Posts

Lenten Devotional Ideas

Highland Presbyterian Church is introducing the idea of photography as a form of contemplative prayer during the Lenten season. The photos will be taken around the theme of their Lenten devotion and will be used as a part of their congregation’s devotional book. They will use The Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Christine Valters Paintner as they begin this practice. It has prompts and ideas about new ways of thinking.


Work of the People has a 12 session film series called “Covenantal Restoration” that could be used to prepare oneself for Lent or during Lent. It looks at racism and intolerance from across the board and includes interview videos with discussion guides. It could be used with both youth and adults.

A Lenten Worship Series

Oaklands Presbyterian Church did a worship series through Lent that invited congregation members to be a part of the visual arts in worship. Each week’s service was formed around a theme word. Members of the congregation were asked to send in photos that went along with the theme word. Music was selected that highlighted the theme and a photo slideshow was shown after the sermon.

While those videos are not available online, here is the email sent out to church members the first week of Lent to prompt submissions and to encourage people to incorporate the theme in their weekly Lenten practices:

The words used for lectionary year A were:

Week 1—Wilderness
Week 2—Wind
Week 3—Water
Week 4—Darkness
Week 5—Hope
Week 6—Fear
Easter—Alive

Ash Wednesday on the Road

Looking for new ideas for Ash Wednesday worship?

East Brentwood Presbyterian Church did drive thru ashes last year, allowing people to drive through their parking lot to receive ashes on their way to work.

The church also offered a podcast that was about 20 minutes long (to cover standard commute time) with music. They did this in addition to an Ash Wednesday service, but the podcast reached over 1,000 people.

The podcast and accompanying liturgy is still up on their website and can be found here:

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

The "Ritual of the Ribbons" at 2013 National Gathering

By Theresa Cho

NEXT Worship Overall Thematic Flow & Ritual:

Colors of fabric and ribbon were purple, red, blue, white, and yellow. The colors of a Korean fabric called Saekdong. Saekdong is usually used for children’s clothing and “protects the evoking of dreams of children.”

Advent Worship:

Sheets of fabric were torn into strips during the confession. Each participant was given a 5 ft. ribbon before worship. As a way to prepare for new birth, conferees were invited to place the ribbon in the manger, letting go of what prevents them from being open to whatever will birth in them during the conference. manger

~

Baptism Worship:

The ripped fabric was woven together, connecting the baptismal font and the manger together. The ribbon in the manger was returned to the conferees as a way of remembering our baptismal identity as a child of God. In preparation for the next worship, participants were asked to follow instructions on the bulletin insert and bring the ribbon to the next worship. NEXT Words font

~

Lent Worship:

The ripped fabric was displayed on the chancel and communion table in the pattern of Saekdong. After reflection on Luke 4.14-21, conferees were asked to pair up and share their call saying “My call is to (verb) (verb) (verb) (noun)” Share a quick reaction to their call. Then, their partner will say “Your call is to . . . “ and then “stole” their partner. Afterwards, each conferee placed their ribbon in the offering basket as their offering of their call. theresa

~

Pentecost Worship:

The ribbons were woven on the communion table, representing how our calls are woven together. As conferees came up for communion, they were asked to take a stole of someone else, take it home and pray for them.

table

Music from 2013 National Gathering

Corey Nelson, part of the worship team for the 2013 National Gathering, sends along this list of music featured in worship in Charlotte. He also offered to be a resource for people who have questions about the music. Contact him at: Corey Nelson First Presbyterian Church Lake Forest, Illinois cnelson@firstchurchlf.org ~

NEXT 2013 Worship Songs

Songs marked with an * are in the new hymnal!

MONDAY AM – ADVENT

Ashe, AsheTraditional West African Chant One tradition says that this song was used by traveling tribes upon entering new villages.  When a visiting tribe was approaching a village they would sing Fanga-Alafiya to indicate that they come in peace. If the villagers welcome them, they reply: Ashe-Ashe. Then, the travelers and villagers reverse the lines.  The fanga song was often the common denominator between tribes that otherwise spoke different languages.  The lyrics we used for verses at NEXT were written by Adam Fischer specifically for the conference and are easily adaptable to a variety of settings and themes:

God is here and welcomes you – ashe, ashe Prepare the way and worship too – ashe, ashe Dance & sing, come join the crowd – ashe, ashe God is with us, shout out loud – ashe, ashe Ashe, ashe, ashe, ashe        Ashe, ashe, ashe, ashe  (repeat)   Celebrate with joy today – ashe, ashe With love & grace prepare the way – ashe, ashe Come from places far and near – ashe, ashe Our new journey starts from here – ashe, ashe  — chorus   On this journey we will go – ashe, ashe God travels with us on the road – ashe, ashe Guide us through our darkest night – ashe, ashe Grant us vision, shine your light – ashe, ashe

*Canticle Of The Turning – USA/Northern Ireland (tune) Words by Rory Cooney © GIA Publications, Inc.

My soul cries out with a joyful shout; That the God of my heart is great, And my spirit sings of the wondrous things; That you bring to the ones who wait. You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight And my weakness you did not spurn So from east to west shall my name be blest. Could the world be about to turn? My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, And the world is about to turn!   Though I am small, my God my all, You work great things in me, And your mercy will last from the depths of the past To the end of the age to be. Your very name puts the proud to shame, And to those who would for you yearn, You will show your might, put the strong to flight, For the world is about to turn.

From the halls of power to the fortress tower, Not a stone will be left on stone. Let the king beware for your justice tears Ev’ry tyrant from his throne. The hungry poor shall weep no more, For the food they can never earn; There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed, For the world is about to turn.

Though the nations rage from age to age, We remember who holds us fast: God’s mercy must deliver us From the conqueror’s crushing grasp. This saving word that our forbears heard Is the promise which holds us bound, ‘Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God, Who is turning the world around.

*He Came Down – Cameroon/Iona Trad. Cameroon; trans. and arr. by John Bell (published in several Iona resources)

He came down that we may have hope

He came down that we may have hope

He came down that we may have hope

Hallelujah, forever more.

He came down that we may have peace…joy…love…hope

Light of the Stable (lyrics adapted) Elizabeth & Steve Rhymer, © 1975. Renewed 2003 Tessa Publishing Company (Admin. by Conexion Media Group, Inc.)

Hail, Hail to the coming king Let our voices sing out our praises Hail, Hail to the guiding light That brings us tonight to our savior Halle—Hallelujah  (4X)

Come now let’s prepare the way For the happy day of his coming Bow down to messiah near Cast aside your fear and be thankful Halle—Hallelujah  (4X)

MONDAY PM – BAPTISM

Come Thou Fount

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come; and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

All Who Are Thirsty Words and music: Brenton Brown and Glenn Robertson © 1998 Vineyard Songs

All who are thirsty, all who are weak, come to the fountain, dip your heart in the steams of life. Let your pain and your sorrows be washed away in the waves of God’s mercy, as deep cries out to deep, we sing: Come, Lord Jesus, come. (repeat) Holy Spirit, come. (repeat)

Wade in the Water Words and music: African-American spiritual

Refrain: Wade in the water, wade in the water, children. Wade in the water. God’s gonna trouble the water.   Well, who are these children all dressed in red? God’s a-gonna trouble the water Must be the children that Moses led God’s a-gonna trouble the water.   

Chorus   If you don’t believe I’ve been redeemed, God’s gonna trouble the water. Follow me down to Jordan’s stream. God’s a-gonna trouble the water. 

Chorus   Jordan’s water is chilly and cold. God’s gonna trouble the water. It chills the body, but not the soul. God’s a-gonna trouble the water. 

Chorus   Look over yonder, what do I see? God’s gonna trouble the water. Holy Ghost a fallin’ on me. God’s a-gonna trouble the water.  Chorus

TUESDAY AM – LENT

Come, Let Us Worship God Text & tune: Tay Makeever © 1983 Ray Makeever, admin. Augsburg Fortress

Come, let us worship God…Come, Let us worship God Come, let us worship God…Come, Let us worship God Welcome, everyone…Welcome, everyone To the love of God…To the love of God …   Rest for the weary … Food for the hungry… Peace for the nations… Come, let us worship God…

Kyrie Music ©2002 Chip Andrus

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison God, have mercy, Christ have mercy, grant us peace.

God Be the Love to Search and Keep Me (we sang three of the five original verses) Richard Bruxvoort Colligan © 2004 worldmaking.net & This Here Music

God be the love to search and keep me God, be the prayer to move my voice God, be the strength to now uphold me O Christ, surround me O Christ, surround me   Walking behind to hem my journey Going ahead to light my way And from beneath, above and always O Christ, surround me O Christ, surround me   Christ in the eyes of all who see me Christ in the ears that hear my voice Christ in the hearts of all who know me O Christ, surround me O Christ, surround me

*The Servant Song Richard Gillard © 1977 Scripture in Song

Will you let me be your servant Let me be as Christ to you Pray that I might have the grace To let you be my servant too   We are pilgrims on a journey We are travelers on the road We are here to help each other Walk the mile and bear the load   I will hold the Christ-light for you In the night time of your fear I will hold my hand out to you Speak the peace you long to hear   I will weep when you are weeping When you laugh I’ll laugh with you I will share your joy and sorrow Till we’ve seen this journey through   Brother sister let me serve you Let me be as Christ to you Pray that I may have the grace To let you be my servant too

*Take, O Take Me as I Am (Iona – John Bell)

Take, o take me as I am Summon out what I shall be Set your seal upon my heart And live in me.

TUESDAY PM – PENTECOST

Kuna Kucheza (Kenya/Swahili) Traditional © Church of All Nations

Kuna kucheza, kucheza … Halleluia (There is dancing, dancing) Kuna kucheza, kwa ajabu … Halleluia Kucheza, Kucheza … Halleluia Kuna Kucheza, kwa ajabu … Halleluia (There is dancing, for it’s amazing)   Kuna kuimba, kuimba … Halleluia… (There is singing, singing)   Kuna kuomba, kuomba … Halleluia… (There is praying, praying)   Kuna kusifu, kusifu … Halleluia…(There is praising, praising)

*Somos El Cuerpo de Cristo words & music by Jaime Cortez & Bob Hurd Somos el cuerpo de Cristo.

We are the body of Christ. Hemos oído el llamado; we’ve answered “yes” to the call of the Lord. Somos el cuerpo de Cristo. We are the body of Christ. Traemos su santo mensaje. We come to bring the good news to the world. (1) Dios viene al mundo a través de nosotros. Somos el cuerpo de Cristo. God is revealed when we love one another. We are the body of Christ. Al mundo a cumplir la misión de la Iglesia, somos el cuerpo de Cristo. Bringing the light of God’s mercy to others, we are the body of Christ. (2) Cada persona es parte del reino; somos el cuerpo de Cristo. Putting a stop to all discrimination, we are the body of Christ. Todas las razas que habitan la tierra, somos el cuerpo de Cristo. All are invited to feast in the banquet. We are the body of Christ. (3) Que nuestras acciones reflejen justicia; somos el cuerpo de Cristo. Stopping abuse and relieving the hungry, we are the body of Christ. Vamos al mundo a cuidar su rebaño. somos el cuerpo de Cristo. Serving each other we build up the kingdom; we are the body of Christ.

*Si Tuvieras Fe (If You Only Had Faith) Spanish Caribbean Pentecostal Chorus/trans. Jorge Lockward

“If you only had faith just like a little grain of mustard,” this is what Jesus declares. (repeat) “You would be able to tell the mountain, ‘Move away. Move away.’”(repeat) And then the mountain would move away, would move away, would move away.  (repeat four times) Spanish Caribbean chorus, public domain.  The arrangement we used was published in For Everyone Born: Global Songs for an Emerging Church © 2008 GBGMusik, The United Methodist Church

Today we all are called to be disciples of the Lord Arr & Harm Ralph Vaughn Williams ©1906 Oxford University Press , textH. Kenn Carmichael©1989; rearr: Troy Bronsink

Chorus Lead us       Onward     Shape Us    Inwardly Help us follow you       Outward lead us on Lead us on

Verse 1 Today we all are called to be disciples of the Lord To help to set the captives free, Make plowshare out of sword, To feed the hungry, quench their thirst, Make love and peace our fast To serve the poor and homeless first, Our ease and comfort last  

Verse 2 God made the world and at its birth ordained our human race To live as stewards of the earth, responding to God’s grace. But we are vain and sadly proud. We sow not peace but strife Our discord spreads a deadly cloud that threatens all of life…chorus

Verse 3 Pray justice may come rolling down as in a mighty stream With righteousness in field and town to cleanse us and redeem For God is longing to restore an earth where conflicts cease A world that was created for a harmony of peace…chorus

Verse 4 May we in service to our God act out the living word And walk the road the saints have trod till all have seen and heard As stewards of the earth may we give thanks in one accord To God who calls us all to be Disciples of the Lord…chorus