All Saints/All Souls (Observed): “Glass of Water & Golden Necklace”• Hebrews 12:1-2

photo: marigolds. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2021

BCCC Worship Schedule

In-person worship services: 11am 1st and 2nd Sundays; ZOOM worship services: 2pm 3rd, 4th, 5th (if there is one) Sundays; 3pm check-in

We Gather

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said; people forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou 

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey – you are welcome here, today, for a celebration of All Saints and All Souls days with Holy Communion. Greetings from Huichin Village/Berkeley, ancestral land of the Lisjan-Ohlone people.

Invocation (pastor)

One: Let us invite the ancient souls of Jesus’ beloved disciples to gather with us:

All: Join us! (singing prayer bowl)

One: Let us call upon the departed faithful who served Christ’s Church throughout history:

All: Join us! (singing prayer bowl)

One: Let us invite our ancestors, regardless of religion or creed, to assemble:

All: Join us! (singing prayer bowl)

One: Surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us open ourselves to God’s transforming Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle & Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Offer joyful gestures and words of peace to one another: “Peace be with You.”

We Rest in God’s Grace

Special Music “Sent OutWritten and performed by Rev. Will Burhans, “Making Shadows” CD ℗ 2003 Rev. Will Burhans. see Worship Resources below. Used with permission.)

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with 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 a grace to step out of our mistakes and errors; to take off our sins and poor judgments like worn-out garments. The saints who have gone before us call us to set aside what no longer serves that we might join them in the most wondrous adventure! Dear Ones, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses eternally testifying to God’s goodness and mercy revealed in Jesus Christ. May this assurance bless us today. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2 (NRSV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon “A Glass of Water and a Golden Necklace” (pastor) An abuela and a psychiatrist testify to the many benefits of calling upon blessed presence and memory of beloved saints and souls. (Live sermon on ZOOM)

*Special Music: “For All the Saints” Words: William W. How, 1864. Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906. Chalice Hymnal #637.

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

On those days when skill and imagination fail us, during those nights when worry and sorrow assail us, let us call upon Your faithful servants, O God, the Beloved Saints and Souls. May they comfort us with spiritual presence redirecting our gaze to the Perfector of our Faith, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Invitation

Sweet mystic communion! Here we are – those present in body and spirit, as well as those we call in love and memory — all are welcome at God’s open table! This feast is freely offered to everyone.

Gathering Souls

Let us speak the names of those persons, living or dead, who are not physically present but with us in spirit. (During Check-In, after worship, please share photos and stories.) Let us speak their names…

Consecration Invitation and Prayer

(Church-blessed crackers and juice or items from your home.)

Let us pray: Living Christ, may we encounter Your eternal mercy and forgiveness, Your compassionate care for our wholeness and holiness, as we receive this blessed meal today. Amen.

Sharing the Elements (elements will be consumed after words of institution)

Jesus and his Beloved Disciples gathered for the memorial Passover Seder – a meal recalling and re-entering God’s faithfulness toward their ancestors, enslaved Hebrews. God called those in bondage out of Africa, back to their homelands, through the prophet Moses and his siblings.

We recall and re-enter God’s faithfulness to the ancestral community of Jesus’s family. God called the broken Jewish nation out of hopeless and shame, back into right relationship, through the messiah Jesus Christ and his disciples.

This is God’s Table – an eternal gathering place of spiritual nourishment and healing – where people of faith from all times and places gather for support and forgiveness. Amen!

Here we are — present as Jesus lifts up the bread for blessing… breaks it… and gives it to us, saying: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

Here we are — present as Jesus lifts up the cup for blessing… and gives 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.”

Here we are. Let us receive these gifts from God for the well-being of all beings. Amen.

(all eat and drink)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Most Generous God, this blessed ritual continues to connect us to You and to all Christians. We praise You for this treasured inheritance given to us by Jesus Christ and passed on, from generation to generation, to all who call Jesus of Nazareth our Lord and Savior. Amen.

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

We Continue in Hope

Announcements (pastor)

*Song: “Eagles Wings” Music written by Father Michael Joncas.

Benediction (pastor)

We are never alone! A Cloud of Witnesses always runs beside us, encouraging us, keeping us going. May we go forth with gratitude and hope fueled by the Peace of Christ. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(NRSV) Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

(wb) Rev. Will Burhans. Sent Out” is written and performed by Rev. Will Burhans, from his album “Making Shadows” ℗ 2003.  His music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms or CD’s purchased from www.cdbaby.com. Music used with permission. (Thank you, Will!)

Sermon Resource: Dr Warren Dahlin’s story was broadcast on “The Moth: Radio Hour” online, begins at 35:40: https://themoth.org/radio-hour/squeaky-wheels Retold by Pastor Kathryn.

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 December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: October 26, 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 especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: 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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