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.

How - Transitions Worship Series flag over an image of a slingshot and rocks

The “reconstruction” (or transition) of the worship space is now complete.

For this week, the font returns to the worship space, front and center, with a Paschal Candle beside it (if you have one), and reaffirmation of baptism is celebrated.


AH = The Africana Hymnal

BOW = United Methodist Book of Worship

CCLI = Christian Copyright Licensing International, SongSelect

TFWS = The Faith We Sing (2000)

UMH = United Methodist Hymnal

W&S = Worship & Song (2011)

SOZ = Songs of Zion

“Trouble in My Way” AH 4118
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” AH 4012


“Precious Lord” UMH 474
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” UMH 127


“Everlasting God” W&S 3021 (CCLI #4556538)
“Strong Tower” CCLI #4448873

Prayer for Illumination

Guide us, guide us, Great Jehovah,
into your way for us,
and for each one of us.

Thank you for your presence among us,
and with us,
in every change,
every challenge,
and every triumph, great or small.
And thank you for your word,
stories of your faithfulness,
and what it looks like for us to be faithful to you.
Even now, Everlasting God,
breathe, speak, and enflesh your word among us,
as we hear it read and preached,
and as we ponder it in our own hearts.
Then, stir us to get up,
and do something about it. Amen.


The Word Enacted
Here, children may act out in silence the drama of the reading about to be heard. One child may climb a stepladder, raise arms to show muscles, and shake fist as if to dare any of the other children to attack. Another child, a smaller one, may raise a hand to volunteer to go, and another child may start to put a robe on the small child that is way too big, and put in the child’s hand a garden tool (hoe or shovel) that is too big for the child to handle. The small child will then take off the robe, put down the garden tool, and pick up a sling and five small stones, then start whirling the sling. End scene.

Reading (by another child) I Samuel 17: (1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 (NRSV)

Sermon How?

The pastor invites the congregation to reflect on the ways they’ve tried to “put on ill-fitting armor,” or others have tried to place it on them, or they’ve tried to put it on others. As the choir or ensemble sing, write down on a card provided the “ill-fitting armor,” the burden, you’re ready to take off, and the names of others you’ve burdened by trying to fit them into your mold of what they should be. Pray for them and for the strength for yourself to take off your own ill-fitting armor and not put it on others. If a new appointment begins next week, invite the congregation to write the name of the current pastor/deacon and the one/ones who are coming and to pray for the new pastor/deacon, as well.

Song (Choir or Ensemble) “Come As You Are” CCLI #7017790
The congregation may join the choir or ensemble in singing the chorus the last time through.

Reaffirmation of Baptism

All standing in body and/or spirit.

Pastor or Deacon:
Sisters and brothers in Christ:
through the sacrament of baptism
God's Spirit has been poured out upon water,
water poured over and immersing us,
water that flows freely for all who will receive it,
water from the streams of God's saving power and justice,
water that brings hope to all who thirst for righteousness,
water that refreshes life, nurtures growth, and offers new birth.

Today we come to the waters,
to renew our commitments
in each other's presence
to Christ who has raised us,
the Spirit who has birthed us,
and the Creator who is making all things new.

We come as we are.

We lay our burdens down.

And we take up afresh the gifts God has given each of us.

Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith

And so I ask you, will you continue to turn away from the powers of sin and death?

We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
reject the evil powers of this world,
and repent of our sin.

Will you let the Spirit use you with your unique gifts
as prophets to the powers that be?

We accept the freedom and power God gives us
to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
in whatever forms they present themselves.

Will you proclaim the good news and live as disciples of Jesus Christ, his body on earth?

We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior,
put our whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as our Lord,
in union with the church which Christ has opened
to people of all ages, nations, and races.

Will you be living witnesses to the gospel, individually and together,
in all the ways you can, wherever you are, and in all that you do?

We will remain faithful members of Christ's holy church
and serve as Christ's representatives in the world.

Will you receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures
of the Old and New Testaments?

We affirm and teach the faith of the whole church
as we put our trust
in God, the Father Almighty.
in Jesus Christ, his only Son.
and in the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.

Thanksgiving Over the Water

The Spirit of the Lord is with us.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Let us pray.
Almighty God, the life you birthed in us
by baptism into Jesus Christ
will never die.

Your justice never fails.
Your mercy is everlasting.
Your healing river flows.
Your Spirit blows where you will.

We cannot stop you, God!
But sometimes we try.

We try to block the flow,
or we redirect the winds of the Spirit,
taking on burdens not ours to bear,
relying on our own strength
instead of on the gifts the Spirit has given us,
or placing burdensome expectations on others,
or walking so far away from the life-giving Stream
that we do not hear its sound,
and we forget its power.
We parch ourselves.

We are dry and thirsty,
worn out and weary, O God.

Come, refresh us!

The pastor offers gestures of calling upon the Holy Spirit
to come upon the people and the water.
The people are invited to offer the same gestures as they respond.

Come upon us, Holy Spirit!
Come upon us, Holy Spirit!

Come upon these waters.
Come upon these waters.

Let these waters be to us drops of your mercy.
Let these waters remind us of your righteousness and justice.

Let these waters wash away our need for false masks.
Let these waters restore our confidence in what you have made us to be.

Let these waters renew in us the resurrection power of Jesus.
Let these waters make us long for your coming reign.

Most Holy God, Abba, Father and Mother of all that is!
Glory to you!

Jesus Christ, Savior, Lord!
Glory to you!

Spirit of fire, Spirit over the waters, Spirit of holiness!
Glory to you!

Eternal God, One in Three and Three in One!
All glory is yours, now and forever. Amen!

All who are baptized and have reaffirmed their vows are invited to come to the font to use the water as a sign of refreshing. Before they use the water, they may place their cards listing burdens and names face-down in a basket beside the font, and their offerings in another basket. After each uses the water, another says to her or him:

Your burdens are gone.

Remember you are baptized, and be thankful!

Music during Reaffirmation

“Shall We Gather at the River” UMH 723
“Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” AH 4089 (also at


“All My Fountains” CCLI #5925670
“The River Is Here” CCLI #1475231


Prayers after Reaffirmation

Deacon or Pastor or Child:
You’ve taken our burdens, O God,
and made us free to move and breathe in you.

We pray for all who are burdened,
by sin, shame, guilt,
or expectations they cannot meet
and should not have to…


In your mercy,
hear our prayers.

You’ve cleansed our hearts, Holy Spirit,
and renewed our sense of life and strength.

We pray for all we or others may wrongly consider unclean:
people who are abused,
people who are or have been in jail or prison,
people without homes or safe places to live indoors,
people living with HIV,
people with mental illness,
people who are unlike our cultural norms
in age, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, or culture.


In your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

You’ve rekindled the flame of righteousness and justice, Jesus,
and made us thirst again for Shalom for all.

We pray for all who work for and support justice, peace, and health in our world:
for leaders of nations, communities, and corporations,
for diplomats, soldiers, and police,
for physicians, first responders, nurses, and medical assistants,
for forest rangers, climate scientists, and all whose work protects water, air, and land.


In your mercy,
hear our prayer.

You’ve healed us,
and you’re healing us still, O God.

We pray for those we know who need your healing now,
all who have asked us to pray,
and all who grieve for health or life lost to sickness, injury, or death.


In your mercy,
hear our prayer.

You’ve taught us, Jesus,
and so we pray:

The Lord’s Prayer


“Blest Be the Tie That Binds” UMH 557
“More Than Conquerors” CCLI #7014648

[If this is the last Sunday for a pastor, deacon, or other clergy staff:
An Order of Farewell to a Pastor or Deacon BOW 598]

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with you and remain with you always.

Deacon (or Pastor, if no deacon is available)
Go in peace
and in the strength the Spirit has given and renewed in you
to love and serve our God.
People: Thanks be to God!


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 Fifth Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes