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Saturday, July 01, 2006

11th Hour Preacher Party

It's Saturday morning. Do you know where your sermon is?

I had an inspiration earlier in the week to write a four-voice drama to go in the sermon slot tomorrow. At the moment, however, I have only three readers, so I either need to change my plan to include a different reader (playing a whole new character), or I need to bag the whole thing and write a sermon.

I'm using two of the lectionary texts, 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27 and Mark 5:21-43. My thought was to hear these voices, two male and two female, telling of their brokenness and the healing that came from it, then to move to the Communion table and speak for a few minutes about how our healing comes from Jesus' willingness to be broken. The characters are David, Jairus, the Woman Who Touched Jesus' Garment and A Mother who we eventually realize is the Earth.

The trouble is, I have no one to read Jairus.

Also, I haven't finished writing the piece yet...

Consider this an open thread in which to share where you are, or aren't, to ask for encouragement, or to offer support. Some of us have done this informally via e-mail on Saturday nights, and we want to extend the love when it is needed!!

Leave a comment and let us know how it's going for you today.


  1. I'm usually a last minute sermon-writer... but I also usually have at least some idea of where I'm going Saturday morning... not so this week. Your idea sounds really cool, Songbird -- let us know how it works! Or what you end up doing!

  2. Fortunately this isn't my week to preach - but like Pink Shoes I am usually a last minute sort of person in the sense that I have been reading, mulling, and sorting things in my mind - but usually things start to gel Saturday. I dunno, maybe I need a good dose of adrenaline to kick start the old creative juices (that keep getting older each year!!)

  3. Or maybe Songbird can send Pink Shoes a copy it sounds like...

    I am shamefully doing a patriotic hymn sing. That's right. The woman who posted three times (at LEAST)about Memorial Day celebrations in church is going to be singing all of the patriotic hymns in our hymnal.

    In my defense TDH was supposed to be out of town all week with the youth group and the church usually does a hymn sing before worship on the Sunday closest to Fourth of July. I moved the hymn sing to be throughout the service and in between I am reading excerpts about the hymns and why they were written (they are hymns after all, so they are about God)

    I feel so dirty.

  4. Oh, will smama, that is diabolical.
    (I wonder if I could still do that?)
    It sounds like my husband will step up and be Jairus if need be, so I'm going ahead with my original plan. Just as soon as I walk the dog.

  5. Well luckily my sermon isn't until the 23rd, but it's only maybe second one! While I think the preaching of it iwll be easier then the first one, the writing of it has not ben nearly as easier. I'm preachin Mark 30-34, 53-56. I met with My pastor about ti yesterday but i'm still a little worried that it won't go nearly as well as my first sermon did! I'm hoping to have it done by next week.

  6. Sorry about all the typos in my last comment.... I was in a hurry as my best friend from college is coming for the weekend and I still have lots to do. But this is how I start my day and I didn't want o miss checking in!

  7. I'm just getting started on the actual writing of it all. This was my last blog procrastination before I start.

    Candle is lit, coffee is at my side, husband and kids are still asleep. My goal is to be done by 2:00. With several fits and starts, I should make it. Wish me luck!

    I was thinking back fondly yesterday to the days when I used to be done by Thursday night. What happened to those days?

  8. I'm preaching on Mark's version of the parable of the soils, and ask what the parable by itself must have sounded like to the original audiences. After all, they didn't have the benefit of the explanation that comes a few verses later (as ill-fitting as some may argue that explanation is). I work in our kids' VBS theme this year, which was Cokesbury's Treasure Seekers, and talk about having to work to 'dig up' the meaning of a's not always plain for us to see if ever.

  9. cheesehead, two words:
    Double Funeral
    You've already written one beautiful homily this week. Anyone who hasn't read it ought to stop by cheesehead's blog and take a look.

  10. Oh, I'm so glad you all are out there, now that I begin the weekly sermon grind...

    I'm working on Psalm 130, I've got five pages of workable stuff and a couple other things to work in, but it doesn't feel real "spirit led."

    I too have the candle lit and the cup of tea by my side and family banished to the library.

    Blessings to all...

  11. Let's see, I have a barking dog, a piano-practicing child and a glass of water. What's wrong with this picture?

  12. Well, Songbird, the WATER at least is right! WATER = GOOD! Yay for you!

    You can have a cup of tea, after you finish your water. ;)

  13. Mary Beth, it's good in theory, but I'm afraid the cat drank from it while I was walking the dog...
    The background music has now changed to Saturday morning cartoons.

  14. What is it about cats and the humans' water?

    I have NO clue where I'm going with this passage. I love the story of the woman and the garment--probably love it too much.

  15. Emily, I'm with you -- I'm glad that there's at least something to work with in these texts, but perhaps too much to work with and I somehow want to do it justice!! At least I know I'm not alone! Unfortunately with a 5:00 service today I'm just under 7 hours away from preaching time... Ack!

  16. Songbird, that sounds brilliant.

    I'm preaching for the first time on the 11th, St. Benedict. It's a Tuesday morning, 7 a.m.

    (Hey, I'm a second-year seminarian, so it's okay to be new at this.)

  17. Wow, it's only 11:30am, and already quite a party! I'm with pink shoes on the maybe-too-much-here-to-work-with thing. I've written 5 different beginnings to this sermon, all pretty unsatisfying.

    Songbird, the drama sounds fabulous!

    I need coffee. Water may be good for me, but it is not getting the job done.

  18. I can already tell that this will be one of my favorite days to check in on the Rev Gals and Pals. My chaplain husband is preaching...yay! LOL at will smama and cheesehead! 8-D

  19. and songbird, would you be willing to share the drama? I'd love to see it.

  20. Don't want to brag, but I finished at 11:01 my time. All I can say is Halle-freakin'-lujah!

    I owe a big thanks to Songbird for helping to steer me in a particular direction. I listened to G. Imathiu's treatment of this passage from Festival of Homies, and it realy helped me to focus on one particular message.

    Now I get to take WonderGirl to see "The Devil Wears Prada" and to buy some shorts--sice she outgrew all of hers aready.

    Yippee for me!

  21. Well, who knew that this "11th hour" would draw so many comments. I am a procrastinator from way back. I would write my papers the night before, study for test at the 11th hour. Funny thing was I wrote the sermon Friday, and have been letting it gel. I'll go back to the office for that quiet I can't get here at home to finish it. (I too have the sound of cartoons, playing kids, dogs and cats, and you name it going on.)

    Will smama You; are not dirty! I think it is a cool thing to do for this weekend.

    Songbird; Why not write it from the position of an outsider looking at all the healings.

    Stacey how can you write anything with flooding having happened and not knowing if it will happen again?

    My theme is a theme of hope; hope in Jesus for the hopeless. And that we are to be agents of hope, but we have stop doing it, and become like the others that have no hope. We have a message that alot of people are looking for right here.

  22. love this thread :) though I'm still not preaching . sigh

  23. It's our patronal festival tomorrow (bizarrely, St M's keeps its patronal on the 1st Sunday in July,as that was the nearest to the Visitation under the old BCP calendar...long since lost and forgotten, except here) so I don't have to preach...we get a Distinguished Retired Priest to do the biz. I do, however, have to produce some creative intercessions, to counter the unweildy weight of tradition that will oppress us on the morrow,- and of course I haven't done those yet. Nor the talk for the Worship Slot at the Teddy Bear's Picnic in the afternoon....And next weekend WonderfulVicar is away, so all preaching, presiding and praying will be down to me. See you in procrastination class!

  24. {{{{Pink Shoes}}}}} and prayers for the word of God come forth and their ears be open.

    And cheesehead let us know how the Devil wears Prada really is, if it is worth seeing.

  25. Flooding or no, there will be people in church tomorrow, expecting to hear the Word and receive the Sacrament, and so, I write.

    That sounded so high and lofty! The truth is, we're currently out of further flood danger, and while my lawn has been mowed, the sermon exists only as wisps floating through my head.

    I think, maybe, if I ever actually start to put down real words, perhaps, I'm talking about how Jesus treated the nobodies of the world - little girls, bleeding women etc. - not just as somebodies but as beloved daughters. We'll see.

  26. My name is Rainbow Pastor, and I, roo, am a procrastinator.

    Usually I have a good chunk of the sermon done by Friday, and Satruday is a re-write and print day...not this week. What with the crud and the emergency wedding and all, I just didn't get the juices flowing.

    I wasn't too worried, because I knew the passage I was doing, and the general direction. I'm doing a series on David (following the lectionary) and applying his life to the life and events of the congregation (in a group sense). And this one was pretty easy, I thought, and I have lots of thoughts and ideas and notes about Favid's lament over Jonathan and Saul, and what it shows us about relationships and leadership (don't diss you predessesor--I know that's not spelled right but oh well--and so on).

    So why can't I get any of it on paper?

    I put it off this morning for the Canada Day parade (only a block away, we might as well go see it), and then the yard sales of two friends (separate yard sales, ten minutes apart), and then since we were out, we picked up a few things at the store, and then I had to read my email...

    And now it's three, I haven't got a word down, and I have a sermon and a prayer to put together for tomorrow. Plus we have two visitors tomorrow I want to make a good impression on--student pastors who will be substituting for me later on in the summer.

    My mind keeps drifting to the fireworks tonight (yes, two nights of fireworks in one week, is this a great town or what?!) and my sister's wedding next week, and how in the world are we going to get the file cabinet we bought at one of the yard sales out of the car and into the house (and hopefully upstairs to the office)?

    Sermon? What sermon?


    I know, I know, get off the comments page and start typing. I'm going, I'm going!

  27. Rainbow Pastor, your comment looks much like many of the e-mails will smama and I have exchanged in the past. Much.

    We're here to serve!

  28. I make no promises about quality, and there's not a lot of quantity, but it's done. And I'm back at the office with 90 minutes to spare... whew!
    I love the new Saturday format!

  29. I went for a narrative approach and blogged a first draft- one comment so far has been positive- i don't often preach narrative sermons- but this seemed right

  30. Okay, friends, I'm finished, I think. I'm going to print it out and read it over, then post it on my blog, for those who are interested.

  31. Congrats to those who are done. I am not among your number...but I'm getting there. I'm going with a third person narrative, first describing the woman and girl, focusing on their "nobody-ness," then Jesus' reaction to them as "somebodies," and with a brief movement at the end wondering about how we treat the nobodies we encounter.

  32. I blogged earlier in the week about how, as music minister, I have to lead a patriotic-only lineup of hymns (a couple of which are NOT Christian hymns), including all four verses of the National Anthem as the opening hymn. I'm still gritting my teeth over it. I won't take up space here over my concerns about the direction the pastor's sermon may take, given her Memorial Day theme. BUT--big BUT--Catherine at "Come to the Table" reminded me, with her exquisite poem about a mid-week Communion experience, that we're still having Communion this week at our church. That always snaps me out of wherever I've been and reminds me who and Whose I am...and we are. So no matter how uncomfortable things may be early on, worship will turn out well.

  33. Stacey, I like where you are headed.

    The secret to my success: a Pepsi. I sent my husband out to get one for me, and once that bad-for-you sugary carbonated beverage hit my tonsils, I was all set.

  34. OK, I'm not preaching the lectionary.... but just telling a good story about being still and knowing God. A little about what I'm learing about the "Theology from the Pit" so I'm going with a couple of Psalms. Extra Credit for those who can guess which ones.... =o)

    Oh, and last year? We had Red, White and Blue braided communion bread -- it was just so ... wrong. Just so wrong.

  35. 9:30 eastern time... any of you still out there? Anyone need sermon illustration help? Anyone need Antonio Banderas to show up with a sermon?

  36. Red, white and blue communion bread?!? WTF?

    I'm sure Jesus got a chuckle out of that one...civil religion at it's finest.

    Sermon's finished. Not great, but finished. Now if I can just sleep tonight with the neighbor's 4th of July party outside!

    Blessings to all...

  37. Need him? Or want him?

  38. Geez, and I thought I felt dirty...

  39. Oy. This sermon is coalescing only with much weeping and gnashing of teeth. I'd take a delivery from Antonio Banderas gladly about now....

  40. Done at last, done at last, thank God almighty, I'm done at last!

  41. Hurray for Stacey!
    And yay for Contemplative Chaplain!
    Who else?

  42. Still plugging away here, at 12:39 a.m. Eastern time. But approaching the end. Whew!

    (nobody in seminary ever told us about the Antonio Banderas sermon delivery service! sign me up!)

  43. Okay, I made it! Hooray! Now to sleep.

  44. Good job all.

    Now for the two things that one of my homiletics professors told me was absolutely essential to preaching:

    1) Let it go... the Holy Spirit has got your back.

    2) If you got a dog, walk it proud.

    God bless today.

  45. Well, I finished it. And it even said some good things!

    Finished the rough draft at 5:30 last night, the final draft this morning at 9:23.

    The advantages of a midday service!

    And next Sunday I am off!

    Boston, here I come!

    (although all week I will be trying to get started on the sermon for the 16th)

  46. That was a lovely first Saturday preacher party. See you all next week!

    Oh, and my final product (minus the pulpit improv, of course) is at if any of you should wish to read it.

  47. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! I don't have to preach next Sunday, but I will be here to host again!
    (And maybe I ought to take Rainbow Pastor's suggestion and look ahead to the 16th!)


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