Image: “St Vincent de Paul at the Table of the Poor” by Kurt Welther. 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 further notice.
“We’ve been trained to be greedy, hoarders. We’ve been trained to believe there is not enough. Yet, what we need is right in front of us.” – Rev. Valerie Bridgeman (vb)
Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor) Welcome! No matter who you are… No matter where you are on life’s journey… You are 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 with peace toward all beings.
Flowers In Honor of Joel Hamady and In Memory of Gail Lee given by Darlene Hamady
Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, English Liturgist David Louie, Cantonese Liturgist Esther Lee, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.
Call to Worship (liturgist: please begin by teaching the response: “We are created for community!”)
Leader: We are created in relationship and for relationship.
Response: We are created for community!
Leader: God knows it is not right for us to be alone.
Response: We are created for community!
Leader: Through Jesus Christ, God enters into human relationship with us.
Response: We are created for community!
Leader: We rejoice in our unity with all humanity.
Response: We are created for community! (mg:mg/cb)
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)
Opening Hymn: “Weave” Chalice #495 (musician; sing 2x’s)
Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)
Time for Children “Being With” When someone is hurting, we can slow down and be present with them instead of rushing to fix their problem. (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) Dear Ones, our souls perceive that we are woven into a huge network of care and support. Bigger than our family or community, existing throughout time, this network of love and goodwill holds us together. Through Jesus Christ, we are one regardless of our race, ethnicity, culture, or any other identity quality or characteristic. May the assurance of our spiritual interconnection with one another, through Christ, not only bring us comfort, may it call us into right action with and for each other. Amen.
Special Music (musician)
Scripture: Galatians 3:26-29 (CEB; liturgists – read in Cantonese and English) From St Paul’s letter to new Christians of Galatian ethnicity, a community that experienced prejudice.
You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Now if you belong to Christ, then indeed you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Sermon: “All One?” (pastor) Through Christ we are international siblings. We are also persons of and from diverse races, ethnicities, and cultures with differing needs and resources.
Sermon Hymn: “Who Is My Mother, Who is My Brother?” Chalice #486 (musician)
Prayer Requests (pastor; all)
Pastoral Prayer (prayer by Raul Santiago Rivera, Evangelic Seminary of Puerto Rico)
God, Creator of all we see and do not see, Your overwhelming grace, compassion, and love is upon Your people. We thank You for your blessing today and Your mercy tomorrow. You guide us every day and provide our daily bread. But Your promises go beyond today’s needs. Your commitments tell us that You will safeguard us in the future, providing for our needs, housing, land, fields, and vineyards as You have provided for the people of Puerto Rico during the recovery from disaster and the pandemic. May we remain faithful servants of Your love, mercy, and reconciling gospel. May we continue listening to Your sweet voice, guidance, and compassion. As we have experienced Your everlasting love for Your creation in our journey at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, we may bear witness so others may see, experience, and feel Your care, compassion and love. We praise Your name and ask for Your continuous love, Mighty God. Amen. (rsr)
Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)
Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)
We Celebrate Holy Communion
Gathering All Christians (pastor) Today we celebrate a global Holy Communion with Christians around the world. As we prepare, let us speak the names of those peoples with whom we intentionally share this meal… (say names out loud)
Gathering All Souls (pastor) Let us also gather the great, eternal communion of souls, speaking the names of those not physically present with whom we share this meal… (say names out loud)
Communion Hymn: “One Bread, One Body” Chalice #393 (musician)
Distribute Elements (pass out juice cups and crackers)
Prayer of Consecration (pastor) Today, we bless these elements with one of our oldest Christian prayers: As the bread which we break was grain scattered over the mountains and when brought together became one, so let Your Church be brought together from the ends of the earth into Your eternal realm; for Yours is the glory and power through Jesus Christ for evermore. Amen. (d/ch)
Sharing the Elements (pastor) With siblings from every nation, let us receive these gifts from Jesus Christ.
Jesus took a common loaf into his hands, identical to the unleavened bread his ancestors made when they escaped slavery generations before. Jesus lifted up the refugees’ loaf, (lift up bread) thanked God for it, (praise God) Jesus broke it, (break the bread) and gave it to his 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 dinner, Jesus took the settlers’ cup, filled it with wine from grapes harvested in the Promised Land, (fill and lift) thanked God for it, (praise God) and gave it to his disciples 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.”
- Christians around the world;
- Those who share the Gospel internationally;
- Those who desire God’s Living Word;
- Those who will one day share this meal with us.
Imagine all our sisters and brothers in Christ around the world sharing their loafs and cups with us this Sunday, just as we do with them. May all be blessed by this international Holy Communion. Amen. (all consume elements.)
Prayer of Thanksgiving (pastor; spontaneous)
- Neighbors in Need Offering (collection & blessing next Sunday)
- Council Meeting (zoom) Wednesday night
- Next Sunday: Cultivating Peace Practice Sunday
Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)
Spoken Benediction (pastor; from the Māori & Polynesian Lord’s Prayer) Eternal Spirit, may the hallowing of Your name echo through the universe; the way of Your justice be followed by the peoples of the world; Your heavenly will be done by all created beings; Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth. Amen. (nzbop)
The service is concluded.
(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.
(CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible, adapted for inclusive language
(d/ch) 2nd century “Didache” prayer as it appears in the Chalice Hymnal #394, slightly adapted.
(mg: mg/cb) Global Ministries: Marcy Gansler and Brande Crosby
(nzbop) New Zealand Book of Prayer
(rsr) Raul Santiago Rivera; https://www.globalministries.org/resource/pray-with-puerto-rico-september-25-2022/
(vb) Rev. Valerie Bridgeman, PhD, Woman Preach.org; speaking at “For Such A Time As This” UCC Clergywomen gathering, hybrid, 2022.
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: September 27, 2022.
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Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is 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”