Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 1 C: Transformation, Going Deeper, Changing Direction

Bible readings: Luke 2:41-52, Colossians 3:12-17
Theme: Transformation, Going Deeper, Changing Direction

Drama: One Day in the Temple
Found in Let's Make A Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 9, (pictured in an earlier blog)
Kid's Discussion: Based on above drama
What is the thing you like doing best?
What new thing have you recently learnt to do?
Point: Because Jesus was a kid growing up and learning new things too, God knows what it is
like to be a kid.
To share with your neighbour: What is your earliest understanding or memory of God?
To think about in silence: How much has changed since that earliest memory?

Story: Who Am I?
Found in The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1006 (pictured)
Story:What Do We Expect?
Can't source this story - think I found it in an email.....
A ten year old girl went with a group f family and friends to see the Christmas lights at various locations in her tow. At one church they stopped and got out to look at a beautiful nativity scene. "Isn't that beautiful?" said the little girl's grandmother. "Look at all the animals, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus." "Yes, Grandma," replied the grand daughter. It's really nice. But there's one thing that bothers me. Isn't baby Jesus ever going to grow up....he's the same size he was last year!"
Poem: Coming of Age

By Bruce Prewer in Beyond Words, Joint Board of Christian Education, 1995, ISBN 1864070722
Prayer: Thank you for the Life of Our Brother
By Bruce Prewer in Brief Prayers for Australians, Open Book Publishers.
Response Activity: Transformation
Ask: How can we respond to God's call to be continually transformed?
The ask people to:
1. come out and light a candle as a symbol of their willingness to be transformed by God, to grow deeper and to continue on their faith journey this coming year,
2. light their candle from the Christ candle to show that this is a journey they make with Jesus beside them, and
3. place the candle with everyone's elses as a sign that this is a journey they make together.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Blue Christmas C: For Those Who Find Rejoicing Hard Work

Bible Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Luke 2:1-7, Romans 8
Theme: For Those
Who find Rejoicing Hard Work

Gathering Music: Paint the Sky with Stars
by Enya on her album,
Paint the Sky with Stars, 1997.
Listening Song: I Still Cry For Baby Jesus
by Kasey Chambers on her album, Barricades and Brick Walls, 2001 (pictured)
Response Activity:
Ask people to light a candle in memory of a loved one or a sad situation in their lives or in the lives of those they know.
Leaving Listening Song: Vespers
by Aled Jones on his album, Aled, 2002 (pictured)

Email me if you want a complete Blue Christmas service but PLEASE send me your email address - I cannot respond to emails from anonymous addresses!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Advent 3 C: Sharing the Christmas Message

Sorry folks, but no resources this week - we are too busy preparing our place for oncoming bush fires. The photo was taken yesterday afternoon from our front veranda.
Jenee from reminded me that advent 3 is about waiting in hope and preparing so I have added this photo as well. I took the photo as the fire front was approaching Omeo three years ago when I was working up there as a pastoral visitor to fire beseiged families.
I think anyone who can put their washing out to dry in the face of an
oncoming fire shows great hope - also the clothes prop shapes a cross in the
middle of the picture.
There is a lull in the proceedings here and I think we (and our
house) are ready for any eventuality so.......

Bible Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-20, Isaiah 12:2-6, Philippians 4:4-7
Theme: Sharing the Christmas Mess

Listening Song: When You Say Nothing at all
By Ronan Keating on his album, When You Say Nothing At All. This goes very well with the Zephaniah reading where it says that God "silently shows that us his love". (pictured)
Poem: First Coming
by MadeleineL'Engle in Imaging the Word, United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 082980716, page 85 (pictured i an earlier blog)

Kid's Story: Wombat Divine
by Mem Fox and Kerry Argent, Omnibus Books, 1995, ISBN 1862913021. Brilliant!!!! Everybody has a role to play when it comes to Christmas.
Youth Story: Safe Under the Falls
Find this story in the The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252 on page 631 After telling the story, read Isaiah 12:2-6, and use it to re-asssure them in the times when they are fearful or reluctant to share the Christmas story.
Story: Even Now the Taste
Found in The Speaker's Source Book of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley, Word Publishing, 1995, ISBN 0849936756, page 38. Fits with Philippians 4:4
Story: Pillsbury Doughboy Wanted for Attempted Murder
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes by Jim Burns and Greg Mckinnon (eds.), Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 41 (pictured in an earlier blog). Fits with Philippians 4:6.
Poem: The Faithful are Fearless
Found In Due Season by Herbert F. Brokering, Augsburg Publishing House, 1966 in the winter section.
Response Activity:
Give each person a small card with the words: rejoicing, gentleness, prayer and peace written on one side. Ask people to write the name of a person they would like to share the message of Christmas with on the blank side of the card. Ask them to turn the card over and look at the four words and then ask: How can you share the Good News of Christmas best with the person you named; is it through rejoicing, through gentleness, through prayer, through peaceful words or actions. Give time for silent prayer.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Advent 2 C: God's messengers

Bible Readings: Luke 1:68-79, Baruch 5:1-9, Malachi 3:1-4, Luke 3:1-6, Philippians 1:3-11
God's Messengers

Responsive reading:
The Luke 1:68-79 makes a good responsive reading.
Drama: Lucky Day

Found in Cloth For the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Group Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 38, (pictured in last weeks blog)
Poem: Zechariah's Pride
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House,
1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 18 (pictured in last week's blog).
Film Clip: Little Women
Show the scene near the beginning where the girls share their breakfast with the poor family and the lady of the house calls them angels (messengers) from God. (pictured)

Discussion and Activity: Bible study
Print the latter four bible readings above onto A4/letter sized paper - a different colour for each reading - and have enough printed so that each person receives one page only, not all four. Project the four questions below or have the questions printed on the bottom of each reading:
1.What is the good news in this reading?
2. How is this message helpful to christians/believers?
3. How is this message helpful to those with little or no knowledge of Jesus?
4. The name "Malachi" (one of the readings) means messenger - do you see yourself or this congregation as a messenger? How?
Get people to sort themselves into same paper colour groups of five or six, maybe more, and encourage them to discuss the questions in the light of their particular reading. Ask each group to present to the congregation the thing that impacted on them the most as they discussed the
questions. Encourage them to present their finding via a homemade poster, a skit, a song, a poem, a diagram, a clay sculpture etc etc. They will be limited only by the resources and spaces you provide for them to work in. Allow at least 20 - 30 minutes for this whole process.
Provide/project some images of the world and your local area.
Ask the Bill Easum question from Leadership on the Other Side, Abingdon, 2000, ISBN 0687085888 (pictured) :
What is it about your relationship with Jesus that the world cannot live without knowing?
Give people a quiet space to think about this question.
Poem: Unknown!!
I don't know where I got this from - either a book or a web site - it would be great if somebody could help me source it.

Do you know,
do you understand
that you represent
Jesus to me?

Do you know,
do you understand
that when you
treat me with gentleness,
it raises the question in my mind
that maybe he is gentle, too?
Maybe he isn't someone
who laughs when I am hurt.

Do you know,
do you understand
that when you listen to my questions
and you don't laugh,
I think,
"What if Jesus is interested in me, too?"

Do you know,
do you understand
that when I hear you talk about arguments
and conflict and scars from your past
that I think, "Maybe I am just a regular person
instead of a bad, no-good, little girl who deserves abuse?"

If you care,
I think maybe he cares --
and then there's this flame of hope
that burns inside of me,
and for a while,
I am afraid to breathe
because it might go out.

Do you know,
do you understand
that your words are his words?
Your face,
his face
to someone like me?

Please be who you say you are.
Please, God, don't let this be another trick.
Please let this be real.

Do you know,
do you understand
that you represent
Jesus to me?