Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Eve B: Rejoice

Bible Readings:Isaiah 9:2-7 Luke 2:1-20
Theme: Rejoice/Light of the World

White and gold cloth and floating tea lights in clear glass bowls.

Call to Worship/Proclamation: This, Tonight is the Meeting Place
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 83 (pictured in an earlier blog). We read this while playing Anthem Part 3 from the CD Powaqquatsi (pictured in an earlier blog) in the background.

Listening Song: Hope
Found on Jonathan Elias's compilation album, Prayer Cycle (pictured at left).

Listening Song: A Holy Night
By Point of Grace on the album, WOW Christmas (pictured in an earlier blog).

Listening Song: Mary, Did You Know?
By Kathy Mattea on the album, WOW Christmas (pictured in an earlier blog). One year we used this song as the framework for the whole Christmas eve service.

Listening Song: Life Uncommon
By Jewel on her album, Spirit (pictured in an earlier blog).

Listening Song: Gaudete
By Cantillation on the compilation CD, Peace on Earth.

Drama: In their Shoes
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 98 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Drama: The Incarnation
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 86ff (pictured in an earlier blog).

Meditation: Comfort My People
By Roddy Hamilton and found on his blog, Mucky Paws (see link at left) in his December 2005 archive.

Stories/Sermon: Four Shoes For the Nativity
By Roddy Hamilton and found on his blog, Mucky Paws (see link at left) in his December 2005 archive.

Story/Sermon: Good King Wenceslas
Use this carol as a parable. A great source for this is Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale and Christopher Manson, North South Books, 1994, ISBN 1558583211.

Story: Take Hold of Love
By Henry Carter in Christmas Stories of the Heart by Alice Gray (Ed.) Multnomah Books, 1997, ISBN 1576731847, page 28.

Poem: Mary's Song
By Lucy Shaw. I can't remember which of her books this poem comes from but you can find the poem at I used the words with images and played Psalmus Ode by Vangelis from his CD, Reprise, as a backing (pictured at right)

Meditation: Image of the Invisible God
By Adrian Plass in his book And Jesus Will Be Born, Zondervan, 2003, ISBN 0007130511, page 123ff. I matched each line with an image and played Aeterna Lux by Libera on their self titled album, as backing.

Prayer for Others: In the Face of the Gospel
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 115 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Response Activity:
It would not be a Christmas Eve Service at our church if we did not light the Christ Candle on the stroke of midnight, light out tapers from it and then sing Joy to the World together in the candle light.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blue Christmas B: For those who are too sad to celebrate

Bible readings: Isaiah 9:2,6-7, Isaiah 4o:8-9, John 1:4-5, Luke 2:1-20, Psalm 121,
Theme: For those who find celebrating difficult

About the Image:
This image comes from - a great site for images.

Reading: Into this Silent Night
From Kneeling in Bethlehem by Ann Weems, Westminster John Knox Press,

Story: King of Kings
By Susan Hill and John Lawrence, Walker Books , 1993, ISBN 0744543266 (pictured at left). Although this is a children's book it makes a lovely reflection for adults.

Prayer for Others: When the World was Dark
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 92 (pictured in an earlier blog). I projected the words of this prayer with matching images and the music of Pie Jesu by Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston on Andrew Llyod Webber's album, Gold (pictured on an earlier blog)

Listening Song: Immanuel
By Michael Card on his CD, The Final Word.

Listening Song: Vespura
By Aled on his album, Aled Jones (pictured at right).

Response Activity: Taper Lighting
Light the Christ candle somewhere near the beginning of the service and then throughout the service give a number of opportunities for people to light a taper in response to the following:
1. In memory of a loved one who had died
2. To acknowledge a loss - any kind of loss, not just a death
3. In thankfulness for family and/or friends
4. To acknowledge the hope that the birth of Jesus gives to each one of us.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Advent 1 B (November 30): Waiting, Hoping.

Bible Readings: Isaiah 64:1-9, Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37
Theme: Waiting, Hoping

About the image:
Southern Cross Station, Melbourne. My photo -feel free to use it.

Candle Lighting Liturgy
Found in Ideas for Worship, July - December 1996, JBCE, page 47 (pictured in last weeks blog)

Meditation: Waiting
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 20ff. (pictured in an earlier blog).

Kids's Talk
One enjoyable thing to do for the four Sundays of Advent is to turn the whole Christmas story into a serial telling a small part of the story each week - or act it out (see below). Start this week with the story of Mary and the Angel.

Drama: Mary and the Angel
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 42ff. (pictured in an earlier blog).

Discussion: On the Isaiah reading
1. What was Isaiah hoping and waiting for?
2. What are you hoping and waiting for: for yourself? for your church? for the community in which you live? for the world?

Story: God's Answer
Index 2818 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990.
This story is linked with the Isaiah reading.

Adult Response:
Give everyone a marking pen (or access to one) and a 2" (5cm) wide strip of green cloth,. Ask them to write on the strip one of the things that they hope for. These can be displayed in any number of ways. If you do a similar activity each week of advent (connecting the writing and the colour with the theme of each week), you will have the resources to finish in Advent 4 with the symbolic action Cloth for the Cradle found in Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 74ff (pictured in an earlier blog).

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Proper 28 Ordinary 33 Pentecost 27 A (November 16): Risk

Bible readings: Judges 4:1-7. Psalm 123, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30
Theme: Risk

About the Image:
Microsoft clip art

Call to Worship:
Talk about taking risks. Then ask for people who have never taken an up front part in a service before to volunteer to do some of the things in your service on the spot eg take up the collection, do the Bible readings, pray, take part in a drama, whatever. Make sure they have plenty of instructions and help eg print the bible readings out in large print, have a prayer that can be read, print out the dramas with each actors parts clearly highlighted. Emphasise to the rest of the congregation that these people are taking a bigger risk than usual and that understanding is needed and that they are not "performing" but worshipping. You may have to word up the people on the roster that you will not need them this week.

Drama: The Talents
Found in Let's Make A Scene by Verena Johnson,Lutheran Publishing House, page 49ff (pictured in an earlier blog).

Drama: The Ringmaster's Gift
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 48 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Drama : Using our Gifts
Narrator and three people to mime plus others.
Narrator: God has given us certain gifts - things we are good at, or things that we have the potential to be good at, if only we step out and be a bit courageous with Him.
Ist person (with others):
(points to Bill or whoever) It's like this guy here is good at cooking. (Bill pretends to cook a meal). His mother was a great cook and he is too. He could even make the pizza for tonight except that we have already ordered it. He has continued to use this gift of preparing and cooking food, and he now helps with the Secondary College breakfasts and is always helping with the catering at the church.
2nd person mimes with others:
Narrator: This guy here (name) is really good at helping others - especially listening to people if they have a problem. He is also part of the prayer team. He doesn't always have the answers, but people feel better for talking to him.
3rd person (by himself)
This person here is great at selling things in a nice way without being pushy. He would be the ideal person to work in retail or to help out in our Op shop. But somehow over time, he didn’t use this special gift God had given him. He couldn’t be bothered making any effort to use his talent. But it’s not too late…..
Narrator sums up
(all stop and listen) You see God gives us time, gifts and other resources according to our abilities, and he expects us to use them wisely until he returns. We are responsible to use what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have b
ut how well we use what we have.
Author:Prue Taylor

Film Clip: Lord of the Rings 1
Show the clip where Frodo and Sam have not long started out on their quest. Sam stops and Frodo walks on. When Frodo asks Sam what he is doing, Sam replies that he is standing at the farthest point from home that he has ever stood without turning round and going back home. and that his next step will take him into the unknown. Frodo has to encourage Sam to keep going. Pictured at left.

Discussion: Lord of the Rings 1
1. Why do you think people are afraid to take risks?
2. How can we be like Frodo encouraging Sam, and encourage each other to go further in our walk with God?

Film Clip: Dead Poet's Society
Show the clip where Robin Williams encourages his students to seize the day. Pictured at right.

Poem: Risk
As far as I know the author is unknown. Find the poem at

Story: The Survey
A survey was taken recently of people who are over 95. The people were asked one
question. It was an open ended question they could answer any way they wished. The
question was: If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?
Among all the different answers, these three answers came back most frequently:
1. If I could live my life over again, I would reflect more.
2. I would risk more.
3. I would do more things that would live on after I'm dead.
Found at

Group Discussion:
What are some of the things which stop us doing what the surveyed elderly think are important?
What are some of our excuses?
What do we need to know or do so that we do grab the opportunities that God gives us?
What can we do for each other?

Listening Song: Fearless
By dc Talk on their album, Supernatural (pictured at right).

Meditation/Poem: Our Deepest Fear
Found in Imaging the Word Volume 3 by Susan A Blain, Sharon Iverson Gouwens, Catherine O'Callagan and Grant Spradling, (Eds.), United Church Press, 1996, ISBN 0829801862, page 72 (pictured in an earlier blog). I put images with these words and backed them with the following music: End Titles from the Sound Track of Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude.

Adult Response
Before the service I laid out large numbers of cards depicting different gifts and abilities which people may have. I made them slightly bigger than a business card and used clip art picture - the possibilities and variety are therefore endless. I made four per person (making a rough guess as to how many people would turn up) and then asked people as they arrived to take three which best described their gifts. I asked people to consider the cards they had chosen during my sermon on the parable of the talents and then at the end I asked people to get in to groups of four or five and share why they had chosen the cards that they had. Then they discussed the following:
Which talents in your group would be useful for
* developing a welcoming church community
* being involved in leading the worship service
* sharing God's Good News in the wider community.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Proper 25 Ordinary 30 Pentecost 24 A (October 26): Being at Home with God

Bible readings: Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Matthew 22:34-46
Theme: Being at Home with God

About the image

Microsoft clipart and my text.

Quote: Robert Frost

"Home is where when you go there they have to take you in.
" Found in Death of a Hired Man.

Drama: We are a Family
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 31 (pictured at left). A drama about not being at home with God.

Poem: The Real Problem
By Adrian Plass in Clearing Away the Rubbish, Minstral, 1988, ISB
N 1854240250, page 142 (pictured at right). A poem about not being at home with each other.

Story: Sharing the Gospel
Found at the following address:
Type the name of the author, Cecil Northcott, into Find to find the story.

Response Activity:
Give each person a small folded card (six fitted on an A4 for me) with two empty frames printed on the inside. Reassure everybody that this is an activity between themselves and God - that no one will see what they write or draw. Ask people to write or draw their public image in the left hand frame, and the real person in the right hand frame. Play some nice thinking music while they are doing this. To conclude, either pray a prayer about committing/giving all of ourselves to God and/or challenge people to put their cards in with their offering as an act of commitment.

NB. Sorry there's not as much stuff here this week - I am to be ordained next Sunday so my head is in another place entirely :-)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Proper 23 Ordinary 28 Pentecost 22 A (October 12): The invitation

Bible Readings: Exodus 32:1-14, Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Philippians 4:1-9, Matthew 22:1-14
Theme: The Invitation

About the image:
Microsoft free clipart with my text.

Listening Song: Douchas (Hope)
By The Crossing on their album, Douchas (pictured at left).

Group Activity: Matthew 22:1-14
Give everyone a copy of the gospel reading. Divide the congregation into six groups. Give each of the groups a character or a group of characters out of the Matthew story: the king, the son, the servants, the first guests, the second guests, the people who were not dressed properly. Give each group the same questions to discuss:
1. Who are you? (just to make sure everybody in the group is on the same page)
2. What part do you play in the story?
3. Who do you think you might represent?
4. Why do you do what you do in the story?
5. How do you think you might feel about what happens in the story?
N.B. If you have heaps of people you may have to have multiples of each group.

Film Clip: Meet the Parents
This clip is found around 25 minutes into the film when Jack (father) asks Greg to say grace.

Discussion: Meet the Parents 1. Why do you think that Greg is uncomfortable praying? 2. What does it mean to be religious? 3. What does it mean to have a relationship with God? 4. What is the difference between the two?

Drama: The Mystery of the Missing Athletes
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 58 (pictured in an earlier blog). This is the gospel story with athletes instead of wedding guests.

Drama: The Feast
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 20 (pictured in an earlier blog). This is a conversation between two of the king's servants.

Story: Choosing Mary
In Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, page 64 (pictured in an earlier blog). This story works on the idea that God chooses/invites us.

Prayer for Others:
Ask everyone to think of a person or a place that God wants to invite to his party. Then have a time of silence when people can pray for that person or place.

Adult Response: Change
Screen the words of the poem Change by Charles Singer. I found it in
in Imaging the Word Volume 3 by Susan A Blain, Sharon Iverson Gouwens, Catherine O'Callagan and Grant Spradling, (Eds.), United Church Press, 1996, ISBN 0829801862, page 49 (pictured in an earlier blog). I put images with each line and played reflective music in the background. I used Missing by Vangelis on his album, Odyssey for the music (pictured at left). Towards the end, I projected the following words: "Which piece of clothing do you have in short supply?" and passed around cards with the various lines from the poem printed on them. People were asked to take the card they needed the most. This was followed by a time of silent prayer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Proper 21 Ordinary 26 Pentecost 20 A (September 28): The God who Comes to Us/Attitude

Bible readings: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 78, 1-4, 12-16, Philippians 2:1-13, Matthew 21:23-32 Theme: The God Who Comes To Us/Attitude

About the image:
My photo (Easter cross outside our church) so you can use it as you want.

Listening Song: Talk About it

By Nicole C Mullen on her album, Talk About It.

Film Clip: The Day After Tomorrow
Show the clip where Jack promises his son, Sam, that he will come for him no matter what. This clip is once again available at that wonderful site

Discussion: The Day After Tomorrow
1.Why does Jack promise to come for Sam?

2. In what way do you think that God has come for us? See the Philippians reading.

Film Clip: Remains of the Day
Show the clip where Miss Kenton , after threatening that she will leave if the Jewish girls are dismissed, then decides to stay on regardless. This scene comes a little over an hour into the film.

Discussion: Remains of the Day
1. Why did Miss Kenton change her mind?
2. What do you think of Miss Kenton?

Quiz: Winners

Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks Book 4 by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 2001, ISBN 0310236193, page 148 (pictured in an earlier blog). This quizzes people on who are the real winners in our memories.

Drama: In Their Shoes
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 98 (pictured in an earlier blog). About Jesus coming to earth and what the angels think of his arrival.

Drama: The Boy who Said Yes and then Didn't Go
Copyright 2002 Ann Scull and Rosemary Broadstock
Blogger will not accept a cut and past of this drama for some reason. If you would like a copy then please email me (see above left). Make sure you put in your own email address as well because often people make requests, suggestions and ask questions and then tick the anonymous option. When you do this I can't answer you :-)

Kid's Story: The Two Sons
By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, found originally as an individual book, Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1986, ISBN 0855790652; (pictured at left) and lately in Stories Jesus Told (pictured in an earlier post) by the above authors, Candle books, 2005, ISBN 101859855881.

Kid's Story: Yertle the Turtle
Found in Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr Seuss, Collins, 1950, ISBN 0001717588. (pictured at right). This fits well with the Philippians reading because it talks about the pitfalls of putting yourself first.

Story: Make Me Like Joe
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 114 (pictured in an earlier blog).About what it means to be an imitator of Christ.

Story: The Hermits Gift
In Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, page 131 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Response Activity:
Because part of the Philippians reading is probably an ancient creedal type hymn, this could be a good opportunity to encourage people to write their own creed or hymn. For those who are more hands on, have small pieces of clay available and encourage those people to model who they believe Jesus to be or how thier faith can be expressed.

Response Activity:
Make a bridge with a plank of wood and some bricks over a river made of fabric. Give everybody two tea lights and a texta. Ask then to think of something they find difficult to say yes to God about and draw a symbol of that on the bottom of their tea light. The ask them to think of somebody who does not come up to their expectations as a Christian and draw a symbol representing them on the other tea light. Encourage people to sit in the darkened worship space and talk to God about both themselves and the person who disappoints them. When they are ready invite them to thank God for the grace which God gives freely to everybody and then to come out and light both candles from the Christ candle and place them both on the bridge.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Proper 20 Ordinary 25 Pentecost 19 A (September 21):Focus and Purpose

Bible Readings: Exodus 16:2-15, Psalm 105:1-6,37-45, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16
Theme: Focus and Purpose

About the image:
Microsoft free image with my text.

Discussion questions:
How does God help us cope with the uncomfortable things in our lives?
How does God give us hope and strength each other.

Story: The Greyhound Races
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 106 (pictured in an earlier blog). This illustrates Paul's words about purpose.

Story: Last Supper Story 2
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 162 (pictured in an earlier blog). This illustrates Paul's words about focus.

Reading: Letter From a Communist
Found in in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997,ISBN 0830718834, page 105 (pictured in an early blog). This story challenges our committment.

Response Activity:
Ask or project: What would you have to change in your lifestyle and in the way you deal with the harder parts of your life in order to live the life God has called you to?
Give out business cards with the words from Psalm 105:3-4: Be glad that we belong to God. Go to God for help. Seek God's presence continually.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Proper 18 Ordinary 23 Pentecost 17 A (September 7): Our God of New Beginnings and Second Chances

Bible readings: Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 149, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20
Theme: Our God of New Beginnings and Second Chances

About the Image:
Free and found at

Listening Song: Just Like You
By Keb Mo on his album, Just Like You (pictured at left).

Drama: No Thumping Whatsoever
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 21 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Story: Don't Hire a Hit Man
Found in Could Someone Wake Me up Before I Drool on the Desk by Kevin Johnson, Bethany House Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1556614160, page 49.

After reading the Romans reading and the gospel reading, divide into groups to discuss together and make a list together of the means by which a Christian community can live in harmony.

Quote: Do It Anyway
Probably written originally by Dr Kent M. Keith and adapted by Mother Teresa. Find the original and the adapted words at

Adult Response:
Give everybody a piece of spring blossom. Tell everyone that the blossom is a sign of spring, new life and new growth. In the silence, encourage people to think of a broken relationship in their lives and encourage them to ask God to show them how to repair it.

Adult Response:
Give everyone a small piece of self hardening modelling clay (1cm cube is big enough for this) and
1. Ask people to mould their feelings about someone they disagree with in their faith community.
2. Ask them to mould the clay back into a ball
3. Ask them to mould the clay into a symbol of Jesus' love for them.
4. Encourage them to take home their symbol as an example of relationship.

Father's Day (Australia - and maybe some other places?) Resources:

Listening song; Butterfly kisses
By Bob Carlisle on his album of the same name (pictured at right)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Proper 16 Ordinary 21 Pentecost 15 A (August 24): Who is this man?

Bible Readings: Exodus 1:8 -2:10, Psalm 124, Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20.
Who is this man?

About the image:
A free microsoft clipart image which I have cropped and offset with my text added.

Introduction to Gospel reading:
Ask people to turn to the person on their right and say one positive thing about that person; then ask them to turn to the person on their left and say one positive thing about themselves.

Drama: Wake Up and Shake Up
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 44 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Poem/Prayer: Was He Cracked, Crooked or Correct? Found in God Thoughts by Dick Williams, Falcon Books, 1969, ISBN 854915214, page 48 (pictured at left).

Quote: CS Lewis
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' This is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else He would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." From his book Mere Christianity, too many editions to list!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Proper 14 Ordinary 19 Pentecost 13 A (August 10): Risk and Faith

Bible readings: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28, Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b, Romans 10:5-10, Matthew 14:22-33
Theme: Risk and Faith

About the image:
Mine - Narooma, New South Wales, Australia. Feel free to use it.

Listening Song: Deep Water
By Serene and Pearl on their album, Crazy Stories.

Film Clip: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Show the scene near the end of the movie where Indiana Jones has to step out in faith trusting that the bridge, that he cannot actually see, is there.

Discussion: On Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
What does this clip teach us about risk and faith?
What does the gospel reading teach us about risk and faith?

Drama: A Midsummer Canaanight's Dream
Found at

Kid's Story: Miracles by the Sea
By Catherine Store and Chris Molan, Methuen Australia, 1983 (pictured
at left)

Story: Cash the Cheque
Index 3118 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990.

Response Activity: Meditation
Where do I feel that God is asking me to "get out of the boat" right now: the work that I do
b. in my family or in my relationships
c. in my spiritual life with God
d. something else.

Drama: Joseph and his Brothers

Joseph: Hey, guys! Guess what? I had another one of those dreams last night. It was so cool - well, actually I was so cool. I was the star of the whole show - and famous! It was unreal. Woh, I am just so excellent!
1: You little pain.
2: You never stop, do you?
3: You are just so full of yourself.
4: Go play with your toys and leave us alone.
5: Hey, hang on a minute! You've been dobbing on us again too, haven't you?
2: Yeah, Dad got stuck into us for not watching the sheep properly again.
3: And who'd be the one to tell him, eh?
Joseph: But, I've seen you. You just hang around checking out all the girls. I have every right to tell him if you're not doing your job properly. At least I'm a responsible good son.
4: That'll be the day.
5: Come on then and get your hands dirty for a change - do an honest days work.
Joseph: Oh well actually I can't today. New coat , ya see. I might get it all dirty and sheepy.
1: It's a Billabong (or insert current famous desired for name brand)!
3: How'd you score yourself a Billabong?
4: All we get is each other's hand me downs.
5: By the time they've gone through six or so of us they're wrecked.
1: How come Dad gets you all the name brand stuff, anyway?
2: You spoilt little brat.
4: Daddy's boy!
5: You're such a show-off.
1: Come on, leave him alone. There's work to do for the real men!
Later, out in the paddocks with the sheep- all put on Akubra's:
2: (shading eyes) Hey, get a load of this. Here comes the hero, the dreamer.
3: (shading eyes) You could spot that coat from a mile away.
5: I bet the old man's sent him out to check up on us.
1: You know what? - this is the perfect chance to get rid of him once and for all.
2: How? ( a bit thick)
1: If we kill him and throw him into one of those pits over there we could easily con everybody into thinking a wild animal got him on the way out here.
3: And nobody'd be any the wiser.
4: Hang on a minute, let's not get too carried away. Just chuck him in the pit and leave him there.
Joseph arrives.
All: Right grab him! Grab him! Get his coat! Get his coat! Heave!
Throw Joseph into the pit.
2: Sweet dreams, Joe baby. Now let's have some lunch.
3: Hey, what's that over there in the distance?
4: It's just a truck convoy.
5: You know what, we could make some big bucks out of this situation.
2: How?( a bit thick)
5: Those truckies are always after workers, no names, no papers. Wink,wink, nudge, nudge. Let's sell Joseph to them!
3: It'd be better than killing him - after all, he is our brother even if he is a pain.
4: And we'd be a little more financial.
1: Excellent!
All: Yeah.

Copyright: Ann Scull. Change wording as you think it fits with your congregation and culture.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Proper 13 Ordinary 18 Pentecost 12 A (August 3): More Than Enough

Bible Readings: Genesis 32:22-31, Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 14:13-21
Theme: More Than Enough

About the image:
My photo taken at the back of our place at Mason's Bay, part of Lake Victoria in the Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia.

Listening Song: From a Distance
by Bette Midler on her album, Some People's Lives (pictured at left). Compare this song's idea of God with the gospel reading's idea of God. They are very different.

Listening Song: Wake Up Dead Man
By U2 on their album, Pop. (For the Genesis reading)

Listening Song:Peace on Earth
By U2 on their album, All That You can't Leave Behind.
(For the Genesis reading)

Drama: The Feeding of the Twenty Five
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 74 (pictured in an earlier post).

Story: Here, Take What You Need!"

Found in Pulpit Resouces, August 4th, 2002 by William H. Willimon

Story: Love and the Cabbie

Found in
More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207861, page 111(pictured in an earlier blog).

Poem: Oversupply

By Bruce Prewer and found at

Proper 10 Ordinary 15 Pentecost 9 A (July 13): Seed Stuff

Bible readings: Genesis 25:19-24, Psalm 119:105-112, Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9,18-25 Theme: Seed Stuff

About the image:

The Sower: painted by Vincent Van Gogh and taken from Wikimedia Commons - a free and public domain site.

Listening Song: Joy in the Journey
By Michael Card on his album, Joy in the Journey (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Never Alone
by Barlow Girl on their album, Never Alone.

Prayer of Confession: Thistles
This is an activity/prayer and is found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 12 (pictures in an earlier blog).

Object Lesson: Irish Spring and the Word
of God
Found in Fresh Ideas Volume 2 by Jim Burns and Mark Simone, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 083718842, page 64 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Film Clip: The Neverending Story
Show the conversation about the story not being safe and link it with Bible is good news but that it is also no safe in the sense that it always presents us with a challenge.

Film Clip: Chicken Run
Show the scene quite near the beginning where the hens are all planning their escape and becoming demoralised about the whole idea when one of them says "the biggest fences are inside your heads" (pictured at left).

Discussion: Chicken Run
1. What things make you feel spiritually uncomfortable?

2. When do we have fences inside our heads when it comes to thinking about God and what God calls us to be or to do?

Film Clip: Pirates 3: At World's End.
Show the clip where Will asks Elizabeth to marry him in the middle of a gigantic sword fight/battle. I found this clip at a great clip site: It is well worth a visit.

Discussion: Pirates 3:At World's End
1. Why is it a bad time for Will to ask Elizabeth to marry him?
2. What sort of things distract us from following God?

Drama: Seeds Jive
Found in Parable Performing by Kristin Etscheid, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985,ISBN 0340336676, page 56.

Drama: Seeds
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 69 (pictured in an earlier post).

Drama: Lamps R Us
Found in Creative Worship Ideas by Lois Keffer, Group, 1993, ISBN 1559450991, page 58
(pictured at right). This drama is related to the psalm.

Drama: Genesis 25:19-34
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, July to December 1996, JBCE, page 6

Where do Jacob and Esau fit in the gospel parable: are they seeds on the path, on the thin soil, amongst the thorns or in good soil?
What helps us to have deep roots in good soil?

Story: The Native American and the Cricket
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 123 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Prayer: Psalm 119
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, July to December 1996, JBCE, page 7

Prayer for Others: Reminders (version 3:mixed nuts)
This is an activity prayer and is
found in Multi-Sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994652, page 47-8 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Prayer: Living Hearts
Found in Imaging the Word Volume 2 by Susan A. Blain, Sharon Iverson Glouwens, Catherine O'Callaghan, Grant Spradling (Eds.), United Church Press, 1995, ISBN 0829810331, page 240. (pictured in an earlier blog).

Meditation: Living Hearts
As above but with images and the music of Tony O'Conner's track, Memories, from his album, Rainforest Magic (pictured at left).

Meditation: A Sower Went to Sow

Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 165 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Proper 7 Ordinary 12 Pentecost 6 A (June 22): Deserts and Wells/Fear Not

Bible Readings: Genesis 21:8-21, Psalm 86:1-10, Romans 6:1b -11, Matthew 10: 24-39.
Theme: Deserts and Wells/Fear Not

About the first theme:
For anonymous:-) Specifically based on the Genesis reading.

About the Image:
This is a microsoft free clipart background with my text.

Kid's Story: The Very Worried Sparrow
By Meryl Doney, Anzea Publishers or Lion Publishing, 1978, ISBN 858920948 (pictured at left).

Quote: The Little Prince
"What makes the desert beautiful", said the Little Prince, is that somewhere it hides a well..." .... The Little Prince added: "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart".

Brainstorm desert experiences and wells.
How do we find wells in our desert experiences?

Film Clip: The Incredibles
Show the scene contained in the first 15 minutes where Mr Incredible is blamed for doing good.

Discussion: On The Incredibles
1. When was Jesus treated in a similar way?
2. When were the disciples treated in a similarr way?
3. When do we, as Christians, have to put up with similar treatment and what can/should we do about it?

Story:Names or Numbers
Marvin Rosenthal, writing in Israel My Glory, tells about a mother who was asked by a census taker how may children she had. She said, "Well, there's Billy and Harry and Martha and--" "Never mind the names," the man interrupted. "Just give me the number!" The mother indignantly replied, "They haven't got numbers, they've all got names." Sorry, can't source this any more than I have other than I think Israel My Glory is a magazine.

Story: Bonhoeffer
The story of Bonoeffer's imprisonment and death fits very well with the cost of discipleship mentioned in the gospel.

Listening Song: God is In Control
By Twila Paris on her album, Beyond a Dream or on WOW 1996.

Listening Song: You're Here
By Sixpence None the Richer on the album, City on a Hill, 2000 (pictured at right).

Poem: The Candle
Found in The Electric Bible by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170441, page 78 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Response Activity:
Give each person a small card with a desert and a well pictured on it. Ask people to write down a situation that can make their life a bit of a desert on the desert picture and then on the picture of the well, ask them to write something God has provided to help them survive.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Proper 6, Ordinary 11, Pentecost 4,5 A: Take the Plunge

Bible Readings: Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7, Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19, Romans 5:1-8, Matthew 9:35 - 10:8, 9-23.
Theme: Take the Plunge

About the image:
A combination of two microsoft free clip art and my text.

Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan A
shton on A Distant Call and Nothing But Pop (pictured at right)

Kid's Story: Abraham
Found in The Picture Strip Bible by Felicity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 12 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Drama: Sarah

By Judy Gattis Smith and found
in Imaging the Word Volume 2 by Susan A. Blain, Sharon Iverson Glouwens, Catherine O'Callaghan, Grant Spradling (Eds.), United Church Press, 1995, ISBN 0829810331, page 224, (pictured in an earlier blog).

Film Clip: The Princess Diaries
Show the clip where Mia is quite obviously nearly invisible to everyone. Finish the clip when she says "someone sat on me again".

Discussion: On The Princess Diaries

1. Who are the invisible people in our community who feel like Mia or are like the people Jesus saw in Matthew 9:36?
2. How can we help?

Story:Save the Starfish

Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 151 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Story: Shipwreck

Found , I think, in Robert E Coleman's The Heartbeat of Evangelism, NavPress, 1985,
ISBN-10: 0891094008.
An artist, seeking to depict on canvas the meaning of evangelism,painted a storm at sea.
Black clouds filled the sky. Illuminated by a flash of lightning, a little boat could be seen
disintegrating under the pounding of the ocean. People were struggling in the swirling
waters, their anguished faces crying out for help. The only glimmer of hope appeared in the
foreground of the painting, where a large rock protruded out of the water. There, clutching
desperately with both hands, was one lone seaman. It was a moving scene. Looking at the
painting, one could see in the tempest a symbol of humankind's hopeless condition. And,
true to the Gospel, the only hope of salvation was "the Rock ofAges", a shelter in the time of
storm. But as the artist reflected upon his work, he realized that the painting did not
accurately portray his subject. So he discarded the canvas, and painted another. It was
very similar to the first: the black clouds, the flashing lightning, the angry waters, the little
boat crushed by the pounding waves, and the crew vainly struggling in the water. In the
foreground the seaman was clutching the large rock for salvation. But the artist made one
change: the survivor was holding on with only one hand, and with the other hand he was
reaching down to pull up a drowning friend.