Leccionario en Español, Leccionario Común Revisado: Consulta Sobre Textos Comunes.
Lectionnaire en français, Le Lectionnaire Œcuménique Révisé
Sixth 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: THE APOSTLE'S TALE — Freedom
A new series begins today. Remember the three keys to a strong series start.
- Include an overture. Preview the scope (where the series will go, or “the series promise”) and the steps (themes for each week along the way) in a variety of ways. Your announcement set, bulletin and/or newsletter, opening song or song set, and the introduction to the sermon may all be part of the overture.
- Use or introduce musical and/or visual threads today that will weave through the entire series.
- Start strong, with a plan to build on the first week in the second, maintain development through the middle (however long it is), and conclude stronger than you began. Strong means confident, clear, and decisive. It need not (and often will not) mean “exciting” or even “impressive” (in terms or music or spectacle). It’s more important that there is a definitive beginning, middle, and end. Series beginnings are about launch. Series middles are about development. Series ends, like the fourth movement of each service, are about wrapping together, sending forth, and creating a segue into the next series, not simply wrapping up and closing down the current one.
Planning for the Series: Taking a Deep Dive
The flow of this series, as the flow of these scriptures, does not go “up” as much as it goes “deep.” This series is more like a dive from the heights than a climb up the mountain or a journey from point A to point B. All three kinds of series, and more beside, have their value. This one follows the contours of the core themes Paul presents each week, taking us from the height of claiming our freedom from all powers that would seek to claim or control us and restrain the saving love of God (today), to groaning (not complaining, but joining the heavenly chorus of all who suffer, “How long”) next week, to intercession as a means by which we are both called and empowered to respond to our present dystopias and toxicities, and finally to promise as the solid ground to which we return again and after our deep dive, the sure foundation for both claiming and participating in God’s saving work as Christ’s disciples here and now.
Visually, think about your series graphic picturing the whole scene of a diver, the height from which she jumps, the water below (at some distance) and the ground level around to which the diver will return.
As you move into today in particular, picture freedom as the diver on the board or at cliff’s edge, poised to jump. Next week, focus on the diver falling through the air toward the water. In week 3, Intercession, show the diver moving into, through, and then emerging from the water. And in week 4, the diver standing on the ground, looking toward the diving board or cliff’s edge for the next dive.
Musically, think about how the theme for each week of this series connects with the feel as well as the text of the songs you are singing. This week would be a great opportunity to sing Freedom Songs featuring selections from the Africana Hymnal, if you have this resource (if you don’t, go buy it!). You may find some good songs from that collection for the upcoming weeks as well, so this could be a great series in which to introduce or feature this United Methodist resource if you haven’t in the past, or revisit it if you have.
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Djibouti, Somalia