Monday, June 8, 2015

Communion at Confirmation

This year, my church did a confirmation class in conjunction with a neighboring Presbyterian Church.

When it came time to teach the Sacraments (baptism and communion), we really wanted to make them come alive and create an experience that would stick with the kids.

In this picture, you see what we came up with. (Confession: the other pastor did the bulk of the work setting this up!)

2015 Summer Sermon Series

JPEG I made to be shared on social media
This summer, I'm part of a group of pastors who have decided to do something a little different in worship for the sermon.

We want our CONGREGATION to decide what we're going to preach on! 

For the last month or so, we've been soliciting suggestions that fill in this blank: "What does the Bible say about _____?"

We have each compiled our list of suggestions and have started to map out a plan to address as many topics as possible this summer.
Another JPEG I made
The goal is encourage people to open up the Bible and to really search the Scriptures for what it says about a specific topic. We won't be able to preach on every passage, but we plan to have a number of references available for people to check out. 
Just to keep things lively, I may intentionally pick 2 Scriptures to look at--one that seems to say one thing, while the other seems to say something else. Together we'll struggle through how we put these two passages together and discern what God is saying to us.

Psalm 138

I seem to be on a bit of a psalm kick lately.

Fortunately, the lectionary provides at least one psalm every week! So I don't have to look very far to find a psalm to explore with the congregation.

(Don't know what the "lectionary" is? No problem! Check this out.)

I ALSO seem to be on a bit of a prayer kick lately as well. And since psalms and prayers go together so well, I decided we'd try to write our own "mini-psalm" based on Psalm 138.

(Download a copy here.)

Psalm 29

Riffing off an idea I found on Carolyn Brown's EXCELLENT website (Worshiping with Children), I wanted to explore the power of Psalm 29.

In particular, I wanted to highlight the strength of the Lord which the psalmist compares to a thunderstorm shaking the world.

So I adapted Carolyn's reading and added some SOUND EFFECTS for us to use as part of the sermon.

(Download a copy here

Celebrating a Church's Birthday

In the middle of leading confirmation class this year ... I discovered that the church I serve is celebrating its 225th anniversary!
Logo made by church member, Craig Sinclair

And since the confirmation class was slated to join on Pentecost Sunday (the traditional Sunday for that event), we decided to make 225 a key theme for the service. 

I did a little searching on Pinterest looking for ideas of how to use 225 in the service. The ideas posted by teachers celebrating the 100th day of school came in very handy! These are the pins I really like. (And these are the Pentecost pins that I revisit every year.)