John Dear wrote an article back in 2015 in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Included in the article is a link to a then-new book of Dr. King’s prayers and a few examples. The article is worthwhile, in and of itself, but don’t miss out on Thou, Dear God: Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits, either.
April Yamasaki invites us to rest and be renewed and encourages us to listen to what Christianity Today has called “America’s quarantine anthem”: Way Maker “is actually from Nigeria, written and sung by Sinach, a Pentecostal worship leader, who tours internationally, and is the first African to top the Billboard Christian Songwriters chart”; the song “has inspired churches around the world and has also been included in some of the demonstrations for racial justice”.
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership has a number of webcasts on the topic of hybrid expressions of worship and church life in the time of pandemic, including Online Worshipers: Moving From Viewers to Participants; 6 Traits People Value in Online Faith Communities; Online Worship Makes Evangelism Less Intimidating for Many; and The Adept Church.
Cole Marshall, MN Conference UCC young adult intern, created a powerful video in response to the George Floyd murder. This could be a powerful way to share confession or Intercessory Prayers/Prayers of the People. Watch the video, with music also written by Cole.
Worship Times is offering a What to Bring out of Quarantine webinar Thursday, June 18, at 12:00 PM/noon.
An entire collection of worship materials by UU religious professionals of color is available in an online packet (PDF) from The Promise & the Practice.
The Calvin Institute shared Worship in Times of Crisis and Trauma that is informative, today.
IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE V. ONLINE ATTENDANCE AND THE EMERGING TRAP OF DOING NOTHING WELL by Carey Nieuwhof offers tips on moving into a dual-worship mode with intentionality and excellence. PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE!
The PCUSA has created a Values Based Discussion Guide for congregations to use in discerning steps toward returning to in-person worship.
Please read Director of Racial Justice and founder of Healing Minnesota Stories of the MN Council of Churches, Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs’ (Mohican), Open Letter to White Clergy on George Floyd’s Murder and the Current Unrest, especially if tempted to prayer for “peace”.
Inspiration, a response to the murder of George Floyd, encourages us to listen to the Spirit’s cry for justice and equity.
Melissa Bane Sevier reflects on this as The Most Pentecosty of Pentecosts.
‘Credo’ virtual choir anthem (from “The Gospel Mass” by composer Robert Ray Jr. ) is a mass choir of gifted singers representing faith communities from around the globe. Produced by Discipleship Ministries and United Methodist Communications, it can be downloaded and used by churches in any online worship service.
Church Marketing University offers a free guide to help your church ramp up your digital ministry, digital services, and digital giving. It includes live streaming guides to get started fast or with no budget, music and licensing information, digital kids’ and youth ministry ideas, and much more.
Illustrated Ministry is producing lots of summer materials, including:
- Illustrated Worship Children’s Bundle – Summer 2020: illustrations, leader’s guide devotionals and children’s worship bulletins
- Illustrated Worship Children’s Bulletins – Summer 2020: children’s worship bulletins only
- Bible Story Coloring Pages – Summer 2020: coloring pages
How can your online outreach grow beyond just streaming worship? Orlando Evans, Online Pastor at Impact United Methodist Church in Atlanta, speaks about how to build relationships with online worshipers and engage them in studies, small groups, and even membership classes in Online Worshipers: Moving From Viewers to Participants.
Joanna, a RevGalBlogPal clergy-person, is on sabbatical “visiting” lots of churches. In Spacious Faith, she shares Thoughts from a Virtual Church Visitor: Getting People to Worship, Welcoming and Gathering, and her Third and Final Installment. She’s got some worthwhile tips!
Duluth artist, Carolyn Olson’s, powerful, stunning artwork could be the impetus for a moving sermon, the backdrop for Prayers of the People/Intercessory Prayers, and/or a contemplative focal point.
RevGalBlogPals offers weekly Worship Words. Please note their requests for citations and be aware of copyright permissions.
Having received multiple requests for solos and duets, Augsburg Fortress has the following pieces available on Prelude Music Planner for download. If you do not subscribe to Prelude, the pieces are also available for purchase on the Augsburg Fortress website.
There are a variety of free video-editing options available that sometimes offer more features than more expensive platforms. A few of the most highly rated free video editors are Lightworks, Blender, Shotcut, and DaVinci Resolve.
Hannah Adair Bonner offers a thoughtful, nuanced, and sensitive discussion of virtual communion, including things to beware of.
FreeOnlineChurch.com: Outreach.com is offering a new service that helps churches stream worship to their websites. Make your online worship service easier to find and drive more traffic to your website with this amazing free resource.
The Work of the People is a subscription-based streaming service providing access to a wide range of virtual resources that can be included in your online worship service or streamed to your congregation, including visual prayers, poems, and benedictions. The service costs $250 a year or $25 a month, but the content is excellent and highly recommended. Learn more
Carey Nieuwhof of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership says Digital Church Is Here to Stay. Putting online worship back on the shelf in the new normal would ignore the greatest opportunity the church today has to reach people. And see, When You Don’t Know Who’s Worshiping, in which Lee Roorda Schott explores the opportunity of having unseen people you don’t yet know worshiping with you online. She offers strategies to help these digital newcomers feel included and welcomed.
The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians taped an April 24, 2020, Streaming Worship Webinar which included tips on creating a virtual choir.
Call-in Telephone Streaming Service Phonelivestreaming.com provides a local, dedicated telephone number that requires no access codes. Worshippers can call in during the service to listen live or call in later to hear a recording of the most recent service. They can even opt-in to be called each Sunday when the service begins. It’s $30/month plus a one-time $50 setup fee for a local number. For an additional $10/month, you can get a toll-free number. Technical details: you can stream automatically over RTMP from your existing streaming software or hardware. Or you can use a free voip SIP dialer to stream from a computer or simply upload an mp3. Thanks to Cader Howard of First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater (firstname.lastname@example.org) for sharing this tip and offering tech assistance.
Vanderbilt Divinity Library has updated their Revised Common Lectionary webpages with newly integrated print pdfs and slides, making them seamlessly accessible for every Sunday/Holy Day with links to slides and images.
Author and creative worship coach Jason Moore helps navigate the new and unfamiliar world of fully online worship and church life in this recorded workshop and accompanying handbook of useful resources and advice, including 10 key takeaways you can put into action right away.
Susannah Bryant of First Presbyterian in Gastonia, NC shared this infographic with tips about worshiping at home with children.
Igniter Media created free graphics to help engage your church during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PC(USA) Store has a huge list of resources for on-lining church (worship and study groups) and free downloadable faith formation for all ages: books, coloring pages, study guides, etc.
Virginia Theological Seminary’s eform offers a number of brief video introductions on creating online worship, faith formation, safe space, and community.
Tips for congregational SINGING IN A VIRTUAL REALITY
Check the Story Divine podcast for ideas in worship and sermon prep – even in these times, a good story is important!
Saddleback’s online resources at The PEACE Plan include tips on transitioning to online worship, stress-mitigation advice, and downloadable sermons of encouragement.
See Global Christian Worship for music and art resources from around the world. This could also be a great way to engage an adult or youth group in expanding their understanding of Christianity from the local to the global. Or even generate a sense of global belonging and community by engaging with the artists who post!
The Plural Guild creates unique liturgies and music specific to the times and contexts in which we live.
enfleshed is developing COVID-19 related liturgical elements.
Available each week on the ELCA worship blog are materials for “Worship in the Home.”
revgalblogpals shares timely ideas and encouragement for worship and preaching: sometimes based on the Narrative Lectionary, sometimes based on the RCL.
A Sermon for Every Sunday offers preaching tips and sermons based on the RCL from world-class preachers and preaching teachers.
First Reading podcast offers preaching insights to the Older Testament (i.e., “First Reading”) of the RCL.
Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers tips on Preaching to an Empty Room.