Post-Pentecost 2018 Worship Planning Series

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost 2018, Year B

Today we may all be on the edge or in the middle of some sort of season of “How?” And that’s why we’re reaffirming baptism today. Because it’s in baptism that we remember what we’re all supposed to be about. It’s in baptism that the Holy Spirit first starts pouring spiritual gifts into our lives. It’s in this community, living this baptismal covenant together, that we’re learning how to use these gifts and to live as Christ’s representatives on mission with him in the world.


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

The color from now until All Saints Day or All Saints Sunday (November 1 or 4) is green. Consider using different shades or patterns of green throughout the coming months, if you have means available to do so. On All Saints, the color is white or gold.

For Your Planning Team

Planning for This Service

Our Transitions series concludes today.

We mark the conclusion with the completion of the “transition” of our worship space, welcoming the font back among us after its three-week absence.

In our end is our beginning.

At the end of this series, at the end of an appointive year, and perhaps at the end of the ministry of a pastor or deacon among you, we mark the beginning and font of our life together in Jesus Christ.

And at the end of this service, if it is the end of an appointment, we make room for an act of farewell to a pastor or deacon as part of the Sending Forth.

The preaching notes will help you segue smoothly into the act of Response to the Word, which uses a very recently composed contemporary worship song for an altar call. We don’t expect the congregation to sing this song, though they may. The “coming forward” also isn’t during the song, but right after, in the act of baptismal reaffirmation. This uses the 2008 General Conference baptismal reaffirmation with minor adaptations in wording to fit the action of “laying down burdens” referred to in today’s sermon and altar call song.

The preaching notes will also help you complete the sense of series promise with which we started out.

Be sure today, in your announcement slide set, or in the bulletin, or through social media or other contacts during the coming week, to get folks ready for the next series: “Healing Hands.”

We chose this theme, based on the readings from Mark and John during July, because these texts highlight a central element of the earthly ministry of Jesus and an element that continues in a variety of ways in whatever forms of ministry we’re living out today: healing. Here’s the Series Map:

Healing Hands…

July 1 Bring Life
Mark 5:21-43

July 8 Send Forth
Mark 6:6b-13

July 15 Become Known
Mark 6:14-16 (17-29)

July 22 Draw Crowds
Mark 6:53-56

July 29 Feed the World
John 6:1-14 (15-21)

Finally, some words of thanks.

I have been writing worship planning helps as your Director of Worship Resources since September 2005.

Thanks to Daniel T. Benedict, who preceded me in this office, and who began our worship website and weekly planning helps twenty years ago. Dan gave me a gift of time in coming into this office by having completed his worship planning helps well into the late fall of that year to help give me a running start. I’m leaving in early March of this year and have now completed resources through the end of June. Though there will no longer be a director of worship resources to do what I have done full-time, I hope this will be enough advance work to give at least a bit of a running start to whoever continues to write service orders and planning notes for these series, as well as continue the other roles Dan before me, and now I, have fulfilled.

Thanks to Safiyah Fosua and Dean McIntyre, the Directors of Transformational Preaching and Music Resources with whom Dan concluded his journey, and I began mine in this role. You taught the youngest director among you, and one of the youngest on the whole staff at the time, not only how to do my work, but how to work in this highly diverse and sometimes divergent community of this general agency, and, by extension, the wider United Methodist Church. You were outstanding in your own work, patient with my brashness, caring when I found myself battered and bruised, and always wise in your guidance.

Thanks to Jean Musterman, the coordinator for the work Dean, Safiyah, and I did together for nearly half my time here. Jean did her work with excellence, expected excellence (and got it) from each of us, and spoke with a refreshing candor, especially when she would remind me it was time to shut down my computer and go home. Jeannie, of blessed memory, maybe I’ve finally taken your advice.

Thanks to Dr. Carol Krau, PhD, “Team Queen” as Dean often addressed her. Your sense of humor, your passion for adult formation and discipleship, and your enthusiasm for the creativity of the former “Congregational Leaders Team” were infectious, life-giving, and always a joy to behold.

Thanks to MaryJane Pierce Norton, longtime AGS for our division, when we called them divisions, and in her retirement (yes, she was called out of retirement) our interim General Secretary. She is perhaps the wisest and most capable leader I have known anywhere. She knew our staff and our work, and she knew not only our own agency, but how the whole connectional structure functioned, or could function, to an unmatched degree. I learned a lot about leadership in this work from watching and working with her.

Thanks to Steve Manskar, who invited me to join the Covenant Discipleship Group he was part of, and that Dan Benedict had founded while he was here. Steve doesn’t just talk Wesleyan Discipleship; he lives it. And it’s been nothing but a blessing to be with him and the others who have been in this group over the years since 2005 — some of whom still are!

Thanks to Dawn Chesser, Amy Sigmon, and Jackson Henry who came to compose the worship staff I’ve been privileged to work with for these past three years. Just as I had some years earlier, they each walked into shoes impossible to fill, but like David, decided not to try to wear them. They have made their own way in their roles, and we, both as a team, and I would say as an agency, have been the better for it. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with them to re-envision how we do our work, to live out the vision of collaborative worship planning we’d been teaching but not actually practicing for many years, and get to the quality, creativity, and depth of resourcing we have now been able to offer since Advent 2016. And thanks to Barbara Day Miller, whose consulting with us made that transition from solo work to collaborative work not only possible, but the best work I think we’ve ever done.

There are many more to thank-- colleagues I’ve worked with in Discipleship Ministries and other agencies, bishops, General Conference worship leaders, the list goes on. Know I mean no slight in not mentioning them all by name here. There are just too many. These, to me, simply require my special thanks.

Finally, thanks to you, for your faithfulness to your congregation and the ministries of The United Methodist Church, for your giving, for the opportunity to have served you in this way, and for kind words I have received from many of you as you have learned my time in this role was drawing to a close.

May the peace of the Lord be always with you.

The Rev. Taylor W. Burton-Edwards

Additional Resources for this Service

2015 Planning Helps for these readings »

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: (Click link to find countries for this week when they are posted)

In This Series...

Trinity Sunday 2018 — Planning Notes Second Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes Third Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes