Resources for LAs - compiled by Carol Chaplin.
RESOURCES - Books:
The Bible - choose different translations, try:
The Liberator -
The Dramatised Bible.
The Blokes Bible - Dave Hopwood
Who - ISBN976-0-564-09424 0
The lion story tellers Bible
has ideas at the back for involving the whole group.
A lineage of grace - Francis Rivers
The book of books - Trevor
God treads softly here - Trevor Dennis
Imagining God - Trevor Dennis
Telling The Bible - Bob Hartman
Pick a reading and invite
several people to choose one of the characters and say how they felt as
the story unfolded. Discuss.
Plays and Dialogues.
to the RCL volume 9 Dramatic Dialogues
Jesus and Peter - John L. Bell & Graham Maule
Judge for yourself - Alice Lawhead
feasting on the word worship companion ISBN-13 978-0-664-23918-3
liturgies for lindisfarne ISBN 978-1-84867-263-5
Iona Abbey worship
Methodist Worship Book see pp. 5-52
The pattern of our days Kathy Galloway & the Iona Community
Creative Ideas for Evening
Prayer - ISBN 1-85311-643-2
Companion to the revised common lectionary praying with the scriptures
500 prayers for all occasions
Seasons and celebrations - Donald Hilton
Prayers for all seasons books 1 & 2 Nick Fawcett
The intercessions handbook
- John Pritchard
The SPCK book of Christian Prayer
The word in the world - Donald Hilton
Together in prayer - Susan Sayers
of a thousand prayers - Angela Ashwin
Assorted books by Eddie Askew
a brief outline to the hymns, what inspired them, the
original words etc can be found in
Companion to Hymns and Psalms
all loves excelling
A Preachers year. John Gilling
forty four sermons - John Wesley
The Oxford Book of
Acorns and Archangels - Ruth Burgess
A Telling Place - Joy Mead
Bare feet and buttercups - Ruth Burgess
Mess and Danger - Glendon Macaulay
flowing streams - Donald Hilton
Liturgy of Life - Donald Hilton
Multi-sensory seasons - ISBN 1
84427 175 7
No Ordinary Man 1 & 2 - Nick Fawcett
Present on Earth - wild goose worship group
Sacred spaces - Margaret Silf
Celtic resource book - Martin Wallace
Touching the sacred - ISBN 978-1-84825-024-6
Talking to the bones - Kathy Galloway
- The Word and Wisdom - Michaela Young
Magnet - a quarterly resource often has pictures, a service or thought provoking articles.
Methodist recorder - try the thought for the week…..
Creative ideas series:
for evening prayer; using scripture in worship; advent
and Christmas; Lent and Easter;
80 creative prayer ideas; for ministry with the aged.
Called to be Saints CTBI
creative ideas for quiet corners - Lynn Chambers
creative mission - Rona orme
The Lion Story teller Bible - Bob Hartman
& krisztina Kállai Nagy
Seasonal and Special
The wild goose worship group have a number of these, often with short liturgy that
filled out with hymns and readings, many are available to download for £1 - £2
ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS:
Candles and conifers -
The Jesse Tree
On the way to Bethlehem
Cloth for the cradle
Reflective services - Nick Fawcett
on star of Bethlehem
Hay and Stardust
Going home another way Neil Paynter
LENT & EASTER
Bread and Wine
Eggs and Ashes
Bread - Ruth burgess
Loosening the Roots of Compassion
Let Justice roll down
Stages on the way - wild goose
Show me the way - Henri
The eight words of Jesus
The things he carried
The old deanery in Wells has a library of resource books.
RESOURCES - DVDs
the church has a copyright licence to show films and clips)
Most of the major NGO's and many smaller charities have DVD's to capture
an aspect of their work - an opportunity to contribute could be offered during or after the service. e.g.
Action for children
Short films or film clips
Nooma videos - contemporary sermons on dvd, each lasting between 10 and 15 minutes
and designed to challenge people to apply the Bible to modern life.
Movie Moments are short features that encourage people to think
about personal, everyday life issues raised by the film. They use clips from a film to spark discussion and reflection in a variety
of different settings and groups - free to view and republish online. http://www.damaris.org.uk/media/moviemoments
Reel Issues Clip
Bite-sized summaries of current films to help start a discussion with friends after watching a film together or to complement your
message in a sermon.
SPCK, Eden.... examples include
Follow Me dramatises the relationship between Jesus and the Apostle Peter. Follow all Jesus' words and actions from the day he called
Peter by name, to the his post resurrection instruction to Peter: 'feed my sheep'.
This short film beautifully illustrates Peter's
transformation from fearful denial as a disciple to bold leadership in the early church. Atmospherically filmed, the 30 minute DVD
movie also offers you a convincing way to introduce friends to the gospel.
From the producers of The Road to Emmaus comes this exciting
new biblical drama. Starring Bruce Marchiano (Visual Bible Series, The Encounter) as Jesus, and Emilio Doorasingh (Apostle Peter and
the Last Supper, Kingdom of Heaven) as the Apostle Peter.
More than just a historical account of Jesus and Peter, Come Follow Me explores
what it really means to be a disciple and follower of Jesus for us today.
Depicting scenes from the life of the Peter as he journeys
with Jesus, the Apostle's story begins in misunderstanding, false pride, misplaced zeal, doubts, fears and even denial. Yet Jesus
fashions this raw human material, through a transformation of faith and grace, into Peter the rock of the early church.
film traces Peter's rough road - as rough then as now for followers of Christ today. Emphasising the power and promise of Jesus' words
to Peter, the film is also an effective evangelism tool especially for those without much biblical knowledge.
Everyone who sees this
film will be given an excellent introduction to the gospel message and find themselves invited to Come and follow Him.
Holy Ghost DVD, highly influential Christian movie and documentary maker, Darren Wilson, criss-crosses the world to create
a feature length movie completely led by the Holy Spirit.
Filmed with no plan and no agenda other than to follow and honour the will
of God, Darren and his team of movie makers gave over the entire project to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You will see God turn
up in the most unexpected places to show people who don't even know Him how much He loves them and wants relationship with them.
result is a transformative, challenging and spiritually uplifting 113 minute experience in which the Holy Ghost takes entire control
of the script, cast, locations and production of a documentary that is far bigger and more influential than any previous movie on
the person and power of the Holy Spirit.
This is a fast moving, globe-spanning story of real people totally given over to the day
by day guidance of God's spirit. Unique in its scope and concept, Darren Wilson (Finger of God, Furious Love and Father of Lights)
together with of the greatest advocates of the faith (including Bill Johnson of Bethel Church), R.T. Kendall (When God Shows Up),
Heidi Baker, Kim Walker-Smith, Phil Vischer, (Veggietales), Brian & Jenn Johnson (Bethel Music), Todd White, Banning Liebscher,
Michael W. Smith and William P. Young (The Shack) go wherever the Spirit leads or sends.
With a film-set that reaches from the marinas
of Monte Carlo, to the slums of the oldest city in the world, this is a movie about risk and triumph. The crew simply show up wherever
the spirit takes them to do whatever the spirit directs. It shows what can be done when we do not try to contain God, but simply give
ourselves up to his power and direction.
Eat, Pray, Share DVD 5 session course from Small Group Central is a DVD resource for individuals
and small groups exploring the question:
Why do we celebrate Communion?
Jesus invites us to eat, pray and share together in His Holy
Communion. But has it become a ritual of remembrance or or is it something more spiritual - the renewing of a covenant?
Based on an
issue of Every Day with Jesus and presented by Mick Brooks, Eat, Pray, Share is a new Small Group DVD resource exploring five key
aspects of Communion: Community, Commemoration, Covenant, Celebration and Commitment. Over five sessions, gain a deeper understanding
of the Last Supper, its importance and impact on our lives today.
Pack contains single DVD and an introductory booklet to the 5 sessions
of approximately 15 minutes each.
A copy of the participants guide (available separately) for each participant is recommended.
foundational truths of this DVD can be explored any time of year, but are maybe most poignant during the period of Lent and Easter.
Based on an issue of Every Day with Jesus and presented by Mick Brooks, the teaching focuses on Communion as:
An accompanying booklet contains discussion starters, prayers and Bible reading notes.
Bill and Gloria Gaither's Homecoming Hymns DVD Collection gives you 4 full DVDs of timeless gospel truth sung with
the heart and soul of the greats of southern gospel music. This collection of 70 hymns with the heart and soul of the gospel gives
you more than 3 hours of the words and tunes that carried the Christian faith around the world and across the generations.
the glory of the past, the joy of the present and the hope of future summed-up and sung-out in portable, memorable pieces of deep
theology made simple - and singable. Watch and listen, and you'll just have to join in.
This CD boxed set gives you front row seats
at 4 of the Gaither's sell out gospel tours: 'Amazing Grace', How Great Thou Art', 'Hymns' and the memorable 'Church in The Wildwood'
A fabulous addition to your Gaither library and a great gift opportunity, you'll find practically ever hymn you ever loved
on this 4 disc collection. Hear and see those long-lived, long-loved songs of faith sung again with warmth, love, passion and praise
- and all with the total heart and soul commitment that makes Bill and Gloria Gaither the best loved gospel artists the world over.
Breathtaking in scope and scale, THE BIBLE is an epic 10-part mini-series featuring powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling
visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation. This historic
television event is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.
Narrated by Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth), THE BIBLE features
powerful performances from a formidable UK cast including Nonzo Anozie (Game of Thrones), Kierston Wareing (Eastenders), Louise Delamere
(Waking the Dead), Matthew Gravelle (Broadchurch), Jake Canuso (Benidorm), Paul Freeman (Hot Fuzz), Simon Kunz (The Parent Trap) and
Peter Guinness (Centurion). Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado stunningly portrays Jesus Christ and Irish actress Roma Downey stars as
The series is expertly crafted by British Directors Christopher Spencer and Crispin Reece alongside cinematographer Christopher
Titus King. And for the first time since their award winning collaboration on Gladiator, Oscar and Grammy winning composer Hans Zimmer
reunites with acclaimed vocalist Lisa Gerrard to create the majestic musical backdrop for this epic production.
This four-disc set
dives deeper into the making of the series and features a behind-the-scenes look at how the ground-breaking docudrama came together.
Interviews with producers, directors, and cast illustrate creative collaboration on-set and off and show how the remarkable Moroccan
scenery was transformed into the world of the Bible.
In the Beginning - approximately 46 Minutes
Exodus - approximately 46
Homeland - approximately 46 Minutes
Kingdom - approximately 46 Minutes
Survival - approximately 46 Minutes
Mission - approximately 46 Minutes
Betrayal - approximately 46 Minutes
Passion approximately 46 Minutes
Courage - approximately 46 Minutes
Road to Emmaus.
It is a story that's captivated the imagination of many generations.
death of Jesus, two first-century travellers were joined by a mysterious stranger. Over the next few hours, the stranger revealed
many mysteries that lay hidden in the ancient Scriptures. Soon, the purpose of Jesus' life became clear...and the travellers' sadness
turned to great joy.
Now you can learn what they learned. Discover the key to life...on the Road to Emmaus.
Starring Bruce Marchiano
of The Visual Bible: Matthew and Acts.
in English and Spanish.
Run Time 30 minutes
This DVD is Region 0 and will play on a UK DVD
Where to, Lord? is part of an exciting series of topical Bible studies. Using a mix of Bible investigation, group discussion
and video input, Where to, Lord? will help your group interact with what God is saying about the thorny topic of guidance.
can be one of the most frustrating issues for Christians. We know that Jesus has died, and that heaven lies in the future, but still
remain unsure about everything in between. We have many questions about guidance, such as:
o Am I missing out on God's personal guidance?
o How does God guide his people today?
o If God speaks, will I hear his voice?
o How do I know God's will for my life?
a Bible study group looking for a refreshing change, the studies and DVD format are specifically designed to work together to enable
any group to put together the pieces on this topic. This is an excellent new tool to help you tackle an age-old question.
workbooks required for each group member.
Nikolai Rublenko was a high school student and son of devout Christian parents. He lived
behind the Iron Curtain. His father was under KGB surveillance for Christian activities.
Nikolai was a sincere Christian, an outstanding
student and a gifted athlete. He wanted to go to university, become a lawyer and perhaps be able to help struggling Christians. All
he had to do was compromise along the way, not mention his faith, and join the Young Pioneers Youth organization. And, one more thing
- he would need to cooperate with the authorities by turning in evidence on his father's ministry. If he did not go along, not only
would Nikolai's academic and athletic aspirations be sidetracked, but his entire school class would be penalized. Only Nikolai could
This gripping, dramatic film will cause every believer, but especially young people, to take a new and deeper look at the
meaning of Christian commitment. Ideal for illustrating the price some have to pay to honour their faith. A useful discussion starter
for 11-15 year olds as well as for wider audiences.
Running Time: 30 minutes
Feature length films could be used in conjunction with
http://www.damaris.org.uk/ - offers discussion notes on new releases - some free, others to pay for.
- discussion notes for films on DVD
L.A. Resources - Websites and Other.
Methodist website has interesting articles often
with questions and points to ponder. An excellent resource is the word for today:
Also resources for special Sundays:
http://www.methodist.org.uk/prayer-and-worship (there is also an 'emergency service' here - handy
to keep in the vestry for those times when the appointed preacher doesn't turn up.)
Bible society e.g. www.biblestudytools.com
Rank for rural church resources
have loads of ideas for different and multi-sensory ways of worshipping:
- whole services for £2 or £3 - http://www.ionabooks.com
Ask 6 or 7 people to chooses a hymn, Bible reading, prayer or devotional
poem and either say something about what it means to them or for the leader to explain.
Use the opportunity to listen to music together:
an excerpt from the messiah, St Matthews passion - or The Iron Man and read the bits in between
Use the opportunity of an LA to learn
some new songs
Ask your musicians to choose the hymns
A study course in 5 or 6 parts could be dipped into or used as an LA series.
Philip Yancey covers various topics
If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat
Where to Lord?
See the Methodist picture library
Touching the sacred worship resources inspired by different hands
Table Talk Initiates
conversations about life, faith and God.
Ideas and Inspiration for L.A.s - Two sessions by Nick Lakin
LA training - 3 thoughts for
If you have no organist when you organise an LA, there are many things you could do. Here are three ideas…
1. Use backing
tracks, like the Singing the Faith backing tracks. These are best used if either you are singing a hymn that is extremely well known,
or you have someone who knows the hymn/song very well and can lead the singing. Ask this person to practice with the backing track
before the service so they know when to come in and what happens between verses.
2. Use a worship CD with a congregation singing.
This is especially useful if you have no one in your congregation who can lead the singing. You can invite people to either join in
or just listen, if they prefer. This is useful if you are using a hymn/song that you don't think everyone will know.
3. Use a piece
of music that is not well known or 'singable' and simply ask people to listen to it. This may be a familiar hymn that is sung by a
soloist, or a different setting of a familiar hymn or maybe a piece of music without words.
Ideas and Inspiration for L.A.s - Two
sessions by Nick Lakin
LA training - A Simple Alternative to a Sermon
Try simply choosing any bible story and asking
the congregation to think about three simple questions. Parables are especially good for this activity. Make it clear that everyone
can either sit quietly and think about these questions or they can discuss the questions with their neighbours. Read the bible story
and then ask:
1. What would this story be like if it happened today?
2. What does this story mean to you?
3. How can the meaning of
this story make a difference to your life?
Once people have had an opportunity to reflect upon each question, ask if anyone wants
to share their thoughts. This will help the congregation to share their ideas and insights together. Finish by reading the bible story
Ideas and Inspiration for L.A.s - a seminar, hand-out and two templates by Bethany Shimmin
Celebrating Feasts and Occasions
in our Churches
A Seminar from the Circuit Weekend, 2015.
The Call to Celebrate: Celebration is a Christian Discipline.
What are you grateful for today? What are you celebrating? - 1 minute - Write as many on a piece of paper as possible.
How does your Christianity influence and affect your celebration? - does it make you more or less inclined to celebrate?
- THE THEOLOGY:
As Christian we are called to be like Jesus. Jesus grew up in a Jewish culture where celebration was so important
that holidays, feast days, rest days, etc, were mandatory. The reason was that the Jews believed that their nation began in slavery
in Egypt - there they had nothing to celebrate and no time to celebrate it in. But God liberated and saved them, and in order that
they never forget and never go back to being slaves he gave them a set of laws and a culture that were filled with celebration. Jesus
knows its importance.
In John 2 - John shows us Jesus at a wedding party where the wine is running out. The celebration is coming
to an end and that end is going to be very embarrassing for the hosts and very upsetting for the family. This isn't just a story about
a wedding, John is using it to tell us about the plight of the people of God at this time. They had been chosen by God as His bride,
and they've made a covenant to Him and they're trying to be true to it but the wine has run dry, the celebration has come to an end.
As a conquered people, occupied by Rome, impoverished and poorly governed, no matter what they've done or how hard they've tried to
keep his law and rebuild his temple and fight their occupiers God has not come to save them. Just like at the wedding, the servants
and the people at the bottom know it, while the people at the top haven't yet realised but the blessing is running out.
in the story, Jesus turns water into wine. And for John this isn't just something Jesus did at this wedding, this was also something
Jesus did for everyone everywhere. Jesus is the one who re-starts the celebration. Jesus announces the promised year of Jubilee when
the poor receive good news, the blind see, and the captives go free. Jesus attends parties and sits down to meals with all the wrong
people. Jesus heals the sick, touches the untouchables and loves the unlovely. Yes Jesus is the 'man of sorrows and acquainted with
grief' but he is also the embodiment of celebration; and the Kingdom he announces and establishes is filled with joy and feasting
and wholeness and dancing.
So, if the Jews were people of celebration and Jesus re-started the party then it stands to reason that
we need to be characterised by this too.
What's the best celebration you've been to? Why is celebrating important?
How do you think celebrating has changed in your life-time?
CELEBRATING: THE PSYCHOLOGY:
Harvey Cox - (The Feast of Fools) - said
of Western culture that we've been pressed 'so hard towards useful work and rational calculation [we have] all but forgotten the joy
of ecstatic celebration...'
Research shows that over the last 30 years our teenagers have become:
38% more likely to have trouble
74% more likely to have trouble sleeping
100% more likely to have seen a professional for mental health issues
likely to say they felt overwhelmed.
These are all signs of our rising problem of depression. There are many theories about why this
might be the case. They include: weaker relationships and community ties, consumerism, and consumer goal focus, lack of exercise and
groundedness (and poor diet with lots of toxins and chemicals), and too high expectations.
It is important to recognise that if someone
is ill we should encourage them to see their GP, seek professional help and not offer platitudes or make them feel guilty. However,
it is interesting to note that psychologists recommend the following disciplines or ways of life to help guard against depression:
Taking care of yourself (good food, good sleep, good exercise),
(what you tell yourself about you).
HOW CAN THE CHURCH HELP?
Our churches should be places where we exemplify and offer these ways
of life to the world outside of us. We need to create a culture of celebration through:
Being grateful and
celebratory (worshipping with all our hearts),
Having low expectations for joy and celebration - it doesn't need to be a 'special'
birthday, enjoy every birthday. It doesn't need to be an A grade, celebrate a pass, etc,
Being simple and grounded,
How is your church already a place of celebration and positivity?
What could you do to help you
What other occasions and things could you start celebrating?
Day by Day:
Singing 'Happy Birthday.'
Using the notices well.
Having art work etc in the church - celebrating creation and creativity.
Plant a tree
or a flower or give a gift of some kind.
Services to celebrate specific things.
This all sounds
complicated but resist the temptation to go overboard and keep it easy and simple. - e.g. A freshly baked loaf of bread with butter
and jam is delicious. You don't need three types of cake. A home-made happy birthday banner that comes out every time is better than
newly bought plastic ones. The same simple gift for everyone or no gift at all is perfectly appropriate.
the church year.
Doing festivals well.
Decorating - inside and outside. (posters, banners, etc)
Other Occasions: Moments to invite
Blessing the unchurched - weddings, christenings and other moments.
Reminding people that God is in their achievements…
Celebrating someone's life (both BEFORE and after they die!) e.g. birthday, etc.
Celebrating someone's faith - baptism, confirmation
The work of a club or organisation.
The work of an individual - achievement for charity, retirement, building of something
meeting of a target etc.
Graduation, exam results, completion of a course / education, etc.
Celebrating someone's relationship (anniversaries,
weddings, blessings etc)
Celebrating the birth of a child (Christenings, dedications, blessings, etc)
Celebrating and thanking leaders
and ministers (before they leave).
BUILDING A CELEBRATION SERVICE:
What makes a good Feast-Day service?
Do you have a favourite in
How is a celebration service like a wedding or a baptism different from an ordinary service?
How might we get someone on
Be aware of what needs celebrating well in advance, and then ask those involved if you at the church can help. Perhaps you
could book an L.A. to fall on an appropriate day.
Talk to the person / family concerned.
Invite family members, neighbours, people
in the area, etc. Ask them what they could/would like to do. - We would like to honour your father/friend/wife/etc - what would they
like? What would you do?
Keep it short.
Let them choose the songs.
Ask someone to tell the story of the person/relationship/occasion/charity
Simple, short readings (let them choose if they'd like).
Offer it up to Jesus - invite Jesus into the middle of the occasion.
What else might they like? - A piece of music, a poem, some pictures shown, etc.
Do you have someone who could take a few pictures?
Is there someone who could make a certificate? Or is there some sort of ritual or gift you could offer (planting a flower in the church
garden, or tree nearby or something?)
Could you offer tea and coffee and/or let the family use the building to celebrate in afterwards
if they wish?
If they are there to talk about a charity then could you give your collection to that cause?
In pairs or threes (or
on your own) write an Order of Service for a Celebration Service you might give. (Maybe pick an occasion coming up in your life that
you could celebrate or something else that's happening for a friend, relative, church member, or neighbour, etc). How might you split
up the work load and delegate, etc?
Are there any questions?
A hand-out from this seminar follows, as well as a template for the sort
of celebration service described above. There is also a template for a service of lament following a tragedy. Covering services of
this kind was beyond the scope of the seminar above, however it is important to remember that the church is called to the pain as
well as the joys of life and love. When tragedy strikes, the local community may seek out the church for comfort, and these times
can come without warning and be very disconcerting for those leading worship. The template offers a simple service which could be
kept in a corner of the church and referred to in an emergency.
Celebrating Feasts and Occasions in our Churches:
- The Hand-Out
1. The Call to Celebrate.
How important is celebration for Christians?
2. The Benefits of Celebration.
What's the best
celebration you've been to?
What difference does celebrating make?
3. Creating a Culture of Celebration.
How is your church already
a place of celebration?
What occasions and things are you already celebrating?
What other things could you do to help you celebrate
What other occasions and things could you try celebrating?
4. Building a Celebration Service.
How is a celebration service
like a wedding or baptism different from an ordinary service?
In what ways is it easier to organise? In what ways is it harder?
a simple order of service for a celebration service your church might hold (perhaps pick an occasion coming up or a person or group
you might like to honour). Think about things like who picks the hymns and what parts of the service you could delegate and who you
might invite to speak, etc.
How would you go about organising this?
Giving a Service of Celebration: A Template for Local Arrangements.
Celebrating an occasion is a great way to make an LA service truly 'Local'. Birthdays, anniversaries, achievements, local groups or
charities, etc are all waiting to be celebrated and offer the opportunity to reach out into the local community and invite friends,
neighbours and family who would not normally be present. The best way to approach these services is to use a Local Arrangement and
make it as collaborative as possible, invite family members or old friends to do readings, share memories, and even say prayers. Ask
those involved to choose the songs, or a poem / piece of music to hear, you could even have an open-mic slot. The ideas below are
offered as a starting point, they do not need to be followed exactly. The service can easily be lengthened with more songs, prayers,
and other activities as appropriate. Where families have been invited it may also be appropriate to give some thought to children
(some ideas include: card making and presentation, child's talk, colouring in, cake decorating, interactive presentations, etc.)
meet together in the presence of God to celebrate ________________ and to ask God's blessing upon him / her / them / it. We especially
welcome _________ on this occasion.
Hymn / Song (Ideally something well known or chosen by the person / group / family involved.)
Prayer: (written to suit or found elsewhere e.g. Methodist Worship Book p27:)
Loving God we have come here to worship you
to remember that you are here with us.
May we pray to you in faith, sing your praise with gratitude,
And listen to your word with
eagerness; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Testimony: An explanation of what exactly is being celebrated. This could be a short talk
by one person or could involve input from several people. It could even include an open-mic time when anyone present is invited to
share a memory about the person/people/event being celebrated.
Hymn / Song (As above.)
Reading(s): To be chosen by those responsible
to suit the occasion, for a birthday a favourite passage could be chosen, for an anniversary something familiar like 1 Cor 13 or Romans
Reflection: There are many different options for this. If a favourite reading was chosen then the person involved may be
willing to share a little of their own testimony and the importance of the reading. Alternatively a favourite poem could be read or
an appropriate piece of music played. Or a short talk could be given by another person about the way that God is at work in the life
(lives) or activity that is being celebrated, and challenging others to do likewise. It would also be possible to include a presentation
of some kind at this point, or the giving of gifts.
Prayers of thanksgiving and intercession: A time of open prayer might be appropriate
here, alternatively previously prepared prayers could be offered. They should include specific prayer for the occasion that is being
celebrated as well as more general prayers for those present and the wider world.
The Lord's Prayer.
Hymn / Song (As above.)
the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord look on you with kindness
and give you peace. Amen.
It would also be nice for the church community to offer refreshments after the service, and perhaps to invite
family members or friends to bring a cake etc to mark the occasion where appropriate.
Giving a Service Following a Tragedy:
A Template for Local Arrangements.
This is offered as a resource for stewards and others who may find themselves 'caught out' by an
unexpected death or other tragedy that requires a response from the local church. It is based on and inspired by some of the services
available in the Methodist Worship Book (1999). There is no obligation to follow it exactly (or even to use it at all), and other
resources are available online and elsewhere. It is a short service and additional songs, readings, poetry, sermon, times of silence,
etc can be added as desired.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
AND / OR
love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.
Hymn / Song (e.g. Amazing Grace, Be still
for the Presence of the Lord, or other.)
Prayer: (written to suit or found elsewhere - e.g. from Methodist Worship Book p 448-9:)
God our comforter, you are our refuge and strength,
A helper close at hand in times of trouble.
Help us so to hear your word
our fear may be dispelled, our loneliness eased,
And our hope reawakened
May your Holy Spirit lift us above our sorrow,
To the peace
and light of your constant love;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Ministry of the Word:
We meet in this solemn moment to worship
God; to remember ____________ and to pray for all who mourn / suffer (delete as appropriate). Let us hear then the words of Holy Scripture
that from them we may draw comfort and strength.
Readings: (to be chosen by those responsible to suit the occasion, where a death
has occurred some possible suggestions include Psalm 130, John 6 v 35-40, John 14 v 1-6 and 27, 1 Cor 15 v 3-5 and 20-24, 1 Peter
1 v 3-9, etc).
Hymn / Song (e.g. The Lord's My Shepherd, or alternative)
Reflection (This should be suited to the occasion and to
the time and resources available. An informed person may wish to reflect on some memories regarding the event or a person's life;
an open-mic time where members of the congregation are invited to share a memory or thought is another option; as indeed is a short
talk or reflection on the readings. However, there is no necessity to offer any words at all and, particularly when the events are
very recent, the most appropriate response is often simply a protracted time of silence, perhaps with music playing and even the opportunity
to light a candle.)
Prayers of intercession (and thanksgiving for their life if appropriate) and the Lord's Prayer.
(A time of open
prayer may suit some congregations, alternatively worship leaders or other church members could be asked to bring a prepared prayer
with them, or written prayers can be read from the Methodist Worship Book, 1999 (p458-9) or F17-19 in the older version (p225-7) or
Hymn / Song (e.g. The Day Thou Gavest, Abide With Me, Blessed Be Your Name, or alternative)
Blessing: May the peace of
God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, remain with you always. Amen.