Image: Save West Berkeley Shellmound invitation ©2022 #savetheshellmound. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.
BCCC Worship Schedule
Due to COVID spread, all worship services will 2pm Sundays on ZOOM through February 2022
“In the kingdom of love there is no competition, there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.” – John O’Donohue, Irish soul guide (1956-2007)
Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)
Welcome! Everyone is welcome! We open ourselves to God’s loving presence revealed in Jesus Christ gathering as a community of hope. We stand with our original hosts, the Lisjan-Ohlone people, protecting the West Berkeley Shellmound Sacred Site.
Imagine a beautiful bouquet of flowers celebrating the Chinese Lantern Festival.
Dear sweet Jesus, You ask us to love our enemies. We know that You can do this – but then You are The Anointed One, The Christ. When You were human, did You struggle with natural, mortal tendencies to judge, condemn, and withhold forgiveness? Today, as we light Your candle, we ask for the transforming grace to be more like You – loving as You love – loving everyone, even our enemies. Amen.
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: “Fairest Lord Jesus” Lyrics: Munster Gesangbuch (hymnal) 1677, translated Madeleine Forell Marshall, 1993; Tune: Silesian folk melody, SCHONSTER HERR JESUS, 1677. (Chalice Hymnal #44)
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)
Dear Ones, God does what is God’s to do and we are to do what is ours to do. These efforts are wondrously interconnected – especially when we strive to love those who have hurt us or who frighten us. Our natural, survival instincts push us to critically judge and remember potential agents of harm. But we are more than vulnerable mammals. We are also bearers of Christ’s love.
God’s grace may appear as courage when we try to love the unlovable – in others, in ourselves. When we truly begin to release us/them attitudes our minds open to new possibilities, our hearts soften, our bodies calm, and our souls settle into a redemptive peace. These transitions, Dear Ones, are not of our doing – they are the flowing of God’s Big Love. When we try to love as Jesus Christ loves, we open a gate for God’s grace to enter. We are blessed beyond measure.
Scripture: Luke 6:27-38 (version: NRSV) (pastor)
In St Luke’s gospel, this is the second teaching Jesus gives to his newly called disciples.
[Jesus said,] “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Message: “Pressed, Shaken, AND Running Over” (pastor) Practicing Big Love in the real world – inspiration from those practicing love in the midst of not-love
Special Music: “Pressed Down, Shaken Together, & Running Over” Written by Joe Fair, Ralph Graham, Paul Cuoco. ©1972.
Prayer Requests (all)
Pastoral Prayer (pastor)
Dear God, You know well that we’ve all been hurt and that we’ve all hurt others. Through Jesus Christ, You continue to teach us that playing the “enemy and victim” game only keeps conflicts and wars going. You call us to shed such childish ways and practice Big Love – a love that includes everyone and every part of ourselves we believe is unacceptable. O Mighty One, press us down and shake us together until Your compassion, mercy, and forgiveness flow throughout us to everyone, even those once labeled “enemy.” Thank You. 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: “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” Written by Sebastian Temple (1928-97)
Love our enemies? With God’s help we can! We can give what we wish to receive. Jesus promises us that in offering patience and compassion, mercy and forgiveness we will receive our “Good Measure,” too!
Beloveds, let us practice Big Love – and in so doing contribute to a climate of peace. Amen!
The service is concluded.
(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, (c) 2022, 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: February 15, 2022.
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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”