We Join the Outsiders

Easter Season 2018 Worship Planning Series

Fifth Sunday of Easter 2018, Year B

Who are we refusing to touch, see, embrace, love, accept, welcome? Who is the world rejecting that we can, in the power of the Spirit, reach towards? How can we, like Philip, offer the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ (however it is understood) to those who come to us seeking to study and have conversation about the challenges of life in all the ways they present themselves?


Filled with the Spirit’s Power

Beginning with this hymn this week will allow the church to have the opportunity to focus on the Spirit as we move into the second of a two-part series focusing on the power of the Holy Spirit. Combining it with “Sois la Semilla” creates a way of “preparing the ground within us” to ensure fruitfulness for the seed. If your congregation does not use hymnals, make note that this hymn will be difficult to sing. Considerations will need to be made (licensing and/or permission procured) in order to print words and music for the congregation to use when singing. Another option would be to sing with the tune FINLANDIA (UMH 534) by singing this text to lines 1, 2, 3, and 6 from The United Methodist Hymnal. The ideal accompaniment is organ. Read History of Hymns: "Filled with the Spirit's Power" »

Sois la Semilla (You Are the Seed)

Cesareo Gabaraín has created a beautiful song that sings of the presence of Christ in each of us. By using images of the seed, dawn, flame, and life, we sing of the fruits of ministry by working to gather in the harvest. These images are especially rich when sung as a means of spurring us to live what we pray in the world. The imperative is given to “go to the world” and “be a loyal witness,” so sing this song of sending forth confidently, knowing the mission field that lies ahead. The tune itself allows a number of ways to accompany, including piano, organ, guitar, percussion, or a combination of all of the above. The most important part of singing this song is keeping the tempo lively enough to fit four measures in each musical phrase. This is a song of celebration, so don’t turn it into a dirge! Read History of Hymns: "You are the Seed" »

Take It to the Streets

This modern worship song represents where we are called to move in the power of the Holy Spirit. With a driving rhythm and a quick tempo, this song can serve as an energetic way to enter worship. The original key is too high, however, and needs to be lowered to the key of G. The bulk of the melody is written in three notes, so make note that the limited tessitura can be harmful to the voice and cause unnecessary fatigue if too high. Accompany with solo guitar with percussion or full band.

You’ve Got to Move

This short, rhythmic song is an example of a “ring shout,” which is an African American tradition of singing that involved music, dancing, and shouting, all while standing in a ring. The melody of a song would be sung and improvised upon while drums were played, hands clapped, and feet shuffled to embody the ecstatic nature of the song. It is clear why it was selected for this Sunday, with the theme built upon the imperative, “Move.” If you have the opportunity to consult the recording that comes with The Africana Hymnal, it will be helpful because it helps teach the performance practice of the singing and clapping together. If the clapping as written on the score is too difficult for your congregation, it is also possible to proceed with other options:

Clap in a half-note pattern (the slower pattern on the recording) throughout on beats 1 and 3.

Have the congregation clap in a half-note pattern on beats 1 and 3 while the choir or a selected group claps the more syncopated pattern from the score.

For more information on a ring shout, be sure to watch the video, Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music or read the small-group study of the same title.

For use this week, I would also suggest singing this short song in the key of E minor, which will make an easy transition to “This Little Light of Mine,” which is in the key of G as printed in The Africana Hymnal.

This Little Light of Mine

This spiritual is a favorite among many congregations, but the often preferred melody and accompaniment is the one found in The Africana Hymnal, 4150, as suggested in the worship order. As with many spirituals, even a solo piano can play this accompaniment with some light improvisation (it doesn’t take much!) to jazz it up a bit. It will also work with a band accompaniment. Some of the most creative endeavors are when bands reimagine how to sing an older hymn or song in a new way. To guarantee authentic performance practice, appoint capable clappers in the congregation and the choir to clap on beats 2 and 4 of each measure. The ideal key is G.

We Believe

A new setting by The Liturgists, this would be a great opportunity for a band or small ensemble to learn a new song with great possibilities for liturgical use. The recording shows a song that is an amalgam of traditional sounds (organ and handbells) with electronic dance music. Once it becomes more familiar with the congregation, it would be possible to have them sing along on some of the more repetitive sections. Make note that the song is not available on CCLI Songselect, and you will only be able to find the lyrics and recording by following the links in the worship order for this week. Don’t let this fact influence you to not use it, however. It is possible to learn from the recording!

I Come with Joy

I have experienced the singing of this hymn in many settings, and the greatest criticism I have is how slow organists and pianists often play the tune DOVE OF PEACE. A tempo too slow will remove all joy from its singing! It should never be played and sung under 64 bpm per dotted quarter note. The tune is almost pentatonic, which makes it very malleable for creative approaches to singing. It would be possible to sing it in a canon, and if your church has access to Orff instruments for children, youth, and adults, it is also possible to accompany with any number of instrumental combinations and repetitive ostinatos. Read History of Hymns: "I Come With Joy" »

You Feed Us, Gentle Savior

Many people know MERLE’S TUNE because of its use in Advent with the text “Blessed Be the God of Israel” (UMH 209). The tune embodies the gentleness required to sing this text and both supports and encourages singing effectively throughout. Steve Garnaas-Holmes begins with the actions of Christ toward us: “You feed us,” “You bind us,” and “You call us… and send us.” What more can we expect from such a gracious host at Christ’s table? Accompany with organ or piano, but know that a lightly plucked guitar can also accompany well in this key.

Whom Shall I Send?

Fred Pratt Green never minced words when it comes to the shortcomings of humanity and our bent toward sinning. Even though many congregations would prefer to sing “Here I Am, Lord” to encounter this question from God, it is important to make sure to sing this hymn from time to time to remember the difficulty with choosing the way of the cross. The ideal accompaniment with this tune is organ. Be sure to keep the tempo in a range (110-120 bpm) that allows for breathing and support for four-measure phrases.

Every Move I Make

Children, youth, and adults everywhere will know this song. Many have sung it in worship, youth events, or even camping ministries. The energy in this tune is evident, and there are also popular variations on hand motions for sections of the song. Accompany with a band, solo guitar, or keyboard.

In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes