Real Life Faith series for Lent

real life faith2Faith is not a picture perfect endeavor. People that strive to follow Jesus don’t always get it right. A lot of time we’re just as a mess as anyone else. Thankfully, God gives us a fresh start every day. Every hour is a clean slate!

This year, for the 6 weeks of Lent we’ll be getting real about our faith at my church.  The inspiration for this series came from the music of Godspell. That’s why on the series outline you’ll see a Godspell anthem that connects with the theme however, that is a totally optional part of this series. I’ll be posting a bulletin cover, unison prayer, and calls to worship in the weeks ahead so stay tuned for more lenten resourcey goodness.

Download the series outline here: Real Life Faith Sermon series

Happy planning!

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New Series on Friendship (& Invitational Discipleship)

As United Methodists, our mission is to “Make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world.” While that sounds great, few of us know how or feel equipped to ‘make a disciple’. If we really want to help people find a relationship with our Creator then what we can do first is be their friend! So we’re re-framing our mission and breaking it down into 4 parts for this month-long series: Make a friend; Be a friend; Bring a friend; Support a friend.

Download the series outline here: Invitational Discipleship Series

Happy planning and happy friending!

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C2W for Overwhelmed by the World

Here is the Call to Worship I wrote for the last week of our Overwhelmed Sermon Series. This week’s focus is on being overwhelmed by the world and our scriptures are John 3:16-17 & 16:33.

The Call
God calls us to worship
   and we come with images of fires and floods in our minds,
with hurting and worry in our hearts,
   overwhelmed by all the bad news.
God calls us to worship to remind us goodness and life will always win
   and God has already conquered this world.
God calls us to worship to revive us
   for being agents of peace and justice in all places.
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C2W for Overwhelmed by Clutter

Here is the Call to Worship I wrote for the fourth week of our Overwhelmed Sermon Series. This week’s focus is on being overwhelmed by clutter and our scriptures are Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 3:14-19.
The Call
God calls to us from beyond our cluttered thoughts
   to a quiet place away from our cluttered lives.
God calls just for us,
   we don’t need any of our stuff.
God calls us to calm our overwhelm and guide us step by step
to create peaceful order in our world.
god is bigger than mess

C2W for Overwhelmed by Busyness

Here is the Call to Worship I wrote for the third week of our Overwhelmed Sermon Series. This week’s focus is on being overwhelmed by busyness and our scripture is Luke 10:38-42, the story of Mary and Martha.

The Call
We come today, busy
   with full schedules and furrowed brows.
We come here to worship
   in between the family gatherings and errands
this is just one thing on our list for today.
   Slow us down God.
Remind us that for now, only one thing is needed
   to be still in your presence.
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Backpack Blessing

As August draws to a close, we’re preparing for fall and the start of a new school year! I’m excited to be including a backpack blessing in our worship service this year. Either the Sunday before or after the schools in your area start back up, invite students, teachers, and educators of all kinds to bring their bag to church to receive a blessing. We even made buttons for everyone’s bags that say “You are loved!” I’m planning to do this for our Children’s Time that Sunday.

Here’s the responsive liturgy and prayer we’ll be using to bless our backpacks this year:

One: As we begin this new school year, we give thanks that God has given us all the ability to learn many things in many ways.
  Adults: We learn in school, and also in church, in our family,
 in our community, and in the world.
     Kids: Learning is a gift from God.
One: We ask God’s blessing on this new school year, that it may be a time when we appreciate and fully engage God’s gift of learning.
 Adults: We ask God to bless our schools and teachers.
   Kids: We ask God to bless our classmates and friends.
 Adults: We ask God to bless our principals, counselors, and librarians.
One: We ask God to bless those who prepare our lunches, those who drive us to school, and those who keep our schools clean and safe.
Adults: We give thanks to God for books and computers and all the tools that help
us learn.
   Kids: We give thanks to God for the gift of learning!

One: Let us pray.. Loving God, sometimes a new school year seems exciting or scary or both. Sometimes school is great, and sometimes it’s hard. But we know that whether we are excited or scared, you are with us. We know that whether school is great or hard, you are with us. Thank you for always being with us. Help us remember we are loved no matter what. Help us do our best and help us show others your love in all we say and do each day. AMEN

Here’s the invite we’ve been sharing in our community. This one has space for you to add in the date and time of your backpack blessing. And don’t forget to put your church name, address, and website along the bottom!

Backpack Blessing Invitation

Bible Verses for When You’re Worried

This Sunday we’re talking about worry. There’s a lot we could worry about in our lives but the Bible is full of messages to not worry or be afraid. I thought I’d provide our congregation with a list of just 144 of those verses, so any time we’re feeling worried we can go down the list and be reminded that God has been telling us not to worry for thousands of years. Click here to download the full printable list: when you’re worried bible verses

Happy Planning!

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