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Saturday, May 26, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party: Slightly Sunburnt Edition

After too much time spent in the sun planting a charming tree, followed by a Mexican dinner complete with some sort of tequila version of a Cosmopolitan, and the resulting need for a wee hours drink of water, I bring you this Slightly Sunburnt Edition of the Preacher Party.

Whether you are counting the hours until our BookPals discussion of Velvet Elvis (starts Sunday afternoon!) or anticipating a holiday on Monday or recovering from the Festival of Homies or the Left Behind party here, join us today to compare notes on today's busy schedule, seek out a children's message, brag about finishing early (hey, careful there!), or start completely from scratch, all with a healthy dose of humor.

We made it to 220 comments last week; come on May 27th preachers, don't let May 20th outdo you!!!


  1. OK...I'm here in full fledged panic mode. Preaching at the Eucharist tomorrow morning, with not a word to my name yet. Wedding this afternoon, for which I've just finished the address - the couple are my age, 2nd timers who have become really good friends during the preparations, so I want to accept their invitation to celebrate with them afterwards (they have the most wonderfully mad, creative and loving blended family who are a joy to be with). And I have a throat infection of some sort so feel hideous, and could probably sing tenor without too much effort. I'm contributing hot lemon and honey drinks and a tub of B&J's Caramel Choo choo, which feels very comforting. Does anyone have any bright ideas on how to preach Pentecost to a congregation that is, I suspect, scared stiff of the Holy Spirit?

  2. Well, I'm not preaching tomorrow, but seeing how much I appreciate the support and encouragement of the Preacher Party when I am I thought I'd drop in and out today and offer all the encouragement I can! (I think that sentence is nearly as long as some of Paul's - much less theological of course...!).
    No fudge this week (and I have to confess to whoever it was last week who thought it was homemade - it's not - it was from Tesco - but gorgeous!) but I'm sure I can offer some chocolate and lots of cups of tea.
    My day needs to be full of housework and ironing... but much inspiration to all you who are preaching this weekend...

  3. Oh Kathryn, prayers for you. Which readings are you using - Acts and John?

  4. Could you focus on the "one who comes alongside to encourage" definition of the Spirit (Paraclete?) - and perhaps focusing on the later verses in the John passage... 'to be with you forever... he abides with you and he will be in you'?
    Or perhaps the unifying aspect of the Spirit that comes across also in the Acts story?

  5. well I'm not preaching- I wish I was, but my task this weekend is to produce a series of written meditations for a paryer tent at our town festival- I'm taking the theme "what if God was one of us?"
    Using Joan Osbornes song- One of us and going from there.... I've got to make hanging banners and stuff like that- this will be a busy day!!!!

  6. thanks Chelly- any thoughts would be much appreciated....

  7. Bless you both - majoring on Acts, I think, and praying hard right now. My sense is that it's time for a bit of a challenge, and maybe around the theme of communication...the disciples have stayed safely in the upper room as the place of encounter but now they are sent out and engage with the crowds on their own terms...

  8. Prayers for all these projects! Kathryn, I've been there...

    I'm looking at language, I think--Gord's post on modernizing language really made me think. Also, I've been reading Gabriel McKee on science fiction and the gospel--good stuff!-- and in these early chapters he's talking about the different views of God in SF. He mentions a certain movie, the 30th anniversary of which is this weekend, and of which many in my congregation are fans--so I will tie that in as well.

    Gord mentioned that as well. Perhaps I shall simply pass out slips of paper with Gord's blog's URL (they'll like the title) and have them read it instead of my sermon...

    But no. I have other things to tell them, which I am sure will come to me after some more coffee.

    I bring free trade coffee and some Easter chocolate I found at the back of the cupboard. We eat it today or it goes out...

  9. I'm up again! Preparing to make a run to the bakery; would you prefer apple cinnamon, raspberry or blueberry scones? I'm afraid they aren't terribly British, but they are delicious!
    Kathryn, how goes it?
    Sally, blessings to you, sounds like a very interesting task.
    RP, LOL on passing out Gord's URL!!!
    I have a whole sermon to write today; thus far it is a concept and a title. The concept harks back to my comment on Tuesday: My theme for the sermon will be recognizing that as Christians we are participating not simply in an ethical system but in a spiritual experience involving power and love beyond our capacity to reason.
    Guess I'm going to the scary place with the Holy Spirit, Kathryn!! My people won't like it much better than yours.
    I also need to write some materials for Children's Sunday, to distribute to the readers tomorrow. But the beauty of that is I won't be here next Saturday, other than to cheer everyone on from the sidelines!!!

  10. Right I'm making some rather delicious hazelnut coffee, any one want a cup? And Songbird blueberry scones sound wonderful- as for my meditations I have been procrastinating- reading blogs- Kathyrn has some good stuff up.... and editing bits of essays that would be best left alone.... when I should be working on these meditations.....
    Maybe the coffee will help!

  11. Songbird and Kathyrn- prayers for your preaching- I preached on the Holy Spirit at Pentecost last year and the congregation were most appreciative- they were more scared of the unknown, I'd thought they'd be uneasy but they weren't!

  12. OK...I've got the parallels between a fearful church and a room full of fearful disciples, the huddle factor and I've just dared to suggest that the Spirit as comforter sends us beyond our comfort zone. Think where I'm going is actually Gord's thoughts tie in too...And LCM is just back from the chemist with some throat lozenges that claim to have been recommended by "Maurice Chevalier, Sarah Bernhardt, Henry Irving...." Quite a pedigree! He also produced some Green & Black's choc, so that's on the table too now.
    Hazlenut coffee sounds really interesting, and cinnamon scones a delight. But its only 2 hours till I need to depart for the wedding. Must be at least fully planned, if not done and dusted by then. Slightly frantic prayers for all xx

  13. Kathyrn those throat lozenges sound amazing- as for green & blacks.... yum....

    Love the parallels between fearful church and fearful disciples....

    sugar anyone?

  14. What you're doing sounds great kathryn!
    Well I seem to have acquired some Tesco finest All Butter fudge again - whoops - though at least that means the shopping's done!

  15. Good morning preachers and pals,

    I have a cup of coffee, my laptop, and my spouse on childcare duty. I have two hours and a theme sentence "The Holy Spirit empowers disciples for mission." I hope to draw parallels between the disciples in the story doing powerful gospel sharing with people 'across the line' (language barrier), and the potential in our community to do more proclamation with the hispanic and African American neighborhood of this mostly white church. They aren't gonna like that mission part so much...

  16. mamas- sounds like a challenge-

    ... well I forgot the coffee and let it go cold- but I have been searching for pictures of Jesus- to go with the if God had a face what would it look like thoughts....

    I am going to make huge hanging banners with verses of the song printed onto them and pictures that echo the questions...

    got to think of interactive stuff now.. I'm thinking of finger print prayers...and working on other thoughts...

    now I need coffee!!!

    Pass the fudge Chelly- its gone lunch time and I'm peckish!!!

  17. Greetings all. Kathryn, I love your thought process as I read through the comments.

    As for me, I figure the Holy Spirit will put her money where her wind is and provide us with a sermon later on today.

    I am about to go outside with my child while the hubby gets some things done he has on his list. Later we'll switch.... not because I don't trust the Holy Spirit, but because I hear sometimes she needs help with the computer.

  18. For the next few months, my sermons will have to be done prior to Saturday! We're in the process of getting our house ready to sell, so Saturdays are all about cleaning up, packing up, and dealing with painters. With that in mind, here's my offering for Sunday. Party on! I've got cold pizza.

  19. Good morning all you preaching types - praying for each and every one of you as you prepare for this Feast of the Pentecost. Red balloons at our place and a big birthday party afterwards and swimming to celebrate the birthday of the church. Bring your thongs and speedos.

    Now.... step right over to Trivia Challenge and have your self a "good ole time" -- see how you fare/fair with the trivia junkies.

  20. Well thankfully I got a good start on Monday/Tuesday. Unfortunatley I am still there.

    Mind you it is a communion service so the sermon can be a little bit shorter.

    THEre is a commercial I wanted to refer to that uses a lot of txt msg abbreviations in it (I am thinking it is one of those "the new AT&T ads) as a way of showing how language changes. But of course I haven't seen it all week.


  21. I was trying to get over here a while ago, but had kids demanding my attention. Why, I don't know, except I have been gone. But their dad rescued me and took them to Wal Mart. So now I am going to try to focus some on my sermon before they are back.
    Kathryn prayers for you.
    Chelly you had me fooled last week.
    Sally what a cool idea!
    RP, that is so funny, or just borrow his sermon and give him credit.
    Songbird be sure to be putting some aloevera on that nasty sunburn, and remember next time to slather yourself down with some Sun block.
    I feel so overwhelmed from the Festival of Homies that I am afraid to even write the sermon.
    mamas you go girl! Hope you can get it done during the childcare time.
    I do have children's sermon, maybe I should just preach that.
    And oh the written prayers at the Festival, made me feel awful about my little ones.
    WS I am holding you to what you wrote about the HS> She darn well better show up!
    Chilly Fingers what do you mean being done.
    And Cathy, I'll play the trivia pursuit if you will write my sermon.
    Coffee, leaded and lots of it please. And pass the chocolate.

  22. Gord - you can find that commercial on Youtube at this link.

  23. I'm just thinking about how likely this is to be a low Sunday at Main Street Church. Many of our folks own summer camps, and in our part of the world, this is the weekend you go and open the camp for the season, put the dock in the lake, etc. It's a gorgeous weekend, so weather will not bring them to church.
    For most of its history, Main Street Church closed for the summer!! What do you suppose Peter and the disciples would make of that?

  24. Revabi, I have to be done. There are men on my roof as I type, and men painting outside the windows. It's very disconcerting to be typing and find an unfamiliar face outside the window@ I'd go to the church except it's too far away. Hence - the emphasis on getting the house ready to sell and getting closer!

  25. wow closed Songbird that is strange- but I know what you mean re low sunday- its a holiday weekend here too but the cold wind and rain might just keep a few folk at home....

    not good for my prayer tent though. brrr... flasks of coffee and two pairs of socks I think!

  26. Hello Pentecost preacher partyfolk!

    I feel a little out of the preaching groove. I was away a week on vacation, had a short sermon the sollowing week, and last week, teh youth led the whole service (other than baby dedications and pastoral prayer). Now I'm back to a regular preaching schedule, and I have next to nothing for Pentecost. I too am focusing on the Holy Spirit with a group who are pretty rational. I like one comment I read earlier this week (can't remember the source) that asked why progressive people tend to like the idea of Pentecost but get very nervous at the thought of being Pentecostal.

    The general theme for tomorrow will be acknowledging the birth of the church. (I wish I could find my copy of Ann Weem's Reaching for Rainbows!) We'll have cake or cupcakes after the service, and I want to wind up saying that even though we may not always get it or be as open to the Spirit as first Christians, God does have a way of working in and through us, continuing to bring life to the church and birthing it anew.

    Now, any ideas about how to connect Memorial Day to all of that? As a peace church, we aren't dwelling on it, but we also have a number of veterans, and I don't want to completely ignore that.

    In the mean time, I offer some salt water taffy from Atlantic City (the original Fralinger's!)

  27. coffee and chocolate for you Abi...:-)

    and prayers

  28. Hey Peace Pastor,
    I saw a prayer that began with the prayer to the Holy Spirit, and then included a prayer for memorial day along with the Pastoral prayer. That was some prayer, you want me to send it to you or the link?

  29. Thanks cathy. Hmm maybe playing the audio only would be a neat trickto play-then ask if anyone understands what is being said.

  30. Hello all. I have a theme (if love be the language) that tries to riff off the tower of Babel passage.

    I am also remembering BBT's line about words "failing like shooting stars".

    Since I was gone this week,our cupboard is frightfully bare, so just coffee for me this morning.

  31. It has been a very long and difficult week here, and although I've had bits and pieces of a sermon floating around in my brain all week, I don't have a single word written. I do have an empty Word document open...Look! There, I've typed a word.

    This could be a really interesting sermon.

    I also have a picnic to attend this afternoon, so I'd better get cracking.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Ooh, Peace Pastor. Fralingers Salt Water Taffy? Haven't had any in decades - could I please have a licorice one? Just one, thanks.

    I can offer coffee and lots of fresh fruit. My "marryin' and buryin' suit" pants wouldn't zip at the last funeral. :-(

    I am so not ready for tomorrow. I have the red stoles for everyone, a "flaming" lamp from a novelty shop, a beautiful cloth for the Table. But no sermon beyond vague ideas of "John flavored with Acts" which is exactly where I was on Tuesday. I'm really beginning to like the Babel story though. Hmmm.

    Of course, it's only 7:30 am here so I'm not in panic mode yet. Blessings on your busy day Kathryn.

  34. Stacey, your Saturdays are always so busy!

  35. RevMaria, thanks for the reminder! I need to buy a red pillar candle. In my mind I have one, but now I realize it's at the old church!!!
    Anyone ready for Diet Coke? They've been chilling in the fridge!

  36. thankfully no preaching here...just children's time and prayers. After last weeks Confirmation Extravaganza, I love this weekend.
    the children's time has to do something with these ribbons-on-a-stick thing. Apparently we're doing wind or something? the kids will all get these sticks with red and orange ribbons coming out the end of them, and then that has something to do with the HS and there might be some kind of palm-sunday-ish parade or something? any ideas how it can have a point?

  37. Sally, your prayer tent ideas sound great. I'll have to store them away for some future use. Gotta love the creativity present here on Saturdays.

    Been on vacation for the past two Sundays. It was much needed and a great break. I'm excited to preach tomorrow because I love Pentecost and the HS (probably doesn't make me very Presbyterian, but hey ...) I'm thinking about the idea of being gathered by the spirit into the body of Christ.

    Praying that the creative Spirit would flow from many fingers this morning/afternoon into sermons.

  38. right I have a whole load of questions and pictures printed off....

    dare I go with some images of God as Mother as well as Father- I really want to....

    this is an ecumenical project though I want to challenge but not offend, but then again it is my last one before I'm stationed maybe I can go out with a bang...

    any thoughts?

    Teri- how about if the children carry the wind and fire of the Spirit out to the congregation, that'd take care of the procession.... (I just love creating havoc)

  39. teri, we used those ribbon dancers a couple of years ago when Children's Sunday fell on Pentecost. The children whipped them while the story was being read, and then we paraded out with them at the end of the service, leading the congregation to a special lunch hosted by the C.E. committee. We had children throughout the sanctuary, and the idea was that we can't see the wind/Spirit, but we know it's there because it moves us the way a breeze moves the ribbons. (Or something like that.)

  40. I'm gardening today, so I am contributing what we call "new blue goo" (the aloe vera blue gel for bug bites.)

    However -
    I am also ruminating on being transplanted... our church went from two worship sites to one a couple of weeks ago, and I am in prayer for those who have "root shock" in the transition.

    So I have been pondering Jeremiah 17:7-8 and will be blogging on that later...

    who has an essay due

  41. I have two MONSTER aloe vera plants for the sunburned among you --some of the stalks are over a foot long and 2-3" at the base.

    Gotta finish up my services 'cuz it's Pistol's birthday [DH's mom] and we're traveling to her place tonite.

    I've been thinking this week about life-changing events and the many ways in which they "galvanize" us to some sort of action --certainly Pentecost is like that. Here's the Merriam-Webster online definition of "galvanize": 1 a : to subject to the action of an electric current especially for the purpose of stimulating physiologically [galvanize a muscle] b : to stimulate or excite as if by an electric shock [an issue that would galvanize public opinion]

  42. I guess those tongues of fire could be sparks?????

  43. go Deb- want to write mine????

  44. Hey I have opened up the chocolate cookies. Can I have some diet coke with them please. Don't they cancel out each other or something. Ya'll are welcome to the chocolate chip cookies. Hi Cheesehead, didn't I see you somewhere recently? Shooting stars and sparks and galvanizing, well my my, our congregants won't know what hit them. And especially if Willimon is right and the Holy Spirit does show up.
    God the children's sermon printed out. Got a beginning for the sermon, now where is that middle?
    I have got to get out in this heat to go see two ballgames in a row. Being that it is the middle of the day I am lathering up on the sun block or I will burn.

  45. SB - I TOTALLY hear you on the Memorial Day empty church syndrome. I grew up by the shore because folks were either opening up their beach club cabana/locker or at the very least have people think that is what they were doing.

    Out here in the deep red part of this state it is a church day - BIG time. But this Sunday I am doing mainly Pentecost w/ a Memorial Day Litany and a moment at the beginning of the service inviting veterans to stand.

    Theg got their full-fledged overdone Memorial Day last year, THIS year it's gonna be Pentecost.

  46. Sorry about the fragmented nature of my comments. I am typing with a 2 year old on my lap.

  47. Anybody else using the Romans 8:14-17? We have a busy service: Confirmation, a baptism, and The Lord's Supper. I thought the emphasis on the Spirit leading us and assuring us that we are children of God was good for Confirmation. I'm just trying to come up with a way to say that is interesting and meaningful.

    I'm only going to preach about 7 minutes, but sometimes short serons are harder.

    I've got a nasty cold,which is trying to make its way down to my chest,so all I've got is some orange juice and some alka-seltzer plus cold medicene.

  48. Iris, feel better!

    Does anyone have a brilliant Babel or Pentecost children's sermon? I'm sure I could put 1 together but I'm also sure 1 of u has 1.

  49. Will Smama, I think the question on everybody's mind is this: will there be any spectacular floral arrangements this year?

  50. Will Smama- Bob Hartman has a wonderful pentecost story with a repeated refrain-

    "let the wind blow, let the fire glow- take the word from your lips and place them on our lips and send us out to the whole of the world"

    It comes complete with actions

    is that the kind of thing you are looking for? If so I'll see if I can dig it out

  51. Well Cheesehead I saved the last one as directed by Random Thought Woman and have it on my office chair. If she would like to take in on Sunday on put it NOT ON THE PULPIT then that is her business.

    There will be no 3 foot angel dripping with red, white and blue flowers however... and truly we shall be the sadder for it.

    Sally, that should be enough info for me to find it - THANKS!

  52. 3 foot angel really?

    did you get a photo????

  53. Good morning everyone! Hot cereal here with dried blueberries and blackberries cooked in--conceived and cooked primarily by Nicholas. Slightly purplish but yummy.

    Sally, I say you go for it--people need to hear and a nurturing mother is a pretty non-threatening image especially if you start by affirming God as father and then add it in, explaining that God is beyond both of course but we need concrete images....You could help people feel safe with its biblical grounding and orthodoxy by explaining the linguistics...That in Hebrew ruach is feminine, that the word in Genesis for the Spirit of God hovering over the waters is the Hebrew word used solely for a mother bird brooding over her nest (thus usually mistranslated--and I heard this from an Orthodox priest and Semitic linguistic expert, not a feminist). That in the early church the Holy Spirit was seen as mother in the eastern churches that still spoke Syriac--also a Semitic language very close to Hebrew. And maybe that being born again of water and the Holy Spirit in John 3--especially because for the first centuries baptism was immersion, clear womb as well as tomb symbolism-- also implies she is a mother but westerners don't usually notice.

    Whoa, guess I have a good start. House mass tonight so I won't be writing but will be doing some more serious scriptural meditation and prep and a bit more of a talk before opening for sharing. Because one of my Sophia Catholic Communion sisters will be coming for the first time, we will be consecrating communion elements for another who lives far away, and in general celebrating the unexpected birth of our group this novena of Pentecost. (See my FF for more info).

    Prayers to all who are preaching, recovering, shopping, and move-preparing!

    Songbird, major kudos for no word verification experiment. :-)

  54. I had pictures on my blog but took them off soon after the event. I blog pseudo-anonymously - meaning if someone finds it they could fairly easily recognize it as me, but I don't want to be so blatant as to leave pictures up of the Sanctuary.

    Yesterday I looked for the files of the pictures but couldn't find them. I'll look again later or at least take another pic of this beautiful faux flower arrangement - now dusty!

    I'm in my office now and must focus for the 2 hours that I have before hospital visit, picking up a sports car and then a parade - long story.

    I could use a nosh though besides pretzels. Anybody have anything fun?

  55. I'm not preaching tomorrow, but I thought I would check in just the same.

    I did have to write a funeral sermon when I arrived home yesterday for a memorial service this morning. It went really well.

    A woman in our congregation who took Gord's funeral leadership workshop led in the prayers of the people. She did a wonderful job. Yay Gord! Yay Wonderful Lay Leader!

    I'm going to cut the grass/dandelion field in my yard.

  56. My husband and a friend just finished loading brush into friend's truck to take to the Recycling Center. My hands are sore from cutting things smaller! Don't they know these are my typing fingers?!?!!!
    will smama, I have some lovely Red Pepper Asiago Cheese Bread. Want a piece? Or there are some Cape Cod chips in the cupboard.

  57. I was supposed to join this party, but church got canceled due to parking lot paving problems. I'm off to help my SIL move to Virginia tomorrow instead (she starts her medical residency in emergency medicine next month).

    So I feel as free as a bird this weekend. However, I did want to bring you food for the party. Anyone want some just out of the oven brownies? Maybe someone else has some vanilla ice cream to go with them.

  58. i like the idea of having the kids take the ribbon things out and wave them throughout the sanctuary because the spirit is everywhere (or something)....thanks friends! you're lifesavers...

  59. a. lin, you can always count on me for the ice cream!

  60. cheesebread and then the brownies with ice cream.

    A.Lin I am so jealous I am about to go outside and pave the church driveway!

  61. You know, whenever someone writes about "cheese" I am paranoid that I'm being talked about...and then it turns out to be about fromage.

    Yeah, I'm weird.

    I'm at that bad place where I know I have to wrap it all up and bring it home, sermonically speaking.

    Although Fred Craddock never does...just sayin'.

  62. Gals and pals, I am going out for a pedicure. After all that yard work, I probably have a greater need for a manicure, but that is not on the calendar.
    Back a little later! Keep up the good partying!!

  63. Hey All,
    Glad to see you.
    Here's an Ask the Matriarch type question:
    I'm reading Barack Obama's book Dreams of My Father right now and want to quote it in my sermon. Is that allowed? Or is to too perilously close Candidating From The Pulpit? (Naturally, I would not say anything about him as a presidential candidate or anything...)

  64. I just got back from the bakery and found they gave me the wrong kind if cookie. Instead of double chocolate chip, It's just plain ole chocolate chip! I'm willing to split it, and I've also got iced coffee.

    So far my day has been filled with planting flowers / yard work, visits at the hopsital and nursing home and a meeting at the church. Now I sit down to work on the sermon! I have a few pages of notes from earlier in the week, but I'm afraid I may need to scrap those, as I feel the HS tugging me in a different direction. (Darn HS!)

    Juniper68, as for the Obama quote, if it is great quote I would go for it. You could always preface it by saying, "Regardless of our political leanings, I think we can all appreacite this statement by Barak Obama...."

  65. I'm not sure of your context Juniper, but in mine I couldn't get away with it. Yours may allow you to just say, "hey this is just a quote, not a bumper sticker" - or something like that to keep it light.

    I'm done with the research portion of my program and off to be in a Memorial Day parade. Hopefully the Holy SPirit will begin to percolate although hard to imagine I will be able to hear much over the sirens, cheering and VBS music that will be blaring out of the car's speakers.

    Anyway, I'll be back.

    Any word on how Kathryn is doing or did?

  66. My electronic disaster saga continues...

    My modem died this morning. Not a bloody death but final enough.

    There is one day in the week when I have GOT to have teh Nets and that is Saturday.

    So here I sit in the local coffeeshop...TWIST my arm...

    Anyway, due to various compliations because of no internet, I am way behind. I have an event to night I cannot miss, so the sermon needs to be pretty much done by the time I go to that, as I have an appointment tomorrow morning and won't have time to pwork on it much then(our services are in the afternoon).

    3 hours, one sermon, three prayers and the anouncements...go!

  67. Slept in, but checking in late everyone! Loving to read everyone's thoughts so far.

    I have no idea which text to focus on--all I know is that I want to work in the idea of "changing lives" as that is the last part of the synod mission statement I'm ostensibly preaching on for the month of May.

    I do love the language connection though (and the "IDK, my BFF Jill?" ad), especially since with learning a new service and looking towards buying new hymnals, people are starting to ask "why do we need to learn something new?"

    So. Kind of conflicted today, and recovering from yesterday's wedding. I'm making fresh banana bread (as soon as the bananas thaw) to bring to the party.

  68. Finally tore myself away from a good book (two and a half hours of for-fun-reading had passed) and am now at the church trying to work the outline into words.

    Totally relaxed even though the sermon is only half done.

    Pass the ice cream and brownies, please. Perhaps it's time for a quick snack break.

  69. I put a draft of my sermon here. I'm still not feeling really good about the ending, (I never do) but there you have it.

  70. Your ending is fine, cheesehead. Just slow down a lot as you get to that last paragraph. Let them ponder for a second between sentences.

  71. Oooh. ooh, I have an outline!

    And one that rocks, if I do say so.

    I'm using a quote from Han Solo in the first Star Wars movie, to the effect that no mystical force field runs his life...which, as McKee points out, is disproved over and over the rest of the series--his life is in fact directed by this force.

    I'm going to move from there to a discussion of how The Force can be used as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit--using modern sagas, stories, metaphors so that people will understand--that new use of language that Gord was talking about. And finish up with a great quote from Mark Harris: “The Spirit is somewhat cranky and given to its own thing.” pointing out that it applies to our own time--where is the Hoyl Spirit doing a new thing today? And leave them with that, a la Fred C....

    Whoo hoo. On a roll now...

    Maybe I should come down here to the coffeeshop every Saturday...

    How are the rest of you faring?

  72. Thanks for the advice KB and ws - sounds like it's more based on where the sermon is being preached than on any actual law (dont want to jeopardize our tx exempt status...)

  73. If I'm wearing red capris today and planning on wearing a red skirt tomorrow, does that make me a complete church nerd?

  74. If wearing red makes you a church nerd, then we will have a church full of nerds tomorrow- me included. I asked folks to red, yellow, and/or orange :-)

    Children's sermons ideas:
    1. Get some pinwheels to hand out. Talk with the kids about the Spirit moving like wind. Ask the kids to blow on them during church whenever they hear "Holy Spirit' or "Spirit"
    2. We are handing out (to all) dowels with red, yellow, and orange streamers.. can be used in children's sermon in same way.

    Thanks for all of the great comments.. and sermons.

  75. Right...I've married the most delightful couple ever, and partied with them till just a few minutes ago.
    I left the sermon sort of finished, and am not honestly sure if I can bear to look at it again tonight (9.30 pm here)...might just let it sleep and see if God and I still think it'll preach tomorrrow, when I get home from presiding at the 8.00.
    I suspect that yes, red everythings does qualify you as a complete church geek - but what's wrong with that?! I'll have to prance around in a red cope tomorrow!
    Blessings everyone - ooh- and I brought back some smoked salmon mousse from the reception!

  76. Essay is done... While I was writing, my Beloved Bearded Spouse wanted to install my new kitchen window shutters but then decided that first he had to a) remove the glass shelf and all of its decorations b) remove the curtains c) sand, stain and then refinish the shelf... consequently said shutters are still in the box and it will take all weekend to get the staining and sealing done... sigh...

    At any rate, I have finished my assignment and uploaded it... The essay was on "core directives" and "strategic planning" and more than once I had to change it from "PRIME directive" because I'm such a Trekkie... LOL...

    Regarding the unknown languages, etc I was going to suggest that you read lyrics from a hip hop artist (OK, not one that talks about ho's or anything) and see if anyone can translate...

    Words like "grill" or "crib" have new meaning. :)


  77. I saved my good-looking red skirt for tomorrow instead of wearing it last Sunday, so count me in on the Church Geek Squad...
    My toenails are now a beautiful Pentecost red, too. (Cherry Pie Red, really, but let's not quibble.)

  78. I think I'm going with the good ideas y'all have shared about the kids waving/blowing on the streamer-sticks for some HS action. good times.

    I've spent the whole day watching Angel. It's great. Good mindless fun has been there's a birthday party to go to...good times!

    I'm so impressed (disturbingly?) by those of you who don't even know the text yet on Saturday...I don't know how you do it.

    Keep up the good work, with the brownies, friends! I'll be sure to bring back some birthday party snacks to share!!

  79. R.P. I did not know modems could die. But, they did have a workshop on how to make your outline come alive. i did not go, a living outline sounds scary.
    Emily, i like the visual of th Holy Spirit coming through the fingers.
    Revabi, Good for your hubby and the trip to Wallyworld, hope the trip is not an expensive one!
    I thought about a pedicure and g etting some art paitned on my big toes of fire blazes, jsut for tomorrow.
    I chickened out, the old folks might have cardiacs!
    We are wearing red though.
    okay, so I have two panic messages left form VBS people about not havign all their stuff. Somebody forgot I ahve been on study leave and do nto check e-mail or messages of church nature. Excpetion here is any calls from the head of staff pastor. He lets me knwo the big stuff hat is up.
    But, anyhow, I dont have any of the stuff they are scratching their heads over and suggessted we just try each person on our list of 12 committee folks until we find it. Dont you just love the way our degrees help us be the ones to solve the "BIG" problems of the church....where is the
    scicne booklet for VBS?
    The 12 phone calls could have been made. Also, the admin asst has a key to my office and will gladly let anyone in to get soemthing they need, if they just tell her what it is. Except, I dont have the book!
    so, sermon idea. I messed up the word on Tuesday.The Claude Monet quote is, "The London fog assumes all sorts of colors."
    I love this idea in comparison to the HS and how it effects each of us in different ways, changes our appearance, our language, our mamnner and use each of us in a way that changes the overall picture constantly.
    I have no food to offer, lots of Coke and some left over crackers.
    Wishing I had a bowl of red beans and rice from our little dive.
    Everyone one is to wear red tomorrow and the kids are doing
    "HS, Pentcost, red" in Sunday school as a break from the Road to Emmaus study.
    Cheese, you know I really wnat ot do a sermon where you jsut go and sit down and don't "wrap it up."
    How the heck does he do that so well?

  80. oh, this is so great!
    I was awakended this AM by the cat sitters coming in to fed His Royal Highness.
    Apparently there had been some confussion over when I returned and they were off by one day.
    So, glad I was alone, had my p.j.'s on, etc.
    Yeah, could have been really bad!
    Note to self, write down the dates for the sitters!

  81. Deb,
    The hip-hop idea sounds great (and might work better thatn "IDK, my BFF, Jill"). But for those of us who are hip-hop challenged, do you have a suggestion?

  82. wow things got busy round here while I disappeared for the afternoon ( it is now 10:20pm here)... well I've just been entertaining my oldest sons new girlfriend and her 3 children- so I've played granny- and they are delightful...still no futher ahead with my prayer tent thing though- looks like tomorrow will be spent cutting and sticking in time for Monday....

    peace and blessings be with all the Pentecost preachers tomorrow- I'm off to bed now...

  83. I'm still plugging away. Thank you all for the great inspiration. I am using a quote from Rob Bell in my sermon, but I'm afraid that my congregation will think I have gone loopy if I quote from a book called "Velvet Elvis"!

    Hubby is grilling out tonight! BBQ chicken drumsticks anyone? We just did all of our yard work this morning so the back yard is looking great, if you'd like to come over! If you come, bring ice cream!

  84. BBQ Chicken? Sounds great!
    I am wrangling my way through the sermon. The work I need to do for next week is still in my head and not on paper. What to fix for dinner?

  85. Well, I have a good first draft. If I had to, I could preach it. Don't want to, but if I had to...

    Feels much better than I did last week at this time...

    I'm off to the potluck. Depending on time and energy afterwards, may return to the coffee shop for a last go at it and an email check.

    BBQ drumsticks sound great! Hope someone brought fried chicken...

    Blessings on all of you working away! I will be again, soon enough...

  86. I've been lurking on and off all day. I haven't written my sermon yet, but am amazingly calm about it since I have some good research and outline. No need to even attempt writing until the little ones are in bed.

    I'll probably join the Church Geeks tomorrow in wearing red. Then again, I wear red a lot anyway. I'll never forget feeling really geeky shortly after coming to Small Church. I was in a ministerial association meeting on the Friday before Pentecost. One of my new colleagues (from a denomination/church that apparently does not observe Pentecost) was wearing a bright red shirt. I commented on his Pentecost attire. He looked at me like I was insane!

  87. Hurray for Church Geekery!
    Running out to the store--anyone need anything?

  88. I not only have a red dress, but new red shoes to wear tomorrow!

    Church geek and proud of it!

  89. I am nowhere on this sermon and have nothing. Well, three random observations, but nothing resembling anything remotely preachable. You'd think preaching about "changing lives" would be a cinch on Pentecost (at least that's what I thought a few months ago), but it feels like a non-starter now. Kind of discouraging.

    Just ate a bunch of mac and cheese for dinner and need to get SOMETHING down on paper. Songbird, I'd be forever indebted if you could pick up some caffeine.

  90. semfem, you can count on me! Iced coffee? More Diet Coke?

  91. It's chilly here--a mocha would hit the spot, if you don't mind!

    Oh, and some chocolate too. I think it might be a long night (even for me). Thanks!

  92. Here's the mocha; would you like whipped cream with that?

  93. I don't have a sermon yet either, but I'm not stressed for some reason. Perhaps a side-effect of my cold medicene? I figured out that I only need to come up with about 5 minutes because I remembered that the confirmands are reading their statements of faith. No one will remember a word I said afterwards, I'm sure!

    Hang in there Semfem!

    I'm off to eat some hot dogs (vegetarian, of course!)and some cheetos. Perhaps I can get a vegetable into my kids, as well.

  94. okay, I stole the chocolate trifle (with brownie/pudding/caramel/heath bar pieces/whipped cream) from the birthday party....think anyone'll notice? here, eat it up quick so no one knows it was me....

    it's incredibly good!!

  95. Sorry to be late you guys. I'm not preaching either but had a pre-baptism meeting this morning and then a college reunion for my husband. Anyone for a burger? We're grilling.

    I know we partied earlier, but after the reunion, I'm thinking another margarita.

    It was fun for my husband...

    Be back in a little while!

  96. Do you think the chocolate trifle would go with the margaritas? Cuz I'm all for both!

  97. I'm with ya, semfem. I have about a page, but nothing really preachable. I also have a raging headache. Pass the caffeine this way next, songbird! I think it's going to be a long night.

  98. According to my teen, there is a facebook group called "IDK, my BFF Jill?"

    Gord, I think it was because I saw the special on PBS called "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" that I thought of using hip hop. Being an old rocker myself, I can't quite get the groove of the new stuff...

    But try:

    it's a hip hop archive...

    Rots o ruck!

  99. Wow, I have returned just in time to be comment #100... now I shall go catch up with the party.

  100. Back at the coffee shop for a last check before heading home, and an (ill-advised, I fear) Cafe Americano. Well, have to pay for the wifi access, anyway.

    Can I get anyone anything while I'm here? They make a great REAL Caramel Macciato (not the St*rbuck's version).

    People at the potluck can't believe I've preaching on Star Wars tomorrow... Think it'll bring them in for services?

  101. Great children's sermons ideas. SOunds like we have all been bustling in and out of the party today.

    Excuse me now while I attempt to channel some of that Holy Spirit over here.

  102. After that tequila last night, I'll pass on the margaritas.
    How are the sermons coming, gals and pals? Any hope of sleep tonight?

  103. Here I am back after ball games, grocery store, gift shopping, etc. The girls have a spend the night friend. What was I thinking.
    The sermon is rough draft.
    Thoughts down for prayer.
    working on the other asundries that happen on sunday.
    How's everybody else doing?
    Hope okay. Anybody need chocolate cookies or anything?

  104. 1-4 Grace. we are wearing red too. But I don't have red shoes. Rats.

    Hope you are recovered and the cats have so you can get that sermon done.

    WS pass the HS this way.

  105. Abi, if I had the Holy Spirit I would share.

    Any chance a member comes into church and gets the window screens out for our un-air conditioned church or are they all gonna sit there and sweat and bitch later that 'no one' got them out?

  106. Balloons baking soda vinegar and a water bottle make up my CHildren's TIme. I would go with the language theme but the ages we have don't make that discussion all that appropriate. So we will talk about the SPirit filling us with life.

  107. Separated by a common language is a phrase that keeps appearing in my mind. All too often language is seen as just an issue for those "not around/from here" or "not like us". But it isn't. NOw how to sink that in tomorrow.



  108. Hey Gord.
    I ahve never tried the baking soda/vinegar baloon.
    Let me know if it works or not!
    I have a Quesadila burger and a frozen raspberry lemonade (minus the alcohol).
    Anyone need something?
    I left a book at church and must do a run out to get it. I go right by Krispy Kreme! My car always wants to turn that way!

  109. I tested after supper. WOrks alright,didn't fully expand the balloon butit madw an impact.

  110. right now, as I'm writing the prayers of the people (writing them ahead of time is sort of new for me...), I'm wishing the Sunday Prayer was already up. Sadly, it's only 9.20 central, so no luck.

    happy partying, friends! sorry..didn't mean to knock you over for the last bit of the trifle, it's just that good. :-)

  111. prayers of the people all written! How about a brownie? (the killer kind with chocolate chips) Everyone who is preaching, break a leg!

  112. Oh, gosh, I think i said I would write the Sunday Prayer! Ack!!!

  113. Okay, that's done and posted!
    Friends, I am hitting the sack. Preach well tomorrow!

  114. Sermon is hot off the press. Wish I was more excited about it. Maybe it will look better, more exciting by morning's light?? Maybe I can wish??

    Time for some rest. Good night to you all. Blessings on your worship tomorrow. May the sound of the Spirit's rushing wind drown out our feeble attempts and speak to all who are present.

  115. mmm, trifle...

    Now I'm thinking about weaving the IDK commercial and Lynne Truss' book _Eats, Shoots and Leaves_ into a discussion of language and how it can isolate us. Then, hopefully move from there into the point that it falls to us to tell the Good News in the language of those around us (taking a page from Gord).

    Er, maybe I'll also work in the Mother Teresa quote about each of us being a pencil in God's hand. Hmm.

    It will be a long night, indeed. Good to know I'm not alone. Thanks for the mocha, Songbird.

  116. I'm still here too, and working on what feels like a rather blah sermon. It seems like a sermon on the Holy Spirit should be anything but blah, but I'm preaching about being out of control, so at least I can pray that the Spirit will do her thing tomorrow and take this sermon out of its blah state. Meh.

  117. Gord,
    I jsut wanted to be sure that baking soda and vinegar did not get blown up all over the place.
    Oh, and here's the Krisy Kreme Ht and Now...I also have a choclate one and a lemon filled.
    I think I am comment 120...come on late nighters, only 100 more to go!

  118. Meh indeed, Stacey. I keep wishing it was Pentecost 2008, because then we will have five or six people being confirmed and I am going to light a fire in the baptismal font (!) for the sermon.

    But until then...blah...meh...Holy Spirit, yadda yadda yadda.

  119. I'm done and going to bed. Stacey and Semfem, praying that you get out of blahs.

  120. So, I'm writing about the Spirit, and how she's unpredictable and puts us out of control. Meanwhile, I'm trying to order the Spirit to come down here and give me some inspiration pronto. Oddly, it's not working. I think I have what I'm going to have at this point, so I'm going to call it a night. Semfem, if you're still up and writing, may the Spirit get on her game for you, and for all the rest of us who will be preaching tomorrow. Oops, I mean today.

  121. semfem, I think planning for Pentecost 2008 is not allowed.

    Just saying.

    but the fire in the font? AWESOME!


    happy sleeping and/or writing, friends!

  122. I just typed the first sentence of my sermon.

    Which is a prayer. The same prayer I use every week. So it really doesn't count.

    Thanks Iris, Stacey, Teri. Don't worry Teri, I don't usually plan a whole year in advance. I just know I need to save something like a fire in the font for a day when I need to get the attention of six teenagers at once.

    Here I go...

  123. Prayers for all preaching tomorrow - will come back later to read Cheese's Sermon - add me to the nerd list - red patent dansko clogs tomorrow - only day I get to wear them to serve - top that for nerdiness!!

  124. Anyone still here? I'm just getting to the serious sermon writing.

    We've been to the public pool that opened today. It was COLD and spitting rain but no lightening so they were open anyway. I did not get in. Patricia Cornwell and I sat in the not sun until the sprinkles were getting the pages wet.

    Later we went to the red and white circle store. Does that count as Pentecost preparation?

    And then I scrounged for sheets that could go to camp.

    Now, finallly, to "finish" the sermon. Acts 2. hmmm

  125. Vicar of Hogsmeade and all you other late night edition folks, I am still here. Well maybe. Trying, I mean really trying...

  126. RevAbi glad you're still here.

    I understand the "what was I thinking?" for spending the night on Saturday night ... been there done that, got a No Sleep shirt

  127. There has got to be a better way to spend my saturdays nights. I mean, I love spending it with all you gals and guys, but dang it!
    I stil lahve not finished. I cant get a beggining that I really like.
    Then there's this thing about the end, add to it the stress of wanting to end without really ending, in Fred Craddock style!
    And well, a good solid middle would be nice, good meat in the sandwich (or tofu, for all the vegans!)
    Victorias Secret is having a sale... I need some more strippies to wear since i flashed Cheese, St Casse and Sue. Elastigirl commented that she did nto have me pegged as a strippy kind of girl. I am so full of surprises...just like the Holy Spirit.
    I jsut think if I get in the pulpit and talk about wearing VS strippies, it might not go over so well.
    Ya Know?
    Sermon, sermon...where art thou?

  128. I'm still here! One page down, two more to go!

    Woot! We can do it!

  129. well, I'm about to print the sermon. Just need to gather the prayers into proper form for Sunday morning.

    And chase the kid going to camp on Monday to bed NOW! I know I told her to go to bed some time ago but just discovered she didn't actually go. ARGH!

  130. first, I have to confess that I watch Book TV. I think that's probably some kind of geek thing unrelated to the red of pentecost. But OMG, there is a guy who seriously is wearing Harry Potter glasses! He's some history professor from Harvard. (I think, I'm only kinda watching, in a multi-tasking-sermon-writing way) I am completely shocked that someone is really wearing those glasses!

  131. The sermon is printed, the prayers prepared, the laptop is being put down, and this vicar is going to bed. Remember, especially since it's Pentecost, The Holy Spirit has got your back!

  132. I'm still working away--two out of three pages done. Maybe I'll draw it to a close sooner this week. Off to get a quick snack.

    Anyone else still out there?

  133. I can't get to 220 comments on my own here, people. Wake up and help me!

    Oy with the poodles already, my sermon sucks.

  134. It's Sunday here now, i'm back from teh 8.00 and about to print mine - and oh dear, it really does lack almost anything that might be called inspiration. Maybe it will be one of those times when the HS takes over anyway. Some pretty fervent prayers going up from here - and for all of you, in pulpits, tents and anywhere else today.
    Happy Birthday, Church :-)

  135. Go Kathryn! Go Holy Spirit!

    Birds are singing here and the sky is brightening with a touch of dawn...and I am still not done. O Holy Nap will be calling to me loudly this afternoon.

    I'm in the home stretch though! WOO!

  136. Okay, I think I'm done! I just hope the ending matches the beginning somehow, and that it's all part of the same sermon. Whew.

    Off to take a quick shower and read it through before printing it out and heading off to church.

    Blessings on your proclamations!

  137. Still struggling here and my throat is sore (I did sleep for a few hours). Has anyone else noticed that we seem to really struggle on those Sundays when the 'amazing' factor is there but it is there every year and so we seem to be trying to find a new way to say 'amazing".

    I'm thinking of Transfiguration especially from 2 years ago when a bunch of us pledged to never preach on it again.

    Anyway, my Pentecost sermon is fair to middlin' and believe me I am NOT sacrificing myself on the altar of the perfect sermon. I just want to be able to stand up there and look/sound like I'm prepared.

    8 more hours and I can go back to bed.

  138. Anyone got a 'kick-ass' illustration of how the Holy Spirit has worked so I can put this thing out of its misery?

    Note to self: Take a break after Easter.

  139. Anyone else joining me at the dog park? If so remember to walk it proud and I would think that today more than any other the Holy Spirit would have our backs!

    Have a blessed Sunday.

  140. WS I am with at the dog park. I don't have a kick ass illustration though. Maybe that is why I am there too.

    But the HS will show up.

  141. Good morning! Anyone need a cup of freshly brewed coffee?
    My mind is already jumping past church. I'll be on the road to pick up my college son. I'm syncing up my iPod and applying for a second mortgage to pay for the gasoline.
    We've got Pop-tarts!!

  142. Kathryn, Hope you are feeling better.

    WS, you too.

    Sore throats are always a lead in to something worse. Prayers for healing and strength today.

  143. I did hear the Holy Spirit compared to a Harley Davidson Motorcycle as compared to a regular riding lawn mower. But then some of the newer riding lawn mowers are pretty powerful and can really go fast.

  144. How about a kick-butt small story instead? The big ones can be so hard to relate to that people figure they aren't spiritual enough. Maybe it's enough to talk about the way opening a window changes the air in the room. (At least I hope so.)

  145. I like that Songbird.

    That in itself is a good one.

  146. pretty much the only HS story I have this morning is the one from the Bible.

    yes, I stayed up too late, no not for a good reason, and have I ever mentioned that I hate morning?

    And that next week we begin having worship at 8.30 instead of 9? Not good.

    I guess I should go to see my congregation all dressed in red (yes, that's been in the bulletin and newsletter, so we'll have a church full of nerds...). Happy preaching, praying, children's-sermonizing, and celebrating to all of you!

  147. okay, ladies and gents..file this one away for next Pentecost, or anytime you need a good "breathy sermon."
    Some of y'all may have caught the story on NPR this morn. The whole story is on web under "This I beleieve. In short an ansteologist talks about her job being one of spiritual work, she sees folsk in vunerable states, she help themn breath or even breathes for them, etc.
    While in med school, a classmate ask her to sum up her faith tradition (they were difffernt)in one sentence.
    She thoguth long nad hard and looked past creeds, canons, doctirines, etc and simply thought of this, " Every person is precious."
    Now when we think of it like that, it does give us a differnet, spirit driven view. It is easy to sya of some peopel, but not so easy one others.
    Okay, VBS planning is over, sermon is done, children have been taught about Jesus and about the Holy Spirit, I 've hugged and or shaken hands with everyone...
    It's Miller Time or in my case, Sam Adams Lite Time.

  148. My holy nap was EIGHT HOURS today! Amazing what pulling an all-nighter will do to you.

    I trust things went well for everyone else, the dogs got walked, and the breakfasts got served.


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