23 Pentecost “Welcomed” * Genesis 18:1-8 * 2nd Stewardship Sunday

Image: Andrei Rublev, “Holy Trinity Icon” 15th century based on Genesis 18:1-8. 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!

We Gather

Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen, 20th-century Christian pastor and theologian

Prelude (musician)

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.

Honoring our Veterans

Flowers Pastor Kathryn Schreiber in Thanksgiving for BCCC

Worship Team Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist Darlene Hamady, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber

Call to Worship (liturgist)

Welcome! Welcome to this House of God open to everyone!

Welcome! Welcome to this Community of Faith, Hope, and Love!

Welcome! Welcome to this Space of Grace where our lives are changed!

We gather in the presence of God the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Amen. (kms)

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: “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” Chalice #560 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “Greetings” What actions and words express a warm welcome?

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) Gestures matter. Offering a weary traveler food and drink is kind. Offering that same tired visitor a fine meal may become a holy encounter. Christian scripture tells us: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)

God comes into our lives in many ways. The grace of divine encounter often happens when we least expect it – when we are selflessly loving others. Let us be gracious and very generous in our hospitality. Amen. (kms)

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Genesis 18:1-8 (New Revised Standard Version) This beloved story about Abraham and Sarah offering hospitality to fellow travelers continues to guide Jews and Christians in the sacred practice of welcoming strangers.

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as Abraham sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing near him.

When Abraham saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. 

Abraham said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.”

So they (the three men) said, “Do as you have said.”

And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.”

Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before the guests; and Abraham stood by them under the tree while they ate.

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

Reflection: “Welcomed” (pastor) On our second Sunday of the 2022 Stewardship Season we reflect upon welcoming gestures of hospitality.

Reflection Hymn: “The Gift of Love” Chalice #526 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) O Compassionate God, as much as we believe or sense Your love for us, we need to experience the warmth and welcome of real human beings. You, Source of all Life and Love, have designed us to be social beings. We need to give and receive human kindness to be whole.

O Eternal Christ, as we renew our efforts to grow Your Church, please increase in our genuine hospitality toward each other – friends we’ve known for years and friends we’ve just met.  May we see in each other Your blessed presence and be delighted. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • 2023 Pledge Cards
  • November Senior Center: this Tuesday
  • Next Sunday: Thanksgiving Sunday; Dedication of Pledges

Sung Blessing: “Go in Peace” Chalice #445 (sing 2x’s) (musician)

Benediction (pastor) Dear Ones, we have no idea who we might be entertaining when we welcome an unknown person. May dear St Abraham and St Sarah remind us to open our hearts and share our gifts – for we might be hosting a divine presence.

Let us leave this place with curiosity, hope, gratitude, and great generosity. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. 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.

 (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!

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: November 10, 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 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”

Holy Wonder Series: 2022 Advent-Christmas

Photo: (c) Kathryn M Schreiber, 2019. Original Content: (c) Kathryn M Schreiber, 2022.

Pulling moments from classic Advent-Christmas readings, this series invites us to exercise our “wonder” muscles that we might be primed to engage in Holy Wonder. During hard times our spiritual ancestors remained open to Holy Wonder. May we do so, too!

Here’s an overview to inspire. As a busy local church pastor, I’m realistic about what I might or might not get done in time to share with you. Original content will post on the Tuesday before the Sunday featured. I’m hoping to post the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at least a week out. I’m hoping to create a few other goodies, but not quite sure that will happen. In advance, thank you for following and for your patience! (Note: I’ve used the Common English Bible, adapted for inclusivity.)

I am sharing with you what my congregation has paid me to create. We would benefit from your financial support. Though we are unable to receive electronic giving at this time, you are most welcome to send an old-school check to: Berkeley Chinese Community Church, UCC. 2117 Acton Street. Berkeley, CA 94702. In the memo area on the check, please write “Living Liturgies.” Thank you VERY VERY MUCH!

1st Sunday of Advent. “Holy Wonder: Hopeful Vulnerability” Scripture: Mark 13:33-37. We always celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but no being on earth or in heaven – except God – knows when The Living Christ will arrive. Being open to Holy Wonder is preparing to be surprised.

Jesus speaking to his disciples:

“Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!”

2nd Sunday of Advent. “Holy Wonder: Natural Solidarity” Scripture: Isaiah 35:1-2. Holy Communion. A natural wonder is a rare, though known, spectacular event. Being open to Holy Wonder includes hope in God’s care throughout the cosmos.

Isaiah speaking to his nation:

The desert and the dry land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus.
They will burst into bloom,
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
They will receive the glory of Lebanon,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the Lord’s glory,
    the splendor of our God.

3rd Sunday of Advent. “Holy Wonder: Communal Healing” Scripture: Luke 1:50-55. God’s dream for a just human community is foundational. Being open to Holy Wonder is having faith in divine justice before it occurs.

Mary, speaking to Elizabeth:

God shows mercy to everyone,
        from one generation to the next,
        who honors God.
God has shown strength with God’s arm.
    God has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
God has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
        and lifted up the lowly.
God has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away empty-handed.
God has come to the aid of servant Israel,
        remembering divine mercy,

just as God promised to our ancestors,
        to Abraham and Sarah, and to their descendants forever.”

4th Sunday of Advent. “Holy Wonder: Spiritual Courage” Scripture: Matthew 1:18-21. Righteous Joseph deeply believed in God’s in-breaking wisdom. Being open to Holy Wonder is risking personal, social, even religious comfort to serve God.

An angel speaks to Joseph:

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Christmas Eve. “Holy Wonder: God’s Here!” Scripture: Luke 2:1-7 and Isaiah 9:6-7. Holy Communion. God chose to become extremely vulnerable to be with us. Being open to Holy Wonder is humbling ourselves to God’s incomprehensible love for us.

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

AND

A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
    and authority will be on his shoulders.
    He will be named
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be vast authority and endless peace
    for David’s throne and for his kingdom,
    establishing and sustaining it
    with justice and righteousness
    now and forever.

The zeal of the Lord of heavenly forces will do this.

Christmas Day. “Holy Wonder: Angels!” Scripture: Luke 1:26-35, Matthew 1:18-21; Luke 2:8-14. PopUp/Readers Christmas Pageant with “angel” carols. A Reader’s Script replaces typical service content. Narrative arc: Angel Gabriel speaks to Mary Luke 1:26-35; an angel speaks to Joseph Matthew 1:18-21 (yes, same as above); and a host of Angels speak to Shepherds Luke 2:8-14.

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22 Pentecost “Welcome!” * Luke 14:15-24 * Holy Communion

Image: Vincent Van Gogh’s drawing “Interior with Ten Figures” 1980. Original written content: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: November 6, 2022 we return to Sunday morning worship services inside in the Sanctuary. Please follow COVID/flu-safe protocols. Thank you!

We Gather

“We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God’s family.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Prelude (musician)

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 TBD

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist TBD, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber

Call to Worship (liturgist) Everyone is welcome at God’s Table. There is plenty of room for each and every person! We practice the United Church of Christ’s radical welcome: No matter who we are, no matter where we are on life’s journey, everyone is welcome here at Berkeley Chinese Community Church! May our gathering today, back in our beloved sanctuary, be a service of deep and wide welcome. Amen. (kms)

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: “Gather Us In” Chalice #284 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “Included” Have you ever been made to feel unwelcome? Jesus welcomes EVERYONE. How can we be like Jesus?

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) There is something a bit odd about us humans: we quickly create oppositional sides. Such fast sorting is helpful when in immediate danger, but is usually very harmful. Whenever we label other human beings as “enemy” we break God’s heart wounding the promise of blessed human community. Jesus modeled welcoming everyone honoring our universal, shared human dignity.

On this Sunday before Election Day, amid loud calls to mistrust each other, let us hold fast to Jesus’ practice of welcoming everyone while honoring real differences. May our practice of welcoming those we’ve been taught to reject lead to healing. As we offer respect for others, especially when it is hard, we create the future we desire for our children. Amen. (kms)

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 14:15-24 (version: Common English Bible) Jesus tells this story while dining with Pharisees, Jewish scholars who hold fast to Torah law. Jesus speaks, saying:

A certain man hosted a large dinner and invited many people. When it was time for the dinner to begin, the master sent his servant to tell the invited guests, “Come! The dinner is now ready.”

One by one, they all began to make excuses. The first one told the servant, ”I bought a farm and must go and see it. Please excuse me.” Another said, “I bought five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check on them. Please excuse me.” Another said, “I just got married, so I can’t come.”

When the servant returned, he reported these excuses to his master. The master of the house became angry and said to his servant, “Go quickly to the city’s streets, the busy ones and the side streets, and bring the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.”

The servant said, “Master, your instructions have been followed and there is still room.”

The master said to the servant, “Go to the highways and back alleys and urge people to come in so that my house will be filled. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”

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

Reflection: “Welcome!” (pastor) As we begin our Stewardship Season we reflect upon Jesus’s practice of radical welcome, sharing a meal with the most unlikely dinner guests.

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Invitation (pastor; explain about process – all are welcome; publicly safety; elements consumed together)

Gathering All Souls (pastor) Let us gather the great, eternal communion of souls, speaking the names of those not physically present with whom we wish to share this meal… (say names internally or out loud)

Gathering The Unwelcome (pastor) Let us also ask: “With whom do I NOT want to share Christ’s Table?” (group or individual) Who scares me? Who’s hurt me? Whom have I harmed? If it feels genuine, please extend welcome to someone or a group with whom it feels uncomfortable sharing this meal… (say names internally or out loud)

Communion Hymn: “I’m Gonna Eat at the Welcome Table” Chalice #424 (verses 1-4) (musician)

Distribute Elements (Communion ushers pass out individually wrapped juice cups and crackers)

Prayer of Consecration (pastor) Inviting God, we humble ourselves grateful for what You will give us. May this meal nourish whatever needs nourishing that our church might grow according to Your joy and desire. Amen. (kms)

Sharing the Elements (pastor) Jesus often broke bread with people others told him he should not dine with. This wasn’t so much due social prejudices, but due to long-standing religious mandates to “stay away from bad people.” Jesus understood how these morally enforced segregations created spiritual suffering among everyone.

At his Last Supper with his dearest followers he placed on his right “The Beloved Disciple” and on his left “The Betraying Disciple.” Understanding that all human beings have weakness and strengths, Jesus Christ welcomed everyone, just as they were, to God’s Table. By overturning the dining restrictions given to Moses, Jesus Christ invokes the healing power of sharing food and drink. Our beloved ritual of Holy Communion is an offering of sustenance and healing for all who partake.

Jesus took the loaf, (lift up bread), thanked God for it, (praise God), 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 Sunday, days before a contentious Election Day, we intentionally share this loaf with…

  • those who are in need of actual food;
  • those who are hungry for social welcome;
  • those who see in us a foe;
  • those we perceive to be our opponents;
  • and those who will one day call this place home having found a truly welcoming community of faith.

Dear Ones, may we receive the magnificent grace of being fully welcomed by God as we receive these blessed gifts. (all eat and drink)

We Pray

Prayer of Thanksgiving for Holy Communion (pastor; spontaneous)

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) O God, You who know the deepest hungers of our souls and the darkest wounds of our psyches, we are eternally grateful for Christ’s embodiment of Divine Welcome. Continue to heal us as we strive to offer hope and kindness to others. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Council Meeting (zoom) Wednesday night
  • Next Sunday: Second Sunday of Stewardship, more on Welcoming

Sung Blessing: “Go in Peace” Chalice #445 (sing 2x’s) (musician)

Benediction (pastor) May the Way of Welcome embodied in Jesus Christ be our practice. May we offer to others what we would most like to receive – genuine respect and courtesy, mercy and goodwill. Let us go forth in peace with brave kindness. 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.

(CEB) Common English Bible copyright © 2011, Common English Bible.

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: November 1, 2022 – All Saints Day.

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 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”

All Saints, All Souls (observed) “Remembering Our Dearly Beloved” * Psalm 90 & John 14:1-3 * Cultivating Peace Practice: Table of Memory

Image: panel from “The Dancing Saints” Icons at St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, SF. Iconographer Mark Dukes ©2009. Original written content: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022.

Public Health Safety Note: This is our last Sunday morning worship service outside. We return to the Sanctuary for COVID/flu-safe worship on Sunday, November 6, 2022.

Before the service begins: Please place your photos and items honoring loved ones on the Table of Memory. Thank you!

We Gather

“We all suffer three deaths. The first death is the day that we give our last breath, the day that we die. Our second death is the day that we are buried never to be seen on the face of the earth again. And our third death, the most dreaded death of all, is to be forgotten.” – Ofelia Esparza, Dia de Los Muertos altradista

Prelude (musician)

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 given by Norman Chong & Jane Mah

Worship Team Musician Everett Louie, Soloist Jonathan Louie, Liturgist David Louie, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber

Call to Worship (liturgist please teach “Welcome!” response and encourage gestures of welcome)

Liturgist: We invite the ancient souls of Jesus’ beloved disciples to gather with us this morning.

People: Welcome!

Liturgist: We call upon the departed faithful who have served Christ’s Church throughout history.

People: Welcome!

Liturgist: We invite our ancestors, regardless of religion or creed, to assemble in this sacred place.

People: Welcome!

Liturgist: Surrounded by saints and loved ones we open ourselves to God’s Holy Spirit.  Amen. (kms)

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: “When Morning Gilds the Skies” Chalice #100 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “Still with Us” We are blessed by the presence of dear souls. (pastor; prop: a Menaion or Menologia icon featuring rows of saints arranged chronologically)

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, we are beings with bodies and souls. Due to the pandemic, death has been very much with us in recent years. And, we are all getting older. Everyone’s days on earth are numbered.

Jesus Christ and his original disciples knew their faith could lead to an early death. (Jesus’s earthly life was only thirty to thirty-three years long.) In the beginning of Christianity, when our religion was illegal, many followers of Jesus Christ were martyred. They were killed because of their commitment to Christ. Deep belief in life after death took root among early Christians and remains important to us.

Jesus, when assuring his young followers that death was not to be feared, spoke of going before them preparing for their reunion. Christ continues to prepare Heaven for all who open their hearts to God’s Big Love. May we dwell, together, in peace eternally. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 90:1-4 and John 14:1-3 (version: NRSV) Two beloved passages that help us reflect upon life and death.

Psalm 90:1-4

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God.

You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.” For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.

John 14:1-3
Jesus, speaking to the disciples, said:

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

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

Reflection: “Remembering Our Dearly Beloved” (pastor) Grief, gratitude, and faith combine as we honor those who precede us in death.

Practice: Building a Table of Memory (all) Sharing our memories and stories. Speaking their names in tribute.

Hymn: “For All the Saints” Chalice #637 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) All-Compassionate Comforter, we are weary from escaping pandemic death and the unfinished grieving isolation created. This long season of loss has also been rocked by acts of fatal violence, as well as normal concerns about our natural aging. We know the cost of being embodied, we will die, and yet we are consoled by the perpetuity of souls.

Everlasting to Everlasting, Infinite God, speak deeply to our souls of that which never dies. Grant us spiritual sap that we might remain faithful, hopeful, and joyful as our earthly journeys continue and we travel, one day at a time, down this long path of collective grief. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all) Doxology 

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Saturday: Project Berkeley HERE!
  • Council Meeting (zoom) Wednesday night
  • Next Sunday: Stewardship launch

Benediction (pastor; John 14:27) “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(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.

(oe) Ofelia Esparza, altradista (altar artist) featured in Craft in America, Season 9 Episode 1: Boarders.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa Dancing Saints icos: https://www.saintgregorys.org/the-dancing-saints.html

View an Orthodox Menaion for August: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e1/b7/e2/e1b7e25a7e2a80ef18fb0c29920183ff.jpg

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: October 25, 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 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”

18 Pentecost: “Creation Reorientation” * Matthew 6:25-29 * NIN Offering (UCC)

Cultivating Peace Series: In the Way of St Francis, Becoming Family with all Beings

Practices: Companion Creature Meditation and All Creation Meditation

Image: “St Francis” by M Boutet de Monvel © 1912. 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 Gather

With the multitude of the hills lying all around me, I could not but lift my hat as being in the presence of God.” – Walter Scott, 19th c. frontier evangelist

Prelude (musician)

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 Celebration of Mark D’s Birthday.

Worship Team Musician Ian P, Liturgist David L, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (liturgist, please teach response: “O praise God, Alleluia!”; inspired by St Francis’s hymn)

Liturgist: All Creatures of our Sovereign God; Burning Sun and Silver Moon –

All: O praise God, Alleluia!

Liturgist: Rushing Wind and Sailing Clouds; Rising Morn and Evening Lights –

All: O praise God, Alleluia!

Liturgist: Flowing Waters sing to God; Blazing Fire warms the Night –

All: O praise God, Alleluia!

Liturgist: Forgiving forgiven with tender Hearts; Bearers of pain and sorrow held in God’s care –

All: O praise God, Alleluia!

Liturgist: Amen. (fa, adapted)

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: “This is My Father’s World” Chalice #59 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “Special Friends” Childhood non-human friends. (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) The 13th century German mystic, Meister Eckhart, proclaimed: “In the first glance of God, everything that is in the world was born.” Everything that exists has come into being through God – every being – from the very origins of life.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry he often spoke of plants and animals. Many Gospel stories about him are set outdoors. We modern folks spend a great deal of our time in human-created spaces surrounded by human communications. Often, we are disconnected from our fellow beings. When we imitate Christ pondering other creatures, spending time outdoors, praising the Source of All Life we are woven back into a beautiful, cosmic order. This reorientation is a comforting, healing God-given grace. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Matthew 6:25-29 (version: NRSV; liturgist) From Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – important spiritual teachings freely given to the crowd.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.”

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

Cultivating Peace Series: “Creation Reorientation”(pastor) Moving out of human-exclusive thinking and relating, we follow Christ’s lead considering our fellow creatures. Becoming a sibling among created siblings, as St Francis taught, aligns us with the Peace of Christ. Practices: Companion Creature Meditation and All Creation Meditation.

Hymn: “Fairest Lord Jesus” Chalice #97 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Source of all Life and Being, the wonder of all creation is magnificent – Your works reveal your majesty and power. We praise You for all that is, and that we are one among many beloved creatures.

We also pause to hold the tenderness in our hearts – for we see how our human ways have broken the wholeness of life on earth. May we have the courage to still our human-centered minds to listen to the cries of our fellow beings. May we also have the humility to listen for Your Still-Speaking voice as you guide us, as a species, to do our part to repair what we have damaged. Thank You, Most Patient and Gracious God. Amen.

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

Neighbors in Need Offering (gather offerings or gestures of offering) Caring God, today we ask Your blessing upon these special donations given to support our neighbors in need. May our gifts, coupled with gifts from throughout the nation, benefit our UCC indigenous siblings and our laboring siblings who are not fairly compensated. We ask this is the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • COVID Public Safety Practices Update from BCCC Council.
  • Senior Center October Gathering
  • Next Two Sundays

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)

Spoken Benediction (pastor; spontaneous)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(fa) Francis of Asissi, hymn: “All Creatures of our God and King” Chalice Hymnal #22.

(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!

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: October 5, 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 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”

17 Pentecost: “All One?” * Galatians 3:26-29 * World Communion * Praying with Puerto Rico (Hurricane Fiona)

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 Gather

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)

Prelude (musician)

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)

We Listen

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)

We Pray

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.”

We share this loaf with…

  • 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)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • 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)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(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!

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: September 27, 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 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”

16 Pentecost: “God’s Plans” * Isaiah 55:8-13 and Ezekiel 37:1-3

Some reflections from the UCC Summit this past week (please see NOTES)

Image: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2017. 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 Gather

“Folks found Collegiate Church in the fire – but stayed because we weren’t afraid of the fire.” – Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church; speaking about the devastating fire that destroyed their building and ignited their ministry. (uccs)

Prelude (musician)

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 For the Glory of God given by Darlene Hamady

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist David Louie, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (liturgist)

Whenever our human activity strays or violates God’s vision God sends prophets to deliver divine words, saying: “My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways My ways.” (Isaiah 55:8 CEB)

Whenever our choices rock dignity’s boat, break anyone’s back, or knock the wind from our very lungs, elders rise up re-rooting us to soul strength, saying: “Never forget WHO you are or WHOSE you are.” (Rev. Dr. Yvonne V. Delk, uccs)

Whenever the cloth of faith is torn and recut to uniform any army of hate Jesus Christ speaks, saying: “Rescue My religion from the horrific imitations being taught.” (Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, uccs, adapted)

Into this liminal space as church and society continues to shift we acknowledge our larger truth, saying: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” Amen. (Hebrews 13:8)

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: “In the Bulb There is a Flower” Chalice #638 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “Change Happens” All living things grow and change. (pastor, uccs)

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) We change – our bodies, our relationships, our nations, and Christ’s Church – these are always changing. Jesus Christ came to earth to be with humanity, fully immersed in our mortal strengths and weaknesses. There is nothing we are going through that The Beloved One does not understand, appreciate, or companion.

Whenever transitions within, among, or beyond us become “too much” we can pause and reconnect with the eternal Love of God. We can hold onto what is fundamentally, infinitely true. So tethered, newly washed with wisdom, we will know the next, best, little step forward.

Dear Ones, through Christ, we are always linked with God Almighty, an endless font of faith, hope, and love. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Isaiah 55:8-13 and Ezekiel 37:1-3 (CEB; liturgist)

Isaiah 55:8-13 (CEB)

My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.

Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My plans than your plans.

Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and don’t return there without watering the earth, making it conceive and yield plants and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater, so is My word that comes from My mouth; it does not return to Me empty. Instead, it does what I want, and accomplishes what I intend.

Yes, you will go out with celebration, and you will be brought back in peace. Even the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you; all the trees of the field will clap their hands. In place of the thorn the cypress will grow; in place of the nettle the myrtle will grow. This will attest to the Lord’s stature, an enduring reminder that won’t be removed.

AND

Ezekiel 37:1-3 (CEB)

The Lord’s power overcame me, and while I was in the Lord’s spirit, God led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones. God led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry.

God asked me, “Human one, can these bones live again?”

I said, “Lord God, only You know.”

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

Sermon: “Insights from the Summit” For three days UCC folks gathered online to reflect upon massive changes to church and society revealed during the pandemic and to ponder, together, how to go forward doing God’s will. (see NOTES below)

Sermon Hymn: “Ours the Journey” Chalice #638 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Holy One, if we could but see as You see, if we could but hope as You hope, if we could love as You love – we would not be in the messes we are in. Today, we bow to You and Your plans, naming our need for Your forgiveness. Take our shame and regret – for what we have and have not done – not to erase any critical memories or wisdom needed, but to remove unhelpful burdens that mire us to self-defensiveness and victimhood. Release us from what does not serve You. Thank You, Merciful One.

Please fill us, too, Font of Life, with Your dreams and the grand ways You desire to enable us to bloom for the benefit of all Your precious Loved Ones. Soften our hardened hearts that we might rejoice in seeing You in each other, dazzled and thrilled to be dwelling on earth with such a wondrous community! Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Bravo Senior Center reopening! Next one – Oct 18th
  • This week – Antoinette Brown Society Gathering (Tues-Thurs)
  • No Care and Prayer this week
  • Next Sunday: “World Communion” praying for the World – bring elements?

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)

Spoken Benediction (pastor) The great 12th-century Christian mystic, Hildegard of Bingen, lived through plagues and economic crises during horrible religious and political battles. Through it all, she found faith in God’s undisturbable goodness. May her faith bless Christ’s Church today: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Amen. 

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

NOTE: About THE SUMMIT: September 19-21, 2022 was a national online gathering of UCC folks to consider how our ministries are adapting, inventing, and responding to various changes throughout church and society. The contents for this worship service are but a tiny sliver of the truth, wisdom, and faith shared at The Summit, supplemented with what God put on my heart for my community this Sunday. I would like to add, that I attended very little on Tuesday for I was gloriously busy as our Senior Center reopened after being closed for two and a half years! Content from Tuesday’s Summit is minimally reflected in this liturgy.

Recordings of the online events will be available in the coming weeks to those who were registered. If you did not register to attend, I hope there will be recordings available – especially from the keynote speakers (called various things at the event). You might also check out the UCC News – a news story was posted this past week with highlights of the first day’s events.

Credits

(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

(uccs) UCC Summit, quotes from notes I took during the event.

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: September 22, 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 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”

15 Pentecost: “Praying for Decision Makers” * 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Image: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Notice the shadow from a jasmine blossom falling upon a morning glory blossom. 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 Gather

“We pray that decision makers around the world be filled with compassion and love for the people for whom their decisions are impacting and that they take all of us into consideration, especially those who are unhoused, in detention centers, imprisoned, elders, children, lonely, sick and the very least of these.” – Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty New Moon Prayer, August 27, 2022 (used with permission)

Prelude (musician)

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 For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Ian Pong, Liturgist Norman Chong, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Invocation (liturgist) High King of Heaven, Almighty Sovereign, Lord of Life, Ruler of the Universe – we gather in Your presence to worship You and practice the ways of Jesus Christ. We gather as Your Beloved Ones, made in Your image and shaped by Your blessings. May this service bring You glory, benefit our neighbors, and comfort our souls. 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)

Opening Hymn: “How Great Thou Art” Chalice #33 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “Prayerful Support” (pastor) Everyone can pray for anyone.

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) We have been assured that we are made in the image of God. What an astonishing idea! Let us take heart on those days when we feel too small, too weak, too broken, too “whatever” to be partners with Christ. No matter who we are, no matter where we are on life’s journey, we can always pray for God’s will to be done here on earth and in heaven. Even if we don’t believe in the power of our prayer, God does. Dear Ones, this is a most powerful grace. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NRSV; liturgist) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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

Reflection: “Praying for Decision Makers” Prayer is powerful! Today’s message includes stories about praying for national leaders and the monthly prayers offered by the Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty.

Sermon Hymn: “We Sing Your Mighty Power, O God” Chalice #64 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) Sovereign of the Universe, every being dwells in the shadow of Your glory. You infuse us with Your goodness and wisdom though we struggle to perceive these gifts. Grant us encouragement to continue offering our little prayers for they are more than sufficient. Today, we especially pray for all persons in positions of authority. Grant them what they need to protect the dignity of all living beings and nourish the lives of all in their care. We offer our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, Ruler of our Hearts. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Senior Center Reopens THIS TUESDAY
  • Next Sunday: “Emerging Church” report from The Summit (UCC)
  • No Care and Prayer this week
  • Pastor’s Sabbath shifts to FRI this week

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)

Spoken Benediction (pastor) Let us close with prayers to Almighty God, praying with the Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty: “We send our love and gratitude to You, Great Mystery, Creator and the unseen helper beings who are listening. We are very grateful for the gifts of life and for one another. Thank You for making us strong enough on this day to send our prayers to You.” Amen. (iwdmetnmp)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

A special word of thanks to (iwdmetnmp) Indigenous Women Defending Mother Earth Treaty New Moon Prayer, who allowed use of their published August 27, 20212. It has been quite a gift to pray with these amazing women, online, since 2020. If you would like to pray with them, with us, see Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/IndigenousWomenTreaty.  

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(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!

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: September 13, 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 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”

14th Sunday after Pentecost. “Cultivating Peace Practice: Blessing” Gathering of the Waters

Image: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2018. 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 Gather

“Everything unborn in us and in the world needs blessing.Blessings strengthen life and feed life just as water does.” – Rachel Naomi Remen (rnr)

Prelude (musician)

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 in peace toward all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist Norman Chong, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (Numbers 6:24-26, adapted; liturgist)

We gather today to practice blessings. Let us begin our worship service receiving the first blessing God gave to Moses to give to the people, a blessing shared among human beings for thousands of years:

May God bless you and keep you.

May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

May God uplift you with holy countenance and give you peace. 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)

Opening Hymn: “Spirit Song” Chalice #352 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “A Grandmother’s Blessing” When a blessing is rooted in true love it last forever. (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, God deeply desires our fullness and well-being. Through the stories about Jesus Christ and mystical encounters with the Living Christ we encounter life-changing exchanges. These moments are mutual as both the divine and mortal resonate lifting each other up to a more radiant, purposeful, and joyful state of being.

When we come to Jesus with our honest needs, our true desires, and our earnest faith in His healing presence not only are we enhanced, the Spirit of Christ grows. Is this not a wondrous grace? Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 1:41-45, Matthew 9:20-22, and Mark 10:49-52 (liturgist)

Luke 1:39-45 “Pregnant Elizabeth Blesses Pregnant Mary”

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Matthew 9:20-22 “Jesus and the Healed Woman”

Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.

Mark 10:49-52 “Jesus and the Sighted Bartimaeus”

Then Jesus said to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus regained his sight and followed Jesus on the way.

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

Reflection: “Blessings: Becoming Authentic and Whole” (pastor) Thoughts about blessings as a tool for bringing peace into the world through the intention of speaking good words over each other.

Sermon Hymn: “Wonderful Words of Life” Chalice #323 (musician)

We Pray

Prayer Requests (pastor; all)

Pastoral Prayer Source of All Blessings, what a joy to be reminded that You have vested us with great powers to bless each other – to offer words of encouragement and affirmation, messages of hope and peace. Holy Christ, may we be filled with You whenever we speak a word of blessing and may You be blessed whenever we act in Your name. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all)

Gathering the Waters and Blessings

Gathering the Waters 

Today, we Gather the Waters – waters you’ve collected to remember blessed moments in the past year. If you did not gather any water but would like to share a memory of being blessed – especially by, with, or near water – please do! (offer bottles of 2021 Holy Water for use.) Please come forward with your water and blessing stories! (pour water into the big bowl)

Blessing the Waters

This is “our” water. It is filled with our experiences and stories. For the next 12 months we’ll use this water for various blessings and anointings. Let’s transform our water into Holy Water calling God’s blessing upon it. Let us pray:

Holy God, we call Your Holy Spirit into these gathered waters. Bless this water. Fill this water with exactly what is needed. And bless us, too, in the right use of this Holy Water and each blessing we give and receive. Amen.

Cultivating Peace Practice: Blessings! (pass out greenery, blessing wands)

I know you know how to fling water! Today, we’re also going to be very intentional by offering life-giving blessings upon each other and any living being. Let’s speak blessings of affirmation and dignity, healing and wisdom, led by Holy Spirit. Let the blessings begin!

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday: Sycamore Bento Box Luncheon
  • Senior Center Reopening

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me” chant by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; recording)

Spoken Benediction (pastor)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(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.

(rnr) Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. My Grandfather’s Blessing: Stories of Strength, Refuse, and Belonging. © 2000.

(jod) John O’Donohue. To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings. © 2008.

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: September 7, 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”

13 Pentecost: “Invisible Work” * Matthew 11:28-30 * Labor Day Holy Communion

Image: “Coast of Brittany” by James Abbott McNeil Whistler, 1861; cropped. 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

“We are in a liminal season: something has ended, but a new thing is not yet ready to begin. In liminal seasons, systems and processes break down because they are supposed to. We cannot discover a new beginning until something ends or dies. Much of our overwhelm comes from trying to preserve or adapt things that are meant to fail.” – Susan Beaumont (sb)

Prelude (musician)

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 in peace toward all beings.

Flowers For the Glory of God

Worship Team Musician Vicky Jennings, Liturgist David Louie, Pastor Rev. Kathryn Schreiber.

Call to Worship (liturgist) Friends, on this Labor Day Weekend, are you weary? Are you carrying heavy burdens? Do you need rest? We gather here in the presence of the Eternal Christ open to The One who restores us. May our time together offer deep tending and blessing. Welcome to this sacred space.

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: “I Hunger and I Thirst” Chalice #409 (musician)

Passing the Peace (all share gestures and words of peace; pastor)

Time for Children “Different Kinds of Work” Work can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Jesus Christ offers rest from all labors. (pastor)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer, Confession and Silence (pastor) As this is a Communion Sunday, you may wish to use silent prayer for confession laying down burdens and/or asking for forgiveness. We’ll spend more time in silence today. 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, there is nothing, nothing, nothing we humans experience that God does not witness, comprehend, and attend. God knows the heights of our human delights as well as the depths of our human challenges. Through Jesus Christ, no matter what has or is happening to our hearts, minds, bodies, or souls – we are held in Divine care. What grace!

Dear Ones, rest assured that whatever burdens we lay down in God’s presence are received. Whatever we present for forgiveness has been forgiven. May the Peace of Christ fill and refresh us. Amen.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30 (liturgist; version: NRSV) As Jesus was beginning his ministry, critical of communities that had strayed from God, he offered these healing words of care and restoration:

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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

Sermon: “Invisible Work” On this Labor Day weekend we consider the intense work we do in our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls, especially now. The Eternal Christ offers us care, compassion, rest, and renewal.

Sermon Hymn: “For All the Saints” Chalice #637 (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor) During the pauses you may wish to lift up specific persons or occupations.

On this Labor Day Weekend we lift up prayers of gratitude for all workers – especially those whose efforts and skills are essential though underacknowledged.

We pray for and with all family members and loved ones, unpaid workers, who tend our children, elderly, sick, and those with special needs. Bless them. (pause)

We pray for and with all volunteers who give their time and talents to generate much-needed services and opportunities. Bless them. (pause)

We pray for and with all friends, neighbors, and kind strangers who step up offering support when special needs arise. Bless them. (pause)

We pray for and with all who are entering the workforce, looking for work, shifting jobs, and retiring. Bless them. Bless all who labor. (pause) 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; spontaneous)

Gathering All Souls (pastor) 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: “Eat This Bread” Chalice #414 (sing 2xs; musician)

Distribute Elements (pass out juice cups and crackers)

Prayer of Consecration (pastor) Humble us, Beloved Christ, as we hold this juice and bread – gifts of the earth and the labor of others. Already filled with Your Presence, we now offer them for an additional anointing that they might be for us exactly what is needed to renew, heal, restore, and uplift us with Your saving love. Amen.

Sharing the Elements (pastor) Let us be woven into the past, present, and future as we receive these gifts from Jesus Christ.

Jesus took a common loaf into his hands. No doubt he thought of fields of wheat and the workers who plant, tend, and harvest essential grains, and the millers and bakers whose skills coax grain into becoming bread.

Jesus lifted up 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 dinner, Jesus held a cup of wine. No doubt Jesus thought of the vineyards and the workers who plant, tend, and harvest grapes, and the winemakers whose skills transform juice into wine.

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…

  • workers and those who are looking for work;
  • all who are afraid or weary who seek safety and compassion;
  • our neighbors with whom we hope to one day share this meal;

We are the fortunate recipients of these holy gifts. Let us receive them with deep gratitude. (all consume elements.)

Prayer of Thanksgiving (pastor; spontaneous)

We Transition

Announcements (pastor)

  • Next Sunday: Gathering of the Waters! Cultivating Peace Practice: BLESSINGS
  • Senior Center
  • Sycamore Bento Lunches

Sung Benediction: “Circle Me”by Simon de Voil (Pastor Kathryn; acapella chant)

Spoken Benediction (pastor)

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

(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.

(sb) Susan Beaumont, “Overwhelm: Not a Problem to be Solved.” 10/12/2021 article in PERSPECTIVES for Congregational Leaders, online publication.

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: August 30, 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”