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Saturday, November 03, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party

Zacchaeus climbed up in a tree to see Jesus; sometimes I feel I need to do the same to see Jesus enough to write a decent sermon. I'm not short, but dude (and dudess), that crowd blocking the sight lines can be tall!

I think I'm preaching about Jesus' grace being greater than the grumblings of the crowd, and the need for us to sometimes get out of the way. We'll see how it actually turns out. How about you? What good news are you bringing your congregations this week? Where are you stuck? What do you need from the gathered preaching community? I know I'm bound to need a children's sermon at the very least...

The coffee is set to start brewing early as usual for you overseas folks and early risers. Blessedly, I have absolutely no time commitments tomorrow - for once - so I'll be back with you after a nice long sleep. Halloween cupcakes, anyone? That's all the food I have around here. I could stock the table with a virtual repast, but by now, I've come to trust my preaching pals to provide a much better spread than I could imagine! So, pull up a chair, or curl up in one of our comfy couches, and party on, preaching pals!


  1. I am short -and I wonder why it is that we so often hear about Z's lack of inches than his hungry heart. He was probably a proud man ... certainly he was corrupt ... but he threw caution to the wind - threw away his dignity and climbed a tree for God's sake just because he wanted to see the man they were all talking about. And when Jesus met with him, his life was changed. There's so much in that story ... and in our stories too :)

    Have a great party.

    It's snowing here and I'm off out for a day of fellowship.

    Oh and a request:

    Tomorrow our local church has its annual meeting and the agenda is to move from an international church (i.e. English speaking) back into a Swedish and 'real' methodist one (whatever that means)

    Spare a prayer if you can ... I hate church politics with a vengeance - and the fall out from this decision is bound to be big. We already have a lot of hurting people in our congregation!

  2. Forgot to say ... I'm making fresh pulla at the international fellowship day ... (actually teaching others to make it hahahaha) ... I'll bring you all back some

    bye bye for now

    skipping off with a shovel in hand

  3. I'm on blessings and woes this morning (Luke 6). Not starting from scratch as I'm turning upside down (how apt!) a sermon I preached on it in my old church.
    The prayer of my morning is "help Lord!" - a few weeks in at the new place and today I'm feeling a bit daunted by the task at hand (not just the sermon). I know that God will equip and strengthen and it's his church, but well, it's a bit daunting anyway!
    (Got a friend from back home and her family coming for lunch today anyway which is nice).

  4. I'm headed out to a handbell festival today. And, thankfully, I am not preaching tomorrow - it's Consecration Sunday for us and we have a guest preacher. I have some strong coffee I can offer!

  5. I am up early with insomnia, but not quite with it enough to finish the sermon I began in Chicago.

    I am a Consecration guest preacher at a sister church tomorrow, but I have a 7-hour Presbytery event before I can come home and finish the sermon. Thank you, Jesus for the time change!

  6. We have a church fair today, so I am busy and not sure when I will be back.
    I am weaving the story of Zacchaeus and its theme of the outsider being recognized as part of the community by Jesus with the story of a saint of my previous church, Bob. One of my first blog posts that anyone seemed to read was about Bob, and he continues to hold a special place in my heart and mind.
    It's a meditation length sermon, I hope, since it is a busy day in the life of the church. We'll have Communion, ring the bell to remember those who have gone on before us, and hear the results of a Mission survey describing where our church members give their time in the community. Lots of material. But no Children's Time because we are now having them go straight to Sunday School on the first Sunday, then rejoin us during the Communion Hymn.

  7. I'm sorry to say I probably won't be with you much today due to an extremely heavy schedule. My sermon is re: All Saints with Luke 6 providing the text.
    But I have a funeral and a wedding and a claass i'm giving before I preach it.

    I also want to know: what is fresh pulla?

  8. I have about three sentences of notes and thoughts on paper for the sermon tomorrow...I have simply been too busy these last few weeks. Good gracious I need just a few hours of quiet...

    I think I am going to delve into Isaiah and Luke and somehow speak about remembering. It is kind of a stretch for Luke, but not so much for Isaiah. But we will be remembering all those who have gone before us. I want to tie it into the Eucharist, "Do this for the remembrance of me..." I found some good insight from Dennis Bratcher off of Text This Week...also want to go back and read Dylan...pray for inspiration. I'll pray for all us overly busy ones and those who get to have some rest...

    alas, I have coffee and tea...but not much else to offer...

  9. I'm in and out today. Our focus groups for the needs assessment study are starting to met and there are two today--so I need to let them in (and out) of the church. Plus meeting with the focus group facilitator, finishing up the annual meeting packet (aghhhh), and oh yes, a sermon on the Beatitudes for All Saints in there somewhere.

    I think I'll be looking blessings and woes and saints who dealt with both--not only the saints of the church, but the saints we knew and know. A friend with a saintly husband once said, "Do you know how difficult it is to live with a saint?" That's been rattling around in my brain too.

    I'm afraid my cupboard is pretty bare, too, Stacey. Cornflakes or Cream of Wheat, anyone?

  10. I too have a busy day....preparing for a funeral, editing the newsletter, copying bulletin and newsletter, doing funeral and preparing message. I am going with Habakkuk and what it means to hold a vision...
    Hope everyone has a great and productive day. Stop by for some pumpkin spice ice cream if ya want--my door is always open.

  11. My body and brain are still suffering from jet lag as I've been in the Eastern time zone all week and am now back on the West coast. The worship bulletin I put together before I left on Monday says I'm preaching about Zacchaeus' encounter with Jesus, but I don't have a word or an idea! And there's an NAACP banquet I must attend tonight. Looks like it's going to be a long day.

    I do have fresh coffee, however.

  12. Mmmm, fresh coffee.

    I'm preaching Habbakuk, which seems like such an appropriate text for the era we're living in. My sermon title is "Pronouncing Reality" - I've been thinking of how there are certain words I'm prone to mispronounce in my head (Habbakuk is one of those words - I emphasize the wrong syllable). Same letters, same sounds, wrong emphasis. And how we look at reality and tend to pronounce it wrong - seeing the violence, the terror, but not the hope. Violence is there, absolutely, but it's not the whole reality. Habbakuk was instructed to pronounce the hope, too - to write it, to make it plain. So I'm thinking of how we are called to live by that faith, to pronounce reality correctly.

    Don't know if this makes sense now that I've written that - but it makes sense in my head. We'll see if I can get it on the page. No words typed yet. Think I'll make a batch of pumpkin muffins first, to let things percolate a bit more, and then get to it....

  13. ooh... earthchick... very, very intriguing ideas. do post your sermon when your done, k?

    i passed off my laptop (read extra appendage) to a parishioner at 2 yesterday, and am heading to my cousin's wedding (ceremony only- must get back for the worship service this evening that has been abyssmally attended for the past few months), so... the sermon, er... meditation... is done.

    it is on my blog, second post down if anyone is interested or if it could be helpful. it is on zacchaeus and focuses on the ways that our efforts to appear together can get in the way of us receiving the grace that we need. or something like that. oh, yeah, and it is a stewardship sermon so i'm reflecting on how when we manage to be humble enough to admit our need of God, we tap into gratitude which liberates for generosity. i'm doing a bit of comparision to the story of the rich young ruler. i know. it sounds terribly unfocused. oh well. its short.

    since we were talking about interviews yesterday, you might be interested to know that the opening story in my sermon comes from my interview experience at this church (my first call).

    homemade molasses sugar cookies, anyone?

    blessings on all performing funerals, weddings, anticipating church politics, anxious about church demands... blessings on all!

  14. I am doing All Saints and have the Beatitudes. I am foggy brained this morning. I think I will preach on the feast rather than the texts. I want to talk about the connectedness with those that have gone before us.

    A deacon colleague told me that she has dishes from members of the family who have died. She says that when she puts out the odd platter left by great aunt Daisy it is like Daisy is at the meal. What a wonderful way to stay connected.

    I feel that way about the memorial name engraved on the chalice--I pray for him or her even though I have no information about them. They are still those who have always been at the table.

    Something is beginning to brew in my foggy mind...

  15. Good morning all. Much to do today, and a social obligation this afternoon. Glad today is 25 hours long!

    Not sure what I'm doing with the texts yet.

    English muffins with butter and orange marmalade, anyone?

  16. Hey, more cows, thanks! I never know if something that makes sense in my head is going to translate - so thanks for the affirmation.

    My vegan pumpkin muffins just came out of the oven, and YUM they are good, if I do say so myself. Here, I'll pass the plate, while dh puts on more coffee.

    [p.s. I'm loving this (new?) feature to get follow-up comments via email!]

  17. I'm making homemade apple sauce and canning several quarts while trying to get my sermon using Luke and All Saints Sunday to gel. It's been crazy here--three funerals in nine days! One baptism--thankfully--and all the other stuff of ministry that keeps late autumn swirling. Peace and blessings to all ya'll today.

  18. morning. This week has been a rough one at our little church. We had a man die while driving his car, he drove it into a neighbors house. His wife had just returned from the hospital that morning. The church is in a state of shock, as am I. His funeral, on the 31st was our 14th since we came here in October of 06. Hubbie is preaching the evening service and we are doing our rememberances then. I am using Z and not really sure at all where to go with it. I do know that I will teach the song to our kids for children's time. That's about it.
    Pass the pumpkin ice cream PLEASE, I can't find any here!
    Blessings y'all!

  19. I love your opening comments. The crowd can indeed block our view. You could sing "Zaccheaus was a wee little man..." I don't sing that great, but when I have sung it with the kids they love it! I'm off lectionary thanks to a Stewardship Campaign. Sound like fun? Blessings to you.

  20. Oh, cpclergymama, yeow. That sounds just awful. I can imagine the shock. Blessings on you and your church in the aftermath.

  21. Hey all! I am dipping my toes back into the clergy week with a full dunking to begin next week. A group is coming in to sing and lead worship on Sunday so I have one more blessed weekend to myself.

    Currently I am cleaning out kitchen cabinets and reorganizing to better work for The Boy and I. There is a lot of baggage involved in this work both physical and emotional. Feels good though.

    I have come across no good eats yet buy my Cosco splurge netted me a HUGE bag of Craisins that Listing Straight is going to give me a scone recipe for so I will serve those when they are hot and ready.

    Hey, here they are! Go ahead, put some real butter on it and keep up the great work!

  22. Earthchick, I agree that it sounds intriguing and I'd love you to blog the finished version.

    I am preaching this month about the church--after an unpleasant epiphany during which I realized my folks are missing some foundational principles about why we even exist.

    This is a critical month, IMO, for us which may well determine our future for a long time to come. In other words, I'm scared!

    BUT the sermon is about the church in worship. And it seems it should be easy but I'm struggling, as usual. Coffee....oh yeah, that is bound to help. I'm adding some Amish Friendship Bread to the table.

  23. And forgot to say, cpclergymama, I'm sending prayers upward and a cyber hug outward. Yikes!


    Nice thing about hugs, real life ones, is that when you hug someone you usually get hugged back! :-)

  24. Hi, I started on my sermon yesterday. Struggling a bit because my mother-in-law is visiting partner and I. Our guestroom is my office so my concentration is a bit off. They are out shopping so I can finish my sermon God bless them. I have left over halloween candy...candy bars anyone?

  25. You guys have some good stuff going on in your heads.

    Mine has a few jumbled thoughts...but nothing really concrete yet.

    Muthah- I heard a story by a friend of mine about a table that she had growing up. There were I think 6 kids in her family and they would always have holidays at this certain house around this certain table. When her parents died and they decided to sell the house, one of her sisters took the table and they still gather around it to celebrate.

    I'm doing the Luke text for All Saints day too.....i just haven't quite figured out what to say. Good thing it can be short what with the reading of the roll, the candle lighting, communion, and a kids sermon......

    I'm off to my God daughter's 3rd birthday. It's the first birthday party we've gotten to go to for her since we lived so far away. IT's still 2 1/2 hours away...but I think it's worth it.

    I'll try to bring some birthday cake back with me......

  26. I wrote about 3/4 of the sermon yesterday so only have the last bit to go. "Zac" is the text I am working with. Looking at Jesus, once again, turning our interpretation of the Z. story upside down. Lots of good Spirit-filled ideas here.

    Menu: hmmmmnnnn I had eggs, toast, and apples...and more to share.

  27. Sermon's done. The pictures I added at the blog didn't come out the way that I wanted. They are in the wrong places, but I am not going to change them. Have fun.

  28. Prayers for Lorna, cpclergymama, and all the people with too much to do and too few hours today.

    My sermon was mostly done yesterday, and continues to come along nicely, but I also have a congregational meeting to prepare, which is causing me some stress. When we start talking budget, one never knows what might happen.

    Anyway, back to the sermon. And please - take these cupcakes!!

  29. Pulla is a type of Finnish coffee bread - and it is dee-licious!

    I'm preaching on All Saints and have no clue how I'm doing that. It's been a full week and I'm feeling some pressure to get this done asap as I have a retirement function to attend later on.

    If I come up with anything, I'll let you know. Good ideas here so far!

  30. I am noticing there's lots of assumptions about and ambiguities in the Zac story.

    We often assume that Zac decides to give up a part of his riches in response to Jesus' choosing him, but the Greek verb tenses can be read as Zac saying that is something he already does. [Dylan, Bill Long, The Message, the Blue Letter Bible. All linked on] Zac is not necessarily responding to Jesus in Zac's speech, but perhaps challenging the crowd's judgement. The salvation of which Jesus speaks is that Zac is now known as the child of Abraham he has always been and is restored to community... That works really well with the Isaiah passage.

    Also on Textweek, there's a link to an article from the Christian Century by Roberta Bondi that points out that the text is actually unclear about who is short --Jesus or Zac. What if Jesus is the short one? That's probably irrelevant, unless one wants to challenge people's assumptions about who Jesus is.

  31. I'm in trouble. It's 11.08am on Saturday and I have no words written. None. And only the vaguest of ideas. I'm doing Zack and something about how he may have been short in stature but not in hospitality and not in desire to see Jesus. Somehow that will get turned around so that Z offers hospitality to Jesus but discovers that it's actually Jesus who offers him welcome instead.
    I would love also to do something about assumptions--how the crowd (and we) assume that Z was a bad guy, corrupt, etc...when really that's not clear. Chief tax collector, rich, yes, but nowhere does it say he's corrupt. In my small group this week we talked about how when Z speaks he uses the present tense: "I give...I pay back..." etc, as though he's defending himself, not changing his behavior. I'm not sure where to go with that, or if I can go anywhere with it...perhaps something about how making assumptions about others closes us to their hospitality? who knows. I guess I'd better get started. I have tea--anyone want a cup?

  32. heehee RDQ--we were writing the same thing at the same time! :-)

  33. Back to the screen having had a lovely catch up with old friends and shown them round the new patch and church.
    I'm about 6/7 weeks into my new ministry in this place - any wise words/practical suggestions from you wise, experienced ones now I'm having to lead the way on my own (with God of course!)?
    Some days I'm patient with myself when I have ideas and see what might need doing, and think "just give yourself time to get to know the people and the church" and other days I think, "what should I have already done by now, that I haven't done?"
    If you fancy e-mailing a few words to spur me on it's michelle underscore teapot at yahoo dot co dot uk
    Back to the sermon!

  34. DQ and Teri--thanks for the exegetical stuff which is complete news to me, and complicates my simple reflection on Zac for house mass. We'll sing the song, of course. :-).

    My writing task today in our virtual community is my postdoc lecture for Thursday, during my last trip to Toronto. It started as a diss chapter and I have chopped it down to 37 pages, but need to get rid of 12-15 more. Not as stressful as creating text, but it's tricky to decide which hard-won insights get dropped. And I want this to come out well in its new format, and hopefully be a giant step toward revision for publication.

    Matt and Katie just returned from dropping off Nicholas at gymnastics with frozen mini-pancakes which Katie enthusiastically recommends to you all.

  35. I have a title (The Price of Sight), some rambling thoughts about stewardship, and a brain that keeps hitting the snooze alarm. Oh and the UCW tea/bazaar is this afternoon, and I hav convinced someone to partner in a dialogue sermon for next Sunday at the Legion that needs to be written this weekend so he can pre-read it.

    OTOH, the laundry is almost done and the grocery shopping IS done...

  36. Brilliant [hopefully] minds, Teri, brilliant minds ... hee hee hee.

    But I think I would rather have a silver tongue.

    Laura, bless you on your efforts to pare down your presentation --that's a difficult challenge for sure.

  37. I have a confession:

    I'm going to completely ignore the Greek verb tense and maintain the Big-Bad-Tax-Collector party line because doing otherwise would be inconvenient.

    Whew, glad to have that off my chest.

  38. Well, Kate plans and God laughs. It was to be not a preaching weekend and still may not be, but I just had a call that I am "plan B" in case C's MIL dies(she is close) so I need to have some sort of sermon in the back pocket just in case. Uh-oh. I was planning to spend time with Freud and Jung and suddenly it's Isaiah and Luke. My brain is as bare as my cupboards. Could be a long day...that extra hour might indeed come in handy...please pass those cupcakes!

  39. Hi all, I am here, believe it or not. After a month of busy Saturdays and Sundays, I am back. Well the weeks have been too too busy also. How is it going with everybody? Anybody need anything? I am not preaching about Zac man, however I love the passage, since I am one of those short people, and I have been short sighted too.

    I am still in the Beatitudes, the one about mercy. I am going to tie it in with All Saints and being a disciple.

    I have brought you a great snack called:Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar. You are going to want the recipe, so I gave you the link to it at my blog. Hope you enjoy it. And hope you all are doing okay.

    We have a sick girl, which has changed our plans for the whole day. Yuck for her. Yuck for us, we were suppose to have a date tonight, but it looks like we will be dating at home instead.

  40. ((((((singing owl)))))) Cyber hugs are returned too!
    You all have some great thoughts. I'm going to read all of the already finished work, then at some point I'll get mine finished?
    btw rev abi those peanut butter bars are too tempting!

  41. Sermon done and posted here (with a little greeting a thank you to you lot - comments appreciated!).

    Still got a short message for the children to do and agenda for my first church council meeting.

  42. You rock, Stacey, even when you're not singing with the band. ;)

    Remember that for every exegetical opinion that suggests A, there's usually another exegetical opinion that suggests Z ... otherwise, there wouldn't be any need for preachers, commentators, scholars, bible studies, and heaven forbid, preacher parties. Think how impoverished we'd be without each other's company!

  43. I'm back from the fair and contemplating a nap. But first, cpclergymama, hugs to you. What a time you are having!
    Also, anybody want a piece of fudge? Homemade?

  44. My sermon is done. I went out with partner and mother-in-law. Had a bloody Mary. Now I will nap.

  45. Ok. I'm back. back from a long conversation at church with the delegates who are voting at convention next week to elect a new Bishop. We are preparing for a meeting with the congretation tomorrow. I want to make sure the parish knows who is on the slate for election, since the election of one vergy gifted person will also be quite "controversial". I want us to have an opportunity to hear the people and for them to hear our impressions of the candidates.

    I find that I am feeling really on edge about this. I don't mean nervous or anxious exactly. But that I feel concerned about following where God is calling me and how I will vote. It's about integrity.... I worry that if we go one way I will be out of a job because people will leave my church. And yet what if I really feel strongly that this is the best person. I found myself sobbing in the meeting, with a depth of despair I had not let surface. thanksfully it was with a few folks in the parish that I really trust and can do that with. Oh. my.

    so. now on to that sermon. I hope the words I want to say can come through now that I've touched that deep place inside.

    oh, and have I mentioned that I am also trying to answer questions for a search committee. I turned in one round Thursday, which they liked. They have another set they'd liked answered by Thursday...

  46. Oh. and ((cpgm)) - I'm so sorry. I've gone through that time of many deaths in the is really difficult.

  47. Mmmm, bloody mary...better not, at least not until I get the rest of tomorrow's preparation done. I'll take some fudge, though, before I go back to cranking out a conclusion to the sermon.

  48. okay, I have a draft up here,
    feel free to stop by and leave feedback! I'm feeling dry this week, what with two straight weeks of houseguests and very little time to entertain them. Help me out, preaching pals! :-)
    I'm practically shaking with hunger so I guess it's time to find some food...if I find anything that's not pure sugar in my house, y'all are welcome to it! And, of course, the pure sugar is here for you too. pink (for the cure!) m-n-ms, anyone?

  49. Got to go and pick teenson up from work and then drive him to his dad's (just under an hour each way). I'll have a good read of the posted sermons when I get back and then finish what I've still got to do. (Thanks teri for coming by and reading mine!)

  50. Well meeting packets are done, I'm just waiting for the focus group to finish so I can close up the church and then I can completely focus on the sermon.

    Oh, and I've answered an email from an old friend I'd lost touch with (until she found me on Myspace), read all my email, done too much Googling on Abbott and Costello (long story), and had lunch.

    I have a bunch of notes and ideas...time to buckle down and start organising them!

  51. Prayers for you and your church family cpclergywoman.

    Thinking of you too with your changes Wilsmama.

    I am continuing to find ways to avoid sermon writing. I have bathed the dog, cleaned the tub, fed the kids, and other washed the clothes.

  52. Just back from a quick look at flag football and pickup from gymnastics--boy am I glad Matt does almost all of that stuff. So now I can try to get some work done.

    Prayers and (((hugs))) to CPClergyMama and Mompriest in your big challenges right now. And for the Spirit to guide everyone in that election before, during, and after....

  53. No Zacchaeus here. It's all about the saints, but I'm skipping over the Sermon on the Plain and instead focusing on EPHESIANS. I'm especially focusing on verses 17-19:

    I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.

    My sermon in a nutshell: With the eyes of our heart enlightened, we can see the saints surrounding us (whether physically in our many memorial worship furnishings, or more ethereally), and the gift the saints give us is hope. Hope that even if we fail to act "saintly", we will one day be counted as saints through God's promise of mercy and grace.

    Now, a crucial question for those of you in the UK (or others who might know this): you know the memorial inscriptions around the perimeter of church sanctuaries? Are the actual people buried there, or are those merely plaques honoring their lives?

    After a day at the Habitat house, it's time to write! Oatmeal scotchies are here to be shared (I nicked some before I gave them to Habitat).

  54. Ok. I have my sermon posted
    Come let us argue it out. Drop by, leave feedback. I'm going to go walk my dogs. I'll be back in a bit to ready your sermon(s)...

    can I just say, I love this group! thanks!!

    (do my posts today make me sound like I'm a bit wacked???) (well I am a bit all over the place, sigh)...

  55. Well, check that, it's actually time to do some urgent outside work, as it's supposed to snow next week.

    But then! It will be time to write.

  56. A friend named Faith is very short - her motto is Faith can move mountains but she needs a little help with high cupboards. I am not preaching this week but posted a Litany for All Saints at my blog, also a Day of the Dead pix.

  57. It seems that a lot of you have your sermon finished and posted. I am really impressed. Wow.

    Okay, whip, whip, Abi get on the stick, get it done!

  58. Um, yeah. I clearly am html-challenged, but it'll still get you there....

  59. ok. my excitement for the day was finding a typo (mis-spelling) in the new international commentary on the Old Testament. (Ezekiel exegesis paper in progress).

    pickled okra anyone?

  60. Now that was what I call a nap.

    What was I preaching about?

  61. ok Subs anyone (home made bread)

    and pulla (it's Finnish sweet rolls - and cinnamon buns) .. we made loads today at the fellowship day - the international students loved cooking with me :) and it all worked out really well.

    now I'm off to bed. Glad all I have to do is turn up at church tomorrow :) really tired cos I couldn't sleep last night.

  62. I believe it may have been Zaccheus, songbird! ;-)
    Back from running teenson and am eating chips from the chippie, out of the bag - lovely!
    Going to have a read of some of your sermons now...

  63. Have half of a sermon for which I have all of you to thank - didn't have a thought in my head when I started out this morning! Zacchaeus, making use of what most of us asssume (including NRSV translators) plus input from those who actually checked the Greek. :-)

    Had to go find a dressy blouse to go with a brocade suit as I noticed the invite to the NAACP banquet tonight says "Black tie optional" Didn't want to get too carried away, but something silky seemed in order. Now I have to see which of the 4 blouses I bought will work best.

  64. cpcm, So sorry to hear of your parishioners. My first parish I had 24 funerals in one year. It was very hard since several of them were suicides. I learned to keep one foot out of the emotional turmoil. It has never felt quite right but it is the only thing that kept me from depression. I do hope you have someone (professional type) to talk to. It is important for the healer to be well.

  65. I redid my sermon and got the pictures right. I am probably not doing it quite right but I finally got them in the right places

  66. THAT'S IT!!!

    Thank you, Chelley!!

  67. Bey well, y'all. I am working through something for All Saints. It should be good.

    And I've brought some Belgian cocoa for everyone from this little place up the street. Enjoy!

  68. I am working on my sermon for later this month on "complaining" - and I am not complaining because it has give me much food for thought...


  69. Okay, so instead of doing yard work like I should have, I sort of um...went out to dinner with some friends who happened to be passing through town.

    And now I would much rather nap, or look for my game on TV somewhere (not likely).

    Still trying to find out about the memorial inscriptions on the perimeter walls of church sanctuaries in the that's my planned opening illustration! (anybody got some insight there? or is it too late for UK people?)

  70. Hi,'s a late check in for me. No sermon this week and I've been in bed all day with back problems. I do have homemade chicken vegetable soup to offer, if anyone wants it.
    Oh, yeah, and prayers for successful Sundays for all!

  71. Semfem, I'm not in the UK, but as I recall from travels there and in Europe, sometimes people were buried there in the church (lift up the paving-stone, bury the person, put the paving-stone back), and sometimes not--the inscription was there to remind the family and friends of the ones they loved. Later, sometimes part of them was (heart, for example, might be buried one place and the rest elsewhere) or their ashes were.

    Don't know if that helps or muddies the waters. Brit Boy is incommunicado this weekend or I'd ask him (he has a lovely cathedral practically in his back yard--er, garden) and is a font of trivia.

    In other news, my sermon is as done as it is getting tonight. Luckily, I'll have time for a final polish in the morning.

    Prayers for those with losses, meetings, and simply difficulty getting a sermon written. Me, we're having our budget forum tomorrow (so the congregation can change the budget, if they like, before the annual meeting, when they can only accept or decline the budget presented).

    Dutch cocoa--I'm there! With a grilled cheese-and-tomato sandwich!

  72. Almost forgot--a friend has given me several bottles of blueberry wine, if anyone a) feels they need a taste for inspiration or b) is celebrating finishing or c) just feels like it.

    And it's cyber-wine, so alcohol-free and no hangover!

  73. Friends, I have a sermon, or rather, a meditation. I am looking forward to a good night's sleep as the Northeastern storm rages around us. If only the dogs will stop barking a the wind...

  74. Semfem -- a little google research seems to confirm my tourist memories. Some are actually buried in the churches, some are monuments to folks buried elsewhere. So the answer is "yes"

  75. RP and Althea--thanks! I wondered about this a lot when I was in the UK this summer, but never really got an answer.

    Either way (whether the actual person is there or just the inscription), it's a great illustration of the saints surrounding us.

    My team's up 21-10, but I need to stop checking the score and start writing. :)

  76. I need to stop checking EVERYTHING and get writing. I feel like I've been writing a paragraph an hour all day because I keep getting distracted by other things, and this sermon should be LONG done by now. Grrr.

  77. Just back from a friend's house, where DH gathered to watch UofM defeat MSU in what was a pretty darn entertaining football game.

    So now I'm finishing up worship prep, picking hymns and trying not to fall asleep. It's waaaay too early to fall asleep.

  78. Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers. It is nice to have a community of clergy to share with.
    Now, on to the sermon! must write, must not sleep! must write, must not sleep! must write must not zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Maybe just a quick nap?

  79. Phew...I cut 12 pages of this puppy so it's down to 25, which is probably just about right for the delivery time. And made up a clever little handout with all the killer quotation I had to drop out.

    Still need to polish for the new context but this is the major work done--and with three days before the plane leaves. Hallelujah!

    It helps so much to be writing with a community--so glad I checked back in to the Party.

    Prayers for everyone still composing, and for proclamation tomorrow.

  80. Hi all,
    Thank you ps-purple and more cows for your sermons-such good stuff. And Stacey, thank you for your wonderful honesty about ignoring the Greek verb tense...much appreciated by a seminary student still doing battle with the tenses.
    My sermon is leaning toward having all the trappings of wealth on the outside, but being impoverished on the inside.
    My son recently said, Mom you know the weird thing about high school? Some of the "popular" kids are popular but nobody really likes them because they're not nice to anybody. What's up with that? (Gee, couldn't he ask an easy question, like about the Trinity or something?)
    Anyway...I think there's some connection between Z and the popular kids.
    I wish I had some snack-size Kit Kat bars to share, but I've eaten them all.

  81. Wahoo, I've put this baby to bed! My to-do list looks so much nicer when most of the items have lines through them...

    Anyone else need a little post-writing nightcap?

  82. I am checking back in on the party. Bob took Kate to the Doc in the box, and as you could guess, the girl has strep throat. I have been busy with the other two, preparing supper, and feeding them.

    I'll be up late finishing this baby. Any body else up with me.

    Oh yeah, I am keeping up with two ball games at once; FSU-Boston game and UofA-LSU game. Go FSU and UofA.

  83. Okay, so now I can nap! I am finished, thanks to all of y'alls input! It is over at my place if anyone wants to check it out. Blessings to all as you prepare for proclaimation! Peace to all as you try to rest. and Go Texas Tech, who beat the bears again!
    Blessings y'all!

  84. My team is up 35-16! Woohoo!

    Sermon? What sermon?

  85. Man, what a long day it has been. I just got home after at least an hour fruitlessly searching for my keys and finally calling for a ride home. :-( Sermon is donem bulletin insert to go along with it is done, three meetings are over, and I finally had some leftover Chineese for dinner. Gee, it is almost nine p.m. here. I'm kinda thinking the sermon may be a mutt, but I'll walk it with my head up. Prayers gone up for those still laboring.

    I'll be back tomorrow to check the sermons that are posted.

    Abi, it was so nice to see you here once again.

    For now...putting my feet up.

  86. Belated prayers for cpcm and mompriest. And anyone else who needs it. Including Abi, since one of her teams lost. (I wanted them to win too, Abi!)

    Congrats Stacey, Mother Laura, and all who are done with their writing for today :)


    Really now...back to the sermon. Must be respectable...starting...NOW.

  88. Well, I'm off to bed. I know the clock says 9:30, and when the time changes it will be 8:30...but I'm beat....

    prayers for those still working...

  89. *cheers on semfem from the sidelines*

  90. Oops, I got distracted reading blogs, but now I'm back at it. Two pages down, 1075 words, and now I suppose I should slip in a little theology around the stories and illustrations.

    Others have said it already, but I will add my assent...thank goodness we get our hour back tonight!

  91. *hums the theme from Chariots of Fire*

    thanks Stacey!

  92. Yea Ducks!
    You know, Al may not win them this year, but they are only going to get better under Saban.
    Not sure FSU can totally beat BC. BC is so good this year. I think though FSU will play well until the end.

    Did everybody else's team do okay?

    So sorry you lost your keys Singing Owl. Hope you find them. I wish you well with your sermon.

    I think we all could use that extra hour. Today showed me how tired i still am.

  93. Alright, Hot Dog!
    FSU won! Sealed it with an interception leading to a touchdown. Yea!

    Hey all sleep well, take care, and remember we get an extra hour!

    Blessings on all of you. I am so glad to be with you all again. i have missed you all. Stacey, thanks for a great party.

  94. The sermon is done. Y'all have a blessed evening. I'm going to have some more of that cocoa in the morning with a shot of espresso in it.

    Thank you God, for java and cocoa beans.

  95. I'm done too! w00t w00t!

    Blessings on all proclamation and absorbing the Word tomorrow.

  96. REv Abi-
    Not a good ending for the Gamecocks today (or for a couple of weeks now).
    Oh, well, don't forget evrybody gets to sleep late (by one hour!)

  97. erm not everyone ... we changed our clocks last weekend here in Europe.(grin) ... mind you an extra hour and turning up late would be ...

    have a GREAT Sunday everyone. May the Spirit nudge us all whether we are preaching or listening :)

  98. With thanks to you all and the Holy Spirit, I've finished Innocence Lost, and Found

    Blessings on all who preach and listen today.


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