Monday, April 12, 2021

Easter 4 B (April 25): Love is a Doing Word/Comfort for a Troubled World

 




















Bible Readings: Acts 4:5-13, Psalm 23, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18

About the images:
Upper Left: Another excellent image from www.imagebank.com
Upper Right: A grandfather and grandson from my last church working on fire recovery in the Victorian High country. Love is a doing word.
Middle Left and Right and Lower Right: Free images from Heartlight images.  See my links column at left.
Lower Left: An image from the Hermano Leon free clip art site - see my link column at left

Listening Song: Love is a Verb
By dc Talk on their Free at Last album (pictured at left).  This song goes very well with the Acts reading.

Listening Song: The Lord is My Shepherd
By Sons of Korah on their album, Hand to the Plough (pictured at right).

Film Clip: Pleasantville
Show the scene where the girl asks the boy what it is like outside Pleasantville. He tells her that it is a lot noisier, kind of scary, and a lot more dangerous. She replies that it sounds wonderful and she smiles and you can see the wonder and the yearning in her eyes. This scene is optional. I would definitely show the court scene where everybody starts changing from being black and white to full and living colour.....


Discussion: Pleasantville
1. What made the difference so that the people changed from black and white to colour?
2. The disciples life was very black and white during the crucifixion and very colourful in the Acts story today. What made the difference?
3. What does our Christianity look like to the outside world? Is black and white or in colour ?

Film Clip: Horton Hears a Who
(pictured at left) Show the clip where Horton argues with kangaroo about whether there is anybody bigger than us looking out for us. It goes for about a minute and I got the clip from www.wingclips.com This goes well with the Acts reading, the Psalm and the Acts reading.

Discussion: Horton Hears a Who
1. Who wants to look out for us and love us?
2. What difference will it make to our lives?

Kids: The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams, Carousel, London, 1976.  I used this with the adults as well.  The "real" conversation between the velveteen rabbit and the skin horse fits very well with the 1 John reading. 

Drama: Give Me a J
Based on Acts 12 and found in Let's Make a Scene for..... by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 1998, ISBN 0859108937, page 15 (pictured at right). This goes well with the Acts reading. 

Story: The Praying Hands
The story behind the famous Praying Hands picture which is found, among many other places, in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, page 163 (pictured at left). This goes well with Acts reading.

Story: Changed Lives
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, page 163  (pictured at left). This goes well with 1 John reading.

Story: Phantom Pain
Found in Stories, Illustrations and Quotes by Robert J Morgan, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 2000, ISBN 0785244794, page 306.  This story goes with the 1 John reading. 

Response Activity: Shepherding
From Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 77ff (pictured at right). This activity is based on the gospel reading and the New Testament readings.

Also:

Poem/Meditation: We are the Sheep
By Jan Sutch Pickard  in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 59 (pictured at left). This goes well with the John reading and also with Easter 4 A

Kids: Cecil and Psalm 23
This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2006 (pictured at right). This goes with the Psalm reading.  The great thing about these books is that they only around $A5 and for a further $A10 (or instead of) you can buy on line the story in any format you need to project the pictures in church.  There are also free activity sheets and for a cost activity books for both teachers and children.  Visit www.lostsheep.com.au to check out all the excellent resources.

Kids: Jesse
By Tim Winton, Penguin Books Australia (pictured at left),  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 John reading.

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 1 John reading.

Kids: Memorial
By Gary Crew and Shaun Tan, Thomas C Lothian,  with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 59. This goes well with the John reading.

Opening or Closing Response 
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, page 126. 

Beautiful Illustrations of John's Gospel  connected to the Australian Outback
Found in The Gospel According to John Illuminated by Fiona Pfennigwerth, Tien Wah Press, Singapore, 2013, ISBN 9780646912462, page 33.

Drama: Will They Know?
Found in Mega Drama 3 by Verona Johnson (ed), Openbook, 2002, ISBN 0859109178 (v.3), page 15 . This drama is based on the 1 John reading. 




Easter 3 B (April 18): Never Alone

 




















Bible Readings: Acts 3:12-19, Psalm 4, 1 John 3:1-7, Luke 24:36b-48.

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is part of the card I give out (see below in the Response Activity). I cannot remember where I got this image or whether I made it. If anybody could shed light on its copyright or source, I would be very pleased.
Upper Right: This was supposed to be an ordinary red hibiscus - what an a -hah moment when it blossomed into red, orange and yellow. I also like the fact that it has flowered through the wire. This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Left: This is St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne and reminded me of the line in the Newsboys song below: "Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals". This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Right: This is the underground church in Coober Pedy and reminded me of the line in the Newsboys song below: "To the faithful gathered underground". This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower Left and Right: These are free Heartlight images  - see my link column at left.
 
Try dividing the service into four sections based on the Luke readings:
1.The Joy: Luke 24: 36-43
2. The Cross: Luke 24:44-46

3. The Need: Luke 24:47-48
4. The Power: Luke 24:49

Listening Song: Jubilate
By Robert Prizeman on Libera (pictured at right).

Listening Song
: He Reigns
By Newsboys on their album, Adoration, or WOW 2004 (pictured at left)

Kids: New Perspectives
Show kids a number of images of things taken from unrecognisable angles. Have a bit of a guessing game as to what they are. Then talk about how Easter helps us see things from a new perspective.

Film Clip: Can't Keep Me Down
I went to www.wingclips for this clip (as usual - an excellent site). It can be found in their transformation section. I used it to illustrate that true happiness can only be found when you know/accept that you are a child of God (pictured at right)

Introductory Plenary or Pew Discussion
When you were growing up, what was one thing that was difficult for you to believe in?

Drama: Dial A Prayer
Found in Let's
 Make A Scene 4 by Verena Johnson, Openbook Publishers, 1198, ISBN 0859108937, page 12 (pictured at left). This fits in well with the Acts reading and the 1 John reading or as an introduction to the prayer of confession.

Story: Luiqi Tariso and the Violins
Found in James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited, Wheaton Tyndale, 1988, page 492. You can also find this story at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Tarisio.

These next four stories all match up well with the 1 John reading:

Story: Heaven
Found in 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching by Michael P Green, Baker Books, 1989, ISBN 0801063302, story no. 640 (pictured at right).

Story: Children of God
Found in 750 Engaging Illustrations from Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Barker Books, 1993, ISBN 0801091551, Story No. 61 (pictured at left).

Story: Success
Found in 750 Engaging Illustrations from Craig Brian Larson and leadership Journal, Barker Books, 1993, ISBN 0801091551, Story No. 693 (pictured at left). 

Story: Worth
Found in 750 Engaging Illustrations from Craig Brian Larson and leadership Journal, Barker Books, 1993, ISBN 0801091551, Story No. 775 (pictured at left).

Creed: Creed from Nicaraguan Mass
Found in Imaging the Word, Volume 3 by Susan A Blain(Ed.), United Church Press, 1996, ISBN 0829810862, page 202 (pictured at left) .

Response Activity: Handprint Creed
Found in Multi-Sensory Church by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2002, ISBN 1859996671, page 20 (pictured at right). Fits with the first few verses of the 1 John reading.

Response Activity:
Give out business cards with an icthus fish printed on each in colours of red and yellow. Underneath the fish print the words: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour (the card is pictured at the beginning of this blog). Ask people to contemplate the card for a time noticing that the fish symbol reminds us that Jesus is always with us and that the colours remind us that the Holy Spirit is always with us.

Also:

Reflective Poem: Times of refreshing
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 109ff (pictured at left). This is based on the end of the Acts reading and then some.

Opening or Closing Response 
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, page 125 (pictured at left). 

Drama: It Had To Be A Trick
Found in Mega Drama 3 by Verona Johnson (ed) Openbook, 2002, ISBN 0859109178 (v.3), page 58. This drama is based on the Acts reading. 

Monday, April 05, 2021

Easter 2 B (April 11): On a Mission From God/Walking in the Light

 





































Bible readings: Acts 4:32-35, Psalm 133, 1 John 1:1-2:2, John 20:19-31.

About the images:
Upper Left: Doubting Thomas by Michelangelo Caravaggio (1602-3) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caravaggio_Doubting_Thomas.jpg
Upper RightMy photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle left: A free Heartlight image - see my link column at left.
Middle Right: A free Imagebank image - see my link column at left - which I thought went well with the Psalm for today.
Lower Left: This image comes from www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com. This site no longer updates (you will see the sad reason why when you visit) however the artist, Don da Silva, has left a legacy of wonderful images and templates via the site archives.
Lower Right:  I used this image of mine with the 1 John reading - please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.  It is of the Gippsland lakes from out the front of our place very early (!) one morning. 

Call to Worship:
Bits of Psalm 133 make a good call to worship if you use a modern translation or paraphrase.

Listening Song: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
By U2 on their album, The Joshua Tree or The Best of 1980-1990 (pictured at right) or by The Sensitive New Age Cowboys on Tim Winton: Dirt Music. This makes a good starting point for Thomas' story in the gospel reading.

Prayer of Confession and Assurance:
Bits of the 1 John reading are useful here as long as you use a modern translation or paraphrase.

Introduction to the theme: What am I?
I was created in the 1970’s.
People go to see me all of the time all over the world.
Often they go to see me late at night and they see me more than once.
People often dress up when they go to see me.
I have recently had a revival.
People wear dark sunglasses when they see me.
People, both men and women of all ages from children to the elderly, wear dark suits, white shirts and narrow black ties.
People wear small pork pie hats when they see me.
I am.....the Blues Brothers film.
This can lead in to a discussion/sermon about what it means to be on a mission from God.

Film Clip: The Blues Brothers
The part early on in the film where Jake and Elwood believe that God has spoken to them and that they are now on a mission from God. (pictured at left)

Pew Discussion:
One of the signs of "delusions of grandeur" on various psychological tests is the positive answer to the question "Do you believe you are a special agent of the Lord?"
What would you write if you had to do such a test?
Could you seriously say that you are on a mission for God?
Do you believe that other people are?

Drama: Who Me?
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing, 1991, page 41 (pictured at right). This goes well with the John reading where Jesus talks about sending his disciples out into the world.


Story: Computer Grace
In Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1194, ISBN 0310402611, page 77 (pictured at left). This links well with the 1 John reading.

Meditation: Candle, Cross, Bible and Ball. 

In 40 Devotions that Work with Youth, by Geraldine Anderson (ed).,JBCE, 1983, ISBN 0858194147, page 43 (pictured at right). In the book this was intended to be a youth group devotion however it can be quite easily adapted to suit a congregation and used as part of the sermon or as a an introduction to the 1 John reading.

Response Activity:
Ask: what do you need to do today to be God’s special agent. Is it just a matter of saying OK, I’ll do it. Is it a matter of discovering what God wants you to do. Is there something else? Give each person a small business card and encourage people to think about their response to what is written on it (as follows):
My challenge: To be God sent
My authority: God’s say so
My help: the Holy Spirit
My response:...........................


Response Activity: The Blood of Jesus

From Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMaho
n, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 73ff (pictured at left). This goes very well with the 1 John reading. 

Also:

Meditation: The Peacemakers
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 89 (pictured at right). This goes well with the Psalm 133 reading.

Taize Service: Overcoming Doubts
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 18 (pictured at left). This is based on the John reading.

Taize Service: Illumination
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 34 (pictured at left). This is based on the 1 John reading.

Worship Activity: Dark Room
By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 38 (pictured at right).  This is based on the 1 John reading.

Worship Activity: Laser and Spotlight Prayer
By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 44 (pictured at right).  This is based on the 1 John reading.

For Children and Families: God is everywhere
Found in Rewind by Beth Barnett, SUVictoria, 2011, ISBN987098710035, navigate from page 59 (pictured at left). This is based on the gospel reading. 

A Chapter of Resources for Easter 2:
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 48-78.

Reflection: Scars Reveal Resurrection
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 106ff.

Reflective Poem: Thomas, my twin
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 109ff. This is based on the Gospel reading.

Opening or Closing Response 
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, page 124. 

Beautiful Illustrations of John's Gospel  connected to the Australian Outback
Found in The Gospel According to John Illuminated by Fiona Pfennigwerth, Tien Wah Press, Singapore, 2013, ISBN 9780646912462, page 62-63.

Drama: Reason to Believe
Found in Mega Drama 3 by Verona Johnson (ed) Openbook, 2002, ISBN 0859109178 (v.3), page 36 . This drama is based on the John reading.