By Teri C. Peterson, MDiv ‘05
In many congregations, summer was a slightly (or much) slower season, and as autumn approaches we gear up for an onslaught of new and returning programs. Sunday School returns from sabbatical, the worship schedule may expand to more services, youth groups and confirmation classes and adult education and fellowship opportunities and Presbyterian Women circles and mission projects and and and…
For many pastors and church staff, looking at the September calendar can feel daunting. Continue reading AND, AND, AND.
Teri Carol Peterson, MDiv 2005
I am part of several online groups for clergy—some specifically for supporting women in ministry (revgalblogpals.org), some for young clergy women (youngclergywomen.org), some for people who use the Narrative Lectionary, etc. These groups have been a lifesaver in what can sometimes be a lonely vocation. I have found support for hard days, ideas I can try in my own context, and colleagues nearby to have coffee with.
One of the most common uses of these groups is crowdsourcing—people ask questions about writing liturgy, ideas for curriculum, how to handle tricky situations, what to do with a summer when the lectionary includes 6 weeks of “I am the bread of life.” This year I have seen a large number of questions about organizing a sermon series around suggestions from the congregation—either questions that the congregation asks, or hymns that they love to sing. I have done both of these things, so rather than send you to search Facebook groups (now that the search function has been made extra terrible), here’s an overview of how that worked for us. Continue reading Preaching the People’s Lectionary
By Teri Peterson, MDiv ’05
Communal worship may be one of my favorite things. I love to plan it, I love to lead it, I love to coach others as they plan and lead. And there’s just something about the Reformed Tradition’s understanding of the order of worship that works so beautifully—the movement from gathering to preparing to encountering to responding to sending. When a service ties together around the Word, it’s almost like magic happens in the sanctuary.
I suspect many people would disagree with my assessment of traditional worship. I have often heard the words “rote” and “dry” alongside the usual “boring.” And though the phrase “frozen chosen” had very little to do with worship originally, it is certainly applicable in many congregations now. But it doesn’t have to be this way! We do not have to be people whose focus on the Word Proclaimed eclipses the need for the whole people of God to participate in the liturgy from beginning to end.
Continue reading Communal Worship with Seasonal Structure