Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pentecost B (May 27)


 
Readings: Ezekiel 37:1-14, Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:22-27, John 15:26-27

About the images:
Left: A free Corel background with my text so please feel free to use it for worship and realted activities.
Right: This is a photo of the inside of my kitchen stove so you are free to use it for worship and related activities.


Have a birthday cake 
big enough for everybody to share - after all, it is the church's birthday.

Listening Song: Burning Like Fire
By Iona on their album, Beyond These Shores, 1993 (pictured at left).


Kids Story: Unknown
By C
olin Thompson and Anna Pignataro, published by Hodder Headline in Australia and Walker Books in the U.S.A, 2002. ISBN 0733613551 (Aust) or ISBN 0802787304 (U.S.A.) The left picture is the Australian cover and the right picture is the American cover - both found at Colin Thompson's site. (Thanks to Rev Andrew Donnelly for this book suggestion).

Kids Story: Popcorn Disciples
Retell the Acts story using pop corn and a popcorn maker by comparing the unpopped corn in the container with the disciples in the room beforehand – all small and shriveled and hard and contained in a small space. Then turn on the popcorn maker and compare the heat and the hot air in the maker with the Holy Spirit. When the corn pops compare the corn with the disciples afterwards – all big and soft, open and fluffy - and popping up everywhere!!

 

Film clip: Pentecost Acts 2 The message


Film Clip : The Dripping Tap
On Leunig Animated, Fruitcup Films, 2001 (pictured at left) This clip is a great introduction to the first part of the Ezekiel reading as is the Keith Green song/poem (below) and the discussion questions (below).

Poem or Listening Song: My Eyes Are Dry
by Keith Green, Ears to Hear Music.


 Discussion Questions based on the Ezekiel reading:
When can there be dryness in our lives?
When can our lives be disconnected and scattered?
 

Story: Holy Spirit Holes in Medieval Churches
Google "Holy Spirit Holes" and you will find heaps of descriptions of these - a great illustration for encouraging people to open up their lives to God's power.

Response activity:
Give everyone a birthday cake candle. Project the words "Holy Spirit come into my life and.....". Ask people to mentally fill in the rest of the sentence and then come forward and light their candle as they pray the whole sentence.

Response Activity: Balloons
As a symbol of the gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to us, give everybody a balloon and ask them to write their particular gift on it. They can talk about it and help each other as they go. Then blow up the balloons and decorate the church with them (or have them blown up and decorating the church when people arrive and take them down to write on and take home). Please do not let balloons go outside - balloons are a choking hazard for wild life in rural and marine areas and make a mess in cities.


Also:
Story: The Sea Breeze Hotel
Great for kids and adults alike, the details of this book and heaps of ideas for a Pentecost service based on the Acts reading are found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 13ff (pictured at right). 

Church Decor and Prayer Idea: Rushing Wind
Found in Worship Feast: 100 Awesome Ideas for Postmodern Youth, Nashville, Abingdon Press, 2003, ISBN 139780687063574, page 73 (pictured at left).  This idea is based on the Acts reading, and I cannot for the life of me, work out why this book is aimed at postmodern youth when the majority of the ideas apply to postmodern anybody.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Easter 6 B (May 13)


 
Bible Readings: Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

About the Images:
Right:
This is the business card I made for everyone (see Response Activity: Postcards below). I used a Publisher template and changed the decoration colour to match the font colour.
Left:
This is a Microsoft free clipart with my text.



Listening Song: I've Always Loved You
By Third Day on their album, Time (pictured at left)

Call to Worship: Friendship Quotes 
Portray a series of images and quotes about friendship.

Call to Worship: The Lost Parcel
Linked with the John reading, this skit is found in Mega Drama 3 by Verena Johnson (Ed.) Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109178, page 17ff (pictured at right. When I used this skit, I used Part 2 before the confession and Part 3 between the kids talk and the sermon or whatever.



Prayer of Confession: Who am I?
By Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers From Prison, Macmillan, 1953, p.222


Kids Talk: God's Love in Our Heart
Linked to the John reading and found in Fun Group Devotions For Children's Ministry, Group Publishing, 1993, ISBN 1559451610, page 27 (pictured at left).


Kids Story Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, Walker
Books, 1994, ISBN 1844281086 (pictured at right).

Film Clip: Crocodile Dundee
(pictured at left) Based on the John reading: Mick says: Of course it took me a week to get this far. I thought I was a goner. I said to meself, "Mick old son, find yourself a nice comfortable spot and lay down and die". Journalist woman: Weren't you afraid ? Mick:Of dying ? Nah. I read The Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were all fishermen, just like me. Yeah, straight to heaven for Mick Dundee. Yep, me and God, we'd be mates.

Discussion: Crocodile Dundee
What difference would/does it make if you and God were/are best mates?


Film Clip: The Castle
This film has any amount of scenes about change. If you are Australian and mindful that Sorry Day is around now, then the scene where Daryl Kerrigan realises his family are in much the same boat as indigenous Australians is also a good one

Discussion: Linked to the Gospel Reading
What makes you happy?
Think of a time when you have been joyful.
What is the difference between being happy and being joyful?
What makes a good friend a best mate?
How differently would we see ourselves if we viewed ourselves as "the one Jesus loves"?
How would our lives change if we really believed the words of Jesus: "You are my friends .... You didn't choose me. I chose you".


Story: Real Friends
Found in Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialities, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 169.  This story belongs with the gospel reading.

Story: I am the One Jesus Loves.
Found in What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey, Zondervan Publishing House, 1997,
ISBN 0310218624, page 68. This story goes well with the gospel reading. 

Story: He's Very Fond of Me.
Found in What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey, Zondervan Publishing House, 1997,
ISBN 0310218624, page 69. This story also goes well with the gospel reading.

Useful Quote: C.S. Lewis
"It's like waking up in the morning and suddenly realising that the term is over and the holidays have begun".
From (I think) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Last Battle by C.S.Lewis.
NB. I haven't seen the film yet, so I do not know if this quote was included or not - if it was, then it would probably make a useful film clip. Somebody may be able to email me some help here..... The quote is stuck in my head (but, unfortunately not the accurate source) because I want "the term is over and the holidays have begun" engraved on my tomb stone when I die :-)

Testimonies:
This would probably take the place of the sermon or whatever. Invite two or three members of your congregation to share a story of how the Holy Spirit surprised them and helped them change their minds about something. This is better not done on the spot - give the people you ask enough time to prepare, however reassure them that it is their story that your congregation wants to hear (not a finely crafted sermon) and that each person need only speak from three to five minutes.

Response Activity:
Divide people up into groups of four or five, give them a large piece of paper (if you worship around tables, then make the paper the tablecloth for this week) and marker pens. Ask them to individually and together in their small group, brainstorm practical answers to the question:
Jesus calls us to be a new community - how can we be that new and welcoming community inside and outside our church?
At the conclusion, stick up the sheets of paper around the walls, give everyone two sticker dots and two sticker stars and encourage them to stick the dots beside the two best ideas for being a new and welcoming church community and the two stars beside the two best ideas for being a part of a new and welcoming wider community.

Response Activity: Postcards
This is linked to the two Philip Yancey stories and some of the questions relating to the Gospel (above). Give everyone a business card/postcard/bookmark with the words "I am the one Jesus loves" (see above) printed upon it.


Also:


Communion Invitation:
Based on the gospel reading, this invitation can be found in Before the Amen by Maren C. Tirabassi and Maria I. Tirabassi, The Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, 2007, ISBN 9780829817508, page 131.