Saturday, January 15, 2011

Epiphany 5 A (February 6): Daring to Shine

Bible Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12), Psalm 112:1-10, 1 Corinthians 2:1-12(13-16), Matthew 5:13-20

About the images:
Left: This is a microsoft free clipart image with my text.
Right: This is a free Heartlight image. To visit the Heartlight site, please go to my Links column below left.

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

1. Salt and light have lost their preciousness in many ways to the Western world. What might Jesus say to us today if he was talking to us? You are like........
2. How do we shine God's light onto those around us?

Brainstorm definitions o the word "disciple".

Story: Why the Potatoes Sprouted
This story can be found at It is based on the gospel story.

Story:Thermometers and Themostats

Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 198 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Matthew reading.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Epiphany 3 A (January 23): Discipleship 101/Abandoning the Boats

Bible Readings:
Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27:1,4-9, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 4:12-23

About the Images:
Left: Abandoned whaler on Norfolk Island - it's my photo so feel free to use it for worship related activities.
If you want to know more about Norfolk Island please visit
Right: This is a microsoft free clipart image with text from the unnamed poem by Philip Andrews (see below under Meditation/Poem)

Response to the Floods in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and NSW (Australia): Lament and Intercession
These are excellent and although written in response to the Queensland floods, they can be used for any of the floods - devastating and heartbreaking as they all are! These prayers can be found at and I quote the note of explanation and credit which accompanies them: "Amidst the devastation of the Queensland floods, some Queensland Uniting Church members have prepared a liturgy and prayers of intercession for use in worship.

Lament written by Jennifer Farquhar, Secretary, Presbytery of Central Qld. PowerPoints compiled by Karyl Davison, Rural Ministry Coordinator, Presbytery of Central Qld, and the Queensland Synod Communication Services Unit.

Photos used with permission and taken by Uniting Church members and associates in December 2010 and January 2011."

Listening Song: Jesus Freak
By dc Talk
on their album, Jesus Freak (pictured at left). This song is about discipleship.

Listening Song: In the Light
By dc Talk on their album Jesus Freak (pictured at left). This song goes well with the Corinthians reading.

Kids Story:Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
By Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury, Penguin, 2009, ISBN 9780143503583. This story is just a delight and goes very well with the Corinthians reading.

Film Clip: Oh My God
I got this from WingClips (see my link at left) and the scene is called Know Your Neighbour. The clip fits very well with the Corinthians reading and if you can watch it without tearing up then you are better than me

Film Clip: Meet the Parents
(pictured at right) Show the clip where Kevin shows off his carpentry skills and says he does it because he wants to follow in Jesus' footsteps. (about 55 minutes from the start)

Discussion: On Meet the Parents
1. What does it mean to be one of Jesus' disciples? Will being a good carpenter do it?
2. What sshould we do to be good disciples?

1. Was there a defina
ble moment when you became a Christian?
2. What changed most for you if you did have a definable
3. Is conversion the end of the story?

Drama: Leftovers
By Eric Stapleton and found at This drama fits in well with the Corinthians reading.

Story: If Jesus Showed Up at Your School
Found in Could Someone Wake Me Up Before I Drool On T
he Desk by Kevin Johnson, Bethany House Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1556614160, pp11 (pictured at left) . This is a story about youth and discipleship.

Story: Soren Kierkegaard's Train Passengers

I don't know which book of his this is in but I
found reference to this illustration in Rivers in the Desert edited by Rowland Croucher, Albatross books, 1991, ISBN 086760137X, page 253 (pictured at right). This story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: To Have It Within
Found in Speakers Source Book of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley, Word Publishing,1995, ISBN 0849936756, page 40. This story is based on the Psalm.

Story: Fishers of Men Part 2
In When You Walk by Adrian Plass
, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 130-1. This story is based on the gospel reading.

Meditation: We Did Not Want to Go
He Was in the World: Meditations for Public Worship by John Bell, Wild Goose, 1995, ISBN 094798870X, pp 87. This meditation is like the song Jesus Freak above and centres on our unwillingness sometimes to be a disciple because we foresee difficulties.

Mediation/Poem: Unnamed
By Philip Andrews 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 125. (pictured in an ealier blog). I put images with this and used Look Back In by Moby from his album, 18, as backing. This is connected with the Psalm.

Response Activity:
Display heaps of printed images and words around the worship space and ask people to choose a couple which most explain how they feel about or what they think in response to the Bible reading. Ask people to share why they chose the cards and or words which they did.
NB. make an amazing set of cards called Signposts which work really well with this activity.