Saturday, July 4, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - 14th Sunday in Extraordinary Time - Presiders: Elena Garcia, ARCWP, and Cheryl Brandi

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
Fourteenth Sunday in Extraordinary Time

July 4, 2020 Presiders: Cheryl Brandi and Elena Garcia ARCWP 
Lectors: Katy Zatsick and Maryal Gagnon 
Theme: Prophetic Freedom -Then and Now

SILENCE followed by: “America The Beautiful
America The Beautiful:

O Beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain.

America America
God shed his grace on thee.
And crown thy good with unity
From sea to shining sea.

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
America America
God mend thy every flaw, 
 confirm thy soul in self control 
 thy liberty in law.

CHARYL: We warmly welcome you to the inclusive catholic community of Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota, Florida where all are welcome.  Because of the pandemic, we have been unable to gather in St. Andrew UCC where we have met for many years.  At these difficult times, it is now more important than ever to gather together to support one another.  As usual, God has brought good out of what seems bad, and has given us the gift of being able to go beyond the boundaries of space and time to include friends and family from north and south, east and west- something we would love to have done before, but couldn’t imagine how!  
With this new technology we are learning new ways to experience liturgy.   These include being able to hear prayers, readings and music while keeping our personal computers on “mute.”  At certain times we invite sharing from the community, as at The Prayers of the Community and The Shared Homily.  If you feel drawn to share, you must unmute your microphone, speak, and re-mute yourself.  Even though your microphone is muted, wherever you are, please respond where the liturgy is marked “All,” and feel free to sing your heart out! Please have bread and wine/juice in front of you during the Liturgy.

ELENA:  O Holy One, God of all nations and ages we recall the day when our country claimed its place among the family of nations. For what has been achieved we give you thanks, for the work that still remains we ask your help. Just as you have called us from many peoples to be one nation, grant that under your providence, our country will share your blessings and welcome people who seek to arrive at our shores with the same hopes and aspirations as our forefathers many years ago. We ask this through Jesus, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of Holy Spirit Sophia Wisdom, for ever and ever.           ALL: AMEN

ELENA:  Today on the 4th of July,  we celebrate the birth of our country and our independence from British rule. We begin this liturgy by singing a song that is sure to enkindle in our hearts the joyful awareness that we all came from foreign countries.  Let us join Buffe St. Marie in singing our
Welcoming Song:  Welcome Welcome Emigrante.

Refrain:   Oh Welcome Welcome emigrante to my country welcome home,                                                                                        
welcome welcome emigrante to the country that I love.
Verse:  I am proud, I am proud, I am proud of my forefathers,  and I say they built this country, and they came from far away to a land they didn’t know,  the same way you do my friend.
Refrain:  Welcome welcome………………..
Verse:   I am proud, I am proud, I am proud of my forefathers and I sing about their courage                                                                                                                                                
For they spoke a foreign language and they labored with their hands, the same way you do my friends. 
Refrain:  Welcome welcome…………………
Verse:  I am proud, I am proud, I am proud of my forefathers and I sing about their patience, for the work they did was lowly  and they dirtied up their clothes,                                                                           
they spoke a foreign language and they labored with their hands            and they came from far away to a land they didn’t know, the same way you do my friend.               
Refrain:   So Welcome Welcome emigrante to my country welcome home, welcome welcome emigrante to THE COUNTRY THAT I LOVE!

CHERYL: Let us pause for a moment to reflect, on a time when in hindsight we wish we had been less judgmental, more patient, more compassionate, more present, kinder and forgiving. Now imagine this person(s) or situation in the light of healing love as we ask for forgiveness and reconciliation.
Please raise your hand in blessing and say the “Ho’oponopono Prayer.”  
CHERYL and ALL:   I am sorry.   Please forgive me.   Thank you.   I love you. 

ELENA:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us, whose Sacred Word is shared by us in our world.
ALL:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace; peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another as we reach out to one another and ask for blessing. 
ELENA:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for the health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all who serve our special needs in numerous ways.
ALL:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who sent Jesus who teaches us how to live the Gospels, who brings hope and healing to all those in need. 
ELENA:  O Holy One, you are one with us.  We are strong in our faith and will live life in hope and faithfulness to you, to be Church committed to the message of the Gospels. We depend upon the ever-present Spirit Sophia Wisdom to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.  
ALL:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, Amen

Old Testament Book of the Prophet Amos (as found in “The Message” by Eugene Peterson)
“But also on that Judgement day I will restore David’s house that has fallen to pieces. I’ll repair the holes in the roof, replace the broken windows, fix it up like new. David’s people will be strong again and seize what’s left of enemy Edom, plus anyone else under my sovereign judgment.” GOD’S DECREE. God will do this.
“Yes indeed it won’t be long now.” GOD’S DECREE.
“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heal of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel:
“They’ll rebuild their ruined cities. 
They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine. They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables. And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land. They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.”
God, your God, says so.

These are the words spoken by the Prophet Amos and we all respond: SO BE IT!

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 145:  (Maryal) (From “Psalms for Praying” by Nan Merrill.)

MARYAL AND ALL:  The Beloved is gracious and merciful, allowing every soul free to follow the ego’s illusions or to choose Life.

MARYAL:    Lift up your hearts all you who choose the path of Life! My heart is lifted up! Do you not know that your whole being is encompassed by my Love? I am the infinite and the eternal within your soul; O, that I might make myself known to you! Choose Love that you may overcome oppression and blind obedience to false idols!

MARY AND ALL: The Beloved is gracious and merciful, allowing every soul free to follow the ego’s illusions or to choose the path of Life!

MARYAL: Divine Light shines in those who live in Love. I shall uphold all who are burdened with fear, and raise up all who call to me. The time is nigh for you to choose, for great is the new dawn that fast approaches; I call each of you to open your inner ears, to see with spiritual eyes, and to trust that even amidst the outward chaos, all is working toward the wholeness of humanity.

MARYAL AND ALL: The Beloved is gracious and merciful, allowing every soul free to follow the ego’s illusions or to choose Life.

MARYAL:  O, Heart of my heart, envelop me! I know you are near to all who call upon You. Bring to my recollection all that I have denied, that I might be accepting and free to help rebuild the soul of the world with radical trust, love, and wonder!

MARYAL AND ALL: The Beloved is gracious and merciful, allowing every soul free to follow the ego’s illusions or to choose life.

SECOND READING (Katy)  Civil Rights and Obligations by Simone Campbell, a modern day Prophet

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS—known as “the nun on the bus”—is  considered by   some as a  modern prophet. She is the Executive Director of NETWORK, an organization that lobbies for socially just federal policies. On this “Independence Day” (in the United States), reflect on Sr. Simone’s invitation to co-create our collective freedom.
In the last half of the twentieth century, thankfully, our society began to engage in a serious process of trying to atone for the sin of slavery, and in doing so much emphasis was placed on promoting civil rights. An unintended consequence of this important movement was a heightened focus on individuals and individual exercise of the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. The civil rights movement came out of community, but the legal expression focused on individuals’ capacity to exercise their freedoms. Some fearful Americans—largely white men who professed a conservative version of Christianity—felt threatened, as if there were not enough rights to go around. They sought to create their own “movement.” This reaction in part fueled the rise of the tea party movement. . . .
But a democracy cannot survive if various groups and individuals only pull away in different directions. Such separation will not guarantee that all are allowed the opportunity for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” All people must be recognized for their inherent dignity and gifts regardless of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their place of origin. And all these gifts need to be shared in order to build up the whole.
So I have begun to wonder if the new task of the first half of the twenty-first century should be a commitment to civil obligations as a balance to the focus on civil rights.
Civil obligations call each of us to participate out of a concern and commitment for the whole. Civil obligations call us to vote, to inform ourselves about the issues of the day, to engage in serious conversation about our nation’s future and learn to listen to various perspectives. To live our civil obligations means that everyone needs to be involved and that there needs to be room for everyone to exercise this involvement. This is the other side of civil rights. We all need our civil rights so that we can all exercise our civil obligations.
The mandate to exercise our civil obligations means that we can’t be bystanders who scoff at the process of politics while taking no responsibility. We all need to be involved. Civil obligations mean that we must hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, and we must advocate for those who are struggling to exercise their obligations. The 100 percent needs the efforts of all of us to create a true community.
It is an unpatriotic lie that we as a nation are based in individualism. The Constitution underscores the fact that we are rooted and raised in a communal society and that we each have a responsibility to build up the whole. The Preamble to the Constitution could not be any clearer: “We the People” are called to “form a more perfect Union.”
These are inspired words of Simone Campbell known as “The nun on the bus” and we all respond:                                          LET IT BE.


GOSPEL (CHERYL)  From Joan Chittister “Prophets Then Prophets Now”
A spiritual path that does not lead to a living commitment to . . . the Kingdom of God within and around us everywhere for everyone, is no path at all. . . . It is a dead end on the way to God. . . .
Contemplation, you see, is a change in consciousness. It brings us to see the big picture. It brings us to see beyond our own boundaries, beyond our own denominations, beyond even our own doctrines and dogmas and institutional self-interest, straight into the face of a mothering God from whose womb has come all the life that is.
To claim to be aware of the oneness of life and not to regard all of it as sacred trust is a violation of the very purpose of contemplation, which is an immersion in the God of life. To talk about the oneness of life and not to know oneness with all of life . . . is not contemplation. . . . Transformed from within then, the contemplative becomes a new kind of presence in the world who signals another way of being. . . . The contemplative can never again be a complacent, non-participant in an oppressive system. . . . From contemplation comes not only the consciousness of the universal connectedness of life, but the courage to model it as well.
Those who have no flame in their hearts for justice, no consciousness of personal responsibility for the reign of God, no raging commitment to human community may, indeed, be seeking God; but make no mistake, God is still, at best, only an idea to them not a living reality. Indeed, contemplation is a very dangerous activity. It not only brings us face to face with God, it brings us, as well, face to face with the world, and then it brings us face to face with the self; and then, of course, something must be done. Something must be filled up, added to, freed from, begun again, ended at once, changed, or created or healed, because nothing stays the same once we have found the God within. . . . We become connected to everything, to everyone. We carry the whole world in our hearts, the oppression of all peoples, the suffering of our friends, the burdens of our enemies, the raping of the earth, the hunger of the starving, the joyous expectation every laughing child has a right to. Then, the zeal for justice consumes us. Then, action and prayer are one.
. . . To be contemplative, we must have zeal for the God of love in whom all things have their beginning and their end. Fortunately, you will know when that happens to you, because you will find yourselves consumed with love not only for God but for everything and everyone God has created and who lives and is shaping this world right now. There is no clearer sign of real contemplation.
This is the Good News as shared by  Joan Chittister and we affirm these words by saying:       “AMEN”.

Repeat Gospel Acclamation :
Homilist: (Elena) If you feel called to share, unmute yourself, raise your hand and wait to be asked to speak.  Mute yourself again after speaking.

STATEMENT OF FAITH  (Taken from “The Friends in Faith” and shared by Joan Meehan)
ELENA: Let us now profess our faith.
ELENA and ALL:  Gathered together as people of faith, we profess our belief in God who is larger than we can name, unable to be contained, yet present in each one of us.   We have come to know this God in the living of our lives. And in the holiness of the earth we share.
We believe in a God revealed in all peoples, all genders, religions, and orientations.   We embrace a compassionate God, who champions justice and mercy, and is always faithful when we call.   Our God gives and forgives, patiently loving without conditions.
We gratefully believe in a God who feels our deepest struggle, and celebrates our deepest joys.   A God who both dances with us in celebration, and holds us when we cry.   This God is not the “other” to us, but shares our breath in every moment and promises we are never alone.
We believe in a God who believes in us – believes that we are precious and incredible gifts, worthy to claim image and likeness to the divine.   We hold fast to our God who journeys with us, who continually calls us to choose the shape of our days through the choices we make.   This God accepts us as we are and shares each hope we have for becoming.   This is the God in whom we believe, our Creator, our Mother and Father, who became human in Jesus, our brother.   Our God is the Spirit of Life, the voice that continues to speak love, and asks us to answer.   In this God we choose to believe.   Amen.

CHERYL: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. 
In this time of bewilderment and fear, we ask you to give us the courage to take care of one another. For those who are ill, especially those who are frightened and alone, for those who cannot access health care, for those who are homeless and lost we pray.                          
In the midst of our sadness and grief, we ask you to give us words to comfort one another. For those who are dying, and for those who have already died from this virus, for those who tend them and for those with no one to tend to them, we pray.                                             
In the midst of our own anxiety we ask you to give us the courage to support one another as you would. For those who are unexpectedly unemployed, for employers who share what they can, for our government and financial institutions and those who lead them, we pray.                     
In the midst of our struggle to ensure a healthy future for all who live on this planet, we ask you to give us the hope that surpasses our current understanding. For health care workers, spiritual leaders and our faith communities, for artists and poets, for prophets and teachers we pray.             
HEAR OUR PRAYER.                          
In the midst of our growing awareness that all life on earth is connected, we ask for the heart to respect and cherish all life. That all peoples recognize that we are all your children we pray.           
CHERYL : For what else shall we pray?                                                                                                                               (Unmute your microphone. Speak your concern when there is an opening. Re-mute your microphone.)    Respond to each petition with:   HEAR OUR PRAYER.                                                                                                         
CHERYL: We pray for these and all the unspoken concerns we hold in the silence of our hearts.

PRESENTATION OF GIFTS     (Please set out your own bread and wine.)
ELENA:  Blessed are you, God of all life.    Through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, these prayers of the heart, and our own lives to offer.   Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we respond to your call to use our gifts in loving service to our sisters and brothers.

ELENA AND ALL:        Blessed be God forever.

ELENA: God is within you, blessing the world through you.
ELENA AND ALL: And within you.

ELENA: O Holy One, we lift up our hearts to You, You who gently invite us to enter into a deeper relationship with you that will affect how we live our lives and make decisions.   This transformation seems to come through difficulties and pain, yet you are there with us always.   Come Holy Spirit, be with us and with all who have gone before us, as we lift up our hearts in praise and sing:

All: We are holy, holy, holy (Karen Drucker)

CHERYL: Our Holiness is your Holiness within us. Help us to seize opportunities to reveal it to the world.

Extend hands over the bread and wine as we pray:
CHERYL AND ALL:  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 died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the men and women he loved.   He washed their feet.   For this they would remember him.

CHERYL: Please lift the bread as we pray the Prayers of Consecration:

CHERYL and ALL:  When he returned to his place, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat of the Bread of Life, my body, given to strengthen you.   Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. (pause)

CHERYL: Please lift the cup as we pray:

CHERYL and ALL: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace saying: Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life in you.   Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. (pause)

ELENA: Let us share this bread and cup, and welcome everyone to the Banquet as we live the gospel of justice and peace in our world.
ELENA and ALL: We are called to do everything Jesus did, to be the living presence of a love that does justice, of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates laughter, of a light that illumines right choices and confronts the darkness of every injustice and inequity.
ELENA and ALL: We trust you to continue to share with us your own Spirit, the Spirit that filled Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, his loving and healing that all honor and glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever. Amen

ELENA:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us:                                                                                                   
ALL:   Our Father and Mother who are in heaven, whose presence is with us always, and whose spirit dwells within. Hallowed be your name. May your kingdom come, and may your will be done, in our lives, and on earth, just as it is in heaven. Thank you for giving us this day, all that we need for sustenance, nourishment and growth. Forgive us, forgive us when we turn away from your love, when we trespass against you and those you put in our lives. Help us to forgive those who turn away from love and who trespass against us.  Keep us from yielding to temptation. Direct us away from anything or anyone that would distract us from your will, your highest good for our lives. Deliver us and protect us from all that is evil. For all glory and power is yours Almighty God just as it was in the beginning, it is now and always shall be, world without end.

CHERYL:  Sign of Peace: (If you are with others now, please turn to them and share a sign of peace. Then let us all face the screen and express a sign of peace to one another.)   
“May God’s peace be with you”

ELENA: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread.
ELENA and ALL:  O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.  We will live justly.   O God of Compassion, You call us to be your presence in the world.   We will love tenderly.   O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power.   We will walk with integrity in your presence.
(All hold up the bread and wine.)

CHERYL:  This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.   Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

CHERYL and ALL: Through him, we have learned how to live.                                                
Through him, we have learned how to love.                                                                      
Through him, we have learned how to serve. AMEN.


God prepare me to be a sanctuary,
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving,
I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

God prepare me to be a sanctuary,
Acting boldly in your name.
Seeking justice where there’s hurting
Offering hope where, there is pain.
God prepare me to be a sanctuary. 
Pure and holy, tried and true. 
 With thanksgiving, 
 I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

ELENA:   Please now receive Communion with the words “ I am (You are) the Body of Christ” and “I am (You are) the Blood of Christ”


CHERYL: Let us raise our hands and bless each other.

CHERYL AND ALL:    May you be blessed with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.  
May you seek truth boldly and love deeply within your heart.
May you continue to be the face of the Holy One to all you meet.
May your name be a blessing in our time.

ELENA:  Prayers of Thanksgiving, Introductions, Announcements:

ELENA:  O Holy One we believe that Jesus, your Incarnate Word lives in you and in us. Strengthen our faith, hope and love that your reign will be proclaimed in our lives and the presence of your Spirit be manifested in our thoughts words and actions. We ask this through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.

God Bless America, Land that I love,
Stand beside her, And guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains to the prairies
To the ocean white with foam,
God Bless America
My home sweet home, God Bless America,  My home sweet home. 

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