544 Spirit joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God.
Day 544 Saturday September 11th, 2021
The [Holy] Spirit joins with our spirit to bear common witness that we are children of God.” (Roman’s 8:16)
Let's get ready for our celebration tomorrow
Our Celebration for tomorrow, Sunday,
September 12th 2021
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Here is the liturgy in WORD and PDF formats
Emmaus Celebration for Sunday, September 12, 2021
Jacqueline Hayes and Patti England presiding
Patti: Welcome and Theme
Our theme this evening is about the acknowledgment of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us and in all living things. So many of our prayers and hymns seem to implore the Holy Spirit to ‘come to us’ – however I think most of us believe that the Spirit already lives in us – and so tonight we ask that we become more aware of the Spirit in us and in all living things.
It seems appropriate, but somewhat accidental that we chose this theme during the Season of Creation, which began on World Day, September 1st and concludes on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis. The Season of
Creation is an annual celebration where Christians around the world join together to pray, reflect and take action to protect our common home.
This season offers us a precious opportunity to pause in the midst of our busy day-to-day lives and contemplate the fabric of life into which we are woven.
Song: Spirit of God in the clear running water
https://youtu.be/09ZsGaW50Dg [David, please stop at 2:02]
Opening Prayer: Pat O’Connor
Bless us O Holy One with the gift of new vision
That we may recognize your living presence around us and within us
That we may see beyond the veil of disguises
And listen past differences
To the magnitude of your spirit here in our midst
May our hearts hear your call to proclaim your truth
Practice your peace
And live out our lives with your deep compassion
This day and always.
Song: Spirit of God in the clear running water
https://youtu.be/09ZsGaW50Dg [David, please start at 2:03 until 4:24]
The First Reading: Marcie
“The [Holy] Spirit joins with our spirit to bear common witness that we are children of God.” (Roman’s 8:16)
Paul understands that Jesus left us his Indwelling Spirit as a permanent, strengthening gift. So the Christ, for Paul, is not out there; the Eternal Christ is in here, inside us in the form of his Indwelling Spirit. I cannot say this strongly enough. God has implanted in us a true “homing device” that we can depend upon.
Paul believes that we’ve all been given a source for a true inner knowledge, which becomes a calm inner authority whereby we know spiritual things for ourselves (see 1 Corinthians 2:1-16). We have been so afraid of this in most churches; most religious people have been told to look outside instead of inside. Only the mystics grab onto it with fervor and conviction.
Such a knowledge of the Indwelling Spirit creates the foundation, not just for Paul’s mysticism (and ours), but for the egalitarian and charismatic church that Paul is establishing. This church doesn’t depend upon patriarchy and hierarchy to generate itself, because everybody’s got the Spirit.
Everyone can call upon this Indwelling Witness. Humility is the giveaway that they are relying upon a Source beyond themselves. So leadership really has nothing to be afraid of here. The Spirit creates lovers, not rebels or iconoclasts (1 Corinthians 13). Only God’s Spirit-with-us can fully forgive, accept, and allow reality to be what it is.
- Richard Rohr, a daily reflection taken from the Indwelling Spirit, April 2015
Jeanine Hillman [David please show picture]
Jeanine: Oh, Ever changing God! Protect us from Congealing.
All: Ever Flowing! Ever Flowing! Ever Flowing! Ever Flowing!
Till we flow into a sacred stream.
Till we flow into that Eternal Drink which is you.
Then pour us back into the world
And Let the Flowing begin again.
All: And again, and again, and again, and again.
A Song from the Album “Take Heart” by Velma Frye, Lyrics by Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB
Second Reading : Jim Keck
Looking for rewards means that we are living in the past. We expect that the kind of reward we got last time will come our way again.
Many people who have had spiritual experiences long for them to be repeated.
The ego lacks the higher imagination of the spirit that lives in the present.
If the ego had three wishes, as it does in some fairytales, it would blow them.
In fact, the kingdom does not repeat itself because it never ceases.
It renews itself continuously. Perhaps, in the deepest mystery of the Godhead,
the presence that is the kingdom stays eternally fresh through us and perhaps
it is our discovery of it that makes it possible. But it doesn’t come and go and come again.
- A Letter from Laurence Freeman, March 2013
Third Reading: Melva
In challenging times, when we are most vulnerable, the Gospels proclaim that the Holy Spirit can surprise us with a multiplicity of gifts to inspire, console and disturb us:
a breath of life; a flash of insight; a glimmer of hope; unimagined possibilities; unforeseen strength, wonder, wisdom, gratefulness, understanding, awe and humble reverence.
Such is the disturbing peace we can expect to receive and share, when we are willing to come together and cry out amid the turmoil of our times.
Introduction to Shared Homily
Patti: I invite you to share your thoughts this evening on the concept that the Spirit is with and in us always and we can experience the richness and gifts of the Spirit by heightening our awareness.
End of Shared Homily
Jacqueline: What do we bring to the Table
(After everyone shares what they bring to the table)
Let’s gather these prayers spoken and unspoken, bring them to our heart and send them into the universe
Patti: We pray today, aware that the same Spirit that moved in Jesus, moves in each one of us; a Spirit beyond all names, a Spirit embedded in all people, a Spirit embedded in all living things.
We pray today, grateful for the human gift of conscious awareness, that enables us to appreciate the bond we share with everything that exists; everything that exists on earth and in the vastness beyond this planet.
Jacqueline: We are bonded with stars, with galaxies, with space beyond measure; with rocks and mountains, with rivers, lakes and oceans, with flowers, ferns and forests, with the myriad species of animals, with every other human being.
We pray today, aware of the urgent need for humanity to acknowledge and respect this unbreakable bond we all share and to live in accordance with it.
We give thanks for men and women throughout the ages, who have increased our knowledge and awareness of the connectedness of everything in the universe, living and non-living.
We give thanks, for the many ways they stood firm in their opposition.
Their integrity inspires us.
Patti: Today we remember Jesus and the challenges he faced as he preached his revolutionary message – the misunderstanding, the rejection, the accusations, the insults, the pain and suffering he endured from people closest to him.
We remember the way he faced his death, alone, yet faithful to what he had preached; lonely, yet hopeful that his message would be carried on.
Jacqueline: We gather as people who put our faith in Jesus’ message. We commit ourselves to bringing his powerful message to a world desperately in need of hope to carrying on as he did in the face of opposition, misunderstanding or rejection.
Bonded in spirit with followers of Jesus throughout the centuries who, like him, faced great obstacles we eat this bread and drink this wine as a sign of our readiness to be counted as true brothers and sisters of Jesus.
Patti: Holy One, we gather together and come to you tonight still reeling from a pandemic that won’t be defeated, by inequities in our communities and our country, by natural disasters that have destroyed communities already suffering so much, by political strife and polarization, by the heartbreaking images of people suffering the toll of wars and hatred and by the grief we share at the loss of so many dear members of our Emmaus community. Hold us close to your heart, O God, that we might find strength and courage to persevere in love and hope. As your spirit lives in us and with us, fill us with an ever-deepening awareness of you.
Jacqueline: On the night before he died, Jesus was at table with his friends.
He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his friends saying,
All: “This is my body, broken for you.”
Patti: As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine. Again he gave thanks, gave it to his friends and said,
All: “This cup is the new covenant of my lifeblood shed for you and for all.
And as often as you do this, do this in memory of me.
All: (spoken not sung)
We remember how you loved us all your life.
And we still celebrate for you are with us here.
And we believe that we will see you.
When you come, when you come again!
We remember! We celebrate! We Believe!
Now gathered at your table, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, a living sacrifice. Pour out your Spirit upon all these gifts that they, and we, may be the Body and Blood of Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation.
Patti: In the fullness of time bring us with all your saints from every tribe and language, from every people and nation to feast at the banquet prepared
from the foundation of the world.
All: For it is through him, with him and in him, now and forever.
Jacqueline: Now together, as one community, we offer to you O God,
our prayer, in the name of your beloved son and our brother, Jesus:
Our Father/Our Mother
All: Indwelling God, infused throughout all existence, we honor you with many names. Your realm is within the human heart. We accept life for all that it can be, on earth as throughout all creation.
May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth, and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own. May we ever move from separation toward union, to live in grace, with love in our hearts, forever and ever. Amen
- (Source: Fred F Keip, UUA Worship web)
Offering of Peace: David
Let us now offer one another some sign of peace and love.
Jacqueline: Everyone is welcome to this table.
Our God, whom the universe cannot contain is present to us in this bread.
Our God, who redeems us and calls us by name, now meets us in this cup.
So, come, Beloved Friends, and take this bread, Drink this wine,
God comes to us, so that we may come to God.
The whole creation is the Body and Blood of Christ.
We are part of this Sacrament and it is a part of us.
Song: One Bread, One Body (sung by John Michael Talbot)
Final Blessing: Linda
May the Spirit within us be a source of healing and consolation.
May the Spirit within us strengthen us when we feel weak,
warm us when we are cold-hearted,
bend us when we are stubborn,
move us when we are uncaring,
guide us in the way of love.
May we allow the Spirit within to empower us in all we do.
- Taken from Prayers For Progressive Christians by Michael Morwood, 2018
And the beloved community of Emmaus says: Amen
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Remembering Franciscan Mychal Judge in the eulogy of his fellow Franciscan Michael Duffy.
Father Mychal Judge's Blessing:
Remembering the September 11 Victim Who Died Praying for Others. Click on this link to watch the blessing and lovely animation.
“We come to bury his heart, but not his love. Never his love.”
Father Michael Duffy recalls delivering the sermon for his close friend, Father Mychal Judge, who was the first certified fatality of the September 11th attacks. Father Michael remembers Father Mychal’s endearing mannerisms, his constant positivity, and, above all, his profound impact on everyone he knew.