What We’re Singing: Palm and Passion Sunday

MARCH 29, 2015
What we’re singing at First Baptist Church of Berkeley this Sunday
Palm and Passion Sunday – “Lifting Up Our Souls”

The service begins with Psalm 118 as a Prayer of Invocation, including the sung response: “Hail and Hosanna! Blest is he who comes in God’s own name to make our world God’s home!” (words: James Hart Brumm; music: Alfred Fedak)

Scripture Reading: John 12:12–15 (“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord the King of Israel!”)

Contemporary Reading, by Howard Thurman:

For more than two years, Jesus had been engaged in a public ministry. So sensitive had grown his spirit and the living quality of his being that he seemed more and more to stand inside of life, looking out upon it as a man who gazes from a window in a room out into the yard and beyond to the distant hills. He could feel the sparrowness of the sparrow, the leprosy of the leper, the blindness of the blind, the crippleness of the cripple, and the frenzy of the mad. He had become joy, sorrow, hope, anguish, to the joyful, the sorrowful, the hopeful, the anguished. Could he feel his way into the mind and the mood of those who cast the palms and the flowers in his path? I wonder what was at work in the mind of Jesus of Nazareth as he jogged along on the back of a faithful donkey.

Hymn: “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates”
(words: Georg Weissel, 1642; tune: truro, Thomas Williams, 1789)

Stanza 1:
Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates, behold the King of glory waits,
The King of Kings is drawing near; the Savior of the world is here!

Following the Prayer of Confession, we sing these Words of Assurance:

Come and fill our hearts with your peace.
You alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your peace, alleluia!
(Taíze chant)

Scripture Reading: Mark 14:10–15 (“His disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?”)

Chant: “Eat This Bread”
Eat this bread, drink this cup, come to me and never be hungry.
Eat this bread, drink this cup, trust in me and you will not thirst.
(Taíze chant)

[We move to a table at the back of the worship space, to sit down and share communion.]

Scripture Reading: Mark 14:16–25 (“While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”)

Sharing the Bread and Cup

Scripture Reading: Mark 14:32–42 (“They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’”)

Sharing our Prayers, our praise and laments

Call to Prayer: “Love Lifted Me” (James Rowe, 1912)
Love lifted me, love lifted me, when nothing else would help, love lifted me!

Time of Offering and Hymn of Dedication: “What Wondrous Love Is This” (Words: American folk hymn; tune: wondrous love, Walker’s Southern Harmony, 1835)

Gospel Reading, Mark 15:53–64 (“Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none.”)

Solo: “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”
(words: attributed to Bernard of Clairveaux, 1091–1153; tune: salley gardens, Irish folk melody, arr. Benjamin Britten)

O sacred head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded with thorns, your only crown:
how pale you are with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that image languish which once was bright as morn!

What language shall I borrow to thank you, dearest Friend,
for this your dying sorrow, your pity without end?
O make me yours forever; and though my days be few,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for you.

Time of Silence

Blessing for the Holy Week Journey: Philippians 2:5–11 (“And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the 8point of death even death on a cross.”)

Hymn of Praise: “Lift High the Cross”
(words: George William Kitchen (1827–1912); tune crucifer, Sidney Hugo Nicholson, 1916)

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.

FBC Berkeley worships at 10:00 am every Sunday in Crouch Classroom, Hobart Hall, on the ABSW campus. Rev. Dr. Nancy E. Hall (ABSW faculty) is the pastor. Our preacher this Sunday is Pastor Hall. Come sing with us! We are a Welcoming and Affirming congregation for the LGBTQ community.

Crucify him! Crucify him!

This is a powerful post by Paul Raushenbush on Anti-Semitism and Palm Sunday.

Ignorant or willful misunderstanding of the death of Jesus has led to horrible oppression of Jewish people over the last two thousand years. Christians celebrating Easter should remember that Good Friday was a day when Christians went on rampages against Jews often leading to their deaths. If you need any proof there is a fun lemonade drink popular in Spain around Easter called “Matar Judios” or “Kill Jews.”

Read the rest here.

What We’re Singing: Fifth Sunday of Lent

MARCH 22, 2015
What we’re singing at First Baptist Church of Berkeley this Sunday
Fifth Sunday in the Season of Lent (theme for Lent: “Lifting Up Our Souls”)

 Opening Hymn: “How Deep the Silence of the Soul”
(words: Sylvia Dunstan, 1989; tune: resignation, traditional American tune)

Stanza 2:

Like unseen chimes on moving air, like warm and morning sun,
like gladd‘ning, greening, growing things, like trees with blooms begun.
Such is your presence in our lives, you touch without a trace,
until we turn and find ourselves held fast in your embrace.

Following the Prayer of invocation and Confession, we sing these Words of Assurance (to a theme by Antonin DvoÍák):

Kyrie, kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy)

Psalm of the Day: No. 51 (selected verses) with sung response (Kyrie, kyrie, eleison)

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 31:31–34 (“I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.”)

Contemporary Reading from A Tree Full of Angels – Seeing The Holy in the Ordinary, by Marcina Wiederkehr

At birth, the eye of God beholds us as we really are, frail and glorious. The eye of God beholds so much more than we are able to see in our lives at any moment. Always our good and potential loom large under God’s gaze. Why, then, is it so hidden from our sight? It is time for us to embrace this frail flesh of ours with love. If we want to be disciples, we must claim and cherish our humanness; for what was good enough for God to embrace should be good enough for us.

Gospel Reading, John 12:20–33 (“Anyone who serves me must follow my path; anyone who serves me will want to be where I am, and that one will be honored by the Father.”)

Hymn: “Let Us Go and Walk with Christ”

(words: Herman G. Stuempfle, 1997; tune: song 13, Orlando Gibbons, 1623)

Stanzas 1 and 2:

Let us go and walk with Christ, by his grace forgiven, freed;
follow him with steadfast step where his Word and will may lead.

Let us go and serve with Christ where he walks among the poor,
reaching out as Christ’s own hands, hearts to heal and hope restore.

Hymn in response to the preached message: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

(words: Isaac Watts, 1707; tune: hamburg, Lowell Mason, 1825)

Stanza 3:

See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Hymn of Dedication: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Stanza 4:

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

Hymn for the Lenten Journey: “Go Walk with God in All You Do”
(words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2004; tune tallis canon, Thomas Tallis, c. 1567)

Go walk with God in all you do, and may God’s love bring joy to you.
May gifts of peace fill all your days, and may God’s truth guide you always.

FBC Berkeley worships at 10:00 am every Sunday in Crouch Classroom, Hobart Hall, on the ABSW campus. Rev. Dr. Nancy E. Hall (ABSW faculty) is the pastor. Our preacher this Sunday is Minister Sharon Allen, FBCB Administrative Associate. Come sing with us! We are a Welcoming and Affirming congregation for the LGBTQ community.

Homeless Jesus statue admired by Pope Francis

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ABSW:

“If you go to Rome and go to all the beautiful cathedrals, you will not see a representation (of Jesus) that shows him so close to the marginalized people,” he said. “I’d say it’s one of the most important messages of the Gospels.”

Originally posted on Metro News:

For two years, it was the sculpture nobody would take: a life-sized Jesus sleeping on a park bench with his bare feet, wounded from his crucifixion, poking out from under a blanket.

But now Jesus the Homeless and its Canadian sculptor have a new fan in the Vatican: Pope Francis.

Timothy Schmalz brought the original wooden model of his sculpture to St. Peter’s Square last Wednesday to present to the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. After his weekly general audience, the Pope prayed over the statue and blessed it, Schmalz said.

“It is very, very amazing for a sculptor to have that,” he said. “After, the Vatican officials introduced me to Pope Francis and he said he thought Jesus the Homeless was a beautiful sculpture. So needless to say, I’m very excited about that.”

The model is going to stay in one of the Vatican houses, he said, and…

View original 469 more words

What We’re Singing: Fourth Sunday of Lent

What we’re singing at First Baptist Church of Berkeley this Sunday
Fourth Sunday in the Season of Lent (theme for Lent: “Lifting Up Our Souls”)

 Opening Hymn: “How Deep the Silence of the Soul”
(words: Sylvia Dunstan, 1989; tune: resignation, traditional American tune)

How deep the silence of the soul that lives within your grace.
How full the gratitude of heart in your abiding place.
What rich serenity is found, what courage and release
when wisdom teaches us to seek the gentle path to peace.

Following the Prayer of invocation and Confession, we sing these Words of Assurance (Taíze chant):

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful, in the Lord I will rejoice.
Look to God, do not be afraid, lift up your voices – the Lord is near.

Psalm of the Day: No. 107 (selected verses)

Sung Response: “Give Thanks unto Our Gracious Lord” (stanza 1)
(words: The Scottish Psalter, 1929; tune: ellacombe)

Give thanks unto our gracious God, who loves us faithfully,
whose tender mercy shall endure through all eternity.
Let God’s redeemed proclaim these words and give God thanks and praise,
who rescued them from danger’s hands, preserved them all their days.

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Numbers 21:4–9 (“Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?”)

Sung Response: “Give Thanks unto Our Gracious Lord” (stanza 2)

God gathered them from distant lands, from north, south, east, and west.
They strayed in desert pathless ways, no city found to rest.
Their weary souls within them faint when thirst and hunger press;
in trouble, then, they cried to God; who saved them from distress.

Gospel text, John 3:14–21 (“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”)

Sung Response: “Give Thanks unto Our Gracious Lord” (stanza 3)

God made the way before us straight, and God became our guide,
that we would find a lasting home, and there we might abide.
Let all the children of our God sing praises for this grace,
and for the works of wonder done in every time and place!

Hymn in response to the preached message: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”(words: Isaac Watts, 1707; tune: hamburg, Lowell Mason, 1825)

Stanza 3:

See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Hymn of Dedication: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Stanza 4:

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

Hymn for the Lenten Journey: “Go Walk with God in All You Do”
(words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2004; tune tallis canon, Thomas Tallis, c. 1567)

Go walk with God in all you do, and may God’s love bring joy to you.
May gifts of peace fill all your days, and may God’s truth guide you always.

FBC Berkeley worships at 10:00 am every Sunday in Crouch Classroom, Hobart Hall, on the ABSW campus. Rev. Dr. Nancy E. Hall (ABSW faculty) is the pastor. Our preacher this Sunday is Dr. Norman Gottwald. Come sing with us! We are a Welcoming and Affirming congregation for the LGBTQ community (www.fbcberkeley.org).