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Saturday, May 19, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party.....

So many choices this week, some of us would have celebrated/ preached Ascension on Thursday, for others this will be the focus this Sunday.... still others will be stepping away from the lectionary and looking towards Pentecost next week...

So are you going with the Acts readings? ( 1 or 16), with Revelation ( a few were brave last week if I remember rightly) or John???

Right now and if I stick with it I am going with a storytelling/ preach, concentrating on Jesus command to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit.... I've posted a draft here, let me know what you think ( I could do with some constructive criticism). This is such a great group, lets cheer one another on today......

Whatever you are working with pull up a chair, grab a mug- I have green tea and oatmeal cookies here, anyone brewing coffee?

P.S. Songbird will be stepping in to keep the party going when I'm tucked up in bed!!!


  1. OOh, first post!

    Well, I'll start the coffee--free trade, too--and put out the bagels.

    I'm preaching on the Acts passage, but not sure where I'm going with it. Something about customs and traditions, and unity. I have a page or so of notes and that's all.

    However, I have no plans at all for today or this evening--and the weather is cooperating by being rainy, so I have an excuse for not mowing the lawn!

    So where's everyone else?

  2. I have fudge (again!) and the kettle will be boiling all day! I want to try and get housework done today as well as a sermon (so behind on the housework!!). Suppose I'd better get on with it then as it's already gone 12.30 here. I'm preaching on Acts 16 - starting with "what was the most remarkable event in this chapter...? Maybe not the casting out of the demon, maybe not even the miraculous escape... but the attitude of Paul and Silas singing and praising in those circumstances after all they'd been through..." I want to talk about how that came to be...

  3. I'm preaching on Isaiah (year of the Bible) and have a visit with The Boy to do this morning. This afternoon he leaves for an overnight at grandparents so right now things seem quite doable.

    If I could only get rid of this huge knot behind my right shoulder blade that I have been nursing on and off for the better part of a month.

    Please pass the coffee.

  4. I can't believe I did this to myself. I'm so not a morning person. Up and at 'em (did you know there's a 5 in the MORNING?) to finish a wedding sermon. Wedding in 2 hours (sermon is now done) and then off to wed the new couple, come home and start tomorrow's sermon, go back to attend their 2nd (Hindu) wedding, and home to finish the 2nd sermon.

    I'm doing Acts 1:1-11.

    I don't have much to eat in the house. Bummer. Special K, anyone? Fresca?

  5. Good morning and Sally, that is a beautiful picture!!!

    I am a pew sitter, so I am the ears to a sermon on Sunday, so think of you all on Saturday for the procrastinating types (and really and truly that isn't procrastinating -- some of us work well under the pressure of the clock)
    ANYWAY, come join Trivia Challenge as it really only takes a minute or two of your time. Join us here
    and answer those 10 questions and see how you compare (I am dead last at the moment)

  6. Hey, Ya'll! I just finished a bowl of "Smart Start" (help yourselves), off soon to help clean out our meetinghouse. I leave this afternoon for an overnight visit to another faith community. One of their folks is being considered for recording (affirmation by the Yearly Meeting for a ministry vocation.) This means I'm not preaching!! I am going back next week and conclude the story of Acts 16 which the lectionary covers this week.
    My meeting will be doing a hymn sing and about 20 minutes of unprogrammed/waiting worship tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

  7. wow seems like everyone is up and about early- ( sounds strange 'cos it is mid-day here), that coffee sounds good rainbow pastor....

    will smama- prayers for your shoulder...

    Interesting passage Chelly, it brings up so many different things! Fudge mmmm.... it won't do my diet much good but a sugar rush might help round now!!!

  8. woo hoo Cathy I just played the trivia challenge and for the first time ever got 10/10!!!!

  9. Sally, you are smart!!
    I'm getting a later start than I would like after taking care of some other matters. I have two sermons to finish for tomorrow, one for morning worship, the other for a RevGal member's service of Installation in the afternoon. It's Easter 7 in the morning and John 21:1-6 in the afternoon. In the middle of the afternoon, I have to take a break to attend the All-State band concert in which my 10th grader is playing.
    Sadly, we have no coffee, so I must go out in search of same.

  10. Plenty of fudge to go round Sally! :D Just made another cup of tea - and still haven't really got going yet - but the ideas are gradually forming (oh how far that is from a finished sermon haha!). This weekend feels so much easier than last weekend which was very demanding.

    (tangent:) Stacey, I lost the piece of paper I wrote your e-mail address on to sign up for your blog... and I can't remember which Preacher Party you posted it on - any chance of trying again...?
    (end tangent)

  11. well- I'm not letting on how many lucky guesses there were!!! :-)

  12. how cool to be preaching at a revgals installation service Songbird-if we can swing the air fare I'll ask you to preach at mine!

  13. I have to preach at an alumnae reunion service in about 24 hours. I have about 25% of the sermon finished. Yuck! I told myself that I wouldn't wait until the last minute, too. It's not like I do this every week (just for tomorrow and the next Sunday--two in a row, yikes!).

    Now if I can just think with my 4 year old running through the house screaming like a banshee....

    I have cheez-its and a bottle of ketchup. Anyone have some fries to share?

    Oh, and I have to convince my dh to get off his duff and mow the lawn, or else it will be one more thing for me to do.

  14. Yaawn. Good Morning. Wait. It's Saturday??? I've lost track of time preparing to host this refugee family. They arrived yesterday but their permenant housing was not ready. So, for a few days they are with us. A lot of work later...I guess I better read the lessons and figure out what I am going to say.

    I have coffee. And bacon waiting to prepare. Probably pancakes or french toast. But, first, where are those lessons for tomorrow?

  15. 2 sermons to prep today. Looking at John and being united for the morning and then a wedding for the afternoon. Oh and there is a birthday tea to attend this afternoon and the wedding rehearsal tonight.

    May be time to borrow freely from past wedding sermons--does anybosy really listen to a wedding sermon anyway????

  16. Oh and like Rainbow Pastor we have rain which thakes other tasks out of the picture (like putting together the bikes Sarah and Devyn got as birth day presents)

  17. Gord, I think it's pretty safe to say no!

  18. goodness Gord, you are always so busy....

    Mom priest- take a breathe, enjoy that coffee and bacon- let us know how you are getting on :-)

  19. Well, I don't seem to be making very speedy progress here! It's now 2.50pm and I have a (decidedly average) title ("On a bad day, worship the Lord") and one line written! I have made another cup of tea and done a kitchen full of washing up though...

  20. Not only am I off-lectionary this week, I also have a two-sermon day tomorrow too--but not because of a wedding! It's confirmation day and ALSO the day of prayer and action for Colombia, and one of our members is being commissioned as an accompanier, so the two services require something a little different. Luckily, I managed to write the "Colombia" sermon on Thursday (it's already up here) so now I just have the confirmation one to work with. Of course, the Colombia sermon is not good, but oh well.

    At 11 when we confirm the youth (20 of them!), I realized yesterday that the confirmation part of the service is likely to take between 20 and 30 minutes by itself. For a congregation that tends to worship in 55 minutes, this is going to be something of a shock. But at least it'll be cool--to see 20 teens affirming their faith, to see 1 of them baptized, to see their palms anointed and then to have them anoint the congregation to symbolize that now we're all in ministry together...yeah. It'll be great.

    I keep telling spite of the logistical nightmare..."it's not worship without a little chaos" (thanks to my internship pastor of several years ago now for that little phrase). But the Office Admin (who is also doing powerpoint for this week) keeps asking me if maybe we need a little worship with the chaos this week....

    food...umm...I made a pilgrimage to whole foods yesterday but I took the good snacks to church so I'm looking at Fruity Pebbles (I had week moment at Dominicks two weeks ago...) and a pile of dirty dishes. oy. I do have milk....

  21. Good morning' all [huge YAAAAAWWWWWN]slept in a bit this morning because it is so cloudy outside.

    Sermon and worship mostly completed, thank God, since my main task for the day is to continue reading the 25 resumes I have until Monday 1:00 pm to get through. I serve on a program committee for the AFSC-LGBT Issues office in Ann Arbor that is hiring for a part time position.

    Preparing breakfast tacos: eggs, chorizo, tomatoes, jalapenos and fresh cilantro ... want some?

  22. Sally,
    what a nice party you have going Sally. I have a party I am hosting myself for Zach's party. We have a few more things to get together and then we party at 1-3pm. Think 4-5yr olds. Think wild.

    I am preaching on the Purpose Driven Life series, this week is on the Family of God.

  23. Hey y'all,
    I'm looking for a story. THe basic presmise is someone screaming for help and the helper goes through a bunch of questions to determine if he is the "Right" type of person (by going through multiple layers of denominational splits). I know I have it in a book somewhere but anybody know where it can quilckly be found on the web?

  24. WS take some IBprophin. Go see a massage therapist and a chiropracter. What are your muscles so tight about there?

  25. Oh and if you are looking for diversion ( I know I always am). I posted a column I wrote this week called Wonder of Wonders. Oh and feel free to follow the link and find out what people think Canada's greatest wonders are.

  26. PPB. What a day you have. Blessings all you have in your plans and sermon for Wedding.

    A Linn just tell him it has got to be mowed or it will be there tomorrow and the next day and the day after. I think you can let that one go so you can concentrate on your own tasks.

    Songbird wow you are blessed. Hope it goes well. Neato keeno.

    What is this the two sermon weekend? It sounds like a lot of you are 2sermoning it this wkend. Blessings on you all.

    Chelly yum home made fudge, I can't pass it up. mmm good.

    Gord Happy birthday your wee ones.
    Its the joke of someone about to jump off a bridge and the one coming to save him starts asking a bunch of questions. I have seen it around the internet quite a bit. Hope you find it.

  27. wow a 4/5 yr olds party- those things seem like distant memories- I'm playing chauffer tonight for 2 18th parties- making sure they all get home safe and can enjoy a ( legal here) drink or two.

  28. Gord I know the story- think it makes all kinds of connections- but in the end one little difference splits the two and the one needing help dies? ( Not a childrens story obviously) am I on the right track???

  29. after my really bad description I found a shortened version;
    Abi I reckon this is what you meant.... me too:

    "Schism: Die, Heretic!
    Comedian Emo Philips tells this story:
    In conversation with a person I had recently met, I asked, "Are you Protestant or Catholic?" My new acquaintance replied,
    "Protestant." I said, "Me too! What franchise?" He answered, "Baptist."
    "Me too!" I said. "Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"
    "Northern Baptist," he replied. "Me too!" I shouted.
    We continued to go back and forth. Finally I asked, "Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region, Council of 1879 or Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region, Council of 1912?"
    He replied, "Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region, Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!""

    I'm sure in the longer version there was a bridge involved....

  30. YAY!!! Sally - YOU GO GIRL!

  31. wow, that's quite a story....

    can I work that in? (I'm sure that has something to do with Confirmation....)

  32. THat' it!!!!

    Thanks Sally and ABi.

    No not for Children's Time, but for the sermon on unity and its challenges.

  33. Hmmm, I wrote a comment an hour ago, and now see it's not here. Weird. (guess I clicked away before the word verification asked me to verify for a second time. Note to self: never count on the first time working).

    Anyway, Sally you're right - the longer version of the Emo Phillips version involves a bridge. The one guy is going to jump, and the second guy wants to stop him - they end up talking about religion, and that conversation ensues. I believe that after saying "Die, heretic!" the second guy may push him off. But that may just be my own twisted imagination. ;) I love that joke - it is spot on.

    I am preaching for Children and Youth Sunday tomorrow (the kids are doing everything else, except the benediction - and it will be my sons' first performance with the youngest children's choir, which I'm very excited about). I'm going with Psalm 148 (I switched tomorrow's Psalm with the Psalm for 2 weeks ago, b/c this one goes better with the overall theme of the service). Sermon will need to be on the very short side, and I'm a good way into it (title - "Learning to Praise"). I'll be talking some about learning from kids to recover our impulse towards wonder and praise. Anyone see the Washington Post article last month about Joshua Bell playing the violin in the subway (incognito) and more than 1000 people passing him by? The article said there was one demographic, though, that consistently wanted to stop and listen, and that was kids. It's an amazing article, and definitely one for the files. You can find it online at (title - "Pearls Before Breakfast").

  34. okay, so the 9.00 (Colombia) sermon has a whole thing about baptism not being only a symbol of grace but also of calling. I can reuse that section in a different way in the 11.00 (Confirmation) sermon, right?

    I hope so, because copying and pasting that in there brought me up to a place where I only need to wrap up in 250 words or so...

  35. Yes that is what I meant. I had to go look for the cups and plates I bought for the party. Hubby couldn't find them. I am so glad you found the story.

  36. Well. I'm back. Had to check in with refugee family - thankfully they seem to have slept well, showered, and eaten. Kids are playing outside in the playground. We are finding a way to communicate although we do not speak the same langauge.

    Not a thing written for sermon, but some ideas. I'm thinking about using (from our upcoming bookclub book "Velvet Elvis") his image at the beginning of the book. His image of the velvet Elvis and his "what if...there were no more need for anyone to paint, because he had just painted the ultimate painting...we would think he had lost his mind...because we instinctively know that art has to, in some way keep going. Keep exploring, keep arranging, keep shaping forming and bringing in new perspectives." and then build on that to talk about who we are as Christians and how we know Jesus...something about our faith being living and dynamic, being something we work at shaping and forming. Maybe I'll even use the "joke" that Sally and Gord have been talking about...?

  37. After lots of errands (pharmacy, dry cleaner, florist because Snowman is attending his first prom and there was a corsage to be collected) and a trip to the coffee shop, I came home to the distraction of a packet from Interlochen Arts Academy, where Snowman has applied, which led to talks with both his dad and his step-dad about the financial aid offer, and there was also an e-mail reminding me of something I had forgotten to prepare for an after church meeting tomorrow, and now I find it's hard to settle down to writing.
    Anyone ever feel like that?

  38. okay, I have a draft of the "confirmation sermon" (as I'm calling it to keep it distinct in my mind from the "Colombia sermon" LOL!!) up on my blog. It's not good, but it might do. We'll see....

    I guess I could take a shower and put on clothes instead of lounging around in my pjs with a cat and a computer on my lap....

  39. No preaching for me tomorrow, so I just thought I'd pop in with some supplies...homemade tomato bread, anyone?
    I've been at a training day on using the Bible in ministry, which has left me feeling so inadequate I may never preach again. Will I still be allowed to come to the parties? I could do the washing up!
    Blessings and inspiration to all of you...

  40. Home made tomato bread sounds lovely - and seeing as we're sharing all this food in a virtual sense, I can probably say "yes please" as gluten only hits hard in the non-virtual world!! I'm intrigued to know the kind of things they were saying Kathryn?

  41. I must really have slept late today. It's 8:45 and just look at all the posts already!

    Gord, even if anyone did listen to a wedding homily you preach it to a different congregation each time. :-)

    I'm 2-sermoning also - at 10 am for my folks then at a 3 pm communion service in a retirement community. The good part is that sermon 2 can be a simplified form of sermon 1. Like Gord, I'm going with John and unity. Don't know how I'm getting there tho.

    Dona Quixote, are there any tacos left? If not I may have to run to the market to get some chorizo. The Husband would love me even more if he woke up to chorizo and eggs this morning! I do have some pan dulce to share.

  42. Hi all,
    First time to post. Taking care of a 4 year old who just got his tonsils out today, so I have a lot of popsicles(especially red since he can't eat those).

    Tomorrow is our last Sunday of Sunday School. We are also saying good bye to a really great Christian Formation leader. I am going to use Jesus saying goodbye at the ascension and discuss how sometimes we need people to leave so we can learn to do some things on our own.

  43. SB, I try to write my sermons, draft version anyway, first thing in the morning, and as soon as the house is quite from everyone else leaving. But, since that doesn't always happen, once I am into my busy day stuff, I find it really hard to settle down and write...kinds like today.

    Kathryn, so sorry to hear it left you feeling inadequate rather than charged up...sigh...

    fentonian, love what you are doing

    ok. back to sermon. as I stare off into this beautiful sunny day...

  44. Hi, fentonian!
    Welcome to the Preacher Party. That sounds like a great approach to the Ascension text.
    I hope your child feels better soon!

  45. Yup Rev Maria, there's tacos left. They're good ... but I think I put in a tad too much jalapeno

    Fentonian, I don't think I've seen you before --welcome.

  46. Well one wedding down, and 3 hours to wrap up the second sermon. I'm feeling really sleepy. That 5 a.m. thing is SO not my style. For those that read my blog this was the "dah dah dah da da da -Charge!" wedding. Fortunately, no such music happened. The groom was, though, waiting at the church at 9:30 when the florist arrived. So cute.

    So now the ascension. I'm still wishing I could tie the birks from the ceiling. (did I mention that it's a 3 story high ceiling?)

  47. I'm so glad I have RevGals to teach me about things like how theres a 5 o'clock in the morning!! I had no idea. I think 7 am is a crazy hour...

    Anyway, I think I'm going to use the Revelation passage and talk about having enough to go around. The chair of our adult ed committee wrote a great letter to the group after our last meeting emphasizing that the abundance we have isn't just in our material resources, but that God will provide inpiration, energy, enthusiasm - all the things we felt were lacking - when we need them. It was poignant and lovely, and as this will be my second-to-last sermon in this congregation (leaving at end of june) I want to emphasize the depth of living water we have to draw on.

    I just made a fresh pot of coffee if anyone needs a warm up!

  48. Morning all! I slept late and we had one of our favorite breakfasts, orange rolls--plenty left to share (virtual ones, anyway).

    Since I am trapped in my comfy chair due to a broken toe I am hoping to work ahead on my Corpus Christi homily, for two weeks after Pentecost. The medieval origin of this Catholic feast is celebrating the Eucharist but I will be looking at all the interconnected meanings of the "Body of Christ", esp. the Christian community and the poor and suffering in whom Jesus said he lives and is served...

  49. Ok. It's been tough to enter into the frame of mind to focus and write...thinking of others facing same issues...but now I have a draft, start to finish. SO. I will take a break. Eat something. Come back to it later to edit and rewrite and tweek.

    I did use the Velvet Elvis image. I did use the Emo joke. (Thanks everyone!) and I connect it to how we know Jesus and how we make Jesus known. Through which I say a bit about our ministry with the way in which we striving to be the heart of Christ...

  50. Thanks for the welcome and well wishes, the problem is that he does feel well half the time and wants to act like a 4 year old.
    I'm not sure if me yelling, 'no no don't run around you're sick, really' is good fodder for a sermon or a movie scene.
    Lunch today is leftover Chinese if anyone's interested, there is certainly plenty.
    Mompriest - defintely hearing the lack of get up and go today. I'm feeling very behind in reading. Generally find I can't write until the kids are in bed, my mind keeps racing and the sermon changes otherwise.
    Everyone - thanks for the Emo story, that'll come up at some point.

  51. See, I needed the Emo joke LAST week - the good news is I couldn't pin it down so I didn't use it and now I have it. thanks!

    abi, I think the knot is from my laptop not being in a good place ergonomically when I am in the office. I am going to see if I can correct that this week.

    No 2 sermons from me, but the one is still a title and a couple of Scripture passages. My child just went down for a nap and now I'm considering the same.

    You all are BUSY today!

  52. It's too pretty out. I don't want to write. I want to do spring cleaning or anything else but write. Even laundry!

    Fentonian, welcome, and I love your goodbye idea. We're saying goodbye to our music minister of 11 years on June 10 - maybe I'll slip out of lectionary mode and borrow your idea that day. :-) Especially as I'm not using that passage today.

    Thanks DQ! Yum. But, what does "too much jalepeno" mean? The Husband just got rudely awakened to go help remove a zillion year old metal shed and contents from the church parking lot, so let's just put one taco aside for him, OK?

  53. Hello everyone! I escaped from the house today because I was being recruited to pass out fliers for a community's a very good cause, I just didn't budget for it in the day and need to write this sermon! So I left to do some sermon work at the coffeeshop a few towns over with free wireless.

    I'm feeling thankful I only have one sermon to write for tomorrow (although I'm very impressed with the multiple sermonizing going on here!). Not much done, though--the key phrase for tomorrow is "walking together" and I think it fits very well with the John text, so I need to scrounge up a few stories now to get the ideas flowing. I may use the bridge joke...thanks to y'all :)

    We are having a baptism at St. Larger, so connecting that would make it even better...baptism is really about a covenant to walk together, isn't it? We walk with each other--even this little baby who CAN'T yet walk--and God covenants to walk with us too.

    Hmm. Maybe this is an idea.

  54. I've decided that I'm not all that good at middles. Endings I got. Beginnings I got. Middles, not so much. Oh, I do hope I get this puppy done before the wedding. It would be SO NICE to come home from the wedding and just hang out.

  55. okay, so I've read the two sermons through and I officially do NOT like the confirmation sermon. That's not good. here are the totally irrational and theologically unsound reasons I am thinking of a rewrite (after a nap, of course):
    1. after 19 weeks of torture from my (ie homework), the confirmands deserve a good sermon;
    2. there will be loads of visitors--the sanctuary will probably be packed.

    I'm sure there's more. but...well...I'm not sure what to do. Perhaps a nap will help clarify.....

  56. Sermon writing stinks.
    There's nobody to play with!

  57. no one using John-- to preach on prayer. I took my "jumping off thiny" from "Pearls Before Swine " (ok a really strange comic strip) Where rat doesn't get his prayers (to have God give him a billion dollars and a face that would attract RAchel McAdams) and no I'm not making this up. But rat says, well "My faith is waning" And I think this is about many of us. Press a proper button (I tithe, I gave at the office, I am a good person, I need this) and God gives us what we want instead of what we need. Well Ok I didn't sayit was great preaching....but it's noon, and I have a fund raiser and choir concert at 4:00 pm, so I guess it
    ll have to do....why isn't someone out there preaching o this so I can borrow (steal?) your wonderful ideas....gail/the california lutheran

  58. Gail--I'm using John, and preached on prayer last week. What conversation would you find helpful?

    I'm about to get kicked out (the coffeeshop is closing), but I'll be back later this afternoon.

  59. 5 more resumes to review, only 5.

    Maria, too much jalapeno means "a little too hot" even for this Texan gal.

    Gotta go put the freshly washed sheets in the dryer. DH slept in a really nasty hotel in Lansing last night, thus will likely enjoy freshly laundered sheets.

    PPB, if a pair of running shoes thrown over the power lines means "cocaine sold nearby," what d'you suppose birks dangling from a 3-story church ceiling would mean...? "Get high with Jesus?"

  60. shoes over power lines mean cocaine nearby??? I never knew that!h

  61. wow things got busy while I went for a walk- though admittedly I then drove teens to a party and cooked the evening meal.... no I'm putting the last bits of my service for tomorrow together...

    Laura hope you've still got your feet up,
    and rev maria can you pass a bit of that spring cleaning fever over here please???

  62. fentonian welcome, welcome....

    ... dare I ask how we got talking about running shoes and power lines???

  63. My dh took the kids out for a while. Peace and quiet at my house. Maybe I'll be finished by the time they get back.

  64. Running shoes & cocaine --actually crack?

    Because I have a warped sense of humor and a spouse who learns these things in her social work profession ... however, it may be an urban legend, according to snopes

    Dangling shoes from on high, come to found out, has all sorts of interesting possible meanings

  65. OMG! FedEx just came by with two packages--one of them is my robe! I just ordered it on May 3rd; Cokesbury got the order in, and it was made fast! That wasn't even close to 6-8 weeks! It is the first clergical robe this little, baptist girl has ever owned, and I am so excited.

    Now I don't have to stress so much about what to wear tomorrow. Just got to iron the robe sometime today.

    I got this robe. It is black with black cording.

    I am SO excited! Now if my sermon was finished, everything would be perfect.

  66. a. lin - VERY exciting. Yeah!

    Husband is off on a bike ride and my Mom just came to pick up my son perfect time to work on my sermon...

    or not.

  67. A. Lin: Gorgeous robe. I always like this kind with an actual waist, thus hint of curves above and below, kind of saying: yes, I am a girl pastor and proud of it! Blessings on its inaugural outing to preach and lead worship tomorrow.

    Sally: I think the shoe thing came up because of someone's Ascension worship environment fantasy of suspending a pair of Birkenstocks from a high high church ceiling :-).

    My foot is back up, thanks, though I did crutch to the bedroom briefly to sit in a chair in front of a bookcase and separate out a couple of give away piles. (Everyone's doing the pre-move declutter thing around here so I thought I'd pitch in).

    Time to actually start the draft. I thought working ahead would lower last minute stress but I guess a certain amount of stress is motivating.

  68. I have taken it upon myself to 'rescue' the wine I had left from a Thursday evening get together from goign bad.

    However, if anyone would like to bring over Mexican and margarita fixin's my doors are open.

    Yes... I am just a tad unmotivated.

  69. Omigosh - John can be about prayer! Why did I only see the unity part? Gail, I think I love you! I've been looking for an opportunity to preach on prayer. Ah well, there's obviously some truth to "let those who have eyes, see", huh? Now I am motivated! Thanks!

    DQ, The Husband (Navajo person) makes salsa with habeneros, which I do not eat as it raises blisters on my lips. We make 2 pots of chili, one I can eat, one that is biohazardous for him.

    Sally, Spring Cleaning fever is easy to catch - just have something really important to do that you want to put off as long as possible. I learned about it from my much younger college classmates during finals week. :-)

  70. Oooh, rev maria, I learned how to juggle one year during finals week.

  71. PPB,
    I suppose a speargun to attach said birkies to the ceiling where they can dangle attractively would be unseemly???

    ANyway wedding service is ready for the rehearsal, been to the birthday tea, and the sermon is forming somewhere in the recesses of my mind--hopefully it will crawlout of those recesses by tomorrow morning.

    Oh and the birthday cake for after-worship coffee has been iced and decorated with some help from the girls.

  72. thanks Laura- yup I've read through now.... keep that toe resting!!!

    Rev Maria- I should be OK next week then as I have 2 assignments to write- clean house here I come!!!

    will samma- I to have taken up a rescue mission on some wine- it would be wrong to leave it any longer!

  73. Thought I would say hello, as I usually just hang out and read and enjoy you all. After five hours, two donuts (real not virtual unfortunately) and lots of flits away to this site, e-mail checks and other various forms of distraction, the sermon she is done! Managed to touch all three RCL readings, emphasis on John with Jesus praying FOR us to be one--yes with each other, but more with God, and from there a natural unity springs. Amen! Now off to enjoy some sunshine. Good thoughts to all, especially those still writing!

  74. a. lin I love that robe- I need to ordeer some clericl blouses anyone got a suggestion- many people wear mens shirts over here- not a good look!

  75. AS I havebeen working on the unity (or lack thereof) idea I was reminded that there is a scene in Life of Brian that would work in as well -- SPlitters!

    Hey isn't it some sort of commandment that if there is a Monty Python illustration available you have to use it?

  76. Finished reviewing all of the resumes I received. 6 really solid candidates and 7 maybe's. Now I can finish my newsletter --one article to go-- then cook.

    I'm thinking margaritas too, WS. I think I actually owe you one from last week. Or perhaps a nice light white wine ...

    Rev Maria, my breakfast tacos probably would have been too tame for your hubby, and too hot for you.

    Anyone ready for dinner? Tonight's menu: grilled asparagus and artichoke hearts in EVOO and lemon, fattoush, grilled teriyaki chicken for me, not sure what else for DH. Maybe stuffed grape leaves?

    How much green stuff can I feed my DH the vegetarian ...?

  77. Well, mine's finished now... I've posted it here. As ever comments would be much appreciated!

  78. rev donna q I'm on my way :-)

  79. mmmm, margaritas...yes please! I admit to having one yesterday with OA to calm our nerves about this weekend (she is also doing powerpoint for this weekend, AND both the HoS and Musician are due back in town tonight, just in time for, no anxiety here, why do you ask?). I also had one last Monday (same restaurant, different friend) to get over the Fellowship Team Meeting. And the previous Monday, same restaurant, with OA and Musician, for good relaxing Monday night fun.

    That's more margaritas than I have had in like the past three years.

    So who's making them tonight??? I'll leave the downstairs door open--no need to buzz, just bring it on up!

  80. will sama just a thought- is that wine red or white???

    hey we are becomming a party crowd- wine and margaritas....

    who has nibbles????

  81. No fair going over to Teri's! Oh wait, it's virutal so I guess we can all be 2, 3 places at once depending on what's being offered.

  82. WS I'm happy to come to your house! It just means I have to stop being lazy-saturday and taking a shower and put on clothes instead of pajamas...(yes, I was going to do that several hours ago. so?)

  83. I'm going with unity in the journey... using an illustration I'm borrowing (and attributing) to one of the priests at my seminary parish... having people actually walk around the church in different paths, all leading back to the steps of the chancel. He talked about some stuff while they walked, and then talked about how different paths lead us to God... it was a baptism sermon then, but I'm going to use it with the Revelation passage(s) calling Jesus the "Alpha and Omega", and pondering how our unity is found in our source and our goal, rather than the specific path (denomination, worship style, ministry) that we walk - and we point to our unity by encouraging faithfulness to our own paths.

    Now, to move from "comment" form to "sermon" form... that requires margaritas, I'm sure, but first, a new member's dinner in half an hour.

    Will Smama, how bout you just have some extra wine on my behalf? :)

  84. susie- I like it unity in the journey-

    I love the idea we can be in sevral places at once :-)

    will smama my wine is red- apologies for the terrible spelling - I'v e had one glass honest, but it is getting late here... 10:30pm!!!

  85. Susie, I don't have much left - hence the call of the margarita.

    But I will think of you as I have this last sip.

    Okay, seriously... sermon for an hour, no more commenting until then...

    Okay, 20 minutes minimum.

  86. As long as there are so many margaritas, I'll offer up the guac I made to go with burritos for dinner.

    Gord - my problem is I can probably come up with a Monty Python example for anything. My parish would think I was nuts.

  87. Woohoo I have a great page! I was resigned to just doing something basic and reminding myself not to stress out going for inspired and brilliant every time.... And then once I took another look at the readings and opened a document thought of using verses from Colleen Fulmer's gorgeous song "We Are the Body of Christ" to begin and weave throughout.

    Sally, one good quality but pricey--esp. given shipping to UK perhaps-- source for clergy blouses and other vestments is
    Women Spirit. And they have a seminary student special--click at the left side under information for the coupon--if you order before June 15.

    Also, an inexpensive way to go is to convert any simple blouse with a high front, like a jewel neck suit shell. (You can buy or make one or have one made, which is what I did when nursing Katie cause I'm sewing impaired. Cause WS actually has a maternity clergy blouse but no nursing style yet). RevGal Young and Collared has more details on experimenting with that.
    Basically you make a vertical buttonhole at the center of the front and back, buy an Anglican (neckband) collar and studs from WS for pretty cheap, and you're good to go. (Make sure you tell them to include one long stud, which I didn't get till I ordered a premade white blouse, and is easier than the small ones). More interesting colors and fabrics too.

  88. Back again. Haven't looked at sermon since I wrote that draft a few hours ago...

    Been off with son and his girlfriend ordering tux for prom and buying some books teen aged books in French for the 15 year old refugee (must find new word to describe them). Yes. The local Barnes and Noble had two books in French and told me they could get more, like Harry Potter in French. I wonder if she would like that? Takes a week to get in and they may only be here for a few days, so I'll wait and see...

    Now. I am going to marinade chicken in garlic and lime and some special seasoning, which I will grill later for dinner, along with a good salad... And some chilled white wine.

    Sounds like all your sermons are coming along great...

  89. "must find new word to describe them" - lol mompriest.

    errr, has it been 20 minutes yet?

  90. Oooh! So close - just 5 minutes short....

    Sorry, off to focus. really.

  91. Lol Laura- you need to see my non- existent sewing skills to know that converitng anything is not an option here- thanks for the advice- I'll check them out- I do get a set up grant!!!

  92. Thanks for reading and for your comments Sally :D

  93. okay, so I took a shower and I washed half the dishes (I didn't wash any dishes all week because the dishwasher was clean and I didn't want to unload it because I hate unloading the dishwasher, so I always use the clean dishes from there until the sink is overflowing, then I suck it up and put away the five remaining clean dishes and begin again). The other half are...uh...soaking. Yeah, soaking...

    Now I'm off to rewrite the 11.00 sermon. I'm leaving the 9 alone but the 11 I'm unhappy with...but I have an idea. I think. about baptism and confirmation and the church community and love and adventures. we'll see how it goes.

  94. no probs. chelly- mompriest you sound like a wonderful cook- we're doing the prom thing here too, but not til the 29th June- all exams will be finished then-

    .... right now wondering whether to bring in the story that has tugged the hearts of all in the UK - that of
    Madeline Mccann

    should I speak out, or should I leave this to the intercessions????

  95. This is the second post for me—I came on after most of ya'll had gone to bed last week since I'm on the west coast. Love the exchange—could rustle up some fresh strawberries out of the garden to contribute, but I'd rather break open the box of chocolates truffles . . .
    I'm preaching on Acts 16. I'm fascinated that both Lydia and the jailer offered Paul and Silas hospitality after their conversion—what a turn around for the jailer in particular. Hope I can remember all the random thoughts that came to me earlier in the week.
    Haven't started writing yet—soon, but maybe a nap first.

  96. ooohhh pastor lee- strawberries really- even though it is 11:30 pm I could go with strawberries....

    ... keep those thoughts coming- hadn't thought of the hospitality angle.... hmmmm

  97. okay, so having two different sermons is really hard because I keep finding myself stuck in the first sermon when trying to write the second. it doesn't help that really they're both about the call that comes with baptism...but one is RE mission service and one is RE confirmation...and I'm definitely not enjoying it right now.


    truffles please. :-)

  98. truffles teri....take two or three....
    peace and blessings

  99. Pastor Lee, I'll stay up with you. I'm a west coast person too.

    Now that I've changed the focus of the sermon I have 2 sentences instead of 2 paragraphs. But much more motivation than before. :-)

    Focus - hmm.

  100. I'm off to bed now folks.... party on here.... see ya tomorrow....

    Songbird is hosting now

  101. Sally, I'm back! You can go to bed now!!
    Attended the All State Concert, raced back to town, then saw 16-year-old Snowman off to a prom. (That picture will go private on Flickr after this evening.)
    I'm in decent shape for my morning sermon, but still struggling along with the afternoon sermon. More caffeine!!

  102. Wow, so much has happened while I have been gone. What great party; jokes, food, urban legends, new robes(congrats A.Linn), new people(Welcome Fentonian),and sermons being written.
    I bring you all birthday cake(spiderman), ice cream, chips and dip, and drinks. Anybody want some.
    Oh,yes I hope all of our aching, broken toes, recovering from surgery 4 yr olds, and anyone else sick heal else well.

    My sermon, ha, I really can't say. Its sort of written.

    And songbird, I have had that feeling before too.

  103. Good News: I have disciplined myself and not comment on revgalblogpals preacher party for awhile.

    Bad News: NONE of that time was used on my sermon.

    Teri and SB - I'll write yours if you write mine.

  104. Abi, and Songbird- I'm really going to bed now- just had to sneak a peek at Songbirds handsome snowman- they grow all too fast

  105. That might actually work out better.

  106. okay, so I put up another draft of the confirmation sermon. It does not include the copy-and-paste from the Colombia sermon, it's all new. Both of the confirmation sermons are up at my place for comments on which one I should use. (the colombia sermon is also there somewhere....)

    help! I'm not in love with either, but I have to choose one. I refuse to do a third rewrite (unless you all hate both of them, in which case I guess I'll get on that re-write 3...)

    Is it weird that I'm obsessively checking the flight status of the flight our church musician is supposed to be on? It's delayed. She had SO better get back tonight.

  107. By which I meant writing each other's sermons...

  108. (Having a little trouble posting—third times the charm.)

    Strawberries for Sally . . . definitely, truffles for Teri—that's tough.

    Thanks, rev maria, for the company.

    I'm thinking of the witness of hospitality. We usually think of witnessing as preaching or giving testimony—but Lydia and the jailor witness to their newfound faith with hospitality.

    Paul and Silas witness with singing and prayer and preaching to their former jailor—and the jailor feeds and washes the wounds of his former prisoners.

    Still thinking . . .

  109. is it legal for there to be ice cream truck music wafting across the lawn when I can't SEE what street the ice cream truck is on or whether it's coming toward me???? blah blah trees are great, etc...but they obstruct my view of said truck and it's goodies.

  110. teri, go out and look for it! Or are you still in the pjs?

  111. well, not in pjs, but not really dressed either. Somewhere in between, with drippy wet hair. LOL.

    Plus I totally ate a huge amount of ice cream after lunch, so I was feeling mildly guilty. Thankfully the taunting music has gone away at last so I can focus on eating dinner. Bring on the leftover mashed potatoes and green bean casserole! (I had a comfort food week here for some reason....) I'm happy to share! I make the best mashed potatoes pretty much ever.

  112. I am now back from the HIndu wedding. Definitely the most lavish thing I've ever seen. And got paid for this morning. Let's see--rented the most expensive restaurant in town for the reception after Christian wedding. Paid for 3 violinists and an organist, have a videographer that has a camera that looks like he's a newscaster....two outfits for everyone in bridal much do we pay the preacher? the one who did all the pre-marital counseling? who led the rehearsal where the bride and her mother were 45 minutes late? $50.

    back to sermon. I googled my text and found out that BBT wrote on this text with the same angle about 10 years ago. I came to that angle independently (I've never seen this sermon before), but now I feel like I'm cheating and should change my angle altogether.

  113. Rev abi - Thanks for the prayers.

    Songbird - Great pic. must be hard to watch him go.

    Pastor Lee - Love the hospitality idea. I'm working hard to build a culture of hospitality in my parish. Newcomers meet friendly folk, but never get asked to do anything or get involved. I'm, preaching/teaching hospitality every chance I get.

    Dishes are done, kid one is now in bed. Second is being bathed and I'm officially done with parenting duties for the evening. Time for a glass of wine and to get writing after the haphazard reading of the day that has been.
    Following willsmama's lead, I'll try to get a good 30 min. in before returning.
    In the meantime I still have red popsicles.

  114. Hey, will smama, we're using you as an example!!!

  115. Oh, dear friends, help me quick!

    I'm now officially in crisis mode.

    I've spent most of the day on and off IM and the telephone with a friend in crisis--some of you will know about this from the Prayer Pals--and he's now not answering his phone and the computer is off... I'm worried sick for him. But I'm trying to let go of it, give it to God. That's a difficult process.

    But I have no sermon at all. A few pages of notes and 1/3 of an outline.

    What am I going to do? Stand up in front of two congregations and say, "Sorry, I didn't put a sermon together because I was helping a friend with a personal crisis?"

    Panicking here....on several levesl...

  116. ppb, I feel your sense of injustice....yeesh...

    just stopping in before dinner - then back to sermon....

    Looks you've been having a good time today!

  117. ppb - where you live you should be charging $300 minimum. $100 due at the first counseling session.

    You know where I live - I get $250 for nonmembers.

    I am sorry this happened. They have NO CLUE how lucky they were to have you be a part of their day.

    In other news... me as an example is frightening indeed, especially if we are discussion sermon-writing discipline.

    RP, my first response was yes, you should tell them that, but I get that this is not the card you want to play. ((rp))

  118. Prayers for you rainbow pastor... any progress?
    There are a few sermons posted around the place - including mine - which isn't great but you're welcome to share! (On Acts 16)

  119. out here in the suburbs I also get $250 for nonmember weddings, plus if they want the wedding somewhere else (not in our church) I add travel expenses from church to wherever they're getting married.

    PPB, that is ridiculous. I am so sorry.

  120. WS, it would work with one congregation, but not the other...

    I may take you up on that offer, Chelley...

    Still trying to calm down and focus.

  121. okay, upon reflection I think I like the first draft of the confirmation sermon better. However, I like the idea I used in the second draft of pointing out how so many people in the church participate in nurturing kids in the life of faith, and that we all impact each other's life journeys, and that is part of the baptismal calling the youth the question is, HOW on earth can I copy that paragraph into the first draft without it making NO sense??

  122. well, on our web page it says 500 bucks (which is ridiculously high)but I guess they didn't read the web page. I didn't expect to get the whole 500....people always think if it's not the "real" chaplain they can chip off some...but I didn't think I'd get 50 bucks either. Sigh.

    I'm so not motivated to finish this sermon.

  123. Okay, last piece of unasked for advice - if $500 is stated as policy then it needs to be collected.

    Do you want me to call them... please, pretty please.

  124. seriously! Let WS call them! I mean, come on. it's not optional. You worked with them, you spent time...can you imagine if THEY got paid $5 an hour for work they did?

    ugh. people. ;-)

  125. I think I would print out the policy and send them a nice little note saying you enjoyed working with them and are sorry they misread the fee list. I really would.
    A seminary classmate charges a percentage of the entire wedding budget, and I think that makes sense, particularly when the service and reception are lavish.

  126. You might want to add, nicely, that the marriage license cannot be filed until the full amount is paid.

  127. I'm clean! Thank you, Jesus! Washed in the blood of the Lamb--or at least a lot of warm water and a raspberry bath ball.

    It felt so good after almost a week, and I'm sure my dear family members are equally grateful since they have had to smell me.

    It was a very tricky process involving Matt removing shower doors, padding their remaining metal lip, and helping me lever in and out of the bathtub with the crutches. I am especilly grateful that the spigot, though at my back since it was the left foot that had to hang out, did not smash my head.

    I also have two more pages I'm happy with--one composed pre bath and one post--so just need another one wrapping it up. But it's probably time to shift gears to house mass, probably just the family since we haven't heard from the friend who sometimes joins us, and dinner. Taquitos, anyone? Frozen, but the very best brand, with salsa verde and sour cream. And Matt and Nicholas baked a meringue shell to fill with ice cream for afters, as Sally would say if she weren't sleeping.

    Lots of prayers for the friend and the writing, RP. It is so not fair to be the first poster and still stressing when night arrives.... I'd offer to share my sermon too but the texts aren't the same....

  128. Yeah, PPB, what they said. If the website says 500.00 that's what they owe you, and I am so behind Songbird's idea of holding the license hostage till they pay up...

  129. PPB, thats just rude. Geez, one session with a "real" family counselor would cost twice that!! ARrrgh. I'm irked for you. Also - I don't think you should change your sermon angle at all. Reference BBT if seems less like cheating, but I think you should just be impressed that you are such a smart polar bear who thinks in the same ways as the lovely Rev. BBT!

    And Rainbow Pastor - prayers heading your way. I wonder if the experience of the day could inform your sermon without showing up exactly? Like, how in John, Jesus shows us that prayer is how we are one - as he and the Father are one, and so our prayers keep us united with those we love and miss and worry about even if - maybe especially if - there seems to be little else we can do? Just another piece of unsolicited advice!

  130. Hmm...this might be a good question for Ask the Matriarch, but how DO you know what to charge for weddings based on your area?

    Not much further on the sermon than before...watched the hockey game (boo!), talked on the phone, did laundry...but now need to write.

  131. semfem, i have a colleague who asked half a dozen pastors in the general area in the same denomination and used that as a guideline. Then I borrowed her data!

  132. okay, I have mixed the two sermons together and have decided to be done. Here it is, at last. Overworked, but yet not great...oh well. Now I have to go to church to print it out and make sure that it likes living in the sanctuary (aka I need to practice it once before tomorrow morning!).

    Also time for a quick trip to Borders--need gifts for the two graduating seniors!!!

  133. I am happy to say that one sermon is complete. I'm stuck in the middle of the other, and given that the background music of my life at the moment is "Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius," finishing awaits my daughter's bedtime.
    Anybody want some popcorn?

  134. I was charging $100 and then realized that if they wanted a Saturday and at least two evenings away from my family then they would have to pay for it. If they didn't like it, then I wouldn't do it.

    No one has said thanks, but no thanks yet.

    And if they did I would be okay with that too. Time is money.

  135. I still hate sermon writing nights.

  136. Thanks for the offer sb, but I o.d.'ed on popcorn last night at the movies.... it was soooo good.

  137. Hey, LMK, want to come over and play with me?

  138. Rainbow, so sorry to hear your news. Hope things are getting better, prayers are with you. While Susie's idea was better I found Bruegemman's comments on Theolog interesting, and maybe an easy 3 point sermon. He syas the 3 things in Acts the church is called to do is wait, receive the Spirit's power, and then witness. Just a though if you are still grasping.

    Don't get me started on weddings, I'll take a good funeral any day.

  139. OK. I leave for awhile to have dinner and return to find sooo much happening.

    RBP, so sorry to hear about your friend. I will hold you in my prayers. Somehow the words you need to say tomorrow will be there, or if they are not, well then it will be one of those days when breakfast cereal is ok, they will be fed, even if it is not the nutrition you want to provide.

    In terms of the ongoing discussion about fees: I think my denomination actually says that I cannot charge for weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc. because they are sacramental rites and as a priest that is what the "church" pays me to care for. SO. no fee. And yet, I am required to do 5-6 sessions of premarital counseling which takes several months, two hours plus, each session. So. I tell folks this. I also suggest that if they want too they can give a donation to my discretionary account, which I am able to use as I wish - to help folks, or buy books, or something that supports ministry.

    But. If my denomination or local area had another expectation I would find a way to inform people and hold them to it. I like the suggestions given here as follow up "reminders"....and then from now I would give folks a "contract" or some other formal agreement so all was clear in terms of what I would do and what they would do....(ie show up on time, etc. etc.)...

    oh. right. I continue to forget. I have to go back and check that sermon. I wonder if it has "grown" in the time since I left it to ferment....sigh...

  140. My, go away to a wedding rehearsal and come back to find wedding discussions. Eerie.

    In Canada we are not allowed (by tax law) to charge differential rates for members and nonmembers. Here we charge $150 for the use of the church and $100 for me. It is low but suits where we are. In the City-on-the-Big-Lake I assume rates are markedly different.

    Because we have so many shift workers I often am able to have pre-marriage meetings during "regular" hours and not lose evenings.

    PPB you have a right to feel misused. ANd how is that hanging of the birkies going?

  141. 141 comments??? That has got to be a record, and it's a whole lot to read. I'm home from Chicago at last, and trying to wrap up a sermon on the Acts 16 passage. So far, it pretty much stinks. Too much stuff running through my head to write coherent thoughts. Oh well.

  142. Gord, just for a knock your socks off moment--guess how much it costs to have a wedding in our (historic and beautiful if you like ornate which I don't but there you have it) chapel?

    We're not a church, so there are no "members" or "non members". We only allow "affiliated" weddings (students, employees, alumni/ae or children of students, employees or alumni/ae).

    Wait for it.
    Wait for it...

    1,000 buckeroonis

    PLUS 250 insurance (if not a currently enrolled student or current employee)

    And we have no airconditioning, no wedding coordinator, no reception hall, nothing.

    And people pay it.
    Sometimes 2 weddings on a Saturday.

    Unbelievable. (to me, at least)

  143. Yes, how 'bout those Birkies?

  144. can I just say, I hate not being the only workaholic on staff at this church?

    I just came to the office to print and practice (no printer at my house...) and discovered HoS, who has been out of the office in Florida since Wednesday, here in his office.

    He's not preaching tomorrow, either. And I gave him a storybook for children's time. So all he has is the Prayers of the people. And he's here at 8.30pm on Saturday.

    That can't be good...

  145. rainbow pastor... have you thought about using the acts text? Earthquakes happen... 178 in the past 7 days. But earthquakes in our lives... like the one you experienced today... can create holy spaces... where conversion and renewal can occur.

  146. Wow... did anyone else's clock just jump one to two hours ahead with no parallel jump in sermon completed.

    I HATE it when that happens.

  147. I'm coming into the home stretch on my sermon, and I've definitely had last-sermon-for-two-weeks-itis on this one, especially since we've gone almost six months without a break.

    I just called out to Rev Dave in the next room, "My sermon sucks!"

    He, with nary a tone of panic, alarm, or judgment said "Okay. Well, the Holy Spirit's got your back, darlin'."

    Always hard to remember that.

  148. Does anyone need a snack? Something to drink?

  149. Thanks SB for offering of beverages and snacks. I'm going for decaff peach iced tea and cookies. Reviewed sermon. sigh. probably as "Done" as it's gonna get.

    ok. my word verification: "imnwed" ya think all this wedding talk is infiltrating cyberspace?

  150. Either that or it wants you to remind me to sign up for interim training. (Which I am supposed to take in a few weeks, but haven't done the paperwork.)

  151. No sermon for me, but a few butterflies. A district official is coming to preach and then conduct a special business meeting wherein we will vote on new bylaws, vote to change our church status (a good thing) and vote on retaining me as pastor. Because of the church status, it is technically like we are just starting, even though we aren't. I don't like votes on pastors, but that is how it is tomorrow. Hopefully followed by a happy time of fellowship and food at a potluck.

  152. Pass the snacks please.

    I thought if I hid in our little used dining room that no one would find me. However, today everyone decided to join me in the dining room. My dh did not stay out with the kids as long as I hoped for. Then we had to go to dinner. Now it is 10:15 and I am still working, having gotten little boy to bed. Big boy is still prowling around.

    If I could just have an hour of uninterrupted time....

    Ah, well, how many of the alumnae will really remember what I say anyway?

  153. Oh. Do sign up for interim training. Those I know who have done it love it. Although you probably have a good idea of what needs to be done during the interim I think you'll appreciate the training.

  154. So how do we talk about "That all may be one" in a world where Christianity is so obviously divided? What does unity mean?

    One memory that comes to mind is from a Presbytery meeting 2.5 years ago. THe theme time was about talking/working with our neighbours. IT was mainly aimed (in my mind anyway) at congregations where there were other UCCan congregations close by.

    I asked waht about those of us in small towns where not only were we the only UCCan congregation but often the only left-of-centre congregation. (Here I am literally out in left field on many issues compared to the rest of the ministerial.) One of the other clergy present, who is now the Moderator of the UCCan, suggested that even if we can't agree on items of doctrine or faith we can often agree on practice. Search for orthopraxis rather than orthodoxy was the path to co-operation and unity.

    It thank that;ll preach.

    Also DOes "That all may be one" really mean coming together in one faith group? OR does it mean remembering that what we have in common is far more important than what we argue about (well that and we often argue about relatively meaningless things).

  155. Rev Kim:

    Honey, if you keep posting things like that online, people are going to think I'm a nice guy or somesuch.

    I have a carefully crafted reputation to uphold around here and you aren't making it any easier.

  156. If drinks are being served. I will take one. Preferably a nice cool beer.

  157. Dinner's done, mass is done--the kids are getting really good, served communion and read (Nicholas from Acts, Katie repeating my whispered words from her prayer book since she couldn't find her "God Loves Me Bible."

    Step up for dessert palooza, preachers: Rocky Road or French Vanilla ice cream in a homemade meringue shell and strawberries to dip in melted chocolate chips.

  158. Chelley and Susie and all the rest--

    Thank you so much for your offers of sermons, ideas, prayers and support.

    For the first time in my life, I am going to borrow large chunks of someone else's sermon. I hate to do it, but I am out of options. My brain cannot function anymore.

    And my printer doesn't know what to do with Vista. So I can't print anything.

    Thank you for allowing me to plagiarize, Chelley...I owe you a big one. I did do some revising to fit these congregations (and no baptism).

    Going to bed...with phone nearby just in case.

    Blessings and thanks to you all.

  159. Well we have 2 leashes, one retractable and one "regular". But it would be a bit of a stretch to get them to you overnight....

    Mind you curious minds want to know why a leash? Training littlemankitty?

  160. Gord: What about the idea that through baptism we are all one - part of God's family, even though we argue about both doxy and praxis?

    I had a prof once who said there is no such thing as a finished sermon, just one whose time has come to preach. I must be there, becuase if I don't crash I won't be awake enough to preach.

    Good night all, thanks for the welcome and well wishes. Looking forward to knowing you better.

  161. Wroo wroo, ppb!! Walk it proud!!

  162. Wow,this is the best-attended Preacher Party ever! I hope you'll all come back again!
    I'm hitting the hay. Both sermons are finished, I think, but I'll look them over in the morning to be sure I hadn't stopped making sense.
    Last one out, turn off the lights!

  163. I thought the leash was for Rev Dave but then it finally clicked.

    Meet ya at the dog park ppb!

    And RP - it is okay.

  164. May the Spirit fill your dreams tonight and enliven your words tomorrow!

    And if you've got a dog, oh wait, that must be why folks are looking for leashes...(I'm a little slow), yes, walk it proud...

    or...for another metaphor...if all you have is breakfast cereal the congregation will still be fed. Maybe there will be brunch next week.

    Night all. Last one up, get the lights...sleep well.

  165. Oh. And Singing Owl. I hope tomorrow goes well and all will celebrate.

  166. I still hate preaching nights. How come nobody ever listens to me?

  167. 200 comments, people. I bet we can reach it tonight. Seriously!

    If anything, I just completed a very full outline, but am just now beginning the actual manuscript, so I'll be up and awake (I hope) to make my fair share of the last thirty comments.

    Yawn. Just thinking about the next few hours makes me tired.

  168. Yes, SO - good luck and by my guess, enjoy the affirmation.

    lmk - my bad. I will stop typing right now and play with you. But if you don't chase this laser pointer in the next couple of minutes, I am sorry I will have to go to bed.

    Hey, sermon writers (me included) - I have another phrase to add to our previous two:
    1) Relax, the Holy Spirit has got your back.
    2) If you've got a dog, walk it proud.
    3) Thou shall not sacrifice thyself on the altar of the perfect sermon.

    In other words, if it's preachable - go. to. bed.

    I'm banking on one thru three my friends. G'night.

  169. Well, firefox shut down for some reason and erased a whole comment of mine. I can't get over the fees for weddings and preachers. Oh well, we still down in the South.

    I am still up. Still plugging away after cleaning-up the kitchen, making sure doggies and kitties are fed. Trying to tighten up the sermon Right.

    PPB Hang up the birkies.

    Semfem I'll do i with you. We can do it.

  170. Yay RevAbi! We will burn the midnight oil together.

    Is there such a thing as too many stories and not enough theology in a sermon?

  171. Semfem:

    If you've got a solid outline, go to bed and plan to preach from that. Not every sermon needs to be done from a full manuscript.

    Go on, I dare you! The results may surpise you!

  172. Well, I just got to the party and I'm in for the 200 comment goal

  173. I was supposed to have my sermon finished before the SS outing to minor league baseball. That didn't happen and we didn't stay for the whole game either (our team was losing baaad)

  174. Sorry, Will, LMK is now sound asleep. He has a very short attention span.

    But he'll be up for some laser toy games at oh, about 3 a.m. so I'll send him on down to you then.

    I'm hitting print. it ain't good. It ain't that bad. It just is. And since I'm volunteering for this one (my contract expired on Tuesday, so I'm not longer being paid for this gig), this is all they get! A girl needs her beauty sleep after all.

    Hope y'all are done soon, too!
    Oh my gosh---my word verification is dogmv

  175. So now I'm actually gathering sermon stuff for an ascension sermon. Why didn't I chose Easter 7 instead?

  176. Is anyone else distressed by the sunday prayer being up before we've finished the saturday night preacher party? it's like the walk of shame....

  177. ppb- when I find something like what you found with BBT I consider it a gift from God, no guilt, grace (like raise your hand and say Thank you Jesus!)

  178. semfem Jesus told stories ... that's a good enough excuse for me

  179. If the Sunday prayer is already up, it must be the early edition. My clock hasn't reached single digits yet so it's still early for sermon writing

  180. She uses a time-turner, Vicar of Hogsmeade.

    RevDave I foresee a new game: Preach or Dare!

    I know, I know. I said I was going to bed.

  181. Rev Dave--someday I will be brave enough (or desperate enough) to preach from an outline. That day is not tomorrow (at least not yet).

    Besides, I was always the boring one who chose Truth instead of Dare.

    Vicar of H--thanks, then I think I will be fine. People like stories! I think. Most of the time.


  182. Nighty-night to those folks who have called it quits. The Spirit not only has our back but holds us all in her arms—whether we are dreaming away or have just gotten started.

    I've several more hours of work in front of me, but it's only 9:00 p.m. here, so I still have time.

    Blessings all—and thanks for the communion!

    Back to the computer!

  183. Songbird - LOL
    good thing the caffeine supply was not in my mouth when I read that!

  184. so I'm pretty sure the conclusion of the sermon has wandered away from the scripture that it is supposedly based on ... wonder how many will be awake enough to notice the shift?

  185. I just hit the print button. See! All I needed was just 2 hours of uninterrupted time.

    It is a few minutes shorter than my usual sermons, but it is preached to a special audience who may not attend church regularly, so I'm sure they won't mind.

    Goodnight to those still lingering.

  186. I'm almost ready to print! And it's not even midnight my time yet

  187. 'cuz I'm awake again and it's playtime! I got greenies! Anyone want greenies???? How about string? You guys wanna play string?



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