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Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Southern Tailgate Preacher's Party

Hi all, I am putting out the welcome mat for ya'll, here at the Tailgate Party. Come on by, bring your laptop, your sermon, your angst, your questions, your food, your coffee and any other comfort food that will help us all survive the 11th hour. Come on ya'll we can do it together. I'll be watching football, between tumbling lessons, piano practice, a birthday party for one of the kid's friends, and my own 11th hour sermon writing.

I have cooked up a Southern breakfast for us, to begin with plus the usual leaded and unleaded coffee, and hot water for those who are tea drinkers.

I am preaching a series on the Beatitudes, and this sermon is on Blessed are those who mourn. This will be interesting. What are you all writing, thinking about.

By the way, Songbird is away this weekend. She graciously asked me to host this party. So let the tailgating er writing begin.


  1. Wow! What a spread....will we have TIME to tackle our sermons?
    I'm just back from a Eucharist for St Michael and all angels...need a wedding address by 1.00...then have to drop in to Michaelmass Madness games afternoon...but there is the small matter of an untouched sermon for tomorrow morning too.
    Expect I'll be here rather alot today...the Dufflepud informs me that he plans to make Chelsea buns, so as soon as they're baked I'll bring them over.

  2. The senior pastor and I are doing a dialogue sermon and it is finished! We finished it up yesterday morning. wooo hoooo I'm gonna grab me a chicken leg as I go off to play. (starts skipping towards a meadow)

  3. Ya' all have chicken for breakfast? No problem, I'll just have some grits and a side of bacon. yum yum. (feeling giddy not used to having a free saturday).

  4. YEAY! Wedding sermon finished and I'm actually quite pleased with it.
    And I've 45 minutes before I need to leave to do the marrying. What luxury!

  5. Good morning! Abi, thanks for covering today!
    I'm away at a denominational meeting. I'll be home around dinner time and catch up with everyone then. I have lots of ideas, but unless something fabulous happens in the meantime, such as Antonio Banderas meeting me in the parking lot with a completed sermon, I'll be writing this evening. See you then!

  6. I'll be back later, maybe. I'm off to a 200th anniversary of a meeting about an hour away. Hopefully I can express my congratulations and then slink off sometime in the early afternoon. My sermon on Luke sounds real good in my head.
    Oh by the way, since this IS a tailgater--GO BUCKS!! I've got scarlet and gray M&Ms to contribute.

  7. Finally, some GRITS at the 11th hour -- I was wondering when we might get to dig into those. I bet you picked the grits right out of the field and cooked 'em didn't you?

    And..... Revabi, I see you brought the NOLES to Revgalblogpals, our alma mater. I grew up in that territory, so it's home to me, though I spent more time at FSU in the practice rooms of the school of music than any place else (or at least it seemed).

    since we are having grits, I'll bring the watermelon.

  8. Wow! What a great breakfast! It's hubby's birthday today, so I'm done with the sermon! We're going to play a little golf, and then, I'll be baking a cake and cooking...I'd rather write another sermon than cook!

  9. Hello all! Sermon is done! YAY! It is very hard to write a sermon on the echatological realities of the Lord's Prayer for a youth congregation! And how it relates to the Kingdom of God and the sermon on the mount. Am now in the process of organising the prayer stations to go with the above mentioned sermon. ARGH!

    Well I think am off to bed to get some sleep as it is midnight here new zealand time, saturday so sunday tomorrow! Will need all the energy I can muster from that breakfast for tomorrow night! :)

    Hope all you fellow preachers go well :)

  10. Hmmm...folks writing about mourning might want to be ready the Funky Winkerbean comic strip -- my current obsession -- over the next week.

  11. wow, lots of people on the ball today- i might be with you songbird. i'm going to try to write before driving an hour and a half to an all day peace march, but i don't know what i'm going to say yet. so maybe i'll write in the car- but maybe tonight.

    happy partying all.

  12. I am not preaching...but I wish I was on my way to Abi's tailgate party.

  13. I'll have some of that coffee...actually lots of it! Out late last night at a local music fest-since I really don't think I'll be able to go tonight.

    I'm working with Timothy. Got some ideas and notes, but not much more. Perhaps more coffee, a shower and grits will help.

    I also have a pitcher of iced tea to contribute (highly sweetened, in the best Southern tradition).

  14. OH, I love grits. I am not preaching this week. We have a Gideon presentation. I am so happy to have the space to get a little planning done.

  15. yeah, I'm hungry. but won't be around much do to a class for three year olds, a counseling sessions, and a wedding off-site (got lost yesterday but think I can find it now). Godguurll's dialogue sermons sounds cool. I'm "done" but not satisfied with Lazarus and the chasms we create. I'll check in a couple of times.

  16. Fill up my mug and my plate please, Jeremiah and I are hungry! I have done the prep work and now have big dreams of churning out the first full draft by 11 - 2 hours.


    Lunch with parishioners at 11:30, Wedding REHEARSAL at 4 (which I am scared to death I am going to forget) and then The Boy comes home so I would rather just be looking over things and making changes tonight.

    What? I have to stop commenting in order to work on the sermon?


  17. Yea, grits!!! The breakfast of Southern champions ...

    I'm off to an AIDS walk [for which I am also a volunteer]

    Then drive like crazy to get home in time to shower and change for a fancy fundraising dinner down at Dearborn, where I will get to hear Rev. Barry Lynn speak and celebrate some of our local LGBT heroes.

    Sermon? Not preaching until 4:30 pm tomorrow so I have more time to think about that than usual

  18. ACK!
    For the first time in a long time, it is Saturday morning and not only do I have no sermon, I also have basically no ideas for the sermon. And of course SP is away so I'm on my own so once I get a sermon figured out I still have to deal with children's time, prayers, the three-act drama for tomorrow, announcements (I hate announcements), and a couple of between-the-services-meetings tomorrow morning. AND tomorrow is our mission fair, when 25 of our mission projects and local agencies will take over the church so people can get involved in our community. Oh my.

    But first I'm going to the Johnny Appleseed Festival...good times in a small town. I'll be back in the afternoon to get to work. Please, God, let something come to me so I can write about Jeremiah quickly this afternoon!!

  19. i have managed to start a sermon- this helps me feel less anxious. i'm leaning heavily on sweet honey in the rock's sermonette "greed" from their album 25 as I preach on 1 Timothy.

    I couldn't find the lyrics on-line so maybe I'll post them on my blog in case they could be helpful to anyone.

    Best to everyone.

  20. Wow, Abi. what a feast. I'll need a nap after eating.

    My sermon will be short because of a teaching workshop we are holding with the parish on "Keeping God's People Safe." How to be intentionally observant with out being paranoid so that our children and adults are as safe as possible from predators and abuse...

    So. not only will it be short but the entire service needs to have a grounding,comforting, safe feel to it because the stuff we will talk about can be upsetting. Especially if one has experienced abuse. I will walk gently. (Of course the children will with their Christian Formation leaders having a good time).

    I wrote the homily on Tuesday, now to go back and see if it makes any sense...

    Prayers for all of you this day as you ponder the Word or play or work...

    Oh. and did I mention I have a pet blessing service at 4pm...

  21. Good morning y'all!
    revabi- the spread is amazing! and tailgating sounds great, go red raiders!
    godguurrll- A dialouge sermon? I've heard of these, but never actually heard or participated. It sounds wonderful.
    Kathryn- Glad your weding sermon is finished.
    Songbird - Praying that your meeting goes well, and that your sermon will be inspired, by Antonio Bandaras if possible!
    quakerpastor- enjoy the festivities, and please pass the m&m's, babygirl needs a distraction!
    Cathy- thanks for the watermelon!I have salt for those who eat it that way, for those who don't try it, you might like it!
    Chilly fingers- enjoy the golf and hubbie's b-day. I'm with you on the cooking!
    lisa- What a task! I pray your youth service will be a true God moment for each one present!
    gannet girl- where would I find said comic strip?
    more cows than people- Love sweet honey and the rock!I wish I could join you at the march, blessings girl!
    rainbow pastor- music fest? I am green with envy!
    tammy- While you are planning, sat prayers for those of us still at work for tomorrow!
    diane- class of three year olds, counseling, and a wedding? Any one of those would be too much for me the day before a sermon. Peace friend.
    will smama- good luck with the draft of jeremiah. And you WILL NOT forget the wedding rehersal!enjoy the Boy! Blessings!
    rdq - I envy you as well! Normally I hate doing the night service, but this week I really need the extra time!
    teri- what a better place is there than a festival to get inspired? Although with the lectionary as of late perhaps you need joy before dealing with these texts!
    mompriest- safety is so vital, yet so often presumed or ignored altogether by our churches. Blessings as you strive to educate and protect your congregation!And I love pet blessings, I wish we did them in the cp realm!
    I have nothing, nada for my sermon. Hubbie chose Lazerus for me (thanks a lot!) and I have nothing. I'm off to read some comentaries again and skim other sources. Sunday morning is goning to get here soon. I also have a b-day party for a 2 year old to take babygirl to this afternoon. She is currently watching her fav movie, the Prince of Egypt staring Val Kilmer as Moses and God! Saw him last night on numbers and was a little disappointed, although his acting was scary good!
    I'll check back later.
    enjoy the party!

  22. Howdy, ya'll. I am bringing mocha frapichinno to the party--the is a modern Southern tail gate, No?

    This is the frist time I have been able to sleep in since I started this new parish. Deo Gratias!

    I had a good idea last Tuesday about a sermon, but I can't seem to flesh it out. Need to spend some time. Anybody got any more good ideas about the rich man and Lazarus?

  23. No sermon, but I do have to make serious progress on a Christian education paper. Luckily football won't distract me until 8 EST: The Gators are playing late today. Pass the grits! I offer gluten free cinnamon pound cake. It's yummy.

  24. muthah, I'm looking at the rich man and lazarus and connecting them to the MDG's and how we are called to embrace the One campaign...maybe that will give you a way in. My congregation is working on these goals in ways they may not readily understand ie refugee resettlement, buying, selling, and using Bp Blend Coffee, etc. I want to continue to keep these goals before us and how we are working on them...

    I'll post my sermon in a few hours, after I have exercised and gone back to tweek it...

    Everyone else, party hardy and thereby may the good Spirit lighten your load.

  25. I'm just getting started. I have a funeral this afternoon, and then I'll hang out at the church working on the sermon while the mourners eat and hang out. The funeral stuff got finished up last night, and some sermon prep has been done. I also have a sermon due for a class on Tuesday (too specific in form to be the same one I use this week or next), I have tons of denominational paperwork due in two weeks, and the marriage ceremony of my niece to get pulled together in the same amount of time. Oh yeah, and there is charge conference prep to do, committees to meet before charge conference, etc. etc. Guess it's a good thing that I'm only half-time!

    Chocolate chip cookies anyone?

  26. I am getting there, but the sands of time are falling WAY to quickly through the hourglass.

  27. You all are a seriously impressive bunch this morning! Well not just this morning...but you know! All the way from the tailgate feast (go Abi!) to the amazing variety of what is being exegeted and produced and created. OOIE! To say nothing of all the shuttling and shuffling and incidental other ministry and life everyone is packing in and around sermons! Mompriest you and I seem to be on the same page this weekend. I'm preaching a pretty missional adaptation of the gospel based on a lot of the inspiration from our MDG conference. I have the bulletin done, the sermon about 7/8 there, I'm about to go off to a brunch then will come back and wrap and post the sermon, write the prayers and then move on to the lectures for teaching. Tonight is our congregation's "dinner bunch" social I'm motivated to "git-er-done" as we say out her on the prairie. Will be checking in to see how all are doing and holding up on what sounds to be a busy busy day.

  28. Kathryn, so glad to hear from you, I love your analogies, the sermon will get takeled at some point.

    Way to go godguurll! Touchdown with tag team quarterbacking!

    Songbird, I am visioning Antonio meeting you in the parking lot with a sermon and a song and dance.

    quakerpastor, I didn't know they made grey m$ms. But hey they can make anything, and you can make a sermon too.

    Go Noles, Cathy, and thanks for the watermelon. You bet I got those grits ground fresh.

    chilly fingers, happy bday to your hubby. You play golf? Hey lets play sometime. Now that the kids are getting a little older, Bob arand I are getting back to the game. Even bought the kids some clubs, so they can pay for college someday, yeah right. Congrats on having your sermon done too!

  29. Hey Cathy, and all college football fans alike, stop by my blog to read my post on college game day.

    Lisa, congrats on your sermon being done. Will you let us know how you orgaznied your sermon and prayer stations.

    thanks gannett girl, I'll have take a the Funky Winkerbean comic strip.

    Hey More Cows, you are so on the ball yourself, good one! I love it. A peace march wow, I predict you write it and then the peace march rewrites it. Awesome.

    Come on ps, we will be having lots of fun! I am telling you we know how to tailgate...maybe not sermon write, but tailgate, yes.

  30. I'm not preaching--heading into week 3 of sabbatical! YAY! But I sneaked some breakfast anyway. I've posted a few reflections from the abbey over at my place, and they may become fodder for future surmons. Tomorrow I'm going to a formerly very traditional church with a rich past but a decling present--that has succesfully changed their ministry style. Could be interesting. Blessings and prayers to all who labor on sermons today.

  31. Ahh rainbow pastor, you remembered, the sweet tea! , And you know the caffiene from that and the sugar can be highly inspirational!

    Well, Mary Beth, I had no idea the grits would be so popular. Can I recommend the cheese grits also, and the shrimp and grits, a very low country recipe.

    Tammy Gray, you too, some grits? Hope the Gideons do you right. It is nice to have a break every now and then.

    Diane, what a day you have! Sounds like you are doing the coaching today. That is great the sermon is done to be able to go over the game plan again before the game time on game day!

    WS, here's the coffee and lots of it, and load your plate up with all you want. Just holler, I'll bring you some more. Anybodyelse need some more? And WS I thought you were writing your sermon. Jeremiah would have been a better prophet if he knew us and these 11th hour parties!

  32. Rev Dona quixote, "Yea, grits!!! The breakfast of Southern champions ...I'm off to an AIDS walk",you are too funny, but yes it is the brekfast of champions. And you are a true champion yourself, supporting you too on your march.And a fancy fundraising dinner, you do get around! Boy are you going to have some sermon material. Hope all goes well.

    Just remember Grits, brekfast of champions, you all are champions!

  33. My sermon is mostly done - just some cleaning up and some work on the conclusion. I'm a little nervous about preaching it. I plan to say some hard stuff - stuff that needs to be said. But it definitely won't win me the popular preacher of the week award.

    Sounds like a busy day around preacherland. Ya'll enjoy!

    And by the way - GO TIGERS! (Of the Clemson variety)

  34. It's not a tailgate party in TX without MIMOSAS!! I've got 'em & I'm pouring them now!! Step on up -

    Not preaching tomorrow - getting ready for Sunday School though -

    I've been out at Starbucks this morning to plan service for October 28 - so it's been fruitful already...

    Songbird - AB was a bit groggy when I talked to him earlier - but I told him to hustle it to get to you on time!!

  35. Teri, can you in anyway use the Johnny Apple seed story for you Jeremiah sermon? WS can you help Teri, with Jeremiah? Anybody else got some help for Teri? Hey bring back some good apples for us!

    More cows, great idea, and thanks for posting it on the blog! Is it on I-tunes?

    And mompriest, yes you will need a nap, that's the idea. And what a great idea, I like it. let usknow how it goes. Hope the pet blessing goes well too, ya know what I mean...

    cpclergywomen,wow,thanks for all the comments. You got your hands full today with Lazarus and a 2 yr old bday. I hope all goes well, and come together. The hubby didn't? I'd say there's a sermon in there somewhere.

  36. mutha+, of course its a modern southern tailgate party with a little Hispanic twist, I love it. May the ideas come forth. Anyone want to offer her some ideas?

    ah althea n. agape, a gator are on girl. I'll have some of that coffee cake. Hope the Christian Ed. paper gets done in time.

    Okay, everybody you heard our cheerleader, mom priest; "Everyone else, party hardy and thereby may the good Spirit lighten your load."

    kim in kck, you are like the college team that plays on Saturday, then Thursday night and then Saturday again. Wow, drink lots of gator aid, and eat lots of chocolate chips.

    WS, go team go, you can do it!

    revdrkate, you are awesome yourself. you sound like the multifunctional player, and one who can play at any sport. Wow, keep it up.

    singing owl, you are making us so jealous. But at the same time, I hope it is beneficial for you. Thanks for letting us know about your post.

  37. preacher mom, may the spirit be there and prepare the way for the hard stuff. I hope you have enough offensive tackles to protect you from the blitz. Sometimes when I have the hard thing to say, I will just say that, or how hard it is for me to hear it too. Ya know what they say, "the best defense is having a good offense." Oh and go Clemsom Tigers, they are really playing well this year!

    elasticgirl bring the mimosas on, and you are so right, they really fit the tailgate party.

    Anybody else need anything...?

  38. I am working on a student sermon for class. Unlike the way I am schooled in sermons with my preaching mentors, this one has to be "pure exegesis" (whatever THAT means). My passage of study is 2 Cor. 3:7-18... and I have fifteen minutes.

    That is what I will be pondering between now and October 7-13 (modular week).

    While I am studying I am trying to chauffeur kids, clean the house because we have a church planter retreat and I have friends staying with the kids, cook dinner AND go to a team party for the Harpist celebrating their mission trip to Mexico...

    I'll take anything that qualifies as brain food.


  39. Right now I have gotten creative with Jeremiah.

    I am working on three parallel narratives that I am hoping to intertwine. One is Jeremiah, one is a woman who has made bad choices and landed in jail and one is a young workaholic diagnosed with cancer.

    The movements are despair, hope in action and redemption.

    I have the first movements of each down and thoughts for two and three but now must pull away to get my notebook ready for the wedding rehearsal at 4 - WHICH I WILL NOT FORGET!

    I hope that is helpful to someone... if not I think it was helpful to me to write it out so thank you.

    Keep on a'pluggin people!

  40. Hi Again! Well I have exercised (ab and upper body with weights), walked my dogs, worked on my sermon. It's posted here: Where there is despair.

    Now I have to wash my kitchen floor, begin the laundry, take a shower, and get to church to prepare for the pet blessing and set up for tomorrow in 90's a bit of a breathless day.

    I'll be back later with tea and chocolates...

    (Ok, I'm having a hard time entering my password correctly...LOL...doesn't that just say - too busy?)

  41. Well, the wedding was simply blissful...after all the disasters leading up to it, everything was pretty nearly perfect, the sun shone, the bells rang, the visual aid for the sermon worked and joy was unconfined.
    I then spent a therapeutic couple of hours painting pebbles and doing "sand art" with the kids at Michaelmass Madness...but now it's crunch time again. Trouble is, the adrenaline has switched off so I'm liable to fall asleep at any moment...too many late nights at the hospice last week coupled with strange and stressful dreams. Please could someone pass the coffee?
    Oh...and the buns are baked...very sticky, slightly overdone, but only 1 ww point for half a bun,and the sugar rush is rather useful. Help yourselves

  42. Well, I have coffee for Kathryn and anyone else who needs it, because I have a virtual IV drip of the stuff.

    Landlord came by, agrees that yes the roof is leaking into the study closet, and he will fix the roof. Facebooked. Cleaned bathroom. Checked email twice. Checked church voicemail once. Tested cell phone to be sure it's working. Nope. Nobody needs or wants anything from me right now.

    "Can't get no distraction..." With apologies to the Rolling Stones...

    I've got a big bunch of notes and ideas but no hook, nothing gelling for the sermon. And Music Man is out of town---usually our word dare game gets me moving when all else fails. Sigh. I really wanted to get this done early today.

    I'm looking at Timothy, and the point I want to make is that when Paul says "rich" he means "rich" not the "rich in spirit" or "blessings" or whatever. He means we have money to spend. And I'm using the website mentioned on Tuesday by Gord--the Global Rich List.

    All of which adds up to about two pages. With the opening prayer.

    Pass the chocolate, please.

  43. I am finished. You can check it out at

  44. okay, back from the festival with apples for all, also roasted corn on the cob (get it while it's hot!), cinnamon glazed almonds, caramel apple sundaes (cinnamon ice cream, apple slices, caramel sauce!), and even the yams and potatoes for props in tomorrow's drama. Also with a little tiredness from hanging out with a 3 and a 6 year old for three hours. I do not envy those of you with children. The kids are gone and I'm home alone with the kitties, the goodies, and a sermon title but no idea how to make it happen. The title? "A Real Bargain." As in, it looked like Jeremiah was making a bad deal but by investing in hope, in God's future, he got a real bargain. Not a fake one. Yeah, it's a very thin line right now. I guess I should get started--it's 1.32pm. Do I know where my sermon is? no, no I don't.

    I am not coming back until I have SOMETHING. If I do, slap me on the wrist and send me away with no snacks or something. I mean, seriously.

  45. I'm back briefly before heading off to the wedding. unfortunately it's raining. got a sermon but want to tweak it a little to emphasize that, despite the chasms, our fates are intertwined. don't know if I'll have time to do it, though! good to see everyone working hard. hope you are getting plenty of coffee and to eat.

  46. okay, just one more comment real fast. Suddenly I wish my sermon title was "Defiant Hope" because, what with the mission fair and all, I think I could really work with that. Maybe I'll retitle it on powerpoint? (It's too late for the bulletin...)

  47. deb, what a thing to ponder, exegesis, good exegeting. In the greek it can mean lead out. It can mean an extensive and critical explanation of the text, so how do you do that in 15 minutes? And it can mean draw out the meaning, so there you go.It is the interpretation and understanding of a text on the basis of the text itself. requires the following: analysis of significant words in the text in regard to translation; examination of the general historical and cultural context, confirmation of the limits of the passage, and lastly, examination of the context within the text. In other words preach the word. Now if you can explain what I just wrote you can explain the text.

  48. Teri, Thanks for bringing all the food back. And since it is your sermon, yes you can change the title or make that your theme throughout your sermon and powerpoint.

  49. WS, way to go, I like your three narratives and intertwining them to bring out the themes.

    Hope it goes well at four, and don't forget. Now you really got to remember.

    We got a bday party at 4 to go to, which includes a barbeque all for a one year old. But the kids are excited, they love the little one.

  50. mompriest, you are truly amazing if you get that all done in 90 minutes. I am impressed. Congrats on being done, and thanks for posting your sermon.

  51. Thanks for the coffee, RainbowPastor. We could be facebook friends and distract each other, perhaps...none of my friends in online...
    Right now I'm kind of butchering Dylan's thoughts and wishing I'd started earlier, as I so rarely get to preach in the morning and use the Eucharistic lectionary...and it kind of feels as if I'm wasting the opportunity when this really is a rather wonderful passage..but my mojo is missing. Ah well...on we go. Wonder how WS and Mompriest are getting on with their afternoons...Hope all heads are above water.

  52. oh girls i gots my purple on and getting ready to watch the wildcats take on the longhorns...(K-State vs. Texas) so the sermon is most decidely done. finito. ta-da!

    Actually used a blogger quiz "How Good Are You" in my sermon. It's a quiz on are you going to heaven or hell... blah blah blah but at least it'll get folks "into" the topic. Happy Writing... i've got to go yell and holler a bunch.

  53. Have you all ever been told you write uninspiring sermons? Have you ever been told you tell people what's wrong with them instead? Have you ever been told you don't preach from the bible? That you just preach about movies and tv?

    Well, I was told that with spit, venom, and finger shaking on Monday night at our Admin council meeting. Now I have had a lot of things said about me and to me, but not this.

    In my little country church they said I never told them what was wrong with them or their sin. Go figure. You can't please em all.

    But sadly this is not all they have said recently and not the only meeting. Tomorrow we have a called meeting of the PPR with my DS. I guess I'll be moving again. I can't wait until worship tomorrow and the meeting. I figure both are going to be rough. Couldn't sleep last night, you know the routine. I am writing this here, cause they read my blog and I am not anonymous. I am thinking of changing that though. And this is why I have blogged so little recently as well. I wish this on none of you, although I know some of you have been and are going through this presently as well.

  54. (((Revabi)))

    Hard. Painful.

    Prayers for you.

  55. Abi - obviously they do not realize the level of skill and intellect it takes to truly theologically reflect on the intersection of Scripture and Culture...
    So sorry to hear about the trouble -

  56. Oh Abi! So sorry to hear that! Prayers to you. I was just going to say what a fabulous and supportive hostess you have been feeding and coaching us along today. I am back from brunch, and weekly "tea and sympathy" break with a fellow sermon writer. Have finished and posted the sermon here. Prayers to write to wrap up the churchy part of today's game plan. Then the professor takes over. Lots of hersheys kisses on the desk, switched to decaf, it's in the pot, help yourself!

  57. *big hugs to Abi* Nobody should have to go through that. What grace you have to keep on trucking even through crap like that.

    There is a lot of energy happening here today--good show everyone! I am getting a late start today because of a whole bunch of things, including being out contra dancing until midnight last night. But fortunately I did preach on this three years ago (I'm too new to have that happen often!) and it didn't suck, so I have somewhere to start with Lazarus and the rich man. No words yet, but several ideas.

    Oh, and my parents are arriving for a week-long visit tonight. Eeek! The house is a pit and the lawn needs mowing, but at least they will have clean sheets.

  58. Well, the kids have had their naps. We are off to the bday party.

    Thank you for the hugs and prayers.

    I like how you all did that and then moved onto saying where you were coming from and then to support one another. What a healthy fun smart bunch.

    So you all party on, keep the energy going, and I'll be back around 6 or so. Does anybody need anything while I am out.

    I would rather party with you all and learn from you all and be inspired by you all and the energy here, then some parties I have been to. This is truly fun.

  59. That's horrible Abi...I'm so sorry. Please know how much your blogpals value you, in every way - and that we're praying for and with you in this.

  60. It is 3:48 here in the Midwest and I am just now sitting down to writing!


    I had many and various pastoral duties to perform today, and now I am feeling desperate, I tell you!

    Where is Antonio Banderas when I need him???


    And Abi, I am so sorry you are going through this. Prayers ascending...

  61. Just stopping by to say hi. I'm not preaching tomorrow, as we're acting as the neutral pulpit for a nearby church that is interviewing a candidate. After a bridal shower feast, I don't need any more of the goodies lying around fact, here, I'll leave this chocolate-caramel-fudge cake here for all of you.

  62. {{Abi}}

    I am back, having taken a nap and also having a draft written. The draft is terrible. Terrible, I say. But at least I have something. Now perhaps I can rewrite (from the beginning) knowing that I do have something to preach if I have to.

    I really want to work in parts of Wendell Berry's Manifesto: Mad Farmer Liberation Front if I can.

    I decided that "A Real Bargain" was a sermon title I could work with after all. I decided that while I was napping though, so who knows.

    Now I'm hungry for something not containing a ton of sugar, so I'm popping a pizza in the oven. Anyone want to share? It's four cheese from Trader Joe's. mmmm....Then it's back to the drawing board with Jeremiah.

  63. Wow, Abi, I am sorry that has happened - that is a double yuck, and I will be keeping you in my prayers...but, if you do move, come to my neck of the woods, and yes indeed, we can golf!

    I posted my sermon for tomorrow here.

  64. I've mixed up 2 parts Dylan with 1 part Kathryn and it's not really great, nor is it really mine, but it's gone 11 pm here, I'm on at 8.00 and most of all I need sleep.
    Blessings on all who are labouring through the evening/night. I'm done for, so the sermon will just have to take its chance.
    Thanks for a great party, Abi.
    Night night, all xx

  65. Well, it's 5:21 here and the word count is about 1,000, so there's progress. Spouse is calling me to dinner, so I'll check in later.

  66. I'm back, but there is no sign yet of Antonio. Did he get around to anyone else?
    Abi, I am so sorry. Bless your heart. Why are people so difficult? Hugs and prayers to you.
    I must try to turn a bare outline into a sermon. Back later.

  67. okay, 6.14pm. Dinner eaten. bad sermon reviewed. Still bad. starting over now. ta.

  68. Revabi - that sucks. Really. Prayers for you...

    No sermon for me. (Doing a little happy dance over here) I have a guest preacher coming in to give me a bit of a break. But I told him he had to do the Jeremiah passage, since I've been on a role with it over the last several weeks. Next Sunday, Lamentations, trying to get a head start.

  69. Well, it's 5:00 here and I have the liturgy for the baptisms (3!), renewal of baptismal covenants for the whole congregation (including anticipation of that day for those not yet baptized) and welcome of new members done. The joy and burden of the free church tradition is putting it all together each time rather than having a set ritual.

    Now to write the short reflection on what baptism means in our tradition and tie it into the parting of the Red Sea (we are making our way through Exodus this fall). I've been getting wonderful responses to these sermons (including the one on the plagues) but the labor of birthing them has been arduous. I long for a little NT Gospel!

    It is so great to be able to struggle together with others who share the journey. Especially on Saturday night.

    Peace to you all this evening.

  70. It's 5:33 here on the west coast, and I have a draft for tomorrow. Break out the margaritas before the sun goes down: it's party time!

  71. {{{Abi}}} You want we should come beat them up for you?? (Said in a mafioso voice).

    Back from the funeral and reception. I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped while hanging around the church. Hubby and son are watching a DVD, daughter is at the homecoming dance, so now I can work in relative peace. I have my scriptures and a title and some exegetical notes, and nary a word yet. I'm working from a stewardship series and the sample sermons don't fit me at all, so each sermon has been nearly from scratch including selecting scriptures to preach for the given topics. I'll be glad when this is over next week!

    Time to hit it hard. Stash lemon and ginger tea and off to read the notes I have and see if I can find inspiration in the Word.

    Say it with me now, "I won't check back in, I won't check back in. I won't check back in." Well, maybe in a couple of hours.


  72. hugs and prayers to you rev abi!rember that we've got your back girl! (just in case anyone wants to rumble!)
    Thanks to all of you for your hard work and inspirations. I am just settleing down to work after a b-day party with babygirl. Still no clear direction, although I do know what I don't want to say, perhaps that's a step in the right direction?
    blessings y'all!

  73. 767 words, it's coming, but I have no movie stars to thank for it, just a kick in the you-know-what from will smama.

  74. okay, so I have another sermon that isn't very good but it's not as bad as the first draft. So that's progress. Instead of Wendell Berry (which I really wanted) I ended up with Oscar Romero (oh, what a step down! jk...).

    I think it might just have to be not that good. Because I still have to come up with a children's time, prayers, and announcements. AND at the second service (of three) I have to ordain and install deacons and one is complaining about kneeling facing the congregation (the tradition here) so I have to work something out about that. And the drama narrator for two of the three services was in a car accident so I have to work with a new narrator. Good times.

    I'm thinking of running out for ice cream (yes, I know I had ice cream earlier at the Johnny Appleseeed festival! so what?). Anyone want any?

  75. okay, so upon review I have two mediocre sermons, one complete and one that needs a rewrite of the conclusion.
    what to do, what to do....

  76. OOh Teri, I'll take some ice cream! Chocolate chip cookie dough, please!

    I have a sermon. It needs a leash, probably, but I'm reserving judgement until tomorrow when I've had some sleep.

    And no, I'm NOT going out to the second night of the music festival, because it would be another late night and three in a row is more than I can handle, especially on a Saturday.

    I'm off to do ice cream, reading and early bed.

    Blessings to those still writing--clear heads, hearts and eyes!

  77. I can't believe it, my team won! Go Noles! Smart move Bowden to change quaterbacks.

    Well how is everybody doing with their sermons. I am back from a great bday party for a little girl. The kids had a great time. Took awhile to get them to bed, so now I am back to see the rest of you through and to put those finishing touches on my sermon.

    Everybody doing okay...
    Is this now the last minute writers, after busy days?

  78. oh my goodness. I was at a denominational meeting today too..Songbird, same one? No, wait...guess not. I played my heart out on my djembe and now I can hardly type. Big. Mistake. AND I have just a couple paragraphs to go...and all I want is a heating pad for my hands and wrists and figure out how to finish up thoughts about chasms, wealth, Lazarus, get the picture....

  79. hey all-

    thanks for the encouragement. what a great party today.

    yes- the song "Greed" is available on iTunes.

    ((((abil)))) oh shit. just awful stuff and you're being such a gracious hostess in the midst of it. you are a witness, dear one, to christ's grace.

    so... i got a sermon written on the way to the march. my sick hubby drove so i could write, but then i ran it by a colleague on the way home and she suggested a major re-write to the end. And now... I can't decide whether the new ending or the old one is more appropriate and I can't get her back on the line. argh...

    i keep going back and forth on which is the better ending. i'm going to post it with both endings. can anyone weigh-in??? help!

  80. You all are the greatest. I am writing your names down with the hugs, and when it gets really bad,I'll see you all I think that is just the ticket, God incarnate.

    Hey Kim in KCK, would you come? That will be another image I carry with me.

    Dear me, Teri, having to rewrite, but it sounds like it is coming out okay.

    And Songbird so glad there is a flow.

    Hope the sermon flows for you both Elane and kim in kck.

    Presby babe what in the world are dong preaching from Lamatations next week for?

    cpclergymama, thanks for having my back, I would do the same for you.
    And hope you get the direction you need on your sermon.

    Yes, lets break out the margaritas.

    I have been writing down some of my thoughts on what has been going on here, things I have learned from it, and what I think would be helpful for the church, and Pastor.
    I'll be glad to pass it on, when I get it finally put together.

    And I'll either blog about what happens depending or I'll email.

  81. {{{{{{{revabi}}}}}}}}
    wow. I just really read everyone's comments. Love, prayers, and God's protective and loving spirit surrounding you...from the earth and the sky and within.
    truly, really, fully.

  82. cheese, what is the total word count to shoot for?

  83. More cows, we will be glad to weigh in, I'll look at your blog.
    Hope hubby will feel better soon.
    Thanks too for your support.

    And Karlajean it will come.

    Stacey glad you stopped by, and rainbow pastor, glad you are not overdoing it so you can be fresh tomorrow.

  84. okay, ice cream and strawberry popsicles for all! :-)

    I managed to make sermon 2 preachable. At last. Now for a children's time--anyone with jeremiah buying a field children's time ideas?

    The indigo girls with the line "darkness has a hunger that's insatiable and lightness has a call that's hard to hear" helped me out. As did David LaMotte's song "Hope"--”—“I’ve got a lot of hope for the future, got a lot of faith things can work out fine, got a lot dreams for a better world…got a lot of work to do if I’m going to make them mine.” And Oscar Romero of course. Hmm, seems like maybe I have a sermon about practicing what you preach and not worrying about seeing the outcome right away? There has to be a way to make that into an engaging children's time. Or at least a mediocre one. Anyone?

  85. RevAbi I just got back from my wedding and I am so sorry about what is happening to you ... prayers and hugs ascending... take care

  86. I had an hour-long burst of inspiration and wrote a good 3/4 of the sermon. Now it's time to try and re-find that momentum and finish it off. (I am going to let each congregation vote on whether I should start with preaching about money or hell. Whee!)

    It's kind of like everything else around here...the bathroom is partially cleaned...the guest room is partially ready...etc. etc. argh! Oh, and I forgot to eat dinner, so need to scrounge something up.

  87. Well, revabi, to answer your question (smile) I have been doing a series on Jeremiah (don't ask me what I was thinking -- just seemed the thing to do while I was on study leave this summer and planning my preaching schedule). Next weeks' lectionary passage comes from Lamentations, and since it falls in with the tradition of Jeremiah, I told myself, what the heck?? Might as well give it a shot. Plus, with it being World Communion Sunday, the sermon can be short!!

  88. Oh Abi, just read your post. It breaks my heart, dear sister, and I have been thre and I know how hard it was to keep loving and avoid bitterness...and...and...and.

    Grrrr! Finger shaking? Oh, dear God!

    Praying for you!

  89. Abi, I'm sorry about the way things are going. Sounds like a whole lotta acting up 'cuz you were trying to get them to look at themselves (that NDC thing?)...sometimes folks just need to know that, like little kids, they can act up, act out, and be down right awful, but we still don't leave them. Don't know if that is how you are being (unconsciously) tested, but might be...still it is no fun to be in that emotional space. On the other hand, if that is what is going on, it is just "developmental" and will pass, in a year or two (Gosh that sounds like forever)....prayers for you.

    Oh, and yes. Get a blog where you can be more anonymous. It helps to have a place to rant and process outside the glare of the parish.

    I'm going to try and read the other sermons posted here. I really enjoy doing that and seeing what you all are doing. But I may not get to them until tomorrow. I still have piles of laundry that is washed and dried but waiting to be folded....

    I have tea and ice cream sandwiches or ice cream bars if you want...and always, dark chocolate.

  90. Oh, Abi . . . I've had similar issues at the church. No fun. Hang in there and see what happens. I was already thinking the moving van was on its way but everything worked out. Of course, I'm not Methodist and no DS here. The church and I are OK now, but not as happy as before. Probably moving on sooner than I thought, but GOd knows best.

    Sorry you are going through this. It stinks!!


  91. Okay, so here it is thanks to ya'lls inspiration and the ledgend from mompriest. I'm thinking of ending by singing the hymn (Make me a channel of your peace) a capella rather than just reading the words. It will be unfamilier to this congregation as they sing nothing written before 1812 it seems, although the words they will recongnize.
    teri- thanks for reminding me I have to install and ordain elders tomorrow! And a big THanks for the ice cream, YUMMMY!

    Blessings to all y'all!

  92. btw thaks again rev abi for your hosting. our prayers, hugs, and thoughts are with you. And I'm totally serious about that rumble, I've got moves for a white girl!

  93. Abi, praying for you. I'm so sorry. You deserve so much better. I continue to be disheartened by how cruel and hurtful people can be.


  94. o.k. the friend called back finally and i'm going with my initial ending.

    the sermon is too long- i just realized. but i'm too tired, so it is what it is, it's on the blog.

    and i'm going to bed.

    revabi, you're fabulous! you've been a wonderful host today. and you are very loved.

    and the rest of you are quite swell too.

  95. revabi -- as well I say -- thanks for hosting you are dear.

    I tweaked a little, not enough. there's so much I want to say, and feel a little frustrated. wanted to include something from David Shipler's book Invisible in america about the working poor, and I kept getting the words from "rocka my soul in the bosom of abraham" in my head, you know "so low you can't get under it, so high you can't get over it, so wide you can't get around it..." that's the chasm... but also the Love of God in Christ Jesus (romans) so I did osmething with that... will post tomorrow if I think it looks ok.

  96. Whew, I'm done! It will probably need some help, but it's done enough for me to finish getting ready for Mom and Dad.

    Blessings to everyone still working and everyone preaching and proclaiming tomorrow. Thanks for a wonderful party, Abi.

  97. diane, that's funny because that song is one of the recommended children's times for this week! Not for the reason you see, but it's there nonetheless.

    I posted my mediocre sermon here. I wrote the prayers. Still no children's sermon ideas, but maybe it'll come to me while I'm sleeping. that always works, right?

    Abi, you have been a great hostess, especially in the midst of the craziness. thanks!

    I'm out for now...back for a panic around 7am!

    peace, friends.

  98. so I'm dumb and typed instead of copy-pasting. The sermon is actually here (I think that's a typo-free link....).

    Now I'm going to bed for real. Or at least to lay in my bed and pretend to sleep until the anxiety dreams come.

  99. Well, I am done enough for now... it'll preach and the plan is to touch up in the AM.

    Abi, I am still seething on your behalf.

    Blessings to you all - no dogs here!

  100. Thanks singing owl, pray that I am able to not get bitter. Yep finger shaking.

    Thank you all.

    presby babe, I like your guts, and I hope it goes well. I actually like some of Lamentations and the Prophets. (Notice I said some,).

    mompriest, that is my take on things, I just wonder if the DS will stand by me or not.

    Hope it goes well getting everything done.

    semfem, so glad you got a burst of energy, hope it holds to finish it out. I know it will.

    Oh yea Diane and Teri, I wondered what that song referred to. I can remember singing it as a kid and youth.

    thanks revdari for sharing your experience. Glad your worked out for now. That is such an important developmental milestone.

    blessings to you too cpclergymama hope all goes well tomorrow as well.

    You all are welcome, I think it gave me something positive and hopeful to focus on. Goodnight to those who are going to sleep, hello to our west coasters who are still mid evening.

    Anybody need anything? Everybody doing okay.

    You all are quite swell.

  101. Thanks for the party, Abi. I didn't have much time to hang, but it was a good one! Now, I'm heading off to bed. Sleep well all!


  102. Abi thanks for a splendid party, you have been a wonderful hostess. (((Abi)))There's another to add to our list. I am holding you in prayer as well. Blessings on everyone's preaching, you are a splendid hardworking bunch!

  103. ((((0)))) Rev Abi ... So sorry ..I've been there & it sucks. Praying for you and will be watching for a post ... or please add me to email list, if via email:


  104. I am up and writing sermon now...
    after having moved through reading the day of posts here.
    I am sorry Abi--that stuff sucks, been there, done that,& have can of whoop ass you can use with my blessings and prayers for you today.
    On to the message!

  105. Ok...9.30am in the UK...back from the 8.00, during which, half way through reading the gospel, I suddenly realised what I actually wanted to say. So I've rewritten half of it and it's now here

  106. okay, it's 6.50and I'm about to leave for church....I really hope that when I actually read sermon through out loud it doesn't need TOO much editing! I have to be out of the sanctuary again by 7.40 for the band to practice, and then have to meet with the first service's cast of the drama at 8. oy oy oy.

    Happy Sunday to all! And may there be a nap in your future. :-)

  107. Done--up and away we go!I too am looking forward to a nap later.

  108. on my way to ss and church. praying for you all! blessings y'all!

  109. I didn't see the prayer posted yet,
    So I am praying for each of us as we lift up the Holy text to those who listen, may they have ears to listen, may the work and effort we spent on these sermons speak of you. May the Holy Spirit go before us preparing the way, in us to open the text and speak the words, and behind us to protect us.

    In fact, this is the prayer and blessing I sent out this morning, in my daily email; Through every minute of this day, be with me, Lord!
    Through every day of all this week, be with me, Lord!
    Through every week of all this year, be with me, Lord!
    So shall the days and weeks and years be threaded on a golden cord.
    And all draw on with sweet accord into thy fullness, Lord, that so,
    When time is past,
    By grace I may, at last,
    Be with thee, Lord.

    - John Oxenham

    A Blessing for the Day:

    Bless, O God, thy protection,
    and in protection, strength,
    and in strength, understanding,
    and in understanding, knowledge,
    and in knowledge, the knowledge of justice,
    and in the knowledge of justice, the love of it,
    and in that love, the love of all existences,
    and in the love of all existences, the love of God,
    God and all goodness.

    Thank you again for the thoughts, prayers, and support. I'll put out and email probably, and then I'll be going anonymous blogwise.
    mayb mayb not, I'll include you.

  110. Don't know if you will see this, RevAbi, since I am so late on Sunday, but it seems unwise to post it to your own page [a damnable thing in itself.]

    My thoughts and prayers are with you thru a really SUCKY time ... which you are likely experiencing even as I post this.


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