THERE IS AN UPDATED 2020 VERSION OF THIS BLOG ENTRY - SEE MY ARCHIVE LIST AT LEFT.
Bible Readings: Isaiah 61:1-4,8-11, Psalm 126 or Luke 1:47-55, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8,19-28. About the image: Left: Such a joy filled little face! Right: From www.wordle.net Call to worship: Streamers Have lots of 60cm (2') pieces of very brightly coloured streamer and safety pins at the door as people arrive. Ask them to take a pin and to choose two different coloured streamers to take into church with them. During the start of the service ask people to think of something that gives them great joy. On your count, tell them to shout out their reason for joy and wave their streamers about. Do it a couple of times to get everyone in the mood. After praying, thanking God for all the reasons for joy which we have, encourage people to pin their streamers on to their clothing somewhere as a reminder of the joy that God gives each one of us. Thought starter: The Blues 20% of teenagers feel emotionally empty 20% feel confused most of the time 61% feel extremely sad or depressed at least ten times during their teenage years 60% admit they worry a lot about all sorts of things: poor school results, death, accident etc. 30% experience moderate to severe depression (can't remember where I got these stats from other than scribbled on a scrap of paper - if anyone knows, please let us all know via the comment section below this post). Story: Corrie Ten Boom and Thankfulness Found at http://www.tagnet.org/clarkston/Illustrations4.htm. Put the word "Corrrie" into your Find to save some time - the page is very long. This story fits well with the Thessalonians reading. Quote: Alaskan Road Sign (and could easily be Australian too) "Choose your rut carefully, you'll be in it for the next two hundred miles". This matches up with the Thessalonians verses about discernment. Adult Input: Based on the Thessalonians Reading Label four corners of the worship space "Prayer", "Thankfulness", "Listening to the Spirit" and "Discernment". Ask people to move to the corner that interests them the most and then give everyone the same question to talk about: How do we put this into practice so that we can dare to rejoice - even in the hard times? Response Activity: Isaiah reading Read together Isaiah 61:1-3a (projected) but substitute the personal pronouns (I and/or me depending on your translation) with a space. Encourage people to fill the space with their own names as they read and to use the reading as a personal challenge with respect to their ministry. Also: Prayers: Based on the Isaiah Reading From Advent, Christmas and Epiphany by Brian Wren, Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, ISBN 978066423309, page 60 (pictured at right). Prayer of Confession: Based on the Psalm By Channice E Charles and found in Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship by Marin C and Maria I Tirabassi (Eds), The Pilgrim Press, 2007, ISBN 9780829817508, pages 126 (pictured at left). Response Activity: Bearing Witness From Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 18ff (pictured at right)