Seventh Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes

May 28, 2017 (Year A) | Becoming One in Ministry
by Taylor Burton-Edwards

Order of Worship Preaching Hymns Music  Planning Formation Groups Resources


Reading Notes

NRSV texts, artwork and Revised Common Lectionary Prayers for this service are available at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.
Leccionario en Español, Leccionario Común Revisado: Consulta Sobre Textos Comunes.
Lectionnaire en français, Le Lectionnaire Œcuménique Révisé

Calendar Notes

Becoming...One in Ministry
Colors are white or gold, and flowers may continue to abound today and throughout the Great 50 Days of Easter Season until its final celebration on Pentecost, when the colors are red.  

All Month        Christian Home Month
                        Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May 28            Ascension Sunday (if transferred)
May 29            Memorial Day (USA)

June 4            Day of Pentecost (Easter Season Concludes)
June 11          Trinity Sunday, Peace with Justice Sunday
                       New Series Begins: TBA
June 18          Father’s Day (USA)
June 19          Juneteenth

July 4             Independence Day

All Month          Season of Creation (2017 resources forthcoming)
September 4    Labor Day (USA)
September 15-
October 15      Hispanic Heritage Month (USA)

All Month           A Season of Saints (2017 resources forthcoming)
October 1         World Communion Sunday
October 6-8     Children’s Sabbath (2017 resources forthcoming)
October 15       Laity Sunday (2017 resources forthcoming)
October 31       Reformation Day (500th Anniversary)

November 1
       All Saints Day
November 3       World Community Day
November 5       All Saints Sunday
                            Daylight Saving Time Change Song (Fall)
November 11     Veterans Day
November 12    Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday
                           International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
November 19    Bible Sunday (National Bible Week November 19-26)
November 23    Thanksgiving Day
November 26    Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday
                           United Methodist Student Day

For Your Planning Team: Becoming...One in Ministry

As we continue on the plateau and begin to head toward the mountain peak in this series, we also continue the same kind of opening and approach to the reading and preaching of the word as during the past two weeks of this series. We conclude with a new Great Thanksgiving created for this service in this series that emphasizes where we have come in this series (becoming one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry) and where we are headed next (flowing into ministry in all the world).

Logistics for this Service:

Rehearse the Opening Set.Whether you are using the modern or the hymn option for the opening set, there is a reading that takes place in the midst of it. Be sure your reader and musicians have rehearsed this enough that your reader is confident in her or his pacing and the musicians know how to accompany during the reading. You might consider having a choir member or a band member as the reader so this may be incorporated into regular rehearsal time. Just be sure to encourage them to rehearse this part in your worship space so all will have a sense of how this will sound when it is offered live in worship.

Rehearse the actions around the table (people coming to it, reading, placing cross, leaving) with your musicians and those coming to the table. Note, too, the additional action of moving the cross from the dining table to a position behind and above the Lord’s Table for the celebration of Holy Communion.

We have provided for Holy Communion this week. If you normally celebrate on the first Sunday of the month and are unable to celebrate both this week and next in your context, plan to celebrate this week rather than next week. The theme this week (one in ministry) strongly suggests the appropriateness of celebrating Holy Communion this Sunday. The addition of the commissioning to next week’s service may make also celebrating Communion a difficult time and logistical challenge.  

Rehearse the Great Thanksgiving. The form of the Great Thanksgiving in this service is new, and it may involve an additional voice at the table (a deacon or other leader of the intercessions) plus your band or musicians to accompany the singing during the intercessions. Pastor, we recommend you rehearse the Great Thanksgiving in the worship space with your musicians, deacon or prayer leader at least five times the night before and at least three times before the service in the morning so your joint leadership at Communion is as smooth as possible.

Today is Ascension Sunday in the Christian Calendar. While we have chosen to use Easter 7 texts for this Sunday’s service, we have given a strong nod to the Ascension of Christ in musical selections, and particularly the opening song in the modern worship set.

Tomorrow (May 29) is Memorial Day in the United States. Memorial Day is a US civil observance that recognizes people who have died in military service to this country. We have not provided resources for this civil observance in this service. You might consider adding a petition to the prayers for people who have died, and include those who have died in military service. Otherwise, we encourage you to encourage your congregation to participate in civil or other community observances as they may deem appropriate.  

Additional Resources

2014 Planning Helps for The Seventh Sunday of Easter

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Botswana, Zimbabwe


Categories: Year A, Seventh Sunday of Easter - May 28, 2017