Epiphany/Baptism of the Lord 2018 — Planning Notes
God is Speaking! | RISE UP!
Leccionario en Español, Leccionario Común Revisado: Consulta Sobre Textos Comunes.
Lectionnaire en français, Le Lectionnaire Œcuménique Révisé
Epiphany and Baptism of the Lord: GOD IS SPEAKING
Colors today and on February 11 (Transfiguration) are white and gold.
From January 14-February 4, the color is green.
Beginning Ash Wednesday (February 14), the color is purple.
January 1 New Year’s Day/Holy Name of Jesus
January 7 Epiphany Sunday AND Baptism of the Lord
Season after Epiphany Series Begins (Forthcoming)
January 11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day
January 14 Human Relations Day (Special Sunday with Offering)
January 15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday
January 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 21 Ecumenical Sunday
March 2 World Day of Prayer
March 11 UMCOR Sunday
Daylight Saving Time Change Song (Spring) (USA)
March 25 Passion/Palm Sunday
Holy Week Series Begins
March 29 Maundy/Holy Thursday
March 30 Good Friday
March 31 Holy Saturday (until Sundown)
Easter Eve/Easter Vigil (after Sundown)
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.
For your Planning Team
Series Outline for Rise Up!
(Epiphany through Transfiguration)
Planning the Series
Remember the keys to an effective series launch.
- Treat the opening movement and the service as a whole as a series overture. The opening movement in our full service order can be an effective overture for this service and series. It announces the series theme (Rise up!) and introduces a recurring feature of this series, the spoken word contributions of The Rev. B. Kevin Smalls. Be sure–through visual, print, and/or aural announcements–to point to where this series is heading in more than one way today as well. The sermon may also point the way.
- Underscore the series promise. The purpose of the Season after Epiphany is to get the church ready for its work of accompanying seekers to learn the way of Christ and prepare for baptism during Lent. Last year’s series did this by focusing on evangelism. This year’s series focuses on the inner work the church needs to do and be reminded of as it gets ready. Help your congregation want to get ready by what you say and do in worship today, and be sure to help them see how this series can help them do that work.
- Start strong. Starting strong today means especially making the opening sequence flow smoothly, powerfully, confidently. Be sure to rehearse the lighting cues, the singing, the movement, the spoken word elements and the reading so each is top quality and each flows seamlessly into the next as we move from entrance to sermon.
Baptismal reaffirmation requires considerable logistical planning as well. Don’t create bottlenecks or long lines! If you have more than fifty people in your congregation, plan for multiple stations (at least one per fifty congregants, if possible) set up around your worship space with ushers or others stationed to help people move to their nearest station and back to their seats smoothly. And be sure to provide ways for people who cannot get to a station to use the water as well. Since baptismal reaffirmation may be a new or relatively infrequent practice in many of our congregations, be sure to rehearse the stationing and deployment of people directing congregants to stations and station hosts. They should all be in place, ready to go, as the rite of baptismal reaffirmation begins. If you’ve done the physical prep work well, you won’t need to say more than “The ushers will guide you to the nearest station” at the time you invite people to go.
Additional Resources for this Service
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: (Click link to find countries for this week when they are posted)