This article is from Issue 70 of “On The Move,” a publication of new learning possibilities for churches, at one time published by The Joint Board of Christian Education of Australia and New Zealand.
Although some ideas and liturgies may appear somewhat “dated” in style, concept, imagery or language, they may nevertheless offer a spring-board for new ideas among people who find themselves leading worship, perhaps in a new context, and with some trepidation.
Reproduced by permission. May be reprinted for use in local congregations only.
WORSHIP FOR THE EASTER SEASON
The Sundays of Easter are a time to focus on the life of the church. On one Sunday at Northmead Uniting Church we visualised this by creating a Family Tree of our congregation.Robyn spoke about attending her husbands family reunion in the country, with generations of relatives she had never met before. On the wall was a huge Family Tree, showing all the branches for six or seven generations in Australia.A large sheet of butchers paper was held up for us to see. A big tree with several bare branches was painted on it. We were invited to transform this into the Family Tree of Northmead Church.
When children had distributed a circle of coloured paper (80mm diameter) to everyone in the church, we were asked to write on it our name and the year we had joined that congregation.
The children then collected the coloured circles and a small team pasted them on to the tree, with the newest members at the top and the oldest at the roots. We found some people had joined the congregation that year, while two had been with us since before 1920! It gave us a real sense of a growing community, which Robyn gathered up in a thanksgiving prayer.
At Pentecost we heard the central reading from Acts 2 in a whole new way which helped us feel that we were actually there when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples!
We were asked prior to the reading to select from the pew Bibles our favourite verse, and when the passage related the disciples speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance we were all to read our verse at the same time. They werent different languages. but it had the same effect!
Some children with percussion instruments were stationed around the nave of the church. At the reference to the powerful wind from heaven, they rattled their shakers. Soft music played from a tape recorder heightened the effect.
Two other children lit candles at the front of the church at the reference to tongues of fire being distributed and resting on the heads of the disciples. Another child banged a drum. All in all it brought the reality of that experience to life in a way we will never forget!
The reader was an 8-year-old girl who had a very clear voice and read well. The text was from Birth, death and resurrection by Judy Gattis Smith, which she read from the aisle, with a good microphone to carry her voice.