Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth

Leader Resource 1: One World Worship Service

You can use the following ideas to design a worship service to present the UN World Millennium Goals to the congregation. Keep in mind that, although a worship service can include an educational piece, it needs much more to be spiritually fulfilling. If you are new to designing worship, use Leader Resource 2, Components of a Traditional Worship Service, to help guide you. Every worship service need not include every component, but should strive for a balance. You could ask a congregational worship coordinator or a minister to assist you in this activity.

  • Several YouTube videos use the "one hundred people" concept. Although statistics in it might be old, a video from estacia1 includes material you might find useful in a worship service. Your worship service will be most effective if it not only encourages congregants to try to make the world a more balanced place, but also allows them to appreciate the gifts they possess.
  • One way to achieve these two goals is to have a few worship participants name a gift they are thankful for and state a way to share that gift. For example, one might say, "I am thankful for the gift of literacy, and I will use it to write a letter to my senator and ask how our country is working toward providing health care for all its citizens."
  • Make the service multigenerational by including young children, young adults, and elders in various roles. For instance, people of different ages dressed in attire from around the world could read the eight Millennium Development Goals.
  • Ask the religious education classes to draw or paint pictures of "One World," and decorate the sanctuary with them.
  • Feature world music. Invite congregational musicians of all ages to play or sing.
  • Youth could prepare a homily on how the goals are interdependent and how meeting them will increase the standard of living for earth's residents.
  • Close with an activity that signifies how we are interdependent. You could have a bread communion; or you could send a pulse around the sanctuary by having each congregant—one at a time, in sequence—gently squeeze the hand of the person next to him/her; or everyone could simply hold hands for the benediction.