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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Blessed 11th Hour Preacher Party

Blessed are you who finish your sermons at a reasonable time, for yours is great peace and comfort.

Blessed are you who do not have to spend the day teaching a seminar and running hither and yon over the face of the earth, for you shall have rest.

Woe to you...Okay, none of us need any additional woes today, so I'll just stop there with my rip-off of the Beatitudes.

I'm off bright and early to teach Round 2 of a seminar on young adults and the church. I'll be back to check in this afternoon. The coffee is set to brew early so I can grab some on my way out. My pantry is bare, so I hope some of you have some breakfast treats to contribute to the party.

What are your thoughts for this week? And does anyone have a brilliant (or even adequate) children's sermon?

89 comments:

  1. This is a horrible way for me to get the comments kicked off, but I am freaking. out.

    I have basically been home all week with a sick husband and child. There is a church fundraiser today and so I ask, when in the heck am I going to write a sermon?!

    A week that was supposed to be a decent catch up week has only resulted in me getting as far behind as I could possibly be?!

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  2. Okay. Thank you. I have hyperventilated into a paper bag and will now pull it together... after I try to get some sleep before the next 'eruption' happens.

    Thank you for allowing me that moment of freak.

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  3. Oh WS..that's miserable on all fronts. Hope you've had some sleep now, and maybe the poorly people are beginning to require a tad less attention...I think this is a week to cast the lectionary to the four winds, pull something off the blog or re-use or tell them a story.
    I'm off for a training day, and am on call for hospital chaplaincy too, so progress will be minimal till the late pm, and then probably disrupted. What a shame I've not a word written yet, though a few more thoughts than I sometimes have...
    I've left some raisin bread on the table and the coffee is brewing. Courage, all ye preachers!

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  4. I'm off for a training day in a small town about an hour away...the powers that be are going to tell us lay ministry enrollees what exactly it is that graduating from the program qualifies us for. Considering the Sturm und Drang in our denomination over the "Visions and Expectations" statement clergy and rostered laity are supposed to sign...my education may not qualify me for anything, given the state of things in the ELCA. Nice for my synod to subsidize my three-year ministerial education though. (Not that I am bitter or anything.)

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  5. Well, I'm off too! To two funerals-one I'm officiating, and one I'm attending to support the family and faith community.
    Stacey, I am gonna use the children's sermon on sermons4kids for the Luke passage.
    My sermon is a couple of thoughts in my mind at this point--probably will be up early in the morning. However, I am also on call at the hospital, so I should have at least an outline in case they call and my prep time goes out the window.
    I have made a run to Dunkin Donuts-so feel free to grab one--they've got Valentines Day sprinkles!

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  6. will smama-
    Sleep and take care of you and your family. That's what all those sermons on line are for!
    A hug for you {}
    QP

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  7. I am a little under the weather and getting a slow start today. I've done a lot of work on my sermon this week, of the writing things down sort rather than the vaguely thinking about it sort, but it's still not written. So I remain with you, my friends.
    Here, I have some orange scones from Panera.

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  8. Will's Mama, I hope things are looking on the up and up for you -- sounds like you have your plate full.

    Procrastinate a few minutes more and participate in the RGBP Trivia Challenge - wipe off the donut glaze off your fingers and try your useless bits of information in your head and see how you do! Me - today, right now, I seem to be in the middle of the heap - fair to middlin' on the topic.
    Come join your friends on Trivia Challenge!

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  9. Blessings to all of you.

    WS, what can you ask someone else to do for you? How much time and energy must you give to the fundraiser, and go for the internet sermon. May your home have fewer eruptions of the physical kind and perhaps one or two spiritual aha's you can share tomorrow.

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  10. P.S. I'm leaving banana nut muffins. They are from a mix, but not bad.

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  11. WS, hang in there! You;re getting god advice about pulling out an old sermon or doing a hymn sing or something...

    As for me, Blogger wouldn't let me in last night, so here's a twofer--my comment that I was going to post last night about the Friday Five...

    Joining in with Towanda...Sing out loud, Sing out strong...Don't worry that it's not good enough...

    And sermon? Sermon, you say? Well, not so much. I have a few ideas, but I think I'm trying to put too much into one sermon--the Beatitudes, new members and blessing relationships. I've got some half-formed ideas about new members and new relationships and the blessings thereof, but it's pretty sketchy at this point.

    At noon, I'm off to some much-needed Board training, and I'd like to have an outline by then, so I can write it when I get backa nd maybe have some free time tonight. All right, who laughing the back of hte room?!

    Here's some chocolate kisses, complete with red Valentine's wrappers.

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  12. Criminy, its only 7:30 in the heartland, and look at all the comments already.

    I have a presbytery training event that supposedly I'm runnning this morning, then I come home to flesh out what I already started, sermon-wise

    If I read one more word about the "Be-Attitides" (ugh) I'm going to expwode.

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  13. WS, you poor thing. I vote for a hymn sing, aka "A Sermon in Song"

    I'm off to give the Spiritual Focus at a regional women's commission meeting, then back here to particpate in a baptism - a baptist congregation worshipping in a methodist church comes to our church when it's baptism time as we have a lovely big baptistery for immersion - then maybe I can start on the sermon.

    I'm still enjoying Sonbird's rabbit trail from Tuesday of Jesus standing on level ground "The great equalizer" How's that working for you Songbird?

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  14. Cheesehead, it's only 5:30 here, but I've got a busy day ahead. ;-)

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  15. This is supposed to be my play day. Rosemary is at her dad's and the little ones are at Grandma's. That leaves just me. And a horrible sore throat that made an appearance in the middle of the night and a sermon outline that I don't like anymore this morning. I may have to get over my dislke and just get it done. I'm going to work on it a little while, go back to bed, and hope to wake up feeling better.

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  16. Chocolate bread, fresh from the bread machine... BBS put it in to knead and bake before bed last night and it's really yummy - - would you have some?

    I'm back to doing on-line research for two papers... one on "Women in the Post-exilic period" and one on "The Wisdom Motif in 1 Cor2"

    I would much rather be doing... anything else...
    d

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  17. Hello party people!

    This is the first Saturday in eons where I haven't had somewhere specific to go or be. I have, however, spent WAY too time this week trying to do the physical work of changing internet service providers at church. I know nothing about wireless routers, but apparently our stewards commission members don't either, and the task fell to me and our 70+ office manager. Guess who got to crawl under the desk to plug in cords?

    At least we're back on-line at church and I have e-mail and web access again. I feel like I've regaind the use of an appendage.

    So now I'm working on the sermon -- or at least thinking about it. I'm preaching on Jeremiah and leadning toward displaying my very lack of a green thumb as a visual aid for the dead dry tree in the first part. Too bad I don't have any strong, healthy plants to balance it.

    It's not the healthiest breakfast food, but I offer some leftover chocolate cake for breakfast. Hey, it worked for Bill Cosby, and it is a recipe that includes coffee. Does that count for anything?

    Peace all

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  18. I, like Will, am screwed.

    I spent last night getting ready for little she's 4th birthday bash and have a scant page of notes.

    And lest you all forget, my deadline is 5:30 Saturday, when the casual service takes place.

    Fireplace fireplace fireplace

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  19. I am having a beautiful sabbath day today. All I have to do is come up with a children's sermon--UGH--and I don't like "the Price is Right" one on Sermons4Kids, so I am having to make one up. If you have thoughts, bring it on. We are having "evolution Sunday" with the beatitudes...something about not throwing out science, science and faith coexisting, but the church having something different to offer--hope and an ethic for living, a good word that survival of the fittest doesn't mean that the poor and hungry are lost before God....that's what I know about it, anyway. Good thing I'm not doing the preaching...

    I have strawberries. I'm making butterscotch brownies for the youth group bake sale tomorrow....I suspect a few of them will make their way in here!

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  20. you are some amazing women!

    WS my heart and prayers go out to you--you have some great suggestions from some wise women!

    deb, your papers sound very interesting--especially the wisdom motif!

    i got the call from Edogg on Thursday asking me to preach again Sunday. It's Boy Scout Sunday at our church and I totally goofed and failed to send in all the bulletin stuff yesterday (it was a little nutty) so i think that means i need to go up and print them off today and write the sermon.

    it's funny, after all my frustration last week, i recieved very encouraging comments after--now, i'm really hesitant to have to follow it up. ha!

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  21. teri, how about something with a seesaw motif for the children's time? We go up and down with the woes and the blessings, but the balance point is God. That's where I'm headed, and then will expand on it in the sermon.

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  22. It's been awhile since I stopped in.... and boy, this is great!! Chocolate cake for breakfast, and everything. Love that. Songbird, I'm all over that seesaw image.... I'm also mulling over the concept that we as a church are the kingdom of God -- so how can we be something worth receiving?

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  23. Oh, Songbird! I love the seesaw idea for the children's sermon! The best children's sermons are the simple ones. Thanks for sharing. Blessings to all those who are overwhelmed in a multitude of ways.

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  24. Oh Stacey, Thank you for the blessings, but alas I am not done, does that mean I get the woes?

    And I am off to a conference at our district. (I posted about it on my blog.

    WS, prayers for you with a sick child, etc. bless you, and God provide her the sermon her congregation needs to hear, and maybe they need to hear some woes.

    And Stacey I have not found a children's sermon yet either.

    Wow so many of us off to training events. And Quaker mom 2 funerals. Blessings to you.

    reverend mother, have a great birthday party for she who is. 4 years old! My four year old has been a real challenge this year.

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  25. so... what do you do when you have a sermon fully written and yet it seems way to edgy and you're under scrutiny for having preached a TOO uncomfortable sermon on Christmas Eve? And that will be discussed two days after you preach the edgy sermon that's sitting in your computer? I ran the sermon by some friends and colleagues and both agree that the sermon is densely written (great! note sarcasm), quite intellectual (not what I was going for!), and really challenging (o.k., I think sermons should be this sometimes), and one thinks it might be too much for my congregation to handle. What to do?

    Haven't eaten anything yet. I'll take some of that chocolate cake. No, no... I'll go look for some yogurt.

    For all of you who are overwhelmed, WS, preacher mom, reverend mother in particular- praying much grace for you- give it to yourselves, and receive it gladly.

    Sigh.

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  26. Oh, poor WS! I'm sorry.

    For once, my sermon is DONE! woooo hoooo

    I'm talking about the Fear of the Lord and what it really means...part one. And the Isaiah passage some of you lectionary types preached was helpful to me this week. I gotta scoot, but I'll be back to check on y'all later. Pondering using a clip from Lion Witch and Wardrobe about how Aslan is not safe but is good. What do you all think?

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  27. Teri, we're doing evolution sunday too (although the congregation doesn't know it yet) and the whole Jesus standing on a level place and healing everyone who comes to him is really attractive. I'm not focusing too much on the beatitudes, but on the healing and balance portions of the passage.

    Waiting for the UCC rep to our DOC women's commission to show up so we can brave the freeways this morning. I'll be back sometime. :-)

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  28. Songbird, love the seesaw image for the children's sermon--I may just "borrow" that!

    Well, I have a page of notes, but no fireplacing outline. And I have to leave now to set up for the training event.

    Two fireplaces!

    Blessings to those of you working--I'll be back!
    (was that a threat or a promise? heehee)

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  29. OK, I'm breathing better. It's not totally written, but it's in good enough shape that if I had to preach it right now, I could.

    It's not my favorite sermon ever--it's rather direct and blunt--but sometimes that's a good thing.

    Blessings on everyone else's sermonizing!

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  30. He's not a tame lion, that's for sure.

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  31. more cows, look for an e-mail, since I finally got a chance to read it, too. You go, girl!

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  32. OK, back from funeral #1, working on the bulletin until #2...
    Seesaw idea for chldren's story ROCKS!
    Let's all pray the hospital stays quiet...I will stop by to check in though.

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  33. Hugs to all the ailing and time-crunched preachers.

    I've had a crazy-busy week which, like quakerpastor, included attending a funeral for a friend and conducting another. Add to that mega-stress with upcoming Presbytery planning, and the sermon....????

    Not. So. Much.

    I like Songbird and RevMaria's themes of balance and healing, so that may be a good place to start. Thanks!!

    Why is the Annual Meeting ALWAYS held on the same Sunday as the Daytona 500????? I'm just saying...

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  34. For this Sunday I'm skipped ahead to Epiphany 7, mainly because I want to preach on both Epiphany 7 and Transfiguration.

    My theme for Epiphany 7: The beloved community doesn't keep score [see Phyllis Kersten's article on Textweek]. Period. Of either "rights" or "wrongs" ...

    Transfiguration, we'll be remembering our baptisms, since IMHO, with the repetition of "This is my beloved Son", Jesus likely remembered his baptism in a particularly poignant way ...

    Hey! Does anyone know the exact quote from Anne Lamott about Jesus drinking gin from the cat dish again? I think I have a use for that ... but I am curious about Lamott's context.

    Hey, part 2! To verify my post, blogger just gave me a raspberry:
    tbwpbbb!!!!! Then it wouldn't let me post ...

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  35. Tweaked my outline.
    Found a helpful illustration for the closing.
    Wrote sermon draft - it's a mangy mutt.
    Went back to bed for a while.
    Throat still hurts like, well, you know.
    Wonder what it means when "ugh" is actually in the middle of the word verification below!

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  36. mmmm...I'll take some of those virtual raspberries, they'll go good with the chocolate bread that I saw was out earlier. I'm using the sometimes-we're-up, sometimes-we're-down theme in my sermon as well (I'm borrowing Barbara Brown Taylor's great imagery of the Ferris Wheel).

    I like the seesaw motif for the children's sermon - has anyone fleshed out how they're going to incorporate it yet?

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  37. hmm, the seesaw thing could work. Oh how I wish I could turn some of that nasty toy goo stuff into an evolution children's sermon! (When God created the earth, it looked like this...and so did you!) But that's not going to happen. And HoS's suggestion that I say "You're all apes" --maybe with a stuffed gorilla as a prop?--probably won't fly.

    It's totally unfair that the Food Network today is running an all-chocolate-all-the-time lineup today. I have no chocolate in my house AT.ALL. how is that even possible? on a day when my plan involves staying in my pajamas????

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  38. Back and footling around doing not very much...But I did buy some Minstrels, for those of us who can't write without chocolate at hand...I've put the bowl on the table there, though I'm beginning to wonder if Strong Drink might be the answer (except, of course, that I'm still on call for the hospitals)
    OK God is Green...oh dear, well it seemed a good idea at the time...but the word verification ends OhNo. Truly!

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  39. Glad things are looking up for you, Rev. Mother.

    I went to church to pick up my sermon outline, and now I just have to settle down and go over it several times.

    But first, I am making quesadillas with homemade flour tortillas and colby-jack cheese. I'll be glad to share, and maybe I can find the salsa.

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  40. Not a sermon writer, but I am preparing the second installment of a spiritual gifts series for my Sunday School class. Wish it was as simple as "You've got 'em. Now, use 'em!"
    Also, the new online gifts inventory at umc.org is far from comprehensive, so even if they did do their homework from last week as I suggested, it probably won't tell them anything significant.
    Which may mean I'll have a bunch of questions to answer...okay, enough procrastinating; must type notes for handout...
    No! one more thing: my word verification is "teatx" ... tea, texas? a Beverly Hillibillies reference to my state of residence? Oh, fireplace! I need to make some sweet tea for my dinner guests tonight!

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  41. Cows, how much are you selling that sermon for? Will you take payment in ladle-fulls of slippery pot pie?

    No, I wouldn't either.

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  42. My thought about the seesaw image with the children is to get them talking about how a seesaw works. You need people on both sides. Two little children can balance against one bigger child. How does it feel to go up? How does it feel to come down hard? Sometimes in life we feel just that (excited/scared/whatever word they are using); we need to remember that no matter how we're riding the seesaw, God can help us get things in balance.
    Or something close to that. I go in, generally, with a very small idea and let it play out depending on the response of the children. I never write out a whole children's message. (Kind of the opposite of my attitude toward the regular sermon, hmm....)

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  43. will smama, didn't you just do the Resurrection last week? 'cause that's her topic.

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  44. Wow, lots of comments already, and it's only 3:30. I'm home from teaching the seminar, and after several hours alternating running my mouth in the seminar and hobnobbing with people at the event, I'm pretty drained, and yet still on high gear. Thankfully, I did actually finish my sermon yesterday. However, I can't for the life of me remember what it says...perhaps I should do a read-through or two. And work on that children's sermon. I'm liking the see-saw image. Much like Songbird, I never write out my children's sermons, but I do like to have somewhat of a plan.

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  45. Okay. I have left over candy and soem watermelon (shape) cookies.
    We had a Valentien luncheon for our senior citizens today.
    Our theme, chosen by two of my senior highs, was One in a Melon.
    We carried the melon theme throughout the decor, door prizes, fruit salad, etc.
    Anyhow, s.p. made the cookies and they are so cute.
    I have done nothign else today except start early and get thigns going.
    Had a fabulous crew to help me with coolking, decor, etc. The youth served and played waiter.
    Great kids!!!! Love 'em!
    Anyhow, I am now catching my breath and then I msut put together the final stuff to present for confirmation class and prepare for CE meeting.
    I am exhausted, but it is a good tired.
    Help yourself to cookies and hope thigns are going well on the sermonizing.

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  46. I'm just now checking in. I got back yesterday from out-of-the-country (that makes it sound more exotic than it was) to re-read my sermon that I wrote last week. It's booorrrriiinnnggg. And borderline twisting-Jesus-around-so-he-says-something-I-like-better. Sigh. Guess I'd better get to revising. And thanks for the snacks, because my husband has been alone all week, and the cupboard is bare!

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  47. ws, hang in there.
    SB, feel better.
    Terri, hope the childrnes sermon goes well. Please believe me, it would not be possible to be any worse than the one we had recently!
    I had to pick my chin off of floor!
    And, wow... I need a nap. But I amn off to Old Navy to buy one of the cute tees that one of the youth had on todya.

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  48. willsmama yikes..my prayers are with you (been there, didn't like it and didn't even get a tshirt) Try Barbara Brown Taylor's stuff! But I'm Lutheran so if I get stuck I preachon grace (a little hard with the blesseds and woes this week, but I will manage). Remember what Anne Lammot said: "I do not at all understand the mystery of grace-- only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us." (Traveling Mercies, p. 143). please write on Sunday and tell us all what happened....gail

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  49. Hours volunteered at Middle School Band Contest - 4
    Loads through washer - 3
    Loads through dryer - 2
    Time spent on two verbatims and ministry paper due Tueday? - 0

    So here I am procrastinating with the rest of you. Um, I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but you may need some kind of visual for a seesaw if your local playgrounds don't have them anymore. However, I found a picture here. Sorry I didn't do a link, but you can cut and paste. http://www.3leggedcross.co.uk/outdoor_play_equipment/images/seesaw.jpg

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  50. Let's try this again.

    http://www.3leggedcross.co.uk/outdoor_play_equipment/images/seesaw.jpg

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  51. Okay, I'll type the whole thing instead of copying and pasting

    http://www.3leggedcross.co.uk/outdoor_play_equipment/images/seesaw/.jpg

    If that doesn't work, just Google Images "seesaw".

    Sorry for the multiple posts.

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  52. I give up! Maybe this is a sign I should quit blogging and start writing.

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  53. Hi all you hard working hard pressed preacher types, I am back from our seminar. Paul Borden was great. but LaDonna Witmer rocks.

    I am spending time with my sweetie and sweeties.. Can't help it I love them. I'll get the sermon finalized tonight. Its all splattered upstairs.

    More cows than people, don't know what to tell you, but praying for you to discern. But if it is what you feel led to preach preach it.

    Sue, I say have the Daytona 500 on the tv in the background. Just what were they thinking. Hope your meeting goes well.

    preacher mom, maybe the mangy mutt will get their attention. And hope you feel better too. Drink hot tea with honey and lemon.

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  54. Well, I'm basically done, friends. I'm a little worried that I have too much anecdote and not enough scripture, but the point is to get the church members in a mood to suggest themselves or each other for the Search Committee they must begin to form. That I think it will do.

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  55. Do you mean no one has seesaws anymore?

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  56. "too much anecdote and not enough scripture"

    You have diagnosed my problem exactly, Songbird! How to fix it? Or let it go, as is? At this point, I'm leaning toward Let It Go.

    I haven't seen a seesaw (ha! say that three times fast) in a while...nor a merry go round. Maybe they have been declared "dangerous."

    Blessings to all

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  57. Back from the Board training--wow it was great! I wish I had known about this guy (who presented) two years ago! Tons of stuff to use, too.

    So now it's time for some supper, then down to serious work on the sermon. At least I have the prayers done, and with the seesaw idea (thank you a zillion times, Songbird), I've got the Spotlight on the Scriptures nailed down (like many of you, I prefer to just have an image and know where I want to end up when I do the "children's sermon").

    I think I need brain food tonight--burger with cheddar and sweet pickles...yum!

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  58. It's almost 5:30 p, nearly time for PHC. Thinking about popping popcorn. In a pan. On the stovetop. Melted butter. Salt.

    Almost completed worship.

    Found this photo for my bulletin cover.

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  59. Checking in late this week. I have notes (as of yesterday) and an outline (as of this morning) but then had a 160 mile drive, several hours volunteering at Angel Food, and some errands to take care of, so I'm just settling down to flesh out this sermon now. And if not for this almond mocha, I'd be sacked out already.

    I'm shamelessly borrowing from the Tuesday comments, both for the seesaw image (home run there, Songbird) and the need for contradiction. If I can express that last bit in plain language, I think it'll really preach. But now I have to go check BBT to see if the Ferris wheel imagery is better.

    Prayers for all who are struggling to catch up today, and for those who are already finished.

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  60. hmm, you know, I haven't seen a see-saw (in this country) in a long time either, now that I think about it. There's a school that can be on my way to church tomorrow (and conveniently also would take me past this really great local coffee shop...hmmm) so I can scope it out. If I don't see one, I'm thinking of taking this basic route:

    "who do you think is happier: a rich person or a poor person? Who is happier: a hungry person or a full person? Well, actually Jesus says that the poor person and the hungry person are happier because they can see God when God comes into their life. So even though the world says that rich and full people are better, Jesus says that in the church we should be careful to really love the poor and hungry people too." Or something like that.
    Too bad my church is full of affluent people--need to figure out a way to not make them feel guilty for having resources...

    butterscotch brownies are in the oven, friends! They smell incredible...I'll share some before they go to tomorrow's bake sale!

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  61. OH! a very lovely lady just got proposed to in the question time on Paula Deen's party show on the food network! Paula made her show her ring on the camera, up close and personal. AND it's a show about chocolate with a chocolate fountain!

    obviously I'm a total dork, but I think that is the ONE majorly public proposal that I would love.

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  62. Popcorn's ready. Want some? It's saltiness might be a pleasant accompaniment to butterscotch brownies ...

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  63. I asked my 11-year-old if she knew what a seesaw was, and she answered in the affirmative. But just in case, check out the image here for an old-fashioned seesaw that really shows how risky they could be!
    And, here's one that looks more like my memories.

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  64. Let me just say they were called "teeter-totters" where I grew up, and I broke my foot on one, so, no teeter-totter stories for the children of St Stoic!(ouch!)

    An excerpt of my sermon is up at my place.

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  65. Well, I got next to zero done on my papers!!!

    First, chauffeuring duty taking the girls to a training session for youth volunteers. Then errands because my MIL is not driving much pre-knee-surgery. Then BBS discovered that (while I was out) that he needed X, Y and Z to make the snowblower work. )(The only way to keep the predicted coastal storm from materializing is to have everything we need on hand to make the snowblower works!) Then my MIL decided she WOULD like to come over for dinner, thanks.

    Now... dishes are done and I am off to work on papers until I can't keep my eyes open...

    sigh...

    And no, I won't get to play tomorrow... :(

    Keep your eyes on the prize!

    d

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  66. No sermon for tomorrow, but I am teaching the Adult Ed. Class on Baptism. AND I have to prepare two confirmation lessons to teach last minute, for tomorrow afternoon. The pastor is sick, the assistant youth person "doesn't want to" so that means the intern does it. And that's me. More upset with the fast that the assistant youth director refused and wanted to cancel on these kids than the fact that now I have a ton of extra work. argh. thanks for letting me vent.

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  67. Just heard on PHC:

    Question: "Why were only bread and wine served at the Last Supper?"

    Answer: "Because it was a potluck, and only men were invited!"

    hahahahahahaha ... thankfully my denomination, and many of yours, has come a loooonnnggg way from that view ...

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  68. I am home... and trying to ignore the fact that I am coming down with something. We have been on such a cleaning rotation here that there are 7 piles of unfolded, clean laundry.

    You know, I always threated 'hymn sing' but this might actually be the Sunday...

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  69. Oh, WS! I hope your illness disappears all together, but at least holds off till after church tomorrow. Yuck, what a terrible week.

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  70. God, bless Will Smama with heightened immunity. Keep her from getting what her dear ones have had --or anything else! Touch her dear ones and restore them to health and wholeness. In the name of the Great Physician we pray ... Amen.

    Yep. Do the hymn sing. Last winter, there was one time it snowed that, although I made it to church, not too many other folk did. We had about 8 people. So we did a hymn sing and communion. They got to pick the hymns, with the caveat that either I or the pianist had to know them.

    Or ... another option is some kind of personal testimony. If you weren't ordained, and you had the opportunity to stand before a church, what story about yourself and your faith would you tell?

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  71. rdq, thank you for the prayer, the ideas and the funny joke. I am giving myself abotu 30 more minutes to pull together what I can and then I am going to bed. And if your prayers worked, staying there.

    You all - as always - have been so kind and supportive. Thank you.

    My experiences this past week lead me to ask the question, if your dog is barfing, can you still walk it proud?

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  72. If your dog is barfing, you need to stay home.

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  73. Good point, I'm going to bed.

    Have fun tomorrow everyone!

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  74. Hey Deb!

    Y'know, I have the greatest admiration for anyone who engages in the seminary experience with a spouse and children.

    When I did it, I was single. [I was also in my 20's, young and irrepressible.] I had some family obligation with my mother, who began her process of dying about my middler year ... but that obligation was shared among 3 other sibs, their partners, and me. For the most part, I was responsible only for me, myself and I.

    I hear your frustration ... but you seem to be getting through the process without inordinately stressing your spouse or your children, with sense of humor intact. That itself is quite an accomplishment.

    May the words for your papers flow for you this evening, and tomorrow.

    And now that I have two workable bulletins, a publishable newsletter, and some semblance of a sermon idea, I'm going to go drink hot chocolate, sit by the fire, and watch the Pistons.

    Good night all ...

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  75. I'm turning the computer off, in the hopes that it will turn the whirling thoughts in my brain off and I can go to sleep sometime soon. Blessings and flowing thoughts to all. 'Night.

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  76. Wow, lots of people turning in early tonight! Restful nights to all of you.

    I'm plugging away at this...slowly but surely it's coming together. Guess I don't have anything else to add, except please pass the butterscotch brownies!

    Back we go...

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  77. Well, I'm done, too.

    My sermon went in a different direction, so the see-saw thing might not work for the children's time. Luckily, I have a little time in the morning to play with that one.

    I'm doing a blessing of relationships tomorrow as well (also welcoming new members, just a bit busy). I've posted the blessing on my blog (OK, let's see if I can do this...here's the link.

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  78. well the dog drooled on everything and the lice ate my sermon ... how's that for excuses?

    okay, really I was geocaching but the gps can't seem to settle on coordinates for a sermon

    too late for caffeine for me but the sermon is not finished so I'm up

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  79. my comment for the new blogger/google "resistance is futile"

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  80. Whew! I think I'm done, minus the final readthrough. But it's SHORT; if it's a dog, it's a little purse-dog. I have to just keep reminding myself that parishioners seldom think, "Wow, I wish that sermon had been longer!"

    Big thanks to Songbird for the seesaw idea, and all who elaborated on it throughout the day. It was a big help.

    Good night everyone, and blessings on your proclamation.

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  81. Well, since I FOR ONCE had my sermon done before today, how about I wash the coffee cups, throw out the food scraps and generally tidy up?

    Blessings to anyone still up. May the Holy Spirit be with all of us in the a.m.

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  82. I've dropped in to wash up the last few coffee cups, as I'm still tinkering...one of the many downsides of preaching at Evensong is that it's possible for the sermon to take over Sunday afternoon too.
    I've presided at the 8.00 but am simply assisting at the 10.00, so low stress now.
    Love and prayers for all of you preaching this morning.

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  83. Crisp morning here this morning and I am banking on semfem's observation that rare is the congregation that would have liked a longer sermon.

    I hope you all experience blessed worship and if you do not like what you have prepared for today I encourage you to let it go, the Holy Spirit has your back.

    And if you've got a dog, walk it proud.

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  84. I sampled my sermon ideas on the 30 women at the women's commission meeting. They were all head nodding so I think I'm good to go. The focus is Jesus standing on the level place, his power healing all, the great equalizer between faith & science, Christians fighting over points of doctrine or tradition, gang violence . . .

    Seesaws are good, but it's too late now to change. :-) and we dont have one at our preschool. I think I'll ask why.

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  85. God is good.

    I'm going to bed.

    Peace, friends.

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  86. no see-saws around here.
    Had flash of brilliance at one of the various children's-time-anxiety-wake-ups last night.
    Made 7.30am run to Walgreens, bought box of gender-neutral valentines.
    Gave valentines, talked about God's love for everyone, told them to take valentine home to remind them to share God's love with everyone.
    The end.

    it was beautiful.
    Thanks cheesehead for posting your sermon to work in my subconscious.

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  87. Comments after worship: "Thanks. We need to be shook up now and again."

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