worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021
“Our faith is a light, coming in nature from endless day.” — Julian of Norwich, 14th century English Christian mystic (ed/jw)
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
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.
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. Licensed to YouTube by SME (on behalf of Sony Classical); UMPI, CMRRA, ASCAP, UMPG Publishing, LatinAutorPerf, LatinAutor – UMPG, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, and 17 Music Rights Societies. (3:29m) https://youtu.be/7maJOI3QMu0
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
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
Special Music: “Great is Thy Faithfulness” Words: Thomas O Chisholm. Music: William M Runyan. 1923. Performed by the NCNC UCC Conference Choir 2020 directed by Mike Ellard. Sung in English, Japanese, Cantonese, and Tagalog. Recorded on Oct 24, 2020.
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.
The service is concluded.
(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.
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Online Publishing Date: September 22, 2021.
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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”