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Brainstorming: Pentecost

Do you have Pentecost worship ideas? Seeds that need a little back-and-forth to grow? sentences or words that haven’t grown into full-blown liturgy? Music plans? Creative space, drama, reading, liturgical ideas? Here’s a place to brainstorm, feed off the energy, collaborate, and dream!

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  1. We’re focusing on language/communication this year. So of course we’ll have the multiple-language thing going on. Other than that, I’m not really sure what we’re going to do.
    Space-wise, our worship enhancement team is working with flags, maps, faces of children from around the world, and written languages to try to convey the idea of communicating throughout the known world. or something…

    • Teri,
      I’m thinking of using a map this Sunday as well, asking people to put stickers on the countries they’ve lived in…a visual portrait of the “every nation under heaven” passage. Could you describe how you’re using the map in your service? Thanks!

      • Teri Peterson says

        Hi Jason,

        We had flags and languages from around the world all over the sanctuary, and maps of places where we have been/have sister churches/send mission trips/etc. We also have a communion table parament that is a map of the world. During the service we referenced the maps, the relationships or experiences we have in each place, etc.
        I love your idea. It would work well if you had one of those large classroom maps (preferably laminated) so it was large enough to be visible. Alternatively, it would probably be possible to create something like that in the midst of the service–have a large piece of butcher paper in place of a banner or on the communion table, and have people create the map with their words–just write in the general area (north america to the left, europe/africa in the center, asia to the right) the country or city and the person’s name. If you have an artist in the congregation, and if you do this part early enough in the service, then perhaps the artist could, during the sermon or something, draw around the words to create an original map of your church’s journey.

        • Teri — Thanks for your reply! These are great ideas and they will definitely help me to develop this week’s service. I especially like the butcher paper idea…it’s homemade and inexpensive.

  2. Several years ago, I divided all of Acts 2 into a Readers’ Theater script for four readers. It sticks to the scripture, but uses repetition and inflection to bring out themes and keep up the energy. It is very easy for good readers to present with minimal rehearsal. If you are interested in an electronic copy, send an e-mail to whitebluffpc@bellsouth.net.

  3. I’ve been getting some great music ideas on twitter. I’ll compile and post tomorrow!

  4. Here are some hymn ideas as well as some contemporary songs that have been suggested from various twitter friends (there were many! I hope I got them all here). I am thinking about weaving some of the contemporary songs into quick sound clips throughout the Pentecost reading, but I will have to see if I can pull it together well first. If someone else has ideas for that, please post here!

    On Pentecost They Gathered
    Spirit of God Unleashed on Earth
    Fire of God
    Veni Sancte Spiritus (Taize)
    Come O Spirit Dwell Among Us
    Get Together (Youngbloods)
    Light My Fire (the Doors)
    Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis)
    Mysterious Ways (U2)
    Wind Beneath My Wings
    Blowin’ in the Wind
    Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)
    Follow Him
    I’m on Fire (Springsteen)
    Gracious Spirit
    Wind Who Makes All Winds That Blow
    Spirit of Gentleness
    She Comes Sailing on the Wind
    Spirit of Life Come Unto Me
    Come, O Holy Spirit, Come (Wa Wa Wa Emimimo)
    O Holy Spirit by Whose Breath, arr. by Healey Willan
    A New Anointing (choral anthem)
    Send Down The Fire (choral anthem)

  5. I also heard about a fabulous idea for some “Pentecost Chaos Processional” at the start of the service from @CharlotteElia:

    “The opening hymn is “O For a Thousand Tongues”- organ holds pedal- choir enters each belting a favorite hymn. Near entrance to loft choir members switch to 1st verse of hymn- once each has switched, play a rousing intro & cong. joins the hymn.”

    I love this! We don’t have an organ, but I may have the children (and any adults who want to help) make lots of noise with our percussion instruments during this part.

    • Pastor Jane says

      I’m running it by my choir and music director for feasibility right now. Thanks for sharing.

  6. scottpcusa says

    One other possible Pentecost song that was mentioned but not in your list: Streetcorner Symphony (Rob Thomas)

  7. Thanks, Scott! I was bound to forget one. Now it gets its own listing, so it can stand out even more. 🙂

    If anyone else tweeted ideas last night that I missed here, please post them! Or add your own new ones!

  8. Janet Macgregor-Williams says

    Several years ago I did a birthday party for the church and had a birth certificate in the bulletin for the church. For size I put the actaul membership of our church. Older sister–Israel. Ethnicty–Multicultural. Growth potential–millions.

  9. Here’s a prayer of confession for Pentecost:

    God of Pentecost,

    We come to you as people who want to discern your presence among us,
    who long to know your words and your visions for our world.
    Yet we confess that we hear the voices of some – the marginalized, the forgotten, the outcasts –
    and we turn our ears away, devaluing the Voice of Your Spirit as it is found among them.
    Rather than adding our voices in the chorus of your Word for today’s world,
    we often remain silent, forgetting that we too are a sacred part of your vision,
    small and incomplete on our own, and yet truly empowered by your Holy Spirit.
    Give us grace, we pray.
    Sweep us into your vision.
    Help us add our voices to the multitude of those you have formed as witnesses.
    We pray in the Spirit,

    Renee Roederer
    Director of Young Adult Ministries
    Pasadena Presbyterian Church
    Pasadena, CA

  10. We are using the musical-chaos-into-O-For-A-Thousand-Tongues idea as our call to worship…which means that I need to write a prayer of confession that gets at the idea of hearing God’s voice through the chaos of many voices, as well as the idea of speaking the word through the chaos of many voices and whether we understand what just happened or not…and it would be great if I somehow managed to get fire and wind in there too (just to fill up on metaphors!). I’m not entirely certain how I’m going to get there yet…but if anyone has a lovely turn of phrase pop into your head, please post it so we can all benefit! 🙂

  11. thanks revlkb – with your song list inspiration we put together a little montage over the chords of the chorus of mysterious ways (A-D-G-C). It weaves in and out with “Fire!” (from REM’s “This one goes out to the one I love”), and “We didn’t start the fire” and “I fell into a burning ring of fire” and a version of martin luther’s “Come Holy Ghost”… with “she moves in mysterious ways” in there too.

    Somehow it all works in a smash up kind of way.

  12. Ryan, I would love to see that montage smash up on YouTube–sounds very, very cool.

  13. Yeah! We’ll see what we can do!

    Also, the Onion did a clever little piece on the “shy member of the Trinity”:

    Calling the Holy Trinity “overstaffed and over budget,” God announced plans Monday to downsize the group by slowly phasing out the Holy Ghost. “Given the poor economic climate and the unclear nature of the Holy Ghost’s duties, I felt this was a sensible and necessary decision,” God said. “The Holy Ghost will be given fewer and fewer responsibilities until His formal resignation from Trinity duty following Easter services on April 20. Thereafter, the Father and the Son shall be referred to as the Holy Duo.”

  14. Ryan, that is hilarious. I’ll probably use it in some way.

  15. Rev. Jeannie Thompson says

    We are going to worship at a park this Sunday. The children have made kites that they have painted themselves. The adults will fly “Bumble Bee Kites”–tiny but flyable things I found on the internet. So far, a good idea. Now for the litugy…(!)

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