Flowing Into All the World

The Great Fifty Days of Easter — Series Overview

Day of Pentecost, Year A

During the season of Lent, we focused on preparing the community of the faithful to receive (or refresh with) the waters of the baptismal covenant on Easter morning. Over these last Great Fifty Days of Easter we have been talking about living into that covenant made by water and the Spirit. And now, today, we hear God speaking to us strongly in these texts through the words about water.

The font is front and center, able to be seen by all. If your font is small, (bowl about the size of a small or medium salad bowl) consider replacing it with a much larger and very colorful bowl (18” or larger in diameter, lots of blues, reds, yellows, and oranges) on a stand for today. Or invite children to decorate a very large white ceramic bowl with these colors during Sunday school (if before worship) and use their decorated bowl as your font.

Also, if the font is on carpet, consider covering the area around the font with plastic or other covering that can get wet safely, because the area will get wet today!


“Come to the Water” CCLI # 7049344
“Come to the Water “ W&S 3114 (CCLI# 5272842)


“Spirit of Faith, Come Down” UMH 332
“We Know That Christ Is Raised” UMH 610


Time with Children
Invite children to come to the font. Then invite them all to do something their parents might not normally let them do-- splash the water! The one rule is they have to go one at a time and can’t splash it on other children or on you. They each get one splash.

Tell the children we’re celebrating the time when the Holy Spirit became so evident among the people that it was like what Jesus said would happen when the Holy Spirit would come. “Rivers of living water will flow out of their bellies.” Then say, “You’ve helped us imagine what water flowing out everywhere looks like! So thank you!”

“Set a Fire” CCLI# 5911299


“Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire” UMH 651
(Alt Tunes: UMH 101 or 339)
During the singing of the song or hymn, a reader (child or youth) processes to a microphone or the lectern, followed by someone waving a banner with red, orange, and yellow “flames.”

Reader 1 Acts 2:17-21

During the reading, another reader (older adult) starts moving down a side aisle toward the font, followed by someone carrying a pole with long blue and green fabric/streamers.

Reader 2 Isaiah 58:9b-11

A deacon or the pastor joins the reader at the font.

Deacon or Pastor John 7:37-39

Sermon Flowing into the World

Commissioning of Laypersons into Ministry
Persons being commissioned in this service move toward the font, leaving the font visible for all to see. Children should also be invited to be able to see this action and participate in the laying on of hands.

The pastor begins, addressing the congregation:
My brothers and sisters in Christ:
Today we give thankful witness
to the work of the Holy Spirit
in the lives of these who are gathered around this baptismal font.
By water and the Spirit, they have been made new creatures in Christ.
In the Spirit and with this body of Christ,
they have discovered their gifts for ministry,
connected with the passion for service that God has placed in each of their hearts.
The Spirit moves in them,
and living water is ready to gush from their bellies,
in their ministries among us.

Truly, the Spirit of the Lord is in this place.

So, lift up your hearts and hands and voices!
We lift them to you, Lord!

Give thanks to our Triune God!
Thanks and praise are yours forever!

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One,
you have poured out your mercy upon us.
You have opened eyes that were blind to the harvest around us.
You have opened ears that were deaf to the cries of people
who are sick, or poor, or imprisoned.
You have opened minds that perceived only what others were missing
to realize the deep giftedness of all people.
You have opened hearts that were hardened to your compassion for all your creatures.
You have opened hands that are now ready to serve you,
laborers into your fields white to harvest.

Blessing and honor and glory are yours,
now and forever!

Those being commissioned may be invited to state their name and offer a brief (one sentence) description of the ministry they will offer. A fuller written description of the ministry may be provided in the bulletin or worship program. After each person shares, the congregation may respond:

Thank you, God, for (Name) and for the ministry (she/he) will offer.

The pastor asks all candidates to face the door leading out of the sanctuary. From behind, the pastor lays hands on the shoulders of the person being commissioned., children also lay hands, and the pastor invites the congregation to stretch their hands in prayer toward the person being commissioned. When all are ready, the pastor continues:

Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, Holy Spirit!

Fill your servant, (Name), with grace and truth,
with wisdom and strength,
with every spiritual gift
to engage this ministry in Christ’s name and your power.

Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, Holy Spirit!
Fill us with your love for (Name),
that we may support (him/her) in this ministry
with our prayers, counsel, encouragement,
and all things needed
that your will be done in (him/her) and through us.
Let your living waters flow!

After each person is commissioned, each may use the water in the font as a sign of reaffirming his/her baptismal calling.

After all are commissioned, the pastor and those newly commissioned lead the congregation in thanksgiving and intercession.


Deacon or Pastor and newly commissioned:
Together, let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name.

Deacon or Pastor and newly commissioned:
Thank you for the gifts you pour out upon all disciples.
May we all use these gifts to your glory.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Deacon or Pastor and newly commissioned:
Thank you for every sign of your kingdom at work among us.
May we and all leaders in the world work for justice, freedom, and peace.

Give us this day our daily bread.
Deacon or Pastor and newly commissioned:
Thank you for sustaining us in life and in ministry in your name.
May we be bearers of life and sustenance to people everywhere.

And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.


Deacon or Pastor and newly commissioned:
Thank you for your abundant mercy.
May we all be merciful as you are merciful.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Deacon or Pastor and newly commissioned:
Thank you for all the ways you have delivered us.
May all who are sick, suffering, persecuted, abused, or oppressed
soon know and feel your saving power.

A list of names may be read by the deacon or pastor, or the congregation may offer names aloud individually or all at once, or silence may be kept. At an appropriate time, the deacon or pastor may proceed:

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory
forever. Amen.

The pastor offers the peace of Christ, then sends the newly commissioned into the congregation to begin the exchange of the peace throughout the gathered community, and the ushers collect the offering.

Music During Peace and Offering
“Holy Spirit” CCLI# 4779872
“Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness” TFWS 2120

[If Communion is celebrated, use BOW 68-69 for the Great Thanksgiving immediately after the offering, omitting the Lord’s Prayer before the breaking of the bread.

Music During Communion]


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

Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble” CCLI # 1097028 OR
In the Midst of New Dimensions” TFWS 2238 OR
“We All Are One in Mission” TFWS 2243

Deacon or Pastor:
Flow into the world in peace,
you rivers of the Holy Spirit! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Pentecost 2017 - Planning Notes

In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Pentecost 2017 - Planning Notes