Well it is summer time! After all of the busy things we do in the month of may (Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Graduations), how many of you do something different for worship and/or preaching during your summertime worship? Do you struggle with low attendance and try something different to keep the interest going in those hot hazy days?
I started to preach a sermon series a few years ago when I preached one Sunday during Easter time and got an idea. Our church in Ursa, IL is fortunate to have some beautiful stained glass windows, and I used one for a sermon illustration. When I started to really look at our windows, I realized there was an even amount of First and Second Testament scripture stories represented -- and enough windows to go through the three months of the summer (without counting 4th of July and my vacation Sunday). Everyone in the church enjoyed the series because it brought out some familiar stories that we don't always hear in church and it gave them an opportunity to appreciate the windows that are always present, but sometimes overlooked.
This summer's sermon series is starting to come together -- a series on "Psalms and Prayers". Living with the Psalms and some familiar prayers that we all may need to know. I am teaching the congregation to use the Lectio Divina method of living with scriptures. The first Sunday I started with Thanksgiving psalms and I gave them 5 different scriptures on a sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 paper (each scripture in a text box on the page). And I encouraged them to cut out one of the texts and put it somewhere where they could read it a couple times a day -- on their bathroom mirror, by the nightstand, etc. We will go through several weeks of topics -- the idea came from reading Marti Steussy's Chalice Commentary for Today: Psalms for the topic ideas.
So what are you going to do this summer? Continue to preach what ever crosses your mind? Continue to preach the lectionary? Or create a sermon series that may inspire not only your congregation, but also may pick you up during the summer slump!