Transitions Worship Sermon Series
Starting on Sunday, May 27, we began a transition in the worship life of the church, and among United Methodists in particular, we enter what for many of us may be a time of significant transition. This is the season of pastoral changes. The weeks of June that follow Trinity Sunday mark a particular time of transition for many United Methodist congregations that may experience a change in pastoral leadership on or before July 1.
This is also the beginning of a new liturgical season. Christians around the globe began a new season, the Season after Pentecost. Sometimes this season is referred to as ordinary time. It’s called ordinary time because the Sundays themselves are referred to with ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) after the Day of Pentecost. Trinity Sunday marks the first Sunday after Pentecost. June 3 marks the second, and so forth.
This season is not called ordinary time because things become normal, much less average or blasé during the nearly six months that make up this season (from Trinity Sunday through Christ the King Sunday). The ordinary or underlying purpose of the Season after Pentecost is for the church to live out its ministries fully and accountably in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Preacher: Rev. Linda M. Butler, pastor
“Life in the Trinity -
Living in the Now”
Trinity Sunday marks the transition from the preparatory work we have been doing during Lent and Easter Season to the performing of our ministries as participants in the life and with the power of the Trinity during the extended season that lies ahead.
During June the Old Testament readings will be our focal point for these weeks because this set of readings from I Samuel has a common theme of transition in leadership, from Eli to Samuel (June 3), from Samuel to Saul (June 10), and from Saul to David (in two stages, June 17 and June 24).
Preacher: Rev. Linda M. Butler, pastor
“What?” It’s what we often say in English, at least in parts of the United States, when we hear or see or feel something that shocks us, or stuns us, or feels unbelievable, or out of place.
“What?” we say. Then we may say or think, “Did I hear that right?” Or “Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?” Or “This doesn’t feel right.”
“What?” I am retiring? What’s next”?
Annual Conference Sunday
Guided Hymn Sing: Led by Deb Oliver
Liturgist: Steve Oliver
What are your favorite hymns to sing during “Why” stage of life.
When news of change and a time of transition comes, especially a transition we do not want and can see more harm than good in, it’s the very next question after “What?” is Why?”
It can be a useful question, an empowering question, even a question that could, at times, lead to a different kind of change that would be for the better.
But let’s be honest about the degree of our own self-interest in asking “Why?” We ask “Why?” first as a kind of primal response, out of our own pain, confusion, and discomfort with the news we have received and where we see things going—for us and ours.
Preacher: Tom Brandt, Lay Leader
Liturgists: Members of the SPRC
Strange news, maybe unwelcome news comes.
And we say, “What?”
Change is coming. We’re going to enter some sort of time of transition. There’s no avoiding it.
And we say, “Why?”
Often the change that comes, the transition we enter, involves a third question, “Who?”
“Who is going to lead us now?”
“Who will do what the folks who aren’t with us any more used to do?”
“Who is going to get us through this time of not having the answers to those first two questions?”
Preacher: Janet Wilson, SPRC Chairperson
Liturgists: members of the Trustees
We come to the end of this series on transitions today, even as, for many United Methodist congregations in the United States, today marks the end of the leadership of Rev. Linda Butler. and next week the beginning of ministry of a different pastor, Pastor Linda Thompson.