To help pastors and congregations as they focus on online worship services for the foreseeable future, the Minnesota Conference has created a variety of pre-recorded sermons and collected other liturgical resources. You are free to download, share, stream, or otherwise use these in your online worship services.
If you are looking for information on starting live streamed worship or taking other parts of church life online, including important copyright considerations, check out these virtual church resources. If you would like to see examples of how other Minnesota churches are creating online worship, check out one of our many churches offering live stream worship services.
To download one of the sermons below, click on the Vimeo logo on the bottom-right side of a particular sermon video screen; on the Vimeo page that appears, click the "Download" button (just above the video description).
Bishop Bruce R. Ough delivers a sermon based on Revelation 21:1-6 (CEB). In it, he asks us to consider: During the season when we are sheltering in place in our homes, what does it mean for our homes to be the home of God, the place where God's promised presence is made manifest? Is it possible that this forced togetherness is turning our homes into a place where we grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus?
Rev. Cindy Gregorson, director of connectional ministries, delivers a sermon based on Acts 2:43-47. Wondering when life will return to normal? Wondering where God is in the midst of the suffering and hardship of life? These are the questions you might be wrestling with in these pandemic days. You are not alone! Cindy shares her journey about what she is learning from how God shows up and sustains us in the midst of difficult times.
Rev. Dr. Fred Vanderwerf, Southern Prairie District superintendent, names the discomfort we are experiencing in a world that has moved from convergent to divergent culture. In that liminal space, possibly exacerbated by COVID-19, we can find freedom in claiming a new story—God’s story—for He has given us a new song to sing! This sermon is based on Acts 16:16-30.
Rev. Cynthia Williams' sermon, based on Ezekiel 37:1-14 (The Message), focuses on how God is with us in times of despair to breathe fresh breath, transform us, and give us dreams and new vision that we may experience life anew. Therefore, we stand ready always to give a reason for our hope.
Rev. Ben Ingebretson, area director of new church development, preaches on Galatians 5:22-23. Circumstances have a way of closing in on us at certain times in life, making us feel trapped or suffocated. In those times, God has given us a way to be lifted above the stuff life throws at us. Consider again the nine fruits of the Spirit. These qualities may be exactly what we need today.
Rev. Bill Eaves, the 2019 Annual Conference preacher, gave a powerful sermon last year that's still very relevant today. He talked about how we're called to be a "both/and church." We can listen deeply to our scriptures and study them with best tools available to us, and we can also work for the liberation of our LGBTQ neighbors. We can put our full trust in Jesus and follow His word, and at the same time stand up against injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
The Ministry Lab, an ecumenical organization that supports innovation in faith communities and is supported by the Minnesota Conference, offers regular video sermons (weekly through the Sunday of Pentecost, and monthly following Pentecost) called Visual Word that congregations can use anytime.
The Dakotas-Minnesota Camp and Retreat Ministry created a great Camp Sunday worship video that can be used in lieu of your church's regular virtual worship service. Led by camp site directors across the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, it highlights the beautiful area camps, and includes some fun camp songs. A corresponding order of worship can be found here.
Rev. Cynthia Williams offers a brief call to worship for online worship services. In it, she asks God to ground us in God's love, joy, peace, and presence.
Rev. Cynthia Williams offers a prayer for online worship services. In it, she asks God to save us, answer us, rescue us, and turn to us in these difficult days of the pandemic.
Rev. Cynthia Williams offers a prayer for online worship services. This prayer concludes with The Lord's Prayer.
The Ecumenical Water Initiative led this virtual prayer conference to pray for the health of our waters and the health of our neighbors during this time of uncertainty. Find written copies of these prayers, which you are welcome to use in your church's worship services.
These resources are from outside of the Minnesota Conference. They are all either in the public domain, or the creators have given blanket permission for use in online worship. Please give appropriate credit/attribution.
Praise Song for the Pandemic [Video]: This beautiful four-minute video, lifts up many of the groups impacted by the pandemic in a moving way and features powerful images throughout. Find more short videos and films at The Work of the People (paid subscriptions unlock a whole host of video resources).
A Prayer for a World Facing the Coronavirus [Video]: This 90-second video prayer reminds us that as we are not alone in our feelings and we can ease our own fears by praying for others. It is created by United Methodist Communications and is free to download.
Hope: Living with Confident Expectation [Sermon Series and Curriculum]: Where do we find hope when our world is turned upside down? What do we hold on to when we’re worried about our health, our families, our jobs? What can we count on in the face of uncertainty, isolation, fear, and even death? Church of the Resurrection has created a five-week sermon series—and corresponding graphics, videos, discussion guides, and curriculum for all ages—that are free and can be used by any church.
A Litany Amidst the COVID-19 Outbreak [Litany]: The Earth & Altar blog/magazine shares a beautiful written litany that honors and acknowledges the many groups particularly impacted by the coronavirus.
Public Domain Prayers [Written Prayers]: This vast collection contains about 1,400 prayers written between the first and 21st centuries. Prayers are searchable by era, theme, and season of the church year. The prayers come from many Christian backgrounds and are vetted for doctrinal standards in line with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. You are free to read these prayer out loud during online worship or reproduce them in print.
Public Domain Hymns Piano Accompaniment Recordings [Audio]: These piano accompaniment recordings are offered freely by UMC Discipleship Ministries. All recordings are of public domain hymns found in the United Methodist Hymnal and The Faith We Sing.
Have you found or created other worship resources that you think should be included in this list? Or do you have questions about using the resources on this page? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church