5th Sunday after The Epiphany “Drinking from the River of Pure Joy” Psalm 36:5-10 with Holy Communion

Photo: Happy New Year artwork by Noel Granada ©2022. Worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022

BCCC Worship Schedule: Due to COVID spread, all worship services will 2pm Sundays on ZOOM

Celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Tiger

We Gather

“Happy Lunar New Year to all, and may the Year of the Tiger be filled with the tiger’s strength and prowess as we fight the pandemic, anti-Asian hate, divisive geopolitical rhetoric and many more struggles.” – Jennifer Wargo, China Programs at Michigan State University

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

新年快乐 Sun Nin Fai Lok! Everyone is welcome who is open to God’s loving presence revealed in Jesus Christ. We gather as community – loving and supporting each other with God’s help. Our ministry is housed in Huichin Village, unceded Lisjan-Ohlone territory, also known as Berkeley, California.

Altar Flowers

Imagine a beautiful bouquet of flowers celebrating loved ones on this first Sunday of the New Year.

Invocation (pastor)

As we begin a New Year, let us rejoice in God’s majesty! (inspired by Psalm 36:5-7)

God, Your love rises like the clouds! (lift arms up)

God, Your love is strong like the mountains! (fingertips together)

God, Your love is deep like the seas! (swoosh lowered arms)

God, Your love is given to everyone – people and animals! (extend arms out)

God, Your love is priceless, our greatest treasure! (hands on heart)


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: “Peace Like a River” African-American Spiritual (Chalice Hymnal #530)

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)


Assurance of Grace (pastor)

God is truly amazing! God is everywhere offering life and well-being to all beings. There is no place that God is not. However, there are times when we do not feel God’s good, empowering presence. Today, as we begin a New Year, let us remember we can always pause and soak in God’s presence, even if we can’t feel it. May this eternal grace bless us all our days.

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 36:5-10 (CEB) (pastor)

Your loyal love, Lord, extends to the heavens,
   Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the strongest mountains,
   Your justice is like the deepest sea.
   Lord, You save humans and animals.

Your faithful love is priceless, God!
   Humanity finds refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They feast on the bounty of Your house;
   You let them drink from Your river of pure joy.
Within You is the spring of life.
   In Your light, we see light.

Extend Your faithful love to those who know you;
   Extend Your righteousness to those whose heart is right.

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

Meditation “Drinking from the River of Pure Joy” (pastor) This is the year of the Water Tiger — bold, brave energy softened by life-flowing water. This meditation will lead us to God’s River of Pure Joy where we will drink like a mighty tiger seeking holy sustenance.

Special Music: “Für Elise” written by Ludwig van Beethoven

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Almighty God, how grateful we are that You have led us safely through a challenging year and guided us into this new one. May we always remember to orient ourselves to You. When we are tempted by passing glories, may our souls ache for Your eternal wonders. Amen.

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

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Prayer of Invitation

Holy One, with all people around the earth, we come to You to be restored and nurtured. We long to drink from the River of True Joy. We bow down to You, together, as we prepare to celebrate the first Holy Communion of this Year of the Tiger. Amen.

Let us speak the names of those who are not physically present with whom we wish to be spiritually gathered. (Say names out loud.)

Consecration of Elements

Place hands on the cup and the bread in your household. Let us pray:

Glorious One, Your loyal love permeates the universe! Today, we humbly ask that You bless our cups and pieces of bread with Your healing presence. Empower us to be Your people in the year ahead. Amen.

Sharing the Elements

Like Jesus’ disciples, we are drawn to Christ, eager to receive what only God may give us. We enter kairos time, joining Jesus and his beloveds at the table…

Jesus lifted up the loaf, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

May we feed on the Bounty from God’s House. (eat bread)

After supper, Jesus lifted up the cup, gave thanks to God, and offered 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 many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

May we drink from the River of Pure Joy. (drink from cup)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Let us pray:

We have offered our hearts to You, O God, in the way of Christ, grateful for Your faithfulness, righteousness, generosity, and mercy. So blessed, we ask You to fortify our community for redemptive ministry in the name of Jesus Christ. May the blessings we receive be shared with others. Amen.

We Give

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

Announcements (pastor)

Next Sunday: 2pm ZOOM – a Valentine’s Big Love Sunday

Song: “Great is Thy Faithfulness” Words: Thomas O Chisholm. Music: William M Runyan. 1923. (Chalice Hymnal #86)

Benediction (pastor)

Beloved Ones, let us welcome this Year of the Tiger leaning down to The River of Pure Joy to receive the precious gifts God will bestow upon our households, our church, our community, and all beings. 新年快乐 Sun Nin Fai Lok! Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(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!

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: February 3, 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”

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