Bible Readings: Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17
About the Images:
Upper 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.
Upper Left: This is a Microsoft free clipart with my text.
Lower Left: A free image from Heartlight - see my link column at left.
Lower Right: A fee image from Church galleries - see my link column at left.
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
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 :-)
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.
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.
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.
Response Activity: You Are My Friends
From Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 81ff .
Poem and prayer: steamed up
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 94 These are based on the gospel reading.
Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2015 by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2014, page 86ff. These ideas are based on all of the readings.