Resources for Worship
Worship is at the heart of our life as God’s people. Whatever else we do, worship is at the core as it is through meeting God – in the hymns and the music, the movement and the silence, the Word and the words, in friend and stranger as well as in bread and wine – that we are fed and sustained. This encounter with God lifts our spirits and gives our lives direction, our prayers focus and our faith a grounding in the everyday realities of life.
Faithfully, week after week, ministers, elders, and lay preachers lead God’s people in worship. Part of my ministry is to help with that task by co-ordinating the provision of Worship Notes which assist in the careful preparation of worship. Our Worship Notes offer all the prayers needed (and some that might not be!), notes on the readings that could be built into a sermon, and suggestions for hymns (which might be used or might stimulate the thinking of those who lead worship). This week I have written the notes. I encourage preachers to embrace, not moan, about Trinity Sunday. There’s an irritating fashion in the contemporary Church to complain about the lectionary readings or theme (particularly for Trinity!) when congregations would prefer preachers to engage with the readings and reflect on our contexts. I look at the Genesis reading, in particular, noting that whilst it’s at the start of the Bible it wasn’t one of the earliest books to be written – and focuses on God’s creative activity, a dance of love with creation which we’re called to join. As usual all the prayers needed are included together with a large array of hymns – many with gender free language for God – a Communion prayer, some suggestions for incidental music, and an all age activity. The notes can be found here https://urc.org.uk/your-faith/prayer-and-worship/worship-notes/
This resource is designed to help plan worship locally. We also offer services by PowerPoint (which can be adapted) if you’d prefer to facilitate worship that way as a form of pulpit supply. Sign up here if you’d like to access those materials and drop me a line so I can send you the current set of PowerPoint material for pulpit supply along wit the audio and print versions to distribute locally to those who can’t get to church and don’t have access to the Internet.
I prepared the sample intercessions some months ago so we also ask some of our folk to prepare weekly intercessions which are more topical and could be used in small groups, personal prayer as well as Sunday worship. This week’s intercessions have been written by the Rev’d Helen Everard and reflect the theme of Trinity. These can be downloaded here.
Finally, we are building up a list of prayers that can be useful as people craft worship or wish to use in their own prayer life. We’ve arranged the material by season on the website – click on the Your Faith tab, then Prayer and Worship, then Prayers for Church Seasons or click here. We have lots of resources for Trinity and, for those who plan ahead, for Ordinary Time (the Summer) too.
I hope you find them useful – do let us know your thoughts on these resources as you use them.
with every good wish
The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship