Friday, April 8, 2022

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Liturgy of the Palms 4-9-22, Palm Sunday, 2022, Andrea Seabaugh & Michael Rigdon Presiding, Readers: Denis Rigdon & Jim Brandi, Prayer Leaders: Ann Cooke, Suzanne King Bires, Russ Banner, IT Host: Cheryl Brandi

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Andrea Seabaugh: Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, our inclusive Catholic Community where everyone is welcome. Thank you for joining together to celebrate the start of Holy Week.

Andrea & All: Let us begin together ✝️ in the name of God our creator, Jesus our brother, and Spirit Sophia. Amen.

Andrea: Let us welcome one another with a sign of Christ’s peace:

All: Namaste, Namaste, Namaste. May Christ’s peace be with us!

Andrea. Peace before us, Peace behind us, Peace under our feet.

Peace within us, Peace over us, Let all around us be Peace!

Opening Song 🎶 Jerusalem my destiny

Opening Prayer. Den Rigdon: O Holy One, you call us to be disciples of Jesus, to change the domination systems in our lives so that the neglected and disenfranchised will have a level playing field to achieve happiness. All: Amen

Liturgy of the Word

Jim Brandi. A reading from the Gospel of Mark.  

When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, Jesus sent off two of the disciples with instructions: "Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you'll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been 

ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks, 'What are you doing?' say, 'The Teacher needs the colt, and will return it right away.’”

They went and found a colt tied to a door at the street corner and untied it. Some of those standing there said, "What are you doing untying that colt?" The disciples replied exactly as Jesus had instructed them, and the people let them alone. They brought the colt to Jesus, spread their coats on it, and Jesus mounted.

The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out,


   Blessed is he who comes in God's name!

   Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!

   Hosanna in highest heaven!

Jesus entered Jerusalem, then entered the Temple and looked around, taking it all in. By now it was late, so Jesus went back to Bethany with the Twelve.

These are Gospel writer Mark’s words, and we respond, Thanks be to God!

Excerpt From: Eugene H Peterson, The Message 

Gospel Response 🎶 Unless a Grain of Wheat

Den.  A Reading from The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. Chapter 1, Palm Sunday.

Thus we have the twofold theme that leads to Palm Sunday. Genuine discipleship, following Jesus, means following him to Jerusalem, the place of (1) confrontation with the domination system and (2) death and resurrection. These are the two themes of the week that follows, Holy Week. Indeed, these are the two themes of Lent and of the Christian life.

Two processions entered Jerusalem on that day. The same question, the same alternative, faces those who would be faithful to Jesus today. Which procession are we in? Which procession do we want to be in? This is the question of Palm Sunday and of the week that is about to unfold.

Response to Reading 🎶 Unless a Grain of Wheat

Shared Homily. Michael & Community

Profession of Faith. Russ Banner & ALL: 

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
and an instrument of justice and 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.

Community prayers 

Ann Cooke: Mindful of Gods unconditional love and care for us, we bring the needs of our community & the world to the table. Response: We remember and we pray.

We bring to the table those who have died in the 2 years of covid, those who continue to have serious symptoms of long haul covid, and those who mourn the loss of family and friends to the pandemic. R

We bring to the table the victims of war in Ukraine. May we all work to end the scourge of this unprovoked attack. R

Spring heralds the threat of storms in tornado alley and the threat of wildfires in the US west. We bring to the table those living in the path of these violent threats to life and livelihood. R

We bring to the table those who have lost their life companion through death or divorce. May the people of God be a saving support and comfort to them. R

And for what else shall we pray? (Joan Meehan presents our MMOJ petitions)

Ann: Holy Mystery, Jesus is your supreme gift to us. Grant that the gospel be woven into our daily lives, coming easily to mind for our inspiration and your glory.  All: Amen

Offering of gifts 🎶 Seed, scattered and sown (Refrain only) 🥖🍷

Eucharistic Prayer 🎶 Spirit of the Living God

With hand extended in blessing

Suzanne & All: As we do in this place what you did in an upstairs room, send down your Spirit Sophia on us and on these gifts of bread 🥖and wine 🍷 that they may become for us your body, healing and making us whole. And that we may become for you, your body, loving and caring in the world until your kindom comes. Amen.

Suzanne & All: On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them that he had taught them to love the underserved and neglected. And to fix that memory clearly, he bent down and washed their feet.

When Jesus returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread 🥖 and spoke the blessing. Jesus broke the bread and offered it to them saying:

Take and eat of the Bread of Life 

Given to strengthen you.  

Whenever you remember me like this  

I am among you. (pause) 

Jesus then raised high the cup of blessing and offered them the wine 🍷 with these words, 

Take and drink of the covenant 

made new through my life for you and for everyone. 

Whenever you do this, remember me.

Ann & All: Remember, gracious God, your Church throughout the world. Open us to welcome everyone. In union with all people, may we strive to create a world where suffering is diminished, and where all people can live in health and wholeness. Thru Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours, gracious God. Amen (sing)

Michael & All: This is Jesus, God with us, loving us forever. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. We are the Body of Christ.   

Russ: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:

All: 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 

Thanksgiving Prayer (Didache, Instruction, 100CE)

Jim & All: For the thanksgiving, give thanks this way: First, for the cup: We thank you, Abba God, for the sacred vine of David your son, whose meaning you made clear to us through our brother Jesus, yours ever be the splendor. 

And for the bread fragment: We thank you, Amma God, for the life and wisdom

 whose meaning you made clear to us through Jesus, yours ever be the splendor. 

As this fragment was scattered high on hills, but by gathering was united into one, so let your people from earth’s ends be united into your single reign, for yours are splendor and might through Jesus Christ down the ages.

Prayers of Thanksgiving 


Final Blessing 🎶 Peace before us

Peace before us, Peace behind us, Peace under our feet

Peace within us, Peace over us, Let all around us be Peace.

Love before us, Love behind us, Love under our feet

Love within us, Love over us, Let all around us be Love.

Christ before us, Christ behind us, Christ under our feet,

Christ within us, Christ over us, Let all around us be Christ!

Michael. Go in the peace of Christ. Let us bring God’s reign of justice and love to all those in need, to everyone we meet! All: Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

Final 🎶  Jerusalem My Destiny


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Sunday, April 3, 2022

"Yesterday Today Tomorrow , Homily by Rev. Richard S. Vosko, The Fifth Sunday of Lent 2022 - Year C

"Jesus treats the woman as the social and human equal of the scribes and Pharisees.” What stops us from advocating a second chance and equal rights for all people?:

The Hubble telescope captured this image of the Star nicknamed Earendel, the most distant star ever discovered in the universe.

If you are looking for something to cast light on a dreary period of history you might find it in the discovery of Earendel. Astronomers say they are looking at Earendel as it existed 13 billion years ago! It was a bright blue super giant star that emerged 900 million years after the Big Bang. Earendel’s luminosity just reached earth and provides a new appreciation for our place in a vast cosmos. 1 Will the dawning of this star affect the way we understand what matters most in our mortal lives? Amidst global troubles imagine if secular and religious leaders got together to talk about Earendel. They could marvel at its distant brilliance. More importantly they could talk honestly and humbly about strategies for living peacefully on this tiny planet.

Holding such a meeting to heal the world will take some doing. Diplomatic relationships are stymied because of nationalistic geo-political policies. Voting rights are violated to protect the privileges of powerful castes. Russia, China, Turkey, Israel and other countries have invaded neighboring sovereignties. Sadly, factional warfare is waged globally with and without weaponry.

Earendel’s light linked yesterday and today. Time will tell what tomorrow may bring. We tell time because of the way stars and planets like ours engage in a cosmic dance. Although it is long gone the brightness of Earendel shows the relationship between time and space. It beckons interdependence with our environment and each other. 

We are challenged to take notice because there is work for us to do. The prophet Isaiah (43:16-21) reported what God said to the Israelites who suffered greatly — do not dwell on the past because I am doing something new. It is springing forth. Can’t you see it?

Imagining a new world order is hard to achieve given the way we view time. We abide by linear chronological time (minute to minute, day to day, century to century). The biblical sense of God’s time, on the other hand, is not one dimensional. Mindful that we live in a grace-filled time inspires us to bring about the peace that defines God’s kin-dom on earth. Undertaking this task means we see ourselves as inhabitants of this great planet and citizens of a celestial sphere. 

But there are many earthly obstacles in the way. COVID-19, inflation, war, political extremists, dishonesty, and fake news have disengaged us and clouded our perceptions. How can we appreciate what we have in the midst of mistrust and fear? How do we move forward?

Professor of Old Testament Amanda Benckhuysen writes that Lent is a time to “come face to face with the mess we as humans have made of our relationships and of this world … [it is] when we recognize how profoundly broken and how incapable of fixing ourselves we are. For it is in this place of helplessness and disorientation that hope emerges.”

That’s what Jesus did when asked to judge the woman charged with infidelity. (John 8:1-11) He altered preconceived notions of justice. Jesus’s response stunned the accusers by daring them to throw the first stone at her. The late biblical scholar Gail R. O’Day explained that “Jesus treats the woman as the social and human equal of the scribes and Pharisees.” What stops us from advocating a second chance and equal rights for all people?

Jesus linked the past with the present and the future. He shunned the old law of punishment. Instead of judging the woman Jesus urged her to respect her own life. He looked to the future and gave her hope. 

Psalm 126:1-6 reminds us: “God has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.” But, not everyone is singing this tune these days. We must rise up like the biblical stars of yesteryear to work for justice today so others can live with dignity and without shame tomorrow.

Hope keeps people moving forward even when there is fear of what the future may hold. Ukrainians are showing us what hope is and how they expect to shine again as a free country.

Earendel is an Old English word meaning rising light. Lent is an old Germanic word for spring, a time of renewed growth and new beginnings. The stories about passion, death and resurrection still inspire us during this Lenten and Easter season. Hearing them again we strive to improve our lives and bring new life to others. There is always still time to do so.


1 Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains at least 100 billion stars, and the observable universe contains at least 100 billion galaxies.

“ She gives me life.-Job-33:4, God in Feminine Form

God in Feminine Form

By Daneen Akers

“The Spirit of God, She has made me, and the breath of the nursing God, She gives me life.” - Job 33:4

The first time I read this translation of Job 33:4 by Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney with the feminine grammar restored to the text, I wept. It’s been hard believing that my female body is part of the Imago Dei, the image of God, when the language and metaphors used in the vast majority of spaces have been exclusively masculine for millennia. It gives me holy shivers to imagine a text that names the feminine in the Divine being read and heard in all of the spaces where scripture lives. All of us, children and adults of all genders, need to hear God-language like this.