The service was designed by Linda, and she and the girls made the Communion bread during service.
Call to Worship
[One] We come together as the Body of Christ, the Bread of Life.
[All] We are different from one another, yet bound together.
[One] So, we have a mix of different flours providing a rich texture of creation's goodness.
[All] We come together as the Bread of Life.
[One] A little saltiness -- that preserver and enhancer and sometimes a little "salty character."
[All] We come together letting you bring out the best in us.
[One] A little oil -- olive oil to connect us with Jesus' home.
[All] Oil to diffuse the flavors, blending and uniting our differences.
[One] A little yeast -- too much makes the bread dry; too little and the bread does not rise to the occasion.
[All] Jesus taught us that a little yeast makes the whole loaf rise.
[One] Water. Just enough to make it hold together; but it is essential...too hot and it kills the yeast; too cold and the yeast remains inactive.
[All] We come together, trusting in the Living Water.
Opening Hymn "Gather Us In"
Gospel Lesson Luke 24:13-35
Contemporary Lesson An excerpt from Twilight by Elie Wiesel
"If you could have seen yourself, framed in the doorway [Pedro once said to Michael], you would have believed in the richness of existence–as I do–in the possibility of having it and sharing it. It's so simple! You see a musician in the street; you give him a thousand francs instead of ten; he'll believe in God. You see a woman weeping, smile at her tenderly, even if you don't know her; she'll believe in you. You see a forsaken old man; open your heart to him, and he'll believe in himself. You will have surprised them. Thanks to you, they will have trembled, and everything around them will vibrate. Blessed is he capable of surprising and of being surprised."Hymn of Preparation "Life Giving Bread"
Tiffany opened by talking about an experience she had while in seminary, fasting as part of a protest against the School of the Americas, and being reminded that "Who are we to deny ourselves the abundant life that Christ has promised for us? Taking a small scrap of bread seems quite frankly ridiculous in light of what this meal is supposed to help us remember. How in the world do we think a meticulously cut cube of dry, white wonder-bread is supposed to help us experience the presence of the risen Christ?
"Holy communion is not some magical rite of symbolic transcendent spirituality. It is a concrete, earthy, fleshy experience of the real presence of a hungry Christ. Christ never intended for us to spiritualize this ritual by making it into some somber funereal symbolic meal. Christ wanted us to make it real, to embody and live it out, to truly experience throughout eternity the love, peace and joy God gives us."
She said it seemed juvenile, pretentious, self-important, offensive to God to reject God's gifts.
I think sacrifice and solidarity have value (as I suspect she does as well) but I did like the reminders about abundance.
She played a YouTube clip from Dress to Kill about how "all those sort of Christian religions, which is mainly Caucasian white people, with all the power and money - enough power and money to make Solomon blush, and they're all singing, [demonstrates singing words of joy very drearily]."
Prayers of the People
Call to Prayer "Joy Comes With the Dawn" refrain
Offertory Hymn "Christ Is Alive" v. 4
Passing of the Peace
Before service, Bobby had come up to me and said hi, and we'd shaken hands, and he'd asked to give me a kiss and I'd said no thanks. We repeated this during the Passing of the Peace, and he said, "Are you mad at me?" I mentally facepalmed. I'd forgotten that that's one of the dangers.
We had the Bread and the Cup, but on the altar were containers of heavy cream (and soy cream) and honey. Yes, "milk and honey." Warm bread with honey (and milk) is DELICIOUS. I still need an "abundance" icon. Any sweet soul want to make me an icon of bread with honey dripping?
Communion Hymn "Christ Is Risen"
Christ is risen! Earth and heaven nevermore shall be the same.Closing Prayer
Break the bread of new creation where the world is still in pain,
Drink the wine of resurrection, not a servant but a friend;
Jesus is our strong companion. Joy and peace shall never end!
Closing Hymn "Christ Has Risen" (insert)
Christ has risen while earth slumbers, Christ has risen where hope died;Benediction and Grace
as God said and Jesus promised, as we doubted and denied.
Let the moon embrace the blessing; let the sun sustain the cheer;
Let the world confirm the rumor: Christ is risen, God is here!
Jesus liveth, for the people whom he lived to love and save;
Christ has risen for the women taking flowers to grace the grave.
Christ has risen for disciples huddled in an upstairs room.
One whose word inspired creation can't be silenced by a tomb.
Jesus liveth, to companion former friends who fear the night,
Sensing loss and limitation where their faith had once burned bright.
They bemoan what is no longer, they expect no hopeful sign
Till Christ ends their conversation, breaking bread and sharing wine.
Christ has risen and forever lives to challenge and to change
All whose views are still distorted, all who fear a path of faith.
Christ is risen, Christ is present, Christ anoints us to begin
Evidence of transformation in which God is known and seen.
- The communion liturgy is adapted from Seeker Services and The Feast of Our Lives by June Goudey (Pilgrim Press, 2002).
- The Call to Worship and Opening Prayer were adapted from ones written by Linda Grenfell.
- Revised hymn lyrics are by Tallessyn Grenfell-Lee.
After dinner, we watched For the Bible Tells Me So.
I didn't feel like viewers not already sympathetic to GLBT issues would have felt enough of a personal connection with any of the families in the film to be swayed like Gee maybe it's not really a sinful choice after all. But the violence and hatred directed at GLBT persons and their allies is really depressing. It sort of reminded me that like this is part of why GLBTA persons often have such difficulty sitting down with or listening to people who are all "love the sinner, hate the sin" -- because so often what they have encountered is "hate the sinner." (Some of the hate mail Gene Robinson got when he was first up for bishop... Apparently he wore a bullet-proof vest at his consecration. That's frightening.)
The film also mentioned various times some of the various "rules" Biblical literalists don't seem to feel compelled to abide by -- the usual list of the other Levitical abominations (which they pointed out are ritual transgressions, not things inherently wrong -- and they said that when Paul says "un/natural" he means "not/customary") as well as the rules against usury ... gee, all those wealthy Christian fundamentalist leaders, should you really have any of your money invested?
They talked about how Sodom was a wealthy city and was worried that if travelers came through and saw all that they had, maybe they would want to take some of it, so they canceled the law about welcoming the stranger -- and then were upset that Lot had broken that custom and welcomed the stranger anyway (and anal rape was a common humiliation tactic in the ancient world -- cf. the treatment of defeated military opponents, for example -- so the Sodomites' intentions toward the strangers really wasn't about sex per se). One African-American lesbian said that there are many cities today where she is not welcome because she is an African-American, a woman, a lesbian ... and that those are the places where she thinks of Sodom.