Sunday, September 29, 2019

Proper 23 C (October 13): Living in the Present/Love Where You Live





















Bible readings: Jeremiah 29:1,4-7, Psalm 66:1-12, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19

About the image:
Upper Left:
This comes from a great free lectionary based image site: Hermano Leon Clipart. You will find a link to this site in my link column at left. Well worth a visit.
Upper Right: The image comes from a now defunct free worship image site. I put the text onto it.
 
Middle Left: This is a free image from Cerrezo Barredo - see his site in my link column at left.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which is down at present.  This particular one was free on the site.
Lower Left: This obviously fits with the Old Testament theme but you probably need to be living in the Knox area in Melbourne, Australia for the pictures to be relevant - but you get the idea :)


Prayer Brighten My Heart
Found in Celtic Prayers by Robert Van de Weyer, Hunt and Thorpe, 1997, ISBN 1856082814 page 43 (pictured at left). This makes a lovely opening prayer.

Listening Song: Speechless

By Steve Curtis Chapman on his album, Speechless or on WOW 2000 (pictured at right). This goes very well with the Psalm reading.

 Listening Song: Unspoken
By Jaci Valasquez on her album Unspoken or on WOW 2005 (pictured at left).  This song fits in very well with the Jeremiah reading.


 Listening Song: From a Distance
By Bette Midler on her album, Some People's Lives (pictured at right). This makes a great introduction to the following discussion linked with the Luke reading.

Discussion:
How do/What happens when we keep people at a distance?
How do/What happens when we keep God at a distance?

Video Clip: As Good As It Gets
(pictured at right). Play the restaurant scene which is about 1:35-40 minutes in.

Discussion: As Good As It Gets
1. Think of examples where Jesus met somebody and their whole life was transformed.
2. How does this happen?

Drama: Unclean, Unclean.
Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 227 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: I'm At The Synagogue
Found in Let's Make a Scene by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, page 27 (pictured at right) . This drama is based on the gospel reading,

Story: Attitude of Gratitude
Found in The New Century Version Youth Bible, Word, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1040 (pictured at left). This story is based on the gospel reading.

 
Story: Faithfulness of God
Found in 750 Engaging Illustrations from Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Barker Books, 1993 (pictured at right). Story No. 200. This story is based on the gospel reading.

Who Am I? John Newton
Play a who am I game with John Newton as the subject: a man who came face to face with God.

Response Activity:

Ask:
1. What is it about your relationship with Jesus that the world cannot live without? (a Bill Easum question)
2. How can you share it this week....without words?!

Response Activity:
1. Project the poem Falling In love by Father Pedro Arrupe (attributed) line by line on a screen accompanied by images and music. You can find this poem at http://www.arrupe.org/pl/sentence.html
2. Hand out the poem printed on a sheet of paper and allow people time to sit and absorb the words.
3. Finally project the following questions at thirty second or one minute intervals.
a. Who are you in love with?
b. What fills your heart and your head and your time?
c. What seizes your imagination?
d. If God the Creator, Saviour, and Enabler does not figure largely in your answers, maybe it's time to return, like the Samaritan leper, to deepen your relationship with Jesus?
(I have lost the acknowledgements for this activity - not sure if it is mine or belongs to someone else. Let me know if you can source it).

Response Activity: For the Jeremiah reading

How do we work for the peace and consequent prosperity of the communities where we are?
Give everyone a piece of A4 paper folded into three with each section labelled as follows: my church, my community, my world.
Encourage people to either discuss together or work alone in order to jot down practical ways they can work for peace in each of these three areas.

Also:



Meditation: Thanksgiving
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 21.

Worship Activity: Thanks to the Lord

By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 45.  This is based on the Luke reading.

Creative Ideas: Jeremiah: The Prophet of Hope
Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 37. This is based on the Jeremiah reading.




Proper 22 Ordinary 27 C (October 6): The Art of Lament/ Rekindle the Fire/ Mustard Seeds/When things Get Tough






Bible Readings: Lamentations 1:1-6, Lamentations 3:19-26, Psalm 137, 2 Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10.

About the Images:
Upper Left:
The image comes from the excellent Imagebank site and is therefore free for worship related activities (see my link in the column at left) and the words come from the quote below.
Upper Right: This is my image so feel free to use it
for worship and related activities.
Middle Left: This free image comes from the Heartlight site - please see my link column to the left.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which is down at present.  This particular one was free on the site.   
Lower Left: This is my front yard and my photo which I thought went quite well with Lamentations 3:22-23. Please feel free to use for worship and related activities. 

Listening Song: Rivers Of Babylon
This song is based on Psalm 137. There are plenty of versions of this song around - Boney M had a very famous one which is still on a number of their albums and Sinead O'Connor has two great versions (London and Dublin) on her Theology double album (pictured at right).

Kid's Story: Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going To Move.
By Judith Voirst, Robin Preiss Glasser and Ray Cruz, Scholastic,1995 (pictured at right). This story can get a conversation going about lament, being taken to a new place etc etc.

Kid's Talk: Don't Be Ashamed
Wear your footy team colours to church and ask the kids what team they barrack for or play the Grand Final winner team song in church
and have a talk about how we are not ashamed to wear our favourite team colours and sing our team song. This connects very well with the Timothy reading for this week.

Dramatic Reading: Psalm 137
Found in Parable Performing by Kristen Etscheid, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985, ISBN 0340336676, page 12 (pictured at left).

Story/Quote: Devout Mothers
Index 1670 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990 or find it at http://www.webbiblia.com/SermonHelps/11543455/ Another similar story can be found at http://www.christianity.com/SermonHelps/11558052/ These stories both go well with the Timothy reading.

Discussion:
How did you come by your faith?
Was it a sudden conversion or a gradual dawning?
Where you helped by a member of your family, through a friend or member of a church, or did it come straight from God with no human intervention at all?
Share how you came by your faith with somebody sitting near you?
Is your faith actually yours?
Have you ever claimed your faith ..and how is it at the moment?
Has the flame been fanned as you have travelled through life or is it dying out?

Poem: A Grandmother's Faith
By Marie Livingstone Roy 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 43. (pictured at right). This fits in very well with the Timothy reading

Poem: What Did I Dream?
Found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, page 257 (pictured at left). This goes very well with Psalm 137.

Quote: J.B Phillips
Every time we say "I believe in the Holy Spirit" we mean that we believe there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.

Also:

Creative Ideas: Jeremiah: The Weeping Prophet 

Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 34 (pictured at right). This is based on the Jeremiah reading.













Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Proper 21 C September 29): Seeing the Bigger Picture/Contentment/What is of Lasing Value















Bible Readings: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15, Psalm 91:1-6,14-16, 1 Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31

About the images:
Upper Left:
A microsoft free clipart image with Nathan Nettleton's text (see www.laughingbird.net for wonderful Australian paraphrases of the lectionary readings)
Upper Right: Contentment! Copyright (C) 2001, Free Software Foundation, Inc. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this image under the terms found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Gnu-listen-half.jpg
Middle Left: This is a free Heartlight image.  See my link column at left.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which is down at present. This particular one was free.
Lower LeftThis image comes from www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com. This site no longer updates (you will see the sad reason why when you visit) however the artist, Don da Silva, has left a legacy of wonderful free images and templates via the site archives.

Prayer: A
Litany of Confession
Found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, page 255 (pictured at left).


Kids: Jeremiah
The Jeremiah story is full of emotion - sadness, fear, contempt, ridicule, anger, hope. Tell the story and ask the kids, at set points in the story, to reflect the emotion you have mentioned, either through their facial expressions or through their hands. Do it with them. You may need to practice first at home, so you have an idea of what to encourage the shyer kids to do. I have discovered that it doesn't take much to involve the whole congregation in this type of activity - and you will find that if you do it before the Bible reading, the adults develop a far better understanding of the reading than they would have if you had not done it.


Listening Song: Whomsoever Dwells
By Sinead O'Connor on her album, Theology (pictured at right). This is basically a sung version of Psalm 91
.

Listening Song: The Power of the Gospel
By Ben Harper on his album, Fight for Your Mind (pictured at left). The title of this song says it all.

Video Clip: Chariots of Fire

(pictured at right) Chapter 19: The conversation between the discontented Harold and his friend, Aubrey This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Discussion Questions: Chariots of Fire
1. Describe a time when you felt contentment.
2. How often do you feel this way?

3. How do you find contentment?
4. What desires, besides the desire for more money or more possessions, keeps a person from feeling contented.



Video Clip: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  Show the clip where Walter Raleigh explains to Elizabeth how he lives out his hope when he is sailing unchartered waters. I found this clip at Wingclips (see my links column at left). This goes really well with the Jeremiah reading.

Discussion: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
1. How does Raleigh live his faith and hope while at sea? What tools does he use?
2. How do we live our faith and hope? What tools can we use?


Video Clip: Old People's Home for 4 year olds - Memory Boards
Almost any clip from this series is useful to link with the Timothy reading, however this one works very well if your congregation is considering what is of lasting value. 
https://iview.abc.net.au/show/old-people-s-home-for-4-year-olds/series/1/video/DC1803H010S00

Drama: Sunbaking
Found in Mega Drama 6 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109208, page 16 (pictured at right). This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Story: Money
Found as story No 175 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003 (pictured at left). This is a very funny story about a wallet eating train toilet (book is pictured in an earlier blog). This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Story: Courage
Index 849-852 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. This can also be found at http://www.free-sermons.org/sermons/Success--14042 - scroll down to section 2E. This fits well with the psalm or with the Jeremiah reading.

Story: What are You Afraid of?
Index 856-859 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990 or it can be found at http://www.hgtaylor.net/psalm91.htm
This goes well with either the psalm or the Jeremiah reading.



Meditation: What is of Lasting Value

Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 49 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Response or entrance Activity:
Ask people to form small groups and give each group a few textas and a large sheet of paper with the words: "Real contentment is found......". When they have finished, stick the sheets up around the worship space and give people time to walk around and read all the sheets.

Response or entrance Activity:

Ask: If you had a chance to tell somebody how to find real contentment in this life, what would you say? give people a chance to think about this and then ask them to tell three other people what their answer would be.

Response Activity:

For the Jeremiah reading.

Set up three stations so that people can move around from station to station. Allow at least ten minutes for this activity. My three stations based on my service and what I said were:
1. There is a bigger picture - at this station put out coloured bookmarks for people to take and read to themselves. Each one should have Bruce Prewer's A Creed printed on it. This lovely poem/creed can be found at http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocC/C55sun26.htm
2. Grasp hold of and trust God now - I used the art space in our church (but any space and pin board of some sort will do) for this station. Lay out lots of pictures, postcards and prints. Ask people to choose an image which symbolises for them grasping hold of and trusting God and ask them to pin their chosen image on the display board.

3. Living your faith and hope - at this station set out pens, envelopes and paper and a small clay jar which can be sealed (try an Op shop for one of these - there is sure to be something like it). Ask people to write a hope that they intend to live for a) themselves b) their church and c) their community or the world. Then ask them to seal their note in an envelope, put their name on the front and put it in the jar. After everybody has finished, seal up the jar..........to be opened in a year or so.


Also:

Poem and Prayers: your locked door
A great prayer and collect and poem on the gospel found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 176 (pictured at left)

Adult Response: Charity Begins at Home?

Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year C by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2012, ISBN 9781921945083, page 137 (pictured at right).   This is based on the gospel reading.


Kids: The Pig in the Pond
By Martin Waddell and Jill Barton, Walker Books,  with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 35. This goes well with the Psalm reading.


Creative Ideas: Jeremiah: The Prophet of Hope
Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 37. This is based on the Jeremiah reading.


All Sorts of Useful Stuff: Long Division

By Ian Birkinshaw in Multi-Sensory Parables, Scripture Union, 2006, ISBN 9781844272310, page 71.  This is based on the Gospel. 


Worship Resources: Why Does My Wallet Ache?
Found in Multi-Sensory World by Craig Borlase, Scripture Union/Tear Fund, 2008, ISBN 9781844272662, page 52. This goes with the Timothy reading.


Hope for the Poor
Found in Party On Together by Beth Barnett and Dr Keith Dyer, Scripture Union, 2010, page 105. This is based on the Gospel reading. This resource is also available in electronic form through the Baptist Union of Victoria website, www.buv.com.au. where it can be copied freely for non-commercial use. 

Brilliant Comments on the Gospel
Found in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, SPCK, 2008, ISBN 9780281059751, pages 378-396.