Sunday, June 26, 2016

Proper 10 Ordinary 15 (July 10): Rescue/Mission Not Quite Impossible/Making a Positive Impact

 
Readings: Amos 7:7-17, Psalm 82, Colossians 1:1-14, Luke 10:25-35.

About the images:
Upper Left:
This is a free Microsoft clipart image with text from www.laughingbird.com - a great site for an Australian paraphrase (among other things).
Upper Right: I decided this flood photo fitted all three possible titles for the readings this week:-
Rescue: this house is certainly in need of rescue,
Mission Not Quite Impossible: Of all the places it could have come to rest - such as the middle of the river! - the house actually came to rest right beside a road.
Making a Positive Impact: the owner of this house made a very positive impact when he was interviewed - he basically said "it's just a house, not a life, that has been lost".

Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image. See my link column at left.
Lower Right: COMING SOON This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images very cheaply - however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com

Listening Song: Grace

By U2 on their album, All That You Can't Leave Behind (pictured at right). The song title says it all.  This is a brilliant and moving song.


Kid's Story: The Good Stranger
Found in Stories Jesus Told: Favourite Stories From the Bible by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, Zondervan, 2007, ISBN 101859855881 (pictured at left) or in a separate volume under the same title published by Harper Collins, 1995.


Video Clip: Mission Impossible 2
You can relate this clip (one impossible mission after another!) to the Amos reading.

Video Clip: Pay It Forward
(pictured at left) You can connect chapter 31 - when Trevor's Mum forgives her Mum - to the Colossians reading.




Discussion: Pay It Forward
What is grace?
When have you seen an example of grace?



Video Clip: Mr Holland's Opus
 A great clip about how everyone, no matter who they are, has the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of others.





Film Clip: The God Samaritan
This lovely little clip is found at http://www.max7.org/resource.aspx?id=2defafcc-c191-4314-81c4-78ce0d07526a&creatinguser=1


Drama: The Horticultural Guide  
Found in Let's Make A Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 47 (pictured at left). This drama is useful if you are concentrating on the Colossians reading.

Drama: The Christian Inaction
Found in Lets make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 24 (pictured at right). This drama is useful for the Luke reading.


Introduction to the Gospel: Oxymorons
Talk about oxymorons. Give a few examples eg plastic glasses, work party, taped live, peace force. Talk about how "Good Samaritan" was a bit of an oxymoron for Jesus' listeners when he told them the story. This little exercise helps people see the extent of the implications of the story.

Discussion: On Luke
Can church work get in the way of love and compassion?

Discussion: On Amos
In pairs:
1. Discuss a time when you have had to start again - pick a painful restart or a less painful one - it doesn't matter.
2. Share what was hard in the new beginning.
3. Share what was easy.
Plenary:
1. What are some of the good things about starting again?
2. What are some of the more difficult things about starting again?
3. How were the people of Israel asked to start again?
4. What did God and Amos use as an image?
5. Who opposed Amos?
Groups:
If someone was asked to hold a plumb line against our congregation, how would it hold up?

Quote: Paul Harvey

If you don't live it, you don't believe it".




Story: Practising the Existence of God
By Philip Yancey in Rumours of Another World, Zondervan, 2003, ISBN 0310255244, pages 223-4. This is a series of grace stories set in South Africa at the time when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.




Response Activity: The Good Samaritan
Ask people to consider, at this point of their lives, who do they relate to best:
The lawyer: so busy debating the issue that he cannot see the need,
The people who pass by: so busy with religious duties that he cannot help
The beaten up man: accepting help from somebody he would rather not accept help from
The Good Samaritan: responding to a need even when he knows he is seen as inadequate.

Leave some silence for them to talk to God about it.

Response Activity: Grace
Have A4/letter sized paper (art paper is best but ordinary paper will do), plenty of pencils, paints and crayons available, flat tabletops or whatever to work on ( I use various spaces in the worship area and rooms nearby) and the following instructions either projected or printed on small cards.
1. Take some time in silence to concentrate on God.
2. On the paper, make a drawing of your life so far - it can be a time line, a series of small drawings or symbols, a diagram, a graph - whatever. Take your time and use what you are doing as part of your praying.
3. Take a bright colour you have not used on the paper anywhere and circle or shade the parts of your life where you can see God's grace at work.
4. Somewhere on the paper make a "what next" area and as you do, ask God to show you what's next for you.
Allow about ten minutes for this activity. To conclude, you could ask everybody to place their work in an area accessible to all so that people can wander about enjoying what has been created or you could encourage people to each say a one sentence prayer which thanks God for something they have discovered whilst doing the activity or....you could do both.

Hmmmm who's idea is this? - I think it is mine but let me know if you think it is yours.

Mediative Listening Song: Dies Irae

By Libera on their CD, Libera (pictured in an earlier blog).

Proper 9 Ordinary 14 (July 03): Travelling light/Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things























Bible Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-14, Psalm 30, Galatians 6:1-16, Luke 10:1-11,16-20.

About the images:
Upper Left:
This comes from the Hermano Leon free clip art site (see my link at left) and fits in beautifully with the gospel reading.
Upper Right:
This photo above was taken at 8:30 one night at a sand bagging depot for a local flood a few years back; it was freezing cold, very windy, and drizzling but this little girl begged her Mum "just one more bag" each time they finished filling one - an extraordinary effort.
Lower Left:  A free Microsoft image that exemplifies ordinary people do extraordinary things.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images very cheaply - however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com

 


Kid's Story: Giraffes Can't Dance
By Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, Orchard Books, 2000, ISBN 1841215651 (pictured at right). a lovely story about a giraffe who thought he could not dance but learns to dance beautifully. This goes very well with the gospel reading. 
 
 Film Clip: The Long Walk Home
(pictured at left) Miriam Thompson is a proper Southern lady, wife to a socially ambitious husband. Odessa Cotter is Miriam's black housekeeper. They both know their place - and they both speak out and change their society forever. There are heaps of good clips in this movie that exemplify ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Film Clip: Willow

(pictured at right)  Show the clip where Willow is given a job he does not think he is capable of doing.

Discussion: Willow

1. When have you felt like Willow - not up to what you think God is asking you to do?
2. What is of help when you feel like this?




 Story: The Little Girl and the Piano
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 143 (pictured at left). A story that shows that with help we can all do extraordinary things.

Story: Sharing Faith: Unknown Soldiers

Found in The New Century Version Youth Bible, Word, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1022 (pictured at right). This story goes well with the Gospel reading.

Quote: Helmut Theilicke
A church is in a bad way when it banishes laughter from the sanctuary and leaves it to the cabaret, the night club and the toastmasters.

Discussion: On the 2 Kings Reading
Divide your congregation into five groups. Each group will represent one of the following characters in the story: the slave girl, Naaman's wife, Elisha's servants, Naaman, the King of Israel.
Ask each group to discuss the following questions:
1. Describe the person according to their accepted job role.
2. How has this/these persons acted out of character.

Adult Response:
I saw this done once somewhere with a business card sized sketch of a candle but I used real candles and small tubes of glitter glue which you can write with. Ask people to write on their candle the name of someone that in the world's eyes is quite insignificant but who has helped them on their faith journey. On the other side write what they think God is calling them to do despite their feelings of inadequacy.  Encourage people to take home their candles and light them regularly as an aid to prayer.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Proper 08 Ordinary 13 C (June 26): Freedom/Discipleship/Memory

 

Bible Readings: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14, Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20, Galatians 5:1, 13-25, Luke 9:51-62

About the images:
Upper Left: This is a Microsoft free clip art image with my text.
Upper Right: Shore lines are great examples of our call to discipleship - leaving -reaching out into new places etc. This is my image. Please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images very cheaply - however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com
Lower Right:
This is my photo - please feel free to use it for worship purposes and other related activities.


Listening Song: Edge of the World
By Iona on their CD, Beyond These Shores (pictured at right). A song about discipleship.

Listening Song: Libera
By Libera on their CD, Libera. A song about God's presence (pictured at left).

Listening Song: Free
By Ginny Owens on Without Condition, 1999 or WOW 2001 ( pictured at right).
A song about being free and what real freedom is.

Kid's Story: Wilfre
d Gordon McDonald Partridge
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas Omnibus Books, 1984, ISBN 1862913471. (pictured at left) It is about memory so goes well with Psalm 77.


Video Clip: Home Alone

(pictured at right) The scene where Kevin discovers that he is home alone - the freedom he discovers is his and his celebration of that.

Discussion: On "Home Alone".

What does freedom mean to Kevin?
What does freedom mean to you?
Does physical freedom necessarily mean true freedom? Why or why not?

Film Clip: Noelle
(pictured at left) Show the clip where the two priests discuss praying - I found this clip at Wingclips (see my links at left).

Discussion: Noelle
1.What does this clip tell us about praying, priorities, fellowship and judging others?
2. What do you think about these things?
3. What does Jesus say about these things?

Quote: Karl Barth

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.

Quote: John Ruskin

He who offers God second place offers God no place.

Drama: The Robbery
Found in Let's Make A Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, 1991, ISBN 085910608X, page 44 (pictured at right). Based on Galatians 5:22.

Discussion: On Luke reading

What are the things that distract us today from following Jesus?


Poem: When I Became a Christian

Found in Clearing Away the Rubbish by Adrian Plass, Minstral, 1989, ISBN 1854240250, page 175ff. A poem about discipleship. Give a copy of this poem to each person in the congregation together with a coloured pencil and encourage them to find a place by themselves to read the poem and colour over the words that mean the most to them.

Story: The Testimony of Wing Commander Edward Howell

Found in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch Books, 2003, ISBN 1854245929, story no. 270 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Adult Response:
Have enough fruit shaped lollies (candy) or stickers with fruit on them for everybody in the congregation to have one. Put them in easy reach of people but do not give them out. Ask everybody to look at the list of the fruit of the Spirit again. Ask them to chose the one from the list that they most need in their life at the moment. Read out the list one more time but with long pauses between each fruit of the Spirit. Ask people to take a fruit lolly or a sticker when you get to the one they want. Ask the rest of the congregation to pray for those people as they eat their lolly or stick their sticker somewhere obvious (lapel? forehead? cheek? whatever?)


Also:
Kids' Story: A Ring of Fiery Horses
By Mervin Marquardt, Arch Books, London, 1973, ISBN 0570060745

Poem and Prayers: Face Forward

A great prayer and collect and poem found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 163. To order a copy of this excellent book email jennie.gordon@billanook.vic.edu.au

Adult Response: No Where To Rest
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year C by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2012, ISBN 9781921945083, page 99-101.  This is based on the gospel reading.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Proper 07 Ordinry 12 C (June 19): Time Out/Listening/Restoration


 


 


Bible Readings: 1 Kings 19:1-15a, Psalm 42 and 43, Galatians 3:23-29, Luke 8:26-39.

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a Microsoft free clip art with my text.
Upper Right: This is my image - please feel free to user it for worship purposes and other related activities.
Lower Left: This free image comes fro the excellent Heartlight site see my link column at left.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images very cheaply - however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com

Call To Worship: Elijah Meditation
Found in "Meeting God" in He Was in the World by John L. Bell, Wild Goose Publications, 1995, ISBN 094798870X, page 67 (pictured at left).

Opening Response: In Quietness and Darkness
Found in Present on Earth by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 20028, ISBN 0901557642, page 32 (pictured at right).  This goes well with the Galatians reading and particularly with verse 28.


Listening song: Deep Calling Deep
By Margaret Becker (and Charlie Peacock) on her album Grace or on WOW 1996 (pictured at left).This is a song about going deeper with God.


Prayer: Psalm 42 or 43
Have Psalm 42 or 43 on a screen or on a handout for everybody. Ask people to work in groups of three or four and write a two sentence prayer together. Have the first sentence describe something that makes our hearts seethe in turmoil (43:5 and a number of other verses in both psalms) and the second sentence ask God for forgiveness or help with this. Depending on the size of your congregation, either ask one person from each group to read out their prayer for the benefit of all or ask for five or six groups to volunteer to share their prayers.


I Kings Reading:
The verses of the old chorus Be Still and Know That I am God fit well with this reading. Have pauses in the reading where the relevant verse is sung.


Theme Idea: Time Out: God Restores Us...

1. When Others Hurt Us: Use the story of Elijah found in 1 Kings 19.

2. When We Hurt Ourselves: Use the story of Johnny Cash in the Nickajack Cave found in Spiritual Journeys by Jason Boyett, Relevant Books, 2003, ISBN 0972927603, page 13 (pictured at right)
3. When We Hurt for No Apparent Reason: Use the Luke story.

Quote: Mother Teresa
"We all long for heaven where God is but we have it in our power to be in heaven with Him right now - to be happy with Him at this very moment. But being happy with him now means: loving as He loves, helping as He helps, giving as He gives, serving as He serves, rescuing as He rescues, being with him for all the twenty four hours, touching Him in His distressing disguise. (A Gift For God)

Poem: Listening
by Brian Wren and found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, page 194 (pictured at left). This works really well with projected images and music.

Adult Response: Time Out
This will only work in places where you have available a sweet/lolly/candy (whatever your word is) called a Time Out. They come in two sizes here in Australia and I bought enough of the small ones so that everyone in the congregation could have one. Then I said something alone the lines of:
These readings challenge us in two ways;
1. They encourage us to take time out to spend time with God. God wants us to know that time spent seeking God, saying what is on our minds and revealing how we are feeling is not time wasted. The challenge for us is to make the time. Take the Time Out home, find a space in your day, and as you eat the Time Out, spend time with God. Make sure you put the empty wrapper somewhere where it will remind to take time out for God.
2. In each story the person is encouraged to go back into their communities to share their experience of God with others. When you sit at home in your small quiet space with God and your Time Out, remember to listen to God and discover where God is calling you to share your particular experiences.

Also:
Listening songs: Psalm 42a and Psalm 42b
Both these songs are by Sons of Korah and found on their album, Rain (pictured at right).

Poem and Prayers: Ensign
A great prayer and collect and poem found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 162 (pictured at left). To order a copy of this excellent book email jennie.gordon@billanook.vic.edu.au

Adult Response: The Demons That Won't Let Me Go
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year C by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2012, ISBN 9781921945083, page 94-6.  This is based on the gospel reading.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Proper 06 Ordinary 11 C (June 12): God's Generosity



 
 



 


























Bible Readings: 1 Kings 21:1-21
a, Psalm 5:1-8, Galatians 2:15-21, Luke 7:36-8:3


About the Images:
Upper Left
: This is free Microsoft clipart with my text.
Upper right
: I used a number of free Microsoft clipart to make this image.
Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image.  See my link column at left.
Lower Right:  This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images very cheaply - however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com




Listening Song: His Love Was Reaching
By David Meece on his album,
Odyssey (pictured at right). This goes particularly well with the Old Testament and the Gospel reading.



Listening Song: Dr Jekyll and Mr Christian
by Whiteheart on their album. Souvenirs (pictured at left).


Discussion: Dr Jekyll and Mr Christian
1. What groups in society do we find it hard to accept and love?
2. What groups do we condemn?
3. What groups do we avoid?
4. What is the challenge for us in both the gospel reading and the song?




Listening Song: Gather at the River 
By Point of Grace on their album, Point of Truth (pictured at right) and on WOW 2001. This goes well with the gospel reading and with the adult response below.


Listening Song: Fat Boy
By Jewel on her album, Spirit (pictured  at left).



Discussion: Fat Boy
1. Are we as loving to the outcasts in our society as we are to our friends and family?
2 Who are the outcasts?
3. Who do we include in our circles and who do we leave out?

4. In the song, the fat boy tries to make out everything is OK and that he is not hurt. How does he do that?
5. Why do you think Jewel finishes the song where she does?
6. What do you think she is asking us to consider?



Kid's Story: A Party For Jesus
Found in The Picture Strip Bible by Felicity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 72 (pictured at right).

Ask the Kids:
1. What did Simon think of the lady?
2. What did Jesus think of the lady?
3. What does the story tell us about what Jesus thinks of us?

Kid's Activity: Welcome Gifts
You can often buy very cheap key rings (with little wooden cut out shapes attached) in reject shops and craft shops. Allow the kids to paint or colour these and give them as welcome gifts to new people who come to church.

Film Clip: Shadowlands
Show the part where C.S. Lewis and an Anglican priest have a discussion about prayer. See the subtitled clip below. Lewis says: "I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time - waking and sleeping." 

Ask: How hard is it to ask each other for help when we need it and how hard is it to ask God for help when we need it?

His last line is a ripper and worthy of discussion too.





Film Clip: Sons of Korah Psalm 32
(the alternative Pslam set down for today which goes beautifully with the gospel reading)





Bookmark Prayers

Give everyone a bookmark with the words of Psalm 5:1-3 printed on it. Read the whole psalm and then invite people to write on the back of the bookmark, two prayers which are close to their hearts at the present time: one a thank you for a recently answered prayer, and one a prayer that is still in need of answer.

Discussion:

1. How do you feel when a prayer does not seem to be answered?
2. What was a Pharisee?
3. Who are most like Pharisees today?

To Think About
1. When do you find yourself acting like Simon in the gospel story?
2. Like Simon, what do we need to ask God to forgive us for?

Quotes: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

1. We must turn our struggle into surrender and then prayer becomes the starting point for action.
2. From the moment we awake until we fall asleep, we must commend other people wholly and unreservedly to God and leave then in his hands, transforming our anxiety for them into prayer on their behalf.
(From Letters From Prison I think)

Dramatic Reading: A Glutton and a Drunkard
Found in Present on Earth by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 20028, ISBN 0901557642, page 17 (pictured at left).


Story: Barefoot Bill
Found in Rebecca Manley Pippert, Out of the Salt Shaker, Inter Varsity Press. 1979, ISBN 0830822208, page 177. This story goes really well with the gospel reading. It is a story that can be found in more than just this book too - possibly an urban church myth but useful all the same. A story does not have to be real to teach a truth.

Story: Cruise Control
Index 1002-1005 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990

Story: Christ Knocking

Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 81. 

Poem: The Sinful Woman
By Ranjini Rebera in The Bible Through Asian Eyes by Maseo Takenaka nad Ron O'Grady, Pace Publishing, ISBN 0959797106, page 102 (pictured at right)

Poem: Anointing
By J. Barrie Shepherd in Imaging the Word Volume 1 by Kenneth T. Lawrence, Jann Cather Weaver and Roger Wedell (Eds.), United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 0829809716, page 221.


Work of Art: Her Sins Are Forgiven
By Wu Yuen-kwei in The Bible Through Asian Eyes, as above, page 103 or in Imaging the Word Volume 1 (as above), page 219.


Adult Response:
Have a bowl of salty water, a jar of scented oil and a packet of hand wipes set out at the front of your worship space on three separate tables.
Ask people to think about where they think they best relate to the gospel reading today:-
Is there something you need to ask God for today? (Go to the salty water and as you pray, trace a cross on your cheek with a finger dipped in the water ).
Is there something you would like to thank God for? (Go to the scented oil and as you pray, trace a cross on the back of your hand with a finger dipped in the oil ).
Is there some way that God is calling you to serve in the church or in the community? (Go to the hand wipes and as you pray, wipe your hands with a hand wipe) - to illustrate how we need to wash our hands before we get down to servant work not to illustrate the grubbiness of those we serve. Sadly this needs to be explained sometimes.

Blessing: A Benediction
By J. Danson Smith and found in High Mountains, Deep Valleys by Rowland Croucher and Grace Thomlinson (Eds.) Albatross, 1990, ISBN 086760090X, page 239.n

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Proper 05 Ordinary 10 C (June 05): Dare to Make A Difference/ God is Forever Faithful


 


 
Bible Readings: 1 Kings 17:8-16,(17-24), Psalm 146, Galatians 1:11-24,
Luke 7:11-17

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image. I think it is a good illustration on of how God brings life from death,
Upper Right: This is a free Microsoft clipart image with my text.
Lower Left:  Bush flowers following a bush fire in the Victorian High Country near the Blue Duck.  Another life from death image. This is my image. Please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images very cheaply - however this particular one is free on the site this week.  Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com
  

Kid's Story: Elijah and the Widow Stories
Make up a number of white posters with dinner plate sized round faces. Make each face a different emotion - sad, happy, confused or puzzled, delighted, amazed, etc. Tell either story and use the faces to help the children reflect or guess the emotions involved in the story.


 Kid's Story: Elijah
Found in The Picture Strip Bible by Felicity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 48 (pictured at left).

 Film Clip: Mr Holland's Opus
(pictured at right) Show the clip very close to the end where Mr Holland is taken to the gym for his surprise celebration which honours the difference he has made in hundreds of students lives. If you have time, run this clip until the credits begin (it is not all that long) but at least make sure you include the speech given by one of the students.

Lots of Good Ideas for all the Readings
Found in Living Stones by Susan Sayers, Kevin Mayhew, 2000, ISBN 1840030097, page 129ff (pictured at left).



Drama: Paul Called By God
A monologue by God found in Mega Drama 5 by Verena Johnson (Ed), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109194, page 68 (pictured at right).


 Discussion: Psalm 146

1. Who or what are the "princes" and powerful people in our world today?
2.Why are they no help to us?
 

Story: Outreach
Story 471 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 goes very well with the Psalm.

Story: God - His Care

Found in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch Books, 2003, ISBN 1854245929, Story No. 99 (pictured at right). This story fits well with the 1 Kings reading.

Story: Rosario
As above, Story No 278. This story fits in well with the Psalm.

Story: No Funerals
Index 2407-2416 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990.


Poem: This Time
By Giles David and found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compile by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, page 184 (pictured at left). This works really well with projected images and music. I used Lord of All Space by Caim from their album, Sung Prayers in the Celtic Tradition. This poem fits well with all four of the readings.


Meditation Stations: Elijah and the Widow
This mediation is based very roughly on a suggestion made on page 35 of a really beaut book called Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668.
Have five separate stations around your worship space and some meditative music playing. Each station will be decorated differently (see below) and will have a short reading to contemplate and some suggestions for prayer and action. Arrange stations and people so that not everybody goes to Station 1 first - although the stations are chronological as far as the story goes, they can be visited in any order without losing a sense of what is happening. Allow around 3-5 minutes for each station and encourage people to visit them all at least once. However, also make it clear that they can revisit some if they wish to.
Station 1:
Have a map of the world, a lit candle and enough tea lights for everybody.
On small cards or note paper, print the following:
1 Kings 17:8-9. Note that the woman is not one of God's chosen people, is a widow, a woman (duh!) and has a son. Both she and the boy are marginalised.
To think and pray about:
Who are the marginalised people in our lives?
Who are the people we assume may be outside God's love because of their lifestyle, occupation, beliefs or ethnicity?
How can we make a difference and reflect God's love?
Light a candle and place it on a part of the world that needs Gods transforming love and life?
Station 2:
Have a simple bowl filled to overflowing with small loaves of (if possible, hot) bread. On small cards or note paper, print the following:
1 Kings 17:10-15 (or summary).
The widow gives away her very last meal to a man she has never met before who she meets at the town gate.
Think of a time when you have mistrusted a request from a stranger.
Think of times when you have been generous to strangers.
What were the results?

Think of the difficulties you face as you try to balance requests for your time and/or money.
As you eat one of the small loaves, pray for the wisdom to know when to say "yes", when to say "no" and how to make a difference.
Station 3:
Have a number of postcards, photos, works of art, mounted magazine pictures of deserts, dry creek beds, angry or hurting faces, dry bones etc - anything that represents hard times, anger, and sadness. On small cards or note paper, print the following:
1 Kings 17:17-18 
Think of a time in your life when you have been fearful, depressed or angry with God.
Choose a picture from the collection that represents your feelings best.
How do you think God can or has make a difference to these feelings.
If you are feeling like this now, tell God about it.
or
If you know someone who may feel like this, pray for them.

Station 4:
Have a simple bowl filled with tiny bulbs or seeds (depending on the season)On small cards or note paper, print the following:
1 Kings 17:19-23
Take a seed/bulb.
Look at the seed and think about what your life be like if God was not a part of it? Imagine the potential of your seed, what it will grow in to, and imagine what God is doing with your potential. If God is continually transforming you, how can you share that with others?

Station 5:
Have this station near a brightly illuminated pertinent painting, window or banner - I used our Pentecost banner and arranged chairs around it. On small cards or note paper, print the following:
1 Kings 17:24
Think of a time when God has used somebody to enable you to "see the light".
How has it helped your faith?
Thank God for the people who have made a difference to your faith.
Ask God to enable you share your faith with others - pray for specific people and/or communities.