Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hymn Competition

As part of the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, an International Hymn Competition is being held to find a new celebratory Pauline hymn.
The hymn needs to have a focus on St Paul's life, theology or teachings..
The terms and conditions of the Competition are included in the Guidelines attached.
St Paul’s Cathedral acknowledges the generous support of the S. R. Stoneman Foundation in sponsoring this project.
All entries must be submitted by 5pm local Melbourne time on 18 September 2015 to:
Hymn Competition, St Paul’s Cathedral, 209 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
or by email to

More information is available at

Book: Thank God its Monday: Sunday's not enough

Let's face it: this generation is increasingly not waking up Sunday morning thinking, what's a great church I can go to today? Part of the problem is that for too long we've made church mostly about Christians doing spiritual stuff on Sundays. Of course, we love our Sundays, but we should be even more excited about our Mondays, because on those days God has positioned us in shop fronts, in salons, in classrooms, in playgroups, on building sites, and in boardrooms where we can engage with those who don't yet know Him. Church must be less about us and more about others. We should be empowering Christians to act as Christ in their communities Monday through Saturday. That's why Christians should be waking up on Mondays declaring, “Thank God it's Monday!” In this thought-provoking book, Paul Bartlett encourages us that can have a huge influence in our community, across our town or city, and throughout the nation. . . and it starts on Monday.

Chapters include:
They're not that just into us just yet
It's not about us
It's not about the building
It's not about the pastor
It's not just about Sundays
It's about the whole week
It's about our people
It's about serving others
A different way to transform our communities

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book: God's word my voice - a lectionary for children

Want the children in your congregation to leave with God’s Word on their lips and in their hearts? This collection of The Revised Common Lectionary readings (Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, and Gospel), are paraphrased for children to be read aloud in Sunday morning worship, will help kids easily read and understand the word God has for their lives. This collection of lectionary paraphrases is written in a child’s speaking voice, NOT as an adult telling a story to the children. The psalms include a refrain for the entire congregation that closely parallels to the Book of Common Prayer’s version.

This book is for:

  • congregations who are trying to engage their kids in God’s Word in worship
  • clergy who don’t have a knack for creative children’s liturgy, but the deep desire to connect with kids
  • use in additional settings, including Christian day schools, children’s chapels, family liturgies

Reviews and recommendations
“The Rev. Lyn Zill Briggs has given to us an invaluable resource that can be used to make the lectionary readings come alive for children and adults. After all, aren't we (adults) children at heart? When one reads these texts one is struck by the immediacy of the lessons. They communicate in a way that brings the stories and lessons to life. This is so because the Bible is so very alive for The Rev. Briggs. A great big thank you to Lyn for this volume that will be treasured by all who will read it and use it.”
––The Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, Episcopal Diocese of Utah

“There are so many possibilities of using this resource in worship, bible study with children, children’s chapel, or intergenerational gatherings, that this is a must have for anyone who does liturgical planning, ministry with children and youth, or intergenerational ministry. God’s Word, My Voice is a great resource for the whole church as we seek to more fully engage in what God’s Word says to each of us.”
––The Rev. Shannon Kelly, Associate for Curriculum Development, Living Compass and Acting Missioner for Lifelong Formation, The Episcopal Church

“A gift for Episcopal school chaplains and parish clergy who have been looking for a way to remain true to the richness of the lectionary but in words that young children can understand. Look no further. This is it.”
 ––Ann Mellow, Associate Director, National Association of Episcopal Schools

 “It helped improve my understanding of the Bible with excellent, clear writing. After church, I would sometimes pick up the bulletin just to re-read the lessons. I hope other readers feel the same appreciation that I do about these stories.”
––Rhys Harwood, twelve-year-old lector, Church of the Resurrection, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Instilling a heartfelt relationship with Holy Scripture is one of the primary tasks of the Christian educator, and this volume should be one of our primary resources. Within it, you’ll find our common lectionary paraphrased with uncommon sensitivity to the voices of young people, and to their roles as learners and leaders within congregations and families. And don’t be surprised if you find your adults listening and learning anew as well, as always is the case when we allow the children to lead us.”
––The Rev. Julia McCray-Goldsmith, Ministry Development Officer and Working Group Head for Discipleship Ministries, Diocese of California

“Lyn Briggs offers us a book that breaks open the words we say at baptism, “Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.” This book presents the lectionary in a way that our children can more fully discern and inquire the meaning of the biblical text. I believe that when we use these texts, children will enter into the wonder of the Word of God.”
––The Rev. Shawn Schreiner, Rector of Grace Church, Oak Park, Illinois and co-author of The Rite Place: Kids to Worship! Adults Do Too!

“This new lectionary for children feeds the child in us all with fresh words that are true to the Good News and true to a child’s capacity for mystery, awe, and wondering. It will be a most-excellent resource for those faith communities rich in children. It will be a most-excellent encouragement to those faith communities who yearn for children in their midst. Receive the gift––fresh voice, fresh words, fresh lives.”
            ––The Rev. Jan Smith Wood, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Sandusky, Ohio

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mission Planning resources

ELCA congregations have developed a number of mission planning resources that help congregations and their leaders develop mission that relates to their context and giftings.
The resources include:
Essential Background
Guiding Principles for Mission Planning
Marks of a Missional Congregation
Model for Thinking About Mission
Paradigms for Mission Renewal
Worship and Mission

Do it yourself resources 
Adaptations of 1-to-1's
Beyond Our Doors
Building a Mission Table
Congregation Life Cycle Question
Discovering Approaches to Mission
Front Porchin' Workbook
Growing Congregational Vitality
Guide to 1-on-1 Conversations
Manual for Congregational Mission Planning
Process for Discerning Purpose Statement
Read, Reflect and Respond Bible Study
Season for Prayer and Renewal
Some Basics for Evaluating
Some Basics for Planning
Story Matters

Resource Lists
For Deep
For High
For Wide
Missional Leadership Books
Resources for Going Deeper
Web site Links

Mission Planning resources are available at