Friday, December 02, 2011

Advent 3 B (December 11th): Joy


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 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 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)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Proper 20 Ordinary 25 A (September 18): Focus and Purpose/The Generosity of God

Bible Readings
: Exodus 16:2-15, Psa
lm 105:1-6,37-45, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16

About the Images:Both images match the Philippians reading.
Left: This is a microsoft free clipart with my text
This is my image with text as acknowledged. I took this image in central Australia and you can see what a battle this tree has had to survive by the way it has grown. It seemed to illustrate Pauk Harvey's quote very well. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

For Kids: Fair Wages

Found in Saving the Ants by Ruth Gilmore, Augsburg, 2001, ISBN 0806640804, page 106. This is based on the gospel reading (pictured at right).

Discussion questions:
How does God help us cope with the uncomfortable things in our lives?
How does God give us hope and strength?

Story: The Greyhound Races
Found in Hot Illus
trations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 106 (pictured at left). This story illustrates the Philippian words about purpose.

Story: Last Supper Story 2
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 162 (pictured at left).
This story illustrates the Philippian words about focus.

Story: Bad Tyre, Good Business

In Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks Book 4 by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 2001, ISBN 0310236193, page 33 (pictured at right). This story goes well with the the gospel reading.

Reading: Letter From A Communist
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 105 (pictured at right). This reading challenges our committment - when you read it, don't tell the congregation who wrote it - let them try to guess.

Poem/Prayer: Realigned Again
A revelation, poem & prayer by Kelly Hall. Music by Tracy Howe Wispelwey/The Restoration Project. This comes from The Work of the People (see my link at left) . This poem prayer is about renewal, surrender, transformation, rethinking and realigning one's life.

Response Activity:
Ask or project: What would you have to change in your lifestyle and in the way you deal with the harder parts of your life in order to live the life God has called you to?
Give out business cards with the words from Psalm 105:3-4: Be glad that we belong to God. Go to God for help. Seek God's presence continually.

Multiple Service Ideas: All Worked Up
Found in Mu
lti-Sensory Parables by Ian Birkinshaw, Scripture Union, 2006, ISBN 9781844272310, page 50ff (pictured at left). Lots of good stuff here relevent to the gospel reading.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Proper 18 Ordinary 23 A (September 4): Our God of New Beginnings and Second Chances

Bible readings:
Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 149, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20

About the Image:
This is a free image from the Hermano Leon site - see my links column at left.
Right: This is a free Imagebank image from their excellent, although slightly disorganised, site. See my link column at left.
Listening Song: Just Like You
By Keb Mo on his album, Just Like You (pictured a
t left).This goes well with the gospel reading.
Call to Worship: All God's People
Found in Crafts For Creative Worship by Jan Brind and Tessa Wilkinson, Canturbury Press, 2009, page 205 (pictured at right). This goes well with the Romans reading.
Drama: No Thumping Whatsoever
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 21 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Film Clip: The Day is Near
This goes realy well with the Romans reading - it's from the Work of the People (see more excellent clips from their site which you can find via my links column - the clips cost but they are well worth it)

Story: Don't Hire a Hit Man
d in Could Someone Wake Me up Before I Drool on the Desk by Kevin Johnson, Bethany House Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1556614160, page 49 . This is based on the gospel reading.

After read
ing the Romans reading and the gospel reading, divide into groups to discuss together and make a list together of the means by which a Christian community can live in harmony.

Quote: Do It Anyway
Probably written originally by Dr Kent M. Keith and adapted by Mother Teresa. Find the original and the adapted words at

Adult Response:
Give everybody a piece of spring blossom. Tell everyone that the blossom is a sign of spring, new life and new growth. In the silence, encourage people to think of a broken relationship in their lives and encourage them to ask God to show them how to repair it.

Adult Response:
Give everyone a small piece of self hardening modelling clay (1cm cube is big enough for this) and
1. Ask people to mould their feelings about someone they disagree with in their faith community.
2. Ask them to mould the clay back into a ball
3. Ask them to mould the clay into a symbol of Jesus' love for them.
4. Encourage them to take home their symbol as an example of relationship.

Father's Day (Australia - and maybe some other places?) Resources:

Listening song; Butterfly kisses
By Bob Carlisle on his album of the same name (pictured at right)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Proper 9, Ordinary 14, Pentecost 9 A (July 3) : Sharing a burden

Bible Reading:
Genesis 24: 34-38, 42-49, 58-67, Psalm 45: 10-17 or Song of Songs 2:8-13, Romans 7;15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.

About the Images:
Left : This is a microsoft free clipart onto which I have put the Biblical text.
Right: This is a free image from Heartlight (you will find a link to Heartlight in my links column at left).

Listening Song: Much Afraid
By Jars of Clay on their album, Much Afraid (pictured at left). This song fits quite well with the Matthew reading.

Listening Song: A Noble Theme Psalm 45
By Sons of Korah on their album, Hand on the
Plough (pictured at right).

Call to Worship
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 4.

Kids Time: Liturgical stole and Good Intentions
A good explanation about both which links well with both the Matthew and the Romans reading can be found in Forbid Them Not Year A by Carolyn C Brown, Abingdon Press, 1992, ISBN 068713255X, page 129.

Film Clip: Wall-e
Show the trailer i
n which you see Wall-e bored and lonely (pictured at left).

Discussion: Wall-e
What two things are making
Wall-e sad?
What do you think would make him happy?

Film Clip: Les Miserables
(pictured at right) Use the clip right near the end when Javert and Valjean have a conversation by the river and Javert lets himself fall into the water. This is a great illustration of the Romans reading when we can paint ourselves into a corner if we do not acknowledge our need for a Saviour. I used a Wingclips film clip for this - you can visit their site via my link column at left.

Discussion on the Matthew reading
In wha
t areas would you like to be more closely yoked with Jesus as a church?

Drama: A Load of Rubbish
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 17. This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Discussion for A Load of Rubbish
What are some of the burdens we carry around with us?

Drama: All Messed Up
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 4.

Story: Too Polite
Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 88 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Story: Pulling Together
Index 3894-3899 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. This story is also found at and is called Pulling Yoke Together.

Story: The Flying Wallandas
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialities, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 96 (pictured in an earlier blog). This story is about trusting God. This goes with both the gospel reading and the Genesis reading.

Story: The Civil War of the Soul
Found in In the Grip Of Grace by Max Lucado, Word Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0849911435, pages 139ff. Lots of stories and discussion questions (at the back) based on the Romans reading.

Poem/Meditation: Prisoner
Found in The Electric Bible: Poems For Public Worship by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170411, page 100. This poem is based on the Romans reading. I put an image up for each stanza and read it out loud with a pause between each verse.

Response Activity:
Give everyone a business card with a picture of two yoked bullocks and the words "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.....For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light - Jesus".
(see image above and feel free to use). Ask people to think about the words and write on the back of the card either a burden they are carrying which they need to share with Jesus or a job that Jesus is asking them to do with his help.

Response Activity: Burdens
Found in Multi-Sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994652, page 54 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2 A (May 1): Doubt and Discipleship

Bible readings
: Acts 2:14a, 36-41,Psalm 16, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31

About the Images:
Left: Free from
Right: Free Microsoft clipart to which I have added the Bible text and the cross

Listening Song: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
By U2 on their a
lbum, Joshua Tree (pictured at left) or Best Of 1980-1999. This song matches in well with how Thomas is thinking.

Drama: You'll Never Guess What Happened
Found in Let;s Make a Scene by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, page 53 ff (pictured at right). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: Thomas Reflecting
Found in Stages on the Way by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 210 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Prayer: Glory be to You
Found in Stages on the Way by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 195 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Story: The Death of Doubt
Found in The New Century Version Youth Bible, Word, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1095 (pictured at right). This is story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Love of God
Story 409 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551. This story goes well with the 1 Peter reading.

Story: Weakness
Found as story No 291
in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, ISBN 1854245929. This story matches up well with the 1 Peter reading.

Meditation: Fear and Loneliness
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose publications, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 50

Quote: Alexander McLaren

"He puts the key of the treasure chamber into our hand and bids us take all we want. If someone is admitted into a gold bullion vault of a bank and comes out with just one cent, whose fault is it that he or she is poor?" Found on

Response Activity: Keys of God's Treasure Chamber
Give everyone a business card with a key printed on it. Project the Alexander McLaren quote. Ask people to think about what it is that they need from God today - is it reassurance, love, the power to be a follower, the Holy Spirit, peace, or direction? Give people a silent space to talk this need with God.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Easter A (April 24): What Keeps Us Captive

Bible readings: Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6,Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24, Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43, John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10

About the images:
This is a photo of a tomb in Israel with a rolling stone door. This photo was taken by Mr John Nicholson and permission is given for it to be used for worship and other related activities.
Right: This is a photo of a replica of the inside of a rock tomb in Israel. This is my photo and permission is given for it to be used for worship and related activities.

Dawn Service:
Once again we will be cooking fish and middle eastern flat bread over an open fire beside the lake at some unearthly hour of the morning. But it is something that is too beautiful not to experience. And you don't need a lake or a beach - any bit of water will do :) See my notes for other years (2010 - and 2009 - ) plus....

Poem/Meditation: I'd had Enough
By Ru
th Burgess in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 79 (pictured at left). '

Taize Service: Breakfast With Jesus
Found in Worship Feast: 20 Great Services in the Spirit of Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 28

Easter Service at a More Reasonable Hour:

Have the Good Friday cross totally wrapped in the brightest material you can find - strips of satiny stuff looks great. Have it covered in black material until an appropriate moment.

Connection with Good Friday
Show a few images of Good Friday with some down music (I used Endorphin by Burial from his album, Untrue), followed by a silence with no image at all and then show lots of images of the resurrection to a piece of upbeat or music that builds (I used Intermezzo from Karelia Suite by Sibelius but stopped it before it tapered off again).

Prayer: Jesus We Greet You
Found in Stages on the Way by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 188. This prayer is based on the gospel reading.

Prayer: Here Are Your Disciples
Found in Stages on the Way by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 198. This prayer is based on the gospel reading.

Kid's Story: Some Things Are Scary
By Florence Parry Heide (Author), Jules Feiffer (Illustrator), Candlewick, 2000, ISBN 0763612227 (oictured at left).

Drama: The Three Women
Found in Stages on the Way by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 192. This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: If Only
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, Page 58

Film Clip: Amistad
Show the scenes where Yamba looks through the bible and afterwards, on his way to court, notices all the cross symbols everywhere. These two scenes are amazingly powerful and full of Easter messages

Film Clip: The Amazing Advbentures of Mr Bean
Show The Exam (pictured at right).

Discussion on Mr Bean Volume 1.
1. How does doubt, confusion and fear affect Mr Bean?
2. How do they affect us in our Christian lives?

Listening Song: Libera
On Robert Prizeman's album of the same name.

Listening Song: He Reigns
By the Newsboys and found on their album, Adoration, Sparrow Records or on WOW 2004.

Poem: Psalm 118:22
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 in the Summer section under Psalm 118:22.

Story: Imprisoned
The day Harry Houdini couldn't escape - find this story at

Story: Prison
In Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl tells the story about some of his fellow prisoners in the Dachau Nazi prison Camp during World War II. They had been held captive so long that when they were released he said, “they walked out into the sunlight, blinked nervously and then silently walked back into the familiar darkness of the prisons, to which they had been accustomed for such a long time.”

Story: Prison Accidentley Opens Gate for 500
Found in Incredible Illustrations by Mikal Keefer, Group Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0764426141, page 62

Response Activity:Every Day is Easter
This is a great response written by Roddy Hamilton and found via his Mucky Paws site (see my links at left) archived under March 2008.

Response Activity: Resurrection Remembrances II
Found in Stages on the Way by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 207. This activity is based on the gospel reading.

Response Activity:
Give everyone a balloon and string or streamers to wave at appropriate parts of the service and then to take home to be tied to their car aerials and/or to be fixed to their gateposts, letterboxes or front doors.

Multiple ideas: "I Have Seen the Lord"
Found in
Multi-Sensory Seasons by Wendy Raynor and Annie Slade, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271757, page 36.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lent 3 A (March 27):Thirsting For God/What's the Point of Worship?

Bible readings: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 95, Romans 5:1-11, John 4: 5-42

About the Images:

Left: This is a microsoft free clipart with my text.
Right: This is an image I took while traversing the Simpson Desert last year (for more info on the Simpson please see The words are from the psalm. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan Ashton from her album, A Distan
t Call or on the album, Nothing But Pop.

Listening Song: The Valley Song
By Jars of Clay on their album, Furthermore (pictured at right) or on WOW 2004. This goes well with the Exodus reading.

Listening Song: Lifes
By Casting Crowns on
their album, Lifesong, or on WOW 2007. This goes very well with psalm 95.

Drama; Coffee Break
Found in
Let's Make a Scene For.... by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1998, ISBN 0859108937, page 10 (pictured in an earlier blog). ...Goes well with the psalm.

Dramatic reading: John 4:5-42

Using the translation you prefer, you can turn this reading into a script very easily by having people speak the words of Jesus, the woman, Disciple 1, Disciple 2, and the crowd (use the
whole congregation for the crowd). Any scripture that doesn't fit these characters and groups can be read by a Narrator.

Film Clip: Walk the Line
(pictured at left) The scene where Jonny Cash and his band sing for the record producer and the producer tells him that if he doesn't mean the songs and live the songs then he is never going to be a good gospel singer - great clip for psalm 95.

Discussion: On Walk the Line film clip
What is the point of worship?
Discuss together a definition of worship.

Film Clip: Patch Adams
Show the clip following the death of Patch's fiance where he has a conversation with God while standing on the edge of a cliff. (pictured at right)

Discussion: On Patch Adams film clip
Have you ever questioned God like Patch does?

Did God answer?

What is the significance of the butterfly

Story: Tribulation
A young man was having a great deal of trouble developing patience. He had tried everything, but could not develop the habit. Finally, in desperation, he visited the nearby monastary and the wise man who lived there.
"Father", said the young man, "Please help me! I am so impatient and nothing I can do seems to help! I would really appreciate it if you could pray and ask God to develop in me some patience!" "Certainly," replied the wise priest, and began to pray. "Heavenly Father, send this young man tribulation. Send him tribulation in the morning, send him tribulation in the evening..." "Stop!" cried the young man. "Tribulation? I asked you to pray for God to develop in me some patience! Why are you you asking Him to send me tribulation? That's the last thing I need!" The wise priest smiled at him. "How else do you think you are going to develop patience unless you get a chance to practice it? Hence the need for tribulation!" This story which fits well with Romans 5:3-5 is one of those emails that is forwarded around the net rather regularly.

Story: Worship
Found as story No 298 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, ISBN 1854245929 . Fits well with the gospel reading.

Sermon: Exodus 17:1-7
Tell three stories with similar sub-headings (see below)

1. The story of Exodus 17:1-7

2. The story entitled Urgent Messages in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 237. This story is based on the gospel reading.
3. A personal story of your own
Sub-headings: a) the journey, b) a distressing event, c) when God seems absent, d) God IS present.

Response Activities:

Allow each member of the congregation to choose one of three different options:
1. Make a rain stick each (there is so much water symbolism in these readings!)

2. Discuss one of the readings.

3. Sit quietly and watch a powerpoint meditation - I put pictures and meditative music to psalm 95 followed by a prayer - I put both the psalm and the prayer up one line per slide and allowed around 15 seconds per slide.

Response Activity:Psalm Consequences
Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 19.

Drama: A Monty Python Version of the John reading
For this to work well the actors need to be Monty Python addicts!
Cast: Jesus
Samaritan woman - with large plastic bucket

Three disciples - wearing tea towels and headbands not quite straight

(Jesus and disciples enter down left aisle - Jesus sits slightly to left of centre, disciples stand in centre half facing him and congregation)

J: Oh good, a well! I'm hot, tired, thirsty and hungry.
D1: What about we go and buy a bit of lunch, then?
D2: Oooh, what a good idea!
D3: Can I come too?
(Start up centre aisle of church - make sure conversation finishes before door)
D1: Ham and salad sandwiches would be nice!
D2 : Freshly baked rolls would be the thing!
D3: Um.... I can't really see ham being on the menu, can you?
D1: Well, anyway, I think I should pay!
D2 : No, No, No.... I'm sure it's my turn!
D3: I really do think one of you should do it?
D2: What is ham anyway?
D3: Pig.......... Hang on a minute, now. We can't eat pig, can we? It's against all the rules.
D1: Are you quite sure its pig?
D2: Pig: a hoofed domestic animal, reared for its flesh...... or an oblong mass of melted metal as in pig iron: ....... and to follow on : piggish: pertaining to or like pigs, dirty, greedy, stubborn; pig tail: the tail of a pig, a braid of hair hanging from the back of the head.........(on 'head' all three leave the church).
(Samaritan woman comes down right aisle to draw water from the well)

J: Excuse me, would you mind giving me a drink, please?
W: What? Are you asking me? You're a Jew!..... (pause) And I'm a Samaritan, in case you haven't noticed. (pause)...And we're not supposed to talk to each other, are we now?
J: You don't know what God wants to give you. If you knew me you'd be asking me for the water that gives life.
W: But, you've got no bucket!!! This is a deep well, you know.... Or have you got a better well somewhere else?
J: If you drink the water I give you, then you will never be thirsty again.
W: What! Are you saying that I can just throw this bucket away? A perfectly good bucket! J: Go and bring your husband.
W: Um....well actual fact.....ah, to put it bluntly .......... I have no husband.
J: That's nicely put. You have hit the nail on the head. You've already had five husbands and the man you're living with now isn't even your husband.
W: Oh ho! So you're a prophet, are you. You know what ? The Messiah's coming. When he arrives we'll get the whole story from him!
J: Well, you're speaking to him!
(Disciples enter and stop halfway down the church centre aisle laden with shopping bags or with a filled supermarket trolley)
D1: Well, would you look at that! A Samaritan woman! At the well! In the middle of the day!
D2: My goodness! Jesus is talking to her!
D3: And what's more - she's a Samaritan!
D2: And another thing - she's a woman!
D1: And , wink, wink, nudge, nudge, - she's obviously not your most popular lassy around town if she's here at lunch time.!
(to Jesus) I want to tell everyone about you!
(She runs off down right aisle leaving her bucket at Jesus' feet)
D3: Look she's leaving!
(All shoosh each other and tell each other to pretend not to have noticed that Jesus was talking to the woman as they shuffle up to Jesus).
D1: Mmmmm, lovely bucket!
D2: No holes - a good sound one, isn't it?
D3: Very comely shade of um.... er ......
D2: Bucket! Vessel for drawing or carrying water; piston of pump; scoop of dredging machine or grain elevator, socket for whip carbine or wooden leg etc.; and to follow on - kick the bucket: slang term for die or perhaps obsolete form of......
D1: (obviously changing topic) My goodness. I'm hungry! Teacher, you must be starved. What about a bite to eat?
J: I have food that you don't know anything about
D1: What's this, then? Who bought food out here?
D2: What are we going to do with this lot then?
D3: (sarcastically) Hark, do I hear a street vendor's dulcet tones in the distance.
D1: Well, this is just not good enough, is it? Undermines our responsibilities!
D2: Dulcet: adjective, sweet, soothing especially of sounds; dulcify: sweeten, make gentle, hence dulcification, dulcimer: 15th century musical instrument.......
J: (shaking his head and breaking in gently) Stop a minute, you lot. Listen.
(Disciples sit at Jesus' feet to listen)
My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do.
c. Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Lent 2 A (March 20): Going Places

Bible Readings:
Genesis 12:1-4a, Psalm 121, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17

About the Images:
This is a little bloke who looks as if he is well cared for in the safety department and who knows where he is going. Sort of like the Psalmist :) This is my photo so please feel free to use it in the context of worship.
This is a microsoft free clipart image with my text.

Kid's Story:
A Picture Strip Bible by Felecity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 10 (pictured at left). This obviously fits in with the Genesis reading.

Drama: Eternal Life And All That
Found in Lets Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 12 (pictured at right)
. This drama is based on verses from the gospel reading.

Story or Film Clip: Jim Elliot

The story of Jim Elliot and his four missionary colleagues has some great parallels with the readings. You can find the full story in the book
Through the Gates of Splendour by Elisabeth Elliot, ISBN 185078034X, or on the film of the same name.

Story: Worry or Life
Found in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 99 (pictured at right). This story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Anxiety
You can find this story at
. Scroll right down to the end of the page to find this story which goes very nicely with the Psalm.

Quote: Alice in Wonderland
"Cheshire Puss", Alice began rather timidly, "Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where....," said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go", said the Cat.
From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Quote: Lewis Smedes
"God is there, ahead of time, before you get there, waiting, hands open, to hold you when you are sure you are sinking. You will feel his presence, feel his strength, feel the courage that comes from his support, if you just let him hold you. And when you do feel him, you will know that it will be all right with you at that moment, later, or any time....". By Lewis Smedes in How Can It Be Right When Everything Is All Wrong? and found in High Mountains, Deep Valleys edited by Rowland Croucher and Grace Tomlinson, Albatross, 1990, ISBN 086760090X, page 58. (pictured at left)

Poem/Meditation: The Love of God
This is a take on John 3:16 and I found two versions of it on the net:
1. Go to and scroll to the end of the page.

2. Go to and look in section III.

Adult Response:
Have a variety of art materials on hand as well as paper and pens. As a congregation, make a list of all the symbols found in the John reading eg., light, wind, bronze snake etc. Ask people to choose one symbol and group together with others who have chosen the same symbol. Ask each group to
1. Create a group representation of the symbol they have chosen , and
2. Write a prayer together which incorporates the symbol.
Some can compose while others create.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Transfiguration of Jesus A (March 6): Finding God

Bible Readings:
Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2 or Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9.

About the images:
Left:I took this p
hoto in the Australian high country (for more info visit: where it snows in winter. Sometimes the light up there is really amazing and the mountains seem to glow.
Right: This is my photo with biblical text added. The photo is taken looking down Duck Arm (to where we live) on the Gippsland Lakes (for more info: Feel free to use both these images for worship and related activities.

Listening Song: Shine
By the Newsboys on their album, Going Public (pictured at left) or on WOW 1996. This song uses words from the gospel reading.

Listening Song: Jubilate
By Robert Prizeman on the album, Libera (pictured at right). I used this with the Adult Response below.

Kid's Story: Westlandia
Paul Fleischman (Author), Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator), Candlewick Press, ISBN 9780763600068 (pictured at left).

Share a time when you have experienced the presence of God?

Story: The Job Applicant
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 126 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Matthew reading.

Story: The Boy and the Circus
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 56 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Matthew reading.

Adult Response:
Give every one a pencil and a card with a mountain pictured on it.
Suggest: Let's think of ways we can "climb the mountain" and put ourselves in places where God can reveal His presence to us. Have a minute or so in silence. Play a piece of thinking music - Jubilate (above) works really well. Use the card to write a prayer, draw a picture, compose a poem or put down a resolution. Not sure where I got this idea from - let me know if it's not mine.