Welcoming All, Empowered by Christ, Sent Forth to Serve

2023 Worship Planning Retreat

For more than twenty years, Lake Harbor has taken a collaborative approach to planning worship. Planning for a whole year just takes this collaborative process to the next level, something that we have done annually since 2017.

Each retreat’s success was due largely to the work done prior to the retreat. We sought input using prompts from an article, “Planning One Year of Big Idea Sermons” by Dave Ferguson. Members recalled the conversations they have had with people in and outside the church. What needs to be addressed? What needs are not being talked about, but should be? How can we approach seasonal series, like Lent and Advent, in a fresh way? What foundational beliefs would you like to explore in worship? What ideas can we glean from other churches and adapt them to Lake Harbor?

Our goal is to plan worship for one year, starting with Advent 2023 and going through November 2024. A single yet to be determined year-long theme will drive the planning. Please prepare by reading the background information* below and anything else that will help you prepare.

*LHUMC Worship Retreat Preparation 2023 (last updated 8/27/23)

*Lake Harbor UMC Sermon Series 2023 (Last updated 8/17/23)

Faith in Films 2024 (last updated 8/26/23)

Christianity Today’s 2023 Book Awards

This is what we came up with:

2024 Worship (last updated 9/27/23)

Articles on artificial intelligence:

AI Might Teach, But It Can’t Preach | Christianity Today

Beyond Belief – An A.I. Generated bumper video (video)

Experts Concerned About Chatbots Making Stuff Up Preaching Today

God, Technology, and the Christian Life  – this is actually a book

I Write Algorithms for a Living. God Doesn’t Want Me to Quit. | Christianity Today

Misreading Scripture with Artificial Eyes

Pastors Lead Not Your Church into Fear of AI Christianity Today

Movies and television:

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (movie trailer)

Are You There God  (article)

Back to the Outback (movie trailer)

Barbie (movie trailer)

Barbie and Ken Go East of Eden (article)

Barbie and Our Reason for Being (article)

Barbie and Taylor Swift Are Bringing Us Together (article)

How Then Should Men Live (article)

Elemental (movie trailer)

The Hill (movie trailer) and related interview

Mission Impossible’s Fellowship of Believers (article)

Ordinary Angels (movie trailer)

Can People Change ‘Ted Lasso’ Revived an Ancient Debate. Christianity Today (article)

What We Can Learn from Ted Lasso (article)

White Bird (movie trailer)

Wish (movie trailer)


Dialogical preaching

Preaching After a Mass Shooting Preaching Today

Preaching as Storytelling

Church attendance or lack thereof:

Empty Pews Are an American Public Health Crisis – Christianity Today

Finding Faith through Listening | Journal of the Americal Medical Association

I Left the Church – and Long for a Church for the ‘Nones

The Rise of the ‘Umms’ – Christianity Today

Welcome, Visitors! Here’s Our Church’s Take on Sex. Christianity Today

Why Middle-Aged Americans Are Not Going Back to Church

Other interesting articles:

50 Atheists Found Christ. This Researcher Found Out Why. Christianity Today

Little Golden Book – Taylor Swift’s bio

People Can’t Say ‘Goodbye’ Anymore Preaching Today

Tell Me Your Beliefs on Sex Without Telling Me Your Beliefs on Sex Christianity Today

What Does a Good Man Need CT Creative Studio

Why Children Need Nurturing Fathers

Sermon series – scripture and synopses (and trailers where available):

Beguiled by Beauty (series preview)

Busy (series preview)

Calm and Bright  (series preview)

Emerge (series preview)

Entering the Passion of Jesus

God is Holding Your Life

Good Enough  (series preview)

Holy Vessels  (series preview)

I Believe Even When (series preview)

Leading Causes of Life

Listen (series preview)

Lookin’ for Love  (series preview)

Ministry Pass – Bible Book Series

Moving Out of Scare City

On the Mend

Reflecting the Sacred (series preview)

Roll Down Justice (series preview)

Spiritual Affective Disorder (series preview)

The Gift of Being Present

Inspirational images: