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Saturday, January 26, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Fishers of People, 'kay?

Good morning, Preacher Pals!

Is it too early for cheery greetings and colorful nets? Then come sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea, and we will try again in a few minutes.


Feel better?

We'll be fishing for people at my church tomorrow and contemplating what we have to leave behind to do so. What's on your mind, homiletically speaking?

And what nets of daily life might you have to drop to finish your preparation today?

Share it all with us in the comments: your topic, your trials, your lack of a children's message. (Wait, that's me this time,) We are here for each other, and we will all meet our deadlines. I believe it!

And if you have the day off, or you're already done, break it to us gently, okay? Thanks!


  1. I have a start on my ideas about what Zebedee might mean in our lives, and a pretty quiet day in which to craft a sermon, but I also have some nerves about tomorrow: the search committee from a church looking for an interim will be "visiting." It makes me want to do something fabulous, especially at the Children's time, but the church I'm serving now has notoriously silent, non-responsive kids. They didn't even respond when I used "Where the Wild Things Are" and actually ROARED. Any ideas?

  2. Well, I'm not preaching because...well... I typically sit in a pew, but it doesn't mean I don't think of y'all!

    However, I am subbing for the organist so will be preparing as you all are. I'll go exercising this morning and then go practice this morning and make sure all is in order. Are there any other organist/musicians out there today???

  3. Hand out candy.

    I am focusing on Isaiah and the Corinthians passage with a united we are stronger kind of vibe going on.

    That's all I've got.

    Work day for me after I hit the gym and drop off The Boy so count me in for all cyber food, beverages and parties.

  4. Well, I guess since I gave out stones last week, the kids might see candy as an improvement. :-)

  5. what can I give? fish? I'm still tired and need some coffee, please. not preaching, but doing the children's message.

  6. Ah, let's talk about that, Diane!

  7. I'm in a retreat all day today - promised church members if they would come, I would cook. Hmmm, that might explain why so few signed up. Anyway, because of that, I had to finish my offering early. For what it's worth. I'm off to the church - may I leave anyone a slice of my spiced nut coffee loaf???

  8. Oh coffee, that sounds good- it might even help this headache- which has been hanging about for a few days now...

    as for preaching I am focusing on Matthew- and Jesus words- "Repent- for the kingdom of heaven is near..."

    In order to be real fishers of people, we need to change our ways. I like the dropping nets illustration Songbird... :-)

    As for the childrens message, I'm musing over hooking in a parable- "The kingdom of heaven is like" and using Godly play.... still thinking...

  9. Well here I am, with a sermon, a hospital call, gathering supplies for post worship coffee hour, and some bulletin details to complete. We are also going out to dinner with friends tonight. I am off lectionary and preaching Micah 6, since there's no epiphany 4 this year. Next week I AM GOING ON RETREAT--so I have a bunch of stuff to get done so that I can be gone as well--newsletter, flyers, mailings, UGH. But first I am playing the Friday Five since I didn't get to it yesterday.

  10. I'm not preaching, but I am doing children's message. I did you are chosen stuff last week. I'm thinking about do you come when you're called this week. but not really sure ...

  11. Oh, Althea, that's a thought.
    My mother used to blow a whistle to let us know it was time to come home, and my father responded to a gun fired at the Naval Shipyard, the notice to kids on a summer night that they needed to get right home.
    You may have something there.
    Also, I can talk about dogs having "recall." Maybe I'll bring Molly? Hmm. Maybe not.

  12. QP, glad you have your priorities in order! Friday Five first!!

  13. I'm still trying to work out a new routine. Clearly, what I tried this week did not work, as here I am Saturday morning with a bulletin to put together, a sermon to write (not even notes, yikes), and a wedding meeting this morning. Oh and a friend's daughter is helping me print and fold the bulletin as a service project that she has to write about. And we have snow coming down.

    Can I plead skin art as a distractions? You can read about that here...

    I'll be looking at the Matthew pasage--I wrote a paper on this pericope in seminary, so I think I'll dig that out and see what I said...but I want to talk about what we leave behind when we answer God's call. My friend Sister City Pastor titled his sermon, "Work to Do," which leads me down some other paths.

    My cupboards are bare, alas. Poppyseed bagels are about all I have to offer.

  14. Gosh, I must have been in seminary too long ago, I don't remember anything I wrote a paper on :-)

    but I hope RBP that your paper helps you...

    I'm not preaching tomorrow, guest preacher will be with me

    And, BIG changes are in the wind. My parish got the letter this week announcing my resignation and acceptance of a new call. Tomorrow will bring a few tears I suspect, and probably mostly from me -since I am such a cryer....sigh...

    I will hold each of you in prayer as you prepare to preach this week. Especially you SB, I know the anxiety a search visit your self and build on what ever strength you can find in the kids and the community - (what are they good at?)(Will they follow you if you lead, then they don't have to say anything...?)

  15. This week when I read the lectionary texts, I realized that when I read the gospel I always focus on the fishing part (good stuff) but really never notice what comes before. This time, I noticed the first part...Jesus makes his home in Capernaum in order to fulfill Isaiah's prophecy that those who sit in darkness will see a great light. Paired with Isaiah, the direction I'm heading is that Jesus is the light in our darkness--the light that shines in our dark places, both the darkness of sin that Jesus brings to light reminding us how much we need God but also the darkness of life that we face (death, divorce, illness, etc) and the promise that God is with us.

    Now if I can make that thought into a 10-12 minute sermon within the next six hours.

  16. I am still not out of the house. Not a good start... sheesh!

    I am liking the children's sermons ideas though - keep 'em coming.

  17. CHildren's sermon here will be on Christian Unity. Probably talk about what makes us all uniques and what makes us all similar, using the 1 Corinthians as a backdrop.

    SErmon wise, weel I am nofurther along than I was on Tuesday. Everything I read focusses on the action rather than asking what it is that allows/pulls PEter et al to drop everything and go. What is so compelling about this man they have jsut met?

    HAving watched Harry Potter OOTP last night I am trying to think of a link between Dumbledore's Army (particularly people like NEville and Luna) and the disciples.

  18. Laffin' out loud at candy being better than stones for a children's sermon. I'd say so! And better than fish sticks, too. Songbird, I think Molly is your ace in the hole...who could resist!

    My daddy called us using the whistle of his mother's college sorority, which is what SHE called her children with. He still occasionally does it. And I jump up, just like a little doggie. Early conditioning, and all.

  19. I too am children's-sermon-less. After reading all of these comments, though, I'm reminded of the Sesame Street sketch in which Bert and Ernie are fishing. It's not working out so well for Bert, but Ernie just calls "here, fishy fishy fishy!!" and the fish flops into the boat. Now that's coming when called! ;-)

    Somehow I don't think that's going to work because I don't think Sesame Street is what it used to be.... open to other ideas about calling....

  20. so...naturally I just went to YouTube and found the clip. It's on my blog.

    It sort of would also work for the story where the disciples are out fishing all night catching nothing until Jesus tells them to try again.

  21. ok, here's my children's sermon idea, and see what you think: I will invite some of the children up (one age group) and talk a little bit about the gospel story of Jesus calling the disciples. And then say, Just like I called you up here. And tell them I have something to share with them, but I would like them to go back out to the congregation and each find one other person and bring them back with you, because I'd like to share with them too.

    And then, when they bring their person (preferably another child, but who knows) I will have something to share. The question is: What? a piece of candy? A sticker? What do you think?

  22. diane, I like the idea a lot...I don't think it will matter what you share, candy or sticker, it's the idea of calling, following, and sharing...

  23. Diane,

    This would require some prep, but what about little baggies of goldfish crackers? Or gummy worms?

    Okay--I'm getting way into fish imagery that probably isn't necessary. But if it was a baggie of something--you could maybe do one baggie per pair so they have to continue to share.

    Feel free to ignore...these sounded better in my head.

  24. no, I kind of like the baggies of gummy worms or fish idea. the idea of preparing the baggies, well...

  25. mompriest! what! I knew this was happening, but I hadn't gotten anything official yet!

  26. Hi Cathy, I'm one of the few organists out here, and yes, I do have to head in to church today to prepare because I've not even sat at the organ bench since last Sunday! But not before meeting with a friend to plan out the worship service for our women's retreat next week.

    All I have to offer this morning is a bowl stale cherrios and milk or orange juice.

  27. Well, I slept ridiculously late, then got up and made pancakes for my family. One would think I don't have a sermon hangin' over my head, or a 1:00 deadline before I go make a potential-new-members call, or my spouse's company party tonight.

    No, if you watched me around here this morning, you would think I am a "civilian" or something!

  28. Hi. I'm very glad this party is here today. Not only working on Sunday stuff, but working on an interfaith service for Creating Change the weekend after next. There are glitches with the interfaith to work through.

    I may take a page out of Quaker Pastor's book and go with Epiphany 4 ... but then I like what I think Gord might be doing with the Dumbledore's Army thing.

    Glad you all are here.

  29. Best of luck to you all today and tomorrow. I am taking care of nursery tomorrow, and thats it!

  30. Diane, just an oddball comment in case you have any vegetarian families- gummy candies are made with gelatin (made from animal cartlidge.)

  31. iris, thanks for the tip.
    does anyone know what "swedish fish" are made of? I had some confirmation students once who liked those.

  32. When I began reading the thread on what to give the children, I recalled a children's sermon I heard when I was a teenager (Imagine! remembering a children's sermon for 30 years - must've been good!) The pastor had a stamp and a pad of paper (post-its would be good now) and as the children came up he was stamping each piece of paper and tearing it off. The Stamp was of the Jesus fish, and he explained the Greek ichtheus (fish) was the symbol for Jesus (an acronym - Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior - I need to parse that myself) and that it was a symbol used by the early Christians to find their secret meetings. We don't have to meet in secret anymore, though. The same could be done drawing the symbol on the pad - it's quick. But I really like the idea of bringing another person up and handing out goldfish (Crackers, that is).
    As for me, I wrote some good notes early in the week. I chose the last verse in the 1 Cor passage about the message of the cross being foolishness to the perishing, but to those who it is saving it is the power of God. I think I'm starting in Matthew, reflecting back to the prophecy in Isaiah which Matthew fulfills, and pointing out lightness and darkness, saving and perishing as I go. I'll have to find my "gone fishin'" earrings to wear tomorrow.

    Also, I've always wondered if Simon and Andrew just really hated their fishing job and were looking for that way out of it that Jesus offered.

  33. First of all - Rainbow Pastor your body art is awesome!!!!

    Second - ((((mompriest))) I'll be thinking of you.

    Children's story - for once I'm not feeling desperate in that regard. This afternoon we have a work party at the church to hang up three pieces of art by a local artist (who happens to be a friend). They are sketches (very large sketches) of hands doing various things.

    One is knitting, another is cleaning a fish, and another is planing a piece of wood in a workshop.

    Perfect. A good theological theme in each one.. I'm going to talk about the marvelous and wondrous work of God in each one of us and how we truly are the hands and feet of Christ in the world...etc.

    Sermon? Average at best. I'm picking up on last week's courage theme. The first step in tapping into our personal courage is recognizing it and using it. In other words, just as Jesus stepped out of Nazareth into Capernaum - we have to step out of our safety zones sometimes to share the good news.

    It needs work, I know, but it's coming along.

  34. For the unity children's sermon, would the game 'Jenga' somehow fit?

    Back from a 'civilian' (thanks Cheese) morning and headed into a clergy Saturday. Sermon! Service (at 5)! Hospital Visit!

    And my guess after that - sermon some more!

    First... shower (of course).

  35. Diane--
    How sad is it that I know the ingredients in Swedish Fish? (I had a post about it on my blog once.)

    Ingredients: sugar, invert sugar, corn syrup, modified corn syrup, citric acid, white mineral oil, artificial flavors, red 40 and carnuba wax.

  36. hmm, I like the goldfish idea!! I might be able to pull it off....

    It would be even cooler if I could look out over the congregation and call the children by name. Sadly (!) we usually have enough visitors to make that impossible. Even one family makes the idea not work--who wants to be a visitor and then be left out? sad.

  37. WS,
    say more about Jenga...I actually have the game
    (mind you bringing it out during the children's time could be disastrous I suppose)

    re Dumbledore's Army: I am thinking that the logical, safe thing to do would have been to not make waves, to go along. But something about HArry, not Dumbledore, not the cause but HArry drew people to envision doing something different -- even if they weren't sure they believed all teh stories they's heard.

  38. Such good ideas!
    I could easily get some Swedish Fish, as there is a nice candy store close by. And thanks for the gelatin warning, Iris, although it's my own child who would be fussy about it, not the others. I am thinking of a worship center with a bowl of water, the stones from last week, the Christ candle and a boat I keep in my office. If I could come up with something that looked like a net, the fish could go there. (We have a long, narrow Communion table, great for elongated imagery such as "the road to" discipleship.)
    The first thing I did after returning from Weight Watchers and errands was pour coffee onto my desk and partly onto my laptop, but it seems to be working. Phew!

  39. okay, this is mildly off topic, but I'm in need of suggestions.

    I just made the chili for the cook-off tonight.

    Now I have to run out and get prizes for best chilis in various categories (veggie, meat, non-traditional, colorful, fun, blah blah blah...) and for bingo.

    What should the prizes be? They have to be fun and inexpensive. And easily available at a dollar store, Target, Walgreens, or some other VERY obvious place. HELP!!!

  40. I am down with bronchitis and won't be preaching. TBTG there are deacons in the parish who can preach! It is also annual meeting sunday. I feel bad both about not going and would feel worse if I didn't go. Meanwhile I will pray for all of you who are preaching.

  41. Songbird - just be yourself. Non-responsive kids are - well- not responsive, so do something that feeds them not somthing that will impress a search committee :)

    I'll preach next sunday -
    First time in a long time -not in our church of course - but elsewhere.
    wondering what message God has for me to give them .... not that I'll hang out here next week - I'll preach Sat night.

  42. Teri - nothing specific, but try the kid's party aisle for stuff and at target the $1 bins at the front of the store.

    Something might spurr an idea anyway.

  43. teri ' as it's near valentine's day - why not things to make nice cards with as prizes -or heart shaped candles etc.

  44. One more thing (for now anyway), Luther Seminary in Minnesota has a new lectionary help site up. You can find it at:

    Don't let the fact that I hung out in seminary with a lot of the guys that are contributors to the website (it's a football thing) throw you. They're smart.

  45. Teri, How about cooking utensils for the chili preparers? You know, ladles and the like. Our Dollar Tree has them. For Bingo, candles are usually good, as are other Dollar store knick-knacks.

  46. I have nothing. Nothing.
    I am approaching epoch sermon procrastination right here on this cold wet morning in the Deep South.

  47. Quick post from church.

    My computer is dead, for the moment. I am trying to work on sermon...but distracted because in 1/2 hour I will be meeting with the board to inform them of my resignation and deal with some critical stuff.

    Then tomorrow will read resignation letter at the end of church.


  48. I described my worship center concept to my 12 year old and she was all for it.
    Not so sure she would go along with playing Bert to my Ernie, though.

  49. Prayers for Multah and Singing Owl...

    ... as for me I took a quick nap- which lasted 3 hours, the sermon is still a work in progress and it is early evening here....

    Pizza first, then back to the keyboard...

    Songbird I wish I could see the Bert/ Ernie sketch!!!

  50. Sally, Teri has it up on her blog, with a link from her comment above.
    Singing Owl, thinking of you.
    Y'all, I'm going out for Swedish Fish. Need anything?

  51. Wedding meeting done (great couple!!), bulletin done and folded, lunch eaten...time to sermonise!

    Prayers for muthah, SO, MP, SB and all others...

  52. (((Singing Owl)))

    ugh, I've got good starts to about three different sermons going here. I need to stop chasing them rabbits down the rabbit trails.

    But, I've got a really delicious egg white and mushroom omelet and some Dunkin Donuts coffee. Help yourselves.

  53. (((SO)))

    I have not finished the sermon, but am far enough along that I think i can finish it after my visit--which I need to leave for right now!!!

    be back later...

  54. Dunkin' Donuts coffee and I are about to get this thing kick-started! I'll be exploring God's disruptive call. And after a quick comment or two on my blog:

    I am ready to get started. Peace and creativity to all you writers today!

  55. Love the children sermon ideas.....

    I'm using the lectionary and need to link it somehow to the start of our Stephen's Ministry ( I'm thinking about being called and then sent out. The disciples were called, taught, and then sent to spread what they'd learned and to care for other people. That's what we'll be doing with our Stephen Ministers. I also have to introduce the ministry to people because it's only been talked about and approved in smaller settings-never to the entire congregation. Anyone who knows of the Stephen's Series have suggestions?!!

  56. Okay, I went out looking for cooking utensils/kitchen stuff with chili peppers, thinking that would be perfect! Alas, it seems to be the wrong season. So I came home with a red candle (for "fieriest chili"), some toy maracas, a kaleidoscope (for "most colorful"), some red hots and atomic fireballs for table decorations, and "winner" medals (party favors). Good times. I think there's more stuff down there too...and also a carton of goldfish to turn into a children's time.
    Now I just have to finish the chili, bag the goldfish, write the prayers of the people, assemble the items for the homeless care packages project, and go to church in time to figure out how to hook the portable projector up to the DVD player....

    I brought home a cheese pizza; if anyone wants a piece you can help yourself!

  57. I'm back with orange netting and two kinds of Swedish fish. Netting and big red fish will be part of the worship center; small fish in net bags will be given to the children. My daughter suggested orange as a color that would "pop" and be visible to more of the congregation than a more rope-ish beige.
    I'm putting on a fresh pot of coffee. Any takers?

  58. ((((Singing Owl))))

    Prayers for Muthah+ too ...

  59. Prayers for the ailing and thanksgivings for the creative, from here; I was all morning at an info session for "The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd" -- if you don't know it, think Montessori Sunday School crossed with Moms'n'Tots, it made my MOUTH WATER. But it didn't write me no sermon... I think I will go with an echo of the prophetic reference to fishers of men...which is not about catching, but about finding the lost and/or the reluctant...not so much netting as "tickling" out of cracks and crevices. Jeremiah 16:16, to be precise. But the children's talk thing with the Swedish Fish or goldfish crackers is totally a winner. Meantime I am listening to "The Barber" from the Met.

  60. What I'm thinking is I will give each child a bag with three or four of the little fish, then ask them to share the fish with others just as P, A, J and J would share the Good News. Or something like that.
    Though I would still love to paste on a unibrow and do Bert...

  61. Childrens message done, I'm going to sketch board and storytell...still working on the sermon- it is getting late!!!

  62. I now have such a craving for Swedish fish....

    and chili

    and goldfish crackers...

    If I could only find our Jenga game I could have a party!

    Love reading all the ideas here today...almost (almost) makes me wish I were preaching...

  63. I'm so wishing I had gone with Matthew instead of I Corinthians. I'm getting nowhere.

  64. Hi all,

    THANK YOU FOR cyber hugs and real prayers. It went okay. Tears and shock, from all--. Oh.Lord.Help. Grown men crying is hard....but really it was okay. Just difficult.

    One more tough meeting and then home to dinner and bed. Sermon is not done. Whew. Sermon Shmermon....gotta get it done!

    I love the Rev Gals and Pals. Thanks again.

  65. Woo I think I am there ish- first draft- trying to combine promoting a new youth project with Jesus message of repentance...

    comments welcome

  66. Done. Don't hate it. Don't love it. I leave for a big fancy party in an hour.

    Pantyhose two days in a row: that's pretty much my idea of hell.

  67. Cheese says, "Pantyhose two days in a row: that's pretty much my idea of hell."

    LOL--I am SO with you on that one.

    Well I have a draft, not great but OK. I desperately need a break, so I'm breaking out the last of Stylist's matzoh ball soup (yes, we both know Passover isn't for a couple of months, but it's so good, why not have it year 'round?). He made a big ol' pot of it and sent some home with me. :-) (RP does happy dance)

    If you're at a good place to break, come have some--there's plenty!

  68. You'll continue in my prayers, SO ...

    Worship service for tomorrow almost done so I'm off to wash dishes, cook dinner [dirty rice out of a box for me and stir fry out of a bag for DH]and listen to Prairie Home Companion for a bit of a break.

    One of the songs I picked I am dedicating to Rainbow Pastor: "the Summons." [wicked grin] It had such special meaning to her last year at our clergy conference ... nyah ha ha ha ha.

  69. Oh, Singing Owl, those are tough meetings! Glad that part is behind you.
    Around here it's getting to be dinner time, and although I was 2/3s done at lunchtime, I've only written one more paragraph. What will it take to get me to finish?
    Meanwhile, who wants lasagna?

  70. St Stoic is singing that song tomorrow, too!

  71. RDQ: We're singing that song tomorrow, too.
    Songbird: I'm with you on Lasagna - I have to run to the grocery store to pick up some mozzarella and ricotta to make some. DH promised he has good wine to go with it. Won't help the sermon, but it may help the stress.

  72. grcgrl

    Stephens ministry is about coming alongside and being with them for the long haul. So in that fishing of people thing, sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes a lot of patience and waiting.

    BTW, for those who occasionally slip back into the language of our youth and say "men" here's a little tongue in cheek humor

  73. Wow. There is a lot going on here...illness...lots of transitions and changes in call...great children's sermons...whoa! I will have to file the goldfish idea away for a time when we have more kids in worship.

    (But that makes me wonder if I should be working on children's sermons that are actually teenagers' sermons, as we have a few of them around...hmm!)

    I haven't done a speck of sermonizing--have been away for a week of continuing ed and am just now thinking about tomorrow. I think I'm focusing on "the kingdom of heaven has come near" in Matthew and something about the "thin places" where God seems very near to us...maybe venturing into a discussion of osmosis or light shining through a thin layer of something.

    Yeah, it needs some work. And I need some dinner. And at some point I have to make gumbo for St. Smaller's annual meeting tomorrow.

  74. I'm back - not too many people at our retreat, but I felt a good spirit among those who were there. The best news is that without many people, we had food left over which means NO COOKING tonight!

  75. RP that soup sounds good....

    althea- thanks for the smile- I am heading for bed now, hoping to allow things to settle until the morning....

  76. I feel ashamed. Ours is out of a box.

  77. No need to, Songbird, I almost got the big box at Sam's, but then decided we would never eat that much. Cooking is just another good way to procrastinate!

  78. Oh my gosh, Iris! I am SO with you on the passage choice.

    I also wish I had not named my sermon 'Super Powers'


  79. (snort, snork)

    Ve-ry funny, RDQ...

    We're using "God of Change and Glory," (because of the "many gifts" aspect, as well as the trusting God aspect), and "You Walk Along Our Shoreline" for obvious reasons.

    The latter is a new one for this congregation, but I'm hoping they can pick it up, because I like it.

  80. Praying for you, Singing Owl, and for Muthah's illness.

  81. We're going to sing "Jesus Call Us" and "O Master Let Me Walk With Thee," old chestnuts for sure, but the closing hymn will be the gorgeous "You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore." I love that one, the whole thing about leaving my small boat and, with Jesus, seeking other seas. Gives me chills.

  82. SO - Holding you in prayer this night and tomorrow...speaking the truth in love...

  83. Please tell me it was not a conversation killer! Where is everyone? Can I get you some tea? Popcorn? Delicious, low-fat Weight Watchers ice cream treats?

  84. It's lovely, Songbird. Your own connection with Zebedee is so vivid. Thank you! :)

    Now, I must go forage for dinner. And then get down to business.

  85. I bet we were eating dinner, Songbird ... no worries.

    RP, we're doing "You Walk Along The Shoreline" also, although it us new for my folks too. I loved the words, and tracked down the tune on the internet. It's pretty singable --I could do it after one hearing, although when I sang it through, the dog started whining.

    "God of Change and Glory" is a good choice --but if I chose to use it, I'd be springing 2 new tunes on my folks, not just 1.

  86. Phew! I was having a hostess nightmare!
    You Walk Along the Shoreline was recommended in Seasons of the Spirit, but I couldn't find it in any of the books we have at church. Is it on the web somewhere?

  87. whew! I was gone for an extended period of time visiting with in-laws and husband for fellowship and care. please pray for them, as one of their daughters has some mental health problems and it is really wearing them down.

    also, prayers for you, Singing Owl and Muthah+ you are in my thoughts.

  88. (((Singing Owl)))

    Sermon done. Not my best ever, but they can't all be home runs, right?

    Is anyone else watching Miss America? I've been watching the TLC show week by week, so the live show tonight is really exciting. Or maybe it's just me. Anyhoo, at least I don't have to put on pantyhose *shudders* (poor cheesehead - two days in a row!)

  89. WS, if you find any of those "super powers," send some my way!

  90. Unfortunately, there are no super powers here.

  91. NOT watching TLC nor the Miss A pageant...but I did see the Miss Teenage America pageant a long time ago.

    Must have been our 15 B-d. Friend took a bunch of us to the pageant for her B-day party (it was in Ft. Worth) and then we went back to her house for the party - filled with such FUN activities as freezing bras and humiliating everyone possible. I.did.not.sleep.that.night....tainted me for beauty pageants for ever....

    Still hope it is fun for those who were not traumatized as teenagers :-)

  92. Popcorn is sounding really good to me right now.

    The old fashioned kind one pops on top of the stove in a pan.

    With melted butter --butter, not margarine-- and salt.

    Want some?

  93. I'll have some of the popcorn thanks.

    Out of curiosity, anyone have a nice one sentence explanation of why four fishermen would drop nets and leave boats to wander off into the countryside because someone they have hardly met said "follow me"?

    THe image I am starting with (from the sermon title I came up with) is moths to a flame and I suddenly am not sure it sounds all that complementary

  94. 20 little net bags of Swedish Fish later, I feel I am ready for the Time for Children. I am not above taking will smama's advice and handing out candy. Each bag has five mini-fish: 2 red, 1 orange, 1 green, 1 yellow. Yes, I have three children, so I understand the reality of the mothers of three who are most of the mothers in our congregation!
    ::taps foot::
    Now, Sue, where is my--um, your--prayer?

  95. Does it really count as 100 when your hostess makes the centenary comment herself?
    Hot chocolate, anyone?

  96. mmmmmmmm,hot chocolate sounds good.

    Is it considered bad form to compare the Christ to dead presidents? Kennedyesque just passed my mind. Or for a Canadian equivalent -- Trudeaumania

  97. OR, if it were three days earlier and I had lots of time and energy, rewriting MAry Did you know as Peter Did YOu Know..?

  98. Gord, I think moth to a flame is very apt, since the scripture begins by talking about light.

    Well, I've got a sermon. It's a bit of a dog- pretty much "Unity's Greatest Hits." But I'll walk that dog!

    Blessings, everyone!

  99. Ok. I'm eating Oreos....but I could go for some of that real popcorn, my favorite kind....let me just finish the cream filling first

    I really hope I remember the swedish fish in net bags for this Sunday three years from now...that or the Goldfish idea...

    I'm about to go to bed. Hope you all have a restful night of sleep and a good, I'm in for a lot of tears, mine, other,...I just know it...sigh.

  100. Friends, I am going to hit the sack. Keep partying and don't mind me! Last one up, get the lights? I'll be back in the morning with a fresh pot of Fair Trade coffee.

  101. I just returned from the chili cook off where I did not win a single award. Sad. But the chilis were all amazing, plus there was Bingo fun and Evan Almighty watching...and lots of the newer people in our congregation came, which is awesome!

    I have 25 bags of goldfish crackers. the plan is similar to songbird's--to tell the story, then talk about how I called them up and they came, and now they're being given something to share just like PJAJ were given something good to share. If I'm feeling ambitious, I might work in the fish thing, but realistically--probably not. I'm not sure it's a good thing to compare the gospel with goldfish crackers, but we work with what we've got....

    Now I'm listening to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! and eating a skinny cow ice cream sandwich. i got a box at Costco so there're plenty to share...enjoy a late night snack!

  102. ok, I'm putting the goldfish in baggies here and then going to bed.

    cinnamon tea, anyone? or how about a glass of wine?

  103. glass of wine for me please, thanks.

    Good job everyone.

  104. Good work everyone. Prayer enroute.

  105. wow more than 100 comments before the night owls even got here!

    I'm using "Lord you have come to the lakeshore" for my sermon. I hope it actually works as well as I think it does.

    The fish ideas for Children's time are great. I may be headed for WallyWorld ...

  106. so are goldfish for children's time liturgical supplies or worship aids?

  107. Vicar of Hogsmeade, I think it would depend on which fund has the most moneys. ;)

    OK everybody, I'm falling asleep so I am off to bed. G'nightall

  108. vicar--as in, which account should they come from? I'm personally taking them from "worship supplies" which, it sounds like, would be a combination of your two accounts....LOL!

  109. Dinner has been procured and eaten...gumbo has been made and is in the Crock Pot for tomorrow...all that's left is, ta-da, the sermon!

    I'm still playing with the idea of thin places, although I want to use that for T-fig as well (and since T-fig is not the easiest thing to preach on, I need to not shoot the wad a week early). Something bridging the "come and see" of last week and the breaking-through of the light that will come next week.

    Sigh. I'm feeling mopey. But I'm glad most everyone else appears to be done.

  110. Oh, and I wasn't watching Miss America while I made the gumbo. No, I was watching Pretty Woman. I forgot how great that movie is!

  111. I don't know if anyone is still around, as it's quite late now, but I just had to stop by and say that I just got home from a conference in Texas, I'm preaching my farewell sermon in the morning, and I have only the barest of outlines for what I'm going to say. How much sleep do you think I'm getting tonight? I'm wagering not a whole lot.

  112. I'm still around, Stacey, trying to get some kind of intro going. Blah.

    Hope it's coming together for you.

  113. I just got back from a fishing trip -- for Goldfish. I'm headed for bed.

  114. Do we have any early birds here yet at the party?

    I finally have a beginning story and an outline. The words are just not coming easily this week. Everything I thought of, I want to save for next week. But I think I finally have something worth talking about.

  115. I'm here, semfem. I sorta had an outline before I went to bed, but I was feeling icky, so bed seemed like a better option. I'll read a little more, and then it will come...I know it will. How're you doing?

  116. Whew. The sermon is printing. And I think/hope it's not half bad. I just wish it had come to birth a little earlier.

    Blessings on all preaching, proclamation, and pondering today.

  117. Kim--thanks for asking--I got an hour or so of dozing at my desk, but at least the sermon's done.

    The holy nap this afternoon (after St. Smaller's annual meeting) will be oh so sweet.

  118. I am taking semfem's torch to fill in the spaces on my outline which I decided NOT to preach from a bit late last night.

    Stacey, hang in there today.

  119. It's snowing here, but just a little. The world looks new and beautiful. May God's blessings accompany all of us this day!
    (And here's a cup of coffee for the travel mug.)

  120. Thank God and Songbird for caffeine!
    Blessings all!

  121. I was feeling creative this morning so I did indeed adapt Mary Did you know?

    NOt sure if I will indeed sing it but check out Peter Did You Know?

  122. I was up early this morning, too, but have to forbid myself from coming to the site if I'm writing on Sunday morning. That's my new rule. I have a problem with distractions and procrastination, so my new rule is that if it's still not completely written by Sunday morning I'm not allowed to come chat with you ladies.

    It wasn't done, so I didn't chat. I'm really trying not to do that anymore, but the last two weeks have not been conducive to that. The kids' Saturday naptimes are when I plan to do a good chunk of writing, but meetings and a funeral have messed that up the last 3 weeks. Yesterday was a big presbytery meeting that is likely to get just a little press in the coming days. To say it took a lot out of me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually would be an understatement. I am confident that the Spirit moved, however, and for that I am grateful!


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