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Saturday, April 07, 2007

The BIG 11th Hour Preacher Party

One might expect that for THE sermon of the year, I would start writing early. Not so! How about all of you? Well, waiting until the Saturday of Holy Week to write brings a whole new depth of meaning to Easter Vigil. At least that's my excuse.

Today we keep vigil together. Perhaps not with utter somberness (goodness, I hope not...I could use some comic relief), and probably not with fasting (apple bread and coffee here if anyone would like some), but we keep vigil nonetheless. We watch, wait, and pray, for the people who will come into our churches tomorrow, for the physical strength to get some of us through multiple and painfully early services, and for inspiration that will spiritually feed our congregations on the Day of Resurrection.

Pull up a chair and take some sustenance, for both body and soul, and let's get writing!


  1. See, this is what happens when I wait until I wake up to post instead of "playing fast and loose with the space-time continuum" - I nearly forget altogether. Hope none of you were sitting around waiting and writing with nowhere to party. I'm going to go toast some of the apple bread now.

  2. anybody here? Is it just Stacey and me?

    I started writing on Thursday. I have an impossibly long introduction, but no real sermon.

    But I've got coffee and Irish oatmeal.

  3. Apparently we are a party of two. I actually started writing on Wednesday, but didn't get very far. Writing an Easter sermon before I'd even had Maundy Thursday just didn't quite work. Last night it seems like I had a host of brilliant ideas, just as I was going to sleep, which of course I did not write down and have now completely forgotten. Blah.

    What is Irish oatmeal?

  4. I'm here-just for a minute...I'm going over to turn up the heat at the meetinghouse-it's 26 F! SNow showers are predicted for today and tomorrow.
    I will be setting up and preparing the breakfast for tomorrow morning and helping the youth practice their presentation. I AM NOT preaching tomorrow! Whew hoo!
    I have left over vegatable soup and crackers from last night's Good Friday supper and Worship.
    Tommorow morning looks like this for us:
    9:00 a.m. unprogrammed worship
    9:30 a.m. breakfast
    10:30 a.m. programmed worship
    with youth presentation
    I'll check back in later I hope!
    peace out-Quaker Pastor

  5. Irish oatmeal also goes by the name "steel cut oats" It's good stuff--way less processed than rolled oats. It takes about 40 minutes to make, though, so I make a big batch every few days then portion it out in little containers I can then microwave in the morning.

    Chewy nutty goodness, and fiber, too! Great with a little brown sugar.

  6. I'm here too! It's 2.20pm UK time! Not doing too bad with my all-age sermon, it's called "Wow! What Mary saw that morning!"
    I'm using simple pictures to go through the story from the view of what Mary saw (surprise surprise!)... She saw the stone was rolled away; she saw the two disciples running full pelt for the tomb; she saw through a blur of tears; she saw two angels where Jesus had been; she saw Jesus but didn't recognise him; she saw the risen Lord; she saw the disciples and told them!
    Don't know my ending yet... ho hum, something about what *we* see this Easter.
    At least it looks like I might have a bit of voice for tomorrow - have been not that well most of the week and had no voice (not very convenient!!).

    Oh and I've got fudge if anyone wants some?
    And Stacey - I'm missing the Almond Branch :(

  7. For once I have the sermon started before Saturday! I'm just about don with Point One in my outline!

    Unfortunately, today is looking problmatic for gtting the rest done... a wedding from 11 to 1, then a Board meeting at 6 pm (don't ask; well, OK--one of our Board members is only in town on th weekends right now, and we have some business we have to take care of, and I refuse to have a Board meeting on Easter Sunday, especially since it's my birthday and I'm already spending it alone--I refuse to pile on by adding a freakin' Board meting! Rant over).

    I have coffee and brownies on offer, with mayb some banana bread later. Apple bread sounds good!

  8. Can I "borrow" some of the apple bread and banana bread to go with our egg casseroles for tomorrow morning?!
    Or maybe I should just eat it now--

  9. I'm here too. Just finished doing the power point for the Family Service (which comes after the main Eucharist tomorrow morning) but haven't even started the sermon for tomorrow night. Have to get it done before the rehearsal for the Easter Vigil and definitely before the vigil itself...Not even sure I know what the readings are. I'm assuming Emmaus. Maybe I'd better check!
    Coffee...chocolate...inspiration. I need them all! I've an almost empty larder too, but a prishioner did give me some rather splendid shortbread on earlier in the week - I'll leave it on the table.

  10. just checking in. i haven't popped in in awhile. i managed to write a very short sermon (necessary due to baptism and communion and lots of Easter hooplah) on Wednesday so today I just have to polish and prepare my manuscripts.

    First a trip to the acupuncturist, though... and then some time at the prayer vigil and a vespers service and youth group.... but i will sleep this easter eve- for the first time in five years- but i will!

    blessings on your preaching vigil.

    just quick oats here... gotta go get some. mmm... apple bread...

  11. Oh good, we do have some other people here. It's cold here too, quakerpastor. Spring? What spring? The sunrise service is going to be painfully cold tomorrow. I'm not really an oatmeal person, but I will take some fudge...

    Oh, Chelley and whoever else may have read my blog (the Almond Branch) before: if you want an invite, email me at I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do with the blog - go public again? Stop altogether? Keep it private? Scrap it and move elsewhere anonymously? I don't really feel good about it being private, but I was getting so much heat about it from certain members of my congregation that I wasn't sure what else to do.

  12. Yum! I love breakfast foods. Cheesehead, I am a big fan of the plain ole oatmeal. Maybe I should give this Irish stuff a shot - you think? I don't know, though. Forty minutes is a long time to wait when I'm accustomed to the ready-after-five-minutes-of-stirring-on-the-stove type.

    Determined to have at least some of my Saturday to tackle my out of control house and laundry pile (and maybe a nap when the kids go down after lunch), I stayed up last night until I finished my sermon. Since that made for a late night, I'm hoping to find a little leftover energy somewhere so I can actually accomplish something today.

    One of the advantages of a tiny, elderly congregation is that no one wants or expects a sunrise service. Good thing since (a) I am NOT a morning person, and (b) it is supposed to be about 24 degrees here in the South in the morning.

    I'll check back in on the party in a little while. Let me see if I can come up with a few snacks to offer . . .

  13. I'm here too. I have apple pie and strong coffee.

    I'll be here all day, as I have done very little on worship preparations. It will be me, you all and NPR, all day most likely.

    Just trying to fortify myself for a white Easter ... whose idea was that????

  14. Good morning all. It's ridiculously early in the morning following a very late night. After attending a 5-church combinedf choir performance of Rutter's Requiem I took my hour in the church for the Good Friday prayer vigil, getting home just past 11 pm. Tonight will be late also as I can't "dress" the church until after one of our partners in ministry finishes their Saturday night service at 10-ish.

    I have a couple of pages of notes, examples and less than brilliant ideas for tomorrow. I've been re-reading Borg and Crossan to help me continue from where I left off last Sunday. Maybe after lots of coffee - and reading what you all are doing - I will feel more inspired.

    I do have some banuelos to share. They're tortillas, cut in half and fried crispy then coated with cinnamon and sugar.

  15. Thanks Stacey... sorry to hear you've had problems over the blog. I have found the thoughts and experiences you've shared such an encouragement and reassurance in ministry!

    Kathryn, what form does your vigil take today then - especially to need a rehearsal? We don't have anything today (well, actually we've got a children's service this afternoon, but that's the regular monthly one and the 'putting the church back together' after that) - we had the March of Witness and Watch at the Cross yesterday, and 'Sunrise' service and Family Communion tomorrow (with five baptisms). I've never experienced an Easter Saturday vigil! (Where have I been?!)

  16. Just checking in to say hey - usually I just lurk at the Preacher Party 'cause I don't preach. But I always love to read what y'all are doing (and eating!!)

    Here's an extra shout out to all of you doing so many different tasks & types of worship in such a short time. You have all my respect and thanks!

    I am still stomped from Holy Week and now it's Easter Vigil (beginning of Easter festivities) tonight. Whew...

  17. After a nice morning of sleeping in, I'm joining the party. Spent some good time working on the sermon on Wednesday and had hoped to finish it up on Thursday. But I just had a hard time letting it be Maundy Thursday and writing about the Resurrection at the same time.

    I've reread what I've got and it shouldn't need too much more work today. Just tighten up the ending and try to memorize/familiarize myself with it.

    I've got strawberry pancakes with cool whip on top on the table. Any takers?

  18. I actually finished my Easter Vigil sermon a couple of days ago, by the grace of God. Also, it helped tremendously that the Rector preached Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. He will also preach Easter. Having one sermon to write instead of 4 makes being the associate very attractive this week.

    I had donuts and coffee with the mens group and the Altar Guild before morning prayer. yummmm!

  19. Fudge! I'll take some! I almost never leave my sermon till Saturday, but here I am. I have half a sermon and a list of semi-brilliant thoughts on a yellow legal pad. The only trouble is that those thoughts don't really go together into any kind of coherent idea. I started this thing earlier in the week, but it got buried under Holy Week and other happenings around here. Guess it's time to get to work.

  20. So... at the risk of putting us on task ;-)...

    I'm preaching from the Luke passage. Had a conversation with MoreCows last night in which I admitted, I asked myself "What would be fun to do?" I decided to try to write a Magdalene Monologue for tomorrow. (I have two others posted at my blog, if you're interested.) I think my central point is, thanks to the New Interpreter's Bible articles, the empty tomb in itself is not enough for faith. We need an encounter with the risen Christ.

    But so far, just an idea.

    I'm serving my usual melange-- part skim ricotta, chopped apples, raw oats and sugar-free caramel coffee syrup.

    Peace! Mags

  21. I've got Scottish pinhead oatmeal (which I use for Mince and Tatties, but I'm not an oatmeal fan for breakfast!)
    Finished my Easter sermon, on idle tale becoming good news and living in that good news.
    I wrote a reader's theatre for the sunrise service a few weeks ago. So I am vastly relieved that its done. Just have to pull some loose ends together, go over everything and bake a Zopf (traditional Swiss bread). Oh... and pack my warm dress for late service (panyhose, and slip) and lay out the pantsuit and cashmere sweater for the Early service. Getting up at 5 am throws my whole body rhythm off kilter for the whole day. Oh well...
    Blessings upon all of you and may the Holy Spirit inspire and bring your thoughts into focus that the good news you will preach tomorrow will fill all who hear with the grace of our faith!

  22. Family Service done and dusted...Just checked the readings for tomorrow night and, oh Lord, it's NOT Emmaus. In fact, the notice sheet doesnt' make it entirely clear WHAT the readings are....Aaarghhh....
    So I'm commenting here instead.
    Chelley - the Vigil is HUGE! Starts with the church in darkness for a service of readings outlining, well, most of salvation history really...Then outside to light the Easter fire from which the Paschal candle is lit...gradual progress up the church, lighting congregational candles as we go "The light of Christ" "Thanks be to God"...Exultet sung from the chancel steps...Baptisms...Eucharist...Lots of incense...move an inch and you'll trip over server...And you can't see anything, anyway, so scope for disaster is HUGE! I'm not presiding this year, but the baptisms are a mum and 2 daughters from Little Fishes, so I'm doing those....
    Now...What to do? Change readings??? Preach perversely on the Old Testament, so that I can be sure "my" reading gets heard...ummm

  23. Well, it's been two and a half hours since I woke up and posted, and I still have a big blank screen in front of me. Wahoo. I think I'm going to step away for a while and try to revive my brain with some sort of physical activity. See you in a bit.

  24. Loads of laundry started - 0
    Number of bags of trash hauled outside - 0
    Number of rooms adequately straightened and cleaned -0
    Number of errands run - 2
    Number of fights between siblings I've broken up - 3
    Number of hours left in the day to do all that needs done - not nearly enough!

  25. I'm feeling better about having a White Easter, since my sister Deep In The Heart of Texas just called me to tell me it is snowing there too!

    They have freeze and frost warnings posted. Good grief!

  26. Dudes. It's 11:23a.m. and I am *just now* able to get on to my computer. Houseguest staying in my study wasn't up till 10 (we didn't go to bed last night till 2:00 - unwinding from Tenebrae service, and sewing myself an Easter skirt). DH's laptop on the fritz, and I can't seem to write anymore without a keyboard. Then it took a whole hour before my computer would boot up (it has big problems these days). And once I did get on, I was looking for updates on the case of Nancy Copin, the Disciples minister in rural Virginia who was bludgeoned to death on Wednesday night. How awful.

    This afternoon, I'm taking my twin sons to their first bday party. I don't like to have anything other than sermon work on my Saturday's, but this was unavoidable. I've got two hours to get some sermon work done before I have to switch into Mommy mode.

    Word count so far: zero. Pass the coffee!

  27. First - just let me say that I would pay big money (ok, maybe thirty bucks or so) for a RevGal t-shirt that said "Playing fast and loose with the time-space continuum"

    I'm just sayin'....

    Second - I'm so thankful for our preacher party today. I haven't got a clue what I'm preaching tomorrow and you folks are my saving grace. Thanks!!!!

    Now I'm going to read all these great posts and start working. But first, a snack...

  28. Hey all, I've been lurking here for a few weeks, and I love reading your posts. It's nice to know that every Saturday (even THIS Saturday) I am not the only one "out here" who is scrambling for a sermon. Nothing so far....but it's early!

    My church is 45 minutes away, so getting there in time for the sunrise service will make for a very early morning. So I can't fall back on my normal routine of finishing up in the a.m.

  29. Reading all your posts I am feeling so relieved. :-) It's only 8:53 am here and words are happening! Don't know if they're the right words, but words are good.

    I'm also feeling better about a gloomy 60 degreesin SoCal. I remember a lot of white Easters from growing up in PA, but out here I expect sun and warmth!

    Earthchick, what is that about a Disciples minister being murdered? Nothing said in Disciples News Service Thursday - where shall I look for info?

  30. I am playing around with the idea of easter as a Resurrection Insurrection:

    Once the women began to remember, they couldn't stop.

    Once the disciples began to remember, they couldn't stop either!

    There was so much to remember ...

    And from that time on, nothing was ever the same again ... not their faith, not their lives, not their world. All had been made new. They were changed ... and they changed their world.

    What would happen if WE remembered ...?

  31. Rev Maria, I first read about it on my Comcast News page (it isn't a top headline there this morning). If you google Nancy Copin, you'll probably find stuff right away. She was a 60-something pastor of a small rural congregation in Virginia, where she moved a year-and-a-half ago from Birmingham, AL, where she had recently completed seminary. She didn't show up at church on Wed. night, and on Thursday morning some parishioners went to her parsonage. Her back door was unlocked, and when they opened it, they saw blood and called the police. They determined it was a homicide - she had been bludgeoned to death. So disturbing.... [turns out there is some unpleasant stuff in her family history, involving an ex-husband who sexually abused their foster daughter - of course who knows if there is a connection] My heart just goes out to her and to her little congregation.

  32. Thanks Earthchick. I Googled her name - while I do not know her it's likely I know folks who do. We are a pretty small denomination, after all. We'll pray for her and her church tomorrow.

  33. I think I am done. It's about remembering--how the women had to be reminded that Jesus had said he would rise again, and how we help each other remember all the promises of God.

    On to the children's sermon and all the prayers and stuff.

    Yes, rev maria, I can confirm that it is indeed cold in Texas. We're in the southern half, but it is only about 40 degrees and a steady cold rain. Yuck.

  34. Hi friends.

    I'm in the "meat" of the thing now. The title is "Remembering the Words" I'm about to get to the part where we help each other remember, or we remember when our brothers and sisters cannot.

    But I'm also about to have some early lunch.

    The last load of laundry is in the dryer--now I have to try to bribe somebody to carry it upstairs for me. (Plantar fasciitis is still bothering me.)

  35. Wow, some of you are really rocking along!

    I have gone from zero to 821 (words) in the last hour - it was all kind of pent-up in me while I waited to get access to my computer. I feel like I'm just making the turn into the meat part of the sermon as well.

    My sermon (on the Luke text) is titled Undone, and my set up is about all the great un-doables of life. Now I'm trying to move into how the resurrection says "Undone!" over them all: guilt, regret, fear, grief....

  36. HI...I am a late arrival. Frist thing's first. I ahd to do the annual egg hunt/ easter party with the kids. We got startedat 8:30 hidign eggs. I bribed my youth with KK doughnuts, coffee, and coke.
    Kids came in and wee didi the tradtional resurrection egg story and then had the big hunt. As they hunted for eggs outside, I changed into my bunny outfit, complete with pink pjs!
    It was hot in the whoel getup, but I did lead the kids in the Bunny Hop. Some of the poor thigns had never heard of the Bunny Hop! They caught on fast.
    So now, I am here. Sicne i am an associate, I dodnt get to preach tomorrow. I get Thomas next week.
    But many blessigns to all who ponder the text, prepare for the one opp to see some folks this year and the time to talk of resurrection. Good luck to all who will be resurrecting for early services!
    I have left over lemonade and a few doughnuts to share. ALso, soem delicious white cheese with hot peppers in it. Quite yummy!

  37. wow, cheesehead, we are still on the same wavelength from Tuesday. Your meat sounds remarkably similar to mine. Blessings for a quick finish!

  38. Number of loads of laundry tackled so far - 3
    Number of trips to the outdoor trash/recycling bin - 2
    Number of preschool skirmish interventions - 4 (gee, they're fussy today!)
    Number of preschooler boo-boo's (not associated with skirmishes above) - 2
    Number of towels found in my teenager's bedroom - 14 (Grrrrr!)
    Number of times I've checked Preacher Party comments and/or Bloglines - about . . .

    . . . and I wonder why I can't get more done!

    Oh, and average number of word verification I have to type before my comment is accepted - 2

  39. Preacher Mom, you're cracking me up! Given my relative lack of distractions, I have absolutely no excuse not to have this sermon done by now. Alas, it is not done. *sigh*

  40. esperanza, that is funny! I didn't even read your comment before I wrote mine.

    File this under Great Minds Think Alike.

    I hope...:)

  41. preacher mom, I love the running count!

    1-4 grace - I'm impressed with your dressing up like in your bunny pjs for the church kids. Too cute!

    Things feel like they're flowing for me today (unusual for me), but now I have to break for 3 hours for a bday party with a bunch of 3 year olds. I'll look forward to catching up with the Preacher Party when I return!

  42. Cheesehead, we'll definitely file it under the "Great Minds," with the prayer that it may sound like that tomorrow morning!

  43. Just back from a quick trip to the store for plastic fillable eggs (and minimal candy to put in them) as I suddenly realized we might actually have more than 1 child tomorrow! I'm going to use the Mary Magdalene red egg story and talk about believing impossible things. Which will make a lovely jumping off point for the resurrection story. :-)

    I'm still loving Mark's "they said nothing to anyone" - so how did anyone hear about it? They did indeed tell people. And, as Dona Quixote, esperanza and cheesehead have already expressed - they remembered, and couldn't stop telling people what they remembered. Which follows last Sunday's dramatic Palm/Passion monologue nicely.

    What a perfect opportunity to help my folks remember they're supposed to tell the story too, and not just among themselves.

    Average attempts at the word verification today also 2 - but that's way better than Tuesday when it was more like 5!

  44. Thanks for the description Kathryn - that vigil sounds pretty amazing! I come from a lowish MOTR church (and church background) so no experience of incense swinging and all that - but I went to the other end of the deanery a couple of weeks ago to have a fun lesson with the priest over there who taught me how to cense the altar and all that... just in case I find myself covering somewhere much higher up the candle!!

    Back from our children's Praise Party - managed to finish the words part of my sermon before I went - just got the pictures to finish now.

    (I have to put the word verification in twice every time too!)

  45. Well, my sermon is in a good place, my problem is the sunrise service. I've got nuttin' and the folks who will show up in the below freezing wind chill certainly will deserve somethin'.

    Maybe I'll think of something while I finish up and run the Easter bulletin and inserts... Repeat after me: letting the admin go was a good thing, letting the admin go was a good thing..."

  46. Back from the wedding--very lovely and touching. One of the couple is Deaf, so we had an interpreter. This was a first (at a wedding; I've had ASL interpreters fairly often before for church). The couple are so sweet... been together 11 years, the hearing member of the couple didn't know a word of sign when they met, but learned it, determined to have a relationship with this man he had fallen om love with. Sniff, sniff. Romance is NOT dead, darn it!


    No further on the sermon, starving for some lunch, and only 3 1/2 hours until I have to get ready for the Board meeting. I'm hoping we can breeze through it tonight. The meetings have been getting shorter--from 3 hours down to 2 to 1 1/2. Yay!

    Oh, and I'm glad I'm not the only one with word verification problems. I mean, I know I need new glasses, but really!

  47. Tol' ja I need new glasses!!

    IN love, IN love,

  48. I've decided on a story sermon. It's in the works now, but I've taken a break for lunch. Well, if you consider chocolate to be lunch.

  49. I'm back!
    We ran away to a Non-Contiguous New England State to see #1 Son in a play at college last night. Since returning home I have:
    picked up dogs from kennel
    gone to two bakeries for goodies for tomorrow
    read newspaper
    eaten lunch
    written three sermon paragraphs that may not make it into the final draft, although gardening seems like a good illustration for resurrection, right? (Please say yes.)
    I have nothing to wear tomorrow. I'm tempted by Dress Barn and Talbot's.
    What say you? Shall I give into temptation?

  50. Songbird, absolutely gardening works. I wanted to bring a large composting bin for worship, but decided against it.
    I'm working on "remembering"... trying to tie it all up so I can do a few other things before vigil tonight. Also keep thinking that this doesn't need to be a particularly long sermon...!

  51. I was wondering where you were, Songbird.

    Well, I have a 'sorta finished' sermon. I have a 200-word chunk that I probably need to dump, because it sounded a whole lot better in my head than it looks on paper. But then my sermon is kind of short. Is that okay on the biggest holy day of the year?

    Is it?

  52. Yes. Cheesehead, there's nothing worse on the day when so many once-a-year worshipers come than holding them hostage to our desire to have it all make sense in one sermon. Preach the gospel. Use words if necessary. (Right?)

  53. Somehow, doing physical activity turned into falling asleep on my couch. Strange, that. So, I have no more sermon than I did before, and I have acquired sleep-bleary contacts to boot. Sounds like many of your are coming along nicely, though.

  54. I am sad to find that the preacher party is considered relevant and worthy to continue during Holy Week, while Friday Five, the main bonding and faithsharing and ministry reflection activity for the entire community, was not. It feels like I and others who don't have positions with regular preaching--which means we definitely don't get to preach on the high holy days either--are second class RevGals.

    I am especially sensitive to this, of course, because the lack of ministry opportunities corresponding to my training, gifts, and commitment is an ongoing heartbreak. Though my particular situation is unique, I'm not the only one in that very painful situation, which gives us different but equally valuable insights to share than our dear sisters who are usually in the pulpit and rarely in the pew.

    Can we consider restoring Friday Five to next year's Holy Week schedule, please? Some people might choose not to take part, but some of us would--and it would make a welcome statement about the equal value and holiness of the ministries and wisdom of all the gals and pals. If it's too busy a time for the regular post-ers to come up with something, I bet I'm not the only person who would be delighted to fill in.


  55. Many of your? See, I told you my contacts are bleary. Or maybe it's just my brain. *Yawn*

  56. Gee, mother laura, I don't know what to say. I also made the decision to post my regular Tuesday Lectionary Leanings, so I guess I inadvertently hurt your feelings as well.

    I am sincerely sorry. That was not my intent.

    I can't imagine that anyone here honestly thinks there is a two-tier system (preachers vs non-preachers). But I can see your point.

  57. I've started and restarted several comments now, and I'm not really sure what to say either. The decision to post the preaching-related features this week was not at all about their greater relevance or worth. My thought process was more like, "I'm still preaching, and the preacher party doesn't take much extra thought to post, so I'll just do it as usual." I'm sorry that was perceived as a slight; I certainly did not intend it that way.

  58. I just had a minor panic attack thinking I was re-writing last Easter's sermon. False alarm, Thank God.

    Mother Laura, I too missed Friday Five this week. I needed someplace to unhinge my brain (aka relax a bit) especially during Holy Week. Even though I usually preach, I participate in the Preacher Party even when I'm not preaching, to give moral support and to squirrel away ideas for whenever that text comes around again. :-)

    And sometimes I think it would be nice to have people-in-the-pews handy on Saturdays to say "I'd like to hear that" or "oh,no not that old thing again!" Especially knowledgeable and caring people like you.

  59. I know, I know I am late to the party. But we had to take care of the kids, they were wild. I think its been such a busy week, and they are expecting tomorrow, that they are just beside themselves. We took them swimming to blow off some steam. It is just too cold and windy outside.

    I too have put off the writing of the sermon. Have had some ideas that I have dismissed. I have some chocolate candy if anybody wants some and Diet Dr. Pepper. Everybody doing okay? My anxiety is up way up. I love what I am reading here. It gives me some encouragement.

  60. Here. Writing. Noshing on gouda and crackers and cookies with Easter MnMs in them. Getting a late start because of errands, but managed to scrawl a few ideas down last night before bed.

    After a Lent focusing on abundance, I want to do something about abundance bursting open the tomb--so what I have are those little gelatin capsules with sponge animals inside. We'll drop them in warm water and see them POP open to be animals!

    I also wanted to distribute Pop Rocks to eat, but couldn't find them...and wanted to blow something up in church, but that was quickly kiboshed.

  61. mother laura -

    I think what we are dealing with is the challenge of mixing the sacred and the profane rather than the cancelling of the schedule just as a time saver for those who are involved in full time ministry.

    I think the main reason for not having a Friday Five was to show respect for the most somber day of the Christian year - the Sacred.

    Although Saturday should still be somber, there are also plenty of us looking for a 'vent outlet' as sermons and services are attempted to be put together the day before and so the preacher party was kept - the Profane.

    I am quite sure no slight or ranking system of revgals was intended and yet cleary that is how you feel so I am sure the matriarchs will look into the schedule for next year.

    Might I also add that I like the description of the Friday Five as: "the main bonding and faithsharing and ministry reflection activity for the entire community" since I am pretty sure once we listed our favorite junk food and least favorite secular Christmas songs.

  62. Hey - who you callin' profane?

  63. Hello all! My sermon is done and I'm waiting for my parents to arrive. They are musicians and are handling our music tomorrow - for which I am very thankful. Most of the sermon hinges around Luke's use of 'but.' Christian Century had some ideas about that, and their ideas gave me ideas - love it when that happens.

  64. Um, not you Stacey....

    Don't you have your rock band practice to go to?


  65. Mother Laura, how powerful, spiritual and honest of you to share your thoughts and feelings with us. I am sorry your feelings were hurt. I missed the friday five too. Perhaps we can combine the regular postings with Holy Week reflections as well. And your input is always welcome to the preacher's party. I sometimes forget what it is like to sit in the pew. I am also saddened to hear you are possibly in a painful situation. My prayers are being said for you. I think its also neat that you have offered your writing capabilities to the blog, that is part of what community is about. Your telling us reminds me that when the women told the original community they did not believe them. Isn't that part of the Easter story? Isn't that part of our story too?

  66. Wow! Y'all are busy! I have not even begun my Easter sermon. It is 3 p.m. Yikes! I simply could not think about it until today...too consumed with Holy Thursday (which turned out wonderful, wonderful, wonderful) and Good Friday.

    I just got back from church where we rearranged things so that the kiddos can do a worship dance tomorrow, put out flowers, and changed the purple draped, thorny crown bedecked cross over to a white satin drape with a crown. Wooo HOOOO! I am SO ready for Easter this year. No, not sermon wise...oh me...get off the computer and start sweating. I have a text. That is all.

    My husband says, "I recommend you go with a resurrection theme." Verrrrry funny!

    And IT IS SNOWING! Bah! Humbug!

  67. Hey everybody!
    It is COLD here in south Texas today. We are anticipating rain and 45 degrees for Easter morning! That's what I get for gloating about the weather in front of all you Snow Belters...

    Are you ready for a break? Stop by my place to see an amazing fresco of the Harrowing of Hell.

    And if any of you Blogger geniuses can tell me how to make a thumbnail JPG actually show up in a post--rather than a little bar you have to click which opens it in another window--I would be very appreciative.

    A blessed Easter to you all.

  68. Forgot to say that I have a whole, uncut apple pie, left over from a fellowship at someone's home after the community Good Friday service. I'll cut it and put the coffee on. I'm gonna need it.

  69. Sadly, the sacred band practice was cancelled this week for the profane practice of vacations! These dudes need to get their priorities straight. ;)

  70. Oh, don't feel bad, singing owl. I've been "working" on the sermon since 8:30am, and I've still got next to nothing. My brain has just not made its way to Easter yet. And what terribly helpful advice from your husband!

  71. Songbird,
    Of course Gardening is a relevant association--we are singing In the Garden after I tell the Johannine version of the Easter story for children's time--and introduce the song as being based on that story.

    ANy way, as I work out the progression of my sermon into talking about when we go in search of the tombs of life (tomb as a metaphor, not cemetary visits) I am wondering "What do we expect to find?" DO we ever truly expect to find resurrection? Or is that even something that can be expected?

  72. SO, so GLAD we have your husband to help! And please pass me a piece of pie - a la mode - and the coffee.


  73. Well, have two-thirds of s sermon. Must stop now for a power nap, bite to eat and a review of meeting materials before the meeting at 6pm. I'll be back after that, I'm afraid.

    Coffee sounds excellent.

  74. Amount of time I meant to nap - 30 minutes
    Amount of time I ended up napping - almost 2 hours
    Number of tons that the cat who slept on top of me weighs - 13 (okay, it's really pounds, not tons, but it felt like it!)
    Number of additional loads of laundry tackled - only 1, put in before I turned into Rip Van Winkle. Sigh.

  75. Worship services done ... sermon is there I think.

    Gotta find one more article for one church's newsletter.

    Will start dinner in about an hour, when I can listen to Prairie Home Companion while I prepare the garden salad DH requested for dinner tonight. Hot wings for me, potatoes for her to round out the meal.

    Monday I am SOOOO taking the day off.

  76. preacher mom, sounds like you (and the cat) needed some rest. Glad you got some.

  77. Thank you, everyone, for the loving and respectful response to my concerns. It was very scary to post, and getting some positive feedback has maximized my chances of success at today's work on my next conference paper, which will probably stay at the research/pre-writing level. I need to translate a Latin introduction, and possibly a couple of primary source passages it references. That will set me up to take on its dubious yet unquestioningly accepted arguments about the authorship of a medieval women's mystical text.

    I know there was no intentional slighting or ranking going on, and am grateful that now a concern has been raised things will be re-evaluated. Two tier systems can be unconscious, though, and if so are usually more visible to those on the bottom tier.

    This does get into the big question of what is sacred and what is profane, as well as the related big question of who gets to have a voice in church and who doesn't.

    Friday Five does have some silly bits, but also some powerful faithsharing moments (rivers in the desert, most powerful Good Friday experience, etc) and some that can be taken either way--but all are a crucial part of building a spiritual community. I experience God as part of every bit of life, and thus everything as sacred, and find that reflecting on this myself and then sharing that with others is the way to become more aware of and thus respond better to the sacredness. That's why I think the preacher party is just as sacred as the preaching or study or prayer time, and take part many weeks even when I am not preaching. Obviously a Good Friday Friday Five should be carefully written to make it part of the sacredness and power of that day.

    Rev. Maria, there is a wonderful book by David Schlafer (TEC priest) called "Surviving the Sermon: A Guide for Those Who Have to Listen." We read it in my preaching class at ETSC, as he has a lot to say to preachers as well. He advocates the formation of preaching support groups such as you speak of, that meet with a pastor to give their reflections on the scriptures and response to drafts, and to give constructive feedback on the sermon after preaching. He also mentions that participating in such a group may eventually lead to the discovery of a call to preaching (not necessarily in full time ministry--there are some wonderful, rigorous lay preaching programs in various TEC dioceses that really maximize the diversity of voices heard in church). I think this is a really wonderful idea because once you're out of seminary and internship there is no built in evaluation system as I have for college teaching and many other professions do as well, so pastors either get praise (and that not very specific) or occasional cranky complaints.

    We had a similar system at Journey Catholic community in Portland, with a team of about 8 preachers,and anyone else who wanted to come meeting weekly to critique drafts and then delivered sermons. Some preachers had formal theological education and some long apprenticeship in the group; some preached more often than others. The homilies ranged from solid to excellent, and it was really good for everyone to have a variety of people rotating in and out of the pew and the pulpit.

    Blessings on the Word spoken--in hearts and sermons and scriptures and songs--at all the Vigils, Sunrises, and Morning services on this resurrection weekend.

  78. Just put on some spaghetti. Anyone hungry?

  79. Dudes, I had no idea a birthday party with a bunch of 3 year olds could be so exhausting. I am feeling SO old.

    Sue: um, yes, I DO consider chocolate as lunch. In fact, on my way home from the bday party, I realized that my menu today has consisted of:
    raisin bran
    2 brownies
    a Reese's peanut butter egg
    some Cheetos
    a chocolate cupcake
    some ice cream

    And I have no idea what I'm doing about dinner....

    Songbird: yes, I say give in to the temptation of Dress Barn or Talbot's.

    Oh, and a good friend sent me a great Easter card - a minister in the pulpit on the cover, underneath it said, "Today's Easter sermon is..."
    and then inside: "Where the hell have you all been since Christmas?"

  80. Well, on that note, perhaps I should quit.

  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. I'm so relieved to hear that other people are eating just as healthily as I am today. So much for the lose-10-pounds-before-I-go-to-Mexico diet; pass the chocolate!

    Progress is finally being made here. Slow progress, but words are appearing on the screen.

  83. Songbird,

    Don't quit.

    A group of us - who were asked to -have responsibility for the blog posting schedule. We all are doing the best we can and this is NOT the week/time for us to be picking at one another.

    We are exhausted. We are frazzled. We are in need of grace from one another and in many cases - a good, long nap.

  84. Well, I have posted my Easter sermon here.
    I hope the Spirit shows up tomorrow, and has my back.

    I'm doing something a little kitschy with the kids'time tomorrow. You know the thing where you tell the story using plastic eggs that have little clues in them? I've never done it before, but there's a first time for everything.

  85. Back from the vigil,- awesome in places, hysterically funny in others (I expect I'll blog it later) and now I must, must MUST write this darned sermon...I'm kind of 2/3 through but can't really see where I'm going in terms of my elderly evensong congregation. It's getting kind of late, so I may just be going to bed...On again at 8.00, 10.00 and 11.30 tomorrow morning. Blessings,everyone! xx

  86. Although I rarely do this, I decided to post my sermon over at my blog. Feel free to drop by.

  87. Oh-my-gosh, you won't believe this! I have misplaced my little cheat sheet that tells me how to insert a link into a comment. I decided to try it from memory and - drum roll, please - it actually worked! Maybe old dogs can indeed learn new tricks!

    And Blogger has accepted my first word verification on my last two posts. Crossing my fingers that this makes it three!

  88. I think that sermon is wonderful, cheesehead, and it helped some things spring into clarity for me (perhaps I remembered them?). So, thanks for posting it!

  89. Hey, Cheesehead - we can be kitschy together!! (Kitschy or not, it really seemed to work with my two preschoolers.)

  90. Kathryn - You rock! Because now is always the time when I am starting to seriously feel sorry for myself and now is when you post that you must get to bed because you have l4 services tomorrow or something like that!

    Cheesehead - good luck with the plastic egg children's sermon. Are you doing a dozen because then my only advice would be to keep the pace up. A few years ago a woman was 10 minutes into it and only on egg #7. I finally asked into my microphone, "What's in the twelfth egg?"

    She didn't get the hint though and kept right on going with 8 through 12.

    In a stunning shocker I am nearing the finish line. Let's here it for lots of singing and a meditation!

  91. Will smama, the version I am using uses only six eggs. Short and sweet.

  92. I suppose since I never participate in the Friday Five I'm not really a part of the community.

  93. I just finished a litany (kind of unusual for us AG folks) and as for the sermon, I'm almost done...I'm almost done...I'm almost done...chug chug...

  94. I'm doing the dozen, but I'm not reading all that stuff out of the Bible. I've got, like, one-line explanations for each egg.

    But the reminder to keep the pace up is a good one, thanks!

    And I agree about Kathryn. I stop feeling sorry for myself the second I remember that she does 83 services a month!

    Stacey, I'm glad the sermon helped.

  95. It feels like I and others who don't have positions with regular preaching--which means we definitely don't get to preach on the high holy days either--are second class RevGals.

    Laura, please don't feel that way. I'm not a preacher or a pastor, just a person. A person who loves this community, and who every Thursday scrambles to get Ask the Matriarch put together. And I like theming my columns according to the calendar when I can, but Abi, bless her bless her bless her, often pinch hits for me and so when she volunteered to make this Thursday's one a more reflective piece, I felt such a wave of relief. It's not that I'm a second-class blogpal. I'm just a writer and editor who volunteers her talents, and I can tell you--the real matriarchs here have taken me under their wings and helped me grow--and they'll tell you I'm a matriarch too, even when I eep and blush about it.

    If you ever want a friday five and we don't have one handy--it could happen because of the calendar or because one of our number is unavailable because of internet problems or, god forbid, worse, it's actually a wide tradition around the internet. Some people I know enjoy doing multiple Friday Fives--I, on the other hand, seldom do any of them. Try punching "Friday Five" into google and you'll get several other ones.

    Songbird and our other matriarchs are so wonderful. And their initiative in putting aside our weekly columns actually helped me refocus my energies on Holy Week, even though I'm a lay person getting ready to close on a house and in that sort of-leaving-one-church-finding-a-new-one -place that's really hard on the holiday spirit. RGBP is a twofold place for me in that way--a place to act on my vocation, and a place that sustains me spiritually when I can't make it to a physical church.

    May you all have a blessed Easter! And I'm in Southeast PA (Pottstown) right now, so if any of YOU are here, please let me know so I can come visit tomorrow!

  96. Whoa, Nelly! Amen to the let's take a deep breath idea.

    Mother Laura, I'm glad you shared your feelings, and others too.

    Certainly there was no intention to hurt or slight anyone with the Holy Week schedule. And this is a really easy time to get hurt feelings - for everyone.

    I'm not a preacher...or ordained in any way except as part of the priesthood of all believers...but I do want to comment as a die-hard RevGal groupie.

    Those of us who run the ring and the corporation do a lot of hard and time consuming work, that I don't think always gets seen. Not asking for kudos, just saying.

    And I want everyone to know this: The idea of changing the posting schedule for Holy Week was shared with the corporation members' email list for comments and there were no negative responses.

    IMPORTANT: This is not to say that all in the Ring (as opposed to those in the corp) are not valued and loved!!! But it's difficult-to-impossible to solicit and usefully glean input from over 235 people. That's exactly why we have a corporation: so that people who wanted a voice in the running of the webring would get it.

    Anyone in the ring who wants to join the corp and be part of those discussions is most welcome to.

    Bottom line: All are loved. By Jesus and by us.

    Go Easter! Here's to new life in Christ!

  97. The thread of conversation dealing with first and second class ring members feels a lot to me like the common disagreements that take place in any church. One group makes a decision for a change - be it temporary or permanent. Another group objects to the change - feeling slighted or left out. The most important thing for both groups is to really hear each other. Change, even in small things like the Friday Five, are a real challenge for some. As a person who is most comfortable flying by the seat of my pants, I tend to get annoyed when someone gets bent out of shape over something that seems to me to be minor. But I have learned - the HARD way - that what is presented (i.e. - We should have had the Friday Five) is more often than not a very surface symptom of what lies deeper (i.e. - I need to feel a part, or I need support and affirmation.)

    RGBP leaders - God bless you for what you do - on top of everything else you are already doing! I hope you will continue to feel free to be creative and innovative in the shaping of our webring.

    Mother Laura and anyone else who may feel slighted in some way - we love you. Please understand that a change in the flow, especially within the context of Holy Week (which is madly busy for all who are active in the life of the church, ordained or not), is not meant to hurt or exclude. I was shocked that anyone had time to post anything this week!

    Group dynamics are tricky. May love, mutual respect, and honest communication carry us through. This is a special, special gathering of individuals.

  98. 3/7ths done! (MT, GF, and the Easter Egg Hunt down, four Easter morning services to go!)

    I cannot even believe that I serve a church with four services on easter, where each one cannot be more than 45 minutes, and that I have to do nearly everything except preach. I have been allotted 3 minutes for the children's time: a message about the stone. 5 or 6 adults come up and make themselves into a stone with some gray sheets, while the kids are hearing about the women/disciples who came to the tomb in the morning. They try to push the "stone" out of the way, but can't...because only God is strong enough and has the power to move the stone and bring Jesus back from the dead! God is great, all the time, etc, the end. Three times (no children expected at the early service!). oh my.

    I hope the communion bread is good. On Christmas we had rye bread (communion emergency--no one bought bread ahead of time and that was the only unsliced bread the pinch-hitting communion setter-upper could find) and taking communion 5 times was torture. Please, please, please let the bread be good on this 4-communion-morning!!!!!!!

    speaking of which, I guess I'd better write a communion prayer (need two for the different types of services...).

    I have Creme Brulee ice cream. Please don't make me eat it all.

  99. On a lighter note, what is the children's sermon with the eggs?

  100. Songbird: I still don't understand whether you mean quitting preaching or posting Friday Fives, but obviously I hope you won't do either. I am sorry if the phrasing of my concerns was less than gentle and kind, and caused you, or anyone else, any pain. If you'd like to share any more about your feelings and get a fuller response please feel free to email me (lauraATgrimesDOTws).

    Peace in the Risen One.

  101. Songbird, the short (six-egg) version is actually included in my sermon, which is posted over at my place. I don't know what the full, twelve-egg version includes. Cheesehead?

  102. A 12 egg children's sermon sounds like one big omelet, to me...
    (Home-let?? Get it? It's a pun...)

  103. Wow.

    So, the whole world seems to be living in the reality of Holy Saturday. May you all find renewed grace, peace, and hope when you wake up to Resurrection Sunday.

    Blessings to you, both preachers and non.

  104. BLOGGER!!!! Have mercy on us, we are sinful creatures and deserve your wrath, but give us a break!
    CH- try freezing water in a soda bottle and then rolling foot over it. I've had PF before...ouch!
    Also, I've ahd good luck with the eggs before. They are sold as resureection eggs. Scrap the long story that comes with it and jsut wing it.
    SB-Go buy an outfit at Talbots. They ave great stuff for us short folks!
    EC- PJs were comfty, jsut hot. The bunny earts, nose and teeth, not so great. Melech the Cat was upset by the huge bunny.
    RevA- Hope the kids calm down some. Too much going on with candy, easter, etc all in the mix. Bless you as you write.
    ML- I think there is a thin line b/t profane nad sacred. I straddle it a lot. Just ask anyone about my manure sermon, how I preach barefoot, call all the elderly men, "handsome" and use profanity when trying to hang an uncooperative liturgial banner.
    I am glad to ahve all the gals (and guys) on board. I grow from knowing you, I file away stuff for future sermons, and benefit for mour conversations. it is also a welcoem break from "work."
    Blessings to all who write, who read, who tell the Good News and who await a Risen Christ once again. Special blessings to those early risers in the cold weather!

  105. RM!!!! Youre so PUNNY!!!!
    Funny pun! Made me smile!

  106. groaning at reverend mommy's pun...

    laughing at preacher mom's little girl's version of the Easter story (in her sermon on her blog)...

    tearing my hair out over my sermon... Page 6 (out of probably 8 pages) and I don't yet know completely where I'm headed. I mean, I'm pretty sure he'll be all raised up and everything, but beyond that? It's still a mystery....

  107. Songbird I am not sure which one about the eggs, there seem to be several.

    I have written my sermon. Am letting it sit and gel. Trying to get the kids to bed.

    Preacher mom, you have got to be tired.

    Grace and peace to all.

  108. I have about three sermons swirling around in my head and on paper and am having a hard time separating them. Time for a break and some dinner. Crab lasagne, anyone? (No, I didn't whip it up today--but it is pretty good as leftovers.)

    I am having a hard time concentrating, because Monday is my birthday (Aries w00t to RP) and the start of vacation, and I feel like I'm trying to do homework the night before the last day of school. Sigh.

  109. 12 Resurrection eggs. (I didn't buy no stinkin' kit--home grown version.) Plastic eggs, plus:

    Oyster cracker=last supper
    Feather=rooster (peter's denial)
    3 dimes=3o pieces of silver
    thorns= thorny crown
    nails=nailed to the cross
    cross= well...cross
    dice=gambling over Jesus' clothes
    toothpick=spear in his side
    white cloth=burial cloths
    cloves & cinnamon=burial spices
    stone=entrance to the tomb

    Ta da! Really, it took me 15 minutes to assemble the whole thing.

  110. Brilliant egg explanations, thanks.

    As someone who lives in the state of a famed groundhog and who has a sunrise service scheduled amidst snow flurries and wind chills below freezing I wonder if Jesus might stick his head out of the tomb and then go back in until Spring!

  111. Sorry I've checked out for a while. I don't mean to be a negligent hostess, but I've been hanging on the verge of a panic attack all day, and needed a bit of a breather. I have two pages of sermon, which needs to become four or so. I have no words, which is ironic, because thus far I've been writing on a theme of forgetting the words/lyrics. Meh.

  112. Cheesehead and Reverend mommy, you all are funny. I needed that laugh tonight. I really did. Thanks.

    Here is the one from what has a 4 egg story.

  113. will smama, don't you mean "eggsplanation"?

    Oof. Sorry. I'm a bit punchy - and under the influence of rev. mommy's pun....

  114. First, I apologize for the mysterious comment about quitting. I took Mother Laura's comment personally because I would have been yesterday's Friday Five poster, and I must admit I had one of those unattractive "take my marbles and go home" moments.
    As a person who not only observes Good Friday as a deeply holy day, but who also lost a baby on that day fifteen years ago, I find the thought of a Good Friday meme pretty horrifying. That's why we didn't have one last year, and I guess we didn't this year because we didn't last year, and thus traditions are born.
    Those who have been around from the beginning will remember that it was a friendly joke amongst the founding Matriarchs that Songbird was the Inclusivity Queen. There is certainly no intention to leave out non-preachers in any given week. But for those of us who are preaching, whenever we're preaching, this has become an important source of support, and in this week of all weeks, it seemed necessary.
    If anyone has concerns about the way the blog is managed, I hope you will direct them to me as Webring Administrator. I will share them with the Matriarchs and also try not to be a big baby and take things so personally.
    Now, if you don't mind, I've spent the past three hours being upset about this and really need to write a sermon.
    (P.S. I did find an outfit at Talbot's.)

  115. Okay, my egg thing sounds much easier. I have one empty egg and lots of eggs with candy in them. I talk about how disappointed we would be if we got the empty egg and then move on to the women finding the empty tomb where they had hoped to anoint their dear friend, Jesus. They got the Resurrection, we get jelly beans. Voila! So theologically profound...think my kids will fill the eggs?

  116. I'm glad to get to the Preacher Partry even if I'm late as usual.

    Quiet day at home and I left the house only to deliver Easter gifts.

    My sermon is finished for today but I'll re-do it tomorrow morning then again on the trip to church.

    I'm waiting for supper now. Sorry I missed all the goodies you all discussed this morning.

    Cheese, I'm with you and the oatmeal. I put maple syrup on mine with skim milk. I'm positive that the skim milk covers any calories in the syrup.

    Tom Long's sermon on the Luke passage is listed in the Text This Week sermon section. He tells the story of the little boy who loved Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers. The kid watched both shows devotedly. When it was announced that Mr. Rogers planned to visit Captain Kangaroo, the boy was overjoyed. Sitting with his Mom on the big day, the boy watched a few minutes of the show then left the room. His mom asked him why. He said, "It's too good, Mom. It's too good."

    Have a too good day tomorrow. Try not to worry that you need to tell the entire Gospel message and meaning to the folks who show up ONLY on Easter. Just give them a taste of the "too good" and pray for them to return.

    Love you all. Can't help it.

  117. Sounds like we're starting to get a bit punchy around here - home-let, eggsplanation, etc.

    Songbird, anniversaries are real reminders of both joys and deep sorrows. Please consider yourself hugged! While I know it doesn't fix anything, I'm glad you got in some good retail therapy! By the way, I'm sending a friend of mine your way. I think she has to work this weekend, but she is planning to show up the first weekend she is work-free. I told her to tell you that Preacher Mom sent her. You will like her. And if you get to know her well enough, you will find that she is one brave lady with one heck of a story to tell. She inspires me.

    As you all do. Thanks for being my company today!

  118. Thank you Songbird.
    I have to say, I was one of the ones voting for a Sabbatical, since I need one badly. I also posted the Thursday reflection.

    I love you all a lot. you have been my life savers, and community. I love you whether we agree or disagree.

    I will also say I did perhaps go overboard on my comment about the women. But aren't we all like the women at the tomb. I guess that's what I meant to say. I apologize for the hurt feelings I have caused as well.

    I am with you all and supporting the ones still writing. I have written a many a sermon late at night, and early in the morning.

    And Songbird, please don't take your marbles and run. I like you playing with us. I do.

  119. Oh, Songbird, I had no idea. I am so very sorry to hear about your terrible and traumatic loss--especially on that sacred day.

    Thank you for coming back and explaining what you were feeling.
    I am glad you loved yourself by shopping for an outfit to help you feel God's delight in your beauty and radiance. Prayers for easy and peaceful writing and joyous proclaiming tomorrow.

    Though I like the fun Friday Fives, I find tremendous nourishment in the ones with deep spiritual sharing with an increasingly beloved community(which mine often turn into anyway--we probably also have an introvert-extravert divide going on here). That is what I was missing so deeply yesterday and envisioning as a possibility for future Good Fridays... but being able to work through something like this with honesty and compassion is a similar treasure. Thank you, everyone.

  120. Hey Semfem--I'll bet you are SO taking Monday off (like me and the rest of the ring...maybe you should take Tuesday off, too. Tell 'em I said you could).

    OK, I have a bunch on Peter and how our own fears can lead us to do what God needs of us (that's what my notes say, I don't remember what it means). I think where I wanted to go is that Peter tried so hard to do the right thing and messed up every time--and as a capper, claimed not to know his teacher and best friend when the chips were down. But he had a chance at making things right--he had another chance; after the resurrection, he could make things right with Jesus--and he did (feed my lambs, etc.).

    It's not a do-over, it's just a chanc to make things right.

    Problem is, that scene is so far removed from Easter, I don't know if I should go there or not.

    And it's getting late and oh, dear I don't know if can face starting over.

    And then there's the "spotlight" to do. I like the egg stuff going around, but I don't have any little plastic eggs...

    I think I need some chocolate and a calm down.

  121. St C. I'm glad somebody else around here has the good taste in oatmeal that I do.

    I read that T. Long story. I wanted like heck to be able to squeeze it in my sermon, but couldn't.

    Love you right back. Can't help it.

  122. Hey, folks! Just wanted to stop by and say hi. I have 4 big trays of egg and cheese strata in the fridge. It's marinating. But if you're still writing tomorrow morning when it gets in the oven, you're all welcome to it! (We're cooking breakfast at Ronald McDonald House.)

    Oh, and I have peeps. I love peeps.

    I'm not preaching tomorrow, but wanted to do my part to root for those of you that are! Go kick some sweet patootie for Jesus!

  123. And on a totally other note...

    Laura--I understand feeling like you (and therefore your concerns) are considered less important. And I understand how the Friday meme can feed your soul--I know that some weeks it's all the blogging I can manage to do.

    Everyone--But I try to see Holy Week as a time set apart, a time for fasting and extra prayer, for a retreat from the usual (as much as that is possible for those of us who are active in churches, whether we are paid or not). In that way, I appreciated that the entries for Holy Week were different. It was a reminder that this week is different.

    Finally, thank you a zillion times to the matriarchs who run the ring. I don't say it often enough, but you are amazing--you post here and on your own blogs regularly, as well as run your busy lives in RL. Praise, praise, praise!

    And to the rest of the RevGals, who post on each other's blogs and blog regularly, and post funny comments and pray for each other and bring cyber goodies to the preacher party and lovely suggestions as well. Thank you for all you have brought to my life in the last year and a half. You have been a support system, a suggestion network, a lifesaver when I just couldn't find a path through a sermon or a leadership issue, and a light every single day. May God bless every one of you and your ministries richly, fully, and completely, in the name of Risen One.

  124. RP - Are you using the Acts and Luke passages? If so, (and even if not) I don't think that the Peter stuff is too far from Easter at all. I was thinking of going that way, and still may - Peter rejected him, then Peter runs to the tomb, the only of the men who doesn't totally dismiss the women, and then Peter is the one who preaches the story to the Gentiles (and therefore to us) in the Acts passage. All while keeping the women in there too - the chain of the storytellers and storylivers.

  125. Songbird, I'm sorry that Good Friday carries such heavy memories.

    A critical incident on Maundy Thursday led to my divorce. Some years the poignancy is quite sharp.

    Ironically, this year's Maundy Thursday service focused on "remember" (as in anamnesis) but sometimes I wish the memories didn't bring such sharp feelings.

  126. I love peeps, too.
    I don't eat them anymore but I love the colors, shapes and etc.

    As a deeply conservative woman, I did think it was going too far to make Halloween peeps.
    This I believe.

  127. Aww, it's become a regular love-fest around here. I'm so glad you're all here.

    My sermon is STILL not done. ARGH. Less than 9 hours until the first service...

    I have really got to learn to stop freaking myself out.

  128. Hi Anon!

    I'm using just Luke (and the Psalm). I think--having calmed myself down) that I'm going with, as you say, Peter's chance for a new life, a rebirth, a resurrection as it were. Of course, I can always read the Acts passage myself and tie it in...(pulls out Bible to review Acts passage).

    I've got a nice butterfly thing in there too, but I think it's leading me down a path I don't want to follow today... So it's going away, to be filed for use at another time.

    Heigh ho, I see a long night ahead of me.

  129. Blessings on all, and especially Songbird. You are appreciated and loved, as both matriarch and sister.

    I keep writing and deleting the same words over and over. Where did Tuesday's excitement and optimism over this sermon go? I'm beginning to think I should have stopped reading right then instead of continuing to study. I've got too many ways I can go and I can't settle on one for sure. Well, I can, but I'm not sure I like it. 15 hours till sermon time.

  130. the question of the hour (the last hour before I REALLY have to go to bed), for me (the liturgist unless HoS gets his family's throw-uppy-germs tonight!) is this: in the John passage, do we say rabbouni as in "ruh-boo-nee" or "ra-boon-eye"??? I have been wondering this for years, have heard (and said) both, but now have four services to face and no idea which to choose. help!

  131. My Hebrew Scriptures prof said "however you choose to say it, say it with confidence. No one will know the difference." :-)

  132. Enough neggative energy for today; I don't think Holy Saturday is all it's cracked up to be, although this is a very fertile ground for conversation. Very henstrating. So far my sermon is mediyoka. I hope my parishioners don't find it to be eggscruciating.
    I like to look at things sunny side up, personally. I don't know what the cluck the fuss is all about, but no doubt the yoke is on me.
    I'm stopping for tonight because my brains are all scrambled, but, as you all know, you can't make a homlet without breaking a few eggs....

  133. Good grief! Why can't Murphy take just one Easter holiday?? My kids have been fit and fine all day long - raising the roof, driving mom nuts with their rowdiness, loving life in general. Then about an hour before bedtime, my son starts looking and acting really tired. I thought maybe he just cheated on his nap this afternoon. Shoot, I was sawing logs myself so how would I know for sure? When I pick him up to tuck him into bed, I find that he's burning up. I'm talking 103 here! Major panic attack. A little over an hour, a dose of Advil, and numerous cool washcloths later, it's down to about 101. This is his ONLY symptom. What the heck?!

    There is NEVER a dull moment (or a simple one) around here. Darn it.

  134. I know it must be bedtime when I am chuckling at puns...

  135. Looks like I'll be up late. I'll be glad to keep some of you other night owls company!

  136. Reverend Mommy, my dad and I used to go back and forth like that endlessly back when I was a kid. It drove my mom NUTS! You, my friend, have the gift! I stand in awe - or something like that!

  137. Aw, preacher mom, that just stinks! Looks like you'll be keeping Easter vigil whether you planned to or not. Since my sermon continues to come onto the page at roughly the speed of a wounded sloth, I'll probably be around to keep you company for a while.

  138. I find it appropriate that Josh Groban is singing "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" to me right now... And no, he didn't bring a sermon with!

    However, that's OK. Thanks to Anon's suggestion, the last two and a half pages flowed right out. SO I have what I think is a passable sermon for Easter!

    The hook I think I needed was "Telling." In our church, when we declare the mystery of our faith, we say, "Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again. Go and Tell." So I can work that in, too. And I'm using the St. Francis quote someone mentioned earlier--Preach the Gospel. If necessary, use words." One of my homiletics profs had that on her office door. I loved it.

    So now a bit of polishing, a bedtime snack and to bed--final readthrough and polish in the morning.

    Thank you Anon, for illustrating what I mant about how this group helps me in small and large ways!

    Blessing to you all--preaching or in the pews or leading worship or sitting with sick family members tomorrow. May God be with you.

  139. friends, it's 8 hours and 4 minutes before wake-up time. must get to bed. Happy Easter to all!
    (now it's 8 hours and 3 minutes...)

  140. Oh, thank you RP - that means such a super lot. I have been such a lurker here, I have no ability to even come up with a cool name for myself and feel like I haven't contributed my share for what I receive. I've started and stopped a blog, and I'm in awe of those of you who do this ministry and motherhood and spouse-ness stuff and balance it all and still get to write beautiful blogs that make me cry and laugh and groan at the eggselent humor. My kids have been crawling all over me all day with excitement about Easter, I've been decorating at the church with the Worship Ministry, I've been emotionally frazzled with family and church health and death issues, so now it's 8 p.m. here and my pages of notes aren't morphing into sermony order. I still haven't even decided whether I'm writing one sermon or two! We have a joint sunrise service that it's my turn to preach at, and then the regular service - do I make those who go to both hear the same thing twice? I have separate notes for each but am quickly running out of time to write both even though both only need to be short. Anyway, I'll be around for a while yet. I'm really glad for those of you who are done and pray to be there too before too long.

  141. Blessings to my blogging friends on this night. I have had a very busy couple of days, working 16 hour days and then coming back to do services at all the busyness of preparing for and living the Triduum is over. Tomorrow is easy, just Sunday, but more grand.

    It seems you all have had an emotional day today, I've been there in the pain expressed on all accounts... but I am so grateful to hear love coming through as well. I echo the feelings of gratitude for this community, for all the matriarchs do, and for all of you.

    And my sermon...well I have a draft that may actually pass as a sermon...will be better if I have the energy to tweek it and the clarity of thought...right now though, I am tired. Bone tired.

    Soon, sleep... and since we've already had our Great Vigil I can say, Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

    Here's to a new day!

  142. Done vigil-ing. Complete with champagne. I'd offer some to this group, but we drank it all at church.
    Now it's to read through the sermon (of course after reading all the comments and my email and checking my favorites and and and...).

  143. Okay done. Not great but done. And now to hide eggs.

  144. RP--I know you have already signed off for the night, but I'm SO with you on the taking off thing. I leave Monday for nine days on the other coast (my home)! And as a bonus--I have a seven-hour layover in NYC, and my significant other is meeting me there for my birthday lunch and general NYCing.

    Congrats to those who are done, and I'm still with those who are not. Well, I did finally pull the sermon to a close, but I'm not happy with it. Off to do something else for a while and then come back and see if I can shape it up a bit.

    I ended up going the "remembering" route too, and talking about how memories don't stay in their little capsules like those sponge animals--they pop out and make things/people present to us! Sigh. Yeah, it sounds a little lame, but that's what I got right now.

    T minus seven hours to Easter breakfast...nine hours to beginning of first service...blessings on all the proclamation happening in myriad ways tomorrow...

  145. Sermon is finally done, many many hours later, and I'm headed to bed. Wake-up call in 5.5 hours. Blech. Blessings to all of you as you celebrate the resurrection!

  146. Just checked my boy. He is sleeping peacefully and feels much cooler now. Here's praying that he's much better in the morning! Better grab a few winks while I can.

    Happy Easter, everyone!

  147. Hallelujah, Preacher Mom, for calmly sleeping children, and I hope the fever goes as quick as it came.

    Bits and pieces coming closer together here...

  148. Happy Easter, indeed!

    12:21 here and I am finally putting my sermon (though no myself) to bed. I was maybe 20 minutes from done at 8:45 when my computer froze up. It took 2 1/2 hours to get it rebooted properly. I feel a little discombulated, having been thrown off my regular writing routine in more ways than one, but I'll just depend on grace and assume all will be well.

    All that's left for me tonight is finishing sewing a couple of little Easter bunnies I made for my boys' baskets, and setting the coffee-maker up. They, sleep, blessed sleep (though not enough of it). I'm definitely planning to take Monday off (though it seems a trip to the Mac store for computer repair may take up my day).

    Blessed Easter to all!

  149. [p.s. thank you rev. mommy for the brilliant "what the cluck is all the fuss about" - love it!]

  150. Is it bad that i don't wanna write an easter sermon?

  151. Hooray! Sunrise sermon just came together, with generous chunks of the later one involved but a few different stories to keep the doublers interested. And I think H.S. helped me to let go of needing to impress the colleagues from other congregations who will be there. Now back to the later sermon which has nothing resembling a conclusion!

  152. Happy Easter to all. And to all who are still writing it will come. You will make it. Glad you have joined us ANON. I have no fancy name, so don't worry about that. Preacher mom, glad the fever went down, hope it continues to do so. Pink Shoes what do you mean not bringing champagne to our Eggslent preacher party?

    C. it is not bad that you don't want to write one, just write the first word and it will come for He has risen. Bob and I put the eggs out and filled the Easter basket with the goodies for the wee ones.

  153. Preacher Mom -- here's prayers that the fever stays away all day.

    I can't sleep -- it's 2:00 am and I have to get up at 5:00 for the sunrise service. I think by this afternoon, I'll be punchy.

    Wait, I've already been pun-chy. Heh.


    He is risen!

  154. Well I'll be durned, that JC got out of the tomb again this year!

    Happy Easter one and all and truly I saith onto you - happy nappeth.

  155. one of our elders pointed out yesterday morning that "well, it's just the same old, same old...we just keep raising that boy!" here hour, one minute to the first service...I think I slept about 4 hours of the 8 I was in my bed....

    May it not be just the same old thing this year...may there be joyful surprises at the tomb for all!

  156. Happy Easter, Everyone! I have been so blessed by all the writing here -- including linked sermons and discussion over inclusion.

  157. 7 am Easter morning and my sermon took on a life of its own. Never could write what I'd planned all week. But it's ready, I'm ready. Halleluia! He is risen!

  158. Well, despite all the busyness, long hours, hard work, and exhaustion, the sermon was fine. I love it when the Holy Spirit fills the words, they take on a life beyond my voice, and resonate with the people...Alleluia!!

    I hope you all find rest and renewal in the rest of this day and the week ahead.


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