|The Holy One, the Beloved is in our DNA - painting by MT Streck|
Please join us between 9:30 and 9:55 am via Zoom
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phone-in for (audio only).
Phone Number: (646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 825 1215 9155
Celebration of Belonging
Welcome: Good morning everyone. So happy to see all of your beautiful faces. Our world is in chaos, maybe more so than ever, and this chaos pulls us away from our center. Our true center is Love and we are forever and unconditionally loved by the Holy One. Today’s readings remind us of what is most important. The music we chose today is soft, warm, and soothing, let the sounds, lyrics, and photos wash over you. Know you are loved.
Opening Prayer: We celebrate today to connect with each other and to remind us of Your presence. We belong to You and You belong to each of us. May we always be aware of your presence and great love. Amen.
Opening Song: I will not leave you comfortless. Jan Philips
LITURGY OF THE WORD
A reading from Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
One day, a traveler begged the Teacher for a word of wisdom that would guide the rest of his journey. The Teacher nodded affably and, though it was the day of silence, took a sheet of pater and wrote on it a single word “Awareness.”
“Awareness?” the traveler said, perplexed. “That’s far too brief. Couldn’t you expand on that a bit?” So the Teacher took the paper back and wrote, “Awareness, awareness, awareness.” “But what do these words mean?” the traveler insisted. Finally the Teacher reached for the paper and wrote, clearly and firmly, “Awareness, awareness, awareness means…Awareness!”
Awareness of the sacred in life is what holds our world together and the lack of awareness and sacred care is what is tearing it apart.
These are the words of Joan Chittister, a disciple of the Holy One. We affirm these words by saying AMEN.
A Reading from Henri Nouwen
At issue is the question: ‘To whom do I belong? To God or to the world?’ Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often, I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.
“As long as I keep running about asking: ‘Do you love me? Do you really love me?’ I give all power to the voices of the world and put myself in bondage because the world is filled with ‘ifs.’ The world says: “Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much.’ There are endless ‘ifs’ hidden in the world’s love. These ‘ifs’ enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world’s love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain ‘hooked’ to the world—trying, failing, and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.
These are the inspired words of Henri Nouwen, beloved of the Holy One. We affirm these words by saying: Amen
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
Ginny and Mike: Let us pray our Statement of Faith together
Statement of Faith
All: We believe in one God, 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 in the Holy Spirit,
The life of God that is our innermost life,
the breath of God moving in our being.
The depth of God living in each of us.
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.
Eucharistic Prayer of Belonging
Mary B: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this gathering our blessings, cares and concerns. (Denise reads the intentions)
We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen.
Mary S: We are a priestly people. We are anointed. With open hands let us pray our Eucharistic prayer as one voice.
O Nurturing, Mothering one, You are always with us. We are grateful for Your constant loving and unconditional presence. At times we forget that You are holding us, attending to us. We fall and You pick us up. You send strangers, friends and family to our aid. We are never without Your Light and Spirit.
We experience great joy and we experience great pain and suffering. You are with us in the joy and the pain and suffering. When we experience Your presence we long to sing our hymn of praise:
Here in this place
Mary B: Creator and Lover of all beings, we cannot grow in the darkness of this world without Your Light. Our desire to be in Your light is a gift from You. Help us keep our hearts and minds open to You through our love and care for each other and all creation.
Please extend your hands in blessing
This bread and wine is a sign of Your nourishment and a sign of Your great love. Your Spirit is upon us and we belong to You and one another.
We thank you for Jesus, simple servant, lifting up the lowly, revealing you as God-With-Us, revealing us as one with you, and all creation.
On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for supper with the people closest to him. Like the least of household servants, he washed their feet. Once again he showed us how to love one another.
All lift the bread
Mary S: Back at the table, he took the Passover Bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread and offered it to them saying, Take and eat, this is my very self.
All lift the cup
Mary B: Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life in you.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you.
All consume the bread and cup together.
Mary S: Bread and wine is transformed by Your Spirit and we are transformed when we open ourselves to Your Spirit. Every time we share this bread and wine we choose to be transformed. We choose to love as You love us.
As we celebrate and recognize You in this bread and wine we love and recognize you in each other. We are filled with gratitude and joy. Glory and Praise to you both now and forever. Amen
Communion song: How can any one ever tell by Shaina Knoll
Kathie: Loving Source of our being, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We live justly, we love tenderly, we walk with integrity in Your Presence.
Let us pray together a 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
Mary B: Please raise your hands and pray our blessing together
May we create the space for Love
because in us, Love shows up,
embodied, determined, intelligent,
questioning, and disrupting.
May our Love show up
in activism, organizing, dismantling, teaching;
in the streets, in our words, rituals, and prayers.
May Love show up in our preaching, praying;
in our working and our playing.
May Love show up
When we show up.
May we reveal Love in our lives,
our theologies, our convictions, and our values.
May love show up in our collective loving
beyond our own satisfaction.
Where is the Love? In Us. May we live it.
Closing Song: There is Only Love by Karen Drucker