Sunday, May 30, 2021

Proper 5 B (June 06): The Grass is Greener on the Other Side/ Don't Lose Heart

 



















Bible Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15) 16-20) (11:14-15), Psalm 138, 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1, Mark 3: 20-35.

About the Images:
Upper Left and RightBoth these images are from Heartlight.  You can access them and many other great images via my link column at left.
Middle Left: This is a free imagebank image - see my link column at left.  The 1 Samuel reading made me think of chess - kings and the God stuff and choices.  This image site has now closed. 
Middle Right: As above
Lower Left: Another Heartlight image
Lower Right: Hand of God by Lorenzo Quinn Photo: Copyright source: KOREphotos Copyright permission: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Listening Song: Always and Forever
By Raze on their album, Power (pictured at left).  This song goes well with the 1 Samuel reading. 

Listening Song: Only the World
By Mandisa on the album, True Beauty (pictured at right) . This song goes well with the Corinthians reading.

Drama: A Little Lawn Story
By Verena Johnson (Ed.), Mega Drama 3, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, 2002, ISBN 0859109178, page 41ff (pictured at left). This is based on the 2 Corinthians reading.

Stories, Poems and Lots of Other Good Stuff: Proper 

Mainly based on the gospel reading and found in Resources For Preaching and Worship Year B compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, ISBN 100664224776, pages 162-165 (pictured at right).

Story: Temporary Things
Story 706 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551 (pictured at left).  This story is based on the Corinthians reading.

Response Activity/Adult Input: Who Has Authority
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2010, ISBN 9780949656911, page 92-3 (pictured at right). This works well with all the readings.

Meditation: Watching
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 36 (pictured at left).

Story: Guidance 
Found as story No 118 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, iSBN 1854245929 (pictured at right). This story fits well with  Psalm 138:7 about listening to God.

Sermon ideas: Finding a New Family
Found in Life on the Road by Athol Gill, Herald Press, 1992, page125.  This is based on the Gospel reading. 











Sunday, May 23, 2021

Trinity B (May 30): Creator Son Spirit/Who Me?

 





































Readings: Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, Psalm 29, John 3:1-17

About the Image:
Upper Left: This is a three piece jigsaw puzzle I made to use with the kids. Please feel free to use it. I made mine on A3 paper and laminated the bits.
Upper Right: This comes from the Hermano Leon site (see my links column at left) and is free to use. It will particularly come in handy if you decide to use the response activity (Love) below. Andrej Rublëv is the artist and it would have to be one of my favourite pieces of religious art.
Middle Left: This free image comes from Church Galleries - see my link column at left.
Middle RightThis 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 images and templates via the site archives.
Lower Left: A free image from Cerezo Barredo's site - see my link column at left. 
Lower Right: This is a free Heartlight image - see my link column at left. 

Decor: Have three candles and drape three pieces of material over the communion table - royal blue, red and gold.

Listening Song: Hands and Feet
by Audio Adrenaline on their album, Underdog. (pictured at left).  This is a song about being sent so fits well with the Isaiah reading.

Psalm 29 The Voice of Christ
In Australian Prayers by Bruce Prewer, Open Book, 1983, page 45 (pictured at right - I think this might be an image of the new edition but I am not sure). This works well with projected images.

Congregational Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8
by Maggie Durran in Building Worship Together by Martha Keys Barker and the Fisherfolk, Celebration, 1983, page 38 (pictured at left). I have used this a few times and the congregations always love taking part.  I project the words so that people are not looking down at papers in their hands but, instead up so that there voices project better.

Film Clip: Chocolat
Sometimes people come in to God’s presence through a vision, others by dreams, some in church, some through the actions of others. The Count De Reynaud (the mayor of the city and town "gate keeper") saw his job as ridding the town of immorality and any threat to its tranquility and tradition. However, after his encounters with the chocolate maker and others in the town, after hearing the priest’s Easter Sermon, and after seeing the chocolate festival in the town square after church, something changes in him.


Discussion Question:
How do you know when you are in the presence of God?
What are the implications of the Bible readings for us as we struggle to share our faith in meaningful ways?

Film Clip: Psalm 29


Handy Illustrations
Chapter 25: On Seeing God in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, Word, 1994, page 177ff (pictured at left) has some great illustrations pertaining to the Isaiah reading.

Story: The Umbrella and the Queen
in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, page 167 (pictured at right). This story fits in well with the Isaiah reading.

Isaiah 6 Illustration:
After the mutiny on the Bounty, Fletcher Christian and his men eventually chose Pitcairn Island and arrived on 15 January 1790.
They realized it was originally charted incorrectly (by about 200 miles), thus making them less likely to be found by future voyagers. Deciding to stay on the isolated island, the nine remaining mutineers, their Tahitian women, and nine other Polynesian men and women, unloaded and stripped the ship, then on 23 January set the Bounty on fire so as to hide all evidence of their whereabouts ... The mutineers had not long been on Pitcairn Island when one day Christian ,while rummaging through his sea chest when he found the Bible his mother had given him. He and John Adams often went to a lonely cave on a remote part of the island where they studied the Book. They studied it to further their education as much as anything else.
After a period of four years, the community of Pitcairn had fallen in to turmoil. Fueled by homemade alcohol, disputes over women eventually resulted in the violent deaths of all of the Tahitian men and all but two of the mutineers – Adams and Young were the only two men left. Six years later Young died of asthma and Adams was left with eleven women and 23 children.
One day Adams had a dream in which was the clear message: "Go and train the children in the way of Christian's Bible." Adams turned to the Bible, which led him to repentance and a new outlook on life. Using the Bible, he then educated the children, built a school and organized the community into a Christian way of life. He taught them the Scriptures and helped them obey its instructions. The message of Christ so transformed their lives that twenty years later, in 1808, when the ship Topaz landed on the island, it found a happy society of Christians living in prosperity and peace, free from crime, disease, murder and mutiny.
Today, Christian's Bible, or the "Bounty" Bible, or the Pitcairn Bible is kept in the Seventh-day Adventist church, the island's only house of worship.
(Robert Nicolson, The Pitcairners, University of Hawai’i Press, 1997 and Hymns of the Norfolk Islands, Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1998)

Response Activity: Practice the presence of God.
Ask people to go to a space by themselves and spend some time enjoying the presence of God. Give each person a copy of St Patricks prayer (or a bit of it anyway) to help them to concentrate. If people are getting used to doing things like this, don't have any background music. Allow people to enjoy the silence. If they are not comfortable yet, play some very quiet and soft music in the background. Allow at least five minutes for this activity.
St Patricks Prayer: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Also:

Drama: Born Again
Found in Mega Drama 3 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, 2002, ISBN 0859109178, page 98 (pictured at left).  This is a clown drama based on John 3:16-17. 

Invocation: Based on John 3:1-16
By Katherine J. Campbell and found in Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship by Marin C and Maria I Tirabassi (Eds), The Pilgrim Press, 2007, ISBN 9780829817508, page 58 (pictured at right).

Response Activity: Love
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2010, ISBN 9780949656911, page 89. This works well with the gospel reading but could also be used for the other readings.

Creative Ideas: Isaiah: The Royal Prophet
Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 23. This is based on the Isaiah reading.

For Children and Families: God is Wise
Found in Rewind by Beth Barnett, SUVictoria, 2011, ISBN987098710035, navigate from page 5. This is based on the gospel reading. 

A chapters of resources for Trinity Sunday:
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 199ff. 

Beautiful Illustrations of John's Gospel  connected to the Australian Outback
Found in The Gospel According to John Illuminated by Fiona Pfennigwerth, Tien Wah Press, Singapore, 2013, ISBN 9780646912462, page 4

Poem: Grow
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 (pictured at right) in the Summer section and is based on the Isaiah reading.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Pentecost B (May 23): I will give my Spirit/ Rushing Wind

 



































Readings: Ezekiel 37:1-14, Acts 2:1-21Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:22-27, John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

About the images:
Upper Left: A free Corel background with my text so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is a photo of the inside of my kitchen stove so you are free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Left and Right: These are free Heartlight images - see my link column at left.
Lower Left and Right:  These are free images from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left

Have a birthday cake 
big enough for everybody to share - after all, it is the church's birthday.

Listening Song: Burning Like Fire
By Iona on their album, Beyond These Shores, 1993 (pictured at left).

Kids Story: Unknown
By C
olin Thompson and Anna Pignataro, published by Hodder Headline in Australia and Walker Books in the U.S.A, 2002. ISBN 0733613551 (Aust) or ISBN 0802787304 (U.S.A.) The left picture is the Australian cover and the right picture is the American cover - both found at Colin Thompson's site. (Thanks to Rev Andrew Donnelly for this book suggestion).

Kids Story (but works with grown-ups too): Popcorn Disciples
Retell the Acts story using pop corn and a popcorn maker by comparing the unpopped corn in the container with the disciples in the room beforehand – all small and shrivelled and hard and contained in a small space. Then turn on the popcorn maker and compare the heat and the hot air in the maker with the Holy Spirit. When the corn pops compare the corn with the disciples afterwards – all big and soft, open and fluffy - and popping up everywhere!!
 

Film clip: Pentecost Acts 2 The message

Film Clip : The Dripping Tap
On Leunig Animated, Fruitcup Films, 2001 (pictured at left) This clip is a great introduction to the first part of the Ezekiel reading as is the Keith Green song/poem (below) and the discussion questions (below).


Poem or Listening Song: My Eyes Are Dry
by Keith Green, Ears to Hear Music.

Discussion Questions based on the Ezekiel reading:
When can there be dryness in our lives?
When can our lives be disconnected and scattered?
 

Story: Holy Spirit Holes in Medieval Churches
Google "Holy Spirit Holes" and you will find heaps of descriptions of these - a great illustration for encouraging people to open up their lives to God's power.

Response activity:
Give everyone a birthday cake candle. Project the words "Holy Spirit come into my life and.....". Ask people to mentally fill in the rest of the sentence and then come forward and light their candle as they pray the whole sentence.

Response Activity: Balloons
As a symbol of the gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to us, give everybody a balloon and ask them to write their particular gift on it. They can talk about it and help each other as they go. Then blow up the balloons and decorate the church with them (or have them blown up and decorating the church when people arrive and take them down to write on and take home). Please do not let balloons go outside - balloons are a choking hazard for wild life in rural and marine areas and make a mess in cities.

Also:

Story: The Sea Breeze Hotel
By Marcia Vaughan and Patricia Mullins 
Great for kids and adults alike, the details of this book and heaps of ideas for a Pentecost service based on the Acts reading are found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 13ff (pictured at right). 

Church Decor and Prayer Idea: Rushing Wind
Found in Worship Feast: 100 Awesome Ideas for Postmodern Youth, Nashville, Abingdon Press, 2003, ISBN 139780687063574, page 73 (pictured at left).  This idea is based on the Acts reading, and I cannot for the life of me, work out why this book is aimed at postmodern youth when the majority of the ideas apply to postmodern anybody.

Response Activity: Filled with the Spirit
From Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 87ff (pictured at right) .

Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2015 by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2014, page 93ff (pictured at left). These ideas are based on all of the readings.

Meditation: The Valley of Dry Bones
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 88 (pictured at right). This goes well with the Ezekiel reading.

Taize Service: Holy Fire
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 30. This is based on the Acts reading.

Worship Activity: Prayer Rap
By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 40.  This is based on the Romans  reading.

Prayer Exercise: Learning to Listen
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 30.  This is based on the Romans reading.

Prayers On the Emmaus Road
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 94ff (linked to the Ezekiel reading).

Two chapters of resources for Pentecost and the Holy Spirit:
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 147ff. 

Song/Prayer: Song of the Lord's Reviving
By Ruth Burgess in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, 2006, ISBN 9781905010301, pages 243. 

Various Ideas: Power to Communicate the Message
Found in Multi-Sensory Message by Dave Maclure, Scripture Union, 2008, ISBN 9781844272730, page 34. Connected with Acts. 

Lots of Useful Stuff: Portrait of the Artist
Found in Multi-Sensory Together by Ian Birkinshaw, Scripture Union,2005, ISBN 1844271641, page 20.  Based on the Psalm reading.

Beautiful Illustrations of John's Gospel  connected to the Australian Outback
Found in The Gospel According to John Illuminated by Fiona Pfennigwerth, Tien Wah Press, Singapore, 2013, ISBN 9780646912462, page 50.

Poem: Two Are to be Together
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 (pictured at right) in the Summer section.

Poem: Depart in peace
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 (pictured at right) in the Autumn section and based on the John reading.

Poem and prayer: ruach
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 96 (pictured at left). These are based on the gospel reading and the Acts reading.

Drama: The Truth is Out There
Based on the Acts reading. Found 
in Mega Drama 3 by Verena Johnson (ed), Openbook 2002, ISBN 0859109178 (v.3) page 95