Monday, January 16, 2017

Epiphany 3 A (January 22): Discipling 101/Abandoning the Boats





Bible Readings:
Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27:1,4-9, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 4:12-23


About the Images:
Above Left: Abandoned whaler on Norfolk Island - it's my photo so feel free to use it for worship related activities. If you want to know more about Norfolk Island please visit http://www.norfolkisland.com.au
Above Right: This is a microsoft free clipart image with text from the unnamed poem by Philip Andrews (see below under Meditation/Poem).
Lower Left:  The words from the psalm with an image I have on paper from 40 years ago - I have no idea who to attribute this to -  if anyone knows the artist, please let me know.  

Listening Song: Jesus Freak
By dc Talk on their album, Jesus Freak (pictured at left). This song is about discipleship.

Listening Song: In the Light

By dc Talk on their album Jesus Freak (pictured at left). This song goes well with the Corinthians reading.

Kids Story: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
By Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury, Penguin, 2009, ISBN 9780143503583 (pictured at right). This story is just a delight and goes very well with the Corinthians reading.

Film Clip: Oh My God
This clip seems to have disappeared off the web however one of the major speakers, Rabbi Froman, is part of a new film about to be released, called A Third Way - a film about Israeli and Palestinians working together. Any clips you can access on this topic fit in beautifully with the Corinthians reading and if you can watch any of them without tearing up then you are better than me.


Film Clip: Meet the Parents
(pictured at left) Show the clip where Kevin shows off his carpentry skills and says he does it because he wants to follow in Jesus' footsteps. (about 55 minutes from the start)

Discussion: On Meet the Parents
1. What does it mean to be one of Jesus' disciples? Will being a good carpenter do it?
2. What should we do to be good disciples?

Discussion:
1. Was there a definable moment when you became a Christian?
2. What changed most for you if you did have a definable moment?

3. Is conversion the end of the story?

Drama: Leftovers
By Eric Stapleton and found at http://www.dramatix.org/archive/family/Leftovers.html This drama fits in well with the Corinthians reading.

Story: If Jesus Showed Up at Your School
Found in Could Someone Wake Me Up Before I Drool On The Desk by Kevin Johnson, Bethany House Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1556614160, pp11 (pictured at right) . This is a story about youth and discipleship.


Story: Soren Kierkegaard's Train Passenger
I don't know which book of his this is in but I found reference to this illustration in Rivers in the Desert edited by Rowland Croucher, Albatross books, 1991, ISBN 086760137X, page 253 (pictured at left). This story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: To Have It Within
Found in Speakers Source Book of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley, Word Publishing,1995, ISBN 0849936756, page 40 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Psalm.

Story: Fishers of Men Part 2
In When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 130-1 (pictured at left) . This story is based on the gospel reading.


Meditation: We Did Not Want to Go
In He Was in the World: Meditations for Public Worship by John Bell, Wild Goose, 1995, ISBN 094798870X, pp 87 (pictured at right). This meditation is like the song Jesus Freak above and centres on our unwillingness sometimes to be a disciple because we foresee difficulties.

Mediation/Poem: Unnamed
By Philip Andrews 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 125. (pictured in an ealrier blog). I put images with this and used Look Back In by Moby from his album, 18, as backing. This is connected with the Psalm.

Response Activity:
Display heaps of printed images and words around the worship space and ask people to choose a couple which most explain how they feel about or what they think in response to the Bible reading. Ask people to share why they chose the cards and or words which they did.
NB. www.innovativeresources.org make an amazing set of cards called Signposts which work really well with this activity.


Also:

Poem and prayer: repent - turn around.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 12.  These are based on the gospel reading.

Response Activity: Invited to Bring the Light
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year A by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 36ff. 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 26ff.






Sunday, January 08, 2017

Epiphany 2 A (January 15): Following With Our Feet on the Rock






Bible Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-11, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, John 1:29-42
About the Images:
Upper Left: My photo, my foot, my boot :-) ...feel free to use as you want. This image goes well with Psalm 40:2 and the Gospel reading.
Upper Right: This image comes from heartlight - see my link to their site at left.
Lower Left: A homemade wordle.
Lower Right:  A free clipart from the wonderful Church Galleries site - well worth a subscription - see my link column at left.


Listening Song: Dancing on the Wall
By Iona on their self titled album (pictured at left).
This song goes well with the gospel reading.


Listening Song: 40
By U2 on their album, War or on their album, Under a Blood Red Sky (pictured at left).
This, of course, is a version of Psalm 40. It is pre-recorded on the War album and live on the other.

Listening Song: It's Alright (Send Me)
By Winans Phase2
on their album We Got Next (pictured at left) or on WOW 2000. This goes well with the gospel reading.

Drama: For Me
By Pastor Keith Stiller and found in Drama Resources 2, Lutheran Publishing House, 1986, page 29 (pictured at right). This is a drama about discipleship.

Discussion Questions: Plenary, Group or with a Neighbour
1. What is the one thing you would need to know about them before you followed somebody?
2. Have you ever followed somebody (other than Jesus)?

3. What is it about Je
sus that made you want to follow him? (This would also make a good interview question for one or two (three or four?) members of your congregation - their answers could take the place of the sermon for the week - you would have to give them prior warning in order for this to work well).4. Define "disciple".

Story: The Journey Thus Far
By Athol Gill in his book Life on the Road, Herald Press, 1989, ISBN 0836135881, page 11 (pictured at right). This links in well with the gospel reading.

Story: Rigby
Index 1158 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990 or find the story on line at http://bible.org/illustration/john-141. This story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Uncompromising Determination
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 214 (pictured at left). I matched this story with the Isaiah reading because it talks about how we are valued and how much we matter in a rather comic manner.


Prayer/Poem: Deny Self and Imitate Christ
Found in Of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A'Kempis, Whitaker House, 1981, ISBN 0883680947, page 207 (pictured at right).

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Baptism of Jesus A (January 8): Lighting Up the world/The Secret of Life



Readings: Isaiah 42:1-9, Psalm 29, Acts 10:34-43, Matthew 3:13-27

About the Image:

Upper Left: A free Clip Art image from Corel
Upper Right: A free microsoft clipart image with text from the Bible.

Lower Left: A free Heartlight image - see my link column at left.
Lower Right: A free image from Imagebank - see my link column at left.

Decor:
If your Baptismal font is in a prominent position or if you can put it in a prominent position, then high light it in some way - lighting, cascading blue silks, whatever. Alternatively or as well, have a portable water fountain somewhere prominent and place a microphone close by so that the water sounds are particularly audible to the congregation (on second thoughts, if you have an elderly congregation, a very young one or a particularly sleepy one; think seriously about whether this second option may be a good idea or not :).

Listening Song: Go Light Your World
By Kathy Troccoli on her albums Greatest Hits (pictured at left) and Sounds of Heaven or on WOW 1998. This song goes well with the Isaiah reading.

Listening Song: Flowing Over Me
 
by Derri Daugherty on Flap Your Wings, Resolve Records,2000
(pictured at right). This song goes well with the Acts reading and the gospel reading.



Film Clip: City Slickers 
(pictured at left) Use the scene where they are riding along having a discussion about the meaning of life- this clip goes well with the Isaiah and/or Matthew readings.

Discussion: On City Slicker film clip
What do you think is the meaning of life?


Film Clip: Forrest Gump
(pictured at right) Start at around 18 minutes in, when Forrest gets on
the bus in his braces and nobody but Jenny talks to him. This goes particularly well with the Isaiah and Acts readings.

Discussion: On Forrest Gump film clip

What did Jenny risk by sticking up for Forrest?
Why is it difficult sometimes to show kindness to people who are different?

Film Clip: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(pictured at left) Use the scene where Galadriel, the elf queen pours water into a basin and talks to Frodo about how the water can show him the things that were, the things that are and the things that are yet to pass.

Discussion: On Lord of the Rings film clip
How does your baptism show you

a) the things that were
b) the things that are

c) the things that are yet to be

Drama: Where Have You Been?
Found in Mega Drama 1 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 0859109151v1, page 63 (pictured in an earlier blog). This has been written for the Matthew reading.


Story: The Little Girl and the Piano
In Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, page 143
(pictured in an earlier blog). This story sits well with the Isaiah reading.

Story: The Littlest Candle
Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 43 (pictured at right). This goes very well with the Matthew reading if you connect baptism with each person's ministry.

Story: Father Daniel Berrigan
Just google his name and you will find all you need to know about this amazing Christian who brings God's light to the world. His story therefore connects with the Isaiah reading and the gospel reading.

Story: Baroness Cox
See this video about this woman who brings God's light to the most oppressed people on earth - she is a real "free the prisoner" lady. She talks here about suffering and grace and the way people bring light to each other.




Story: Hold On
Another amazing story of someone shedding light in a very dark place



Story: Norman the Barking Pig
Found at http://www.meds.com/archive/mol-cancer/1998/10/msg01802.html
This story goes well with both the gospel reading and the Acts reading.

Story: Pull Buddy

In Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks Book 4 by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 2001, ISBN 0310236193, page 23 (pictured in an earlier blog). This story goes well with the Isaiah and the gospel reading.

Poem: Christmas Poem
By Howard Thurman and found at www.workersforjesus.com/workofchristmas.htm There is another version by Jim Strathdee which is also on the net. I put images and music with this poem via powerpoint.


Discussion:
Find three people and tell them
a) whether you are baptised or not
b) why or why not
c) What you understand about baptism.


 Response Activity:
Have pencils, sticky tape and small paper cut outs of doves and water droplets around your baptismal font. Ask people to think about their ministry. Do they know what it is? Do they think they are doing it? Do they need to find out more? Do they need to take some action?
Ask people to write the action they need to take on one of the cut out symbols (doves or water droplets) and then stick it on the font?

Response Activity:
Ask how people think they can light up the world through their own congregation. Write each suggestion on a separate piece of large paper and then get people to go to the one which excites them the most and write on it the things they intend to do to help make it happen.

Response Activity:
Give people a choice of the following three:
1. Make a "Beloved Child of God" card as a gift for someone.
2. Discuss the following questions together:
What are we doing to serve God?
What can we do to bring justice and compassion to people in need ?
Does God rely on us to do these things?
What blessings and challenges come with God's gift of the Spirit?
3. Sit and meditate on the following quote from Bill Loader: To hold people in high regard so that we want them to know Jesus rather than holding them in low regard until they hear about Jesus."


Epiphany A (January 6): Sharing the Light


















Bible Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a microsoft free clipart image with text from the Isiaiah via www.laughingbird.net
Upper Right: Found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Ronja_beam_Prostejov.jpg
Lower Left and Right: These free images both come from www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com.  See my links column at left.

Listening Song: Wise Man
By David Rob
ertson on his album Soul Embrace (pictured at left).





Reading; Isaiah 60:1-6
I used the words of the www.laughingbird.net paraphrase of this reading on a powerpoint slide show of images of light and backed them with the music of Psalmas Ode by Vangelis on his album Reprise (pictured at left).

Drama: The Gate Keeper
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 127 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the gospel story.

Poem: The Wise Man's Journey
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 125 (pictured at right)

Poem: Isaiah 60:1a
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 (pictured at left) in the Spring section under Isaiah 60:1a.



Christmas 1 A (January 1): Jesus was a Refugee/ Christmas makes a difference













Bible readings: Isaiah 63:7-9, Psalm 148, Hebrews 2:10-18, Matthew 2:13-23

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free image from Hermano Leon clip art. You can find a link to this site in the Links column to the left 
Upper Right : This is a painting by Eastman Johnson - A Ride for Liberty -- The Fugitive Slaves. This image is in the Public Domain and found at http://commons.wikimedia.org.
Lower Left and rightThese free images both come from www.sundaygraphx.blogspot.com.  See my links column at left.

 Call to Worship: Nocturne
Show a variety of images of Jesus' family fleeing to Egypt and present day refugees while playing Nocturne by Secret Garden as a backing. Nocturne can be found on Secret Garden's album, Songs From a Secret Garden or on the compilation album Encore (pictured at left)



Kid's Story: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
By Susam Wojciechowski and P. J. Lynch, Walker Books, 1995, ISBN 0744554020 (pictured at right)

Kid's Story: The legend of the Spider's Web

Found in The Lion Christmas Book compiled by Mary Batchelor, Lion, 1984, ISBN 0745912206, page 81 (pictured at left)

Drama: The Soldiers
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 129 (pictured at right).

Drama: It Happened Again

Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 104 (pictured at left).

Story: Christ
Index 677-723 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. Story about how Turner, the English painter, painted a storm at sea.

Story: The Manger Was Empty
Retold by Cassandra Lindell, in Christmas Stories of the Heart compiled by Alice Gray, Multnomah Books, 1997, ISBN 1576731847, page 17 (pictured at right).

Story: The Ivory and Gold Tablecloth
By Howard C Schade in Christmas Stories of the Heart, as above, page 24 ( pictured at above right)


 Story: The Manger is Empty
By Walter Wangerin in The Manger is Empty: Stories in Time, Spire, 1989, ISBN 0340555548, page 3 (pictured at left).

Poem: Once in Judah's Least Known City

From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 113 (pictured above right).

Poem: The Flight
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 44 (pictured at right).

Meditation and Response Activity: Women Weeping

From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 1183 (pictured above right)

Response Activity: Haiku (or Cinquaine)
If you didn't do this in Advent 4 (see my notes on Advent 4), this activity would also work well for this week.