Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book: The Mission Table: Renewing Congregation and Community

In a time of declining mainline Protestant church attendance, Bouman reminds us that the Holy Spirit is still very much at work. It is the mission of our churches to aid God's reconciling and restoring action in the world. This conversation on mission must involve everyone including laypeople, pastors, seminarians, and emerging congregational leaders. Each chapter contains scripture, questions, and activities, allowing for group study, reflection, and action. The goal is ultimately to help every member of the church to live as signs of the God who made the world and who will make all things new.

The Table of creation
From kitchen table to the alter table
Seeking hospitality at New Table
The congregation:  a table for mission
Mission Table leadership
Setting mission tables
Restoring the broken table

Monday, October 19, 2015

Stewardship Book: Ask, thank, tell

The goal of this book, says author Charles Lane, is to perform a dramatic rescue of stewardship, freeing it from any connection whatsoever to "paying the bills."  When the Bible talks about stewardship it almost always talks about the intimate connection between how a person handles financial matters and that person's relationship with God. Stewardship is an intensely spiritual matter that lies close to a disciple's relationship with Jesus.
The book is designed especially for use in congregational planning and study. Congregational stewardship leaders will come back to three foundational verbs — ask, thank, tell — over and over as they help individuals experience the joy of giving generously. The author makes the convincing case that there is little in life today that can help a disciple grow in relationship with Jesus more than a solid intentional biblical stewardship.

Advent Liturgy - suitable for the Southern Hemisphere

Many of the litanies for the lighting of the Advent candles in worship might strike you as very ‘Northern Hemisphere’. The coming of light in the darkness is very appropriate when you are in the winter season, and the days are getting shorter.
In Australia however, it might be time to think differently of Advent in terms of what so many hope and long for at this time of year – water. From a cool drink to a drenching summer storm, to protection from bushfires, water, as a symbol, reminds us what so many need at this time of year.
Ben Hentschke from the Ipswich Lutheran Church has developed such a liturgy found here

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hymn: You are called to tell the story

A hymn of encouragement to be God's story tellers in our lives

You are called to tell the story,
passing words of life along,
then to blend your voice with others
as you sing the sacred song.
Christ be known in all our singing,
filling all with songs of love.

You are called to teach the rhythm
of the dance that never ends,
then to move with in the circle,
hand in hand with strangers, friends.
Christ be known in all our dancing,
touching all with hands of love.

You are called to set the table,
blessing bread as Jesus blest,
then to come with thirst and hunger,
needing care like all the rest.
Christ be known in all our sharing,
feeding all with signs of love.

May the One whose love is broader
than the measure of all space
give us words to sing the story,
move among us in this place.
Christ be known in all our living,
filling all with gifts of love.

Possible Tunes:  
Regent Square

Words: : Duck, Ruth (1947-) © G I A Publications

Christmas story videos

Kids Christmas story videos...

Illustration/Story: Mary Jones and the start of the bible society

The story of a young girl who saved for six years and walked twenty-five miles to own a
Bible in her own language.

Many years ago, a little girl lived with her mother in a small grey stone cottage in the Welsh countryside. Her home was in a green valley in the shadow of a mountain, and from there you could sometimes see the sea in the far distance. Her father was a weaver who worked very hard to support his family but sadly he died when Mary was young.
‘Mary, Mary!’ called a distant voice.
‘Coming, Mother …’ Mary Jones knew what was expected of a nine-year-old girl. Without grumbling, she would do her share of the chores around her home. She would scrub the floors, feed the chickens, cook and help to keep the house tidy.
On Sunday mornings, Mary dressed in her Sunday best, would walk to the little chapel in the village two miles away.
At the front, the minister would open a large, black, leather-bound book. As he began to read, Mary would marvel at the wonderful words and store them up in her heart. After the service, she would go cautiously up to look at the impressive book. There were two words printed in gold on its cover. Mary guessed that these said ‘Holy Bible’ because she had heard the minister mention the name of the book. The words inside looked odd to her. ‘How can anyone ever make sense of these squiggles?’ she thought. ‘Oh, how I wish I could read this book for myself, or even have one for my own!’
Then, on Sunday morning, the minister, announced that a school was to open in the village. Mary was excited. ‘Now I can learn to read,’ she said, ‘and make sense of those strange marks in the book at chapel.’  The schoolmaster, Mr Evans, and his wife moved into a farmhouse not far from Mary’s home. Mary worked extra hard to finish her chores quickly so that she could go to the Evans’ house to learn to read. Her parents saw how hard their
daughter worked at both schoolwork and her duties at home.
Months passed and seasons changed, until at last Mary was asked to read from the chapel Bible one Sunday morning. She was not very tall, so a special wooden box for her to stand on so that she could see the words properly. Now the squiggles were no longer strange to her. She read perfectly. Mr and Mrs Jones were very proud of their daughter.
After the service, Mary rushed up to her mother. ‘I must have a Bible, I must have a Bible!’ she cried. Her mother gently placed his hand on her shoulder. ‘But Mary, Bibles are expensive, and we haven’t much money.’
‘I know, I know, that’s why I am going to save up for one, and I don’t care how long it takes me. I’ll do jobs for other people, I’ll save all my pennies, I’ll do anything just to have my own Bible.’
And that is exactly what Mary did. For six long years she saved all she could until the day came when she had enough money to buy a Bible. Mr Evans had told her that there was a man in a town called Bala who had a number of Bibles. Mary, now fifteen, told her mother that she was going to walk to Bala.
Her mother exclaimed, ‘Daughter, that’s nearly twenty-five miles away!’ But there was no changing Mary’s mind –
she had waited too long for that. So, with her purse of money and some bread and cheese tied up in a bundle, she
set off.
The journey to Bala seemed endless. Mary followed many paths, crossed valleys and streams and found her way
around hills. As her weariness grew and her aching limbs seemed almost too much to
bear, she muttered words of encouragement to herself. ‘Come on, Mary, not much
further now,’ she thought. Eventually she came to the brow of a hill, from which she
could see the edge of a town. Dusk was falling, and candlelight had begun to flicker
in cottage windows. Mary's heart pounded with excitement. Here was Bala at last!
She recognised it from Mr Evans’ clear description. With renewed energy and a new
determination, she set off again down the hill.
Mary asked for directions to find Mr Charles. After knocking on several doors and asking for directions, she found his house. She ran up the garden path and knocked loudly on the large oak door.
As it was opened, Mary made her request for a Bible, the words tumbling over themselves in her eagerness: ‘I’ve walked twenty-five miles to get here, I’ve saved up for six years to buy a Bible, I’ve got the money here, you can count it if you like – please can I have a Bible?’
Mr Charles was taken aback. ‘You had better come in and tell me all about it, but first you must have something to eat. You must be famished.’ He smiled kindly and beckoned the housekeeper to take Mary to the kitchen.
After she had eaten, Mary told Mr Charles everything.  He was moved by her account. And he held out to her a brand new Bible. Mary stared at it for a long moment before taking it with both hands. Then she expressed her heartfelt thanks.
The next morning, Mary, clutching her treasured possession, said goodbye to Mr Charles and started on her way home. She arrived to a grand reception. It seemed as if everyone was there. Her mother threw her arms around her and hugged her. Nearby stood Mr
Evans and the minister, smiling broadly and clapping their hands. Everyone was cheering and wanted Mary to show them her Bible. As she held the book up for all to
see, she murmured a few quiet words. ‘Thank you, Jesus, thank you Mr Charles,’ she said.

In his study, Mr Charles remembered how the young girl had disappeared over the brow of a hill still holding the new Bible to her chest. He began to think of all the other Mary Joneses who must be wanting Bibles, not only in Wales but in England, Scotland, Ireland, and even in  other more distant lands.
In 1804, the British and Foreign Bible Society was formed by Thomas Charles and other important men in response to needs which stories like that of Mary Jones had brought to light.
Bible Society is working for the day when the Bible’s God-given revelation, inspiration and wisdom is shaping the lives and communities everywhere.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Spoken Word - The Bible - spoken truth- spoken Gospel

The spoken word is like rap...but gentler....
Dai Woolridge - spoken on the bible engages people with not only what the bible is...but it's impact on our lives and our world....

Watch the video

 “When I heard Dai Woolridge perform his spoken word, I was  more than just impressed. I felt that he had mastered the ability to use this particular art form as an instrument that would captivate an audience, on the one hand, and communicate a clear message of the Gospel, on the other.”  Tony Campolo – Professor of Sociology at Eastern University

“Dai Woolridge’s spoken word pieces are excellent – engaging, entertaining, thoughtful,intelligent and moving.”
Graham Kendrick – Worship Leader

The Spoken word also offers resources for Christmas, Easter, blessed and remembrance...

For more details visit

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Book: Introducing Christian Mission Today

Introducing Christian Mission Today - Scripture, History and Issues by Michael Goheen brings the vibrant history, motivation and challenges of Christian mission to the fore.

Through the centuries Christian mission has always been recalibrating, retooling and reevangelizing. It has repeatedly taken surprising turns as it is carried along by the Spirit of God.  Goheen's introduction to mission's biblical, theological and historical dimensions engages the present and anticipates the future. As he unfolds the major issues of the global and urban, the pluralistic and wholistic contexts of mission today, he lays the ground for engaging in God’s great kingdom enterprise. This full-scale text incorporates the keen missional insights of Lesslie Newbigin, David Bosch and other formative thinkers. It will be a valued resource not only for those in crosscultural contexts but also for those engaged in reevangelizing the West.

Introduction: A Paradigm Shift in Mission Studies Today
1. Scripture as a Narrative Record of God’s Mission
2. Theology of Mission and Missional Theology
3. Historical Paradigms of Mission
4. An Emerging Ecumenical Paradigm of Mission
5. A Survey of the Global Church
6. Holistic Mission: Witness in Life, Word and Deed
7. Faithful Contextualization: Church, Gospel and Culture(s)
8. Toward a Missiology of Western Culture
9. A Missionary Encounter with World Religions
10. Urban Mission: The New Frontier
11. Missions: A Witness to the Gospel Where There Is None