Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas 2 ABC (January 4): Shining Lights/Special Children



































Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-4, John 1:1-9, 10-18

A little note:  Well you learn something new everyday!  Christmas 2 is the same EVERY year.  Not sure why - possibly because it does not show up often,  

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free image from Heartlight. To visit their site, go to my links column on the left hand side of this page.
Upper Right: This is a free clipart image from Hermano Leon with my text. To find his clipart, go to my links column on the left hand side of this page.
Lower Left: This is an image from Church Galleries.  See my link column at left. 

Lower Right: This image comes from another excellent free site: http://www.cruzblanca.org/hermanoleon/. I put the text on to the image.

Listening Song: Immanuel
By Michael Card and found on his CD, Joy in the Journey (pictured at left).

Listening Song: Dies Irae
By Robert Prizeman on his album, Libera (pict
ured at right). This song uses some of the gospel words.

Kid's Talk: Reflecting the Light

A great kid's story and associated puzzle and colouring-in pages based on John 1:6-9 can be found
at http://www.sermons4kids.com/reflecting_the_light.htm

Kids' Story: Our Granny
By Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas, Omnibus Books, 1993, ISBN 1862913501 (pictured at left). This story develops the idea of family and therefore relates to how we are all children of God.

Drama: A Perfect Disgrace

Found in Cloth For the Cradle by the Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 100 (pictured at right).

Film Clips: A Christmas Carol - The Musical
This Dickens story (pictured at left) runs parallel to the second half of the gospel reading as follows: John 1:10-11:Rejecting Jesus: Scrooge as he is at the beginning of the film. John 1: 12-13: Accepting Jesus: Scrooge as he is when, in the graveyard, he finally realises what it is all about. John 1: 14-18: Reflecting Jesus: Scrooge at the end of the film when he cannot help but spread good cheer, love and generosity.
I found all three clips at www.wingclips.com

Film Clip: The Cider House Rules
 Show the clip (around 13 minutes in) where Curley is told he is special. This goes very well with the part in the John reading and the Ephesians reading that tells us that we are God's special children.


Story: Not Unless You Take It
This story, based on the John reading, can be found at http://www.preachhim.org/UnClaimedGrace.htm under section 2B.

Story: Point to the Light
Found in The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1058 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Quote: Madeleine L'Engle
It starts with "cribb'd, cabined and confined" and can be found in 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 105 (pictured at right).

Adult Response:
Challenge everyone with the Reject, Accept, and Reflect challenges found in John 1:10-18. It is interesting to note that in John's view accepting Jesus without reflecting him in your life is pretty much the same as rejecting him. Give people some space and time to think about this. 


New Years Day B: All Things New



















Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:13, Psalm 8, Revelation 21:1-6, Matthew 25:31-46

About the Image:
Upper Left: Hibiscus bud photographed in my garden - you are free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is my photo (my front yard) with words from the John Marsden prayer below. You are free to use my photo for worship and related activities.

Lower left: A free image from www.daveandpeg.com
Lower right: A free image from Church Galleries (see my links column at left)

Confession: The Paradox of Our Times
This can be found in many places on the net and makes a good confession if read by two people. U
se 1 John 2:1-2 as your absolution.

Kid's Story: The "Sheep Lion"
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 147 (pictured at right). This is a story about recognising who you are in the context of God's purpose for your life.

Story: Missed Opportunities
This story can be found at http://www.trinitycrc.org/sermons
/mt06v19b.html. Scroll down until you find the heading "Folly".

Prayer: Prayer For the 21st Century
By John Marsden, Lothian Books, 1997, ISBN 0850918146 (pictured at left). A beautifully illustrated prayer appropriate for every new day, let alone every new year. It goes well with the track Adiemus by the group Adiemus on their CD, Songs of Sanctuary (pictured at right).

Response Activity:
Invite people to stand up and name a ministry in which they are involved in or in which they feel called (by God but not necessarily by the church) to be involved in, in the future (this may be something nobody is yet doing in the church).

Response Activity:
I combined the above Response Activity, the Prayer for the 21st Century and Wesley's covenant prayer as three distinct prayer stations to finish off the service. People had the option and the time to visit all three stations or to spend time at just one or two.

Christmas 1 B (28th December): Christmas Twenty Four/Seven





































Bible Readings: Isaiah 61:10-62:3, Psalm 148, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:22-40.

About the images:
Upper Left: This is a microsoft free clip art image with my text. I apologise to all the font police out there who hate comic sans but I made this slide way before I knew it was such a graphic crime to use this particular font :)
Upper Right: This figure is from the Hermano Leon free clip art site (see my links column at left).
Lower Left: This is a Microsoft free clip art image and goes well with Galatians 4:4 - "when the time was right...."
Lower Right: Simeon in the Temple by Rembrandt.  The copyright note with this image from Wikipedia Commons states:  This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The official position taken by the Wikimedia Foundation is that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain". This photographic reproduction is therefore also considered to be in the public domain

Responsive Reading: Gathering
Found in Ideas for Worship, July - December 1996, JBCE, page 54 (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Overjoyed
By Jars of Clay on their album, Much Afraid (pictured at left).

Film Clip: The Blue Butterfly
 (pictured at right) There is a great clip in this film where Pete and a young girl have a discussion about the meaning of the word "miracle".

Discussion: The Blue Butterfly

1. What does the girl try to teach Pete about his understanding of a miracle?
2.
How can we turn Christmas from a one day miracle into a year round miracle?

Drama: Anna and Simeon
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 116ff (pictured at left).

Discussion: On the Galatians reading.
What are the promises to us given in these verses?

Discussion: On the Luke reading
1. What is a God moment/"God stuff"?
2. How do we remind ourselves that Jesus walks with us?
3. How do we encourage each other to notice the "God stuff" in our lives?
4. How do we encourage each other to respond to the "God stuff"?


Poem: Mary's Gift

Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 30 (pictured at right)

Poem: Simeon's Farewell
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 32 (pictured at right).

Poem: Anna'a Song
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 34 (pictured above right).

Story: Cleaning up the Mess
Found at http://broadwayunitedmethodist.com/node/86 - second paragraph.


Story: Grandfather Listens to God
Story by Helen Flexner found in Imaging the Word Volume 3 edited by Susan A Blain, Sharon Iverson Gouwens, Catherine O'Callagan, and Grant Spradling, United Church Press, 1996, ISBN 0829810862, page 104 (pictured at right
).

Response Activity:
Give everyone a short piece of tinsel or a tree decoration of some sort to take home as a reminder that the God stuff/moments can be found on any day of the year, not just Christmas day. An extra option would be to give each person a small white card on which they could write a few words to remind them of the miracle of Christmas which could them be attached to the tinsel or ornament.

Christmas Day B: Glorious Light

























Bible Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7, Hebrews 1:1-4, 5-12, Luke 2:1-20

About the Image
Upper Left: Winter sunrise, Swan Reach, Victoria, Australia (for more info visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Reach,_Victoria). This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Upper Right:
This is a Corel free clipart with text from the Michael Card song, Immanuel.
Lower Left: Decoration in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This is my image so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower Right: This is a free image from Heartlight (see my links column at left)

Proclamation: They Have Heard It On the Hills
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 97 (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Gaudete
By Cantillation on the compilation CD, Peace on Earth(pictured at left)

Listening Song: Immanuel
By Michael Card on his album, The Final Word

Kid's Story: The Fox's Story
By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, Marshal Pickering, 1988, ISBN 0551015802; (pictured at right).

Kid's Story: The Grumpy Shepherd
By Paddy Devon, Scripture Union, 1995, ISBN 1859993265 (pictured at left).

Kid's Story: Jed and Roy McCoy
by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep, 2007 ISNB 9781921229121. Visit lostsheep.com.au for downloads of this book (pictured at right).

Responsive Reading: A Boy Has Been Born to Us
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 114 (pictured above).

Responsive reading: Light Looked Down
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 82 (pictured above).

Responsive Reading: Litany of the Incarnation
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 91 (pictured above).

Film Clip: Bethlehemian Rhapsody


Drama: A Special Baby
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 111ff (pictured above).

Drama: The Incarnation
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 86ff (pictured above).

Story: I Did
By Adrian Plass in The Growing Up Pains of Adrian Plass, Harper Collins,1986, ISBN 0551013850, page 7ff (pictured at right).

Story: Out and About
There was once a European monarch who worried his court by often disappearing and walking incognito amongst his people. When he was asked not to do this for security reasons, he said, “I cannot rule my people unless I know how they live".
Cannot source this tiny story but it is found in a number of places on the web.

Story: Come Home

Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 125ff.

Story: Dian Fossey and Gorillas in the Mist
Find this story at www.elbourne.org/sermons/index.mv?illustration+1446

Story: With Skin On!

Find this story at www.elbourne.org/sermons/index.mv?illustration+1445

Prayer for Others: In the Face of the Gospel

From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 115 (pictured above).

Response Activity: Candy Canes
Give everyone a red and white striped candy cane and tell the congregation the meaning of the shape, the stripes, the flavour, etc. For information, see http://ww2.netnitco.net/~legend01/candycane.htm

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Eve B: Rejoice/Light of the World





















Bible Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7 Luke 2:1-20

About the Images:
Upper Left: I am pretty sure this is mine - somebody tell me if it is not.
Upper Right: This photo was taken at Nazareth Village (http://www.nazarethvillage.com - well worth a visit in person if not on line) where permission was given for us to take photos. Please only use for worship or related activities.
Lower Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image
Lower Right: This 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.

Decor:
White and gold cloth and floating tea lights in clear glass bowls.

Call to Worship/Proclamation: This, Tonight is the Meeting Place
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 83. We read this while playing Anthem Part 3 from the CD Powaqquatsi (pictured at right) in the background.

Listening Song: Hope
Found on Jonathan Elias's compilation album, Prayer Cycle (pictured at left).

Listening Song: A Holy Night
By Point of Grace on the album, WOW Christmas (pictured at right).
Listening Song: Mary, Did You Know?
By Kathy Mattea on the album, WOW Christmas (pictured at right). One year we used this song as the framework for the whole Christmas eve service.

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

Listening Song: Gaudete
By Cantillation on the compilation CD, Peace on Earth (pictured at right).

Listening Song: The First Noel/Mary Mary
by Sarah McLachlan on the compilation album, So Fresh: Songs For Christmas 2007.

Drama: In their Shoes
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 98 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Drama: The Incarnation
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 86ff (pictured in an earlier blog).

Stories/Sermon: Four Shoes For the Nativity
By Roddy Hamilton and found on his blog, Mucky Paws (see link at left) in his December 2005 archive.

Story/Sermon: Good King Wenceslas
Use this carol as a parable. A great source for this is Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale and Christopher Manson, North South Books, 1994, ISBN 1558583211.

Story: Take Hold of Love
By Henry Carter in Christmas Stories of the Heart by Alice Gray (Ed.) Multnomah Books, 1997, ISBN 1576731847, page 28.

Poems:
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628. This book puts a real Australian flavour to the whole story.

Poem: Mary's Song
By Lucy Shaw. I used the words of this poem with images and played Psalmus Ode by Vangelis from his CD, Reprise (pictured at right), as a backing. I can't remember which of her books this poem comes from but you can find the poem at http://maggidawn.typepad.com/maggidawn/2006/12/poems_for_chris_2.html.

Meditation: Image of the Invisible God
By Adrian Plass in his book And Jesus Will Be Born, Zondervan, 2003, ISBN 0007130511, page 123ff. I matched each line with an image and played Aeterna Lux by Libera on their self titled album, as backing.

Meditation: Comfort My People
By Roddy Hamilton and found on his blog, Mucky Paws (see link at left) in his December 2005 archive.

Prayer for Others: In the Face of the Gospel
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 115 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Response Activity: Four Corners
By Roddy Hamilton on his site Mucky Paws (see my links column at left) archived under December 2010. This is suitable for any part of the service. Roddy also suggests using the sarah McLachlan song mentioned above.

Response Activity:
It would not be a Christmas Eve Service at our church if we did not light the Christ Candle on the stroke of midnight, light out tapers from it and then sing Joy to the World together in the candle light.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blue Christmas B: For those who find celebrating Christmas difficult



















Bible readings: Isaiah 9:2,6-7, Isaiah 4o:8-9, John 1:4-5, Luke 2:1-20, Psalm 121,

About the Image:
Upper Left:  This image comes from www.visualparadox.com - a great site for images.
Upper Right: This is my image. Please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: A free image from Heartlight (see my link column at left)
Lower Right: A free Microsoft clipart image.

Listening Song: Immanuel
By Michael Card on his CD, The Final Word (pictured at left).

Listening Song: Vespura
By Aled on his album, Aled Jones (pictured at right).

Reading: Into this Silent Night
From Kneeling in Bethlehem by Ann Weems, Westminster John Knox Press. (pictured at left)

Story: King of Kings
By Susan Hill and John Lawrence, Walker Books, 1993, ISBN 0744543266 (pictured at right). Although this is a children's book it makes a lovely reflection for adults.

Prayer for Others: When the World was Dark
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 92 (pictured at left). I projected the words of this prayer with matching images and the music of Pie Jesu by Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston on Andrew Lloyd Webber's album, Gold (pictured at right).

Response Activity: Taper Lighting
Light the Christ candle somewhere near the beginning of the service and then throughout the service give a number of opportunities for people to light a taper in response to the following:
1. In memory of a loved one who had died
2. To acknowledge a loss - any kind of loss, not just a death
3. In thankfulness for family and/or friends
4. To acknowledge the hope that the birth of Jesus gives to each one of us.