Photo 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.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” ― Frederick Buechner, 20th century Christian Theologian
Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)
Welcome to worship this Graduates Sunday! What a joy it is to celebrate achievements – especially college graduations! 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 In honor of Mabel’s birthday from her daughter
Source of Light, Radiant One, Eternal Illumination – Holy God, we gather here in Your Light. May our time together worshipping You fill us with Your glorious presence. May Your Big Love in us shine and bring You glory. 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 and Altar Votives (pastor)
Votive Lighting Music (musician)
Time for Children “God-Gifts” Sharing the abundance God has given us (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)
None of us achieves anything of note without great help. God surrounds us with helpers who encourage us to do our best. We are blessed by those who see in us what we cannot yet see in ourselves, who call us up and over obstacles, who offer resources we need, and who truly celebrate our accomplishments. These loving impulses ALL originate in God. God’s Big Love is everywhere seeking expression, encouraging abundant life for every being.
Our souls know that each act of caring help is an unearned gift from God. In joyful recognition, our souls happily share such gifts of grace freely. We are all blessed by God’s many, many graces when God’s Big Love flows. Amen.
Special Music (musician)
Scripture: Matthew 4:18-25, 5:1-2, 14-16 (liturgist; version: NRSV) Jesus begins his public ministry calling fishermen and teaching crowds.
As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
As Jesus went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria… and great crowds followed him…
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then Jesus began to speak, and taught them…
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Sermon: “Deliver Your Cargo” We’re all called to share the gifts God has given us. (pastor)
Sermon Hymn “Take My Life” Chalice Hymnal #609, all verses (musician)
Pastoral Prayer (pastor)
Calling Christ, You know our gifts and how they might best serve God’s Dreams. Caring Christ, You know our needs and how God distributes what is needed where it is needed. Compassionate Christ, You continue to invite us – regardless of age or training – to do what is truly redemptive. Thank you! Amen.
Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)
Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)
- Next Sunday – 7/3 Holy Communion “Called to Freedom”
- 2nd Sun of July: 7/10 AG and COREM takeaways “Church as Verb”
- Remember to Gather Waters
Blessing Our Graduates
Distribute Holy Water and greenery (for sprinkling) among the church elders. After each specific blessing, they will bless the graduates.
Dear beautiful Children of God, (speak their names), in the name of our beloved Jesus Christ we ask God’s blessing upon you on the occasion of your graduation!
May you pause to be grateful for each person who made this achievement possible; May you understand the great gift you’ve been given. (bless with Holy Water)
May you find many noble uses for your education; May it be a key to open doors for others, as well as for yourself. (bless with Holy Water)
May you always know the difference between knowledge and wisdom. May you value and seek each. (bless with Holy Water)
May God bless you as you stretch your wings flying on to new experiences and wonders. May you never forget our spiritual nest here where Christ tends all humble souls. May you soar! May you become all God intends! AMEN! (bless with Holy Water)
Presentation of Gifts to Graduates
Closing Hymn: “This Little Light of Mine” New Century Hymnal #525 (musician; as it’s not in The Chalice Hymnal, pastor will call out verses)
- This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…
- Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine…
- All-through the night, I’m gonna let it shine…
- This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…
WE are the light of the world! God needs us and Christ empowers us to SHINE! Let us share the God-Gifts we have been given for the uplift of many. In peace, hope, and Big Love! Amen.
The service is concluded.
(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source. Note, Graduates blessing is an adaptation of a prayer written in 2013 for the graduates of United Japanese Christian Church, UCC Clovis/Fresno, CA.
(fb) Frederick Buechner, from his book Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
Jack Kornfeld, his story about “your task in this life is to deliver your cargo to the world”
Michael Josephson, “LIVE A LIFE THAT MATTERS” quoted in many commencement speeches.
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!
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Online Publishing Date: June 21, 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”