Saturday, November 10, 2007

Proper 28 Ordinary 33 Pentecost 25 C(November 18): Following God/Perseverance

Bible Readings: Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 12, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, Luke 21:5-19
Theme: Following God/Perseverance

About the Image:
Free from
Kid's Story: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
By Judith Vorst and Ray Cruz, Angus and Robertson, 1972, ISBN 0207151375 (pictured at right)
Listening Song: Legacy
By Nichole Nordeman on her album, Woven and Spun or WOW 2004.
Exercise: Fake Money
Ask all the youth to come forward for free money. Give them Monolopy money and then have a discussion on how you tell the difference between real money and fake money. Relate this to "who do we listen to" below.

Film Clip: Ice Age
Show the scenes at the very beginning of this film where Scrat holds on to his nut no matter what happens. (pictured at left)
Film Clip Group Discussion: Ice Age
How is Scrat a picture of perserverence?
Make a list together of some of the things in life you think are worth persevering with?
Film Clip: Titanic
The scene near the begin as they are all the wharf just before boarding the Titanic and all the claims are made about how strong and beautiful - and unsinkable - it is. fits well with "Who do you depend on" below.
Discussion: On the Thessalonians reading
How an we encourage each other not to be discouraged, to never give up, to persist?
Story: Leadership
Found as story No 147 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, ISBN 1854245929 (pictured in an earlier blog). Fits well with the Thessalonians reading about following instructions.
Story: Sewing the Sheets
Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 68
(pictured in an earlier blog). Fits well with the Thessalonians reading about following instructions.
Story: Prophecy/Harper's Weekly
Index 2889-2894 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. Fits well with "Who do you turn to?" below.
Story: Fear
Index 856-859 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. Fits well with "Where do you get Your words?" below.
Drama: Who Do You Depend on
This drama is based on the Luke reading for this week. Use hymns, film clip, poems, stories and prayers between the sections and do not have a sermon. Please accept my apologies for the format glitches in a few places - they are beyond my control,


Reader: Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God.

A: (looking around) Isn’t this just the most beautiful church, you’ve ever seen?

B: Yes, we definitely have the nicest one in Paynesville (put your own town here).

A: We dedicated it to God, and he certainly has blessed us!

B: I’m sure the others in town would love to have what we’ve got.

Reader: But Jesus said: As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.

Reader: They asked Jesus:
A & B: Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?

Reader: He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming,

A: I am the One!

B: The time is near!

A: Follow me

B: Listen to me!

Reader: But Jesus said: Do not follow them.

Reader: Jesus said: When you hear of wars and revolutions.....
A: The war in
Afghanistan reached a new intensity today as missiles landed.........
B: The residents of the city continue to live in fear. Police have been unable to withstand rioters and looters.....

Reader: Jesus said: Do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

A: Military exercises continued today in foreign waters. Response was swift with ....

B: Planes carried out a surprise bombing attack before daybreak today .....

Reader: Jesus said: There will be great earthquakes

A: More than one hundred thousand people lost their lives in a devastating earthquake. Authorities say the quake measured 8.1 on the Richter scale ....
Reader: ......sickness.......

B: These virus’s continue to spread our the community. Health authorities claim they are in epidemic proportions and show no signs of letting up ....
Reader: .........famines in various places,.............

A: Two more shipments of food reached port but never made it to the starving masses. Warlords continue to control .......

Reader: Jesus continued: Fearful events and great signs will come from heaven.

B: Scientists claim two asteroids are on a collision course...

A: How much science fiction can become actual reality?


Reader: Jesus said: But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.
A: You’re under arrest!

B: Take that!

A: No video tape so lets give ‘em a good thumping!

B: Teach them a lesson!

Reader: Jesus said: They will deliver you to synagogues

A: Don’t you know the stories about Jesus aren’t really true?

B: If your Christianity really worked you wouldn’t be suffering like this.....

Reader: ... and put you in jail

A: We’ll put you away for good!

Reader: ......and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.

B: Why do you believe when it is against the law?

A: You are going against the very things your country stands for. You traitor!


Reader: But this will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry before hand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

B: Well, actually, you make a lot of sense.

A: I think I’ll have to think about this - you have a point.

Reader: You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends.......

B: Come on, I’m your mother. After all I‘ve done for you, how can you waste your life following Jesus.

A: I’ve been your best friend since kinder. You’re too smart for all this. You’ve been brainwashed.

Reader: and they will put some of you to death. All people will hate you because of me.

A & B: Kill them! Kill them! Kill them!

Reader: But Jesus said: But not a hair of your head will perish.
By standing firm you will gain life.”
c. R. Broadstock and A. Scull (please feel free to adapt)

Response Activity:

Have a large mural sized piece of paper that all your congregation can fit around and have lots of felt markers (texta) available. In the middle of the paper have the three main points from the Thessalonians reading written in very large letters: Follow Instructions, Do Your Bit, Never Give up. Ask people to visualise in turn their lives, their families, their workplace and their church community. Allow a little time for them to think about their contribution to each of these areas - what they contribute to make each of these areas a place of worship and service and places imbued with God's love and understanding. Encourage them to write unsigned responses on the mural (encourage people to use it like a graffiti board). I used this idea in 2004 and I am not sure (forgotten) if this idea is mine or somebody gave it to me. I am happy to acknowledge a source if someone can enlighten me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Proper 27 Ordinary 32 Pentecost 24 C (November 11): Fighting Discouragement/New Life

Bible readings: Haggai1:15b-2:9, Psalm 145 :1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17, Luke 20,27-38.
Fighting Discouragement/New Life

About the Image:
This one is made with two microsoft free clipart images
Kid's Story: The Day It Rained Colours
By Roy Etherton and Leon Baxter, Lion Publishing, ISBN 0856481734 (pictured at left).
Poem: Be Like the Bird
By Victor Hugo in Imaging the Word Volume 2 by Susan A. Blain, Sharon Iverson Glouwens, Catherine O'Callaghan, Grant Spradling (Eds.), United Church Press, 1995, ISBN 0829810331, page 66. (pictured in an earlier blog)
Video Clip: The Trueman Show

One of the last scenes, where Trueman discovers the door in the wall at then end of the lake, relates well to the basic question that the Sadducees ask Jesus in the Luke reading - Is there more to life than just what we see? (pictured at right)
Video Clip: Snow Dogs
Show the scene about an hour in, where Ted meets the grizzly bear and things go from bad to worse. In desperation, he eventually rings the emergency number, but gets a recorded message. You can follow this with a discussion on what sort of measures we take when everything seems to be going wrong , and about what causes discouragement in our lives. This is a good lead in to the Haggai reading or the last verses of the Thessalonians reading.
Discussion Questions: For the Haggai Reading
1. Why are the people in this reading discouraged?

2. How are they encouraged?

3. What is the immediate promise that they are given?

4. What is the long term promise that they are given?

5. What is there in this reading for us?
Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan Ashton from her album, A Distant Call

Listening Song: Don't Give Up
By Josh Groban on his album, Awake (2006)

Response Activity: For You Move Me by Susan Ashton
This song has more than a minute of instrumental music at the end. Ask people to read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 during this time and pinpoint the words or phrases they think God wants them to concentrate on. Alternatively, instead of asking them to read these verses, give each person a business cards with verse 17 printed on it.
Response Activity: The Church of the Future
Have lots of model making materials available eg; pipe cleaners, paper, cardboard, balloons, glue, string, pencils, ribbon, modelling clay, boxes etc etc. Have people get in groups and ask each group to make a model of their church which portrays they way they think God wants their church to be in the future. N.B. I have done this with numerous groups and I have never yet seen a group make a model of their church building and I have never yet seen a model even remotely similar to another. The combined creativity of a bunch of ordinary people is truly inspiring.