Here are links to a range of worship resources that I've used in Holy Week at Uniting College plus the Interactive Easter events at Rosefield Uniting Church - some are original and some borrowed or adapted.
Lazarus: Oh my aching head! That was some party! Hey, wait a minute! Where am I?
Mother: He always was hard to get out of bed in the mornings. Lazarus Heschel, you come out right this minute!
Lazarus: Mum? Mum? What’s going on? I’m...coming.... It’s hard to move.... Why am I all wrapped up?
Martha: Look Mother. It’s Lazarus. He’s alive. It’s a miracle!
Mary: (kneels before Jesus) Lord, I should have believed you. Forgive me.
Bystander: But Jesus, how did you do it?
Jesus: (shrugs humbly) Hey.
Mother: My son, my son.... (goes to hug him). Ooh Lazarus. You smell terrible. How many times have I told you to wash properly?
Martha: Mum, give him a break. He’s been dead for four days.
Lazarus: Dead? What do you mean ‘dead’? You mean like ‘arrgh’ (pretends to die).
Mary: Hey, stop that. You’ll give us all a fright. Don’t you remember you got really sick and had sores all over your body.
Lazarus: Oh yeah. Then I went to sleep. Here, give me a hand with these bandages.
Martha: (goes to help him). Yuk. You do smell terrible. And these bandages are revolting. I’m not going to touch him.
Mother: Lazarus. Why don’t you clean yourself up a bit first. We don’t want you messing up our new lounge suite.
Lazarus: I don’t believe this. You mean I was dead, and now I’m alive, and you’re worried about the furniture!
Simeon: Mum bought it with the money she’d saved for your university fees.
Mary: Simeon, go and give your big brother a hand, will you.
Simeon: Oh alright. But don’t expect to get your room back.
Lazarus: My room! What do you mean? What’s happened to my room?
Simeon: I got your room, and your whole Roman toy soldier collection.
Lazarus: What! I don’t believe it!
Mother: Well, son. We thought you were dead, you see. I don’t think we can ask Simeon to move back now. It would hurt his feelings. Perhaps it would be best if you slept in the shed for a while. The odour really is terrible.
Lazarus: The shed! Come on now! This isn’t fair.
Martha: Complain, complain. That’s all you ever used to do. Only thinking about yourself. It’s funny how when people are gone you only remember the nice things about them
Mary: You’re really being a bit difficult about all this, brother. We were quite used to the idea that you were dead.
Undertaker: Excuse me.
Mother: Just wait a minute will you. Can’t you see we’re busy?
Lazarus: This is unbelievable! I thought you’d be glad to see me!
Mother: We are dear! It’s just that...
Undertaker: Excuse me. Who’s in charge here?
Mother: Who are you? And why do you want to know?
Undertaker: I’m from Hepzibah’s Funeral Parlour. I’ve got the bill here for a funeral for a Mr. Lazarus Heschel. Who do I give it to?
Last weekend I played mandolin and guitar for a couple of songs at the launch of David MacGregor's album of worship songs "More Than Dream". David finally fulfilled his own dream of recording a selection from the many songs that he has written. To have a song on the album that we had co-written is a delight for me. I also put the album artwork together for him, based on his design.
God of life, you're the light that shines Love afire, in these days, these times
David MacGregor is the Robin Mann of the Uniting Church. He has written hundreds of songs over what must be four decades. I have sung and played David's songs many times in congregations across Australia, at childrens and youth camps, and at Synod and Assembly meetings. He sometimes writes spontaneously, but also after long reflection, when words and melody find their right place.
Bring your peace, Lord Peace in the hard times Peace in the pain
The timeliness of David's songs is their hallmark - whether in response to tragedy, or just in thanks for life as a gift from God. David often has a song for the moment, written on a day when he has the space to reflect and listen. Many of these songs are the most prayerful, less about a message than for a moment. For me, they are among his best songs; while simpler in lyric and slower in pace, they gather us deeply into prayer. I have a hunch that, like Leonard Cohen or Paul Simon, the older we get, the more we uncover some kind of clearer, less insistent, affirmation or yearning. We find our deeper voice.
We've just had a few days at West Wyalong visiting Yvonne's brothers. The farmhouse in which Yvonne grew up , "Waratah" is being sold as Bruce and Jenny are retiring and moving. So it was a time of remembering and saying farewell to the homestead. I took a bunch of photos around the farm.
Todays I had an email from Melbourne from someone who has translated "Like a Candle" into French for use in a francophile Anglican church. How good is that? Here it is. Thanks Ilkka.
Telle une bougie frêle qui lutte Sans colère contre la nuit, L’étincelle qui saute des ombres, Qui chauffe partout où elle luit, La tendresse est perceptible, L’espérance affronte la peine, Une flamme douce exprime l’essence De l’amitié humaine.
Tels les fleuves puissants qui coulent, Les rapides qui tourbillonnent, Sont les phases passagères De la vie de toute personne. Nos voyages inéluctables Font des coudes inattendus. Quand l’Esprit nous réconforte, Jamais nous ne sommes vaincus.
Tel un ange qui fait sa ronde Sur cette terre ingrate d’argile, Qui sourit, qui sèche les larmes, Qui aux plaies verse sa bonne huile, Passons notre vie entière Dans la grâce qui vient des cieux, Embrassant la bienveillance: C’est le vrai visage de Dieu.
Vois toujours dans les ténèbres L’espoir vif qui nous éclaire; Parle des mots qui affermissent, Qui consolent et qui libèrent. Laisse ton voisinage entendre Chaque matin un chant nouveau, Lève les yeux et marche sans crainte Vers les lieux qui sont plus hauts.
La tendresse est perceptible, L’espérance affronte la peine, Une flamme douce exprime l’essence De l’amitié humaine.
I'm leading worship in my local congregation for Pentecost Sunday. I've been trying to get back to blogging regularly so here's a good reason to do so. This is the outline of what we're doing.
We're combining the Acts 2 Pentecost reading with Galatians 5 on the Fruits of the Spirit. The church is decorated with coloured cloth, blood red grape vine leaves, red yellow and orange flames, grapes, and a fire ready to be lit (clay kitty litter and methylated spirits). On the seats are 100 cutout leaves, each with one of the fruits of the spirit on them.
Call to Worship This features a sung response from Miriam Therese Winter's Woman Prayer, Woman Song and I started with her words and then changed a lot and wrote a lot of my own. We're inviting a dozen people from the congregation (spontaneously) to come and be a vocal chorus to lead the first four sections, raising their hands each time the speak. The congregation will be divided into 2 parts to respond.
L: Come Spirit! 1: Wind on the waters L: Come Spirit! 2: Breath in our hearts L: Come Spirit! 1: Dance of Creation L: Speak to us! 2: Bring a new start
Come, Spirit, come and be a new reality Your touch is guarantee of love alive in me
Back in the mid-70's, my local church put on a couple of musicals - Weller's Hill-Tarragindi Uniting, which had been a co-operative Methodist & Presbyterian parish for 4 tears prior to church union. I've recently uncovered and digitised the cassette recordings of the two shows. Here they are as mp3 downloads. The audio quality is what it is. I think the year was 1975.
I have a copy of the program somewhere and will add it to this post when I find it. The extant photos, however, will remain hidden for legal reasons.
The older youth and young adults, including me, were in the first musical, while the second featured the primary and younger secondary age kids.
Here are direct download links. Right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) to download.