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Saturday, June 09, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party: Going to Arabia Edition

Good morning, fellow travelers! It's Saturday, time to get your plans together for tomorrow's journey into the pulpit (or to the microphone, as the case may be). Do you have your passports? If not, limit your travel to Canada or Mexico, and you can get across the border with a photo ID.

My destination is Arabia and some thoughts about Paul's mysterious journey there in Galatians 1. I'm going with the idea that he undertook a pilgrimage, not an evangelism tour, and this may be in part because I am ready for the vacation that is still four weeks away.

Where are you today? Ready to embark? Already in the desert? Left us behind to (sob!) take your vacation? (Might be better not to tell us that.)

Come right in and enjoy the breakfast buffet, along with Fair Trade coffee and herbal teas. We'll keep each other moving today, I promise.


  1. Good morning!

    I'm not up tomorrow, though I will be doing the children's sermon (while DCE is at her daughter's college graduation). We are baptizing three of our teenagers tomorrow, so that will provide the focus of my talk with them.

    Happy sermon-writing to all!

  2. Morning all! It's nearly 1pm here and I'm preaching on Galatians 1 as well tomorrow. So far I have a few thoughts, an extremely rough outline and no words - at 4pm I've got to set up for then take the Children's Praise service and then I'm going straight to the home of some church members for dinner!
    A close family friend (of my parents who I've known most of my life) died suddenly on holiday a couple of days ago and they want me to take the thanksgiving/memorial service when they get back here (which is a privilege but hard), I'm in the middle of another job application, I 'cleverly' arranged to lead a training/retreat type morning next week which I feel totally unprepared for and it's TeenSon's 16th birthday in a couple of weeks and negotiations have been in progress for that! The expression involving head-sand-bury is appealing at the moment!

  3. Outdoor worship tomorrow and I think half of the congregation has told me they are not going to be there so I am having a serious motivation issue.

    The bulletins aren't even done yet which is yet another downside to not having an admin here who HAS to have the info by Friday morning.

    Wedding at 2... could be a long day if I don't rally here soon.

  4. No real blips on the daily life radar here (YET)
    We are doing a rummage sale at the meetinghouse in a couple of hours-did I mention that I detest rummage sales, cause guess who gets to dispose of all remaining rummage?!
    I'm probably going with Luke, although I would LOVE to tie in the I Kings as well. We'll see how much time I get to reflect/discern. Pass the coffee, please-straight up!

  5. Oh yeah--I'm there with the head in the sand gig Chelley!! Can I bring along another adolescent boy or two?!
    Only two weeks until vacation YEAH

  6. I'm preaching mostly on Luke 7 (with nods to 1 Kings). My sermon title is "Left Behind"... and sermon is about Jesus' compassion for those who are "left behind" by life, like the widow... also that the purpose of the young man's resurrection was not mainly for his personal health, but for the sake of restoring his relationship with his mother. Have it mostly done, but the ending needs help.

  7. I have a half of a sermon written and some wandering notes. (Thanks everyone who sent over ideas at my blog)... Looking at using Psalm 30, which is one of my optional texts for this week. In there is a line about God responding our "wailing" by dancing with us. I am also baptizing tomorrow a 28 year old woman, new to the church, who is about to go in for surgery for breast cancer (double mastectomy and total hysterectomy for genetic cancer which took the lives of her mother, grandmothers, aunts...). So. I'm not going to emphasize the "healing" texts, but I am going to talk about baptism being an invitation into a dance with God. In the process, of living out our baptism, and dancing with God, our lives are changed forever.

    But first, I have go and do the baptismal prep and rehearsal.

    I have Fair Trade Coffee and donut holes...and here's hoping you all have a productive and Spirit filled day.

  8. I'm preaching on the I Kings passage. When I first read the passage, I was struck with how the widow blamed Elijah for her son's death and how his response to her was not what I would consider to be an Old Testament prophet response. It seems to me those OT prophets were often about war, famine, and pestilence and telling people they'd better shape up. But, Elijah responded to her grief and her blame with compassion, and in so doing, he made room for God's grace to pour in. That's where I seem to be going this morning - we'll see how it ends up.

  9. I essentially wrote the bones of the sermon last weekend. It is time for the report from the conference Annual Meeting. AND hopefully I won't have much to say anyway once the lay rep and the youth rep have had their say.

  10. Am I still welcome here if I am leaving tomorrow afternoon for the beach but still have tomorrow's worship to deal with first?

    I wrote the first half of my sermon Thursday. I should be excited about that, but I did that last week and the results were disastrous.

    Very busy day ahead--packing/preparing for trip,plus moving our son back into the homestead temporarily. (But that's another blog.)

  11. Greetings, peoples! Back from retreat, I ought to be brimming over with ideas and enthusiasm, but somehow the reality of me, my desk and the surrounding domestic chaos pricked that bubble pretty effectively.
    Not on in the morning, when I'm presiding and admitting J to Holy Communion - but I do have Evensong and Mark's version of the Sower to look forward to.
    I've also got some rather good cake (frozen from last week) and some ginger cordial (excellent diluted with sparkling water) - but not alot else. La la la. I'm in denial. Sermon? What sermon?

  12. I'm just back from dog-walking and stops by the dry cleaner, Starbucks and local bakery. At 11 I leave for a northward drive to a Special Conference Meeting at which we will elect (hopefully) a new Associate Conference Minister, then have a special worship service celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UCC. This means I have to be showered and dressed appropriately by 11, as well as working on sermon before that time. I don't expect to be back much before 5, ugh. Too much travel this week, all good, but hard to get the writing rhythm. At this point I have an outline.

  13. You know, I really am going to publish that book of worship dramas someday, with a section of "What to do when you got nuthin'" offerings.

  14. I am off-lectionary for a few weeks for a summertime series on discipleship. My sermon is not completed yet and quite frankly, I am not in the mood to even think about it. I have an outline and a fairly decent start on it, so hopefully by the time I take care of a few other things, my mood will have improved.

    The saga continues here. I. hate. drama.

  15. Good morning, preachers. It's 6:20 a.m. on the left coast and my family is still sleeping away.

    My Corpus Christi sermon for tomorrow is done--just need to look over and maybe practice it--but I definitely need to work ahead. In between cleaning the house for guests and putting the last touches on the consecration liturgy and negotiating with the visiting bishop about them and trying to let Matt get some much needed rest of course.

    Between Sally's gracious invitation while I am in England and my friend Janine's vacation/study trip when I get back I am preaching formally four weeks in a row, which is an exciting and scary first. I can't imagine quite how you folks that do that all the time pull it off....So I need to plan a series arch for the three at J's place and hopefully get at least one of them knocked off if I can.

    Would make banana bread and muffins if I weren't on crutches, debating my energy level...may not happen in the real world...but hey, virtually I can declare them done! James Beard's recipe, healthy-but-you-can't-tell since I use King Arthur's white whole wheat flour...Step right up and help yourself.

  16. I am finishing up a Greek word study and studying for a final in Greek. Then starts the summer cram-it-in session of Hebrew.

    Here's some sour cherries and vanilla yogurt... not especially exciting but yummy!

  17. I'm going to jump in the shower; anyone want more coffee? I'll put on a pot first.

  18. I'm not preaching tomorrow as we're saying Aloha to my music/youth/education minister. It's her last Sunday before moving to Hawaii. Of course, we're not letting her play - she just gets to sit and be recognized by the choir singing her favorites, congregational testimony and a lei made of money.

    I get to spend the day decorating the church and helping The Husband set up the new wireless equipment for our computers.

    Blessings on all who will be writing today. The Spirit be with you.

  19. This has been one of those weeks that weren't long enough.

    I have some notes and vague ideas on the Luke passage.

    Just came back from the yard sale. Have Board training in one and a half hours for most of the afternoon.

    Guess what I'm doing tonight?

    Hey, you got it in one...writing a sermon.

    That and preparing for a Board meeting after church tomorrow.

    I have not much to offer--chips, diet pop and some good coffee.

    Time to get groceries.

  20. It's been quite a week here, and I'm working on energy reserves after last night's Relay for Life, so all I have useful for a sermon right now are the two lines from Psalm 30:6: "Weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning."

    I'm thinking on using that as a call and response throughout the sermon, incorporating the OT and gospel stories along with some general and specific references to our parish--community school closing, folks dealing with cancer, job loss, etc--and the psalmist's faith in the promises of God. Any thoughts along those lines?

    All I have to offer are some fresh strawberries and other assorted fruits along with whole wheat toast and freshly ground fair trade coffee.

    Blessing and rest to all!

  21. Still unmotivated here.

    Cheesehead you are welcome, it is the folks that comment #2 or 3 that say "I'm done" or "we're off to the beach, no sermon this week" - that channel my inner Jack Torrance.

    One of my FAVORITE things to do is to lead worship and then LEAVE! Hard to do with TDH (The Dawdling Husband in this case) but in July it is my Mom, The Boy and me and we will SO be gone within an hour after worship.

    Wedding at 2 - I'm in the office now (@11) - any chance I use my time wisely?

  22. I'm off to training...anything I can pick up while I'm gone?

  23. In addition to leading the commissioning service for new Stephen Ministers, after a small communion service for them in the chapel prior to worship, I get to do the children's sermon.

    Scripture Eph 2 8-19, sermon "household of God." Initial thoughts are to begin with question "Have you ever watched a house being built?" talk about my carpenter father building my childhood home ... and all the other people who were involved .. plumber, electrician, etc. .. and how that's like all the people involved in building the household of God.

    It's breakfast time here, so I'm having English Muffin. Happy to share with anyone still hungry.

  24. "We'll keep each other moving today, I promise." sounds like an ad for laxatives :) (sorry!)

    seriously we don't have church at all tomorrow - the pastors away so he cancelled!. I've been invited to celebrate Sunday on a yacht instead - and would love to, but hubby and TS are dragging their heels ... so we'll see.

    bringing to the party some sizzling pork chops right from the grill. It must be time for bruch where you are - for us it's 7pm already and supper time.

    Bless your preparation and together with the HS may you knock their sox off tomorrow.

  25. Ok, then..somebody, anybody...what IS the parable of the sower about? I don't mean the line by line explanation that is offered in Mark, but why use the story at all...and isn't it a bit tough on the soils...which can't help being stony or weed ridden or whatever....Oh botherit. I'm so bad at this. Tea, anyone?

  26. "joy comes in the morning" is one of my favorite bible verses...
    Fair Trade coffee!! who has fair trade coffee!!
    How about some banana chocolate chip muffins?
    we are having a "trunk sale" at our church today, and for those who are ready for lunch already, there are sloppy joes, popcorn, chips, etc. as well.
    Will check in again later...think I have my ending now...

  27. Oh how times changed - the bride and groom's 13 month old is sleeping in my office.

  28. we switched the lectionary around here so we're using the Luke text for next week (woman crying on Jesus' feet) so we can use the Elijah/woman's food story next week when the women's choir is scheduled to sing "He Never Failed Me Yet." Yes, we changed the lectionary based on the choir schedule.

    anyway, I'm not preaching--just children's time and prayers as usual. Have zero ideas for children's not sure where SP is going with his sermon...will likely make it all up later.

    For right now I'm thinking about next weekend, when I'm doing my first wedding. Any tips on the rehearsal, sermon, etc? I've not done this before, so need some guidance from my friends!

  29. Kathryn: I have heard the parable referred to as "The Prodigal Sower," which changes the focus to God's extravagant distribution of love and gifts and graces even where they seem likely not to bear fruit....Never occurred to me before but it is a nice change from the possibly guilt-inducing, works-righteousness oriented "what kind of soil am I?" version.

    Also I think I have heard that even the lower amounts of yield where it did bear fruit was pretty good for the ancient world, and that that the high amounts were stupendous--so showing that God can do so much in us, more than we can even dream. "Infinitely more than we can ask or imagine" as the Prayer Book says. In preaching too maybe? A comforting thought.

  30. Right, well it's 6pm, I'm back from taking the Children's Praise Party service and having a quick cuppa before going to the home of a church couple for dinner. I now have the beginning of the sermon and an outline so a long way to go yet! Hoping to be home by 9pm-ish so I'll be back here then.
    I also love "joy comes in the morning..." too - it will be especially true if I wake up tomorrow with an ok, completed sermon and not a ridiculously early alarm call to finish it!

  31. I also think of the parable of the sower in the sense of outreach and use it as a way of praying for the people I come into contact with - praying for 'good soil'; or praying for people who's lives are wrapped up in so many things (weeds etc) and overall praying that the seed will get scattered all over the place, no matter what!

  32. Kathryn: This is a long shot, but if you have Craddock's Cherry Log Sermons, he has a great one in there on this passage.

  33. So far I have trimmed the hedge, planted the tomatoes, spread Preen, swept the floor, washed the dishes, ironed my clothes for tomorrow and started a load of laundry. Wonder what else I can do to postpone working on the sermon? It is in rough outline form so far.

    And in one hour the church has a golf outing.

    Well, there is always tonight. I'll be burning the midnight oil, I 'spect.

    I left some red Twizzlers on the counter. Feel free to have some while I am gone.

  34. Alas, no I don' - though I'm grateful for all and any thoughts.
    I've got very embroiled in how on one hand we read the passage and tend to lament what happens to the seed that doesn't flourish...but at the same time, Jesus says that he is deliberately teaching in obscure ways to prevent people from it's scarcely their fault.
    I can write all sorts of interesting thoughts, talk about the techniques of 1st century Palestinian agriculture etc etc...but I cant' turn it into a tidy sermon that will give people something to take away and live with.

  35. tea? yes please Kathryn!

    and I liked Laura's take on the prodigal sower.

    God puts seeds and we water and nurture them (1 Cor 3 I think) ... I think that's what the body of Christ is about. The soil can't help being rocky or dry - but we can help prepare it and care for the seedlings too.

    That's what discipleship is all about .

    Loving thinking this through - it's church for me right now :) and I'm so appreciative to be be privy to the thought process of so many rev gals as they prepare (as well as learning new procrastination techniques!)

    some iced water'hot here in this neck of the woods and of course no a/c ... I mean this is Finland :)

  36. K, regarding the parable of the sower. In addition to the sower and the soil there's also the seasons of drought, and floods, and wind storms, not to mention people pouring contaminants onto the soil and pulling the plants up ... and all kinds of things we can't control that affect how well the seed does and how good the soil is. Using Jesus as our model ... it seems to me, it's not what happens so much as it is how faithful we are in the midst of it all. How shall we repair the soil and tend the plants?

  37. Teri - I don't want to get long winded so I will just say - be in charge. You will help everyone get through rehearsal and the wedding that way.

    At rehearsal I always start folks where they are going to be standing at the start of the ceremony, run through the service then process out and in and run through it quickly again.

    Have fun and take a deep breath!

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. TEri,
    I second what WS said. ALos, I like to keep the atmosphere at the rehearsal as light as possible. There is enough stress around as it is. I tell my [admittedly bad bad] jokes around the pledge of support and the question of intent, generally try to keep people laughing. ANd lots of reassurance about not needing to remember stuff. I always use an undertone to remind people of where to move when,.

  40. Yup.

    Also, I always get Gord to outline my sermon for me on days where I just don't care.

    Where ya at Gord?

  41. About wedding rehearsals - what Gord said. :-)

    Since I'm not preaching I've spent the morning designing a website for the church. If you want to take a laughter break, go to Website Woes

  42. Prairie Pastor, I was at Relay for Life last night too, with my hubby's church and my LittleBear (2 yr old). Um, needless to say, I'm exhausted--almost as much as the hubby and the toddler. The big one is asleep, the little one IS NOT SLEEPING! Iced coffee, please! Thank goodness I did a lot of study and prep for this sermon earlier in the week. I'm headed down the path of looking at the raising of the widows' sons not as healing or miracles but in light of Good Friday and Easter, a God who also had a son die, and the "compassion" bits in each of those stories.
    I'll be here for a while though. Any good ideas for a children's sermon? (and how did I end up with both on the same week?)

  43. Here, dawdling away on a sermon on the 1 Kings passage. I chose the passage immediately before it (the feeding) for my installation service almost exactly a month ago, and now this one (the dying part) comes up in the lectionary. It's forcing me to look at the story from another angle.

    I'm playing mentally with the "audacity of God" idea that someone (Cheesehead, I think) put forth on Tuesday. Those times when we shout, "How DARE you, God?" And how God is not put off by those shouts, but continues to work grace. Somehow.

    I'm also procrastinating by updating my knitting blog and doing laundry. Hey, the neighbors are mowing the lawn, so it's hard to concentrate (that's a good excuse, isn't it?).

    I've got lemon almond iced tea to share!

  44. Re: Parable of the Sower... not that each kind of soil is a different kind of person, but how about thinking that we each have all the different soils in us? rocky, shallow, fruitful, etc....also God doesn't save the good seed only for the good soil...

    ok... grilling hamburgers anyone? Or steaks?

  45. installation was almost exactly a YEAR ago, not a month ago. I'm green but not quite that green.

  46. RElaxing here today. No sermonto wrie, did some summer worship planning. I am trying to figure out how much music from teh new hymn book supplement I can safely introduce before they run me out of town on a piano...

    Oh and for weddings I have one basic sermon that gets cut, pasted, and adapted each time. Like people are really there to hear me preach anyway :)

    I am really glad I am not preaching this wek because the passages leave me blah.

  47. Oh and check out my place to see what I learned from laundry today.

  48. Back from dinner out - it's 9.50pm and a lot of sermon still to write! With the Galatians passage I'm talking about us as world-changers (having an impact on the people with whom we come into contact) and then looking at Paul's example:
    1. We should be out to please God and not people (v10).
    2. Our confidence needs to be in the source of the gospel - this good news comes from God not us (v12).
    3. Like Paul we need to repent of past mistakes and press on in obedience to God's call (v15).
    4. The task of world-changing needs to be shared among all of us - we can't do it on our own (v18).
    And as we do these things we start to make a difference. Perhaps our aim could be to have said about us what was said about Paul... "and they glorified God because of me".

    What do you reckon?

  49. Sermon is on the printer since last night - yahoo.

    Teri - yep to what WS & Gord said... be in charge!

    Mompriest -prayers for tomorrow's baptism & joy in the midst of other things.

    Singing Owl - wow! You've been ambitious today!!

    Those going on vacation... so jealous I'm going to cry in my orange juice now.

  50. Well, I've finished up for tomorrow, so I plan to get on with relaxing for the evening. Here's the sermon.

  51. Oh, man, don't think sermonizing is going to happen today...I had a great long morning with the rugrats letting Matt sleep, made my first bishop doofus mistake, cleaned it up privately and on our e-group, and did a little blogging. And now I have about an hour to make the liturgy edit requests and try to clean this place up at least a little bit before the first guest, Chris T., flies in....but those are all good remote preparation for preaching and there's always next week's Party to try again for advance anxiety quelling planning.

    Blessings on all who are actually writing and all who will proclaim this weekend.

  52. I really really want donuts right now.

    This is completely inexplicable, but there it is.

    Therefore I'm out to get some...any requests? our local donut shop makes incredible donuts....mmm, the buttermilk ones are to die for. Ditto the boston cream, the vanilla cream, the chocolate-frosted-with-sprinkles, and the apple fritters. oh, and those long curly kinds. back in 10 with yeasty (or cakey if that's your deal) bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good goodness.....

  53. This is my first 11th hour party! Hurrah! I'll be preaching twice tomorrow. AM/Psalm 1 is done. Feeling alright about it but it is a new-to-me congregation and I'm not exactly sure what expectations they have.
    I'm procrastinating on my pm sermon which is meant to be more back-and-forth teaching. I'm using an old less-than-favorite sermon (John 15) and trying to revamp. Me thinks this is harder than straight up writing something new.

  54. Hi, I'm back! Just ordered pizza!! Anybody want a slice?
    I had a fun drive with my son and a church member to attend the Special Conference meeting and worship service. All went well. Now where is my sermon? Anybody seen it?

  55. Songbird: I'll take a slice. As for your sermon, I think Antonio Banderas is on his way...

  56. ooh ooh, pizza over here! I know I'm still not writing a sermon, but at least I got a direction from SP so now I can begin working on children's time...and prayers of the people...

    I'm back with donuts for dessert...lots of jelly filled and boston cream cuz they were on special. I love saturday afternoons at the donut place!

  57. Okay, I'm writing now. I swear. How about the rest of you?

  58. I'm not getting on very well here!

  59. Hey, am I the only one who thinks this whole thing with Elijah stretching himself upon the child three times sounds mildly disturbing? Talk about some boundary violation issues. Could someone please shed some light on this?

    I need to get something more done before I can make dinner (fried chicken, biscuits, some kind of veggie)!

  60. I've something done now...pretty muddled and inconclusive, but enough to leave for the night and work on early afternoon (this is an Evensong sermon, praise be).
    Its just gone midnight, so that's just as well really...
    I kind of assumed that Elijah was offering CPR...
    Happy fruitful writing my friends.
    I'll leave the remnants of birthday cake out...and there are some coxes apples in the bowl on the dining table. Don't work too late.

  61. Hi everyone!

    You sure have been busy. I haven't been around because it has been a family day. Touch a truck in the morning 'Fire engines, street sweeper, cherry picker, mobile home, for kids to climb in' Followed by parishioner's 50th wedding anniversary party at lunch, and then a birthday party this afternoon. *whew* Good news is no cooking today. Unfortunately I don't have much to offer, some diet pepsi and the chocolate chips that I will be opening soon to keep me going.
    I preached at our High School Baccalaureate service on Thursday, so I am way behind on tomorrow. I think I'm using info from a conference on water I recently attended and environmental stewardship. How we can help the widows in I Kings during drought by 1) being God's hands and feet and provdidng and 2) cutting back on our own use.
    A little research now and then time to hit the keyboard hard after the kids are in bed. Catch you all later.

  62. I'm grilling steak shish kebobs marinated in a chipotle cumin BBQ sauce, with baked potatoes, steamed brussel sprouts, and corn bread. Which we will eat outside on the deck and enjoy this incredibly beautiful day/night. Then I really need to get back to that sermon, which I haven't looked at once all day (talk about head in sand)....

  63. Here I am. If you want any supper it's those small packages of that gross Stouffer's lasagna, microwaved.

    I am stuck in the Luke passage without a paddle. I wade in one direction charmed/enthusiastic; then groan toward another shore.

    I've had a quiet house today with LD at LLS, LS at work and Mr. C. at a golf tournament. Even the quiet didn't move me closer to homiletical heaven.

    Least I didn't have to do a wedding today, WS, you poor girlie

  64. Hello all. Just back to work after a two-day Presbytery meeting (the norm around here) and a nap.

    I ended up with a first-person narrative from the widow's point of view. I only do this first-person thing maybe once a year, and for some reason, this week is it. I think it's ok, but I haven't looked at it since Thursday.

    Teri--here's my wedding rehearsal sermon.
    1. This is a worship service.
    2. At the end of it, no matter what goes wrong, you will be married.
    3. Don't lock your knees.

    Re: children's sermons--has anyone tried to make little cakes with flour and oil?? Is this too dangerous to attempt on the steps of the chancel?

    Smooth flowing thoughts to all who are still writing.

  65. Y'all, I am getting nowhere. I think I may have to invoke teh Clooney and give up on Antonio all together.

  66. I'm not even worried about the sermon... I am worried that I am not worried about the sermon. Not one. little. bit.

    Seriously. It's 8:50pm here - why isn't the adrenaline kicking in. Help! I need to care!

    In case you missed it... i don't.

  67. I think I need a vacation. Why is it four weeks away?

  68. I'm back, a bit pinker than when I set out. A good time was had by all, and now I really must get down to business. Chelly, I like your points. I may shamelessly steal them, but not this week. We have a awards Sunday for our children's group (the last thing before a summer break) so the sermon will need to be short and sweet. Just as well since I am really tired and it is almost 8:30 p.m. and I have to stop by the nursing home....THEN to work!

  69. Singing Owl, I felt so hopeful when I read 8:30,and then I realized you are on Central Time.
    Anybody want a cookie? Yogurt? Time to break out the ice cream?

  70. Gals and Pals,
    I'm back. Its 9:30. No sermon yet. I'm expecting teh clooney to show up at my door momentarily.

    Why, why, oh why does not the toddler nap when I need afternoon hours to write a sermon? anyone?

    Like will smama I'm also lacking the necessary Saturday night sermon adrenaline that should have kicked in a while ago.
    At least, by this time tomorrow I can be sleeping! Blessings to all still writing.

  71. Have no fear, we are still out here, mamaS.
    I remember writing sermons with a toddler around. Not easy. I was the only adult in the house at that time, and doing a summer of supply preaching. Let's just say I didn't try it again for a while...

  72. So bad news for me... the old toe nail polish is off, my office desk is cleared, my 'to do' list for next week is done, my pictures have been properly arranged and other random tasks have been completed.

    I might actually have to buckle down and work on this thing now.

  73. Did I mention that it's Music Sunday, and I should probably keep it short?

  74. okay, so we are using the story of the woman who barges into Simon the Pharisee's house and bathes Jesus' feet with her tears.
    SP is preaching on how Simon only sees a sinner but Jesus sees a human/child of God...and is encouraging us to stop seeing people as categories ("sinner" etc) and instead to strive to see children of God.

    Where does the children's time go there? Do I talk about different roles (ie mom, dad, pastor, president, bully, shy kid, bad girl, etc) and say something about how that's not who we really are--who we are is children of God? Do I use the Belonging to God catechism somehow? Do I just talk about how even when we do bad things Jesus still loves us?

    It's time for me to figure that out...

  75. I have found all kinds of ways to not look at my sermon. I think perhaps it will write itself, like yeast in bread dough...

    Ok, it's been a great day. Beautiful weather. Dog park and almost no cicadas in the area we walked (but a jungle of cicadas all around). Lots of errands done. Great dinner. and now. Oh my. It's almost 9pm. enough. I really need to open that word doc and see what is in it...I think I'll start my five minute summer homilies this week, even though we don't officially enter summer worship hours until next week...

    So glad I am in good company with all the rest of you. Maybe it's something in the air???

    Or maybe we all need a vacation...

  76. Teri, definitely not the even when we do bad things line, because she didn't do a bad thing, it was only perceived as being bad. That's not so good. How about working at it from the angle of how can we show our love for Jesus? One lady showed it by taking special care of him. Since he is not with us, we can take care of others to show our love for him and for them. What is something unexpected and nice you can do for someone to show the same love the woman showed to Jesus?
    Does that work?

  77. Yes, mompriest, vacations... if you stick your nose in my direction I believe you can smell burnt toast.

    That's my brain.

  78. Ha! Poor will smama.

    I'm plugging away. Not doing so well. Too much sun today maybe?

  79. Five minute summer homilies? Wow.

  80. hmmm, the how we show our love for Jesus tack might work.

    I wasn't thinking of the thing the woman did as bad, but of her being known as a sinner. But I agree it's not the most helpful (or the clearest) direction...just the quickest. LOL!

    I wish I could think of "categories" that we use to think of people as something other than people--besides "terrorist" or "militant" since I'm pretty sure those have no place in the children's sermon!

  81. Crayon eaters and Paste sniffers? ;-)

    Friends, I am pooped. I seem to have a sermon, so I am going to sleep. Last one out, get the lights?

  82. Okay. 11pm est - and still don't care.

    BUT we just heard from our beach house connection and a reprieve from this land without sand or ocean may be in the works. Maybe I can channel THAT energy.

  83. I'm almost done, but nodding off. I'll be up early to finish up. Boo.

  84. Whew! Something pretty serviceable for tomorrow morning. I put it up at my blog for a limited time. I'll need to double and triple check it in the morning.

    For children's sermon I decided to tell the first part of the 1 King's passage, focusing on bread as a sign of God's care for us--and use pita bread as a "take-away" to remind them next time they eat bread to give thanks for God's care.

  85. In a pretty crazy (read: stupid) move I am going to check out of this preacher party. I have a lame outline and since The Boy is at his grandparents I will have the morning to look at it with hopefully renewed clarity, wisdom and passion.

    Good luck too all who continue to labor. God is good... all the time.

  86. Good night all. Please get enough sleep and let the Holy Spirit do her thing.

  87. will smama,

    I envy you both the ability to send TheBoy overnight and time in the morning to finish up. I've got toddler duty at 6:30 and preaching at 8!

  88. Well. I just hit print. I always need to look at it in hard copy. Read it before bed. Read it again in the morning. Make changes...

    And, well, it's more than five minutes.

    But next week, with our outdoor service, anything more than five minutes is just wasted air. Besides I've learned it's an interesting exercise...can I be concise and engaging and thorough all at once. Yes. But I work harder to get there...

    I'm off to bed.

    May the Spirit fill your dreams and enliven your words. Blessings, everyone.

  89. In spite of all the prior planning on the discipleship series, I never could get it going for tomorrow's sermon. Based on the week's events and what I anticipate the next week to look like, I decided to postpone the series until the end of June. Tomorrow I preach on James 3. Next Sunday I will be assisting in a baptism at another church. Time generally seems to help the healing. Maybe that will be enough time to allow the energy to rebound. Discipleship requires energy. Right now, survival is taking all the energy I have.

  90. Well, like many of you, I couldn't get it going for sermon writing tonight.

    I had notes and a mental outline. And that's still what I've got, except the outline is on paper now. It may be "preach from an outline" Sunday.

    Glad to know it's not just me.

    I'll be up early in the morning to finish. Oh, yes, and do a children's sermon.

  91. Good night all. Procrastination has been my mantra all day long--even mowed the yard and picked up pine cones!

    I've got the frame for a sermon on Psalm 30, including a modern psalm to the tune of "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." It will be interesting to see how that flies.

    As to the children's time, I'm not brave enough to mix up cakes in the chancel, but I'm bringing meal and oil for them to see, smell, and touch, and I'll talk about these simple, ordinary items being all the widow had left and then she's asked to give them. AND SHE DOES. Pretty amazing to think about in our culture. Then we'll talk about what they can give--hugs, smiles, drawings, sharing toys, etc. and how the ordinary things of their young lives can help them make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through God.

    Hmmmm. There's still too much work to be done, but I'm too tired to do it right now.

    Peace to you all.

  92. Is anyone still working? or avoiding it like me?

    My outline is done, and the first page, but getting really bogged down in details, and rather boring I'm afraid - spent the last 20 minutes on dishes and looking for good ice cream recipes (making homemade with the kids tomorrow afternoon - I'll be sure to save some in the freezer for next week's party).
    Guess I'll give it another whack then go to bed and probably up early to finish.
    Good news is that we have moved to single service at 9:00 starting this week, so that means an extra hour to prepare in the am.

  93. Has everyone else gone to bed? *peers around*

    I'm still working! Got distracted with multiple phone calls from parishioners nervous about their report from synod assembly. Writing now, I promise, and keeping a sharp eye out for Antonio...

  94. A page and a half in. How did I land myself in this?

    Oh right, I slacked off yesterday.

    And even though I don't think my congregations would really get behind using feminine images of God, I probably can't use "balls" in my sermon, can I? As in, "We are shocked that God would have the balls to do something like that."

    Yeah, didn't think so.

  95. w00t, a head-desk nap and a can of Coke later, I'm finished! g'night everyone. And I managed to use the word "gall" instead of "balls".

    Blessings on all proclamation today/tomorrow.

  96. semfem, sounds like a wise choice!
    It's morning here, and I am eagerly awaiting coffee and another look at my text. Of course, no one will bring coffee, so what I really mean is I need to make some...

  97. Ready to preach, friends? I am about to hit "print," and will hold you in prayer as I travel to church this morning.

  98. Prayers back at you Songbird!
    I started at about 6:00 a.m....and finished at about 8:15
    Does that mean I'm really stupid or really smart?!
    I guess my attention to the HS was just on time delay...

  99. Thanks everyone who offered images, lyrics, and suggestions for my sermon this morning. If you want to see what I said go here:baptism dance with God

  100. Hope it went well everyone ... I sat in the cathedral in an anglo catholic service! and found the preaching really interesting ... until that is the priest linked what Luke said (Lk 7:15) "Jesus gave him back to his mother" to what Jesus said on the cross about Mary - and 1,2,3 we were right in the middle of some complicated Marian theology related to the trinity.

    oh and then I didn't know one of the hymns NOT ONE :) and he didn't follow the sheet ...

    but still I was blessed at the Eucharist. God might be a God of order, but he shows up in the disorder too.

    that said the priest made me lol (really) -.. he managed to kick the drain (or whatever it is there) and then said - usually if you make a mistake as a priest - if you do it slowly - people think it's part of the liturgy. But not when kicking the metal lid

    :) and he said the liturgy like he really meant it. I loved that

  101. Good job everyone. Semfem, I have no idea how you do it.. I WOULD have loved to have you slip up and say 'balls' instead of gall.


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