Thursday, February 16, 2023

NEW PCS Courses for Lent, Easter and Beyond

PCS 103 – Lent & Holy Week: BEYOND Atonement!

Presented by Rev. Dawn Hutchings

Begins February 21, 2023
7:00pm – 8:00pm EST
(meets every Tuesday for eight weeks)

Click here to Enroll

​About this course: Lent & Holy Week:BEYOND Atonement!

The DIVINE MYSTERY which we call “GOD” is BEYOND the BEYOND and BEYOND that also! So, how do we embark on the journey of Lent once we have moved beyond theistic notions of “GOD”? How do we follow the radical teachings, life, and death of Jesus into the wilderness of Lent when we no longer believe in a supernatural being which requires placating? Once you no longer believe Jesus was or is a sacrifice for sin, the various atonement theories which have undergirded so many of our Lenten practices fail to lead us into or out of the wilderness toward RESURRECTION.

Tinkering with our Lenten traditions is NOT enough! Our world is in desperate need. There’s precious little time for wallowing in worship which fails to lead us BEYOND the desert to RESURRECTION! Radical 21st century theology empowers us to move BEYOND atonement theologies, BEYOND worship which relies on penal sacrificial thinking, BEYOND preaching which pays lip-service to Jesus’ teachings, BEYOND rituals which require insider knowledge, BEYOND singing hymns which inculcate medieval theologies, and BEYOND participating in journey which demands that we suspend reality so that we can tamely follow the church intothe wilderness.

 Worship is a powerful tool which holds the potential to empower the embodiment of the DIVINE MYSTERY which is the LOVE that IS GOD. Worship has the power to form and to transform worshippers, empowering the radical nature of LOVE to move us BEYOND the wilderness of LENT into RESURRECTION!

 So, whether you are a worship leader, a creator of liturgy, a preacher, a teacher, or more importantly, someone who aspires to follow Jesus, this course is designed to nurture and challenge you as together we embark on a Lenten journey which promises to provide resources to inspire RESURRECTION!

 Resources for worship leaders, preachers, musicians, and Followers of the Way, will be provided in advance of a weekly Zoom seminar to discuss various empower the embodiment of LOVE in the world.

To sample the kinds of resources which will be offered you can check out the resources provided for Ash Wednesday.

Once you register on the People’s Catholic Seminary teachable platform, (LINK) you will have access to resources for the First Week of Lent. Resources will include weekly video lectures together with sample sermons, provided by Dawn Hutchings, who has been developing Lenten liturgies, preaching progressive sermons, and teaching progressive theology for 23 years. Our first Zoom seminar on Tuesday February 21st at 7pm EST, will set the format for opportunities to look ahead to each Sunday’s readings. So, worship leaders, Lenten study facilitators, preachers, and liturgists will have resources with which to inspire RESURRECTION.

Those who are simply looking for new ways of understanding as you seek to follow Jesus’ Way of being in the world, will discover resources for your personal Lenten journey

PCS 508 -  The Gospel of Thomas Goes Public

Presented by Dr. Shirley Paulson

Begins March 1, 2023
7:30pm  to 8:30pm EST
(meets every Wednesday for seven weeks)

Click here to Enroll

What and when?

This thought-provoking course unlocks religious and historical mysteries about the ancient text, the Gospel of Thomas, and its relationship to the Bible. Discovered near the caves of Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, this gospel continues to inspire and surprise, provoking its readers with many questions for us to discuss.

The course consists of seven sections which can be taken independently or in group discussions. The cohort for this course begins Wednesday, March 1. We meet weekly from 7:30 – 8:30 pm Eastern for seven weeks.

PCS 606 – Nonviolence in Spirituality and Practice

Presented by Rev. Dr. Phillis I. Sheppard

Begins March 2, 2023

7:00pm  to 8:00pm EST


(meets every Thursday for four weeks)

Click here to Enroll

Course Description: In this four session course, we first grapple with the roots of nonviolence in society and religion. We then consider the vision of nonviolence and models for nonviolence and the models for nonviolent practices.  Finally, we discover the fruits of leaning into a spirituality of nonviolence for the community and individual.

At the heart of the course is the idea that nonviolence is a spiritual practice and must be practiced in our everyday life and in public spaces.

Using film, articles, journaling, and dialogue, the intention is to increase our commitment to nonviolence as a way of life.


Dr. Phillis Isabella Sheppard is the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and the Director of the James Lawson Institute for the Research and Study of Nonviolent Movements at Vanderbilt University.  The Institute was created to continue the legacy of Rev. James Lawson’s work on nonviolence and social transformation.

Phillis is a womanist practical theologian, community chaplain, and psychoanalyst. She was ordained August 2022 (ARCWP). She is interested in theologies of incarnation, embodiment, and ritual. Sheppard is the author of two books. Her first is “Self, Culture and Others in Womanist Practical Theology” and her second is “Tilling Sacred Ground: Interiority, Black Women, and Religious Experience.” Her books are deeply concerned with religious experience, gender, and race.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day- Love One Another


Jesus Gets Us, Do We Get Him? by Rev. Richard Vosko, Homily Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Millions will watch the Super Bowl tonight and millions will not. Still, surveys tell us Americans are obsessed with football. It seems that the sport is a metaphor for American rugged individualism and the fighting spirit that gave us revolutionary independence. Some suggest, even for those who do not like football, that it is the most popular cultural and social event of the year. Others think we are only interested in the pageantry, the halftime show and the clever commercials.

One commercial tonight deserves our attention. Maybe you’ve seen the ads on social media, TV, the Internet and billboards. “He Gets Us” is a movement created to reintroduce America to Jesus of Nazareth and his radical way of living by loving and forgiving. Tonight’s two Super Bowl commercials will cost about 20 million dollars.

Theologians, pastors and others are suspicious of the movement. Some say it portrays an incomplete and simplistic view about who Jesus was and what he did, that it focuses on his human but not his divine mission. Others are critical of it as a subtle effort to promote Christian nationalism in this country, disdaining other faith groups and minority races that have emerged in the course of American history.

In the meantime, last week Pope Francis, with a bad knee and a broken heart, challenged corrupt civic leaders and corporations to stop pillaging the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pope Francis called upon them to stop child abuse in the cobalt mining industries, to treat women as equals in cultures that breed exaggerated masculinity, patriarchy, and dictatorship.

The pope’s African journey to South Sudan had many agendas. His speeches were powerful reflections that Jesus himself may have delivered if he were alive today. The pope reminded all of us, who often live far away from the injustices in other countries or our own, that the cultural caste systems in the world that divide people in haves and have-nots are driven by prejudice, ignorance, power and greed.

The first reading this morning is from Sirach, a book of wisdom. Originally, it was used as instructions for Jews whose cultural system and values were threatened by dominant foreign leaders and internal conflicts. This passage urged the Israelites to remain faithful to the guidance, the commandments, given to them by God. 

Today, many sociologists and historians claim that cultural systems that promote the common good and a decent way of living for all people are slowly being thwarted by powerful and privileged members of society whether in Ukraine or here in the United States.

Is religion helping to heal the wounds? The polarization that exists within our church and other faith groups is also discouraging and troubling for many. Different generations, especially younger ones, are feeling disenfranchised. They are moving away from religious institutions in search of spiritual direction.

The gospel this morning is a section from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. It offers ethical guides that are relevant today. They summon us to practice loving kindness toward one another rather than hate and anger.  Biblical scholar Melanie Howard, wrote that these are teachings that Jesus endorsed and “can be understood under a larger paradigm of upholding trust and compassion within [the] human community.”

Taking action to end divisions, social inequities, and other injustices that tear us apart can lead to experiences of peace and harmony. This is true not only in our own lives but also in our relationships with others. 

The psalmist proclaimed that we will be blessed for doing so. Much later in the Bible, after Jesus died, Paul urged the Corinthians to live by the wisdom of God and not the dictates or empty promises of rulers who come and go. Such good advice for us these days.

These biblical texts are challenging. Whether or not the religious movement “He Gets Us” is the right path toward spiritual harmony, peace and justice in this country remains to be seen. Right now it is an eye-catching commercial designed to invite Christians to refashion their lives after the life of Christ. Maybe Jesus “gets us” but do we get the message that Jesus left us?

Monday, February 13, 2023

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, Feb. 18,2023, Presiders: Joan Pesce and Dotty Shugrue ARCWP, Prayer Leaders Jack McKillip, Mary Montavon, Jerry Bires, Readers: Anna Davis, Mary Al Gagnon, IT Cheryl Brandi


Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Passcode: 803326

Theme: The Call to Love and Forgive 

Dotty: Welcome to the inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus on Zoom.  We gather in memory of the ministry and wisdom of Jesus.  We commit ourselves to hear what Jesus teaches, to observe how Jesus lived, and to put into practice the fullness of his Ministry.  Reminders: Have bread and wine on your table, stay muted unless you are a reader, prayer leader, or sharing your thoughts at the homily time, re-mute as soon as you have finished.

Whoever you are, 

Wherever you are,

Just as you are welcome to this table.

Joan P: In faith we stand in the company of the early followers of Jesus.  We open ourselves to the message of today to Love no matter the circumstance or the person. This and only this leads to PEACE. These difficult words come from Jesus as a challenge to each one of us and to this community. We pray that we may be open to the call inherent in today’s message.  We pray that we find our way to embrace these challenges as we find new ways to respond to this call to LOVE.  

And together we say:

All:  And so it is

Opening Song:  Welcome to this Circle – Anam Cara Community

Jack McKillip:  Our world is troubled, it is broken, it is divided. The response of the follower of Jesus must be to accept all of humankind where they are in their hearts and souls.

I accept that I will put forth the effort to do more.

All:  Transform me, Holy One

When we are harsh and unforgiving of those, we are closest to who have caused pain and heartache in our lives  

I accept that I will make the effort to heal my differences.

All:  Transform me, Holy One

When I reach out to the poor, when I share my coat, when I share my food….  When I turn the other cheek and withhold a hurtful comment… When I seek to deepen my understanding that I bring Christ to all those I meet.

All:  Transform me, Holy One 

Let us share a gesture of deep peace and justice with everyone in our circle:  Namaste ….

Reader:  Anna Davis

1st Reading:  A Reflection for World Peace written by Ernest Holmes

I know there is but One Mind, which is the mind of God, in which all people live and move and have their being.

I know there is a divine pattern for humanity and within this pattern there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity, and mutual helpfulness.

I know that the mind of humankind, being one with the mind of Holy One, shall discover the method, the way, and the means best fitted to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.

Thus harmony, peace, cooperation, unity, and mutual helpfulness are experienced by all.

2nd Reader:  Maryal Gagnon      

Continuation of the first reading by Ernest Holmes

I know there will be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures, of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems and scientific discoveries---for all good belongs to all alike.

I know that, because Divine Mind has created us all, we are bound together in one infinite and perfect unity.

I know that all people and all nations will remain individual but unified for the common purpose of promoting peace, happiness, harmony, and prosperity.

I know that deep within each person the Divine Pattern of perfect peace is already implanted


I now declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form, to the end that all nations and all people will live together in peace, harmony, and prosperity forever. 

These are the Words from the Wisdom of Ernest Holmes Prophet of the 20th Century

All:  And so it is

Alleluia:  Alleluia - Light sung by Dennis McDonald

Gospel:  Chapter 38-48 from the Gospel attributed to John.

Alleluia: Alleluia - Light sung by Dennis McDonald


Homily Starter - Community Sharing 

Joan P. Let us pray together 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

Mary Montavon Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence calms our deepest fears and emboldens us to be prophets for love, justice, and equity- no matter what persecution or ridicule we encounter. 

Jack McKillip:  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 prayers for all our World. 

I bring to the table our dear Peg.  We pray that she will be bathed in our love, that a solution will be found to her pain and that she will be “healed, whole and cancer free.”

All:  Heal us, O Holy One

I bring to the table all those who have hardened their hearts and continue to slaughter the innocent with guns and bombs, that they may be enlightened to see the insanity of their destruction of others which is rooted in greed, hate and power.

All:  Heal us, O Holy One

Mary Montavon:  I bring to the table all those who are suffering and those who have died from the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria and for all those involved in the rescue and recovery effort, that they may experience the strength and courage of the spirit within them.

All:  Heal us, O Holy One

I bring to the table all those who have asked us to pray for their intentions as listed in our Book of Prayer Requests.

For what else shall we pray

All: Heal us Holy One

Jerry Bires:  We are blessed when we follow the example and teachings of Jesus, especially the teaching in today’s gospel:  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” 

We are blessed when we offer compassion to those who grieve loss and need comfort. We are blessed when we help those in need of food, shelter, and health care. We are blessed when we speak truth to power to address human needs and social justice.

We are ever aware of your Spirit in us and among us at this Eucharistic table and we are grateful for this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in the world.

Holy, Holy, Holy:  by Christopher Grundy

Joan P: We are grateful for our brother, Jesus, who insisted on the way we must live if we are to be true followers of his ministry.  We look to the incredible people in our history and here around us today who have modeled for us a way to live and love in challenging times. 

It is difficult to follow the invitation of Jesus: “Love those who hate you, those who do evil against you.” In faith, Holy One, we renew our commitment to embrace the ministry of Jesus and follow his teachings.


We are called to send blessing to all people of the earth.  We are called to forgive especially those who trouble our hearts by the choices they make, choices of hate and violence that are destroying people’s lives.  We recognize the broken world we live in.  We know that it is only love that can heal.

Please extend your hands over the bread and wine you have placed before you and pray

Joan P: Together we call on the Spirit of Life that Spirit that lives and moves in the totality of our being.  The bread and wine we have before is blessed by us in the memory of Jesus. 

In blessing the gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, they become gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world. 

Dotty:  On the night before Jesus faced his own death he sat at supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly within them, he bent down and washed their feet.

          All lift their plate 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 cup and pray the following: He then raised high 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.

What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives, 

as we share communion, we will become communion

both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Please consume the bread and drink the cup with the words: We are one with our God.


Communion Reflection:  Love One Another sung by Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices

Mary Montavon:  Together we pray the Prayer of Jesus:

O Holy One, who is 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.      (The Prayer of Jesus as interpreted by Miriam Therese Winter)


Dotty:  Let us raise our hands and together pray a blessing for one another.

May Christ, our Light, enlighten us,

May Christ, our Love, embrace us, 

May Christ, our Strength, empower us,

as we go forth blessed to be blessings in the world. 

So It Is:  Alleluia!

Our Closing Song:  Danny Gokey - Love God Love People


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 our website:

where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.


Please send donations to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
5342 Clark Road #3079
Sarasota, FL 34233

Our website is