Several people have asked how The Revolution is going to work. Here’s some information about how you and your congregation/community of faith can participate.
How can my congregation/faith community participate?
United Church of Christ congregations in the Wisconsin Conference will receive information about, and be invited to participate in Break The Silence Sunday automatically. Congregations outside either of that group are asked to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Name & location of faith community (include denomination please)
Name & email/phone of pastoral leader
Name & email/phone of contact person (if different than pastoral leader)
How you heard about us
Anything else you think we need to know
What will we get to help us plan this event?
Preparation is key to making Break The Silence Sunday a success – people need to know what they can expect so they can prepare their hearts to be receptive, so survivors can decide if they are ready to open themselves up to this, and so parents can decide if it is age-appropriate for their children and youth to attend. You will receive advance preparation materials including bulletin inserts, and sample newsletter/website articles.
Then you will receive complete liturgies that congregations can adapt for their particular settings and context. That means you’ll receive prayers, hymn and song suggestions (for different kinds of musical needs), sermon suggestions, at least one complete sermon, ideas for communion, and more. There will be a ready to use bulletin, or you can copy and paste information into your own format.
There will also be suggestions for alternative or additional worship opportunities including a healing service.
Finally, there will be a place (on the web, perhaps hosted through the WI Conference UCC, perhaps on this blog) where congregations can find contact information for resources and support agencies in their communities.
How can I help? What else can I do?
We need all the help we can get. We need creativity, imagination, suggestions, ideas, comments, and whatever else (constructive) that you’ve got.
- Do you like to write liturgy? We need all kinds of prayers – call to worship, gathering prayers and invocations, confessions, litanies of healing and hope, communion liturgies, offering prayers, collects, prayers of the people, petitions, pastoral prayers. You get the idea.
- What about hymns? Think you could write a new hymn to a familiar tune?
- Want to take a try at writing a brand new song – for the congregation to sing, for a choir or a soloist?
- Have a passion for the scriptures – give us your best suggestions about healing (the communal/spiritual as opposed to the physical), wholeness, community, listening, honouring stories, and the like.
- Dance? Draw? Paint? We’d love to have your ideas for gentle movements everyone could be invited to do, or dances trained groups could perform. We need art works to convey the importance of telling our stories, and the need for a community to hear us. (We’ll have a logo very soon.)
Keep in mind this will be a yearly event so we’re going to need lots, and lots of resources to keep things fresh and interesting. So start working now, and if you can’t make the deadlines (see the timeline below) that’s OK. We’re happy to collect resources and use them on an ongoing basis. E-mail us at email@example.com to let us know you’re interested in helping out, and to share your resources and please know that full credit, and deep gratitude, will be given to you for whatever you help create.
Timeline for Break The Silence Sunday
Initial publicity starts to appear in places like the Wisconsin Conference UCC newsletter, Facebook, additional blog posts, and so forth.
Additional publicity including an all church e-mail to save the date (4th Sunday in April ~ April 24, 2016).
Liturgical resources due to us by December 20th
Liturgy and other materials are distributed to congregations (our goal is January 10th, but it might well be the 17th).
There will also be a Steps On The Journey retreat in Phoenix, AZ held January 22-24, 2016. Registration is now open. Please visit our website for more information: http://www.azstepsonthejourney.org
Breathing & processing – seriously, Lent starts before Valentine’s Day this year.
Reminder time ~ emails and other communication with congregations to get them ready for the event next month.
The event ~ April 24th
Follow-up with communities that participated asking what they used, what helped, what they found they needed, etc. Gathering this information together so we know how to proceed for 2017, and how we might widen our audience.
Begin planning 2017 event (this may start to take place during the WI Conference UCC annual meeting.
Clergy retreat at Moon Beach for all UCC clergy in Wisconsin. We will be talking about shining light into the shadows, and how to address difficult subjects in the church. Our particular focus will be on suicide and sexual assault. More information after the beginning of the year.