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Season of Creation- Blessing the Animals / Assisi (all years)

 A collection of videos to go with Blessing of the Animals Sunday (the Sunday closest to Francis of Assisi Day, in 2016 this is October 2).

[[DOWNLOADING THE VIDEOS]]  If you dont have a video download manager, you can right click on the video and "save video url."  Then visit a site like http://keepvid.com and paste the url into the text box.  You will then be able to choose a download format.

New video resources for 2016 are shown first, followed by resources from other years (this theme is repeated every year).  There are no set Season of Creation readings for Blessing of the Animals so you might like to go with the lectionary readings for that week.

TAKE ACTION: Throughout the Season of Creation we encourage you to switch to energy providers that do more to help shift our economy to renewable energy. This is an action idea that came out of the “open space” sessions at Synod 2016. For more information visit www.unitingearthweb.org.au/make-the-switch

 

Barbara Allen sm

SERMON/MESSAGE (2016)

Barbara Allen is an ordained minister in the Uniting Church. She is also a qualified nurse, and teacher.  For 5½ years she was chaplain to the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, the first such role in Australia.  She is now Creation and Spirituality Project Worker at the Synod for Victoria and Tasmania. Click on the image to play or download an audio recording of her sermon/message.  Video coming soon.

(Photo credit: Five Leaf Eco Awards)

 

 

Barbara Allen blessing sm

ALL AGES (2016)

An all ages talk by Barbara Allen. Click on the image to play or download an audio recording of her talk.  Video coming soon.

(Photo credit: Five Leaf Eco Awards)

 

 

Outdoor blessing of animals liturgy



Guidelines and liturgy for a walking blessing of pets service

LITURGY (2016)

A simple outdoor blessing of animals liturgy, prepared by the Rev. Dr Jason John and first used by the Adelaide Ecofaith Community.

Guidelines and liturgy for a walking blessing of pets service, with thanks to the Rev. Peter Gador-Whyte and the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Worship Working Group.

 

 

Discussion starters for 2016

DISCUSSION STARTERS (2016)

1. What did you find the most significant idea in this message?
2. Animals have biographies as well as biologies. What is a story of an animal you know?
3. What do animals have to teach your church community?
    Or, What has having a blessing of the animals service meant for your church?
    Or, How is your church a blessing to the animals: in your outdoor space, and in your catering?
4. How has/could a blessing of the animals service help you connect with your community? 
    Or, Not to hurt other animals is our first duty, but to stop there is not enough.What does that mean in your community?

 

 

Play or download meditation

MEDITATION (2016)

In this 4 minute meditation, Barbara Allen invites us to gaze at the world with eyes of wonder.  

 

 

SERMON/MESSAGE (2015)

A sermon by Pastor Tom Sloane, about totems, Genesis and a modern dreaming story.  Tom is a pastor with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress in Wellington NSW. Video provided with thanks to Tom and Project Reconnect. 

 

SERMON/MESSAGE (2014)

Miriam Pepper talks about the life of Clare of Assisi and her challenge to us in the context of consumer society.  Follows the lectionary for Year A (Philippians 3:4b-14).  There is also a version using the lectionary for Year C (first Sunday in October).

 

SERMON/MESSAGE (2013) 

Discipleship as ethical meat eating, or vegetarianism. Warning, brief scenes of animal factory "farming".  With Jason John.

  

CHURCH STORY (2013)

Members of the South Sydney Uniting Church tell the story of their annual thanksgiving for Creation and blessing of the animals service.

 

 

Anthoni Selvaraj ofm talks about the legacy of Francis, Franciscan spirituality, and Franciscan life in Australia today.

 

ALL AGES (2015)

short all ages talk by Maria Williams, for Blessing of Animals Sunday.  Video provided with thanks to Maria and Project Reconnect.

 

ALL AGES (2014)

Ramona Cavanagh tells the story of the dolphins, which is one of the stories contained in this painting.  For a longer version of the story check out "Thanks for all the fish" a DVD by John Lambert. Especially the bit that starts at 2:58 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNRHWASTg1o

 

ALL AGES (2013) 

We are all a part of God's creation, one great big web of life! With David Whitson.

  

EXTRA RESOURCES

Andrew Dutney's song Ashes to Ashes.  Our kinship with all Life.  Where are the visions of hope for the Earth?  Good lead into discussion or intercession.

 

 

A confronting confession for worship, using footage of animal slaughter and an edited song by Sinead O'Connor (Something Beautiful, from the album Theology). There is no sound for the first 30 seconds.

 

 

An intercessory prayer prepared to follow Andrew Dutney singing "Ashes to Ashes", at the 2013 Synod of the Uniting Church.
This time it is God interceding to humanity, through the voices of Louis Armstrong and David Attenborough. David A has interceded on behalf of the rest of Earth to humanity for decades.

 

 

Film screening idea: From the Renewal DVD.  In Chicago, which has a growing and diverse Muslim community, the interfaith organization Faith in Place has supported the development of Taqwa. Taqwa supplies organic meat to the Muslim community and everyone else who wants to support sustainable farming. This chicken, beef, and lamb is "Eco-Halal."  Might be a good interfaith discussion night resource.

If you are in Australia and want to show the DVD to a group we may be able to lend you a copy. Contact us.

 

 

word document or pdf

 

LITURGY (revised common lectionary, Year A)

This liturgy originally produced for Project Reconnect for Assisi/Blessing of Animals Sunday.  Blessing of the animals Sunday does not have set readings.  The liturgy follows the revised common lectionary for Year A.  Adapt freely.

 

 

Discussion starters from sermon (year A)

DISCUSSION STARTERS (to go with sermon/message from 2014)

1. What strikes you most about the life of Clare of Assisi?

2. Clare, like Paul, wanted to "know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings". Do you identify with this desire, and if so how?

3. How might Clare's example of simple living find expression in your own church?

4. In our context of consumerism, how might our churches bear witness in the wider community?