Monday, February 28, 2011

creationary: God in change, Matthew 6, parable of sower

A creationary: a space to be creative with the lectionary. For more resources go here.

I led a service (worship and preaching) on Sunday at my local faith community. The request was to focus on all generations, starting with children and to do it in a way that enabled people to sit around tables and have time to eat breakfast together. A fun request, which made for a very hectic weekend, but did give me enjoyment in putting some pieces together.

The starting point was two Biblical texts, the lectionary reading for the day, which included Matthew 6:25-34. Which seemed in my head to link with the parable of the sower, in Matthew 13:1-9. Plus I had been sitting during the week with a poem from The Essence of Julian: A Paraphrase of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love. Plus I’d had a dream while on holiday about being in a shop full of bric a brac and taking a phone call, which demanded I provide an order of service at that very moment. As I surveyed the shop I saw seeds, soil, sun shelters, plant markers and so the service emerged in and around those tactile objects.

For those looking for examples of interactive, multi-sensory, all-age worship, here is what I did:

Welcome with words: Our service today is themed around change. All of us face change – at school, at work, at home, as we grow. Who is God, is, and how we can grow, in the changes we face at kindy, at school, at work, in life.

Call to worship. Words: As we gather, we need to recognise each and every one of us. Each person is invited to select a piece of incense, to say their name and to drop the incense onto the charcoal. Caregiver supervision is expected.

Action: People came forward to select a piece of incense and drop it on a burning charcoal.

Words: Mixed and mingled, what we are together is greater than what we can be alone.

Prayer of intercession

Scripture reading Matthew 6:28b-33

Praise part a: Thanking God for summer. On each table is a sun. As a table, you are invited to write or draw together what you want to say “thanks God” for about the summer. When you’re done – place on wall closest to your table. During this time, don’t forget to write the word breakfast and as you do, to come and help yourself.

Breakfast eating.

Praise part b: Suns placed on the wall. A word from each sun/table is said, with a congregational Amen.

Contemporary Bible reading: Bodge Plants a Seed: A Retelling of the Parable of the Sower

Response. This involved four stations, with about 15 minutes given and the encouragement for caregivers to work with their kids.

Gaining support in change station. Wire structure used to support plants in a garden.
Take a white paper tag.
Write or draw the people and places you need to support and sustain your growth.
Take a green twist tie.
Use it to tie you tag onto the planter.

Planting a change station. Pot with dirt in it and pile of white seed markers.
Take a white garden seed marker
Write a word something that might need to grow in your life.
Plant the white marker into the soil.

Shade through change station. Common beach sun shelter.
Sit under the sun shelter.
Find a cushion and make yourself comfortable.
Read the words (Isaiah 49:15-16) in sun shelter.
Thank God for each person who provides you with shade from the hot sun.

Pulling weeds station. Laptop with looping pictures of weeds, dirt, bowl of water, towel, gel.
Look at the weed pictures. What is growing in your life that should not be there?
Hold some soil. Wash your hands. Dry your hands.
Say to yourself the words of absolution (Isaiah 49:8)
Rub your hands with a squirt of antispectic hand gel.

Return to pray a corporate prayer (Commitment of the community) from Terry Falla’s Be our Freedom

Benediction: Kids moved around, giving a wildflower seed mix, each in a plastic bag, to everyone.
Words: In this small thing is all of creation.
God made it. God cares for it. God loves it.

In each of us, whether big or small, is all of creation.
God made us. God cares for us. God loves us.

Take the seeds. Plant them. Tend them. Shade them. Support them.
Just as God does for each of us.

Posted by steve at 04:17 PM

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