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Transitions

Flowing River of Life

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Arts, Call to Worship, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services, Stewardship, Transitions | 0 comments

Flowing River of Life

For our church’s annual Stewardship campaign, we chose a theme of “Flowing from the Throne of God,” from Revelation 22:1-5: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the...

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Light of the World

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services, Transitions | 0 comments

Light of the World

A Christmas Eve tradition that some in our congregation have observed involves bringing lanterns to worship.  During the singing of “Silent Night,” they light their lanterns and then bring the “light of the world” with them as they leave the sanctuary and travel home.  Over the years this tradition was carried on by fewer and fewer. SAD.  Valuing the tradition and desiring to carry it on, we revitalized it by doing the following: We advertised and announced this tradition (bulletins, newsletters, email updates, worship...

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Consider the Birds

Posted by on Aug 27, 2016 in Arts, By Season, Call to Worship, Easter, Prayers/Litanies, Scripture/Readings, Sermons, Slideshow, Transitions | 0 comments

Consider the Birds

In the fall of 2015, Rev. Daniel Cooperrider of Weybridge Congregational Church, UCC told our WorshipWell team about a sermon series he was leading based upon a book by author and pastor Debbie Blue, titled: Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible.  Cooperrider explained that his sermon series included presentations by bird experts in worship along with bird watch outings.  Inspired by Cooperrider and Blue, Rev. Goldenbogen of the United Church of Underhill (UCC & UMC) led a “Consider the Birds” sermon...

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Re-Gathering

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Arts, Call to Worship, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services, Transitions | 0 comments

Re-Gathering

During the summer months in our church, like so many others churches, our people attend worship less frequently.  Vacations, visitors, calls from the mountains to go hiking, nice weather, or one of 1000 other things keep people out of the sanctuary on Sunday mornings.  In early September though, as the school year begins and our program year starts anew, more people attend worship more often. To visibly mark this change of seasons and the regathering of our community, we have developed a ritual using our leftover dried palms from the previous...

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Short Story Entry

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Arts, Call to Worship, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow, Transitions | 0 comments

Short Story Entry

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are people of a STORY.  Call it the Gospel story or the Biblical story or the story of Jesus Christ, or the “greatest story ever told” or, simply, “the good news.”  Whatever you call it, we are people of a story and we spend a whole lot of time in worship, telling and listening to that story through a variety of mediums (prayers, sermons, stained glass windows, banners, classes, music, video, pageants, etc.). Here’s the thing: because we tell and listen to a PARTICULAR STORY...

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Whispered Word

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Prayers/Litanies, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services, Transitions | 0 comments

Whispered Word

I was on a retreat in July of 2016 in Asheville, NC.  One of our retreat leaders was Heidi Miller, a professor of Christian Worship at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas with connections also to the Missional Wisdom Foundation.  During our retreat, Heidi told us that during worship one day she whispered a scripture verse into one worshiper’s ear and then asked him to pass it on.  Soon the verse was spreading through the congregation, causing anticipation and excitement.  After hearing this idea I asked Heidi if I could try it in my...

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God’s Heart Like a Beating Drum

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Call to Worship, Music, Slideshow, Transitions, Violence | 0 comments

God’s Heart Like a Beating Drum

The week of July 3, 2016 was another week of racism and violence in the U.S.  Two black men, Philando Castille and Alton Sterling were shot to death by police officers.  In retaliation, Micah Johnson shot 12 police officers in Dallas, 5 of whom died.  Though weeks like this are becoming common,  these events in particular filled our small rural community with feelings of anger, sorrow, even despair. Come Sunday there was a definite need in our morning worship service to lament and resist the racism and violence while at the same time being...

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Leading Silence

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Prayers/Litanies, Silence, Slideshow, Transitions | 0 comments

Leading Silence

A number of years ago while on a mission trip, I was planning a weekday morning worship service with youth and adults.  We were assigning people to lead various elements but when we got to the end of the liturgy, I realized we had one youth left who had not yet been assigned a part.  So, out of necessity, I said, “OK, ‘Frank’, why don’t you lead the silent prayer?”  To which Frank responded, “how do I do that?” It was a good and profound question, of course.  I mean, how do we lead silence?  Is that...

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Bass Drop

Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Children's Message, Communion and Baptism, Music, Pentecost, Slideshow, Transitions | 0 comments

Bass Drop

First things first.  WHAT’S A BASS DROP?  Well, it’s an EDM (electronic dance music term) used to describe a moment in a song when the bass line rhythm suddenly “drops” or changes.  They are sonic intrusions into the natural flow of a song.  Bass drops, besides being intrusions, also add structure to a song, mark transitions, build anticipation and excitement, reinforce musical themes, and often evoke an emotional/visceral response that lead to people saying things like: “ah, man, that bass drop is sick.”...

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