“Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come.” – Mario Quintana, Brazilian poet and translator
Prelude (Vicky J, piano)
We prepare ourselves to be in God’s presence with these words from the Shaker song, “Simple Gifts,” written by Joseph Brackett 173 years ago:
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right. (jb)
Lighting the Christ Candle (liturgist)
Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (light votives)
Passing the Peace Please remain in place, turning to one another offering joyful gestures and soft-spoken words of peace: “Peace be with You.”
We Rest in God’s Grace
Solo (Mark D, guitar)
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)
It is God’s deepest intention to bring Creation to wholeness and wellbeing. Through Jesus Christ, God embodies divine presence with humanity in our times of brokenness and existential need. If we who are mortal can imagine such a holy, healing love – a holy love that repairs what is worn out or broken – how much more must God emanate such love, inspire such love, empower such love? Let us be deeply assured of God’s endless desire to mend what needs mending motivated by a vast, eternal, restoring love. Amen.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:6-7 and Matthew 4:18-22 (NRSV)
Ecclesiastes 3:6-7. This is an excerpt from an ancient song of wisdom:
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Matthew 4:18-22. Jesus calls his first disciples, fishermen doing different tasks:
As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
As Jesus went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Pastor Kathryn reflects on the spiritual mending needed for the wellbeing of our planet, nation, community, congregation, and families. A video recording of the scripture reading and sermon will be posted on our Facebook page after the service.
Solo (Jurgis V, piano)
Pastoral Prayer (pastor)
Ever-Mending, Ever-Repairing God, when our attention is filled with what is threadbare or torn, or with what has been damaged or weakened by use, gentle our fears and anxieties. Remind us of the wisdom of cycles and seasons, of times of vigor and times of fragility. May we hear You forever calling us forward into a way of restoration and improvement.
Today, we lift up our concerns for what needs mending – in our natural world (pause), in our religious communities (pause), in our civic organizations and institutions (pause), in our social practices with each other (pause), in our households and families (pause), and in our own hearts, minds, bodies, and souls (pause). May we hear Christ’s call to join his redemptive movement of repair and uplift. Amen.
Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer
Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Vicky J, piano)
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
Our hands are designed to do important work. We are the inheritors of proven skills to make needful repairs. Christ calls us forward into a mending ministry. With God’s help, we can do the work that is ours to do. Let us go forth with hope and in peace. Amen.
Postlude (Vicky J, piano)
(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.
(jb) Elder Joseph Brackett of the Alfred Shaker Village
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 10, 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!
Living Liturgies: www.inthebiglove.com; Facebook: “Living Liturgies”; YouTube: “Kathryn Schreiber”