Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Proper 11 C (July 21): Priorities and Distractions


 








 



Bible Readings: Amos 8:1-12, Psalm 52, Colossians 1:15-28, Luke 10:38-42

About the Images:
Upper Left:
This image comes from the excellent Heartlight site (see my link column at left)
Upper Right: This is a combination of two free Microsoft cliparts.
Middle Left: This is a free clipart from the excellent Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website. Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com.
Lower Left: This is a free Creative commons image to which I have added the word "Slowly".

Listening Song: Goodbye to Me
By David Robertson on his album, Soul Embrace (pictured at right)

Mediative Listening Song: Dies Irae
By Libera on their CD, Libera (pictured at left). I suggested this last week but it also fits this week.

Individual Introductory Activity: Priorities
Give everyone a pencil and a scrap of paper. Ask them to make a list of the things that are important to them in order of priority. After they have finished, ask them to note where getting to know God and serving God featured on their list. Let them know they will not be sharing their answers with anyone so they are not inhibited by what they think they may have to share.

Film Clip: Jesus of Montreal
(pictured at left).There are plenty of clips in this film in which Daniel, an actor who is to portray Jesus in a passion play, begins to mirror Jesus' life in his own life

Drama: One Thing Needed
Found in Let's Make A Scene Too,, by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 13 (pictured at right)  This drama is particularly useful for the gospel reading.

Discussion: On the Luke Reading
1. Who do you relate to more - Mary or Martha?
2. Why does Jesus think Mary has made a good choice? What is his point?
3. What is Martha's problem?
4. Should we try to balance the Mary and Martha activities in our lives?

Discussion: On the Amos Reading
1. What do you think the job description of a prophet would include?
2. What are some of the method's God uses to speak to people in the Old Testament?

Story: Saul Kills the Priests of the Lord

1 Samuel 22: 6-23 is considered to be the background for psalm 52. The story is about one of the biggest dobbers in history - it is about treachery, anger, and fear.

Story: First Letter Home
Found in The New Century Version Youth Bible, Word, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1024 (pictured at left). This is useful with the gospel reading.

Story: The Boat in the Window
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 44 (pictured at right). This is useful for the Colossians reading.

Story: Listen Slowly
Found in Bits and Pieces, June 24, 1993, page 13.

Visual Analogy: Pot Bound Plant
Have a pot bound plant and a healthy pot plant with plenty of room to grow. Relate these to the Colossians reading where Paul talks about the things which prevent him from becoming complacent about his faith. Talk about how complacency and our comfort zones can wall us in and prevent us from growing the way we should.

Also:

Prayers and Poems: Mary/Martha
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 147 (pictured at left).

Response Activity: One Thing Necessary
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year C by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2012, ISBN 9781921945083, page 107ff (pictured at right). This works well with all the gospel reading.

Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2016 by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2015, page 139ff. These ideas are based on all of the readings.

Poem/Meditation: I am Mary and I am Martha
By Ruth Burgess in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 55 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Luke reading.

Worship Resources: Does My Faith Look Big in This?

Found in Multi-Sensory World by Craig Borlase, Scripture Union/Tear Fund, 2008, ISBN 9781844272662, page 48. This goes with the Amos reading.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Proper 10 C (July 14): Rescue/Mission Not Quite Impossible/Making a Positive Impact

 

 













Readings: Amos 7:7-17, Psalm 82, Colossians 1:1-14, Luke 10:25-35.

About the images:
Upper Left:
This is a free Microsoft clipart image with text from www.laughingbird.com - a great site for an Australian paraphrase (among other things).
Upper Right: I decided this flood photo fitted all three possible titles for the readings this week:-
Rescue: this house is certainly in need of rescue,
Mission Not Quite Impossible: Of all the places it could have come to rest - such as the middle of the river! - the house actually came to rest right beside a road.
Making a Positive Impact: the owner of this house made a very positive impact when he was interviewed - he basically said "it's just a house, not a life, that has been lost".
Middle Left: This is a free Heartlight image. See my link column at left.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website. Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com
Lower Left: This is a free clip art from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at the left.

Listening Song: Grace
By U2 on their album, All That You Can't Leave Behind (pictured at right). The song title says it all.  This is a brilliant and moving song.

Kid's Story: The Good Stranger
Found in Stories Jesus Told: Favourite Stories From the Bible by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, Zondervan, 2007, ISBN 101859855881 (pictured at left) or in a separate volume under the same title published by Harper Collins, 1995.

Video Clip: Mission Impossible 2
You can relate this clip (one impossible mission after another!) to the Amos reading.
Video Clip: Pay It Forward
(pictured at left) You can  this scene

- when Trevor's Mum forgives her Mum - to the Colossians reading.



Discussion: Pay It Forward
What is grace?
When have you seen an example of grace?

Video Clip: Mr Holland's Opus
 A great clip about how everyone, no matter who they are, has the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of others.



Film Clip: The God Samaritan


Drama: The Horticultural Guide  
Found in Let's Make A Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 47 (pictured at left). This drama is useful if you are concentrating on the Colossians reading.

Drama: The Christian Inaction
Found in Lets make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 24 (pictured at right). This drama is useful for the Luke reading.


Introduction to the Gospel: Oxymorons
Talk about oxymorons. Give a few examples eg plastic glasses, work party, taped live, peace force. Talk about how "Good Samaritan" was a bit of an oxymoron for Jesus' listeners when he told them the story. This little exercise helps people see the extent of the implications of the story.

Discussion: On Luke
Can church work get in the way of love and compassion?

Discussion: On Amos
In pairs:
1. Discuss a time when you have had to start again - pick a painful restart or a less painful one - it doesn't matter.
2. Share what was hard in the new beginning.
3. Share what was easy.
Plenary:
1. What are some of the good things about starting again?
2. What are some of the more difficult things about starting again?
3. How were the people of Israel asked to start again?
4. What did God and Amos use as an image?
5. Who opposed Amos?
Groups:
If someone was asked to hold a plumb line against our congregation, how would it hold up?

Quote: Paul Harvey

If you don't live it, you don't believe it".

Story: Practising the Existence of God
By Philip Yancey in Rumours of Another World, Zondervan, 2003, ISBN 0310255244, pages 223-4 (pictured at left). This is a series of grace stories set in South Africa at the time when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

Response Activity: The Good Samaritan
Ask people to consider, at this point of their lives, who do they relate to best:
The lawyer: so busy debating the issue that he cannot see the need,
The people who pass by: so busy with religious duties that he cannot help
The beaten up man: accepting help from somebody he would rather not accept help from
The Good Samaritan: responding to a need even when he knows he is seen as inadequate.
Leave some silence for them to talk to God about it.

Response Activity: Grace
Have A4/letter sized paper (art paper is best but ordinary paper will do), plenty of pencils, paints and crayons available, flat tabletops or whatever to work on ( I use various spaces in the worship area and rooms nearby) and the following instructions either projected or printed on small cards.
1. Take some time in silence to concentrate on God.
2. On the paper, make a drawing of your life so far - it can be a time line, a series of small drawings or symbols, a diagram, a graph - whatever. Take your time and use what you are doing as part of your praying.
3. Take a bright colour you have not used on the paper anywhere and circle or shade the parts of your life where you can see God's grace at work.
4. Somewhere on the paper make a "what next" area and as you do, ask God to show you what's next for you.
Allow about ten minutes for this activity. To conclude, you could ask everybody to place their work in an area accessible to all so that people can wander about enjoying what has been created or you could encourage people to each say a one sentence prayer which thanks God for something they have discovered whilst doing the activity or....you could do both.
Hmmmm who's idea is this? - I think it is mine but let me know if you think it is yours.

Mediative Listening Song: Dies Irae

By Libera on their CD, Libera (pictured at right).

Also:

Meditation: The Good Samaritan
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 75. This goes well with the gospel reading.

Kids: The Good Samaritan
By Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2006. This goes with the Matthew reading. Absolutely the best story series around for kids and adults. My whole congregation is delighted every time we use one of these wonderful books. 

All Sorts of Useful Stuff: Love Actually
By Ian Birkinshaw in Multi-Sensory Parables, Scripture Union, 2006, ISBN 9781844272310, page 24.  This is based on the Gospel. 

Plumb Line Prayer
By Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill in Eggs and Ashes, Wild Goose Publications, 2004, page 102. This goes with the Amos reading.