Friday, February 26, 2021

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Community Liturgy – Second Sunday of Lent- Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Jill Striebinger ARCWP, Music Minister Linda Lee Miller Feb. 27, 2021

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Community Liturgy – Second Sunday of Lent- Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Jill Striebinger ARCWP, Feb. 27, 2021         

Zoom link for video- 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

ID 851- 0809-5506

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                                     Credit: Unsplash: Ben White

Theme: Listen to the Holy One and Follow Jesus Today


Jill: Welcome to our liturgical gathering on this Saturday afternoon.We thank our readers and IT team for being part of our liturgical team today. When speaking please unmute and re-mute yo urself. 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 for communion and a lighted candle to remind us that God is always present.

Opening Song: I Am the One Within You


Bridget Mary:

In these hard times, we commit ourselves to listen with open hearts and to respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers by loving service.

ALL:  We will follow Jesus.

In this time of racism, sexism,  violence and poverty, we commit ourselves to listen with compassion and to respond by working to change unjust structures.  

ALL. We will follow Jesus.

In this time of  divisiveness and hostility 

we commit ourselves to listen deeply to the struggles and conflicts, and respond by fostering unity, community, and diversity. 

All:  We will follow Jesus.

Opening Prayer: (Jill)

Holy Mother, how difficult it must have been for you to remain silent and trust that the child you gave birth to knows what God needed him to do.  In order to allow our children to grow and be independent, we sometimes encourage, we sometimes admonish, and we sometimes stay silent, hold our breath, watch, and exhale a prayer for our child’s higher good.  As Jesus modeled The Way, so have you modeled the motherhood of Jesus.  May God give us the wisdom to know when it is right to be silent and when it is right to speak up.  May God grant us the grace to listen with open hearts to maintain compassion for ourselves and others.



First Reading: Ann C.

Spirituality of Listening by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Time and again in the last month of his life Moses told the people, Shema: listen, heed, pay attention. Hear what I am saying. Hear what God is saying. Listen to what the Holy One wants from us.


Speaking and listening are forms of engagement. They create a relationship. We can enter into a relationship with God because we are linked by words. In revelation, God speaks to us. In prayer, we speak to God. If you want to understand any relationship, between husband and wife, or parent and child, pay close attention to how they speak and listen to one another. Ignore everything else.

There is something profoundly spiritual about listening. Listening lies at the very heart of relationship. It means that we are open to the other, that we respect him or her, that their feelings matter to us. A good leader listens to those he or she leads. Listening does not mean agreeing but it does mean caring. Listening is the climate in which love and respect grow.

Listening is the prelude to love.

These are the inspired words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and we affirm them by saying, Thanks be to God.

Response: Be still and know that I am God by Shaina Noll

Second Reading: Donna N.

The Art of Silence from Aspects of the Heart by Sister Joan Chittister

“Silence is where we must go when we want to be truly spiritual people. Only there does God speak to the heart. But learning how to keep silent and when to keep silent—and when not to—is a great spiritual art.

Hard and bitter silence refuses to allow another person the chance to change the position that has hurt me. It refuses, as well, to allow me to understand the needs of those around me. Soft and pliant silence makes it possible for the other to speak. More than that, it enables me to see the world from someone else’s point of view.

Calm and receptive silence invites the ideas of those around me. It gives them dignity and value. It gives me another side to my personality.

Silence that is cowardly appears to agree with everyone but in the end contributes more to division than to unity. It questions nothing, understands nothing, advances nothing in a group. It is more about safety than it is about growth. “Sometimes,” the graffiti artist wrote, “silence is not golden–just yellow.”

Silence requires us to attend to the turmoil within us. It refuses to allow us to ignore our own greatest questions in life. The silence that seeks to bury our secrets from ourselves only eats away at our own souls.

There is no virtue in keeping silence in the face of injustice. That kind of silence only makes us either the accomplice or the thrall of those who refuse to allow another truth to be spoken. The silence we keep in the company of evil is evil. Truth spoken out of the hot center of the cave of silence is always a gift.”

These are the inspired words of  Joan Chittister  and we affirm them by saying, Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation:  Spirit of the Living God- Linda Lee Miska

 Gospel: Jack D.

 A reading from the Gospel of Mark

Mark 8 31-37

Jesus began explaining things to his disciples: “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive.” He said this simply and clearly so they couldn’t miss it. 

But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. “Peter, get out of my way! You have no idea how God works.” 

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You are not leading; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

These are the inspired words of the Gospel writer, Mark, and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

Homily Starter 


Peter gets admonished, chewed out by Jesus because Peter tried to take away Jesus’s autonomy, his power, his vision of a God of love  whose life giving Spirit within us gives us the ability to change the world.  

Peter’s intention was good.  He cared deeply for Jesus. But Peter has no authority to make choices for Jesus and that was why Peter was rebuked.  

In contrast, Jesus’s own mother, Mary stood by silently.  Why? Because she birthed Jesus in a state of grace and awareness. Jesus grew up with a mother who challenged injustice poverty and prayed for the well-being of the oppressed.  She knew that it was her job to make choices for him when he was a child and it was her job to teach him how to make his own independent choices. 

This physical birthing is synonymous to our spiritual birthing as this physical death that Jesus exemplified is synonymous to our spiritual death.  Jesus showed us that once you are dead you cannot be killed again.  Jesus gave us a Way to birth ourselves.  By his resurrection, he showed us that we are born into a new reality that is aligned with God. 

Bridget Mary:

Like Peter, Christians for centuries, have struggled  to understand why Jesus suffered an unjust tormented death. 

“Contemporary theologians,” Elizabeth Johnson writes,   “offer a shift from the cross as a sole, violent act of atonement for sins before an offended God, to the cross as an act of suffering solidarity that brings divine saving power into intimate contact with human misery, pain and hopelessness. “

 In a world torn apart by hatred, violence, grief and greed,  unless we confront the Peters in our world, who maintain structures of domination, we will not be able to live as  equal and beloved images of God. “Sadly, it seems that until the freedom of the powerful is inconvenienced by the oppression of the marginalized, they will remain silent and impotent,” writes Rev. Dr. irie Lynne Session, “Sometimes, we’ve got to shout it out? Sometimes, we’ve got to speak up! Sometimes we must move out of the comfort zones of silence.” (  The Gathering, A Womanist Church, p. 119.

 In times when we experience our own fragility, in times when our only prayer is help, in times when we weep and wail,  the Voice of God  speaks within us and within others. 

In the 1970’s when I was on my first mission as an IHM Sister, in Philadelphia ,  my Dad was hospitalized with life-threatening pancreatitis. I prayed my heart out and finally when I was at my wits end, I  heard a Voice within me saying:  “ I love your Dad far more than you do,  I will take infinitely better care of him than you can imagine.”   

In my journey through the ups and downs with cancer during this past year, I have felt  the Christ Presence speaking to me in the healing prayers and embraces of family, friends, and through you, my dear MMOJ community. My journey is lead me to a deeper listening to the heartbreaking sufferings of others in similar situations and a powerful experience of the healing power of love. 

Being a disciple of Jesus today may take us places that we  never have imagined. As we pray together, love one another and act together for justice, Jesus walks with us, Mary walks with us, Peter walks with us, the entire Communion of Saints walks with us. We are never alone.

What more could we ever want?

Shared Homily- Reflection Question: 

What did you hear in today’s readings, music and homily starter about deep listening to the Holy One and following Jesus?

Jill and all:

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.

Prayers of Community:

Cheryl:  As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to the table our intentions. 

(Katy reads intentions from our Book)

Jim: You are invited to share your intentions now with these or similar words: I bring to the table…..)

Cheryl: O Holy One, you know our needs before we even speak. We hold the needs of our sisters and brothers in our hearts and will walk with them in prayerful solidarity in the days ahead.  Amen.

Offertory Prayer

Please lift up your bread and wine and pray together:

(Bridget Mary  and all): Blessed are you, Jesus of Nazareth. It is through your goodness that we have this bread and wine and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we live as the Body of Christ in our world. 

ALL: Blessed be God forever.


Cheryl B. and All:

O Divine Listener, we hear you speak to us in all who suffer and grieve.  We hear you speak in all living beings for healing of our Earth. We trust that you work through us for the well-being of all. Trusting in your infinite love present everywhere, we sing:

Holy, Holy, Holy:  by Karen Drucker 

(We are holy, holy holy, you are holy, holy, holy, I am holy, holy, holy.)

Jim  B and all: We thank you for our brother, Jesus, and for all our sisters and brothers who have  done what is right and just instead of what is easy and comfortable in times of turmoil. 

Bridget Mary and all: (Please extend your hands in blessing).

Loving God, intensify the presence of Your Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, become the Body and Blood of Jesus the Christ for our holiness and the wholeness of all creation. 

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. 


(All lift the plate and pray)

Jill and All: When he returned to his place at the table, Jesus 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:

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.


Jill and all: Let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith:  Nurtured by your Word, nourished by your food, called anew to be your people as we journey through Lent, we acclaim your praise.

Cheryl B.. and All: Loving God, we join our hearts with all who are working for justice, equality and peace.  We pray for wisdom for leaders in our religious and world communities. 

Jim B. and All: We believe that the entire Communion of Saints, Mary Mother of Jesus and all our beloved saints cheer us on as we listen more deeply to the Holy One’s call to follow Jesus today.

Please hold cup and plate and pray:

Cheryl B and all: For it is through living as Jesus lived that we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to love you and to serve others each day, we sing, 

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller

Jim B. and all: 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 

Sign of Peace:

Jill:  Let us offer one another a sign of Peace.

Breaking of Bread:

Bridget Mary and all: Loving God, you all us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.  We will live justly.

Jill and all: : Loving God, you call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.

Bridget Mary and all:  Loving God, you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity.

Let us now eat and drink the Sacred Meal. Please receive communion saying: I am the Body of Christ.

Communion Song: Abide with Me – Carrie Newcomer


Closing Prayer : 

Jill: Holy One, may we respect the autonomy of each individual by allowing them the grace to follow God in The Way they are called to follow.  May we always speak up when we or those in vulnerable positions need advocacy for self-determination.  May we be like mothers to ourselves and others by following Mary’s example – discerning when to advocate and when to stay silent.

Gratitudes, Introductions, Announcements


Jill and all: Please extend your hands and pray our blessing:

As we leave our celebration today, let us consider how very special each of us is as Jesus’ disciples in our world today. 

All: Amen

 Bridget Mary and all: May we listen deeply to God’s call to love , heal, comfort and bless others as Jesus did .


Jill: Go in peace, my sisters and brothers!

All: Thanks be to God.  

Closing Song: You Raise Me Up

If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to

If you want to invite someone to attend our liturgy, please refer them to the day’s liturgy at Or 

To support our community, please send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34238

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Chaplain Diane Burroughs Ordained a Priest by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Hospice Out and About

Many of us remember Chaplain Diane Burroughs who served our hospice community for seven years. Diane retired in 2016 due to health reasons, but is recovering from illness and having a second career as an ordained priest. Here's her inspiring story:

Earlier this month, Diane, second from left, was officially ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP). Her desire to become an ARCWP priest  began many years ago. The most recent turn was here in Ocala in 2015.

In 2009, Diane moved to Florida to take the post at HMC, working with the ACT and NH teams and the South Team when that was created.

She earned her MA in theological studies in 2001 and served her chaplain residency in 2004-05 in Huntington, WV. After that, she continued in hospital work as a trauma and oncology chaplain until being offered the job at HMC - much warmer here! "I do miss my hospice family and have kept in touch with many of you," she says.

Her saga to become a priest truly began when she started searching for a Catholic Church that would recognize her as a chaplain. She found House Church of Mary and Joseph and knew she was home. The pastors were Dena and John O’Callahan in the community of On Top of the World. One of them became ill and was no longer able to offer Homilies so she offered to help.

After about a year and a half, the illness worsened and it was necessary for them to return to Michigan, but Diane stayed on. "We are a small church of about 12-15 people and welcome anyone to join us," says Diane. "At that time, I began to seek ordination to be prepared to fully lead the House Church in liturgical celebrations. They have truly been a blessing in my life." 


Rev. Diane Dougherty ARCWP Speaks at Interfaith Memorial in Memory of COVID-19 Deaths in Georgia

 Reverend Paul M. Turner, Pastor James Brewer Calvert, and Reverend Diane Dougherty speak in front of First Christian Church of Decatur on Sunday, February 21. Photo by Alex Brown

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Rev. Annie Watson ARCWP- Getting Into Good Trouble, Homily for First Sunday of Lent

Rev. Dr. Irie Sessions - HERstory:Trauma Informed Bible Teaching with Prostituted Women | Irie Session | Dr. Haynes and Dr. Irie Sessions- The Gathering: A Womanist Church

My Response: I highly recommend the book and videos about The Gathering , a womanist community in Dallas, Texas that invites all  people to join together to promote racial and gender equality and the wholeness and well-being of all creation. 

I especially resonated with their powerful sermons that relate women's stories in the bible to the experiences of women today.

 Rev. Kamilah Hall Sharp, in sermon entitled "If it Wasn't for the Women" on Luke 8:1-3, observes that although Luke names Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna among the many women who followed Jesus who did the work, he does not acknowledge them as  disciples and apostles.

She writes:  "I believe as a woman who is called by God to preach that I stand here on the shoulders of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna...All these women knew they were walking with God, in their God-given given authority, using their God given gifts. This is how they made a difference for us all. How can we make a difference if we walk with God, in our God-given authority, and use the talents and resources God has given us?" (The Gathering, A Womanist Church, p. 85)

The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is claiming our spiritual authority to ordain women called to follow Jesus, preach the Gospel and preside at sacraments in inclusive communities where all are welcome and all are called to  in a new model of  partnership in ministry.

Let us rejoice and live our solidarity as spiritual equals who share a common mission to live prophetic obedience in the 21st century.
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Dr. Haynes & Dr. Irie Sessions discusses "The Gathering: A Womanistic Church"

Monday, February 22, 2021

Oakwood Manor Interfaith Memorial Service To Be Held At Oakwood Manor Gazebo, 11:00AM, Feb.15, And On Zoom 11:00AM, Feb. 22, See link and Service below

All are invited to join us for our Oakwood Manor Annual Interfaith Memorial Service  to remember residents who have died in 2020-2021.

Bring chair and mask to Oakwood Manor Gazebo on Monday-Feb.15 at 11:00 AM 

And/Or Join us on Zoom on Monday, Feb. 22 at 11:00AM Eastern Time.

No reservations needed. In this service, you will be invited to share a brief one or two minute tribute in honor of the resident who died. For Zoom, if you wish to send us a jpg picture of your loved one, please email to Bridget Mary Meehan at by Feb. 19th. Provide the person's name and year of death. We will show the photo on screen in Zoom when you give the tribute. 
For those coming to the Oakwood Manor Gazebo, bring a photo of your loved one for display on our table. 

Zoom Link:
Meeting ID: 818 1400 8055
Passcode: 478451

Oakwood Manor Interfaith Memorial Service


We gather today to remember our loved ones who have passed this year. We give thanks for them and for the many good memories of their time with us. 

In this Remembrance Service, we comfort one another with stories and precious memories of our loved ones.

Listen now to this beautiful song called Holy Angels by Sara Thomsen

Poem by Marge Piercy

Look around us, search above us, below, behind.
We stand in a great web of being joined together.
Let us praise, let us love the life we are given.

Time flows through us like water.
The past and the dead speak through us.
We breathe our children’s children, blessing.

Blessed is the earth from which we grow,
blessed the life we are lent,
blessed the ones who teach us,
blessed the ones we teach,
blessed is the light, 

blessed is the darkness
but blessed above all else is peace
which bears the fruits of knowledge
on strong branches.

Peace that bears joy into the world,
peace that enables love, peace over each of us,
everywhere, blessed and holy is peace.

Adapted from Kadish Poem by Marge Piercy

Psalm 23:  God is my shepherd, I shall not want.

All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.

O my Beloved, You are my shepherd,

I shall not want;

You bring me to green pastures for rest

And lead me beside still waters

Renewing my spirit;

You restore my soul.

You lead me in the path of goodness

To follow Love’s way.

All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Even though I walk through the 

Valley of the shadow and of death, 

I am not afraid;

For You are ever with me;

Your rod and your staff

They guide me,

They give me strength and comfort.

You prepare a table before me

In the presence of all my fears;

You bless me with oil, my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me

All the days of my life;

And I shall dwell in the heart of the Beloved forever.


Translation by Nan Merrill, Praying the Psalms

New Testament: Gospel: John 14:1-3

Don't let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God;

In God's house there are many dwelling places;

Otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you

And then I will come back to take you, that where I am, there you may be as well.




Loving God, we remember those who have passed since 2019. We pray that they may rest in eternal light and everlasting peace. We  carry them in our hearts forever. Amen.


Family, friends, community light a candle and share a thoughtprayer, poem, song or brief story in remembrance.

At the conclusion of each tribute, we pray together:

All: Loving God, we remember the blessings that (person's name) brought to us.



Our hearts are a bit broken even as we are also grateful for the many ways over the years that our loved ones graced our lives. 

They enriched the human fabric of our days. 

May their spirits know a peace unburdened by earthly pain and trial. 

May they be blissfully enfolded in the synchrony of All Creation 

May they be at rest, embraced in unending love, forever and ever, Amen.

Closing Song: When the Saints Go Marching In

This Service was created by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck