Second Sunday After the Epiphany 2018 — Planning Notes

January 14, 2018 (Year B)

Listen  |  RISE UP! 

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

From January 14 – February 4, the color is green.
February 11 (Transfiguration) is white and gold.
Beginning Ash Wednesday (February 14), the color is purple.    

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

All Month       Black History Month
February 11   Transfiguration of the Lord
                        Scouting Sunday

February 14   Ash Wednesday
                        Lent Series Begins (forthcoming)
February 19  
Presidents Day

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)

April 1           
Easter Day
                      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. 

For your Planning Team

Planning this Service

It’s week two in this six-week series. The core task for week two in any series is to pick up the energy and the thematic thread (in that order) of the series launch and take them both to the next level.

This service picks up on the energy of last week’s service by again beginning in near darkness and quiet, leading into a spoken word piece before a dramatic reading of the Scripture.

The way this service takes the energy of the series launch to the next level may not seem obvious. Overall, this one seems quieter, more contemplative, at least through the prayers of the people. It may seem as if the energy is taken down a notch rather than up. What we’re going for here is taking the energy of the first service deeper, to a more profound level of listening. And then, once we’ve prayed, starting to amp up the energy from Thanksgiving through Sending forth.

This follows the advancement of the thematic thread from “God Is Speaking” (last week) to our response to that in this week’s service, “Listen,” reflected dramatically in the spoken word prayer for illumination, the Scripture, the sermon, and the prayers. This service seeks to help us embody the energy we need to listen for God’s direction in our lives and in the lives of those we’ll be accompanying in their discipleship journey during Lent.

Then the spike in kinetic energy of the music and prayers toward the end of the service provides a bit of a segue into next week’s service, “Move.”

Additional Resources for this Service

2014 Planning Helps for these readings »

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