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Saturday, March 15, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Ride On King Jesus Edition

Good morning, preachers and non-preachers. Today we are on the cusp of Holy Week, beginning with Palm/Passion Sunday tomorrow. One way or another, there will be some sort of a parade. Tomorrow ours features costumed children and, as always, a live donkey (our church sign even says so!). While in Denver, we started the procession outside in the parking lot; not so here in the colder climates. In another location, the congregation stayed put; only the choirs processed. What will it be like in your location tomorrow? Will there be a sermon? Dramatic readings? Parades? Choirs? Let us know a little of what it will be like, or where you are still stuck.

While you're here, let us know a little about your Holy Week plans as well. Footwashing? Tenebrae? Stations of the Cross? Drama? Music? Questions?

I have coffee and tea brewing as always. I have muffins and oatmeal, with blueberries, for those who need breakfast. And support and encouragement for those who are feeling stress going into this next week. As a blog friend recently reminded me, God brings Easter, not me.


  1. No one coming? I can't eat it all myself!

  2. I'm here...filling the pulpit tomorrow and am working with the image suggested earlier in the week of the two parades or processionals. It seems to me that both, in different ways, were meant to remind the people who was in authority. I have a long day today; seeing counseling clients until 2pm and then a gala fundraiser tonight. I have my Earl Grey, everything bagel with cream cheese and 45 minutes before my first client.

  3. I'm trying desperately to get interested in my sermon, despite the fact my husband returned in the middle of the night after over a month's absence.
    Wish me luck! At least he's sleeping in...

  4. boy, that's a tough one, Songbird. I think I ate the wrong thing for supper last night. Have about half of a sermon/monologue called "bystander." Have some people to call on the phone. Have to preach it tonight.

  5. I am here this morning trying to shorten my sermon. I lost my voice this week - started some prescriptions yesterday, but I'm not sure I'll have it back tomorrow. If I do, the message will need ot be short!

  6. Coffee's on. Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts (with and without frosting) are by the toaster. Help yourself!

    BLC isn't observing Passion Sunday tomorrow... we are celebrating Palm Sunday. We will do the procession with palms... and once inside... have an New Testament reading and the Holy Monday Gospel lesson (John 12:1-11, Mary anointing Jesus' feet). I'm just not theologically in the place where we observe should observe the entire Passion on the Sunday before Holy Week. I feel like we should save the passion until Good Friday. If you are C&E member... you just miss out on the powerful stuff we do during Holy Week. Maybe one of these days... I'll figure out how Passion Sunday makes sense theologically.

    Also... since we are also going to have 3 baptisms tomorrow (I know baptisms in Lent aren't "right" but it's basically now or wait until summer)... it seems to make sense not to focus on the passion story... and the anointing gifts us with all sorts of images that I can tie to the gift of baptism.

    On Maundy Thursday... we will have a tradition worship service that includes readings, blessings, footwashing, homily, hymnody, and holy communion. At the end of the service... we will strip the altar as Psalm 22 is read.

    On Good Friday... we will do a Tenebrae Service... a service that alternates between readings, responses, and hymns. The readings are the last 7 words (statements) of Christ. After the first reading... the congregation will be invited to come forward to hammer nails into the cross. As the service progresses... the lights will slowly darken... until at the end of the service we are in complete darkness... except for a single light on the cross. When we turn out the last light... I will close the pulpit Bible (slam it shut)... to indicate Jesus' death. We will leave worship in silence.

    That about sums it up. I've got to finish up my sermon... meet with the baptism candidates... and mark up bulletins for all of the assisting members. If I have time... I'll finish up Easter's bulletin (add baptism and affirmation of baptism rites)... because we have 2 more baptisms on Easter.

    OK... I'm tired already.

  7. Songbird... I'm wishing you luck... but not for writing your sermon! :)

  8. diane: are you feeling better?

    songbird: yeehah!

    betsy: better get some caffeine into you for the long day.

    pk: whew! you go girl!

    chilly fingers: boiling hot water with lemon juice & honey.

    me: our kitchen sink died. no water. grrr....

  9. Howdy all!
    I got up at 3:00 a.m. wrote my sermon and am just up from going back to bed...No, really!
    The sermon is done...Yahoo!
    Now on to study group and picking up the palms.

  10. quaker pastor: slap. slap. slap. over achiever! :-)

  11. Hi, I'm not sure what to do with myself today - I've written a couple of meditations to share tomorrow so not having to prepare a sermon.I've posted one at:
    Just got back from annual bunny hunt - real christian festival! and have the luxury of an afternoon and evening off.
    We have a service every night during holy Week and the reflection follows what we imagine Jesus to have been doing each of those last few days (as prescribed by our book of common order). I just love the meditative nature of our hw services.Looking forward to being still!

  12. I am already tired--the past week has been filled with funerals and a trial-- a real one! And now a real one.

    I am trying to bring an Episcopal visualality to a bunch of listening Lutherans. It is going to be interesting.

    I am trying to make the switch from the joy of the Palms procession dramatic with a rather involved procession from the Parish Hall to the sanctuary and then do a dramatic reading for the Gospel with everyone having a part. We will have a silent ending to the service and no coffee hr (gasp!)

    Maundy Thursday we are not doing the Foot Washing. I find it difficult to get upstate NYers to part with their soxs this time of year! But will center on the first Last Supper.

    Good Friday will be an interdenominational service with the Methodists and the Congregationalists.

    Easter, I hope, will be a standard service.

    I have virtual hot cross buns and a half-awake kitty to keep you company.

    Have a holy and full week, friends.

  13. Hello All! I really get to participate in the 11th Hour party this time. What I have is an idea for a sermon- walk my congregation through each of the last days of Jesus so we know what this "Holy Week" thing is. And I have a great book to help me- Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan's, "The Last Week"- but the problem is I'm only on the first chapter- its time to use some of those clever skimming techniques I picked up in seminary! Helpful things: my wonderful and delightfully distracting husband has left the house for the day, I also have fair-trade toffee caramel coffee and english muffins- yum!

  14. sunny: i too am reading that book. and please... pass over that caramel coffee! i have no water with which to make it this morning... whaaaaa

  15. I wrote the beginnings of a reflection/sermon-lite piece for tomorrow. The service is mostly telling the stories and liturgical dance, but I do need to go over what I've written. Several times.

    But first I need to let the dancers into the sanctuary for rehearsal. Back later. Much later.

    WooHoo Songbird!!

  16. Not preaching tomorrow, but helping enact part of the passion Sunday text. Jesus and the three disciples text will be printed in the bulletin and four of us will dance/move to the taize chant "Stay with me" right before the sermon. It's really rough and we're meeting early tomorrow morning to finalize it. The tricky part is the disciples will be "asleep" on the chancel and Jesus will be in prayer during the sermon and then at the end of the service will lead the recessional out of the church.

    I'm really excited about the idea ... but logistically still lots to work out.

  17. I'm reading that book too! Except I only need the first chapter since we are doing Palm Sunday--I can save the rest of the book for Monday.

    I am working on something along the lines of "what parade would you rather be in?"--showing clips from two movies: the triumphal entry scene in Alexander when he wins his first big battle, and the Jesus-enters-Jerusalem scene from Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew. Quite a contrast.

    Of course, that's all speculation because right now I have nothing at all written and the DVD of the Pasolini is at church...and I can't go get it until the memorial service today (which I have no part in, thank goodness) is over b/c I don't want to take a shower yet.

    I'm in charge of Thursday as well--we have a dinner and then we're having what I'm calling "progressive worship" (sort of like a progressive dinner!) where we trade tables for three different encounters with the disciples--a handwashing, a Judas/betrayal one, and communion. Then we go upstairs to the sanctuary, gather around the cross and our candle-extinguishing ritual, and encounter Peter and his denial before experiencing our own denial, blowing out the next-to-last candle, and leaving.

    Good Friday is more high-church this year--the chorales from the St. Matthew Passion, the passion reading, etc. Or something like that.

    I have corn pops to share. I've been wanting them so yesterday I caved and got some at the store, though I certainly don't need them! Help yourself!

  18. wow! lots of work going on here. it makes me tired. I'm a little woozy, but I'll make it I think, if I don't bite off too big a chunk of work.

    hot cup -- no water???

    muthah+... we used to do those dramatic readings with the whole congregation taking part at my stodgy Lutheran church -- or maybe it wasn't so stodgy?

  19. pk, I so agree about the whole Palm/Passion Sunday thing. And your whole program sounds very ambitious and I hope it will touch a lot of hearts.

  20. songbird: ENJOY!
    Hot CUp: No water for coffee, get thee to a star$$$!
    Chilly fingers: Rest those pipes today, and we will all pray for tomorrow!
    I'm trying to gather my thoughts, and not doing a good job of it. Hubbie has the morning service so I must transition in the evening from Palm Sunday into the rest of Holy week. Perhaps the footwashing is the way to do that? Especially after the sermon on Martha and Mary last week.
    I got great news that a friend from Memphis had her baby boy, healthy and wonderful. I also got news that a young man, 16, who was one of my kids at the church I served in Memphis died last week after 3 weeks in ICU following surgery. No one seems to know what happend. My heart is broken. Pray for Scott's parents and his two younger siblings.

  21. i've only stumbled on this blog over the last few weeks. Its brill.Full of wonderful ideas. Teri, I'm really intrigued by the idea of progressive worship - might have to steal that!
    Hope that's OK - you can always boast that you've inspired a Scottish preacher!
    Thanks everyone for sharing.

  22. Footwashing on Thursday (Anglican)
    my favourite preacher - bishop Zewi - on Sunday (methodist church)
    and this Sunday I'll take part in the reading of the passion ... I'm the high priest.

    I love Easter. I won't attend a Good Friday service this year - as the one in English is 70km away- But I will drive there the following night for the Easter vigil in English.

  23. Good morning all. Sort of woozy with some sinus-related issues, making my Palm/Passion Sunday reflection/planning a bit more surreal than usual.

    My usual practice for this Sunday is to have both liturgies and this year will be no different. Gord, Rev Maria, others of you, Borg/Crossan, Daniel Clendenin and even John Edwards ["two americas"] are contributing to my thoughts thus far this year about two parades/two parallel universes for the sermon.

    But it also tempting "just" to create a powerpoint on DVD, utilizing perhaps the Sanctus and the Agnes Dei from the Rutter Requiem as background music, with photos/images/paintings that illustrate that concept.

    But before I go much further, DH and I are driving down to visit with her mom.

  24. WEll the good news is that I have next SUnday well in hand. THat is that the bulletin and teh Power Point (which we only use about 2x a year) is set. AND since a short sermon is called for due to communion and we will be viewing a 3 minute Easter message from the UCCan Moderator the message for next week should be easy.

    Bad news? TOmorrow's sermon consists of a title and a concept. Oh and Friday's service has readings planned but nothing else. ANd I have 4 extra meetings this week...

    For now, off to the church to visit with those prepping for tomorrow's Ham Supper. And no, the church drains are still not working properly. Better but not right.

  25. Okay, I just watched the scene from Alexander where he and his conquering army enters Babylon, and it is even more perfect than I remembered. Huge crowds lining the streets, waving palm branches, no less! Cheering, a huge army tramping ahead and behind Alexander, huge warhorses, weapons and falling from upper floors into the street, and decidedly triumphalistic music.

    Strange, don't you think, given that Alexander was a conqueror, bringing their king back in chains? hmmm. Nonetheless, it will work for me, especially since Roman military uniforms were modeled on that Macedonian army...

  26. I'm not preaching tomorrow (dh is) and still somehow this day feels almost oppressively full. I have a writing project deadline today, am taking the boys to an Open House of one of their preschool friends, and am then taking them to an Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace in Iraq followed by a funeral march to the federal building (in observance of the 5th anniversary of the start of the war).

    Holy Week for us includes Palm/Passion Sunday regular service tomorrow morning, followed by Easter Event and Egg Hunt for kids, and then a Passion Play tomorrow night. We do a shared Maundy Thursday service at another ABC church (dh preaching), a community Good Friday afternoon service (our choir and organist performing, but neither of us preaching, thankfully), and a Tenebrae service at our own place Friday night (dh and I doing meditations).

    The big bummer is that the University Musical Society, along with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, will be performing the St. Matthew Passion on Friday night! Not only will this cut our attendance, but I want to go too!!! In fact, we were given tickets but had to not accept them since we have a service. :(

  27. I have hazlenut coffee and some fruit.

    Gord, I hear ya, brother. A title and a concept--and a few notes but they won't come together.

    I have a wonderful video clip of the triumphal entry, and as it concludes we will sing the chorus "Hosanna." So there will be some joy, but also some sadness as we contemplate what was soon to happen to the joy...and to the Lord.

    This is a hard time, even though essential. When I "unresigned" it did not mean we are out of the woods. Far from it, and now the work of really turning things around begins. We probably only have a few months, financially anyway, so I still have some pointed things I must say, and some of it will be this Sunday.

    Thursday we are having candlelight communion. I have a large wooden cross in the front of the sanctuary, and we will be nailing our "issues" to the cross before communion. We'll also choose just one small step that we are going to take and share it with one other person. Could be touchy. I hope it will be a blessing instead.

    Friday we'll celebrate Good Friday with three UCC's, one UMC, one RC, and one ELCA. :-) We're doing a Tennabrae.

    Sunday, well it's Easter! WOO HOO!

    Sorry for the long post. Time for a shower and then some serious getting down to business with this unruly sermon.

  28. so I have a title and I copied and pasted the text into a word document. I also noted the times and the chapter for the Alexander movie clip.

    That's it so far. and I'm tired again. I wonder if a mid-morning nap would help the inspiration? Maybe by the time I wake up I can safely run over to the church for the other movie....

    And once I have it and have watched the scene several times, noting the cue times, I suppose my excuses will run out....

  29. I've managed to cut 1 1/4 pages off my sermon - I'm not sure if that's good or bad! And, I found a great hot drink on the internet...7-Up, lemon juice, honey, and cloves. Anybody want some?

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Hey--I'm taking those slaps as high 5's...right?
    I'm considering that my little pre-dawn sermon writing experience was my birthday gift from the holy spirit...Yep I'm 49 today. Not planning to have anymore B'days after this one. I REFUSE to turn 50!
    I will let anyone who wants to see my sermon entitled "Faces in the Crowd" for use tomorrow if you email me at This will be my punishment for celebrating being done too early at the preacher's party.
    Oh--I also have a german chocolate B'day cake to share...

  32. Hot Cup Lutheran - sorry to hear about your kitchen sink/water issues. We've had hot water tank troubles all week and it continues today. What a pain.

    Gord - great idea for next week! We cannot set up power point without a LOT of trouble, so I may end up reading the Moderator's Easter message instead.

    Meanwhile, I'm going with Gord's thoughts from earlier this week about two parades happening. It's hard to write a sermon with tools buzzing away in the next room, but I'll do what I can.

  33. ok, I just got done planning Holy Week with the Sr. pastor. now the end of my Monologue...which is based on Matthew, since it's Matthew's year. I'm considering posting it.

    I don't feel so hot. Didn't want coffee this morning. I think I am calling the people I was going to visit and tell them I'm not coming. Just think I should save the energy.

    where's that new hot drink with 7-Up etc??? might be good.

  34. I have lemon meringue pie from the Angel Food network that I'm trying to resist. Anybody want some?

    It's been a long week. I passed my Board of Ordained Ministry inquisition on Tuesday. Thanks for all the prayers.

    I'm cooking pancakes at church tomorrow morning, so that will cut into my sermon prep time and I have to get it done today. But there will be a baptism at one church, and a children's program at the other, so I can probably get away with something a little shorter. Then I have to prepare for Maundy Thursday, no Good Friday, though I might go somewhere else, and three services on Easter. I'm introducing a new liturgy for communion on Easter with lots of singing, so that may take up the bulk of the time, so maybe only one homily for the sunrise service. We'll see.

    I'll be in and out today. When hubby gets home, we hope to go to the Habitat ReStore, and then have a reception this afternoon from 1-3 for a friend-pastor who is leaving our community. I'll check in later.

  35. Good morning! I can still say that for a few more minutes here anyway. I decided to "repurpose" (to steal someone else's brilliant term) a sermon from a couple of year ago this week. I'm in a new call so it's all new to them!

    I've tried this unsuccessfully a few times before. I try, but the tweaking usually takes as much time as a new sermon anyway, and it ends up a different thing than it started.

    I feel that same tendency coming on this week already. This one is called "Blessings and Betrayals" and is from the Mark text from when Jesus was anointed and betrayed while at the house in Bethany.

    The first problem is that when I put the bulletin together I put the totally wrong text reference in for the Scripture reading. I wasn't even thinking and put the Matthew Palm Sunday piece in instead.

    The second problem is all that talk about 2 parades you all shared on Tuesday. That got me thinking about the 2 crowds/mobs of Holy Week, both the crowd on Sunday, and the crowd at the trial/sentencing. Hmmm....

    I think my basic theme can stay - - about how it is easy for us to praise Jesus in one minute and turn our backs on him in the next. I think the two parades/crowds fit even better since with Mark it's two different people (although that fits with communities of faith instead of just individuals, but I didn't take it that way the first time), but with the parades people are a part of the blessing in one and the betraying in the other.

    So, I think I'll be reworking my prior sermon a GREAT DEAL later tonight, but I'm not worrying about that right now. I'll spend the day with the fam and play with the sermon later. If I do a major re-write, fine, if that gets too stressfuly at least I have one in the bag to rely on.

    See you all later!

  36. good morning all! I am inaugurating my new RevGal mug this morning, pass me some of that cyber-java!!!
    I think I'm going to go with "so how has your Lent been?" and talk about taking stock, recognizing ourselves, giving thanks to God for his care of us while we're flailing about unequal to the events in which we find ourselves...maybe use Evelyn Underhill as posted for today on inward/outward? I have a hunch this congregation needs a little loving-up tomorrow. "Licking," maybe!

  37. I am such a geek wannabe! Maybe a journeywoman geek, not quite yet a master geek?

    I just discovered I have the capability to record myself reading the texts for tomorrow, and to paste appropriate images into a presentation, which I can then burn to dvd.

    This may be a veeeerrrry dangerous techy discovery ...

  38. water back. yahoo.

    URGENT - please pray for a young man named Gabe. God will know the details...

  39. HC-I'm praying.
    I'm also praying for my sermon. I'm working with the title "Who Is This Man, Anyway?" and thinking about mistaken identity--how so many got only a small glimpse of who Jesus was during his ministry. Even as the crowds shouted "Hosanna", they had Solomon on the brain, and prophecies that were being fulfilled in ways they didn't understand, and they wanted both more and less than Jesus was/is. This is the same crowd, basically, that will go from "Hosanna" today to "Crucify" on Friday. While I don't want to totally ignore the Passion to come, this week's is in every sense a Festal Sunday--I want to do honor to that, even as I know that there's so much more to who Jesus is than the preconceptions of the Palm Sunday crowd.
    Huh...I'm getting inspired. I'm off to write a bit. I'll check in later.

  40. ok, I'm done with my monologue, "bystander." though I'm not feeling so well right now.

    I'm going home to take a nap. I may try to post it later.

  41. I am motivation-less. It's almost 2pm and I have nothing so far. That can't be good....

  42. Hi -- I think I'm ready for tomorrow -- palm crosses and fresh palm branches in place, red paraments out, sermon of a sort written. I outlined my week on the Friday Fiveof my blog.
    And I am drinking Girl Guide hot chocolate out of my "Does this pulpit..." mug! Happiness!

  43. I still have lots of sermon to write, but I posted a piece that I am going to use at the end of the service. We are not doing Passion Sunday at the place where I am the 5 week supply pastor. I was given instructions about keeping it bright and happy. I appreciate the co-chair of Worship and Music's enthusiasm for Palm Sunday, but I also wanted to at least point to the Passion Narrative.

    My piece "From Palms to Passion" is at

  44. I've got my sermon out here. I cut quite a bit of it to accommodate my voice troubles. I've also done an "edition" to be shared by two readers if I still can't talk tomorrow. Oh, I hope I can. Being voiceless is frustrating. Being voiceless AND being a preacher is REALLY frustrating!

  45. There is a third parade going on here...the St. Patrick's Day Parade is happening tomorrow! (Actually there are two of them as well.)

    We're almost all set for tomorrow's Palm/Passion Sunday...we will do a palm piece, a Last Supper piece, and a passion piece. I don't mind taking this day to look forward in the week. Still need to write a brief meditation wrapping up our "tree of life" theme for Lent. St. Smaller will process from the front door. St. Larger will process from fellowship hall to sanctuary--they had their annual cleaning party today to get things ready.

    Maundy Thursday is my favorite day of the liturgical year. We'll be doing anointing in addition to the other footwashing, though.

    Good Friday, it's a tenebrae service with readings, reproaches, hymns, and psalms. As will smama said last year (I think it was her), it's Lessons and Carols in need of Prozac.

    And then it's Easter and then I fly away for ten days! Whee!

  46. Oh help sistren and brethren. After being down most of the week with nssty flu, and today's Sturm und Drang of evicting (now-Ex) Roomie, and the subsequent clean-up (don't ask), and the ongoing distraction of a certain West Coaster, I have some notes and an idea and that's it. Plus two events tonight I really should attend, and I have to leave in 2 hours.. Oh and I'm on the church's laptop, as my faithful Lymond had to get his wireless card replaced and is somewhere in the wilds of ON.
    My thoughts so far--the contrast between Palm Sunday and Good Friday; what makes us change our minds? We flip-flop all the time from one opinion to another--how can we keep steady in what we believe, not changing to fit what is safe or convenient at the moment? That's where I'm headed at any rate.
    I'm thinking of a guided meditation. Is that a cop-out?

  47. The Palm Sunday sermon is done. The choir is singing the "Easter cantata" on Palm Sunday (nevermind the theology, we're having an Easter egg hunt tomorrow, too ...) for the late service only so I reworked an old Palm Sunday sermon for the early service (that might have 5 in attendance). That is the only reason it is done this early.

    Now on to Maundy Thurs, wedding homily on Sat and Easter sunrise as well as the "main" Easter one.

    Meanwhile I'll also be writing 2 dissertation evaluations because I want them done before the continuing education event that is taking place in international waters.

  48. Hello people I love to hang out with on Saturday nights!
    I'm not preaching tomorrow - thank the Lord - I've been feeling ill all week and have very little voice now! I am doing the children's (brief!) message which will mainly be a palm procession after blessing the palms - any thoughts on would good thought to share with the younger ones relating to this?
    My Reader has kindly agreed to lead the 1st half of the service for more voice-saving, so hopefully all will be ok.

    On a completely different note - could I ask what kind of size congregations you work with? I've gone from big to big to medium to small and was just wondering!

    Oh, and I have tea, chocolate orange and lemsip on offer!

  49. That should be 'any thoughts on one good thought' - not 'would good thought' by the way! My brain is pickled!

  50. Sorry about the vocal troubles chilly fingers! That's rough...

  51. (((rainbow pastor)))

    No, a guided meditation is not a cop out. It sounds like a perfect idea - good for finding the inner still point where we can feel God enfolding us in her arms.

  52. uh okay... gonna whine. gotta. here we go:
    #1 damn kitchen sink
    #2 emergency pastoral thing
    #3 another emergency
    and *drumroll* the sermon is 2/3 done and is going friggin' nowhere fast. it tanks. i'm zapped. no mojo. this is what happens when *ack* i have to have instant coffee... *spit*

    maybe i should post what i got and somebody could write the conclusion for me?

  53. hot cup, here's a conclusion: yesterday I threatened to make the Sportsqueen preach (she's 13, 14 in April). she said, "No problem. Jesus loves you. Go to lunch."

    seriously, you put it up, I'll work on a conclusion. or email it to me

    thereverendmom at gmail dot com (yes there are a lot of variations of that theme around here)

  54. (((rainbow pastor)))
    I feel your pain. I'm home sick right now. Sr pastor is preaching my monologue at 5:00. I feel awful!

    Hope I am well enough to preach it tomorrow.

  55. okay, so still no words written.

    Wondering if I should go to Target/Michaels to get the Youth Group supplies, drop them off at church and come home with the other movie I need, and then SERIOUSLY write? Or try to write now and do the shopping later? I'm not sure.

  56. sermon/monologue is here

    it needs help. I hope not too much. because I need to go back to bed now.

  57. I, thanks be to God, have no starring or supporting roles in church tomorrow -- had a long evening yesterday (see my blog ). Today we got up after 9:00, and all we could manage was a very late lunch at a great taco stand in a neighboring city (Tony's Tacos in Standish, for any reading Michiganians). Here is a plate of steaming, authentico chalupas -- filled with spicy pork and surrounded by wonderful corn goodness -- and some pico de gallo for those of you still laboring in the vineyard, so to speak.

  58. Okay, am having some serious trouble over here trying to get inspired. I have exactly ZERO words written on my sermon. I love Diane's monologue and am thinking about doing one also, but I just did a monologue a few weeks ago featuring the Samaritan woman at the well. Is it too soon to do another??

  59. We've been focusing this lent on our "journey" out of the desert, the wilderness to towards God. So I think I'm gonna take this Sunday to review the 5 weeks -a short reminder of the scripture/theme for the week and then talk about where that leaves us as we start Holy Week.....

    That's my idea....but I've got nothing done!

    Blessings on all of you who were sick...I was sick last Sunday and my husband ending up having to preach for me (luckily he's good...and handy since he lives with me!) becasue I couldn't even leave the bed.

  60. WEll supper is done. THe sermon, well I know what I think I want to say...

    I keep coming to the question of whether our re-enactments of PAlm Sunday really capture the actual event. Was it really the big show the Gospels suggest? OR maybe a few people on a roadside, hardly noticed by the rest of the town?

    A couple years ago I mused about Mob Politics and the two mobs in Holy Week. I came down on the side of asking were they really the same crowds? Or were they two different groups, neither of which was an exceptionally large percentage of the population...

  61. I have about 20% of a sermon and a fever. I've had 2 naps and light meals and I pretty much HAVE to be there tomorrow, as I was away last weekend--they worry, God bless 'em.
    And I'm beginning to regret having given up coffee for Lent--HotCup warned me, but I didn't listen.
    Prayers for Rainbow and the other sick...we'll get through this.

  62. Hello, everyone! I've had a really nice day with my husband and the two kids who are home and the dogs, as well.
    I have exercised and grocery-shopped.
    I've eaten nutritiously.
    I have not finished my sermon.
    Tomorrow is my second-to-last Sunday at Main Street Church; they are giving us a party after the service. Somehow I must find both inspiration and drive and finish this up. I have an outline built around the framework of the hymn "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." I even have a beginning and an ending. I just need to push through and write the darn thing.
    Maybe a Diet Coke would help...

  63. Gosh, Here in the SW it is early eveining. I have returned from a day participating in a worship service at a 300 year old mission church, followed by a fabulous lunch, a walk through an artists community, and a deep tissue body massage. Now I have to take a look at the Palm Sunday sermon I wrote three weeks ago before the BIG MOVE. I did look at it briefly a few days ago, but now that I will be preaching it in a few hours I best look at it again.

    In the sermon I am talking about sharing family stories as a way to share a bit about me, the new priest here. I am connecting the idea of sharing stories with the reality of the Christian story we will hear this week - another family story. I conclude by encouraging people to share their stories with as we build this family of faith in new ways.

    It will be good to be back in the pulpit, even if it is a new one for me.

  64. Is there anything that can't be helped by a Diet Coke?

    So sorry that there are so many ailing preachers out there. I am three quarters done with my narrative for tomorrow. Just having a hard time finding the end.

    And now I want chalupas! Yummy.

  65. ah i've eaten cruddily most of the day and that coupled with high-stress, is not a good combo for the "whip out a smashing good starter to holy week" sermon aura that i crave.

    perhaps the best i can do is make sense; be short; smile pretty?

  66. Ok, for the first time in a long while I posted my sermon a story of faith here...

    comments are most welcome.

  67. I'm short and smile pretty *every* week!


    You mean the sermon, don't you?


  68. Okay, shopping for youth group done, stuff dropped off at church...forgot to pick up second movie from my box, turned around and went back to get fast forwarding in an attempt to find the scene I want so I can watch it for inspiration and also to note the cue time.

    Words of sermon--NONE.

    Dinner....I'm having mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner, I've decided (love the vegetarian brown gravy!). Potatoes are boiling away on the stove.

    guess I should get to work....

  69. I just nodded off over my laptop, and when my head jerked up I remembered how little I slept last night. I'm going to do what I never do and finish in the morning.
    Hope you all rest well and preach well!

  70. RP, my thots are similar. My last drop-in I said I was about to work on the sermon. HA! I went over to the church to meet the AV guy to make sure we were set for the video and some other stuff. The VHS snarled in the machine...ACK! So there went an integral part of the service. I called all over the place trying to find it on DVD. No one had it, but one store clerk said cheerily, "Oh, we had a special on that for $5 for the set, so we started with a bunch but sold out." Well, after a fruitless, frustrating time I am back home, still sermonless and now video clip-less as well.

    So now I have to re work things a bit. I think it is going to be a long night.

  71. OK... the weather has me a little frayed around the edges. In order to compensate... I raided the kids Easter Baskets... and am offering marshmallow bunnies covered in chocolate. Lots of bunnies... maybe I'll snag some of the Baby Ruths... and Butterfingers too. I've got plenty to share.

    Sermon's gonna be done soon... because I need sleep. Hope y'all are done... and asleep!

  72. Thank you thank you for all the hugs and blessings and good wishes. Let me just say this was truly a week from Hades...hope next week is better but not sure that will happen.
    Well, I've been to the one event and decided to forego the other...Ex-Roomie was up all night packing and made sure I was too...on top of this flu stuff, I'm exhausted.
    Like SB, I'm packing it in for the night--and have decided on a meditation, which is about 1/3 done.
    Blesings to you all!

  73. I made a lemon chess pie yesterday for Pi Day. Help yourself to a piece!

    I've puttered and done a few other things for tomorrow, then took a much-needed nap, and now I finally think I know what I'm going to say in my tree meditation. Just had to get back in the creative sermonizing groove (and out of the barely-awake but doing things automatically and frantically groove).

    So much sickness all around here! Prayers for all ailing preachers. And all preachers suddenly missing their visual aids--not good.

  74. Hi All!
    I'm happy to see some late nighters out here as well!! For a while there I thought I was the only one struggling with what to preach on this mix of a day...

    I'm looking at Peter's denial (my church is St. Peter's, so it's always fun to invoke our Patron Saint!) and, using an idea from an early comment on a different Revgalblogpals thread, I'm playing with the idea of the religious leaders taunting Jesus to come down, but that he can't precisely because he is the true Messiah.

    I've got eggplant that Revdrmom gave me the recipe for--it's delicious--have some!!

  75. PS: That should be eggplant parm--eggplant is even better when its smothered in sauce and cheese!!

  76. I'm sorry to have been absent. My senior pastor just called and told me to stay home tomorrow. He said my monologue went over great at the Saturday service. I told him about a young person getting first communion tomorrow ...

    I'm feeling a little better but kind of dizzy, stomach still hurts off and on.

    prayers for you all... I'll try to check in again but can't promise anything.

    I really thought I was better.

  77. I'm back after a horrible interview for the local weekly paper. I'm so upset about it I can barely think about anything else. He told me it would be about "explaining Easter, the meaning of the resurrection, that sort of thing". Well, it was, sort of. I was already stressed enough about figuring out how to put the resurrection and Easter into a newspaper interview, but I thought of a few stories I could tell that had images of resurrection hope in them from my life, times when I really "got" Easter. I did a little reading of some of the resurrection section of the RevGalBookPals Lent selection to get some insights from the "masters". I was feeling OK. He told me when he sat down that what he really wanted to talk about was what message Easter and the resurrection has for our country this day.

    I KNOW I should be able to answer that. I KNOW I should, but I was just floored by the question and bumbled my way through a 90 minute interview. I just wanted to cry. I didn't want to be trite, and I didn't want to be too esoteric, but I also didn't want to go into politics. I wanted to answer with specifics, but I didn't want it to sound like I have all the answers (because I don't!). He kept trying to take it to the oppression of consumerism, materialism, or greed, but frankly I just wasn't there this time. It really pushed me on questions that I have in my own faith, so I didn't know how to participate in the interview. I was giving him the answer that I don't know, but I didn't mean it to move on to another question. I meant it as my answer to print - - I don't know some of these things, and I'm OK with not knowing. I know that God knows and there are things for me to learn someday, sometime, when God chooses to teach me. I spoke a lot about hope and the promise for the future, and Christ as the "first fruits". I borrowed C. S. Lewis' image about the battle being won, but not yet the whole war. I don't know. The whole thing just STUNK. I don't think I made much sense and I have no idea how it came off. I'm so upset about it.

    Meanwhile, I just have my sermon tweaking to do. I really want to go with my version of the 2 parades (Palm Sunday and Good Friday), but I also just want to be done. I think I'll save that sermon for another year, and just tweak my older one about Jesus' anointing and betrayal by Judas. Fix that up and chill out tonight. Call it done.

    Chelley - - I'm in week about 10 of my new call to a church of approx. 220. On staff it's me, an almost fulltime CE director (although she's called D of Christian Programs with the intention of including her in more than just education), a choir director, a part-time director of worship and arts (organist/keyboardist who also does the leading of alternative worship services on Wednesday nights), and a part-time secretary.

    My first call was as the associate pastor in a congregation of 650 (really more like 450 if they were honest, and that leaves some on the roles who are really inactive). There was all sorts of too much staff there. My position was eliminated when I came to my present call.

  78. Sorry I'm the queen of way-too-long posts today. Really. Sorry.

  79. she rev, if it takes that much space to say what you need to say, that's just fine. I'm not the queen of the RevGalBlogPals but I don't think you need to apologize. I read it all. I'm sorry the interview didn't go as smoothly as you wanted it to.

  80. She-rev, I know that feeling of not having a good interview with the paper! It happens to me...oh, about every 2 months or so (not a lot happens around here...). I always feel like a bumbling idiot when I talk to reporters. It usually comes out okay on paper. Usually.

    (a stunning example of that NOT happening was in the Presbyterian Outlook near the beginning of Lent...oh my.)

    I have about half a sermon written. It doesn't go anywhere so far, so that's probably not good.

    But the mashed potatoes and vegetarian brown gravy were good! (and I popped an Amy's Kitchen vegetable pot pie into my dinner too so it wouldn't be quite as unbalance...)

    Okay, back to the writing. I've gotten up to the first video clip and now I'm moving through to "that's not what Jesus is about" so I can show the second. good times. Singing Owl-oh no! Thanks for the reminder that I should write the sermon to stand alone if necessary...

  81. Well I'm about six sentences from done so I think I will finish and print in the morning.

    Hope the ailing are better in the morning. Praying the souls who are weary get some strength for the busy weak to come.

    And as for newspaper reporters, they are a wiley lot!

    Good sleep and good tomorrow, one and all!

  82. (((sherev)))
    don't worry about it.
    I'm kind of depressed.
    it's the first time I've ever missed church.
    I just had jello.
    I'm kind of depressed.
    I'll leave the light on for anyone who still needs to check in.
    but I guess I'm going to bed.

  83. We have the passion narrative with assigned reading parts tomorrow. The congregation will be shouting "crucify him!" I'll be in the "family service" and will preach a homily for the children...but I'm struggling with what to say after the passion..."Well, boys and girls: it is very sad what happened to Jesus..." I've thought about focusing on the ride into Jerusalem, but not addressing the crucifixion feels like a total cop out. The good news is that I now have my Good Friday sermon written for the grown ups, but I still don't know if I've got something for the kids tomorrow.

    I do remember watching a black and white movie of the life of Jesus in the 1970s at my parish when I was a child. I was so upset by the crucifixion scene, I hid under a table and sobbed. My best friend's mother came to me and asked me if I was alright. I said of course I was not! "Why did they kill Jesus? why! why! why?!" She didn't have an answer for me.

    I'm glad that she didn't have an answer, because that experience birthed a life long quest to understand the cross. Insight, not answers, seems to be all that I can grasp. (And a heartfelt thank you to Jurgen Moltmann is appropriate here)

    So, I think I will let my childhood experience inform me...

  84. Hi, Diane. Hope you sleep well, and don't interrupt your rest too much to check on the rest of us. I'm about 1/2 done, with a series of answers to the question, "Who Is This Man, Anyway?" It's starting to feel like something I've done before, but I'm ignoring the's too late to turn back now!
    Grace and peace to all who are still working, and even to those who finished early! :)

  85. In the words of Jesus, "it is finished." I'm going to bed! The rest of you get some sleep too!

  86. am I the last one here with no sermon? Oh my...I might be depressed too.

    And diane--jello? oh dear. things are bad. prayers for you to feel better!

  87. I'm not preaching tomorrow - decided to take Fred Craddock's advice about letting the text speak. We will be doing some Taize music during the reading and a litany of the passion.

    Instead of writing I spent the day at the Race for the Cure walking, or rather Limping for Laurie. I posted some photos of walkers and survivors.

    Blessings on all who preach and listen tomorrow

  88. Oh I'm still working/partying, although I am fading pretty fast. Will be most of the day tomorrow also.

    Healing and sweet dreams to those who have hit the hay.

  89. Teri--no, I have a bunch of random notes but no sermon/meditation yet, so you are not alone. Here we go!

    She-Rev--*hugs* I'm sure it will turn out all right...who has Easter all sewed up and summarized neatly, anyways? And really, if you ask me, the reporter should have given you a better clue about what he was going to ask you.

  90. rev gen, I wonder if it was the Pasolini film that you watched? It's black and white and in Italian (though there are versions dubbed in English). All the actors and extras are Italian peasants and only uses text from Matthew--there's no extraneous speech at all. It's a surprisingly poignant film (says the girl who's using it in her sermon tomorrow, hoping it will fill the purpose she has for it)...

  91. Woo hoo! I tweaked and I'm done!!! Yipee!!!! It wasn't hard to turn my Mark 14:1-14 sermon into a Matthew 26:1-16 one. I'll save the parades/crowds idea for another year. I hope to have plenty in my lifetime. When I re-read this one I remembered that I think it was pretty darn good. I couldn't pass up preaching it again and being done at 10:08 p.m.!! Woo hoo!!

    Sorry for those still writing. That wasn't supposed to sound like gloating, just real joy at my completion because I'm NEVER done. I am stopping to say a prayer for all still writing or planning to write in the morning. I know what it's like. I'll be back there next week I'm sure!

  92. (((((Rainbow Pastor, SheRev and Diane)))))

    And all!

    Man, what a day. I'm still so disaapointed about the video clip. it fit perfectly between a reading and a song, and I had to revise the reading. And add the scripture in the service to be read instead of watched....argh! But I do have most of my sermon. It's titled "Whatever Happened to the Celebration?" and ponders the events between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. I ask what happened to Peter, Judas, Pilate, the religious leaders, the crowd...and make the point (I hope) that we all struggle with the same things. What choices will we make so that remain faithful? Etc. etc. etc.

    I am off to do a badly needed load of laundry and then off to bed.

    DH gets home around 1 a.m. I'll probably wake up when he gets here and then I'll think about tomorrow if I'm not careful! :-)

    Prayers for all, for tomorrow and for the whole week!

  93. I need one more sentence. One more. Where is it? Sentence? Hello? Are you out there? Please float down to me. Now. Thanks.

  94. Almost done. Teri, if you still need your sentence, I'll trade you for one for my sermon. It's so close, but not quite there...

  95. Okay, I have something, finally. It's here.

    Feedback welcome, even at this late hour, if anyone's up. I plan to revise in the morning...very early in the morning!

  96. We have a sermon!
    Deep sighs of relief.
    I'm off to read teri's. And then sleep.

  97. Well, thanks to Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and Wikipedia's entry on madrona/arbutus trees, I'm done with this meditation!

    Just got to finish the council report and print out a few readings, and I'm set. Whew!

    Good luck to all still working, and blessings on all preaching, pondering and proclamation tomorrow.

  98. I still like mine this morning--a good sign. Prayers for all today.

  99. I'm with Anne on the good sign that I don't hate the sermon this morning....thank goodness!

    But can I just say: I can't wait for the end of today (which comes for me around 6.30 tonight). oy!

  100. Wonder if I'll be the 100th post?!
    Stuff for this morning done--getting ready for this afternoon's peace vigil.
    Blessings Ya'll!


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