From Chaos to Community — Series Overview

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

Like all human families, the first families of our faith tradition were not perfect. They had their share of failure and struggles, just like everyone else. But throughout it all they knew the abiding presence of the Lord God was with them—perhaps most clearly known during moments of difficult decision, rites of passage, and periods of painful transition.

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

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Legacy
The color from now until Advent is green, with two exceptions: All Saints Day or Sunday (November 1 or 5) and Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday (November 26).

For Your Planning Team: FROM CHAOS TO COMMUNITY: Legacy

Today we emerge from the valley we entered two weeks ago into a broader, brighter plain of hope for the future.

We begin with songs the celebrate the scope of God’s love from creation to the present and point us toward the future. The reading today brings three fresh voices, again all in first person, interspersed with song as at several points throughout this series. The Communion setting adapts the version used in our second Easter Series, “Becoming” and culminates the entire series with a song of praise for God’s healing presence with us through our lives and the lives of those who will follow us.

This service also leaves you with a wide-open path for the next series you may choose to pursue. There are many possibilities during these summer months, both lectionary and non-lectionary based, and we encourage you to make good use of this time to pursue the series that will best help you and your congregation fulfill the purpose of this season: to encourage and support disciples of Jesus carrying out their ministries in Jesus’ name and the Spirit’s power.

Logistics for this Service:

Preparing the stagescape:
For this last Sunday, the full stagescape comes to light. Restore the fabric to the way it was at the beginning (blue or blue-green on the lowest tier, green for the middle, white or light blue for the top). During the transition from the first to second song in the opening set, place or reveal another water jug (at earth level) a water jug, bracelets and rings, and a veil on the stagescape. If you are doing Communion, bring in the Communion elements and place them on the Lord’s Table at this time as well. Celebrate the creation that has supported these stories and continue the legacy at the foundation of our faith.

Rehearse the Reading:
You will have three new readers today and a story that may be unfamiliar to them. So be sure to rehearse. Unlike the last two weeks, there is less intensity –or at least subtler intensity– in today’s reading. So be sure to coach your readers to keep it lively without overacting.

Rehearse the Communion Song:
While both of the choices we’ve provided for the Communion song have been around more than twenty years and are quite popular in some circles, it’s possible they may be new to your congregation. Both are catchy, easy, and fun to learn. Plan to teach the song to the congregation before the service begins, so when you get to the Great Thanksgiving you can all sing with holy abandon.

Additional Resources

2014 Planning Helps for these readings

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela

In This Series...

First Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Second Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Third Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes