross is a scandal to reason, and must be maintained as such. Only thus shall we have access to God. Otherwise we should never surmise it. Reason seeks the cause of suffering. Reason seeks reasons for evil. The cross seeks no causes. God is to be found in suffering, and most intensively of all. Where reason sees the absence of God, the logic of the cross sees God’s full revelation…. The cross must remain the cross: the blind spot in the eye of the reasoning, and the wisdom of the world.
These are the inspired words of Leonardo Boff, (Author of “The passion of Christ, The passion of the World”)
Response:  Thanks be to God
Gospel Acclamation:  Celtic Alleluia!  (sung before and after Gospel)
Gospel Reading:  A reading from the Gospel according to John 3: 13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the One who came down from heaven--- the Chosen One.   As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Chosen One must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in the Chosen One might have eternal life.
Yes, God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes, may not die, but have eternal life.  God sent the Only Begotten into the world not to condemn the world, but that through the Only Begotten, the world might be saved.

These are the inspired words found in the Gospel of John
We Respond: Praise to you Jesus the Christ!

Shared Homily/Community Reflection
Profession of Faith
All:  I believe in you, O Holy One, Source of all, the incomprehensible mystery of love beyond imagining.
I believe that I am in you and that you are in me.
I believe that our relationship is transforming my life.
I believe that you surround me with forgiving, abounding kindness in the midst of darkness, injustice, sin, and death.
I believe in Jesus, anointed by Your Spirit, who embodies your ways in his ministry.
I believe that Jesus did not come to die but to live and help others live in abundance on this beautiful earth.
I believe that Your Spirit anoints me to share in the same ministry by living justly, loving tenderly and walking with integrity.
I believe that you nourish and sustain me through prayer.
I believe that you summon my conscience to action on behalf of justice that will change oppressive structures.
I believe that Your Spirit is at work in all of creation.
I believe that you call me to be a co-creator with you and to join with companions on the journey as you beckon us to birth with you a new creation.
Amen. (Provided by Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP

Prayers of the Community
Presider:  As the serpent was lifted up in the desert, Jesus was lifted up on the cross. In exaltation we proclaim:  Indeed this is the Holy One of God!
P: Jesus, through Your ignominious death on the cross;
All ~give comfort and hope to those who suffer torture or imprisonment.
P: Jesus, pierced with a lance;
All ~open our hearts in an outpouring of love and care for the poor.
P: Jesus, raised on high on the cross;
All ~help us to rise above our petty desires and complaints.
P: Jesus reviled and rejected on the cross;
All: ~deliver us from all forms of pride and human respect that would separate us from you.
P: We are people of faith.  We believe in the power of prayer.  For what else shall we pray?
The response to each petition is : Indeed Jesus is the Holy One of God
Presider: Healing God, we know you attend to our prayers and respond with what is best for all.  In you, we place our faith.  All: Amen.
Offertory Song: “I Will Not Leave You Comfortless”  (Jan Phillips)
Preparation of the Gifts
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 “gather at our family table”…)                          

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

Eucharistic Prayer  (Diarmuid O’Murchu and Jay Murnane))
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.
Voice 3:  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.

Epiclesis   (Please extend hands in blessing toward the bread and wine for invocation of the Holy Spirit)
Presider: Now as we share the bread of life and lift the cup of joy, we pray, come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us, and in these gifts of bread and wine.
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 friend 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 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 4:  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:  We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and can do more than we can ask or imagine.    Amen. (sung)
The Prayer of Jesus
Presider:  Let us join hands and raise our voices as we say the Prayer Jesus taught us:
All:  (sung) Our Father and Mother…….
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.” (#526)
“With God as Creator, family all are we, let us walk with each other in peaceful harmony.”

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                                                                                  
Chant Before Communion: “Sanctuary”  God prepare me, to be your sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for you. 3x
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 and Reflection – I am the One within you  (Karen Drucker)

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Presider:  May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion fully fill our beings, that you may heal the numbness that continues because of our society’s injustices. May you know that we are eternally grateful for our many blessings.  All:  Amen. 

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 continually strive to be the faith of a mustard seed, so we can move mountains that are barriers to injustice and inequality. 
~And 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
(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)
 All:  May our gracious God, bless us all gathered here, in the name of God our Creator, in the name of Jesus our brother, and in the name of the Spirit Sophia, as we care and minister to one another, and all those we meet, in love.  We rest assured you are with us as we continue on our path and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, for we ARE your face oh God, to the world.  Amen

Presiders:   May we all go in the peace of Christ and our caring love for one another.  Let our service continue!
All:   Thanks be to God; let it be so, let it be now, let it be.

We Gather Here to Celebrate (Mindy Simmons)

We gather here to celebrate one God universal                                                                                                                                We gather here to celebrate the Joy within                                                                                                                                    In unity we celebrate the beauty of diversity.                                                                                                                         Come join us in our fellowship, welcome friends.

You are my sister you are my brother                                                                                                                                          In the one divine mind we are one with each other                                                                                                                      So join with me in unity, let us celebrate, our divinity

We gather here to celebrate one God universal                                                                                                                                We gather here to celebrate the Joy within                                                                                                                                    In unity we celebrate the beauty of diversity.                                                                                                                         Come join us in our fellowship, welcome friends

Closing Song:  Let Your Light Shine In Us  (Kathy Sherman)
Let your light, shine in us 3x
And we will be light for the world

Let your light, shine in us 3x
And we will be light for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your heart, beat in us 3x
And we will be love for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your joy sing in us  3x
And we will be hope for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your peace live in us  3x
And we will be one for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.              Repeat 1 and 2