Sunday, February 09, 2014
Bible readings: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 95, Romans 5:1-11, John 4: 5-42
About the Images:
Left: This is a microsoft free clipart with my text.
Right: This is an image I took while traversing the Simpson Desert last year (for more info on the Simpson please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson_Desert). The words are from the psalm. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Left: This is a microsoft free clipart with text from Th Valley Song below.
Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan Ashton from her album, A Distant Call (pictured at left) or on the album, Nothing But Pop. This goes well with the Romans reading.
Listening Song: The Valley Song
By Jars of Clay on their album, Furthermore (pictured at right) or on WOW 2004. This goes well with the Exodus reading.
Listening Song: LifesongsBy Casting Crowns on their album, Lifesong (pictured at left) or on WOW 2007. This goes very well with psalm 95.
Dramatic reading: John 4:5-42Using the translation you prefer, you can turn this reading into a script very easily by having people speak the words of Jesus, the woman, Disciple 1, Disciple 2, and the crowd (use the whole congregation for the crowd). Any scripture that doesn't fit these characters and groups can be read by a Narrator.
Film Clip: Walk the Line
(pictured at right) The scene where Jonny Cash and his band sing for the record producer and the producer tells him that if he doesn't mean the songs and live the songs then he is never going to be a good gospel singer - great clip for psalm 95.
Discussion: On Walk the Line film clip
What is the point of worship?
Discuss together a definition of worship.
Film Clip: Patch Adams
Show the clip following the death of Patch's fiance where he has a conversation with God while standing on the edge of a cliff. (pictured at right)
Discussion: On Patch Adams film clip
Have you ever questioned God like Patch does?
Did God answer?
What is the significance of the butterfly?
Drama; Coffee Break
Found in Let's Make a Scene For.... by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1998, ISBN 0859108937, page 10 (pictured at right). ...Goes well with the psalm.
A young man was having a great deal of trouble developing patience. He had tried everything, but could not develop the habit. Finally, in desperation, he visited the nearby monastary and the wise man who lived there. "Father", said the young man, "Please help me! I am so impatient and nothing I can do seems to help! I would really appreciate it if you could pray and ask God to develop in me some patience!" "Certainly," replied the wise priest, and began to pray. "Heavenly Father, send this young man tribulation. Send him tribulation in the morning, send him tribulation in the evening..." "Stop!" cried the young man. "Tribulation? I asked you to pray for God to develop in me some patience! Why are you you asking Him to send me tribulation? That's the last thing I need!" The wise priest smiled at him. "How else do you think you are going to develop patience unless you get a chance to practice it? Hence the need for tribulation!" This story which fits well with Romans 5:3-5 is one of those emails that is forwarded around the net rather regularly.
Found as story No 298 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, ISBN 1854245929 . Fits well with the gospel reading.
Sermon: Exodus 17:1-7
Tell three stories with similar sub-headings (see below)
1. The story of Exodus 17:1-7
2. The story entitled Urgent Messages in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 237. This story is based on the gospel reading.
3. A personal story of your own
Sub-headings: a) the journey, b) a distressing event, c) when God seems absent, d) God IS present.
Allow each member of the congregation to choose one of three different options:
1. Make a rain stick each (there is so much water symbolism in these readings!)
2. Discuss one of the readings.
3. Sit quietly and watch a powerpoint meditation - I put pictures and meditative music to psalm 95 followed by a prayer - I put both the psalm and the prayer up one line per slide and allowed around 15 seconds per slide.
Response Activity: Psalm Consequences
In Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 19.
Drama: A Monty Python Version of the John reading
For this to work well the actors need to be Monty Python addicts!
Samaritan woman - with large plastic bucket
Three disciples - wearing tea towels and headbands not quite straight
(Jesus and disciples enter down left aisle - Jesus sits slightly to left of centre, disciples stand in centre half facing him and congregation)
J: Oh good, a well! I'm hot, tired, thirsty and hungry.
D1: What about we go and buy a bit of lunch, then?
D2: Oooh, what a good idea!
D3: Can I come too?
(Start up centre aisle of church - make sure conversation finishes before door)
D1: Ham and salad sandwiches would be nice!
D2 : Freshly baked rolls would be the thing!
D3: Um.... I can't really see ham being on the menu, can you?
D1: Well, anyway, I think I should pay!
D2 : No, No, No.... I'm sure it's my turn!
D3: I really do think one of you should do it?
D2: What is ham anyway?
D3: Pig.......... Hang on a minute, now. We can't eat pig, can we? It's against all the rules.
D1: Are you quite sure its pig?
D2: Pig: a hoofed domestic animal, reared for its flesh...... or an oblong mass of melted metal as in pig iron: ....... and to follow on : piggish: pertaining to or like pigs, dirty, greedy, stubborn; pig tail: the tail of a pig, a braid of hair hanging from the back of the head.........(on 'head' all three leave the church).
(Samaritan woman comes down right aisle to draw water from the well)
J: Excuse me, would you mind giving me a drink, please?
W: What? Are you asking me? You're a Jew!..... (pause) And I'm a Samaritan, in case you haven't noticed. (pause)...And we're not supposed to talk to each other, are we now?
J: You don't know what God wants to give you. If you knew me you'd be asking me for the water that gives life.
W: But, you've got no bucket!!! This is a deep well, you know.... Or have you got a better well somewhere else?
J: If you drink the water I give you, then you will never be thirsty again.
W: What! Are you saying that I can just throw this bucket away? A perfectly good bucket! J: Go and bring your husband.
W: Um....well now....actually...er...in actual fact.....ah, to put it bluntly .......... I have no husband.
J: That's nicely put. You have hit the nail on the head. You've already had five husbands and the man you're living with now isn't even your husband.
W: Oh ho! So you're a prophet, are you. You know what ? The Messiah's coming. When he arrives we'll get the whole story from him!
J: Well, you're speaking to him!
(Disciples enter and stop halfway down the church centre aisle laden with shopping bags or with a filled supermarket trolley)
D1: Well, would you look at that! A Samaritan woman! At the well! In the middle of the day!
D2: My goodness! Jesus is talking to her!
D3: And what's more - she's a Samaritan!
D2: And another thing - she's a woman!
D1: And , wink, wink, nudge, nudge, - she's obviously not your most popular lassy around town if she's here at lunch time.!
W: (to Jesus) I want to tell everyone about you!
(She runs off down right aisle leaving her bucket at Jesus' feet)
D3: Look she's leaving!
(All shoosh each other and tell each other to pretend not to have noticed that Jesus was talking to the woman as they shuffle up to Jesus).
D1: Mmmmm, lovely bucket!
D2: No holes - a good sound one, isn't it?
D3: Very comely shade of um.... er ......
D2: Bucket! Vessel for drawing or carrying water; piston of pump; scoop of dredging machine or grain elevator, socket for whip carbine or wooden leg etc.; and to follow on - kick the bucket: slang term for die or perhaps obsolete form of......
D1: (obviously changing topic) My goodness. I'm hungry! Teacher, you must be starved. What about a bite to eat?
J: I have food that you don't know anything about
D1: What's this, then? Who bought food out here?
D2: What are we going to do with this lot then?
D3: (sarcastically) Hark, do I hear a street vendor's dulcet tones in the distance.
D1: Well, this is just not good enough, is it? Undermines our responsibilities!
D2: Dulcet: adjective, sweet, soothing especially of sounds; dulcify: sweeten, make gentle, hence dulcification, dulcimer: 15th century musical instrument.......
J: (shaking his head and breaking in gently) Stop a minute, you lot. Listen.
(Disciples sit at Jesus' feet to listen) My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do.c. Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull
Poem and prayer: woman at the well.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 22. These are based on the gospel reading.
Response Activity: Around noon
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year A by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 57ff. This is based on the Gospel reading and the old Testament reading.
Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 70ff.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Bible Readings: Genesis 12:1-4a, Psalm 121, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a little bloke who looks as if he is well cared for in the safety department and who knows where he is going. Sort of like the Psalmist :) This is my photo so please feel free to use it in the context of worship.
Upper Right: This is a microsoft free clipart image with my text.
Lower Left: This sculpture, found on Mt Nebo in Jordan, by Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni, symbolizes the bronze serpent created by Moses in the wilderness and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified (Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14). This is my image so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Kid's Story: A Picture Strip Bible by Felecity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 10 (pictured at left). This obviously fits in with the Genesis reading.
Drama: Eternal Life And All That
Found in Lets Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 12 (pictured at right). This drama is based on verses from the gospel reading.
Story or Film Clip: Jim Elliot
The story of Jim Elliot and his four missionary colleagues has some great parallels with the readings. You can find the full story in the book Through the Gates of Splendour by Elisabeth Elliot, ISBN 185078034X, or on the film Beyond the Gates of Splendour (pictured at left).
Story: Worry or Life
Found in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 99 (pictured at right). This story is based on the gospel reading.
You can find this story at http://www.christiancrusaders.org/details_web.asp?ID=454. Scroll right down to the end of the page to find this story which goes very nicely with the Psalm.
Quote: Alice in Wonderland
"Cheshire Puss", Alice began rather timidly, "Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where....," said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go", said the Cat.
From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Quote: Lewis Smedes
"God is there, ahead of time, before you get there, waiting, hands open, to hold you when you are sure you are sinking. You will feel his presence, feel his strength, feel the courage that comes from his support, if you just let him hold you. And when you do feel him, you will know that it will be all right with you at that moment, later, or any time....". By Lewis Smedes in How Can It Be Right When Everything Is All Wrong? and found in High Mountains, Deep Valleys edited by Rowland Croucher and Grace Tomlinson, Albatross, 1990, ISBN 086760090X, page 58. (pictured at left)
Poem/Meditation: The Love of God
This is a take on John 3:16 and I found two versions of it on the net:
1. Go to http://www.pastornet.net.au/gac/sermons/greatest-gift.php and scroll to the end of the page.
2. Go to http://webpages.marshall.edu/~cole8/sermons/SEPARATE.HTM and look in section III.
Have a variety of art materials on hand as well as paper and pens. As a congregation, make a list of all the symbols found in the John reading eg., light, wind, bronze snake etc. Ask people to choose one symbol and group together with others who have chosen the same symbol. Ask each group to
1. Create a group representation of the symbol they have chosen , and
2. Write a prayer together which incorporates the symbol.
Some can compose while others create.
Poem and prayer: love saves.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 21 (pictured at left). These are based on the gospel reading.
Response Activity: Seeing the Face of God
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year A by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 55ff. This is based on the Gospel reading and the old Testament reading.
Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 65ff.
Bible Readings: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, Psalm 32, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11.
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a Microsoft free clipart image with my text.
Upper Right: A free Microsoft clipart image with a line from the Susan Aston song You Move Me (see below)
Lower Left: This is a free image from the Heartlight site. See my link column at left.
Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan Ashton from her album, A Distant Call (pictured at left) or on the album, Nothing But Pop. This song goes well with all the readings - I used it with the Romans reading as a call to worship.
Kid's Story: Arabella
By Wendy Orr and Kim Gamble, Angus and Robertson, 1998, ISBN 0207199043 (pictured at right). When you have read the story discuss a few of these questions with the kids:
1.What did Matthew think was the most important thing in Grandpa's life before the storm and during the storm?
2. What did he think might happen if the Arabella was lost?
3. What did he discover was really the most important thing in Grandpa's life?
4. How is the story a bit like us and God?
Have different groups discuss just one of the three temptations (there are a million ways to divide a congregation up to do this) but use the same question for everyone:
What is the need/yearning/desire that is at the heart of this temptation?
Share findings after the discussion.
Film Clip: City Slickers
(pictured at left) Use the scene of the conversation following Phil's break down in front of his friends when confronting the drunken cow hands. This links in well with the Romans reading (see discussion questions following).
Discussion: City Slicker film clip
Billy Crystal's character tells Phil that his life is a clean slate, a 'do-over", but Phil questions our ability to do this. What do you think?
Bible reading: Romans 5:12-21
In this reading, Paul contrasts our relationship with God (exemplified by Adam) with what a difference Jesus makes to this relationship. To make it clearer I printed out the reading with the Adam (us) bits in plain type and the Jesus making a difference bits in bold type.
Story: Here Comes the Cat!
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 61 (pictured at right). This story links in well with the Romans reading.
Story: The Face on the Puzzle
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 66 (pictured at left). This story links well with the Romans reading.
Adult Response: For the Gospel reading
Ask people to write down a temptation which distracts them from following Jesus. While appropriate music plays, ask people to lay what they have written at the foot of a cross as a representation that they will leave their temptation in Jesus' hands.
Adult Response: For Lent
I am not sure where this first option below comes from. If you know, please let me know so I can give credit where it is due. I gave people two options to choose from as follows:
1. Give everyone a small (two or three inches square) craft box. Give each person a sheet of paper with forty words which are linked to Lent and Easter, eg., truth, grace, love, courage etc. Ask them to cut out the forty words, shuffle them and put them in the box. Encourage them to take out one word a day and follow the instructions they have written onto the box. Lid instructions are as follows: Spend time praying, thinking about, reflecting on, writing down or drawing today's word and how it impinges on your relationship with God.
2. Print off the lectionary readings for Lent and Easter - one Sunday per A5 page. Underneath the readings print the following two questions: What is the Good News in these readings? What is the challenge for me, for my church and for me in my community, in these readings,? Leave the rest of the page blank for responses. Provide some A5 card, a hole punch and some ribbon and ask people to assemble a Lenten Journal. Encourage them to read through the weekly readings and work through the questions as they travel through Lent.
Bible Readings: Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2 or Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9.
About the images:
Upper Left: I took this photo in the Australian high country where it snows in winter. sometimes the light up there is really amazing and the mountains seem to glow. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities - for more information on the High Country visit: http://www.visitvictoria.com/displayobject.cfm/objectid.00034C30-86B8-1ED6-869180C476A90000/) .
Upper Right: This is also my photo with biblical text added. This photo is taken looking down Duck Arm (to where we live) on the Gippsland Lakes (for more info: http://www.gippslandtourism.com.au/Gippsland-Lakes/). Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image. Please see my links column at left.
Listening Song: Shine
By the Newsboys on their album, Going Public (pictured at left) or on WOW 1996. This song uses words from the gospel reading.
Listening Song: Jubilate
By Robert Prizeman on the album, Libera (pictured at right). I used this with the Adult Response below.
Kid's Story: Westlandia
By Paul Fleischman (Author), Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator), Candlewick Press, ISBN 9780763600068 (pictured at left).
Share a time when you have experienced the presence of God?
Story: The Job Applicant
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 126 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Matthew reading.
Story: The Boy and the Circus
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 56 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Matthew reading.
Give every one a pencil and a card with a mountain pictured on it.
Suggest: Let's think of ways we can "climb the mountain" and put ourselves in places where God can reveal His presence to us. Have a minute or so in silence. Play a piece of thinking music - Jubilate (above) works really well. Use the card to write a prayer, draw a picture, compose a poem or put down a resolution. Not sure where I got this idea from - let me know if it's not mine.
Poem and prayer: transfiguration.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 18 (pictured at left). These are based on the gospel reading.
Response Activity: Seeing the Face of God
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year A by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 48ff (pictured at right). This is based on the Gospel reading and the old Testament reading.
Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 53ff.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Bible Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18, Psalm 119: 33-40, 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23, Matthew 5:38-48.
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free Heartlight image. You can visit their site via my links column on the left of this page.
Upper Right: This image is from the Hermano Leon free clip art site (see my links at the left of this page). I like the open hand versus the clenched fist idea.
Lower Left: This is from the Church Galleries site (see my links column at left)
Kid's Story: Change Your Enemy into Your Friend
Found in The Lectionary Story Bible, Woodlake , 2009, ISBN 9781551455471, pages 65-66 (pictured at right) . This story is based on the gospel reading.
Film Clip: Wondrous Oblivion
(pictured at left) This is a great clip about a Jewish boy in England who, although suffering some discrimination himself, discriminates against a Jamacain girl who has kindly taught hin to play cricket. The scene I chose is one where he tries to make amends for his behaviour. See the clip at Making Amends - Movie Clip from Wondrous Oblivion at WingClips.com
Drama: This is the Word of the Lord Found in Mega Drama 1 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0859109151, page 27 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the gospel reading.
Story: Music in a New Place
Found in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 18 (pictured at left) . This story is based on the gospel reading.
Story and Response Activity: Sometimes it is Really Hard to Love
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together by Dorothy McRae- McMahon and Andrew Collis, Mediacom, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 44 (pictured at right). This is based on the gospel reading.
Poem: A Hymn of Imperfection
By Joy Cowley and found in Resources for Preaching and Worship Year A compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild. Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, ISBN 0664225071, page 74. This is just a delight and goes beautifully with the prayer response below.
Prayer Response: Praying for our Enemies
Found in Forbid Them Not Year A by Carolyn C Brown, Abingdon Press, 1992, ISBN 068713255X, page 53 (pictured at left). I know, I know, this is supposed to be an activity for the kids but with the Poem (above) attached to it instead of the word puzzle; it makes a very thought provoking prayer activity for adults
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Bible Readings: Deuteronomy30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Mathew 5:21-37
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free images from Church Powerpoint (see my links at left)
Upper Right: This is my image of Mt Sinai in Egypt with a piece of text from the poem The Law of Christ (see below). Please feel free to us this image for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This is my image of Sturt desert Peas which grow in Central Australia. I also used this image for part of the poem The Law of Christ (see below). Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Film Clip: Tangled
(pictured at left) This is a great little clip for use with the gospel reading - particularly the part about anger and reconciliation. For this purpose it works best if you stop it at the bells and leave out the last kick - or talk specifically about that last kick in the light of what Jesus says about going to those who have/feel something against you.
Drama: What should I Do?
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 26 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the Deuteronomy reading.
Drama: The Clean-Up
Found in Creative Worship Ideas by Lois Keffer, Group, 1993, ISBN 1559450991, page 55 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the gospel reading.
Story: Great Babies
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 79 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Corinthians reading.
Story: Who Could Be More Important than the President?
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 177. This story links in well with the gospel reading.
Story: Divorce by Instant Text Messaging
Found in Incredible Illustrations by Mikal Keefer, Group Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0764426141, page 47 (pictured at left). This news article is linked with the gospel reading - please do not use it as an excuse to show up any other religion - the point of the illustration should be to show how flimsy and undervalued are many of our relationships - marriage or otherwise - whoever we are and wherever we come from.
Poem: The Law of Christ
Found in The Electric Bible by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170411, page 85 . This poem is based on the gospel reading. I put the words with images and used the following backing music:
By Burial on his album, Untrue. (pictured at left) .