Bethlehem House of Bread Advent Worship Series

Here is the final Advent series option I’ll be sharing for 2019, and I think I’m the most excited about this one. Probably because this is the one we are using at our church this year! I have always wanted to make the connection between Bethlehem (which means house of bread in Hebrew) and the Christ being the Bread of Life! So here we go!
We’ll be baking special rainbow bread for Advent 1 communion, baking bread in bread machines DURING worship for Advent 3, and sharing our favorite bread recipes as Christmas gifts to each other. As Oprah would say:
Image result for oprah i love bread gif

Click here to download the most delicious Advent worship series: House of Bread Advent Series

Below is the graphic we’ll be using for the series as well as the bulletin cover and another cool image I found in my research! If you plan to use this series let me know, I’d be happy to share the Calls to Worship I’ll be writing for each week.

Here is the 4-week Advent Bible study I wrote to accompany this series though it could stand on it’s own as well.

Coming soon will be some Advent Wreath lighting liturgies and more! Be sure to follow the blog so you don’t miss a post! Happy Planning!

Check out my other Advent resources here:
Hanging of the Greens Worship service
All Earth Is Waiting Advent Worship
Fear Not Advent Series
The Gift of Yes Advent Series
house of breadBethlehem-House-of-Bread-print-resized-1024x819bethlehem bakery

 

All Earth is Waiting Advent Worship Series

Another Advent worship series option! This one is based on Rev. Katie Z. Dawson’s Advent devotional, All Earth Is Waiting: Devotions for the SeasonIt was a wonderful devotional to use for small groups but didn’t require folks be reading along for me to preach on the themes. I loved being able to talk about Creation Care through the season of Advent. We went very woodsy and earthy with our decor. We used recycled materials to make tree ornaments and had animals throughout our displays. 

Click here to download: All Earth Is Waiting Advent Worship Plan
(file includes helpful links to supporting music & videos!)

This was the image we used for advertising and as our bulletin cover image.
Below find Calls to Worship for each Sunday!

Check my other Advent resources here:
Hanging of the Greens Worship service
Bethlehem House of Bread Advent Worship Series
Fear Not Advent Series
The Gift of Yes Advent Series

Copy of railsadventure.com

Call to Worship for Advent 1
by Roddy Hamilton

Across the universe creation waits
for the prophets to speak their words of expectation and renewal.
May we gather round them today once more
and let their longing grip us and lead us into birth and blessing.
So come now my friends, this is the meeting place
of promise and prophecy.
Let us listen through the ancient words
that we might be ready to hear a baby’s cry.

 

Call to Worship for Advent 2

A wild man emerges from the wilderness,
“Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!”
A young girl is visited by an angel with the ‘opportunity’ of a life-time,
“God pulls down the powerful and lifts up the lowly!”
The Prince of Peace comes
   disrupting the world in order to heal it. 
Disrupt our hearts again, God
that you would use us to bring the peace of your justice to our earth.

 

Call to Worship for Advent 3

The Good News was proclaimed by heavenly beings
to the shepherds and the sheep.
The Christ broke through to our world
surrounded by the animals of the stable. 
And all of creation rejoices
showing us the glory and splendor of God.

 

Call To Worship for Advent 4
by Roddy Hamilton

Gather round, we have a story to tell of a Giver who reached inside and took a handful of love like a pile of stardust and said: this is for you it is all you need it is all you will ever need there is enough here to change the whole world. Take it.
Many laughed at him, mocked him, and ignored the invitation
but some dared to take it and those who did noticed something about this love,
They found they could do what the gift-giver could do.
They could stand with the lost,
welcome the stranger
eat with the hungry.
   They found themselves doing what the Giver first did to them
giving something of themselves to others, they became like the Giver
offering themselves
and as they offered themselves others took the invitation
and many still do
and many still trust
it is enough to change the whole world.

Fear Not Advent Series

Here’s another sermon series option for Advent! This series looks at the 4 people angels appeared to and said, “Fear not!” This was a fun series for our church because we used lots of angels in our decor and I read a section of the book Probity Jones And The Fear Not Angel by Walter Wangerin to the kids every week for Children’s Time.

Click here to download the worship plan: Fear Not Advent Series Worship Plan
I also have previously posted Calls to Worship for this series which you can find here: Fear Not 1, Fear Not 3, Fear Not 4

Below is the graphic we used to advertise the series as well as my favorite visual image of The Annunciation! Enjoy and happy Advent planning!

Check my other Advent resources here:
Hanging of the Greens Worship service
Bethlehem House of Bread Advent Worship Series
All Earth Is Waiting Advent Series
The Gift of Yes Advent Series

God is with us      The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896

Theology of Mister Rogers Sermon Series

Mr Rogers cover

We had so much fun with our recent sermon series on the theology of Mister Rogers. We kicked it off with the documentary about Fred Rogers called Won’t You Be My Neighbor? We also included a special Sunday Prayer Walk where we had a shortened worship service and then went out to pray for the families in our neighborhood. We also brought out the puppets a la Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for children’s time each week. You can find my original puppet skits here:
Puppet Skit on Loving our Neighbors
Puppet Skit on Feelings
Puppet Skit on Losing
Puppet Skit on Love

Here’s the prayer for illumination I wrote for the series:
God of our global neighborhood, guide us in your Truth and teach us again the lessons we need to learn. Through your loving instruction, may we be good neighbors and follow in the Way of Christ. AMEN

You can download the series plan worship plan here: Theology of Mister Rogers Worship Plan

I hope you enjoy this really meaningful series. Happy Planning!

Holy Ghost Stories Sermon Series

holy ghost storiesLast year I heard about a pastor doing a long series on Holy Ghost stories in the bible. I loved the idea but wanted something shorter and more experiential. So, I developed a 4-week series on the ways we experience the Holy Spirit. It was a huge hit! I invited different people to share their own Holy Ghost stories during worship which really added to series. We did it as a summer series and tied it to telling ghost stories around the campfire, but it would also work great for an October series leading up to Halloween/All Saints.

Download the complete 4-week worship plan here: Holy Ghost Stories worship plan

Stay inspired! And happy planning!

Cross Fit Faith for Lent

Cross Fit Faith (1)

Health and fitness has become its own culture and much like the Church, these programs seek to help people tackle the challenges of personal growth and improvement. Any good plan will tell you it’s not a quick fix, it’s not a diet, but learning a new way of life that often means unlearning old habits and beliefs.
Lent is the perfect time to train in our faith. This series approaches the journey of spiritual growth like a health and fitness plan for the soul. Using the theme of ‘taking up our cross daily’ and following Jesus, we’ll be exploring daily practices for spiritual growth while balancing Christ’s call to bear our crosses with his promise that his ‘yoke is easy’ and his ‘burden is light’.
Download the entire 7-week worship plan here: Cross Fit Faith Lenten Worship Plan

To compliment this worship series, all of our Bible study groups will be reading Juan Huertas’ daily devotional, The Sanctuary for Lent 2019.
We’ll also be using SALT Project’s Family-Friendly Lenten Devotional, Breaking the Chains during our Family Faith Nights.

I will continue to post liturgies, prayers, Calls to Worship, and more related to this theme. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the resourcey goodness!

Happy Planning!

All in the Family sermon series

I developed this 7-week sermon series for our church to help us engage with what can often be some divisive topics. Many people in our churches likely fall into the category of all in the familypeople condemned in the Bible, myself included. We’re ‘All in the Family’ already. So how do we reconcile those condemning scriptures with the message and example of an all-loving Jesus? The first two weeks of this series lay the groundwork for the deeper discussions of tattoos, divorce, wealth, female clergy, and same-sex marriage.
If you’re looking for inspiration on tackling the tough issues in worship, download the worship plan here: All in the Family worship plan

We’ve decked our sanctuary with a chain of paper people and found a similar image for our bulletin cover. I’m planning on having us sing We Are Family at least once before the series is over! Bringing some fun into worship is always awesome but especially important for a series like this.

I’m very excited for the wonderful music we’ve found to support this series. Besides the hymns listed in the worship plan our choir will be singing the follow anthems:
Shed A Little Light by James Taylor for Week 1 – Can’t We All Just Get Along?
God Is Still Speaking by Marty Haugen for Week 2 – Where Do We Keep the Family Bible?
This Is Me from The Greatest Showman for Week 3 – The Tattooed
Establish the Work of Our Hands by Porter’s Gate for Week 4 – The Rich
Christ Has Broken Down the Wall by Mark Miller (W&S #3122) for Week 5 – The Divorced
A Place at the Table by Shirley Murray & Lori True (W&S ##3149) for Week 6 – Women Preachers
Draw the Circle Wide by Gordon Light & Mark Miller (W&S #3154) for Week 7 –  Same-Sex Marriage

I pray you find this inspirational. Happy planning!

The Gift of Yes – Advent series

As I was preparing for Advent, I was struck by the various characters in the Christmas story and how they all gave us a great gift by saying “yes” to God. God gave us all the greatest gift in becoming one of us. But just like an unopened gift, we have to say ‘yes’ and accept this great gift God gives. Our series this Advent will help us consider how we receive and give the gift of ‘yes’.

Download the series worship plan here: The Gift of Yes sermon series

Check my other Advent resources here:
Hanging of the Greens Worship service
Bethlehem House of Bread Advent Worship Series
Fear Not Advent Series
All Earth is Waiting Advent Series

Here’s the series graphic for sharing online:
Copy of Copy of the gift of yes
This will be our bulletin cover image:
the gift of yes (1)

Happy Advent and Happy planning!

Overwhelmed Sermon Series

Not sure what to preach on for the rest of the summer? Struggling to plan ahead? Drowning in the work of ministry? Feeling overwhelmed? Well, you’re in the right place.

I’m excited to share with you a new sermon series on feeling overwhelmed. I believe offering peace and rest is one of the great gifts The Church can provide for over-worked culture.

Download it here: Worship Plan for Overwhelmed seriesoverwhelmed ad

I’m using this series as a lead-up to the start of school and our ‘Back to Church Sunday’. It seems like a good time to offer words of comfort and hope for those of us who feel chronically overwhelmed. I will definitely be preaching to myself for these 5 weeks!

I will be sharing prayers and a Call to Worship for each week, so stay tuned for more!

I adapted this theme from Rev. Amy Probst at Mafair UMC in Kingsport TN.

I hope this will enrich your ministry! Blessings & Peace to you!

2017-2018 Worship Planner

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!

Church year