Third Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes


Faith that Makes Us Strong  |  IN THE NAME OF JESUS WORSHIP SERIES 

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

April 8           
Easter Series Begins
April 15        
Native American Ministries Sunday
April 22         Festival of God’s Creation
April 25         World Malaria Day

All Month       Christian Home Month (2018 Theme: Families Called to Peace, forthcoming)
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May 3              National Day of Prayer
May 4              May Friendship Day (UMW/CWU)
May 7-13        
Christian Family Week (2018 resources forthcoming)
May 10            
Ascension Day
May 13            Ascension Sunday
                        Festival of the Christian Home/Mother’s Day (USA)
May 19-20      
Change the World Weekend
May 20           Day of Pentecost
                       Heritage Sunday (forthcoming)
May 24           
Aldersgate Day
May 27           Trinity Sunday
                       Peace with Justice Sunday
May 28           Memorial Day (USA)

Pray for annual conferences convening throughout the month, for all receiving new appointments or assignments, for those leaving existing appointments or assignments, and for congregations and other ministries receiving new leadership.
June 3          June Worship Series Begins: “Transitions”
June 17        Father’s Day (USA)
June 19        
Juneteenth (USA)

July 1           July Worship Series Begins: “Healing Hands”
July 4           Independence Day (USA)

All Month     Back to School Resources
August 5      August Worship Series Begins: “Life Together”

All Month         Season of Creation (2018 Discipleship/UMCom Series coming soon)
September 3    Labor Day (USA)
September 15-
October 15       
Hispanic Heritage Month (USA)

October 6       October Series in Job (in development)   
World Communion Sunday
October 14     Children’s Sabbath
October 21     Laity Sunday (2018 Resources forthcoming)
October 31     Reformation Day

November 1      All Saints Day
November 4      All Saints Sunday
                           Daylight Saving Time Ends (USA)
                           A Season of Saints (2018 Resources Forthcoming)
November 11    Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday
                          International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
                          Veterans Day (USA)
                          Extended Advent Begins
November 18   Bible Sunday
November 18-25    National Bible Week (USA)
November 22    Thanksgiving Day (USA)
November 25    Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday
                           United Methodist Student Day (offering)


For Your Planning Team

Planning for This Service

The primary task of week 2 in any series is to take the energy from the opening and move it in the direction it needs to go next. And this week that direction is up (in terms of power) and down (in terms of depth).

This week’s entrance includes an act of healing for all who desire it for themselves or others. For this to work powerfully, it needs to flow smoothly and not create long lines. This means you will need multiple stations. Expect each healing encounter to take and average of 20-30 seconds, so two per minute. If you plan for 5 minutes for this action, each station can receive 10-15 people. Determine the number of people you believe may respond, then create the number of stations (and persons to host those stations) needed.  

Once you have the number of stations you need, recruit station hosts (lay or clergy), and train them for their work. Then work with the head usher to coordinate where the stations should be to facilitate the best flow of people to stations. The head usher will then work with the usher team to determine their plan for guiding people to the nearest convenient station.

Before Sunday, preferably Saturday evening, rehearse this entire action, in two parts. With the attendants for the healing stations, rehearse how they will get to their stations, then how they will offer prayer, laying on of hands, and anointing until they are all confident in their actions. Then, have the station hosts function as the congregation, and rehearse with the usher team how the congregation will get to and from the nearest convenient station until the ushers are confident in what they’re doing.  

The rest of the service flows in much the same ways, with the same kinds of requirements for voicing, as last week’s service. See last week’s planning notes for details of ways to prepare leaders for each element.

Additional Resources for this Service

2015 Planning Helps for these readings »

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: (Click link to find countries for this week when they are posted)