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Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 | 0 comments

Thanksgiving in July/August

In many of our churches the summer months include the vacations of pastors and other worship leaders.  This can make worship planning in general and pulpit supply in particular difficult.  Is it possible to provide your congregation with an inspiring and educational worship experience without a sermon?  YES!  One simple approach is to pick a theme, select Scripture verses and hymns based upon this theme, and weave them together.  Done well, your congregation might not even notice there wasn’t a sermon!

Below is a sample service outline to inspire your own summer planning.  It uses the broad theme of Thanksgiving to focus the verses, hymns and prayers.

NOTE: Hymns are from the “New Century Hymnal” & “The Faith We Sing”


* Indicates that congregants are to stand as they are able

GATHERING

Greeting, Welcome & Announcements

* Centering Word: (Psalm 9:1-2)

One:       We thank you, Lord, with all our hearts; We talk about all your wonderful acts.

MANY:  I will celebrate and rejoice in you; I will sing praises to your name, Most High.

One:       We thank you, Lord, with all our hearts; We talk about all your wonderful acts.

MANY:  I will celebrate and rejoice in you; I will sing praises to your name, Most High.

One:       We thank you, Lord, with all our hearts; We talk about all your wonderful acts.

MANY:  I will celebrate and rejoice in you; I will sing praises to your name, Most High.

* Hymn: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You”

* Opening Prayer (in unison) – Today, we give thanks, not to deny the suffering and brokenness of our lives, but in response to it.  Today we give thanks, not as spiritual opium, but as life giving nutrition.  Today in our worship we give thanks to you, our God in Christ, who is worthy of our thanksgiving.    Amen.

* Passing of the Peace

A Time for God’s Children

 

LESSONS & HYMNS OF THANKSGIVING

Exodus 15:19-21

Hymn: “God is So Good”

Isaiah 55:9-13

Hymn: “Trees of the Field” (x2)

Colossians 3:12-17

Hymn: “God of the Sparrow, God of the Whale” (v. 1, 3)

Luke 22:14-20

Hymn:  “Draw Us In the Spirit’s Tether” (v. 2-3)

 

RESPONDING

Joys & Concerns

Pastoral Prayer & Lord’s Prayer

Offering Our Gifts to God

Offertory 

* Doxology

* Prayer of Dedication

* Hymn: “For the Beauty of the Earth”

* Benediction

* Postlude


© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2017

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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