Zoom link for video Jan. 9, 2021 4 PM Eastern Standard Time
ID 851- 0809-5506
THEME: The Path to New Beginnings
DOTTY: Welcome to our liturgical gathering on this Saturday afternoon. We rejoice that we can celebrated Liturgy together during these difficult times. We extend to one another words of welcome and thanksgiving assuring one another that all our welcome to this holy place.
We invite you to pray the liturgy with us. You will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders. Un-muting and re-muting yourself is important if you have a reading part. When speaking a part please follow this process of un-muting and re-muting yourself. During the shared homily we ask you to unmute yourself to contribute your thoughts and when you are finished, remember to re-mute yourself. Have bread and wine/juice in front of you as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.
Setting of the Theme
JOAN: Today our theme is the path to new beginnings. Jesus made his first public appearance when he approached John to baptize him. Jesus’s baptism symbolizes the beginning of his public life, his path to new beginnings. As we celebrate the initiation of Jesus into his world of ministry, let us reflect on the new beginnings before us in this new year of 2021. We have all faced many new beginnings. Some born out of joy, blessings and deep happiness, some out of hurt, tragedy, and death. We are a resilient people. We will not hide from the difficulties before us. We are a community of believers. Difficult times cannot drag us down. Together let us stamp our feet and proclaim “we can conquer all things” through the One who walks with us. For “wherever two or more of you are gathered in my Name, there is love.” We have the love that overcomes fear and gives light to the path of new beginnings.
DOTTY: Today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Jesus is prepared to begin his path to ministry. Jesus is prepared to gather those around him to teach them, to call them to wholeness, to support them on their paths of new beginnings. By example he will show them what is important in life. He will teach them how to serve one another and all those they meet along the path. We open our hearts and minds to listen to the Voice of the Divine within us and commit to strengthening our inner life and our service to others.
ALL: SO BE IT
GATHERING SONG: Anthem by Tom Conry
JOAN: TRANSFORMATION PRAYER:
The suffering being experienced by the people of the world is greater than ever before in our lifetimes. We commit ourselves to do whatever we can, in any way we can, to alleviate the spread of the virus and to comfort the sick and their families.
ALL: Transform us O Holy One
It is difficult today to keep our focus on the Divine Presence within in us and within everyone around us. Peaceful protests are interrupted needlessly. Racism and white supremacy infiltrate all our structures. We commit ourselves to speak truth to power.
ALL. Transform us O Holy One
The divisions among our leaders of government work against the needs of our people. We commit ourselves to support the needs of others in whatever ways we can and to share our faith that goodness will prevail.
All: Transform us O Holy One
VOICE 1: GLORIA
Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us, whose Sacred Word is shared by us.
Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace; peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another.
Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for the health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all those who serve our special needs in numerous ways.
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.
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, Wisdom Sophia to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.
All: Glory to the Spirit of Life
LITURGY OF THE WORD
JUDY: First Reading: A reading from the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 42: 1 – 4, 6 – 7)
Here is my Servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one, in whom I delight. I have endowed you with my Spirit that you may bring true justice to the nations. You do not cry out or raise your voice or make yourself heard in the street. So gentle that you do not break a bruised reed or quench a wavering flame, faithfully you will bring forth true justice. You will neither waver nor be crushed until justice is established on earth, for the islands await your teaching. I, YHWH, have called you to serve the cause of right. I have taken you by the hand, and I watch over you. I have appointed you to be a covenant people,
a light to the nations:
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who sit in darkness from the dungeon.
These are the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah and the community affirms them by saying
ALL: So Be it
Reader: A MEDITATION the Baptism of Jesus New Millennium Church, Little Rock, AR Rev. Wendell Griffen
John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth—what a pair! But John isn’t the main character in this passage. John says as much at verses 7 and 8 of Mark 1 when he proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John the Baptist pointed to Jesus, and then beyond Jesus to the Holy Spirit and a baptism that would overshadow his own ministry!
It is important that we remember this subversive context for the baptism of Jesus. The baptism of Jesus wasn’t orchestrated by synagogue and Temple relationships. John the Baptist understood that he was introducing a new dynamic into faith life when he spoke of another person who would baptize “with the Holy Spirit.”
The baptism of Jesus is, therefore, our introduction to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came up out of the water and saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him (Mk. 1:10). Jesus heard “a voice …from heaven… [saying] “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (Mk. 1:11). As radical and subversive as it was for John the Baptist to baptize Jesus, the Voice from heaven was even more radical and subversive.
These are the inspired words of Rev .Wendell Griffen and the community responds: ALL: So Be It
KEVIN: A reading from the Gospel according to Mark. (Mark 1:7-11)
In the course of preaching, John said, “One more powerful than I is to come after me. I am not fit to stoop and untie his sandal straps. I have baptized you with water, but the One to come will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”
It was then that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan River by John. Immediately on coming up out of the water, Jesus saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. Then a voice came from the heavens: “You are my Beloved, my Own. On you my favor rests.”
These are the inspired words of the disciple known as Mark and the community affirms them by saying
All: So be it
Homily Starter, o
VOICE 2: PROFESSION OF FAITH:
We believe in our Creator who has not forgotten us and is ever and always present with us.
We believe in Jesus, prophet and teacher, who journeyed on the earth, blessing the sick, making whole the broken, healing many, instilling faith in his followers so that they insure his legacy till the end of time.
We believe in the Cosmic Christ, the everlasting Presence, one with the universe.
We believe in Sacred Spirit, the breath of wisdom Sophia, the power of the winds enwrapping us in glory.
We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who walk with us in love, who are never far from us, who are separated from us by a mere veil, always near opening our minds to what is difficult to see.
We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our Church and our world. In this space we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.
VOICE 3: We pause to give praise through our prayer:
As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware just as Jesus was as he began his preparation for public ministry, that the needs of our country and our world are many. As both a community and individuals we do our part to be the healing power of Christ as we bring our prayers for the world to this Eucharistic Table. We voice our intentions today as we pray….
We bring to the table the need for a peaceful transition of our newly elected U.S. leaders, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the coming weeks ….
We bring to the table all those who exercise leadership roles in all faith traditions ….
We bring to the table those who are distributing and inoculating the vaccines to protect all from Covid 19 and the new strain of this virus, as well…
We bring to the table all those who are unemployed and underemployed, for migrants and refugees …
We bring to the table all those who work to promote justice by eradicating sexism, racism, and discrimination of every kind ….
We bring to the table our desire to bring an end to the “arms race” and peaceful ways to resolve conflicts among nations…
We bring to the table our desire to be faithful to our pledge to non-violance in every aspect of our lives…
JOAN: And for what else should we pray (unmute to be heard, then please mute again)
O Holy One, you know our needs before we even speak. Yet, we must speak, if only to remind ourselves of our responsibility to care for the least among us. With your grace, may we act justly and love tenderly in addressing the needs of our world, and may we walk humbly on the Earth all the days of our lives.
Response to our prayer:
ALL: Hear the voices of your people, Spirit of Compassion, that our faith and commitment to action will steer us forward to our commitment to live that for which we pray…
OFFERTORY SONG: God Beyond All Names, Bernadette Farrell
DOTTY: We are blessed by the Holy One in a multitude of ways.
We have bread made from human hands, and wine made from harvested grapes. These are gifts of the earth, and together they will become our spiritual food and drink.
With this bread and wine, we pledge ourselves to the teachings of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels. We accept our call to be present to all persons in our world. We are committed to the teachings and the ministry of Jesus.
All: The Holy One is praised forever.
JOAN: With open hands let us pray:
We celebrate, O Holy One, the Baptism of Jesus, we pause to remember what it means to be baptized. As Jesus began his public life by asking John the Baptist to baptized him we too are reminded that we have a public life to lead as a believer.
the first step in the beginning of the public witness, his Baptism by John. After he was Baptized Jesus went into the desert for 40 days. It was in the quiet of the desert Jesus formulated his path of new beginnings, He was tempted to take the easy road yet he stayed faithful to his call. He gained strength to face the challenges of his mission. The time Jesus spent caring for his spiritual life nurtured his soul and he met the challenge.
Holy, Holy, Holy
Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy
VOICE 4: We are reminded today that we too are called through our Baptism to share our faith bringing hope to one another. We commit ourselves to live the ministry of the Gospels as we speak clearly with respect and love, as we challenge the contradictions within our society especially during these times of division and fear. We remind ourselves daily to remain faithful by witnessing to our commitment to non-violence in our words and our actions. We are called to the inner life, our spiritual life, to be open to the new beginnings in our lives. We walk with Jesus seeking wisdom and peace. We count on one another for love and support.
(Hold your hand over bread and wine)
JOAN: Jesus, we celebrate the last meal you had with your followers. We call upon Sacred Spirit, ever and always with us, to bring blessing on this bread and wine as they are made sacred through our faith in the presence of Christ with us.
During Jesus’s life on earth, he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society. Because of his ministry, Jesus was feared by the authorities of his day, and they sought out ways to bring him to his death.
On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at the Seder 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.
All lift plates and pray the following:
DOTTY: 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.
All lift the cup and pray the following:
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.
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.
Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace, remembering that we are bearers of light and hope.
You are the Christ alive today.
Everyone consumes the bread and wine at this time
Communion Meditation/Song: I Will Surrender – Karen Drucker
VOICE 5: Sacred Spirit, We rejoice that the Universal Christ remains always and ever present within and around us. We remember all those who have transitioned from life on earth to complete union with the Sacred Presence: Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets and martyrs. We remember our sister priests, strong extraordinary women: Adele, Judy, Tish, Joan and Michele. We remember, too, family members and friends. We remember all those whose lives have been lost to Covid, to war, to racism and all other “isms” that exist in our world. And we remember those you wish to be remembered…. (pause and remember your loved ones)
All are beloved souls who have blessed our lives and who continue to inspire us.
And we respond together:
All: So be it
VOICE 6: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
O Holy One, who is 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 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
(Miriam Therese Winter)
Maryal: Let us share any gratitude’s we hold in our hearts.
Maryal: Let us raise our hands and bless each other.
May we seek truth boldly and love deeply.
May we welcome opportunities to birth the Christ in all those we meet.
May we live our baptismal call, travel the distance reaching out to those in need and assist them with our support.
May we continue to be the face of the Holy One, and
May we be a blessing in our time.
Prayer for Saturday for vow of non-violence:
Before God the Creator and the Sanctifying Spirit, I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus, by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth. God, I trust in Your sustaining love and believe that just as You gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so You will bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.
Submitted by Pax Christi USA –Manasota Chapter, Florida
Before we leave our celebration today let us pause and reflect on the gift of each person with us and extend a silent virtual greeting of peace as we listen to this beautiful Song.
Closing Song: Please join us in singing Namaste.
If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, Florida 34238