31 March 2013

Easter Wondering

I'm "preaching" at both of my English churches this morning. What I have planned is not really a sermon but more of a discussion-starter. With the help of Vanderbilt's Art in the Christian Tradition database and Wikimedia Commons I created a slide-show to go with our Gospel reading. I have an illustration for each sentence - much like a children's picture book.

I will introduce this by talking very briefly about celebrations, that an important part of most celebratory gatherings is the talking. We reminisce about the old days; we share our feelings. And so I want us to celebrate Easter together by listening to one of the stories of Easter and then sharing our responses to it. I'll read the Gospel, showing the slides, and then I'll ask Jerome W. Berryman's Wondering Questions for Sacred Stories.

We'll see how it goes. One service is an all-age service in a large church. I've already drafted one teenager to be a microphone runner for the back of the church, carrying the mike to anyone who raises their hand. I will do the same at the front. The other church is smaller but the congregation is deaf-er, so microphones will be important there too.

I intend the pictures to slow down the reading so that we notice some details afresh, but also to prepare us for hearing different perspectives on the story, and moreover to jog memories as I ask the Wondering questions. During our discussion I'll be showing summary slides of the pictures we've seen.

Like this:

As Berryman's Faces of Easter script tells us, you can't see the resurrection without knowing that the crucifixion is behind it. So rather than starting where the lectionary says to start, I'll include seven verses from the paragraphs preceding it. Like that snippet on television shows: Previously in "The Gospel"... These are my illustrations for those verses.


  1. How did it go? Some of the images are lovely and thank you for the link to the art resource - one to dip into I think! Did your folk respond? I know I would love to come to church and have all these pictures to enjoy. Happy Easter! Hilaryx

    1. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply, Featherglen! It went very well. Too well, when I consider that my supervisor had no feedback for me apart from "Well done". ;)

      I've been meaning to write another short post as a follow-up.


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