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Saturday, September 09, 2006

11th Hour Preacher Party

While you're all partying away in here and enjoying each other's splendid company, I'll be heading off for that most thrilling of all events: Church Clean-up Day! So, in honor of all the physical cleaning that will be going on in my little church, I invite you to brush the cobwebs from your brains, blow the dust off of some of those old ideas you'd filed away and forgotten, toss out the clutter, and polish up those words until they shine.

I've brewed the coffee as usual, on the strong side. I was in the mood for quiche, so there's one on the counter if you like spinach and mushroom. Anyone bring a little something sweet? I will need chocolate when I return...

...and I will return, for I will still have a sermon to write after the great church scrub-down. Let's keep the coffee and the inspiration flowing! Blessings on your preparation.


  1. I'll bring a fruit tray and a bouquet of zinnias. I'll listen to your sermon ideas.

  2. Huh, this party looks a little different first thing in the morning. Less to clean up for one.

    As soon as I am done here I am going to hunt down the person who thought it was a good idea to skip the normal sermon format this Sunday and instead do a skit that attempts to be funny, theological and poignant... oh yeah, and mention all of the kids who are on our rolls. Did I mention our Executive Presbyter (head regional guy) will be here?

    stupid, stupid, stupid.

  3. Lest anyone think I am berating a parishioner - I am the one who thought the skit would be a good idea and I am the one writing it right now instead of a sermon... although the skit interrupts the sermon so I will have to come up with something to interrupt I guess.

  4. Remember the insightful paragraph I wrote for a comment on Tuesday Lectionary Leanings? That's all I've got.
    And it's a beautiful day!
    Where's that coffee?

  5. For the second week in a row, I have a draft by Saturday morning. It helps to have a commitment I expect will take most of the day. I'll still have plenty to do, though. I volunteered to help with youth Sunday School and a youth gathering tomorrow, and both still need a lot of work. Oh yeah, I also have to come up with a children's story. Do any of you have a good idea for tithing that's actually appropriate for kids?

    By the way, help yourself to some Wilbur buds -- milk and dark chocolate. They're like Hershey kisses, but Wilbur Chocolate is a local company (okay, Hershey is local for me too, but it's so much more well known). Personally, I like the buds better.

  6. I'm feelinsg less mojorific that I was last week. I have to find some, an soo, though, because I have a wedding, which is going to take up a big chunk of today.

    I'm glad the coffee is strong, though, and I love quiche!

    Now, I'm off to find that wonderful paragraph from Songbird and possibly steal it...shhh...don't tell her!

  7. Oh--I also can't spell for crap today!

  8. Oh man you sound like me Will Smama. I quit having creative ideas come to fruition for that very reason. Isn't that sad. I still have the creative ideas, I just don't follow through, except sometimes.

    Well, I have a partial sermon, and outline for the rest. I have had too many interruptions and too much other stuff to let the river flow though. Hopefully some of that will happen today.

    I do have some phone calls to make, yuck. I have to go over this morning to meet and greet the District Executive Committee of the United Methodist Women who are meeting at our church this morning. I have 45 minutes before showdown, I'd rather clean the church, I think. And this afternoon the kids have a play date.(More about that later.)

    So I am having some coffee and buds, they sound delicious! Everybody lets now oom together and some one please ring the chimes forus. May the mojo begin.

  9. WS- It is going to be brilliant, and head regional guy is going to have at least a small glimpse of one of the ways in which you are a great pastor.

    Now stop arguing with me and enjoy your day.

  10. I'm trying something new today--preaching from an outline instead of a manuscript. This is in aid of being "more animated" and "getting out from behind the pulpit."

    Got some hard-core reviews from my board this week. Can you tell?

    I've preached from an outline before (once or twice) and wasn't too thrilled, but that may have been because I wasn't used to it.

    My plan is to create the outline with an opening sentence for each section, have a closing/transition sentence, and an image or concept for each section, to help keep me on track.

    Luckily, I have a good text--the story of Esther (part 1, wherein she becomes Queen and Haman hatches his dastadly plot). I'll be talking about taking a stand, being strong and brave enough to take advantage of our situation to do what is right even when we are terrified--and of asking God for help in that situation, as Esther and Mordecai do (by fasting).

    So, any suggestions on preaching from an outline?

    Oh, and I brought some oatmeal cake with blueberries...the last of the blueberries, I'm afraid.

  11. Well, blogger appears to have eaten my previous comment, so I'll condense...

    Any suggestions for preaching from an outline instead of a manuscript? I'm thinking about making the change, but I want to try it a few times first to be sure I'm comfortable with it, and my decision to change (or not) isn't because I'm not comfortable with outline preaching.


  12. Oooops.

    Sorry about that! Impatience is my besetting sin!

  13. I will be back! Gotta go do an outdoor wedding - forecast is calling for t-storms & rain! Rehearsal was interesting: Have you ever had to go through police road-blocks and explain that you are a pastor and you HAVE to be let through because of pastoral responsibilities????? I can now add that to my resume!

    Praise God they got the fugitive without any more bloodshed! My outdoor wedding curse continues ...

    Any ideas for a "Vital Worship Sermon?" Or the James passage? I have to write two different sermons for two different services (as usual).

    See you in a few ... hours!

  14. Well, I have a pretty good idea of where I am going with the sermon and sort of an outline. But I also have a soccer game, a shopping trip, some necessary cleaning, a college football game to at least check on every now and then - oh, and a nap - on my Saturday agenda. And two 3-year-olds who may have a different agenda. So why didn't I make myself get this done earlier in the week???

    Will smama, go for it! Those creative ideas can be daunting to follow through on, but we believe in you! Keep us updated.

    Hmmm, I'm not a coffee drinker. Anyone know where the tea bags are?

  15. rainbow pastor - The key for me is to buy into the outline wholesale. If I write an illustration down I will be tempted to look down while I am telling it and then it gets confusing.

    Also, don't panic. 5 seconds of silence while you gather your thoughts is far better than coming to the end and realizing you used your powerful ending illustration as filler earlier when you lost your place.

  16. Oh yes, and here is a skit update.

    I have conned my father into playing the role of God because who would be more convincing than a 70 year old with a Jewish/Brooklyn accent?

    It will be voice only as I fear the suspenders that could snap at any time and the walker might detract from the deity illusion I am attempting to create

    Please pass the muffins

  17. Well, have my sermon in hand, focusing on detours, God's detours in our lives. It follows Mark's geography. I use the examples of John Wesley and not really whole-heartedly wanting to go Aldersgate meeting that fateful night, to Martin Luther who was detoured by a storm and mega-lightening show and went on to become a monk, to John Calvin who was happily on his way to Strassburg when a local war detoured him to Geneva where he was only going to spend one night. Hah, thought God, enjoy the extended stay!!!! I even included a bit about Albert Anker the Swiss precursor to Norman Rockwell who was studying theology but found his calling in painting and had to convince his Dad that painting was nealy as theological as being a minister.
    The quiche for lunch sounds good.
    Now if I could just figure out my newsletter article for October.Sigh.
    Isn't it amazing how much longer it takes to put together a skit and liturgy that differs from the norm? But, it's good for folks to do something out of the ordinary, as it is for us. We interviewed the whale that swallowed Jonah last Spring - like on a talk show. What a stitch! Folks really enjoyed the message sprinkled with humor.
    The best to you all as you mosey through the day.

  18. first there's this volleyball tournament that I get to go to, then the sermon.

    however, no lectionary for me. I'm preaching matt 4 "follow me and I will make you fish for people."

    my disjointed notes on a bright pink page are:

    1) Bobby Vinton's "Baby baby don't get hooked on me" and the story of how it was written -- as a joke

    2) Christians are like catch and release fish. first we're caught then we're let go to grow more

    3) fishers without a wet hook aren't really fishers. christians who don't make disciples aren't really christians.

    4) in a poll by (Barna? Gallup? can't remember) the number one reason given by people who don't go to church for not going to church: no one ever invited me

    5) if fishing is more fun when you work to land the big one, why do christians give up so fast? have you even asked anyone to come to church with you. only 40% of those who say they are christians are in church regularly that leaves 60% who already claim to be christian. that's not about conversion that's about invitation/hospitality.

    I think I can get up and ramble with that. Hopefully there will be coherence before Sunday morning. wonder what will stay and what will go?

    maybe something will happen at volleyball that will preach, maybe ...

  19. will smama, your description of your dad was LOL funny!

    Stop distracting me!!!

  20. Preacher Mom, I have a box of Constant Comment right here. Hope that suits you.

    Outline, huh?

    Maybe this is the week for it. Suppose I were to string together two or three stories about putting your actions where your thoughts or your mouth have previously been the only involved parties, followed by a cheer for the congregation for raising the money for the new hymnals and an exhortation to put our prayers and our practical support behind the new homeless ministry with which we are building a relationship?

  21. SB - What if you told those three stories and left them hanging there - no conclusion done by you - but rather at the end of the third one you just invite the woman who is going to talk about the homeless ministry to come forward.

    And Cheesehead - you have NO idea the stories I could tell.

  22. That would have been a great idea if the bulletins weren't already done.

    cheesehead, isn't that what we're here for?

    Whoops, no, there's also exhortation. I exhort thee to write!! You can do it!!!

  23. rainbow pastor, I try to think of an emotion conected each part of the outline. This helps me remember what I am trying to communicate. If I can remember the emotion, I can remeber what I am trying to say.

  24. Well, if last week was a comfy blanket message of welcome, this week is a pebble in the shoe.

    I'm basically asking my peeps to be "spit and waxy fingers"--to get in there and encounter those whose voices have been silenced (spit) and to be release to those who can no longer hear the gospel because of the competing messages of discouragement and failure (waxy fingers) (Mark 7: 24-37)

    Don't you all wish you were going to be me tomorrow? (/sarcasm)

    And yes, I'm grateful for the laughs and the exhortations!

  25. Boy, I go over to the church for a little bit, meet the UMW executive committee, come back and all kinds of things have happened or been said.

    WS I love the description of your father. But hey if they saw them maybe they would think of the movie Oh God, and George Burns. Does he smoke a cigar?

    Rainbow, I can't help on outline preaching never did it, never will.
    Have done it manuscriptless at times, is that naked in the pulpit?

    But, I did preach at a contemporary service with my notes written on cards, that had the main thoughts in bold. It really turned out well, and it was less like reading. I was standing out in front with no pulpit, and would walk around as well. You might try that. I hate committees who think they know how to preach or how it is suppose to be done and then think they can tell the preacher. My rant. On the other hand, Barna is showing that that is the preaching style that is favored right now and is drawing them in.

    Tough, I just make sure I have good eye contact.

  26. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I'm going for a main thought, with subsidiary thoughts below it to get me moving. An illustration or two here and there, just as a title (such as "Babylon's Next Top Model").

    If this were the usual committee/board, I wouldn't be so bothered. But one of them is a deacon and the other was a student pastor and is practiced in public speaking due to his profession. They do have some knowledge. I could wish it had been a bit more loving, though...

    Well, I have something basic down, will come back to it later--after errands, lunch, and a meeting. Fundraiser for our office tonight!

  27. Okay, sorry RP. What's the student pastor doing on that committee board? Maybe he can meet with you and help you a little bit if thats his profession.

    cheesehead, I don't wish I could be you, but I wish I could hear you tomorrow. I love your images.

    Here is my prob. I am not lectionary yet. I am finishing the Ephesians series, with this week and next. This week I am preaching on the passage that nobody likes expect the fundy side, of 5:21-33 I had this brillant idea back when I planned them to preach on respect in relationships. So now I am facing the music. When I started writing this, I saw this acrostic in my mind, and that I have a paragraph for each letter R. E. S. P. E. C. T. I have R written. Then I have had all the interruptions, and can't seem to get the others to come out decently. Help any ideas?

  28. Skit is done-'ish'. I am off to meet with the family of a funeral I am doing on Monday and then off to rehearse with my fathah.

    Abi - sorry I can't be more help, but my creativity well is just about dry.

    I'll be back when the chips and homemade salsa breaks out.

    Good luck all!

  29. Stopping by to chuckle over Songbird's offer of "Constant Comment." Was that intentional?

    Given how long these threads get, that should be the official tea of the 11th Hour Preacher Party.

    I'll stop by next week with my off-lectionary self...

  30. not preaching but sharing tomorrow - in another church - in Swedish and scared stiff. I can't rememeber the words ... this would be so easy in English

    why God why?

    I need chocolate!

  31. Praying for you Lorna...! Did you find that chocolate?

    Well, it's 7.09pm here and I'm just about to get started on James sermon for tomorrow evening - with as yet pretty much no idea where I'm gonna go with it... better put the kettle on!

  32. Constant Comment would be great - and appropriate.

    Think I could skip out on my own service tomorrow and drop in on some of yours?

    Add to my day's agenda: find a last minute sitter so I can take Rosemary to Urgent Care about a strange painful rash above her eye. Is it poison ivy or is it shingles? Since it seems to be anybody's guess at this stage, we are treating for both. Still hope to get the ball game and the nap in.

    Homemade salsa?! Count me in!

  33. Preacher Mom, I don't know how you do it!
    Lorna, just keep it simple and you will be fine, I'm sure. God may not help you remember the Swedish, but the Holy Spirit will inform the Swedish you remember.

  34. Ah, another Saturday preaching party with the RGBP. I love it! And I'm loving all the ideas and thoughts that are here. You are all so gracious and wise and skilled that half the time I despair of even coming close, and the other half of the time I think "this is what I could be someday!"

    I'm also going with the "Ephphatha" text this week, but haven't gotten going yet. I slept in (heavenly after an intense week) and then returned a bunch of phone calls (still have a few more to make).

    I'm definitely pondering the "spit and waxy fingers" image Cheesehead brought up...and also how being human means a need to be opened. Even Jesus needed to be opened, and God did it through someone on the lowest end of the social scale--the Syrophonecian woman. Hmm. I'm envisioning the faith as a family tree, where each little branch opens up to create more.

    (Oh, I've also got a bunch of Masonic Lodge people coming to church and we need to do something about 9/11 in the prayers. Hmm.)

    net: I had to go through some of those roadblocks too--a total of six on Tuesday! Fortunately I didn't have to talk the troopers into letting me past based on my pastoral responsibilities. I concur with you: thanks be to God for letting the situation end without more bloodshed.

  35. Lorna hope it goes well tomorrow.

    Preacher Mom hope little one is okay.

    Acrostic for RESPECT
    R =reverence
    p =praying

    And no I am not doing Aretha's version of RESPECT
    Thanks for hanging with me through the cloudy thoughts of my brain.

  36. Oh, Abi, great words! But make them all nouns, or all the English majors will suffer!!

    (A message from P.O.E.M., the Professional Organization of English Majors.)

  37. It's so great to come back after hours of cleaning and see you all!

    What was it that Jesus said? "If you love me, clean my toilets," right? I swear that must be it, and behold, that is what I have been doing. I even get grossed out by cleaning my own toilet.

    Now to get to that sermon...I have nada. So, I'm searching your comments for something that makes that inspiration strike.

    Is it time for the chips and homemade salsa yet?

  38. Songbird, thanks for the reminder about making them nouns. I really work on my grammar, but sometimes forget when typing away.

    I appreciate the help anytime.

    And thanks for the affirmation.

    And Stacey, yes I think Jesus says something like that. Steve Sjogren believes he did. Just think they go around cleaning toliets and leaving a card with the name of the church and a sentance like we cleaned this toliet to show you Jesus loves you.

    Hope the sermon writing goes well.

  39. And thanks for a little Garrison Keillor laughter this evening.

    Maybe that is what I am missing an English Major in my heart.

  40. Stacey, as long as I don't have to clean Jesus' sheep's toilets...

  41. This is the first blog I've ever gone to and it looks like I've found the right place first try. A Saturday sermon party is a wonderful place to be.

    I've been using outlines or notecards ever since I accidently came out of the pulpit last year on Pentecost. My Board and pastoral relations committee tell me most people like my "preaching by walking around"

    I think I do it the hard way though. I start by writing the full manuscript, then reduce it to outline form on a 1/2 of paper. I keep that in the Bible in my left hand so when my train of thought is interrupted by a parishioner's response to something I've said I can look in the Bible "for inspiration." And yes, my folks do respond to me quite often for which I am grateful - it helps keep the energy going.

    I'm looking at how we live with apparent contradictions - James' "don't discriminate" versus Jesus in Mark refusing the heal the syrophonecian woman's child. 9/11 is also the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's first non-violent civil disobedience. . . At least that's where I think I'm going. Between Notre Dame football and Dinah the lovebird trying to eat my books and notes I'm pretty thoroughly distracted.

    Rev Maria

  42. Rev Maria, welcome! I struggle with coming out of the pulpit. I'm quite short, and I worry about whether people can see me and hear me when I am walking around at "street level," so to speak. I would like to be less tied to a manuscript, but I can honestly think of only one time I really, truly put it down. It was the Sunday after Hurricane Katrina, and I had done nothing all week but think and write about what became my sermon, so knowing the material well would seem to be the key.
    I'm afraid with an outline I'll feel like I did when I couldn't remember the periodic chart of elements and had a quiz to take!

  43. Rev. Maria, welcome! This is my favourite place to be on a Saturday when I have a sermon to organize.

    I think the last time I did an outline sermon, I did it your way--write it all out and then cut it back to an outline. That's the way one of my preaching profs suggested as a way to get from manuscript to outline. Each week, he said, put a little less into the "outline" until it really is just an outline.

    My fear is, like Songbird, that I will get out there in the middle of the floor and not have a clue what I wanted to say next.

    Well, I got our planning meeting planned (sounds like an oxymoron) and some time before I have to leave for the fundraiser... Now I'm contemplating whether I want to go for a full-bore outline or if I should ease into it as my prof suggested.

    Isn't it time for salsa and chips?

  44. Thanks for the welcome! I'm short too, and the pulpit in my church was built for a 6'3 man so my folks were mostly getting a talking head (I'm too clumsy to stand on a box) So they can see me better walking around. And the notes in my bible really help alot. I don't always need them but when I do it's because my mind just went completely blank! I'm scared every Sunday And some weeks I'm so worried about forgetting that I use a podium at "street level" and only wander a short distance from the manuscript.

    I've only been out of seminary 3 years, so I figure I have lots of time to get more comfortable with leaving my manuscript entirely behind.

    I have some salsa - who has the chips? (OK - the bird is going back in her cage now - I NEED that page of the Bible!)
    Rev Maria

  45. Sermon, sermon, is it Sunday tomorrow???
    coffee, nah I drinking red wine ( it is 10:40pm here)
    ah well
    and I had the bright idea of straying away from the lectionary!!!
    More wine or more prayer???

  46. rev. maria welcome. Your salsa is great. I have brought spicy and sweet - the latter has my husband's secret ingredient in it (sssh, it's peaches).

    I am off to run a couple of errands.

    Keep mojo'ing friends!

  47. Well, I have something together, somewhere between a manuscript and a sermon. I did write out a closing paragraph so I don't just falter to an end.

    Just thought of a story about that, but it's too long for a comment box, go see it on my blog here. Just give me a minute to post it...

    Ummm, great salsa!

  48. Mmmm...multiple varieties of salsa! I've brought a bag of chips and some homemade guacamole. Anyone feel like we should be having margaritas?

    Real Live Preacher has a dramatized version of the story of the Syrophoenician woman that has been my initial inspiration, and I'm taking a narrative approach. However, I'm having fleeting thoughts of just giving the children's sermon and then calling it a day. The subject of the children's sermon? My dog. ("Even the dogs..." and talking about treating people with as much love was we give to our pets.)She's entertaining enough to take up 15 minutes, I'm sure of it.

  49. Wroo-wroo!! I want to be the sermon tomorrow, too!!

  50. Sorry, Molly. We've got to dedicate those hymnals, which is going to take up a lot of space, and we've got a 6-10 minute Mission Moment, too.
    Hey, doesn't that mean I don't need much of a sermon at all?
    (Because that's what I have at the moment.)

  51. Actually, just writing all that gave me an idea. I'll be back when it's fleshed out...
    Meanwhile, is it time for ice cream? Because we have Ben and Jerry's in the freezer.

  52. Responding to Rainbow Pastor:
    I've been preaching from a carefully typed full manuscript for 10 years. On July 2nd, I preached from a few notes scribbled on a half sheet of paper and my congregations went nuts. They felt like I was really talking to them, instead of giving them something out of the textbook. I haven't gone back to the manuscript since.
    I think it was the 3rd week when I woke up Sunday morning in a state of panic. I had all kinds of ideas piled on top of each other in my brain, but there was no outline. And through the Holy Spirit - at least that's the only way I can understand it - I heard the question "if you had to preach this text right now, this minute, what would you say?" In 5 minutes I had an outline.
    What this forces me to do is find the focus of the sermon before I do anything else. Then all I have to do is chart a course from the text to the focal point. Before I tended to start out with great stories about what a crazy world we live in, and then talk about the text, and try to get to a point before I got to the end of Page 6.
    It doesn't always come out brilliantly. In fact, this week promises to come up truly lame if I don't get my head wrapped around something soon. But what my parishioners told me was that they would put up with lame if it was real. And real means eye contact, not always having the right word, and talking about what's going on in the community's life instead of some wonderful illustration about a New York City cab driver (my town has 2 traffic lights, one of which is set on "blink.")
    Yes, it's scary. Yes, it feels like skydiving without a parachute at first. But let the congregation's feedback inspire you. And my rule for the length of the outline is that it has to fit on one side of a half-sheet of letter-sized paper. More than that I'm creating a manuscript.
    Take a deep breath and dare to fly.

  53. Yes! Lauren is relating my experience with my congregation as well!

    The sermons I'm absolutely certain are truly lame are almost always the ones that result in letters and phone calls about how I was speaking just to that person. Most Sunday mornings the sermon doesn't really come together in words until about 4 am on Sunday -although I will have spent all week reading and studying and scribbling notes to self.

    And - although I do sometimes fear to walk away from the podium because I feel ill-prepared, I must admit that those sermons are rarely the ones that get responses of any kind from the congregation.

    Thanks, Lauren, for your empowering words.

    Rev Maria

  54. I am back from the kids' play date with some kids down the road. Fed them and then off to sleep,hopefully.

    Now I am ready to close my eyes. But I have a little tightening to do.

    Where is the chocolate? And welcome rev marie.

  55. but please tell me how to survive the church picnic. I love picnics, but Miss Abbie will bring the portable microphone and the next thing you know we'll be playing Bible Bingo. My son is unemployed, my dad is just out of the hospital, my husband should have gone in to the hospital today but doesn't want to be a burden and my daughter is getting married in two months. Help!

  56. I'll take any ice cream or chocolate anybody wants to share! I'm contributing a fresh bag of seconds from the Petri cookie factory.

    I've got a pretty decent outline (or so I think) and am now plunging in to fleshing it out fully. I admire those who have moved to preaching from an outline or with no prompts at all, but I'm just not there yet. (I have to remember to give myself time--I've only been on the job three months.)

    A good friend and colleague of mine preaches from a manuscript for the beginning and middle, but she doesn't script her sermon endings. I'm intrigued by her approach.

    I just hope I'm not tackling too much tomorrow by attempting to talk about the Syrophoenician woman AND the Ephphatha incident. The whole question of preaching politically is lurking in the background for me too. (e.g. God can work through anybody to open us? Even our worst enemy?)

  57. I cannot believe I am leaving you all at such an early hour but it has been a long week with little relief in sight and I must get some sleep.

    I will check in on you in the morning - let the dog out, etc...

    Just remember no matter how dire it gets for you this evening and into the early morning at least your quirky father - who once yelled across the church lawn for all the congregation members to hear, "I'm going to use the pastor's toilet!" - isn't playing the role of God in the middle of your worship service.

    Peace and good luck.

  58. ws, I hope it all goes smoothly, er, interruptingly but rightly!
    I think you outline preachers have convinced me to give it a try. It certainly wasn't coming to me as a manuscript. Perhaps I need to trust that.

  59. WS I cannot wait to hear how it goes tomorrow.

    Walk that dog proud.

    Pastornines: A church picnic with Miss Abbie yelling out bingo with a portable mike? Invite everyone else to join you. Tell them you are doing service evangelism with bingo for free. Jesus loves them. Have Miss Abbie yell that out of the microphone.

    Man you are carrying a load with all the ill health in your family.
    Prayers for you. email these questions to ask the matriarch, and maybe on of them have the answer.(See the sidebar for the email address.)

    Welcome, Lauren.

    Semfem it will go well.

    Well I have been procrastinating enough, played a game of mahjong, time to get serious again.

  60. I haven't been commenting this evening, but I have been paying attention and am very thankful for your company.

    There are many, many congregations that will be most blessed tomorrow-

  61. Eeeek!!
    It's 10:37 and I have hours and hours of work left to do!

  62. I am in awe of you hearty souls who will preach from an outline. I'm not there yet.

    But I did perform a lovely little wedding today, which has worn me out, so me and Clifford will be heading off to bed now.

    I'm sorry I missed out on the ice cream and chocolates, but you know I'm trying to cut back these days.

    G'night, all.

  63. I do believe I am done. My sermon's a bit on the short side, but it'll preach, and besides, I'll have a dog there to make up time.

    How are the rest of you coming along? Can I pour a glass of wine for anyone else?

  64. So outta the notes on that pink page zip, nada, zilch, nothing, I repeat, nothing made it into the sermon. How's that for sermon prep?

    Oh well, maybe the Holy Spirit can do something with it anyway

    and that stupid Bobby Vinton song is stuck in my head ...

    *coffee pot off, lights out*

    God be in your comings and goings

  65. I'm leaving the party along with the Vicar. I'm finally finished; now to take a quick shower and get ready for bed and look over it once more before printing it out.

    Stacey--I will take that glass of wine though, if it's not too late. Thanks!

    Blessings to all tomorrow.

  66. G' morning.
    *rev mommy lifts up head with piece of paper stuck to it*

    All is well. What you all wrote and outlined looks great. Good job.

    Now have a blessed morning and when it comes to that preaching time remember:

    1) Let it go... the Holy Spirit has got our backs.

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

  67. I'm going out there with an outline, friends. I'm mildly terrified.
    Bless you all this day!

  68. Walking the dog, letting the Holy Spirit be in charge here, letting go, letting God.
    Although unlike Stacey I have too much, so asking God to show me what to preach and what to leave out. I believe I am with semfem preaching a big red dog named Clifford.

    Prayers for all who are shaking in their boots preaching from outlines or even nothing. Prayers for those with manuscripts. Prayers for those with drama today with their dad playing God....

    I love you all brothers and sisters.

  69. Take my hand, Songbird--we'll jump out of that plane together.

    Sermons from an outline, away!!

  70. We did it! And it was very well received. Next challenge: living with my Dad after he has been called God and Lord all morning and early afternoon at the church picnic.

    Will we ever hear the end of it?

    Hope everyone is now safely to the other side of their Sunday morning duties with a well deserved nap on the way!

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

  72. Well, I decided to write it out anyway. I felt like a chicken, but it was a big day with the dedication of our new hymnals, and I used the outline to quickly sketch out what I had in mind anyway.
    After church, someone who has been ill and staying with her mother stopped me to say how much my sermon two weeks ago meant to Mom.
    No written text? No sermon on the church blog. I'm glad now I write them out and I'm grateful for the affirmation of that ministry.

  73. Congratulations, will smama and will smama's dad!

  74. Yea WS and Songbird! Boy I had a lot of comments about my acrostic. Had three visitors. Had a couple return that had quit coming, and were now glad to be back.
    Great communion.

    Still waiting to hear from Rainbow Pastor about jumping out of the plane.

  75. well I did it. I shared in Swedish in a service. I was well aware of every mistake, and every bit of floundering and I read 95% of the text - but did look up when I could string 2-3 words together (grin) and the best bit was when I talked not about the seminary (as asked) but about God needing each and everyone of us, and having a good plan for our lives. Folk listened. They were attentive. And afterwards were kind :)

    thanks for your encouragement all!

  76. I'm on the other side of Sunday morning, but no nap for me. I have some errands to do this afternoon.

    Me and Clifford did okay this morning. Truth be told, I preached the H-E-Double-Hockey- Sticks out of it, if one can say such a thing about a sermon.

  77. Sunday afternoon and collapsed on the couch waiting for the Manning Bowl. Had a meeting after church with the graphic designer for our Jubilee celebration memory book - ever try to match up 50 years of photos with written memories from people who don't remember which decades they came to the church? AGGH.

    By 8 am today I had two full manuscripts - one I wrote yesterday, a new one this morning, and didn't even try to outline them but ended up depending on the Spirit as nothing I wrote was feeling really right. Congregation
    received it well, I think. No Amens, but no complaints either.

    May not have a chance to be with you next Saturday, my new friends. I have a wedding rehearsal Friday evening and outdoor wedding saturday morning 50 miles away, then church clean up 3-6 on Saturday, regular Sunday worship, then a Board meeting and then filling in for the regular chaplain at a retirment home for their Sunday worship. Please God don't let anyone get sick this week!

    Blessings on you all.
    Rev Maria

  78. WEll, I leaped!

    It was somewhere between an outline and a manuscript--a page and a half of detailed outline, compared with the usual 6-7 pages of manuscript. I felt like I was wandering all over the place, verbally, I mean, but have been told I didn't.

    And I was brutally honest--told them that if they wanted the church to stay open, then they had to work on it. That we all have to stand up for what we bellieve in, for what matters to us, because it is up to us. As Mordecai said to Esther, "Don't think you'll escape...It may be for just such a time as this, that you have been put here."

    And then DP had an art show opening, we had dinner, and now I am home catching up on emails and preparing for the Board meeting tomorrow (well, printing out the reports; don't know that I'll get them read!).

    Will I preach from an outline next week? I don't know. Probably--one week is not enough to tell me whether it will work or not. Sigh. As I told the congregation today, trying new things is scary and difficult, but it's the only way we grow.


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