Bible Readings: Exodus 32:1-14, Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Philippians 4:1-9, Matthew 22:1-14
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free Imagebank image with a quote from William H. Willimon. You can find more great images from the Imagebank site by visiting them through my links column at left.
Upper Right: This is a free Microsoft clipart image with my text.
Lower Left: This is a free clipart from Cerezo Barredo - see my link Column at left.
Lower Right: This is a free Microsoft clipart image with my text
Listening Song: Douchas (Hope)
By The Crossing on their album, Douchas (pictured at left)
Kids' Story: The Golden CalfTell the story in your own words and illustrate it with images from the Brick Testament - http://www.thebricktestament.com/exodus/the_golden_calf.html. You have no idea how much enjoyment the adults derive from this as well!!
Film Clip: Meet the Parents
Show the clip (below) where Jack (father) asks Greg to say grace.
Discussion: Meet the Parents
1. Why do you think that Greg is uncomfortable praying?
2. What does it mean to be religious?
3. What does it mean to have a relationship with God?
4. What is the difference between the two?
Film Clip: The Almighty Exodus
Found at Max 7 website, this is a great short summary of the Exodus which can be used for any part of the story as an overview or as an introduction for either children or adults. Go to
Film Clip: The Parable of the Great BanquetAlso found at the brilliant Max 7 site: A Bollywood version of the Parable. The congregation - not just the kids - loved it. http://www.max7.org/en/resource/ParableGreatBanquet
Drama: The Mystery of the Missing Athletes
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 58 (pictured at left). This is the gospel story with athletes replacing the wedding guests.
Drama: The Feast
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 20 (pictured at right). This is a conversation between two of the King's servants.
Story: Choosing Mary
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 64 (pictured at left). This story is based on the idea that God chooses/invites us.
Group Activity: Matthew 22:1-14
Give everyone a copy of the gospel reading. Divide the congregation into six groups. Give each of the groups a character or a group of characters out of the Matthew story: the king, the son, the servants, the first guests, the second guests, the people who were not dressed properly. Give each group the same questions to discuss:
1. Who are you? (just to make sure everybody in the group is on the same page)
2. What part do you play in the story?
3. Who do you think you might represent?
4. Why do you do what you do in the story?
5. How do you think you might feel about what happens in the story?
N.B. If you have heaps of people you may have to have multiples of each group.
Prayer for Others:
Ask everyone to think of a person or a place that God wants to invite to his party. Then have a time of silence when people can pray for that person or place.
Adult Response: Change
Screen the words of the poem Change by Charles Singer. I found it in in Imaging the Word Volume 3 by Susan A Blain, Sharon Iverson Gouwens, Catherine O'Callagan and Grant Spradling, (Eds.), United Church Press, 1996, ISBN 0829801862, page 49 (pictured at right). I put images with each line and played reflective music in the background. I used Missing by Vangelis on his album, Odyssey for the music (pictured at left). Towards the end, I projected the following words: "Which piece of clothing do you have in short supply?" and passed around cards with the various lines from the poem printed on them. People were asked to take the card they needed the most. This was followed by a time of silent prayer.
Story Plus Other Stuff: Big Al's Banquet
Found in Wally the Dodgy Trolley and other Stories of Faith and Humour by Ian Johnson, Scripture Union Australia, Lidcombe, 2000, ISBN 0949720984, page 85.
Kids: Let the Celebrations Begin
By Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas, Box Press, with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 55. This goes well with the Philipians reading.
Taize Service: Don't Worry, Have Peace
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 12. This is based on the Philippians reading.
Prayer Exercise: Centering Prayer
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 60. This is based on the Philippians reading.
All Sorts of Useful Stuff: Party People
By Ian Birkinshaw in Multi-Sensory Parables, Scripture Union, 2006, ISBN 9781844272310, page 36. This is based on the Gospel.