16 Pentecost: “God’s Plans” * Isaiah 55:8-13 and Ezekiel 37:1-3

Some reflections from the UCC Summit this past week (please see NOTES)

Image: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2017. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until further notice.

We Gather

“Folks found Collegiate Church in the fire – but stayed because we weren’t afraid of the fire.” – Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church; speaking about the devastating fire that destroyed their building and ignited their ministry. (uccs)

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You are 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, standing with peace toward all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God given by Darlene Hamady

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist David Louie, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (liturgist)

Whenever our human activity strays or violates God’s vision God sends prophets to deliver divine words, saying: “My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways My ways.” (Isaiah 55:8 CEB)

Whenever our choices rock dignity’s boat, break anyone’s back, or knock the wind from our very lungs, elders rise up re-rooting us to soul strength, saying: “Never forget WHO you are or WHOSE you are.” (Rev. Dr. Yvonne V. Delk, uccs)

Whenever the cloth of faith is torn and recut to uniform any army of hate Jesus Christ speaks, saying: “Rescue My religion from the horrific imitations being taught.” (Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, uccs, adapted)

Into this liminal space as church and society continues to shift we acknowledge our larger truth, saying: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” Amen. (Hebrews 13:8)

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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Opening Hymn: “In the Bulb There is a Flower” Chalice #638 (musician)

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

Time for Children “Change Happens” All living things grow and change. (pastor, uccs)

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) We change – our bodies, our relationships, our nations, and Christ’s Church – these are always changing. Jesus Christ came to earth to be with humanity, fully immersed in our mortal strengths and weaknesses. There is nothing we are going through that The Beloved One does not understand, appreciate, or companion.

Whenever transitions within, among, or beyond us become “too much” we can pause and reconnect with the eternal Love of God. We can hold onto what is fundamentally, infinitely true. So tethered, newly washed with wisdom, we will know the next, best, little step forward.

Dear Ones, through Christ, we are always linked with God Almighty, an endless font of faith, hope, and love. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Isaiah 55:8-13 and Ezekiel 37:1-3 (CEB; liturgist)

Isaiah 55:8-13 (CEB)

My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.

Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My plans than your plans.

Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and don’t return there without watering the earth, making it conceive and yield plants and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater, so is My word that comes from My mouth; it does not return to Me empty. Instead, it does what I want, and accomplishes what I intend.

Yes, you will go out with celebration, and you will be brought back in peace. Even the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you; all the trees of the field will clap their hands. In place of the thorn the cypress will grow; in place of the nettle the myrtle will grow. This will attest to the Lord’s stature, an enduring reminder that won’t be removed.

AND

Ezekiel 37:1-3 (CEB)

The Lord’s power overcame me, and while I was in the Lord’s spirit, God led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones. God led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry.

God asked me, “Human one, can these bones live again?”

I said, “Lord God, only You know.”

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

Sermon: “Insights from the Summit” For three days UCC folks gathered online to reflect upon massive changes to church and society revealed during the pandemic and to ponder, together, how to go forward doing God’s will. (see NOTES below)

Sermon Hymn: “Ours the Journey” Chalice #638 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Holy One, if we could but see as You see, if we could but hope as You hope, if we could love as You love – we would not be in the messes we are in. Today, we bow to You and Your plans, naming our need for Your forgiveness. Take our shame and regret – for what we have and have not done – not to erase any critical memories or wisdom needed, but to remove unhelpful burdens that mire us to self-defensiveness and victimhood. Release us from what does not serve You. Thank You, Merciful One.

Please fill us, too, Font of Life, with Your dreams and the grand ways You desire to enable us to bloom for the benefit of all Your precious Loved Ones. Soften our hardened hearts that we might rejoice in seeing You in each other, dazzled and thrilled to be dwelling on earth with such a wondrous community! Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Bravo Senior Center reopening! Next one – Oct 18th
  • This week – Antoinette Brown Society Gathering (Tues-Thurs)
  • No Care and Prayer this week
  • Next Sunday: “World Communion” praying for the World – bring elements?

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)

Spoken Benediction (pastor) The great 12th-century Christian mystic, Hildegard of Bingen, lived through plagues and economic crises during horrible religious and political battles. Through it all, she found faith in God’s undisturbable goodness. May her faith bless Christ’s Church today: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Amen. 

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

NOTE: About THE SUMMIT: September 19-21, 2022 was a national online gathering of UCC folks to consider how our ministries are adapting, inventing, and responding to various changes throughout church and society. The contents for this worship service are but a tiny sliver of the truth, wisdom, and faith shared at The Summit, supplemented with what God put on my heart for my community this Sunday. I would like to add, that I attended very little on Tuesday for I was gloriously busy as our Senior Center reopened after being closed for two and a half years! Content from Tuesday’s Summit is minimally reflected in this liturgy.

Recordings of the online events will be available in the coming weeks to those who were registered. If you did not register to attend, I hope there will be recordings available – especially from the keynote speakers (called various things at the event). You might also check out the UCC News – a news story was posted this past week with highlights of the first day’s events.

Credits

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

(CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible, adapted for inclusive language

(uccs) UCC Summit, quotes from notes I took during the event.

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: September 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 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”

15 Pentecost: “Praying for Decision Makers” * 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Image: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Notice the shadow from a jasmine blossom falling upon a morning glory blossom. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until further notice.

We Gather

“We pray that decision makers around the world be filled with compassion and love for the people for whom their decisions are impacting and that they take all of us into consideration, especially those who are unhoused, in detention centers, imprisoned, elders, children, lonely, sick and the very least of these.” – Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty New Moon Prayer, August 27, 2022 (used with permission)

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You are 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, standing with peace toward all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist Norman Chong, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Invocation (liturgist) High King of Heaven, Almighty Sovereign, Lord of Life, Ruler of the Universe – we gather in Your presence to worship You and practice the ways of Jesus Christ. We gather as Your Beloved Ones, made in Your image and shaped by Your blessings. May this service bring You glory, benefit our neighbors, and comfort our souls. 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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Opening Hymn: “How Great Thou Art” Chalice #33 (musician)

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

Time for Children “Prayerful Support” (pastor) Everyone can pray for anyone.

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) We have been assured that we are made in the image of God. What an astonishing idea! Let us take heart on those days when we feel too small, too weak, too broken, too “whatever” to be partners with Christ. No matter who we are, no matter where we are on life’s journey, we can always pray for God’s will to be done here on earth and in heaven. Even if we don’t believe in the power of our prayer, God does. Dear Ones, this is a most powerful grace. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NRSV; liturgist) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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

Reflection: “Praying for Decision Makers” Prayer is powerful! Today’s message includes stories about praying for national leaders and the monthly prayers offered by the Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty.

Sermon Hymn: “We Sing Your Mighty Power, O God” Chalice #64 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Sovereign of the Universe, every being dwells in the shadow of Your glory. You infuse us with Your goodness and wisdom though we struggle to perceive these gifts. Grant us encouragement to continue offering our little prayers for they are more than sufficient. Today, we especially pray for all persons in positions of authority. Grant them what they need to protect the dignity of all living beings and nourish the lives of all in their care. We offer our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, Ruler of our Hearts. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Senior Center Reopens THIS TUESDAY
  • Next Sunday: “Emerging Church” report from The Summit (UCC)
  • No Care and Prayer this week
  • Pastor’s Sabbath shifts to FRI this week

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)

Spoken Benediction (pastor) Let us close with prayers to Almighty God, praying with the Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty: “We send our love and gratitude to You, Great Mystery, Creator and the unseen helper beings who are listening. We are very grateful for the gifts of life and for one another. Thank You for making us strong enough on this day to send our prayers to You.” Amen. (iwdmetnmp)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

A special word of thanks to (iwdmetnmp) Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty New Moon Prayer, who allowed use of their published August 27, 20212. It has been quite a gift to pray with these amazing women, online, since 2020. If you would like to pray with them, with us, see Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/IndigenousWomenTreaty.  

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

(NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright ©1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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: September 13, 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 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”

14th Sunday after Pentecost. “Cultivating Peace Practice: Blessing” Gathering of the Waters

Image: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2018. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until further notice.

We Gather

“Everything unborn in us and in the world needs blessing.Blessings strengthen life and feed life just as water does.” – Rachel Naomi Remen (rnr)

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You are 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, standing in peace toward all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist Norman Chong, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (Numbers 6:24-26, adapted; liturgist)

We gather today to practice blessings. Let us begin our worship service receiving the first blessing God gave to Moses to give to the people, a blessing shared among human beings for thousands of years:

May God bless you and keep you.

May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

May God uplift you with holy countenance and give you peace. 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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Opening Hymn: “Spirit Song” Chalice #352 (musician)

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

Time for Children “A Grandmother’s Blessing” When a blessing is rooted in true love it last forever. (pastor)

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, God deeply desires our fullness and well-being. Through the stories about Jesus Christ and mystical encounters with the Living Christ we encounter life-changing exchanges. These moments are mutual as both the divine and mortal resonate lifting each other up to a more radiant, purposeful, and joyful state of being.

When we come to Jesus with our honest needs, our true desires, and our earnest faith in His healing presence not only are we enhanced, the Spirit of Christ grows. Is this not a wondrous grace? Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 1:41-45, Matthew 9:20-22, and Mark 10:49-52 (liturgist)

Luke 1:39-45 “Pregnant Elizabeth Blesses Pregnant Mary”

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Matthew 9:20-22 “Jesus and the Healed Woman”

Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.

Mark 10:49-52 “Jesus and the Sighted Bartimaeus”

Then Jesus said to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus regained his sight and followed Jesus on the way.

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

Reflection: “Blessings: Becoming Authentic and Whole” (pastor) Thoughts about blessings as a tool for bringing peace into the world through the intention of speaking good words over each other.

Sermon Hymn: “Wonderful Words of Life” Chalice #323 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer Source of All Blessings, what a joy to be reminded that You have vested us with great powers to bless each other – to offer words of encouragement and affirmation, messages of hope and peace. Holy Christ, may we be filled with You whenever we speak a word of blessing and may You be blessed whenever we act in Your name. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

Gathering the Waters and Blessings

Gathering the Waters 

Today, we Gather the Waters – waters you’ve collected to remember blessed moments in the past year. If you did not gather any water but would like to share a memory of being blessed – especially by, with, or near water – please do! (offer bottles of 2021 Holy Water for use.) Please come forward with your water and blessing stories! (pour water into the big bowl)

Blessing the Waters

This is “our” water. It is filled with our experiences and stories. For the next 12 months we’ll use this water for various blessings and anointings. Let’s transform our water into Holy Water calling God’s blessing upon it. Let us pray:

Holy God, we call Your Holy Spirit into these gathered waters. Bless this water. Fill this water with exactly what is needed. And bless us, too, in the right use of this Holy Water and each blessing we give and receive. Amen.

Cultivating Peace Practice: Blessings! (pass out greenery, blessing wands)

I know you know how to fling water! Today, we’re also going to be very intentional by offering life-giving blessings upon each other and any living being. Let’s speak blessings of affirmation and dignity, healing and wisdom, led by Holy Spirit. Let the blessings begin!

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday: Sycamore Bento Box Luncheon
  • Senior Center Reopening

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)

Spoken Benediction (pastor)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

(rnr) Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. My Grandfather’s Blessing: Stories of Strength, Refuse, and Belonging. © 2000.

(jod) John O’Donohue. To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings. © 2008.

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: September 7, 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”

13 Pentecost: “Invisible Work” * Matthew 11:28-30 * Labor Day Holy Communion

Image: “Coast of Brittany” by James Abbott McNeil Whistler, 1861; cropped. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until increased COVID spread declines.

We Gather

“We are in a liminal season: something has ended, but a new thing is not yet ready to begin. In liminal seasons, systems and processes break down because they are supposed to. We cannot discover a new beginning until something ends or dies. Much of our overwhelm comes from trying to preserve or adapt things that are meant to fail.” – Susan Beaumont (sb)

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You are 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, standing in peace toward all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist David Louie, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (liturgist) Friends, on this Labor Day Weekend, are you weary? Are you carrying heavy burdens? Do you need rest? We gather here in the presence of the Eternal Christ open to The One who restores us. May our time together offer deep tending and blessing. Welcome to this sacred space.

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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Opening Hymn: “I Hunger and I Thirst” Chalice #409 (musician)

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

Time for Children “Different Kinds of Work” Work can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Jesus Christ offers rest from all labors. (pastor)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer, Confession and Silence (pastor) As this is a Communion Sunday, you may wish to use silent prayer for confession laying down burdens and/or asking for forgiveness. We’ll spend more time in silence today. 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, there is nothing, nothing, nothing we humans experience that God does not witness, comprehend, and attend. God knows the heights of our human delights as well as the depths of our human challenges. Through Jesus Christ, no matter what has or is happening to our hearts, minds, bodies, or souls – we are held in Divine care. What grace!

Dear Ones, rest assured that whatever burdens we lay down in God’s presence are received. Whatever we present for forgiveness has been forgiven. May the Peace of Christ fill and refresh us. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30 (liturgist; version: NRSV) As Jesus was beginning his ministry, critical of communities that had strayed from God, he offered these healing words of care and restoration:

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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

Sermon: “Invisible Work” On this Labor Day weekend we consider the intense work we do in our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls, especially now. The Eternal Christ offers us care, compassion, rest, and renewal.

Sermon Hymn: “For All the Saints” Chalice #637 (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) During the pauses you may wish to lift up specific persons or occupations.

On this Labor Day Weekend we lift up prayers of gratitude for all workers – especially those whose efforts and skills are essential though underacknowledged.

We pray for and with all family members and loved ones, unpaid workers, who tend our children, elderly, sick, and those with special needs. Bless them. (pause)

We pray for and with all volunteers who give their time and talents to generate much-needed services and opportunities. Bless them. (pause)

We pray for and with all friends, neighbors, and kind strangers who step up offering support when special needs arise. Bless them. (pause)

We pray for and with all who are entering the workforce, looking for work, shifting jobs, and retiring. Bless them. Bless all who labor. (pause) Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Invitation to Holy Communion (pastor; spontaneous)

Gathering All Souls (pastor) As we prepare to receive this Holy Meal we do so with the great, eternal communion of souls. Let us speak the names of those with whom we share this blessed meal… (say names out loud)

Communion Hymn: “Eat This Bread” Chalice #414 (sing 2xs; musician)

Distribute Elements (pass out juice cups and crackers)

Prayer of Consecration (pastor) Humble us, Beloved Christ, as we hold this juice and bread – gifts of the earth and the labor of others. Already filled with Your Presence, we now offer them for an additional anointing that they might be for us exactly what is needed to renew, heal, restore, and uplift us with Your saving love. Amen.

Sharing the Elements (pastor) Let us be woven into the past, present, and future as we receive these gifts from Jesus Christ.

Jesus took a common loaf into his hands. No doubt he thought of fields of wheat and the workers who plant, tend, and harvest essential grains, and the millers and bakers whose skills coax grain into becoming bread.

Jesus lifted up the loaf, (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. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after dinner, Jesus held a cup of wine. No doubt Jesus thought of the vineyards and the workers who plant, tend, and harvest grapes, and the winemakers whose skills transform juice into wine.

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. Do this in remembrance of me.”

We share this loaf with…

  • workers and those who are looking for work;
  • all who are afraid or weary who seek safety and compassion;
  • our neighbors with whom we hope to one day share this meal;

We are the fortunate recipients of these holy gifts. Let us receive them with deep gratitude. (all consume elements.)

Prayer of Thanksgiving (pastor; spontaneous)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday: Gathering of the Waters! Cultivating Peace Practice: BLESSINGS
  • Senior Center
  • Sycamore Bento Lunches

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me”by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; acapella chant)

Spoken Benediction (pastor)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

(sb) Susan Beaumont, “Overwhelm: Not a Problem to be Solved.” 10/12/2021 article in PERSPECTIVES for Congregational Leaders, online publication.

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: August 30, 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”

12 Pentecost: “St Aidan: The Way of Befriending” * Isaiah 61:1-3

Image: Icon of St Aidan on Lindisfarne. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until increased COVID spread declines.

We Gather

“Everlasting God, You sent the gentle bishop Aidan to proclaim the gospel in this land; grant us to live as he taught in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.” – English Book of Common Prayer, Feast Day of Bishop Aiden (August 31)

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (Pastor Kathryn) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You’re 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, standing in peace toward all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist Darlene Hamady, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (liturgist)

Please greet the person — or other beings — on your LEFT, saying: “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!” (everyone greets those on their LEFT)

Please greet the person — or other beings — on your RIGHT, saying: “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!” (everyone greets those on their RIGHT)

Please greet the earth and creatures BELOW us, saying: “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!” (everyone greets those BELOW)

Please greet the heavens and all the beings ABOVE us, saying: Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!” (everyone greets those ABOVE)

Welcome, everyone! We are HERE in the presence of the Eternal Christ! 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 and Altar Votives (Pastor Kathryn)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Opening Hymn: “Morning Has Broken” Chalice #53 (musician)

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

Time for Children “Making Friends” St Aidan models the beauty of making new friends (Pastor Kathryn)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (Pastor Kathryn)

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 Kathryn) Modern prophet, Valarie Kaur, invites us to “see no stranger.” She suggests we say inwardly, “You are a part of me I do not yet know” instead of being led by fear and prejudice. (vk)

This was the natural orientation of St Aidan. When bringing the Gospel to people he had been warned to distrust, he first opened his heart to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ opened his heart to the people. Instead of strangers, he met potential friends.

God can do wondrous things when we ask to love as Christ loves – a way that changes and empowers us, and sometimes others, too. May St Aidan’s example inspire us to love one another. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-3 (liturgist; version: NRSV) This is the passage Jesus read when visiting his hometown synagogue. From the Hebrew prophet Isaiah:

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
   because the Lord has anointed me;
God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
   to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
   and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
   and the day of vengeance of our God;
   to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
   to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
   the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   the planting of the Lord, to display God’s glory.

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

Sermon: “St Aidan’s Mission of Befriending” Deeply inspired by the Way of Christ, Aidan embodied the Gospel in his actions. What might St Aidan’s example suggest to us about how to grow our ministry?

Sermon Hymn: “The Gift of LoveChalice #526 (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (Pastor Kathryn)

Source of All Life, Parent of All Peoples, touch our hearts and minds with the example of St Aidan. May he inspire us to love as Jesus Christ loves seeing in each person a potential friend, sibling, or kindred soul. Healing Physician, we also ask You to attend the wounds we have inflicted, as well as the wounds we have received, when our human encounters have not been loving. Radiate Your reviving presence among us, through all of us. Heal us. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday: Holy Communion
  • Gather Water from places of rest, reunion, and recreation. 9/11 Blessing of the Waters.

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; acapella chant)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

(vk) See No Stranger, Valarie Kaur. © 2020 by Valarie Kaur.

St Aidan Resources:

Wisdom of the Celtic Saints, Edward C Sellner.

Praying with the Celtic Saints, Mary C Earle and Sylvia Maddox.

“History of St Aidan the Saint” post http://www.staidanschurch.org/history-of-st-aidan

“St Aidan” video (5 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiWQNe9ih3s

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: August 23, 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”

11 Pentecost: “Encountering Holy Peace” * Luke 2:9-14 and John 14:25-27

Cultivating Peace Series: Introduction to the Peace of Christ

Practices: Heartbeat and Breath Somatic Regulation

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2007. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until increased COVID spread declines.

We Gather

“Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you, who, swift as the wave and pervasive as the air, quiet as the earth and shining like a star, breathes into us His Peace and His Spirit.”– Mary Rogers, adapted from the Gaelic

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (Pastor Kathryn)

Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You’re 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, standing in non-violence with hope for the safety and well-being of all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist Darlene Hamady, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Invocation (liturgist)

May all Heavenly Beings surround us with the Peace of Christ.

May all Earthly Beings be refreshed with the Peace of Christ.

May each soul desire the deep blessing of the Peace of Christ.

May each living being commit to sharing the Peace of Christ.

O Peace of Christ, Eternal Presence, be with us! 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 and Altar Votives (Pastor Kathryn)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Time for Children “Breathing Peace” The scent of lavender is calming; God gives us many ways to relax and rest in beauty and peace (Pastor Kathryn)

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

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (Pastor Kathryn)

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 Kathryn)

When announcing the birth of the Christ Child angels sang of Holy Peace. As Jesus was offering his final blessing upon his disciples he offered them Holy Peace. Through Jesus Christ Holy Peace is always available to us. However, encountering it takes practice. Lots of practice.

Dear Ones, God keeps sending us guides for entering Holy Peace. Let us be grateful for this flowing river of grace-filled instruction and hope. Let us be open to being refreshed no matter what is happening in us, among us, beyond us. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 2:9-14 and John 14:25-27 (liturgist; version: NRSV)   

Luke 2:9-14  Angels announce Jesus’ birth….

An angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!”

AND

John 14: 25-27 Jesus’ last words before his ascension…

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

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

Sermon: “Encountering Holy Peace” When we are anxious or overwhelmed how do we experience the Peace of Christ? This message will include an introduction to the “Peace of Christ” and conclude with two somatic regulation practices for reducing stress: “Hand on Heartbeat” and “Paying Attention to the Breath.”

Sermon Hymn: “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” Chalice Hymnal #254, all verses (musician)


We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (Pastor Kathryn)

Font of Mercy and Grace, when thoughts and emotions hijack our consciousness guide us away from unnecessary dangers to be with You. Call us to reconsider immediate realities and recalibrate. Kindly invite us back into the realm of Your Presence and the wondrous Holy Peace Jesus Christ forever offers everyone. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Closing Hymn: “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” Chalice Hymnal #540, all verses (musician)

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday: St Aidan of Lindisfarne
  • Gather Waters – New Holy Water Blessed on 9/11 during worship

Sung Benediction “Circle Me” by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn will teach the chant acapella)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(NIV) Scripture quotations taken from ®NIV Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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: August 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”

10 Pentecost: “She Gave Her All” * Luke 21:1-4 & Psalm 100:1-5

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2021. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until increased COVID spread declines.

We Gather

“We give thee but thine own, whate’er the gift may be; all that we have is thine alone,
a trust, O Lord, from thee.” Lyrics by Rev William Walsham How, 19th c. English minister

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (Pastor Kathryn)

Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey…

You’re 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,

standing in non-violence with hope for the safety and well-being of all beings.

Flowers In honor of Ede Donnell’s birthday. Given by Mark and Anita.

Worship Team Worship/Preacher Rev. Bladimer Paeste, Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist Darlene Hamady.  

Call to Worship (liturgist; Psalm 100:1-5, NIV)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before God with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God. It is God who made us, and we are God’s; we are God’s people, the sheep of God’s pasture.

Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and God’s courts with praise; give thanks to God and praise God’s name. For the Lord is good and God’s love endures forever; God’s faithfulness continues through all generations.

Christ our Light, be with us! 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 and Altar Votives (Pastor Kathryn)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Time for Children “Good Gifts” Genuine giving (Pastor Kathryn)

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

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (Pastor Kathryn)

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 Kathryn) Sometimes, it isn’t easy to give. Obligations, expectations, and social customs require we share our wealth with others. Our spirits might feel coerced into doing something we don’t want to do, or maybe, we really do wish to give, but don’t have what we desire to offer.

The poor woman in today’s parable exercises free will. She chooses to boldly express her love of God financially. Her generosity is genuine. If we could speak with her, I believe she would tell us that her gift brought her deep joy.

Jesus invites us to give as she gives. What can we boldly, freely give? May God grant us the grace to welcome and embody such blessed generosity. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 21:1-4 (liturgist; version: NIV) As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

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

Sermon: “She Gave Her All” Rev. Bladimer Paeste, member of BCCC

Sermon Hymn “Take My Life” Chalice Hymnal #609, all verses (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (Pastor Kathryn) Source of All Life, when our woundedness advises us to horde — call us to share. When our limited vision sees only risk — open our eyes to possibilities. When we forget Your endless generosity — help us be grateful for the gift of life, for those who love us, for the free wonders of each day, and for the eternal strength of Your love. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Closing Hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” Chalice Hymnal #82, all verses (musician) Note: Let’s imagine the woman with two coins singing with us!

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday
  • Continue to Gather Waters

Sung Benediction “Circle Me” by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn will teach the chant acapella)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(NIV) Scripture quotations taken from ®NIV Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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: August 9, 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: “Kat

9 Pentecost: “Keep Your Lamp Burning” * Luke 12:32-40 * Holy Communion

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2015. Original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until increased COVID spread declines.

We Gather

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, [humans] will have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 20th century Christian philosopher

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You’re 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, standing in non-violence with hope for the safety and well-being of all beings.

Flowers Given by Jane Mah and Norman Chong.

Worship Team Guest Preacher Rev. Bladimer Paeste, Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist Darlene Hamady.  

Call to Worship (liturgist, see script for additional copy)

Christ our Light, be with us! 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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Time for Children “Ready” Being spiritually ready (pastor)

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

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) Being human means being vulnerable. The COVID virus, climate change, and other big crises reveal there are forces beyond our personal control. It is humbling and overwhelming. Jesus Christ teaches us to trust God and invest in the things we can control – like our actions and intentions. No matter what is going on we can care, we can help, we can embody the love of God because God loves us.  

Today, let us take comfort in eternal forces of goodness. Let us trust in the grace of God’s faithfulness, especially when we are vulnerable. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 12:32-40 (liturgist; version: NIV) “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

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

Sermon: “Keep Your Lamp Burning” Rev. Bladimer Paeste, member of BCCC

Sermon Hymn “Pass It On” Chalice Hymnal #477, all verses (musician)


We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Beloved Christ, today we offer ourselves to You to be refined. Prepare us to be who You need us to be, especially when we least expect it. Fortify our strengths, edit our weaknesses, add what we lack, bless what is worthy. Prime us for faithful service that, through You, we might bring glory to God, be a blessing to others, and find joy blooming in our own souls. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Invitation to Holy Communion (Announce distribution of elements AFTER the hymn) God has given us THE KINGDOM. God has given US the kingdom. There is enough for everyone. We come to this Holy Meal knowing God has already given us everything we truly need. Let us come with grateful hearts.

Gathering All Souls God has given us THE KINGDOM. God has given US the kingdom. As we prepare to receive this Holy Meal we do so with the great, eternal communion of souls. Let us speak the names of those with whom we share this blessed meal… (say names out loud)

Communion Hymn: “Let Us Break Bread Together” Chalice #425, all verses (musician)

Distribute Elements (pass out juice cups and crackers)

Prayer of Consecration God has given us the kingdom. Mindful of such abundance, Let us pray: O Lord, in the sharing of this meal may we inherit what is already ours – the gift of Christ’s presence and the blessing of God’s forgiveness. Amen.

Sharing the Elements (pastors)

God has given us the kingdom. There will always be enough for everyone when we release our fears, when we share what others need, when we invest in what is eternal, when we treasure what no thief might steal and no moth can destroy. When our hearts are filled with the gifts of God, we are truly rich.

God has given us the kingdom. (Use your own words of institution – we remember the night…)

Jesus took the loaf, (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. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after they had eaten, 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. Do this in remembrance of me.”

We share this loaf with… (please adjust as the Spirit guides you to do…)

  • All who are hungry, sick, or without a home – AND with all who have many things which could be shared;
  • All beings who have died in wildfires and floods and other tragedies – AND with all who tried to save them, who offered care until the end;
  • All who seek God’s Love and the grace of a Beloved Community – AND with our efforts to be community for our neighbors and the friends we’ve yet to meet;

God has given us THE KINGDOM. God has given US the kingdom. Let us receive what has already been freely given, that we might freely serve God. (all consume elements.)

Prayer of Thanksgiving (spontaneous)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • After Worship
  • Next Sunday
  • Continue to Gather Waters

Sung Benediction (pastor) “Circle Me” by Simon de Voil (sing with recording)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(NIV) Scripture quotations taken from ®NIV Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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: August 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”

8 Pentecost: “Church as Verb” Ephesians 2:14-18 & Galatians 5: 6, 21-25

Photo: *COREM Convocation, 2022 (UCC News). Original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

*COREM: Council for Racial and Ethnic Ministries

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until increased COVID spread declines.

We Gather

“Church of the Verb, not Church of the Noun. What you DO not who you ARE.” – Maria C. Coyne, President and CEO of the Cornerstone Fund (UCC) speaking at NCNC UCC Annual Gathering 2022

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You’re welcome here! Since God has welcomed us, we also welcome everyone with open hearts. Welcome! (em) 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, standing in non-violence with hope for the safety and well-being of all beings.

Flowers In memory of May Wong. Given by Stan Wong.

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist Darlene Hamady.  

Call to Worship (liturgist)

Today we reaffirm our regional, conference covenant:

We are people of God, a community of congregations diverse in our ethnicity, culture, and lifestyle. We are the Northern California Nevada Conference, United Church of Christ. We covenant with God and each other To worship God through Word and Sacrament, To proclaim to all the world the Gospel of Jesus Christ through deed and word, To be open to the movement of the Spirit in our midst. We covenant with God and each other To speak of our dreams and visions, To share our resources, To draw strength from one another in the work of ministry. We covenant with God and each other To affirm our journey together, in our diversity, for justice, peace and healing throughout all of God’s creation, To grow with one another, building our future out of past memories and present hopes. We covenant with God and each other To love and support one another To listen and learn from one another To forgive and trust one another To pray for and with one another To answer God’s call to be the body of Christ. (ncncucc)

Beloved Christ, we gather in Your blessed presence. 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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Time for Children “Our People” Jesus Christ calls us into circles of faith (pastor)

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) We are not alone. God gives us companions on the journey. Jesus Christ began his ministry by creating a community of faith. Christ is still calling us together. We are called to religious gatherings and assemble for wider community projects, too. We find “our people” at potluck tables and in parking lots. Whenever we witness compassion and integrity, we are with kindred souls. We are never alone. God is always blessing us with soul community. Let us thank God for this wondrous grace. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Ephesians 2:14-18 and Galatians 5: 6, 21-25 (liturgist; version: NRSV) These passages from the writings of St Paul were read at NCNC UCC (Ephesians reading) and COREM (Galatians reading) gatherings this summer.

Ephesians 2:14-18: For Jesus Christ is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Galatians 5: 6, 21-25: Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh… I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

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

Sermon: “Church as Verb” Reports from June conventions – regional UCC Annual Gathering and national COREM Convention. (pastor)

Sermon Hymn “Community of Christ” Chalice Hymnal #655, all verses (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Author of Life, Embodiment of Hope, Source of Inspiration – move through us! Connect us with partners in ministry. Engage us in the acts of faith You desire. Help us be the Church as verb. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday Holy Communion
  • Gather Waters this summer

Closing Hymn: “Diverse in Culture, Nation, Race Chalice #485, all verses (musician)

Benediction (pastor) The Rev. Linda Jaramillo, COREM keynoter said, “We are a people of distinction – not extinction.” “The future is before us. It is ready to be revealed.” Dear Ones, may the vivacious Holy Spirit found amid UCC siblings give us hope, faith, stamina, and courage. May we FEEL connected by sweet bonds of love and the peace of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(em) Eileen Mitsueda, “You Are Welcome Here” https://youtu.be/FBSeEjhRC_U

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

(ncncucc) “NCNC UCC Conference Covenant” from NCNC bylaws, Section 2, adopted at the Annual Meeting in 1991.

(NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

COREM: https://www.ucc.org/about-us_council-for-racial-and-ethnic/

Quotes as recorded by KMS during events.

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: July 26, 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”

July Break

photo: Kathryn M Schreiber (c) 2019

Hello Dear Ones! I’m taking a break and will not post new content until late July. BCCC folks, please scroll down to last Sunday’s post “Called to Freedom” which we’ll use on Sunday July 10, 2022.

I’m JOYFULLY stepping away for some much-needed rest and care so there will be no new worship services posted until the end of July for Sunday 7/31 — theme “Church as Verb.”

Please feel free to scroll through previously posted content — there is a lot to choose from! God bless and do take care! I hope you’ll have a summertime break, too.