Everything feels like change right now. I am surrounded by boxes and we are moving again. We are moving for the second time in this long pandemic — and this time we are moving overseas.
Nothing feels certain as I try to imagine what life will be like over there in Germany where the vaccine rollout has been so very slow, but as the song goes, the Army keeps rolling along.
I don’t yet know but I am trying to be brave. I shared recently in my Discernment in Coronatide that I’m looking for collaborators in spiritual direction and inspired liturgy. It is a post that has been edited over and over again over the past few months as I try to understand this nudge that I am feeling. It feels awkward and strange to put this out there but I’m letting those winds blow in making a leap from TinyLetter to Substack. That’s just one tiny little shift and I’m daydreaming what else might be coming while I’m in lockdown overseas.
What I know more than I ever knew before is that we need each other. We need each other in ways that we are still trying to understand. I know that is my sacred task right now and I’m trying to lean into that hope.
Prayers for Pentecost
It was different last year so that my previous post on Pandemic Prayers for Pentecost might not quite hit the mark. There is another set of prayers from way back when on a year in which Memorial Day fell on the same weekend which doesn’t happen this year. So you don't have to worry about that but there’s a Call to Worship in there that might be worth something.
For this year, I wanted to share something that celebrated the possibility of being in person if that’s what you are doing right now in our community. I wanted to create something that to capture that feeling of being all together in one place that is such a part of the Pentecost story. You can find out more about Wind Power here including the free download of a worshipful moment. (I’m not calling it a liturgy even if it might be.)
This Call to Worship spoke to me particularly as we imagine the world being renewed. I might add some more specific language around the pandemic, racism and gun reform (among other things that really need to change) but it might be enough of a suggestion to inspire quiet mediation on what needs to be renewed in us and through us in this new season.
Sacredise offers this complete Communion Liturgy for Pentecost all nicely formatted into a bulletin style format that you might print and send home.
Another option for a complete Liturgy for Pentecost comes from Michelle Torigian. I confess I like it much, much better than the one above.
As usual, enfleshed offers gorgeous words to center the intention of this day in this Invitation full of anticipation. It would be a lovely way to begin worship.
This is a truly lovely Prayers for the People for this special day and I love this Invitation to the Table for this season. It might need a slight adaption.
Joanna Harader shared this gorgeous Prayer for Pentecost last year that might need names added but it worth some reflection even if it isn’t shared in worship. She also offers these prayers for the day that I rather like.
I love the illustrated poetry that OnBeing has shared on YouTube and I wonder if the poem below might inspire some conversation around this day. There are several lines that make me wonder this especially that last line that hangs there begging us to answer, “are we not of interest to each other?” But the assertion that it’s not all “love, love, love” and that there is something about finding our voice in the confusion of so much mis-information feels significant. Maybe it’s worth exploring if you’d like a Sunday to not preach and enjoy the blessing of Zoom breakout rooms while you pour yourself another cup of coffee. I do not, however, know about licensing.
Though I’m not sure how I’d use them, I really like these Blessed with Hope stickers. They are meant for PRIDE celebrations and by all means order them for exactly that but it might be just what we need to say to each other as we imagine what we will become in this movement called church. If 50 is too many stickers for you, there is a smaller pack here.
Last, but not least, Traci Smith offers this idea for a Simple Pentecost Take Home Box for those that are sending home goodies for each season.
Growing into Summer
I want to first offer a caveat. I believe most of my readers are in the Northern Hemisphere and so this long stretch of fertile time after Pentecost is summer when gardens are growing and children are spending most of their days outside. My suggestions will make this assumption but please let me know if I am wrong! (I do really want to know if you are in Europe even if that is still in this same hemisphere.)
John Birch has a lovely collection of prayers for summer and another collection of prayers focusing on the work of the Holy Spirit. I’m delighted to have found his site again. I used to use his prayers often.
As we find ourselves in a new season of the pandemic, I wanted to give you some resources to offer possibilities and connections that are still COVID-safe starting with this wonderful round-up of Practices for Distant Socializing Difference. I hope to offer some liturgies specifically for outside worship in the weeks ahead as I know many of you are embracing the outdoors.
Thank God there are gifts that already exist out there for just this purpose including these ideas for taking faith formation outside (and could easily be used for worship) or perhaps use these prayer stations designed by Engage Worship in the UK. You might even consider planning a holy hike. I’d also recommend ordering a copy of Anna Woofenden’s This Is God’s Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls. I just downloaded it to my Kindle and will be reading along. I would love to hear what sermon series or themes you’re exploring in these summer months so that I might offer outdoor liturgies that might suit your ideas.
To that end, Traci Smith recently shared in her newsletter a Facebook post by Sarah Way Quiroga who sprayed a labyrinth onto her church parking lot using spray chalk. She shared this image which made me wonder what else could be done to use the empty space in our parking lots.
Though I imagine many have already chosen a curricula and are busy planning, you might still be interested to see these Vacation Bible School Top Picks for 2021 from Building Faith.
Some schools start in August and so you might already be thinking about backpack blessings. I created a roundup of pandemic backpack blessings last year that might offer some inspiration for your planning. As you are busy planning, you might also be thinking about the stewardship season ahead and perhaps these ideas will help in your planning.
This doesn’t feel like enough for the long season ahead but I hope it inspires some creativity in the weeks ahead. I promise to offer more options and ideas as the weeks unfold for your worship and wonder but this is what I have to offer now in the midst of a crazy pandemic overseas move. I pray it’s a blessing to you.
A truly wonderful collection. I am trying to convince my daughter Maria (she's done 6 Pilgrim Press books with me and has a novel out ... also kids 4 and soon to be 6) to collaborate with you -- she is amazing with collaboration and I am getting old. We will see.
Thanks for these great ideas! I just returned from VA where my Navy kids are getting ready to PCS. Funny how that is a verb. Blessings on your journey.