Sunday, September 15, 2019

Proper 20 Ordinary 25 C: Lament/


 





























Bible Readings: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1, Psalm 79:1-9, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 16:1-13

About the Images:
Upper Left:
Coopers Creek at the Dig Tree: such a peaceful place with such an odd history.  For more info, please visit http://www.thargotourism.com.au/the-burke-and-wills-dig-tree. This is my photo - please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: Ned Kelly the day before his execution by Charles Nettleton. The photo taken in 1880, so is public domain. Image taken from http://www.statelibrary.vic.gov.au/slv/exhibitions/kellyculture/intro1.html
Lower Left: This is a free image from Imagebank  - see my link column at left - with a line from CeCe Winnans song "Comforter".
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which should be online again soon. This particular image was free on the site. Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com.

Listening song: Peacemaker
by Maire Brennan on her album, Whisper to the Wild Water (pictured at right). This is particularly good if played as a background to a series of images portraying war, anger,
fighting etc as an introduction to the Timothy reading.

Listening Song: Comforter
By CeCe Winnans on her album, Alabaster Box (pictured at left).  This goes well with the Jeremiah reading, particularly Jeremiah 8:18.

Kid's Story:
If you have a dramatist or a mime clown in your congregation, ask them to go through a whole lot of different emotions with the children together eg "let's all be happy, sad, angry, sad" etc. They can use all of their body to show the emotion or just a body part such as a face, or a hand or an arm. Kid's love doing this and I often get the whole congregation to do it because everybody enjoys it. Lead this into a discussion about Jeremiah and about how honest we can be with God about how we feel.

Discussion Questions: For the Luke reading
When do we take risks for the gospel?

When do we put people's needs before financial concerns?
What are our priorities?

Film Clip: Wit
(pictured at right) Show the scene right need the end of the film where Vivian's old professor comes in and, through means of a children's story book, prays for her to die in peace. This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Discussion Questions for Film Clip: Wit
1. How does Vivian's old professor pray for her?
2. Why is it important for us to have peace in our lives?
3. How can we give peace to each other?

Story: Good News
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 161 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the Luke reading.

Story: The Prayer of Compassion
by Anthony Bloom and found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, Page 248 (pictured at right). This story goes well with the Timothy reading.

Quote: Horatius Bonar
Index 3140-3141 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. This quote goes well with the Timothy reading. You can also find this quote at http://www.jude3.net/bgwh8.htm - fifth paragraph up from the bottom.

Prayer for Others:
Introduce this prayer with 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

Prayer for others: Light a Candle
This is an interactive prayer and can involve the whole congregation. It is written by Roddy Hamilton for Pentecost C 2007 and goes well with any of the readings for today. Roddy's site is call Mucky Paws and there is a link in my link section at left.

Adult Response: For the Luke reading
Give everyone a business card sized picture of a slightly dodgy cultural hero. Robin Hood works well as does Ned Kelly in Australia and Arthur Daly from the TV series, Minder.
Ask: As a result of this rather shady story, what is God asking you to do?......Put God first?....Clean up a dodgy part of your life?.....or.....? Write a prayer on the back.

Adult Response Activities for the Timothy Reading:
Have three separate areas for people to pray
for the world in three different ways. At each place have available multiple copies of the Timothy Bible reading or give everyone a copy of the reading before they start.
1. Write a letter to God.
Equipment needed: Good quality parchment paper and good pens or pencils.
Instructions: Some people find it easier to write down their feelings than to verbalise them. Try writing a letter to God expressing what is going on in your mind with regard to this reading today. You might want to say sorry for something you have not done, or there may be a part of the reading you can't understand or don't agree with and you want to make sure God knows how you feel. Maybe you just want to list the leaders you want to pray for? Writing a letter to god often clarifies
what you really want to pray about.
2. Drawing prayers:
Equipment: Art paper and pencils, crayons etc.
Instructions: In response to the Bible reading, divide a piece of art paper in two. On the left side, draw how you think the world, your country or your community is today - particularly the bits/people you think need praying for. On the right side, draw how you would like it to be and/or how you think God would like it to be.
NB: This is between you and God. It is not an art exam. It will not be marked!!! Nobody will see it. So...enjoy praying.
3. Wallet prayers:
Found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 14 and 45 (pictured at left).

Monday, September 09, 2019

Proper 19 Ordicary 24 C (September 15) : In the Shadow od God's Wings


 



Bible Readings: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, Psalm 14, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10

About the Images:

Upper Left: This is my photo with text from the Third Day song below which is based on a psalm but which generally speaks about God's love for us and how God wants the best for us. The photo was taken at Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia (for more info on this beautiful area, visit http://www.rainbow-beach.org). Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is a microsoft free clipart image. I thought it went well with my theme - in the shadow of God's wings.
Middle Left: This is a view of Capernaum.  You can see how dark the building stones are and how dark the inside of a house would have been. You can also see that the floors are cobbled. Consequently there are two reasons to need  a broom.  This is my image - please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Right and Lower Left:  These two images come from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left 

Listening Song: Your Love O Lord
By Third Day on their album, Time (pictured ay left). This goes well with all of the readings set down for today.

Film Clip: The Holy Man
Show the clip where G tells everybody that even making a difference in one person's life is a big deal. This is that old well known starfish story presented in a slightly different way.  Start at around 1hr 1 -2 minutes with the words "ok, ok, here's the teleprompter....when the red light goes on. .."



Discussion Questions for the Film Clip:

When you hear the starfish story, how does it make you feel?

How does the story relate to you?

Describe someone who has made a difference to you. What did he/she do?

What could we do together to make a difference?

What does it mean to be connected to God?

Skit: The Lost Coin
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, Page 22 (pictured at left).

Story: It's a Big Ocean to be Lost in
Found in A Guide to the Parables of Jesus by H.H. Staton or at http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/20170.htm - scroll down to find the story and see the bottom of the page for copyright info.

Adult Response:
Give everyone a coin (I used chocolate ones) and ask:

Do you believe that there are parties thrown in heaven just for you?

Also:

Story Plus Other Stuff: Wally the Dodgy Trolley
Found in Wally the Dodgy Trolley and other Stories of Faith and Humour by Ian Johnson, Scripture Union Australia, Lidcombe, 2000, ISBN 0949720984, page 5 (pictured at left).

Kids: Cecil The Lost Sheep
By Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2006 (pictured at right) . Absolutely the best story series around for kids and adults. My whole congregation is delighted every time we use one of these wonderful books. You can buy resources from the Lost Sheep site and powerpoints of any of the books cheaply and easily. 
Kids: Way Home
By Libby Hathorn, Random House,  with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 29 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Luke reading.

Kids: The Lost Sheep
By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, found in Stories Jesus Told  by the above authors, Candle books, 2005, ISBN 101859855881 (pictured at right).

Kids: The Ten Silver Coins
By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, found in Stories Jesus Told  by the above authors, Candle books, 2005, ISBN 101859855881 (pictured at right).



All Sorts of Useful Stuff: Shepherd's Delight
By Ian Birkinshaw in Multi-Sensory Parables, Scripture Union, 2006, ISBN 9781844272310, page 39 (pictured at left).  This is based on the Gospel. 




Sunday, September 01, 2019

Proper 18 Ordinary 22 C (September 08): Letting Go, Letting God


 

Bible Readings: Jeremiah 18:1-11, Psalm 139 1-6, 13-18, Philemon 1-21, Luke 14:25-33.

About the Images:
Upper Left: Sometimes , in order to appreciate beauty, we have to let go of things that make life comfortable.  This is an image of the Simpson Desert in the Australian outback. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. For more info on the Simpson, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson_Desert 
Upper Right: This is a free Microsoft clipart image and goes very well with my theme of Letting Go, Letting God.
Middle Left: This goes with the image above - the things we voluntarily let go of in order to appreciate something better - like swapping a house for a swag when we want to enjoy the beauty of an isolated desert.
Middle Right: This is a free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column to the left. 
Lower Left: And another free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column to the left. 

Listening Song: I've Always Loved You
By Third Day on their album, Time (pictured at left). This makes a great declaration of grace after the prayer of Confession. I made a film clip of this song matching the words with relevant images.

Listening Song: Psalm 139
By Sons of Korah on their album, Rain (pictured at right). I made a film clip of this song putting relevant images up as it played.

Kid's Time: Holidays
Show them some photos of a camping holiday and relate this to the things that they need to leave behind in order to have an exciting time eg you cannot take your bed camping, instead you take a swag, you cannot take your oven, instead you light a fire, you cannot take your electric kettle, instead you take a billy etc etc. Relate this to the gospel reading.

Film Clip: The Apostle
Use the scene right near the end of the film where Sonny lets go of his church and allows himself to be arrested so that he can clean up the wrongs things in his life.




Story: How Will The Church be Lighted?
Just google the title of this story and you will find it easily in any number of places.

Adult Response:
Ask people to find a partner and discuss the following two questions together:
1. What do you find hard to let go of?
2. What sort of things make it hard for you to be a disciple? Is it time, is it energy, is it doubt about God, is it some sadness or loss?
Afterwards ask each person to write a prayer for their partner (provide paper and pens) and seal it in an envelope (also provided) on which they will put their partner's name and address. Ask everyone to put their letters in the offering plate as it comes around. I collected all the envelopes and posted them about a month later. I received heaps of good feedback on this. People were not only touched by the prayer they received, but they also appreciated the reminder it brought to them of their discussion.

Also:

Story Plus Other Stuff: Wuncy Nicks Off
Found in Wally the Dodgy Trolley and other Stories of Faith and Humour by Ian Johnson, Scripture Union Australia, Lidcombe, 2000, ISBN 0949720984, page 75 (pictured at right).

Poem/Meditation: Jonah
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 32 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Jeremiah reading.

Kids: Jesse
By Tim Winton, Penguin Books Australia,  with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 49 (pictured at right). This goes well with the Psalm reading.

Taize Service: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 16 (pictured at left). This is based on the Psalm reading.


Prayer Exercise: Silence and Solitude


Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 52 (pictured at right).  This is based on the Psalm reading.




For Children and Families: God is Forever
Found in Rewind by Beth Barnett, SUVictoria, 2011, ISBN987098710035, navigate from page 5 (pictured at left). This is based on the Psalm reading.