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GRAPHICS + Captions/Commentaries
NOTE: Graphics 900-999 have no accompanying text.
937-Cut Credit Card
942-Flight to Egypt-1
943-Flight to Egypt-2
944-Flight to Egypt-3
952-Santa Credit Card1
953-Santa Credit Card2
954-Dove Credit Card
955-Manger Credit Card
Bound to Jesus
we live out community
Permeated by his love
we love our neighbors
Enlightened by His Spirit
we celebrate the Eucharist
From the Inside Out
When countries can't get along with their neighbors, and husbands can't get along with their wives, it all comes down to one point: each person's heart. There is only one solution. Only when the heart is transformed can peace come into the world.
Where are you going in such a hurry?
I am the food which gives eternal life; feast of the living God.
Nobody has to qualify in order to come and taste of Christ. There is room for everyone at his table. In him there is neither male or female, physically challenged or sports heroes, winners or losers.
to open oneself
form of prayer.
stands in the midst of all,
taking everything on himself.
He carries all.
He endures all.
It is impossible,
to hit any creature of his,
without hitting him,
to humiliate anyone,
to curse or to kill,
without cursing or killing him.
Never Let Go...
Believe it. God is within grasp. You can hold his hand. Don't hold back any longer. Become a link in the chain of love and friendship! Accept the faith that He gives you! And pass it on through the smile in your eyes and the grip of your hand. Hold on to each other as God holds on to you. Impassion each other as God impassions you. Never let go! Don't let anyone fall. Don't let anyone wander away out of disappointment... from a youth worship service
Day and night, cycles of prayers are offered.
But the cycles don't revolve around themselves.
Continual prayer leads the church in growing circles to God.
The Poor Struggling Little Church
Christ stops in to visit his church. How small it is. How lacking it is in those riches it is supposed to have. And yet, how blessed it is because it has the privilege of hosting him. Still shy, but full of expectation, it invites Christ to come in. Will he really enter?
The Gospel encourages us to have hope that he really will! For he says to those who are poor and miserable, "Today I am coming to your house."
Lord of Lords,
You are no small-minded and miserly God,
who relies on the fickle faith of fearful people.
You are the Lord over the entire earth
and of all the peoples
and of all the oceans.
A Man Celebrates His Birthday
Can you just imagine what would happen if the CEO of a large corporation or a US Senator had a birthday and his office workers came into the office and paraded around a baby doll, then tucked it into a cradle while whispering something about a tender child, meek and mild? We might see a rise in the rate of unemployment!
It's obvious that we don't celebrate birthdays by concentrating on the baby, but rather on the person that the baby has become. Nobody denies the fact that "Jim" was born X number of years ago, but that's not what we think about. The "birthday child" is celebrated for what he has come to mean to his family and friends, not for what he was when he was born.
Thanksgiving for People
Thanks for those who offer their artistic talents in our congregation. For those who sing, who play instruments, who care for the robes and banners, who arrange the flowers which beautify our services. Lord, we thank you for them. How much our joy would be diminished without these people.
Thanks for those who give to us out of their creativity, out of their willingness to work, and out of their ability to organize. They get moving and make things happen in our congregation. Lord, we thank you for them. How dead and uneventful our church would be without them.
Thanks for those to whom you've given a special ability with words. They enrich us because it is through them that we hear Your Word and it's through them that it is explained to us. These people keep us informed through the bulletins and newsletters and build our faith through their witness. Lord, we thank you for them. How speechless we would be without these people.
Thanks for those who are talented in dealing with children. They give them warmth and acceptance. They show them the way. They provide discipline and direction for a growing faith. Lord, we thank you for them. How barren it would be without these people who make themselves available for the children in our midst.
Thanks for those who are sensitive to people with needs in our congregation, who act to meet those needs, and who hang in there when the going gets tough. They take care of the sick, the homeless, those in trouble. They discover hidden needs. Where help is needed, they are available. Lord, we thank you for them. How unchristian our Christian congregation would be without the help to those who can no longer help themselves.
If you have really heard the beatitudes - not only with your ears, or with your understanding - but if you have heard them with your whole heart, then you are already living in paradise.
Water for life
Water for eternal life
The Drama of Life Unfolds
Along with the elements brought to the altar in preparation for the celebration of the Eucharist, people bring to God all the events which make up life - both the tragic and the joyous. In this way the whole world in all its drama is brought before God.
At the altar, these chaotic events in our lives are given a form, the form of the chalice - the chalice where God poured out His life for us. In the chalice, the events of our lives are blended into His drama for the world, with all of His security, significance, and joy.
We plan, calculate, manage, work, and strive for things important to us.
We forget, miss, neglect, wreck, or place misdirected effort into so much of life.
Usually we intend for the things we do to turn out for good. Sometimes we don't. But all of these experiences in life come together into a meaningful whole as Jesus breaks for us the bread of his life and reaches out to us with the cup of his blood.
Easter is God's glorious answer to questions about the significance of our lives.
The Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-on-Avon, where Shakespeare's grave is located, has a striking emblem. It consists of three lively fish jumping and together forming a circle.
Here the Most Holy Trinity is presented through the symbol of jumping, playful fish. Think of the joy! Think of the movement! Our God isn't immovable. He isn't alone. He is communication between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
doesn't allow you to see through it
nor to explain it
nor to capture it in words.
You can only begin to grasp His love
when it is burning inside a person.
without a fuss
the Bible's truths to us.
If you need a written page,
call Mr. Wright, our local sage.
developed a plan
to greatly improve
the mission program.
The music staff
is full of grace
And helps us worship with a smiling face.
Sam Greene and Dan,
oh, what a pair,
they honor God and his altar
Joy and Prayer
"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing," Paul writes in his letter to the Thessalonians. You can also reverse the order of these two sentences: "Pray without ceasing, so that you will be able to rejoice always." In prayer we experience God's gathering up all of our concerns into his own infinite love and wisdom, his setting us back on our feet, and his giving us fullness of life.
The eucharistic gifts of water and corn.
Reredos above the altar in the chapel of a seminary in Kenya.
If you've ever been up on top, you will never forget - the path taken, the sweat, the team spirit, the view.
The experience of being close to God will always remain with you - in your times of celebration, on occasions with tears, in good days, during the night.
Hunger cloths are an old tradition. Around the year 1000 it became the custom in a number of European countries to separate the altar area from the rest of the church with a curtain. From Ash Wednesday on, worshippers were not allowed to see the altar. Then on Wednesday of Holy Week when the words, "And behold the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:51) were read, the curtain was removed.
The idea behind this "fasting cloth" (velum templi) was to point the faithful to the fact that the divinity of Christ was hidden during his passion. Not being permitted to view the holy relics on the altar was to be experienced as an act of suffering and of penitence. Because of the velum templi they were also cut off from immediate and visible participation in the Eucharist.
The hunger cloth here comes from the Church of St. Nicholas in Eupen, Germany. It is based on the account in Mark's gospel of Jesus' passion (Mark 14:1-7). Beginning with the bottom left corner we go clockwise: 1) The Last Supper; 2) The Mount of Olives; 3) Judas' kiss; 4) Jesus before the High Priest; 5) The denial of Peter; 6) Jesus before Pilate; 7) Mockery of Jesus; 8) Crowning with thorns; 9) Jesus nailed to the cross; 10) Jesus calls, "I thirst"; 11) Lots are cast for Jesus cloak; 12) Jesus' burial.
It is presumptuous to say that we are going to follow the Way of Jesus.
It would be more accurate to say that we will stumble along in his footsteps.
Applause at the wrong place. He alone knew that his life did not yet have its real meaning.
Bread and Wine: When one takes of these, he can only be filled if he passes it on.
Three crosses on Golgotha. Your cross and my cross is there. But the biggest cross is for God.
The quietness of the graveyard. The grain of wheat is lying under the earth. The chirps of birds practice our alleluia.
From now on life is not ruled by death. In this life, the sun never will go down again.
Each of our ways lead on to Emmaus. And he always accompanies us.
Night on the Mount of Olives
During the night in which his friends deserted him, he received the strength to drink the cup which no other person could drink. In this night he received the power to stand in regal silence before Pilate. He could see the insults of his torturers. He saw the upcoming steep path. He even felt death itself. And for the sake of the people around him who couldn't even stay awake and watch with him for one hour he said, "Lord, your will be done!"
A part of me has been nailed to the cross:
The ripped-open wounds of my childhood,
The terror-filled cries of my darkest nights,
The unsettling loneliness of my feelings,
The leftover scraps of my marriage.
A part of me has been nailed to the cross,
and cries with you
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Communion means Community
All children have been invited to the feast which Jesus is giving - the well-behaved and the rascals; the shy and the brash - because he loves them all.
Prayer is not only verbal communication. It also forms a relationship between our entire being and the living God. Other "words of prayer" are our demeanor and our gestures. The most common is the folding of hands. The laying together of the palms of the hands originated in medieval law where a serf would use this gesture to demonstrate devotion and fidelity.
Most caterpillars don't believe in butterflies.
Footsteps in the Light
He's not gone! In his "ascension" Jesus made a commitment to the earth that we live in. His footprints are not etched for tourists to view in the stone beneath us. But they are visible in the hearts of those who follow him.
The Future Has Already Begun
As Jesus disappeared, he didn't simply dissolve into thin air. He cast off limitations which he had voluntarily taken on himself. As he gave up the ability to be present in one place, he gained the capability of being present in a thousand places. In order that our hands can learn to heal, the sick people of first century Palestine could no longer feel his touch. When Jesus vanished, he filled the earth with the presence of God. God's presence is still here and is available for us as the ultimate fulfillment of all our dreams.
The church is the people of God moving along a path. It's no fossilized relic. Our task is the active proclamation of the Gospel. We can't afford to stand and wait passively for signs in the heavens.
Prayers for Confirmands Sought
We are celebrating Confirmation Sunday today. But all isn't over with today. We need people who will commit themselves to pray for these new full-standing members of our congregation who have just been confirmed, that they will stay strong in their faith and take advantage of the possibilities for growing.
We also need people who will commit to pray for the young people who will be entering confirmation instruction this fall. Check in the church office and ask for the name of a confirmand who you will adopt and accompany in prayer through his or her time of instruction. Ask God to give them understanding and insight as they learn of His truths.
Bread that is distributed to satisfy the hunger of the body.
Knowledge that is spread to satisfy the hunger of the spirit.
Love that is shared to satisfy the hunger of the soul.
Ideas for Sunday Renewal
2. Light a candle.
Every Sunday should be a small Easter festival. When you light a candle, that is a symbol of the resurrected one. Give the candle a special place and let it burn the entire day. Or put it on the table and light it during each meal.
4. Make going to church the central point of your day.
Sunday without worship isn't complete. Sunday gains beauty and significance because it is the celebration of Jesus' resurrection. The worship service becomes a fountain out of which the water of the new life flows to us. So, don't just go to the shortest service you can find, to say that you've been to church. Rather, treat the worship service as the central point of the day. Let its radiance permeate everything else you do. Do what's necessary to ensure that each family member can take part in it. Go to worship with joy, and let the sparks of your joy sprinkle over the others around you. When you are back home, discuss the sermon with the rest of your family. And discuss how you can apply it to the upcoming week.
6. Take time for others and time for being alone.
Sunday is well used when we can be ourselves and, without interference, be there for each other. The greatest gift a person can give on Sunday is their time. This time can be filled with conversation, play, music, or taking a walk. Such contact with God's creation can relieve a lot of tension. In addition to being with others, a person should also reserve some time for quiet, time for reading, time for meditation.
1. Begin Sunday the evening before.
What happens the evening before often determines how the next day will go. So don't just stumble into Sunday. Limit your work on Saturday so you will be finished by evening. Then in the evening begin to prepare for Sunday. Perhaps start with a traditional meal together, in contrast to the normal hasty bites. Avoid watching TV till all hours. That in itself can poison a family's appreciation of Sunday.
3. Dress differently than you normally do.
Get special clothes to wear on Sunday. They don't have to be elaborate. But something by which you can express that this day is different from others. It's a celebration! When a person wears sloppy clothes (nothing against them for other occasions!), he's also making a statement. He's saying that this is a day to take it easy, knock around, and do nothing. But Sunday is a lot more than that!
5. Try to avoid criticism.
On Sunday we celebrate God's saying "Yes" to us. Therefore, a very important Sabbath exercise is to refrain from unnecessary criticism, whether it be of people or circumstances. During the work week our responsibilities may demand that we exercise criticism in order to make improvements. But on Sunday we should not allow grumbling and criticism to be a part of our day.
7. Practice hospitality.
On Sunday your house should be open. How good it is to make visits and to receive visitors. Our accepting others is a reflection on how God has accepted us. And sharing the experiences of each other's lives helps us recognize the true life that has already begun in us.
Raise High The Cross
You call me Master,
so ask me.
You call me Light,
so look at me.
You call me the Way,
so follow me.
You call me Life,
so seek me.
The Value of the Cross
When we see the golden crucifixes in our cathedrals and churches, let us never forget the instrument of humiliation and pain which lies behind each one of them. Let us be amazed and contemplate on how our Savior took upon himself this mean object and made it for us to be worth much more than all the gold of this world.
You have descended
down from our
taken on a
different color of skin.
without the pipes of organs.
And dancing feet.
© Creative Commons
(originally 2005 Alternatives for Simple Living)
Worship Alternatives collection compiled, edited and prepared by Katie Cook from Seed of Hope and Gerald Iversen.The collection contains sermons, worship items and art. It is part of the CD-ROM Simply the Best: Over 35 Years of Alternatives, available in the future from the ELCA Archives.
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