7th Sunday of Easter: “Embodied Hope” Ephesians 1:15-23 * Ascension Observed

Image: “Dreaming Home” by Betty LaDuke ©2002. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: Effective 5/29/2022, Sunday morning worship services will be outside in the Courtyard until increased COVID spread declines.

We Gather

“Christ has no body on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which Christ looks compassionately on this world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses all the world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours!” – St. Teresa of Avila, 14th century Spanish mystic and theologian

Prelude (Ian)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome to our 7th Sunday of Easter worship service – outside, to keep everyone safe. 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, standing in non-violence with hope for the safety and well-being of all beings.

Invocation (liturgist; last line is intentionally repeated)

This blessing is from St Patrick’s Prayer of Protection. Please repeat after me making hand motions, if you wish:

Christ to the right of me. Extend right hand. (repeat)

Christ to the left of me. Extend left hand. (repeat)

Christ before me. Extend hand/s forward. (repeat)

Christ behind me. Extend hand/s behind. (repeat)

Christ above me. Extend hand/s up. (repeat)

Christ below me. Extend hand/s down. (repeat)

Christ in my household. Extend hand/s out. (repeat)

Christ in my heart. Christ in my heart. Place hand/s on heart. (repeat)

Amen. (sp)

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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (Ian)

Time for Children “Soul Safety” taking care of our children’s spiritual needs

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)

We cannot know how, when, or where God’s grace will appear. It is freely given, completely independent of any action or intention on our part. God is always issuing grace throughout Creation. Free from judgement, reward, or favor – God’s goodness extends grace where it is needed. God could do no less, such is God’s Big Love.

When we are shaken by human actions – our own or others’ – let us pause and trust that God’s boundless grace endlessly flows. God sees inside each soul and knows exactly which invitation to offer to tend, repair, redeem. God could do no less, such is God’s Big Love. Amen.

Special Music (Ian)

We Listen

Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-23 (liturgist; version: TNTAP:AIV)

St Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus.

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which you have been called, what are the riches of God’s glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of God’s power for us who believe, according to the working of God’s great power. God put this power to work in Christ when God raised Christ from the dead and seated Christ at God’s side in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And God has put all things under Christ’s feet and has made Christ the head over all things for the church, which is Christ’s body, the fullness of the one who fills all in all.

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

Sermon: “Embodied Hope” In the wake of another mass shooting, we heed St Paul’s faith in the Body of Christ. (pastor)

Sermon Hymn “The Church’s One Foundation” (Ian) Chalice Hymnal #272, verses 1, 2, 5

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Lord of Life, Prince of Peace, on this day when we remember Your ascension into Heaven reigning eternally as Head of the Church, we also grieve the innocent ones You have newly welcomed to Heaven, as well as the one who took their lives. We also ask a blessing upon peace for all those who have given their lives in service to nation and community. We know You tend all souls and comfort all who weep.

We also trust, O Christ, You to invoke us, the Body of Christ, to do what must be done to protect our children from harm and harm-doing. Grant us Your wisdom and courage to make the moral changes needed to save our lives from fatal gun violence. This we pray most earnestly, in Your name. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Ian; all)

Announcements (pastor)

  • Thank you to everyone who helped with today’s outside worship
  • Next Sunday – Pentecost

Closing Hymn: “Open My Eyes, That I May See” Chalice Hymnal #586, all verses.

Protection Blessing for the Pre-School (everyone offers holy water blessings)

Benediction (pastor)

Christ to the right of us. Christ to the left of us. Christ before us. Christ behind us. Christ above us. Christ below us. Christ in our households. Christ in our hearts. Christ in our hearts. (sp)

May the presence of Jesus Christ grant you peace and wisdom, hope and courage.Amen.

Postlude (Ian)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(sp) Saint Patrick, taken from the longer “Lorica” (breastplate) prayer. A prayer of shielding from dangers.

(TNTAP:AIV) The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version. Oxford University Press. ©1995.

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 26, 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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