There are a number of great resources available to worship leaders and preachers, we’ve collated a number of them here to help you in your role.
At Gungahlin we mostly follow the Revised Common Lectionary, a selection of readings that flow through the years allowing us space to hear the scriptures and journey through the liturgical year.
- The year 20-21 is Year B. You can access the lectionary readings on pdf here: 2020-2021 RCL Readings – YearB (pdf)
- You can also access the RCL readings online on the Vanderbilt site, it’s really helpful if you need to print them out or put them in a presentation : Vanderbilt Divinity Library Revised Common Lectionary.
- If you would like the bible readings in any other translation you can use the Bible Gateway website, which also includes the ability to access the readings in a number of languages and translations. At GUC we prefer using the CEV, but you might like to intentionally read the Psalms from the Message version, or use a different translation for a different
If you’re using the lectionary readings for the week there are some great websites that offer song suggestions. These sites also allow for theme search and scripture search.
Before setting songs it is always helpful to ask the music team if they know a particular hymn or song, or if there’s enough time to learn it.
- Singing From The Lectionary is a great resource from Natalie Sims in Melbourne, Australia. Natalie offers song suggestions for the week’s lectionary readings that are slightly more traditional. SFTL‘s selections also include songs that are great for communal singing from all over the world.
- Together To Celebrate is another great Australian resource curated by David MacGregor in Queensland. Together to Celebrate offers a wide range of song titles including Chris Tomlin, Iona Community, Taize’, Shirley Murray, Hillsong, Matt Redman, Graham Kendrick, Bernadette Farrell, Marty Haugen, Robin Mann, Malcolm Gordon, Paul Somerville and many others.
- Spirited and Singing is the site of Lucy Graham who has a lot of experience in, not only leading worship but also in writing music for worship and also coordinated a contemporary music network in Victoria for the UCA. Lucy’s blog has a number of great resources for those of you leading / thinking about music within the context of church & worship.
By The Well is a new Australian podcast with Fran Barber and Robyn Whitaker. The podcast often invites speakers, preachers, theologians and teachers in to help explore the readings in the week’s lectionary.
BTW has quickly become an invaluable resource to preachers and teachers everywhere.
Sermon Brainwave is a conversational podcast with Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, Joy J. Moore, and Matt Skinner. Each week the four educators present the scripture readings and share how they would approach the week’s readings.
Sermon Brainwave has been going for many years, long enough for you to go back through the years and listen to previous episodes the same readings. It also is a part of the Working Preacher website which has written articles on readings and themes for preachers to use as inspiration.
Pulpit Fiction is hosted by Robb and Eric who curate a podcast with guest presenters who reflect on the readings from the Hebrew Scriptures, including the Psalms while they discuss how they connect with the Gospel and Epistle readings for the week.
The podcast has been gong since 2013, so has a few years under its belt with multiple episodes and show notes available to help you with exploring the bible.
Mark Beresford (Mosaic Baptist Gungahlin) and Darren Wright (Gungahlin Uniting) have been releasing a audio recording for a few weeks, it isn’t a “podcast” yet, we’re just getting ourselves into the pattern of meeting and talking but you can access the recordings here
- Working Preacher is a website that hosts podcasts, commentaries and reflections on the bible for preachers and teachers. One of the most invaluable resources online.
- Textweek.com has been operating for many years now and is one of the most helpful resources around. Textweek collates sermons, liturgies, prayers, articles, children reflections, images, videos… The website is in a state of flux at the moment due to the curator’s personal life but it is still one of the most helpful resources out there.
- Bill Loader’s Lectionary & Preaching website, “first thoughts on passages from the Gospels and the Epistles in the lectionary.” This is one of the best online collections of reflections on scripture and it’s from an intelligent Australian voice, a resource that is a “must visit” for people planning for worship each week.
- Howard Wallace’s Old Testament Weekly Lectionary Readings is a great & growing collection of reflections on the Old Testament readings in the RCL. The comments are the result of an engagement with the text by the writer, bearing in mind the historical and literary context of the readings, the other readings set for the week, the season in the Christian year, and events that are taking place around us.
- Anna Grant Henderson’s Old Testament Readings Website is no longer being updated by Anna, but it’s still full of great and useful reflections on the Old Testament readings within the Lectionary by a really intelligent and insightful Australian OT scholar.
- Bruce Prewer’s collection of Lectionary Liturgy and Sermon resources is a fantastic and very useful site full of resources ready for adaption and use. Bruce is a retired minister within the UCA.
- Howard Wallace’s Old Testament Lectionary Resources. Howard is a Minister in the Uniting Church in Australia and formerly Professor of Old Testament in the Centre for Theology and Ministry, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. These reflections are a great resource for people exploring the Old Testament readings from the RCL.
Liturgy & Worship Resources:
- The Assembly’s Worship Working Group has compiled new resources and guidelines to be used by Uniting Church congregations and Presbyteries. They are available online here: New Worship Resources 2018
- Spill The Beans is a great resource, one I lean on a lot for worship preparation and thinking through the scriptures. Issue 2 and Issue 37 cover the current lectionary cycle.
- Laughing Bird a gift to the wider Church from the South Yarra Community Baptist Church in Melbourne, Australia. Laughing Bird is a lectionary based resource with Australian paraphrases of scripture, liturgy and prayers.
- The Billabong is a beautiful, simple blog by Jeff Shrowder, a retired minister within the UCA in Victoria. The Billabong hosts a collection of poetry, prayer, responsive liturgies and Psalm for use within the context of worship.
- Lectionary Liturgies is a fantastic site where the author, Thom Shuman shares his lectionary based liturgies for people to use within their worship context. Thom also runs another site, Prayers4Today that shares prayers for use in personal and corporate worship.
- Liturgies Online is Moira Laidlaw’s website and hosts a large collection of lectionary-themed liturgies (including prayers and hymn suggestions) for use by worship leaders and preachers. Moira is based within the UCA in Queensland
- Ten Minutes on a Tuesday is a collection of resources developed for worship leaders and preachers by the Methodist Church of New Zealand. It is given in Word format to allow you to edit and rework the material for your own context and worship style.
- Mustard Seeds is a collection of lectionary based resources and reflections for people leading worship and/or preaching written by Rev Ann Scull from the UCA in Victoria. On Mustard Seeds you’ll find ideas for children’s talks, themes, activities to run, liturgies for use, videos to use, stories to tell, images for use and book resources to assist with the worship leader each week.
- David Beckswith’s liturgy and worship website has a large collection of sermon, hymn suggestions and liturgy ideas all sorted into the 3 year lectionary cycle for use by worship leaders and preachers. David’s based within the UCA in Melbourne.
There are some great books that are helpful in sermon & Worship preparation and in helping people think about preaching and teaching, here are a few.
- God Be In My Mouth by Doug Gay is a great book on preaching and worship, highly recommended. I have 5 copies on my desk in the GUC office if you’d like to read it alone or with friends.
- Preaching God’s Transforming Justice is a three book series of sermons and reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary. Darren has a copy of all three, the one for Year B is on his desk. Feel free to borrow.
- Twelve Months Of Sundays by Tom Wright is a great collection of short reflections by scholar NT Wright. Darren has a copy of Year A, B & C in the office (it’s in one book) and available to borrow.
- Connections is a resource that includes a variety of voices, all exploring the scripture readings from the RCL. They release them Avery few months to stay ahead of the lectionary. Available on Kindle and as a printed resource. It can be expensive, but really useful.
- A Preacher’s Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series – Volume 1: Thematic Plans for Years A, B, and C comes highly reccomended and is a collection of sermons edited by Amy Butler.