When I was writing pandemic prayers, I thought to offered this blessing. I thought I did but I can’t find where I mentioned it even if I never offered a resource.
That changes now because this is such an easy way to make space for more daydreaming, planning, pastoral visits and plain old rest in the summer months for the church staff. Instead of creating a new and fresh liturgy every week, there is one bulletin. It’s printed on slightly thicker paper than the usual bulletins because week after week in the summer months, it will be used.
After worship is over, the bulletin will be collected and saved for the next week when new hands will hold these papers and share in these familiar prayers.
It was something that my colleague did in my first call. Honestly, it annoyed me then – as it would later annoy one member in my second call – because it felt lazy. It made worship rote. It made it feel stale. I was insistent in that first summer but then I noticed the space it created for other things. I noticed how these repeated prayers wove into conversation and became words to rely upon when needed.
As a pastor, it allowed me to plan for the worship calendar beyond the summer. It gave me space to focus on other things that always fell to the bottom of the list because worship was always at the top.
When I talked about this with my second church, I celebrated the environmental impact. We were saving paper and energy by running that copier week after week. Sure, we lost some bulletins along the way. We had to print more but it was only a few. It was just a few copies.
In that second church, I created a whole program each summer with opportunities for Bible study, play and a book study. The last bulletin I created for summer worship was inspired by the book we were reading that summer. I don’t want to assume that you are going to take on that much as part of the invitation here is to rest and give space for more creativity and imagination. Opt instead for a slower pace that allows for you and your good people to really wonder about what it means to realize God’s kin-dom this summer. There are so many good questions that emerge from these readings in the Revised Common Lectionary this summer that it seems enough to linger in this wisdom.
I used a quote from Sara Miles on the cover not only because it’s one of my favorites but it also stirs my heart in thinking about what discipleship means.
The prayers are all original written by me. I hope you’ll welcome this blessing and download a copy. It’s an editable template so you can change your church information and specify anything particular about the offering, children’s time or whatever else. You can download your own Summer Worship 2023 Bulletin here.
When I did this, we provided a weekly insert each week that included the scripture, the hymns, the prayers and the printed announcements. It wasn’t inserted though. It was just another piece of paper that was shared with those arriving for worship. I’m happy to include a template for this weekly insert here. I am not in the habit of writing announcements anymore so I’m sorry about that but I left ample space for a front-and-back addition to your communication on Sunday morning.
I hope you’ll choose this blessing this summer. You deserve it, dear pastor. I hope you’ll also let me know how it goes.
3 thoughts on “One Worship Bulletin for the Whole Summer”
It is wonderful. Because I am in a different church every week this summer I cannot make it happen being itinerant allows me to share the idea.
And send folks to you!
We did this with great success in Sanford…folks appreciated it…for the environmental savings…as well as the financial savings…paper isn’t super expensive, but it costs something and it was a visual way to indicate to trustees (who sometimes think ministers are spending all the time–go figure is this a sexist thing? I thinks so) –that I was thinking about expenses…
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