The Book of Uncommon Prayer: Contemplative and Celebratory Prayers and Worship Services for Youth Ministry [NOOK Book]


Why do you need this book?
Because there are treasures in tradition.

In stark contrast to the common belief that youth workers require nothing less than a light show, smoke machine, and sweaty punk-rock band to reach teenagers’ souls, more and more youth have actually been moving toward depth and quiet—and away from fluff and noise. Creeds, candles, silence, and ancient spiritual practices are all gaining ...
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The Book of Uncommon Prayer: Contemplative and Celebratory Prayers and Worship Services for Youth Ministry

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Why do you need this book?
Because there are treasures in tradition.

In stark contrast to the common belief that youth workers require nothing less than a light show, smoke machine, and sweaty punk-rock band to reach teenagers’ souls, more and more youth have actually been moving toward depth and quiet—and away from fluff and noise. Creeds, candles, silence, and ancient spiritual practices are all gaining understanding and popularity among students who’re passionately seeking otherworldly and mysterious fragrances. They’re realizing that there are treasures in tradition.

The Book of Uncommon Prayer is your tool for unearthing, dusting off, and tapping into these treasures—but in ways that are completely contemporary and, more importantly, completely relevant to students.

It’s personal.
The prayers and worship services inside are written for youth ministry—for students and for youth workers! They tell the from-the-gut truth about what you and your kids face every day—and in language that won’t leave anybody scratching their heads.

It’s practical.
These tools are for just about any situation you can think of. Need a prayer for a lock-in? For family? For loving enemies? For final exams? How about a mind-blowing “Dumpster” Christmas service? An eye-opening service for All Hallows Eve? Or the most intense service for Good Friday you’ve ever experienced? They’re all here—along with many other innovative vehicles for bringing your students into communion with God.

It’s unparalleled.
This book is for all denominations. It doesn’t matter if you’re mainline or evangelical, Protestant or Catholic; The Book of Uncommon Prayer is geared for all teenagers and youth workers in Jesus’ church!

There’s also an entire section of devotions and prayers written specifically for you, the youth worker, to renew and strengthen you when times are tough. Plus…we’ve included a bonus music CD in the back—Eucharist—an at-once moody and energetic, ancient-postmodern collection of songs straight from the “alternative worship” movement in the United Kingdom. Many services inside use songs from the Eucharist CD, and there’s even an entire service that uses the CD from start to finish.

Mysterious. Practical. Treasure-filled. (Yes, uncommon, too!) The Book of Uncommon Prayer is a rich source of God-revealing worship and a one-of-a-kind guide for personal renewal that youth workers, camp counselors, Sunday school teachers, adult volunteers (and even students) will love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310850885
  • Publisher: Zondervan/Youth Specialties
  • Publication date: 7/13/2009
  • Series: Soul Shaper
  • Sold by: Zondervan Publishing
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 798,052
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Steven L. Case has been in youth ministry for more than 20 years. The author of several books, inlcuding The Book of Uncommon Prayer 1&2, Steve works at the United Church of Christ, in Windermere, Florida. He lives near Orlando with his wife, Becky.
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First Chapter

Uncommon, Indeed
In 1993---although I had never been a part of an Episcopal worship service---I took a youth director position for an Episcopal church.
Life (and youth ministry) can be funny that way.
While treading these new waters, this dyed-in-the-wool Methodist/Presbyterian discovered for the very first time The Book of Common Prayer.
In fact, I came to love it.
Pieces and variations of The Book of Common Prayer can be found in the hymnals and worship books of many other denominations. And it has become one of the most important tools in my ministry, next to the Bible (and caffeine, of course). I took a copy of The Book of Common Prayer with me when I left the Episcopal church for my next youth ministry position, and I have used it in every church I've worked in since then.
In The Book of Common Prayer I found morning services, evening services, communion services, and even a service for the ordination of a bishop (in case the youth group was ever confronted with a non-ordained bishop who needed our help). I also found hundreds of prayers for every occasion, responsive readings, and well-known Scriptures. The Book of Common Prayer accompanied me on every retreat, lock-in, and mission trip. I tossed it into my Land's End bag with my Bible and folder of permission slips. It provided me with worship experiences and liturgies that helped me create wonderful 'God moments' that we all want our youth to experience.
Flash forward almost a decade later.
What you are reading is the end of several years of work---The Book of Uncommon Prayer. Uncommon because these prayers and worship services are written for youth ministry---for teens and for youth workers! Uncommon because the words inside speak the truth...and speak it straight from the gut. No punches pulled. Uncommon because it's a prayer book and worship manual for all denominations. It doesn't matter if you're Protestant or Catholic, mainline or evangelical: in these pages you'll find worship services, prayers, readings, Scriptures, and devotions that all teenagers and youth workers in Jesus' church can enjoy and benefit from. The services are written for retreats, lock-ins--- even sunrises and sunsets. There are also youth services for Christmas, Good Friday, All Hallows Eve, and other special occasions. The prayers are written for teenagers and the obstacles and challenges they face every day.
Why Use a Book Like This?
You can put together amazing youth talks. You can lead eye-opening mission trips. But if you sat your teenagers down and asked them to remember the moments when they felt really connected to God, you'd probably get answers like---
'That night we sat in front of the fireplace...'
'When we sat on the dock and watched the sun come up and read from Genesis...' 'When we all held candles and stood on the roof and listened to that one song by...' This book will provide the tools you need to create those wonderful God moments when teenagers suddenly become aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
This Book Is a Tool
Okay, it's the first day of your winter retreat. The topic for the weekend is 'peer pressure.' You've got the games lined up. You have a nice couple that has volunteered to work in the kitchen. No one got lost on the way to the retreat center. The morning lesson went very well. The students are all outside sledding, and you can smell the hot cocoa begin-ning to warm in the kitchen. Are you the greatest youth worker in the world or what?
Then you remember that you're in charge of this evening's worship service!
That's why you bought this book. (Unless you're just browsing in the bookstore racks or at a convention table, in which case you should immediately buy this book!)
You can turn in these pages to find a service for the close of the day---and the order of worship is right there for you. Turn to the Prayers section and choose a prayer for unity, a prayer for courage, or any other prayer that fits what you have planned for your group. Are you worshipping outside or inside? There are prayers listed for both situations. Many of the readings are written specifically for the students to read aloud. You can pass this book around a circle or copy the prayers so everyone can participate. So...just pick some music from the CD the youth left sitting out, jot down a few ideas to use for a talk, and you're good to go!
That's why you bought this book.
There's Something for You, Too
This book also contains affirmations and prayers for your own spiritual journey. In the back, you'll find devotions and prayers written specifically for you, the youth worker. Youth ministry is a calling. (You probably already knew that.) No sane person would choose this vocation. The section titled Private Devotions for Youth Workers is for just you. It contains daily prayer guides as well as devotions, all written to renew and strength-en you for just one more parent meeting, one more performance review, one more day.
The Eucharist CD
In the back of the book is a CD called Eucharist. It's an ancient-postmodern collection of songs from the United Kingdom that sets the mood for communion like nothing else you've ever heard. Eucharist was created several years ago, specifically to guide and color the communion service at the Greenbelt Festival---the annual Christian music and arts gathering in England---and the crowd response was good enough to warrant a full { 7 } scale recording. The CD's creators---Jonny Baker and his friends from Grace Church and other U.K. congregations--- are part of a movement called 'alternate worship,' which is in part influenced by club (dance) culture across the pond. The sounds and artistic approaches on Eucharist are directly linked to this growing worship movement. (If you want to find out more about what these folks are doing, check out Many of the services in this book use the songs from the Eucharist CD, and there's even an entire service that uses the CD from start to finish. The Book of Uncommon Prayer is a practical tool, a source of God-revealing worship, and a guide for personal renewal. That's why you bought this book.
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