Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Epiphany C (January 06): Journeys




















Bible Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12

About the Images:
Upper Left: This one comes from Don Silva's site, www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com. Don's death is a sad loss to the Christian on line community.
Upper Right: This is Microsoft free clipart with Biblical text.
Lower Left: This image is a free image from Imagebank - see my link column at left.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images for a mere US10 cents an image however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Subscribe while this special price is being offered. Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com.

Kid's Time:  
Talk about what an epiphany actually is. Use a Christmas bon bon (cracker) as an example of an epiphany; i.e. it has an unknown surprise inside it. 

Meditation (or basis for sermon): Journeying With The Magi
By Lynda Wright in Hay and Stardust by Ruth Burgess, Wild Goose Publications, 2005, ISBN 1905010001, page 207 (pictured at left). 


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2 ABC (January 3) Shining Lights/Special Children
















Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-4, John 1:1-9, 10-18

A little note:  Well you learn something new everyday!  Christmas 2 is the same EVERY year.  Not sure why - possibly because it does not show up often,  

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free image from Heartlight. To visit their site, go to my links column on the left hand side of this page.
Upper Right: This is a free clipart image from Hermano Leon with my text. To find his clipart, go to my links column on the left hand side of this page.
Lower Left: This is an image from Church Galleries.  See my link column at left. 

Lower Right: This image comes from another excellent free site: http://www.cruzblanca.org/hermanoleon/. I put the text on to the image.

Listening Song: Immanuel
By Michael Card and found on his CD, Joy in the Journey (pictured at left).

Listening Song: Dies Irae
By Robert Prizeman on his album, Libera (pict
ured at right). This song uses some of the gospel words.

Kid's Talk: Reflecting the Light

A great kid's story and associated puzzle and colouring-in pages based on John 1:6-9 can be found
at http://www.sermons4kids.com/reflecting_the_light.htm

Kids' Story: Our Granny
By Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas, Omnibus Books, 1993, ISBN 1862913501 (pictured at left). This story develops the idea of family and therefore relates to how we are all children of God.

Drama: A Perfect Disgrace

Found in Cloth For the Cradle by the Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 100 (pictured at right).

Drama: Don't You See Me
A lovely moving drama which goes well with the Ephesians reading. If you cannot find the music for the song or do not have a singer, I think that reading the words of the song would work quite well.  You can find this drama at http://www.dramatix.org/archive/Issues/dont_you_see_me.html
 

Film Clips: A Christmas Carol - The Musical
This Dickens story (pictured at left) runs parallel to the second half of the gospel reading as follows: John 1:10-11:Rejecting Jesus: Scrooge as he is at the beginning of the film. John 1: 12-13: Accepting Jesus: Scrooge as he is when, in the graveyard, he finally realises what it is all about. John 1: 14-18: Reflecting Jesus: Scrooge at the end of the film when he cannot help but spread good cheer, love and generosity.
I found all three clips at www.wingclips.com

Film Clip: The Cider House Rules
 Show the clip (around 13 minutes in) where Curley is told he is special. This goes very well with the part in the John reading and the Ephesians reading that tells us that we are God's special children.


Story: Not Unless You Take It
This story, based on the John reading, can be found at http://www.preachhim.org/UnClaimedGrace.htm under section 2B.

Story: Point to the Light
Found in The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1058 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Quote: Madeleine L'Engle
It starts with "cribb'd, cabined and confined" and can be found in 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 105 (pictured at right).

Adult Response:
Challenge everyone with the Reject, Accept, and Reflect challenges found in John 1:10-18. It is interesting to note that in John's view accepting Jesus without reflecting him in your life is pretty much the same as rejecting him. Give people some space and time to think about this. 


This is all old stuff I have put up other years so I will put more up as I work on my service for this week. Sorry it may be a tad late - Christmas recovery may  slow me down a bit.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas 1 C (December 27): Changing Direction/Transformation
































Bible Readings: 1 Samuel 2:18-20, Psalm 148, Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:41-52

About the Images:
Upper Left: I found this one at the excellent www.heartlight.org site. All their powerpoint pictures are free.
Upper Right: My photo, my sticks, my driveway, my daughter's feet. Please feel free to use the photo for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image with my text - it goes well with the Colossians reading.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images for a mere US10 cents an image however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Subscribe while this special price is being offered. Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com.

Drama: One day in the Temple
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 9 (pictured at left).

Kid's Discussion: Based on above drama
What is the thing you like doing best?
What new thing have you recently learnt to do?

Point: Because Jesus was a kid growing up and learning new things too, God knows what it is like to be a kid.

Discussion:
To share with your neighbour:
What is your earliest understanding or memory of God?
To think about in silence: How much has changed since that earliest memory?


Story: Who Am I?
Found in The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1006, (pictured at right). This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Story: What Do We Expect?
Can't source this story - think I found it in an email.....

A ten year old girl went with a group of family and friends to see the Christmas lights at various locations in her town. At one church they stopped and got out to look at a beautiful nativity scene. "Isn't that beautiful?" said the little girl's grandmother. "Look at all the animals, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus." "Yes, Grandma," replied the grand daughter. It's really nice. But there's one thing that bothers me. Isn't baby Jesus ever going to grow up....he's the same size he was last year!"

Poem: Coming of Age
By Bruce Prewer in Beyond Words, Joint Board of Christian Education, 1995, ISBN 1864070722

 
Prayer: Thankyou For the Life of Our Brother
By Bruce Prewer in Brief Prayers for Australians, Open Book Publishers. I chose some images to go with these works and backed them with The Black Rose by Joan Maddon on the album Celtic Twilight 2 (pictured at right).


Response Activity: Transformation

Ask: How can we respond to God's call to be continually transformed?
The ask people to:
1. come out and light a candle as a symbol of their willingness to be transformed by God, to grow deeper and to continue on their faith journey this coming year,
2. light their candle from the Christ candle to show that this is a journey they make with Jesus beside them, and
3. place the candle with everyone's elses as a sign that this is a journey they make together.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Day C


















Bible Readings: Isaiah 62:6-12, Psalm 98, Titus 3:4-7, Luke 2:1-20

About the Images:
Upper Left: I took this photo at Megiddo (Armageddon) in Israel (more information can be found at http://www.ancientsandals.com/overviews/megiddo.htm) It is a stone manger similar to the one Mary and Joseph probably placed Jesus in. Interestingly and significantly, when I got the photo home and out of the camera, I noticed the shadow of the cross. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is clip art on to which I added the text. 
Lower Left: Here in Australia we sing a Carol called The North Wind is tossing the leaves.  North wind days are days when fires are most common and most dangerous.  This is an image of a north wind bringing a bush fire.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images for a mere US10 cents an image however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Subscribe while this special price is being offered. Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com. 

Prayer of Confession
From Keith Watkins (Ed.) in Imaging the Word Volume 1 by Kenneth T. Lawrence, Jann Cather Weaver and Roger Wedell (Eds.), United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 0829809716, page 97. (pictured at left)

Kid's Story: A Night the Stars Danced For Joy
By Bob Hartman and Tim Jonke, Lion Publishing, 1993, ISBN 074593899X (pictured at right).

Kid's Story:
This is a great little set of film clips that are just a delight to watch and really engage children because they mix the modern and the ancient together in a rather quirky way. Go to www.paperlesschristmas.org.uk to download the free clips. 

Film Clip: O Little Town of Bethlehem
This is excellent!!!



Film Clip: The Boy
from the Hungarian Reformed church

The boy from reformatusponthu on Vimeo.

Drama: Christmas Play 
By Alix Brown in Hay and Stardust by Ruth Burgess, Wild Goose Publications, 2005, ISBN 1905010001, page 144 (pictured at left). This is a real light-hearted look at the Christmas story and is lots of fun for child and adult alike. Use it as an introduction to Luke 2, to take a fresh look at one of the best known Bible readings in the world - a reading we all often take for granted.

Story: Yates Pool
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes by Jim Burns and Greg Mckinnon (eds.), Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 65. (pictured at right)


Poem: The Ride to Bethlehem
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 20, (pictured at left).

Quote: William H. Willimon
Jesus was the hope of the world but not the hope the world was expecting.

Offering Prayer:
Read When the Song of the Angels is Stilled by Howard Thurman from a Fellowship of Reconciliation Christmas Card. I put up some images to correlate with the
words and played Reveil from The Best of Cirque de Soleil album as backing music (pictured at left).

Response Activity: How Far Is It?
Found in Cloth For the Cradle by the Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 64 (pictured at left).


Response Activity: Registering Hope
 
Found in Cloth from the Cradle (as above), page 65

Handout:
Many people attend church at Christmas even though they are not regular attenders. Take the opportunity to give visitors a small encouragement card with a few bible readings which give people a bit of an idea about the rest of Jesus' story.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Eve C:

























Bible Readings: Psalm 130, Luke 2:1-20, Isaiah 9; 2,6 and 7, Titus 2:11-14

About the images:
Upper Left: This is my photo onto which I placed text. Please feel free to use it. The photo was taken in Aswan, Upper Egypt and is of an ancient desert light house used to guide travelling caravans in from the desert safely towards the town. Please feel free to use the image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: My photo, my taper, my hands. Please feel free to use the image for worship and related activities. :-)
Lower Left: God is born into the discord of the world.  This is my image. Please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images for a mere US10 cents an image however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Subscribe while this special price is being offered. Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com. 

Listening Song: Held 
By Natalie Grant on her album Awaken or on WOW 2007 (pictured at left). 

Listening Song: Silent Night
Play a version of Silent
Night (any nice contemplative version works well) over a news broadcast from this week (thanks for this idea, Robyn Hodge). 

 

Bible Reading: Isaiah
Read the Isaiah reading over the track Adeimus from the album Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary (pictured at right)
. Have the church in semi darkness and also bring in the elements for the service - candle, Bible, bread, wine, and appropriate coloured lengths of material - whilst the music is playing. The piece goes for four minutes so I finished with some images and the words of Robbie Hamilton's The Waiting. These words can be found at Robbie's Mucky Paws site (see my links column at upper left) archived under December 2007. There is some other really good stuff there as well.

For Kids: The First Christmas
By Jan Pienkowski, Puffin, 2006, ISBN 100141382746 (pictured at right). 


For Kids: Jesus' Christmas Party
by Nicholas Allan, Red Fox, 1991, ISBN 9780099725916 (pictured at right). This little book, which costs almost nothing, is one of the nicest around - it is a delight!  Whether you think there was an inn keeper or not, for the sake of this little story, you kind of want there to be one :)

Book: The Nativity Story
By Stephanie Voiland (Ed.), Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois, 2006, ISBN 9781414314631 Pictured at left) .  This is abook of stills from the film with New Living Translation scripture - beautiful!

Film Clip: Birth Giver
From the excellent Work of the People site - see my link column at left


   
   
   
   
   
   
   


Prayer: When the World Was Dark
Found in Cloth For the Cradle by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 92 (pictured at right)


Prayer of Confession: We Suspect Angels
Found in Cloth from the Cradle (as above), page 51



Drama: Angel Space
Found in Lightning Sketches by Paul Burbridge and Murray Wells, Hodder and Stoughton, 1981, ISBN 0340267100
, page 28 (pictured at left) .

Meditation: A Story of Light and Darkness
Found in Cloth for the Cradle (as above) page 32


Meditation: Hidden Journeys of the Nativity
By Linda Wright in Hay and Stardust by Ruth Burgess, Wild Goose Publications, 2005 ISBN 0905010001, page 88ff .


Poem: Simeon's Farewell
Found in Outback Christmas
by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 32

Candle Lighting and Offering at 12 midnight:
Works as follows:
Our offering tonight is for......fill in the blanks but not your own church - someone else instead. Please come forward and place your offering in the bowl provided and take a taper. If you have not brought anything with you, don't worry, just come and take a taper. Form a large circle around the church instead of returning to your seat. (This can be done with just about any number of people). Jesus said "I am the light of the world". (Light the Christ candle, light your taper off the Christ candle and light the tapers of the people on each side of you. Encourage them to light the taper of the person next to them and so on). As Jesus' light spreads amongst us, we pray that God's love will be in everyone's hearts tonight and always.


Benediction: Candles in the Night
By Terry Falla in Be Our Freedom, Lord, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, 1981, ISBN 0859101754.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Blue Christmas C: For those who find Christmas to be a hard time in their lives
































Bible Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Luke 2:1-7, Romans 8

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a  free microsoft clipart image over which I put one line of the Kasey Chambers song: I Still Cry for Baby Jesus
Upper Right: This is my photo and I have permission from the subject to use her image - please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This is a slide from the excellent revamped Church Galleries site - see my link column at left.
Lower Right:This is a slide from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left.

Gathering Music: Shepherd Moons
by Enya on her album, Paint the Sky With Stars, 1997 (pictured at left). I just let this play with a welcome slide - nothing fancy.

Listening Song: I Still Cry For Baby Jesus
by Kasey Chambers on her album, Ba
rricades and Brick Walls, 2001 (pictured at right). I usually match images with this piece of music.

Response Activity:
Ask people to light a candle (tea lights or tapers work best) in memory of a loved one or a sad situation in their lives or in the lives of those they may know.

Leaving Listening Song: Vespers
by Aled Jones on his album, Aled
, 2002 (pictured at left). I usually put images with this piece of music and the words in English.