Image & Original written content: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022.
Public Health Safety Note: As of November 6, 2022, Sunday morning worship services are inside in the Sanctuary. Please follow COVID/flu-safe protocols. Thank you!
“Only the person who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts God has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 20th century German Christian Theologian
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 are blessed by this sacred worship space located on unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people. We honor the past and face the future in peace with hope.
Flowers For the Glory of God
Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist Darlene Hamady, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber
Call to Worship (liturgist; Psalm 100 version: LTP) “A perfect dance of Thanksgiving. God’s people gather from the whole earth to enter the temple gates in procession and praise the God who is Lasting Love.”
A Psalm of Thanksgiving:
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth,
serve the Lord with gladness,
enter God’s presence with joy!
Know that the Lord is God,
our maker to whom we belong,
our shepherd, and we the flock.
Enter the temple gates,
the courtyard with thanks and praise;
give thanks and bless God’s name.
Indeed the Lord is good!
God’s love is forever,
faithful from age to age. Amen. (ltp)
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.
Light The Christ Candle and Altar Votives (pastor)
Votive Lighting Music (musician)
Opening Hymn: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” Chalice #16 (musician)
Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)
Time for Children “Holiday Candles” This is the last Sunday for this Christ Candle. Next week we begin lighting Advent Candles. When will we light the NEW Christ Candle?
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) Gratitude is both an intentional practice and a spontaneous grace – a gift freely given by God. Choosing to be grateful, to give thanks for “this and that,” changes how we engage with life and open to God.
German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writes: “Only the person who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts God has in store for us because we do not give thanks for daily gifts.”
Let us be thankful for little things all the time. Let us practice gratitude hoping God will give us spiritual gifts we cannot now imagine. Amen. (kms)
Special Music (musician)
Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9 (version: NRSV) St Paul’s advice to “all the saints in Jesus Christ who are in Philippi” continues to guide us as we grow in faith.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (nrsv)
May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.
Cultivating Peace Practice: Gratitude “Thank You for This and That” (pastor) The Way of Gratitude – thoughts and practices this Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Reflection Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” Chalice #86 (musician)
Prayer Requests (pastor; all)
Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Royal Christ, on this day, globally, we celebrate You as our Sovereign. Next Sunday, we’ll begin waiting, again, for You to be born among us. Thank You for this annual cycle of knowing and loving You!
As we prepare for Thanksgiving festivities may we not forget all our blessings are rooted in divine generosity. Call forth from our mouths appreciation for our good fortune while opening our consciousnesses to witnessing gifts everywhere.
We who enjoy many luxuries – more than enough love, or more than enough health, or more than enough goodwill, or more than enough wealth – touch our hearts with a joyful desire to share what You have abundantly given to us. Grant us the sweet hunger to express compassion as You did while here on earth.
We praise You, Royal Christ, Font of All Blessings! Amen. (kms)
Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)
Offering Our Pledges (pastor) Almighty God, You have guided us through massive challenges and change the past few years. You are still guiding us forward, though we sometimes find it hard to hear Your voice. We pledge to keep listening, and trusting Your faithfulness. Lasting Love, today we offer our pledged prayers, goodwill, talents, and financial gifts to You for Your purposes. We return to You what You first gave us. Bless these offerings and use them to strengthen Christ’s Church, especially our ministry at BCCC. Amen. (kms)
Offering Our Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)
- Next Sunday: “Holy Wonder” Advent begins; invite guests!
- Church Retreat: Sat Dec 3, 10am to 2pm at BCCC
Sung Blessing: “Go in Peace” Chalice #445 (sing 2x’s) (musician)
Benediction (pastor) Please place your hand on your heart and ask God to call a special gratitude into awareness. (pause) This is but one of millions of blessings God offers us. Let us remember these blessings when our spirits stray, for “Indeed the Lord is good! God’s love is forever, faithful from age to age.”
Peace upon you and those you will gather with this week. In the name of our Sovereign, our Beloved Jesus Christ. Amen.
The service is concluded.
(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.
(LTP) Liturgical Training Publications. Copyright ©1995, Archdioceses of Chicago.
(NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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: November 16, 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”