19 September 2021
Bible readings for today
in your economy the last will be first and the first will be last;
help us to step aside, and grant us such humility
that we may recognise and welcome all your children
with open hands, warm hearts and generous minds,
with your hospitality and grace.
Through Jesus Christ our Liberator,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Bubble Zoom church ideas
If your church is gathering online, and your online services do not cater for children well, there are few activities that could help our young families (and all ages) engage.
- If God was to describe your bubble in one word, what would it be? Make that word out of things you have around your house (e.g. lego, socks, food, pens), and share them over Zoom at the end of your service.
- If your bible story is a creative one, could they make a scene from it out of lego?
- Make a prop or outfit out of recycled materials
- Build a fort
- Recreate famous bible painting using items from around the house. You could pick a painting based on your bible readings for the day.
- Set up a scavenger hunt
- Sermon bingo - when the preacher says some key words, they have actions to do (e.g. star jump, call out a response word)
- Draw a picture, or decorate rocks and leaves with paint pens.
- 2min challenge to collect one things that reminds them of God and then share with your family why you choose it
- Make a collage around the theme of the day
Who will be the greatest? (Mark 9: 30-38)
Today Jesus reminds us about what greatness looks like in God's eyes.
"Then Jesus put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
These words from Mark 9 are at the heart of our children and families ministries, across the church. Its the 'go-to' passage for us, reminding us of the welcome and embrace of God for those most vulnerable in society.
Zoom church today
Most of New Zealand will find itself in Level 3 or Level 4 this weekend, walking that delicate balance of online church or connecting in ways of worship and fellowship. As we have this passage at the centre of our reading today, it would be remiss for us not to ask:
"I tend not to think that Jesus had some sort of crystal ball awareness of the rough journey that dwelled ahead of him. Like many who have given up their lives in the service of truth and justice (I think of Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyrs; perhaps Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, too: Google is your friend!) he knew that his trajectory of justice-proclamation, pricking the skins of religious and societal hypocrisy, was soon going to turn to tears. Yet in the midst of that apprehension he turns to one of the most powerless and defenceless in the community and defines the child as a symbol of his own vulnerability and the vulnerability of his gospel. Jesus risked vulnerability, the vulnerability epitomized by a child. The Church, sadly, has in many cases failed horrendously in its duty of care to these icons of Jesus, the vulnerable children. It has failed, too, in its vocation to vulnerability, pontificating instead from assumed positions of power. The two failures are entwined. But let’s reflect on that when we strike passages about millstones and necks and deep oceans. For now let’s just remember that we are called to be vulnerable, not powerful, and to proclaim justice and compassion, not self-preservation." - Michael Godfrey, Dunedin Diocese
In this sermon, Bishop Eleanor speaks about the Mark 9 passage, and about a theology of childhood.
Create your own psalm
During various Covid levels, our congregation was not allowed to sing, and we came up with creative ways to worship using the psalms.