Church Stuff-More or less

Does the church make sense or do we make it too hard for people to come in? I think yes and yes and the task then is to make it easier. Maybe for someone out there, this will be the case. I write as a Lutheran (or, perhaps a Lutherpalian) although I might seem out of the mainstream from time to time. That's okay, isn't it? Let's blog on.

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Location: Northport, Long Island, United States

Contrary to what Google will tell you, I have been blogging for several year, right here. Look for Churchstuff-moreorless. life was a hell of a lot easier when you could talk to someone to get help. Now, you can't do it on the telephone, you can't do it on the internet. Life was easier and made more sense because people actually cared. Now they will screw you as quickly as they will help you. Unfuck the world.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oscar Romero, Presente

Thirty years ago, On March 24, 1980, as he was celebrating Mass, consecrating the Eucharist, Oscar A. Romero y Galdamez was assassinated by a member of the El Salvadoran military. As he had predicted, his murder would not diminish the work that he had begun among the poor of San Salvador. Even before his death, the government of El Salvador had been systematically eliminated voices of the faithful whom they deemed to be threats to their oppression of the poor. Among these were:
Rutilio Grande Garcia, S.J. - assassinated March 12, 1977

Alfonso Navarro Oviedo - assassinated May 11, 1977
Ernesto Barrera - assassinated November 28, 1978
Octavio Ortiz Luna - assassinated January 20, 1979

Rafael Palacios - assassinated June 20, 1979

Alirio Napoleon Macias – assassinated August 4, 1979

The death of Monsenor Romero did not bring an end to the bloodshed.

On December 2, 1980, four churchwomen (Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clark, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and lay missioner Jean Donovan) were murdered by members of the El Salvadoran National Guard.

On November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests and two laywomen were murdered in their sleep: Ignacio Ellacuria , Ignacio Martin-Baro, Segundo Montes, Arnando Lopez, Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, Juan Ramon Moreno, Juli Elba Ramos, a cook, and Cecilia Ramos, her daughter, age 15.

Over 70,000 El Salvadorans died in a war that spanned the 1970’s and the 1980’s and was underwritten by the United States Government. Many were professional church workers. Yet, for most of his career, the Church turned a deaf ear to the suffering that went on and that Romero, in his life, sought to alleviate.

"I do not believe in death without resurrection," he said. "If they kill me, I will be resurrected in the Salvadoran people."

"Yo no creo en la muerte sin resurrección," dijo. "Si me matan, voy a ser resucitados en el pueblo Salvadoreño".

For this sanctoral day, I wrote the following eucharistic prayer:

Commemoration of Oscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador (March 24)
P: It is truly right and a good and joyful thing

that we should at all times and in all places,
offer our thanks and praise to you,

Holy God through Christ our Lord.

You have brought rulers down from their
and exalted those who were hungry.

You have filled the hungry with good things

and the rich you have sent away empty-handed.

And so with the Church on earth, with
with the martyrs of El Salvador and all the
hosts of heaven,
we praise your name and join
their unending hymn:
The Sanctus is said or sung.

P: You are indeed holy, O God,
and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.

Your Spirit was upon him and you anointed
him to preach the Good News to the poor.
You sent him to proclaim release to the captives,
the recovery of sight to the blind,

to release those who were downtrodden
to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.

By the baptism of Jesus’ suffering, death,
and resurrection,
you gave birth to your church,

delivered us from slavery to sin and death,

and made with us a new covenant by water
and the Spirit.
On the night before he suffered death,
our Lord Jesus gathered his friends around the table
and as he took bread,
he offered thanks to you;
breaking it, and
giving it to all of them, saying:
“Take and eat; this is my body, given for
Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After all of them had eaten, he again took the cup and offered thanks to you,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness
of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.”

And so,
in remembrance of these your
mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and
as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
C: Christ has died. Christ has risen.
Christ will come again.

P: Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered
and on these gifts of bread and wine.

As they are the body and blood of Christ for us,

so may we be for the world
the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
Fill us with the boldness of your servant Oscar;

enable us to denounce sin in our world and
pronounce your reign among us,
and to lend our hands and our hearts to building
that reign in our world.
By your Spirit bind us to Christ,
one to another,
together in ministry to all the world,
until Christ comes in final victory and we
feast at the heavenly banquet.
Through your son Jesus Christ,
with the
Holy Spirit in your holy church,
all honor and
glory is yours, Almighty God, now and forever.
C: Amen

P: And now, as God’s confident children,
we boldly pray:
C: Our Father in heaven...

Monday, March 01, 2010

A Prayer of Hope: A Prayer from Chile

I believe that behind the mist
the sun waits.
I believe that beyond the dark night
it is raining stars.
I believe in secret volcanoes
and the world below.
I believe that this lost ship will reach port.
They will not rob me of hope,
it shall not be broken,
it shall not be broken.
My voice is filled to overflowing
with the desire to sing,
the desire to sing.

I believe in reason,
and not in force of arms.
I believe that peace will be sown throughout the earth.
I believe in our nobility,
created in the image of God,
and with free will reaching for the skies.
They will not rob me of hope,
it shall not be broken,
it shall not be broken.

By: Education for Justice