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Saturday, April 28, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party

Stepping in here to host the Preacher party for the first time ever- and suddenly I'm feeling a little nervous!

But the coffee is on- or tea if you'd rather...... though I need to dash out to the store for some cookies as I am all out of good stuff to eat ( teenagers have all been home!!!)

I've been thinking about sheep a lot this week, as the fields surrounding us are full of spring lambs gamboling about- are they simply stupid creatures or do we underestimate them- mothers and babies distinguish one another's cries easily- what does this tell us about the response of sheep to their shepherd? So are you going with the John 10 reading or perhaps tackling Psalm 23, or Revelation...

Let's get thinking together.... I've just waved goodbye to Lorna- ( we relaxed walking the beach and eating fish and chips last night) now it is time to get some work done!!!



  1. The coffee is brewing. My wife is making cupcakes for later (We have a baby shower to attend this afternoon.). I am looking at Revelation and the role of sacrifice or redemptive violence in our human mythos...and how Christ may have actually undone it as opposed to formally institutionalizing it.

    Yeah. Walter Wink to the rescue!

    Cream, anyone?

  2. I'm up and at em much earlier than usual for a Saturday. But there's a workday at the church to pull out some invasive species and plant native plants. It's a follow-up to Earth day last Sunday and part of a new effort to make the church more eco-friendly.

    After that I'll be hitting the keys hard to get a sermon out. There's a friend in the next town over and we have plans for dinner tonight. Eeeks!

    Praying the jumbled thoughts in my head will make sense on paper.

    Morning all!

  3. Nor preaching tomorrow, but I am doing a "Spotlight"--focusing on Psalm 23 and Acts as one of our Elders and others in Eastern Europe who indeed walk through the valley as they testify to equal human rights.

    I also have brownies on offer...

    Otherwise, I will be in and out today--wedding, then birthday party and fundraiser this evening...

    darn good thing I'm not preaching...

  4. Sally, thanks so much for filling in today! I love the little lambs, they made me say, "Awwww."
    I'll be using the Good Shepherd texts to build our Children's Sunday program in early June, so I will love hearing more about how you're all preaching it tomorrow.
    We have a lay mission speaker tomorrow who is using James 2:14-17 as his text. Meanwhile, I'm preparing to lead a preview session of Living the Questions. Has anyone else used that curriculum?

  5. I'm preaching Acts...the sheep and shepherd thing just didn't do it for me this year.
    I'm also on the road this afternoon, heading out to see a college senior perform in her last play at school. Graduation time is almost here!
    My husband made eggs for breakfast before he left for work, so I guess I can offer that with bacon and toast.Hello cholesterol and fat. But, after all it IS the weekend
    Hey Songbird, it'll be interesting to hear how the curriculum try out went for you!

  6. oops I'd forgotten to mention Acts- there is some good stuff to choose fro lectionary wise this week- almost too much- but the challenge is good- I'm going for a combination of Psalm 23 and John 10- although I thought of going off the lectionary this week I decided not to!

  7. Songbird- no problem- it is an honour to host this! :-)

  8. Good morning! Not preaching here, but I do have some yummy Banana-Blueberry-Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting to offer. If my husband's willing to share.

    Songbird, we've been doing LTQ this year (one Sunday night a month, so we've done 8 sessions now). On the one hand, I have to say that I find it pretty dogmatic - in the speakers' effort to challenge traditional conservative and/or literalist dogma, they end up often coming across as smug, closed-minded, reactive, and lacking in nuance. It's been an interesting experience for us, b/c our church tends already in the direction of those speakers - deconstructionist, ultra-rational, classic liberal, etc. So it hasn't been exposing them to new thoughts so much as giving some of them support for what they already believed. But I would say it has been a good springboard for discussion, some of which has been quite good.

  9. hmmm here are some interesting thoughts for Good Shepherd Sunday- from a sermon by Peter Gomes:

    "I want to suggest that the connection in this text on Good Shepherd Sunday, particularly for the clergy, is not that we are the shepherds, good, bad, or indifferent, but that we are among the sheep. That puts a slightly different perspective on this text for us, because when we preach to our people as fellow sheep instead of as shepherd and sheep, they may actually be inclined to hear the text somewhat differently than we are accustomed to giving it to them and they are accustomed to receiving it. If we think of ourselves as among the sheep, as opposed to belonging to the Shepherds' Union, we may actually gain a new insight into the relationship that we have with one another. It is not the only one, but it may be a useful and a mildly novel one."

    you can read more of this sermon here

  10. Good morning! I made pancakes for the lucky people at my house who get to eat such yumminess. (I'm watching the points, so no pancackes for me.)

    Today is another very full day--the Wondergirl has a haircut at 11:15, plus she's asked me to take her around to pick up job applications, and I am determined to finish the bathroom,since husband is still recovering from surgery.

    Oh, yes, and there's that sermon. I have been distracted this week, but I'm using the Acts passage. I am not sure how, yet.

  11. Songbird, I should clarify that not *all* the speakers in the LTQ DVDs are the way I describe, and some things that get said are quite good. Also, I think it is always good to gather with other Christians to openly discuss matters of faith, theology, and life - so even though I frequently get aggravated at what get said and/or the way it gets said on the DVDs, the real substance of the program for us has been the conversations we have with each other.

  12. 3rd attempt to post! Maybe cause I haven't had my coffee yet.

    I'm also not preaching this week, but I will be saying a very few words about Dorcas to lead in to our 5th Sunday celebration of members who serve behind the scenes. I love it when the Lectionary fits what we're planning to do. :-)

    I'll be gone all day attending a "Healthy Boundaries" class (aka ministerial sexual ethics) required once every 5 years to maintain standing. Hsve fun all.

  13. This is a catch up day for me. I've been away at a seminar all week and foolishly said I would still preach tomorrow (third in a series of Revelation texts). Now I have a sinus infection, no sermon, a birthday party later today and kids to cuddle after being away. sigh...

    I am focusing on how Jesus is central to everything that happens in Revelation. Aside from all the strange imagery, Christ's presence is the reason for worship. How does that relate to worship today? A colleague introduced me to a video clip on the "me church" ( that I'm thinking about using. It's hilarious and hits a bit close to home to attitudes some people seem to have.

    Songbird, I have used LTQ for a small group discussion, and a Sunday school class is just starting with it now. I agree with much of earthchick's critique. It does affirm those who are already progressive and may make some less progressive folks squirm. It was posted as an unapologetically liberal alternative to the alpha course. I don't think this would be a very helpful resource for people brand new to faith. It makes assumptions that people have at least some foundation and formation in Christianity.

    However, it's great for those who are struggling with faith questions that are not satisfied with pat answers. And even for progressives, it does offer food for thought. I also love the connections with pottery and spiritual practices, as well as the musical pieces that are woven throughout the series.

    It does feel a little older white male heavy, though emily townes (among others) have some incredible contributions, especially in later sessions. For those who have used it, did you use the meal and discussion format? If so, what did that add to the experience?gress

  14. Hi Everyone, I hope I can post and that blogger lets me on here and my own blog...I am preaching tomorrow and using the text from Revelation. Wrote the sermon on Thur for this week AND the sermon for next week. I fly out of town Mon for a job interview and return on Wed to meet members from another search process who will be here through Sunday. So, this week sermon can be "light" but next week I need to be "on."

    Now, back to read the sermon(s) I wrote and see what I'm trying to say...

    soon, I will make bacon, eggs, and pancakes. The first Sat. morning I've been home in about two months...

  15. YAAAAWWWWWNNNN ... not quite awake yet, but posted some thoughts on preaching the 23rd Psalm as an acknowledgement of God's hospitality to us yesterday at my place

    Anyone else want cold cereal?

  16. Love the picture of the lamb. And... was there a RGBP meetup??

    Y'all come play Trivia Challenge
    right here. You'll be glad you did.

  17. Sally - good job getting us going this morning! Looks like I can post so---

    I begin my sermon using the TV show "Mythbusters" as an illustration to get into the Book of Revelation. The sermon is basically a teaching on the book and how it speaks to the suffering and persecuted in this world. I demythologize the idea that it is a book of prophecy about "end times."

  18. Another Revelation preacher here... I'll be focusing on the idea that the Lamb as Shepherd is a radical reversal that would give great comfort to the powerless.

    And, eating my usual ricotta cheese, oats, today with sugar free caramel syrup, a chopped up apple, and cinnamon, as well as locally roasted coffee. Pull up a chair!


  19. Good morning. I love my part-time schedule, but writing a sermon once every few months really stinks. Throws the whole week off. Still, tomorrow should be fun. An All Women's Service sponsored by our circles, with female liturgists and choir and ushers. I am preaching on "The Marys", talking about the six NT Marys and how some of them we get mixed up (or I do.) But they are unique, and provide particular gifts to the ministry of Christ and the church, and all are needed. I will be using the John Easter text where Jesus calls Mary M. by name, and talking about baptism, how we are called and named, and asked to contribute our own gifts to the church. Finishing up with something about how it takes all of us (men too!) in mission. finish.

    I have no food, but can make a mean vanilla latte for anyone.

  20. Checking in real quick as I come in to look at my eye in the mirror which just had a branch come flying at it. Pulling out invasive species can be dangerous work ...

    We've got some doughnuts left over from our morning snack. You are welcome to finish them off!

  21. Oy - my pastor is preaching on the Revelation text, leaving me to do a children's sermon on it!

    I think I've finally found my angle though. Last week I talked about saying "I love you" in different languages, and that another way to say those words is through our actions, not just by what we say. So I'm going to ask them if they remember what we did last week (not so likely, but it'll be fun to teach them again how to say "I love you" in German), and talk about the image in the Revelation passage - we worship in English, but other people worship in other languages, etc...

    Anyone know how to say "Praise God" in other languages? I want to teach that to them this week!

  22. Six Maries? Whoa, I had no idea there were that many. Wish I could hear that one, Queen Mum (hint, hint, wanna post it?)

    Thanks Sally! Good to have our first transatlantic preacher party.
    And I like the Peter Gomes quote.
    (Not to mention the adorable lambs).

    I'm off this week, preaching next (as well as doing full supply for the first time--woohoo!) at my friend Janine's place. My Good Shepherd sermon from two years ago is here

    Today's task: Latin translation and, if possible, moving on to some writing on the conference paper. Yesterday's translation went well so I am hopeful. (Midterm grades are lurking but that's a lower priority right now).

    If anyone wants a break, you might visit my friend Chris's place, linked in yesterday's comments, and give him a shout-out. He did his first FF yesterday and I assured him lots of friendly Gals and Pals would be stopping by--but then we had record numbers of participants and he was way down the list so there have just been a couple so far. Kate (Seeking Chivalry) is also new to FF but as a new RevGal she should be featured in Monday's Meet-and-Greet.

    Happy Saturday!

  23. Hi Sally,

    I'm not preaching tomorrow, but I wanted to congratulate you on your new role! Friday evening I tried posting a comment on Eternal Echoes upon reading that you and Lorna would be meeting in real life, but my virutally (really!) dead home computer wouldn't let me....

  24. Well, I've gone from weekly preaching as vicar to not preaching in ages due to Church Planting - I need balance.

    However, the Good Shepherd is just one of my fav. passages because I am an ex-hobby shepherd (my Border Collie needed the sheep and I fell in love with them).

    The same way that not all dogs have the same intelligence, not all sheep do either. I had a breed that did well in desert climate instead of the heavy wool producers for cold climates and they were quite smart. I could call them and the would come running, but if the vet came...well I'd better have them in a small pen before his truck hit the drive.

    At the time I played with the idea that the sheep know the shepherd's voice - which I learned can also be know as song or a trill. So in the morning the shepherd would come to claim his flock out of the safety of the communal night pen and to seperate them from the rest - to claim them as his own if you will, the shepherd would "sing" his/her special song. The sheep knew the shepherd's song and responded by seperating themselves from the mixed flock to their smaller flock to follow the shepherd.

    You see it is the nature of sheep to follow - that is why they need a shepherd to lead. You cant' "push" sheep unless your are a fast collie (or a non-stipendary deacon) but if you want sheep to go with you voluntarily, you have to get out in front, have a relationship (so that they recognize you has the shepherd and not the vet or the butcher), and take them to where they'll be fed.

    Well not much food around here this morning. Hubby's at Diocesan Anti-Racism training for the second day, and I'm being stubborn about getting input on the grocery list and menu before I go shopping. Coffee and toast and then I'm going to quitl class.

    Gee I wish there was a spell check on this thing as spelling is not one of my gifts.

  25. I have a houseguest this week, so my whole routine (if indeed I can be said to have a routine) has been thrown off. This morning I got up and made waffles - I have a few left if anyone's still hungry. I haven't written a single word of my sermon yet. Something in the notion of the sheep hearing their shepherd's voice is pulling at me, but it hasn't quite come into a coherent, preachable form yet.

  26. wow- there are some interesting offers of food out there- not to mention the spiritual food- looks like we're serving up a variety offering this week!
    Melissa- a childrens sermon on Revelation - really? Wow I'd like to hear that!!!
    Leah, Lorna and I had a great time together....
    right now I need to think about cooking up something for this evening--- groan....

  27. Joining the party -- there's chocolate chip oatmeal cookies fresh out of the oven...I'm just starting a 4-month interim, my first "real" pastor-type help them get to know me I'm not going to preach the lectionary for a couple of weeks, but instead some of my favorite "this is what I think the church should be" texts since they want me to help them think about such things. For tomorrow it's Romans 12...

  28. Checking in after several days of being sick...perhaps I will be writing a sermon that someone else can read tomorrow...

    We are engaging in a visioning process tomorrow, and as such the service needs to be kind of short anyways, so it will be good to write a short sermon that won't tax my failing voice.

    I'm pondering the idea of listening for the shepherd's voice, and that is what we are all here to do when we gather for worship--how is God speaking to us? What does God want us to do, where does God want us to go? Fitting in with the visioning thing.

    But the Peter Gomes quote touches on something that I always feel drawn to on Sheep Sunday, and that is the odd nature of being a sheep acting in the name of the shepherd. That's where Peter found himself last Sunday, being asked to feed lambs and tend sheep when he himself was only a sheep as well. So maybe I will weave that in too.

  29. Alas, naught to offer today beyond a bag of Smoothie flavoured Skittles. As for a sermon, the thought of getting up in front of people and, y'know, preaching, scares me white, but I think I'll be taking some time to think about the concept of being a shepherd while still one of the sheep. Seems like a good idea at this point in my life. Thank you all for so much to think about!

  30. All morning session meeting which included a brunch for new members - have at the leftovers, there are a-plenty.

    I am still not lectionary-ing (take that grammar-phobes), I am doing Year of the Bible and we are in Colossians. I chose the passage about clothing ourselves in the new garments of Christ and I named it, "YOU - are the next top model"

    Other than that, I've got a general outline and a deep desire to quit my second job as Church Administrative Assistant. Did you know you can burn your fingertips if you grab the newsletter out of the copier too quickly? Ouch!

  31. Of course I am writing no sermons. But the talk of the sheep and the Shepherd encouraged me to share my own special Good Shepherd over at my blog.

    I have mini-banana muffins and cut-up melon to share, too! Left from our orientation for outgoing study abroad students this morning...we had waaaay too much food, as always. Enjoy.

  32. What about a children's sermon? I've just learned that that's MY job for tomorrow! The Good Shepherd seems to be the scripture to go with. I'd love to hear any wise ideas on this you might have--something to grab the children in two minutes! Breakfast is long over, but we have cupcakes from a new bakery that makes only these fun little treats.

  33. I'm back from my errands--I managed to get some new pants while Wondergirl was getting her haircut. Her job applications have all been dropped off and now she and her recovering dad are plopped down in front of sci-fi.

    Since I finished sealing the grout upstairs, I guess procrastination time is over.

  34. Yea! Worship services are done, I just need to pull together some articles for my newsletter, then I can go play in the SUN. There's a flowerbed to be cleaned out and topped up with topsoil ... in preparation for the planting of something.

    I'll be meditating upon my sermon later when I am beside still waters FISHING.

    In the meantime, anyone for a cocktail? I have the makings for a bloody beer, if anyone is interested.

  35. Just now back from event at hubby's church. I'm sticking with the Acts text. It is written, sort of...both Tabitha/Dorcas and Peter are witnesses to Christ, just in different ways. In what ways are we? Hubby is taking the day off tomorrow and coming to my new church, which makes me a little nervous. We're not used to being in each other's space on Sunday morning!

  36. Banana muffins sound wonderful Mary Beth... I'm in...

    As for childrens sermons carrot top- I often combine the Good Shepherd with the parable- and tell it from the perspective of the sheep- in this case his name is Baaarnaby! ( yes, yes, one day I'll grow up!!)

    esperanza- I know what you mean, Tim makes me more nervous than anyone else can when I'm praeching- we too are used to our own space on a Sunday... prayers for peace...

  37. thankfully there's a children's musical (and therefore no sermon) here tomorrow, because right now we are 30-Hour-Famine-ing, hour 28. So close! So hungry!

    Good times.

    I have to leave my office now because the snacks I keep in here are making my stomach growl. And while I know no one would know if I had a little snack in here (office door has electronic lock!), I would know. And God would know. And I'd feel bad. So I'm staying out of here until after 6...

  38. Teri-I pray you are blessed by this fasting time :-)....
    good move to get away from those snacks...

  39. Well, I've got enough ink on paper. It looks like a sermon, but doesn't really sound like a sermon yet... I'm headed out later to go the high school musical production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, to see some youth group kids. Perhaps when I return, all of these words I have typed will rearrange themselves into something I can actually preach. Brownies are in the oven, don't forget to let them cool before you start snarfing.

  40. well I've splurged out a few notes- and am hoping that they will order themselves by the morning- right now my brain is tired- it is 10:35 pm UK time!
    Your comments would be welcome: here :-)

  41. Teri - blessings on your famine! 30 hours is a long time... especially with all this talk of food. Please pass the banana muffins!

    My morning was spent painting a house and doing yard work for an elderly church member. Don't worry... I wasn't alone. There were about 40 of us pitching in. Now it looks great! I spent the afternoon visiting at the hospital and returning calls and e-mails. I guess it is time to start on the sermon! We are in the middle of a sermon series called "Faith Renovation." My text is Luke 6:46-49... "Building a Good Foundation."

    My husband has gone to the grocery store. Anyone need anything?

  42. Sheep are communal animals and in spite of what American culture might say to us about exalting the individual's needs/wants/desires... I'm focusing on the gift of community that Christ gives us. Now who is it that makes the mean vanilla latte... I'm soooo in on that.

  43. ooh I like the community angle- sheep are not into individuality are they... I think our wooly friends get a bad press!!!

  44. Just popped in with some samosas and onion bajhis...Not preaching tomorrow, praise be, as we have a visiting preacher at the 10.00 Eucharist, and readings and Easter carols in place of Evensong. Just a baptism address to sort, which I hope to do from cold...second child of a family...I baptised older sister 18 months ago, so am looking forward to that. Hope all your sheep head in the the right direction. It's bedtime here. Love to all xxxsjwhyt

  45. Like Kathyrn I'm off to bed now- I'll leave you all to party on...
    Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday- sheep or no sheep.
    Peace and blessings

  46. I must be on Sally/Kathryn time because I am tuckered. Seriously, a nap may be prudent.

    Also, need to preach the actual Scripture and not what I thought the Scripture was - oops.

  47. I have a rare Sunday off from preaching at the prison. I took today off (cleaning house-yuck!), because tomorrow is my birthday (I have a twin sister and we see who can get up the earliest to call and sing happy birthday!), and I spend it with my 84 year old Aunt Grace. Any way, Aunt Grace and I are going to Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah on Monday.

    If I were preaching, I would latch on to the Shepherd. Shepherds love, protect, and keep the flock together. A friend of mine who went to Jerusalem noticed, what she thought was a shepherd with a flock on a hillside. The driver said, "Ma'am that is no shepherd, that is a herder." "How can you tell?", she asked. "You'll notice the herded is pushing the sheep forward from the back of the flock...a shepherd always leads and the flock follows." I don't know about you, but when I come out of the prison each day, I'm reminded we still need a Shepherd.

    And by all means, some church in this land has got to be singing "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need"--I had it sung at my ordination into ministry. What a song of Jesus' love!

    Blessings to you all!

  48. Lydia, Happy Birthday!
    I love that hymn, too.
    How goes it, Gals and Pals? Anyone need some ice cream?

  49. I just finished--bring on the ice cream, Songbird!

    (It's short, it's sheepy, but it'll do!)

  50. Okay, we have Vermonty Python and Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream. Help yourself!

  51. I'd lick anything associated with Stephen Colbert.

    *blush* Not in that way!

  52. we fasted, we prayed, we sang...and we ate. Baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese, followed up by cookies...and now I'm going home to eat some ice cream. I guess I can's Breyers Fried Ice Cream flavor! SO GOOD!

    The Famine was great. More on my blog eventually...tonight I have to write some post-musical-pre-offering prayers....(or at least imagine them so when I make them up during worship tomorrow it won't be awful!)

  53. Happy B'day, Lydia!

    Mine was today, actually. :-)

    And my sermon is ready. Good thing, because I've spent a lot of time at the hospital this week, and I had no time to prepare, and less ability to concentrate.

    My mom had a stroke. Monday she is going to the nursing home, and after that we will see. She is somewhat improved already.

  54. Sermon is done, so I'll get in on that ice cream action, though I'm in more of a chocolatey mood - Double Fudge Brownie here. Anyone want a spoon?

  55. Oh, blessings on you and your mom, Singing Owl. And Happy Birthday to both you and Lydia. Every year is a good one.....

    My sermon is done, but there is no paper to print. Will have to risk printing at church, something about which I have nightmares, sometimes.

    I am the one that makes the mean vanilla lattes, and I'll steam extra milk for whoever wants one. Me, I'm having ice cream, peanut butter cup.

  56. Prayers for you and your family Singing Owl.

    My sermon is done - I hate it. BUT I am working very hard lately on not 'sacrificing myself on the altar of the perfect sermon' and I am exhausted.

    I'm going to bed and letting the Holy Spirit take over (as if I had a choice).

    Blessings all!

  57. Hi all,

    I'm finally checking in tonight because I've been on the run all day. Several hours of pulling weeds with the confirmation class service project. Then lunch and worship, still with the confirmands. Then home, where I spent 20 minutes with my hubby before he left for the rest of the weekend. Grocery shopping and dinner (Kung Pao chicken), and a two-year old's bed time. I just finished up an outline, but I'm beat. So, preaching from the outline it is. (I do it sometimes, but its much better when I practice it more than once. That I'll get to do at 6 a.m. with my breakfast.)
    Blessings to all, those preaching and those who are blessed to hear someone else bring the Word.

  58. Home at last. Spent the day setting up church for Sunday, walking dogs, making a hospptal visit, and a quick run to the mall to look for clothes that fit. I lost so much weight while sick that none of my summer stuff fits...and the interview on Mon and Tues is in the warm I bought some really cute skirts...but when I got them home I found they don't fit...yeesh. Who'd think I'd complain about losing weight...anyway, now I have to run back to the mall tomorrow and spend more time finding some things that fit so I look OK for the interviews..

    OH. Yes. sermon. this is Sat. night...hee hee. I have it done. Wrote it on Thurs, read it through several times today, and it's ok. Breakfast cereal, not brunch. But they'll be fed. And, it's all I've got in me with all that's going on...

  59. Singing Owl, will pray for your mom and you in the days ahead. Birthday blessings!

  60. Happy birthday Lydia- and belated Happy Birthday Singing Owl....
    mmm Songbirds ice cream made my moth water- we still hva a limited range of flavours over here!!!

    Blessings to all who are preaching- I'm doing some early morning tweaaking before I head out- I guess most of you folks are sleeping!

  61. Singing Owl, prayers as well as good birthday wishes to you!
    To all who are preaching this day, God's blessings on your work.

  62. No worries folks, the Holy Spirit has got our backs.

    And if you've gotta dog - walk it proud.

    (That's mine you hear barking in the background.)


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