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Topic: Gospel based ethnic diversity routines
Message: Posted by: DanTheMagicMan (Dec 24, 2002 09:48AM)
I have been asked to do a children's sermon about ethnic diversity in January around the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. I think I will use the "God made man in his image" scriptural reference and was thinking of illusions that I could use with this.

Using silks seems like a good idea. Putting a bunch of different colored silks (representing individuals from around the world) in a change bag and bringing out a rainbow streamer or a colorful butterfly silk would work great (to represent that God intended for us to live together in harmony), but I used the same trick with a different children's sermon a few months ago.

A similar idea is to blend them into a giant Jesus silk (Although we are all different, we are all made in God's image).

One could use different colored tissue paper squares and pull a multi-colored mouth coil from them.

Anybody have other ideas or comments? Any other scriptural references that are appropriate? Any ideas out there that use something other than silks?
Message: Posted by: Joe M. Turner (Dec 24, 2002 09:58AM)
Blendos are a natural fit for this theme. I also think restorations -- torn & restored newspapers, cut & restored ropes, etc. -- may have some applicability if you are touching on themes of different parts coming together for a greater good.

If I were giving the sermon, I would mention that ethnic diversity is fantastic, but so is the goal of unity. Celebrating our diversity is a pathway to focusing on what makes us different. This focus becomes harmful when it leads to separation from society instead of contribution to society.

E Pluribus Unum! Lately we seem to ignore that last word...
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Dec 24, 2002 02:07PM)
I just recently did a "We are all God's children" routine using a 3 way stamp book. I could show the world void, (Empty Pages) and God created all of us, and the countries and races, (B & W Outlines of the stamps) and He made us all wonderfully different. (All the pages with all the multicolored stamps)

The instructions for the stamp book call for you to pour in an envelope of loose stamps at the end before the final revelation, and although I didn't use it this time, in retrospect - you can just as easily do that as you talk about God speaking us all into existence. And it is a nice visual, as all those loose stamps "miraculously" find their way to the right pages/countries/etc.

And while I didn't give an actual routine, I hope the idea will be of use to you.

Relative to Diversity; One of my favorite observations from a variety of ministry activities, is that "Our simililarites bring us together, but it is our differences (culteral, racial, economic, marital status, etc.) that make it interesting!"

God Bless and Merry Christmas!

Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 26, 2002 04:47PM)
There is a ribbon with three colored silks that untie themselves. (Don't remember the name, and it's laying right here next to me)
That would be great for showing that, regardless of how we see them, all of the silks will fall short of God's glory.

Funny thing though they don't feel like real silks. I think they are Rayons. (Is that a word?)
Anyway, 3 matching silks sown together and produced from a change bag, after dumping the others in could show unity as well.

The effct was about $8.00 at the Magic Warehouse, although I haven't used it yet, I bought it for just that type of message effect.
Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (Dec 31, 2002 02:52AM)
If this is for a Christian church, you might consider verses like Acts 10:34 and I Cor. 12:12.

With the "Beads of Prussia," you could show how each of the beads are pretty but not much good to wear until they join together. You can get several minutes out of this by having four kids up (2 girls and 2 boys) and make a contest with the colors as Karl Wagner does with his "Safety Magic" routine.

Or course the problem with racism is.. well, it focuses on race. Therefore it might be better to not focus your sermon on race, but on what PREVENTS racism (i.e love...) and by tying the topic to a different focus it opens up many other routines you may already have for that.
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Dec 31, 2002 12:37PM)
What a wonderful opportunity for you. I hope it goes well, as I am sure you do.

1st Corithians comes to mind for a scripture reference.

I like the idea of focusing on the diversity of our gifts. If we were all an ear, who would speak? If we were all a mouth, who would see? All the differences we have, come together to make the body of Christ.

We spend so much time figuring out how to look like one another, act like one another, and saying to ourselves, "If she acted like me?" or "If I looked like him?" then I would be alright.

God however makes us all individuals, blessing us with different skills and gifts for a reason.

And while I like JMT's point of focusing on what makes us different can lead to seperation, when it comes to Race, many have been told for so long, if you could just (Add favorite statement.. speak English, get a different hair-style, clean up that accent, etc, etc...) that to hear that you are alright just as you are, created by God, can be a freeing gift of Grace.

You could use the Brass Hot Rod, which has a double change. You start out showing all one color, blue.. have it change to multi-colored, then at the end you change it to red, showing we are all covered by Christ's gift to us.

You also got me thinking about cards. I was thinking of doing a flustration count, Hindu shuffle, Elmsley kind of a thing, making all the cards have the same face, and the same blue back. Then after your discussion of how God makes each of us blessed and gifted, you show that each of the faces is different, and then show the backs of the cards, and they are all marked with the Cross.

Don't have all of it worked out, but could be worked out.

Best of luck to you!

John Stevens
Message: Posted by: DougTait (Jan 2, 2003 10:32AM)
Professor's Nightmare can be used to demonstrate diversity or differences. I use blue rope with yellow tape on the ends and ask the audience to look at the ropes and tell me something about what they see.

Eventually someone will say that they are different lengths. Key on the word
"different" and remark that we all see that the ropes are different. Not only are they different lengths, but they are a different color than most rope. Point out that when we view things with our eyes we can easily see when things are different from what we are used to.

You can talk about how we see people as being different - tall, short, big (never say fat), small, different color skin, eyes, hair etc.

God has created us equal and in His image, so when He looks upon us He only sees us as His children and each of us the same. (Equalize the ropes) God wants us to see each other through His eyes, and when we do the differences are removed.

Best wishes on your sermon,
Message: Posted by: DanTheMagicMan (Jan 14, 2003 03:14PM)
Thanks for the routine ideas everybody. I particulary like the stamp book idea and the Professor's Nightmare ideas (I like the international flavor of the stamp book). I'm going to use the Professor's Nightmare for this Sunday's children's sermon. Thanks again.

An update: the sermon went very well. I used the Professor's Nightmare idea using the 1st Corinthians scripture reference - We are all different, but all equal in God's eyes. I also added the ending I've seen Duane Laflin do where the three "equal" ropes are tied together and transform into one long rope, which fit well with the same scripture reference. I spoke about how we are like different parts of the body. We each have our own special uniqueness (ropes tied together). Our body is made up of different parts that all work together. We can't have a body of all thumbs, although sometimes I feel like that! Just like our body works with different parts, God wants us to live and work together with others through the body of Christ (show long rope without knots).

I liked how the ending with one long rope fit into the same scripture reference. I had a church member afterwards ask if I could do something similar for his exceptional learners Sunday School class (adults with learning disabilities), who normally do not attend the church service. I thought it was a great idea and I had not even considered this area of magic ministry.

Thanks again to all for the great ideas and hope others find these ideas as useful as I have.
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 23, 2003 09:21PM)
Well Done Dan!

Good adaptation and excellent illustration!

Message: Posted by: DougTait (Jan 23, 2003 10:25PM)
It sounds as if your illustrations fit very well with your message. Thanks for letting us know how things went.
To His Glory,