P.A.R.T.S. - Ritual

This covers both corporate rituals (weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc.) and private rituals (spiritual discipline, self-care).

5 things to think about:

  1. Project: Using the United Methodist Hymnal, go into a sanctuary, if possible, and methodically walk/talk through A Service of Word and Table 1. Discuss possible variations, parts that are crucial and practical concerns like using hand sanitizer, etc. Reflect together on the theology of each section.

  2. Case study: View this YouTube video.
    Patrick Quinn, pastor at Fraser UMC in Huntsville, Alabama, shares his experience and understanding of baptism in the UMC. Discuss:
    1. Take time to share your or your family’s baptism stories.
    2. Was there any part of Patrick’s description you had questions about?
    3. Using the Hymnal, talk through the Baptismal Covenant, including confirmation/welcoming new members. Reflect on the theology of each section.
    4. What is a sacrament?
    5. What is the role of the pastor in baptism?

  3. Fun/discussion: Studio C has a hilarious skit about weddings and funerals. Watch it for fun. Discuss:
    1. Which do you prefer conducting? (or think you will) Why?
    2. How are these important rituals alike and different? What opportunities are present there?
    3. Briefly look through the corresponding services in the Book of Worship, reviewing how both services are conducted.

  4. Resource: Read how Deacon Peter White outlines some important and straight forward components for a self-care plan. Discuss:
    1. What sort of spiritual discipline do you practice?
    2. Which do you do most successfully? Least successfully?
    3. What are the obstacles that keep us from caring for ourselves?
    4. Is there one thing you’d like the group to hold you accountable to?

  5. Contemplation: Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Pause after each phrase for contemplation.

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
  a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
  a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
  a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
  a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
  a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
  a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
  a time for war and a time for peace.

Other resources:

  1. Methodist prayer
  2. The Upper Room
  3. Opening questions