2 Pentecost: “Protectors” Matthew 2:13-15a, 19-22 * Father’s Day

Photo: Renae Barb. 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

“Dear Father… We come before You on our knees this evening to ask You to watch over us and hold back the hand of the destroying angel.” – James Baldwin, 20th-century American writer (jb)

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome to worship this Father’s Day as we remember our fathers and fathering persons. 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.

Flowers

Invocation (liturgist; Psalm 121:3-8 Psalms/Now adapted as a prayer)

O God, Almighty Protector, You know our every desire. Your watchful eye is upon us night and day. We make no movement without Your knowledge. Your concern for all Your children is constant. Your love is eternal.

You, O Lord, keep us and shield us from the forces of evil just as a shade tree blocks the rays of the blazing sun. You protect our precious lives. You care for us whether we are coming in or going out. O Lord, You know our journeys and You go before us, now and forever more. Amen. (lfb, 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 and Altar Votives (pastor)

Votive Lighting Music (musician)

Time for Children “Who Takes Care of Daddies?” God’s parental care of parents (pastor)

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)

Are your shoulders weary? Do you carry responsibility for others? Throughout the gospels, Jesus cares for his disciples as a loving papa cares for his beloved children.

Jesus knew his caregiving disciples would need heavenly care, he taught them how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer, which all Christians pray, originally began with the word “Abba” from ancient Galilean Aramaic. For ages, “Abba” has been translated into English as “Our Father,” though a more accurate translation would be “Papa” or “Daddy” – an endearing child’s term for a trusted male parent.

What human role best expresses a relationship where you can be safely vulnerable? Maybe “Father” or “Baba” – or something else? Who best symbolizes a trustworthy protector and guide in your life? If you like, try using this term for God. Jesus’ intention is that we find in God one who is safe and secure when we are vulnerable and at risk. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Matthew 2:13-15a, 19-22 (liturgist; version: Common English Bible) God speaks to Joseph through dreams that little Jesus might be safe.

“Escape to Egypt”

When the magi had departed, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod will soon search for the child in order to kill him.” Joseph got up and, during the night, took the child and his mother to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod died.

“Return from Egypt”

After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up,” the angel said, “and take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel. Those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus ruled over Judea in place of his father Herod, Joseph was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he went to the area of Galilee.

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

Sermon: “Protectors: Father’s Day Show and Tell” Please bring an object or story to tell about a man who protected you as a child or who has protected children. (everyone)

Sermon Hymn “TBA” Chalice Hymnal #TBA (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Loving Parent of Humankind; Heavenly Father; Friend Jesus; we are grateful for the eternal comfort and care, encouragement and protection You provide. We praise You for all the ways You help fathers and fathering persons keep their children safe from harm. Bless these good men who protect our vulnerable ones. Grant unto them the safe harbor of Your Presence that they may take off the mantle of responsibility, free to be tended and restored by You. On this Father’s Day we are especially mindful of grieving fathers asking Your compassionate comfort upon all who grieve for children who preceded them in death. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Week – Fri-Sun COREM UCC National Gathering
  • Next Sunday – Blessing of Our Graduates

Closing Hymn: “TBA” Chalice Hymnal #TBA (musician)

Benediction (pastor & everyone) (ask folks to identify their most trustworthy, caring male by role – i.e. “Daddy” or “Grandpa” or “Uncle” – if no one comes to mind, use “Abba.” Call out this relational term after each “…” below.)

When we are blessed and have joys to share, we call out for…

When we are frightened and need help, we call out for…

When we are curious and seek guidance, we call out for…

When we are hurting and ache for uplifting love, we call out for…

Holy Father God, thank You for these dear men who reveal Your Big Love here on earth. Amen.

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

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

(jb) James Baldwin, from Go Tell It on the Mountain

(lfb) Leslie F. Brandt, in Psalms/Now ©1973.

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: June 9, 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 M. Schreiber”

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