Sunday, July 24, 2016
Proper 18 Ordinary 23 (September 4): Letting Go Letting God
Upper Right: This is a free Microsoft clipart image and goes very well with my theme of Letting Go, Letting God.
Lower Left: This goes with the image above - the things we voluntarily let go of in order to appreciate something better - like swapping a house for a swag when we want to enjoy the beauty of an isolated desert.
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 very cheaply however this particular one is free on the site this week. Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com.
Listening Song: I've Always Loved You
By Third Day on their album, Time (pictured at left). This makes a great declaration of grace after the prayer of Confession. I made a film clip of this song matching the words with relevant images.
Listening Song: Psalm 139
By Sons of Korah on their album, Rain (pictured at right). I made a film clip of this song putting relevant images up as it played.
Kid's Time: Holidays
Show them some photos of a camping holiday and relate this to the things that they need to leave behind in order to have an exciting time eg you cannot take your bed camping, instead you take a swag, you cannot take your oven, instead you light a fire, you cannot take your electric kettle, instead you take a billy etc etc. Relate this to the gospel reading.
Film Clip: The Apostle
Use the scene right near the end of the film where Sonny lets go of his church and allows himself to be arrested so that he can clean up the wrongs things in his life.
Story: How Will The Church be Lighted?
Just google the title of this story and you will find it easily in any number of places.
Ask people to find a partner and discuss the following two questions together:
1. What do you find hard to let go of?
2. What sort of things make it hard for you to be a disciple? Is it time, is it energy, is it doubt about God, is it some sadness or loss?
Afterwards ask each person to write a prayer for their partner (provide paper and pens) and seal it in an envelope (also provided) on which they will put their partner's name and address. Ask everyone to put their letters in the offering plate as it comes around. I collected all the envelopes and posted them about a month later. I received heaps of good feedback on this. People were not only touched by the prayer they received, but they also appreciated the reminder it brought to them of their discussion.