Hosanna Banner

lectionary, sensory faith, worship resources

When Jesus Rode into Jerusalem on a Donkey, the crowds were so excited to see him. He was their long expected king. The one who would free them from oppression. If I was in my congregation this weekend we would be celebrating with palm leaves, songs and dancing. Let’s not let the physical distancing of CV-19 change that. Let’s still celebrate, and here’s how we can do this together in our homes.

What you will need:

A print out of this palm leaf template.
8 A4 sheets green or white paper
Pencils, textas, crayons and maybe green paint
scissors
PVA glue
String/Wool
optional: green glitter

How To Make
Print & Cut out one copy of palm leaf template.
If you have green paper, fantastic! Use your template to cut enough to spell “Hosanna” and whatever you want on either side of it.
If you don’t have any green paper, print out 8 of the templates, and colour with green crayon, texta, pencil or paint!
If you have glitter, run a line of glue around the edges of each letter and apply glitter (maybe ask a big person to assist with this)
Once your leaves are dry, string them up to make your banner! Don’t forget to make sure all of your letters are in the right order. H-O-S-A-N-N-A-!

That’s it everybody! Now find somewhere to hang it so you can look at it and remember the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem and the crowds that cheered for him.

Palm Sundaes

sensory faith

In our current times of physical distancing due to CV-19 here’s a fun and easy way to really get into the celebratory mood of Palm Sunday. Let’s make Palm Sunday “Sundaes”. I’ll be ensuring all of the families in my community have the resources ready for making these together on Sunday.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO GET STARTED:
Ice Cream
You can’t have a sundae without it! I opted for plain vanilla, but really, I think you could choose any flavour.

Crushed Cookies
The crushed cookies symbolize the rough and rocky road that Jesus travelled on when coming in to Jerusalem.

Green Mint Leaves
You’ll want to find a mint leaves for this one. Alternatively, you could use green sour straws, jelly beans, green sprinkles, fruit roll ups, gummy worms, green raisins, pistachios etc.  You’ll pour this on top of the crushed road to represent the palm branches that were waved and spread across the road during Jesus’ arrival.

Miniature Kit Kat
This represents the donkey that Jesus rode on.

Sour Patch Kids
This represents Jesus. You can use whatever candy you want for this, but I thought it would be perfect since it is sort-of-human shaped. Gummy bears might also work and jelly babies would also work.

Sprinkles
This represents the joy and celebration of the crowd as the Messiah entered into Jerusalem.

Cool Whip
This is solely just for aesthetics. You can’t have ice cream without a little extra cream! Plus, it makes it so much easier to place Jesus, the donkey and the sprinkles.

All of these ingredients together don’t make the typical sundae, but children love to pile on the sweets when it comes to their ice cream, so I don’t think the fact that there are contrasting flavours going on will be a problem. I don’t particularly love sour gummies in my ice cream, but it makes for such a fun treat with a great message.

I am looking forward to sharing this treat with the family this year. I know they are going to get excited once they see me bring in the ice cream! While we’re creating our sundae, I’ll be sharing the story and symbolisms of this special day in a way they won’t soon forget.

Kingdom Values – The Gospel of Jesus Christ at work

wonderings

There are moments in our everyday living when we are confronted by the challenge of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The question that sits before us always then is how do we choose to respond to the challenge of Christ.

This morning happened to be one such moment and I am overwhelmed and floored by the response of my community.

We are a small community, faithful followers of Jesus Christ who share the stories of Jesus Christ through using the revised common lectionary, a plan for reading the scriptures.  For those who understand what this means, today was the day when we proclaim the reign of Christ as the christian calendar draws to a close and we begin the season of preparation for the coming of Immanuel. God with us.

In my reading and preparation over the last weeks I had been talking about the kingdom and what it means to live every day as first and last.  Today we concluded this series with the theme of kingdom values, taken from the reading of Matthew 25 (vs 31-46) and the Old Testament lesson from Ezekiel.

In these readings we are challenged to practice the kind of kingdom values Jesus teaches us through our care, concern and justice for the weak, poor and vulnerable in this world.

As I prepared to pray this morning with one of the pastoral carers before our time of gathering in worship commenced, I was made aware of a man who had walked through our front door looking for assistance as he had been living in his car. Our community is small and so any newcomer is noticed. So after talking with him a little, I entrusted his care to one of my congregants and began to pray and prepare to speak, letting him know I would speak with him again over morning tea.

The question of the day for us was Where in your local area is the gospel of hope most needed?  How can you take it there?

So let me ask you, how do you respond when the area of need walks straight through your front door?

You treat them as though they were Christ himself walking into your midst.

As the discussion went on and it became clear what needed to happen, I was amazed when one of my community suggested we should give him our roof over his head as we tried to help him figure out what was needed to find something more stable and permanent. And after my initial surprise at this response, readily agreed.  It was settled. So with accommodation sorted, the next detail was bedding.  Food and water were not an issue as the church is equipped with these.  It was getting into my car and the conversation with my daughter that took place that made me become really aware of the power of God at work in this instance.  When she offered her own pillow off her bed, who am I to tell her no when she is clearly living out her own responses to the challenge of the gospel of Christ at work in each of us.

God was at work, God is at work and God continues to be working.

Praise God for hearts that are open and willing to hear the challenge of compassion AND respond with radical hospitality and extravagant generosity.

Amen.

An opportunity to learn

photography

Dove Lake on a misty morning

This year I made the decision that I would extend my creative self and get in touch with my creator once again, by going on a new learning journey.  A learning journey into bettering what I see behind the lens of my camera.  This is the first of many photos I’m yet to take.

Will & I escaped to Cradle Mountain for a weekend not quite a month ago and it was a delight to take my camera with me sans kids saying “hurry up” or “why are you stopping again mum” or “it’s just a tree”.  This photo of Dove Lake was taken on an early misty Saturday morning, I had hoped for a stunning sunrise but instead found myself trying to make the most of a rather cold and foggy day. I’m really happy with what I learnt in the preparation, taking and post production of this photo.

The experience has certainly had a profound affect on me which is spilling over into other areas of my life in a positive way.  I’m looking forward to more opportunities like this one to chase the “perfect picture” and learn something new in the process.

everybody loves cake…

culinary delights

There is a side to me that finds it difficult to do something if I don’t feel as though I have been taught the correct methods or skills needed to complete a task or project. I have the perfectionist gene.

When I was growing up one of the things I loved most about upcoming birthdays was when my mum handed over the women’s weekly birthday cake cook book, you all know which one I’m talking about, the one with the train on the front, and mum let us pour over the book and choose which cake would be made for us that year.

This event was one of the family traditions I wanted to make sure that my kids got the chance to experience also.  For years I’ve been doing my own thing in terms of making cakes, however, for my birthday this year I was rewarded with a special treat of my own, whilst I was icing my eldest son’s cake, one of my sister’s arrived with this sensational cake…

I had always wanted to take a class on cake decorating and so tonight I went back to school!

This was my first week of ‘cake decorating 101’, what amazed me was exactly how much there still is to learn even when you have been going along your own merry way for so long.

Fundamentals are everything! It is with this joy I show you my proud effort from tonight’s class (don’t my stars look great!) and it gave way to some reflection on my experiences as I enter a new ministry placement.  I’ve been here for just on 7 months now and for the last seven months we have been talking fundamentals and what it means to build firm foundations not only of faith but also governance and relationship.

I think there is something to be said for taking a step back every now and then and revisiting and refining the foundations and fundamental skills we acquire in life.

Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful. (Col 2:7)