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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

951: Let's celebrate TODAY with Steve and Pat. Their Theme: Falling... let's reflect

Day 951: Sunday, October 23, 2022: Let's celebrate this afternoon with Steve and Pat. Their theme: Falling - let's reflect at how these falls have transformed us or changed the way we live

Please join us for our celebration. We begin with our greeting at 4:45

Liturgy at 5

Always followed by a fun potluck!

In Person at:

Knox Presbyterian & Thanksgiving Lutheran

1650 W. Third St.

Santa Rosa, CA 95401

If you can't make it in person we'd love to invite you to Zoom with us:

Join Zoom Meeting using this link:

Passcode: 1234

Meeting ID: 519 315 8573

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+16699006833,,5193158573# US (San Jose)

Here are the files in PDF and WORD Formats: Please download them at your convenience

Emmaus Liturgy 10_23_22_V2
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Emmaus Liturgy 10_23_22_V2
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Emmaus Liturgy October 23, 2022


Opening Song: Autumn Song by Van Morrison David: fade at 3:08

Steve: Welcome/Introduction

Autumn is here in all her glory. We frequently refer to this season as “Fall.” I recently was sitting in a courtyard of a motel talking with my friend when I noticed a man trimming bushes and then he climbed about 10 to12 feet up into a tree with a chainsaw. I had the thought, “I hope he doesn’t fall.” A few minutes later I was leaving the area when I heard a thump. I turned and looked and he wasn’t in the tree. I saw him writhing on the ground. I rushed to help him and he was in severe pain that was radiating from his rib area. He had blood coming from his mouth. We got EMS there quickly and sent him to the hospital. This got me thinking about falling and the word Fall.

There is falling physically and there is falling emotionally. There is falling with a soft landing like the leaves that float down to the ground and gently kiss the earth. Kind of like the softness of the opening song, Autumn Song.

But then there is falling with a hard landing like the man who fell from the tree with a loud thump. I got to thinking that both kinds of falls can occur abruptly when you might not be expecting it. You are suddenly thrust into a state of “being out of control,” “Free Falling” as Tom Petty sings.

If the fall is prolonged there may even be an aspect of surrender, of letting go. You will notice today’s Gospel reflects our overall theme of listening. Let us explore the phenomena of falling. Let us share our stories of falling. Maybe it was a hard physical fall you experienced that dramatically impacted your life by limiting your mobility, and required accepting help from another; a surrender. Maybe it was an emotional fall like losing a loved one through divorce or long distance separation, or death. We haven’t even mentioned falling in and out of love yet. We have all encountered these sudden intrusions into our lives so let us reflect at how these falls have transformed us or changed the way we live.


Reader 1

A Poem for Autumn: “Grace” by Wendell Berry

The woods is shining this morning. Red, gold and green, the leaves lie on the ground, or fall, or hang full of light in the air still. Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes the place it has been coming to forever. It has not hastened here, or lagged. See how surely it has sought itself, its roots passing lordly through the earth. See how without confusion it is all that it is, and how flawless its grace is. Running or walking, the way is the same. Be still. Be still.

“He moves your bones, and the way is clear.”


Reader 2:

And Sometimes We Fall Hard

The Thing IS a poem by Ellen Bass

to love life, to love it even

when you have no stomach for it

and everything you’ve held dear

crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it.

When grief sits with you, its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water

more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you like your own flesh only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, How can a body withstand this?

Then you hold life like a face between your palms, a plain face,

no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, I will take you I will love you, again.

RESPONSORIAL: God Hears Our Call, God is listening!

Reader 3

The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

2 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. 3 Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad.

All: The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

17 The LORD confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. 18 When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them.

All: The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

19 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. 23 The LORD redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.

All: The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Steve: In todays Gospel Jesus teaches us the importance of humility in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The smug, self righteous Pharisee is promised to be humbled while the tax collector who falls back and surrenders to God in humility is raised up. Again, God hears our call.


Reader 4

This is the Gospel according to St. Luke Chapter 18 vs 9-14

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

He then spoke this parable addressed to those who believed in their own self-righteousness while holding everyone else in contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee with head unbowed prayed in this fashion: ‘I give you thanks, O God, that I am not like the rest of men—grasping, crooked, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I pay tithes on all I possess.”

The other man, however, kept his distance, not even daring to raise his eyes to heaven. All he did was beat his breast and say, ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Believe me, this man went home from the temple justified but the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” This is the Gospel according to St. Luke

All: Alleluia

All: Thanks be to the Divine Spirit that dwells in everyone here!

SHARED HOMILY: Steve will lead in and read the starter questions.

1. What feelings does Autumn conjure up in you? Is this a positive time of the year for you? Or not? Why? How does your body adjust to the change of seasons, shorter days, less light?

2. In Autumn our clocks fall back, trees begin shutting down and shedding their leaves. We call this season Fall. Have you had a fall in your life (physical or emotional) that was life changing or that altered the way you approach life?

3. Did anything shimmer in you from one of the poems, the responsorial, or the Gospel readings?

4. Other than another human being, have you fallen in love with a place, a pet, a piece of art or music? Okay, you can include humans if you’d like.



Bring up our Offertory Gifts as song is playing



As we celebrate our Eucharistic meal, we ask the Holy Spirit to surround each of us and our loved ones, those still present and those who have passed, with your Grace. That we may experience your Grace both in those moments of joy and those periods of deep emotional and spiritual grief.


We ask that you remember those who have left us. We miss them so much but we know they are still with us in spirit and they have left such significant impressions on our Beloved Emmaus Community.


Let us enjoy this Fall Season and take advantage of the incredible beauty that she offers. The changing light, the vibrant colors and many shades of orange, yellow, and red that are present everywhere. That during this quieting time we may find some time for solitude and introspection.


As we approach the time of Advent, may we empty ourselves and create space within our hearts just as our Brother Jesus emptied Himself and became human and embraced His humanity. May we begin preparing ourselves for His coming into our lives during this coming Christmas season.


O Great Spirit, we ask for the desire and grace to listen deeply. Help us to quiet our minds. Be with us, guide us, and reveal yourself to each one of us as you see appropriate. Please hear our cries, and walk with us, and let us walk with you on this road to Emmaus.


Pat: On the night before He died, Jesus was at table with His friends, He took bread, He gave thanks to God, He blessed it, He broke it, and shared it with His friends and said,

All: “This is my body, shared with you.”

Steve: As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine, He gave thanks, He gave it to His friends and said, This is the cup of my love for you and for all creation.

ALL: Go forth and be my hands and my feet; carry my love into the world.

Steve: Let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith

ALL: For, it is “Through You, With You, and In You,

In Unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory are yours, forever and ever. Amen

Pat: Now together, as one community, we offer to you O Creator, our prayer, received from our brother Jesus:

Our Mother, Our Father, holy and blessed is your true name.

We pray for your reign of peace to come. We pray that your good will be done.

Let heaven and earth become one. Give us this day the bread we need.

Give it to those who have none.

Let forgiveness flow like a river between us, from each one to each one.

Lead us to holy innocence beyond the evil of our days.

Come swiftly Mother, Father, come.

For yours is the power and the glory and the mercy: Forever your name is All in One.

Steve: The Kiss of Peace:

Now offer a gesture of peace to all those in our beloved Emmaus community.

Invitation to Eucharist:

Pat: So through this Eucharist, and in the spirit of our Beloved Community, we extend the invitation of Jesus to each and everyone of you to take and eat this bread, and drink from this cup. Let us come to this table, this is the table of the Risen Christ, where all are welcome.



Alicia Keys: Falling (Start at 1:10 and end at 5:50)




May you be blessed with good friends

May you learn to be a good friend to yourself

May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.

May this change you.

May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.

May you be brought into the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.

May you treasure your friends.

May you be good to them and may you be there for them; may they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth, and light, that you need for your journey.

May you never be isolated.

May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your Anam Cara - your soul-friend.

When the canvas frays in the “currach” (small wooden sail boat) of thought and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you, may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.

This blessing is an aggregate from John O’Donohue’s book

Anam Cara & the poem Beannacht


FREE FALLING by TOM PETTY (stop at 2:32)


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