Engaging with Scripture for all ages together

1. Complete resource books based on the Revised Common Lectionary

a. ROOTS

A rolled-up magazineThis is a brilliant resource to subscribe to. ROOTS publishes two ecumenical, bimonthly, lectionary-based magazines: ROOTS Children & Young People and ROOTS Adult & All Age.

ROOTS resources are for churches from all denominations and traditions, designed to support the worship and learning of the whole church community. Resources include: readings, dramas, activities, seasonal and connected prayers, Bible notes, photocopiable resource sheets, gathering and sending prayers, and advice on music.

ROOTS is also available online, providing subscribers with up-to-the-minute material in quick response to topical events, as well as further resources to supplement the material in the magazines.

Stones

b. Living Stones complete resources

Includes an all-age 'thought for the day', reflection on the readings, discussion starters, all-age talk, all-age ideas (often with suggestions for dramatised readings, acts of worship and worship space/room decoration), prayers of intercession and suggested music.

There are separate programmes of activities for 'Pebbles' (ages 3-5), 'Rocks' (ages 6-10), and 'Boulders' (11 years and over) and the resources cover the three years of the lectionary (year Ayear Byear C).

c. Searchlights complete resources

An all-age resource by David Adams that accompanies the authorised Anglican service book Common Worship. It includes an opening activity, prayers, songs, readings and questions for discussion.

There are separate programmes for for 'Candles' (ages 3-5), 'Lamps' (ages 6-10) and 'Torches' (ages 11 and over) and the resources cover the three years of the lectionary (year Ayear Byear C).

2. Storytelling and talks using film, music and TV clips

a. The Damaris Trust resources

Frames of cine filmA fabulous and vital resource for anyone wishing to communicate their faith in the language of contemporary popular culture – particularly using films, music and TV.

Assemblies

Assemblies based on Scripture references that are engaging, enjoyable and effective - these link the latest films, music and TV to biblical stories.

RE Lessons

Detailed RE lesson plans that fit with the school curriculum and use the latest films, music and TV.

Tools for Talks

With many facilities such as:

  • illustration finder – suggests illustrations to enhance your theme, subject or issue from the latest films, music and TV – updated every week.
  • passage picker - suggests relevant bible passages for your theme.
  • bible commentary - Helps you to understand your bible passage.

Talking About... - DVD talks series

  1. Talking About Jesus
  2. Talking About Prayer
  3. Talking About Forgiveness

b. Puppets and Parables DVD from Hand to Mouth Productions

A wooden puppet

This brilliant interactive DVD - which features 10 episodes, subtitles, full 'white board' interactive features, teachers notes, class questions, word banks, cut-outs of the puppets and optional signing for the hearing-impaired - explores 10 parables of Jesus with puppets. The puppet characters tell the story from the Bible and then follow on with a modern day example. (£25 with £3 postage and packing.)

Traditional parable stories along with contemporary include:

  • the Lost Sheep – and how Titch got lost at the zoo
  • the Prodigal Son – Charlie and Uncle Sam work it out
  • the Great Feast – Too many excuses
  • the House on the Rock – How did Mina win the sandcastle competition?
  • the Unforgiving Servant – A broken Game Boy
  • the Parable of the Talents – Charlie is encouraged to use his own abilities
  • the Midnight Visitor – The last bus
  • the Amazing Pearl – Can Jezza swap something worthwhile for the prize card?
  • the Rich Farmer – Does Charlie's greedy sister eat all the sweets?
  • the Good Samaritan – Basher Bates is a local hero

You can view a reduced quality evaluation episode in the DVD section of the Hand to Mouth website.

c. Brompton Bible stories in Lego/Playmobil

Lego

Examples include:

3. Biblical reading and storytelling

a. Inspired by the Bible Experience: New Testament or whole Bible

An apple with headphones on itInspired by the Bible Experience is a fully-dramatised reading of the Bible performed by an unprecedented ensemble of distinguished African-American actors, musicians and personalities. The cast includes such recognisable voices as:

  • Denzel Washington
  • Angela Bassett
  • Blair Underwood
  • Juanita Bynum
  • Shirley Caesar
  • Kirk Franklin

and more.

The dramatisation is further enriched by an original music score, composed by Grammy award-winning producers. The recording is truly contemporary, using the accessible and trusted Today's New International Version (TNIV) of the Bible. The features of Inspired by the Bible Experience provide a rich listening experience, helping you hear the words of Scripture as if for the first time.

b. the word on the street - Bible paraphrase

A flower in front of a wall covered in graffiti

(formerly known as The Street Bible)

Rob Lacey's 'dangerously real' retelling of Scripture vividly demonstrates that the Bible is packed full of stories/poems/images that resonate with the big issues of today. This fresh paraphrase with running commentary brings the text alive: Bible stories are retold as mini-blockbusters, psalms as song lyrics, epistles as emails, and Revelation as virtual reality. Out with stale religious terms, here's a 'Bible' that talks today's language - gritty, earthy, witty. Enough of starting at Genesis with good intentions, but getting lost in Leviticus. Lacey focuses on the big picture: fast-forwards through the 'slow moving' bits with pace, passion and energy to make the Bible a page-turner again. What's more, Lacey's award-winning tour de force was created during a remarkable personal journey through terminal cancer, the stuff the Bible stories are made of. This life-experience injects Lacey's take on Scripture with authenticity and authority - resonating with Bible characters who also wrestled with the big questions. Purist alert: This is not the Bible ... but it might just get you reaching for one.

c. the essential word on the street - audio CD

The stories, poetry, and music of the Bible come alive as never before in this 60-minute performance based on award-winning British actor, the late Rob Lacey's book, the word on the street. Inspired by his Book of the Year award in the UK and based on his live performances, Lacey retells Bible stories as mini-blockbusters, psalms as song lyrics, epistles as emails, and Revelation as virtual reality.

Features:

  • performed by award-winning British author, actor, and broadcaster Rob Lacey;
  • based on the late Lacey's live performances of the word on the street;
  • includes original music and sound effects by UK artists Bill and Rachel Taylor-Beales.

d. A 'Godly Play' storytelling style – I wonder...

A wooden puppet

Godly Play is a great way of nurturing spiritual formation and development through storytelling for all ages, not just children.

Sit on the floor in a circle. Learn by heart the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18.21-35) so you can tell it well as a story. Use wooden models, puppets or dolls to play the characters, and then at the end invite all to 'wonder' what they think about all that they've heard. Suggested questions might be:

  • I wonder what part of this story you like the best.
  • I wonder what part of this story you think is the most important.
  • I wonder if you are in this story and that the story is in you.
  • I wonder if there is any part of this story that you would like to leave out and still have all the story you need.
  • I wonder if you have come close to this.
  • I wonder where this might be when it's not there.
  • I wonder if you have seen something like this.
  • Depending on the material: I wonder if you have touched/smelt/heard something like this.

For more information visit the Godly Play website.

4. Utilising drama/storytelling 

a. The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible

Three open BiblesIdeal for reading aloud and group dramatisation; a fresh and imaginative approach to the Scriptures. The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible uses the actual narrative text primarily from the easy-to-read Good News Bible. It allows the Bible to speak for itself and makes the dramatisation of passages and reading aloud really easy. Church groups, schools and religious education programmes can now access the Bible in a vivid and lively way, making the positive participation of religious study truly interactive. Through this approach the Scriptures are brought to life in a contemporary and effective way to provide greater access and enjoyment of the Bible's message.

Using the established modern texts of the Good News Bible and the New International Version, with the additional Jubilate liturgical psalms, The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible will be of immediate assistance to all who want church worship, group studies, youth events, school assemblies and religious education programs to come alive.

The Comprehensive Dramatised Bible includes:

  • all the Bible narrative dramatised;
  • Bible teaching arranged for choral speaking where appropriate;
  • major worship psalms set simply for reponsorial use;
  • full cast listing with each reading;
  • denominational liturgical responses;
  • indexes to characters, subjects, worship themes and seasons.

b. Additional drama sketches and puppet scripts

A spotlight on red theatre curtains

A mouse for a computer5. Dedicated children's/family ministries websites and resources