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Saturday, August 05, 2006

11th Hour Preacher Party

Got my mojo working, just don't work on you
Got my mojo working, just don't work on you
I wanna write you so bad, don't know what to do

I'm going down to the Preacher Party to get me a mojo hand
I'm going down to the Preacher Party to get me a mojo hand
I'm gonna have this sermon right here at my command

Sermon prep got you singing the blues this week? All your friends on vacation? Need encouragement, advice or just a place to put down your troubles and be among friends?

Welcome to the 11th Hour Preacher Party. We've got Muddy Waters on the stereo, free WiFi for those last-minute illustration searches and exegetical forays, fresh English Muffins from a local bakery, a bottomless pot of coffee and, best of all, the company of other preachers still searching for the summer sermon mojo.

And just in case you think I'm in the vacation crowd, which I am, and don't need to worry about preaching tomorrow, which I don't, remember that I spent time writing no fewer than four reflections on three of this week's texts for Ordinary Time.
As many as four sermons could have been mine! On whom is the joke, I ask you?


  1. *plays the harmonica*

    Ack. Why am I up this early?

    Oh, right, one of my congregations is having a yard sale today and I promised I'd be there. I guess if I have no sermon or a bad sermon tomorrow they'll know why!

    I'll be back later, I'm sure. This week it's manna preaching for me. *takes an English muffin on the road*

    Good mojo everyone!

  2. Sometimes the yard sale or work day or fair or church supper has just the needed component for the sermon, semfem. I hope it proves true for you today!

  3. I got back from vacation yesterday and am writing a sermon for tomorrow (makes mental note not to do that next time). I'm thinking I have several seperate sermons in my head - -the "we all need to love each other" one and the "we are all parts of the body doing different things' one and the "today is communion so let's talk about bread" one. I'll grab a muffin, I brought some coffee for those who are inclined and will check back later.

  4. Muffins, bread, even bagels--it's all good.

  5. Oh, Julie, Julie, Julie...(great name, BTW)I have been there, done that. Last week, as a matter of fact.

    But the 11th hour crew was very helpful and not at all envious of my position. Actually what I did was work way ahead so that I only had to write 1/3 of my sermon last Saturday, but I'm sure it will work out!

    This week: I'm starting from scratch, sans mojo. Here is my strategy--extra long communion liturgy, extra short sermon. Think they'll notice?

  6. Oh yeah, I did that preaching right after vacation thing my first time away. Since then we leave after church on Sunday and I take the following Sunday off so I have a week to work on it and then... yeah, okay write it on Saturday anyway.

    Need to put someone down for a nap... will be back to par-tah.

  7. Hey Julie, I too did the same thing last weekend with the help of this wonderful party.
    So take a sit and fire away.

    Cheesehead, you are tooo funny. So you are looking at a communion meditation instead of a sermon. I think it works, I have see other preachers do that, and no they don't mind as long as you are up there, visible, and put your heart into what you do and say. Have fun with it.

    I will admit I don't preach tomorrow. We are doing homecoming/note burning. The D. S. is preaching. Thank God, it has turned into a week that I don't think I could have preached but would have with your help. I am keeping the Ephesians passage for next week and it is communion for us next week. So I will be interested in what people come up with or work up. But anyway I can help I too am here. I have preached the others also.

    I brought some honeybuns, and chocolate muffins, my kid's favorites. Any body need me to run out and get them something?

  8. Note burning? What is this?

    (And can I add it to tomorrow to make the meditation even shorter?)

  9. Waaaaah.......I have a beatiful sermon on John, and my church is celebrating the Transfiguration, so I am preaching on the Luke account of that. Whinge, wail, and gnash the teeth.
    Plus I have 2 children swapping bedrooms and redecorating as they go, an all-age OpenHouse service built around the feeding of the 5000, for which i need to organise picnic bags...and we go on our family holiday on Monday first thing.
    Coffee is very welcome. So are muffins...What can I contribute? Would some water melon be cooling to our fevered imaginations, or just increase the sticking potential of the whole event?

  10. Here is the watermelon, in convenient little balls scooped by yours truly. Enjoy! I am off to a manicure and pedicure. Please don't hate me too much.

  11. Wow, Kathryn you seem stressed enough so I will give you a pass on the 'no saying saying the T word' that was in effect after us other lectionary preachers had to preach on that last time to unenthusiastic listeners.

    I am stepping away from the computer now in order to grab me a honeybun and work on this thing... you can determine on your own what I mean by that.

    I will check in later when I at least have an outline ready. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

  12. Psalm 51. It all seemed so clear yesterday. Now it's a jumbled mess of ideas and way too preachy. How do you preach about sin without sounding "preachy"? Don't need snacks yet since I just had breakfast with my new accountability group (yeah). Well back to the outline. I'll check in later and see if any of you have any advice. I'll try to bring some lemonade and gingersnaps for the afternoon.

    P.S I was formerly known as Liz the Lurker

  13. Okay Cheesehead
    I am sharing about the noteburning while eating the watermelon balls, can we shoot something alcoholic in them?

    Noteburning has to do with, this church paid off the note to their Christian Life Center this month and are burning the note(actually a copy of the note.) And we are celebrating big time. It took them a long time, lots of creative fundraisers, faithful givers, and perseverance. And they like so many churches with a building program, lost members over it. But they have made the center available to the community for usage. The school uses it for its basketball games. We have a community basketball league. We have walkers, esp. with the heat. It has brought in new members as well. They had the vision to build it in 93 when they really didn't have the money, no big moneybags here, and did so. So now we are celebrating the paying off of the note. I can see more uses of the building as well, and the members are interested in seeing these through. So Cheesehead if you want to use it you are more than welcome. Its the little church that could after hearing and following God's voice and direction. In some ways I wish I was preaching about it.

    Kathryn, what a stresser.

  14. Rookie/Lurker - YEAH!!!

    Revabi - VERY cool. We have some dreamers here who talk about a big center like that.

    Outline done, off to write. Using a friend of mine's technique to start at the end.

    I pull in Psalm 51 but I don't have an outline specifically for it. I am touching on how maybe we didn't sleep with Bathsheba, but we all need to lament because we do not even come close to responding to God's grace.

    How do we respond? We grow in our faith, blah, blah blah... Remotely helpful? No?

    Too long of a comment? Yes.

  15. Abi, that is awesome! What a great story...what a great church! St. Stoic has done some similarly great things in the past before, alas before I got here, so I guess no use of the noteburning for me tomorrow!

    will smama: tee hee! I am reading between the lines on 'grabbing the honeybuns' I hope for your sake that means what I think it does! Kid still napping, eh?

  16. Cheesehead, I wish. My real life means I just thawed a bagel from the freezer and TDH is over setting up for VBS while I try to figure out how to have some discipline while sitting AT the computer since we now have wireless and I can repeatedly check all sorts of diversions rather than work on the sermon.

    But I like your scenario better.

  17. so after doing things like removing the cats from the keyboard (multiple times) and getting sidetracked by band of brothers on Bravo I have decided I like the long liturgy idea and that has eased soem of the pressure. I may hev narrowed it down even -- signs. Vegas Jesus vs. everyday Jesus. Notice how the vegas ads keep getting more and more risque to get our attention? Notice how fashon gets crazier and crazier to keep us interested? (Skinny jeans = very very bad!) Well, the peopel in John wanted the vegas and skinny jeans Jesus -- a sign so amazing they would be sure it was him. But Jesus is classic fashion. It endures, it is stable, it does not persih. It is understated, but always present. This is the bread we buy in the grocery store each week. (Center for excellence in preaching has a good commentray on this -- Is there any coffee left? I'm workign till 12 and then going to the store, so let me know what we need while I am out.

  18. Julie beautiful illustration...

    Songbird, I forgot to tell you how much I like the blues riff... I wish it really was playing in the background right now.

    Well done.

  19. Wooh....Julie, that helps me too. Thanks.I'm going with different ways of seeing..the disciples were given a vision of glory on the mountain, but the greater glory, to be seen by all, was the cross. Dylan, bless her, and Rick Lord at World of Your Making have given me the necessary jolt. And one bedroom at least may be habitable by tonight (when its new owner returns from Scout camp, with 10 days worth of washing)
    So yes, please let's spice up the melon balls with a shot of something. And could you find some chocolate while you're out, please Julie dear!

  20. Yay for St. John's and the noteburning!

    I have a Word Doc. up on the computer with a title and scripture verses, and....a blank page beneath. Been saving that doc. for four days.

    Today I have a shower to go to at the church. Should be fun, but I must get this sermon written beforehand! Longer communion, shorter sermon...yes.

    Thank you for making the melon into those handly little balls for us.

    Coffee...honeybuns...other pastors in the room working away.

    I wish.

  21. Hey I am going to share all the congrats and good words with these people.

    Their spirits were really down when I came here. They will appreciate the attaboys.

    Maybe cheesehead you can use what the church as what they had done in their past as God isn't through with them and knows they are quite capable and faithful of doing great things for the kingdom through God. I don't know. Wasn't that what Jesus does with the bread and the wine.

    I like what our former lurker, novice Julie has to say.

    I wish I was grabbing those kind of honey buns too. sigh. Bob seemed to think he needed to get the car worked on this morning. I do just have one child this morning.

    And I wanted to thank Songbird for the great music this morning too.

    Prayers for the rest of you all too. So glad Kathryn you found some of what you needed.

    Singing owl and will smama is there any way we can help you guys other than spice up the watermelon balls and some chocolate?

  22. Dearest Songbird,

    As jokes go, that's really more funny-ironic than funny-haha. And the joke is on me too -- I had my sermon finished on Tuesday but I have no voice and so someone else is preaching tomorrow and I'm preaching his spot next week. Oh, the irony of it all.

    And if I grabbed anyone else's honey's buns, I apologize.

  23. I'm singin' the sermon-mojo-blues here too. A wedding and other distractions got in the way of my usual Friday sermon prep, so here I am. Ack!

    The good news is that I saw this coming. General Council (which only happens every three years in the UCCan) is starting a week from tomorrow in our fair city and it is busy, busy, busy for those of us involved in planning.

    So -- I chose the title for my sermon several weeks ago -- "The Shortest Sermon Ever."

    We have a baptism AND communion, so I need to keep the sermon under five minutes. It will be sweltering hot in the church and I like to keep summer worship to an hour or less.

    So, it will be a short sermon-ette, but it needs to pack a lot of punch.

    Ideas? Oh, I don't have any of those yet. Pass the honeybuns.

  24. Nap time is done, which means so is my early sermon work. I am about half way done which breaks the trend of not even started I had been doing the last few weeks.

    Thanks all for 'brunching' with me... I'll be back to party later.

  25. I'm here, I'm here! And I really have a sermon to write. Well, it's about 3/4 done actually. I'm just so darned happy to be one of the gals. I'm "preaching on the propers" as we say. HS manna story and NT bread of life. My sermon starts with "What brought you to church in the first place?" A little about food and Jesus (he knew food brings in the crowds) and then the bit about the crowd asking, "How do we get in on this?" And Jesus' answer: "Get to work with me. Make a commitment." And a little that K helped me with about how we can just show up every Sunday for the food or we can really "get to work".

  26. Marie, sounds great!

    I think it's a little early in the day for spiking anything.

    But I will take a Honeybun.

  27. Well, I have a version of a little something ready to print. I'm gonna sit on it for awhile, come back later and see if it has turned into a Clifford or not.

    In the meantime, some Thai noodles are calling my name...or maybe some leftover fajitas.

  28. Well, the once-a-month preaching associate is here...

    However as I mentioned in the Tuesday LL I am doing a combined sermon, litany read by members of the congregation, and play-doh debacle for our Agape Communion service. You would think since I'm not doing an actual sermon per se I would just be able to bang this thing out. You would be wrong.

    Why oh WHY is the divine miss m insisting on only a 25-minute nap?????

  29. BTW, since I'm constantly on the prowl for CafePress T-shirt suggestions, I'm thinking we need to do something with "sermon mojo" and "If you've got a dog, walk it proud."

  30. sermon done (don't forget the time difference,- it's 6.30 pm here)with alot of help from Dylan and Rick and a sudden inspiration to use a story I posted once about seeing things with God's eyes.I'll maybe post it on the St M's sermon site later on..Now have to write a responsive version of the Feeding of the 5000 for OpenHouse and sort out a powerpoint to go with it. Youngest son just back from, tents and sweaty t- shirts scattered liberally. I'm not sure it IS too early for strong drink here! Honey buns also v welcome!!

  31. reverendmother,
    they get like that. Katy does not take naps anymore, but does go to sleep at night right away.

    And really I have found short sermons sometimes the hardest, because you have to pack the punch and say what you have to say in a brief moment.

    Uh just what is the play-doh debacle?

    I think you have a good idea there for cafe press T-shirt suggestions.

    Marie it sounds really good. I may use that next week.

    And songbird it is not too early.

  32. RM, love the t-shirt ideas. How about whatever it was that Cheese and willsmama posted? "Anyone seen my mojo?" Cheese, teh Thai noodles sound better than teh tuna pasta thing I whipped up, but it wasn't bad. Kathryn, it's certainly not too early. Cosmo, please. Who's tending bar? Is there a gay man in the house?

  33. I'm at the office- a pre-Saturday night jam while I run bulletins, take care of other details, try and get the network computer to format a CD so I can back up...

    Thoughts: If I ever become an AP rather than SP, I will stipulate in the call that I never have to preach transfiguration...

    But for this Sunday- the story of David. I'm going with the juicy bits. Making not-very-veiled references about David and Jonathan, and ending up by talking about how God got over the commitment issues with Saul and learned that you can't pick and choose which qualities you love in someone- you either love them or you don't...

    Off to get to work... Thanks for the pick me up- Love blues and honeybuns...

  34. Actually Marie, Stacey usually tends bar for us. Do you realize if we actually drank what we virtually drink we would need a revgalblogpal 12 step program?

    Now THAT's a t-shirt.

    I am pulling down wallpaper border at my parents' house... how is that for a pitiful use of time on a gorgeous day AND my child is napping.

    Keep on sermoning... I'll catch up with you all later.

  35. Fabulous, then. Thanks Stacey! I'm all done. It morphed into a much better sermon, sans food references at the beginning, at least in the opening question. I'll let it marinate in the laptop for a while, then put a finishing polish and pracitice a bit. Yes, it's a good thing we don't really drink what we virtually drink. Cosmos at 1:30? I think not. But I'm not making any promises for later. I'm off to help K as we get ready for our week of camping.

  36. My name is peripatetic polar bear and I admit I am powerless over children's sermons.

    I hate them. hate them, hate them, hate them. I side with my preaching prof who said that he'll preach a children's sermon just as soon as we also make everyone over 70 come down to the front of the church for an old people's sermon.

    Why....why....why....why did I agree to supply the pulpit at a grouchy church where they're making me do a children's sermon and they want it to be lectionary based? I'm of two minds: a) steal blatantly from someone else, or b) steal blatantly from someone else. I'm thinking of pretending I didn't hear that part about lectionary and just going with one of the excellent suggestions made to me on my blog.

    And I suppose I should write the prayers out, too....

    Sigh. Note that I'm not whining about the sermon. That's because I'm recycling (it's good for the environment, you know). Ephesians, baby....speaking the truth in love...

  37. Hey, I am back from shopping with some chocolate. Had to do the back to school shopping with one of my girls, bought a few things for me too. Got to take the other one out later. Man was it crowded. How's everybody doing?
    Way to go Marie. Glad its taking shape, and can marinate.

    Listing straight, there's a lot of things you can get in that contract when you are the higher up, like I don't do bulletins, windows, clean offices, plunge toliets, fix broken things.

    Will smama has the mojo done gone again? Or are you meditating while stripping wall paper?

    And way to go Kathryn. Congrats. Good luck on the rest.

    How is Julie coming with hers?

    midlife rookie doing okay?

    Where's semfem stuck at the yard sale?

  38. So here is what I have accomplished -- grocery shopping, picking the first tomato from the garden, forgetting that you can't buy wine in NJ at the grocery stroe and giving up -- I still have a bottle and I can buy it on sunday! Sermon, well, it's rolling around and beginning to take shape. I set myself a 6:00 deadline, as I would really like to simply sit and enjoy the last night of my vacation.

    Children's sermon idea -- simon says -- then talk abtou how we have different parts of our bodies that all do different things, but all work together. We are like that -- we all like different things and do different things but when we do them all for God we are part of the work of Christians everywhere... (feel free to stael as needed!)

    Did someone say cosmos? How about lemoecello martinis? I digress. I brought back chocolate, Fig Newtons, and gummi fish - they say fish are brain food you know.

  39. Oh - I forgot -- t-shirt idea -- an invitation to the Saturday 11th hour preacher party. Or, "I survive (d) the 11th hour Preacher Party."

  40. ppb, could you pick up a loaf of bread? How about sharing a loaf of bread with the kids, breaking off pieces for them, and talking about how if we keep the loaf whole, there won't be enough for anyone. Sort of a "you can't have your cake and eat it,too," motif.
    Then you'll leave them with crumbs on the floor as their payment for making you do a children's sermon.

  41. I'm on in 40 minutes for the Saturday night "dress rehearsal service"--I'll let you know if they throw play-doh at me.

    Children's sermon--I'm going to bring in a knitted thing I'm working on (Ephesians) and talk about being knit together or something lame like that.

  42. Done (I think). Faith, faith. Walk in faith, write in faith, preach in faith... Actually once it is written, I usually enjoy preaching. Now I'm off to the church to practice - I'm a rookie you know- and see that everything is in place. We share a building with another congregation, so a Saturday check is always a good thing.

    I'm leaving some ice cold lemonade and tangy ginger snaps. Save some for me. The sanctuary will be hot.

  43. Good one, SB

    First, I don't think guest preachers (or regular ones) have to match children's sermon with lectionary.

    Second, speaking the truth in love. Get a kid volunteer and hand them a tube of toothpaste and a bowl. Tell them you are going to time the on how fast the toothpaste comes out. Go!

    Then after he/she is done tell them you are now going to time them on how fast they can get the toothpaste back in. Ready, Go!

    They'll quit... then you can talk about how easy it is to say thing and how hard it is to take them back. Immportant to speak of true things and with love because you can't take it back.

    Second nap over for The Boy, heading home and then to the office... will mojo meet me there?

  44. will smama, I did that once with a sorority!!!! (not as a member, but as the chappy brought in to negotiate a gossip fest!) I never would have thought of it for children's sermon, but it works. I'm kind of leaning toward the bread.....he.he. crumbs ont he ground--of course they coudl be from the communion.
    or not.

    will, I saw your mojo headed to the church. It's stuck behind one of those amish buggies right now, but will get there as soon as possible.

  45. (thanks for remembering me, revabi!)

    Whew. Yard sale done. We did well, and it was a perfect chance to spend more time with The Smaller Church (which I don't get to see as often as The Larger Church). Songbird, there may be something in that yard sale that will work for tomorrow...thanks for reminding me to think about that.

    However, that still means I have no notes, no outline, no sermon, no nothing, and it's nearly 5:30 on Saturday night here. Oh, I take that back, I have a few cryptic lines in a spreadsheet I made last week for these "bread of life" Sundays, so guess I'm going back to that.

    I think I'm focusing on the story of God sending manna to the Israelites--so I don't blow my wad with John's texts the next few weeks. Hoping to pull in stuff about "manna living" from Dan Erlander's book Manna and Mercy. And, oops, I started a big food drive last Sunday and forgot to buy canned goods to bring in order to walk the walk. Shoot.

    So now, I could use a pizza, a beer, and a gentle but firm reminder to stop playing with my brand new cell phone to procrastinate!

    Everyone else--good luck with the mojo! I'm off to find my dog.

  46. I have finally arrived! Cosmos coming right up.

    So, I returned from camp to find a number of minor crises awaiting several hours of my attention. Now I need to prepare for tomorrow's huge extravaganza of a service: combined service instead of two separate services, communion, baptism, and potluck. I'm going to do it camp style, I think - read part of Acts 2 and riff on community.

  47. I do not riff, by the way. This could be interesting/disastrous. But frankly, I'm exhausted, and anything I could write now would utterly suck anyway.

  48. Many's the time, Stacey, my family has heard me threaten to riff on something or other, but they will tell you I always end up writing something eventually...welcome back!

    semfem, hang in there!

  49. And semfem, don't you think there's something in the comparison between hungering in the wilderness and being able to pop out to the grocery store to get something for the food drive? We so often want to associate with the Israelites, but who needs the food now?
    (Or something like that.)
    Is this a busman's holiday, or what?

  50. Time for a real glass of wine! Thanks for the help and support. See you next week.

    I'm making pesto, and it will be ready in 20 minutes. i'll toss some over pasta and leave it in the fridge for those who need supper or a snack.

  51. This is not merely a threat. Seriously, can't write a word. I have some general ideas about tying together camp, the sacraments, and church picnics, so I'm just going to go with it. I'm going to pop in a movie and then get to bed early.

  52. Please report back tomorrow and let us know how it goes!

  53. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  54. Yum, Pesto! We just had some on pizza. Anyone want a piece?

  55. The rookie is back. Sermon practiced- transitions weak, but I'll work that out early tomorrow. Coffee pot parts found, or to be more accurate, scavenged from other pots.

    Thanks so much to all of you for the warm welcome and encouragement. Stacey, since I'm not driving anymore tonight, I'll take a nice glass of wine please. Then I'll talk Gifted & Talented into grilling something to go with it.

  56. The in-laws are at my home and have chased me and the dog (the real dog, not the sermon - but that too) over to the office.

    Early start for me... any chance I get this thing done before the eyelids start to droop.

    PPB, thanks for reminding me where to look for mojo... it got stuck behind that durn thing going over the mountain so it couldn't pass.

    Should be here any moment soon I hope.

  57. Good for you, mid-life rookie!
    will smama, we're pulling for your mojo to find its way home.

  58. Well, I'm home from my Tex Mex feast, complete with jumbo Margarita, so my sermon is as good as done...'cause I ain't in any shape to work on it anymore tonight.

    Who's drinking with me?

  59. Will smama, good luck, hope the mojo shows up soon. Perhaps it has seen mine. My sermon is only 5 minutes long!!!! And K assures me that I'm not talking too fast. Stacey, girl, mix me a BIG ol' cosmo and somebody think of people doing risky things for sermon illustrations. I only need about 5 more minutes. Dayum!

  60. New strategy- I brought home the laptop. Only the laptop. No cords. When the battery dies, the sermon needs to be done. So only a petit cosmo for me. Did someone bring pie? I made a chocolate cream with meringue... there's plenty to share.
    Focus. Focus....

  61. Mmmm, chocolate pie..., wait, focus, focus... 5 more minutes. Damn. This thing was so nicely crafted.

  62. Sue talked about the shortest sermon may be an urban legend but I once heard about a pastor who said" Are you right with God? Why not? And sat down.

    I'm doing children's sermon about different kinds of bread. Much easier than what you all are doing.

  63. Ooh Cheesehead, that texmex sounded like fun... and Marie your posts are EXACTLY why I don't drink on Saturdays anymore.

    I don't want to scare it off, but I think at least mo is here... can jo be too far behind?

    Off to look...

  64. New procrastination technique: I just stopped everything to make my chair higher.

  65. The drinking didn't start until AFTER I discovered I was 5 minutes short. But I think I'm managing. I just didn't want to be managing at 9:30 pm on Saturday. It's all a learning experience, right? Right? Glad mo has arrived. Now, about that chocolate pie...

  66. Songbird--I'd love a piece of that pesto pizza, yum! Thanks!

    Things are moving slowly here, but they are moving. I took a quick nap which helped my mood a lot. I've got a list of things to try and weave into a sermon.

    Now, with the actual crafting. Here I go!

  67. Did I see Molly post a little while ago? Was that Songbird's Molly?

    Was she walking proud?

  68. Lol, LS.

    I am mentioning evangelism and stewardship in the same sermon to a Presbyterian congregation... maybe I have been drinking.

  69. All right, the chair adjustment procrastination is just the saddest thing I've ever heard.

    Listing Straight, I have done the same thing--sort of a 21st century Beat the Clock.

    And Marie, I think a well-crafted five-minute sermon is a thing of beauty. Put down the keyboard and walk slowly away...

  70. I am always walking proud. Preach it, sisters! Wroo wroo!!

  71. Molly, I don't think you are allowed to use Papa Bear's laptop!

  72. Alright, I am with reverend mother on this marie. put down the keyboard and walk slowly away...
    Back from kid's pool party. Forgot to get something for the dinner tomorrow after church. So ran by Wal Mart.

    We got a evening wedding at the church. Have to go over in a little while to meet some other members and try to get things ready for tomorrow.

    I have done the chair adjustment thing too, it works.

    How in the world are you mentioning evangelism and stewardship to a Presb. church? will smama?

  73. The way I understand it as long as Molly is not putting on make up, drinking coffee, or petting the cat she is laptop eligible.

    RM, always wise... sadly I may have to lower the seat now. I may have gone too high.

    revabi, I am taking my job by the cahones and the title of my sermon is 'Act Your Age' - it is about being adults in our faith which includes getting serious about getting educated (Christian Education), evangelism and stewardship. I even mention the word 'money'.

    I am blaming it all on mojo.

  74. Now I just need an ending besides, "Well, it was a good five years here... thanks for the memories.

  75. WS- You are going to post the sermon, aren't you?

  76. "Arrr! This chair be high, says I."

    ...Any Simpsons fans out there?

    [crickets chirping]

  77. will smama, is there some sort of local festival taking place that will diminish your attendance tomorrow?
    Otherwise, you are one brave RevGal, and I applaud you.
    How about triangulating with your listeners against the theme and admitting this is hard for all of us and ending with a prayer?

  78. Regarding "Act Your Age": so I'm reading the scripture tonight at the service and I get to all that "grow up" stuff and I think to myself, "Maybe this wasn't the right time to have the congregation play with play-doh.


    And I'm off to bed.

  79. Hey Molly!
    Thanks for the encouraging words, uh, wroofs.
    Tell your Songbird that Little Kitty OFTEN uses the laptop. For sleeping, though. She likes the spring-loaded mattress.

  80. You go, will smama!!! I'm almost done. Just one small illustration. It won't be much longer, but it's a good story about a good guy. And Molly, don't forget that you can't take the laptop into the bathroom either. Oh, and for your ending, will smama, I suggest, "The Middle East, WTF"?

  81. Speaking of the Simpsons, I'm just getting ready to compare Mr. Burns' never recognizing Homer with Saul not recognizing his musician David after Goliath is hit...

  82. LS - In a word, 'No'.

    RM - No crickets here, I got it.

    SB - Good call, I use the pronoun 'we' throughout but it wouldn't hurt to take more ownership in it than that.

    Play d'oh - tee, hee, hee

    Marie - tempting... very tempting.

  83. Marie, LOL!
    listing straight, that would work with my family, but I wonder if anyone else in my church would get it? That makes me sad. It is, however, a great analogy.

  84. What I want, will smama, is for one of your departing parishioners to shake your hand, look you right in the eye and say, "Stewardship, WTF?"

  85. Songbird- there are a few kids who will get it (we challenge eachother regularly). And adults who know that I love the Simpsons... So who knows what I will think tomorrow, but I'm going to keep it in for now...

    And I think that there are more people who watch it than admit it...

  86. Faith, evangelism, stewardship, money?

    Holy crap, will smama are you trying to get run out of town?

    That's at least a month's worth of sermons at St Stoic.

    Be gentle on them...

  87. Y'all should all become Episcopalians. They CAN'T run you off.

  88. Late, late, late.... but here I am. I'm finished and I don't know why but I'm using 2 Sam passage about David and Nathan. Basic idea is that we judge without considering our own sin, complicity and similarity to the one we condemn. David got all puffed up about the little ewe lamb (the OT people are Southerners who put "little" before most words, you know, little...lamb is redundant)and said, " As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die". Of course, David is the one who killed Uraiah and then grabbed Bathseba the widow woman. Seems like it's very fashionable for Christians to point fingers at others without realizing that we are BIG FLUFFY STINKERS too. Then, on to the Eucharist.

    PPB, I've gotten so I detest children's sermons too. I do them when we have children present and sometimes do them for the congregation when no children are present. Their favorite was when I walked down the aisle to the big church doors, opened the doors and threw out a large black rubber rat. However, it's late and that's another story......

    Songbird, thanks for the snacks.

    God bless everyone of us brave enough to stand before God's people and preach the Word.

  89. Oh goodness, St. Cass makes it sound all serious. But thanks. Can't wait to hear the rat story.

  90. Anybody need a last cup before we unplug the coffeemaker?

  91. Actually, I think I'm good. Thanks SB.

    Good to see you St. Cass.

    Good luck all, I will check in on you in the morning... you know before I walk the dog.

  92. I'm all set. Thanks everyone. Good luck to all.

  93. I sure wish we could actually hear each other's sermons after we talk about them here. Marie, I love that idea and will promptly steal it.

    And PUT THE TOOTHPASTE BACK?! GREAT. That is better than the feathers-out-of-the-pillow illustration for the same point. Not many have feather pillows anymore, but everybody has toothpaste! Thanks, willsmama. Don't know when I'll use that one, but I will one of these dry Sundays. And it will not be just for the kids.

    The shower was long. Then I received a couple of critical phone calls. But my blank page turned into a sermon on repentence, so I'm headed for bed now.

    I did have some tiny pecan pies left from the shower. Here's the rest of the can of Reddi Whip too. Anyone still working in the room can finish 'em off.

    Be blessed and be a blessing tomorrow!

  94. G'night everyone. I too wish we could hear each other's work.

    Be well, everyone. I'm in awe of all the different ways the gospel will be proclaimed.

    And WS, I hope you rock that sermon, and tell us how you did it! (I'm not worthy!)

  95. I'm still working. *sigh*
    Off to take a shower now and think about my completed outline. At least I've got something to stumble along with.
    Wish me luck!

  96. Don't you just LOVE exegetical breakthroughs that happen at 4:30 on Sunday morning?!

    I'm done. It's rough. I'm tired. But I'm done. And boy, do I think I have a dog to walk at the end of this one.

    Blessed preaching, all.

  97. Woke at 3:30 with just the right transitions and slight rearrangement of the content. Now it feels right. St. Cass I'm going down the same road with Psalm 51 referencing David and Nathan's interchange. Whether the Psalm was written by, about or just later referenced to David, he knew 3 things
    1. He was in deep need of God's forgiveness. We tend to forget that.
    2. God is loving and merciful, and creates newness in us when we ask for and accept forgiveness.
    3. God expects more than empty ritual and lip service.
    What we know now is through Jesus Christ, we are forgiven - moving into communion liturgy.

    Thanks for the opportunity for another quick run through in my head. Now back to bed for an hour.

  98. semfem - sometimes I do some of my best thinking that early in the morning.
    mid-life rookie - that looks great.

    Hope the coffee for you both is extra strong this morning and there is a Sunday Afternoon clergy-nap in your future.

    I realize that this traditional post is very east coast, Sunday morning biased so maybe I'll start putting it up the night before (the afternoon before? - I think it's Monday already for Kathryn - sh, don't tell us what happens).

    Either way, I hope you all have a great morning and that the Word of God is proclaimed for the people of God.

    Have fun today and remember:
    1) Let it go... the Holy Spirit has got your back.

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

  99. Well, I'm still okay with the sermon, but I'm a little nervous about the whole leading the service thing. I'm trying to breathe, breathe, breathe. Blessings on all of us, especially WS and St. Cass.

  100. Kathryn still has an afternoon service to do, so I'm sure she'll appreciate our prayers.
    Thinking of all of you this morning. I'll be visiting a neighboring church to hear the student I am mentoring. She has done some preaching before, but it will be my first time observing her. She has my prayers, too.
    Blessings to all!

  101. My prayers for east coast-west coast-inbetween. Prayers for those already done from our across the seas friends. Prayers for those who also preach this afternoon. Prayers for those who are first timer preaching and/or leading. Holy Spirit be at work through us.

    And walk your dog proud.

  102. Well, I can now say wholeheartedly, TGISA! (And West Coasters and afternoon preachers, I know you're not far behind! You can do it!)

    will smama--hear, hear for early morning breakthroughs. Except I hadn't slept yet so it was still a late night breakthrough! That nap is going to look good any minute now--as soon as I come down from the adrenaline high.

    My other breakthrough today? I followed my gut instinct after preaching at The Smaller Church and dropped a full page and half at The Larger Church, and ad libbed way more than usual (I'm still very much a manuscript kind of girl).

    I just realized during that first service that I was not walking a dog. I had mistaken a wild Australian dingo for a dog and it was dragging me along as it tore wildly around the church.

  103. Wandering through... picking up plates and cups, throwing away napkins, doing dishes... Mmmmm.... look at this delightful little pecan pie hiding in the corner... See y'all next week!

  104. Did I fail to mention that our VBS starts tonight... AND to top it off I came back from dropping the Big Three on my congregation (Christian Education, evangelism, stewardship) to find my Personnel review waiting in my box.

    47 days until the beach...

    Now, take a nap!

  105. If anyone takes a peek at these comments now, it is Sunday night. What a long day, but a good one. I had a very brief outline, but I find that I do my best preaching that way. I hoope the day comes when I can peach without notes at all...probably won't ever happen.

    Anyway, the attendance was quite small. Many out of town--but a returning soldier (back from Iraq) shocke us all by walking into church. And the presence of God during the music, the sermon, and the communion, was powerful I love those days when you know people are with you!

    Then I had a lunch that went well, and then a long board meeting that could have been tedious, since we were going through new bylasw line by line. But we laughed and had fun in spite of ourselves.

    No nap for me today. I'm whipped. Good night! I hope all went well for each of you.

    And I wanna see that sermon too, WS.


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