Saturday, August 29, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for August 30, 2020 - Presiders: Debra Trees, ARCWP, and Margaret Dilgen

Embraced in God’s Gentle Wisdom, End of Summer, Beginning of Fall.

Welcome and Theme 

Greetings to our friends and family of the Upper Room both near and far. In the spirit of Jesus Christ and as a true fan of Paul, I wish you all Peace, Love and Grace. We come to this time in our year at the end of the Summer and beginning of Fall, ready to move forward in hope and joy. In September, the Upper Room will celebrate the Month of Creation. As we acknowledge our place in the great Circle, may we remember our connection to each other and to the created Cosmos. We bring our attention to this special time right now. We allow our awareness of who we truly are.

Opening Song:

Dance Then Wherever You May Be. 

By John Ogrodowczyk
I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon, and the stars, and the Sun
I came to the Earth and I danced on the sea
From the dust of stars I came to be.

Dance then, wherever you may be
I Am the Life in your dance you see!
And I'll lead you all, and you will dance with me,
For I am Life, The Great Mystery!

I danced for the strong and I danced for the weak,
I danced for those who wouldn't dance with me,
I danced for the rich and I danced for the poor,
I danced till the king’s gold lustered no more.

Dance then, wherever you may be
I Am Life, The Great Mystery!
And I'll lead you all wherever you may be
and I lead you all in your dance with me.

I danced in the springtime, in the summer and fall
I danced when the cold winds blew in winter's call
I danced in the rain under rainbow's bend,
I danced in the sun to horizon's end.

Dance then, wherever you may be
I Am the Life in your dance you see!
And I'll lead you all, and you will dance with me,
For I am Life, The Great Mystery!


First Reading:
A reading from Mary Magdalene Revealed by Meggan Watterson.

“We should clothe ourselves with the perfect Human, acquire for ourselves as he commanded us, and announce the Good news.” The Gospel of Mary, 10:11-13

This of course does not mean that we remain that way. Perfect, whole, unified, complete. It does not mean that we are infallible, and incorruptible, and that we float from now on several feet above the ground. It doesn’t mean that we have to always wear white, never have sex, and abstain from anything that would actually make us happy.

As humans, we forget, as Mary revealed to us. The chains of forgetfulness bind us again to the ego. The work we're being called to here though, is to “clothe ourselves with the perfect human.”

This experience of not just being this pain, and grief, and terror of the ego, but also this soul of love that loves through us.

The whole point is that it never ends. I keep thinking there will be this “X marks the spot”, this place where I free myself once and for all from myself. But there is no there… It isn't a failure to feel human, to be broken by heartbreak. It's the whole point. The choice we have, the opportunity that's presented to us in those moments of exquisite pain, is to also remember the soul.

We can bring in the other half of what it means to be human. Try to see it as our chance to reach a love that can withstand it. Not permanently; Just in this moment. That's all that matters. Find the presence of love in those moments when before you had abandoned yourself. Even if it's just a little love, a grain of sand, a mustard seed. Your love is enough.

These are sacred words from Meggan Watterson, and our community affirms them by saying, AMEN. 


Gospel                                                                      MT 16:21-27
At that time, Jesus began to explain to his followers that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo much suffering at the hands of the councilors, and chief priests, and scholars, and be put to death, and rise on the third day. But Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him. “Master,” he said, “please God that will never be your fate!” Jesus however, turning to Peter, said: “Out of my way, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you look at things, not as God does, but as people do.” Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wishes to walk in my steps, let him renounce self, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save her life will lose it, but whoever, for my sake, loses her life will find it. What good will it do a person to gain the whole world if she forfeits her life? Or what will a person give that is of equal value with her life? For the Child of Humanity is to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he ‘will give to everyone what his actions deserve.’

These sacred words are from the Book of Matthew from the New, New Testament, and we affirm them by saying, AMEN.

Homily and Shared Reflections, Deb Trees and Margaret Dilgen.

Some of you may have seen the picture of Jesus laughing.  It’s a picture 
of Jesus caught in a hearty laugh, head flung back, eyes closed, obviously enjoying some joyful conversation with others.  It’s an image that is almost jarring when one first sees it. We have been taught to think of Jesus in terms of suffering, pain, death and martyrdom. Sacrifice of one’s life for the good of all.

Today’s gospel reading is that realization on the part of Jesus. He is aware of his calling and what it means. It is hard enough to do without others dissuading him. And so, his condemnation of Peter, and the explanation to his followers of what it means: You must give up your concept of who you are and follow your spirit self.

Mary Magdalene explains this to the disciples after Jesus’s death. They obviously still have not got it. And it is really a difficult concept to embrace. In her recent book, Mary Magdalene Revealed, Meggan Watterson takes a deep dive into these concepts of what Mary was trying to relay to the other followers of Jesus. Clothing ourselves as the “Perfect Human” embraces both Our Body and Our Soul. As we are created, we are both at the same time. We are called then to follow Jesus as the Child of Humanity. The One who gives us an example of living in Love, both Human and Divine.

But following our God-given awareness of our many callings requiring sacrifice and loss of self does not mean that we do so without JOY.  Happiness, Creativity, Love, Peacefulness, Hope and Grace anchor our very body and soul, our Human Beingness.

Awareness of the Suffering and Joy around us can call us to acts of Love and Expressions of all kinds of Human Emotions. We invite you to look at a recent YouTube reflection by Fr. Scott Vanderveer on “Loving without Getting Tired.” It’s a beautiful, eye-opening and helpful way to think about loving within our personal awareness and capabilities.

Happiness and Joy, Hope, Peace and Faith, Love, are just as much a part of our Human Heritage as Suffering and Pain. Let us reach with mature understanding towards our goals of clothing ourselves as Perfect Humans. Let us bring that beautiful awareness to each moment and each person we meet.

What did you hear, dear friends? How will it challenge you? What will you do about it?

Our shared homily is rich when we all participate.  If you feel called to say something, please unmute yourself and share your thoughts.

Statement of Faith

We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding,
the heart of all that has ever existed,
that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Word,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

 We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of divine love,
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace in the world.

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine kin-dom is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.


As we prepare for the sacred meal, we share our intentions.
pause for intentions
We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen.  

Presider 1 : Let us pray our Eucharistic prayer with open hearts and hands: 

Holy One, we yearn to be close to you and to live in the embrace of your gentle wisdom. Your divine grace and love lead us away from our anxieties, fears and distractions and toward all that is blessed and joyous. 

Each of us is divinely created in Your image. We are precious to you and to each other because of who we are. We are beloved and blessed in your unconditional love, quite apart from how we act or fail to act. 

Thankful for Jesus who treated all of Creation with respect and abundant love, we resolve to follow his example to be a light in the darkness. We recognize Your loving Presence here with us today and always, and we sing: 

Holy, Holy: Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy

All: Dearest Holy One, there are times when we feel scarcity and emptiness even though we know You love us more than our human imagination can grasp. May we have the presence of mind to live in Your love. We strive to see You reflected in every person we meet. Guide us in sharing our gifts and in being open hearted so that we may accept help from others. 
We thank you for Jesus, who knew what it was like to be an outsider in occupied and foreign lands. May his presence prompt us to bring gospel kindness and understanding to the divisions and conflicts of our time.

Presider 2: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: We call upon your Spirit that is present in us at this Eucharistic table. We are grateful for the bread and wine that remind us of our call to be the light of Christ to the world.

All: On the night before he faced betrayal and death, Jesus shared supper with his friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet.  

All lift the plate and pray: 

Presider 1: When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:  

Take and eat, this is my very self. (Bread is consumed)

All lift the cup and pray:
Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying: 

Take and drink. Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. 
(Wine/juice is consumed) Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace. 

All: Holy One, your transforming grace inspires us to follow our consciences and bring comfort to wherever people are in need. We pray for wisdom, patience and persistence to make a difference in our world. We resolve to love as Jesus loved, to discern the better angels of our nature with hearts open to your Spirit. Amen. 

Presider 2: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:  

Holy One, you are within, around and among us.   
We celebrate your many names.  
Your wisdom come; your will be done,  
unfolding from the depths within us.  
Each day you give us all that we need.  
You remind us of our limits and we let go.  
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.  
For you are the dwelling place within us,  
the empowerment around us,  
and the celebration among us,  
now and forever, Amen.   Adapted by Miriam Therese Winter  

All: Loving Source of our being, you call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We choose to live justly, love tenderly, and walk with integrity in Your Presence. 

May we have a moment of silence.


Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing. 
May the infinite beauty and joy of Creation continue to astound us.
May the Presence of the Divine always comfort and inspire us 
May we be the face of the Holy One in all we say and do, and 
May we be a blessing in our time. AMEN.

Closing Song: Happy by Pharrell Williams.

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.
Clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth.
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.
Clap along if you feel that that’s what you want do.

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