5 Pentecost: “Called to Freedom” Galatians 5:13-15 * Holy Communion

Photo: unknown source. 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

“Let us be instruments for peace where there is none. Let us listen to one another. Let us serve the needs of neighbors in all the complexities life presents. God calls us to be for others, just as God in Christ is for us.” – Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA after the Dobbs Supreme Court decision

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome to worship this 2nd Sunday of July and our delayed 4th of July celebration of freedom! 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 memory of Melvin Lee & Joe Hamady. Given by Darlene Hamady.

Call to Worship (liturgist)

In the turning that bends too quickly, too sharply, God invites us to make this wondrous journey.

In the weight of chains we’ve come to befriend, God lures us into an unimaginable freedom.

In the very moments when it seems most impossible, God calls our hearts to blossom with love.

This is the God we have gathered to worship. 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 “Unlocked” Jesus liberates us to love everyone (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) Every moment God is here… in our souls; in all that lives; in our spiritual stories, songs, and rituals. There is no place that God is not. There are, however, times when we cannot perceive the fundamental reality of God’s perfect presence. There are times when our hearts, minds, bodies, or souls are so challenged that we cannot experience the grace, strength, and fortification of divine support.

Let us keep on breathing, Dear Ones, stilling our anxious minds and emotions, seeking to rest into the eternal reality of God known to us through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Galatians 5:13-15 (liturgist; version: TNT&P) This excerpt is from St Paul’s letter to converted gentiles advocating a new law greater than the Torah (Jewish law) – the “law” of loving one another as taught and embodied by Jesus Christ.

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence. But through love serve one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbors as yourself.”’ If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

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

Sermon: “Called to Freedom” In times of real conflict, Christ call us to radical, inclusive freedom. (pastor)

Sermon Hymn “They’ll Know We Are Christians” Chalice Hymnal #494, all verses (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Great Liberator, Author of All Freedom, we are so grateful You keep calling us out of bondage separating us from systems and practices that restrict humanity’s original freedom. May the love of Christ flow through us, unlocking each chain that diminishes anyone’s dignity or pride. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Invitation to Holy Communion (pastor) Everyone, everyone, everyone is welcome at God’s Table! This sacred meal is given to us for the liberation of all souls. This is but one of the many on-going gifts Jesus Christ continues to offer us.

Gathering All Souls Whenever we gather for Holy Communion, we do so as a mystical communion of souls. Let us speak the names of those with whom we share this blessed meal… (say names out loud)

Communion Hymn: “I Come with Joy” Chalice #420, all verses (musician)

Prayer of Consecration

As we prepare ourselves to receive these gifts, Great Messiah Christ, let us remember there is one loaf for everyone – one cup for everyone. May our coming together to receive these gifts prepare us for the power of Your Love to bring all peoples together. Amen.

Sharing the Elements

One table – Jesus called the disciples around one table. He invited each regardless of their strengths and weaknesses to share one loaf, one cup – to equally receive divine gifts of sustenance and forgiveness for the well-being of the entire community.

Jesus took the loaf, (lift up bread) thanked God for it, (praise God) Jesus broke it, (break the bread) and gave it to the disciples saying: “Take, eat. This is my body which has been given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after they had eaten, Jesus took the cup, (fill and lift) thanked God for it, (praise God) And gave it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant which has been poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.”

On this July Communion Sunday, we share this loaf with…

  • our fellow Americans of all political persuasions and religious beliefs;
  • those impacted by recent fatal shootings;
  • those impacted by recent Supreme Court rulings;
  • those who strive to manifest God’s intentions;
  • those in search of a Beloved Community;

Sisters and brothers, let us receive these gifts knowing that we are called to freedom. (all eat and drink)

Prayer of Thanksgiving (spontaneous)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday 7/17 “Church Picnic”
  • Sunday 7/24 “Music Sunday”
  • Pastor Kathryn is on vacation 7/12-25
  • Remember to Gather Waters this summer

Closing Hymn: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” Chalice Hymnal #2, all verses (musician) Berlin in 1989, when people sang Beethoven’s famous 9th symphony, changed the word “freude” (joy) into “freiheit” (freedom).

Benediction (pastor) We are called to Freedom! We are called to Love! We are called into a mysterious, healing, transforming future following the God who makes a way out of no way. 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.

(TNTAP) 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: June 28, 2022. Updated July 8, 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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