Anglican Church consecrates oratory in favor of homosexuals
The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil consecrated on Sunday, the 9th, a small oratory for the images of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, the patron saints of homosexuals.
The church, located in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, supported the Diversity Parade Homo affective and with a sign that said "God does not discriminate against anyone," a Mass that lasted about an hour in the presence of 20 was celebrated faithful.
Saints, considered martyrs by the Anglican Church were military and lived in a stable relationship when converted to Christianity in the third century, until they were denounced and persecuted by Emperor Maximian, who ordered torture them and condemn them to death.
Later, the Byzantine Church (Orthodox branch of Christianity in the East) the canonized.
The Rev. Carlos Eduardo Calvani, head of the Anglican church, said in an interview with G1, before Mass, that diversity will always be welcome at the temple."The church must spread the right to pray without being discriminated against.We are not just a church for gays, but a family.We do not judge anyone and we welcome everyone, "said the Reverend.
The couple Alex Lima, 25, and Renato da Silva, 30, are church goers and say that the house itself and the adoption of her daughter four months were some of the graces received by the couple."For us it is an achievement because it shows that, long before, homosexuals were respected," Silva said.
Rev. Donna Owen will be the Celebrant/ Officiant assisted at the Altar by her wife and life partner Rev. Deacon Amber Tidwell.
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Collect: O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law
upon love of you and of our neighbor, grant that, by keeping your
precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus
Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
We usually use a Dialogue Homily, and encourage your input and/or
questions and discussion afterwards. The policy of Dignity is to adapt
the modern Catholic liturgy using inclusive and non-sexist language.
Communion wine is non-alcoholic and all are welcome to communion! We look forward to meeting you! Rev. Donna & Rev. Deacon Amber
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C Homily 6/16/13
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C Gospel & Readings
The Readings: first Reading 2 Samuel 12:7-10,13 God's judgment on David for taking another man's wife
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 32, 1-2,5,7,11 A prayer for forgiveness.
Second Reading Galatians 2:16,19-21 We are justified through faith in Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reading Luke 7:36—8:3 A sinful woman anoints Jesus' feet.
Today in our Readings, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel we have a recurring theme of sin and Judgment under the law being overcome by God’s forgiveness and Love, and the relationship between being delivered from guilt and sin and the gratitude and Love we feel when we ask for and receive forgiveness through the Grace of God and our faith in Jesus Christ.
In the first reading, the prophet Nathan confronts David with his sin of Adultery with Bathsheba and the subsequent killing of her husband Uriah, by David deliberately sending him into a battle in which he knew Uriah would be killed. When David hears this, he accepts Nathan’s rebuke and acknowledges, “I have sinned against the Lord.” to which Nathan replies, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.” David had willfully committed grave offenses, Yet when he repented of his actions, God was quick to forgive.
Our Psalm today is a penitential psalm, which begins with a blessing on those who have had their sins forgiven. Like David, the sinner has made a public confession of guilt, which leads to the experience of forgiveness which brings a deeper appreciation of the mercy and Love of God.
Our second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians, reminds us of an idea deeply rooted in the minds of many Christians both in his day and ours, that it is our following of prescribed laws and good deeds that buy for us the right to enter heaven. Paul’s argument for grace and faith over and above the law was an expansion of his criticism of Peter at Antioch 2:11-21 Paul accused Peter of succumbing to the pressure of the Judaizers or Pharisees turned Christians, whose insistence upon following Jewish Laws and customs as a necessary factor in the process of salvation, was in error as it negated the justifying power of faith in Jesus Christ. He says, “I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.”
This theme is carried forward in our Gospel today. We have the well known story of the “woman with the Alabaster Jar”. Pope Gregory's homily on Luke's gospel in the 6th Century, made it an official interpretation of the church that Mary Magdalene was the woman of the “alabaster jar”—a prostitute: This was a conflation of the two personages, and a mistake, but in common tradition many have and still do accept this as true. In the story the woman is not identified, but her actions towards Jesus and his attitude towards her, are juxtaposed with the Pharisee and his attitude toward Jesus and the woman. Before we dicuss this further, I would like to give you a bit of historical background on this setting, for those of you not familiar with social customs of the Ancient Near eastern World in the time of Jesus Christ.
In that time, dining rooms, especially those of the rich and famous, were left open to the public. Uninvited guests and curious onlookers could pass in and out of the room at will. Those who wished could take a seat near the wall and listen to the conversations between the host and his invited guests. You should also know that they did not “sit at table” to eat. The customary way of Jews in taking their meals was to remove their sandals and recline on a couch facing each other in kind of circle, with their feet on the outside. This is how the uninvited woman was able to approach Jesus, wash his feet with her tears, kiss them and then anoint them. She could not have done this under a table. Having gained entry to Simon’s house in this way, the woman overstepped the bonds of social acceptability by approaching Jesus. That Jesus permitted her extravagant show of love without condition prompted Simon to criticize, albeit silently, the authenticity of Jesus as a prophet. As a prophet, Simon thought, Jesus would have known that this woman was unclean, and in violation of both Jewish customs and social laws and forbidden her to touch him.
But Jesus is better than a prophet, and can read even Simon’s unspoken thoughts. Simon, feeling justified and righteous because of his adherence to Jewish Laws and customs, behaved towards Jesus in a way that was both inhospitable and un-loving. Feeling himself Justified in his behavior he was very judgmental towards both Jesus and the Woman who approached him.
By means of Jesus’ questions to Simon, and the parable of the two debtors, Jesus leads Simon to understand at least logically and intellectually, the woman’s’ actions and Jesus’ attitude towards her. The woman who was outside the law had been given what Simon, for all his scrupulous adherence to the law, had not been able to achieve; forgiveness and the joy of being justified or being right with God. His small, hidden sins were the same to God as her flamboyant, high profile infractions. Both were sinners and in need of forgiveness, but it was the Woman, in this case the greater sinner in the eyes of the law, who received the greater satisfaction of forgiveness through her wholehearted acceptance and gratitude for Christ’s love and mercy.
There is a mention after this account of the women who accompanied Jesus as he traveled from one town and village to another with the twelve disciples, Three are mentioned, including Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, but the passage also mentions Joanna, and Susanna, and that there were many others, and that some of these women even provided monetarily for their support.
Jesus’s attitude towards women was considered very revolutionary for the time. He mixed freely with them and allowed them to express publicly their deep love for him, as in the Gospel today. He even welcomed them among his disciples. Women accompanied him throughout his life, all the way to his crucifixion, and in all four Gospels they are the first witnesses to the Resurrection. They are the ones charged to bring the “good news” to the male disciples. Through Jesus, God reveals that women have an equal place in what society had traditionally only allowed to men.
In the final verses of the gospel 8:1-3, Luke has reemphasized Jesus’ special disposition towards for the disadvantaged and outcast members of society. He repeatedly went against laws that excluded these people, and welcomed to salvation with love and forgiveness all who would repent and believe. In various ways we have all shown disregard and ungratefulness for the gifts God has given us, and we all stand in need of God’s forgiveness and love in spite of our digressions. And is is for this reason we are also called to love and forgive all those who have wronged us. How can we allow ourselves to accept God’s forgiveness, if we cannot forgive each other?
In today’s reading, St. Paul says, “For through the law, I died to the Law, that I might Live for God, I have been crucified with Christ; Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ Lives in Me" What does it mean to have died to the Law? How does Christ Live in me? On this important subject, I offer you a quote from a wise and learned Priest and Jesuit Scholar, Fr. Joseph Fitzmyer
“The perfection of the Christian life is expressed here, since it is not merely an existence dominated by a new psychological motivation. Faith in Christ doesn’t substitute a new norm or goal of action. Rather, it reshapes man anew internally, supplying his with a new principle of activity on the ontological level of his very being. “ Fitzmeyer goes on to explain that faith in Christ and in the act of Christ living in the Christian result in a symbiosis of the “vivifying spirit” and that this is the vital principal of true Christian behavior.
The Ten Commandments - the Law of Moses have, over the past two millennia become a long list of Mortal and Venial Sins that now number nearly 20 x that of the original 10 Commandments in the Roman Catholic Church of today. When I read these of Laws of behavior and conduct that are intended to govern the lives of the faithful, I must conclude that the Judaisers with their Pharisee approach to the Law that St. Paul warned us about did indeed take over the church, and still control it. They overruled the influence of St. Paul and others who believed in the “vivifying spirit” of Jesus Christ as the supreme guide of our conscience and behavior. Perhaps they were afraid that the Commandment of Love and forgiveness that Jesus preached and taught by example would be too liberating to followers for the survival of the church.
I hope and pray that those who do believe in the “vivifying spirit” of Jesus Christ, and his love and Divine Mercy towards all those who seek him, will become the guiding principle of the Church again, and those who cling to laws and customs that are killing the faith of many while upholding what they believe to be a just and righteous interpretation of the sixth commandment, even to the point of attempting to influence and change laws that protect the rights and freedom of all citizens, catholic or not, will be outnumbered, and exposed for being the un-loving and unforgiving pharisee-Christian hypocrites that they are.
The joy of being forgiven and forgiving others expands the heart’s capacity for greater love, this is the best way we can express our desire to be like Jesus, to act with “vivifying spirit” of Christ in us, guiding us, directing our lives in a way that rules and laws can never replace. Mindful of our own human failings, perhaps Catholic poet, Rainer Maria Rilke is right when he says, “For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”
Unaided it is - and would be the most difficult task, but in those rare and wonderful moments when the love of Christ fills our hearts, it is the most natural feeling we can have for one another, and share with one another. So let us love one another as Jesus Christ has loved us, by living our faith, and forgiving each other, and surrendering our whole selves; flaws, sins and all, to the love and Divine Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“If Christ were born in Bethlehem a thousand times and not in thee thyself; then art thou lost eternally.”
― Angelus Silesius
“Here in time we are celebrating the eternal birth which God the Father bore and unceasingly bears in eternity, because this same birth is now born in time, in human nature.”
“To be receptive to the highest truth, and to live therein, a man must needs be without before and after, untrammeled by all his acts or by any images he ever perceived, empty and free, receiving the divine gift in the eternal Now, and bearing it back unhindered in the light of the same with praise and thanksgiving in our Lord Jesus Christ."
This Sunday on our Liturgical Calendar is Sunday after the Transfiguration of The Lord. Collect: "O Lord Christ, our indwelling power of transformation, who according to sacred lore upon Mount Tabor didst show Thyself in Thy true glory to thy disciples, grant that we thy servants may also in due time be transformed and transfigured into thy likeness, O Thou great liberator of the light from darkness.Amen."
We hope that all who wish to see us continue the Chapel of Ss. Serge & Bacchus at Ecclesia Gnostica Masses for The LGBTTQ Community will attend Mass and the Dinner and discussion following the Mass at a Location TBA.
This Sunday is Sunday after the Ascension: we will be celebrating the Mass of the Ascension and Extinguishing the Paschal Candle. The intent of the day is the Return to the Light. As Christ ascends to the Father, he also calls us to retun to the light.
"Our Lord, the joy of thy sweet cry has made us forget the life of this world, the sweetness of thy voice has made us remember the heavenly city. We rejoice as we ascend unto thee, Father with whom we have conquered in the land of darkness. O our great King, transport us to the city of the Angel-Gods, take us into the homes of rejoicing, for we are thine.Amen."
The lesson is taken from the Chaldean Oracles:
Let the immortal depths of the soul be opened, and open all thy eyes at once to the Above, for if the mortal draw near to the fire he shall have light from God. Thou shouldst speed to the light and to the rays of the Father. And when thou beholdest the most holy fire, flashing formless with dancing radiance through the depths of all the worlds, then listen to the voice of fire. Believe thyself to be out of body and so thou art; for divine things are not accessible to mortals who fix their minds on body; it is for those who strip themselves naked, who speed aloft to the height.
We look froward to seeing you there!
Rev's John & Donna, and Rev. Deacon's Gerry and Amber
Rev. John Goelz, celebrant. Rev. Donna will celebrate the Morning Mass at Ecclesia Gnostica at 11:00 AM.
"Low" Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter is also celebrated as the Sunday of Divine Mercy
"Our Lord's Mercy grants forgiveness of all sins and punishment on the Feast of Divine Mercy, Mercy Sunday, mercy for even the most hardened sinners! It is the Sunday of Divine Mercy, the Feast of Mercy!" http://www.divinemercysunday.com/
Intent: The Wealth of Spirit
O Light of Truth, Thou knowest that we have come into this world to fulfill Thy will, but we have become forgetful of our true home which is in Thy being. Save us from the darkness of the Chaos, lest we be swallowed up in it. Rescue us, O Light, in whose radiance we have believed: Forsake us not, O power indwelling and almighty! Move our souls most powerfully, so that we may leave behind the poverty of Ignorance and attain to the true wealth of Spirit in Gnosis!
Hope to see you there!
Rev. John Goelz, Rev. Donna Owen, Rev. Deacon Gerry Szeman, Rev. Deacon Amber Tidwell, and our lay server Laura
O Infinite Intelligence, in Whom all inspiration is, tell us the truth about ourselves in whatsoever ways we best may bear without being broken by that burden. Give us, we pray Thee, the sure and certain witness that spirit shall finally triumph over matter, and that death to the world is but a gateway to the ineffable splendor of eternal life in Thee. Deal lightly with us, O Divine Directing One, that we may learn our lessons in this life through love, yet with an unassuming air of absolute and utter confidence in Thy complete command of Cosmos; O never-setting sun of wisdom, goodness and truth, who livest and reignest God for ever and ever.
The lesson is taken from the Acts of St. John:
Jesus said to John: Thou hearest of me suffering, yet I have not suffered; pierced, yet was I not smitten; hanged, but was not hanged; blood flowing from me, yet it did not flow. And in a word, what they say of me, these things I did not have; while what they do not say, those I have suffered. Understand me then as the slaying of a Word, wound of a Word, hanging of a Word, suffering of a Word, fastening of a Word, death of a Word, resurrection of a Word, and defining this Word, I mean every man!
The gospel is taken from the Gospel according to St. Matthew:
As it began to dawn towards the first day of the week came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And, behold, there was a great earthquake, for the Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow, and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the Angel said unto the women: Fear not ye, for I know that ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that he is risen from the dead. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy, and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying: All hail. And they came and took Him by the feet, and worshipped Him.
This Sunday, March 6 · 5:00pm - 6:00pm we will be celebrating our Monthly Gnostic Eucharistic Service Especially for the LGBTTQ Community. This Sunday is Quinquagesima - The Next Sunday Before Lent
Intent: The Holy Spirit as the Fire of Love
O mighty Power, Wisdom full of Life, first great commander of the hosts of light and love! God of our life, Lord of dear kindness, perfect living Word, we pray thee to clothe us in the robe of light! The heavenly luminous wheels glorify thee, the Wind, and the Water and the fire, which daily ascend from the Abyss. O Love, that drawest forth the sparks of holiness from the earth, lead us to the rose upon the cross of gold! O Love, that art the lifeblood of the universe and the sustainer of our souls, give us strength to ascend unto thee.
The lesson is taken from the First Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but where there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The gospel is taken from the Gospel of the Cathars:
The Son of God said when he returned to heaven: “My little ones, be not sad on this account because you who stand in truth and justice and not as other men shall return otherwise to my Father’s Kingdom.” And having said the above, the Son of God said to bar Yona: “Let no one put his hand to my plough unless he wishes to grasp it firmly. For he who shall give a cup of water to my little ones shall be blessed, because he shall receive a hundredfold more. See, therefore, if the holy Father promises us much, yet he who shall deceive my little ones in the matter of a single penny, his soul shall not be worth another penny. Where there is one who is my little one, I myself shall be with him, and where there are two, likewise, and where there are three, in the same way.”
Hope to see you there!
Rev's John, Donna, Gerry, AMber and our Lay server Laura
Happy New Year to All! This coming Sunday the 2nd of January at 5:00 PM, we will celebrate our monthly Chapel service especially for the GLBTTQ COmmunity of Gnostics. We hope to see you there!
Rev's John, Donna, Gerry, Amber, and our helpful Lay Server Laura
O omnipotent God, who fillest and dost govern the immensity of worlds which have come forth from Thee; Thou verily art the eternal new-born Child, and yet Thou art the Ancient of Days! Thou hast veiled Thy ineffable glory and splendor in the garment of time and the cloak of space; Thou wilt transform all things so that they might return to Thee, to Thy timeless essence. We dedicate our lives to Thee, and we resolve to so live throughout this year, that Thy glory might increase and fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.
The lesson is taken from the Book of the Revelation of St. John the Divine:
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. Behold, I make all things new.
The gospel is taken from the words of Hermes the Thrice Great Lord:
Your consciousness is in God; draw it into yourself, and it will appear; will, and it takes birth; suspend the senses of the body and the birth of the Godhead takes place. But first you must purify yourselves from the mindless torments of matter, one of which is ignorance, though there are many others, which force the man who is confined to the prison of the body to suffer by way of the passions. But these at once depart from him on whom God has had mercy, and so the body of Gnosis in man is built. This is the way of true rebirth. And now my child be still, and keep solemn silence; and thus will the grace from God not cease to come upon us.
Second Sunday in Advent: Violet. Mass of same
Feast day of the H. Nicholas
The lesson is taken from the writings of the Gnostic Fathers:
Cease to seek God in created things on the outside, but seek Him within thyself; and thus learn who it is that takes possession of thee and says: “My God, my consciousness, my understanding, my soul, my body.” Then learn whence is sorrow, and rejoicing, and love, and hate, and being awake, and being asleep, and getting angry against one’s will. Now if thou inquire into these things thou shalt find Him in thyself, one and many, like the atom, and thus thou shalt find the way out from thy lesser self.
We're at 3363 Glendale Blvd in Atwater Village (nearest cross street is Revere, Turn on Revere to enter parking lot from alley.plenty of parking!
Perspectives - Vol. 1, No. 3 - Can Religion Change Your Sexuality? http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=283 Barb Chan...
Chapel of Ss. Serge and Bacchus Congregation
Taken March 8th, 2009
The Chapel of Saints Serge and Bacchus at Ecclesia Gnostica
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SS. Serge & Bacchus
Saints Sergius and Bacchus were two Roman soldiers and lovers. As John Boswell has shown recently they were invoked repeatedly in the middle ages in the blessing of ceremonies of union for couples of the same sex. They were arrested and humiliated for being Christians. Bacchus was killed first, and then a few days later, Sergius. Their joint "passion" calls them "erastoi" - that is "erotic lovers", and after he died, Bacchus offers himself to Sergius as the prize for Sergius' martyrdom. The female clothes they were forced to wear may have been an early example of gay baiting. (One thing that cannot be found among the saints is a male saint who voluntarily adopted women's clothes). Their cult was one of the most intense in the eastern Mediterranean, with a huge pilgrimage site at Sergiopolis (Rusapha). The passage following, translated from the earliest passion by John Boswell, recounts Sergius' laments after Bacchus' death, and Bacchus appearance to him, promising himself as the prize of martyrdom.
Died in the persecution of Septimus Severus in the year 203 at Carthage. The popularity of the story of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas...was largely dues to the appeal of love between two women. Five Christians were martyred together at Carthage on March 7, 203, suffering death at the hands of wild animals and the sword, but only Perpetua and Felicitas captured the fancy of the Christian community, apparently because of the tale of the two women comforting each other in jail, suffering martyrdom together as friends, and bestowing upon each other the kiss of peace as they met their end, charmed the tastes of the age."