Sunday, June 24, 2018

Proper 8 Ordinary 13 B (July 1): Come Back

Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27, Psalm 130, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43

About the images:
Upper Left: This is my photo - please feel free to use it for worship and other related activities.
Upper Right: This is a free image from - a useful and well set up site for images related to scripture - see my links column at left.
Middle Left: A free image from church galleries - see my link column at left
Middle Right: This is my image of part of Ninety Mile Beach near Lake Tyers in Far East Gippsland (for more info, visit Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: Psalm 130: waiting for the morning at our place.  Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. 

Call to worship: Dialogue
Have the seven questioners scattered around the congregation so that they speak from their seats and project the response so that everybody answers each question: Response: Yes! You are welcome here!
1. Do any of us dare to come into God’s presence during this service?
2. I am new here. May I come in?
3. I am not sure I’m wearing the right clothes? May I come in?
4. I’m not a churchy person? May I come in?
5. I’m not sure if I will understand everything that’s going on. May I come in?
6. My kids might play up a bit. May I come in?
7. I‘ll probably have to go out for a while during the service. May I come in?
N.B. I know I wrote this but I cannot remember if I based it on an idea from somewhere else or not. Please let me know if I did.

Listening Song: I Am
An encouraging song by Jill Phillips on her album Jill Phillips (pictured at right) or on WOW 2000 .

Confession/Absolution: Psalm 130
Use parts or all of Psalm 130.

Kids: The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek
by Jenny Wagner and Ron Brooks, Puffin, 1973, ISBN 0140501266 (pictured at left). A great story to use with the gospel.

For Kids: The Secret of the Arrows
By Alyce Bergy and Jim Roberts, Arch Books, 1972, ISBN 0570060672 (pictured at right). This story is based on the 2 Samuel reading.

Drama: The Outcast
Interrupt the Mark reading at the appropriate place with this monologue found in Let's Make A Scene 2 by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing, 1991, ISBN 085910608, page 14 (pictured at left).

Useful Quote: Romeo and Juliet
Act 2 Scene 2 Line 67: "For stony limits cannot hold love out".

Film Clip: Out of the Depths
By Sinead O'Connor on her album, Theology (thanks to Natalie Sims from Singing from the Lectionary - see my link column at left - for this suggestion). I had forgotten this song was on this album.  Theology is a remarkable double album with live and studio versions of each song.  I love it.


Story: Coming Home
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 75 (pictured at right). This story works well with the gospel reading.

Poem: Lament Psalm 2
By Ann Weems and found in Resources For Preaching and Worship Year B compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, ISBN 10 0664224776, pp177-7 (pictured at left). This fits well with any of the readings when you are thinking of using a lament.

Adult Response: Mediation based on the Psalm and Mark reading
Ask people to concentrate on the following words as they are spoken or projected with music:
"What is God saying to you today?
Listen to God speaking to you through these readings.
Through the woman’s story, is God saying to you:
“Reach out and touch me.
I want to love you so much.
I do love you far more than you will ever imagine.”
Or through the words in the psalm, is God saying to you
“ Come back.
All is forgiven.
I love you still.
You are my beloved child”
Or is God saying to you:
“I see your faith in me, but now I want others to see it too.
Share your story.
Listen to their stories.
Tell others what I have done for you”
You could easily finish with Jill Phillip's song above using it as God speaking to each person in conclusion.


Poem: Phoning Home
This poem is based on the Psalm and found in The Electric Bible by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, Suffolk, 2003, ISBN 1844170411, page 69 (pictured at right).

Prayer: About Change
Parts of this prayer are directly related to the gospel reading.  It is found in  Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship by Marin C and Maria I Tirabassi (Eds), The Pilgrim Press, 2007, ISBN 9780829817508, page 177.

Multiple Resources: Who Touched Me? Why Bother?
An excellent set of resources for all ages and various parts of a worship service based on the gospel reading.  These can be found in Question Mark by Beth Barnett, Scripture Union, 2009 - look up Session 3 or the title in the four different sections within the book. 

Meditation: Watching
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 36.

Poem/Meditation: The Haemorrhaging Woman
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 76 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Mark reading.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Proper 7 B (June 24): Facing up to the Goliaths.

Bible readings: 1 Samuel 17: 1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49 or 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5,10-16, Psalm 9:9-20 or Psalm 133, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41.

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a microsoft free clipart with my text from Ephesians 2:20 - part of one of the readings for the Uniting Church in Australia's anniversary on 22nd June.
Upper Right: This is my photo of a storm near Narooma on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, Australia - it goes well with the gospel reading. Please feel free to use the image. To see more of this area please visit
Middle Left: A free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left
Middle Right: A free image from the Church Galleries - see my link column at left
Lower Left:  A free image from Cerezo Barredo - see my link column at left. 

Listening Song: Who Am I?
by Casting Crowns on their album, Casting Crowns (pictured at left) or on WOW 2005.

Film Clip: Glosali
Glosali is a video clip for the song Glosali sung by the group Sigur Ros on their album, Takk. It is a beautiful picture of discipleship - the risks involved and what must be left behind. You can download the clip from the Sigur Ros website.
Kid's Story: The Mouse's Story
By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, Marshall Pickering, 1998, ISBN 0551015780 (pictured at left).

Kid's Story: The Boy With the Sling
By Mary Warren and Sally Mathews, Arch Books, 1965, ISBN 0859101975 (pictured at right).

Kid's Story: Alone - The Boy Who killed a Giant
Story No 20 in The Lion Book of Bible Stories and Prayers by Mary Batchelor, Lion Books, 1980, ISBN 0867602058.

Drama: What Are You Afraid Of?
Found in Mega Drama 4 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109186, page 55(pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: The Big Wave
Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 2002, ISBN 0901557642,page 43 (pictured at right).This drama is also based on the gospel reading.

Drama: A Giant Problem
Found in Let's Make A Scene For... by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1998, ISBN 0859108937, page 44 (pictured at left).This is based on the Old Testament reading.

Questions to Ponder: Based on the Gospel Reading
1. Which side of the lake are you on, the safe side or the other side?
2. Maybe you are on the way across and facing a few storms. Jesus invites each of us to cross to the other side with him. Where is he inviting you to be and what he is calling you to do for him?

Discussion Questions: On the 1 Samuel Reading
1. Name together some of the Goliaths we face in our personal lives, our churches and our communities.
2. What does God equip us with so that we can face these Goliaths with confidence and courage?

Response Activity: Question Cards
Give everyone a business card with a David and Goliath image in the corner or in washout and the following questions printed with enough room for people to write a short answer. I used Arial 11 and it all fitted well and was still quite readable for everybody.
1. Who or what is my Goliath?
2. What gifts, skills and talents has God given me to overcome my Goliath?
3. How does God's strength, calm, comfort and power help me to overcome my Goliath?

Response Activity: Boats
Found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 16 (pictured at left). You could use the questions above as the questions for this activity. If your church is within walking distance of a creek or river or dam and there is no danger of drowning any of the congregation, think about REALLY floating your boats - however if you do this, make sure you make your boats out of something other than paper such as twigs and flowers ie something biodegradable and environmentally sound which won't leave a mess. 


Meditation: Praise and Thanksgiving
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 25. This goes well with the Psalm

Meditation: The Storms of Life
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 68. This goes well with the gospel reading.

Meditation: The Peacemakers
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 89. This goes well with the Psalm 133 reading.

Kids: Jesus and the Storm
This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2016. This goes with the Mark reading.  The great thing about these books is that they only around $A5 and for a further $A10 (or instead of) you can buy on line the story in any format you need to project the pictures in church.  There are also free activity sheets and for a cost activity books for both teachers and children.  Visit to check out all the excellent resources.