The Day of Pentecost will soon be here! This year at my church we’re celebrating Pentecost by having a birthday party for The Church! And since we’re having a party we’ve declared June 4th ‘bring a friend to church Sunday’!
I love that Pentecost falls on a Communion Sunday for us this year. Celebrating Holy Communion seems like the best way to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ’s Church. If you’re looking for a Communion liturgy for Pentecost (with modern language) I’ve got you covered: Pentecost 2017 Communion Liturgy
I’ve also included the Call to Worship we’re using below.
Enjoy celebrating the Spirit this Sunday!
The day of Pentecost has arrived!
And we are all gathered together in one place
ready to remember and celebrate the birthday of Christ’s Church
and to receive again the gift of the Holy Spirit!
God, bless us that we will truly be Your Church,
on fire with Your Holy Spirit!
And work through us in all we do as a church
that we might truly be a gift to the world.
Artwork by Veronica Dimae, “Pentecost,” 2010. (Australia)
I’m currently preaching a series on Robert Schnase’s book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. This week we’re on ‘Extravagant Generosity’ and I’m using 2 Corinthians 9:1-2, 5-11 as our scriptural focus.
Our God, Creator and Sustainer of all life
instructs us to give generously and cheerfully.
We come, giving the funds, time, and gifts God has given us
cheerfully and without hesitation or pressure,
Trusting that in our upside-down life of the Gospel,
our wealth is measured not by what we have but what we give away.
We give joyfully as an act of our faith trusting you great God,
to bless your church, your people, and your creation through our giving.
I’m currently preaching a series on Robert Schnase’s book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. This week we’re on ‘Radical Hospitality’ and I’m using Luke 15:11-32 as our scriptural focus.
God rejoices at our presence here today
and welcomes us home with a celebration.
We come from different places bringing different needs
and God’s love accepts and provides for us all.
God, help us extend your extravagant welcome
and share the gift of true Christian hospitality.
In my context as a United Methodist pastor, most new pastoral appointments begin July 1st every year. This means I end up thinking about my worship year running from July through June. It feels right to kind of go along with the school year, so in April or May, I start thinking and praying about what our church needs in worship for the year ahead. Each year I map out the dates and holidays for every Sunday and then I start breaking the year up into series chunks. I thought I’d share the blank plan for anyone wanting to plan your year of worship. Here it is: 2017-2018 Worship Planner
I highlighted first Sundays as we traditionally have communion those weeks. I also bold-ed any date that was a 5th Sunday since we try to do an alternative to a sermon on those dates.
For the first half of my preaching career I was a very happy lectionary preacher. But I was reading a lot about church revitalization and one of the big suggestions was to preach in series. Sermon series engage congregations and keep visitors coming back for more. I started out using lectionary texts to develop series and then I branched out to church-wide book studies. I was very excited to discover the new book, A Preacher’s Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series.
Now that I’ve been preaching in series I don’t think I’ll ever go back! Having a plan to visually see how our sermon series will flow through the year has been awesome. I like to have an ‘open’ week or 2 between series especially after major holidays like Christmas and Easter. Most of all planning ahead has been a blessing to my ministry. I haven’t thought, “Shoot! What am I preaching on this Sunday?!” in years! Plus with a plan like this our music director is able to find pieces that support the themes, making for a beautifully focused worship experience each week.
Happy planning and prayers for all those UM pastors making moves!
Two years ago I decided to do a sermon series using popular movies. I thought it would be a fun series to do during the summer. It worked well during that time when people were in and out of worship because it wasn’t a series where each week built off the one before but it still had a unifying theme. We watched the movies together at church on Wednesdays but I made sure to include enough information about the plot in my sermon so seeing the movie wasn’t a requirement. I would also show the trailer or a clip from the movie for the Children’s Time during worship.
I titled the series Summer at the Movies: Finding God on Film and the overarching theme was that God is everywhere and we can find spiritual Truths in seemingly secular places. We also used all secular songs for our special music during this series. As Rob Bell says, “Everything is spiritual.”
The series went over so well I’m now planning it for the third year in a row! Here are my worship plans for the first two years I did the series. Click on the links below to download. Have fun and enjoy! Summer at the Movies worship plans
God calls us to worship
to refresh us for the work of following Christ.
But only one weekly refreshing is not enough!
We need support.
We need accountability and encouragement
to remain connected to Christ the vine.
Connect us in our time of worship, God
and guide us to seek the support we need to continue to grow in you.