Sunday, August 13, 2017

Proper 15 Ordinary 20 A (August 20): Getting Along

Bible Readings: Genesis 45:1-15, Psalm 133, Romans 11:1,2a,29-32, Matthew 15: (10-20)21-28.

About the Images:

Upper Left: This is a free microsoft clipart image .
Upper Right: This is also a free microsoft clipart image. I added the words from Bruce Prewer's version of Psalm 133 which can be found at
Lower Left:This is a free clipart from Cerezo Barredo  You can find a link to this site at the left in my Links column.
Lower Right: This is a free clip art fro the Hermano Leon site. See my link column at left. 

Introduction: Gathering
Found in Ideas for Worship, June to July 1996, JBCE, page 16 (pictured at left) . This introduction is based on the gospel reading.

Listening Song: What You Need
(pictured at right) By Audio Adrenaline on their self titled album. This song goes well with the gospel reading.

Listening Song: Turn
(pictured at left) By Paul Colman Trio on their album,
New Map of the World. This goes well with the psalm.

Object Lesson: The Words We Speak: Constructive or Destructive
Found in Fresh Ideas Volume 2 by Jim Burns and Mark Simone, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 083718842, page 66. This goes well with the gospel reading.

Kid's Activity During the Service

Give everyone in the congregation a length of streamer and get them to each put their name on the streamer. Ask the kids to collect them and then ask whether the individual streamers are representative of a church community united or not. Ask for ideas as to how this could occur (fish for the "making a chain out of them" answer). Have them make the streamers into a chain during the service and use it as a decoration near the end of the service. This goes well with the idea of family unity and reunion in the Genesis reading.

Activity for Psalm 133
Ask people to complete the sentence "when people get along it is better than....."

 Film Clip: Music of the Heart
(pictured at left) Show the clip where the little disabled girl thinks she is too weak to play and her teacher (Meryl Streep) tells her that she is strong on the inside. Relate it to the Caananite woman in the gospel who, to all appearances, starts off in a weak position.

Film Clip: Men in Black

(pictured at right). Show the clip about 25 minutes in when the recruits begin their exam and finish when all the recruits are sitting staring at Edwards. This is a great clip which shows what happens when we do our own thing instead of building community.

Drama: Faith

Found in Parable Performing by Kristin Etscheid, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985,ISBN 0340336676, page 36 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: Clouded Thinking
Narrator: Reads Psalm 133 and then says "The best part of life is knowing God is loving me and blessing me". Two people standing back to back have the following conversation:

1: Sometimes I don’t feel as good as that….particularly when I remember what happened.

2: I can’t get over it…I’ll never forgive her! I must keep my self-respect.

1: Sometimes the anger just burns me up.

2: I feel so depressed …… I don’t know what about…just feels like I have a big rock inside me weighing me down.

1: I miss her so much

2: I think I’ll really let her have it. I’ll tell her exactly what I think of her.

1: I know I was right and that’s all that matters to me.

2: What have I got to lose…she doesn’t like me anyway.
Everything she says hurts me…
1: I’m so lonely.

2: She can do it my way or not at all.

1: Nothing’s going to change until she apologises.

2: If only we were friends again.

1: If only she liked me….(sigh) no wonder she doesn’t like me.

2: I’m an idiot.

1: Now I’m angry with everyone. I’m starting to dislike people on sight. I don’t even know if Jesus is there any more

2: And now it’s finished. Is that what I wanted?

Copyright: Ann Scull

Discussion: Re above drama
1. What is happening in this skit?
2. Do you see a connection with the Genesis story?
3. How could this situation be resolved?

Discussion: On the Matthew reading
1. In what ways does this story confront your traditions and prejudices?
2. When has an outsider challenged or helped your faith?
3. How do we prevent ourselves becoming insular or exclusive as a congregation?

Story: Me Too!

Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 115  (pictured at right).

Story: Acceptance

Story No. 2 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers edited by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551 .

Prayer: My Souls Desire
Found in Celtic Prayers by Robert Van de Weyer, Bridgewater Book Company, 1997, ISBN 1856082814, page 37 (pictured at right). This fits well with all the readings.


Drama: When Two Or More
Found in All-age Sketches for the Christian Year by Peter Shaw, The Bible reading Fellowship, 2006, ISBN 101841014583, page 44 ff. This is based on the psalm reading.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Proper 14 Ordinary 19 A (August 13): Risk and Faith

Bible readings: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28, Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b, Romans 10:5-10, Matthew 14:22-33 

About the images:
Upper Left: This is my image with the biblical text. The image can be used for worship and related activities. The photo was taken at Narooma on the southern coast of New South Wales, Australia. For more info on this area go to,_New_South_Wales.
Upper Right: This is a free clipart from Cerrezo Barredo.  You can find a link to this site at the left in my Links column.

Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image.  See my link column at left.
Lower Right: This is a free Hermano Leon image.  See my link column at left. 

Listening Song: Deep Water
(pictured at left) By Serene and Pearl on their album, Crazy Stories. This song goes very well with the Gospel reading.

Kid's Story: Miracles by the Sea
By Catherine Store and Chris Molan, Methuen Australia, 1983 (pictured at right).

Kid's Story: Joseph the Favourite                   
Found in The Picture Strip Bible by Felicity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 18599964970, page 18 (pictured at left).

Film Clip: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
(pictured at right) Show the scene near the end of the movie where Indiana Jones has to step out in faith trusting that the bridge, that he cannot actually see, is there.

Discussion: On Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1. What does this clip teach us about risk and faith?
2. What does the gospel reading teach us about risk and faith?

Drama: A Midsummer Canaanight's Dream
Found at This drama is based on the Genesis reading.

Drama: Joseph and his Brothers
Joseph: Hey, guys! Guess what? I had another one of those dreams last night. It was so cool - well, actually I was so cool. I was the star of the whole show - and famous! It was unreal. Woh, I am just so excellent!
1: You little pain.
2: You never stop, do you?
3: You are just so full of yourself.
4: Go play with your toys and leave us alone.
5: Hey, hang on a minute! You've been dobbing on us again too, haven't you?
2: Yeah, Dad got stuck into us for not watching the sheep properly again.
3: And who'd be the one to tell him, eh?
Joseph: But, I've seen you. You just hang around checking out all the girls. I have every right to tell him if you're not doing your job properly. At least I'm a responsible good son.
4: That'll be the day.
5: Come on then and get your hands dirty for a change - do an honest days work.
Joseph: Oh well actually I can't today. New coat , ya see. I might get it all dirty and sheepy.
1: It's a Billabong (or insert current famous desired-for name brand)!
3: How'd you score yourself a Billabong?
4: All we get is each other's hand me downs.
5: By the time they've gone through six or so of us they're wrecked.
1: How come Dad gets you all the name brand stuff, anyway?
2: You spoilt little brat.
4: Daddy's boy!
5: You're such a show-off.
1: Come on, leave him alone. There's work to do for the real men!
Later, out in the paddocks with the sheep- all put on Akubra's:
2: (shading eyes) Hey, get a load of this. Here comes the hero, the dreamer.
3: (shading eyes) You could spot that coat from a mile away.
5: I bet the old man's sent him out to check up on us.
1: You know what? - this is the perfect chance to get rid of him once and for all.
2: How? ( a bit thick)
1: If we kill him and throw him into one of those pits over there we could easily con everybody into thinking a wild animal got him on the way out here.
3: And nobody'd be any the wiser.
4: Hang on a minute, let's not get too carried away. Just chuck him in the pit and leave him there.
Joseph arrives.
All: Right grab him! Grab him! Get his coat! Get his coat! Heave!
Throw Joseph into the pit.
2: Sweet dreams, Joe baby. Now let's have some lunch.
3: Hey, what's that over there in the distance?
4: It's just a truck convoy.
5: You know what, we could make some big bucks out of this situation.
2: How?( a bit thick)
5: Those truckies are always after workers, no names, no papers. Wink,wink, nudge, nudge. Let's sell Joseph to them!
3: It'd be better than killing him - after all, he is our brother even if he is a pain.
4: And we'd be a little more financial.
1: Excellent!
All: Yeah.
Copyright: Ann Scull. Change wording as you think it fits with your congregation and culture.

Story: Cash the Cheque
Found in Index 3118 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990 or This story is based on the Romans reading.

Response Activity: Meditation on the Gospel
Where do I feel that God is asking me to "get out of the boat" right now: the work that I do
b. in my family or in my relationships
c. in my spiritual life with God
d. something else.

Also (but not road tested):

Listening Song: Call My Name                               By Third Day on their album, Revelation (pictured at left) or on the album WOW 2009. This song goes very well with the Romans reading.

Poem: Joseph the Dreamer
Found in The Electric Bible by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170411, page 30 (pictured at right).

Kids Talk: In a Hole
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page15 (pictured at left).

Discussion: Favouritism
Found in Life Application Family Devotions by Len Woods, Tyndale House, 1997 ISBN 0842337504, page 105 (pictured at right).