22 Pentecost: “Sister Cricket”• Blessing of the Animals • Psalm 104, excerpts

photo: first winter rainfall, Huichin Village/Berkeley, CA. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2019.

worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

BCCC Worship Schedule

In-person worship services: 11am 1st and 2nd Sundays * ZOOM worship services: 2pm 3rd, 4th, 5th (if there is one) Sundays; 3pm check-in

Out of the Bag (for children of all ages) “Blessed by Animals” https://youtu.be/n5j3n66cucw

We Gather

“Sing, Sister Cricket. Praise Your Creator with a joyful song.” – St Francis of Assisi to a sibling creature in the woodlands around Porziuncola, one of the sanctuaries he restored

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome one and all! Today we welcome every one of every species to join us in worship and the Blessing of the Animals! I am here in Huichin Village/Berkeley, not far from the 5,000-year-old sacred Shellmound created beside Strawberry Creek. And, we gather as a joyful people for the winter rains have begun!

Invocation (pastor)

May all living beings join in our opening praise:

Praise God for the rain! Hallelujah!

Praise God for the nourishment of heavenly waters tending all life on earth.

Praise God for the protection precipitation brings our drought-weary community.

Praise God for the grace of cleansing rain as it washes away what isn’t needed.

Together, we all praise God! Hallelujah! Amen!

Lighting the Christ Candle & Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Special Music “See the RainWritten and performed by Rev. Will Burhans, “Weight of Grace” CD ℗ 2006 Rev. Will Burhans. (see Worship Resources below. Used with permission.)

Prayer and Silence (pastor) We 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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

No matter who we are – a tiny little cricket or a great ocean whale – we are a Beloved Creature adored by a good and holy God. And, we are siblings in life – the wild raptor that flies overhead and the furry companion by our side, the pollinating bees and the animals we consume – together, we are one earthly family. God created us in relationship for relationship with all manner of beings. May we deeply treasure this grace today. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 104:1-5, 10-13, 24, 27-30, 33-34, 35b (pastor; NRSV adapted to feature a cricket’s version of praise for God’s goodness.)

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great!

You are adorned with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with luminous skin! You stretch out the heavens like a shade tree, You set the beams of Your shelter on the waters, You make the clouds Your nest, You soar on the wings of the wind, You make the winds Your messengers, fire and flame Your ministers. You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every living creature; each of us quenching our thirst. In the marshes and forests, where we crickets live; we sing among the reeds and fallen leaves. From Your lofty abode You water the mountains; we are satisfied with the fruit of Your work!

O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made us all; the earth is filled with Your beloved creatures! We all look to You to give us our food in due season; when You give to us, we gather it up; when You open Your hand, we are filled with good things. When You hide Your face, we are dismayed; when You take away our breath, we die and return to the soil. When You send forth Your spirit, we are created; and You renew life on earth.

May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; may the Lord rejoice in divine works— who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live! I will sing praise to my God while I have being! May my meditation be pleasing to God, for I rejoice in the Lord! Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord! Amen.

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

Sermon “Sister Cricket” (pastor) God gave St Francis of Assisi a Christ-heart for all creatures. Many stories about St Francis include inteverventions to tame violence between species. This is one of those stories. Crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts are historic enemies of farming humans.

Special Music “Prayer of St Francis” (recommended recording: St Francis of Assisi’s prayer performed by Buddy Comfort. ℗ 2001 Buddy Comfort/Laughing Tree Music.)

Blessing of the Animals

Holy Water If you do not have Holy Water – water that has already been blessed – place your hand near or in a little bowl of water, newly collected rainwater would be most appropriate.

Let us pray: Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we call Your Holy Spirit into this water that it may be a living symbol for us of Your eternal love. Amen.

Blessing All Creatures (pastor and community)

We bless the animals we know by name… (speak companion animal’s name/s) _______, may God bless you, for you are one of the Creator’s Beloved creatures. (make the sign of the cross in water on animals’ forehead or safe place to touch)

We bless our unnamed animals neighbors… (speak type/s of outdoor animal/s) _______, may God bless you, for you are, each, one of the Creator’s Beloved creatures. (sprinkle Holy Water in areas where you often see animal neighbors)

We bless the humans in our households… (speak human’s name/s) ________, may God bless you, too, for you are one of the Creator’s Beloved creatures. (make the sign of the cross in water on humans’ forehead or safe place to touch)

May God bless our relationships with each other. May we grow in love and affection for one another across species. In the name of Jesus Christ and in the way of his devoted disciple, St Francis, we pray. Amen.

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

O Lord, may we humans listen to our Sister Cricket and Brother Wolf singing; may we hear their beautiful songs of praise. May we join Creation’s chorus united in praising You, growing in respect and love for each other.

Today some of us are grieving. Comfort us in our loss and attend our friends in heaven as we remember dear humans and animals who are deceased. Hear us, as we speak their names: (pause).

Great Healer, lay Your kind hand upon any creature, of any species, in need of healing and special care today. Hear us, as we speak their names: (pause).

We also pray for refugee animals, those awaiting adoption, and wild, commercial, and domesticated animals, each with unique challenges and graces. We lift up thanks for humans who preserve, tend, and love our sibling animals. Amen.

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

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

We Continue in Hope

Announcements (pastor)

*Song: “All Creatures of Our God and King” (recording) written by Francis of Assisi, LASST UNS ERFREUEN (Chalice #22)

Benediction (pastor)

St Francis, through his love for the Eternal Christ, saw all creatures as God sees us – precious siblings in the great family of life. May our hearts continue to expand, welcoming more beings into our love and care. May be truly go forth with peace and hope in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(NRSV) Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

(wb) Rev. Will Burhans. The song “See the Rain” comes from Rev. Will Burhans’ Album entitled “Weight of Grace”.  His music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms or CD’s purchased from www.cdbaby.com. Music used with permission. (Thank you, Will!)

Sermon Resource: Fortini’s Francis of Assisi, pp 541-542 as recorded in Stoutenberger and Bohrer’s Praying with Francis of Assisi, pp 94-95, retold by kms.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan-Chochenyo 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: October 20, 2021.

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”

21 Pentecost: “We Can” • Mark 10:35-45

photo: stained glass window, Pioneer UCC, Sacramento, CA. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2019.

worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

BCCC Worship Schedule as of October 1, 2021

In-person worship services: 11am 1st and 2nd Sundays

ZOOM worship services: 2pm 3rd, 4th, 5th (if there is one) Sundays

2pm worship format will now be similar to in-person Sundays

ZOOM check-in has moved to 3pm on 3rd, 4th, 5th (if there is one) Sundays

We Gather

“Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” – Evening Prayer, Lutheran Book of Worship

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

I am here in Huichin Village, unceded ancestral lands of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, not far from the sacred site now known as the West Berkeley Shellmound.

Today, we welcome Rev. Bladimer Paeste, member of BCCC, who has served UCCP and UCC churches in the Philippines and US to the pulpit.

Invocation (pastor)

Dear Ones, we are drawn to God’s presence through Jesus Christ.

Like the original disciples we gather bringing our personal requests.

May we open to the requests the Living Christ makes of us. Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle & Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Special Music (recording)

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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

What a gift it is to come to the Living Christ asking for what we want. What a gift it is to come away from these vulnerable encounters understanding what God wants from us. May we enter the holy realm of all that is possible when we imitate Servant Christ. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Mark 10:35-45 (pastor; translation: NIV)

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

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

Sermon “We Can” (Pastor Bladimer Paeste; live on ZOOM)

This Sunday church member, Rev. Bladimer Paeste, offers the sermon. Pastor Bladi has served churches in the Philippines and the US. He served as settled pastor of Faith Community Church, UCC in Oakland for many years, as well as other Bay Area congregations in transition. He has also served as a chaplain in healthcare settings and informally as an ambassador of Christian love to many. He and his wife, Lilibeth, have three adult daughters.

Special Music (recording)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Holy God, how grateful we are for those who went before – not only the early disciples who actually lived with Jesus Christ, but those who have attempted, in small and great ways, to embody a life of service. We ask, O God, that You grant unto us desires and passions that will satisfy You! May we be called and blessed to engage in liberating ministry. Amen.

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

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella)

Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

We Continue in Hope

Announcements (pastor)

Closing Hymn (recording)

Benediction (pastor)

Dear Ones, Jesus has told us how to be great – to humble ourselves as The Holy Servant did. May we offer ourselves to God for the uplift of others, and in so doing, experience eternal communion with The Living Christ. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(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, unceeded territory of the Lisjan-Chochenyo 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: October 12, 2021.

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. 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”

20 Pentecost: “Sowing Seeds of Justice” • James 3:13-18 • Neighbors in Need, Orange Shirt Day

photo: newly harvested coriander seeds, Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

We Gather

“As a daydreamer and one who tills the soil, I am provided with many hours to make connections that will help me continue to care for the seeds of my Nation, to feed all children as Every Child Matters!” – Terrylynn Bryant, Mohawk Seedkeeper Gardens

Prelude (Vicky, piano solo)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

We are gathered here in Huichin Village, unceded ancestral lands of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, not far from the sacred site now known as the West Berkeley Shellmound.

We are grateful for the generosity of Terrylynn Bryant, a Mohawk of Six Nations, who has generously granted permission to use her Truth and Reconciliation Day* 2021 post that appeared on the Mohawk Seedkeepers Facebook page. The Mohawk Seedkeepers are committed to carrying on the tradition of Indigenous gardening and seed saving. 

Today, we observe the United Church of Christ’s Neighbors in Need Offering. This annual collection funds ministries of justice and compassion. One-third of donations go directly to our Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM).

Invocation (liturgist)

Creator God planted us in an abundant world attuned to the cycle of seasons. Our ancestors taught how to live well knowing that what we planted we would harvest. Today, the Eternal Christ asks us, “What seeds of justice shall you sow?”

Lighting the Christ Candle (liturgist)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives)

Passing the Peace (everyone) Wave or bow, offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Special Music: (Vicky J)

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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

Beloved Ones, no matter who or what has blown us away from the endearing beauty of our blessed souls, God calls us back again. God planted the forever-seed of our souls in each of our bodies. God forever invites us to root, deeply, in the sweet soil of our soul’s inner wisdom, peace, mercy, and integrity. Today, whatever has taken us away from our truest natures, may we release these obstructions to God for re-direction and healing. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: James 3:13-18 (translation: NRSV)

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 

But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

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

Sermon “Sowing Seeds of Justice” (pastor)

We receive the wisdom of Mohawk Seedkeeper, TerryLynn Bryant, as we reflect upon planting healing seeds to tend wounds between human cultures and the heavenly realms of being. We honor, too, the stain of prejudice sometimes found in our translations of Holy Writings. May we listen for God’s voice to align with what is truly true and eternally good. (In-person live sermon)

Special Music (tbd)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

On this Neighbors in Need Offering Sunday, O God, we ask for Your vision – to see all beings honored and dwelling in good ways. We lift up our role in ignoring or creating suffering, humbling ourselves to You for guidance in the good work of healing and repair. We offer our prayers as a salve for all our children who suffered in the past and as an embodied hope for a better future for all our children. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer

We Give

Neighbors In Need Offering Invitation (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Vicky J) Let us collectively offer praise to God by silently or softly singing. Please use the donation basket or mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

We Continue in Hope

Benediction (pastor)

Jesus said the “Kingdom of God” was like a little seed. Great things may come from even the tiniest of seeds. Let us be mindful of what we plant. With God’s help, may we plant seeds that will bear divine fruit for one and all. Amen.

The service is concluded.

*Special Note:

”Truth and Reconciliation Day” September 30th, was established in 2021 by the Canadian government after 215 unmarked graves were found in Kamloops (hundred’s more unmarked graves at various locations have been identified since). The US and Canada recognize the intergenerational harm done to Indigenous families and communities and seek to honor those who have been affected by the injustice of these mandated practices. As September 30th was, historically, the date when indigenous children were annually separated from their families forced to attend residential boarding schools, it is reframed as a day of acknowledgment, reparations, and healing.

September 30th is also known as “Orange Shirt Day.” Phyllis Webstad, a residential school survivor, was stripped of her new orange shirt on her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. This special shirt, made by her grandmother, was never returned to Phyllis. All are invited to wear orange shirts each September 30th to acknowledge the experiences and losses of our indigenous siblings’ children while boarded at residential schools.

Worship Resources:

(NRSV) New Revised Standard Version ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text formatted by Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2021.

(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, unceeded territory of the Lisjan-Chochenyo 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: October 5, 2021.

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. 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”

19 Pentecost: “Common Good World Communion” • Acts 4:32-34

art: cover of Memphis Catholic Charities cookbook early 1990’s. Artist unknown.

worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

We Gather

“Where people of goodwill get together and transcend their differences for the common good, peaceful and just solutions can be found even for those problems which seem most intractable.” – Nelson Mandela, 1st President of South Africa

Prelude (Vicky, piano solo)

Welcome (pastor)

Invocation (liturgist)

The Creator most wondrously designs all life to be interdependent upon all beings. Praise God the Creator – we need each other!

The Christ most extravagantly yields self-glory for the well-being of all peoples. Praise God the Christ – we need each other!

The Spirit most fluidly inspires communal awakenings of shared wisdom and compassion. Praise God the Spirit – we need each other! 

Let us welcome God the Creator, Christ, and Spirit on this World Communion Sunday. Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle (liturgist)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (light votives)

Passing the Peace Wave or bow, offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Special Music: “One Bread, One Body” Words and music written by John Foley. Posted by Jonathan Cordova 3/29/2020. ©1978 John B Foley, SJ and New Dawn Music. Chalice Hymnal #393

Prayer and Silence

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence. 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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

When it appears that self-serving agendas and immature battles have stolen our goals, let us remember God calls us to a common good. May we be aligned with the earliest Christians who shared all things in common, people whose hearts ached for a reality where no one was in need. God awaits our permission to further open our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls in the service of others. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Acts 4:32-35 (liturgist)

The community of believers was one in heart and mind. None of them would say, “This is mine!” about any of their possessions, but held everything in common. 

The apostles continued to bear powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and an abundance of grace was at work among them all.

There were no needy persons among them. Those who owned properties or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds from the sales,and place them in the care and under the authority of the apostles. Then it was distributed to anyone who was in need.

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

Sermon “We Need Each Other”

World Communion Sunday 2021 – during this second global pandemic World Communion Sunday let us take heart in the Common Good, inspired by the earliest Christian community. (In-person live sermon)

Special Music: “Lean on Me” Written and performed by Bill Withers.

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer

Blessed Christ, may we see our vast, intentional interconnectedness. May we also perceive the grand potential possible whenever gifts are freely shared for the uplift of those in need. Delight our souls with an assurance that You always provide enough for everyone. May we embody Your sacred distribution dreams. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (acapella)

Let us collectively offer praise to God by silently or softly singing. Please use the donation basket or mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements

Invitation to Change Location Gather outside; pick up individual communion elements. Please extinguish all candles before exiting the building.

We Celebrate Holy Communion

After everyone is situated outside and has individually wrapped bread and juice.

Presentation of the Elements (pastor and others)

On this World Communion Sunday we celebrate the abundance of global resources and the call to justly distribute them. Will those with Communion gifts to share, please come forward, one by one? Thank you.

One person presents an empty plate, and another person places an empty cup. Yet another person comes forth with bread, and another pours juice into the empty cup. Other gifts may be put on the Communion Table, too, such as flowers or symbols of faith.

Invitation and Consecration Prayer (pastor)

Dear Ones, this loaf and juice, and the dishes that hold them, represent the assets and efforts of neighbors we have never met. May these shared gifts aid us in receiving God’s divine nourishment and forgiveness freely offered to the many.

Let us pray:

Eternal Christ, may we encounter Your healing presence in this sacred meal, dependent as we are upon persons we do not know. Fill us with gratitude for our daily interconnections and the global network of support that strengthens and uplifts everyone. Through Your grace, we pray. Amen.

Words of Institution

(We will consume bread and cup together after the Words of Institution.)

Let us remember the night when Jesus and his Beloved Disciples gathered in a borrowed room, sat at a borrowed table, and ate from borrowed dishes. They came to the Passover Table dependent upon the graciousness of others, eager to share their gifts with others.

Let us enter into this Holy Communion as did the earliest Christians — Christians who shared all things in common; who created wholeness of community through compassion and a network of care.

Jesus lifted up the loaf,

offering his body to the Beloved Community.

Jesus thanked God for the bread, broke it,

and gave it to us, saying:

“Take, eat.

This is my Body,

which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

After super, Jesus lifted up the cup,

offering his forgiveness to the Beloved Community.

Jesus thanked God for the wine,

and gave it to us, 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.”

Today, we join Christians around the world receiving these blessed gifts that we continue the work of seeking the well-being of all beings everywhere. Amen. (all eat and drink)

Song: “Eat This Bread” (sung acapella) Words by Robert Batastini and the Taizé Community, 1982. Music by Jacques Berthier, 1982. © 1984 Les Presses de Taizé France. Chalice Hymnal #414.

Eat this bread, drink this cup,

come to me and never be hungry.

Eat this bread, drink this cup,

trust in Me and you will not thirst.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Reconciling Christ, we thank You for the enduring grace of Your liberating presence when we gather in Your memory. May this spiritual meal continue to transform The Church into Your Beloved Community where none are in need. Amen.

We Continue in Hope

Benediction (pastor)

May we grow as one in heart and mind, for the Common Good, witnessing to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, abundantly revealing God’s grace among us. Let us go forth in peace with hope. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(CEB) Common English Bible, Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible. Text formatted by Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2021.

(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, unceeded territory of the Lisjan-Chochenyo 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 early 2021. Please check with your denominational legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content publicly. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Thank you.

Online Publishing Date: September 28, 2021.

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.

Donation for Use of Content: 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”

18 Pentecost: “Our Endless Day” • Psalm 36:6-10

photo: Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2015

worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

We Gather

“Our faith is a light, coming in nature from endless day.” — Julian of Norwich, 14th century English Christian mystic (ed/jw)

Prelude

Welcome (pastor)

Invocation (pastor)

Beloveds, this is a time of natural balancing and rebalancing. The sun and the moon equally share the sky. The day and the night evenly inhabit 24-hours. During the autumnal equinox we prepare for what is coming – the shortening of the days and the lengthening of the nights. As physical darkness begins to grow, listen to these words from Julian of Norwich:

“Our faith is a light, coming in nature from Endless Day, which is our Father, God; in which light our Mother, Christ, and our good Lord, the Holy Spirit, lead us in this passing life.” (ed/jw) Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (light votives)

Passing the Peace Wave or bow, offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

*Song: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” Words: H van Dyke; Music: L van Beethoven. (Chalice #2)

Prayer and Silence Let us shift into silence in God’s presence using 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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

We dwell in a universe cherished by a good God. No where in the cosmos does God not reign. And though we see in a mirror dimly, a time will come when we will clearly perceive the full grandeur of God. As the seasons turn from summer to fall, let us gaze upon the goodness of God in nature, in daily life, in the blessings that we too often take for granted – shelter, warmth, food, water, and the gift of being alive. May we be grateful and saturated with God’s luminous presence. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 36:6-10 (LTP)

Your mercy, Lord, spans the sky;

Your faithfulness soars among the clouds;

Your integrity towers like a mountain;

Your justice runs deeper than the sea.

Lord, You embrace all life.

How we prize Your tender mercy!

God, Your people seek shelter,

Safe in the warmth of Your wings.

They feast at Your full table,

Slake their thirst in Your cool stream,

For You are the fount of life,

You give us light and we see.

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

Sermon “Our Endless Day” 13th century Christian mystic, Julia of Norwich, was granted a most rare gift – to experience God’s triumphant goodness pervading eternity despite very glum conditions in her community. She, and the author of Psalm 36, guide us in orienting to God’s goodness this week of the autumnal equinox. (Video includes scripture reading) https://youtu.be/KCV-M6pMmps

Special Music: “River Flows in You” Written and performed by Yiruma.

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer

Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit, bless us with perceptible, physical light, as well as the spiritual gift of insight and illumination. May our souls come to see You everywhere – drawn to Your light that permeates all that is. May Your sustaining, life-bringing light tend one and all across Creation. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology”

Let us collectively offer praise to God by silently or softly singing. Please use the donation basket or mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

We Continue in Hope

Announcements

Special Music: “Great is Thy Faithfulness” Words: Thomas O Chisholm. Music: William M Runyan. 1923.

Benediction (pastor)

O God, Our Endless Day,

grant us the wisdom to see

luminous holy presence everywhere…

spanning the skies,

soaring among the clouds,

towering above as mountains,

running deep within the seas,

sheltering us with warm wings,

feeding us from full tables,

refreshing us from flowing streams,

blessing all life

with abundance and insight.

Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(LTP) Liturgical Training Press, The Psalter. Copyright © 1994, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. Text formatted, adapted by Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2021.

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

Julian of Norwich – referenced and quoted sources:

(af) Julian of Norwich, by Amy Frykholm, Paraclete Press, Brewster MA. Copywrite © 2010, Amy Frykholm.

(ec/jw) Julian of Norwich: Showings, translated by Edmund Colledge and James Walsh. (Translation of Julian’s book “Showings” written in old English. Classics of Western Spirituality series, Paulist Press, New York. Copyright © 1978, Missionary Society of St Paul the Apostle in the State of NY.

(gd) Praying with Julian of Norwich, by Gloria Durka, Companions for the Journey series, St Mary’s Press, Christian Brothers Publications, Winona, Minnesota. Copyright © 1989, St. Mary’s Press.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan-Chochenyo 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 early 2021. Please check with your denominational legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content publicly. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Thank you.

Online Publishing Date: September 22, 2021.

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.

Donation for Use of Content: 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”

17 Pentecost: “Waiting on God” Holy Communion * Isaiah 40:28-31 (NRSV)

photo: San Damiano, Danville, CA. Kathryn M Schreiber © 2018.

Worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber © 2021.

We Gather

“We begin with the easiest and yet the hardest of all prayers – the prayer of silence. Easiest because the brain is not taxed to think of words to speak to God. Hardest because most of us are so unused to silence, to waiting, to being still and feeling our souls become still.” – John Killinger, Beginning Prayer

Prelude (recorded music)

Welcome (pastor)

Invocation (liturgist)

Let us be here, now, waiting on God.

Waiting for The Author of all that is and ever will be.

Waiting for The Generator of all worthy power that never dims.

Waiting for The Giver who strengthens one and all.

Feeling powerless, faint, weary, exhausted?

Let us be here, now, waiting on God.

We shall be renewed.

We shall rise up with eagles wings.

We shall run and not be weary.

We shall walk and not faint.

God is here, now, waiting on us. Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle (liturgist)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives)

Passing the Peace

Wave or bow, offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Solo (recorded music)

Prayer and Silence

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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

The famous Swiss psychotherapist, Carl Jung, had a plaque over the front door of his Zurich home. It read: “Bidden or not bidden, God is present.” There is nowhere that God is not. Isn’t that Good News?

Today, we are practicing “waiting on the Lord” a theme found throughout the Bible. Most seasoned practitioners of prayer will tell us that when we wait for God, we’re actually shifting our awareness. Eventually, we find God waiting for us. Sometime, the shift comes quickly. Sometimes it takes years.

No matter what our sense of God’s presence is right now, let us take heart in hoping and trusting that “bidden or not bidden, God is present.”

We Listen

Scripture: Isaiah 40:28-31 (NRSV)

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
God does not faint or grow weary;
God’s understanding is unsearchable.

God gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

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

Sermon “Waiting on God”

Pastor Kathryn will give a few examples of “waiting into” awareness of God’s presence and guidance.

Special Music “Wait for the Lord” Chant written by Jacques Berthier Publisher: ©1984 Les Presses de Taizé, GIA Publications Inc. (agent)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer

Source of Time and Timelessness, we are impatient. Especially when we are nervous – we want to know WHAT we want to know, WHEN we want to know. We don’t like waiting.

O God, we have been waiting for safety from an invisible virus. We have been waiting for an end to racism. We have been waiting for whatever it is that leaves us feeling cheated or depleted. We have been waiting.

Today we join the faithful who turn with joy and hope toward You, to wait on YOU. We turn our gaze from what is not to what is, has always has been, and will always be. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (acapella)

Let us collectively offer praise to God by silently or softly singing. Please use the donation basket or mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements

Invitation to Change Location

Invite folks to gather outside; pick up individual communion elements. Please extinguish all candles before exiting the building.

We Celebrate Holy Communion

After everyone is situated outside and has individually wrapped bread and juice.

Consecration Invitation and Prayer (pastor)

Let us pray:

Just as the soil waited for the seeds;

just as the plants waited for the sun and rain;

just as the flowers waited for the fruiting;

just as the farmer waited for the harvest;

just as the baker waited for flour and the vintner for juice –

we wait for You, Holy One.

May we, a humbled community,

meet You in these long-awaited elements.

In the Name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Words of Institution

(We will consume bread and cup together after the Words of Institution.)

Let us remember that Jesus was with his Beloved Disciples. They were waiting – waiting for the hour of Sabbath to observe The Passover. Waiting for the moment when there would be resolution to their hopes and fears. Into that space of expectation…

Jesus lifted up the loaf,

offering his body to them.

Jesus thanked God for the bread and he broke it,

and gave it to his beloved friends, saying:

“Take, eat.

This is my Body,

which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

After super, Jesus lifted up the cup,

offering his forgiveness to them.

Jesus thanked God for the wine,

and gave it to his friends, 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.”

God is here – in this sacred ritual, in our holy stories, in this blessed community. God is here – the waiting is over! Let us receive these good gifts from God! (all eat and drink)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Ever Present One, Ever Mysterious One, thank You for the wonder of being with You. And, for the on-going call to wait ON You – to wait WITH You – to wait FOR You. Amen.

We Continue in Hope

Benediction (pastor)

“God does not faint or grow weary” – Amen!

When we wait upon the Lord –

Our strength is renewed!

We mount up with wings like eagles!

We run and are not weary!

We walk and don’t faint!

Let us wait upon the Lord! Amen.

Sung Benediction “On Eagle’s Wings – Refrain” (acapella; sing 3xs) (written by Father Michael Joncas; Chalice Hymnal #77 )

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(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. Text formatted, adapted by Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2021.

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

Sermon Resources

Personal stories and experiences – though I did review some favorite writings from the Christian contemplative tradition, including The Cloud of Unknowing.

COPYRIGHT NOTE: Copyright laws changed in early 2021. Please check with your denominational legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content publicly. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Thank you.

Online Publishing Date: September 15, 2021.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow your platforms publishing requirements for all created content.

Donation for Use of Content: 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”

16 Pentecost: “God’s Tears” (9/11)* Gathering the Waters * Psalm 56:1-4, 8-11 & Matthew 5:43-45

photo: Kathryn M Schreiber © 2016
worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber © 2021

We Gather

“After the Red Sea parted, the Hebrews turned to watch the walls of water covering the Pharoah’s horsemen and chariots. And Moses turned to God to thank God, but saw that God was crying. ‘Why are you crying, oh Lord?’ Moses asked, and God answered, ‘Those were my children, too.’” — Anne Lamont

Prelude (musician)

Welcome (pastor)

Invocation (pastor)

Holy One, we are bold today: We ask to become vessels holding Your tears. May we step down from our righteous pedestals of heroic nationalism and social justice passion to simply sit still and grieve with You, The One who collects all mortal tears. Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle (liturgist)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives)

Passing the Peace Wave or bow, offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Solo (musician)

Prayer and Silence

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence. This simple prayer is 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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

Whatever is in our hearts, whatever is true for our bodies, whatever thoughts steal our attention, whatever states of peace or non-peace rule our souls – no matter what – we are eternally held by God’s unfathomable love. Let the assurance of this grace be like water quenching whatever is thirsty in you today. May God’s unimaginable compassion and endless affection be for each of us, a holy wave nurturing us, healing us. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 56: 1-4, 8-11;  Matthew 5: 43-45 (CEB)

God, have mercy on me because I’m being trampled.
    All day long the enemy oppresses me.
My attackers trample me all day long
    because I have so many enemies.
Exalted one, whenever I’m afraid,
    I put my trust in You—
        in God, whose word I praise.
        I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.
    What can mere flesh do to me?

You Yourself have kept track of my misery.
    Put my tears into Your bottle—
    aren’t they on Your scroll already?
Then my enemies will retreat when I cry out.
    I know this because God is mine.

God: whose word I praise.
        The Lord: whose word I praise.

I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.
    What can anyone do to me?

AND

Jesus spoke to them, saying: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. God makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.”

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

Sermon “God’s Tears” Twenty years ago on September 11th 2001 commercial planes were hijacked to become weapons of destructive terror. Pastor Kathryn ponders God’s response to the US “War on Terror” that followed and how we might go forward. (live sermon)

Solo (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer

On this significant anniversary, we name the ugly truth that hating our enemies increasingly makes us their enemies, too, perpetuating a cycle of violence.

Beloved Jesus Christ, guide us as we strive, again, to enter the way of non-violence, the way of loving those we want to hate. We pray for the grace to shed another layer of caustic dualism that keeps us at war with others around the world, those closer to home, and even in the embattled parts of our own psyches. Have mercy upon us, most gracious Christ.

Weep with us as we name the painful truth that our suffering has too often become suffering for others. Continue to blanket us under one sunrise, under one rainfall filling us with the grace of meeting each other as neighbors. May it be so. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician)

Let us collectively offer praise to God by silently or softly singing. Please use the donation basket or mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements

Solo (musician)

We Continue in Hope

We move outside taking our water/s with us. Assemble, spaced apart, around the table with the large, empty bowl.

Invitation to Gather the Waters (water collected or commemorating special times)

On the second day of Creation God separated the waters above and the waters below. As the Hebrews fled Egyptian slavery God parted the great Red Sea. The Prophets of old proclaimed divine justice rolling down like mighty waters. God’s Beloved Son was prepared and blessed in the sacred River Jordan. Jesus’ first miracle, at the wedding in Canna, turned water into very good wine. And when Jesus offered up his body his beloved ones wept.

We continue to trust The One who sends rain upon the good and the evil; the Eternal God who counts and wipes away each mortal tear; the Author of Life who created each human sixty percent water.

Today, we Gather the Waters – sharing our joys and hopes. Please come forward, tell us about your water or offer a word of hope. As you pour, we will say, “God, bless this water.”

Blessing the Gathered Waters

Creating this communal water is an act of community, commitment, and hope. “Our” water becomes “holy” water when we call God’s presence via the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray: Holy God, we call Your Holy Spirit into these gathered waters and into us as we stand together in shared affection and hope. Bless us and this water. May we be used to bless many. Amen.

Benediction (pastor flings blessed water)

May the God who collects each fallen tear,

May the God who sends rain upon one and all,

May the God who eternally sustains all living beings,

Grant us peace and hope, love and courage. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(CEB) Common English Bible, online. Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible. Text formatted, adapted by Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2021.

(al) Anne Lamont in All New People, p 110

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

Sermon Resources

Valarie Kaur, UCC Synod Keynote 2021: https://www.ucc.org/keynoter-valarie-kaur-challenges-ucc-to-chart-a-revolutionary-love/ and her interview on The Takeaway 9/10/2021

Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer”

UCC Officers 9/11 message: https://www.ucc.org/ucc-officers-pray-for-healing-understanding-unity-in-love-on-9-11-anniversary/?inf_contact_key=138913e8267eb03a1ed2089f80a259ccf651f238aa2edbb9c8b7cff03e0b16a0

Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer”

COPYRIGHT NOTE: Copyright laws changed in early 2021. Please check with your denominational legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content publicly. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Thank you.

Online Publishing Date: September 8, 2021.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow your platforms publishing requirements for all created content.

Donation for Use of Content: 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”

15 Pentecost: “Breathe” • Genesis 2:4b-7

image: Creation banner, quilter: Liz Berg. All Saints Episcopal Church, San Leandro, CA. photo: kms
worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

Note: This service is about breathing; it includes breathing deeply. Given the pandemic and poor air conditions in some places, please be safe. Breathe is precious. Protect it.

We Gather

“Keep breathing.”  Advice by Hendrikje Van Andel-Schipper who lived to age 115

Prelude

Welcome (pastor)

Invocation (pastor)

In The Beginning, the soil’s potential waited for God. God breathed into the earth and created humanity.

In our beginnings, our loved ones await a most blessed moment: God breathes out life into our just-born bodies.

In our lifetimes, when circumstances take our breath away God offers sacred breath until we can breathe again.

In our endings, our loved ones gather, again, at the threshold. God breathes in our mortal breath as we fully enter eternity.

In The Ending, everything will be filled with God’s breath: God breathing in and out of absolutely every, single thing. Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (light votives)

Passing the Peace

Wave or bow, offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Special Music: “Breathe” Written by Marie Barnett © 1995 Mercy/Vineyard Songs (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used By Permission. Arranged By Michael W. Smith / Orchestral arrangement by Tyler Smith / Orchestrated by David Hamilton. 9/10/2020 new release.

Prayer and Silence

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence. 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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

Breathe normally. Honor what your lungs can and can’t do. There is no right or wrong way to breath. Just breathe. Breath is our universal birthright. When we breathe with consciousness, we enter the grace of simply being – and being with all that breathes. Take a deep, safe breath and thank God for the blessing of breathing. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Genesis 2:4b-7 (CEB)

On the day the Lord God made earth and sky— before any wild plants appeared on the earth, and before any field crops grew, because the Lord God hadn’t yet sent rain on the earth and there was still no human being to farm the fertile land, though a stream rose from the earth and watered all of the fertile land— the Lord God formed the human from the topsoil of the fertile land and blew life’s breath into its nostrils. The human came to life. 

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

Scripture Reading and Sermon “Breathe”

Special Music: “BreatheMusic: David Gilmour and Richard Wright, Lyrics: Roger Waters (Pink Floyd). Arranged and Performed by Josh Cohen. Published Aug 13, 2017.

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer

Source of All Life and Love, we give thanks for the gift of breath and the calling to ensure safe air for all beings.

Breathing in, may we absorb all that sustains our life. Breathing out, may we release all we don’t need but others do.

Breathing in, may we thank You for our respiratory systems. Breathing out, may we offer gratitude for those who help us breathe.

Breathing in, may we celebrate the gift of life and the grace to be here now. Breathing out, may we celebrate the promise of heaven and graces to come. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer

We Celebrate of Holy Communion

Invitation

All who breath are welcome here! Those who assembly via memory or spirit are welcome here, too! Everyone is welcome!

Gathering Souls

Let us speak the names of those persons, living or dead, who are not physically present. (speak their names)

Consecration Invitation and Prayer

(BCCC folks may use Pentecost-blessed crackers and juice; Lay hands on your bread and cup)

“Breathe on us and our cups and loves, O Breath of God. Fill us with life anew that we may love what You love, and do what You do.” AMEN. (eh, adapted)

Sharing the Elements (elements will be consumed after words of institution)

Jesus was gathered with his Beloved Disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. They were assembled to practice ancient rituals remembering God’s faithfulness and the promise of abundant life to come.

As Jesus lifted up the loaf, they breathed deeply. They rested into the comfort and affirmation of tradition expecting to hear about the Great Exodus and the call to leave Egypt taking with them unleavened bread.

Instead, Jesus thanked God for the bread and he broke it, and gave it to his beloved friends, saying: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

After super, Jesus lifted up the cup, they breathed deeply. They rested into the comfort and affirmation of tradition expecting to hear about the Beloved Prophet Elijah while setting out a cup for his promised return.

Instead, Jesus thanked God for the wine, and gave it to his friends, 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.”

Whenever we come to God’s Table, we, too, come with our expectations. May we, today, come to breathe, gathered with all the Beloved Disciples, dwelling in the nurturing, healing presence of the Living Christ.

“Breathe on us, Breath of God, until our hearts are pure, until with You, we are one will, to do and to endure.” (eh, adapted)

(all eat and drink)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Most Amazing and Merciful One, we are filled with gratitude for the gift and grace of this Holy Communion. “Fill us with Your breathe, till we are wholly Yours glowing with fire divine, and united with You in the perfect life of holy eternity.” Amen. (eh, adapted)

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology”

Let us collectively offer praise to God by silently or softly singing. Please use the donation basket or mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

We Continue in Hope

Announcements

*Song: “Breathe on Me Breath of God” Written by Edwin Hatch, 1878. Public Domain. Arrangement: Reawakened Hymns, 2020.

Benediction (pastor)

Almighty God is the author of all creation. (breathe)

Jesus Christ is the bridge of our redemption. (breathe)

The Holy Spirit sustains each blessed community. (breathe)

May we go forth in peace, Dear Ones. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(CEB) Common English Bible, online. Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible. Text formatted, adapted by Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2021.

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

(eh) Edwin Hatch, 1878 “Breathe on Me Breath of God”

(tk) Father Thomas Keating is often credited as an essential founder of modern Christian contemplative prayer practices, including breathe focus known as “Centering Prayer.” (sermon reference)

COPYRIGHT NOTE: Copyright laws changed in early 2021. Please check with your denominational legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content publicly. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Thank you.

Online Publishing Date: August 31, 2021.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow your platforms publishing requirements for all created content.

Donation for Use of Content: 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”

Kabul Prayer August 26, 2021

Holy God,

We hold close the bravery and integrity of those who died in acts of courageous service and promised refuge in Kabul, and pray for their grieving Loved Ones. Be with them.

We also pray for those who used their bodies to carry deadly bombs convicted by the rightness of violence, and pray for their grieving Loved Ones, too. Be with them.

We pray for all who have been physically, spiritually, and psychologically wounded and for those who seek to tend their suffering. Be with them.

We pray for refugees worldwide and for those who craft the refuge they seek. Be with them.

And we pray for ourselves. We hurt because others suffer. Be with us.  Amen.

photo and prayer: K M Schreiber

14 Pentecost: “Becoming Love” • 1 John 4:16b-19

photo: Kathryn M Schreiber, 2018 (c) 2018

worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber © 2021

We Gather

“There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. And no fear either. Because each one exists to make the others’ love more beautiful.” – Aberjhani

Prelude

Welcome (pastor)

Invocation (pastor)

Let us receive these blessed words from St. Clare of Assisi who was born in Italy in 1194. As a young woman Clare heard the call to love Christ inspired by the life and teachings of St Francis of Assisi. Clare and Francis supported each other’s faith and growing ministries becoming more Christlike and teaching others to do so, too.

“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing.

“Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of The Beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.” (ca)

May it be so. Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (light votives)

Passing the Peace

Wave or bow, offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

*Song: “I Will Sing of Your Love Love Love” Written by Christopher Grundy for the Missouri/Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ. (c) 2018 Hand and Soil Music. CCLI#7109567. https://www.uccfiles.com/mp4/3GL-Music-Video.mp4

Prayer and Silence

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence. 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.

Words of Assurance (pastor)

Today, we root ourselves in the soil that is God’s eternally perfect love. Today, we aim our focus to gaze upon the embodied Christ’s redemptive, amazing love. Today, we open our minds to the astonishing possibility that we might practice such magnificent love – a love that transforms everything. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: 1 John 4:16b-19 (The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version)

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as God is, so are we in this world. 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 

We love because God first loved us.

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

Sermon “Becoming Love” St Clare of Assisi reminds us to examine what we love. We are shaped by what we choose to love. Let us choose wisely. Let us choose Christ.

Special Music: “Cover the World with Love” Written by Jerry Estes. Signs from Joy of Signing, 2nd ed., by Lottie L. Riekehof. Rutgers Children’s Choir and Scarlet Singers. Recorded May 11, 2014.

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer

Love Personified, dear Eternal Christ, may St Clare inspire us to continue seeking to love as You love. Grant us the freedom to surrender to the soul’s desire to embody compassion for everyone, even those we’ve been taught to fear or reject, including the parts of our selves we find unlovable. May our souls perk up with delight when we witness liberating, empowering acts of compassion. May we be continually transformed by divine Big Love, especially in those moments when the weight of fear tries to drag us down or when the ugly judge in our mind separates us from each other. May we abide in Your love. May we abide in You. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology”

Let us collectively offer praise to God by silently or softly singing. Please use the donation basket or mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

We Continue in Hope

Announcements

Special Music: “Love God Love People” Written and performed by Danny Gokey. © 2020 Danny Gokey.

Benediction (pastor)

St Clare said, “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.” Dear Ones, let us love well! Let us love God, each other (of all species), and our own precious souls. Let us go forth in hope with peace. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(NTP:IV) The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version, copyright ©1995 by Oxford University Press. Text formatted, adapted by Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2021.

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

(a) Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry. Poet Aberjhani is a native of Savannah, Georgia, and former U.S. Air Force journalist. 

(ca) Clare of Assisi, as appeared in The Saint’s Little Book of Wisdom, Andrea Kirk Assaf, 2016.

see image: “St Clare of Assisi” by Sue Ellen Parkinson, 2019

COPYRIGHT NOTE: Copyright laws changed in early 2021. Please check with your denominational legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content publicly. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Thank you.

Online Publishing Date: August 24, 2021

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow your platforms publishing requirements for all created content.

Donation for Use of Content: 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”