Photo: Couple walking on the beach at Asilomar, Pacific Grove CA. Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2013. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2022.
NOTE: This service builds on our 3rd Sunday after Epiphany’s content “An Acceptable Year” – last week’s post.
“There is nothing anti-intellectual in the leap of faith, for faith in not believing without proof but trusting without reservation.” – Rev. William Sloane Coffin
Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)
Welcome! No matter who you are… no matter where you are on your faith journey… you are welcome! We are gathering electronically from various places, including Huichin Village, the original name given to the unceded Lisjan-Ohlone territory where we practice ministry.
Call to Hope (pastor)
How can we believe what we have not seen? How can we trust what we have not experienced? Our mortal limitations are real.
God offers divine hope – a hope that changes us, changes our world. May we offer ourselves to God for an uplifting illumination of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.
O Redemptive Living Christ, bless us with Your presence!
Light The Christ Candle (pastor)
Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)
Passing the Peace (all) Joyful gestures and words of peace to one another.
We Rest in God’s Grace
Song: “The Gift of Love” Written by Hal B. Hopson, 1972. (Chalice Hymnal #526)
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)
With God there is no scarcity of goodness. In fact, God has an overflowing supply of wonders to deliver if we would but accept delivery. God has a very special blessing for each of us today. May we gentle our old excuses and false postures of humility to be genuinely grateful and happily receive what God most dearly wishes to bestow. Amen.
Scripture: Luke 4:21-30 (NRSV) (pastor) Today’s reading overlaps last Sunday’s Gospel reading – we are still in Nazareth in the synagogue with Jesus and his hometown community as his ministry begins.
And Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then Jesus began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
All spoke well of Jesus and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
Jesus said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’”
And Jesus said, “Truly I tell you; no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Sermon “It Takes Two” (pastor) Jesus explains that God’s activity is dependent upon our faith, a message that doesn’t go over well in his hometown.
Special Music: “Bird’s Teardrops” Written by Estas Tonne with Peia.
Prayer Requests (all)
Pastoral Prayer (pastor)
O Generous God, in Jesus Christ we experience Your prophetic care within humanity, yet we struggle to believe this is possible. We want You to be the mighty magician who fixes us, fixes our world, without our effort. Grant us the wisdom to perceive Your call to a mutual ministry working with You and our neighbors. And, grant us, O Lord, the courage to embrace Your unbelievable, prophetic dream liberating all beings from suffering. Amen.
Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)
Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.
Song: “Take My Life and Let It Be” Written by Frances R Havergal, 1874. (Chalice Hymnal #608)
Dear Ones, we are tethered to one another by God’s design. There is enough of everything for everyone, if we trust in God. Let us go forth in peace and hope following Jesus Christ with prophetic courage! Amen.
The service is concluded.
(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- 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!
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Online Publishing Date: January 25, 2022.
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”