Reflect – Meditate – Get Closer to God

Highlights from our March & May Selections

Grace-Filled Moments with Sr. Joan: 365 Reflections on Life, Loss, Healing and Joy.
By Joan Chittister.

The challenge of this book is to make a personal commitment each day to take up silence — to set aside quiet time for reflection and reconnection. Silence, Joan insists, is the antidote to the chaos and busyness of modern life

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Breath of the Spirit: Photographs & Joyful Words for Gentle Meditation. By Philip C. Garside – text; & Alexander Garside – photos

Pause and let these 57 full colour photographs with simple words boost your spirit.

Photographer Alexander Garside helps us to see the world through fresh eyes, and to appreciate the beauty of nature and our urban landscape. There is joy, light and life all around us.

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Attached to God: A Practical Guide to Deeper Spiritual Experience. By Krispin Mayfield.

Why do we feel so far from God sometimes? The answer is found when you take a deep look at the other important relationships in your life and understand your attachment style.

When you understand your attachment style you gain a whole new paradigm for a secure and loving relationship with God.

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Kindle a Flame

A Thought for Today

Kindle a flame

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your light shine through
let your light shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your justice shine through
let your justice shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your hope shine through
let your hope shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your love shine through
let your love shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your peace shine through
let your peace shine through.

About this Song

Kindle a Flame was written as a reflective song for worship and I have used it many times when leading services.

It also works well as part of the devotions for a small group, and as an individual, private meditation (change “our hearts” to “my heart”).

The words are simple and repetitive.

There is a melody line setting and several suggestions for how to use this liturgy/song in our PDF eBook Kindle a Flame.

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Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Call to Worship

A Thought for Today

Call to Worship

We are called:
Called to gather in this holy place

We are called:
Called as people of God

We are called:
Called to a time of rest from our labours and troubles

We are called:
Called to rejoice in word and song

We are called:
Called to have our hearts uplifted by your Holy Spirit

We are called:
Called to worship you, O God. Amen.

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This prayer is found in my collection of, music, prayers and poems: Kindle a Flame
which you can download as a free 30 page PDF eBook when you sign up for our email newsletters.

Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Loving God of Aotearoa

A Thought for Today

Loving God of Aotearoa

Loving God of Aotearoa,
hear now our call to you,
We have gathered in your presence,
to celebrate anew!
We have come from many places,
speaking, thinking differently,
But in you we are united,
one whole, strong family.

Refrain:
Let us heed your call to service
and follow lovingly,
May we be compassionate people,
alive in you and free.

Scripture tells of faithful people,
who spread your light and love.
Now inspire, lead, direct us,
so we can be like them.
May the Way that Christ has taught us,
and the power of your Word,
Set a fire burning in us,
for justice and for love.

Rimu tall, with tui singing,
proclaim your majesty,
You who care for all creation,
will always care for me.
Matariki’s spirit guide us,
rise within us all the year.
Help us live and speak forgiveness,
your people want to hear.

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About this hymn

Rev Desmond Cooper, our minister at the time, was president elect of the Methodist Church in 2010 and wanted a song for the Induction service at Conference. He mentioned that he liked Holst’s tune Thaxted (I vow to thee my country) but would prefer alternative words that were less nationalistic.

Loving God of Aotearoa is the result. I consulted Desmond and vice president elect Susanne Spindler as the lyrics were being written and they smoothed off a few rough corners. The hymn is dedicated to Desmond and was sung at the Methodist Conference in Palmerston North in 2010.

This poem is found in my collection of, music, prayers and poems: Kindle a Flame
which you can download as a free 30 page PDF eBook when you sign up for our email newsletters.

Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Healing of the Nations

A Thought for Today

Healing of the Nations

With laurel leaves
the winners crowned
Olympian effort applauded

With laurel leaves
the emperor crowned
power and force rewarded

How then to crown
the Lord of Life
the Saviour long-expected?

With sharp, hard thorns
was Jesus wreathed
prophecy and love contorted.

Crushed, healing herbs
dressed wounds and hurts
bodies whole again

Lest we forget
the dying sun
green shoots, new life
still comes.
Amen.

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About this poem

Our congregation took part in the Living the Questions study programme some years ago. This poem is a response to the session on the book of Revelation.

It contrasts the way ancient Greek Olympic champions, Roman emperors and Jesus were crowned. This leads to thoughts about commemorating those who died or were injured in war.
Like the book of Revelation, the poem finishes on a hopeful note of renewal and growth.

This poem is found in my collection of, music, prayers and poems: Kindle a Flame
which you can download as a free 30 page PDF eBook when you sign up for our email newsletters.

Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Engaging and inspiring the listener

A Thought for Today

“The earthquake was oddly localised. The jail was badly shaken, but not the jailer’s home nearby. If the jail, one of the most strongly built structures in town was seriously damaged, we could expect a home built of unreinforced mud brick to collapse completely.

This is typical of the writer of Luke and Acts. He is telling a good story to make a point. The facts, whatever they really were in this case, have been moulded into a coherent narrative, designed to engage and inspire the listener.

When I was doing some introductory New Testament study as part of my lay preacher training, I did an exercise of trying to match up the accounts of Paul’s voyages in Acts – written sometime after Paul’s death – with the various letters that Paul wrote. I was frustrated that I couldn’t make the sequence and dates for the journeys line up. The writer of Acts had taken the basic facts and harmonised them into a logical order… which is fine.

The purpose of many gospel accounts is to convey meaning, rather than a set of historical facts.

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From the sermon – What must I do? – 12 May 2013
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

Worship – Sermons – Methodist – Ideas

Highlights from our May Selection

Connections Worship Companion, Year C Volume 2. By David Gambrell.

Complete liturgies – from the call to worship to the closing charge, with prayers and litanies for every need in between – for all worshiping occasions for the season after Pentecost of Year C.

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Listeners Dare: Hearing God in the Sermon. By William H Willimon.

Willimon shares a love of preaching and also lets listeners into some of the secrets of why preaching is inherently connected to the Christian faith as one way God has chosen to relate to us and to disclose God’s will for each of us.

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Five Marks of a Methodist: The Fruit of a Living Faith. By Steve Harper.

A Methodist Loves God
A Methodist Rejoices in God
A Methodist Gives Thanks
A Methodist Prays Constantly
A Methodist Loves Others

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The Quiet Before: On the Unexpected Origins of Radical Ideas. By Gal Beckerman.

Beckerman shows that our most defining social movements – from decolonisation to feminism – were formed in quiet, closed networks that allowed a small group to incubate their ideas before broadcasting them widely.

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Celebration – Struggle – Transformation

A Thought for Today

“Somewhere in this week Jesus went through a process from celebration to struggle to transformation, from prophet and social revolutionary to victim, then to victor. From a human plane to a divine plane. From giving his supporters hope, to despair, to hope again.

I hope that you didn’t find the exercise of making flax crosses too difficult.

I’m sure you can guess why I worked through this with you. We have gone from waving flax leaves to celebrate, to struggling with crafting them, to transformation of the flax into our most important symbol as Christians.

I enjoyed practising making the crosses at home. They are a real kiwi icon. I like the way the flax comes from the land, the whenua that we sang about in our Māori introit. A flax plant is grounded in the way that our faith can be grounded. Change takes effort. We sometimes need the help of our friends to move forward to get the job done, just like we need friends on our journey of faith. And while the completed flax crosses might seem like an end point, the cross as a symbol has no end, just as God’s love for us has no end.

And just as the flax is strong, so God’s love for us, symbolised by the life, death and rising of Jesus is strong. I can’t break this flax leaf [demonstrate]. Nothing you or I can do, can defeat God’s love.”

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From the sermon – Celebration – Struggle – Transformation – 24 March 2013
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

 

PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

Breath of the Spirit is not just a print book and eBook.

We have used the images in the book to create a collection of 57 PowerPoint slides to display in your worship services.

The images are royalty free so long as you display the credit at the foot of the slides.

You can download the set immediately after making payment.

Click here to Order your set of 57 PowerPoint images

 

Three Top Books by Susan Jones

Three Top Books by Susan Jones

We’re All Equally Human: Conversations in a Coffee Shop Book 2. By Susan Jones.

Meet Charity; young, lesbian, Christian, in a happy relationship with Katy and disturbed by her church’s attitude to LGBTQI people. Supported by her minister, Charity shares her experiences, and gains new confidence about her identity and role in her local church.

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Progressing the Journey: Lyrics and Liturgy for a Conscious Church. By Susan Jones.

Is your church ready to explore current ideas about God – not just male, not up there, but down here with us – creation, Jesus & theology?

Then these 42 hymns, 70 gatherings, affirmations, and blessings; along with poems & reflections, will provide a valuable resource to support your worship ministry.

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Wherever You Are, You Are On The Journey: Conversations in a Coffee Shop Book 1. By Susan Jones

Do you feel there is more to Christian faith than is told on Sundays? Are you questioning whether the firmly held beliefs you grew up with are going to be useful in the next stage of your life?

Don’t panic! You have simply reached a transition point in your faith journey.

Hope and her minister/mentor Susan chat about deepening & re-enchanting faith at their local café. What will Hope do next?

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