Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Christian Aid Christmas Resources

Christian Aid in Britain has resources for Advent and Christmas including some suitable for use in schools. While not everything here is brilliant there are some nice prayers and different ideas that could be used in classrooms in the lead up to Christmas.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Tattooed Jesus?

 So how do you communicate the Good News about Jesus to new generations?  How do you do that when older metaphors have lost their potency or, at the very least, their relevance?

Linked here is an article at about a new video hosted at  The article contains the video itself. I've linked to the article, rather than directly to the video in order to give you an idea of what people are saying about it.

I think the video is useful with  secondary students.  What is it?  Here's the description from this article...

"In the video, Jesus changes his customers' negative tattoos into positive ones. For example, a middle-aged man with "depressed" tattooed on his wrist ... leaves with the word "confident" there instead. At day's end, when he's finally alone, an exhausted Christ removes his shirt, and we see his body covered with the negative phrases he removed from his customers. "Jesus's love is transformative," explains a spokesperson for "No matter what you've been marked with, faith in Him and love for others will transform us."

I'd use this video as a way of starting discussion, first of all about the issues that swirl around it, including the idea of tattoos themselves and noting that the metaphoric nature of the tattoos in the video. What metaphoric tattoos would students have?  If that's too personal, we might ask students what tattoos people their age might have...    The very nature of the theology that underpins the video is a good subject for discussion as well - substitutionary atonement, Jesus as a white person, enculturation etc.

Personally I'd probably stop the video at about 3.30 into its run time; the 'explanation' of what's going on in the story that occurs in the last two and a half minutes is not that necessary as far as I'm concerned.  If a metaphor is a good one, then you don't need to belabour it by hammering home the point.

But have a look.  You might feel differently.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Christmas Connection

This Christmas how might you go about encouraging your students to connect with Christmas worship in a local congregation. Here in Brisbane we have a Connect2Church group who generate the ideas, resources and energy to encourage people to think about how they might help people connect to church this Christmas. Check out their webpage and in particular their connect@Christmas page. The connect@Christmas page has lots of links to resources for Christmas and Advent worship. Go there now!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Back from the dead

I couldn't help but share this news article. I often gain a form of weird inspiration from the weird and wonderful headlines that appear in the mainstream media in Australia. One of the things I like about this article is that it is filed in the "lifestyle" section. Apparently being the walking dead is now a way of life. These kinds of stories have all sorts of possibilities for school worship (but mostly around Easter time - sorry I know we are supposed to be doing Christmas).

It reminds me of the story that in America a letter appeared in a national newspaper that was sent to a deceased person by the Department of Social Services. It read:

"Your food stamps will be stopped in March because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."

The good news of the Gospel is that because of Jesus there has been a change in our circumstance. We who were dead are now alive.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Nativity Factor

As promised, some more Christmas resources.

The Nativity Factor is a competition that has run for the last three years and offers a prize of 5000 pounds (unfortunately it is only open to people living in the UK)...but we can all benefit from what it produces! And what does it produce? Nothing other than 3 minute videos retelling the Christmas story.

The winners from previous years are below and you can find more on Youtube right here.