WORSHIP PLANS AND IDEAS ~ Mary Scifres Ministries ~ www.maryscifres.com

© 2015 Mary Scifres for Mary Scifres Ministries.


November 1, 2015 ~ Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost (Alternate:  All Saints' Day)


Ruth 1:1-18; Psalm 146:1-10; Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34


Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44



Each of these specific themes relates to one of the suggested fall series ideas.   Go to Fall Theme Ideas page to see list of series topics.  

  • Love is the Answer: A Scribe’s Story (Mark 12:28-34)

  • Love is the Answer (Mark 12:28-34, All Saints Day, Stewardship)

  • Naomi’s Sorrow (Ruth 1, Big Hero 6 Series)

  • The Family We Choose (Ruth 1, All Saints)

  • The Elders We Honor (Ruth 1, All Saints)



  • All You Need Is Love - The Beatles or congregation with soloist (Mark)

  • I Wanna Know What Love Is - Foreigner or soloist and choir (Mark, Ruth)

Official video may inspire your planning:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raNGeq3_DtM

  • Love Changes Everything – Michael Ball or church soloist (Mark, Ruth)

Image video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch9vnQnzck8

  • There's Hope in Front of Me - Danny Gokey or church soloist (Ruth)

  • Viva la Vida - Coldplay or church soloist (Ruth)

  • Thing I Don't Understand - Coldplay or church soloist (Ruth)

  • You Found Me – The Fray or church soloist (Ruth)

  • Never Gone - Colton Dixon or church soloist (Ruth)

Acoustic version available at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd3PfZwRTGM

  • Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas or church band (Ruth)

Lyric video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Un5KKkvMrg

  • Carry On – Fun. Or church band (Ruth)

Official music video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7yCLn-O-Y0

  • Shoulders – For King and Country (Ruth)

Official music video is inspiring and thought-provoking:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfiYWaeAcRw

  • Pride: In the Name of Love - U2 or soloist (All Saints)

  • When the Saints Go Marching In - Louis Armstrong or congregation (All Saints)

  • I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan (All Saints)



  • Symbols of love, clasped hands, hearts, women holding each other, Mothers and Daughters, women traveling together, photos of church family members, photos of  (Ruth 1, Love themes, All Saints)

  • Torah, 10 commandments, Great Commandment, religious leaders talking (Mark 12)



  • The Greatest Commandment – Ignite Student Ministries Life Church created this video with testimonials about living The Great Commandment, set to Kirk Franklin background music.  Use this to inspire your own testimonial video!


  • Love God, Love Neighbor - A video testimonial challenging church leaders to live this commandment by being church as we are called to be (Mark 12, Stewardship)


  • Naomi’s Story – Dramatic monologue of Naomi and Ruth telling their story of tragedy, friendship, and new hope (Ruth)


  • A River Runs Through It - "Haunted by Waters" - final clip reflecting on a long life and the lessons learned (All Saints)


  • Amistad-"A Call to the Ancestors"-Cinque prayers for the ancestors' support (All Sts)


  • Worship Design Studio – Fall Back All Saints – Marcia McFee’s written liturgy with fall images and meditative music fits well as an All Saints’ Day litany (All Saints)



Other Great Commandment Videos previously suggested include:

  • If You Give a Little Love – Liberty Mutual commercial about giving love and paying it forward (Mark 12)


  • If We Could See Inside Others’ Hearts: Life in 4 Min. – Vignettes of seeing with empathy (Mark) 


  • Help Each Other & Love Each Other – Video of showing kindness leading to more kindness (Mark 12)





  • As part of your stewardship campaign, invite people to share a commitment to love one another as Ruth loved Naomi and as the Great Commandment teaches (Ruth, Mk)

  • Provide "Great Commandment" bulletin insert or gift cards for people to take home after worship today, perhaps created in Sunday School classes earlier (Mark 12)

Sample available at:  http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_rn-pXINVC8c/S93Jl8EzShI/AAAAAAAAAFA/y-1s58PcpJE/s1600/great+commandment.png

  • Provide a large basin of sand, with a large Christ candle in the center of the basin.  Provide small taper candles (perhaps leftover Christmas Eve candles) for people to light in memory of loved ones who have helped them to live their calling or grow as Christian disciples. If you are reading the names of departed loved ones, conclude each reading with the ringing of a single handbell or chime (1 Thessalonians 2, All Saints)

  • Create a photo slide show of church members who have died in the past year and create All Saints Sunday worship as an all church Memorial service (All Saints)

Sample at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezPytGkswbg

  • Provide small note cards and pencils for people as they arrive for worship. During the worship service, encourage people to reflect on loved ones or biblical stories that inspire them to shine more brightly as God’s saints.  Invite people to place their cards in offering plates or bring them forward as an offering of gratitude. Following communion and/or any memorial ritual planned, bless the baskets and the memory of those persons in the manner you use for blessing the offering of financial gifts.



Coming soon!

Click here for Word (.doc) file (best for cut & paste)

Click here for Adobe (.pdf) file (best to preserve formatting)



Click here for Adobe (.pdf) file of today's ideas


LITURGICAL COLORGreen, the color of growth and life or White for All Saints' Day



For congregational song ideas, along with solo and choral suggestions, consult The United Methodist Music and Worship Planner or its ecumenical counterpart Prepare!  To supplement Words for Worship  with more formal written prayers, responsive readings, and benedictions, consult The Abingdon Worship Annual 2015


Creative commons is a great resource for copyright-free images, songs and videos.  Attribution is always required, but usage is usually free for non-profit purposes.  


Almost all of the song suggestions can be adapted and performed by church soloists, praise bands, pop bands, or small ensembles.  Most songs available for purchase on ITunes or Amazon.  Sheet music usually available at MusicNotes or SheetMusicPlus.  Each video suggestion of a song is one of many possibilities.  Search by title on Vimeo, YouTube, Movie Clips, or your favorite video browser.  Better yet, create your own film, slide show, dance, mime or chancel display to correspond to a song!  If using an on-line video, you may prefer to upload the video to your hard drive.  Use a free program like keepvid.com to upload a file into the best format for your use.  


Movie video clips require copyright permission or licensing for use.  Contact your Conference Office or a licensing company (for instance, cvli.com, commoncraft.com, creativecommons.org, or mplc.com).  Vimeo and YouTube videos are sometimes in violation of copyright laws, and often not licensed for public use.  Check copyright requirements carefully, and utilize streaming licenses for streamed or recorded services.


© 2015 Mary Scifres for Mary Scifres Ministries.  Permission for reprint and idea use granted to all subscribers and their local churches for use in worship, small groups, or study groups.  For reprint permission for fee events or non-subscribers, or just to ask for more ideas related to today’s suggestions, please contact maryscifresministries@gmail.com