In Australia, Monday is the Anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia, some Uniting churches may use the readings for the Anniversary on Sunday, instead of those for the Pentecost 3A readings. You may want to share this video on Monday or during the service on Sunday.

(note there are some mistakes with the logo, see if you can pick them)

The readings below are for the After Pentecost 3 readings




Just a few things to note about this presentation of the story,

1) Though we do not know how old Ishmael is he is recently weaned so probably 4-5 years old and the video represents him as older,

2) The reason Ishmael and his mother needed to leave was due to a request from Sarah and had nothing to do with the way he responded to his brother.

MAKE: Recreate the story of Hagar and Ishmael You can make these characters and use some of them to recreate the story

You might like this history lesson from to share with the younger members of the family

The story is also an opportunity to explore the close relationship between Jews, Muslims and Christians.  All are the children of Abraham.  Rather than dig into the details of the story, introduce the symbols for each faith and briefly explain how all are related.  The Jews are the descendants of Isaac.  One of those Jewish descendants was Jesus.  Muslims are the descendants of Ishmael.  All are descendants of Abraham.  Pray for peace in the big family of Abraham.


Praying without words Ishmael said nothing that is recorded in the Bible but God still heard him

You could use a sand pit, or some flour. With your finger, trace a pattern or a picture in the sand/flour. When you have finished smooth the surface.

Make the picture or the pattern a reflection of your thoughts, your prayer to God.


PSALM 86:1-10,16-17

Psalm 86: An Undivided heart
Bend your ear to us, O God; we need you! (cup your hand around your ear)
We cry to you and keep on calling. (pretend to rub your eyes)
We know that you will answer us! (clasp your hands in a prayer shape)
Is there another god greater than you? (plead)
Is anything greater than what you have made? (arms out wide)
Certainly not! You alone are God! (put your arms above your head)

an exert from, actions in Brackets by me

How does this Psalm make you feel? Describe that feeling, show it on your face or body or draw it, or point out what it feels like from a set of emotional cards or the Bears App

SECOND READING: Romans 6:1b-11

READ/WATCH: David gets in Trouble by David Shannon a suggestion by


DO: put a few drops of food colouring in a small bowl of water, then place a sheet of paper in the water and watch the paper change colour. OR you can put a cut flower in a vase of coloured water and watch the flower’s colour change. When we immerse ourselves in God’s teachings we change.

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 10:24-39

This is a complicated reading with many different themes. After much thought I have decided to share the advise to read Sam and the Lucky Money by Karin China as it concentrates the idea that the way we respond to life depends on what is important to us.

Family Activity: There is a suggestion at the end of the video, as a family think of ways that you can show the love of God with others in your community.

DRAW or go and find those things that are important to you.


Help me God

To always have you

as the most my most important thought

and may it shape all I do





Sunday Reflection: Anniversaries and Celebrations

This is the year of celebrations in my extended family.


Earlier this year we celebrated the 60thWedding anniversary of my parents, replete with cards from the Queen and the Governor General, and a sit-down lunch, for family and friends. There has been an 80thBirthday, we are yet to celebrate a 50th, and a 60thBirthday, we have the dedication of a great nephew to look forward to, and one marriage has been celebrated another is set for later this year. We also have an engagement recently announced though not yet formally celebrated. Yes, all the big life stage events are happening across the generations this year.

Like any extended family, we have had our ups and downs, our tragedies, our falling outs, our hurts and wounds inflicted on or by each other. But this year is celebration time, and we all need an excuse to party. We all need a truce time, we all need to put a smile on our face and we owe it to those we are honouring and those we are partying with to bring our best to the table, swallow our pride, extend the hand of forgiveness and create good memories.


The whole clan gathers from the youngest (great grandchild) to the eldest. And it is no different with many of the churches we all gather for the special occasions.


Yesterday was the anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia,   an amalgamation of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Australia to form a combined entity. Living out the idea of inclusivity, and bringing three faith traditions together 42 years ago. As a teenager, I witnessed this birth and it was not always smooth sailing. The decisions were made beyond and around me, and the fallout was at times bewildering to one still young. But 42 years later and this new church is still here and still as strong as any other faith organisation now in Australia. A country that was at the time Christian but now is not.


While abiding with the rules of union, each congregation has some autonomy, and each will mark the occasion in their own way. Many will conduct services today using the readings set for the Anniversary 1st reading: Deuteronomy 30:1-10, Psalm 100, 2nd Reading 1 Corinthians 3: 10-17, and Gospel Reading John 15:1-8 A great collection of readings to remind us that all things flow from God. Our liturgical colours are the same as Pentecost, red. So, the church can be quiet striking, when decked out for this Anniversary.


A few years ago, I got my best response to what our logo stands for. Though deep thought had gone into the design and significance of each element. I still love the image and reasoning of a child in my care who firmly stated that the best part of our logo was the smile, that it made it warm and welcoming. Sorry to those who worked hard at the beginning, but that explanation is my favourite and preferred.

If you took my advice on Pentecost to use the shape of the dove on the UCA logo as a Pentecost motif, now is the occasion to place that shape at the heart of the logo.

The Bible is full of celebrations, anniversaries and gatherings. Celebrations bring us together, give us shared history, continue old traditions or start new ones. They are intergenerational as generally all age levels come together and are catered for.