Suzybower's Blog

Creative ideas for church and youth ministry.

Archive for Liturgy


Psalm 139

What an amazing discovery, I’m pretty excited.

It’s a bit like a doodle, but with words = wordle.

Basically there’s a website where you can type in some text or a url and get a wordle (e.g. the image shown above). You can then edit this and make it into whatever style you like.

My initial thoughts were that this would make a great accompaniment to a reading or sermon/talk. Or you could print them out onto card so that people could add their own wordles/doodles as you’re speaking. I’ve always been a bit of a doodler, so I love it when people leave space for that kind of thing on their handouts.

Anyway, have a little play at

Thanks go to Steve for introducing me to this wonderful thing!

Be still (service plan)

Here are some elements from an alternative service I led on the subject of stillness/silence/solitude/sabbath. It was just before the summer holidays, so I was encouraging people to think about how they might truly rest over their time off.

The background image I used for the powerpoint

I used the first of these videos as an introduction to the service, and the second for people to reflect on after the talk.

Lectio Divina Reading

(Click here for more info about Lectio Divina)


we hear and say so many words,

yet yours is the word we need.

Speak now,

and help us listen;

and, if what we hear is silence,

let it quiet us,

let it disturb us,

let it touch our need,

let it break our pride,

let it shrink our certainties

let it enlarge our wonder.


Read Passage – Matthew 11:28-30

Are there any phrases or words that particularly jump out to you?

Read again

Chew over the word or phrase that got your attention. Why did it stand out to you? What might God be trying to say to you through it? How does it apply to your life today?

Some questions from one of the discussion times

-What are the benefits of resting on a Sabbath day?

-In the current economic crisis is it fair to ask people to take a Sabbath?

– What advice would you give to people such as nurses, ministers and youth workers who tend to work on Sundays?

A pregnant pause (advent poem)

A poem we read out as part of our advent service

A pregnant pause

we are tempted to think

that this is out of character for you

a momentary fragility [showing your tender side]

that once the christmas carols are finished

and the decorations are put away,

you’ll get back to power and might.

but in your completeness -
this one chance we get to see flesh and bone

put onto the theory -
this is you:


impossibly vulnerable

and at the mercy of human response?

so, god, are you holding your breath too

in this pregnant moment….

waiting to see if we will answer


to the fragile question of divine love?

[Adapted from hold :: this space]

You’re welcome (opening liturgy)

I adapted this liturgy and used it for the beginning of our advent service in a stable (a pregnant pause). But it can easily be adapted for any other time. I think this kind of thing is great for services where you are likely to have a few visitors.


If you have come here in search of understanding
, company 
and solace

You are welcome

If you have come here out of duty, to fulfill the expectations of others

You are welcome.

If you have come here because we promised mince pies, an experience, a journey, or an encounter

You are welcome.

Whether you have seen a glimmer of peace, know it in abundance or know only of its absence
 you are welcome

Whether you feel 
afraid, loved, embraced.

You are welcome

If you are fragile with grief, 
perhaps guilt 
you are welcome

Whatever your expectations are.

You are welcome.

We cannot promise to fulfill them, but we can promise that

You are welcome.

You are welcome.

You are welcome.

[Adaptation of liturgy from this site: hold this space]