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Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 | 0 comments

Shared Outdoor Summer Worship

outdoor-service-banner-pic

Our church has a tradition of gathering with some of the other churches in our community for a shared (ecumenical) outdoor worship service.  For our worship space we set up a tent (a few of our churches own them or they can be rented) or worship in the gazebo in our town park.  byIt is a lot of fun and is well attended.  It also requires a good deal of coordination and planning.  So, below you will find an outline of our planning process followed by the liturgy we used in July of 2016.

Planning Process

  1. After Easter each year, I send out an email to the pastors/worship leaders of the churches in our community to see who is interested in participating.  Usually they bring this to their Worship teams for approval and that can take a while (which is why I start just after Easter).
  2. Once I know which pastors/churches want to participate, I set up a planning meeting using doodle.com.
  3. The planners meet once for about 1.5 hours to make all of the major decisions for the service.  See below for a a full list from our planning sheet and for notes about how to handle the offering and Holy Communion (which we have found are the trickiest to coordinate).
  4. After we meet and make the major decisions, we tend to the details by email and phone.  One of us also serves as the reminder person, checking in a few times with the team by phone/email to make sure all remember what they agreed to do and that all is going according to plan.  If it isn’t, we troubleshoot and problem solve together.
  5. Finally, on the morning of the big event, the planners meet early to set up under the tent (which was set up the day before) or in a gazebo.  Then we worship and share fellowship time afterwards that is hosted by a few of the participating churches.

PLANNING SHEET

Participating Churches:

Theme/Scrip:

Location:

Time:

Date:

Offering:  (Note: we always choose a special offering beneficiary and then each church brings a marked basket for their offerings)

Communion Officiant(s):  (Note: Different traditions have different rules around Communion so check with one another, your Bishops/denominational leaders as appropriate.  As for elements, we make sure to provide bread, wine, juice, and gluten free options and then communicate clearly to the congregation during worship about which elements are where. )

TASK

Set-Up (Time: )

  • Tents
  • Sound/Keyboard
  • Altar
  • Signs
  • Blankets
  • Lawn Chairs (Note: Each person should bring a lawn chair.  PLEASE REMIND YOUR PEOPLE)
  • Other

Choir/Special Music

Organist

Preacher

Bulletins/Liturgy

Ushers/Greeters

Fellowship Time

Clean-up

Advertising

Readers


SAMPLE LITURGY FROM JULY, 2016

Worship Theme: “Feeding God’s People”

HUNGER

Gathering Music

Greeting & Welcome

Hungers

all are invited to name aloud, or silently, those who are spiritually/physically/relationally/financially hungry

The Word for Hungry People: Exodus 16:9-17

Response:

“Come Bring Your Burdens to God”      Bell

 

*Prayer of Confession (in unison)

Sometimes our hungers take over.  Sometimes when filling ourselves, we make others hungry.  Feeding Christ, end our hunger, and end the actions we take that make others hungry.  AMEN.

Sung Pardon:

“Come Bring Your Burdens to God”     Bell 

Passing of the Peace

FEASTING on the word

Psalm: 147

Gospel: Luke 9:10-17

Message

FEASTING ON PRAYER, BREAD & WINE

Hymn: “All Who Hunger”      Dunstan

Prayers of the People & Pastoral Prayer

Offering: (to benefit local non-profits) 

Offertory

Doxology & Prayer of Dedication 

Holy Communion

FED & FEEDING

Hymn: “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ”     Kaan

Benediction

Postlude


© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2016

Kevin Goldenbogen is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving an amazing congregation in the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont. He skis, climbs, runs, bakes bread, rides a red Vespa, and tries every day to follow Jesus. He is married to the perfect woman and has two boys who he loves beyond words.

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