Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas 1 C (December 30): Changing Direction/Transformation

Bible Readings: 1 Samuel 2:18-20, Psalm 148, Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:41-52

About the Images:
Upper Left: I found this one at the excellent site. All their powerpoint pictures are free.
Upper Right: My photo, my sticks, my driveway, my daughter's feet. Please feel free to use the photo for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image with my text - it goes well with the Colossians reading.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website.  Visit the website at

Drama: One day in the Temple
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 9 (pictured at left).

Kid's Discussion: Based on above drama
What is the thing you like doing best?
What new thing have you recently learnt to do?
Point: Because Jesus was a kid growing up and learning new things too, God knows what it is like to be a kid.

To share with your neighbour:
What is your earliest understanding or memory of God?
To think about in silence: How much has changed since that earliest memory?

Story: Who Am I?
Found in The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1006, (pictured at right). This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Story: What Do We Expect?
Can't source this story - think I found it in an email.....
A ten year old girl went with a group of family and friends to see the Christmas lights at various locations in her town. At one church they stopped and got out to look at a beautiful nativity scene. "Isn't that beautiful?" said the little girl's grandmother. "Look at all the animals, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus." "Yes, Grandma," replied the grand daughter. It's really nice. But there's one thing that bothers me. Isn't baby Jesus ever going to grow up....he's the same size he was last year!"

Poem: Coming of Age
By Bruce Prewer in Beyond Words, Joint Board of Christian Education, 1995, ISBN 1864070722

Prayer: Thankyou For the Life of Our Brother
By Bruce Prewer in Brief Prayers for Australians, Open Book Publishers (pictured at left). I chose some images to go with these works and backed them with The Black Rose by Joan Maddon on the album Celtic Twilight 2 (pictured at right).

Response Activity: Transformation
Ask: How can we respond to God's call to be continually transformed?
The ask people to:
1. come out and light a candle as a symbol of their willingness to be transformed by God, to grow deeper and to continue on their faith journey this coming year,
2. light their candle from the Christ candle to show that this is a journey they make with Jesus beside them, and
3. place the candle with everyone's elses as a sign that this is a journey they make together.

Kids: Echidnas on Everest
This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2006 (pictured at left). This goes with the Colossians reading.  The great thing about these books is that they only around $A5 and for a further $A10 (or instead of) you can buy on line the story in any format you need to project the pictures in church.  There are also free activity sheets and for a cost activity books for both teachers and children.  Visit to check out all the excellent resources.


Worship Activity: Love and Unity
By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 84 (pictured at right).  This is based on the Colossians reading.

Prayer Exercise: Singing our Prayers
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 68 (pictured at left).  This is based on the Colossians reading.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Day C

Bible Readings: Isaiah 62:6-12, Psalm 98, Titus 3:4-7, Luke 2:1-20

About the Images:
Upper Left: I took this photo at Megiddo (Armageddon) in Israel (more information can be found at It is a stone manger similar to the one Mary and Joseph probably placed Jesus in. Interestingly and significantly, when I got the photo home and out of the camera, I noticed the shadow of the cross. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is clip art on to which I added the text. 
Middle Left: Here in Australia we sing a Carol called The North Wind is tossing the leaves.  North wind days are days when fires are most common and most dangerous.  This is an image of a north wind bringing a bush fire.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website. Visit the website at 
Lower Left: This is a free wikicommons clipart image which I call "Mary's Hands". 

Prayer of Confession
From Keith Watkins (Ed.) in Imaging the Word Volume 1 by Kenneth T. Lawrence, Jann Cather Weaver and Roger Wedell (Eds.), United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 0829809716, page 97. (pictured at left)

For Kids: A Night the Stars Danced For Joy
By Bob Hartman and Tim Jonke, Lion Publishing, 1993, ISBN 074593899X (pictured at right).

For Kids:
This is a great little set of film clips that are just a delight to watch and really engage children because they mix the modern and the ancient together in a rather quirky way. Go to to download the free clips. 

Film Clip: O Little Town of Bethlehem
This is excellent!!!

Film Clip: The Boy
from the Hungarian Reformed church 

The boy from reformatusponthu on Vimeo.

Film Clip: Bethlehemian Rhapsody
This is a new, better (more high tech)  version than has been doing the rounds for a few years. 

Film Clip: Funny Nativity
Funny Nativity is the YouTube title but I like to call it "Sing like Nobody is Listening"

Drama: Christmas Play 
By Alix Brown in Hay and Stardust by Ruth Burgess, Wild Goose Publications, 2005, ISBN 1905010001, page 144 (pictured at left). This is a real light-hearted look at the Christmas story and is lots of fun for child and adult alike. Use it as an introduction to Luke 2, to take a fresh look at one of the best known Bible readings in the world - a reading we all often take for granted.

Story: Yates Pool
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes by Jim Burns and Greg Mckinnon (eds.), Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 65. (pictured at right)

Poem: The Ride to Bethlehem
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 20, (pictured at left).

Quote: William H. Willimon
Jesus was the hope of the world but not the hope the world was expecting.

Offering Prayer:
Read When the Song of the Angels is Stilled by Howard Thurman from a Fellowship of Reconciliation Christmas Card. I put up some images to correlate with the
words and played Reveil from The Best of Cirque de Soleil album as backing music (pictured at left).

Response Activity: How Far Is It?
Found in Cloth For the Cradle by the Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 64 (pictured at left).

Response Activity: Registering Hope
Found in Cloth from the Cradle (as above), page 65

Many people attend church at Christmas even though they are not regular attenders. Take the opportunity to give visitors a small encouragement card with a few bible readings which give people a bit of an idea about the rest of Jesus' story.

Meditation: Quiet Remembering
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 16.

Brilliant Comments on the Gospel
Found in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, SPCK, 2008, ISBN 9780281059751, pages 25-37.