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Saturday, October 14, 2006

11th Hour Preacher Party: Sleepy Bird edition


I fear I will be a poor hostess this morning. As the on-call Chaplain at the local hospital, I was up until 1 a.m. The dogs do not understand, of course, and seemed to expect breakfast at something like the usual time.

I did manage to grind some beans and brew a fragrant pot of coffee, but I am hoping for a snoozle before I do much of anything else. Unless of course the phone rings in my remaining 14 minutes on call...

How goes it with your sermon writing? My sermon is outlined, and I believe the images are strong, but if I'm planning to write a manuscript, I need to be a little more awake first!

Anyone bring a coffee cake? I would love a piece of coffee cake.


  1. I am on it. Streusel topping per usual.

    The sermon is well under way this week. My wife and I are finally getting a chance to go out on a date this evening, so the manuscript needs to be completed by 11am...The men's golf outting is at noon.

    I play horribly. But the worst one on the links wins a prize. I stand a pretty good chance here.

  2. Carry on without me, friends. I have the all-church retreat this morning. I spent yesterday afternoon making soup for our lunch today, and I'm re-heating it while I take a peek at what I started sermon-wise.

    But my brain is really already headed over for the retreat. Send up a prayer for St. Stoic this morning if you get a chance. This retreat could be a wonderful thing or it could blow up in our faces. We do have about 35 people committed to coming, which is a miracle, since Big State University's homecoming is today, as is the local high school's.

    Songbird, didn't you just have on-call a few weeks ago?

  3. I need the fresh-ground coffee and the coffee cake and think I'll add some gooey carmel rolls to the treat table. I need the goodies because I'll be here for awhile today - I was a procrastinating pastor this week and haven't yet started my sermon! I went to weekly text study this week but it didn't spark anything for me, so I'm starting for scratch this week. Most weeks I at least have an outline by Saturday morning, so as I said, I'll be here awhile today!

  4. I am preaching on the Mark text (10:17-31) where Jesus instructs the young man to sell what you own, give the money to the poor and follow me. I am also doing our annual pet blessing at the 10am service. So, the challenge is, how to merge these two and make any sense. I was going to just tell a story about St. Francis, that is until out vestry met Tuesday night. We always start the meeting with a bible study on the Sunday gospel reading...and this month I thought the vestry was going to revolt!! "Readings like this are why people don't come to church anymore!!" YIKES. So I am basically talking about what it means to be God focused v's being distracted by our need to acquire things. The things are not bad, it is all about where we place our focus first. Then I am connecting that to being good stewards of the earth and caring for the creatures of the earth using St. Francis as an example (without over emphasizing the fact that he did give up everything...)...pray for me! Oh, and thank goodness for good coffee to keep me company as I ponder all of this.

  5. apple pie (apples picked from the garden this morning) and chocolate cake on offer ...

    bringing the word of God is one of the most important things you do - it's an honour to serve you ladies (and gentlemen) as you struggle with the words to express what's on God's heart today.

    blessings and love

  6. cheesehead, we sign up quarterly, so the Oct-Dec schedule was compiled unrelated to July-Sept. I try to pick a night at the end of the month, but this time it didn't work out that way. Poor family, young teenager hit by a car while riding his bike, mom saw the accident, she is in shock, no other adult to make the decision to withdraw care. Just an awful situation.
    I'm preaching Job and Mark, and my theme is how our frame of reference influences our understanding of what we think it means to be faithful. We'll have a worship center with empty picture frames. It's one of those rare times I actually wish we used Power Point in worship!

  7. mompriest, I wonder what the Prosperity Gospel types make of the Mark passage? ;-)

  8. My hope of having my sermon done before my parents arrived in town was not realized. They are chilling in the living room as I try to finish my sermon up in my bedroom so we can hang out today. Have had the outline in my head since Monday, just can't get it all out on paper ... and I'm a manuscript preacher. We'll see how it goes.

    Dancing with God

  9. The prosperity people simply ignore any passage that doesn't quite fit.

    As for me, I am in bad shape this a.m. Thank you so much for the coffee....mmmm...what a fragrance! I am supposed to be in another city attending a series of workshops that I really DID (for once) want and need. Instead I'm home with my elderly mom. Long story, but I confess to be agitated and unhappy, and that is not a good frame of mind for sermon perp. Add to that the procrastination issue, and it's not pretty!

    I rarely preach from a manuscript--actually I am trying to get closer and closer to preaching with no notes, but I still have to hava a thought...some inspiration...some passion about something....arrrrgh! pie? Oh my! How delightful.

  10. You can see the shape I'm in by some of the typos in that post! Sermon perp? Some funny images are coming to mind.

  11. Blogger ate my comment. Wonderful wonderful sweet treats. mmm good. I am not preaching Sunday morning, but it looks like I am Sunday night. I heard Bishop Willimon preach on this passage at the convocation in terms of our conf. new vision statement. But he admitted he still didn't have it all together yet, for the big church on Sunday. Songbird go get some rest. Prayers for you. Tripp you have fun hitting the woods, lake and sandtrap this afternoon, but save your best for your date.

    Songbird the Prosperity people either don't preach on it or preach on it in terms of love. And in terms of keeping the law how important that is. I doubt they talk about selling everything.

  12. Indeed, the prosperity types are the very ones who nearly led a riot in our vestry meeting...oh to see God first and have grateful hearts grounded in the understanding that all that are and all that we have is a precious gift from God...tough stuff in a society of achieve and acquire...

  13. I have brought some Diet Coke with Lime and cheese coffee cake. Wired Word did not come to me this week...I guess they heard my rant about them the other day. Luckily, I'm somewhat prepared for adult Sunday School with the 91 year old law school grad, a Boston College sophmore who "walked on" to the football team last week and helped win the big game, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner who gives loans without collateral to poor folks in Bangaladesh.
    "Hear the good news!"

  14. Hee, hee - sermon perp... Crime? Hyperbole and bad grammar; Time? One month in Jesus camp or a few hours locked in a room with Joel Ostein.

    I smell a t-shirt slogan coming.

    I had a sick day yesterday so I am trying to catch up today - I am even in my office. The key is I cannot stay up late tonight stressing over a sermon or else I totally negate the healing sick day I had yesterday.

    SB, your heart is clearly bigger than mine as I am happy to be considered too far away from the hospital to be of any help to them.

  15. Oh dear....Not one but two sermons this weekend. I have the one for tonight's Inclusive Church Eucharist done,- though it doesn't look as good this afternoon as it did yesterday...But i have yet to start the one for Evensong, and there are precious few windows on the morrow, so I do need to have it more or less sorted by bedtime at worst.
    I have Matt 11 25-30 "Come to me all who labour..." which feels a bit like a reason for abandoning the sermon, specially as im rather coldy and mis.
    Ah well. Hot lemon and honey needed here, I think...and I'll sit on the other side of the room so as not to share the germs!

  16. Scottish Faire is on at the church this morning, complete with Celtic singers, bagpipes, caber tossing and a bouncy castle. Meatpies, beans, and shortbread, anyone?

    Now if I can just learn to preach with a Scottish accent, I understand the church will give me a 10% increase.

    Have fun, all!

  17. I have a Sunday off! Okay, not really off, as I'm at denominational meetings, but I'm not preaching tomorrow. Nonetheless, I wanted to stop by my Saturday hang-out and say hello to you all. Blessings on your preparation today and your preaching tomorrow.

  18. Scottish Faire? How cool is THAT?

    Still struggling here, having a very bad day with about-to-be-90 mom, and have a wedding in a few hours.

    Ack. No sermon yet. Nothing.


  19. I'm home grading papers. Anyone out there want to trade with me? I'll write a sermon and you grade this stack of freshman comp essays.

    Really, who could pass up that deal?

  20. It sounds pretty good to me at the moment, especially if the deadline is Monday and not tomorrow morning!

  21. The grass is always greener... do I want to fill paper or grade paper already full?

    Or do I want to crawl in bed with a cup of hot cider, a good read and a pair of earplugs... hmmm.

  22. Do any of you eat bagels? I've got all flavors of cream cheese...

    I posted my sermon for tomorrow on my blog. They are not usually finished by now, but I have a wedding this afternoon, so I'm done early.

  23. I'm happy for everyone who is finished, but please do not make those of who aren't weep!

  24. Not to mention sorely tempted to go cut and paste ourselves a sermon.

    I'll have a bagel... but I am seriously considering a chinese food run in a bit. Anyone interested?

  25. Well, I was feeling virtuous as I have a fairly detailed outline already (I violated one of my own rules and worked on my sermon during my retreat, but only for an hour or so, just to give myeslf some peace of mind...), and I already had my wedding this morning, and I've had lunch (but hey, WS, chinese is always welcome--anyone want to share some General Tso's chicken?).

    Then I read about Songbird's night and SO's day, and Emily trying to get hers done so she can hang with the 'rents, and my virtue is all gone...well, you know what I mean!

    It's a tough passage I set myself--Ezra and rebuilding the Temple. Hard to feel inspired, when Ezra sounds so self-righteous. I wish I remembered what it was that moved me about this passage 6 weeks ago, when I decided to do it!

    The bright side? Only three sermons and I'm gone again!

    Oh, and later today I'll have a blog about my retreat up...

  26. Another "sermon perp" here doing sermon prep!

    I've brought some waffles for brunch today! (trying not to get syrup on my notes.)

    I get to do a wedding tomorrow during the service! I'm using last week's Mark reading on marriage and divorce and Colossians 3:12-17-"love binds everything together in perfect harmony."

    I'm trying to memorize my sermon this week so that I can preach away from the pulpit. I'm not optimistic!

  27. Taking a break... but have no fear I will be returning to our chain gang of sermon perps.

  28. Good afternoon! I'm mucking out my office after being gone for 10 days or so... Just now beginning to think about a sermon...

    My text is the one where God gives manna in the wilderness- I think I'm going to talk about what you do in the meantime (I'm getting ready to leave) and how there really is never a meantime...

  29. I am having a hard time believing that I don't have any meetings or weddings or other events to interfere with the sermon today! It's my first free Saturday in I don't know how many months. Reading about everyone else's very busy days and last nights is making me seriously grateful for the respite.

    On Tuesday the sermon looked like a no-brainer, straight-up stewardship sermon as we are moving into a pledge campaign beginning tomorrow. But then I realized it is also our denominational Celebrate the Ministry Month and "Regional Church Sunday" as a lead-in to our Regional Assembly next week so I have to somehow work those things in. Shouldn't be too much trouble as the Mark passage does have Peter saying "Lord, we gave up everything to follow you" (or something like that). Stewardship and Discipleship, hmmm - I have lots of work to do!

    The Husband is in the kitchen frying bacon I only buy it about once a year but today was the day and the smell is intoxicating. Want some to go with those waffles?

  30. I've got mom mostly dressed and sort of with it..hope it holds...and I'm off to the wedding.

  31. My retreat post is up, and I caught up with email, but my sermon has gone nowhere...

    Shall I make another pot of coffee? It would go well with the waffles and bacon!

  32. Le sigh. I have nothing, nada, not even a scrap of a thought, except that I'd like to give people a heads-up that stewardship season is coming (preaching on the Mark text). BLAH.

    I just got back Thursday from a great and momentous vacation to NYC (whee!), so I'm a bit distracted and can't quite settle down. Plus there are a few phone calls I should make as well today.

    *chants to self* Focus. Focus. Focus.

    I'm sure I'll be back...and thanks for the great spread everyone, as I came back to a house that seems to have no food in it. :)

  33. Hey everyone! I've been at a Board orientation all day for the community mental health board that I serve on, so I'm coming in late to the conversation.

    Singing Owl - sorry to hear about your mom's troubles and your tough day. I'll say a prayer.

    I'm preaching on the rich man (where does it say he was young???) and the difficult challenge posed to him by Jesus.

    My take on it is that the ending to the man's story is often presumed because he went away grieving. We have often assumed that he couldn't do what Jesus asked, but I'm taking the story in the other direction....that after a time of prayer and reflection, who's to say that he wasn't transformed and put his wealth into its proper use and perspective?

    The challenge for us is similar. Sometimes faith is just darn hard. We would love a neatly packaged faith, but one that challenges us and invites us to go deeper into our relationship with God is ultimately more satisfying.

  34. THe Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword.

    The cut of challenge as given to the rich man.

    THe cut of rebuke as given through the prophets (using Amos instead of Job).

    But who really wants to hear about how the Word cuts? Who really wants to be challenged around issues of stewardship, or rebuked for falling short of the mark?

    For that matter who ever wants to have the surgeon cut away cancerous growth? Does the plant really want to be pruned?

    THere is my outline. ANyone feel like filling it in for me?

  35. Actually, I was responding to Sue's take on the rich man.

    Gord's outline hit a little close to home. I just had the "treatment or surgery" talk with my oncologist yesterday. I've had 1 major and 3 "minor" surgeries already and I really would rather have it just cut away, but Dr convinced me to do something less radical this time.

  36. All the great fall treats have helped me get through the last of the sermon. It's done ... well done enough ...

    It'll be short tomorrow, but who says that's a bad thing ...

    Off to tour the downtown area with the 'rents and catch a free outdoor orchestra concert.

    Good thoughts for all who still labor away.

    Dancing with God

  37. rev maria, I hope your treatment goes well. Saying a prayer...

  38. i posted my sermon on Mark 10.17-27 (I cut the end of the passage off...) at
    We have a Saturday 5pm service and it is upon us! ack!

  39. ack--sorry for the non-link. THe fact that it's 4.35 is making my fingers sketchy. Let's try again:

    the sermon is here.

  40. I think I may just have a sermon, but somehow Job did not become part of it. Hmmm.

  41. Good stuff guys. I am struggling to find the "good news" in this passage. I mean, it is great that Jesus smiles and loves the guy. That's salvation right there. But the word of God this week in not particularly comforting to anyone. You know? The closest it gets is to say that our perfecting (my inference from the parallel passage in Matthew) is in God's hands. As difficult as it is, as burdensome as life can be, our financial obligations are, God still has our redemption in mind at all times.

    Incredible. Can we find that to be a comforting word?

  42. Tripp, it is certainly hard to hear in this earthly kingdom, that's for sure.

  43. Stopping by just to say hello. A miracle appeared at my place earlier this week, supplying opportunity and inspiration at the same time and thus allowing my sermon to be completed before Saturday. Not gloating, just reminding us all that modern-day miracles do happen! I am not on lectionary this week. Instead am attempting a back-door approach to stewardship. It's a dog - whether it runs, walks, or limps remains to be seen.

  44. Au contraire Preacher Mom, only sermons that we think are bad are dogs. That is why the phrase encourages us to walk it proud, no matter how ugly we may think it is.

    Sounds to me like you do not have a dog - AND it was timely. Thanks be to God.

  45. We just inherited my Grandfather's bird clock. I am going to have a workable draft by the time the time the cardinal sings.


  46. I know there's a joke in there about a Cuckoo clock, but I am trying to flow my creative energies into my sermon instead.

  47. Well, this was a new low for me: finished at 9:00 PM local time. But thank God its done.

    My take on Mark ended up being "It's not about you (us)." I figure St Casserole keeps telling me this, I might as well use it.

    Me and Clifford are tired.

  48. Blessings to all who are still writing. I finished before #1 Son arrived on his fall break from college and was able to enjoy the evening. And now I am headed for bed!
    Preaching mercies, sisters and brothers!!

  49. Still distracted here, but I have a list of stuff about the Mark text and am trying to come up with a comprehensive way to stitch it all together now. Something about the difficulty of the path of Christian discipleship might just be the trick.

    I threw together some curry chicken for a late dinner in case anybody is hungry (in addition to me).

    Cheers to those who are done, and for those of us who aren't, may we be inspired. And SOON.

  50. Here I am, late as usual.

    My big concern today was to get to the estate sales AND make it to the retreat on time. I led the retreat so my presence was necessary. Survived all of my day on-time! Yippee!

    Then Mr. C and LD went to the big Homecoming Game up the road and left me here with two cats and one dawg. I'm lonesome, a rarity for me.

    I'm ready for tomorrow with an odd blend of the Job passage and the Markan one. I pity the congregation. I'm walking the dog proud no matter what because both texts are STRONG. I think it's been YEARS since I've preached on Job.

    Enjoying being with you even though I'm here talking to an empty room and all the snacks are gone....

  51. No, I'm still here too, just sitting quietly over in a dark corner.

    I'm done. Sermon will be short...and I confess it is a reworked version of one of my Ordinary Time devotions.


    God, help each of us, those who are finishing up our sermons, and those who are asleep, and those who were done days ago. Help us to shine with passion and joy tomorrow. Help us to sense the awesome and powerful charge you give us to preach the word, in season and out. I feel out, Lord, but you are not. Be with us, I pray, and bless your children through us.

    Good night.

  52. I'm done, finally! Didn't think I'd have so much trouble with a wedding sermon. Oh well. My little girl ditched the crib today and is in a "big girl bed", so I'm a bit in mounrning because my baby's not a baby anymore.

    Anyway, everyone have blessed and meaningful worship tomorrow.

  53. Still trucking away here...are you really surprised? *yawn*

    I finally found an angle on this Mark text that works for me--the angle of overachieving perfectionism that the rich man seems to have. There's also some interesting stuff on about a "knowledge economy" instead of a "wealth economy" that I'd like to incorporate somehow.

    Of course, this didn't stop me from getting a neat idea to portray the rich man in dramatic monologue...but that idea didn't surface until 12:45 am. Maybe next time.

    Full speed ahead!

  54. No sermon but no sleep yet either. So I played the Friday Five and actually added some real posts to my blog. Novel idea, huh?

  55. Vicar, nice to see someone else up at this hour!

    I finally have a's not very good, but it's something at least. Now I go sleep.


  56. Good morning all! There is coffee and a warm breakfast in the kitchen. Don't worry you can get it to go.

    I hope all of you have a wonderful Sunday; one that is worthy of being called a day that the Lord has made.

    Truly we are honored to receive a calling as high as this.

    Please remember if you are fretting this morning over your service to let it go, the Holy Spirit has your back. And IF you believe your sermon to be a total dog, walk it proud.

    Peace be with you...

  57. And I thought I was the only one up early! Not preaching today because we are in New England and Grandbabyboy is getting baptized today and extended family are all gathered at D1 & Son-in-love's house! Hot dog!

    Good Sunday, everyone!

    PS ... All you New Englanders - thanks for the beautiful foliage!
    Our Great Lakes foliage is just about down thanks to the wind and snow.

  58. Good morning, all. Oj, anyone? It's fresh.

    Pulled in some Benedictine happiness...Sister Joan Chittister spices up life, I say. God bless her.

    So, I feel good. I am going to read the thing aloud now. I may weep or I may cheer. I'll let you know.

  59. It's the start of a long day for me: church, meeting with Deacons, 90th birthday lunch for a church member, Association meeting at which I must speak, come home and fix dinner, then teach a class this evening.
    But it is a beautiful day here, and I will drink up foliage and sunshine even if I have to do it out the car window!
    Preach well, friends! God's peace be with you.

  60. Eh...clumsy, but I can tweak. Have a blessed day, perps!

  61. Thought I had a decent outline, then musing over coffee this morning, realized I needed to redo it completely...

    Thank you, God, for an ofternoon service!

    Off to rewrite--and blessings on you who already have preached and are preaching as I type, or who will be preaching soon! (Did I cover everyone?)

  62. It's 7:30 am here - the sermon is finally done and the report for the church board is ready. Stewardship and Dicipleship carried the day. May it also carry the people.

    No lovely foliage here in So Cal, but it is raining, which always makes me happy.

    Blessings on all this beautiful Lord's Day.

  63. OK, it's done...

    "Walking the dog..."

  64. Busy day for me too. After church a lunch meeting, then have to prepare for new members class, pick Ken up at prison so we can drop off my car for repair. Then back to teach new members class., and my "dog" were GOOD!

    Thank you, Holy Spirit!


  65. I'm backfrom walking Clifford the Big Red Sermon. Actualy he was a challenging pup today. I had to do some of the "afflicting the comfortable" today. Maybe next week I'll get to "comfort the afflicted".

    I'm off in about 30 minutes to meet with an elder from a nearby church. I am helping that church (which used to be a parish sister of ours) with their stewardship program this year while they are between called pastors. Then it's Gospel Hymn Sing tonight, about which I should probably have quite a story tomorrow on my blog!

  66. Finally home after church board meeting. Sermon must have said what I'd hoped - when one board member said he was still thinking about whether to continue next year the response was "After that sermon how can you say anything but yes!?"

    Naptime now.

  67. Nine o'clock and I'm finally home. Long, tiring but very good day. Yay Rev. Maria, and all of you. See you here next week.

  68. Clifford the Big Red Sermon???

    Oh, Cheesehead! You are hilarious!



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