BECOMING LIVING STONES For six weeks, these worship services move through a series of readings that link us to the same emotions and questions that the early church had in the time after Jesus’ resurrection. The foundational text for the series is I Peter 2: 4-6 and focuses on the concept of becoming Living Stones. Each service begins with a different biblical translation of this text to convey the sense of journey from an invitation “Come to him, a living stone…” (NRSV) and ending with words of acceptance, “Welcome to the living stone…” (The Message). The six services move in theme from confronting our fear, the things that cause us to trip in our walk with Jesus, and our longing to stay safely away from the world, to a recognition that God is not contained inside walls, but instead God’s house is much larger than just us. We are called to be the church in the world and to be living stones built into a spiritual house.
six digital worship services, including downloadable bulletins for both congregations and worship leader & embedded links to hymns (no sermon included)
six weekly bulletins for congregations (editable in Word)
six full liturgy scripts, except sermon, for worship leaders (editable in Word)
Symbolic Activities Based on the theme of becoming living stones and the journey that entails for each of us, this worship series also includes a symbolic ritual using a stone/stones (for five of the six services). As the themes each week move from doubt to journey to ultimately being called out into the world, worshippers are invited to use/hold a stone that represents the theme for each service and then to place or lay down the stone before God later in the service.
Directions/cues are provided in the worship leader’s bulletin and also on the PowerPoint slides so that this activity may be incorporated into the service whether you are gathered as an online community or as an in person community. If you are using these services as an online time of worship then you will need to let participants know ahead of time about the use of a stone so that they may be prepared. If you are using this series after the Easter season during a time when your community is gathered in person then you will need to provide small stones for your congregation and consider the logistics (instructing your ushers or having an easily accessible basket/s) for distribution and collection of the stones.
Bulletin Dimensions & Details ONLINE BULLETINS: The bulletins are formatted to be scrolled through from one page to the next. PRINTED BOOKLETS: The bulletins are formatted to be printed landscape and double-sided on legal (8.5” x 14”) pages and folded in half. If you need another dimension, let us know ASAP. The format for the bulletins you are receiving is crafted to be dementia-friendly, which we have found is also visitor- and child-friendly. Specific to the needs of people with memory challenges, you will find the following details:
No indentations in the worship liturgy to make it easier to follow from one line to the next.
No right-aligned text for the same reason.
All text is right-justified so one line flows into the next more clearly.
No italics because italicized fonts are harder to read the distinct letters.
No serif fonts because they are harder to read the distinct letters.
No additional words like One: or Leader: or All:. Instructions at the beginning explain that things that are in bold are intended for everyone.
And, speaking of instructions, each section of worship is opened by a box with theological explanations of why we do what we do and other helpful information about how worship progresses.
Hymn Requirements Simply holding/purchasing any music license will not give you permission to use any music of your choosing. You can only use the music held by the licensing agency in which you have a subscription. If your church holds a license from CCLI, for example, you can search music on their web site to see if they hold the copyright license to a song you are considering for worship. If you tend to copy/print hymns in your bulletin instead of using a hymnal, you need to also check copyright license and gain permission from the publisher for reprinting or even projecting the hymn/song. In the Glory to God hymnal a complete list of copyright holders is listed in the Acknowledgements section, pp. 933-948. Another licensing option is One License (www.onelicense.net) which holds the copyright license for Presbyterian Publishing/Westminster John Knox/Geneva Press. It is Westminster John Knox Press that publishes the Glory to God hymnal. A license from this agency also covers copyrights held by GIA and Hope Publishing (which tend to hold the license for many hymn words and tunes).
Please note: We are merely making these musical/hymn suggestions for your consideration. It is up to you as a church to determine whether you hold the correct/appropriate copyright license to use these hymns and in the manner that your congregation uses for worship (i.e. photocopy, projection, hymnal). We suggest that, with proper licensing, copies of the hymns be included with materials distributed to congregants so they may sing along as desired.