Sunday, July 31, 2016

Proper 20 Ordinary 25 C (September 18): Values/Praying for Peace/Lament


Bible Readings: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1, Psalm 79:1-9, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 16:1-13

About the Images:
Upper Left:
Coopers Creek at the Dig Tree: such a peaceful place with such an odd history.  For more info, please visit This is my photo - please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: Ned Kelly the day before his execution by Charles Nettleton. The photo taken in 1880, so is public domain. Image taken from
Lower Left: This is a free image from Imagebank  - see my link column at left - with a line from CeCe Winnans song "Comforter".
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: Peacemaker
by Maire Brennan on her album, Whisper to the Wild Water (pictured at right). This is particularly good if played as a background to a series of images portraying war, anger,
fighting etc as an introduction to the Timothy reading.

Listening Song: Comforter
By CeCe Winnans on her album, Alabaster Box (pictured at left).  This goes well with the Jeremiah reading, particularly Jeremiah 8:18.

Kid's Story:
If you have a dramatist or a mime clown in your congregation, ask them to go through a whole lot of different emotions with the children together eg "let's all be happy, sad, angry, sad" etc. They can use all of their body to show the emotion or just a body part such as a face, or a hand or an arm. Kid's love doing this and I often get the whole congregation to do it because everybody enjoys it. Lead this into a discussion about Jeremiah and about how honest we can be with God about how we feel.

Discussion Questions: For the Luke reading
When do we take risks for the gospel?

When do we put people's needs before financial concerns?

What are our priorities?

Film Clip: Wit
(pictured at right) Show the scene right need the end of the film where Vivian's old professor comes in and, through means of a children's story book, prays for her to die in peace. This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Discussion Questions for Film Clip: Wit
1. How does Vivian's old professor pray for her?
2. Why is it important for us to have peace in our lives?
3. How can we give peace to each other?

Story: Good News
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 161 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the Luke reading.

Story: The Prayer of Compassion

by Anthony Bloom and found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, Page 248 (pictured at right). This story goes well with the Timothy reading.

Quote: Horatius Bonar
Index 3140-3141 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. This quote goes well with the Timothy reading. You can also find this quote at - fifth paragraph up from the bottom.

Prayer for Others:
Introduce this prayer with 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

Prayer for others: Light a Candle
This is an interactive prayer and can involve the whole congregation. It is written by Roddy Hamilton for Pentecost C 2007 and goes well with any of the readings for today. Roddy's site is call Mucky Paws and there is a link in my link section at left.

Adult Response: For the Luke reading
Give everyone a business card sized picture of a slightly dodgy cultural hero. Robin Hood works well as does Ned Kelly in Australia and Arthur Daly from the TV series, Minder.
Ask: As a result of this rather shady story, what is God asking you to do?......Put God first?....Clean up a dodgy part of your life?.....or.....? Write a prayer on the back.

Adult Response Activities for the Timothy Reading:
Have three separate areas for people to pray
for the world in three different ways. At each place have available multiple copies of the Timothy Bible reading or give everyone a copy of the reading before they start.
1. Write a letter to God.
Equipment needed: Good quality parchment paper and good pens or pencils.
Instructions: Some people find it easier to write down their feelings than to verbalise them. Try writing a letter to God expressing what is going on in your mind with regard to this reading today. You might want to say sorry for something you have not done, or there may be a part of the reading you can't understand or don't agree with and you want to make sure God knows how you feel. Maybe you just want to list the leaders you want to pray for? Writing a letter to god often clarifies
what you really want to pray about.
2. Drawing prayers:
Equipment: Art paper and pencils, crayons etc.
Instructions: In response to the Bible reading, divide a piece of art paper in two. On the left side, draw how you think the world, your country or your community is today - particularly the bits/people you think need praying for. On the right side, draw how you would like it to be and/or how you think God would like it to be.
NB: This is between you and God. It is not an art exam. It will not be marked!!! Nobody will see it. So...enjoy praying.
3. Wallet prayers:

Found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 14 and 45 (pictured at left).

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