Theme: God’s Love Fills and Sustains Us
Welcome and Centering Prayer
KATHRYN: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community where everyone is invited to participate in our services. Still “once again,” we gather in this “zoom room,” our current sanctuary, to share the compassionate presence of God with - and within - each of us in this liturgy. Now, in these difficult times, it is more important than ever for us to gather with each other to support one another as companions on our earthly journeys. Each of us has a separate earthly path to our common heavenly home, led there by Jesus, the guide of each of us in our individual ways.
LEE: We invite you to pray the liturgy, although our style of doing that is somewhat different than what many of us might be accustomed to from their personal experiences in possibly a variety of houses of prayer. Here, at Mary Mother of Jesus, everyone will be muted (audio off) during the liturgy and are encouraged to pray in all the places where there is a word: ALL. The presiders and the readers will be unmuted (able to be heard) when they are speaking to each of us. During the shared homily, we ask you to unmute yourself (put your audio on) when you contribute your comment and then, when finished, please mute yourself (put the audio off) so that the next person, your brother or sister, can be heard by everyone just as you were. Also, please have your bread and wine or juice near you so that you can easily consecrate them for your Communion later in the liturgy.
KATHRYN & ALL: Now let us take a few minutes to collect ourselves as we prepare to focus our minds and hearts on our oneness. We are brought together through our love: our love for Heavenly Ones, our love for one another, our love for ourselves and our love for our planet. And let us begin this liturgy by expressing this love through song.
Opening Song: Gather Us In by Marty Haugen
KATHRYN & ALL: In our journeys into the heart of compassion… and that is God…we celebrate the love that is continually unfolded for us by the Divine One being in us, in each one of us. Help us to recognize and honor the “you” that is in “the me” of everyone; of myself and of all my brothers and sisters, without exception.
Community Reconciliation, Healing and Transformation
CHERYL & ALL: Compassionate and understanding God, we pray that we may reach deep within ourselves to hear Wisdom’s many messages, to faithfully understand them and to respond to them in our actions with our brothers and sisters. May we emulate the virtues of love, pardon and peace that Jesus taught us so that we may – in turn – be more forgiving in our care for ourselves, for one another and for our planet earth. May we gather strength through your Divine Presence within us so that we may continually share that increasing and unending love that you have for us with everyone we meet.
Profession of Faith
KATHRYN & ALL: We believe in God, the divine mystery that is beyond all possible understanding. God is the creator and heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that will ever exist in this continually evolving cosmos and beyond.
We believe in Jesus, the messenger of the Divine Word, the bringer of healing and the heart of compassion. Jesus is the Risen One who defied death and, through his victory over it, showed us that death is only a horizon, a limit to our sight on earth, but an entrance to everlasting peace and joy with his family, the whole of creation.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of our innermost life. The Spirit is the indescribable cloud that moves us in our deepest being. She is the vision that supports and strengthens us in our very soul.
And we certainly believe that the Divine kin-dom -- the coming of which we plead for in the Prayer of Jesus -- is here with us now. It is stretched out all around us for those with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it, and hands to “take it in” for our deepest understanding.
Glory to God
JIM B: So now let us give glory to our loving Holy One in song.
Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller
Liturgy of the Word
Today’s readings are both from the New Testament, both focused about Jesus’ teaching about love. The first one is a selected part of John’s writing about that topic, and will be proclaimed to us by Cheryl Brandi. It is recorded as chapter 15 and verses 9 to 17.
Cheryl: And one day, Jesus said to his disciples: As my Abba has loved me, so I have loved you. Live on in my love.
And you will live on in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I live on in Abba God’s love because I have kept God’s commandments.
I tell you all this so that my joy may be yours, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. You all are my friends if you do what I command you. I call you “friends” because I have shared with you everything that I have learned from Abba God. Whatever you ask of Abba God in my name, God will give that to you.
This is the commandment that I give you: love one another.
This is the good news of Jesus to his friends, and that includes us.
To that we say: Alleluia.
The second reading is proclaimed to us by Jim Brandi. It is a selection from John’s first of his three letters in his attempt to clarify the relationship of two intricately related topics, namely God and love. This piece is chapter 4, verses 7-10.
Jim: My friends, let us love one another…because love is of God. Everyone who loves God is begotten of God and knows God well. And those of you do not love God has known nothing of God…for GOD IS LOVE.
God’s love was revealed to us in this way: God sent the Only Begotten One into the world so that we, friends might have faith through the Anointed One.
Love, then, consists in this: It is not that We have God… but that God has loved us.
And this is the Good News that John has brought to us. And to that we say: Thanks be to God.
The Shared Homily and Community Reflection:Lee Breyer
Prayers of the Community
KATHRYN: We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayer. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each one of us. And now we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious Creator. After each intercession, let us respond:
R: Compassionate God, we know bless our petitions.
We pray that we all may live with understanding and compassion with all those whom God has created, letting go of any and all patterns of domination, we pray…R.
We pray that the sick may be healed, especially those friends and family members of the persons in our communities, we pray…R.
We pray that those whose situations or conditions will soon bring them to their heavenly homes so that they will be with you and leave behind on earth a loving sense of peace with those whom they cared, we pray…R.
And for whom else shall we pray? …R (after each response)
O Holy One we walk in faith that nothing is impossible to you and that we can care for others in need through the power of your Spirit working in us. Amen.
Preparation of our Gifts
JIM B: Blessed are we, O God, and it is through your goodness that we have bread and wine and that we have brought it for our worship today. It will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus. And we know that, through our Sacred Meals, Jesus will be with us always, loving us and others through us. We are your Blessed People, and now, in our recognition and thanksgiving of that, we will sing it in a love tune with each other.
All: Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller
(adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)
KATHRYN & ALL: Creator God, we thank you for the gift of Jesus, your Son and our brother, in history and faith. On earth, He was driven by the vision of his mission. He revealed you to us - and to all the people of the planet - by a compassionate life that he so well lived. He instructed us, by his teaching, not only how we should live – but he also showed us, by his example, for what we might even die. When his time on earth was fulfilled, He opened wide his arms in a symbol of love in his embrace of all creation... and He died on a cross.
He showed everyone that love is stronger than death…his life on earth demonstrated that for all times to come. To illustrate that, the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead and showed us that life is truly eternal and that love is immortal. His action at that time and for all ages – was the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast that awaits for all of us too.
O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon the simple gifts that were once gathered from the fields but are now being used by us in this holy liturgy today. May this bread and wine, fruit of the field, become for us today to be the Body and Blood of Jesus.
LEE: We remember the blessing and grace that Jesus gave us as he gathered with his friends on the night before he died – and when he shared his last Passover with them. It was at that meal that he took bread, gave thanks to you, and then shared it with his friends 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.
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.
[Lee, Kathryn, Jim and Cheryl and ALL.] Jesus has died. Christ has risen. The Cosmic Christ lives in us and through us in the world today.
We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and can do more than we could ever ask or even imagine.
(Receive the Body and Blood of Christ that you have consecrated)
Communion Song: Life is Eternal by Carly Simon
The Prayer of Jesus (modified adaptation of Center of Concern)
CHERYL & ALL: Let us pray the Prayer of Jesus…
Our God who is in Heaven and in all of us here on earth, the hungry, the oppressed, and the excluded…. holy is your name.
May your kindom come among us with your love, compassion and peace.
May your reign come and your will be done….done in our choice to struggle with the complexities of this world and to confront greed and the desire for power in ourselves.
JIM B & ALL: Give us this day our daily bread …. bread that we are called to share, bread that you have given us abundantly and that we should distribute fairly, ensuring security for all.
Forgive us our trespasses…. times we may have turned away from the struggles of other peoples and countries, and those times we have thought only of our own security.
Lead us not into temptation…. the temptation to close our minds, ears, and eyes to the unfair global systems that create larger and larger gaps between the rich and the poor. Lead us away from the temptation to think it is too difficult to bring about more just alternatives.
Deliver us from evil…. the evil of a world where violence happens in Your name, where wealth for a few is more important than economic rights for all, and where gates and barriers between people are so very hard to bring down.
May your kindom come among us with your love, compassion and peace.
And truly, may your kindom come…. for Yours is the kindom, the power and the glory forever and ever. AMEN.
The Sign of Love and Peace
KATHRYN: This is the Cheyenne Prayer for Peace (with a one word addition), brought to us two weeks ago. It prays for an extended and inclusive action for love and peace that cannot be exhausted. Let us extend a hand in our blessing of one another as we pray with – and for – each person.
Let us know love and peace….
For as long as the moon shall rise.
For as long as the rivers shall flow.
For as long as the sun shall shine,
For as long as the grass shall grow.
Let us know love and peace…and let us live it.
Introductions Announcements Thanksgivings
Closing Statement and Blessing
LEE: May we experience the blessings of love and peace on our journeys as we dream new dreams, see new horizons, and maybe even visit new places. We know that Jesus challenges us to look into our hearts, to examine the ways we are neighbors to one another, to overcome our prejudices, to stretch our generosity to - and with - one another…in short, to see God present in our everyday loving and living and be responsive to our creator. We believe that we are the Face of God in society, may we get the grace to be the Heart of God in ourselves.
LEE, KATHRYN, ALL: And we know God hears our prayers; may we make intelligent readings of God’s responses. For this, we pray.
Let it be so!
They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love - Lydia Walker
Annual Meeting: 5:30PM-6:30PM
Early History of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Sarasota, Florida 2008-2010
This was the first liturgy we celebrated at St. Andrew UCC in March 2009.
Easter Vigil at St. Andrew UCC, April 2010 Michael and Imogene Rigdon on the right, Lee and Carol Ann Breyer on the left
Liturgical Dance by Sheila Carey in MMOJ House Church above Dec. 24, 2008
Mary, Mother of Jesus Catholic Community's Easter Vigil- March 22, 2008 in House Church
Several shared that they felt that they felt hopeful that they are members of our House Church community where they experience the Spirit moving us forward together to live Christ's Easter message. They had lots to share that they would "go and tell". One family shared they would be going to Rome in the coming weeks and they would "go and tell "of their experience of a woman priest there too!
Mary, Mother of Jesus House Church Retreat and Liturgy on Dec. 6, 2008 (Carol Ann and Lee Breyer on couch, Margaret Smith in purple, Dad in blue with sax)
Jack Duffy's Letter to Editor Published in Sarasota Herald Tribune January 2009
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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
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