2017 National Gathering Closing Worship Liturgy

A video recording of the worship service that closed our 2017 National Gathering will be made available soon!

In the meantime, here’s the liturgy from the service. We hope it provides inspiration for you in your own setting.

2017 National Gathering Opening Worship Liturgy

A video recording of the worship service that opened our 2017 National Gathering will be made available soon!

In the meantime, here’s the liturgy from the service. We hope it provides inspiration for you in your own setting.

2017 National Gathering Closing Worship Confession

During the closing worship service of the 2017 National Gathering, Slats Toole read a powerful prayer of confession about humanity’s tendency to build up walls. We asked God to knock those walls down. The guiding scripture for the entire National Gathering was John 4:1-42; the scripture passage for this service was John 4:19-26. The prayer itself was written by Shelli Latham. Here is the text of the prayer for your own use.

A Lenten Book List

This book list was compiled during our Lent/Easter planning Church Leader’s Roundtable on January 10, 2017. We hope you will find these resources to be fruitful for prayers, liturgy, sermon inspiration and more.

A Pilgrim People: Learning Through the Church Year — John H. Westerhoff

Stages on the Way — Wild Goose Worship Group

The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent — Pamela Hawkins

God is on the Cross — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Forgiveness: A Lenten Study — Majorie J. Thompson

Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World — Brian D. McLaren

Christ on Trial: How the Gospel Unsettles our Judgment — Rowan Williams

Lectionary Liturgy — Thom Shuman (there are several options based on the Revised Common Lectionary Year)

Immortal Diamond: The Search for our True Self — Richard Rohr

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life — Richard Rohr

Holy Ground: Thinking About the Spaces We Worship In

At the 2016 National Gathering, Jess Fisher led a workshop called “Holy Ground: Thinking About the Spaces We Worship In.” Below you will find the description of her workshop and a PDF of the slides she used.

The places where we worship affect our bodies, minds, and hearts, yet we often neglect to think through the space’s impact on us and miss looking for new ways to engage it. Come hear about how two churches engaged their sanctuary space during lent, incorporating the visual arts and movement into their worship. Then, create a map of your worship space to start thinking about how you can engage it to deepen worship.

Lament Service Prayers of the People

This prayer was used during the 2016 National Gathering at the Monday afternoon lament service.

God of breath and life,

who tiptoes through graveyard valleys

and sees possibility in skeletons, hear our prayer.

 

We are skeletons of our former selves, ancient and aching.

Can these bones live? O God, you know.

You better know ‘cause we sure don’t.

And we long to hear the whisper of your calling

to inhale your promises in our deflated lungs.

 

Fill us with hope, God who is our breath . . . our life . . . our past . . . our future.

We’re beyond bandaids.

 

So . . . Bind these bones together. Grant us healing. Make us whole.

 

Refrain

 

We are deflated, O God,

cut off, dried up,

haunted by days gone by and fearful of the unknown ahead.

 

We are deflated by

“for sale” signs on sanctuaries,

the hospice days of Sunday School,

by our cultural abandonment of the Lord’s Day – your day – as sacred,

by the constant ache of “not enough”

not enough money, not enough millenials,

not hip enough or relevant enough or traditional enough.

 

We are deflated by memories of our former selves,

the tedium of website management, the necessity of branding.

 

We’ve had the wind knocked out of us

by the loss of cherished Saints

and sister churches to dissolution or dismissal,

and members who fear the tension of the unknown

and the hard work of discerning our future,

by gazing at budgets like crystal balls.

 

We need a breath transfusion.

Bind these bones together. Grant us healing. Make us whole.

 

Refrain

 

God, who tiptoes through the valleys,

you have seen the carnage,

the many crumbling and dried out on the desert floor.

And we can’t deny,

it’s not just the world’s fault, or culture’s fault, or bad luck.

Our dried-up selves are often of our own making.

 

God of baptism,

of encounters beside wells in the heat of the day,

of creation born of watery mess,

heal us of our complicity in our drying out,

for the times we’ve worried more about self-preservation

than gospel proclamation,

for the days we’ve been chained to “used to”

afraid to loosen the grasp of how we used to look, used to be, used to do

for chasing trends – forgetting how to be in the world but not of the world.

 

Heal us of our complicity in our drying out

for preoccupation with who is on your naughty list,

for racism, sexism classism, and all matters of that-person-doesn’t-look-like-me-ism;

for not speaking up when the world bears down on the vulnerable,

for tiptoeing around the hard conversation,

for money mismanagement and disputes over what’s your, mine and ours,

for not being able to see the lives touched, the moments transformed, the hope infused                                 because our barometer needs readjustment

and our eyes are trained on those headed for the door.

 

May we die to all that makes your church a place of fear,

misplaced power,

and jadedness.

And then dust us off, O God.

Like the cool trickle of baptismal hope,

may your breath infuse us with renewed hope that these old bones may live anew.

 

God, who tiptoes through the valleys . . .

Bind these bones together. Grant us healing. Make us whole.

 

Refrain

 

God, who sees possibility in the graveyard,

it seems dramatic to say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost;

we are cut off completely.”

And yet . . . we are . . . some are

hope-deficient and lost and alone.

 

And so we pray for pastors and church leaders

who feel the pressure to prophesy without the words for their mouths,

for clergy who’s well of energy and enthusiasm and imagination and love

has long run dry,

for the strain of ministry on health and relationships,

for church leaders who have crossed the line and churches picking up the pieces,

for those balancing “call” with putting food on the table,

for energetic new seminary graduates navigating vocation

while traditional ministry models are on the surgical table,

for the loneliness of leadership

even in the great company of your saints.

 

Put your spirit within us, O God, that we may live anew.

 

God, who sees possibility in the graveyard,

Bind these bones together. Grant us healing. Make us whole.

 

Refrain

 

Breathe on us breath of God. And hear us as we us as our voices hold on to the tried and true prayer of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven . . . .

 

Greatest Hit: Why We Welcome Little Children to Worship

This fall, in addition to sharing reflections on “what is saving your ministry right now?”, we are also bringing back some of our most popular posts over the last couple of years. We hope these “greatest hits” will allow you new insight in this busy time of year. We invite you to join the conversation here, on Facebook, or Twitter!

This post on children worship participation is one of our most popular posts in the history of the NEXT Church blog. We’ve updated it slightly below in hopes it becomes a fresh resource for you.

At Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, MN, children participate fully in worship. This includes teaching the congregation at the “children’s message” time, writing and leading the offering prayer each week, serving as our usher team once a month, leading our monthly food shelf collection, leading opening liturgy for Advent, sharing in serving communion, and as other ways as we can find to have them lead us and share their gifts from month to month.  Here is why… (the below is taken from their pew insert).

WHY WE WELCOME LITTLE CHILDREN TO WORSHIP… At the time of baptism, parents, godparents and the whole congregation promise to bring children to worship. Not to do so would be like sitting down to the family evening meal but excluding the kids. Sure their manners might be far from elegant, but we welcome them because they are part of the family. Being with family is how we learn to be family. Worship is no different. Young people giggle, they poke, they ask questions and they swing their legs because they are young children. Children learn about worship and how to participate by experience, by how they are welcomed into the community, by what they see big people doing.

WHAT IS WORSHIP? Worship is how we respond to God. When we gather in worship we all come together to encounter Christ, and we watch together for God’s presence in Scripture, our own lives, and the world around us. When we worship God, we are reminded that we belong to God’s love, and we are empowered by the Spirit to participate with God in loving and healing the world.

HOW DO YOUNG CHILDREN LEARN TO WORSHIP?

  • By being taught they have a place in the community of the church.
  • By seeing, hearing, feeling, even smelling, the sanctuary as a place of welcome and worship.
  • By being around other children in the worship space.
  • By watching how their significant adults sing, and make prayers and offerings.
  • By sharing prayers, communion, and worship leadership alongside adults.
  • By being given ways to watch for God’s presence in their own lives, and encouraged to share where they notice God and how they participate in God’s love.

ADULTS LEARN TO WORSHIP by “becoming like a child” (Mt. 18:3). Children notice, absorb and feel deeply. They respond freely. Children perceive God.  Children learn to worship from adults and adults learn to worship from children. Bringing a child to church can be frustrating. Their behavior can make it hard for parents and others to worship. Then again, many facets of parenting can be challenging. It’s the rewards that make it all worthwhile. While we do not want our children to be disruptive or hamper the worship of others, all of us together need to be reminded that children are not the church of the future. They are the church of the present and are to be treasured as such. Children and adults alike are able to watch for God, and participate in God’s love and healing.

SUGGESTIONS FOR ADULTS WITH CHILDREN

  • When possible, arrive in time to find a good place to sit. Let them sit next to the aisle, near a work station or in the front pews. Even let them stand on the pew next to you so that they can see.
  • Tell them before they come in what will happen in worship. Show them the parts of the service where they have an active role, and the parts where we all listen or watch others quietly.
  • Take advantage of the worship supplies and materials available at the door when you arrive, and bring them to your seat. Return bags and supplies to their place when you leave.
  • Worship with your child, guiding her or him through the service so they can feel what it is like to worship together.
  • Worship at home through saying Table Grace together, or Bedtime Prayers, or even, “God bless you.” Ask your kids questions about how they noticed God’s love in their day, and how they shared in it.
  • Remember that sometimes children just plain need to run around and play.  That’s why we provide a bright and safe Nursery space for your young child at any time during worship. Gather them back with you for Communion so they can experience God’s blessing.

SUGGESTIONS FOR ADULTS WITHOUT CHILDREN

  • Be helpful to parents of small children by not making them feel awkward or unwanted.
  • Acknowledge children by smiling, or nodding in their direction, to show your appreciation of them.
  • In fact, make a child’s presence a part of your worship by inviting their family to sit next to you, praying for them, taking an interest in them.
  • Make a special point of sharing the Peace of Christ with them when everyone else is greeting.
  • Find a young child before or after the service, make eye contact, introduce yourself, tell them you are glad to see them and will be looking for them next week.  You might just be the reason that family returns.

(adapted with permission and gratitude from pew insert by Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN)  

Looking for more? Here are more resources from NEXT:

The Landscape of Liturgy: Blessing of the Plants in Worship

Each month, we post a series of blogs around a common topic. During September, Leanne Pearce Reed is curating a month of blog posts exploring stewardship of all creation. Join the conversation here, on Facebook, or Twitter!

By Ashley Goff

(Editor’s Note: This writing first appeared on Ashley’s blog God of the Sparrow, where she writes on adventures with liturgy, yoga, urban farming, and being inspired by the Planet and its radical, creative earthly creatures. Check it out!)

Four years ago, Church of the Pilgrims started an urban garden with one raised bed. Now we have four raised beds, a root veggie garden, herb garden, large perennial bed, four beehives, and several composts. The produce grown from the garden goes to creating meals for Open Table, our Sunday lunch for hungry neighbors.

plant communion
Table. Font. Cups. Plants.

We’ve done a lot of work in these past four years in incorporating the garden into life at Pilgrims, particularly our liturgical life.

Several weeks ago, we had our spring planting day after worship. Before we plunked everything into the soil, we blessed and honored the plants in worship. How to bless the plants came out of a brainstorming session with Jess Fisher and Dana Olson, our two interns.

I preached on the Emmaus Road, focusing on “recognition” and how breaking of bread (the non-human) and community (human) push us to recognize the Holy One. I’d give this sermon a B, mostly because I was focused on communion that followed.

As part of the invitation to the table, I had people share their hopes and dreams for what they want to recognize in this Eastertide season. I stood next to the font which was in front of our table—everything surrounded by the plants we would soon plant.

Plants growing out of font and table.
Plants growing out of font and table.

We had a lime tree, olive tree, creeping thyme, tomatoes, eggplants, sunflowers, basil, cabbage, peppers, and native plants. These plants were grown by non-Monsanto seeds by Pilgrims or purchased at a farmers market from a local farm.

During Pilgrims baptismal liturgy, we share hopes and dreams for the person being baptized. Someone shares a hope and dream, then they take the pitcher and pour water into the font.

We did something similar with our “recognitions.”

I had planned to have people call out what they hope to recognize/pay attention to within themselves, Pilgrims and the planet in their pews with me pouring into the font.  Jeanne Mayer, a long time member at Pilgrims, was the first one to share. She came up, grabbed the pitcher out of my hand, shared in front of  everyone. This is the pattern in our baptism. Not sure what I was thinking…me holding the pitcher for everyone. Thankfully Jeanne pushed me out of the way.

One-by-one 10+ people shared. The recognitions focused on growth, perspective, expansiveness, and community.

Our intern, Jess Fisher, arranges the scene.
Our intern, Jess Fisher, arranges the scene.

People were then invited to come forward to our open table, singing “Come to the table of Grace”, and take a little communion cup, dip it into the font with the water full of hopes, and water the plants.

As we gathered around the table, we prayed, shared our hopes and dreams for the plants, and continued with an improv Prayer of Great Thanksgiving.

After worship, 15 of us went to our garden and planted our hopes and dreams.

 

Ashley Goff is a pastor at Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, DC and regular blogger at God of the Sparrow.

Podcasting Made Easy…Even for Small Churches

Each month, we post a series of blogs around a common topic. For January and February, MaryAnn McKibben Dana is curating a month of reflections on technology, faith, and church. Join the conversation here or on Facebook. This how-to post first appeared on MaryAnn’s blog The Blue Room.

By MaryAnn McKibben Dana

You, too, can podcast!

You, too, can podcast!

Some pastor friends and I got to talking recently about sermon podcasting. I’m always disappointed when gifted preachers I know, whose sermons I’d like to listen to, aren’t available as a podcast. Some congregations put their sermon audio on their church’s website, but that’s not the same as setting up a podcast that can be searched for and subscribed to via iTunes.

Many medium-sized and large congregations have folks to record the service and take care of this technical detail. But what about small congregations? Yes you can! We’ve been podcasting at Tiny Church for a few years now. (Search Idylwood Presbyterian on iTunes, or click here.)

In my experience with a small church, many decisions are inevitably weighed in terms of stewardship of time and resources. Or to put it crudely, a cost/benefit scale. Is it worth going through the effort of podcasting if only a couple of people will avail themselves of it?

It is absolutely worth the effort because it doesn’t take very much effort at all. It’s also an easy and important method of evangelism—a way of being in the world, exactly where people are searching for inspiration and ideas.

Thinking about setting up a sermon podcast but not sure where to start? Let me put on a very old hat of mine, that of technical writer.

There are three basic steps to podcasting: recording the sermon, converting the sound file, and uploading it to a podcast service. Here is how I handle those three steps in a small church without an A/V team.

  1. Recording. I use iRecorder Pro, which is a $2.99 app for my iPhone. I put the phone on the pulpit and hit record when I start preaching and stop when I’m done. (Protip: Write start/stop reminders into your manuscript or notes.) The phone’s microphone works fine whether I’m using a microphone or not.
  2. Converting to mp3. Most recorders I’m familiar with save the recording in some other format. Podcasts require mp3. I download the audio from my phone to my MacBook Air and use Switch to convert. It looks like there’s a paid version of Switch, but the version I use is/was free. There are a ton of audio converters out there.
  3. Uploading the mp3 file to your podcast service. I use SermonDrop, which I’ve been very happy with. The free version keeps the 10 most recent sermons. If you want more than that, you can pay. You upload the file to their site, and there are places to type in scripture text, name of preacher, whether it’s part of a series, etc. You can even upload PowerPoint slides or PDFs. Here is IPC’s SermonDrop page.

You do those three steps every time. There’s also an intermediate step that you need to do once, which is to register your podcast with iTunes so it shows up in their listing. Here are some instructions. Basically you’re telling iTunes “hey, my podcast exists, here it is.” So anyone who searches for your church name will find it.

As a pastor of a small church, you could certainly find someone to take care of this each week. But honestly? It takes me 10 minutes per week, and that’s mainly waiting for the computer to convert and to upload. There is no reason not to do it.

Does your congregation podcast? What tools or suggestions do you have?

wallsquareMaryAnn McKibben Dana is pastor of Idylwood Presbyterian Church, author of Sabbath in the Suburbs and a regular blogger at The Blue Room. She’s the co-chair of the NEXT Church Strategy Team.

Christ the King: Lessons and Carols Liturgy

Thanks to LeAnn Hodges for sending us this liturgy for Christ the King Sunday that takes a Lessons and Carols approach to teaching the liturgical calendar!

WE GATHER AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD

FOR YOUR REFLECTION The liturgical year is an adventure in bringing the Christian life to fullness, the heart to alert, the soul to focus. ~ Joan Chittister

WELCOME

OPENING VOLUNTARY CALL TO WORSHIP

L:         Who are you?
C:         I am a child of God.
L:         Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.”
C:         Let us, God’s children, answer God’s call.
L:         Let us worship God, our Creator and Savior.

OPENING PRAYER
L:         Let us pray:
C:         God of majesty, you love us more than we can imagine. In Jesus Christ you reconciled the whole world to you and claim us as your own, so that we may live as Christ’s body on earth. We give you thanks for the lives we have been given. We pray in your holy name, great Trinity of Love. Amen.

* OPENING HYMN “We Gather Together” #336

WE LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD

Advent

Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of Christ: preparation to celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas, to receive faithfully the risen Christ who comes to us in Word and Spirit, and to await with hope Christ’s coming in final victory. The word Advent comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.”

Dates of the Season: Advent is the four weeks, including the four Sundays, before Christmas Day.

Colors for the Season: The color is purple, which symbolizes both penitence and royalty.

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38

Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” #88 (Stanza 1) O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that morns in lonely exile here until the son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Christmas Season

Christmas Season is the time of celebration, thanksgiving, and praise for God present with us in Jesus Christ. Christmas Day was first celebrated on December 25 in Rome sometime between 336 and 354 C.E. A pagan winter solstice festival, the birthday of the unconquered sun, was already celebrated on December 25. Christians adopted that date to celebrate the birth of the Son of God. Christians have often adapted and transformed the customs of the world around them.

Dates of the Season: Christmas Season begins with Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and continues through the Day of Epiphany, January 6.

Colors of the Season: White and gold

Scripture: Luke 2:1-7

Hymn: “Joy to the World” #134 (Stanza 1) Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Epiphany

The word Epiphany is from the Greek word epiphaneia, which means “manifestation.” On the Day of Epiphany, January 6, we celebrate Jesus being revealed to the world and the visit of the wise men, the first gentiles to whom he was made known. Scripture doesn’t say how many wise men came to Bethlehem. At various times tradition has set the number from two to twelve. However, because three gifts are mentioned, we usually think of three wise men or Magi.

Celebration of Epiphany: When January 6 falls on a weekday, churches that do not have services on the 6th may celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday before or after.

Colors for Epiphany: White and gold

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

Hymn: “What Star is This, with Beams So Bright” #152 (Stanzas 1 & 2)

Lent

Lent is a season of preparation for the celebration of Easter. The word Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon lencten, which means “spring,” the time of the lengthening of days. At first Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism on Easter Eve. Eventually, Lent became a time of reflection and self-examination for all Christians.

Days of Lent: Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on the Saturday before Easter. Lent lasts forty days, not counting Sundays. Sundays aren’t counted because Sunday always celebrates Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

The Color for Lent: Purple, a royal color that also signifies penitence and preparation.

Scripture: Mark 8:34-37

Hymn: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” #223 (Stanza 1) When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count by loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Good Friday

In Old English usage good meant “of God.” Good Friday is God’s Friday: Jesus’ death shows God’s salvation.

The Date of Good Friday: Good Friday is the Friday before Easter.

Colors for Good Friday: The worship space is either void of decoration and color, or black is used.

RECONCILIATION
L: With sincere and repentant hearts, let us name our sins against God and one another. Join me as we pray in silence.

SILENCE FOR INDIVIDUAL PRAYER AND MEDITATION L: Amen.   ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
L:         This is the good news: God remembers!  Not our sins, not our foolish lives, not our rebellion. God remembers us –  and redeems us!
C:         God prepares the way for us – the way to grace, to hope, to new life.  Joyfully, we offer our thanks to God. Amen.

SINGING WITH THANKSGIVING “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” #223 (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.

The Easter Season

The Easter Season, also known as the Great Fifty Days, begins at sunset on Easter Eve and continues through the Day of Pentecost. At this season we celebrate with joy Christ’s resurrection and ascension and the giving of the Holy Spirit on the first Easter (John 20:22-23) and on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).

Date of Easter: Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or next after March 21, the spring equinox. Easter can be any time from March 22 through April 25. The date may differ in Orthodox Churches.

Colors of the Easter Season: White and gold  

Scripture: Luke 24:1-9

Hymn: “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” #232 (Stanza 1 & 2)

Pentecost

Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter, comes from the Greek word for fiftieth, pentekoste. Greek-speaking Jews called the Jewish Feast of Weeks the Day of Pentecost. Acts tells how the anxious and fearful disciples, who had gathered on the Day of Pentecost, were filled with the Holy Spirit and thereafter preached boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Date of Pentecost: The fiftieth day after Easter.

Colors for Pentecost: Red or red on white. Red, the color of fire, represents the Holy Spirit.

Scripture: Acts 2:1-4, 41-43

Hymn: “On Pentecost They Gathered” #289 (Stanza 1) On Pentecost they gathered quit early in the day, a band of Christ’s disciples, to worship, sing, and pray. A mighty wind came blowing, filled all the swirling air, and tongues of fire aglowing inspired each person there.

Season of Pentecost

The Season of Pentecost, called Ordinary Time, is a period of growth. Churches emphasize Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom of God. They engage issues of daily life and concerns of the community, nation, and world. The Season comes after we have remembered Christ’s sacrifice on Good Friday and celebrated his resurrection on Easter and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Easter and Pentecost.

Dates of the Season: From the day after Pentecost through the Saturday before the first Sunday in Advent.

Colors for the Season: The basic color is green symbolizing growth in Christ. White is used on Trinity Sunday, All Saints Day, and Christ the King Sunday.

Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20

Hymn: “Now Thank We All Our God” #643

Christ the King

This last Sunday of the Christian Year celebrates the coming reign of Jesus Christ.

Date of the Season: The Sunday before the Season of Advent begins, and the last Sunday of the Season of Pentecost.

Colors for the Season: Gold and white  

Scripture: Psalm 100

Hymn: “Raise a Song of Gladness” #155 Raise a song of gladness, peoples of the earth. Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart. Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart! Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart!

WE RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

OFFERING The Call to Give
L:         Let us offer ourselves and our gifts to God, with gratitude and praise.

* SINGING WITH THANKSGIVING

Response        “Rejoice”

* PRAYER OF DEDICATION
L:         Let us pray:
C:         Holy God, use us, and these gifts, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and honor your presence in all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

NEWS OF THE COMMUNITY

* HYMN TO SEND US FORTH “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” #82

* CHARGE AND BLESSING

CLOSING VOLUNTARY Please be seated for silent reflection.


For a great reflection on the liturgical year (and another source of inspiration) check out Jerome W. Berryman’s The Complete Guide to Godly Play Vol. 2!