Some of the best conversations start with good questions—questions we’ve been meaning to ask, questions that keep us curious, and questions that lead us deeper into courage and connection. We’ve crafted this worship series around four guiding questions: “I’ve been meaning to ask… Where are you from? . . . Where does it hurt? . . . What do you need? . . . Where do we go from here?” As you can see, these questions aren’t surface level; they invite us to tell our stories, share our pain, care for one another, and dream about a new way forward together.
May this series help us to behold each other as images of the divine. May it help us strengthen our capacity for empathy and compassion. May it remind us of the power of unassuming questions. May it show us that courage is rooted in the heart. Through vulnerability and authenticity, may our courageous conversations lead us to glimpse hope, joy, and beauty—and to become the community God created us to be.
HOW TO USE THIS SERIES:
We've designed this series for 4 weeks, though you could extend it up to 8 weeks long. It can be used anytime throughout the liturgical year, as it does not follow the lectionary. For each week, we’ve selected two focal scriptures to theologically explore our theme and weekly sub-themes. We hope you will customize this series to best fit your context.
ABOUT THE BUNDLE:
This is a bundle of 9 multimedia ministry resources. Download our free theme infographic to learn more about our theme and the scriptures we’ve selected for the series. We bundle our resources because they often overlap in use, and because we want to equip you with comprehensive materials for your ministry. Each resource is also available separately. Scroll down this page & click the “Resource Details” buttons to learn more about each individual resource.
Note: All resources are digital files.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE BUNDLE:
(All of the following resources are included in the bundle, but each resource is also available separately for individual purchase)
1. I’ve been meaning to ask… Study Journal
(Individual Price: $18–$85)
Inspired by our four guiding questions, this study journal offers: scripture, commentary, poetry, visual art, written reflections, and prompts for reflection and conversation. We encourage you to walk through these weekly readings individually, and hopefully also in small groups (using our small group curriculum to guide you). The study journal includes commentary by our guest contributors for this series: Dr. Raj Nadella, Rev. Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum, Rev. Remington Johnson, and Aisha Brooks-Johnson.
2. I’ve been meaning to ask… Video Vignettes
(Individual Price: $60)
In these four video vignettes, our guest contributors respond to the guiding questions shaping our series—sharing from both their personal and ministry experience. These vignettes (each 5-6 minutes in length) invite us to become more curious, empathetic, and courageous. We hope you might use these video vignettes in worship, in small groups, and/or for weekly reflection. Watch the previews to get a glimpse of their messages. We also include a curriculum for how you might structure small group discussions using these video vignettes.
3. I'VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK... WORDS FOR WORSHIP
(Individual Price: $20)
A collection of over 35 prayers, this resource provides fresh and meaningful language for worship inspired by the scriptures and guiding questions in our series.
For each Sunday, we provide: A call to worship, a call to confession, a prayer of confession, words of forgiveness, a prayer for illumination, an affirmation of faith, an invitation to the offering, an invitation to the Table for Communion, and a prayer of the people or great prayer of thanksgiving. We hope you will copy/paste or adapt these prayers for your corporate worship (with credit).
4. I’ve been meaning to ask… Conversation Cards
(Individual Price: $7-$55)
This is a stack of 48 conversation cards you can print and share with families, small groups, and church committees, or use in worship. Inspired by our guiding questions, these prompts are designed to help you create deeper connection. We also include a small group curriculum to help you intentionally create safe and brave space for sharing with one another.
5. I’ve been meaning to ask… Sermon Planning Guide
(Individual Price: $15)
For each of the 8 scriptures included in our series, this guide offers biblical commentary, theme connections, guiding questions, and links to further reading. This guide features commentary by our guest contributors:
Dr. Raj Nadella, The Samuel A. Cartledge Associate Professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA
Rev. Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum, Pastor of Mercy Community Church in Atlanta, GA
Rev. Remington Johnson, Healthcare chaplain and masters in nursing candidate
Rev. Aisha Brooks-Johnson, Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta
We encourage you to use this guide as a starting point for your text study each week. We also provide a fillable Sermon Planning Grid to help you map out your ideas for your series.
6. I'VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK... VISUAL ART COLLECTION
(Individual Price: $45)
This is a collection of 8 visuals inspired by the scriptures included in our series. These art pieces, created in a variety of mediums—paper lace, acrylic painting, hand-cut block prints, and digital media—are visual meditations on these texts. With each visual, we include written statements from the artists. We also provide a visio divina bible study guide for you to use these images in a group session incorporating the ancient Benedictine spiritual practice of "divine seeing."
Note: these visuals and their corresponding artist statements are published in our Study Journal.
7. CONVERSATION CHURCH—A CREATIVE WORSHIP EVENT
(Individual Price: $12)
So often we sit side by side, week after week in the pews without truly getting to know one another. In this event, we hope to move beyond small talk to practice curiosity, listening, and connection to create a unique conversation-based worship service that might provide fellowship, connection, and a glimpse of the holy. At this one hour event, people will gather, hear scripture read, engage in thirty minutes of intentional and guided conversation with their neighbors as the sermon moment, and close with prayer and Holy Communion.
Note: Depending on your location and the reality of COVID spread in your area, we imagine that this event could be hosted outdoors with social distancing measures in force.
8. I'VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK... BRANDING BUNDLE
(Individual Price: $45)
Whether you are a church with a full-time communications staff or one whose pastor handles all communications (on top of everything else), this branding bundle provides everything you need to effectively share the I’ve been meaning to ask… theme with your community. The download includes beautifully-designed logos, theme graphics, and design elements to support you in all your communication needs—online or in print.
9. I’ve been meaning to ask… Poems
(Individual Price: $10)
This collection of 6 poetic prayers explores our I’ve been meaning to ask… weekly sub-theme questions. Honest and intimate, these poems offer meditations that we hope become prayers of your own. Adapt them for worship liturgy, use them to open and close programming events, or print them for members in your community to read and return to throughout the series.
I used to always ask,
“How can I help?” but
maybe I can’t help.
Maybe these hands are too small.
Maybe the boat will sink anyway.
Maybe your heart has been broken
and grief has moved in, making itself
at home in your life.
Maybe what you need from me
is not a solution
or a plan
or a fix-it strategy,
but something else,
—Rev. Sarah Are, excerpt from “Unlearning hands”
BONUS MATERIALS + FREE SUPPLEMENTS
We hope our resources are nourishing and generative, inviting you to get creative and engage deeply. To help you implement the materials, we’ve crafted some free supplements.
An original hymn written by Rev. Anna Strickland.
In this blog post, we outline music ideas—both traditional and contemporary—for worship, fellowship, and listening.
In this blog post, Rev. Anna Strickland offers dialogue-based children’s lessons—perfect for worship or conversations at home.
Content Calendar for Social Media (free to all bundle patrons)
To support you in sharing these materials with your community online, we have mapped out a content calendar for you to use throughout the series. We have carefully selected images, graphics, and excerpts for you to post from your social media platforms so you can share the series with your larger community, near and far. Once you purchase the bundle, navigate to the Patron Access Page to use the calendar.
meet our guest contributors
Dr. Raj Nadella (he/him) is the Samuel A. Cartledge Associate Professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Dr. Nadella’s research and teaching interests include postcolonial biblical interpretation, migration, and New Testament perspectives on economic justice and their ethical implications for the Church and society. In addition, his research has focused on Mikhail Bakhtin and Biblical Studies. His work has appeared in publications such as The Huffington Post, Christian Century, and Working Preacher. Since 2018, he has served as an area editor for Oxford Bibliographies: Biblical Studies. Nadella was one of two biblical scholars who led the PC(USA) General Assembly Bible Study in 2018. In 2020, Patheos featured him as one of 50 NT scholars to follow. ctsnet.edu/faculty/nadella-raj
Rev. Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum (she/her) serves as pastor of Mercy Community Church, a grassroots ecumenical congregation that meets out-of-doors in borrowed space, parking lots, and on the streets of Atlanta, GA. As a community, Mercy strives to bring those in and out of housing together to worship, fellowship, work for justice, offer shelter, and build community. The Mercy community gathers five days of the week to share clothes and meals, study scripture together, support one another in recovery, write, study, pray, drink coffee, and spend time together. Brittany first came to Mercy Church while completing her MDiv at Columbia Theological Seminary. Brittany is passionate about the church’s vocation to be present to the poor in ways that foster mutual relationships and healthy communities. Brittany loves writing, creating, and studying theology alongside her congregants. She is jointly ordained by the PC(USA) and Mercy Community Church. mercyatl.org
Remington Johnson (she/her) is an ordained PC(USA) minister who has served at the bedside of the sick and dying as a healthcare chaplain for the last ten years. Remington is currently pursuing a masters in nursing at the University of Texas. Remington is active in the research community by working as a consultant on a growing number of peer-reviewed studies and also serving a medical school think tank at the University of Texas. She regularly lectures on the complex care navigation process with a special focus on values identification. Remington is engaged to a lovely woman and mother to a delightful six-year-old. remingtonjohnson.com
The Reverend Aisha Brooks-Johnson, formerly Brooks-Lytle, (she/her) is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2018, Aisha began her role as the Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta serving 80+ congregations and encouraging 20+ new worshiping communities. She is honored and overjoyed to serve as an encourager to the congregations and leaders within a presbytery filled with a deep cultural diversity and a vast theological landscape. She believes that it is part of her call to support healthy and vital congregations and to equip healthy and innovative leaders to live into their passion and purpose as the people of God. Aisha is blessed to have her mother, Deborah, and her son, Ellington, to join her in this adventure in the Greater Atlanta region (atlpcusa.org). Aisha gives thanks to God for her recent marriage to the Rev. Dr. Alonzo T. Johnson who serves as the Coordinator for the Self Development of People for the PC(USA) headquartered in Louisville, KY (presbyterianmission.org/ministries/sdop).