6th Sunday of Easter: “Luminous Hope” Revelation 21:10-11, 22-27, 22:1-5

Image: close up of crystal. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“For God is good – or rather, of all goodness God is the Fountainhead.” – Athanasius of Alexandria, 4th century Greek Church leader and theologian

Prelude “Panis Angelicus” (Ian)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome to our 6th Sunday of Easter worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Welcome guests. Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, and continue to support the protection of their ancient, sacred shellmound nearby.

Altar Flowers (For the Glory of God)

Invocation (liturgist)

We are gathered in Faith – drawn by the Light of Christ.

We are gathered in Hope – trusting in God’s goodness.

We are gathering in Love – upheld by the Beloved Community.

May God’s Glory shine upon us!

May we be uplifted and blessed!

Amen.

As Pastor Kathryn lights the Christ Candle and Altar Votives, let us remember those who are not physically present, but with us in spirit or thought. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Ian)

Time for Children “God’s Goodness” Taking comfort in God’s goodness

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Grace is an unearned gift from God given to us for the well-being and uplift of all beings. Grace takes many forms. Sometimes it arrives directly; sometimes we encounter it through others.

Across cultures and throughout the ages, God has given a few people amazing spiritual insight. God allows them to see ultimate potential. God also gives them the ability to describe in story and song, dance and ritual what they have perceived and pass these revelations onto us.

It is a grace to receive these precious gifts. May we be grateful for freely given wisdom, vision, and hope. Amen.

Special Music “Jesus Bids Us Shine” (Ian)

We Listen

Scripture: Revelation 21:10-11, 22-27, 22:1-5 (liturgist; version: CEB)

NOTES: “the Lamb” is a symbol for the Resurrected, Ascended, Eternal Jesus Christ.

[The angel] took me in a spirit-inspired trance to a great, high mountain, showing me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. The city had God’s glory. Its brilliance was like a priceless jewel, like jasper that was as clear as crystal.

I didn’t see a temple in the city, because its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. The city doesn’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the rulers of the earth will bring their glory into it.Its gates will never be shut by day, and there will be no night there. They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is vile and deceitful, but only those who are registered in the Lamb’s scroll of life.

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life, which produces twelve crops of fruit, bearing its fruit each month. The tree’s leaves are for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and God’s servants will worship God. They will see God’s face, and God’s name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more. They won’t need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine on them, and they will rule forever and always.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon: “Luminous Hope”

Special Music “Bach BWV 768 Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig” (Ian)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Beloved God, Never-Ending Source of All that is Eternally Good, today ask for Your help in turning away from all that demotes our well-being. May we turn toward Your Dream for us. Illuminate us with Your brilliant, glorious light. Saturate our unhelpful ideas with a deep knowledge of Your foundational goodness, the ultimate reality that permeates the cosmos. Flood the wells of our souls with Your radiant hope, Almighty God. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The God’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Ian; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor) *Singing inside – masks on, softly * Next Sunday – outside only * Got grads? Please inform Pastor Kathryn for our Dads and Grads Sunday, June 19th

Closing Hymn: “Shall We Gather at the River” (Chalice #701) Words and Music by Robert Lowry, 1864. All verses.

Benediction (pastor; spontaneous)

Postlude solo (Ian)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: May 20, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

5th Sunday of Easter: “An Impossible Dream?” Revelation 21:1-6 * PAAM Sunday

Art: “Journey with Jesus” Hi Qi. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

PAAM: The UCC’s Pacific Islander and Asian Americans Ministry

We Gather

“As we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, God Has A Dream

Prelude (Ian)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome to our 5th Sunday of Easter worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Today we celebrate “PAAM Sunday” and are delighted to welcome Rev. Dr. Sharon Thornton to the pulpit. Welcome other guests.

Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (For the Glory of God)

Invocation (liturgist; inspired by Brenda Jo Wong)

Resurrected Jesus Christ, we call Your Light to shine:

Shine on everyone who has experienced anti-Asian hate. Tend our multi-generational wounds from racial traumas. Guide us in crafting Your justice for all.

Shine on our Asian women who suffer from cultural values that favor males over females. Help us to name our sins, growing in respect for each other.

Shine on our souls that we might see each other as You see us – worthy and valued. May Your love free and inspire us.

Shine throughout the Asian American community bringing us together. May Your Holy Spirit create new bonds of solidarity with other oppressed cultures, too.

Shine on everyone, everywhere, to dismantle the blight of racial supremacy. May we be open to allies of all races seeking Your ways. Amen. (bjw, very heavily adapted)

As Pastor Kathryn lights the Christ Candle and Altar Votives, let us remember those who are not physically present, but with us in spirit or thought. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Ian)

Time for Children “God’s Glasses” Seeing ourselves as God sees us

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Dear Ones, what promise, what hope comes from Christ’s proclamation: “See, I am making all things new!” Today, whatever no longer serves, whatever continues to pinch and bruise, whatever critically questions and shames, whatever belittles the wonders our souls know to be truly true – let us offer these to God to be cast away with the unneeded former things.

Our God is always makings all things new. May the grace of God’s faithfulness refresh our spirits with hope and gratitude. Amen.

Special Music (Ian)

We Listen

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-6 (liturgist; version: NTPIV)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride and bridegroom adorned for each other. And, I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

God will dwell with them;

they will be his peoples,

and God will indeed be with them;

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

Mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” And this one also said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then the same one said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon: “An Impossible Dream?” Rev. Dr. Sharon Thornton, guest preacher

Special Music (Ian)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Magnificent One, Source and Sustainer of All That Is, we thirst for Your vision for ourselves and for our ministry. We have experienced “first things” passing away and we seek Your assurance that You are indeed making “all things new.” We offer ourselves to You for transformation, illuminated by the radiant Risen Christ. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The God’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Ian; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Singing inside – masks on, softly
  • Next Sunday – “Luminous Peace”
  • Got grads? Please inform Pastor Kathryn. Dads and Grads Sunday, June 19.

Closing Hymn: “With the People We Have” (handout – all verses; congregation sings softly) Words and Music by Daniel Charles Damon, © 2013, Hope Publishing Company.

We Relocate Outside

Special Music “Oh Happy Day” (Inside – Ian, instrumental)

Special Music “Oh Happy Day” (After everyone is outside – Mark, guitar and singing)

Benediction (guest pastor)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(bjw) https://intervarsity.org/blog/5-ways-pray-our-asian-american-ohana

(NTPIV) The New Testament and Psalms, Inclusive Version. ©1995 Oxford University Press.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: May 10, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

4th Sunday of Easter: “Bouquet of Gratitude” John 19:25-27 * Mother’s Day

Photo: “Surprise Poppies at BCCC” Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“They say ‘”Anonymous” was a woman,’ but every woman is known, and their names and memories are treasured by those who share their hopes and their love for the earth and all humankind.” – Megan McKenna, dedication, This Will Be Remembered of Her (mam)

Prelude (Vicky)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Happy Mother’s Day! Welcome to our 4th Sunday of Easter worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. Welcome guests. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (Darlene Hamady in memory of Gail Lee and Clara Hamady)

Call to Worship (liturgist)

On this Mother’s Day, we are expressing gratitude for our mothers and mothering persons. May these questions from contemporary theologian Dr. Megan A. McKenna help us to remember our mothers of faith:

Who saves the tradition and incorporates new technologies?

Who remembers necessary disciplines and salts them with new insights?

Who are the creative ones who heal and tend our souls?

Who are the street-wise pastors and urban mystics shifting with the times?

Who are the transformers converting destruction to reconciling peace?

Who are the tellers of God’s Word in voice and action?

Who are the mercy-givers digging new springs of compassion?

Who challenges our hearts to include the excluded?

Who makes sacred space out of every landscape?

Who asks about our feelings, our relationships sterile and fertile?

Who tells stories about enduring with grace in the midst of horror?

Who tells the truth in words and through silence?

Who translates wisdom and insights into every language?

Who prays for and tends our broken relationships?

Who cries out to God on behalf of those unable to pray?

Who breaks open God’s heart asking for justice and mercy?

Who kneels before all life in awe, humility, and grace?

Who gives their lives that others may live?

Who risks everything for what is emerging?

Who challenges what does not protect humanity?

Who must be remembered because they embody our faith? (mm, adapted)

As Pastor Kathryn lights the Christ Candle and Altar Votives, let us remember our mothers and mothering persons. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor will light votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Vicky)

Sharing Mother’s Day Flowers and Passing the Peace (everyone receives a flower; all share gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

A resurgence of interest in a “Holy Mother” often occurs during and after civil upheaval. The feminine divine appeals to us when we need nurturing care and healing from challenges to heart, mind, body, and soul.

Julian of Norwich, a gifted spiritual leader, lived through three bouts of the Bubonic plague and related economic and social crises in urban 13th century Norwich, England. A mystic, one whom God blessed with a spiritual imagination, Julian received wisdom to share about Jesus Christ as “our true Mother,” a new Christian concept.

She wrote, “Jesus Christ therefore, who himself overcame evil with good, is our true Mother. We received our Being from Him ­and this is where His Maternity starts. ­And with it comes the gentle Protection and Guard of Love which will never ceases to surround us.” (jn)

On this Mother’s Day, let us receive the grace of Jesus Christ’s maternal love and care. Amen.

Special Music (Vicky)

We Listen

Scripture: John 19:25-27 Jesus’s Final Act of Love for His Mother” (liturgist; version: CEB)

In John’s gospel, Jesus last act before dying is to make filial arrangements for his devoted, faithful mother inviting “the disciple whom he loved” to adopt her into his family.  Jesus expresses profound thanks for his mother by ensuring she will be taken care of all the days of her life.

Jesus’ mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 

Then Jesus said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” 

And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon: “Bouquet of Gratitude” (pastor) Using words of gratitude from church members, Pastor Kathryn’s message will lift up our thanksgiving for mothers and mothering persons. Be sure to send your gratitude comments to her by Friday noon. Thank you!

Special Music (Vicky)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Dear Jesus Christ, our True Mother, we turn to You for nurture and guidance, for security and inspiration. Inspired by Your love for Your mother, and Your mother’s love for You, we ask to become better “mothering ones” regardless of our gender or family configuration.

We also pray for our mothers. May our gratitude be genuinely appreciative, as well as merciful and forgiving. Grant us insight to better understand the lives of our mothers, bringing healing wherever it is needed, offering joyful celebration where it is warranted.

Finally, today we pray for all mothers, especially those facing special challenges. Give them exactly what they need to do their best, including the grace to kindly adapt with courage and goodwill, leaning into Your care for essential support. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The God’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Vicky; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Singing inside – masks on, softly
  • Next Sunday – PAAM Sunday celebration at BCCC

Closing Hymn: “With the People We Have” (handout – all verses; piano, Vicky; teach this upbeat hymn; congregation sings softly) Words and Music by Daniel Charles Damon, © 2013, Hope Publishing Company.

Benediction (pastor)

May the Mother of all Mothers and Mothering Ones, the Holy One, bless you and yours on this Mother’s Day. And may each of us find within ourselves the power to love as Jesus Christ loved — a strong, selfless Big Love that cares for bodies and souls, now and forevermore. Amen.

Postlude (Vicky)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(ceb) Common English Bible, © 2011.

(jn) Julian of Norwich, translation found online from her “Revelations of Divine Love”, not sure which version. For a wonderful bio – see Amy Fryholm’s Julian of Norwich ©2011.

(mam) Megan A. McKenna, This Will Be Remembered of Her ©2010. Call to Worship adapted, by kms, from “Introduction” found on pages xii-xiii.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: May 3, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

3rd Sunday of Easter: “Sheep Feeding” John 21: 9-17 with Holy Communion

Photo: “Artwork at San Damiano Retreat Center, Danville, CA. Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2015. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“Jesus focused on [the] special needs of the future shepherds of the church during those forty days after his resurrection. He deepened his tender bond with them. He ministered to their fear, guilt, doubts, fatigue, and hurts. He encountered their wounds in his risen spiritual body that carried his wounds as well as his light. He ‘fed’ the shepherds, not as mere instruments but as beloved friends.” – Rev Flora Slosson Wuellner, Feed My Shepherds

Prelude (Vicky)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome to our 3rd Sunday of Easter worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. Welcome guests. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers

Call to Worship (liturgist) Beloved Ones, little lambs and sheep, let us gather in the Eternal Presence of the Living Christ. The Resurrected One who fed and inspired the fishing disciples after the First Easter continues to nourish us and tend our ministries. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor will speak, then light votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Vicky)

Children’s Message “Tended” Jesus feeds his disciples. (pastor; children stay with family)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

After a long workday, no matter what our labor has been, sometimes a part of us becomes a little child wanting to be fed by a loving parent. We seek comfort and reward. This need is much more than physical; it is also spiritual. We need soul tending.

The Resurrected Jesus fed his disciples. Jesus actually cooked them a meal when they came home from fishing. The Eternal Christ desires to feed us, too.

Is your soul hungry? What feels unmet, dissatisfied, edgy? Pause into that untidy, needy energy. This is our deepest self needing soul care. The Living Christ desires to soothe and comfort. Offer this dissonance to Christ. This need is a grace – a key to open a door to a deeper connection with God. Amen.

Special Music (Vicky)

We Listen

Scripture: John 21:9-17 (liturgist; version: NRSV)

When the [fishing disciples] had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 

Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because Jesus said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon: “Hungry?” (pastor) As we continue celebrating Christ’s Resurrection, we enter the story of Jesus’ post-Easter feeding of the fishing disciples and calling leader Simon Peter to show his love of Jesus by feeding his “sheep.”

Special Music (Vicky)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) On Easter morning we loved the drama of the Empty Tomb, O Christ, but this morning we need comforting. We need feeding and tending. We need Your gentle reassurance that we are going to make it despite whatever has happened. We need You!

Beloved Resurrected Christ, on this morning we come to You awaiting Your attention, care, and call to action. We come to You knowing You will give us exactly what we need. Thank You. Thank You. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The God’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Vicky; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Singing inside – masks on, softly
  • After hymn, outside for Holy Communion

Communion Song: “I Come with Joy” Chalice Hymnal #420, all five verses (piano, Vicky; may need to teach this upbeat hymn; congregation sings softly)

We Relocate Outside

Please transition outside. Individually wrapped Holy Communion elements distributed.

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Welcome to Outside Holy Communion (pastor)

Gathering All Souls (pastor) Whenever we gather for Holy Communion, we do so as a mystical communion of souls – those physically present and those in spirit. Let us speak the names of those with whom we share this blessed meal… (say names out loud)

Words of Invitation (pastor) This Sunday, we imagine ourselves on the beach with Jesus. We are at the Sea of Galilee where the disciples, fishermen, are working. They are not aware they are about to encounter the Risen Christ. May we, also, be so wonderfully surprised in the sharing of this meal.

Prayer of Consecration (pastor; spontaneous) Each person holds individual elements.

Sharing the Elements

While the disciples were still out on their boats fishing Jesus made a fire and began to prepare a meal for them. Jesus baked fresh bread and fresh fish. As the disciples came ashore, nets filled with fish, Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast!” Now when Jesus said this, they weren’t quite sure who it was who was speaking to them. But then…

Jesus took the bread, (lift up bread); thanked God for it, (praise God); Jesus broke it, (break the bread); and gave it to the disciples saying: “Take, eat. This is my body, which has been given for you. Remember this?”

In the same way, after they had finished their breakfast, Jesus took the cup, (fill and lift); thanked God for it, (praise God); and gave it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which has been poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Remember this?”

On this 3rd Sunday of Easter we heed Jesus’ call to feed others. We share this loaf with…

  • Those who are hungry
  • Those who are scared
  • Those who are looking for God
  • Those who WILL come to BCCC

The Eternal Christ still calls to all disciples of Jesus saying, “Come and eat!” Let us receive the meal the Lord has prepared for us! (all eat and drink)

Prayer of Thanksgiving (pastor) Do we love You, Resurrected Jesus? Yes, we do! Do we remember You, Resurrected Jesus? Yes, we do! Thank You for tending us and for the call to tend each other. We are filled and grateful. Amen.

Benediction (pastor) Jesus is still speaking: “Do you love me?” The best reply is to tend each other. Let us go forth joyfully renewed, nourished to serve, blessed by the Peace of Christ. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(fsw) Flora Slosson Wuellner, Feed My Shepherds ©1998.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: April 25, 2022; completed April 29, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

2nd Sunday of Easter: “All Creatures Sing” Psalm 96 * Earth Week 2022

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“All of creation is a praise song to God.” – Hildegard of Bingen, 11th century Christian mystic

Prelude (Ian)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome to our 2nd Sunday of Easter/Earth Week worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. Welcome guests. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers

Call to Worship (liturgist – teach “Alleluia!” response)

Dear Ones, we dwell among all manner of creatures and natural forms of life. We are Beloved Siblings among Beloved Siblings. Let us welcome the Risen Christ together:

O shining sun and recent showers, let us praise the Risen Christ: Alleluia!

O leafing trees and flowering plants, let us praise the Risen Christ: Alleluia!

O singing birds and busy bees, let us praise the Risen Christ: Alleluia!

O companion animals and wild creatures, let us praise the Risen Christ: Alleluia!

O unseen and essential elements, let us praise the Risen Christ: Alleluia!

O Beloved Siblings of every species, let us praise the Risen Christ: Alleluia!

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor will speak, then light votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Ian)

Children’s Message “The Goldfinch and Jesus Christ” (pastor; children stay with family) (resources: cc, iliam)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor) Dear Ones, The Creator most wonderfully designed all living beings to be interconnected. St Basil, in the 4th century, wrote a prayer that includes these lines: “O God, enlarge in us the sense of communion with all living things; our brothers and sisters the plants and animals. You have given them the earth as their home in common with us.” (gotc)

On this 2nd Sunday of Easter, as we observe Earth Week, let us savor the grace of dwelling in constant community with all living beings. God designed us to live well together. May it be so. Amen.

Special Music (Ian)

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 96 (liturgist; version: The New Testament and Psalms)

O sing to God a new song; sing to God, all the earth.

Sing to God, bless that holy name; tell of God’s salvation from day to day.

Declare God’s glory among the nations, God’s marvelous works among all the peoples.

For great is the Most High, and greatly to be praised; indeed, to be revered above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Most High made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before God; strength and beauty are in God’s sanctuary.

Ascribe to God, O families of the peoples, ascribe to God glory and strength.

Ascribe to God the glory due that holy name; bring an offering, and come into God’s courts.

Worship God in holy splendor; tremble before God, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “God is sovereign! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. God will judge the peoples with equity.”

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it.

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before God; who is coming to judge the earth, and who will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with truth.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon: “Creation’s Christ” (pastor) As we continue celebrating Christ’s Resurrection – let us consider our fellow creatures and God’s redemptive activity for the well-being of all beings.

Special Music (Ian)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Resurrected Christ, we continue to sing “Alleluia” for all You have done and are doing to tend Creation. As we celebrate the liberation Your sacrifice offers humanity, may we also sacrifice for the well-being of all beings. This second week of Easter, we ask Holy One, to be more like You. Give humanity the compassion, courage, and commitment to do what is ours to do to save life on earth. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The God’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Ian; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor) Holy Week/Easter thank you’s! Singing inside – masks on, softly

Closing Hymn: “All Creatures of Our God and King” Chalice Hymnal #22, all four verses(organ, Ian, congregation sings softly)

Benediction (pastor) Dear Resurrection People on this 2nd Sunday of Easter let us recommit ourselves to the essential work of taking good care of planet earth and all our sibling species. Let us join all Creation in praising the Risen Christ – Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(cc) Canterbury Cathedral broadcast. Easter Monday morning prayers, Dean Robert told the story of the Goldfinch’s (European) care of Christ during His Passion. Begins at 7:25 min. https://youtu.be/l-d0cGLiwCA

(gotc) http://www.webofcreation.org/Worship/services/greenthecross.htm

(iliam) https://islandlife-inamonastery.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-goldfinch-savior-bird.html

(TNTP) The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version. Oxford University Press ©1995.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: April 19, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Easter: “God’s Presence: More to Come” John 20:1-18 with Holy Communion

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“We must know that God will appear suddenly and joyfully to all lovers of God.” – Julian of Norwich, 14th century Christian mystic (jn)

Happy Easter! Please bring cut and potted flowers up to decorate the chancel. Thank You!

Prelude “Morning Has Broken” Gaelic melody (piano, Everett)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. Welcome guests. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar and Memorial Flowers

Easter Proclamation

Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! And the people say, Hallelujah! Christ is Risen indeed!

All: Hallelujah! Christ is Risen indeed!

Invocation (liturgist) In the places we least expect to meet You, O Resurrected Christ, rise up and invite us to believe in You and the endless wonders of God’s Love for Humanity. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor will speak, then light votives)

Votive Lighting Music “We Gather Together” Dutch melody (piano, Everett)

Children’s Message “Ukrainian Easter Eggs” (pastor speaks to children; children stay with family)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor) At the very heart of our Christian faith is a belief that Jesus Christ, God’s Beloved Son, opens the gate to eternal life. This Good News not only comforts our souls, it assures us of everlasting relationships. On this Easter morning as we proclaim Christ risen from the dead, may our souls take comfort in God’s perpetual love in this world and the next. Truly, this is the grace through which all graces arise. Amen.

Special Music “Morning Reverie” Rollin (piano, Everett)

We Listen

Scripture: John 20:1-18  (translation: Common English Bible; for two readers)

(liturgist) Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved.

(pastor) She said,“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.”

(liturgist) Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in.

Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. 

Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. They didn’t yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.

Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

(pastor) She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.

(liturgist) Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

(pastor) Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”

(liturgist) Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

(pastor) She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means my Teacher).

(liturgist) Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

(pastor) Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.

(liturgist) May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Story Sermon: “Dawning Hope” (pastor) Mary Magdalene’s Easter morning encounter with the Rising Christ invites awareness of Christ’s evolving presence in our lives.

Special Music “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini” Rachmaninoff (piano, Everett)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

O Holy One, to find ourselves in an empty tomb with woes and sorrows anew is to find ourselves surprised, again, by Your powerful love. To hear, again, the voice of The Beloved calling our name as a truly new day breaks awakens us to courage, hope, and faith.

O Source and Force of Eternal Love, may we be Your resurrection people, proclaiming and manifesting the Big Love made known to us, eternally, through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (piano, Everett; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Inside Announcements (pastor)

Communion Song: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” Chalice Hymnal #216, all four verses (piano, Everett; congregation sings softly)

We Relocate Outside

Please transition outside. Individually wrapped Holy Communion elements distributed.

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Welcome to Outside Holy Communion (pastor)

Gathering All Souls (pastor) Whenever we gather at The Lord’s Table we do so as a communion of souls – those physically present and those who gather in spirit and sentiment. Let us speak the names of those with whom we share this Easter Holy Communion… (say names out loud)

Prayer of Invitation (pastor) This responsive prayer is inspired by one of the first Christian Holy Communion prayers. Teach response; it appears 3xs: Christ, be with us.

As grains once scattered on the hillside are gathered together and made into a loaf, so too are we, Your people, gathered around Your table becoming one. Christ, be with us.

All: Christ, be with us.

As grapes grown in the field are gathered together and pressed into wine, so too are we drawn together and pressed by our times, sharing a common lot, transformed into Your life-blood for all. Christ, be with us.

All: Christ, be with us.

Let us prepare to eat and drink as Jesus taught us inviting the stranger to our table and welcoming the poor. May their absence serve to remind us of the divisions this Communion seeks to heal, and may their presence help transform us into the Body of Christ we share. Christ, be with us. (d)

All: Christ, be with us. Amen.

Prayer of Consecration (pastor)

Each person holds individual elements. Let us pray: Ever-Appearing Resurrected Christ, may we, through the grace of this joyful Easter Celebration of Holy Communion, meet You in the sharing of this sacred meal surrounded by loved ones on Earth and in Heaven. Hallelujah! Amen.

Sharing the Elements

We remember the night… as the meal began, Jesus took the bread (lift up bread), thanked God for it (praise God). Jesus broke it (break the bread) and gave it to the disciples saying: ” Take, eat. This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after they had finished their supper, Jesus took the cup (fill and lift), thanked God for it (praise God), and gave it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

We share this loaf with (tear off pieces of bread for…) Christians around the world; Victims of war – Ukrainians, Russians, all of us; Refugees; COVID sick or in lockdown; All Creation; Those who WILL come to our church in the future.

Dear Ones, God’s eternal love surpasses human understanding. Just as Christ conquered death, Christ’s Easter Resurrection continues to open the gates of everlasting life. Hallelujah! Let us receive these gifts receiving the Risen Christ! (eat and drink)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

For all the ways, O God, You have fed and sustained us all the days of our lives, we give thanks, Almighty Creator!

For all the ways, O God, You have called out the best in us in our most challenging times, we give thanks, Still-Rising Christ!

For all the ways, O God, You have held us together spiritually when our bodies could not safely gather, we give thanks Blessed Holy Spirit! Amen.

Outside Announcements

Benediction (pastor)

Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! And the people say, Hallelujah! Christ is Risen indeed!

All: Hallelujah! Christ is Risen indeed!

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(ceb) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible.

(d) Didache, ancient teachings from the second generation of Christians.

(jn) Julian of Norwich, Mediations with Julian of Norwich, Brendan Doyle.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: April 12, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Lent 6/Palm Sunday: “God’s Eternal Response: Steadfast Love” with Global Palm Processional * Psalm 118:1-4; 19-29 and Luke 19:35-38

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“When I see the old foundations crumbling / and the old certainties / and securities giving way / … You do speak to my fears, O Lord. / … You are my God, / whatever happens to the world about me, / and I will celebrate Your love forever.” – excerpt, “Psalm 117 and 118” Leslie F. Brandt, 20th century Christian writer (lfb)

Prelude (solo)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. Welcome guests. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (for the Glory of God)

Global Palm Invocation (seated; liturgist) Liturgist: Make sure everyone has greenery to wave; Invite folks to open their hearts and minds to people around the world; We will remain seated; Teach/practice the Response, while waving greenery

Liturgist: In the places of safety and beauty where contentment peacefully rests –

All: “Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Liturgist: In the frightening places where refuge is precious and compassion is healing –

All: “Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Liturgist: In the hospitals and bedrooms where sick ones await life-saving care –

All: “Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!

Liturgist: In the households where love continues to grow and serve as needed –

All: “Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Liturgist: In the gatherings of those who grieve knowing the bitter taste of loss –

All: “Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Liturgist: In the sanctuaries – online and in-person – where praise rises to heaven –

All: “Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Liturgist: No matter who we are, no matter where we are on life’s journey, this Palm Sunday we assemble with people around the world to welcome Jesus Christ –

All: “Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!”

Light The Christ Candle (pastor or liturgist)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives on altar)

Votive Lighting Music (solo)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor) Dear Ones, during the most significant moments of our lives, individually and collectively, God is with us. And, God is for us, for all of us, always. The sweetness of God’s steadfast grace is an awareness easily lost to passing thoughts and emotions. And yet, beneath it all, God is here. God’s never-ending love is always here. God’s steadfast love endures forever. Amen.

Special Music (solo)

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 118:1-4; 19-29 and Luke 19:35-38 (translation: NRSV; liturgist)

Psalm 118:1-4; 19-29

O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good;
   God’s steadfast love endures forever!


Let Israel say,
   ‘God’s steadfast love endures forever.’
Let the house of Aaron say,
   ‘God’s steadfast love endures forever.’
Let those who fear the Lord say,
   ‘God’s steadfast love endures forever.’


Open to me the gates of righteousness,
   that I may enter through them
   and give thanks to the Lord.


This is the gate of the Lord;
   the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank You that You have answered me
   and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
   it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech You, O Lord!
   O Lord, we beseech You, give us success!


Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
   We bless You from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and God has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
   up to the horns of the altar.


You are my God, and I will give thanks to You;
   You are my God, I will extol You.


O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,
   for God’s steadfast love endures forever.

AND Luke 19:35-38

Then the disciples brought the colt to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on it, they set Jesus on it. As Jesus rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!’

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “God’s Steadfast Love” (pastor) Jesus chose to enter Jerusalem knowing the dangers ahead. We prepare for Holy Week in gratitude for God’s eternal response to humanity’s needs through Jesus Christ.

Special Music (solo)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Loyal One, we give thanks for the joyful times amid a cheerful crowd easily believing You are here. And we are grateful, too, for those trying times, especially when we were most alone as some evil wind extinguished our hope or strength, that you were there. May we hold close the image of Jesus Christ triumphantly entering Jerusalem. May we never forget how faithful You have been and will be, Triune God, known to us as The Creator, The Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

We Transition

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

Announcements (pastor)

Closing Hymn: “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” Chalice Hymnal #192 (musician, all)

Benediction (pastor) Let us praise God’s steadfast love that endures forever! We travel this Holy Week with Jesus Christ from joyful crowd to last supper, from trials and punishments to death on the cross, from a borrowed grave to miraculous resurrection. Blessed is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord! Amen.

Postlude (solo)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(lfb) Leslie F Brandt, Psalms/Now ©1973. Californian who collaborated with Sister Corita Kent in creating contemporary translations and artworks for Christian worship.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: April 5, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Maundy Thursday-Good Friday: “God’s Liberating Presence: Passover and Passion” Exodus 12:1-13, Psalm 22, Stations of the Cross

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022. A COVID-safe contemplative service for pastor, musician/s, and readers.

The service begins outside in the Courtyard. As people arrive offer individual, sealed communion elements and handout.

We Gather

“The salvation Christ brings is a salvation from every bondage that oppresses human beings.” -Archbishop Oscar Romero, Salvadorian Christian leader, 20th-century martyr

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome, Dear Ones. We are here in this sacred place on unceded Lisjan-Ohlone territory. Everyone is welcome for this contemplative service.

During Lent we’ve learned from Jesus’ ancestors about God’s guidance through important transitions. This afternoon we remember the Hebrews’ great exodus out of Egyptian slavery – God’s magnificent call to liberation. No wonder the story of Jesus Christ’s Passion begins at the Passover table.

Let us gather with kindred spirits as we extoll God’s commitment to releasing humanity from suffering offering freedom to everyone.

Song: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” (handouts: Chalice Hymnal #627, verses 1-3) (aas)

Liberating Passover

Beloved Community, we join Jesus and his disciples as they observe Passover – a ritual retelling of their ancestors’ salvation, a graphic reminder of God’s power over oppressors. We do so with the non-violent Jesus Christ who models for us the soul force of Big Love extended to all, including those who harm us.

These sacred stories resonate more strongly this year as oppressive violence is maiming and killing innocent people in Eastern Europe and a global pandemic is still active. God continues to respond to human cries for deliverance.

Dear Ones, as we move through this service emotions will rise. We may feel sympathy for others, be reminded of our woes, or even experience a vague, mystical carrying of anonymous suffering. Let us offer our distress to God for transformation. Feelings of devotion, wonder, and gratitude will rise, too. Let us also offer God our praise.

On Good Friday we choose to go with Jesus Christ into, through, and beyond mortal agony that we, the Beloved Community, might be transformed on Easter morning. Let us enter this living story…

The Original Passover (Reader A)

Jesus and his Disciples gather in the upper room in Jerusalem. They assemble to recall The Passover when God boldly intervened for the liberation of the Hebrew slaves and anointed sibling leaders – Moses, Aaron, and Miriam – to take their people out of Egypt.

Exodus 12:1-13

God said to Moses and Aaron while still in Egypt, “This month is to be the first month of the year for you. Address the whole community of Israel; tell them that on the tenth of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one lamb to a house. If the family is too small for a lamb, then share it with a close neighbor, depending on the number of persons involved. Be mindful of how much each person will eat. Your lamb must be a healthy male, one year old; you can select it from either the sheep or the goats. Keep it penned until the fourteenth day of this month and then slaughter it—the entire community of Israel will do this—at dusk. Then take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which you will eat it. You are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire, that night, along with bread, made without yeast, and bitter herbs. Don’t eat any of it raw or boiled in water; make sure it’s roasted—the whole animal, head, legs, and innards. Don’t leave any of it until morning; if there are leftovers, burn them in the fire.

“And here is how you are to eat it: Be fully dressed with your sandals on and your stick in your hand. Eat in a hurry; it’s the Passover of God.

“I will go through the land of Egypt on this night and strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, whether human or animal, and bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am God. The blood will serve as a sign on the houses where you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you—no disaster will touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (tm)

And so it is, that Jesus and his disciples, as had their ancestors for generations, remember the last meal eaten in bondage holding fast to a belief that God would deliver them, again.

The Last Supper

Prayer of Preparation (pastor)

When we partake of the Last Supper, a Passover seder, we come to the Table of God hungry for liberation and thirsty for justice. Mindful of so many crying out to God for protection and freedom right now, let us listen to umanity’s cries with silent, prayerful attention.

(silence)

Great Redeemer God, You hear all prayers. You care for everyone and desire the well-being of all beings. May the observance of this ritual meal strengthen our faith in Your power to deliver us, O Mighty Liberator. Amen.

Sharing the Elements (pastor)

The Eternal Christ hears us calling from the past, the present, and the future. In our midst at the Passover Table Jesus Christ proclaims the eternal reality of divine salvation.

On the night when he was betrayed Jesus took a loaf of bread, (lift) gave thanks, (thank God) he broke it, saying, (break) “This is my body that is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 

We remember Jesus Christ and the gift of his life among us. (everyone eats)

In the same way Jesus took the cup, also, after supper, (lift, thank God) saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

We remember Jesus Christ and the offering of his life to save us. (everyone drinks)

For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup we proclaim the Lord’s death until Jesus Christ comes again. Praise be to God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving (pastor; spontaneous)

The congregation moves inside into the Sanctuary. Music may be played.

Liberating Passion

Announcements (pastor)

Please keep your masks on at all times. We will refrain from singing until the last hymn – singing it softly. At the conclusion of the service the Sanctuary will remain available for silent prayer. Please exit quietly and save your conversations for outside. Thank you.

Invocation (pastor)

Holy Spirit, guide us as we continue this Good Friday passage with Jesus Christ whose merciful liberation is offered to all peoples seeking well-being in this world and the next.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Special Music: (instrumental solo) OR Song: “Abide with Me” (Chalice Hymnal #636, 3 verses; instrumental solo as congregation reads/hums)

Stations of the Cross

Introduction (pastor)

Since the earliest of days, spiritual pilgrims have gone to Jerusalem to walk the route Jesus traveled from his trial to his entombment stopping at important locations along the way. The Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow), through imagery, readings, and prayers, quickly became a portable spiritual practice known as “The Stations of the Cross.”

This Good Friday we follow Jesus Christ along the Via Dolorosa pausing at each “station” for a reading or song, followed by a very short prayer and lighting of a candle, as well as silence.

worship leader: practice response to prayerPeople: O Lord, hear our prayer.

The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death (Reader B)

Jesus is judged and legally sentenced to death by Jewish and Roman authorities. We feel the inner tension of this outrageous injustice, even as faith proclaims Jesus’ death as a redemptive sacrifice.

Here in the US, legally, we place a larger percentage of our neighbors in prison, jail or under probation or parole than any other nation in the world. We arrest about 2,000 children daily. We are the only Western developed country that has not abolished capital punishment. As we reflect upon Jesus’ sentencing, let us hold the suffering among us because of our very large incarceration population and use of the death penalty. (fg, cdf, ai)

One: O God, take away our desire to hurt one another – criminally or punitively.

Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross (Reader C)

How different is this second liberation story! Moses and his family boldly led the people out of enslavement as God performed acts of great power and violence. Jesus, however, leads alone non-violently. Jesus speaks the truth to power and is criminalized, abandoned, and publicly humiliated by both authorities and followers. The Prince of Peace offers a different path to salvation.

Rev. Greg Boyd, pastor and theologian, writes: “If the practice of refusing violence and loving enemies was consistently put into practice, we’d learn that, over the long haul (and with great sacrifice), the nonviolent way of Jesus is far more effective in combating evil than the way of violence. For while the way of violence may appear to curb evil in the short run, it always—always—produces more violence in the long run. It’s self-perpetuating. (gb)

One: O God, may Christ’s non-violent love heal that which violence has broken.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time (pastor)

Jesus falls. Our Beloved Jesus falls. Let us open our hearts to Jesus’ suffering.

Special Music (instrumental, reflective)

One: O God, may our devotional love of Jesus Christ transform us.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother (Reader A)

Jesus’ mother, Mary, a faithful, courageous maiden is the steady matriarch tending her son and his growing religious community. Mother Mary is the first Christian, the first to believe Jesus is the Christ. On the way to his death she offers him her presence – risking her life to touch her child, her Savior.

May we pause to be in solidarity with mothers whose children are suffering. May God fortify their faith, courage, and strength. When our hearts grow weary with news of war and tragedy, may we be uplifted by ordinary human beings empowered by God to do extraordinary things.

One: O God, bless the brave ones who comfort their frightened children.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross (Reader B)

Roman officers force Simon of Cyrene, a Jew from north Africa, to carry The Cross. To disobey would lead to bodily harm or arrest. Though pressured to assist a condemned prisoner did Simon treasure this opportunity to alleviate Jesus’ suffering? What passes between Simon of Cyrene and Jesus of Nazareth as The Cross is lifted off one man’s back and placed upon another’s?

One: O God, grant us a genuine desire to share each other’s burdens.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes Jesus’ Face (Reader C)

Veronica, a follower of Jesus, is in the crowd. Like most women she wears a face scarf. Witnessing Jesus’ distress she boldly separates herself from the crowd to offer him her veil. She reveals her face, her identity. By expressing adoration and offering physical comfort to an enemy of the State and Temple her life is at stake, too.

Her act of vulnerable, selfless compassion, writes James Finley, is transcendent: “There’s this kind of primal moment where Jesus takes her veil, and he closes his eyes and lowers his face into her veil. And in that moment, the softness of her veil is the only solace he can find in a world turned harsh. At a deeper level, the solace he finds is her compassion for him… that in the moment Jesus closes his eyes to lower his face into the veil, in closing his eyes and lowering his face, the world around him disappears. She disappears. Everyone disappears… that in that moment, Jesus, without going anywhere, descends down into the depth-like, infinite, tender mercy of God, the Father, sustaining him in that moment.” (jf)

One: O God, may we encounter You through radical acts of compassion.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time (pastor)

Our Beloved Jesus falls, again. Our hearts, opened to his suffering, now expand. In his mortal fragility we see all human suffering feeling the sorrows and pains of others. We have entered a holy compassion, the Big Love which connects us to God and each other.

Jesus taught: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40 NRSV)

One: O God, may we see Christ in all who suffer.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Eighth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem (Reader A)

Jesus notices a cluster of his female followers weeping. His pastoral care turns toward them, saying: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us;’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’” (Luke 23:28-30 NRSV)

Newly up from falling a second time, Jesus experiences the fragility of human life amid violent religious and civil authorities. Jesus, like the women of Jerusalem, knows the cruelty of systemic oppression.

One: O God, we commit into Your well-being all families experiencing injustice.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time (Reader B)

Our Beloved Jesus falls a third time. Our hearts continue to expand in solidarity with all who endure hardships trusting in God’s steadfastness.

Special Music: (instrumental solo) OR Song: “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” (Chalice Hymnal #628, verses 1-3; instrumental solo as congregation reads/hums)

One: O God, when humanity fails, may we place our faith in You.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments (Reader C)

As Roman guards remove his clothing Jesus’ wounded body is revealed. His human dignity is intentionally denigrated. This authorized humiliation, however, cannot damage what is eternally good. Evil isn’t that powerful.

There are many ways to disrobe a person – to remove social dignities, to disarm and disrupt, to assault character. Jesus, stripped, reveals that what remains is original integrity.

One: O God, may we see ourselves as You see us when we are abused.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross (pastor)

From The Cross Jesus quotes the opening lines of Psalm 22. The first half of this psalm is a dramatic lament appealing to God. It has been suggested Jesus references this passage not to speak of his own suffering, but rather to assure those who experience inhumane treatment that God hears their cries – God hears us.

Reading: Psalm 22:2-21

God, my God,

why have You abandoned me –

far from my cry, my words of pain?

I called by day, You do not answer;

I called by night, but find no rest.

You are the Holy One enthroned,

the Praise of Israel.

Our people trusted, they trusted You;

You rescued them. 

To You they cried, and they were saved;

they trusted and were not shamed.

But I am a worm, hardly human,

despised by all, mocked by the crowd.

All who see me jeer at me, shaking their heads:

“You relied on God; let God help you!

If God loves you, let God save you!”

But You, God, took me from the womb,

You kept me safe at my mother’s breast.

I belonged to You from the time of my birth,

You are my God from my mother’s womb.

Do you not stay far off,

danger is so close.

I have no other help.

Wild bulls surround me,

bulls of Bashan encircle me,

opening their jaws against me

like roaring, ravening lions. 

I am poured out like water,

my bones are pulled apart,

my heart is wax wilting within me;

my throat baked and dry,

my tongue stuck to my jaws.

You bring me down to the dust of death.

There are dogs all around me,

a pack of villains corners me.

They tear up my hands and feet,

I can count all my bones.

They stare at me and gloat.

They take what I wore,

they roll dice for my clothes.

Lord, do not stay far off,

You, my strength, be quick to help.

Save my neck from the sword,

save my life from the dog’s teeth,

save me from the lion’s jaws,

save me from the bull’s horns.

You hear me. (ltp)

One: O God, no matter how deep the wound, You are my Liberator.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross (Reader A)

During Jesus’ lifetime crucifixion was the favored form of capital punishment. The Romans used it to torture those sentenced to death and traumatize their loved ones. These brutal, common acts of legal execution were intended to thwart public uprisings.

As Jesus surrenders his final breath he leaves behind the abusive, temporal power of Empire and Temple. Jesus, in choosing to maintain the practice of redemptive love through to his death, opens a portal to eternal freedom for everyone. Humbled by this ultimate sacrifice, we also grieve. We are pierced with pain and loss.

(long silence)

Extinguish Christ Candle

One: O God, through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, may we dwell in Your Eternal Love.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross (Reader B)

Jesus’ executioners leave. A handful of very brave, devoted followers remain at The Cross. Hearts full of sorrow, minds traumatized, their souls guide them in blessed affection and tender care. Tearfully, they receive Jesus’ dead body. The women who most love him –

his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and a mother of one of the twelve disciples – hold out their arms to hold and wrap his body in soft, clean linen.

Speaking of this tender, tragic moment a clergywoman from Canterbury Cathedral offers these words: “Their tears, and enfolding in cloths, return to him his dignity through their love and through compassion. But they cannot return the breath into his mouth, the sparkle in his eye, the warmth of his touch, and the wisdom of his word.” (cc)

One: O God, when we are overwhelmed with grief, enfold us in gentle care.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

The Fourteenth (final) Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb (Reader C)

Through acts of unexpected kindness, generosity and a little political savvy a burial place is found for the One Without Sin who died a criminal’s death. Tears bless this little house of death – a borrowed cave tomb. In a few days it will fill with The Light Eternal.

Song: “Were You There” (Chalice Hymnal #198, verses 1-3; instrumental with congregation softly singing) (aas)

One: O God, in the dying places may we believe in resurrection.

   Will you repeat after me: O Lord, hear our prayer.

People: O Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader lights a candle; pause for silence.

*

Proclamations of Faith

Psalm 22: 23-32 (pastor)

Let us be consoled by the second half of Psalm 22, a bold statement of faith in God and hope for what will come:

I will proclaim Your name to my people,

I will praise You in the assembly.

Give praise, all who fear God:

revere and honor the Lord,

children of Israel, people of Jacob.

The Lord scorns the afflicted,

never looks away, but hears their cry.

I will sing of You and the great assembly,

make good my promise before Your faithful.

The poor shall eat all they want.

Seekers of God shall give praise.

“May your hearts live forever!“ 

All people shall remember and turn,

all races will bow to the Lord,

who holds dominion over nations.

The well-fed crowd kneel before God,

all destined to die bow low.

My soul lives for the Lord!

My children will serve,

will proclaim God to the future,

announcing to people yet unborn,

“God saves.“ (ltp)

The Lord’s Prayer (everyone, led by pastor)

Benediction (pastor)

Dear Ones, we have entered the Great Mystery of Jesus’ Passion. Our hearts, minds, bodies and souls have been saturated. Let us move carefully through this liminal time. Easter is coming, but it is not here yet.

May the Peace of God which surpasses all human understanding guard our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ as we continue this Holy Week in solidarity and compassion, in courage and tenderness, in faith and great hope. Amen.

NO Postlude (may remain for silent contemplation and prayer; leave silently)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(aas) African-American Spirituals. The sacred music born of persons resisting white supremacy during and since legal slavery, has been used, without credit nor payment of royalties. Human compassion and moral compunction call for making reparations to organizations benefiting African-Americans and addressing racism. To learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO8NW_SKzsg

(cc) Canterbury Cathedral, Stations of the Cross videos, 2021.

(fg, cdf, ai) Statistics from 3/34/2022 postings by the Federal Government, Children’s Defense Fund, and Amnesty International

(gb) Greg Boyd. https://reknew.org/2014/11/does-nonviolence-work/

(jf) James Finley. “Turning to the Mystics” podcast. https://cac.org/podcast/turning-to-the-mystics/page/6/

(ltp) Liturgical Training Press. © 1995, Archdiocese of Chicago.

(tm) The Message. © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: April 1, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Lent 5: “God’s Innovation: A New Thing” Isaiah 43:15-21 with Holy Communion

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“A spiritually of awareness, of choice, of risk, of transformation… is about the embrace of life, the pursuit of wholeness, the acceptance of others, the call to co-creation.” – Sister Joan Chittister, 21st-century Christian prophet

Prelude (piano solo)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. Welcome guests.

We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (for the Glory of God)

InvocationUnited Church of Christ Statement of Faith” (Robert V. Moss, adaptation; liturgist)

We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and to whose deeds we testify:

God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death.

God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.

God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles.

In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.

God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.

God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.

God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God. Amen. (ucc)

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives on altar)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Dear Ones, let us collectively put down what we have carried that God is already carrying. It may be that we are cutting new trails while God waits for us at paved paths already provided.

Let us remember Jesus Christ’s invitation to still into compassion’s wisdom within and among – to shift focus from looping histories and favorite fantasies to be with God now as God does a New Thing among us, with us, for us. Let us fall, again, willingly open to God’s reforming grace. Amen.

Special Music (piano solo)

We Listen

Scripture: Isaiah 43:15-21 (translation: NRSV; liturgist)

Isaiah 43:15-21 

I am the Lord, your Holy One,
   the Creator of Israel, your King.
Thus says the Lord,
   who makes a way in the sea,
   a path in the mighty waters,
who brings out chariot and horse,
   army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
   they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
Do not remember the former things,
   or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
   and rivers in the desert.
The wild animals will honor me,
   the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
   rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
   the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “GOD’s New Thing” (pastor)

What no longer serves? WHERE is God and WHAT is God using to make a new way forward? What might we release to be open to God’s New Thing?

Special Music (piano solo)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Holy One, what wonders You daily perform for all beings! We rejoice in Your innovative faithfulness and praise You! We also ask that You, O God, will continue to transform us – as individuals, families, communities, nations, and global neighbors. We ask this for our congregation, too, trusting You are indeed doing a “new thing” we cannot even imagine. Fill us with hope and excitement for what is coming! Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor)

Communion Song: “I Come with Joy” Chalice Hymnal #420 (musician; masks on, singing softly)

We Relocate Outside

Please transition outside, picking up individually wrapped Holy Communion elements.

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Prayer of Invitation (pastor)

In a strange way, this going outside for Holy Communion has literally kept us in physical transition as we return to in-person practices. This “new thing” is part of our pandemic style – to observe the ancient rite of Holy Communion AND to do it in a new way for the safety of one another.

Whenever we gather at The Lord’s Table we do so as a communion of souls – those physically present and those who gather in intention from earth and heaven. Let us now name those who are with us today… (say names out loud)

Consecration of Elements (pastor)

Let us pray:

Holy God – known to us as Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit – we ask Your blessing upon this assembly and these elements. Fill us with Your presence that we might be receptive to the novel ways You are moving in our midst. Thank You. Amen.

Sharing the Elements

Jesus loved to reframe historic practices to focus upon the ever-inbreaking presence of God in this world among a specific household or community, in a specific place, in a specific moment. The Eternal Christ continues to engage us weaving together the past and the present, preparing us to be moved forward by God.

Jesus lifted up the loaf, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

We receive this blessed bread with great appreciation and hope for what the Living Christ is calling forth. (eat bread)

After supper, Jesus lifted up the cup, gave thanks to God, and offered it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

We receive this sanctified cup with gratitude leaving behind what has been forgiven that we might be available for the new things the Living Christ is doing. (drink from cup)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Let us pray:

For the gift and grace of being on this surprising journey with You, Eternal Christ, and with these dear friends, we give thanks. We are grateful, too, for this mystical communion, a connection with dear ones throughout time and space. For what You continue to do and be, and for what You are calling forth, we give thanks, Beloved Jesus Christ. Amen.

Benediction (pastor)

Dear Ones, never underestimate the beauty and the power of God’s Big Love as it pluses among and through us. May God use us in new ways to do new things for God’s glory, for the uplift of our neighbors, and for the joy of our own precious souls. Truly, may we go forth with new hope and new peace. Amen.

Postlude (none because we are outside)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(jc) Joan Chittister, The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage. © 2019.

(ucc) United Church of Christ, https://www.ucc.org/what-we-believe/worship/statement-of-faith/

Two sermon resources from very current discussions about the call to change lead by God see:

(dz) Dr Dwight Zscheile, Luther Seminary webinar; 3/28/2022.

(jw) John Wimberly, https://www.congregationalconsulting.org/; 3/28/2022.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: March 28, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber

Lent 4: “God’s Provision: Manna to Harvest” Exodus 16:1-4a, 9-12, 35 & Joshua 5:10-12

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“This living stream I so desire, I see it in this bread of life, even during the night.” –St John of the Cross, (trans Ken Krabbenhoft), 16th century Spanish Christian spiritual guide

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community.  Welcome guests and visitors.

We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (tba)

Invocation (liturgist)

In the terrible transition times, O Lord, Thank You for sending Bread from Heaven.

In the territorial transition times, O Lord, Thank You for maintaining the Bounty of the Earth.

In these troubling transitional times, O Lord, Thank You for encouraging us to use the skills and wisdom You have given us to do what is ours to do. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (musician plays as pastor lights votives on altar)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

In the midst of significant personal and social shifts, it may seem God’s presence has changed. When God doesn’t seem as responsive as in the past, it is wise to remember God’s care for us has appropriately changed in form.

God grants us vast freedom. Just as a loving parent will not do for a child what is the child’s to learn to do for herself, God will never overpower our mortal agency. God will, however, always lure us forward, gracefully offering us encouragement to grow. Often, when we can’t perceive God’s grace in the moment, but we will later on.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Exodus 16:1-4a, 9-12, 35 & Joshua 5:10-12 (translation: NRSV) (liturgist) These passages remind us of God’s gift of “manna” given to the liberated Hebrews while in the wilderness, and the ending that heavenly gift when they reached Canaan.

Exodus 16:1-4a, 9-12, 35

The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day.

Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.”’ And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.”’

The Israelites ate manna for forty years, until they came to a habitable land; they ate manna, until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 

AND

Joshua 5:10-12

While the Israelites were encamped in Gilgal they kept the Passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “Holy Change” (pastor) God invites humanity to enter holy seasons of change — biblically, often for 40 days and nights or 40 years. God is inviting all of us into seasons of social change over long periods of time.

Special Music (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Eternal Companion, thank You for Your faithfulness to humanity and all living beings. Thank You for Your patience when we complain and question Your faithfulness. And, Thank You for Your genuine care when You step aside that we might do what is ours to do. Grant us the confidence to trust in Your wisdom, especially as our responsibilities change. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway.

Dedication of One Great Hour of Sharing Offerings (pastor)

Basket of offerings is brought forward.

Let us join our UCC sisters and brothers as we bless all One Great Hour of Sharing Offerings presented today:

“We offer these gifts, O God, in the spirit of love. May the gifts that we offer this day embody our loving response to Your great love for us. Through these gifts, may others feel the love of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” (OGHS)

Offerings are placed on the altar.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Ukraine Emergency Appeal
  • Cal Project help

We Transition

Hymn “All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly” Chalice Hymnal #419 Words: Sylvia Dunstan, 1990; Music: William Moore, Columbian Harmony, 1825. (musician plays; if all present agree, we’ll sing softly – masks on)

Benediction (pastor)

God is always with and for us. God’s provisions change when it is time for us to mature. When what “used to be” hasn’t quite been replaced with “what is coming into being,” may God grant us the peace and patience needed to maneuver change. In the Peace of Christ, Amen!

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(OGHS) Worship resources sent to UCC churches, ©2022.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: March 22, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”