All-age worship for Easter 4 – John 10:22-30

Here’s a cracker, which although designed for the Parable of the Lost Sheep, has the same emphasis on “hear my voice”. Be sure to click on the Activities link, and then you can download .pdf files which include a teaching game and some pretty cool colouring in sheets for kids. Free to use.

Cecil the Sheep and the other storybooks and purchasable downloads might be just the thing for your children’s ministry!

Cecil interviews a shepherd

David Ewart has written an excellent background piece on the lection from John. In it, he discusses the subtlety of hearing and knowing the voice of Jesus, rather that just knowing about him. This would make a useful core idea for a sermon, especially if the voice of Jesus is contrasted with other voices we are urged or tempted to listen to. The congregation could be asked what some of those alternative voices are (expensive goo that is supposed to deny the reality of ageing and dying, for example).

Jerry Goebel writes:

To hear and to follow!

Life itself is a process whereby I become increasingly able to recognize Christ’s voice and follow or I become enamored with my own voice (like the demons, the Religious Leaders and the Nazarenes) and reject his call. Everyday I must practice listening, everyday I must place myself where I can hear his call, or everyday I will come to mistake my voice for his.

It is so important that we ask ourselves:

1.        “Where can I go that I am most likely to hear his call today?”

2.        “What can I do to make me humble enough to hear his words and follow them today?”

3.        “What practices do I need to pursue today that will silence my deception and heighten my reception?”

4.        “Will I know his voice better tonight than I did this morning?”

And most of all, “When he calls do recognize his voice and follow?”

Source: Jerry Goebel: 2005 ©

With younger people and children, a game could be played to see if they can recognise the names belonging to voices from the congregation – perhaps reading this lection! Another idea would be to choose some words of Jesus from a very contemporary version of the Bible such as “The Message” and have them read alongside words from other faiths or philosophies, and see if people can discern the words of Jesus.

If you have a data projector, advertising images could stimulate thinking about the “other voices” that surround us.

Agnus Day on John 10:20-22

Agnus Day on John 10:20-22

An obvious hymn choice: I heard the voice of Jesus say

which can be sung to KINGSFOLD

The Prayers of the People could involve periods of silence – “listening prayer” and include prayers for wisdom for leaders. This would be a very appropriate Sunday to pray for +Ross, our new bishop, and his family.

Sample Dramatised Gospel Reading: Easter 3

You can copy and paste this reading if you want to use it!

Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples

Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. [Simon told the others what he had decided to do]:

‘I am going fishing.’

‘We will go with you.’

They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’

‘No.’

‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’

So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter,

‘It is the Lord!’

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred metres off.

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread.

‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’

So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. [Jesus called out an invitation to the disciples:]

‘Come and have breakfast.’

Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord.* Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus spoke to Peter:

‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’

‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’

‘Feed my lambs.’

‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’

‘Tend my sheep.’

‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’

Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’

‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’

(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) [Jesus gave Peter one more instruction:]

‘Follow me.’

THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

* If you want to be very creative you can adapt the text to provide a little more dialogue here, such as

“Shall we ask him who he is?”

“No, we daren’t – surely it is the Lord!”

or similar


Incorporating Dramatised Readings is easy to do

Yesterday at a team meeting we were discussing the use of dramatised readings in our liturgies. This is a great way of giving people who are not on the readers’ roster an opportunity to dip their toes into the water, and it adds colour and interest to your services.

It is not necessary to have any rehearsal for such readings, as long as the Narrator has a little preparation. In practical terms, the Narrator can be the person rostered on to do the reading, and then it is his/her responsibility (or the Worship leader’s) to find people to read the other parts (which will often be only one or two).

At our meeting one member mentioned a large tome called “The Dramatised Bible” which was certainly useful in its day. With the advent of free Bible texts online it is now redundant to purchase such a book.

Here is what you need to do (not much!):

  • Look up the relevant passage (usually one with some lively dialogue in it!)
  • Make sure to check the “remove verse numbers” box if that will be helpful (and note the other options here)
  • Use CTRL + a to select all the text, or use your mouse instead (click and drag)
  • Use CTRL + c to copy the text into your computer’s clipboard
  • Open your word processing program. (If you don’t have one, you can register for Google Docs for free, or download the free software package OpenOffice (a big download, but it rivals Microsoft Office for features)
  • Paste the text into a new blank document (CTRL + v) or right-click, select paste
  • Decide whether to print out the text in a larger font. 14 or 15 point is great for reading aloud
  • Now do some judicious editing: Make sure the beginning of the reading makes sense in context – if not, you could write in a few words to provide context. Remove unessential linking phrases like “After these things” and edit out all the “then he said” (and similar) text that you wouldn’t normally read in a script.
  • Make sure that you create enough paragraphs for legibility
  • Now there are some options for indicating who reads what:
  1. Print out the copies you need, and use a highlighter to indicate each person’s lines OR
  2. If you have only a small number of parts, you can select the text for each part and use underlining for one voice and bold for another voice and italics for yet another voice (&c) – leaving the narrator’s part in plain type
  3. If you are using a colour printer, you can use different colours instead or even as well – but check for colour legibility.

Once you get used to this, it is a ten-minute job.

TIP: If you are having problems getting readers of scripture to stop fumbling about in Bibles and reading the wrong bits and including paragraph headings and other crimes of liturgy, providing nice big print lections (readings) can save your remaining sanity and that of the congregation!!!

See the next Posting for an example dramatised reading for Easter 3

New all-age worship resource

Here’s a little quarterly booklet packed full of useful ideas for Sunday-by-Sunday preparation where all ages are in church together. If you think Scripture Union materials are not your thing, I urge you to think again as the material really provides exciting ways of engaging with the Sunday readings without costing an arm and a leg.

A bonus feature is the number of links provided which enable you to download reprintable materials for free.

There is also a larger publication called the “All Age Service Annual” which provides material for thematic services (rather than lectionary based ones).

St Stephen’s Onerahi LSM have purchased this material and are already putting the ideas to use. The booklet should arrive within a week of ordering from the Scripture Union site (you’ll need a credit card).

Snippets originally from:

http://www.scriptureunion.org.uk/53518.id

Light for the Lectionary (April – June 2010)

Light for the Lectionary (April – June 2010) – All Age

  • Series: Light
  • Readership: Leaders of all-age worship
  • ISBN: SU-LL102
  • Format: A5 magazine , 128 pages
Price: £5.99

Remember: Adults usually like creative liturgy too, and it’s a great way of engaging newcomers

This quarterly volume makes the approach and expertise of Scripture Union’s market-leading Light resources available to those churches using a lectionary to explore and teach the Bible in their all-age worship services.

Each volume contains 15 all-age service outlines with nine or ten elements organised under the headings of ‘Bible’, ‘Prayer’ and ‘Helpful Extras’. Light for the Lectionary is compatible with both the Revised Common Lectionary and the ‘Common Worship’ lectionary used by Church of England.