6th Sunday of Easter: “Luminous Hope” Revelation 21:10-11, 22-27, 22:1-5

Image: close up of crystal. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“For God is good – or rather, of all goodness God is the Fountainhead.” – Athanasius of Alexandria, 4th century Greek Church leader and theologian

Prelude “Panis Angelicus” (Ian)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome to our 6th Sunday of Easter worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Welcome guests. Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, and continue to support the protection of their ancient, sacred shellmound nearby.

Altar Flowers (For the Glory of God)

Invocation (liturgist)

We are gathered in Faith – drawn by the Light of Christ.

We are gathered in Hope – trusting in God’s goodness.

We are gathering in Love – upheld by the Beloved Community.

May God’s Glory shine upon us!

May we be uplifted and blessed!

Amen.

As Pastor Kathryn lights the Christ Candle and Altar Votives, let us remember those who are not physically present, but with us in spirit or thought. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Ian)

Time for Children “God’s Goodness” Taking comfort in God’s goodness

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

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)

Grace is an unearned gift from God given to us for the well-being and uplift of all beings. Grace takes many forms. Sometimes it arrives directly; sometimes we encounter it through others.

Across cultures and throughout the ages, God has given a few people amazing spiritual insight. God allows them to see ultimate potential. God also gives them the ability to describe in story and song, dance and ritual what they have perceived and pass these revelations onto us.

It is a grace to receive these precious gifts. May we be grateful for freely given wisdom, vision, and hope. Amen.

Special Music “Jesus Bids Us Shine” (Ian)

We Listen

Scripture: Revelation 21:10-11, 22-27, 22:1-5 (liturgist; version: CEB)

NOTES: “the Lamb” is a symbol for the Resurrected, Ascended, Eternal Jesus Christ.

[The angel] took me in a spirit-inspired trance to a great, high mountain, showing me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. The city had God’s glory. Its brilliance was like a priceless jewel, like jasper that was as clear as crystal.

I didn’t see a temple in the city, because its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. The city doesn’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the rulers of the earth will bring their glory into it.Its gates will never be shut by day, and there will be no night there. They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is vile and deceitful, but only those who are registered in the Lamb’s scroll of life.

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life, which produces twelve crops of fruit, bearing its fruit each month. The tree’s leaves are for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and God’s servants will worship God. They will see God’s face, and God’s name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more. They won’t need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine on them, and they will rule forever and always.

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

Sermon: “Luminous Hope”

Special Music “Bach BWV 768 Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig” (Ian)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Beloved God, Never-Ending Source of All that is Eternally Good, today ask for Your help in turning away from all that demotes our well-being. May we turn toward Your Dream for us. Illuminate us with Your brilliant, glorious light. Saturate our unhelpful ideas with a deep knowledge of Your foundational goodness, the ultimate reality that permeates the cosmos. Flood the wells of our souls with Your radiant hope, Almighty God. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Ian; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor) *Singing inside – masks on, softly * Next Sunday – outside only * Got grads? Please inform Pastor Kathryn for our Dads and Grads Sunday, June 19th

Closing Hymn: “Shall We Gather at the River” (Chalice #701) Words and Music by Robert Lowry, 1864. All verses.

Benediction (pastor; spontaneous)

Postlude solo (Ian)

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, unceded 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: May 20, 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”

5th Sunday of Easter: “An Impossible Dream?” Revelation 21:1-6 * PAAM Sunday

Art: “Journey with Jesus” Hi Qi. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

PAAM: The UCC’s Pacific Islander and Asian Americans Ministry

We Gather

“As we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, God Has A Dream

Prelude (Ian)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome to our 5th Sunday of Easter worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Today we celebrate “PAAM Sunday” and are delighted to welcome Rev. Dr. Sharon Thornton to the pulpit. Welcome other guests.

Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (For the Glory of God)

Invocation (liturgist; inspired by Brenda Jo Wong)

Resurrected Jesus Christ, we call Your Light to shine:

Shine on everyone who has experienced anti-Asian hate. Tend our multi-generational wounds from racial traumas. Guide us in crafting Your justice for all.

Shine on our Asian women who suffer from cultural values that favor males over females. Help us to name our sins, growing in respect for each other.

Shine on our souls that we might see each other as You see us – worthy and valued. May Your love free and inspire us.

Shine throughout the Asian American community bringing us together. May Your Holy Spirit create new bonds of solidarity with other oppressed cultures, too.

Shine on everyone, everywhere, to dismantle the blight of racial supremacy. May we be open to allies of all races seeking Your ways. Amen. (bjw, very heavily adapted)

As Pastor Kathryn lights the Christ Candle and Altar Votives, let us remember those who are not physically present, but with us in spirit or thought. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor lights votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Ian)

Time for Children “God’s Glasses” Seeing ourselves as God sees us

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

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)

Dear Ones, what promise, what hope comes from Christ’s proclamation: “See, I am making all things new!” Today, whatever no longer serves, whatever continues to pinch and bruise, whatever critically questions and shames, whatever belittles the wonders our souls know to be truly true – let us offer these to God to be cast away with the unneeded former things.

Our God is always makings all things new. May the grace of God’s faithfulness refresh our spirits with hope and gratitude. Amen.

Special Music (Ian)

We Listen

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-6 (liturgist; version: NTPIV)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride and bridegroom adorned for each other. And, I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

God will dwell with them;

they will be his peoples,

and God will indeed be with them;

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

Mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” And this one also said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then the same one said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”

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

Sermon: “An Impossible Dream?” Rev. Dr. Sharon Thornton, guest preacher

Special Music (Ian)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Magnificent One, Source and Sustainer of All That Is, we thirst for Your vision for ourselves and for our ministry. We have experienced “first things” passing away and we seek Your assurance that You are indeed making “all things new.” We offer ourselves to You for transformation, illuminated by the radiant Risen Christ. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Ian; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Singing inside – masks on, softly
  • Next Sunday – “Luminous Peace”
  • Got grads? Please inform Pastor Kathryn. Dads and Grads Sunday, June 19.

Closing Hymn: “With the People We Have” (handout – all verses; congregation sings softly) Words and Music by Daniel Charles Damon, © 2013, Hope Publishing Company.

We Relocate Outside

Special Music “Oh Happy Day” (Inside – Ian, instrumental)

Special Music “Oh Happy Day” (After everyone is outside – Mark, guitar and singing)

Benediction (guest pastor)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(bjw) https://intervarsity.org/blog/5-ways-pray-our-asian-american-ohana

(NTPIV) The New Testament and Psalms, Inclusive Version. ©1995 Oxford University Press.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded 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: May 10, 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”

4th Sunday of Easter: “Bouquet of Gratitude” John 19:25-27 * Mother’s Day

Photo: “Surprise Poppies at BCCC” Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“They say ‘”Anonymous” was a woman,’ but every woman is known, and their names and memories are treasured by those who share their hopes and their love for the earth and all humankind.” – Megan McKenna, dedication, This Will Be Remembered of Her (mam)

Prelude (Vicky)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Happy Mother’s Day! Welcome to our 4th Sunday of Easter worship service! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. Welcome guests. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (Darlene Hamady in memory of Gail Lee and Clara Hamady)

Call to Worship (liturgist)

On this Mother’s Day, we are expressing gratitude for our mothers and mothering persons. May these questions from contemporary theologian Dr. Megan A. McKenna help us to remember our mothers of faith:

Who saves the tradition and incorporates new technologies?

Who remembers necessary disciplines and salts them with new insights?

Who are the creative ones who heal and tend our souls?

Who are the street-wise pastors and urban mystics shifting with the times?

Who are the transformers converting destruction to reconciling peace?

Who are the tellers of God’s Word in voice and action?

Who are the mercy-givers digging new springs of compassion?

Who challenges our hearts to include the excluded?

Who makes sacred space out of every landscape?

Who asks about our feelings, our relationships sterile and fertile?

Who tells stories about enduring with grace in the midst of horror?

Who tells the truth in words and through silence?

Who translates wisdom and insights into every language?

Who prays for and tends our broken relationships?

Who cries out to God on behalf of those unable to pray?

Who breaks open God’s heart asking for justice and mercy?

Who kneels before all life in awe, humility, and grace?

Who gives their lives that others may live?

Who risks everything for what is emerging?

Who challenges what does not protect humanity?

Who must be remembered because they embody our faith? (mm, adapted)

As Pastor Kathryn lights the Christ Candle and Altar Votives, let us remember our mothers and mothering persons. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor will light votives)

Votive Lighting Music (Vicky)

Sharing Mother’s Day Flowers and Passing the Peace (everyone receives a flower; all share gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

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)

A resurgence of interest in a “Holy Mother” often occurs during and after civil upheaval. The feminine divine appeals to us when we need nurturing care and healing from challenges to heart, mind, body, and soul.

Julian of Norwich, a gifted spiritual leader, lived through three bouts of the Bubonic plague and related economic and social crises in urban 13th century Norwich, England. A mystic, one whom God blessed with a spiritual imagination, Julian received wisdom to share about Jesus Christ as “our true Mother,” a new Christian concept.

She wrote, “Jesus Christ therefore, who himself overcame evil with good, is our true Mother. We received our Being from Him ­and this is where His Maternity starts. ­And with it comes the gentle Protection and Guard of Love which will never ceases to surround us.” (jn)

On this Mother’s Day, let us receive the grace of Jesus Christ’s maternal love and care. Amen.

Special Music (Vicky)

We Listen

Scripture: John 19:25-27 Jesus’s Final Act of Love for His Mother” (liturgist; version: CEB)

In John’s gospel, Jesus last act before dying is to make filial arrangements for his devoted, faithful mother inviting “the disciple whom he loved” to adopt her into his family.  Jesus expresses profound thanks for his mother by ensuring she will be taken care of all the days of her life.

Jesus’ mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 

Then Jesus said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” 

And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

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

Sermon: “Bouquet of Gratitude” (pastor) Using words of gratitude from church members, Pastor Kathryn’s message will lift up our thanksgiving for mothers and mothering persons. Be sure to send your gratitude comments to her by Friday noon. Thank you!

Special Music (Vicky)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Dear Jesus Christ, our True Mother, we turn to You for nurture and guidance, for security and inspiration. Inspired by Your love for Your mother, and Your mother’s love for You, we ask to become better “mothering ones” regardless of our gender or family configuration.

We also pray for our mothers. May our gratitude be genuinely appreciative, as well as merciful and forgiving. Grant us insight to better understand the lives of our mothers, bringing healing wherever it is needed, offering joyful celebration where it is warranted.

Finally, today we pray for all mothers, especially those facing special challenges. Give them exactly what they need to do their best, including the grace to kindly adapt with courage and goodwill, leaning into Your care for essential support. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Vicky; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway or mail to the church.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Singing inside – masks on, softly
  • Next Sunday – PAAM Sunday celebration at BCCC

Closing Hymn: “With the People We Have” (handout – all verses; piano, Vicky; teach this upbeat hymn; congregation sings softly) Words and Music by Daniel Charles Damon, © 2013, Hope Publishing Company.

Benediction (pastor)

May the Mother of all Mothers and Mothering Ones, the Holy One, bless you and yours on this Mother’s Day. And may each of us find within ourselves the power to love as Jesus Christ loved — a strong, selfless Big Love that cares for bodies and souls, now and forevermore. Amen.

Postlude (Vicky)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(ceb) Common English Bible, © 2011.

(jn) Julian of Norwich, translation found online from her “Revelations of Divine Love”, not sure which version. For a wonderful bio – see Amy Fryholm’s Julian of Norwich ©2011.

(mam) Megan A. McKenna, This Will Be Remembered of Her ©2010. Call to Worship adapted, by kms, from “Introduction” found on pages xii-xiii.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded 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: May 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”