Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2 ABC (January 3): Shining Lights

There is an 2020 updated version of this post with more stuff - see archive at left.

Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-4, John 1:1-9, 10-18

About the images:

Upper: This one comes from that excellent free site
Lower: This image comes from another excellent free site: I put the text on to the image.

Listening Song: Immanuel
By Michael Card and found on his CD, Joy in the Journey (pictured at left).

Kid's Talk: Reflecting the Light

A great kid's story and associated puzzle and colouring-in pages based on John 1:6-9 can be found

Drama: A Perfect Disgrace

Found in Cloth For the Cradle by the Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 100 (pictured at right).

Film Clips: A Christmas Carol - The Musical
This Dickens story (pictured at left) runs parallel to the second half of the gospel reading as follows: John 1:10-11:Rejecting Jesus: Scrooge as he is at the beginning of the film. John 1: 12-13: Accepting Jesus: Scrooge as he is when, in the graveyard, he finally realises what it is all about. John 1: 14-18: Reflecting Jesus: Scrooge at the end of the film when he cannot help but spread good cheer, love and generosity.
I found all three clips at

Story: Not Unless You Take It
This story, based on the John reading, can be found at under section 2B.

Story: Point to the Light
Found in The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1058 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Adult Response:
Challenge everyone with the Reject, Accept, and Reflect challenges found in John 1:10-18. It is interesting to note that in John's view accepting Jesus without reflecting him in your life is pretty much the same as rejecting him. Give people some space and time to think about this.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Blue Christmas C: For Those Who Find Rejoicing Hard Work

Bible Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Luke 2:1-7, Romans 8

About the Images:
Upper: A free microsoft clipart image over which I put one line of the Kasey Chambers song: I Still Cry for Baby Jesus
Lower: My photo - feel free to use it.

Gathering Music: Shepherd Moons
by Enya on her album, Paint the Sky With Stars, 1997 (pictured at left).

Listening Song: I Still Cry For Baby Jesus
by Kasey Chambers on her album, Ba
rricades and Brick Walls, 2001 (pictured at right).

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 at left)

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!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christ the King B (November 22): Who's in charge?

Bible readings: 2 Samuel 23:1-7, Psalm 132: 1-12 (13-18), Revelation 1:4-8, John 18:33-37

About the Images:
Upper: Microsoft free clipart with my text
Lower: Photos of sunsets and sunrises always remind me of the power and reign of God - they are so big and awe inspiring and beautiful. They lift me up but also remind me of my insignificance - a bit like looking at the stars at night. I took this photo out the front of our place VERY early one morning. It is a part of Duck Arm (taken from Banksia Peninsula) in the Gippsland Lakes near Paynesville in Australia - Google any of those place names or look them up on Wikapedia if you are interested in this little bit of the world.

Film Clip: Chariots of Fire
Show the clip in the fil (pictured at left) where Eric Liddell talks with the Prince of Wales en route to the Olympic Games. Eric had a God space in his week that he was not prepared to give up. His allegiance to Jesus and his heavenly kingdom wwas more important than his allegiance to King and country.

Discussion Questions:
What are Eric's top priorities?
Who or what do we give our allegiance to?

Story: The Kingdom of God
Story No 363 in 750 Engaging illustrations by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551 (pictured at right)

Sermon Help Notes and Response Activity: Revelation by Song
Can't remember where I got this idea from - maybe out of my head but I am not sure - please let me know via email if you can source it for me.
NB Homiletics, November 23, 1997 has been suggested (see comments below) . Thankyou
Give everyone a strip of paper with the words of Revelation I:8 printed across it. Under these words, print three pictures entitled as follows:
Picture 1: a cradle and the words "who is"
Picture 2: a spider and the words "who was"
Picture 3: music notes and the words: "who is to come". 1. The God who Is.
Sing Rock a Bye Baby together.
Note that the song does not say "if" but "when the bough breaks". Life is full of surprises - not all of them good - but God is acting and moving in our world. Ask them to talk to the person next to them about how they see God at work in the world today.
2. The God Who Was.
Ask people to sing Ipsy Whipsy Spider together. Note that the song is very like human kind - we repeat our mistakes as nations, as communities, as families and
as individuals but we keep plugging away. And "out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain". God repeatedly over history heals, restores, loves and forgives us.
3. The God who is to come

Sing the hymn "Joyful, joyful we adore you" to Beethoven's Ode To Joy. Note that because God is yet to come, the way we live makes a difference.

Adult Response
In verse 6 we are all called to be ministers. Ask people:
In order to be a minister, where do you need God the most:
healing your past,
with you in your present,
or being your future?
Fold your strip of paper in three so that the one you need is uppermost and take it home that way.

Prayer: Multi-Sensory Prayer:
There are some useful bits for this Sunday in
in Multi- Sensory Church by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2002, ISBN 1859996671, page 15 (pictured at left).

Listening Song: For the Glory of Your Name
By Michelle Tumes on her album, Heaven
and Earth or on WOW 2000 .

A Now For Something Completely Different: A Short Taize Style service.
Decorate your communion table with pieces of white and gold material and cover it all with heaps of small lit tea lights. For the service have an opening prayer only. Then have about a half an hour of reflective music which suits the Bible readings - I used music from The Prayer Cycle by Jonathan Elias, Immortal Memory by Lisa Gerard and Patrick Cassidy, an untitled album by Doros (pictured at right), and A Feather on the Breath of God by Hildeguaard of Bingen. At the same time I projected Christ the King images - about thirty in all timed for a minute each. I gave each person an envelope filled with the bible readings and relevent quotes - about 20 in all. People could then chose to read some or all of the qutes, watch the pictures, listen to the music, watch the candles or do a mixture of all. I finished the service with a benediction.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Proper 25 Ordinary 30 Pentecost 21 B (October 25): Going Against the Flow, Risky Discipleship

Bible Readings: Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22), Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52

About the images:
Upper: There was a T - shirt a bit like this doing the rounds a few years ago. I made this one with Microsoft free clip art.
Lower: I took this photo in one of the laneways of inner city Melbourne, Australia. For more info on the laneways, Google Melbourne and see the page on "Melbourne laneways" under "About Melbourne" or "Welcome to Melbourne". Please feel free to use it.

Prayer of Confession: Praise - The Business of Eternity
Found in Rivers in the Desert by Rowland Croucher (Ed.), Albatross Books
, 1991, ISBN 086760137X, page 51 (pictured at right).

Film Clip: Mother Teresa
This is a TV series (pictured at left) which I have not seen in Australia (but I might be wrong). I downloaded the clip from that excellent site I used the conversation between Mother Teresa and her priest, where she convinces him that she must go against the conventions of her cloistered order to follow God's call to minister to the poor of India.

Discussion: Mother Teresa
1. How are Mother Teresa and Blind Bartimaeus alike?
2. How is discipleship difficult for them both?

Drama: Blind Bartimaeus
Part 1: Interview 1.
Reporter interviews Bartimaeus who has a begging bowl and a blanket that he takes from his shoulders and sits on. Anything else to add authenticity is OK. Questions run along the lines below - it’s not word for word, make it up as you go along keeping to the basic story.
Who are you?
Blind Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus etc
Why don’t you go out and earn a living some other way?
In my culture that’s all I can do, no sheltered workshops, no braille, no social welfare etc etc.
What are you doing here?
Seemed to be a big crowd, bit of a holiday atmosphere, thought there might be good pickings
Why do you have that bowl?
People chuck money in it, its noisy so I know how much money people have given me, I eat out of it
Why do you sit on that cloak?
If any money misses the bowl, I have a fair idea where it is and I don’t waste my time sorting through stones and gravel
Can I look at your cloak?
No way!!Why not?Most important thing I own, I’d never let it go, it catches all my money, it keeps me warm, it shelters me from the weather, its my bed, its my security, my comfort, basically it is my life. Walks off in a bit of a huff at the very idea that someone might touch his cloak?

Part 2: Congregational play
Read the story out to the congregation (Mark 10:46-52). They provide the voices for the crowd (on the overhead or data projector or in your pew sheet). Encourage them to shout their parts loudly – even practice before you start reading. Its better if they each chose one or two phrases to shout out instead of trying to say the whole thing together.
Response 1 (after v 48a):
Pipe down! Be quiet!! Put a sock in it! Stop shouting!! Shush up!!! Don’t yell like that!! Hey, that’s enough from you!! Who do you think you are??
Response 2 (after v. 49b)
Don’t be afraid! Come on! He’s calling for you!! Go on then!! Get up!!! Quickly!!! Get a move on!! Hurry!!

Part 3: Interview 2
Reporter again interviews Bartimaeus -as before, what is below is not word for word. Improvise!
Why! Is that you, Blind Bartimaeus? You old rogue! So, you were just pretending to be blind?
No, I really was – tell story of what happened.
Wow, so where’s your cloak?
Chucked it away, didn’t even think, wanted to get straight to Jesus when he called, somebody’s probably nicked it by now.
So, do you want us to help you find it? I remember how you felt about that cloak?
Nah, don’t need it any more. Who cares? I’m off to follow Jesus
But it was the most important thing you owned. You said that you’d never let it go, it catches all your money, it keeps you warm, it shelters you from the weather, its your bed, its your security, your comfort. Basically, it is your life.
But everything’s changed. I can see. I am a disciple of Jesus. He’s my shelter, he’s my security, he’s my comfort.But I’ve heard tell things are getting a little sticky for him. People are plotting his death.
Will you follow him that far?
The most important thing is being one of his followers, I’ll never let him go. He is my life.
Copyright: Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull - permission given to use and adapt.

Listening song; It's My Life
By Bon Jovi on the album, Crush, 2000 (pictured at left).The words of this song could easily be Blind Bartimaeus's words as he stands up to the crowd and continues to call out to Jesus.

Discussion Questions:
What if Bartimaeus had not stood up to the crowd?
What does Jesus tell Bartimaeus to do after he is healed?
What does Bartimaeus do?
Where is Jesus going?

Story: The Kreplach Joke
Found in August 04 2006 archive of the blog called Divinity is in the Details. Useful for illustrating that we often feel comfortable with a lots of the different parts of out Christian faith, but when we put it all together and see the call and risk of discipleship sometimes we, too, say "AAAHHHHH!!"

Story: Christian Retirement?
Heard a story once about a minister in a small, struggling rural church in a small drought stricken and struggling rurul community who went to visit a new couple in the town who had recently retired and moved from the city. He had heard that they had been very active members of their city church and so he went with some excitement and anticipation. However when he knocked on the door and said who he was, he was met with this bald statement; " Oh no, we don't want to go to church here. We've retired".

Response Activity:
Pass around ribbons:
Ask people to think of one aspect of following Jesus which they would like to do or do better.
Then ask: If Jesus is asking you “ What do you want me to do for you?", what is your answer.
As they think of an answer to each question, ask them to tie a knot in their piece of ribbon. Stand together and say an Affirmation of faith/Creed together. Encourage them to take the ribbon home and put it somewhere significant to remind them of God's faithfulness and their determination to follow.

From Come Holy Spirit: Renew the Whole Creation, WCC Publications, 1990, page 38

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Note of Explanation

G'day everyone,
I am going away for a few weeks. I am therefore working on getting a few blogs up ahead of time so that when I am away no Sundays will be missed. This means that you will have to scroll down the page to find the Sunday that you want or find it in the "previous posts" column on the left hand side of this page underneath the weather/search/booksearch/visitor-map icons.

Proper 17 Ordinary 22 Pentecost 13 B (August 30): New Beginnings

Bible Readings: Song of Songs 2:8-11
, Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.

About the image:
Upper: This is the image I used on the cards mentioned in the response activity - I took it at Mt Hotham in the Australian high country. Please feel free to use it. If you want to know more about Mt Hotham, please visit
Lower: These are candlestick banksias common to south eastern Australia - they grow up to a foot in length (30cms) and either grow straight up or at odd angles to their branches. My photo, my neighbour's candlesticks - so please feel free to use the image.

Just a note:
The reading I have chosen today probably works best here Down Under in areas where winter is coming to a close and where we are surrounded by the many beautiful signs of spring - however in many parts of the world where there are no seasons or the seasons are in reverse, this still seems to be a time of the year where particular things (like holidays) are finishing and new beginnings are happening (like the school year etc) so it won't take much to use the following resources either as analogies or to creatively adapt them to your particular situation. Have fun, anyway!

Kids Story:
Any story will work this week that relates to being loved by a parent - why not tell them a story from your own life. Relate it to the fatherhood of God.

Kid's/Youth: The Spell Begins to Break
This is the chapter in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, 1950 (pictured at right) where the witch's power begins to weaken in the face of the mighty Aslan and winter finally begins to give way to spring. In the preceding chapter, What Happened After Dinner, is the verse:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bears his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we will have spring again.

Film Clip: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
As above - use the film, instead of the book.

Discussion Questions:
What are examples of the winter times in our lives?, in our church?, in our community?, in our world?
How can we be part of God's activity in turning these winters into springs?

Listening Song: Bring Me To Life
By Evanescence on their album Fallen (pictured at left).

Response Activity:
Give out a card while thinking music plays in the background. On one side of the card have the words from Song of Songs printed: “Arise, my darling. I love you. Winter is past, the rain has stopped; flowers cover the earth, it’s time to sing”. On the other side of the card print a small bare branch with room enough to also write about their own personal winter. Give people time to write and then encourage them to come out and staple a sprig of blossom over the top of their winter as a sign of God’s promise to them.

Proper 16 Ordinary 21 Pentecost 12 B (August 23): Grace of God/Prayer/God's Armour

Bible readings: 1 Kings 8:1,6,10-11,22-30,41-43, Psalm 84, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69

About the images:
A free microsoft image with text I have added.
Lower:My photo, my husband's hands - please feel free to use it.

Resources for Psalm 84

Story: The Grace of God
Story No 1445 in Parsons Bible Illustrator for Windows or at

Dramatic reading of Psalm 84:
I think Rosemary Broadstoack and I wrote this one six years ago and we used three versions to do it. However if the idea is not ours, please let me know and I will duly acknowledge the source.

Psalm 84 as a call to worship:

The readers come from their places in the congregation. As they come to the centre front, they join in the repeated chorus stopping close to the seats:
All: (repeat
) Lord God all-powerful, being with you is so lovely. With everything inside me, I long to be here;
1: (moves up to the table as he/she speaks) How I love your church, God! How I like to be here! I go all weak at the very thought of it. My heart and body explode with joy when I’m with you! I want to sing.
2: (joining him/her) Even sparrows find a home here and swallows build nests here to raise their young. You bless everyone who stays close to you.
3-6: (remain near the seats)
3: How privileged are those who live in your house;
4: and they sing your praises.
2: (taking a step towards the other four and beckoning them to join him/her) Lord, Those who have tapped into your strength have got it made. The highway to heaven begins within them; a direct route to your holy presence.
1: (joins in beckoning the others forward) Come and be welcome. He will give you everything you nee
d to come to him – food, drink, faith, strength, endurance. You will get stronger as you come nearer. Come on!
As 3-6 arrive they are welcomed by 1 and 2
1 and 2: They will see God!
All: Lord God all-powerful, tune in to our prayer.
2: You are the shield that protects your people. One day spent in your presence beats a thousand nights in a five star resort.
3: I’d rather scrub floors in your house, O God, than rub shoulders with the rich and famous beneath the flashing lights of greed and corruption.
4: O LORD our God, you are the sun that shines on us
and the shield that keeps us safe.
5: You shower us with generosity and honour,
6: You never refuse any good thing to those who trust you.
All: O LORD, ruler of all, everyone who trusts in you has got it made!
(all look at eac
h other in amazement and shout)
All: We are
blessed!!!!! (and run off back to their seats except 1. who hesitates)
1: Thanks God – for everything!!
Bible verses from C.E.V. Living and ©2000 Nathan Nettleton

Resources for the Kings reading:

Kids Story: Where Does God Live
Written by August Gold and Matthew J Perlman, Skylight Paths publishing, 2001 ISBN 189336139x (pictured at right),

Resources for the Ephesians Reading:

Kids: Armour Drama

Be melodromatic about this one and please feel free to change to suit your congregation/culture/whatever.
A person stands all alone looking a bit miserable. One at a time, six people come out of the congregation and hit him/her with a balloon while saying the words below - you could even write the words on the balloon if you like. They then stand back smirking; looking tough and unbeatable.

The person who is hit flinches back each time and, each time, asks the kids to help find a piece of armour that will help him/her. When the kids find the matching piece of armour with the suitable message, he/she puts on the piece of armour, unpins the message and pricks the tough person’s balloon. The tough person shrieks, “Arrrggghhh, Curses! Foiled again!” and runs back to their seat. As the miserable person gains more and more armour and foils more and more tough balloon weilding meanies, he/she becomes increasingly more confident and relaxed and happy.

Nasty balloon weilding meanies enter and are foiled as follows:

Nasty balloon: Nobody in this group likes you. Go and play with someone else!
Piece of Armour: Belt
Armour message: God loves me!!

Nasty balloon: Come on, let’s grab their footy. They’ll be too scared to do anything about it.
Piece of Armour: breastplate
Armour message: No, I‘d rather play with them than mess up their game.

Nasty balloon: How dumb! Do you really go to church??
Piece of Armour: Shoes
Armour message: Come with me and find out how much God loves you.

Nasty balloon: Ha ha ha, I got you into trouble.
Piece of Armour: Shield (umbrella)
Armour message: At least God knows I was right.

Nasty balloon: You can’t have any, you don’t deserve it !
Piece of Armour: helmet
Armour message: God gives me heaps of great gifts.

Nasty balloon: You’ll never be good enough to join our group.
Piece of Armour: sword-bible
Armour message: There are heaps of messages in here which tell me how special I am.

Talk it through with the kids...
Written by Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull.

Story: Men
Story 426 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).

Discussion questions:
There is much talk in this reading of evil forces and what they throw at us.
1.How are these forces demonstrated in our lives?
2.How do they infect our church?
3. How do they infect our community – our social and political structures?

Film Clip: Romero
From the film Romero (pictured at left) show the scene where Archbishop Oscar Romero goes to the village that is under martial law and confronts the soldiers who have transformed a church into a barracks - start the scene at the point where he first arrives at the church and end it when he is leading the service. This is a very powerful film clip and sometimes reduces people to tears.

Discussion: Romero
How is Romero able to withstand evil with such strength?

Response Activity:
Project a picture of the armour complete with labels and give everybody a 1 cm or so cube of self hardening clay. Ask: I wonder if there is a piece of God’s armour that you use less than you could? A piece going rusty or a piece that until today you never knew God had given you. With the small cube of clay which you have been given, model that piece of armour and while you model, talk to God about how you can use that piece of armour better.

Resources which suit all three readings above:

Music video clip: My Will
By dc Talk on their The Supernatural Experience video.(pictured at right). This track is one of their best. It talks about depending on God’s strength to do the things he has called us to do and it acknowledges that our own discipline, knowledge and will may fail us from time to time but that God never will. An anonymous reader of this blog offered the following information: the audio track for DC Talk's "My Will" can be found on the Exodus(1997, Rocketown Records). Various artists include Michael W. Smith, the Katinas, Jars of Clay, and Chris Rice.

Listening song: Breathe Your Name By Sixpence None the Richer on their album, The Best of Sixpence None the Richer (pictured at left) or on their album Divine Discontent or on the album WOW 2004.

Response Activity:
As people arrive, ask them to write their name on a small square of paper - even better, make business cards with a photo or clip art of praying hands (see above) leaving enough space for people to write their name on the card. Collect all the cards. During the last hymn or song, ask some helpers (kids like to do this) to distribute the cards, making sure that no person receives a card with their own name on it and making sure that everybody receives a card. Encourage people to take home the card and pray for the person who is named on their card over the next week/month/year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Proper 15 Ordinary 20 Pentecost 11 B (August 16): Wisdom

Bible readings:1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14, Psalm 111, Ephesians 5:15-20
, John 6:51-58

About the Images:
Upper: A Corel Free clipart to which I added the text.
Lower: My reading glasses, my dictionary, my photo - feel free to use them all.

Listening Song: Deep Calling Deep
By Margaret Becker on her album, Grace (pictured at left) or on WOW 1996.

Kid's Activity: Based on Ephesians 5:18b
Take a large clear glass of lemonade and drop some sultanas in it. Together watch the sultanas (golden raisins) repeatedly sink and then rise again. Discuss how the Holy Spirit is all around us,(like the lemonade around the sultanas) but we are not always aware of the Spirit’s presence. God's Spirit can lift us again and again giving us strength, courage, hope, faith etc – whatever we need to be Christians in this world.

Film Clip:Stigmata
Use the scene in the film Stigmata (pictured at right) where Frankie bumps into the priest in the market place. As they have a coffee together the priest tells Frankie that he was an organic chemist before he was a priest. She asks him why he became a priest and he tells her that he discovered "too many holes" and that science could not explain everything. He continues on to explain that the explanation he needed could only be found in God.

Discussion questions to get people thinking after the OT reading:
What is wisdom?
Can we be as wise as Solomon?
How does wisdom work in the 21st century?

Story: Choosing Wisdom
This story can be found in Betsy Devine and Joel E. Cohen's book, Absolute Zero Gravity, Simon & Schuster or at

Story: The Holy Spirit
Found in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal (Eds.), Barker Books, 1993, ISBN 0801091551, Story No. 307 (pictured at left).
This story goes well with the Ephesians reading.

Story: Stopping at the Lights
Found in
1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching by Michael P Green, Baker Books, 1989, ISBN 0801063302, story no. 428 (pictured at right). Goes well with the Ephesians reading.

Response Activity:
Ask people to get in to groups and together write an acrostic prayer using the word "wisdom". It would be useful to have A3 or A4 sheets already brightly printed with the word. At the end of the activity display all the prayers and allow people some quiet reflective time to walk around and pray/read all the prayers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Proper 8 Ordinary 13 Pentecost 4 B (June 28): Everybody is Welcome/Waiting For the Morning

Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27, Psa
lm 130, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43

About the images:
Upper: This is a free image from - a useful and well set up site for images related to scripture.
Lower: This is my photo - please feel free to use it.

Call to worship: Dialogue
Have the seven questioners scattered around the congregation so that they speak from their seats and project the response so that everybody answers each question: Response: Yes! You are welcome here!
1. Do any of us dare to come into God’s presence during this service?
2. I am new here. May I come in?
3. I am not sure I’m wearing the right clothes? May I come in?
4. I’m not a churchy person? May I come in?
5. I’m not sure if I will understand everything that’s going on. May I come in?
6. My kids might play up a bit. May I come in?
7. I‘ll probably have to go out for a while during the service. May I come in?
N.B. I know I wrote this but I cannot remember if I based it on an idea from somewhere else or not. Please let me know if I did.

Listening Song: I Am
An encouraging song by Jill Phillips on her album Jill Phillips or on WOW 2000 (pictured at right).

: Psalm 130
Use parts or all of Psalm 130.

Kids: The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek
by Jenny Wagner and Ron Brooks, Puffin, 1973, ISBN 0140501266 (pictured at left).
A great story to use with the gospel.

For Kids: The Secret of the Arrows

By Alyce Bergy and Jim Roberts, Arch Books, 1972, ISBN 0570060672 (pictured at right)
. This story is based on the 2 Samuel reading.

Drama: The Outcast
Interrupt the Mark reading at the appropriate place with this monologue found in Let's Make A Scene 2 by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing, 1991, ISBN 085910608, page 14.

Useful Quote: Romeo and Juliet
Act 2 Scene 2 Line 67: "For stony limits cannot hold love out".

Story: Coming Home
Found in Hot Illustrations by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 75. This story works well with the gospel reading.

Poem: Lament Psalm 2
By Ann Weems and found in Resources For Preaching and Worship Year B compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, ISBN 10 0664224776, pp177-7
(pictured at left)

Adult Response: Mediation based on the Psalm and Mark reading

Ask people to concentrate on the following words as they are spoken or projected with music:
"What is God saying to you today?
Listen to God speaking to you through these readings.
Through the woman’s story, is God saying to you:

“Reach out and touch me.
I want to love you so much.
I do love you far more than you will ever imagine.”
Or through the words in the psalm, is God saying to you
“ Come back.
All is forgiven.
I love you still.
You are my beloved child”
Or is God saying to you:
“I see your faith in me,but now I want others to see it too.
Share your story.
Listen to their stories.
Tell others what I have done for you”
You could easily finish with Jill Phillip's song above using it as God speaking to each person in conclusion.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Proper 7 Ordinary 12 Pentecost 3 B (June 21): The Other Side of the Lake/Stormy Times


Bible readings: 1 Samuel 17: 1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49 or 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5,10-16, Psalm 9:9-20 or Psalm 133, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41. About the Images: Upper:This is a microsoft free clipart with my text from Ephesians 2:20 - part of one of the readings for the Uniting Church in Australia's anniversary on 22nd June. Lower: This is my photo of a storm near Narooma on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, Australia - it goes well with the gospel reading. Please feel free to use the image. To see more of this area please visit Listening Song: Who Am I? by Casting Crowns on their album, Casting Crowns (pictured at right) or on WOW 2005. Film Clip: Glosali Glosali is a video clip for the song Glosali sung by the group Sigur Ros on their album, Takk. It is a beautiful picture of discipleship - the risks involved and what must be left behind. You can download the clip from the Sigur Ros website. Kid's Story: The Mouse's Story By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, Marshall Pickering, 1998, ISBN 0551015780 (pictured at left). Kid's Story: The Boy With the Sling By Mary Warren and Sally Mathews, Arch Books, 1965, ISBN 0859101975 Kid's Story: Alone-The Boy Who killed a Giant Story No 20 in The Lion Book of Bible Stories and Prayers by Mary Batchelor, Lion Books, 1980, ISBN 0867602058. Drama: What Are You Afraid Of? Found in Mega Drama 4 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109186, page 55.This drama is based on the gospel reading. Drama: The Big Wave Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 2002, ISBN 0901557642,page 43 (pictured at right). Drama: A Giant Problem Found in Let's Make A Scene For... by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1998, ISBN 0859108937, page 44. Questions to Ponder: Based on the Gospel Reading 1. Which side of the lake are you on, the safe side or the other side? 2. Maybe you are on the way across and facing a few storms. Jesus invites each of us to cross to the other side with him. Where is he inviting you to be and what he is calling you to do for him? Discussion Questions: On the 1 Samuel Reading 1. Name together some of the Goliaths we face in our personal lives, our churches and our communities. 2. What does God equip us with so that we can face these Goliaths with confidence and courage? Response Activity: Question Cards Give everyone a business card with a David and Goliath image in the corner ir in washout and the following questions printed with enough room for people to write a short answer. I used Arial 11 and it all fitted well and was still quite readable for everybody. 1. Who or what is my Goliath? 2. What gifts, skills and talents has God given me to overcome my Goliath? 3. How does God's strength, calm, comfort and power help me to overcome my Goliath? Response Activity: Boats Found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 16 (pictured at left). You could use the questions above as the questions for this activity. If your church is within walking distance of a creek or river or dam and there is no danger of drowning any of the congregation, think about REALLY floating your boats - however if you do this, make sure you make your boats out of something other than paper such as twigs and flowers ie something biodegradable and environmentally sound which won't leave a mess.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Trinity B: Who? Me?


Readings:Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17 NB: Sorry most of this blog comes from three years ago - I accidently "cracked me scone" on Friday and am not allowed back at work yet. About the Image: It is a three piece jigsaw puzzle I made to use with the kids. Please feel free to use it. I made mine on A3 paper and laminated the bits. Decor: Have three candles and drape three pieces of material over the communion table - royal blue, red and gold. Psalm 29 The Voice of Christ In Australian Prayers by Bruce Prewer, Open Book, 1983, page 45.This works well with projected images. Congregational Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8 by Maggie Durran in Building Worship Together by Martha Keys Barker and the Fisherfolk, Celebration, 1983, page 38 (pictured in an earlier blog). Story: The Umbrella and the Queen in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, page 167 (pictured in an earlier blog). Handy Illustrations Chapter 25: On Seeing God in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, Word, 1994, page 177ff (pictured at right) has some great illustrations pertaining to the Isaiah reading. Isaiah 6 Illustration: After the mutiny on the Bounty, Fletcher Christian and his men eventually chose Pitcairn Island and arrived on 15 January 1790. They realized it was originally charted incorrectly (by about 200 miles), thus making them less likely to be found by future voyagers. Deciding to stay on the isolated island, the nine remaining mutineers, their Tahitian women, and nine other Polynesian men and women, unloaded and stripped the ship, then on 23 January set the Bounty on fire so as to hide all evidence of their whereabouts ... The mutineers had not long been on Pitcairn Island when one day Christian ,while rummaging through his sea chest when he found the Bible his mother had given him. He and John Adams often went to a lonely cave on a remote part of the island where they studied the Book. They studied it to further their education as much as anything else. After a period of four years, the community of Pitcairn had fallen in to turmoil. Fueled by homemade alcohol, disputes over women eventually resulted in the violent deaths of all of the Tahitian men and all but two of the mutineers – Adams and Young were the only two men left. Six years later Young died of asthma and Adams was left with eleven women and 23 children. One day Adams had a dream in which was the clear message: "Go and train the children in the way of Christian's Bible." Adams turned to the Bible, which led him to repentance and a new outlook on life. Using the Bible, he then educated the children, built a school and organized the community into a Christian way of life. He taught them the Scriptures and helped them obey its instructions. The message of Christ so transformed their lives that twenty years later, in 1808, when the ship Topaz landed on the island, it found a happy society of Christians living in prosperity and peace, free from crime, disease, murder and mutiny. Today, Christian's Bible, or the "Bounty" Bible, or the Pitcairn Bible is kept in the Seventh-day Adventist church, the island's only house of worship. (Robert Nicolson, The Pitcairners, University of Hawai’i Press, 1997 and Hymns of the Norfolk Islands, Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1998) Film Clip: Chocolat Sometimes people come in to God’s presence through a vision, others by dreams, some in church, some through the actions of others. The Count De Reynaud (the mayor of the city and town "gate keeper") saw his job as ridding the town of immorality and any threat to its tranquility and tradition. However, after his encounters with the chocolate maker and others in the town, after hearing the priest’s Easter Sermon, and after seeing the chocolate festival in the town square after church, something changes in him. Discusion Question: How do you know when you are in the presence of God? What are the implications of the Bible readings for us as we struggle to share our faith in meaningful ways? Listening Song: Hands and Feet by Audio Adrenaline on their album, Underdog. (pictured at left) Response Activity: Practice the presence of God. Ask people to go to a space by themselves and spend some time enjoying the presence of God. Give each person a copy of St Patricks prayer (or a bit of it anyway) to help them to concentrate. If people are getting used to doing things like this, don't have any background music. Allow people to enjoy the silence. If they are not comfortable yet, play some very quiet and soft music in the background. Allow at least five minutes for this activity. St Patricks Prayer: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left,Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me