Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Dark Universe

More than strawberry on the cake: A call for greater gender equityWe need national councils of the laity and international synods of the People of God where lay representatives become part of the church's decision-making

 More than strawberry on the cake: A call for greater gender equityWe need national councils of the laity and international synods of the People of God where lay representatives become part of the church's decision-making

Sr Raffaella Petrini and Pope Francis (Vatican media)

By Andrea Dean | Australia

It's good news to see women being appointed to significant roles within the Catholic Church, including several recent appointments of women to important positions in the Holy See.In early November Pope Francis appointed Sr Raffaella Petrini as secretary-general of the Vatican's governorate.This followed the earlier appointments of Sr Nathalie Becquart as an undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, Sr Alessandra Smerilli as the interim secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Barbara Jatta as director of the Vatican Museums.It's good news to see women being appointed to significant roles within the Catholic Church, including several recent appointments of women to important positions in the Holy See.In early November Pope Francis appointed Sr Raffaella Petrini as secretary-general of the Vatican's governorate.

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Friday, November 19, 2021

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, Celebrating the Universal Cosmic Christ, Nov. 20, 2021, Liturgical Partners: Readers: Pat MacMillan and Mary Al Gagnon, Prayer Leaders: Jim Brandy and Lee Breyer , Presiders: Cheryl Brandy and Kathryn Shea, IT Peg Bowen, Music Ministers: Linda Lee and Rick Miller

Meeting ID: 851 0809 5506
Passcode: 1066



         Theme:  Cosmic Christ is everywhere

Welcome and Gathering 

Cheryl:  Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome. 

-We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says “All.” 

-All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. 

-Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

-Our theme today is, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Whoever you are, 

Wherever you are, 

Just as you are, 

You are welcome at this table. (Integral Christianity by Paul Smith)

Let us now take a few minutes to collect ourselves as we prepare to focus our minds and our hearts on our knowledge that we are all one, brought together at this time to transform ourselves and our world through love; love for our Holy One, love for our neighbors, love for ourselves, and love for our planet.  Let us begin our liturgy by expressing this love through song.  

Gathering Song:  Where The Light Comes Down by Carrie Newcomer

Opening Prayer: 

Kathryn: Creator of Cosmic Wisdom, we come together today especially, to drink deeply of your waters, awaken from our daily indifferences to you and humankind, and stop squandering the preciousness of each moment of life. As we gather today, may we be ever more mindful of our call and responsibility to Be love for one another.  May we recognize that all beings are parts of holiness, and that this is the Cosmic Christ. We rejoice that we have been given all we need to bring the true kin-dom of our Creator on Earth.  Holy One, we live with the comfort of knowing You walk with us on our journey and that You continue to teach us through Spirit Sophia, Holy Wisdom, and to this we say, All: Amen!

Jim: Reconciliation Rite Let’s remember now times when messages of our unworthiness clouded our vision of the infinite Love within us. Let us imagine our imperfections, the chaos and messes of our lives, all brightly lit by a love that heals and transforms us as we evolve and grow in awareness of our divinity and our humanity. 

(Pause for several moments…… Now place hand over your heart as we say the Ho’oponopono prayer)

All: I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. 

A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller

Liturgy of the Word

Mary Al:  1st Reading: Proverbs 8:22-36 [adapted from The Message]

God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—

  before anything else.

I was brought into being a long time ago,

  well before Earth got its start.

I arrived on the scene before Ocean,

  yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.

Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape,

  I was already there, newborn;

Long before our Creator stretched out Earth’s Horizons,

  and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather,

And set Sky firmly in place,

  I was there.

When our Creator mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean,

  built the vast vault of Heaven,

  and installed the fountains that fed Ocean,

When she drew a boundary for Sea,

  posted a sign that said no trespassing,

And then staked out Earth’s Foundations,

  I was right there with the Holy One, making sure everything fit.

Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause,

  always enjoying Cosmic Wisdom’s company,

Delighted with the world of things and creatures,

  happily celebrating the human family.

So, my dear friends, listen carefully;

  those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.

Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;

  don’t squander your precious life.

Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,

  awake and ready for me each morning,

  alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.

When you find me, you find life, real life,

  to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.

These are the inspired words from the book of Proverbs, and we affirm them by saying, All: Amen!

Pat: Second Reading: A Reading from the Writings of Matthew Fox

Listen to the Cosmic Christ, to Cosmic Wisdom calling all the children of God together: “Come children, drink of my waters which are all common waters. They are free and available to all my children. Drink of my wisdom from your own unique well. Let the Taoists drink and the Muslims drink; let the Jews drink and the Buddhists drink; let the Christians drink and let the native peoples drink. And then tell me: What have you drunk? How deeply have you imbibed my refreshment? What wet and running wisdom drips from inside you to the outside? What have you to share with others of my wisdom and harmonious living, of the dripping of the oils of compassion and the lubricants of your common anointings as my images, my other “Christs,” my co-creators of wisdom on earth? I am tired of your religious wars, your sectarian divisions, your crusading spirits that arise from disharmony. I long for harmony. If there must be competition, let it take place at the level of shared gifts and bountiful outpouring of wisdom. Pray together. Create harmony and healing together. Celebrate, praise, and thank together. Cease using religion to divide. Use it for its purpose, to reconnect to Mother Earth, to blessings, to the underground river that I am and that you all share. And cease scandalizing the young by your indifference to these awesome blessings, by your competition, and your boredom. Praise one another. Praise the earth. In doing so, you praise me.” 

These are the inspired words of Matthew Fox, and we affirm them by saying,  All: Amen!

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee

Cheryl: Gospel Reading: Gospel – John 18:33-37

Pilate reentered the Praetorium and summoned Jesus. “Are you the king of the Jews?’ asked Pilate.  Jesus replied, “Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others told you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I Jewish? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?” Jesus replied, “My realm is not of this world; if it belonged to this world, my people would have fought to keep me out of the hand of Temple authorities.  No, my realm is not of this world.”  Pilate said, “So you are a King?”  Jesus replied, “You say that I am a King.  I was born and came into the world for one purpose – to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who seeks the truth hears my voice.”

This are the inspired words of the disciple John, and we affirm them by saying, All: Amen!

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee

Homily Starter – Kathryn Shea

Community Sharing

Communal Statement of Faith

Lee: We believe in the Great Spirit, 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 God's Word, bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion, bright star in the firmament of God's prophets, mystics, and saints. 

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

We believe that God's 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 and for the Community

Mary Al:  We now bring our prayer intentions to the Table.


Our response is: ALL: Cosmic Christ, we know you hear our prayers. 

We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Joan shares)

Our response is: All: Cosmic Christ, we know you hear our prayers. 

For what else should we pray?

Our response is: ALL: Cosmic Christ, we know you hear our prayers. 

Mary AL: Holy Mystery may we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in loving prayer and solidarity. Amen

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Cheryl: Cosmic Wisdom, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness.  You are always with us…you living in us and we, living in you.  As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, our call to protect all that is sacred in our Universe, and our call to tear down the walls of hatred in its many forms.  In this festive meal, your Spirit is poured out on each of us, your anointed disciples, gathered together in this time and place.  We also ask that your Spirit be spread to those of our community who are not with us today and to those who are suffering physically and emotionally.

Let us rejoice as we sing: 

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller

(adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)

Jim: We thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history -- and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, his life burned with the vision of his mission on earth. Through the example of his life – his teachings and actions - he showed us not only how we should live, but also what was worth even dying for. 

Kathryn and All:  When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave us his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  And then, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died.  And the spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise made to all of us too who live the new story.  Jesus is with us today and he will be through the end of time.

(With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.  We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal.  And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it.  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you.  This is the new and everlasting covenant.  

           [short pause]

Lee: In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this, all of you, and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.

Mary Al: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.

Pat:  Jesus has died.  Christ is risen.  The Divine Presence lives in us and through us in the world today.

Cheryl: God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world. We, your people, ask for your grace that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society. They are all our brothers and sisters and our children, members of your Blessed Family.  We remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially….(mention names here, if you would like to..) 

Kathryn: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we could ever ask or imagine.  We believe that it is through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever.  

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller

The Infinite Creator’s Prayer (Reinterpreted and redacted from the Prayer of Jesus by Doug Esse)

Jim: Our Dear Loving One, whose presence transcends creation, incarnates as creation, and indwells inside creation, we hold Your holy unity as supremely sacred.

May Your green-ray love saturate and seduce us. May Your loving will be accomplished here in third-density earth as it is throughout Your infinite creation.

Give us this day all that we need, and forgive us our karmic imbalances,

as we forgive our other-selves’ karmic debts owed to us, and help us remember to be loving even when we are hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.

Rescue us from the powers and schemes of those of the negative polarity.

For You are the strength, the glory, and the mystery of unity, that eternally self-expresses in love–as love–forever and ever. Amen.

Sign of Peace:

Pat:  Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave you.  My peace I give you.”  Let us now extend a sign of peace to one another as we say this Universal Prayer for Peace.

Lead me from death to life,
From falsehood to truth;

Lead me from despair to hope,

From fear to trust,

Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.

Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.

(a mantra from the Hindu Upanishads by Satish Kumar)

Jim: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:

Jim and All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Cheryl: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to Christ’s table.  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives.  As we share communion, we become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.                          

Please receive/share Eucharist now, saying: “You are the bread of life.” And “You are the cup of compassion.”

Communion Song: Holy Darkness by John Michael Talbot

Community Prayers of Gratitude and Announcements

Closing Prayer 

Kathryn:  Great and Holy Cosmic Christ, mystery known and unknown, we thank you for the blessing of this day. We thank you for the opportunity to be together in this place and the opportunity to be one with you every single moment of every single day.  Inspire us and sustain us so that we steadfastly will strive for everything that is true, everything that is honorable, everything that is pure, everything that is pleasing, everything that is commendable, for all things excellent and worthy of praise in your sight. Help us to think on your Word and keep on doing all that we have learned and received from Jesus, our brother.  

(Adapted from “Prayers for Indigenous People and Communities” by the United Church of Canada)

All: Amen

Community Blessing

Cheryl: Please raise your hands in blessing: And together with our arms extended to one another we say our community Blessing: 

May the sun bring you cosmic energy by day,
may the moon and stars and galaxies softly restore you by night,
may the rain wash away your worries,
may the breeze blow new strength into your being,
may you walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty all the days of your life, and 

may you forever know the power and love of the Universal Cosmic Christ.

ALL:  Let it be so!! Thanks be to God.  Alleluia! 

                     Closing Song:  Turning of the World Temple Shalom's Youth and Teen choirs sing Ruth Pelham's Turning of the World

If you would like to add your intercession to our 

MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to

If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.

Please support our community, send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

% St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328

Women"s Ordination Witness for Full Equality of Women in Baltimore as U.S. Bishops Met and Backed Away from Their Threat to Weaponize Communion


Dear Bridget,

The Women's Ordination Conference and our partners in church reform gathered on Monday in Baltimore for a prayerful witness calling for "Bread, Not Stones," ahead of the US bishops' conference meeting where they were to vote on a controversial document on the Eucharist. Just about 50 of us where there, praying, marching, chanting, and singing, as the US Bishops met behind closed doors.

WOC led the way as we carried our message of inclusion to the hotel where the bishops were meeting, encountering aggressive hecklers along the way. We stood courageously and firmly in our faith that teaches us that it is wrong to weaponize the Eucharist, and that there were no orthodoxy tests at Jesus’ table.

You can watch the livestream of our peaceful witness here and hear the voices of leaders from WOC, DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry, Catholics for Choice, FutureChurch, and CTA, among others.

We know now that the bishops overwhelmingly approved a bland document on the mystery of the Eucharist that makes no mention of denying communion to pro-choice politicians, as was the fear. However, the damage, division, and disgust they were able to produce in the journey to this vote caused real harm.

But this comes to no surprise to us. We know that when men meet behind closed doors and attempt to make decisions about the life of the church without the presence, voices, and votes of women and lay people, they fail to model the inclusive message of the Gospel. Until women and non-binary people are equals at these decision-making tables, and at the altar, we have work to do.

And so we march on, prayerfully, peacefully, and prophetically, as the church who knows that God does not discriminate, and the Eucharist is food for the journey, not a prize for the perfect.

Thank you to all who held us in prayer as we witnessed in uncertain and divided times, and generously support WOC on this journey. Please consider making a gift to enable our work to continue with such strength!
At the table of justice,
Kate McElwee
Executive Director

Katie Lacz
Program Director

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Will U.S. Vote to Deny Communion to Pro- Choice Politicians in Violation of Church Teaching and Pope Francis’ Example? by Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter 

 (CNS/Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

My Response: 

 Like Jesus who invited everyone to the Table, the bishops should follow Jesus' example! Reception of Communion should not  be based on following the teachings of the Catholic Church, but an inclusive celebration of the Christ Presence in this sacred meal, in each other and in the world. The bishops should not be using denial of Communion to punish President Biden or any politician for enforcing the laws of our country on legal abortion. He is the president of all citizens, not just Catholics!

 If the bishops were serious about  preventing abortions, they would change the church teaching prohibiting contraception, which is one of the most effective ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies.  Initiating a culture war over an issue on which many people disagree is counter-productive. Instead, they'd be wise to affirm primacy of conscience in this and all moral issues. In all moral decisions, the Church teaches that Catholics must always follow their consciences- even if the decision violates Church teachings or laws. 

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP


“The Holy Father made clear that he has never denied Communion to anyone during his press conference on the flight back from Slovakia in September. Still, the reaction to Biden's meeting with Pope Francis Oct. 29 showed how the president drives some bishops a little crazy. Maybe a lot crazy.

The draft, which was leaked to several media, is underwhelming. One theologian whose bishop asked him to look at it told me it reflected a "pre-Pius X" theological vision. Pius X died in 1914.

As I noted in September, while the bishops were holding regional meetings to discuss the issue, the universal church was treated to the "bread of life" discourse in the Gospel of John, and if "the bishops think their document on the Eucharist can improve on Jesus' bread of life discourse, they are wrong." That judgment stands confirmed by the draft text.

The problem with this proposed document, and why it never, ever should have been suggested, is this: As a matter of church doctrine and theology, it must be primarily about the Eucharist, but as a matter of public perception, it is primarily about abortion. So the bishops can't overturn teaching about the grace of the Eucharist that goes back at least to the Council of Trent, and they do not want to send a signal that they are in anyway relaxing their opposition to abortion. However they choose to resolve this issue, that choice will send a signal. Either the professional pro-life groups will be disappointed or Rome will have to veto the document because it is contrary to church teaching.”