Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Eve B (December 24): 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.
Middle Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image
Middle 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.
Lower Left: Another free Heartlight image - see my link column at left

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 at left).

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

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 (pictured at left).

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 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.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Blue Christmas B: For those who find celebrating 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.
Middle Left: A free image from Heartlight (see my link column at left)
Middle Right: A free Microsoft clipart image.
Lower Left: A free internet image with the copyright details attached.

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 or tea light 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.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Advent 4 B (December 24):




































Bible readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16, Luke 1:47-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38.

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free microsoft clipart with text.
Upper Right: This is my image with text. It is of a sunset about ten minutes by slow boat from my place on the Gippsland Lakes (for more info on this area please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gippsland_Lakes). Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Middle Left: An image from Heartlight (see my link column at left).
Middle Right: An image from Cerrezo Barredo's page (see my link column at left)
Lower Left: This is a free Imagebank  image - see my link column at left.

Film Clip:


Drama: The Village Gossips
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 58ff (pictured at left).

Drama: Mary and the Angel
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 42ff. (pictured at left).

Reading: Mary Pondering
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 47 (pictured at left).

Discussion: On Luke readings
1. When is it hardest for us to say yes to God?
2. What makes Mary able to say it?
3. How can we follow her example?
4. What is one way we can show God's love this Christmas?

Story: Gabriel's Questions
Found in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, Word, 1996, ISBN 0849913241, page 58 (pictured at right).

Story: The Hornbill
Found in The Manger is Empty: Stories in Time by Walter Wangerin, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, ISBN 0340555548, page 21 (pictured at left). This goes exceptionally well with the gospel reading.

Poem: Mary's Fear
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 14 (pictured at right)

Meditation: Sightings
By Kathy Ga
lloway in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 44ff (pictured at left). This is based on the gospel reading.

Response Activity: The Hornbill
Print some of the questions from the last part of this story on to cards for people to take home.

Response Activity:
Give everyone the following prayer, a pen or pencil, and a silent space to write their response:
Lord, help me to marvel at Gabriel's message when I am.............................
Lord, give me courage like Mary to tell you about........................................
to ask questions when I feel.................................................................... and to confidently give you my ................................................................
Help me to see the Christmas story with new eyes and to thank you for........................................................................................................
Amen.


Also:
Drama: Thinking Outside the Box





Found in All Age Sketches for the Christian Year by Peter Shaw, Bible Reading fellowship, 2006, ISBN 101841014583, pages11ff (pictured at right). This is an advent 4 drama based on the gospel reading.

Adult Response: My Soul Gives Glory to my God
Found in
Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 20ff (pictured at left). This is based on the gospel reading.

Digital Worship Experiences: Let It Be
From Fresh Out of the Box by Lumicom Digital Productions, Abingdom Press, 2003, ISBN 0687036720, page 70ff. Some good ideas here based on the gospel reading.


Poem and prayer: nothing will be impossible.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 68.  These are based on the gospel reading.

Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2014 by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 263ff

Advent 3 A (December 17): Joy




































Bible Readings: Isaiah 61:1-4,8-11, Psalm 126 or Luke 1:47-55, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8,19-28.

About the image:
Upper Left: Such a joy filled little face!
Upper Right: From www.wordle.net
Middle Left: Another image from Heartlight (see my links column at the left)
Middle Right:  My image - please feel free to use for worship and related activities
Lower Left: A free image from the excellent Heartlight site - see mu link column at left.

Call to worship: Streamers
Have lots of 60cm (2') pieces of very brightly coloured streamer and safety pins at the door as people arrive. Ask them to take a pin and to choose two different coloured streamers to take into church with them. During the start of the service ask people to think of something that gives them great joy. On your count, tell them to shout out their reason for joy and wave their streamers about. Do it a couple of times to get everyone in the mood. After praying, thanking God for all the reasons for joy which we have, encourage people to pin their streamers on to their clothing somewhere as a reminder of the joy that God gives each one of us.

Thought starter: The Blues
20% of teenagers feel emotionally empty
20% feel confused most of the time
61% feel extremely sad or depressed at least ten times during their teenage years
60% admit they worry a lot about all sorts of things: poor school results, death, accident etc.
30% experience moderate to severe depression
(can't remember where I got these stats from other than scribbled on a scrap of paper - if anyone knows, please let us all know via the comment section below this post).

Listening Song: Psalm 126: Men Who Dream 
By Sons of Korah on their album, Redemption Songs (pictured at left).  I have a little talk before playing this about how this is a literal translation and I slot it into its cultural context so that I can emphasise that women have every right to dream too. 

Story: Corrie Ten Boom and Thankfulness
Found at http://www.tagnet.org/clarkston/Illustrations4.htm. Put the word "Corrrie" into your Find to save some time - the page is very long. This story fits well with the Thessalonians reading.

Quote: Alaskan Road Sign (and could easily be Australian too)
"Choose your rut carefully, you'll be in it for the next two hundred miles". This matches up with the Thessalonians verses about discernment.

Adult Input: Based on the Thessalonians Reading
Label four corners of the worship space "Prayer", "Thankfulness", "Listening to the Spirit" and "Discernment". Ask people to move to the corner that interests them the most and then give everyone the same question to talk about:
How do we put this into practice so that we can dare to rejoice - even in the hard times?

Response Activity: Isaiah reading
Read together Isaiah 61:1-3a (projected) but substitute the personal pronouns (I and/or me depending on your translation) with a space. Encourage people to fill the space with their own names as they read and to use the reading as a personal challenge with respect to their ministry.

Also:
Prayers: Based on the Isaiah Reading

From Advent, Christmas and Epiphany by Brian Wren, Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, ISBN 978066423309, page 60 (pictured at right).

Prayer of Confession: Based on the Psalm
By Channice E Charles and found in Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship by Marin C and Maria I Tirabassi (Eds), The Pilgrim Press, 2007, ISBN 9780829817508, pages 126 (pictured at left).

Response Activity: Bearing Witness
From Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 18ff (pictured at right)

Poem and prayer: one among you.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 67 (pictured at left). These are based on the gospel reading.

Lots of Useful Stuff
Found in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2014 by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 259ff (pictured at right).


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Advent 2 B (December 10): Preparing a Road in the Wilderness






































Bible Readings: Isaiah 40:1-11, Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13, 2 Peter 3:8-15a, Mark 1:1-8

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is the Oodnadatta track just out of William Creek in Central Australia (for more info please visit http://www.pleasetakemeto.com/australia/oodnadatta-track/information). This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and other related activities.
Upper Right: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license by Luc Viatour (www.Lucnix.be). Please let Luc know if you use it (l.viatour@gmail.com). I put the text on to this most beautiful of images.
Middle Left: An Image from the Hermano Leon site - see my links column at left.
Middle Right: An image from Image bank - see my links column to the left - with words from the Isaiah reading.
Lower Left: This Photo  is by an unknown author and is licensed under CC BY-SA. I added the text.

Listening Song: Jesus Freak
By dc Talk on their album, Jesus Freak (pictured at left). This song goes well with the gospel reading.


Film Clip: The Lion King
Show the clip which follows the section where Simba, because of his huge feeling of guilt, runs away from his home and the role he was born for. He has made a new life for himself outside the kingdom. He knows he does not belong there but he has convinced himself that he cannot change the past. Show Raffiki, who has the role of priest/prophet in the film, going out to find Simba, and telling Simba he has forgotten who he is. Raffiki then calls Simba home. This is a great clip for teaching kids (and adults) that a prophet is someone who reminds us and tells us to return to and depend on God.



Discussion:

Thin
k of the rough places and the hard times in your life.
What are good ways of coping with these?

What have you found helpful?



Song: Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells



Prayer:
Jesus, come to my house this Christmas.
Come to my country.
Come to the world of men and women.
And first of all, come to my heart.

Anonymous, Argentina, 1970.


Meditation: A Story of Light and Darkness
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild
Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 32ff. (pictured at left).

Responses: Prepare the Way of the Lord
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 41. (pictured at left). This is based on the Isaiah reading. It is written as a spoken response but also works well with music and images.

Also:
Comments and Prayer: Longing and Yearning
Found in Advent Readings from Iona by Brian Woodcock and Jan Sutch Pickard, Wild Goose Publications, 2005, ISBN 1901557332 (pictured at right). These are based on the Psalm and found under the heading: December 5th


Response Activity: Wilderness and return
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2011, ISBN 9780949656919, page 16ff (pictured at left). This is based on the all four readings. 



Poem and prayer: wilderness of longing.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 66 (pictured at right). These are 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 255ff (pictured at left).