Creation Celebration Hymn Sing for the Sunday after Easter

Below is a simple, celebratory lessons and carols style worship service meant to help your congregation celebrate creation on the Sunday after Easter! It would also make a wonderful preview or kick-off for our six-week Creation care worship series and bible study, Holy Ground. We’d love to know if you use this service or the Holy Ground series and what other ways your church celebrates creation through the year!

Welcome & Announcements

Prepare:  Easter People, Raise Your Voices   UMH #304

The season of Easter continues! I can’t think of a better way to continue celebrating the resurrection of Christ than to celebrate God’s other great gift to us, our planet. Through the Earth, God has provides us with everything we need!
Kenneth McIntosh says in his book, Water from an Ancient Well: Celtic Spirituality for Modern Life, “There are countless ways to get involved in efforts to restore the environment. … Do all these as conscious acts of worship. Remind yourself you are tending to God, the very flesh of your Maker.” So our worship today will be a celebration of God’s Creation through a series of lessons and creation carols!

THE CALL adapted from Psalm 8 in The Message

God, brilliant Lord,

    yours is a household name.

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;

    toddlers shout the songs

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,

    your handmade sky-jewelry,

Moon and stars mounted in their settings.

    Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,

Why do you bother with us?

    Why take a second look our way?

Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,

    bright with Eden’s dawn light.

You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,

    repeated to us your Genesis-charge,

Made us stewards of sheep and cattle,

    even animals out in the wild,

Birds flying and fish swimming,

    whales singing in the ocean deeps.

God, brilliant Lord,

    your name echoes around the world.

SING: How Majestic Is Your Name   FWS #2023

PRAY: Creator of all, thank for giving us life. Thank you creating us as part of a planet that sustains our lives and for entrusting this sacred gift to our care. Help us in our various roles to be good stewards of all you’ve made. Unite us who dwell on the earth as your beloved creatures that we might share your gifts and mutually thrive. Open us to your wisdom not just here but in every bird song, dancing leaf, and flowing wave. May we see you everywhere we look and may we follow the ways of Jesus, living in communion with your Creation. AMEN

Scripture: Genesis 1:26-31 (CEB)

*SING: For the Beauty of the Earth   UMH #92 vs 1-4

Prayer over the offering

Scriptures: Romans 1:20-21 (CEB)  and  Job 12:7-10 (The Message)  

SING: All Creatures of Our God and King   UMH #62

Reading from Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, “until we can grieve for our planet we cannot love it—grieving is a sign of spiritual health. But it is not enough to weep for our lost landscapes; we have to put our hands in the earth to make ourselves whole again. Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.”

Sharing Joys & Concerns

Pastoral Prayer ending with the Lord’s Prayer

*SING: Let All Things Now Living   FWS #2008

Remember, all creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s children. (Romans 8:19) Let’s act like it! In all we do may we strengthen our care and connection with the earth.

*Benediction (Gaelic Blessing adapted)Deep peace of running wave to you. Deep peace of flowing air to you. Deep peace of quiet earth to you. Deep peace of shining stars to you. Deep peace of the Source of peace to you.

Deep peace of running wave to you. Deep peace of flowing air to you. Deep peace of quiet earth to you. Deep peace of shining stars to you. Deep peace of the Source of peace to you.

UMH = United Methodist Hymnal

FWS = The Faith We Sing hymnal


Earth Day/Any Day Activities

I am so excited for our church’s first annual Earth Day Par-Tay this Sunday! We’ll be using these five super easy and inexpensive activities to help us connect with and celebrate nature. Use these with your Sunday school class, scout troop, or get your whole congregation outside for some Earth Day fun any day! These activities are flexible, multi-generational, and best of all inexpensive!

Fill out this quick form and you’ll get the link to download ‘5 Inexpensive Earth Day Activities‘!

And if you want to help your congregation go deeper in their commitment to Creation Care you’re definitely going to want to download Holy Ground, a 6-week worship series and bible study!

Holy Ground: 6-Week Creation Care Worship Series & Bible Study

When Moses met YHWH in the burning bush, the Creator told him to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. What if I told you that can be said of each of us at this very moment? Every inch of our earth is sacred and every form of life carries the traces of the One who formed everything we know out of the chaos. Celebrating the incredible gift of Creation is just the first step of living into the Genesis-charge to tend the earth and be good stewards of all God has made.

Holy Ground is a six-week series meant to connect us more deeply to creation and lead us to actively claiming our call to be caretakers of the earth. This series can be used during any liturgical season but would align beautifully with the Sunday nearest Earth Day, St. Francis’ Feast Day, World Communion Sunday, or any special Sunday your community traditionally meets outdoors. This year, Earth Day Sunday is the Sunday after Easter which makes this a perfect series for Eastertide. Week one starts off celebrating the gift of Creation and is an easily lay-led Sunday.

When you purchase the Holy Ground worship series, you’re also supporting the work of Church in the Wild, a new spiritual community dedicated to connecting with and caring for Creation. Every dollar we raise through the sale of Holy Ground goes directly to the mission and ministry of our new church start.

What’s Included?
In addition to the resources listed above the liturgy includes a Unison Prayer/Prayer for Illumination, a Prayer of Dedication over the Offering, a Benediction, a special sung Communion liturgy, and responsive Calls to Worship for each Sunday. This package is also loaded with links to additional resources and information for sermons or bible studies.

Speaking of bible study, we’ve got that covered too. The sweet and simple six-week bible study accompanies this worship series to help participants go deeper on each week’s topic. The bible study is designed to be no-prep for the leader or participants! Simply read the scriptures together and discuss the provided questions. There a bonus video suggestion for each week but it’s not required to show a video to do this study.

Lastly, in the complete bundle you’ll receive beautiful graphics to use on social media, bulletin covers, or on screens during worship.

Series Overview

Week 1 – Holy Gift: God Creates, We Steward
Psalm 8 The Message: All of Creation glorifies God
Genesis 1:26-31 CEB: God creates humanity and puts us in charge of caring for the world

Week 2 – Holy Ground: Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary
Isaiah 52:6-7 CEB: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of a messenger”
Exodus 3:1-6 CEB: Moses encounters God in the burning bush

Week 3 – Holy Water: How We Relate to Creation is How We Relate to the Creator
Proverbs 8:1-3, 22-31 The Message: Lady Wisdom’s account of creation
Mark 1:4-12 The Message: Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River

Week 4 – Holy Creatures: Loving Our Wild Neighbors
Romans 1:20-21 CEB: God’s nature can be clearly seen through Creation
Job 12:7-10 The Message: Job’s instructions to listen to the animals to learn about God
Luke 10:25-29 CEB: Jesus tells us to love our neighbors

Week 5 – Holy Order: Every Species has a Sacred Role
Romans 12:4-6 The Message: We’re all parts of the Body of Christ
Matthew 6:27-34 CEB: Jesus’ teachings on worry and our basic needs

Week 6 – Holy Responsibility: Claiming Our Call to Tend the Earth
Isaiah 24:4-6 CEB: Isaiah’s warning for the destruction of the Earth
Romans 8:12-19 CEB: Paul’s reminder that all of Creation is depending on us
John 6:3-13 CEB: Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000+

As you can see, this package is meant to be accessible for churches of all sizes and styles. It’s been created by pastors currently in ministry with a deep passion for the Church and our call to tend the earth. We hope this resource will be a blessing to your ministry and help your congregation continue to be a blessing to the world!  

We’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions or feedback don’t hesitate to contact us at

Grace Upon Grace Advent Package

Long time, no post! Last year, I mentioned on the Get Lit Facebook page that I was busy working on a new project. We just celebrated one year since Church in the Wild went public. As a new spiritual community, we’re working to fund our ministries as well as provide things people need. With that in mind, I’m offering my first full-package worship plan for a $30 donation to Church in the Wild.

Need some inspiration this year as Advent approaches? Think that most of the big-box worship plans aren’t suited to your congregation or are too complicated?

Grace Upon Grace keeps it simple, with tools you’ll actually use and easy customization options.

The Gospel of John begins with a beautiful perspective on Creation and the most poetic version of Jesus’ birth. The poem concludes with a line that sums up the extravagant gifting we receive from God at Christmas: From Christ’s fullness we have all received grace upon grace. (John 1:16)

When you purchase the Grace Upon Grace Advent Worship Plan you’ll get a 5-week plan for the four weeks of Advent and Christmas Eve, that includes Scripture, 3 Hymns, Sermon Starter, Call to Worship, Advent Candle Liturgies, Questions to ponder and “Homework” for each week, a Unison Prayer and Benediction, 2 Promotional Videos, and Customizable Graphics to use for bulletins/social media.

Easter Sunrise Worship/Egg Hunt!

I hope I’m not the only one behind this year! I thought having finalized my plan for our an outdoor, socially distanced, no-singing, no-sermon(!) Easter Sunrise service others might still need some inspiration for a similar type service. All of my past sunrise services have included singing so without that option this year I wanted to still do something special. It involves a little prep work but nothing too hard! I decided, why not have an egg hunt even for the grown up! So you’ll need at least 8 plastic eggs, some candy if you choose, a printer, and scissors. In the worship plan you’ll see the first two pages are the very informal outline/script. The second two pages have the rest of the Luke 24 split into small readings and number. That’s what you’ll print and cut and put in the eggs along with candy if you choose. I also did some eggs with just candy. So after reading the first part of Luke’s Easter story I’ll instruct everyone to pick up and egg (or 2 depending on how many people come) and then anyone who has a paper in their egg will continue reading the Easter story in order. I’m hoping it will add some fun, interactive-ness so we don’t even notice there’s no singing!

Here’s the worship service and readings to download:

I hope this helps with your last minute preparations! Have a wonderful Easter and a blessed Sabbath rest thereafter!

O Zoom, All Ye Faithful: An Online Christmas Pageant

Here is my offering of a fun resource for churches as we all strive to do ministry in new ways. I’ve been attending all kinds of (free!) webinars from Practical Resources for Churches and got the idea to do a Zoom Christmas Pageant. They shared this great resource from Building Faith with all the how-to and practical suggestions for pulling it off. What I was struggling to find was a script that seemed like it would work for Zoom. So I decided to write one specially made for the platform! One of the great Zoom features we can utilize is their halo filter that places a halo over your head that moves with you! With that in mind, I wrote O Zoom, All Ye Faithful, a Christmas pageant that imagines a meeting of angels planning the birth of Jesus. Download the PDF script here:

You can find the halo filter by hovering over the bottom of your Zoom screen, hovering over the Stop Video button, clicking the small Up arrow, and selecting Choose Video Filter.
This is also the place to set your Virtual Background. You can upload any image to use as a background so I recommend finding some heavenly looking backgrounds and send them to your cast for them to use as their backgrounds.

If you plan on using this script I’d love to know! Comment or send me a message so I can check it out once you record it!

I hope we all can enjoy a different kind of Advent and Christmas this year. I’ll continue to share more useful resources so be sure to subscribe and follow Get Lit Worship Resources on Facebook!
Happy Planning!

Our New Normal online worship series

Well I’m back from parental leave and joining the rest of the church world as we figure out how to continue being a community of faith when we can’t physically be together. As the whole world continues to adjust to our new normal I thought I’d center our online worship around that theme for the month of August. Each week we’ll be considering a different thing we are all working to grow accustomed to.
Check out the complete worship plan here: Our New Normal worship plan

I’ve shortened and adapted our worship to be better suited for online. We have fewer songs but we have the opportunity to begin each service with a ‘Welcome Chat Question’ that people can respond to in the comments of the video. It’s been a great way to keep connected and increase engagement. We pre-record our worship service and publish it as a premiere video on both Facebook and Youtube on Sundays at 10am and then we do a live “coffee hour chat” on Facebook at 11am.

Below are some of the graphics we’ll be using for this series.
May God’s strength, peace, and healing be with us all and unite us across the miles.
Stay safe and happy planning!

Our New Normal 2

99247282_10158030432848726_3105007543915642880_o    75521737_10100984090412274_752106093954442523_n

Burying the Alleluia for Lent

alleluiaIn many liturgical traditions the word ‘alleluia’ is purposefully left out of all liturgies and songs used during the season of Lent as a way to honor the solemness of the season. Only then to ring out the Good News on Easter proclaiming, “Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!”

To recognize this tradition many churches have the practice of symbolically burying the alleluia at the start of Lent. We’ve never practiced this tradition at our church before but since we’re spending the season of Lent Growing our Faith in God’s Garden, I thought it would be fun to introduce this practice to our congregation.

Usually, the tradition looks like bringing in a large sign or banner with the word alleluia written on it, explaining that we won’t be using the word again in church until Easter, and then symbolically placing it in a box or even inside the baptismal fount. (This usually happens as the children’s time.) On Easter the paper or banner is brought out of its hiding place and displayed or waved around during worship. I’ve even heard of some churches having lots of little alleluia flags to give to people to wave whenever they hear or say the word during Easter worship. seed paper

I’ve decided, to go along with our theme of growing and plants, we are literally going to bury some alleluias in dirt! I found this seed paper I will write the word alleluia on and then I’ll have the kids bury it in a see-through container during children’s time. But I’m not going to tell them it’s seed paper! So “miraculously” our alleluias will begin to sprout, roots will grow, and by Easter our written alleluias will have grown into nature’s alleluias: flowers! I’m hoping this will also give us a nice, progressing visual for each week of our Growing Faith Lent Series.
Update: the seed paper instructions state you need to soak it over night, so I did a test. I wrote Alleluia on half a sheet and soaked it over night. It has held together and the word Alleluia is still visible. My plan is to soak several sheets over night and take them to church in a ziploc bag so they stay moist. The instructions also say to tear them up before planting so that’s what I will have the kids do during children’s time. You could also have them bury a dry sheet and then dig it back up after church, soak it, tear it, and re-bury/plant it without them knowing!

I will keep posting ideas and resources to support this series so be sure to follow the blog and Get Lit Worship Resources on Facebook so you don’t miss a post!

You can find lots of other resources for Lent throughout the blog.

Happy planning! (And happy planting!)


Growing Faith Lent Series

Growing Faith

I’m excited for our sermon series this year for Lent! We’ll be spending the season Growing our Faith by encouraging the same level of care we give to our gardens to be given to our faith as well. We’ll be using a song from The Porter’s Gate Worship Project called We Abide We Abide in You to compliment this theme. I will continue to share communion liturgies and other resources that support this series so be sure you’re following the blog and Get Lit Worship Resources on Facebook so you don’t miss a post!

Download the worship plan pdf here: Growing Faith Worship Plan

This is the perfect series to start with Burying the Alleluia on the first Sunday, but that tradition can be incorporated into any series you might be doing!
I’ll also be utilizing the Palm Sunday Responsive Reading I shared a few years ago in place of a sermon on Palm Sunday.

You can find lots of other resources for Lent throughout the blog.

Happy almost Lent and happy planning!

Christmas Sunday & Epiphany Resources

Many of us are still in the thick of Advent 4 and Christmas Eve preparations so I’d like to share some resources and inspiration that might make your life easier and allow you to have some rest post Christmas.

Cookies & Carols Worship Sunday, Dec. 29 at 10am

For Christmas Sunday, we traditionally hold a Christmas carol hymn sing. This year we’re calling it Cookies & Carols and encouraging relaxed attire (PJs even!). We’ll be worshiping in our social hall so we can enjoy our cookies, cocoa, and coffee while we sing. It will be a standard worship service for us with a hymn sing in place of the sermon. But I up the ante a little and ask everyone to answer a question as they make their hymn request. This year’s question will be: What is the best gift you received this year, for Christmas or at any point through the year? 
We’ll start the service with Joy to the World, read Luke 2:25-38, sing Spirit-Child Jesus from Worship & Song #3062, and close with Go, Tell It on the Mountain in the United Methodist Hymnal #251. It’s a wonderful, relaxed service that doesn’t require a sermon! (yay!)

For Epiphany this year, I’m tying in the new year/new decade to think about what unexpected places God is leading us, just as the magi were led to return home by a different route. We’ll be using the traditional magi scripture Matthew 2:1-12. Our music director made the discovery that the song Shine (Heaven Let Your Light Shine Down) by Collective Soul is actually the perfect Epiphany song! We’ll be singing it as a praise song. I also came across this perfect Epiphany poem just today:
Those Hours by Joyce Sutphen

There were moments, hours even,
when it was clear what I

was meant to do, as if
a landscape had revealed itself

in the morning light.
I could see the road

plainly now, imagining myself
walking towards the distant mountains

like a pilgrim in the old stories—
ready to take on any danger,

hapless but always hopeful,
certain that my simple belief

in the light
would be enough.

star wordsIt’s become tradition at my church that on Epiphany everyone receives a Star Word (a word to guide your year written on a star shaped paper). It’s been really fun to see what words people get, how it plays a role in their year, and how it might guide them. I give them to the kids first during children’s time and then have the kids pass them out during the first hymn. We pray over them and then just choose them at random. I encourage everyone to take it home and put it somewhere they’ll see it every day. Follow these links for a list of suggested words and more information about Star Words.

Finally, here is a Call to Worship I adapted and used for Epiphany last year (updated for 2020):
Call to Worship (adapted from Rev. Andy Bryan)

God, we come to worship in this new year hoping it will be better.
Guide our thinking and doing and help us remember:
2019 will be kinder,
if I am kinder.
2019 will be more compassionate,
if I show more compassion.
2019 will be less anxious,
if I offer more grace.
2019 will be more just,
if I advocate for more justice.
2019 will be less contentious,
if I speak more gently.
2019 will be less violent,
if I more actively work for peace.
2019 will be more loving,
 if I demonstrate love more freely.
Guide us by your Light,
that we may bring your Light to the world.

I know there are lots of great Christmas & Epiphany resources out there so feel free to share your favorites as well! Hopefully in our sharing we can help make worship planning easier for us all during this busy time of year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Planning!