Post-Pentecost 2018 Worship Planning Series

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost 2018, Year B

In the season of “Who?” we find ourselves in times of transition; we get anxious; we try to force fit things; and in all of that, we risk missing whom God may be providing for us in such a time as this. Are you in a season of “Who?” You may not be able to let go all the anxiety. But you may be able to interrupt it long enough to breathe and to seek God’s voice and the Spirit’s leading. It’s there. And often, it’s the voice reminding us to ask a question we may not have thought to ask in our anxiety-driven tunnel vision...

Father's Day


Source: Worship & Song, 3152
Recommended Key: E
Tempo: 90-96 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano or band
Notes: While the congregation is best suited to sing the chorus, the stanzas are worth teaching and internalizing within the church as a statement of welcome. This welcome extends from a statement of Christian hospitality, but it also includes imagery that supports the welcome at Christ’s Table. The rhythms are syncopated, but with repetition can be learned over a period of weeks. Do not let the piano play the melody throughout; allow the voice to lead. It makes the singing easier and better!

I Thank You, Jesus

Source: Worship & Song, 3037
Recommended Key: G
Tempo: 88-96 bpm (dotted quarter )
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, or band
Notes: If your church has a choir, they will love singing this rocking, swinging hymn of praise to Jesus. It is a statement of faith and praise that also includes a very subtle use of inclusive language. This hymn also makes a great pairing with the classic text, “We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” which can be found in The Africana Hymnal, 4042.
Resources: Hymn Study »

We Will Not Go

Source: CCLI #5083873
Recommended Key: E♭
Tempo: 120-136 bpm
Instrumentation: Band, piano, additional percussion
Notes: This song is lively and energetic, and the text includes multiple biblical references that are poignant to the theme of being led by God. The vocal range in E♭ is well within the ability of most congregations, but there is a good bit of rhythmic syncopation. Allow the voices to lead if possible without the incorporation of the melody from a single accompaniment instrument.

Draw the Circle Wide

Source: Worship & Song, 3154
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 66-70 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano or band
Notes: Even though the tempo of 66-70 bpm is suggested, be sure to keep the pulse relaxed. I tend to prefer a tempo on the slow end of that range. This hymn is a hymn of welcome and inclusion that many congregations sing while joining hands.
Resources: History of Hymns »

Prayers of the People (The Faith We Sing)

Source: The Faith We Sing, 2201
Recommended Key: E♭
Tempo: 82-88 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, or solo guitar; winds or strings on melody
Notes: The congregation sings the refrain every time, with the concluding line begun by a leader (“Lord, in your mercy”) and the congregation responding (“Hear our prayer”). The accompaniment can either continue underneath the reading of the intercessions and spoken requests, or it can be silent during the intercessions. If silence is chosen, resetting the tonality for the leader may be necessary before singing.

Prayers of the People (The Brilliance)

Source: CCLI #7039048
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 100-108 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, or guitar
Notes: This short song is intended to be sung as responses for intercessory prayer. Continue the rolling accompaniment underneath the spoken intercessions, and vary the responses between the A theme (“You hear us calling…”) and the B theme (“Lord, have mercy”).

Come, Let Us Dream

Source: Worship & Song, 3157
Recommended Key: G
Tempo: 60-66 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, or guitar; solo wind or string instrument on melody
Notes: This hymn contains a very prophetic text that embraces the language of dreams. The text and tune fit is especially appropriate at the words, “let us ascend the mountaintop” and “the lowly raised.” In preparation of the choir, make sure to instruct them to build intensity through the half notes to keep the phrase moving. If you don’t have a choir, this vocal modeling can also be embodied by a song leader.

All the Heavens

Source: CCLI #3118520
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 74-78 bpm (see notes below)
Instrumentation: Acoustic ensemble (guitar, piano, fiddle) or light keyboard
Notes: Note the recommended tempo is 74-78 bpm, which if you have seen the vocal score on CCLI SongSelect, might appear daunting. There are lots of ornamentations on the melody found there, but I recommended singing in quarter, eighth, or half notes and omitting all of the ornaments (sixteenth notes and sixteenth-note triplets). Keep the melody simple.

Come to the Table of Grace

Source: Worship & Song, 3168
Recommended Key: F
Tempo: 86-94 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, or rhythm section
Notes: This hymn is one of the best choices for the distribution of Communion elements. Congregations can sing this confidently without a score because there is only a change of one word each time: “grace,” “peace,” “love,” and “joy.” The melody is easy to sing, and the song includes the theological perspective that it is Christ’s Table, not ours. Thus, we share in the meal as Christ shared it with his disciples and continues to share it with us.
Resources: Hymn Study »

What Feast of Love

Source: Worship & Song, 3170
Recommended Key: Em (G)
Tempo: 116-120 bpm (eighth note)
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, or any instrumental ensemble
Notes: The tune GREENSLEEVES is so familiar that many people will confidently sing this series of questions and answers. Each answer begins with the words of the traditional “What Child Is This” refrain: “This, this is Christ the king.”

Invitacion Fountain

Source: CCLI #3483224
Recommended Key: G
Tempo: 82-90 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, solo guitar, or band
Notes: The song is quite easy to learn, and the melody of the chorus has interesting leaps and contours. When leading, I encourage singing each phrase of the verses with a longer held note at the end. As written in the SongSelect vocal score, the last note in each phrase is so short that the congregation is left wondering where to enter next. Lengthening the last note of each phrase will help them better anticipate the next entrance.

Sois la Semilla (You Are the Seed)

Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 583
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 100-108 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, or Latin guitar/percussion ensemble
Notes: The key to singing this song is keeping it light and lively. The melody must have some bounce, and the joy of the text must be reflected upon the choir and song leaders. If you’re not quite ready to sing the hymn in Spanish, have a soloist sing the first stanza in Spanish, and then have the congregation sing the three stanzas in English.
Resources: History of Hymns »

All Creation

Source: CCLI #2650436
Recommended Key: A
Tempo: 92-102 bpm
Instrumentation: Band or solo guitar
Notes: This joyous song needs energy in the pulse. For this reason, I have not recommended a keyboard instrument alone. It is possible to use piano, but it does not have the percussive quality of a strummed guitar and/or percussion. There is a great deal of syncopation, but it is easily taught and learned because of the repetition. Be sure an accompaniment instrument does not double the melody line. This will cause the song to drag and the rhythm to become too complicated. Leading with voice will offer the best results.

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