Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021
As the Living God guides us through these pandemic-impacted times, as social justice reforms arise, we freely offer this worship content for you to adapt for your needs.
Time with Children of All Ages
Out of the Bag: “Mama Hen Love” God loves us like a mama hen loves her chicks
A womanist* version of the prayer that Jesus taught. Written by Rev. Yolanda Norton.
who is in heaven and within us,
we call upon Your names.
Your wisdom come.
Your will be done,
in all the spaces in which You dwell.
Give us each day
sustenance and perseverance.
Remind us of our limits as
we give grace to the limits of others.
Separate us from the temptation of empire,
and deliver us into community.
For You are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us,
now and forever. Amen.
Light the Christ Candle
*Song: “Bring Many Names” Written by Brian Wren. Performed by the First Congregational Church of Belleview, UCC. Stephen O’Bent, piano; audio and visual editing. Published Aug 11, 2020. (Chalice #10)
We Rest in God’s Grace
Shift into simply being with God, silently. A helpful way to enter sacred silence is to offer this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10:
Be still and know that I am God. (pause)
Be still and know that I am. (pause)
Be still and know. (pause)
Be still. (pause)
Rest in God’s loving presence for as long as you wish. When you’re ready to move on, take a deep breath, let it out, thank God, and say, “Amen.”
Have you ever been safely held by a person or a place when you were in need of care? Are you currently physically safe and secure? Try dropping a degree or two in consciousness. Can you perceive a holy presence laying wings about you, protecting you right now? Does your soul sense divine sanctuary? If so, please thank God. If not, pray for this grace to one day be revealed unto you.
Scripture: Luke 13:31-35 (NRSV)
Jesus is preparing to enter Jerusalem for the last time. He is teaching, preparing his disciples and the crowds for what is to come. Jesus’s pre-Easter lament for the failings of the Beloved Nation represented by the holy city of Jerusalem contains a powerful image of divine love – a protective mama hen.
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to Jesus, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”
Jesus said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me:
‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.’
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Sermon “Holy Mama Love”
The feminine face of God considered on Mother’s Day
Special Music: “Like A Mother Who Has Borne Us” Lyrics by Daniel Bechtel, 1986. Music by William P Rowan, “AUSTIN”, 1992. Music copyright ©1993, Selah Publishing, Co., Inc. (#583 THCH). Performed and recorded by Casas Adobes, UCC on January 21, 2021.
We Celebrate Holy Communion
On this Mother’s Day we hold close the image of Jesus as a mother hen fiercely sheltering her beloved, vulnerable chicks. The One who removes danger, the One who heals, the One who protects us – this is The One who calls us to the Holy Table to nourish our bodies and tend our souls.
Let us speak the names of those persons, including your mothers or mothering ones, living or dead, who are not present with us in person, yet present in our thoughts and prayers. Let us be gathered together: (speak their names)
Consecration Invitation and Prayer
Lay hands on your bread and cup. Our prayer asks the Holy Spirit to move among us and fill our household items with sacred presence:
Beloved God, we lay our hands on these items as did Jesus Christ. May Your Holy Spirit move through us filling these humble elements infuse them and us with Your guiding wisdom and redemptive compassion. Amen.
Sharing the Elements (elements will be consumed after words of institution)
We remember the Passover evening when Jesus was assembled with his beloved disciples. Jesus lifted up the loaf, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
After super, Jesus lifted up the cup, gave thanks to God, and offered it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Beloved Ones, we are eternally protected and nourished by the Eternal Christ. Jesus Christ is a fierce mama hen who gives of herself, her very body, to protect her brood. Let us receive this bread and wine receiving the divine presence and protection of Jesus Christ. (eat and drink)
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy One, for all Your efforts to bring us into life, to keep us alive, to show us the way of life, to call us into lives that matter supporting the lives of others, we give thanks. Amen.
Holy God, for all our mothers who have walked us into life, we give thanks. For all the mothering ones, our relations and ancestors, as well as non-human beings and places that have taken good care of us, we give thanks. Bless each Mothering One, filled with Your divine compassion, who has sheltered us. We call to mind those who are in need of protective care – in our families, community, and around the world. Move us to embody Your motherly love for the vulnerable ones, including ourselves. Bless each Mother-Needing One with Your fierce love. Amen.
Prayers of the People, The Lord’s Prayer
We Give Thanks
Please support mothers with families. Consider supporting our neighbors – Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center in Berkeley, California. https://www.womensdropin.org/?fbclid=IwAR0GPgFmxqxzlO5Je9nm4qcDESsaJTcSTumvFh6Q9QyOu0Hh7NL7bNuelUM Donate: https://secure.donationpay.org/womensdropin/ (also see donation footnote)
We Continue in Hope
*Song: “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” Original lyrics by John Fawcett, 1872, and original music by Johann G Nageli, 1845, revised by Hans Nagel and Darby Hughes 2020. Video published March 24, 2020. (Chalice #433)
God is with us!
When we joyfully gather to share a meal.
God is with us!
When we hide from outside dangers.
God is with us!
When we simply need the comfort of love.
God is with us!
Happy Mother’s Day!
God is with us! Amen!
(the service is concluded)
*womanist – is a term claimed by Black female theologians and community leaders to identify female experience and empowerment within and from Black women. “Womanist” (Black women), “Mujerista” (Latinx women), and other such terms rightly correct a universal use of “Feminist” which more correctly represents White women’s experiences and aspirations.
(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.
2/11/2021 UPDATED COPYRIGHT NOTE: Copyright laws have recently changed. 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 Image: “Woodcock and Chicks” by Archibald Thorburn, 1933.
Online Publishing Date: May 4, 2021.
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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!
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