Saturday, March 14, 2020

Homily: Ordination of Shelley Gilchrist ARCWP as a Priest by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP on March 14, 2020 in Deland, Florida, We Are Making Equality in the Roman Catholic Church a Reality Now, One Ordination, One Woman Priest, One Inclusive Community at a Time!

We rejoice today as Shelley Gilchrist is ordained a priest to serve our sisters and brothers in sacramental ministry in Deland, Florida.

I would like to share Shelley’s own words about her call to priestly ministry.

“My grandmother’s twinkly smile and my grandfather’s winking eye, loved me into “being.” And so did their prayers. Our family had a significant amount of suffering, but I never lost the sound of that “still small voice,” whispering, “I’m still here. I’ll lead you…keep going.”

“Still, more than once along my circuitous journey, doors have slammed in my face. I’ve had my share of “dark nights of the soul.” But a few short years ago, windows began to open and I was swept into the Heart of God Ministry of Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell. Miriam and Wanda were my mentors while I was seeking commissioning through The Federation of Christian Ministries. Diane Dougherty gave me their number and when I called and asked if they would mentor me, Miriam said, “Yes.  What do we have to do?” 

As I became part of their faith community, I felt a love and an
affirmation I had been seeking.  I was touched by their ministries within The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and eager to begin studies within the online “People's Catholic Seminary.” When I read and reflected on the writings of women theologians such as Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, I found a resonance within my soul.  I wanted to share the unconditional love of our Creator God and invite everyone into this forever Cosmic Dance. I wanted the whole word to know The Table is large and available to everyone. I answered a lifelong call that will be served as a woman priest, within the beautiful circle sharing of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. I am humbled, I am thrilled, I am ready.”

Today Shelley joins the band of women priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests here in Florida, in the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America. Together we walk in solidarity with Deacon Phoebe, Apostle Junia, and the other important women, whom St. Paul praised as  leaders of house churches in his Letter to the Romans . Like the Samaritan woman in John’s Gospel, Shelley is offering living water in her proclamation of the Gospel and celebration of sacraments in inclusive communities where all are welcome.

The dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in the gospel is the longest theological conversation between Jesus and anyone in the gospels. In this sacred text Jesus breaks open the boundaries between a “chosen people, ” a "despised people" and a "despised sex." His message is truly liberating and twofold: 1) the living water, the presence of the Holy One, is available to all and is in all and 2) rule- keeping and social or religious acceptability is not what true religion is about.

According to biblical experts, the woman understood Jesus’ mention that she had no “husband” not as a call to true repentance, but as a call to grow in true faith and worship. Jesus’ referral to the woman’s “husbands” may have pointed to the Samaritan practice of intermarriage outside the tribe, a custom that caused tension with the Jews because it destroyed Jewish ancestral lines. In the text Jesus does not appear concerned about or judge her for her marital history.

So today this means that no man-made canon law should bar Roman Catholics without annulments in second marriages from reception of Communion. In our women priest led communities everyone regardless of marital or gender status is invited to receive communion at the banquet table of God’s love.

Scholars remind us that the Samaritan woman reflects the esteem that the Johannine community had for its women leaders. Jesus offered a profound example of Gospel equality that shocked his male apostles then, and continues to shock the Roman Catholic hierarchy today.

Like Shelley, each woman priest is rocking the boat of Peter with the tenacity of the Samaritan woman!

We are living prophetic obedience to the Spirit by disobeying an unjust, man-made, canon law that discriminates against women in our church. Women Priests are not leaving the church, but leading the Catholic Church into a new era of justice and equality. No punishment, including excommunication, can stop this movement of the Spirit. In fact, one could argue that our previous pope Benedict XV1, who canonized two formerly excommunicated nuns, made excommunication the new fast track to sainthood! 

As we ordain Shelley today, like Jesus and the Samaritan woman, we are breaking open new boundaries and claiming our spiritual authority to live our call to priestly ministry as spiritual equals in the Roman Catholic Church in the 21st Century. We are casting our buckets into the fountains of grace that fill us to overflowing as we go forth to proclaim the good news of divine goodness in everyone everywhere we go. We celebrate this holy shakeup on this day our God has made!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Shelley Rae Gilchrist to Be Ordained a Priest by Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests in DeLand, Florida on March 14, 2020

Shelley Rae Gilchrist ARCWP
Press Release:
From the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Shelley Rae Gilchrist of DeLand, FL to be Ordained Priest

Contact: Shelley Rae Gilchrist, 651-321-3675,

Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004, history of women priest movement).

On Saturday, March 14, 2020 Shelley Rae Gilchrist of Deland, Florida will be ordained a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota. The service will take place at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 116, Clara Avenue, DeLand, FL 32720. 

All are welcome.

A mother and grandmother, educator and actress as well as hospice chaplain, Shelley says she felt an early call to priesthood from her saintly French Canadian grandmother. More recently she discerned it from prayer and her participation in the liturgies and community at the Heart of God Ministry of ARCWP priests Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell in Titusville.  “Maybe it was the voice of my grandmother, but so much of my spiritual journey began to make sense,” she said. She has been preparing academically for her priesthood through the People’s Catholic Seminary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

UN Report Blasts Religions Overreach and Holy See Not Amused, by Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter

"Time to Bury Clergy-Centered Church" Women Priests are Moving Church Toward a Discipleship of Equals Model of Priestly Ministry

Pope Francis arrives for the weekly general audience on June 5, 2019 at St. Peters square in the Vatican. (Photo by EIDON/FABIO FRUSTACI/MaxPPP)

In this article the question raised is:What's the greatest threat to the Roman Catholic Church today – a schism? Or the rise in power of fundamentalist clericalists?

My response:  I agree that fundamentalist clericalists are a great challenge. The good news is that women priests are a prophetic movement that offers fresh hope in moving the Roman Catholic Church toward a discipleship of equals in grassroots communities of Catholics who are ready for a new beginning. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP Witnesses for Justice at Maryland Navy Base

'Into the unknown': Navy plans PFAS tests at Md. Base

Bev Banks, E&E News reporter Greenwire: Monday, March 9, 2020
Janice Sevre-Duszynska holds oyster PFAS sign. Photo credit: Bev Banks/E&E News
Janice Sevre-Duszynska (center), 70, traveled from Baltimore to attend a public meeting on PFAS around Naval Air Station Patuxent River. She's worried about the potential for contamination in seafood like oysters. Bev Banks/E&E News
LEXINGTON PARK, Md. — Despite the Navy's assurances, residents near an air base by the Chesapeake Bay are worried about whether chemicals are contaminating their water.
The military looms large in St. Mary's County, where Navy, Marine Corps and Army banners hang in a cafe near Naval Air Station Patuxent River and residents rely on the base for jobs.
But they are also concerned about chemicals known as PFAS found in firefighting foam that have caused drinking water contamination near other military sites across the country (E&E Daily, Mary 4).
NAS Patuxent River, located at the mouth of the Patuxent River in Lexington Park, is the county's largest employer, providing about 25,000 jobs, according to Maryland's Department of Commerce.
"What happens at the base impacts everybody one way or the other," said Bill Hunt, 68, of Leonardtown.
Map credit: Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News
[+] Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News
The Navy no longer uses firefighting foam, which contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, during training, but it is used in the event of an emergency fire.
Traces of cancer-causing pollutants have been found in Clovis, N.M.'s drinking water, linked to PFAS use at Cannon Air Force Base. Contamination was also found in Coupeville, Wash., near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and Naval Outlying Field Coupeville. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said addressing PFAS pollution at these and other military sites is a priority (E&E News PM, Feb. 27).
A public meeting Tuesday night that drew over 250 people to Lexington Park Library addressed the Navy's progress in identifying possible contamination around NAS Patuxent River.
Officials from the Navy, EPA, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the St. Mary's County Health Department, and the Maryland Department of the Environment were there to answer questions, as community members crowded around poster boards that showed known and suspected areas on the installation where PFAS-containing foam was used.
"What were they doing to clean it up? How did they clean it up? Where were they taking it?" asked Geri Lloyd, 59, of Lusby, Md. She lives in Calvert County, about 15 miles from the installation. Her husband works on the base, and her sister lives nearby.
David Steckler, the remedial project manager who runs the environmental restoration program for NAS Patuxent River, said that the installation sampled its own water and that the local water supplier for residents outside the base tested its water. Both were found to be free of PFAS.
"There is no drinking water exposure in the area, surrounding the base or at the base itself," he said.
Patrick Gordon, public affairs officer at NAS Patuxent River, said the Navy does plan to conduct PFAS sampling at 18 sites at the installation.
Steckler said the Navy is "extremely early in the process" of testing the sites for potential contamination. It's a lengthy process, he said.
"If we come to the end, and we find a site that needs to be cleaned up to protect human health and the environment, we will do so," Steckler said.
PFAS awareness
Geri Lloyd at PFAS meeting. Photo credit: Bev Banks/E&E News
Geri Lloyd, 59, lives about 15 miles from the installation, and her husband works on base. "What were they doing to clean it up?" she asked Tuesday about PFAS. Bev Banks/E&E News
Lloyd said she first learned about PFAS when her sister "read an article in the paper and told me about it." Before then, Lloyd said, she "didn't have a clue."
Hunt said he didn't know until the Navy's meeting that PFAS were "used so widely on the base" to put out fires in the airplane hangars.
One St. Mary's City resident has been especially outspoken about potential contamination, conducting his own sampling that residents brought up at the meeting.
Pat Elder, 64, collected water samples from St. Inigoes Creek near his home and sent it to the nonprofit Freshwater Future, which issued a report that showed the presence of PFAS above EPA advisory levels. Elder published the results online.
He argued that the creek is contaminated due to its proximity to the Naval Outlying Field Webster, an extension of NAS Patuxent River about 12 miles from the base.
"It's not good enough to say, 'Well, we trust the Navy to do the job, we trust the Navy to protect the health of people in Maryland.' No, that's what I'm about right now," Elder said.
Julianna Parreco, a 22-year-old student at St. Mary's College, read online about the St. Inigoes Creek testing. She was worried about PFAS levels because "Inigoes Creek is like five minutes away from my house."
Gordon, the NAS Patuxent River public affairs officer, cast doubt on the test results and said the Navy has cautioned against misinformation.
"While they can do testing at home, it's important to understand that there are very few labs in the United States that are actually certified to test for PFAS," Gordon said.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, 70 years old and friends with Elder, traveled from Baltimore to protest outside the Navy's forum. She held a cutout of an oyster in front of her face to show her distress over possible PFAS contamination in seafood.
"I am concerned for pregnant women, for children, for all of us, because the, you know, the oysters, the fish, the water, all of that needs to be pure and clear," Sevre-Duszynska said.
'More questions than answers'
Residents attend PFAS meeting in Maryland. Photo credit: Bev Banks/E&E News
More than 250 southern Maryland residents attended the Navy's forum on PFAS on Tuesday night in Lexington Park, Md. Bev Banks/E&E News
Some people still had questions after attending the Navy's meeting.
"I definitely walked away with a lot more questions than answers," said Rosa Hance, 31, of Great Mills, Md., who asked about how frequently the Navy tests for water contamination.
As the chairwoman of the Sierra Club's Maryland chapter executive committee, Hance has received questions from the community about PFAS. She said the Navy's answers made it difficult for her to understand the path forward.
"I'm walking into the unknown here," Hance said. "I don't, I'm not sure what the plan is and what citizens should be expected to know or what we should do."
St. Mary's County resident Bob Lewis, 64, executive director of the St. Mary's River Watershed Association, said the Navy "did a fairly good job" assuring people there was not a threat to their drinking water, but he also left the meeting without a sense of clarity.
"It seemed like the questions that I want answered, that my organization needs answered, didn't get answered and are not going to be answered anytime in the near future," Lewis said.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Equal Rites and Equal Rights: Women’s Ordination Conference and others protest in front of Cathedral.

Protestors calling for women's ordination to the Catholic priesthood outside of St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 8th (Credit: photo courtesy to Crux)

NEW YORK - "Churches may have been emptier than usual this past weekend due to fears related to the coronavirus - but according to a group of demonstrators in Manhattan, the Catholic Church’s unwillingness to expand the priesthood to women has led to a decades-in-the-making clearing out of its pews.
A small, but merry band of protestors - made up of a dozen women, two men, and a dog - marched just under a mile on Sunday from the headquarters of the United Nations along New York’s East River to the steps of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue calling for “Equal Rites and Equal Rights,” through the end of the all male hierarchy."

"God and We Also Dream", Francisco by Christine Moreira ARCWP (translated from Spanish article)
Christine Moreira ARCWP from Spain, witnesses for the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests are worldwide celebration of priests at the Vatican

y en TVE1, en el programa "a partir de hoy" 

Dedicated to the brave of Lastesis.
Patriarchy is a judge who judges us for being born, and our punishment is the violence you don't see. Patriarchy is a judge who judges us for being born, and our punishment is the violence you see. It is feminicide. Impunity for my killer. It is the disappearance. It is rape. And the fault was not mine, nor where I was or how I dressed….
by Christina Moreira, Roman Catholic presbyter.
Who does not remember Joseph, the man who always knew what God wanted, because he dreamed it and did his part of the work of the Nazareth family, consisting of saving the life of Mary who could have died from a little regulatory pregnancy already Your child threatened, already, by fury of political power, trying to escape in time?
I dream of men like Joseph, who see where God hides their assets, who smell tears and creatures in gestation in time, servants of tenderness and love, capable of fully incorporating what some call the "female genius." Sometimes I am surprised to see a group of disciples of all sexes (yes, there are more than two) and conditions laughing and talking with frank camaraderie on the roads of Galilee, the Galileo looks sideways and smiles ...
Long is my history of exclusion, with which I am paid my unconditional and radical adherence to that smile. Surely it is because I do it like them, my disciples disciples, summoning to the Galileo table, preaching the Good News to his people, seeking to heal and comfort ...
In ' Dear Amazonia' , Francisco lands on me, our dream, the dream of many baptized to serve radically and perform that wonderful role of the priest who so well describes. Declare that our place is another. He has not dreamed what we. Really, can someone describe that act as an intermediary of Christ in such a splendid way and imagine that women, who do not love him less or in a different way, will not want it? Does anyone still imagine that we are going to pray for vocations and put the Spirit in conditions to call only celibate and heterosexual men according to canon law? I dreamed that this was obvious ... The patriarchal veil still covers certain obvious things.
Since I was an ordained presbyter (March 14, 2015) I have lived personal and community episodes that include public and private insults of acquaintances and strangers. I have been forbidden to speak in a Catholic parish where the most controversial positions are often expressed freely through a statement sent to an agency that spread the news to the four winds. My local bishop hastened to send another statement to the media when my story came out in the equally local press. A well-known Jesuit from my city wrote a letter dictating that my discernment had not been correct, without crossing a word with me, and shared it to the four winds (omitting to refer me, the interested one, a copy). In the forums on women and ordination, or related topics, not only are I not invited to speak,
It is justice to also review the strong and powerful support that I receive, also from many places, even the most unsuspected. To the point that I am repeatedly asked to identify myself in the street with lancels, from other countries. This is Spain, how do I explain it?
Actually, what I do must be very serious when it encourages so much passion on one side and another. The image of a woman in vestments (liturgical or street) called priests in my Roman Catholic tradition causes revulsion, the concept impacts. It hits the windows of the gentlemen's club that is the Roman institution, like a fly that finds no way out against the ceiling glass. The patriarchy, with its vertical functioning flowing in successive imposition-submission relationships to the floor, is inscribed in the collective and individual DNA of our civilization now widely spread across the planet, which, in fact, is wanting to kill. He also inhabits and endlessly in the ecclesial institution with his well-oiled perverse Marian theology,
The image of a woman in robes called priests in my Roman Catholic tradition causes revulsion, the concept impacts.
When these days I keep hearing that the theme of "the woman" (stinkingly essentialist, women are many and diverse) does not matter as much as the dreams (beautiful and that I also share) of the pope, I invariably answer: none of those dreams of justice and peace will come true without the other wing of humanity, without the flesh of his flesh, half of God's offspring and dignified in a "single baptism for the forgiveness of sins."
Women raped, killed and considered as objects here and everywhere need someone brave to be able to take a step to corroborate their equal and indisputable dignity. To take my fellow men away from the altar, from the altar server and even away from homosexual or non-binary people from the space where grace is mediated is to openly declare that we do not enjoy equal dignity, is to declare hunting, the sale of female flesh. It is complicity with feminicides, and on a large scale given the influence of the Catholic Church in the world ... it is suicide. They kill one, they kill us all.
We do not want anyone to save us from clericalism, or anything. Everything is ours in this twice-millenary house, everything was done in our name and thanks to us who, among other things, give birth to those who are baptized and who will be baptized, that is, to the workforce.
If Mary of Nazareth showed up at the altar one day and said “this is my body, this is my blood”, what would you say Francisco? Would you repeat that I have to look like her? Then I would obey you. This is my dream ... He who fulfilled my life. For now, obedience, to the Spirit and to my community that has instituted me as what I am to serve.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for Second Sunday of Lent, March 8, 2020 - Presider: Jim Marsh, ARCWP, and Terri Kersch

Second Sunday of Lent and International Women’s Day
March 8, 2020

Strike the #EachforEqual pose

Liturgy of  Transformation
Welcome and Theme            Jim
Good morning—welcome to the Upper Room!

We are twelve days into Lent—this being the Second Sunday of forty days during which we are called to pray, reflect, fast and give alms before the great feast of Resurrection. Some of us began the season being marked with ashes, a reminder of our mortality, yes; but more importantly, a reminder that we came from dust, specifically, stardust and that the Holy One has done marvelous things with dust and dirt.

Last Sunday, we heard inspired stories about human creatures being wonderfully created and called very good in spite of ego, greed, power and a multitude of forces that tempt us from time to time to be less than the Creator’s vision for each of us.

Today, we will hear stories about leaving home—all that we know, and that it can lead to being blessed and transfigured. Today is also International Women’s Day, a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, political and religious achievements of women. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual; a reminder that we’re all responsible for building a more just and equitable world; indeed, we all have the power to change things.
With this is mind, let us begin our prayer together ….

Opening Prayer        Terri
Go There        Haitian Poem by Totongi
Go there where you see your heart
Leading you, keeping you from changing
Into a dry desert of sorrow
worse than the skin of a drum.
Go there even when you’re discouraged
When you end up as salt meat
In banquets for bigwigs.
You have to go there, my brothers and sisters,
Where the people suffering
Never hear “Good Morning”
Where there’s no light
To enliven a day with hope.
Go there and bring the warmth of your love along
To make the people’s heart happy
To defy injustice and evil
Endured by the wretched of the earth
As if they had no right to be there,
There in the morning splendor of being alive.
You have to go there, live there, join us
If only with the little smiles of your mouths
O my sisters and brothers, we have to be there
Where together, without any dirty tricks,
We can grow corn, oranges and friendship
For all of us on earth so in need of transformation.

 Opening Song: “The Summons” -John L Bell
Liturgy of Word

First Reading:             from the Book of Genesis 12:1-4a
Yahweh said to Abram and Sarah:
“Leave your country, your people, and the home of your parents, and go to a place I will show you. I will make of you a great people. I will bless you and make your name so great that it will be used in blessings. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you All the people on the face of the earth will be blessed through you.”

Abram and Sarah began the journey as Yahweh had instructed.
Hear what the Spirit is saying in these words. AMEN!

Sung ResponseSpirit of the Living God   – Michael Crawford

Gospel Reading:       from Matthew 17:1-9 
Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain to be alone with them.
And before their eyes, Jesus was transfigured—his face became as dazzling as the sun and his clothes as radiant as light.

Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with Jesus Then Peter said, “Rabbi, how good that we are here! With your permission, I will erect three shelters here—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah!”

Peter was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them. Out of the cloud came a voice which said, “This is my Own, my Beloved, on whom my favor rests. Listen to him!”

When they heard this, the disciples fell forward on the ground, overcome with fear. Jesus came toward them and touched them, saying, “Get up! Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they did not see anyone but Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountainside, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about this until the Chosen One has risen from the dead.”
Hear what the Spirit is saying in the words of the Evangelist known as Matthew. AMEN!

Homily Starter and Shared Reflections   Jim

We just heard: “leave your home, your people, your country … I will bless you; in fact, all will be blessed through you.” What came to your mind?

I thought of Joseph who long ago heard an angel say “Take the child with his mother, and flee.” Today, I think of the many refugees across this planet who are fleeing danger, disasters, war and genocide in search of safety and security. I think of women and children who long to flee and escape their sex-traffickers.

Can you imagine the guts, determination, and trust that is needed to leave all you know to charter “unknown waters?” Could you do it?

On this Sunday, I’m also mindful of the many women who dreamed of equal rights in so many arenas. They challenged the “status quo” and their determination has greatly transformed and transfigured our society and the world in just the last century.

Well, I’m here to say that you and I have also left our home and traveled to a place where the Holy One has led us. For many reasons, we have all left the church that formed and nurtured us in past years in search of an authentic twenty-first century experience and celebration of the sacred within a “discipleship of equals.” Ultimately, we have Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger to thank; if it were not for her great determination and trust in the Spirit, the “Danube Seven” would not have happened in June 2002, and quite likely, we would not be meeting here as the Upper Room today.

A few thoughts on our Gospel reading. We often use the words transfigure and transform interchangeably. However, they are not really synonymous.

Transformation is more a metamorphosis, much like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I believe there are toys called “Transformers” that have become the “rage” of children today.
Transfiguration is a revelation of one’s true self, your best self as envisioned by God the creator. In this story today, Jesus is transfigured; we hear the same words spoken at his baptism: “This is my Beloved, on whom my favor rests.”

We have “transfiguration” moments in our own lives and have seen them in others we know. Have you ever seen the face of a child filled with joy opening some gift or experiencing something wonderful and unexpected? Is that not a transfiguration experience—seeing them as they truly are? Likewise, have you ever seen someone (perhaps someone you love) who has become so overcome with frustration, resentment or anger that it is manifested in their face and bodily gestures? While this may be frightening, it is nevertheless a revelatory moment; transfiguring but also disillusioning.

We’re very much like Peter in this story. We recognize moments of beauty and splendor and want to “stay in that moment forever.”  However, we are a pilgrim church. Let us take our grace-filled moments and transfigured selves into our world each day as we strive to build the “kin-dom of God.”

May this season of reflective prayer, fasting and almsgiving transfigure us—make us the best version of ourselves. And may we too hear the words of the Holy One, “You are my beloved.”  (pause)
What did you hear?

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.

Liturgy of the Eucharist
Terri:   As we prepare for the sacred meal, we are aware that just as Jesus is anointed, so is each of us. We bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. Please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words, “I bring to the table…..” after all have spoken, presider ends with: We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen.

Jim:     With open hearts and hands let us pray our Eucharistic prayer in one voice:
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us as we set our hearts on belonging to you. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all creation.

You know our limitations and our essential goodness and you love us as we are. You beckon us to your compassionate heart and inspire us to see the good in others and forgive their limitations. Acknowledging your presence in each other and in all of creation, we sing:
Holy, Holy, Holy  -Karen Drucker

Guiding Spirit, when opposing forces in us tug and pull and we are caught in the tension of choices, inspire us to make wise decisions toward what is good.

We thank you for our brother, Jesus, and for all our sisters and brothers who have modeled for us a way to live and love in challenging times. Inspired by them, we choose life over death, we choose to be light in dark times.
Please extend your hands in blessing.
We are ever aware of your Spirit in us and among us at this Eucharistic table and we are grateful for this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in the world.
Presiders stand at table
On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at supper with his companions and 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. 
Terri lifts plate as the community prays:
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.
Jim lifts plate as the community prays:
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.
Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace.
Holy One, your transforming energy is within us and we join our hearts with all who are working for a just world.  We pray for wise leaders in our religious communities. We pray for courageous and compassionate leaders in our world communities. 

We pray for all of us gathered here and like Jesus, we open ourselves up to your Spirit;
for it is through living as he lived that we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to glorify you,
at this time and all ways.  Amen!

Terri: 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 

Jim: As we prepare to eat this bread, we pray 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.
Terri & Jim lift the bread and cup and say in one voice
This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we
nourish each other. 

All:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives;
as we share communion, we will become communion,
both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Terri:   Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive and nothing can separate us from God’s love. All are welcome to receive at this friendship table.  Please pass the bread with the words
“Be transfigured!”

Communion MeditationLet Go of the Shore  -Karen Drucker, JD Martin & David Roth

Blessing                      Terri: Please extend your hands in blessing.
All:      May the Fire of Love ignite our hearts and radiate through us. May the Spirit truth and
justice burn within us. May we continue to be the face of the Holy One, and may we be a
blessing in our time. AMEN!

Closing Song: “The Power of Women”  by Karen Drucker