Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Gathering Time and Lighting of Altar Candles
We are fragments, but we are fragments of God!
The bond is deep and unbreakable, but we forget.”
– by Marv and Nancy Hiles
When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.
So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.
There is no separation between humans and God because of this mutual interabiding which expresses the indivisible reality of divine love. We flow into God – and God into us – because it is the nature of love to flow… The whole and the part live together in mutual, loving reciprocity, each belonging to the other and dependent on the other to show forth the fullness of love.
from THE WISDOM JESUS by Cynthia Bourgeault
Welcomes and an introduction to the day: We continue to reflect on “Being SPIRIT PERSONS in All the Contexts of Life and today we are being led in those reflections by The Rev. Dr. Robert Close… with a little innovation when it comes to music… but with the same loving and gentle invitations to discover a deeper spirituality inside all of us…
An Opening Hymn:
Psalm 19 [cf p. 630 in the NCH – Black Hymnal]
(After leaving the Tyre and Sidon area where there had been an encounter with a Canaanite woman, Jesus and his disciples had returned to the northeastern shores of Lake Galilee where some miraculous healings had taken place that included a man having hearing and speech restored, a miraculous feeding of thousands – as well as some commentary about the ‘junk food’ of traditional religion – all of it climaxed in a blind man receiving his sight.)
Then they moved on again for the villages around Caesarea Philippi, and while they were on the way he asked his disciples, “Who are people saying I am?” They said, “Some are saying, ‘John the Baptist,’ and others, ‘Elijah,’ and still others, ‘one of the prophets.’” “But what about you,” he asked, “who do you say I am?” Peter spoke up and said, “You are the Christ.” Then he gave them strict orders not to mention this to anyone.
Then he began to teach them that The Human One was destined to go through much suffering and be utterly repudiated by the Elders, the chief priests, and the bible experts, and be killed, and after three days would rise again. And he was quite blunt about all this. Then Peter took him aside and began to take him to task for saying things like this. But turning back to the other disciples he rebuked Peter and said, “Get out from behind me, Satan! You are not looking at things from God’s point of view but from a human one!”
So he gathered his disciples and the people around him, and said to them: “If anyone wants to be one of my followers, let them renounce themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Those who want to save their lives must be ready to lose them; it’s those who are ready to lose their lives for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, who save their lives. What good is it if you can gain the whole world but lose your soul? What can you do to buy back your soul once you have lost it? If any are ashamed of me in this unfaithful and sinful generation, The Human One will be ashamed of them when he comes into the Father’s glory surrounded by all the angels.”
Reflections: Slowly Blooms The Rose Within –
Awakening To the Sacrament Within Us
A Reflective Hymn:
The Offerings and Offertory Music,
Prayers of Joys and Concerns . . .
and The Lord’s Prayer translated from its original Aramaic
O Cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where Your Presence can abide. Fill us with Your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of Your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire and endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release other from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but ilIuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole, Amen.
A Closing Hymn:
Candles Are Extinguished and We Take Our Light Into the World
Sharing the peace of spirit persons as we go…
And hope you can stay for refreshments and conversation…
Sunday, September 20: Adult Discussion time – at 10:00 a.m. – and we begin reading and reflecting on: “SAVING JESUS FROM THE CHURCH´ by Robin R. Meyers, pastor of Mayflower UCC in Oklahoma City. If you did not yet read the email note from David Weintraub this past week introducing the book, then take a look at it.
And in worship time we will be reflecting on some of the ultimate concerns of being spirit persons when we look at Mark 9:30-37… with a little help from Psalm 54… all of it taking us to some reflections around A Spirituality of Transcending Power and Greatness.
And still further ahead… note that on Saturday, September 26 we’ll be celebrating OCTOBERFEST… and then on September 27 doing an annual observance of Blessing of Animals.
As spirit persons who believe that ‘God’ is alive in us… we continue to gather in worship as an inclusive community, an open & affirming community of faith that transcends any distinctions based on gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or religion… with a formal worship that flows into a living worship of love and support for one another and to pursue ways in which we can reflect God’s mercy, justice, and peace in our community and throughout the world, along with finding ways to celebrate the goodness of life together… and always reaching out to draw others, with total inclusiveness, into this communal experience…