Wind, Sky, and Sea

Season of Creation 2017 — Series Overview

Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

Fire fascinates us, draws us in, and then reduces us to trembling. Death is at once enemy, and sister. And today, we join the witness of scripture in joy and terror at the power of wind, and sky, and sea, and with Francis we confess that God is surely praised through them.

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

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Season of Creation 3 — WIND, SKY, AND SEA
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). During this Season after Creation (throughout September), consider “spicing up” the green with other shades of green or colors evoked by the weekly theme. For this week, consider adding colors evocative of wind, sky, and sea where you are.


In the Series and This Service: Continuing the Common Threads

As we’ve noted before, this is a “point by point” rather than a “step by step” series. Each service can stand on its own, and should be planned to do so. Yet there can and should be some common threads that weave throughout it, while keeping each service distinct.

We suggested four as part of the series opening.

Visually, use the same basic graphics template for slides, but add colors to the palette suggestive of the theme each week. The colors that speak most powerfully of wind, sky, and sea may vary from place to place, so choose colors to add to the basic green palette that are most appropriate for your context. Keep in mind the colors of the story from scripture for this week as well. There is darkness (the wind blowing all night long), seafoam (the waters piled to either side), and well as the obfuscating misty brightness of clouds. In such a windstorm, one might expect the sky also to be overcast.

Musically, open the service once again with selected verses of “All Creatures of Our God and King” (UMH 62, or CCLI #3608102). For this week, sing verses 1, 2, 3, and 7. As suggested last week, include the reading from Francis’s Praise of the Creatures within the time for the opening hymn, perhaps in this case reading st. 5 just before singing st. 2 of the hymn, and reading st. 6 just before singing stanza 3.

Textually, include not just the scripture reading and the reading from Francis, but also some additional prayers and resources that reflect the strong environmental images of this week’s theme. Consider using the Lakota Tribe Act of Centering from the Book of Worship (470) immediately after the opening hymn and before the reading from Exodus, and do the reading from the center of the worship space, as the act of centering concludes there. And if you do not celebrate Holy Communion today, consider using BOW 557 as your congregational act of Thanksgiving after offering the peace and collecting the offering.

Continue with the same form of intercession you began last week, this week giving a bit more time (but not overdoing it) to praying for the earth, all creatures, and our calling and commitment to conserve it.

Finally, if you do celebrate Holy Communion today, use the same form with which you started the series, and continue using it each time you celebrate it during this series. This helps build not only series identity, but, more importantly, greater competence in the congregation in using this form of the Great Thanksgiving. This makes the prayer much more theirs, and increases their repertoire of forms of the Great Thanksgiving they can pray with confidence.

Additional Resources

2014 Planning Helps for these readings

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay

In This Series...

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes