2018-01-31-Council of Elders Weekly Call to Worship

Blessed be, God dwelling at the highest heavens, just as you dwell in our lives, our smiles and tears, blessed be as you dwell in our pain and the delight of Beingness. Blessed be God, in Whom we move and exist.

Teach us to perceive your presence and praise you. Teach us that this brief, short existence does not require us to be small. Help us contemplate life as the unfathomable mystery that is. In boredom and pain, no less than in emotion and in joy – the joy of touching, tasting, smelling, feeling the sacred simplicity, because we are unique, precious and with a life and grace of our own at those times.

Blessed God, dwell delightfully within us.

So be it.

prayer submitted by

Development Coordinator of MCC in Brazil

Epiphany Reflection (2018)

It seems very superficial to talk about the manifestations of Jesus among us without listening to the voices of the millions of victims of the systems of destruction in this world. Epiphany means appearance or manifestation, it is an experience of Jesus in body and flesh. Someone very concrete that is seen and walks between us.

Christian tradition relates three narratives with Jesus’ epiphanies among peoples. The first is the narrative of the three wise men, three foreigners who were able to perceive the revelation of Jesus, as a vulnerable child, without the ability to defend herself / himself. The second is the narrative of Jesus’ baptism where he accepts a prophetic call not because he receives the anointing of the Spirit of God, but because he decides to go to face his demons in the desert. The third narrative is the conversion of water into wine at the wedding of Cana, in there Jesus himself prepares the party so that everyone can continue celebrating life.

But the question remains, how relevant these stories are in a world that is increasingly broken, unjust and violent? In recent years we have witnessed a humanitarian crisis generated by the situation of people displaced by the violence of political and economic systems. Jesus in his epiphany as a vulnerable and fragile child shouts at us in the hundreds of images of boys and girls on rafts crossing the seas to reach safe lands, in children rescued after the bombing, in girls kidnapped by extremists. In those bodies Jesus screams and manifests … can we hear him? Jesus manifests himself in his choice for a prophetic ministry in the voices of the thousands of relatives of the disappeared in Mexico who cry out for the bodies of their sons and daughters. More than 29,000 disappeared in less than six years without any clue of them and that reality is a scandal that the Mexican government refuses to answer … but Jesus goes to the desert to face the demons with his body and says:

“I want to tell my children that I love them with all the strength of my heart and that I will not stop looking for them.” I not only look for my 4 missing children, I am looking for the thousands and thousands of children of mothers who are suffering. same as me. ” (words of María Herrera Magdaleno from Michoacán). She has been searching for his 4 children for 7 years. Jesus shouts in the voice of Maria: those are my beloved children … return them to this earth!

In the big garbage dumps of the world, where garbage collectors look for the possibility of life where many of us saw waste, Jesus prepares the party, turning water into wine, when the garbage collectors find what sustains them. The epiphanies of Jesus shout to us, can we listen? Or are we entertained with biblical narratives?
by Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León
on behalf of the Metropolitan Community Churches Council of Elders:
Rev. Elder Dr. Candace R. Shultis, Convener
Rev. Elder Ines-Paul Baumann
Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown
Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner
Rev. Elder Tony Freeman
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner
Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez
Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson
Elder Nancy Maxwell
Rev. Elder Mona West, PhD

2017-12-19-Council of Elders Weekly Call to Worship

(Finnish Language)
Me olemme Jumalan kansa, me olemme Pyhä kansa, me olemme yksi.
Me olemme Jumalan luomia, me olemme erilaisia, kaikki samanarvoisia.
Tänä aamuna aurinko nousi ja valaisi luomakuntaasi.
Tänä aamuna sinun armosi ja rakkautesi on minulle tarjolla.
Auta minua, että uskaltaisin heittäytyä koko sydämestäni niiden varaan ja luottaisin siihen, että sinä kannat.
Anna rohkeutta avata suuni, kun näen sortoa ja epäoikeudenmukaisuutta.
Anna viisautta, että en lietsoisi vihaa vaan rakentaisin ymmärrystä ihmisten välille.
Auta näkemään sinut kaikessa luomakunnassasi. Yhdistä meidät niin, että me olemme yksi.
Tätä pyydämme sinun nimessäsi Jeesus

We are the people of God, the Holy nation, we are one.
We are created by God, we are all unique, we are all equal.
This morning sun rose and brought light to this world that is your creation.
This morning your love and mercy are available for me and us all.
Help me to throw myself with my whole heart to be supported by them and trust that you are there for me and us.
Give me the courage to open my mouth when I see oppression and injustice.
Give me wisdom so that I would not incite hatred and instead would be building understanding between people.
Help us see You in Your creation. Unite us in You so that we may be one.
This we ask in Your name Jesus

prayer submitted by

Helsinki, MCC Emerging Church