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.
Spiritual Practice: “What’s Safe?” Listening to our inner knowing
When I look in the mirror, Source of My Being,
may I hear You saying: “You are wonderfully made.”
When I gaze upon a beloved one, Parent of All,
may I join You in saying: “You are wonderfully made.”
When I see someone who scares me, Most Merciful One,
may I find the courage to say: “You are wonderfully made.”
Light the Christ Candle
*Song: “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” Words: H van Dyke; Music: L van Beethoven; Performer: Collin Raye (Chalice #2). Presented by Heath End Church, 2020.
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.”
Each living being is precious to the Creator. Jesus Christ came, walked, and taught among us teaching us to love one another. He embodied this Big Love, personally and specifically, by loving each person he met regardless of their religion or political views, their gender identity or ethnic group, their age, ability, or personality. Such openness is truly radical!
We mortals struggle to live such inclusivity and respect. That’s where God’s grace comes in. We can’t build new platforms of love in our hearts ourselves. God does that. What we can do is invite God to change us. Once we open the door to God’s renovations, new mercies and graces will flow, especially in experiencing our own essential belovedness and that of others.
Scripture: Psalm 139:14 (NRSV)
This beautiful psalm of praise for God’s cosmic, intimate concern for each person includes the beautiful statement below. You may wish to read the entire psalm and spend private time reflecting God profound love for you, for all of us.
I praise You, for I am reverently and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works; that I know very well.
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Message: “A Celebration of the AA and NHPI Community: Highlighting Our Diverse Tapestry” In lieu of a sermon this week, please watch this wonderful program from the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), and PBS which aired on May 31, 2021. In honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, celebrity guests and other AANHPI leaders from across the US lift up messages to cherish the dignity of all persons and the diversity of our beautiful communities.
Special Music: “Calvary Ostinato” from Lamentations/Black/Folk Song Suite Written by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. Performed by Yo-Yo Ma for “A Celebration of the AA and NHPI Community: Highlighting Our Diverse Tapestry.” (see video above, performance begins 20:58, ends 23:58)
We Celebrate Holy Communion
One Table — one cosmic, eternal, ever-available Table! This is God’s Table! No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey — you, just as you are — are welcome here!
Let us speak the names of those persons, 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
(BCCC folks, please use your Pentecost-blessed crackers and juice)
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:
Sharing the Elements (elements will be consumed after words of institution)
When Jesus gathered his disciples to The Table welcoming them body and soul. He loved these people as unique persons woven together by a shared passion for God’s unfolding blessings.
Jesus lifted up the loaf,
proclaiming this physical, living food
was also his presence.
Jesus thanked God for the bread and he broke it,
and gave it to his beloved friends, saying:
This is my Body,
which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
Jesus offered his body to his friends.
After super, Jesus lifted up the cup,
proclaiming this physical, living drink
was also his presence.
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.”
Jesus offered his blood to his friends.
We who are friends of Christ are called to remember Jesus Christ’s embodied sacrifice and on-going gift of forgiveness. Let us receive these symbols of divine care and healing. (eat and drink)
Prayer of Thanksgiving
We praise You, Almighty God, for we are wonderfully made. Through Jesus Christ, we are wonderfully liberated from human failings and misdeeds. We rejoice in the blessing of this Holy Communion and the many graces yet to come. Amen.
Amazing God, Source of All Peoples, we delight that You have made humanity so carefully. We celebrate our ultimate universality as well as our specific diversities of identity. Help us to savor Your personal love for us that we might grow in our love for others. Grant unto all people a righteous pride in our ancestry and personal self-knowing. May everyone know Your healing, saving, uplifting love as it manifests in our very bodies and bloodlines. May all be well and live in dignity together. Amen.
Prayers of the People, The Lord’s Prayer
We Give Thanks
This week we give thanks for the communities that help us to celebrate a healthy pride in our selves. While AANHPI (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander) Month has officially ended, racial dangers and concerns are still with us. May we support organizations that help us feel safe and strong, protected and empowered.
We Continue in Hope
*Song: “Diverse in Culture, Nation, Race” Music by Thomas Tallis, 1561. Lyrics by Ruth Duck, 1991. Performed by RU Sanctuary Choir. (Chalice #485)
I am wonderfully made. (repeat)
You are wonderfully made. (repeat)
We are wonderfully made. (repeat)
Let us continue repeat these three blessings often, giving mortal voice to God’s original blessings. May Sacred Peace grow within us, among us, beyond us. Amen.
(the service is concluded)
(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.
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 Image: by Velasquez for the New York Times, 2017.
Online Publishing Date: June 3, 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!
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