An Easter Poem

OUR DAY

This is my day
A day of rest
A day of hope
A day of peace and happiness.
This is the day the Lord has made
A day to sing
A day to praise
A day to become one in the Spirit.
This is the day that the Lord has made
This is my day
This is your day
This is our day.

Doreen Alexander, Guyana, in Margaret Hebblethwaite, ed., The Living Spirit: Readings for the Christian Year – A Tablet Anthology (Norwich, UK: The Canterbury Press, 2000), p. 242.

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Easter Resources from Linda Cowan and Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

Joy begins the newsletter from the Canterbury Lay Preachers Association …

Linda and I have assembled a resource with an Easter theme this time. As always we hope you find the collection of prayers and poems we have compiled inspiring, encouraging and useful in your personal worship and lay preaching ministry.

This resource begins with material inspired by John chapter 20, which tells of Peter and the Beloved Disciple running to the garden tomb after Mary Magdalene had reported to them that the body of Jesus was missing, followed by Mary’s encounter with the risen Christ.

Last Christmas, when my husband and I were packing our motorhome in preparation for our annual summer holiday, I popped in three books for holiday reading. One was a novel written by a good friend and former work colleague, in which she recreates the amazing story of her ancestor, who was born an illegitimate daughter of Australian convicts and rose up through the social ranks to eventually become a friend of King Louis Philippe of France. The second was a book on container gardening, and the third a Mary Magdalenebook on Mary Magdalene. Apart from this eclectic selection of reading material, I also took away with me a bronchial infection which didn’t respond to antibiotics. Consequently I didn’t do much during our holiday, including much reading.

The novel and the gardening book remains untouched, but I have completed the book on Mary Magdalene, which was a fascinating read, although I did question some of its contents.  …

[Click here to continue reading to download a copy of the newsletter and its resources.]

Preparing for Advent

But wait – there’s more, from Rev Silvia Purdie, Minister at  Cashmere Presbyterian Church, Christchurch –http://www.conversations.net.nz/  (24 Nov 2017) –

PictureFor the Cashmere congregation this year we have prepared a simple photocopied booklet of Christmas readings, including a daily reading guide (with help from Catholic.com). It is not my own work but you’re welcome to view it HERE. It includes a couple of lovely poems from Madeline L’Engle’s fabulous ‘Winter Song’ book, as well as a couple of our very special Kiwi authors, Shirley Murray and Joy Cowley.

The light of the Christmas star to you
the warmth of home and hearth to you
the cheer and good will of friends to you
the love of the Son and God’s peace to you

An Advent and Christmas Miscellany

A Collection of Advent Poems, Prayers and Blessings

A Liturgy for Advent and Christmas

Betty Shore has sent us an Advent/Nativity reflection/study she used with a group. You may be able to use all or part of this

A Birth in Bethlehem – a Nativity Play – by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

If Jesus Came for the First Time This Year – A Nativity Story with a Modern Twist – by Joy Kingsbury Aitken

A Collection of Christmas Prayers and Blessings

Free – From Philip Garside Publishing Ltd –

Creative WorshipCreative Worship Volume 1Songs, Prayers & PoemsPhilip Garside. PDF eBook, 32pp. ISBN 9781927260791. Philip Garside Publishing Ltd. (2017). Free. Click to Download now

Fresh songs, prayers and poems for worship and reflection.

Here are 11 songs, in a variety of styles, for your church or choir. You can copy and sing them for free!

“…Come and dance with us,
sing with us, walk along our way.
Help us bring alive God’s kingdom
on earth today.”

The arrangements are simple and include guitar chords. Some are best sung unaccompanied.

To help you learn them, links to midi and mp3 files of the melody, and to the Noteworthy Composer software music settings are included for each song. There are also notes about how and why the songs were written and tips for performing them.

The songs, poems and prayers in this book have all been successfully used in worship.

We hope you and your congregation or choir will enjoy them.

Disability Sunday resources

Rosalie Sugrue has provided some more resources for Disability Sunday, comprised of poems, prayers, and a children’s story written by her self and another Kiwi writer, Trish Harris, and included in a new book issued last year entitled A Child Laughs: Prayers for Peace and Justice.

Unfortunately we cannot include all the material here, but we can provide you with a pdf here. 

disability

A personal prayer/poem

THE CARRIER AND THE CARRIED

I don’t notice your disability anymore. …. It’s

just something you carry with you, she said.
….
I carry it with me
like a handbag
swinging loosely by my side
        pick it up
        put it down.
A handbag
I never lose
and never replace.

I carry it on me
like a cotton shirt
on a summers day.
Wind easing its finger
between skin and fabric
billowing it out
pulling it too
playing at separation
but the buttons hold tight.

I carry it in me
channels
carved deep
by a river
always in flood.

I carry it through me
like the weight
of a name
for a child never born.
A presence
and an absence.

I carry it  with me
        on me
        in me
and through me.

I am the carrier

and I am also
the carried.

A blue tear
filled with gold.

 

Public Prayers   (Approach)

Loving God,
We acknowledge that regardless of health,
attitude, appearance or status,
we are people marred by imperfections.
Grant us the strength to manage our infirmities
with wise caring, good humour, and gratitude.
Help us use whatever we have to become
more insightful to the conditions of humans,
and more attentive to matters spiritual.
Save us from falling victim to self-centredness
         – a malaise that preys on the fit and the unfit
that left unchecked is more soul destroying
and more binding than any physical aberration.
In the loving of others may we find perfection.  Amen.

 

A story for children of all ages

The Tiny Town of Tontevoc

The tiny town of Tontevoc nestled in a sunny valley beside a sparkling river.  It was surrounded by green fields backed by snow capped mountains.  Everyone lived in a warm house and no one went short of anything they needed.  Instead of enjoying the good things they had the children of Tontevoc School were discontent.  Each child thought some other child was more fortunate.

One child owned a pony and another had a magnificent tree house.  There was a girl who could run like the wind.  Her brother could sing like angel.  Their cousins were exceptional at tennis.  There were twins who looked alike and often argued.  A boy who painted beautiful pictures lived with his grandmother.  The family of four played boisterous games and got to sleep in bunks.  The cleverest girl in the school wore thick glasses.  Her sister was very pretty.  One child lived in a grand house and had many toys.  And, there was a boy who limped and had to use a crutch.

One day the Wise-woman of Tontevoc visited the school holding a bunch of floating balloons.  … [See page 4 of the pdf file for more …]

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Poem and article relating to Matthew 5:38-48

Linda Cowan writes:

This poem fits with Sunday’s reading from Matthew 5: 38–48  – and also Kathleen Rushton’s article in the latest Tui Motu [“Give your cloak as well,” no. 212, February 2017, p. 22-23] which is really good!

Revolution

The enemy:
            love them
The oppressor:
            walk the mile with them
The Master:
            turn the other cheek to them

This doormat faith
seems too much to bear
in a world where those who bully
always seem to win

The enemy:
            imbalance them with love
The oppressor:
            shame the law that oppresses
The Master:
           turn the cheek as an equal

This rebellious faith
seems too much to bear
in a world where those who bully
are loved back to justice by the bullied

But this is heaven’s revolution
and we are called into it
come let us worship
love’s rebel, Jesus

~ written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Mucky Paws.