Monday, June 30, 2008

Proper 13 Ordinary 18 Pentecost 12 A (August 3): More Than Enough

Bible Readings: Genesis 32:22-31, Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 14:13-21
Theme: More Than Enough

About the image:
My photo taken at the back of our place at Mason's Bay, part of Lake Victoria in the Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia.

Listening Song: From a Distance
by Bette Midler on her album, Some People's Lives (pictured at left). Compare this song's idea of God with the gospel reading's idea of God. They are very different.

Listening Song: Wake Up Dead Man
By U2 on their album, Pop. (For the Genesis reading)

Listening Song:Peace on Earth
By U2 on their album, All That You can't Leave Behind.
(For the Genesis reading)

Drama: The Feeding of the Twenty Five
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 74 (pictured in an earlier post).

Story: Here, Take What You Need!"

Found in Pulpit Resouces, August 4th, 2002 by William H. Willimon

Story: Love and the Cabbie

Found in
More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207861, page 111(pictured in an earlier blog).

Poem: Oversupply

By Bruce Prewer and found at

Proper 10 Ordinary 15 Pentecost 9 A (July 13): Seed Stuff

Bible readings: Genesis 25:19-24, Psalm 119:105-112, Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9,18-25 Theme: Seed Stuff

About the image:

The Sower: painted by Vincent Van Gogh and taken from Wikimedia Commons - a free and public domain site.

Listening Song: Joy in the Journey
By Michael Card on his album, Joy in the Journey (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Never Alone
by Barlow Girl on their album, Never Alone.

Prayer of Confession: Thistles
This is an activity/prayer and is found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 12 (pictures in an earlier blog).

Object Lesson: Irish Spring and the Word
of God
Found in Fresh Ideas Volume 2 by Jim Burns and Mark Simone, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 083718842, page 64 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Film Clip: The Neverending Story
Show the conversation about the story not being safe and link it with Bible is good news but that it is also no safe in the sense that it always presents us with a challenge.

Film Clip: Chicken Run
Show the scene quite near the beginning where the hens are all planning their escape and becoming demoralised about the whole idea when one of them says "the biggest fences are inside your heads" (pictured at left).

Discussion: Chicken Run
1. What things make you feel spiritually uncomfortable?

2. When do we have fences inside our heads when it comes to thinking about God and what God calls us to be or to do?

Film Clip: Pirates 3: At World's End.
Show the clip where Will asks Elizabeth to marry him in the middle of a gigantic sword fight/battle. I found this clip at a great clip site: It is well worth a visit.

Discussion: Pirates 3:At World's End
1. Why is it a bad time for Will to ask Elizabeth to marry him?
2. What sort of things distract us from following God?

Drama: Seeds Jive
Found in Parable Performing by Kristin Etscheid, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985,ISBN 0340336676, page 56.

Drama: Seeds
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916, page 69 (pictured in an earlier post).

Drama: Lamps R Us
Found in Creative Worship Ideas by Lois Keffer, Group, 1993, ISBN 1559450991, page 58
(pictured at right). This drama is related to the psalm.

Drama: Genesis 25:19-34
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, July to December 1996, JBCE, page 6

Where do Jacob and Esau fit in the gospel parable: are they seeds on the path, on the thin soil, amongst the thorns or in good soil?
What helps us to have deep roots in good soil?

Story: The Native American and the Cricket
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 123 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Prayer: Psalm 119
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, July to December 1996, JBCE, page 7

Prayer for Others: Reminders (version 3:mixed nuts)
This is an activity prayer and is
found in Multi-Sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994652, page 47-8 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Prayer: Living Hearts
Found 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 240. (pictured in an earlier blog).

Meditation: Living Hearts
As above but with images and the music of Tony O'Conner's track, Memories, from his album, Rainforest Magic (pictured at left).

Meditation: A Sower Went to Sow

Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 165 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Proper 7 Ordinary 12 Pentecost 6 A (June 22): Deserts and Wells/Fear Not

Bible Readings: Genesis 21:8-21, Psalm 86:1-10, Romans 6:1b -11, Matthew 10: 24-39.
Theme: Deserts and Wells/Fear Not

About the first theme:
For anonymous:-) Specifically based on the Genesis reading.

About the Image:
This is a microsoft free clipart background with my text.

Kid's Story: The Very Worried Sparrow
By Meryl Doney, Anzea Publishers or Lion Publishing, 1978, ISBN 858920948 (pictured at left).

Quote: The Little Prince
"What makes the desert beautiful", said the Little Prince, is that somewhere it hides a well..." .... The Little Prince added: "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart".

Brainstorm desert experiences and wells.
How do we find wells in our desert experiences?

Film Clip: The Incredibles
Show the scene contained in the first 15 minutes where Mr Incredible is blamed for doing good.

Discussion: On The Incredibles
1. When was Jesus treated in a similar way?
2. When were the disciples treated in a similarr way?
3. When do we, as Christians, have to put up with similar treatment and what can/should we do about it?

Story:Names or Numbers
Marvin Rosenthal, writing in Israel My Glory, tells about a mother who was asked by a census taker how may children she had. She said, "Well, there's Billy and Harry and Martha and--" "Never mind the names," the man interrupted. "Just give me the number!" The mother indignantly replied, "They haven't got numbers, they've all got names." Sorry, can't source this any more than I have other than I think Israel My Glory is a magazine.

Story: Bonhoeffer
The story of Bonoeffer's imprisonment and death fits very well with the cost of discipleship mentioned in the gospel.

Listening Song: God is In Control
By Twila Paris on her album, Beyond a Dream or on WOW 1996.

Listening Song: You're Here
By Sixpence None the Richer on the album, City on a Hill, 2000 (pictured at right).

Poem: The Candle
Found in The Electric Bible by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170441, page 78 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Response Activity:
Give each person a small card with a desert and a well pictured on it. Ask people to write down a situation that can make their life a bit of a desert on the desert picture and then on the picture of the well, ask them to write something God has provided to help them survive.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Proper 6, Ordinary 11, Pentecost 4,5 A: Take the Plunge

Bible Readings: Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7, Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19, Romans 5:1-8, Matthew 9:35 - 10:8, 9-23.
Theme: Take the Plunge

About the image:
A combination of two microsoft free clip art and my text.

Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan A
shton on A Distant Call and Nothing But Pop (pictured at right)

Kid's Story: Abraham
Found in The Picture Strip Bible by Felicity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 12 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Drama: Sarah

By Judy Gattis Smith and found
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 224, (pictured in an earlier blog).

Film Clip: The Princess Diaries
Show the clip where Mia is quite obviously nearly invisible to everyone. Finish the clip when she says "someone sat on me again".

Discussion: On The Princess Diaries

1. Who are the invisible people in our community who feel like Mia or are like the people Jesus saw in Matthew 9:36?
2. How can we help?

Story:Save the Starfish

Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 151 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Story: Shipwreck

Found , I think, in Robert E Coleman's The Heartbeat of Evangelism, NavPress, 1985,
ISBN-10: 0891094008.
An artist, seeking to depict on canvas the meaning of evangelism,painted a storm at sea.
Black clouds filled the sky. Illuminated by a flash of lightning, a little boat could be seen
disintegrating under the pounding of the ocean. People were struggling in the swirling
waters, their anguished faces crying out for help. The only glimmer of hope appeared in the
foreground of the painting, where a large rock protruded out of the water. There, clutching
desperately with both hands, was one lone seaman. It was a moving scene. Looking at the
painting, one could see in the tempest a symbol of humankind's hopeless condition. And,
true to the Gospel, the only hope of salvation was "the Rock ofAges", a shelter in the time of
storm. But as the artist reflected upon his work, he realized that the painting did not
accurately portray his subject. So he discarded the canvas, and painted another. It was
very similar to the first: the black clouds, the flashing lightning, the angry waters, the little
boat crushed by the pounding waves, and the crew vainly struggling in the water. In the
foreground the seaman was clutching the large rock for salvation. But the artist made one
change: the survivor was holding on with only one hand, and with the other hand he was
reaching down to pull up a drowning friend.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Proper 5 A (June 8): Breaking Down the Barriers

Bible Readings: Genesis 12:1-9, Psalm 33:1-12, Romans 4:13-25, Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26.
Theme: Breaking Down the Barriers

About the image:
Microsoft free clipart with my text.

Listening Song: Only Grace
By Matthew West on his album, Something to Say (2005) or on WOW 2007 (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Grace
by U2 on All That You Can't Leave Behind (pictured on an earlier blog).

Drama: The Outcast
Found in Let's Make A Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 14 (pictured in an earlier blog)

Film Clip: October Sky
Show the clip where Homer goes to speak with John, the school nerd, in the canteen irrespective of the impact this will have on his "cool" reputation at school (pictured at left).
Discussion: October Sky Film Clip
What would have been lost if homer had followed his friends advice and not spoken to John?

Film Clip: Edward Scissorhands

Show the clip where Edward is discovered in the attic by the mother and she realises that, despite his odd appearance and peculiar manner, he needs a loving home which she is able and willing to provide (pictured in a recent blog).

Discussion: Edward Scissorhands Film Clip
1. How is Pam like God?
2. How is Edward like us?
3. What can this clip teach us about acceptance and grace?

Story: Grace
Story 288 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551, (pictured in an earlier blog)

Meditation: I Don't Fit In
Found in the The Pattern of Our Days:Liturgies and resources for worship from the Iona Community edited by Kathy Galloway, ISBN: 0947988769. Sorry, I don't have a page number or picture - I must have borrowed this book from someone when I used this meditation.

Meditation:Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC
Have a circle of light at the front of your worship space to represent God's grace and give everyone a pipecleaner or two.
Project the words from the above titled piece by Frederick Buechner starting at "Grace is something you can never get... and finishing with the third "There's nothing you have to do". I found these words at a great site: -
Use some images and maybe music with the words.
Give everyone enough time to read it all and then ask them, in the silence (or with quiet music), to fashion a little pipecleaner model of themselves and place their model where they want to be in the circle of God's grace. I got this idea from another part of the same site:
Then project the final words from "The grace of God means something like""and take it as a gift too"

Prayer: Blessed Are You..

Found 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 221, (pictured in an earlier blog).

Drama: Father of a Multitude
Found in Mega Drama 1 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0859109151, page 45. This drama is based on the Genesis reading.