Our Alive@5 theme was "Listen!". It was actually about prayer: us listening to God and God listening to us. There were enough ideas that we will (obviously) do more on prayer in the future. Here's the rundown. As usual, it's far from perfect, whatever that means, but its ours. And as usual, we'd do it differently next time...
A quiz of 9 mystery sounds recorded around the house. Two ipods plugged into Belkin audio hubs with a few headsets coming out of each. No-one guessed the MegaSketcher...
Arrival Video - "Space and Time" from Proost, looped. I wasn't sure how this would go in this environment but it definitely chilled us out. nice.
Welcome Theme intro etc....
Song - "Praying" by Mandy Dyson/Treagus from "God Gives 4"
Video of the Lord's Prayer from the Gospel of Matthew DVD. (not a good choice, mainly because it's so brief. it was like a video blip of Jesus... We would have done better with a telling/retelling of the narrative).
Lord's Prayer - we said/read the Lord's Prayer - text and images onscreen with each phrase followed by a contemporary paraphrase. (Yes, so many translation and theological issues here. Stop being fussy!)
Our Father in heaven
Our God who watches over us like the best parent
Hallowed be your name
May we honour you
Your kingdom come
Make our world the way it should be
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
May we all live the way you hope we would
Give us each day our daily bread
Give us the food we need
Forgive us our sins
Forgive us for doing wrong
As we forgive those who sin against us
As we forgive others
Save us from the time of trial
Keep us from being tempted
And deliver us from evil
For the kindgom, the power and the glory are yours
Because everything is yours
Now and forever. Amen.
We then had several activities as usual, based on different types of prayer. We also had a table where people could come and look, touch, smell things that people use to help them pray - icon, coloured fabric, scented oil burner, mini labyrinth, anointing oil, etc.
AWE (adoration, praise)
Large screen projection of Hubble space telescope images with Lux 1 by Brian Eno from the album "Lux". About 35 images each showing for 30 secs with a very slow "Ken Burns" shift/zoom effect. Psalm 8 text (CEV) printed out as well. I have to say this was stunning and there were many comments afterwards.
Some cards from the Storycatching set from Innovative Resources. An invitation to choose a card and talk about being thankful. Then an invitation to take a shellstone (from Spotlight) from a bowl and make it a reminder of giving thanks.
Pieces of charcoal. A white canvas. An invitation to reflect on being sorry and then to write on the canvas with the charcoal. An opportunity to wash hands, and then to say to one another "We are forgiven".
Two bowls of water. Portraits from Archibald exhibitions (go buy the books and cut them up). An invitation to pray for others and light a floating candle.
When we regathered, instead of saying a blessing we learned/sang "Lord, listen to your children playing" by Ken Medema
Then I talked about giving each of our girls a container of evening/blessing prayers when they were young, and how we would read them together or they could read them by themselves. We invited people to take a jar and a bunch of prayers (short blessings/prayers from Iona and from us) home to read/say at bedtime or mealtime or whenever.
I hope this stuff helps some people. It seems very ordinary at this end.