Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP Witnesses for Peace at Creech, Nevada


"Homily: A Time to Be Transfigured" by Silvia Antonia Brandon Pérez ARCWP

http://wp.me/p3M5JV-3c
“It’s a question of discipline,” the little prince told me later on. “When you’ve finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943. a riot is the language of the unheard MLK
Today in the Christian calendar is the Second Sunday in Lent, the Gospel of the Transfiguration. Matthew tells us that Jesus had taken three of his disciples, Peter, James and John, to climb a high mountain. While there they saw Jesus’ face and clothing become radiant, or transfigured. The flowery language of the Bible then tells us that they were then enfolded in a bright cloud, and heard a voice saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Mt 17:5).
Jesus or Joshua, as he may have been called at the time, thereafter endures the trials of his passion and crucifixion, a punishment that was meted out to those who attempted to subvert the Roman Empire. This was not a punishment for thieves and other malefactors, but specifically imposed on those who were plotting to subvert, or engaging in subversion in the eyes of the Empire and its tame collaborators, the Judaic representatives of the time. Although this is not something that our Church spoke much about, in viewing the actions of the historical Jesus, they are nothing if not subversive.
In our modern world we learn to view subversion with fear and loathing, but this is because we are under the thrall of colonialism. Save for an outpost of sanity and peace here and there, our civilization as we know it has gone from empire to empire. We live in what is called a democracy, but have never really had the rule of the people in our land. From earliest times, the protections of the law have been granted to the white, propertied, male members of our society. The electoral college of the United States, for example, is able to disregard the popular vote and install into power “presidents” that the people did not elect by popular vote. During the Bush/Gore election, they were aided by a Supreme Court that has, for most of its long history, except for the glorious time of the Warren Court (1953 to 1969), been the handmaiden of moneyed interests and corporate power.
I will not speak of the additional revelations that the apostles report, but of the entire concept of subversion. The Merriam Webster dictionary tells us that to subvert means 1: to overturn or overthrow from the foundation. Regard this first and thus, principal, meaning of the word: To overturn or overthrow from the foundation. The foundation that Jesus or Joshua was attempting to subvert was a many-fold one, that enshrined power over others, and duality, and that in the name of God committed outrages and kept people in dire poverty, by extreme taxation of the most subjugated members of the society. Life in the Palestine of that day was dreadful, as the Jews were frequently unable to keep their families fed, being overwhelmed by punitive taxation both from the Empire and from their Jewish representatives.
This is somewhat similar to the current situation where programs for the least of those in our society are closed down or diminished daily, while the wealthy class gets a pass from those in government, and pay little or no taxes, frequently getting even a refund from the corporate government. And the institutions, particularly in the United States, that are said to protect the common folk, betray them, creating legislation instead to protect the killers of young people, mostly of color, raping the land here and overseas, taking the heritage of native peoples, and subverting “whatsoever things are good” and kind and of good report, because we are indeed in the time of double think and double speak that Orwell so prophetically described in his work.
Thus, as Dr. King said almost half a century ago, the only solidarity that is allowed in our society is the “brutal solidarity [of white and black boys] burning the huts of a poor village.” We are in a time of “cruel manipulation of the poor.” The voice that is heard not only says “this is my beloved son,” but also says, “listen to him.” Jesus the subverter was calling for an end to empire and to greed, and a world where the deed of the Samaritan was more acceptable to God than the prayers and sacrifices of those whose worship was only outward, “the whitened sepulchers” to whom Jesus compares the hypocrites of society (Mt. 23:27).
So if we are to grow in the knowledge of Jesus and listen to him, we must subvert the rotten foundation, as he did. We must become Dr. King’s beloved community and while we pray, move our feet. We must replace the rotten rock of patriarchal oppression with the love of the good Samaritan, we must become a true spiritual ecclesia, whose mission will be, as delineated by the Jesus whose coming passion we remember, to take the message of love to everyone, with no exceptions. A mature community will be loving, peaceful, and committed to help all of its members, whether young or old, abled or disabled, homed or homeless, rich or poor, sick or well, of all colors and creeds, of all genders and languages and cultures. So listen to the words of Jesus, and spread his message of holy subversion outward. May you be a sign of God’s love in the world. We are all God’s children, in whom she is well pleased.
Seminarian Silvia Antonia Brandon Pérez
PIcture of protest, next to Deb Lee April 4

Take Action Today for Justice: Stop Executions, Advocate for Justice and Mercy

Dear Supporters,
HOPE IS STILL ALIVE - Kelly is still alive!
Very late last night, because of a problem with the lethal injection drug, Kelly's execution was postponed. 
And now, all planned executions in Georgia have been temporarily postponed. [1] This is incredibly important. Brian Terrell was scheduled to be executed in Georgia one week from today.
Wow. You helped make this happen!
The right thing happened today - the question now is if the right thing will happen in the days and weeks to come.
The Department of Corrections has stated that it will resume the execution process once the analysis of drugs is concluded. Kelly, Brian, and others still face execution.
NOW is the time to keep up the pressure. Join us in calling Governor Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens first thing tomorrow morning when their offices open at 9am. 
Call Governor Nathan Deal at 404-656-1776 to say you support a halt to executions. Ask him to take a stand opposing executions.
Call Attorney General Sam Olens at 404-656-3300 and tell him to stop requesting death warrants.
You can also take action right now on social media.
If you're on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, tweet and post @GovernorDeal and @Georgia_AG using the #KellyOnMyMind hashtag. Ask them to make a statement against Kelly's execution, and all executions.
Both Governor Deal and Attorney General Olens are key participants in this process.
Governor Deal has tried to wiggle out of responsibility in Kelly's case, saying last night under pressure that he does not have the authority to grant a pardon or issue executive clemency. 
But he DOES have the power of influence. He is the chief executive in the state.
He appoints the Board of Pardons and Paroles, who yesterday denied Kelly's request for reconsideration of clemency. [2]
He can stand against this execution on moral grounds.
Governor Deal and Attorney General Olens can work alongside people of faith and moral courage--like all of us--who are demanding a more just, merciful, and accountable system.
Momentum is shifting in our favor and it's time to keep up the pressure. Demand a response from Governor Deal and Attorney General Olens.
Over the past 72 hours, we have been able to take a stand for Kelly's humanity. We now must take a stand for all those whose lives hang in the balance.
This movement has grown like wildfire, and we are astounded by what it has become. Continue to stand with us as we show the world the "power of relentless solidarity."[3]
In hope,
Rev. Kimberly S. Jackson, Letitia M. Campbell, and Jeania Ree V. Moore
P.S. If anyone you know has not seen the video about Kelly, please share it with them: http://vimeopro.com/semafilms/kellyonmymind/

[1] "Press Release: Court Ordered Executions Postponed - Kelly Renee Gissendaner and Brian Keith Terrell." http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/NewsRoom/PressReleases/PR_150303.html. March 3, 2015.
[2] "Parole Board Votes to Let Gissendaner Decision Stand." http://pap.georgia.gov/press-releases/2015-03-02/parole-board-votes-let-gissendaner-decision-stand. March 2, 2015.
[3] Walter Brueggemann. Spirituality of the Psalms. Fortress Press, 2001. xiii.

From Women Spirit Ireland



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP, with Code Pink in Los Vegas

Former Colonel Ann Wriight and Paki Weiland with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP

"God's Daughters", a video about women priests and Holy Wisdom Inclusive Catholic Community in Olympia, Washington

The film features Kathleen Bellefeuille-Rice, Lisa Gosiaco and me, Diane Whalen, as well as their Holy Wisdom Inclusive Catholic Community in Olympia, WA. Available on amazon on DVD on demand. 

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 3 Sunday of Lent, March 8, by Beverly Bingle, RCWP


The great beauty of our Catholic Church
rests in our commitment to follow the Way of Jesus
and take action for social justice.
The great ugliness in our Church
comes when we stray from that commitment
and serve other gods—
when we, or our institutional church,
idolize power and wealth.
__________________________________
In today’s first reading from Exodus, we hear a list of commands.
On the surface of it, they are from God and about God.
Below the surface, they tell us how to treat other people.
The Israelites, freed from bondage, trekking across the desert,
found themselves free from slavery to the Egyptians
but also freed to obey God’s law to love Godself
and to love one another.
Interesting, isn’t it, that there is a commandment
to love God and treat other people fairly
but no commandment to obey religious leaders?
__________________________________
Our second reading has Paul preaching to the Corinthians
to urge them to get along.
He wants them to stop arguing with one another
about whose religious leaders are the best.
He reminds them that all their wisdom
is not as wise as God’s wisdom,
and all their strength
is not as strong as God’s strength.
They are to have confidence in God,
not in Apollos or Paul or Cephas,
those disciples who shared the Good News with them.
Their human leaders have taught them about the Word,
but their relationship is with God.
__________________________________
Today we also hear John’s Gospel story
of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple.
If we at Holy Spirit had catechumens
entering the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil,
we would have read the story of the woman at the well instead.
But both stories show Jesus thinking
above and beyond the authorities of his day.
The scholars of the Jesus Seminar conclude that,
even though both of these Gospel passages
are the creation of the evangelists,
they are also both based on historical reality about Jesus.
The story of the woman at the well paints a picture
of the typical kind of encounter that Jesus had
with people of all religions and ethnicities,
his openness to dialogue,
the expansive vision he shared in relation to God and religion,
and the impact he had on people.
The story of the cleansing of the Temple paints a true picture
of Jesus’ criticisms of the Temple cult.
What meaning does this carry for us today?
__________________________________
We can see Pope Francis’ reforms
of the Curia and the Vatican Bank
as actions parallel
to Jesus’ throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple.
We can see the economic problems in our own country today
as occasions for a cleansing
of the temples of Wall Street and corporate “personhood,”
things like insurance redlining
that charges the poor more than the wealthy,
like payday and car title loans
that bilk wage earners on the edge of poverty,
or like reverse mortgages
that draw elders into debt and destitution.
__________________________________
Perhaps, even more to the point,
we should look at the institutional hierarchy
of our own Roman Catholic Church with the same critical eye
that Jesus looked at his own Jewish Temple officials.
Much is often made of Jesus’ righteous anger,
but we need to hear about the source of it:
his understanding of the relationship
between God and the People of God on the one hand
and on the other hand
the self-serving, self-aggrandizing, profit-making ways
in which the Temple leaders were interfering
with the relationship between God and God’s people.
__________________________________
We can see the problems we have in our time—
the sex abuse scandal and cover-up;
the exclusion and excommunication of individuals and groups
because they are different
or because they do not accept
the hierarchy’s non-doctrinal statements as infallible;
the emphasis of those in power
on efforts that do not reflect our beliefs.
__________________________________
The disconnection between hierarchy and people
plagues us in lots of ways.
The much-publicized Vatican Synod on the Family
is gathering information from Catholics around the world.
But the Synod document and its 46 questions—the Lineamenta—
seems based on the hierarchy’s flawed ideas of biology
and patriarchal misogynistic view of women.
Our Church tells us that human-caused climate change
is the greatest moral issue of our time,
and Pope Francis is expected
to issue an encyclical in June on the subject.
Yet our U.S. Bishops focus their time, energy, and money
to lobby politicians to get the hierarchy’s views on sex issues
written into U.S. law.
Catholic School teachers around the country have been terminated
because they would not sign a promise agreeing to
“refrain from any conduct or lifestyle…
in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals….”
The list specifically includes living together outside marriage,
sexual activity out of wedlock,
homosexual lifestyle,
abortion,
use of a surrogate mother, in vitro fertilization,
artificial insemination,
and membership in organizations whose mission and message
are incompatible with Catholic doctrine or morals.
__________________________________
All this hurts people we know.
People whose marriages fail are ostracized in their parishes.
Divorced people who re-marry without an annulment
are excluded from Eucharist.
Catholics who marry other Christians
find their spouses told to stay away from the communion line.
Couples who use artificial birth control methods
to plan their families responsibly
are barred from the sacraments.
And good teachers are taken away from our kids.
To get personal, the current rule banning women’s ordination
is just that, a rule, not an infallible teaching,
yet priests are being defrocked
and theologians are being barred
from teaching at Catholic institutions
for suggesting the issue is open to discussion.
__________________________________
We have many other reasons
to speak truth to the power of our religious leaders,
as Jesus did.
It would be enough to show that same righteous anger as he did
at the sex abuse of so many of our children,
the cynical cover-up by our bishops,
the transfer of offending priests
to prey upon more and more innocent victims.
__________________________________
Thinking with the church does not mean thinking with the hierarchy.
Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church confirms that principle
when it states that a “human being must always obey
the certain judgment of conscience.”
It’s not easy to form conscience based on reason and scripture.
It takes up our attention for a lifetime...
and we have to practice what we preach.
Jesus gave up his life for it, and we’re called to follow him.
It’s worth it.
_______________________________________________
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

www.holyspirittoledo.org


Jesus's Use of Scripture Reveals God as Good, Faithful, Inclusive and Merciful, Richard Rohr's Meditation for March 3rd

...."Jesus selectively emphasizes the texts that reveal his God as good, faithful, inclusive, and merciful, and he creates stories--and concrete healing events--to communicate that very point, such as The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, and The Publican and the Pharisee. Each of these stories and healings are true on many different levels. That is exactly what makes them inspired stories! Jesus consistently ignored passages that reveal his God to be punitive, exclusionary, imperialistic, small, or tribal. ,,,Pope Francis insists that mercy is at the very top of the Christian hierarchy of great truths, and everything falls apart whenever mercy is displaced by anything else."
Adapted from
Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus' Use of Scripture (CD, MP3 download)

Support Clemency for Kelly and Reform Criminal Justice System

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ga-woman-set-execution-seeks-clemency-reconsideration-29325539

Bridget Mary's Response:
I don't get a system of justice that releases the real killer and executes a woman who is clearly reformed according to the testimony of the prison officials! 
I am praying for clemency and the reform of our penal code. Hey, friends, let's do something about all this injustice in our criminal justice system! What are our next steps here?
 Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
ABC News Story
"The execution of the first female in Georgia in 70 years was on hold Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed last-minute arguments by her lawyers that they hoped would persuade the nation's top justices to grant a stay.
Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, was scheduled to die by injection of pentobarbital at 7 p.m. in the state prison for the February 1997 murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner.
Still pending was a response from the high court after an appellate court rejected her lawyers' request for a delay on the grounds that Georgia's lethal-injection procedures aren't transparent enough to be challenged in court. Late Monday, her lawyers also added that the court should take into account the fact that she didn't kill her husband herself, and that she had been thoroughly rehabilitated.
Previously, courts had found Gissendaner had plotted the stabbing death of her husband by her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, who will be up for parole in eight years after accepting a life sentence and testifying against her.
Gissendaner would be only the 16th woman put to death nationwide since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976. About 1,400 men have been executed since then, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, denied clemency last week and upheld that decision late Monday. The woman's lawyers had urged the board to reconsider and "bestow mercy" by commuting her sentence to life without parole. The board said it voted to abide by its earlier decision after "careful consideration" of the request.
Kelly and Douglas Gissendaner had a troubled relationship, repeatedly splitting up and getting back together, divorcing and remarrying. She was a 28-year-old mother of three children, 12, 7 and 5 years old. And she had an on-again, off-again lover in Owen.
In prison, Gissendaner eventually took responsibility: Rather than divorcing her husband again, she pushed Owen to kill him. Acting on her instructions, Owen ambushed her husband while she went out dancing with friends, and forced him to drive to a remote area. Then he marched him into the woods and stabbed him multiple times, prosecutors said.
Owen and Gissendaner then met up and set fire to the dead man's car in an attempted cover-up, and both initially denied involvement, but Owen eventually confessed and testified against his former girlfriend.
Her lawyers challenged the constitutionality of her sentence as disproportionate, given that she wasn't there when Owen killed her husband, and yet Owen will eventually be eligible for parole. But Georgia's Supreme Court voted 5-2 Monday to deny her motion, citing Owen's testimony that she pushed for murder rather than divorce so that she could get her husband's insurance money.
In their request Monday for reconsideration, Gissendaner's lawyers said the parole board did not have a chance to hear the overwhelmingly positive testimony of many corrections employees who declined to speak up for fear of retaliation.
Her clemency petition already included testimonials from dozens of spiritual advisers, inmates and prison staff who described a seriously damaged woman transformed through faith behind bars. She has shown remorse and provided hope to struggling inmates while helping guards maintain control, they said."

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stop Monday's Execution of Kelly Gissendaner


http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/governor-deal-use-your-power-to-stop-the-execution-of-kelly-gissendaner
I just signed the campaign: Stop Monday's Execution of Kelly Gissendaner
It would mean the world to me if you could also add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see.
Will you join me by taking action on this campaign?
After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others. It's super easy – all you need to do is forward this email.
Thank you!

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
www.arcwp.org

Interview of Oprah with Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, is now online for viewing,

 http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Oprah-and-Sister-Joan-Chittister-Video

Inclusive Catholic Ministries on Palm Coast, Florida with Women Priests Miriam Picconi ARCWP and Wanda Russell ARCWP


INCLUSIVE CATHOLIC MINISTRIES
What is "Inclusive Catholic Ministries?"
We want to maintain the best of our Roman Catholic heritage and traditions.  We want to invite EVERYONE to participate in God's love and our ministries and we use inclusive language.   We want to offer what you the people of God want and need. We are starting several ministry outreaches.  Come and see if this is the faith community you are seeking.
MARCH
LENTEN PRAYER TIME AND COMMUNION WEDNESDAYS, March 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 7:00 PM at 2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast
MONTHLY MASS in PALM COAST Saturday, March 14, 4:00 P.M.  (USUALLY 2nd Sat. each month)   Hospitality follows.  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, FL 32164
ST. PATRICK’D DAY  Tuesday, March 17
CASTLE OTTTIS – INTERFAITH WORSHIP AND COMMUNION SERVICE Palm Sun-day, March 29, 10:00 AM at 103 3rd Street St. Augustine, 32084. See http://www.castleotttis.com/
ORDINATION OF PRIEST from  Columbia, South America on Saturday, March 14,  Sarasota, FL
APRIL
EASTER WORSHIP AND COMMUNION SERVICE AT CASTLE OTTTIS  Sunday, April 5, 10:00 AM at 103 3rd Street St. Augustine, 32084.  See http://www.castleotttis.com/

MONTHLY MASS in PALM COAST Saturday, April 11, 4:00 P.M.  (USUALLY 2nd Sat. each month)   Hospitality follows.  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, FL 32164
CASTLE OTTTIS – INTERFAITH WORSHIP AND COMMUNION SERVICE Sunday, April 26, 10:00 AM at 103 3rd Street St. Augustine, 32084.
MONTHLY PRAYER TIME AND COMMUNION Wednesday, April 22 from 7:00 to 8:15 PM at 2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast (Usually 4th Wednesday each month.)
CATACOMB ORDINATION IN OHIO Please keep person in your prayers.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Faith Family,
Lent started on Ash Wednesday, February 18, and it was wonderful to celebrate with new friends.  As I challenged us last month to reflect on the blessings that Jesus’ suffering and death has given us, I wonder how we have done so far.
I know that because Jesus suffered, I have been given much forgiveness and been freed from guilt.  I have been concentrating on those people whom God is bringing to mind and looking at our past/present relationship to see what I need to forgive or ask forgiveness.  It has been startling to see more than one person brought to mind.  I want to free any person with whom I have been acquainted from my judgmentalism, criticism, and other “isms” that come to mind.  I don’t want them to be bound in any way because I don’t release my negative thoughts and energy from them. 
This has been difficult yet a wonderful blessing for me and the other person.  The other person may not even know I have had any “problems” with them.  God’s Spirit may or may not have me go to them personally and ask forgiveness.  Having to go to them causes me anxiety; but God knows I am willing to receive the blessing from whatever it takes to free me and the other person.
I encourage each of us to reflect not only on the sufferings of Jesus and ourselves but also on the blessings Jesus’ life and death has brought us.  Reflect on the blessings Jesus has given us as we walked with Jesus over the years.  Reflect on the person we need to set free from some personal attitude we have had towards them.  What a blessing to set them free!
Love and peace,
Wanda

ORDINATION IN SARASOTA
Luz Galilea, from Columbia, South America, will be ordained a priest on March 14 at Mary Mother of Jesus, Sarasota, Florida.  There is much persecution and danger in South America at this time and we ask your prayers for all our candidates, deacons and priests ministering there.  Because of the danger, Ms. Galilea will be ordained in the USA.


INTERCESSORY PRAYER MINISTRY
Please send your prayer requests to wandayrussell@aol.com and we will enter your request in our book and offer your intentions to our loving God.  Many will join us in prayer for you.  You do not need to use names if you wish to protect confidentiality.  Our God knows for whom you are requesting prayer.

CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE FOR SALE
"Children and adolescents are being sold into a $150 billion annual market for sex and labor. This is happening globally, and domestically; in urban and suburban areas. Florida is ranked 3rd in the nation for the most calls to the national hotline for trafficking cases.
Devereux Florida, a part of the Devereux Foundation founded over 100 years ago, has a proven history of providing a wide variety of treatment programs for children who have experienced emotional, physical and sexual trauma.  Devereux’s program model is based on advanced clinical expertise, evidence based approaches and techniques to help individuals transition from troubled lives to bright futures filled with personal accomplishments and hope.  For over 25 years in Florida, Devereux has offered a full continuum of services for children who are victims of sexual abuse, sexual trauma and more recently sexual exploitation."  Perhaps you are being called to help these children?     Here is the address for the website: 










MATTHEW FOX COMING TO SARASOTA, FLORIDA


Monday: March 16,2015
Call-To-Action, St. Andrew UCC
6908 Beneva Road, 34238
7:00pm - Lecture - Being a Mystic in Today’s World: 

Teachings from the Wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen 
and Meister Eckhart 




JESUS AND THE GRAND INQUISITOR
The psychological association Julia Clair Carbone, ARCWP, is a part of (Archetypology of Everyday Life) began a formal study last weekend of Dostoevsky’s "The Brothers Karamazov". Below is a link for short video with John Gielgud of “The Grand Inquisitor” - one of the remarkable chapters in the book. It reenacts the encounter between Jesus who has returned and the Cardinal Inquisitor who has condemned him to burn at the stake for his radical view on human freedom.  It is quite profound and something it seems we are all now globally in the process of coming to an awareness of.       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om6HcUUa8DI
Perhaps this video is a good source for a Lenten meditation?
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Go to link about women in prison per Sr. Megan Rice who is in prison.







DINING AND FRIENDSHIP AFTER CASTLE OTTTIS SERVICE

Wanda Russell stands behind three new friends whom we met at the interfaith worship and communion service at Castle Otttis on February 22.
Lorraine Sharpe is a candidate discerning becoming a woman priest with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.  Lorraine and her husband, George, live in Casselberry, Florida.  They visited their friend, Terri Thell, in St. Augustine and decided to join us in worship at Castle Otttis.  It was a delight to have them worship with us.  Afterwards we shared over a meal at Caps Restaurant and had a beautiful view of the St. Johns River.  More importantly we had a wonderful conversation getting to know one another and answering questions about our woman priest movement.  It was a delight to hear George say that he liked the inclusiveness of our worship.  This included not only the inclusive language, but also, the inclusive welcome of ALL to the table of God.

We shared with them about the informative documentary, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican.  The documentary tells about the beginning of the Woman Priest Movement beginning with the Danube Seven in 2002.  The movement has grown from seven women to over 200 women and men around the world today.  The Sharpes and Terri plan to purchase it and share with others.  It is a well done and a telling documentary.



Wanda Russell behind Lorraine and George Sharpe & their friend, Terri Thell
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
The meditation below is for Ash Wednesday.  If you would like to follow all the daily meditations, go to www.cac.org to Center for Action and Contemplation where you can sign up to receive the daily meditations.  There is a blue box indicating an e-mail sign up. 
For the prophets, it was all about the purity and integrity of the divine-human relationship, which led them to point out the immense injustices of their world, their kings, and their priests.

Prophets: Self Critical Thinking


A Self-Balancing System
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 
(Ash Wednesday) 

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the central institution of Temple sacrifice, priests, and Levites attempted to balance itself with prophets, or the legitimation of official, sanctioned critics, even though they usually killed them in the end. But at least the immense institutional prestige and authority of ritual and priestcraft was balanced by the charismatic authority of the truth-speaking prophets. One was an inherited and ascribed status, the other was earned by speaking truth with no formal legitimation ever possible (Deuteronomy 18:9-22). There is no ordination for a prophet. So you can perhaps sense the inherent tension between prophets and priests, and also between prophets and kings (2 Samuel 12:1-7). Kings and priests were maintainers of social order. The prophets were disrupters of the social consensus. Within the system there is inherent conflict but, ideally, also a balance.

The priestly class, the scribes, the lawyers, and the temple formed a structured, rational religion. Prophets focused less on the rational, and spoke more from the right-brain, from intuition, through poetry and images and what they referred to as oracle, trance, or divination. To the prophets, everything revolved around faithfulness to Yahweh. For them it was all about the purity and integrity of the divine-human relationship, which led them to point out the immense injustices of their world, their kings, and their priests.

Prophets, by their very nature, can't be right at the center of the social structure. They cannot be full insiders, but they cannot throw rocks from outside either. Their structural position to this day is "on the edge of the inside." You must know and live the essential rules before you can critique what is not essential or not as important. (See Jesus do this masterfully in Matthew 5:17-48.) As Moses, the first prophet, learned, once Pharaoh is your benefactor and protector, there are many questions you can't ask anymore. You can't ask about liberation of slaves in Pharaoh's house, nor do questions of justice or equality make it to the dining room table. And if you do ask such questions, you will not be answered, but quietly--or savagely--eliminated. Is this not obvious? I think it would be very hard to preach the real Gospel in the White House, under any President of the USA, Democrat or Republican.

After Christianity became the established religion of the Western Empire in the 4th century, the priestly mentality pretty much took over in both East and West, and prophets basically disappeared. The Emperors even convened the Councils of the Church for many centuries. I have never come upon a single church in the whole world named "Christ the Prophet." Maybe now you know why. The top of the hierarchy was where almost all clergy henceforth resided, and usually in the good company of kings and princes who were their patrons. That is the perspective for most of preaching and Scripture interpretation for the next 1700 years: from white, European, educated, comfortable, often celibate males. I am one myself, and we are not all bad. But we are not all--by a long shot! It is time for the democratization of the Church, and Scripture has given us all the needed building blocks to do just that (e.g., 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 3:26-29).

My father, St. Francis, saw this problem in the 13th century and refused priesthood himself (he conceded to some early ordinations in the community, but only if such friars were first committed to radical poverty and humility). Pope Francis is evoking the same Gospel spirit, and I pray for his success and protection. What an irony that the ultimate establishment person would take the name of a non-establishment saint. It shocked the world, because we do not expect prophecy from popes. I am not sure we have ever seen a pope and a prophet in the same person in all of history!

Adapted from Way of the Prophet (no longer available);
and 
Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer, p. 37;
and Prophets Then, Prophets Now (
CD, MP3 download)

LINKS TO THE TRUTH
ByDan Morris-Young  

Faculty handbooks of the four high schools owned and operated by the San Francisco archdiocese
 will carry a new, free-standing section for the 2015-16 school year that puts teachers and faculty
on notice about heightened demands regarding adherence to Catholic teaching, particularly on
sexual issues, and warns against taking public positions that are contrary to church teaching.
Read More      Or paste this link into your browser: 
http://ncronline.org/node/95506
                 
                                                                                                                                                                                          MORE LINKS TO THE TRUTH

Monday, February 2, 2015             Happy Irony Week!!!  QUESTIONS FROM AN EWE

Boys and girls, a strange week it is indeed, and it’s only Monday.  

          I believe we women have been in bondage to Rome and our local
                                                  bishops and pastors, but, really!!!!    This is too much.  Speak out!
For more information go to this link and check article dated Feb 2 as well as the Vatican Response.
http://questionsfromaewe.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-vatican-responds.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QuestionsFromAEwe+%28Questions+from+a+Ewe%29


WHAT ABOUT ALTAR GIRLS?!
CBS Local
National Catholic Reporter
"If the Catholic Church ordained women, altar girls would make sense, but the Catholic priesthood is a male charism," he said. "Nothing awakens a ...
Francis recognizes Oscar Romero as martyr; beatification expected   By Joshua J. McElwee  

“Pope Francis formally declared Tuesday that Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated as a martyr for the Catholic faith, and the beatification of the prelate who was shot dead after radically calling on the church to stand with the poor is expected within months. “
Read More Or paste this link into your browser: 
http://ncronline.org/node/95376
  
Catholic hospital system about to take a huge step.   In the age of Pope Francis, why are Catholic bishops trying to deny health care coverage to people just because they're gay?
One of the nation's largest Catholic hospital systems, Mercy Health, is considering extending health insurance benefits to their employees' same-sex spouses. The decision could set a powerful precedent for other Catholic employers.
But now a handful of right-wing bishops are lashing out at Mercy Health, claiming that extending health care benefits would be like "abandoning the faith when subjected to the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire."
Mercy Health has rushed to clarify that it is "still exploring" its options, so we need to show just how many Christians support health care access for all families, regardless of sexual orientation.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE MINISTRY
Please pray…..  Gather people together and invite us to come…… Work on publicity for our movement…..Make phone calls…..  Bring a friend with you……  Talk about what is happening in the Church today and how others can help…… Help us create a web site….. Help us apply for 501c3 status with IRS…Make cup cakes…..Please pray for all lay and religious leaders AS WELL AS THE Pope and Bishops across the world.
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:                                                                   www.arcwp.org                                                   http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/
news@arcc-catholic-rights.net                           http://www.womensordination.org   
www.cta-usa.org                                                 www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org