March 31, 2016—Holy Week is in the mirror and Eastertide is upon us. To all musicians, liturgical artists, educators, clergy, office and facilities staff and volunteer alike – well done! You made it, holy Easter afternoon nap and all.
While some of you are on vacation, alone or with family, others will preach instead of the lead minister. In many places, the congregation may be more sparse than usual for the Sunday after Easter because it coincides with spring break for local school systems.
Whatever your circumstances, I encourage you to let the dust settle and then gather with other leaders in your congregation to assess your education, worship, fellowship and outreach offerings during the past 6 or seven weeks. My favorite approach to assessment is to ask myself two simple questions:
1. What went well?
2. What might we do differently?
After doing so, ask the same questions of others, and compare notes. While memories are fresh, you’ve gathered feedback that will be useful not only next year, but in other seasons as well.
It’s also time to consider some additions to your liturgical season tool kit. Take a look at these for starters:
For liturgical art resources, a new site to bookmark is http://www.sanctifiedart.com, where you will find Pentecost resources and MORE. Lisle Gwynn Garrity, MDiv/MAPT ‘15, is founder and creative director; several CTS grads and current students are members of the creative team.
Do you know about Holy Humor or Bright Sunday? This United Methodist area is chock-full of ideas: http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/holy-humor-sunday-bright-sunday.
On social media, there’s the Lent Consortium, a pubic Facebook group that’s three years old and boasts more than 250 members.
Pinterest has all kinds of boards full of resources. Just type in Lent, Easter, Pentecost … you get the idea.
For clergywomen, the closed group RevGalBlogPals has a Facebook group and a web page, revgalblogpals.org that provides various opportunities to share resources.
While I can’t vouch for the current status of each link on this page, the New Media Project at the Center for Clergy Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary has an extensive list of clergy networks worth perusing for yourself: http://www.cpx.cts.edu/newmedia/resources/clergy-networks.
For those using either the Revised Common Lectionary or the Narrative Lectionary, a go-to site year-round is http://www.workingpreacher.org. This one, http://www.lectionary.org/index.htm, is also helpful but limited unless you subscribe to the full site. For the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. congregations among us, bookmark this: http://bookoforder.info/Book-of-Common-Worship.pdf.
And want to know what a hymn sounds like, so you can try new ones for next Lent and Easter? One of my favorites, www.hymnary.org, is among the more robust resources in my own tool kit.
These are just a few suggestions, as you take stock of your liturgical tool kit, perhaps going all KonMari and tossing what has not brought joy and making room for the Spirit of the Living God to do new things.
Sarah Erickson serves as Director at The Center for Lifelong Learning. She has special interests in the role of music and worship in faith formation. She serves on the Committee for Preparation for Ministry in her presbytery, and is involved in Christian education and formation for children and adults at N. Decatur Presbyterian in Decatur, GA. She currently serves as the President for ALLLM, and you can find her on Facebook, on Twitter @saraherickson and occasionally on Pinterest.