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)


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”

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