Photo: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2015. 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.
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, [humans] will have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 20th century Christian philosopher
Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You’re 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.
Flowers Given by Jane Mah and Norman Chong.
Worship Team Guest Preacher Rev. Bladimer Paeste, Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist Darlene Hamady.
Call to Worship (liturgist, see script for additional copy)
Christ our Light, be with us! 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 “Ready” Being spiritually ready (pastor)
Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace) (pastor)
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) Being human means being vulnerable. The COVID virus, climate change, and other big crises reveal there are forces beyond our personal control. It is humbling and overwhelming. Jesus Christ teaches us to trust God and invest in the things we can control – like our actions and intentions. No matter what is going on we can care, we can help, we can embody the love of God because God loves us.
Today, let us take comfort in eternal forces of goodness. Let us trust in the grace of God’s faithfulness, especially when we are vulnerable. Amen.
Special Music (musician)
Scripture: Luke 12:32-40 (liturgist; version: NIV) “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Sermon: “Keep Your Lamp Burning” Rev. Bladimer Paeste, member of BCCC
Sermon Hymn “Pass It On” Chalice Hymnal #477, all verses (musician)
Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Beloved Christ, today we offer ourselves to You to be refined. Prepare us to be who You need us to be, especially when we least expect it. Fortify our strengths, edit our weaknesses, add what we lack, bless what is worthy. Prime us for faithful service that, through You, we might bring glory to God, be a blessing to others, and find joy blooming in our own souls. 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 (Announce distribution of elements AFTER the hymn) God has given us THE KINGDOM. God has given US the kingdom. There is enough for everyone. We come to this Holy Meal knowing God has already given us everything we truly need. Let us come with grateful hearts.
Gathering All Souls God has given us THE KINGDOM. God has given US the kingdom. As we prepare to receive this Holy Meal we do so with the great, eternal communion of souls. Let us speak the names of those with whom we share this blessed meal… (say names out loud)
Communion Hymn: “Let Us Break Bread Together” Chalice #425, all verses (musician)
Distribute Elements (pass out juice cups and crackers)
Prayer of Consecration God has given us the kingdom. Mindful of such abundance, Let us pray: O Lord, in the sharing of this meal may we inherit what is already ours – the gift of Christ’s presence and the blessing of God’s forgiveness. Amen.
Sharing the Elements (pastors)
God has given us the kingdom. There will always be enough for everyone when we release our fears, when we share what others need, when we invest in what is eternal, when we treasure what no thief might steal and no moth can destroy. When our hearts are filled with the gifts of God, we are truly rich.
God has given us the kingdom. (Use your own words of institution – we remember the night…)
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.”
We share this loaf with… (please adjust as the Spirit guides you to do…)
- All who are hungry, sick, or without a home – AND with all who have many things which could be shared;
- All beings who have died in wildfires and floods and other tragedies – AND with all who tried to save them, who offered care until the end;
- All who seek God’s Love and the grace of a Beloved Community – AND with our efforts to be community for our neighbors and the friends we’ve yet to meet;
God has given us THE KINGDOM. God has given US the kingdom. Let us receive what has already been freely given, that we might freely serve God. (all consume elements.)
Prayer of Thanksgiving (spontaneous)
- After Worship
- Next Sunday
- Continue to Gather Waters
Sung Benediction (pastor) “Circle Me” by Simon de Voil (sing with recording)
The service is concluded.
(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.
(NIV) Scripture quotations taken from ®NIV Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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: August 3, 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”