Sunday, July 24, 2016

Proper 18 Ordinary 23 C (September 4): Letting Go Letting God

 Bible Readings: Jeremiah 18:1-11, Psalm 139 1-6, 13-18, Philemon 1-21, Luke 14:25-33.

About the Images:
Upper Left: Sometimes , in order to appreciate beauty, we have to let go of things that make life comfortable.  This is an image of the Simpson Desert in the Australian outback. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. For more info on the Simpson, visit 
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

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.

Adult Response:
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.


Story Plus Other Stuff: Wuncy Nicks Off

Found in Wally the Dodgy Trolley and other Stories of Faith and Humour by Ian Johnson, Scripture Union Australia, Lidcombe, 2000, ISBN 0949720984, page 75.

Poem/Meditation: Jonah
By Ruth Burgess in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 32 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Jeremiah reading.

Kids: Jesse

By Tim Winton, Penguin Books Australia,  with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 49. This goes well with the Psalm reading.

Taize Service: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 16. This is based on the Psalm reading.

Prayer Exercise: Silence and Solitude
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 52.  This is based on the Psalm reading.

For Children and Families: God is Forever
Found in Rewind by Beth Barnett, SUVictoria, 2011, ISBN987098710035, navigate from page 5. This is based on the Psalm reading. 

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