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”

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