Thursday, May 12, 2022


Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, Fifth Sunday after Easter - May 14, 2022,Presiders: Jill Striebinger, ARCWP; and Jerry Bires , Readers: Pat MacMillan and Beth Ponce ,Prayer Leaders: Mary Montavon and Suzanne Bires , Tech: Peg Bowen and Cheryl Brandi

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


Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389

Passcode: 803326

(Note -- if you have a problem with the above link, open your ZOOM app and insert the Meeting ID number and Passcode)

Theme:  Love one another as I have loved you.

Jill S.

Mary Mother of Jesus is an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome to share Eucharist. As you hear the Word, you will be invited to share your insights. As an inclusive catholic community, we encourage all to read the prayers with us and to listen and/or join us in song.  Be sure you are muted unless you are a reader or prayer leader. Unmute to share in the reflections after the reading of the Gospel and mute when you finish.  Please have bread and wine or juice with you as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer. 

Opening Song: Love Large –

(video by Devan Horne and Mary Theresa Streck)

Jerry B.

Prayer:  Spirit Divine, we gather as community to remember the life of Jesus and honor him with the breaking of bread.  We renew ourselves to share our vision of the creation of a new earth.  We recognize that there is so much destruction and death all around us; we are surrounded by an unwillingness to accept differences, to truly listen to one another and to embrace the ministry of Jesus, which is the very foundation of Christianity.  Open our eyes and hearts to be reminded of statements Jesus spoke: Love of one another, love your enemies, share with the poor.  Together we will follow the teachings of Jesus and act upon them. 

Together we respond:   SO BE IT 

Jill S.

Transformation rite:

“Hymn of Remorse,” with lyrics by CAC teacher Brian McLaren:

We covered over your colorful earth with gray cement.
We cut down trees and stripped the soil wherever we went.
We scarred the hills for gold and coal,
Blind with greed inside our soul,
Our goal: to have complete control.

Transform us O Holy One. We be restored.

What of the lands of tribes and nations who lived here first?
Who took the best with broken treaties, and left the worst?
By whom were slaves bought, used, sold? Who valued humans less than gold? Who told us racist lies until our hearts went cold?

Transform us O Holy One. We be restored.

The noise of traffic is drowning out the songbird’s song.
Your voice within us is telling us that we’ve gone wrong.
You call us from our selfishness,
To be blessed—and to bless
To turn to you, to begin anew.

Transform us O Holy One. We be restored.

Pat MacMillan:

This is a reflection from the Irish poet John O'Donohue written in his book titled Anam Cara:


"It is a starting truth that how you see and what you see determines how and who you will be.  Explore your staples of vision: "To the fearful eye, all is threatening. To the judgmental eye, everything is closed in definite frames. To the resentful eye, everything is begrudged. To the indifferent eye, nothing calls or awakens. To the inferior eye, everyone else is greater, more beautiful, brilliant, and gifted than you. To the loving eye, everything is real. Love is the light in which we see light. If we could look at the world in a loving way, then the world would rise before us full of invitation, possibility and depth. To recognize how you see things can bring you self-knowledge and enable you to glimpse the treasures your life secretly holds."

These are the inspired words of the Irish poet John O'Donohue and the community affirms them by saying:  SO BE IT

 Psalm 23 by Bobby McFerrin

Beth Ponce:

Second Reading:  Reflection by Annie Selak.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his followers that others will know that they are his disciples if they have love for one another.  Being a disciple is not something that will be determined by social status, occupation, initiation ritual, clothing, or residence, but rather by the action of loving one another.  It sounds so simple:  love one another.  In a polarized world and a polarized church, it is becoming more and more difficult to follow this commandment, as simple as it is.  

Truly loving one another involves sacrifice.  It risks rejection or embarrassment, especially in a culture that prizes perfection.  Yet loving one another is the call of the gospel.  It is not optional, or a bonus that we can do if we master everything else.  Jesus tells us simply that it is the defining feature of discipleship.

These are the inspired words written by Annie Selak and the Community affirms them by saying:  SO BE IT

Celtic Alleluia

Jerry B.

Gospel: A reading from the Gospel of the disciple called John 

Chapter 13

Jesus spoke to his disciples: “I am with you for only a short time longer.  You will look high and low for me but just as I told the Jewish leaders I am now telling you – ‘where I go you are not able to come.’  Let me give you a new commandment:  Love one another.  In the same way I have loved you, you love one another.  This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples---when they see the love you have with each other.

These are the inspired words written by the disciple called John.

Celtic Alleluia

SHARED HOMILY led by Jill Striebinger

Homily starter 5/13/2022 – God at the Wall of Our Garden

To truly love another is to also know how to set a boundary and to be consistent in our application. Setting a boundary is especially important if you are a mother. What happens if you do not set consistent expectations for your children? In the greater world, setting a boundary may look like an act of aggression to someone who has overstepped our own boundaries; and because we live in a world where we aren’t conscious of the subtleties of borders, onlookers can become confused and judgmental in action without contemplation, which is another form of overstepping boundaries.

What overstepping boundaries looks like between countries in the physical space is war or aggression. In the nonphysical space it looks like alliances with a country that has committed unjustified war in the past with no accountability nor consequences to include admissions of guilt with restitution.

When a country wars, committing unspeakable violence, is when a judgement call by that very same violent country is needed. But because the energy required to war is so big it pulls one into blindness. This is why folk tales, learning stories or parables can be helpful. In the worship practices and folklore of India, we have Kali Goddess. She wars more fiercely than anyone, justified or not, until someone she cares about ends up dead at her feet. In the Christianity practiced today, Jesus is the one who dies. At the time of his death, the male apostles, ran fearful of their lives. The women apostles stayed till the end and to bury him as was the custom. This custom was a gender-based role that was seen as secondary, a lessor role in society, the work of women. It allowed them to be overlooked by those in powerful positions. We must live with healthy boundaries or one either has followers or is a servant, different sides of the same coin. God is on our margins. Standing in our God-given power and consistently working on our margins is God’s work.

Mary M.

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.  Amen

Jerry B.

As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve.  Just as Jesus is anointed, so we are also anointed. Just as Jesus was always aware of the needs of the children, women, and men he met when he walked this earth, so we too are aware of those who walk with us and we bring to this table our prayers for the community. 

We bring to the table all those individuals, women, children, and men who live in an environment of hate and persecution yet continue to reach out to one another. May they be liberated from the tragedy of war and abuse.

We bring to the table the sick and dying.  We pray that the love of others will bring strength and comfort to their families, especially Jack Shugrue (Dotty’s brother) who transitioned into the total Presence of the Divine and Patrick Meehan (Bridget Mary’s brother) who has had surgery on his foot.

Please bring your concerns to our table (remember to unmute and then re-mute after you share). All members of our community are invited to share…

We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen. 

Suzanne B.

(All lift your bread and wine)

Blessed are we through this sacred meal may we become a new creation as we respond to our call to follow the ministry of Jesus remembering all he has taught us.

Blessed be the Holy One.

God is within you, blessing the world through you.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

(Written by Jay Murnane)

Jill S.

With open hearts and hands let us pray our Eucharistic prayer in one voice:

Blessed are you, Holy One, source of all creation. Through your goodness you made this world and called us to be Your co-creators. We give thanks for the diversity and beauty of life around us and within us. 

We open our awareness to the goodness of all of creation and we remember our responsibility to serve. You invite us to build the earth into a community of love rooted in justice. You placed confidence in us, for you made us and you know that we are good.  

In joy and thanksgiving we join with all the faithful servants who have gone before us, and we sing:

Holy, Holy, Holy

Jerry B.

We thank you for Jesus, simple servant, lifting the lowly, revealing you as God-With-Us, and revealing us as one with you and all of creation.

He lived among us to show us who we are and challenged us to know you. He taught us the strength of compassionate love.  

Please extend your hands.

Come forth Divine Spirit and be with us at our Eucharistic Table: bless this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in the world.

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.

Jill S.

On the night before Jesus died, He gathered for supper with the people closest to him. Like the least of household servants, he washed their feet, so that they would re-member him.

All lift their plates and pray the following:

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 their cups 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.


Jerry B.

This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.  Blessed are we who are called to the table.  We are the Body of Christ.

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.

You are called, consecrated, and chosen to serve. 

Please receive Communion with the words “You are the face of God or I am the face of God.”


Communion Song: Quiet Place by The Many

Suzanne B. 

Holy One, we are willing to do everything Jesus did, to re-create the living presence of a love that does justice, of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates hope, of a light that illumines people and confronts the darkness of every injustice and inequity.

We trust you to continue to share with us your own spirit, the spirit that animated Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, all honor and glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever.


All: Amen.  

Mary M.

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

         Share Introductions, special things we are grateful for and   announcements


Jill S.

Together we raise our hands in blessing as we pray:

May we continue to be the face of God to each other. May we call each other to extravagant generosity! May we walk with an awareness of our Call as companions on the journey, knowing we are not alone. May we, like Jesus, be a shining light and a blessing in our time! May we live to fullness the teaching of Jesus “Love one another” Amen.

Closing Song:  Sending forth with love and hope:   A Million Dreams (from The Greatest Showman) - One Voice Children's Choir


Please send MMOJ donations to:

St. Andrew United Church of Christ

6908 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL  34238

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sheep Are Not So Stupid Fourth Sunday of Easter - Year C Rev. Richard S. Vosko

Last weekend I gave a talk at the Mount Saviour Monastery in Pine City, New York. The event took place in the chapel while out in the fields countless ewes were “lambing” — giving birth. I asked if they needed help in delivering their babies. The answer I heard was — only if there is a problem … otherwise the sheep are perfectly capable of lambing by themselves.

Sheep and shepherds are used in the Bible as metaphors and analogies. In the Hebrew bible God is depicted as a shepherd who herds and brings sheep to green pastures and quiet waters. (Psalm 23)

In the second testament Jesus calls himself the good shepherd. (John 10:14) Although he may not have actually spoken these exact words the quote points out the importance of the metaphor and how it could serve to identify a growing relationship with Christ.

In the Acts of the Apostles the early followers of Jesus would soon need more than one shepherd to lead them. Their numbers were growing; disciples were criminalized; diverse Christian sects adhered to different beliefs; divisions surfaced. Unity would be required if the young church was to survive. Gifted women and men emerged as administrators of the communities and, as the texts suggest, there was one Spirit.

Eventually, only some leaders were referred to as shepherds who would provide direction, preside at the breaking of the bread, protect the church from heresies, and keep the flock together. Bishops began to carry a shepherd’s crook to symbolize their office.

Scripture scholar James Rowe Adams wrote that the sheep and shepherd imagery in the Bible is problematic. “It suggests that members of congregations are to follow their leaders without question or protest. It assumes that ordinary people are to have no say in the direction the church is taking.”1 

It could be deduced from this commentary that sheep have very little to contribute to the life of the church and need direction. However, according to Nicky Ellis, editor of Farm & Animals: “Clearly, the idea that sheep are stupid and helpless is completely wrong.”  Ewes can find their lambs lost in a large flock. They can recognize human voices, faces, and emotions. They know which food is good for them. As members of the flock they have a sense of direction even though some stray off the path in search of other experiences.

When Pope Francis described the current synod on synodality as a model for making decisions in the church he said: “In the one People of God, therefore, let us journey together, in order to experience a Church that receives and lives this gift of unity, and is open to the voice of the Spirit.”

The current synod on synodality is a bold opportunity for all members of the “flock” to voice their hopes and concerns for the future of the church. In another speech the pope said: “What concerns all should be discussed by all.” But, for some reason, he left out the part that said: “and be approved by all!

How can the age old understanding of Jesus as a sheep gate, a caring shepherd, have staying power in a time that needs creative and imaginative leaders? If it cannot, it will become more clear that sheep are not so stupid. They are perfectly capable of caring for one another, moving forward, birthing new possibilities. On the other hand, is there still a place for intrepid leaders on the world stage who are honest and humble?

In the Book of Revelation (7:9,14b-17) John of Patmos had a vision of a great multitude from every nation, race, people and tongue seeking relief from the autocracies of his time. He imagined a mystical lamb occupying the throne of the emperor. This was a bold political statement. 

Then, in a twist of titles, the text reads that the Lamb [a baby sheep] “will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water .…” Could this be a 21st century call for sheep and shepherds to be interdependent?

Sheep and shepherds can journey together seeking fields flowering with compassion, sustenance, and kindness. Members of all faith traditions can work with those who practice no religion to eliminate the thrones and principalities that deny people justice and their rights to make informed decisions without fear of reprisal. 

We are urged to tune into the voice of the Spirit and to speak truth to justice in this critical time when personal and communal liberties are at stake. This type of advocacy is not an easy task. Hope arises when sheep and shepherds, equal members of the same flock, listen to one another and then take action.


1 Adams, Jame Rowe. The Essential Reference Book for Biblical Metaphors. (Cleveland OH: Pilgrim Press, 2005) 270.


Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for Mother's Day - May 8, 2022 - Presiders: Kim Panaro, ARCWP, and Dennis McDonald, ARCWP

Welcome and Theme (Kim):  Good morning and welcome to the Upper Room Community. We wish you a very happy Mother’s Day. We celebrate the many ways that we experience mothering. Mothering is a verb, an action, relational. We are mothered by God, the earth, organizers, activists, maidens, mothers and crones. Just as we are never separate from the Holy One who is Love, we are never separated from the life-giving energy of mothering. 

Opening Prayer (Dennis) : Source of Life, we thank you for the gift of motherhood. We thank you for the many examples of faithful mothers in scripture, like Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth, and of the many women, whether our actual mother or another woman who touched our lives with love, encouragement, and support. We thank you for the women who celebrate with us today, recognizing the gifts they share with our community.  May all of us gathered here today emulate these examples of faith. And may they model for all the rest of us what it means to be your disciple. Bless them on this special day; in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Opening Song: Celebrating “Moms” video by Donna Panaro

Music: Gabriel’s Oboe by Ennio Morrocone (1986) 


1st Reading (Clare Julian): When God First Saw His Mother by Jan Phillips

When God first saw His Mother, He cried.

Astonished by her Radiance

He fell to his knees

witnessing a wonder beyond All-Knowing.

She appeared on the shoulders of seven galaxies.

The Milky Way spun a halo around her head..

Andromeda and Centaurus circled her wrists,

bangles from the heavens for the Mother of All.


Orion dropped his shield when she appeared.

Pegasus reared and spread his wings.

A roar from Ursa Major shattered the silence.


"I never knew," God said,

an old man now, aloft on a nebula.


"Look what I made, so I wouldn't be alone,"

he said, pointing everywhere

with his fingers of Light.


Hoping for Her approval, He began His litany:

"Fire, water, wind, stars, planets, creatures."


God's Mother beheld the heavens

delighted at the dance of binary stars,

impressed with the wonder of stellar winds,
moons and tides,

galaxies in the trillions with no beginning or end.


"Is it as you intended?" She asked Her Son.


"Except for Earth, where they are slow to learn.

They fight day and night and poison their young

in all manner of ways."


"Do you not intercede?" the Mother inquired.


"I do not," God said, "for they are born to create.

They are makers of everything,

though they deny this is true."


"What do you think will come to pass?"


"It's in their hands, though by their songs
you would never know."


"Do you not have power over their sun and moon?"

"Yes, but the affairs of earth belong to them.

The infinite is mine, the finite, theirs."


" I see," She said, as she shifted in space,

the galaxies swirling and shining beneath Her.

"You have done well," She praised, then dissolved into dark:

The Mother of Everything returning to Naught.


God entered the deep space of silence and awe,

then broadcast to the cosmos His bulletin of joy:

I and the Mother are one this day.

I and the Mother are One.

These are the inspired words of Jan Phillips, and the community affirms them by saying, Amen.

Second Reading (Judy): Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe

Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

These are the inspired words of Julia Ward Howe, and we affirm them by saying, Amen. 


Gospel: A reading from the anonymous writer known as John. 

Three days later, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there.  Jesus and his disciples had likewise been invited to the celebration.  At a certain point, the wine ran out, and Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no wine.”  Jesus replied, “Mother, what does that have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”  She instructed those waiting on tables, “Do whatever he tells you.”

These are inspired words by the anonymous writer known as John, and we affirm them by saying, Amen. 

Homily Starter: Kim

Let’s clear up a major misconception about Mother’s Day. It is NOT a

holiday invented by Hallmark to sell cards. This is no more factual than

asserting that Hallmark invented Christmas and Easter to sell cards. No,

Mother’s Day is a powerful holiday that reflects the potential for mothering energy and mindsets to change the world.

In our first reading by Jan Phillips we are given a beautiful image of an old man God who wants mom’s approval for all He has created. Isn’t that an awesome thing to consider: the idea that even God has a mom? Mom is

very pleased with the beauty of her son’s creation but does question the

one quirky design decision called free will. When questioned about his

ability to intervene , God asserts that while he could intervene in human

affairs, He has decided to take a hands off approach leaving humanity in

charge of the finite things. God’s mother is concerned for humanity and

she shows concern as any mother or grandmother might. God and the

Mother are One. Caring for humanity and the planet but accepting that their fate is in their own hands. This powerful reading reflects both the creative, mothering mystery of the Divine and the very familiar challenge of accepting the need to “let go” of control over the decisions and fate of our children. God seems to know that we have the capacity for learning from our experience and also for not learning and destroying our world. The design allows for both choices. Creating through infinite Love but then letting go of control is both a divine and human challenge. This is a

universal and compassionate yet hands off view of the Divine Mother.

Our second reading is the declaration of the institution of the holiday we

call Mother’s Day, The idea first came into being from the mother’s who lost loved ones in the American Civil war. Howe was an American poet who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic She authored this original pacifist Mother’s Day proclamation in 1870. It took until May 9, 1914 for it to be declared a national holiday by President Wilson. Mothering comes now into a global, activist view. All mothers of the world must unite around the basic concept that we should never raise our children to kill another woman’s child. The glorification of war is not the way of the mother. This Mother’s Day call reflects the fierce potential for a mother’s mindset to impact society and the fate of the planet through committed, organized activism. By relating to the hearts of all moms and calling on that love, these visionary women gave us all a model for a just and lasting peace.

Finally, we have the wedding feast at Cana. This is where we find the first

public miracle of Jesus. The provision of wine at any gathering, especially

an important one like a wedding, was a critical part of hospitality. We see

now a very personal mom moment. Jesus has no intention of doing

anything about the wine shortage. In this case, mom does 2 things of note.

First, she continues to guide her son with motherly advice and he yields to her wisdom. Jesus’ heart and mind was changed by his mother’s practical compassion. Second, she calls on him to act in service of the current situation. It is not the universal mother or the global activist. It is the personal, community minded and service oriented mother. She sees a

need and she seeks to meet the need, right in the moment.

We have all experienced mothering in all 3 of these ways and surely many

others. The earth, our divine creator who is both masculine and feminine,

religious sisters, family, friends, moms, activists, poets, artists, spiritual

teachers and path makers all give birth to us and nurture us. Whether we

meet them once or for a lifetime, their nurturing, challenging, fierce and

unconditional love and commitment teach us how to manifest the divine

mother in our words, deeds and relationships.

What touched you in the readings today?

Shared Homily

Reader: Let us continue our liturgy by reciting our 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. 


As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, and just as Jesus is anointed, so is each of us. We bring to this table our special intentions on Mother’s Day. Our response is We Lift Them Up

Eternal Mother, on this day we lift up all mothers to you. Scripture has prepared us to recognize that by your grace, mothering takes many forms.

For all those who have experienced joy and fulfillment in mothering

For all those who have known the pain of a child’s death

For all those who are facing motherhood again, or for the first time

Response: We Lift Them Up

For all those for whom childlessness represents a loss

For all those who have such unbounded love that they mother all God’s children

For all those who lament their separation from their children for whatever reason

Response: We Lift Them Up

For all those who mother those of the previous generation who are again childlike

For all those who are the previous generation’s loving extended families

For all those who have cherished memories of being mothered

Response: We Lift Them Up

For all those who may have suffered abuse, neglect or emotional harm

For all those who remember with joy being mothered by a broader community of women

For all those who have experienced, or are in the midst of, grief for the loss of a mother or mother figure 

Response: We Lift Them Up

For all those who were adopted into the loving arms of a mother

For all those who may continue to experience estrangement from their mother

For all those who have been raised by their mother with deep, abiding love and respect for the feminine, including their own

For all those who mourn the loss of their mother

Response: We Lift Them Up

Eternal Mother, we also lift up any experiences of motherhood or being mothered that have been left unspoken. Amen

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Kim: Let us pray our Eucharistic Prayer together: 

Loving Mother, who gives life and breath to everyone and everything in our world, let us find life, breath and meaning for ourselves and our world.

We celebrate and give thanks, together, for the women in our communities. 

That women and men are different invites us into partnership, invites us to share the burdens and the joys of life. 

In the gentle care of the Holy One we find our home. And in the living Spirit we are united this day in offering praise as we sing:  

Holy, Holy, Holy: Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy

Dennis: Great Mystery with a mother’s heart, you gather us as your children. You comfort and hold us in your warm embrace. Eternal and loving Source of Life, we thank you this day, for being part of your family.

Great Mystery, with a mother’s heart, love surrounds and supports us, in good and difficult times, in the midst of joy and pain, always and everywhere. We are never left alone nor abandoned.

When we hurt we are held in love’s embrace. When we are afraid we are surrounded with compassionate care. When we are hungry we are nourished with the bread of life.

Kim: Please extend your hands as we pray the prayers of consecration

We are grateful for Sophia Wisdom at our Eucharistic Table and for this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in the world, standing in solidarity with the oppressed and the broken.  

All: 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 their plate as the community prays the following: 


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. 

 (consume bread and pause)  


All lift their cup as community prays the following: 


Dennis: 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. 

(drink and pause)  


ALL: We share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace. 

Please receive the bread and cup with the words, I Am Loved. 

Communion Meditation: A Mother’s Love by Jim Brickman performed by Mark Masri 

Kim: For those who have been blessed with an awareness of mothering care, who have looked to be guided and nurtured, we give thanks, and we pray for unity of the human family.  May we be a nurturing influence on others, that they too may enjoy a life of nurturance and acceptance.

For those who hunger and thirst, who are lost and alone, who yearn to be given new direction, new hope and new life, we pray that they experience through us care, compassion and love. Let us be seen and known as faithful followers of Jesus the Christ through this community of faith. Help us to uphold the teachings of Jesus, our brother, as we seek to bring justice and peace to the world. 

For the many strengths of women, their gifts of peace-making, nurturing, education, entrepreneurship, healing, wisdom, creativity, endurance, collaboration, physicality – and so much more, we are grateful.

So, we trust that the Spirit of Sophia Wisdom will continue to beckon us to live out the Gospel values of compassion and equality, bringing peace and justice to the world in which we live.  

Let us pray the Prayer of Jesus: 

Our Mother who art within us,

Each breath brings us to you.

Thy wisdom come,

Thy will be done,

as we honor your presence within us.

You give us this day all that we need.

Your bounty calls us to give and receive

all that is loving and pleasurable.

You are the courage that moves us to be true to ourselves

and we act with grace and power.

We relax into your cycles of birth, growth, death and renewal.

Out of the womb, the darkness, the void, comes new life.

For you are the Mother of All Things.

Your body is the Sacred Earth and our bodies.

Your love nurtures us and unites us all.

Now and forever more.

“Our Mother” by Dale Allen

Closing Prayer (Dennis): 

Go now in the comfort and peace of the One who gave birth to us. 

Go in the assurance that the Comforter is with us always.

Go to give comfort and peace to others. 

Divine Wisdom guide us as we go forth on Her paths of peace. 

May She give us blessings more precious than silver or gold (Prov. 3:13-15, 17). 

May we find joy in sharing these blessings with others. 

May Wisdom empower us to change our world! Amen.

Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Closing Song: I Am Willing by Holly Near