25 Pentecost: “Children’s Prayers” • Children’s Sabbath Observed • Psalm 31:1-8

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Children’s Sabbath worship resources: CDF (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

“Show me where love and hope and faith are needed, and use me to bring them to those places. And so open my eyes and my ears that I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.” – Alan Paton, 20thc South African anti-apartheid activist

Prelude “Morning Dove” (Everett, piano)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey – everyone is welcome here! Greetings from Huichin Village/Berkeley, ancestral land of the Lisjan-Ohlone, our neighbors.

Invocation (David, liturgist)

Come, O Creator, O Immensity of Love, O Eternity of Mercy. Come, and be with us and in us and beside us and over us. Be as hands upon us, and fashion us for shining. Be as warmth within us, and fire us for caring. Be as strength beside us, and shape our lives for healing. Abide in our prayers, the spoken and the unspoken; and make Your Word come true in our flesh; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen. (ak/cdf2021, slightly adapted)

Lighting the Christ Candle (David, liturgist)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Welcome Music “Like a Child” (during lighting of altar candles) (Vicky, piano)

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 (Mark, guitar)

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.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

On this Sunday, as we observe Children’s Sabbath, we take great comfort in knowing that every day is Children’s Sabbath for God. Every day, throughout time, God’s affectionate concern both embraces each living child and speaks to each living adult showing us how to better care for all our children. Let us rest in these blessed assurances. God is good. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 31:1-8 (translation: Common English Bible) (David, liturgist)

Liturgist, invite us to consider the children who may be praying these very words to God today as we listen to this scripture reading. Thank you!

I take refuge in You, Lord. Please never let me be put to shame. Rescue me by Your righteousness! Listen closely to me! Deliver me quickly; be a rock that protects me; be a strong fortress that saves me!

You are definitely my rock and my fortress. Guide me and lead me for the sake of Your good name! Get me out of this net that’s been set for me because You are my protective fortress. I entrust my spirit into Your hands; You, Lord, God of faithfulness— You have saved me.

I hate those who embrace what is completely worthless. I myself trust the Lord. I rejoice and celebrate in Your faithful love because You saw my suffering— You were intimately acquainted with my deep distress. You didn’t hand me over to the enemy, but set my feet in wide-open spaces.

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

Sermon “What Are the Children Praying?” (pastor; live sermon)

Special Music “A Moment in Time” (Everett, piano)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

O Renewer of Society, Holy and Righteous God, You create us in Your image. Grant us the grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression. Help us to use our freedom to bring justice among our people and nations, to the glory of Your name; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (lbw/cdf2021, slightly adapted)

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

Special Music “Moonlight Garden” (Everett, piano)

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Vicky, 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.

Announcements (pastor)

Invitation to Change Location

Invite folks to 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.

Invitation (pastor)

Today we are exceedingly blessed to be assembled together for the first in-person celebration of Holy Communion with our children since March 2020. Hallelujah! This table is open to everyone! Everyone! Hallelujah! If you freely desire to receive these gifts from God, you are welcome here!

Gathering Souls

Let us speak the names of those persons, living or dead, who are not physically present but with us in spirit. (speak their names)

Words of Institution, Prayer of Consecration, Sharing the Elements

We praise God for sending us The Beloved Child, Jesus Christ. Born a baby nurtured by his family, protected by strangers, instructed in the temple, surrounded by his community, and guided by his parents – Jesus became an adult who loved and blessed children, who cared for those who are sick, poor, and left out, who taught that God loves us like a parent, and who loved his disciples as friends. As an infant, Baby Jesus needed us. When Savior Jesus died, we needed him to triumphant over evil that all might live as God’s Beloved Children.

On the night before Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, Jesus was at the table with his friends. He took the bread (lift), gave thanks (pray), broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. As you do this, remember me.”

As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine (lift), gave thanks (pray), and gave 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 all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, remember me.”

Beloved Children of God – of all ages – We are gathered at God’s Table, standing in the presence of The Eternal Christ – The One who comes in love, lives in love, and dies in love; The One who was, and is, and is to come.

Let us pray:

Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon these holy gifts of bread and wine, and all who are present. May this meal strengthen us to welcome all children, to show Your love, to work for Your justice, to bring Your peace. Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to You be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen. (ep/CDF2021, Communion liturgy heavily edited and adapted)

(all eat and drink)

Prayer of Thanksgiving (pastor)

Filled with Divine Presence in community, reformed through blessed ritual, we lift up thanksgiving for God’s Living Spirit: a force that beheld us before we were born, a force that holds us every moment of our breathing hours, a force that befriends us throughout eternity. Amen.

Benediction (pastor)

May the God who dances in creation, who embraces us with human love, who shakes our lives like thunder, bless us and drive us out with power to fill the world with Her justice. Amen. (jb/dcf2021)

Sung Benediction “On Eagle’s Wings – Refrain” (acapella; sing 2xs) Written by Father Michael Joncas; Chalice Hymnal #77 )

And I will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of My hand.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(CS2021) Children’s Sabbath Celebration 2021, materials published online by the Children’s Defense Fund: https://www.childrensdefense.org/childrens-sabbath-celebration/

(ak/cdf2021) Arnold Kenseth in the United Church of Christ’s The New Century Hymnal

(ep/CDF2021) Eucharistic Prayer for the Children’s Sabbath (Episcopal Rubric)

(jb/dcf2021) Janet Morley, in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Chalice Hymnal

(lbw/cdf2021, slightly adapted) Lutheran Book of Worship

Sermon Resource: CDF’s 2021 State of America’s Children Reports:  https://www.childrensdefense.org/state-of-americas-children/

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: November 12, 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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