Monday, July 17, 2017

Proper 11 (July 23): God With Us





Bible Readings: Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139: 1-12, 23-24, Romans 8:12-25, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.

About the Image:
Upper Left: This image is a free microsoft clipart on to which I put the Biblical text
Upper Right: This is a Heartlight free image - see my links column at left. I think this image is fascinating - I can spend hours looking at it.

Lower Left: This is my image of Ninety Mile Beach in East Gippsland and was one of the images I used with the meditation/prayer below.
Lower Right: A free image from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left.

Listening Song: Live For You
By Rachael Lam
pa on her album of the same name (pictured at left) or on WOW 2001.This goes particularly well as a response to the Old Testament reading.

Listening Song: I've Always Loved You
By Third Day on their album Time (pictured at right). This goes beautifully with the psalm.

Discussion to introduce Genesis reading
Show a group of road signs (go, stop, detour, u turn, danger, caution, rough road ahead etc) and ask people to pick which one best describes their relationship with God at the moment. Reassure them that there are no wrong answers because our relationship with God is also a journey. Jacob could have used every one of the road signs at some time or another of his life. Ask them to share their road sign with a neighbour.


Film Clip: Shrek
Show the clip (below) near the end of the film when Shrek sees the Princess when she is herself. Connect this with the psalm and how God sees us as we really are and loves us.




Drama: A Tare-ible Quarrel
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 48 (pictured at right). This is based on the gospel reading.

Discussion: A Tare-ible Quarrel and the Matthew passage
1.Is there a lesson here for us as a church?

2. Why are we unable to judge who are wheat and who are weeds?
3. What does Matthew reading tell us about church purity?
4. What does Matthew teach us about human accountability?
5. What injustice makes you angry?


Prayer: Midday Prayer
From A New Zealand Prayer Book and found 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 245 (pictured at left). This goes well with the gospel.



Meditation: Midday Prayer
Project the above prayer with images and the music, Amerigin's Invocation, from the album Immortal Memory by Lisa Gerrard and Patrick Kennedy (pictured at left).


Sunday, July 09, 2017

Proper 10 A (July 16): Seed stuff



















Bible readings: Genesis 25:19-24, Psalm 119:105-112, Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9,18-25

About the Images:
Upper Left: The Sower: painted by Vincent Van Gogh and taken from Wikimedia Commons - a public domain site.
Upper Right: This is a free clip art from the Hermano Leon site - see a link at left in my links column.

Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image.  See my links column at left.
Lower Right: Sketch of the sower by Van Gogh photographed by me at the amazing Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

Listening Song: Joy in the Journey
By Michael Card on his album, Joy in the Journey (pictured at right). This song fits in well with all the readings but fits particularly well with the gospel reading.

Listening Song: Never Alone
by Barlow
Girl on their album, Barlow Girl (pictured at left) or on the album WOW 2005. This song goes well with all the readings - I put it with the gospel reading.

 Prayer of Confession: Thistles
This is an activity prayer and is found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 12 (pictured at right). It is based on the gospel reading.

Object Lesson: Irish Spring and the Word of God
Found in Fresh Ideas Volume 2 by Jim Burns and Mark Simone, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 083718842, page 64 (pictured at right) . This is based on the psalm.

 Film Clip: The Neverending Story
 Show the conversation about the story not being safe and link it with Bible is good news but that it is also not safe in the sense that it always presents us with a challenge.




Film Clip: Chicken Run
(pictured at left) Show the scene quite near the beginning where the hens are all planning their escape and becoming demoralised about the whole idea when one of them says "the biggest fences are inside your heads".


Discussion: Chicken Run
1. What things make you feel spiritually uncomfortable?

2. When do we have fences inside our heads when it comes to thinking about God and what God calls us to be or to do?

Film Clip: Pirates 3: At World's End.
Show the clip where Will asks Elizabeth to marry him in the middle of a gigantic sword fight/battle. 



Discussion: Pirates 3: At World's End

1. Why is it a bad time for Will to ask Elizabeth to marry him?
2. What sort of things distract us from following God?


Drama: Seeds Jive

Found in Parable Performing by Kristin Etscheid, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985,ISBN 0340336676, page 56 (pictured at right). This is based on the gospel reading.


Drama: Seeds
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 69. This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: Lamps R Us
Found in Creative Worship Ideas by Lois Keffer, Group, 1993, ISBN 1559450991, page 58
(pictured at right). This drama is related to the psalm.

Drama: Psalm 119
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 7.


Drama: Genesis 25:19-34
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 6.

Discussion:
Where do Jacob and Esau fit in the gospel parable: are they seeds on the path, on the thin soil, amongst the thorns or in good soil?
What helps us to have deep roots in good soil?


Story: The Native American and the Cricket
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 123. This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Prayer For Others: Reminders (Version 3: Mixed Nuts)
This is an activity prayer and found in Multi-sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994652, page 47. This goes quite well with the gospel reading.

Poem: Living Hearts
Found 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 240. This goes well with the gospel. I used images with this poem and the music of Tony O'Conner's track, Memories, from his album, Rainforest Magic.

Meditation: A Sower Went to Sow
Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 165This goes quite well with the gospel reading.


Sunday, July 02, 2017

Proper 9 A (July 9): Sharing the Burden













Bible Reading: Genesis 24: 34-38, 42-49, 58-67, Psalm 45: 10-17 or Song of Songs 2:8-13, Romans 7;15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.

About the Images:
Upper Left : This is a microsoft free clipart onto which I have put the Biblical text.
Upper Right: This is a free image from Heartlight (you will find a link to Heartlight in my links column at left).
Lower Left: This is a free image from www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com. It makes a great background slide for the Romans reading and comes in three languages: english, spanish and portuguese (I think). 
Lower Right: This is my image of an ancient well in Beersheba similar to the type mentioned in the Genesis story.  Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

Listening Song: Much Afraid
By Jars of Clay on their album, Much Afraid (pictured at left). This song fits quite well with the Matthew reading.


Listening Song: A Noble Theme Psalm 45
By Sons of Korah on their album, Hand on the
Plough (pictured at right).

Call to Worship
Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 4 (pictured at left). This is based on the Gospel reading.

Kids Time: Liturgical stole and Good Intentions
A good explanation about both which links well with both the Matthew and the Romans reading can be found in Forbid Them Not Year A by Carolyn C Brown, Abingdon Press, 1992, ISBN 068713255X, page 129 (pictured at right).

Film Clip: Wall-e
(pictured at left) Show the trailer i
n which you see Wall-e bored and lonely .

Discussion: Wall-e
What two things are making
Wall-e sad?
What do you think would make him happy?


Film Clip: Les Miserables
(pictured at right) Use the clip right near the end when Javert and Valjean have a conversation by the river and Javert lets himself fall into the water. This is a great illustration of the Romans reading when we can paint ourselves into a corner if we do not acknowledge our need for a Saviour. I used a Wingclips film clip for this - you can visit their site via my link column at left.

Discussion on the Matthew reading
In wha
t areas would you like to be more closely yoked with Jesus as a church?

Drama: A Load of Rubbish
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 17(pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Discussion for A Load of Rubbish
What are some of the burdens we carry around with us?


Drama: All Messed Up

Found in Life Plus Ideas For Worship, JBCE 1996, ISBN 1864071079, page 4 (pictured above). This drama is based on the romans reading and can be adapted for puppets or people.

Story: Too Polite

Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 88(pictured at right).  This story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Pulling Together
Index 3894-3899 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. This story is also found at http://www.churchchrist.net/Sermons/Ministry.htm and is called Pulling Yoke Together.

Story: The Flying Wallandas
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialities, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 96 (pictured in an earlier blog). This story is about trusting God. This goes with both the gospel reading and the Genesis reading.

Story: The Civil War of the Soul
Found in In the Grip Of Grace by Max Lucado, Word Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0849911435, pages 139ff. Lots of stories and discussion questions (at the back) based on the Romans reading.

Poem/Meditation: Prisoner

Found in The Electric Bible: Poems For Public Worship by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170411, page 100. This poem is based on the Romans reading. I put an image up for each stanza and read it out loud with a pause between each verse.

Response Activity:
Give everyone a business card with a picture of two yoked bullocks and the words "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.....For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light - Jesus".
(see image above and feel free to use). Ask people to think about the words and write on the back of the card either a burden they are carrying which they need to share with Jesus or a job that Jesus is asking them to do with his help.

Response Activity: Burdens

Found in Multi-Sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994652, page 54.

Also:
Poem and prayer: beyond the breakers.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 43. These are based on the gospel reading.

Response Activity: Kindness

Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year A by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 112ff. This is based on the Gospel reading .

Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 144ff.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Proper 8 A (July 2): Discipleship = Hospitality/ Restoring the sparkle in our eyes
























Bible Readings: Genesis 22:1-14, Psalm 13, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42

About the images:
Upper Left: This is a free image from Hermano Leon Art with my text - see my links column at left.
Upper Right: This is a free image from Image Bank with my text - see my links column at left.
Lower left: This is a free Bing image with text from Psalm 13
Lower Right: This is a free image from Heartlight - see my link column at left

Kid's story
: Nobody's Granny
By Tess Brady and Kay Stewart, Ashton Scholastic, 1989, ISBN 0868964344 (pictured at l
eft). This story goes beautifuly with the Matthew reading - it is about all kinds of hospitality and about how hospitality grows hospitality in others.

Film Clip: Chocolat
(pictured at right) Show the priest's sermon right at the end of the film .

Discussion: On Chocolat

1. What should we be embracing?
2. What should we be creating?
3. Who should we be in
cluding?

Response Activity: Chocolat

After singing a serving song, give everybody a disposable white cup (or some other symbol of hospitality) and something to write with. Ask them to write their personal answers to the three Chocolat questions.

Film Clip: Babette's Feast
(pictured at left) Heaps of clips from this film fit the bill for today's readings - in fact I have shown the whole thing interspersed with time for discussion, prayer, bible readings and dinner - that was the service.

Introductory Activity for The Psalm: Fried Eggs
Found in 40 devotions That Work With Youth by Geraldine Anderson (Ed.), JBCE, 1983, ISBN 0858194147, page 12 (pictured at right). This works just as well for adults as for teens and children.

Story: Whose Duty is It
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 155 (pictured at left). This story links in well with the gospel reading.


Poem: Old Gaelic Rune
Found 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 233 (pictured at right). This poem fits well with the gospel reading. I found A Million Stars by Iona on their album, Open Sky (pictured at left), made great backing for this poem.

NB: About using poetry in worship
Reading poetry, unless done very well, does not go down well in this day and age. I always project the words with images and matching music and basically turn the poems into meditations. If there are copyright issues with the words, then still project images and play the music but read the words as a voice over. People respond well to these poem/meditations and they are often the most requested and talked about part of my services. They are the "worship of choice" for the young people in our congregations.

Also
Meditation: Meeting God

Found in He Was in the World by John L. Bell, Wild Goose Publications, 1995, ISBN 094798870X, page 64 (pict . This goes with the Genesis reading and I will probably use just the bit that is relevant and save the whole meditation for another time.

Reflect/Pray/Act: Lament on God's Steadfast Love
You will find useful ideas for reflecting, praying, and acting based on Psalm 13 which can be easily incorporated into a worship service on page 48 of Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage - Participants Book (part of the The Way of Pilgrimage series) by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, 2007, ISBN 9780835898362.




Saturday, May 13, 2017

Proper 7 A (June 25): Deserts and Wells/ Fear Not

































Bible Readings: Genesis 21:8-21, Psalm 86:1-10, Romans 6:1b -11, Matthew 10: 24-39.

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is my photo with words from The Little Prince (see below). Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper right: This is an Imagebank image (see my links column at left) with words from The Little Prince.
Lower Left: This is a microsoft free clipart background with my text.
Lower Right: This is a free heartlight image - see my link column at left

Listening Song: God is In Control
By Twila Paris on her album, Beyond a Dream  (pictured at left) or on WOW 1996. This song goes very well with the Genesis reading.


Listening Song: You're Here
By Sixpence None the Richer on the album, City on a Hill, 2000 (pictured at right). This song goes very well with either the Genesis reading or the Gospel reading.



Kid's Story: The Very Worried Sparrow
By Meryl Doney, Anzea Publishers or Lion Publishing, 1978, ISBN 858920948 (pictured at left). This story is based on the Gospel reading.

Film Clip: The Incredibles
(pictured at right) Show the scene contained in the first 15 minutes where Mr Incredible is blamed for doing good. This fits in very well with the Gospel reading.

Discussion: On The Incredibles
1. When was Jesus treated in a similar way?
2. When were the disciples treated in a similar way?
3. When do we, as Christians, have to put up with similar treatment and what can/should we do about it?

Story: Names or Numbers

Marvin Rosenthal  tells about a mother who was asked by a census taker how may children she had. She said, "Well, there's Billy and Harry and Martha and--" "Never mind the names," the man interrupted. "Just give me the number!" The mother indignantly replied, "They haven't got numbers, they've all got names." Sorry, can't source this other than I think it may come from a magazine.

Story: Bonhoeffer
The story of Bonoeffer's imprisonment and death fits very well with the cost of discipleship mentioned in the gospel.


Quote: The Little Prince
(pictured at left but there are so, so many editions of this wonderful little book that you will have not trouble finding it) "What makes the desert beautiful", said the Little Prince, is that somewhere it hides a well..." .... The Little Prince added: "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart".

Discussion:
Brainstorm desert experiences and wells.
How do we find wells in our desert experiences?


Poem: The Candle
Found in The Electric Bible by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170441, page 78 (pictured at right).  The poem goes really well with the gospel reading.  I matched it with images and backed it with Dark Night of the Soul by Loreena McKennitt on her CD, Mask and Mirror.

Response Activity:
Give each person a small card with a desert and a well pictured on it. Ask people to write down a situation that can make their life a bit of a desert on the desert picture and then on the picture of the well, ask them to write something God has provided to help them survive. This links in with the Genesis reading.


Response Activity:
Give everyone a key tag and a choice of three pictures which you have pre-made to fit the key tags - I linked this with the Matthew reading so I had pictures of hair, candles and sparrows.  On the back I encouraged people to to write: God cares for me. I encouraged people to attach these to personal items so as to remind themselves of God’s love and care.  I got the key tag idea for this from a children's activity in the Mediacom Whole people of God Beginners notes for 2002.