Sunday, October 27, 2019

Proper 26 Ordinary 31 C (November 3): Come on Down




Bible Readings: Habakkuk 1:1-4,2:1-4, Psalm 119:137-144, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12, Luke 19:1-10

About the Images:
Upper Left:
Photo by Gunnar Bach Pedersen found on Wikimedia Commons and in the public domain.
Upper Right:
A free image from Hermano Leon (see my links at left)
Middle Left: A free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left.
Middle Right: This image comes from the  Church Galleries website which is still down at the  moment. This particular image was free on the site. 
Lower Left: A free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left.

Kid's Story:
The Magpie's Story
by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, 1988, ISBN 0551015799 (pictured at left).

Drama: Up a Tree
This is a drama which can be used with puppets or two people. You need an old grumpy person or puppet and a young or teenage person or puppet. I think I have written this with a sort of inbuilt Australian accent so if you are not Australian just adapt it or change it as you see fit.
          
Oldie: G'day there young fella!
Kid: Hi Gramps! Did ya hear all about Zacchaeus?
Oldie: Is he that short fat bloke who lives in the huge house on the corner? I hate him. He collects our taxes and he rips off everybody by making us all pay heaps more than we should and keeping most of our money for himself.
Kid: Yeah, that's the man alright.
Oldie: There's al ot of stories going around about him at the moment. Tell us what you know.
Kid: Well....you know the other day when Jesus came to town?
Oldie: I certainly do! I went down to see him myself. By golly, it was a big crowd, wasn't it? It took me all my time to elbow my way to the front of the crowd. I'm glad I took me walking stick! It's an advantage being as old as me sometimes. He, he, he!
Kid: Well, ole Zac had even more trouble than you did! Because he's so short he couldn't see over the crowd so he tried to push and squeeze his way through near where me and my mates were standing. But we all jammed up so that he couldn't get past us. Then we all pretended he wasn't there. It was great fun - me and my mates don't like him any more than you do.
Oldie: Gee, I wish I'd been near you lads. I'd 've helped by giving him a good poke with my walking stick. Accidently, of course.
Kid: Well, Zacchaeus had us beaten in the end because he climbed this big sycamore tree growing by the edge of the road..........just as everybody starts yelling out and cheering because Jesus was coming.
Oldie: Hmmp! Ole Zac sure is cunning. Why didn't you young blokes accidently just shake him out of his tree?
Kid: But Gramps!! You haven't heard the really awesome part of this story yet. Jesus walks right up to the sycamore tree, stops and looks up at Zacchaeus .......... and says "Zacchaeus! Come on down!!!!! I want to come round to your place for tea."
Oldie: Well ! The idea !!
Kid: Zacchaeus nearly falls of his tree......he's so surprised. The rest of us just couldn't believe what we were hearing. Who'd want to stay with a cheat like him?
Oldie: If I'd been there I'd have given Jesus a piece of my mind. It'll only encourage the that little cheat to be even meaner to the rest of us!
Kid: NO! but it didn't. That's the amazing thing! Do you know what Zac said when he climbed down out of that tree? He said he was going to give a half of his stuff away and pay back everyone he's cheated by giving 'em four times as much as he pinched in the first place!
Oldie: I don't believe it!
Kid: Walk around to Zac's place with me now. You'll soon see that it's amazing but it's true!
Oldie: I think I will. Come on
c. Ann Scull

Story: Behind the Shower Curtain
Found in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, Word, 1996, ISBN 0849913241, page 51 (pictured at right). This story is based on the gospel reading and the idea of grace.

Communion Invitation: I Did Not know His Name
Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 30 (pictured at left).  This is particularly useful if you are using the gospel reading.

Film Clip: The Apostles Creed
From the excellent The Work of the People - see my link at left


Also:

Meditation: Perseverance
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 42 (pictured at right). This goes well with the gospel reading.

Poem/Meditation: Zacchaeus
By Ruth Burgess in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 50 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Mark reading.

Kids: Zac the Taxman
This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2006 (pictured at right). This goes with the Luke 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 www.lostsheep.com.au to check out all the excellent resources.

Service Sample: The Upside-down Dinner

Found in Party On Together by Beth Barnett and Dr Keith Dyer, Scripture Union, 2010, page 52 (pictured at left). 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 170-188.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Proper 25 C (October 27): Either/or, Hmmm......Decisions/God's Fngerprints



























Bible Readings: Joel 2:23-32, Psalm 65, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18, Luke 18:9-14.

About the Images:
Upper Left:
This is free and comes from www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com
Upper Right:
This is a Microsoft free clipart.
Middle Left:  This image goes well with the line from the Jars of Clay song below: All said and done, I stand alone amongst the remains of a life I should not own. This is my image so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which is down at present.This particular one wass free on the site. 
Lower Left: Another terrific free Heartlight image.  See my link column at left.

Call to Worship:

By Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C and found at www.thetimelesspsalms.net  under Pentecost 23C [Ordinary 30C] or [Proper 25C] 2013. This is based on the psalm. 

Opening Prayer:
By Hans Holtznagel in Abingdon Worship Annual 2013 by Mary J Scifres and B J Beu, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2012, ISBN 9781426746796, page 250 (pictured at right). This is based on the Psalm. 

Listening Song: Follow the Word
By Maire Brennan on her album, Whisper to the Wild Water (pictured at left). This song goes very well with the Joel reading.

Listening Song: Worlds Apart
By Jars of Clay on their album, Jars of Clay (pictured at right).
This song is the prayer of the tax collector but it is also the prayer of the repentant pharisee.

Prayer of Confession:
By Hans Holtznagel in Abingdon Worship Annual 2013 by Mary J Scifres and B J Beu, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2012, ISBN 9781426746796, page 250 (pictured above). This is based on the Psalm. 

Film Clip: Mr Deeds
I showed the clip where John Deeds goes out to dinner with New York's influential businessmen. I found this clip at Wingclips (see my link to their site at left).  This goes really well with the gospel reading - see service idea below. 
Watch this clip at:
http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/mr-deeds/good-manners

Film Clip: Mapoon Appeal
Even though this film clip is now just on three years old, the story behind this appeal is a great story reminiscent of the Joel locust story.  The people of Mapoon always dreamed and hoped to return and they have lived up to their dreams and visions. And if your church could help them out a little, that would be even better.

Mapoon Appeal from Uniting Church in Australia on Vimeo.

Discussion Question: For Luke
1. If we transferred the Pharisee into the twenty first century, who would he be?
2. If we transferred the tax collector into the twenty first century, who would he be?
3. When have we unconsciously uttered the prayer "Thank God, I am not like the Pharisee"?


Drama: Judging From Appearances
Found in Red Letter Days by Paul Burbridge and Murray Watts, Hodder and Stoughton, 1986, ISBN 034038347X, page 59 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: Two Boys

This is the Pharisee and the Tax Collector transferred into the school yard. It works well with two adults acting as little kids or with two teenagers - you may have to adapt some of the dialogue depending on which of those above options you choose. Feel free to adapt it in any way which suits your congregation.


Narrator: Hi. I'll be telling you all a story today. This story is usually about two men - one is a pharisee and one is a tax collector, but today the pharisee is going to be a school kid who thinks he's really good. His name is Gordon (Gordon enters). And the tax collector is going to be the school bully. His name is Leroy and he is really mean. (Enter Leroy).
Leroy: Here, take that ya little wimp! (Biffs Gordon across his head).
Gordon: Ohhhh....that hurt! Leave me alone you big bully. I'm gunna dob on you!!!
Leroy: Keep ya mouth shut or you'll get another one!
Narrator: One day Gordon and Leroy both went to church. Gordon sat down all by himself and started to pray in a really loud voice.
Gordon: I thank you, God, that I don’t ever cheat or lie or bash kids up like everybody else does. I'm glad I'm not like Leroy over there. He steals my lunch and hits me all the time. I always read my reader and sometimes Leroy makes me read his as well. And I always put my collection in the plate on Sunday morning!
Narrator: Well, as you can see Gordon thought he was pretty good and he really wanted to impress God. However, Leroy, the bully, sat all by himself in church too but he prayed very sadly and very differently.
Leroy: Oh dear, Lord, I don't know what to say. I feel really terrible. I am very sorry for all the bad things that I have done. Please help me.
Narrator: God would have liked Leroy's prayer because Leroy knew he'd done bad things and he wasn't afraid to tell God that he was sorry. He knew it was OK to tell God the truth. (Leroy leaves). Gordon, on the other hand, was just out to impress God. (Gordon flounces off with his nose in the air). See ya later kids.
c. Ann Scull

Poem: God's Spirit Poured Out
By Hildegard of Bingen
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 54. (pictured  at right). This poem fits well with Joel reading.

Verse: Great Soaring Spirit

By Brian Wren 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 57. (pictured  at right). This verse fits well with the Joel reading.

Responsive Prayer: Litany

From the Iona Community Worship Book
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 57. (pictured  above right). This prayer fits well with the Joel reading.

Service idea:
I used the gospel reading, the film clip above, both the dramas above and a couple of stories and presented them one by one. After each one, I asked the congregation:
1. Who is the Pharisee?
2. Who is the tax collector?
3. Who am I most like?
I got them to talk about the first two questions and think about the third with the aim of helping people understand that in different situations we can be either the pharisee or the tax collector.
I then asked them to walk around and look at a collection of advertising postcards and pictures which I have collected over the years and which I laid out all over the worship space before the service began. I asked everyone to select six cards - three which they thought best described themselves when they are pharisee-like and three which best described themselves when they are tax collector-like - and to arrange them either on the floor or somewhere they could look at them easily.
I concluded by playing the Jars of Clay song (see above)


Blessing:
By Hans Holtznagel in Abingdon Worship Annual 2013 by Mary J Scifres and B J Beu, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2012, ISBN 9781426746796, page 250 (pictured above). This is based on the Psalm. 

Also:

Responsive Reading:
By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 25 (pictured at left).  This is based on Psalm 65.


Drama/Reflection: God hears all kinds of prayers
By Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill in Eggs and Ashes, Wild Goose Publications, 2004, page 116 (pictured at right). This is based on the gospel reading.


Worship Resources: Where Are God's Fingerprints?
Found in Multi-Sensory World by Craig Borlase, Scripture Union/Tear Fund, 2008, ISBN 9781844272662, page 57 (pictured at left). This goes with the Psalm reading.

Lots of Useful Stuff: Plague and Promise
Found in Multi-Sensory Together by Ian Birkinshaw, Scripture Union,2005, ISBN 1844271641, page 27.  Based on the Joel reading.

Brilliant Comments on the Gospel
Found in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, SPCK, 2008, ISBN 9780281059751, pages 343-354.