Drought Relief Fund Raiser Idea

Last May we had a visit from Dan Vogler, an associate pastor from an evangelistic church at Mareeba Qld. We organised a combined church dinner at the Hillston Exies Club and Dan preached in our church next day.

His music is very good, based on scripture and easy to listen too. This is backed by short testimonials.

Dan is thinking of drought-affected farmers, especially around the Murray Darling Basin area, and is offering his music and ministry to anyone who would like to hear him. He stayed with Joe and me and asked for $300.00 to cover his travel and accommodation.

People can check our his website

or info@danvogler.com.aubookings

phone 0412833176


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Creative Nativities, Craft Ideas, Resource Packs & Printables

**DIY Paper Nativity by Joel Henriques (http://madebyjoel.com)

A new and beautifully simple paper nativity by Joel Henriques, two pdf files makes up the entire kit.  While you’re there check out some of his other craft ideas, paper cities and his book (I can highly recommend)

**DIY Printable Nativity Paper Theatre (Approximately $7 to access)
Probably one of the more professional looking DIY printable sets, and one of my favourites.  An 8 page printable booklet that you can create into a beautiful paper nativity theatre. A fun project you can print from your home computer and assemble yourself.
**DIY Advent Calendar with Matchbox Nativity Characters (Free to download)
A simple and beautiful 24 piece printable Advent Calendar with nativity characters
**DIY Paper Nativity Set (Free to download)
A simple and beautifully designed paper craft Nativity set by Marloes de Vries. This set comes as a pre-coloured kit and a black and white colour in kit. Includes Wise men, Shepherd, Donkey, Mary, Joseph, Baby, Angel & Cow.
DIY Printable Nativity (Free to download)
A very simple paper craft nativity set, invite kids or others to colour in the characters and then create the scene by cutting each part out and gluing them together.
DIY Printable Nativity Ornaments (Free to download)
A very simple Christmas craft, a nativity christmas tree ornament set, not the best of the collection but simple and easy to create.
DIY Paper Nativity Craft Template – No Room at the Inn (Free Download)
Very simple printable colour-in nativity craft, print out, colour in, cut and bob’s you uncle.
DIY Printable Papercraft Traditional Nativity (Free to download)
A more traditional nativity scene with a stained glass backdrop.
DIY Printable Papercraft Nativity Kit (Free to download)
a much more complex project this kit creates a full 3D paper craft nativity with individual characters to cut, fold and assemble.  This particular set would probably require adult help, or create as a congregational or family project
**DIY Printable Flatpack Advent Nativity Set (Cost to access, approximately $7)
Similar to the flatpack kit above this Advent Nativity set by Si Smith is a set of 25 characters that form together to create a nativity that spans from the announcement of the pregnancy of Elizabeth through to the escape to Egypt.  I love this particular kit and have created it a number of times over the years.
Nativity Craft, Puzzle & Game Pack (Free to Download)
A great collection of nativity-based ideas including 3 Part Cards, Beginning Sounds, Matching Cards, Read Write the Room, Pocket Cards, Which One Is Different, What Comes Next, Pre Writing Practice, Pattern Cards, 10 Piece Puzzles, 4 Piece Puzzles, Size Sorting, Coloring Pages, Writing Pages, Dot Marker Pages, Picture to help tell the story, Small Book, and more.
Nativity Learning Ideas (Free to download)
A fantastic collection of Nativity themed ideas including patterns, puzzles, story timeline, maze, spelling book and more
DIY Nativity Silhouette “Stained Glass” Craft (Instructions only, no template provided)
a beautiful craft idea for home or sunday school or worship, the project would probably involve some homework as you’d need to pre-cut the silhouette before you kick off.
Nativity Printable Preschool Pack (Free to download)
These Nativity printables will give your preschooler hours of fun and exposure to early learning skills like ABCs, counting, early reading, shapes, colors and more!
For more Nativity ideas (if these aren’t enough check out my Pinterest Nativity Board here: http://pinterest.com/digorthodoxy/nativity/

Alternative Christmas Music

Alternative Music Suggestions Pt1

A number of alternative Christmas songs, songs that perhaps might not get regular airplay over Christmas time, especially during worship or around the candles at Carols by Candlelight. Link

Alternative Music Suggestions Pt2

A number of alternative Christmas songs, songs that perhaps might not get regular airplay over Christmas time, especially during worship or around the candles at Carols by Candlelight. Link

Advent & Christmas Carols by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Carolyn writes a number of hymns that have been used by many churches around the US and beyond, she also re-writes lyrics to traditional hymns, making old carols new again.

Advent & Christmas Video

Some of these videos are free to use, while others are available to purchase as a download (eg. Igniter Media Videos)

Holy Moly – Jesus is born by WeAreSparkhouse

The Christmas Story by St Paul’s Art & Media

The Earth Stood Still by Scott Zibell

An Unexpected Christmas by St Paul’s Art & Media

Retooning the Nativity by Igniter Media

Riches to Rags by Woodman Valley Chapel

O Night Divine by Eliot Rausch

Star News Bethlehem by St Paul’s Art & Media

Angels We Have Heard on High by Hilary Grist

A Baby is Coming by Igniter Media

The Christmas Story by Diocesan Junior School, Aukland


The Christmas Chord by 2V Studios

Nativity Story by CCV Media

O Little Town of Bethlehem by St Paul’s Art & Media

A Social Christmas by Igniter Media

766 Christmases by St Paul’s Art & Media

The Nativity Story by Kerith Community Church

World Nativity Project by the WNP

The Paradox of Christmas by Igniter Media

The Gospel According to Hamlet – The Annunciation

Advent & Christmas All-Age Resources

Spill The Beans – Advent through to Epiphany with a Scottish flavour

Beautiful collection of liturgical ideas, thematic crafts, games, dramas, readings. a Must have for people curating worship over Advent/Christmas time this year. Link

Truth in Tinsel – An Advent Experience For Little Hands

Spend December impressing God’s Word on your kids’ heart! You’ll get 24 days of Scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points and extension activities. Plus fun printables and templates. This is the perfect book for kids of any age–from preschool to elementary Link

Mucky Paws – Advent & Christmas Liturgies

Mucky Paws is a collection of liturgies created for use in worship written by Roddy Hamilton. What follows is a beautiful catalogue of liturgy, prayer, art, worship, drama spanning over 7 years worth of creative worship.

A Christmas Story You’ve Never Heard Before by Gordon Atkinson (iTunes)
The Shepherd’s Story by Gordon Atkinson (iTunes)

Two beautiful stories written by Gordon Atkinson (aka Real Live Preacher) that will allow you to experience the Christmas story differently, these are truly original and amazing stories.  You can download them from his site and listen to them, but please consider paying for them, on itunes (link)

Experience The Christ Child – Christmas With Children

Written by Meg Everard, BoE, Synod of NSW/ACT.  This booklet is designed to assist your congregation, kids club, Sunday School group, to really experience Christmas anew. To listen, to feel and to see the stories that make up this magical story with new eyes. Each of the experiences are linked with a Bible passage and are adaptable as you see fit. Each of the experiences are as powerful for children as they are for adults, so don’t be scared to involve your whole congregation. Many of the experiences will take some setting up, and some organisation before hand – so working on these as a team can be valuable. This booklet is divided into three well known stories that symbolise Christmas for many of us. You are invited to use one, or all depending on your group. (pdf download)

Worship The Christ Child – Christmas With Children

Written by Meg Everard, BoE, Synod of NSW/ACT.  This booklet is designed to assist your congregation, kids club, Sunday School group, to lead worship with primary school aged children in the days leading up to Christmas. Please feel free to use part or all of the ideas contained in this booklet. The booklet is divided into four sections:

  • Waiting;
  • Preparation;
  • Gathering and;
  • Celebration.

Worship is central to our practiced faith as Christians, it is a time when we gather to praise, celebrate and share with God. For children is can hold mystery, wonder and sometimes, lets be honest boredom. This booklet looks at new ways to worship and engage children with stories, imaginings and prayer that reflect the reality of Jesus’ birth. Through this resource I hope that children will dive into the story that is Christmas, to see new wonder, experience the story anew and that together you will grow as a community of faith. (pdf download)

DIY Advent Calendars – An Advent Resource

Last year my community started Advent by creating our own Advent Calendars, I put the kits together using Christmas cards, cardboard, reflections from other calendars I’ve received from Alternativity.co.uk and Proost.co.uk and friends like Mark Pierson over the years, I also put some rituals and practices together myself.

It was a great way for us as a community to start to think about how we individually and corporately prepare for Christmas. Link

ALTERnativity – Alternative Resources for Re-thinking & Re-imagining Advent & Christmas

Alternativity is a resource produced in the UK by a group of people who wanted to develop new ways and liturgies for individuals, families and communities to explore, re-tell, play with and enter into the story of Jesus’ birth. The books develloped by the project include liturgies that can be used in worship in a variety of settings, the book “The Alternativity Meal” for example gives a process for families or communities to enter into a meal that re-tells the story of Christ’s birth, much like the passover meal.

I highly recommend these resources to churches, families and communities who want a set of resources that are very different and that will encourage them, their children and their community to explore the stories of our faith in new, thoughtful and exciting ways… Link

Going for Growth – Advent & Christmas Resources

The Church of England has a number of great resources available on their website for worship during Advent & Christmas.

Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus, which means coming, and it’s the time when the Church gets ready for the coming of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas. The readings in the lectionary look forward not only to Christ’s first coming as a babe in Bethlehem, but also to his eventual second coming as judge and ruler of all. The themes are:

  • hope
  • darkness / light
  • repentance
  • watchfulness
  • preparation
  • expectation of the incarnation of Christ on Christmas
  • anticipation of the fullness of time at Christ’s second coming

 In Roman times purple cloth was the most costly, and was associated with kings and rulers. And so the colour for Advent, the getting ready for King Jesus, is purple.

All too often, Advent gets lost in rehearsals for Christmas presentations, and the sense of anticipation and waiting disappears. The ideas in this section offer ways of recapturing Advent as a season in its own right – preparing ourselves to receive the gift of the Christ Child on Christmas morning. (Link)

With Love To the World

With Love To the World is a fantastic, up to date, lectionary resource that could help people as they prepare for the coming of Love over the Advent season, or as they prepare their sermons and worship for the Advent & Christmas season.

With Love to the World is a daily Bible reading guide based on the Revised Common Lectionary as adapted for use in the Uniting Church in Australia. There are four issues per year. Link

Nine from Proost.co.uk

There is a traditional Christmas worship service of 9 lessons and carols which follows the Christmas story. Inspired by Grace in London who have created their own contemporary take on this service we invited nine artists or groups of artists to create a piece in response to one of the readings. We hope you like the results! There are 6 movies and 3 tracks.

As ever use with imagination… for personal reflection, to celebrate a family Christmas in the home, or to create a unique worship experience in your faith community/church. Read the reading and then watch or listen and reflect. Link

Hopeful Imagination Blog

The Hopeful Imagination blog has been running over Advent for a few years now and has a great collection of reflections, ideas, prayers, poems written by a number of different people. Link

Mustard Seed Associates (Christine Sine)

Advent is almost here. This wonderful season of hope and expectation begins a new liturgical year by drawing us into the excitement of Christ’s birth and the joyful anticipation with which we await it. It is a time to wait, to hope, to rethink our focus, and to imagine new ways to follow and serve Christ into the future. Now is the time to store up the resources we need to stir our imaginations and create new rituals and expressions of faith that guide us through a season in which our hearts ache for the coming of God’s light.

A great list of resources from Tom & Christine Sine Link

Christmas Starts With Christ – ChurchAds

ChurchAds long running campaign is “Christmas starts with Christ”. Each year they aim to retell elements of the Christmas story in a contemporary way. Last year ChurchAds focused on fashion, the year before they featured a baby scan and before that a bus stop nativity.

This year, they’re retelling the story with an eye-catching, brown-eyed Godbaby doll in a blue babygrow, with the slogan, “He cries. He wees. He saves the world.” Link

Advent Resources on ReJesus

The guys down at ReJesus have a long list of resources for Christmas and Advent. ReJesus is a website designed for people who are looking for help in talking with people about Jesus and faith, the site includes puzzles, poems, spaces to ask questions, image downloads, worship, art and spirituality resources. It’s divided into 5 sections, The Story, The Encounter, The Popular Spirituality, Expressions and Community each section providing different ways to help people talk about Jesus with other people.

The Christmas resources on ReJesus includes puzzles, images, stories, fun activities and much more for you and others to connect with, go on and check them all out… Link

25 by Si Smith

25 is a set of comic pages from illustrator si smith. each comic page tells an aspect of the christmas story. the speech bubbles on the pages have been left blank for you to fill in or tell the story in your own words and ways. there is also a digital advent calendar with 25 windows that are hyperlinks to the comic page of that number. as if that wasn’t enough, there are then 25 flatpack models that you can print on card, cut out and glue to make the characters that relate to the day of that number.

Worship House Media Video Clips

Worship House Media is a great website for people wanting to use multimedia resources in worship. WHM connects with multimedia producers from all over the place who provide resources in the form of movies, short films, image loops and still images for purchase and download and use in worship.

Are you wanting films or image loops for Advent? Worship House Media has a lot of resources just for you.  Some of my favourite links on WHM for Christmas and Advent are:

  • A 5 part series for the lighting of the advent candle: Link (these are really good)
  • Jesus vs santa: Link
  • Peace on earth: Link
  • Breath of heaven: Link
  • A short account of christmas: Link
  • A Social Network Christmas Link

The Advent Conspiracy – Rethinking Christmas in a Consumer Society

We all want our Christmas to be a lot of things. Full of joy. Memories. Happiness. Above all, we want it to be about Jesus. What we don’t want is stress. Or debt. Or feeling like we “missed the moment”. Advent Conspiracy is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering. But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively.

A great resource for people wanting to think about what they give during Christmas and for turning Christmas upside-down so as to slow down and reflect on what Christmas should really be about.

I have the Advent Conspiracy DVD kit if you’d like to borrow it. The Advent Conspiracy crew have put a number of videos & resources online for people to access as they slow pace it through Advent:

Set 1:

Set 2 (all of these are available on the AC website):

  • Session 1 – Worship Fully
  • Session 2 -Spend Less
  • Session 3 -Give More
  • Session 4 -Love All

Advent & Christmas Liturgy & Resource Books

  • Night Visions by Jan L. Richardson (preview)
  • BRF -Messy Christmas (available as pdf)
  • BRF -Bethlehem Carols Unpacked, Creative ideas for Christmas carol services by Lucy Moore and Martyn Payne with BibleLands (available as pdf)
  • BRF -Pilgrims to the Manger, Exploring the wonder of God with us by Naomi Starkey (available as pdf)
  • BRF – Beginnings and Endings (and what happens in between) Daily Bible readings from Advent to Epiphany by Maggi Dawn (available as pdf)
  • Iona – Doing December Differently by Nicola Slee & Rosie Miles (available as pdf)
  • Iona -Candles & Conifers by Ruth Burgess (available as pdf)
  • Iona -Going Home Another Way by Neil Paynter (available as pdf)
  • Iona -Light of the World by Peter Millar & Neil Paynter (available as pdf)
  • Iona -Good News of Great Joy Daily readings for Advent from around the world by Neil Paynter & Peter Millar (available as pdf)
  • Iona -Gobsmacked, Daily devotions for Advent by Thom Shuman (available as pdf)

Picture Books Focussed on Christmas

Communion Liturgies

Darren Wright has curated a couple of liturgies that we’ve used in worship within presbytery gatherings.

As there has been a number of requests for copies of these liturgies from participants of these gatherings we’ve decided to add them to the worship resources on the website.

You can download the liturgies below, but you might be wondering where two of the prayers/reflection came from.

The first piece was titled “Broken & Scattered” and came from the book:

Gifts in Open Hands
More Worship Resources for the Global Community
By Maren Tirabassi & Kathy Wonson Eddy
ISBN 9780829818390

Broken & Scattered

The Ears of wheat are broken and scattered
on the hillside to grow.

Gathered, they are broken again
and scattered through the towns to make bread.

The bread is scattered to each home
and broken to give nourishment.

Broken and scattered, broken and scattered,
and some becomes the Lord’s body broken for us

as we are the people of God scattered throughout the country
and, perhaps, broken to give nourishment to others.

by Isobel de Gruchy, South Africa

The second piece, Communion Prayer, a piece I like to use in three voices came from:

Grace Pocket Liturgies
released through Proost
available as a pdf.

Communion Prayer

Word becomes flesh
flesh becomes bread
bread becomes body
body becomes word

God is bread
bread is broken
pain becomes wine
wine becomes joy

Wine bursts the wineskins
God bursts the tomb
bread bursts into song
Holy, holy, holy…

Video Prayer – The Lord’s Prayer

Just Prayers – The Lord’s Prayer (No subtitles) from mark pierson on Vimeo.
Link: A Communion Liturgy (Presbytery February 2014)

Link: A Communion Liturgy (Rural Ministry Conference 2013)