Monday, March 17, 2008

Easter 3 A (April 6): On the Road Again.



Bible Readings: Acts 2:14a, 3-41, Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19, 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35 Theme: On the Road Again

About the Image
:
Free from http://www.servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/dibujosA/25PascuaA3.jpg

Kid's Story: Oh, It's You!
This is a great way to introduce the gospel story. Project or show a half a dozen photos of members of the church
who are well known to the children. Show photos that are hard to recognise - I used dated photos where hairstyles were quite different (or gone!) and baby photos. Talk with the children about times when it is hard to recognise people for all sorts of reasons ; eg; you weren't expecting to see them, they were wearing sports gear instead of ordinary clothes...whatever.

Kid's Story: There's a Sea in My Bedroom
By Margaret Wild and Jane Tanner, Nelson, 1984, ISBN 0170064581 (pictured at right). David expected the sea to be dangerous and frightening but his father and a shell helped him to think about the sea in a new way. The two disciples in the gospel were frightened until Jesus helped them see everything in a new way.


Drama: I Was the Happiest
Found in Let's Make A Scene by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, page 58 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Drama: The Road to Emmaus
Found in Mega Drama 1 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910915, page 96 (pictured in an earlier post).

Film Clip: Bruce Almighty
Chapter 5: When God tries to get Bruce's attention and he ignores all the signs.(pictured at left)

Discussion: Bruce Almighty
Why can't Bruce see all God's messages to him?
When do we fail to recognise that God is with us?

Poem: Luke 23:34
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 in the Autumn section.

Listening Song; All I Need
By Bethany Dillon (single) or on WOW 2005.

Discussion:
What happens if you take Jesus' resurrection out of your life?

Story: Prayer and Meditation
Found as story No 201 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, ISBN 1854245929 (pictured in an earlier blog). This story makes a great introduction to the psalm.

Story: Resurrection
Story 568 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551, (pictured in an earlier blog)

Meditation/Quote:William H. Willimon
"If you want to experience the resurrection of Jesus Christ in your life, where you live, just get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other and head down the road. Follow the way. But please, go with a bit of imagination. Walk with the expectation of the possibility of surprise." This quote goes very well with images and reflective music. From Mediacom Preaching Resources, April 10 2005.

Response Activity:
Project the question: What helps you recognise God's presence in your life?
Have nine work stations around your worship space each with some craft materials such as paints, pencils, paper, etc etc and each with an individual answer to the above question: e.g., Spending time Alone with God, Talking with a Trusted Spiritual Adviser, Being Part of a Study Group, Going to Church, Communion, Reading the Bible, Music, Getting Back to the Bush, Other. Ask people to go to the station they relate to best with respect to the projected question. Ask each work station group to make a one minute presentation to encourage the rest of the congregation to use their method to recognise God's presence in their lives.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Good Friday A (March 21):


Bible Readings: Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Psalm 22, Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9, John 18:1-19:42

About the image:
Free from http://www.cruzblanca.org/hermanoleon/semsanta/3viernes/viernes.htm - a really great lectionary based clip art site.

Start the service
by projecting images from Jesus life to music. I used about 20 images and backed them with 'In Mcdonalds" by Burial on his album, Untrue.

Poem: The Pain of Peter

Found in A Bloke Called Jesus by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Rigby, 1982, ISBN 0727017586, page 32 (pictured at right).

Poem: The Politics of Pilate
Found in A Bloke Called Jesus by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Rigby, 1982, ISBN 0727017586, page 34 (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Thief
By Third Day on their self titled album.

Listening Song: Walk Him Along
by Leigh Newton - download found at www.leighnewton.com

Drama: Stages on the Way
From Stages on the Way by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Resource Group, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 44 (pictured at left).

Drama: The Signal
Found in Mega Drama 1 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910915, page 82 (pictured in an ealier blog)

Reading: They Went Out and Followed Him
From Stages on the Way by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Resource Group, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 130.

Response Activity: The Colours Of Good Friday
Found in Multi-Sensory Seasons by Wendy Rayner and Annie Slade, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271757, page 29.

Meditation: Voices From the Crowd
From Stages on the Way by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Resource Group, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 144

Response Activity: Laying Our Burdens Down
From Stages on the Way by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Resource Group, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 163

Useful music for praying/meditating:
Albinoni: Adagio in G Minor
Bach: Air on a G String
Moby: Novio
Part: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Vivaldi: Largo from Flautino Concerto in C Major.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Palm Sunday A (March 16): What's Your Donkey?


Bible Readings: Matthew 21:1-11, Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Theme:
What's Your Donkey?

About the image:
Australian tree fern - my photo so use as you wish

Kid's Story: The Donkey's Tale
By Margaret Gray, Scripture Union, 1984, ISBN 0862012414 (pictured at left).

Drama: Look He's Coming
Found in Mega Drama 1 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910915, page 71 (pictured in an earlier post).

Drama: Not Quite What I Expected
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 56 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Poem: Psalm 118:22
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 in the Summer section under Psalm 118:22.

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

Listening Song: Carmen Christi
By Michael Card on his album, The Final Word. It is a sung version of the Philippians reading.

Prayer for others: Ride on, Ride on
From Stages on the Way by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Resource Group, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 78 (pictured in an earlier post).

Response Activity: What is my Donkey?
The following is a response to a reflection which concentrates on the gift of the donkey by an unknown donkey owner and what sort of gifts we have which we have the option of using to further God's work in the world. Give everyone a small business card with a palm Sunday illustration on it together with the words "What is my donkey". Give people time to think about their gifts and talents and how they use them to further God's kingdom.

Response Activity: Towards the Cross
Found in Multi-Sensory Seasons by Wendy Rayner and Annie Slade, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271757, page 18. Heaps of great stuff.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lent 5 A (March 9): The Power of Hope/God's Big Surprises


Bible Readings: Ezekiel 37:1-14, Psalm 130, Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45
Theme: The Power of Hope / God's Big Surprises


Kid's Story:Emotion Faces
As I have mentioned in earlier blogs I have a set of large cards with dinner plate sized round faces drawn upon them. Each face depicts a different emotion; happy, sad, puzzled, angry, surpised etc etc. The gospel story this week really lends itself to these emotion cards.Tell the story (or get a good story teller to tell the story) and either have kids pick the face which goes with a particular part of the story or hold up the appropriate card and get the kids (and the congregation) to mimic the face or act out the emotion.

Film Clip: The Shawshank Redemption
After Brooks kills himself after being released from prison and Andy has just completed two weeks in solitary confinement for playing Mozart over the prison speaker system, Red and Andy have a fascinating conversation about hope. Show the conversation.
(pictured at left)

Discussion: On The Shawshank Redemption film clip
1. What is Red's attitude to hope?
2. What is Andy's opinion of hope?

3. What value is hope for us?


Film Clip: The Hurricane
Show the scene where Rubin quotes Genesis 49 and tells Lesera that it is his love that has raised/saved him and given him new life.

Film Clip: Castaway
Show the clip which is about 1hour 40 minutes in from the credits where Wilson, the volley ball which Chuck becomes so attached to in his loneliness that he treats it as real person, falls loose. Chuck repeats "I'm sorry, Wilson" over and over again.

Discussion: On Castaway Film Clip

What sort of situations cause us to grieve and make us sad?
How can we survive grief?


Artwork: The Raising of Lazarus, 1990

By Pro Hart. Ask people to look at the different expressions on the people surrounding Lazarus.
Relate this to the responses some people may have had to Ezekiel's life giving vision. Then ask people to think about how they respond to the Good News of the gospel and mention that,depending on our circumstances at different times, we are not always overjoyed. Ask them to look at the painting to see if they can see their present response somewhere in it.

Bible Reading: John 11:1-45
This is a very long reading for any church service despite being a great story. Try it as a Good News Bible reading via the relevant film clip from the Vision Bible film of The Gospel of John (pictured in an earlier clip) or read it as a beautiful and moving story from Walter Wangerin Junior's book The Book of God, Zondervan, 1996, ISBN 0310200059, page 756 ff.

Story: Comfort
Found as story No 31 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, ISBN 1854245929 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Listening Song: Panis Angelicus

By Russel Watson on his album, The Voice.

Listening Song: You Raise Me Up
By Selah on their album,
Hiding Place, and on WOW 2005.(pictured at right)

Meditation: Lazarus

In He Was in the World: Meditations for Public Worship by John Bell, Wild Goose, 1995, ISBN 094798870X, pp 77 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Meditation: Prayers That Jesus Hears

Found
in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 93 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Prayer for Others/Response Activity
This one needs a bit of work on your part before the service. Boil the meat off one or two chooks (translate "chicken" for the non Australians) and then dry the bones in an oven (at least you get a good feed for your efforts :-) ) Give everyone a chicken bone before or during the Ezekiel reading. During the prayer for others or response activity project or give out the words of the Bishop Oscar Romaro quote (below). Encourage people in a time of silence to talk to God about a situation they consider to be hopeless or beyond them to solve. Ask them to give the situation to God to deal with by placing their dried bone at the foot of the cross.


Quote: Bishop Oscar Romero
"We are living in a black night but Christianity discerns that beyond the night the dawn already glows. The hope that does not fail is carried in the heart. Christ goes with us."

Response Activity: Three Choices
Let people choose between:
1. Watch a powerpoint meditation. I put images and music to Bruce Prewer's From Death to Life found at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~nigel/DocA/24LENT5.htm
or
2. Group Discussion:
a) How does Jesus' response to Lazarus' death and Mary's weeping help you to trust him more?
b) What have you found helpful when you are called upon to help a friend who is undergoing a hard time?
or
3. Make cards for people who are sad.