Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    CREATIVE WORSHIP IDEA: Growing with God

    Try this simple hands-on worship experience to encourage your youth to seek growth in their faith.

    Once a year in the summer our church joins several others in our inner city neighborhood for an outdoor worship experience just prior to the jazz concert in a local park that we co-sponsor.  The service is open to anyone who might be in the park early for the concert and we are often joined by neighbors and strangers alike.

    This year our theme was "Growing with God." We focused on the story of creation and how we are part of God's ever-expanding movement in the world. At one point in the service, we invited people to come forward and take a slip of paper and write a prayer for those things in their lives for which they would ask God for growth (e.g. patience, trust, compassion, understanding).  They then folded up these prayers and placed them in the bottom of a small paper pot (see photo), added a few spoonfuls of potting soil, a couple of flower seeds, and more soil.  These were topped off with a tiny bit of water for good measure.

    Next, participants used sharpies to write on the outside of the paper pots a prayer for those things they would wish to see growth for in the world (e.g. peace, economic justice, access to clean water and food for all, etc), and to contemplate how God might be inviting us to be a part of that growth.  Each pot was then placed with the communion elements and formed into the shape of a cross.  We then shared in communion and a communion feast of the various foods each person brought to share.  Neighbors who just happened to be in the park were invited to join the feast as well and to share their fellowship with us. 

    At the end of our time together, each person was invited to take home someone else's pot, plant it in the ground, tend it, and contemplate how we are called to serve together in community to bring about growth in each other and God's Kingdom.