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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Live! From the Liminal: It's the 11th Hour Preacher Party!!

A blessed Holy Saturday to you, Preachers!

We're in the middle today. He is still in the tomb, but at churches everywhere, preparations are underway for tomorrow. If you're like me, writing the Easter sermon before Good Friday is nearly impossible. If you're not like me, and yours was written six weeks ago, we salute you! Go dye some eggs and check in with us later when we've got some words on the page!

Where are you headed today? Great Vigil? Supermarket in search of Peeps? Walking with Mary in the garden? Or struggling with Matthew's sparer text? Secretly putting together an Easter basket or waxing nostalgic over the days when someone gave you chocolate, instead?

Have any fabulous suggestions for the Children's Message? I'll bet many of us could use help in that area.

I'm headed out to the bakery and the special Italian grocery store, but I'll be back soon. Meanwhile, there are orange scones and there is good coffee, and since the half-and-half is virtual, don't use the measuring cup. Take what you need!


  1. I could definitely use a good children's story! Also--a bit more sleep; and to stowaway on that ship for the big event.
    Not much to each here--some high powered caffeine though, and I'm headed to the grocery. Anybody need anything?

  2. Hi, Quaker Pastor!
    Last year I filled little plastic eggs with jelly beans to give the children, but in the basket there was also an empty egg. We talked about expectations and surprises. I've done this one at two churches, too bad I can't repeat it!

  3. no children's message on Easter (don't ask why). I'm not preaching, but doing a short meditation at our vigil tonight.

    be back later!

  4. I've been up since about five, puttering and now sitting down to it.

    We got about a foot of snow yesterday, so I am expecting a smaller than usual crowd to show tomorrow.

    For some reason, I chose a long time ago to preach the Matthew lection (even though the rest of the world is probably doing John. My title: He Is Not Here. It's about the places we put God and expect God to stay until we need Her. There will also be a little good natured (gentle) ribbing of people who come to church twice a year to get their Jesus on.

  5. Blessed Holy Saturday, y'all. Like cheesehead, we got a big snow dump last night (not a whole foot, thankfully), which seriously hampered our Tenebrae attendance and may affect Easter as well (just saw the forecast calls for more snow tomorrow). Think I'll wear the sleeveless Easter dress and short-sleeved shrug I made? [probably - because I am just that stubborn and ridiculous]

    Anyway, I'm preaching Matthew, loosely, and the title is "New World." I may got a whole different direction than I anticipated and discussed in Tuesday Lectionary Leanings. On Thursday night, after our Maundy Thursday service, I got the sad news from home that my 24 y.o. cousin had been killed in an explosion. [he was tinkering with some junk his deceased father - a sometimes junk dealer - had stored in my aunt and uncle's barn; something he was tinkering with exploded, we think possibly an ejector seat from a fighter plane]

    It is a horrific thing and has been kind of devastating. So, mentally and emotionally I am in a completely different starting place for the sermon. Am reading to get going on it soon....

  6. I have a bunch of thoughts and notes, had some good thoughts going on Tuesday that I never got written down and am now trying to recapture.

    But no appointments during the day, nothing to do but write the sermon and be supportive to a friend whose in the midst of a breakup...

    I have nowt to offer...guess I need to go to the store, too.

  7. Hey, cheesehead, that's my title, too!
    And so far, my whole sermon.
    I just discovered the box of hot cross buns I bought was a box of something else, so I guess I'm headed back to the bakery. Italian grocery shop trip accomplished, however, so I am most of the way finished with getting the ingredients for our meal.

  8. Prayers to you earthchick!

    I have some seriously strong coffee - -the local Starbucks manager gave me a sample of a new blend they have (it's italian) to try at home (I may be spending too much time in there...), so I brewed it today rather than my usual fair trade. It's very very strong, but pretty good. if you would prefer fair trade, help yourself as well. I have no food, and will get some when I go to the store today.

    Last year I took a egg and blew out the insides and rinsed it out. Make sure it;s dry and then take it to church and get a willing grown up volunteer who does not know what is going on. We talked about what should be inside an egg -- using words like slimy and sticky and gooy and then I broke the egg over the head of my volunteer (to much gasping!). Of course, it was empty, and of course they stopped listening after that when I talked about the surprise of going to the tomb and expecting to find Jesus but finding it empty instead. But it is one they will remember. Anyone have one to trade me for?

    Errands call... for vigil tonight we are drawing in chalk on the side of the church -- "draw the resurrection or Easter". Pray for no rain (or we move inside -- much less dramatic) and good sports!

  9. I've got a bit of housecleaning to do this morning, and then I'm off to pick up my mother at the train station. She's playing piano for us tomorrow. My title this year is "Out of the Garden." I have some cinnamon coffee if you're interested.

  10. My favorite children's sermon involved teaching the kids how to say Hallelujah in sign language. I don't know if I can explain it on paper.

    You make an "H" with both hands. Pointer and Middleman sticking out, other fingers folded in. You hold them out away from you and twirl them in a circle away from your body and then you clap once. It was a part of unburying the Alleluia. Then we used the standard Easter greetings. "The Lord is risen." "He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!"

    I'm not preaching tomorrow. First Sunday back to my home church in eight weeks after preaching and working on the road.

    I hope you all have a blessed day. I have to go buy a ham now!

  11. Earthchick you are in my prayers this morning.

  12. Oh Earthchick, I'm so very sorry. You and your family are in my prayers.

    I'm on my way to pick up some helium filled balloons for children's story tomorrow. I'll be talking about surprises while the HUGE box (which we decorated at the beginning of Lent) sits in front of me.

    The first Sunday in Lent I handed out brightly coloured pieces of paper to everyone in the congregation. The papers had Hallelujah written on them. The children collected them up during story time. We all said one last hallelujah and shut the box.

    Of course, a few children asked why we needed such a big box.

    Balloons will emerge with the hallelujahs tomorrow.

    Now, if I had a sermon. I was not in any space this week to even start it - so I'll have to get it done this afternoon.

    I'll be back - assuming that the helium balloons don't lift me up a la Mary Poppins while I'm walking them over to the church.

  13. SP is, of course, preaching--though he did try to pawn it off on my several times. I declined. :-)

    My potential children's time has gone through several permutations. I think the one I am going to go with is something like this:
    have a plain white (hardboiled) egg and also a colored egg which had Alleluia written on it in white crayon before dying.
    Hold up the white egg and talk about how in the early days of the church people would give each other eggs as a symbol of encouragement and to identify themselves as Christians, and sometimes the eggs would have secret messages. Wonder how they could put a secret message on an egg? Hold up the colored egg and say "we still do this!" and then talk about how Alleluia is a word we use to celebrate that Jesus is alive, not dead anymore. Have them practice saying Alleluia really loudly because we don't need to be secret. Then I'll give each one a chocolate egg or something.

    The original plan involved handing out a dyed egg with Alleluia written on it to every child at the end--but the time involved (both for me in the dying and during the service if there are lots of kids) plus the mess potential made me change my mind. Second plan involved having three white eggs with alleluia already written on them (one for each service) and a cup of dye so I could reveal the secret message during the children's time. I still like that but am concerned about potential for spillage or other mess. So this is the third plan...if you have more time or fewer kids, perhaps you can use one of the earlier plans!

    I have lots of Tetley's British Blend tea to share this morning...and also 10 inches of snow with more on the way. I'm SO ready and willing to share the snow! please, come and take it...

  14. I am at home with The Boy and swirling flurries outside. The sermon is in my head and the children's sermon is I think up there somewhere too.

    Wish I wasn't so dadgum tired. Virtual half and half will have to do as I am out of the real stuff.

    earthchick, prayers for you and your family.

  15. I actually did write my sermon about 5 weeks ago...all in an effort to be prepared and live through the move...

    But, that sermon will not be preached. I re-read it yesterday, after our Good Friday service. No. It is not the sermon I will preach tomorrow.

    I did pull up my Easter sermon fromm last year. I am re-writing that one. It will do fine, once it has been fixed. - oh, and using the John text - Matthew will be used tonight.

    Tonight. The Great Vigil. I will not preach, an assisting priest is. I will Preside. Thus far Holy Week has been pretty awesome.

    Prayers for all.

  16. earthchick - prayers for you & yours...

    the sermon is about thread. i know it sounds bizzare.

    still in robe & slippers with coffee & cranberry juice. gotta go write.

  17. sorry about your cousin, prayers for your family.

  18. Ok, I am not doing the sermon this week- but I do have a funeral today. Makes me feel like I am truly experiencing Saturday of Holy Week- and it's not much fun here to tell you the truth.

    I am also doing the children's sermon tomorrow and while I'm usually more creative than this, I thought this one on "Measuring God's Love" was pretty cute. I'm going to use parts of it. Find it here:

    I hope this helps one of you sisters today! Wishing you lots of good sermon writing mojo!

    Earthchick- my prayers are with you and your family.

  19. Earthchick, my prayers for you and your family.

    Thanks to PS' comments on Tuesday I looked up Easter symbols and was delighted to find butterflies among them. Our "still doing a new thing" symbol is a butterfly. So butterflies will join the Easter lillies as sanctuary decoration. At least I'm not allergic to butterflies. MUCH allergy medication is required on Easter. :-(

    If I had children I'd be talking about butterflies. Since I don't I'll be giving our one child the energizer bunny ears I got at the breast cancer walk.

    I'm using Matthew and all these ideas keep coming. I do need to settle on one.

    Anyone who wants to escape the snow is welcome to bring her (or his) laptop to my patio, where the air smells like spring, the sun is peeping up and the temp is mild. You will have to stop now and then to pet my bunny, Mr. Whiskers. He's pretty insistent about being loved.

  20. Prayers for you Earthchick --that's terrible news to hear.

    BTW this Texas woman thinks that a white Easter is just plain wrong, just waaaay too oxymoronic for my taste. But yet, we have more of the @#$%*(! white stuff in our forecast for tomorrow too.

    Enough already!!!

  21. I am one who can't write the Easter sermon till Good Friday is past.

    I have a miserable cold, which seems to be my state for most of this miserable winter....which just refuses to let go...more snow outside.

    I'm finishing up a cup of coffee, getting ready to head to the store for some flowers to augment the lilies. I also have a meeting later with our vision team.


    Not a clue. :-(

  22. I have written one sermon, which has an all-age (I hope) dimension for the all-age service at my church. Before that I'll preach it straight at the other church. I'm not feeling very sure that it's not too long and uninteractive to get away with at all-age. But it's about what the empty tomb means to us, and I'm going to put chocolate eggs in a lucky dip type box and get the children to pick out some unlablled eggs and the labelled ones (representing the Easter promises):
    Forgiveness and Freedom
    Access to the Father
    The Holy Spirit - help and hope.

    And then at the end I'll say, it's not a lucky dip though because God makes these Easter promises available to all of us.
    And then to say - don't accept the chocolate without the promises this Easter, but dare to follow Jesus.

    Not feeling very sure - but I never am!
    (It's hand written at the moment, so I'll type it out and see if it's far too long for all-age).

  23. Am with you all in prayer today holding you through the last of Holy Week and to Easter morning. It has been so odd "listening in" on your services--It is much better that TV relgion, I can assure you. This is the first Easter I can ever remember missing.

    I have kleenx, hot tea and honey, tylenol, to share.

    Earth chick, prayers abound.

    Lutheran chick--if it is snowing where you are it will be snowing where I am tomorrow. A few choruses of "I'm dreaming of a WHITE EASTER" with warbleing whistle coming too.

  24. Earthchick, a prayer for Easter peace for you and your family. Prayers, too, for you preachers tomorrow. I am helping at our first Sunrise service tomorrow (looking for a good responsive prayer idea since we will have no bulletins). Children's sermon at 11, thinking about eggs and butterflies, and trying not to duplicate what I will do at our egg hunt this afternoon.Next year I plan to flower a cross with the kids, but this year Easter came too early for us to bring flowers from home. Wondering if it is theologically correct to say Easter came too early??

  25. I have a rare chance to have my son Chris preach tomorrow, and so I am preparing an Easter celebration liturgy. I will lead while he preaches, he is preaching from John's account. I am looking forward to hearing him. for even thinking of Sunday before Friday- too hard!

    I have been meditating on Saturday though: here

  26. Oh good grief. I Completely Forgot our flower cross this year! Oh well - no one else mentioned it either.
    Lillies and butterflies it is.

  27. prayers for you and your family earthchick

    hope you'll be well soon Singing Owl.

  28. Things I'm thankful for today...

    Someone made huge butterflies... with ropes of Nerds as the body... we will talk about the sweet/sour of new life... in the children's sermon.

    We are not doing a sunrise service... and breakfast is before worship so that the late sleepers can make it to worship. :)

    After worship last night... folks hung around and help repair the nave for worship on Sunday.

    We have 2 baptisms and 1 affirmation of faith on Sunday... and I have all of the supplies in my office ready to go.

    The chair of council is going to be cantor, assist with baptism and communion... which means probably 3000 words less for me to say.

    We did our own pictorial directory this year... and they are ready for people to pick up on Sunday.

    My lunch for tomorrow... BBQ pork, hash and rice, coleslaw, baked beans, pickles, tea, and dessert is done. My family and Hubbahubba's family are coming to each lunch.

    I cleaned up the front yard and washed all of the pine pollen off of the front porch (not that it will be clean by this afternoon).

    Baby Girl is on her way to the beach for spring break.

    The bulletins and all of the notes that I need to put in the missal book are ready to go.

    I had chocolate chip muffins for breakfast/lunch... and there are plenty left for the taking!

    Things I'm not thankful for... and it's my own fault... I don't have a sermon for tomorrow. hhhhmmmhhh. I guess I better get to work!

    Peace to you all on this busy weekend... and earthchick... I'm praying for you and your family.

  29. OK... I can't spell worth a crap.

  30. pk- that sounds amazingly busy...prayers for that sermon

  31. prayers for you, earthchick and your family.

    will be going out for cleaning supplies now.

    kind of Jealous of all you preachers.

  32. Hello all. We do the same thing with the children every year...we have a cross framed in 1 X 1, covered in chicken wire, on a stand. It's about 4 ft. high. It's ugly. We have 10 dozen daffodils. (You see where this is going?) The kids come up and stick the daffodil stems through the holes in the chicken wire until you can't see the cross for flowers. "God takes the UGLIEST things and makes them happy and beautiful". Those who remember to bring their little "passports" from the Way of the Cross on Friday get STORE BOUGHTEN stickers for the back page. On Friday they had home-made stickers made from clip art for 6 Stations, and the back cover of their passport says, "But that was Friday, and Sunday's coming".

    The sermon is not lectionary based. It's "the Resurrection, the whole dadgum Resurrection, and nothing BUT the Resurrection," and the heart of it is the Updike poem in "Bread and Wine"...

    I have a bowl of those little foil-wrapped chocolate eggs at the back of the church and everybody who shakes hands with me after the service gets "palmed" one. It's fun. The kids react right away, adults often walk away half a dozen steps before they realize they're holding something.

  33. I'm working on the Vigil sermon, and thankfully I'm almost there. I just need to figure out my closing.

    I heard Marcus Borg speak last weekend and he has really inspired my preaching for the Triduum--yesterday at the Good Friday liturgy and today. TBTG!

    Haven't even thought about Easter candy--but the Kid doesn't really expect any. Nor have I thought about Easter dinner...

  34. Have you seen the Easter Bunny yet?
    That's what my kids keep asking. I figure he is still in the tomb with Jeus. At least that is what the stores would want us to think.

    How is everybody doing? Any body need anything? I got plenty of chocolate and Diet Coke for those in need of caffiene.

    I am tired from the two services I preached already. I feel for those who do the Easter Vigil tonight and then the service tomorrow.

    I don't have a sermon written yet, just notes, and thoughts. But I figure we all will make it together.

  35. Hmmm. Now I have a bit of a quandry... I'm doing supply work this weekend, and I have no idea how many kids will be there, or if anyone is expecting a children's message of some kind! I am working with John's Gospel... something about Mary Magdalen and being called by name... maybe I can work something in with that.

    or, maybe, I'll just borrow one of your great ideas!

  36. *hugs* to Earthchick.

    And I'm right there with all of you who are expecting a snowy Easter...we've been spared in the last few days, but we are supposed to get flurries tomorrow. Um, yay.

    I've got my remarks done for tonight's Celebration of Life, and I have a decent outline for the sermon tomorrow. However, enough errands have crowded into today that we will see when I actually have time to sit down and write the sermon.

    I'm preaching on Matthew and talking about rolling the stone away, and how at first we are the women, afraid and joyful at the same time, but Jesus calls us to be like the angel and roll away the stones for other people. And he comes to us over and over again to tell us not to be afraid, because he is with us.

    Somehow though, I have to connect this to our tree theme and the packets of seeds everyone will get in their bulletin. That's where I'm kind of stuck.

    As for a kids' sermon...I think I'm doing the Easter story with jelly beans. green=palms, yellow=money Judas got (yes, I know it was silver, we are ignoring that fact for now), purple=the robe they put on Jesus, red=blood, black=death, pink and orange=sunrise, white=he is alive! Or something like that.

  37. I'm just working on my sermon for tomorrow. Well, not yet. I'll save it until after the kids' bedtime as usual, unless they decide to nap at the same time today. Fat chance!

    My oldest is almost 3 and hasn't really caught on to the bunny and eggs and all that yet, so we're going to save it all one more year. It takes some of the pressure off.

    I'm working with John and have posted some thoughts at my blog. I was very intrigued and highly informed by one of the authors from the New Proclamation series, but I can't remember off-hand who it was. I like the point about how Easter starts in the dark in Mary's story, and what that can mean metaphorically for people (and nation or world?) in dark times. I was also very thankful to see the opening words of the letter from our denom's stated clerk about Easter. I just might have to quote Cliff! I started my first Sunday in Lent with comment about how early Easter is this year. I like the idea of starting with that tomorrow, again, and then going into why that's good news.

    So, anyway, that's it from here. My husband and daughter have returned from scooping the snow we got yesterday (didn't Spring start this week?1?!), so we're going to go find something fun to do!

    I'll check in later!

  38. Prayers for you, Earthchick!!!

  39. Queen mum - - The year after a "too early" Easter in my last call the congregation was a bit flower shy for their flower cross. I made little craft kits for each family/person/couple to make butterflies at home the week or too before and on Easter everyone brought those instead of flowers to decorate the cross. Just an idea for you or others in future years. We made our butterflies with clothes pins as the bodies so they were easy to clip to the chickenwire covered cross.

  40. food eaten: none
    coffee had: 2 cups
    sermon: half done
    lilies arranged: zero

    doorbell ringing: once... i high-tailed it upstairs and hissed at hubhc 'get the door!' he smiled and said 'i assume you're unavailable today?'.... why yes damn it i am in hiding until 5 am tomorrow!

  41. Earthchick, how awful. Prayers for your family.

    Our official snow total was 15.5 inches yesterday. But apparently it is 84 degrees in Cozumel, so I am concentrating on that instead.

    I just finished my sermon, with a little help from Songbird and a certain "uncle Waltie". May post it later. Right now it is a bath and grocery shopping, in that order.

  42. One more little thing - - When the kids and I were leaving daycare on Thursday one of the teachers asked my almost-3-year-old what was coming this weekend? (She was fishing for the Easter bunny.) Toddler didn't have a clue. We haven't talked AT ALL about the bunny, and I realized not nearly enough about Easter at all. When the teacher said, "Well, is Easter coming?" The little one said, "No." Oops. Next the teacher said, "Well, I think it is. And who comes at Easter?" My poor little preacher's kids yells out, "Jesus!!!" Nice. The teacher says, "No....well, sort of I guess..." and then just sort of gave up with the bunny thing. When we got outside I told the little one she had the right answer, smarty pants!

  43. Yay! Cheesehead finished my sermon!

    Oh. Wait.

    Cheesehead finished HER sermon.

    Sigh. Back to work.

  44. And on a more serious note, earthchick, so sorry to hear this! And Muthah+, may you be well soon! Prayers for all concerned.

  45. back briefly...

    my meditation for tonight has to do with a trip to Oceans of Fun with the high school youth, a #4 waterslide challenge, and needing a spotter to get "reoriented" to come back up out of the water. I couldn't figure out which way was up.

    Think Jonah.

    It's a disorienting week... and the resurrection "puts us right": makes us alive to God, today and always.

  46. oh and rev dr mom -- would love to find out what you learned from Borg.

  47. She Rev... I love your kid. Absolutely the right answer!

    And for those of you not hiding inside until tomorrow... stay away from the grocery store unless you absolutely have to go. It's madness, madness, I tell you! But I did get a good price on a ham.

  48. I just came from the grocery store--and will someone please remind me next year to plan ahead so I'm not standing in front of the eggs with 400 other people? oh my.

    In other news, I got home, changed back into my pjs, and discovered that my brilliant children's-sermon plan may be foiled as I do not appear to have a SINGLE CRAYON of any color, nor do I have any white or cream colored candles....sigh. How else does one write on easter eggs? Do I have to go out there again? oy.

  49. I like the empty egg idea for a chidlren's sermon. I've seen it done before with great success, but I usually don't prepare early enough - perhapd I will use it this year.

    Sermon. Matthew. It's noon here, and I am starting to put pen to paper (so to speak). I am working off of the Easter proclamation "Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed," and talking about how that started out as a murmur in Jerusalem, and became the cry that changed the world; not through words, but through the actions of those who proclaimed it. Or something like that.

  50. Well I just got back from the grocery store (not too crazy yet) but the Easter candy was all gone. So much for that idea for Children's time. Next idea???????

    ALso picked up the projector I am borrowing for tomorrow. Later I need to go over and figure out how to position it (when you only use the things 2x a year its a relearning every time.

    Half the sermon time is being provided via a video message from the moderator (hence teh need for a projector). FOr my meditation I am thinking comparing Friday as the day belonging to the powers and principalities (which was meant to be yesterday's sermon) but Sunday is GOd's day. WHich is more powerful? Why?

    Fits in well with the new hymn--yes learning a new piece on Eaaster Sunday-- which is based on Psalm 118.

  51. ANd I'm sort of QP on the stowaway thing.

    I am guessing that those of us who are remaining land-locked need to plan for some sort of party while the matriarchs are away.

  52. I have freshly baked banana bread muffins, y'all.

    I am also waiting for some more bread to rise, which seems appropriate on Holy Saturday. It will go nicely with home made soup for dinner this evening. And salad.

    Sermon --well, I've been thinking about it. Hard. Does that count?

  53. Okay, I'm getting somewhere, so naturally it's a good time to take a break and go finish the grocery shopping. Right?
    Can I pick up anything for you? Easter candy, Gord?

  54. Hey if you need a not necessarily easter related laugh, check out this, which a friend sent me via facebook.

  55. For the sake of tradition, there is always repreaching the classic Paschal homily of John Chrysostom.

  56. Friends, thank you for your very kind words and prayers. I am feeling particularly sustained by prayer today, and it is making a difference. I am blazing through my sermon in a quite atypical way, which is astonishing (and a very good thing, considering all else that remains to be done).

    Teri, I wish I could send you a crayon - I have about 237 of them in all manner of places in my home.

    SheRev, I LOVE your daughter's answer to the teacher's question, and the teacher's flummoxed response. Why is it that people are so bold as to try to coax little ones into making declarations about the Easter Bunny? I heard a clerk in a store yesterday talking with a 2 y.o., saying, "Is the Easter Bunny going to come to your home?" The 2 y.o. just looked confused. How can people make such assumptions about what a family's traditions are?

    My boys don't know anything about the Easter Bunny. They know they will get Easter baskets, and I haven't mentioned who they are from (though it's fine if they assume they are from dh and me) - they will just show up. I don't care what other people do with their children or teach them, but it bothers me when other people try to catechize my kids into cultural traditions that may not fit with our own family's practice.

    Okay, is that enough of a rant for one post? Because, if not, then I do have more. ;)

  57. Wow, I go to the church to rearrange it for Sunday morning, and when I come back there are a bunch more comments. This is some party. I am leaving again for the big "W" to buy softball gloves and other asundaries. Have I got a sermon for tomorrow yet. No. But it sounds like you all have made progress. Anybody need anything from Wally World?

    Earthchick, just read about your cousin, prayers for you and your family too.

    Mompriest hope it goes well rewriting after the big move and rethinking the original sermon.

    Singing Owl, hope you are alright by tomorrow. No fun having a cold. And Muthah+, may you be well soon also!

    As for Children's sermon, we did a lent tree with symbols if Lent; we are now changing the tree into an Easter tree. Instead of us coming up with a children's sermon, we asked the congregation to bring in symbols for us to hang of Easter. I am going to bring one, just in case, ya know.

    And Cheesehead, that is not fair, I think you did write Songbird's sermon and maybe ours too. Congrats.

    I can't believe it snow for you all, and sun shiny day for us.

  58. Just received this in an e-mail from the Moderator of my denomination, the Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson:

    "The Gospels tell us that the women got to the garden just as the dawn was breaking. What they found was the stone rolled away and an empty tomb. Easter had started without them!

    "One Easter morning, many years ago, I realized that this meant that the Resurrection of Jesus happened before the sun rose. Miracles and hope happen before we can see or imagine them. God is at work, way ahead of us, while it is still dark and long before we can see the evidence."

  59. I too have crayons aplenty I wish I could share - can you call someone with kids nearby?

    The sanctuary is just now decorated, I actually went grocery shopping earlier in the week - now I just need to write a sermon. With the knowledge that a new hoochy hoo in the denomination may just be "stopping by" for Easter. La de da. And with the knowledge that my people have really liked the sermons for the last several week - and Easter would be a bad day to break that streak. And all I have so far is random thoughts about returning to Alleluias.
    Here we go...
    P.S. Prayers for earthchick and all those with losses this week.

  60. Note for next year - people who are allergic to lillies need to stay out of stores this weekend. Eggs!! Agh - how could I forget eggs??

    I have the ham, which we'll eat tonight since I won't have time to cook it tomorrow. Made the Easter basket for The Husband - who says I don't have children? Bought non-lily flowers for the house so I can feel Easter-ish instead of day before Easter. Now I can start writing. . .

    The women at the tomb in Matthew weren't sure about the future. They knew what the angel said but, what did that all mean, exactly? What does it mean for us to be standing in front of the empty tomb if we haven't yet encountered the risen Christ?

    I'm way too fascinated by the activity going on outside to write. Our apartment complex has an annual Easter Egg hunt. The pinata is hung, the live bunnies have arrived and the eggs are being hidden. Watching the preparations and then the little ones hunt for eggs is much more fun than writing. Watching them beat on the pinata and then scramble for the candy is even more fun.

  61. Likely my best Easter sermon yet was two years ago when I preached about living in the in-between of Saturday, trying to get into Sunday but stuck somewhere on the way -- see here or here for more of those thoughts.

    IT is actually the message the twon needs this year (two local mills are shutdown, many floks are either moving or one partner is working out of town). But of course Easter is a long season so I am holding that thought for, I think, next week and the week after (one on flowers/bulbs/seeds and one maybe on butterflies/eggs/bunnies)

  62. Hi, All! I quickly skimmed what folks are up to day. Blessings on your preparations.

    I am writing my first Easter sermon. Trying to find just the right balance between preachy, practical, and fun.

    Here's a joke I found online and will tactfully incorporate.

    A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside. The Pastor said, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"

    My friend said, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."

    Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"

    He whispered back, "I'm in the secret service!"

    My point being: whether you are in the Regular Army, Secret Service or Reserves, the commission is the same. Come and See. Go and Tell. (Matthew- and thanks to Gord, I think, for pointing me this direction)

    Blessings all!!

  63. rotfl, b, I wonder how many secret agents there are out there?

  64. For kids; I always give out bells and ask them to pay close attention, since they're in charge of ringing their bells every time we sing or say Alleluia. Then I remind the congregation that if they hear an errant bell sound here or there, they should just consider it a prompt to say to themselves, "Alleluia!" Kids love having a job all to themselves.

  65. Overheard at Target:

    "If you don't behave the Easter Bunny won't come tonight."

    Um.... here's an thought -- we don't have to be good for Jesus to come -- the whole point is that he comes no matter what, right?

    Good luck if you still have stores or other public places to brave -- it's ugly out there!

  66. Earthchick, prayers and prayers...

    Sidewalk shoveled, laundry (almost) done, lunch had, liturgy done, friend comforted.


    I knew I was missing something!

    Seriously, I do have a few more notes, but not much more. I know where I want to go, but it means being a little personally revealing and I'm not sure I want to go there. Yet.

    Guess I'll write it out and see how it feels.

    Sigh. Anyone have chocolate eggs handy?

  67. RP I do have some Dove solid chocolate miniatures ... unless DH ate them all.

  68. orange scones they sound nice - how do you make them??

  69. loved the secret service joke :) made my evening

  70. *I* make them by going to Panera to buy them!

  71. I thought the "Secret Service" was priceless. I'm sure we'll see several secret agents tomorrow!

    *passes a bag of mini Reese's eggs around the room*

  72. teehee @ Songbird.

    Shalom, I LOVE your children's idea.

    I just finished my sermon, draft posted here .

  73. Teri, what's the source for that idea about the early Christians giving each other eggs? I really like it, but I can't seem to find it anywhere else.

  74. I've posted my sermon out here. I'm excited about tomorrow!

  75. Hee, great stuff going on here!

    Can you believe this: I am DONE! This never happens while the sun is still up!

    Lest you think I am bragging, don't worry, I still have plenty to do to get ready for tomorrow and for leaving on vacation tomorrow night. Plus what is DONE is not exactly polished to preachable status.

    Go go preachers go!

  76. i don't have time to read all the comments, but i read enough to know i want to send earthchick lots of love and to know that we are all TOO busy, so sending much grace and inspiration and deep breaths to all.

    i love the hallelujah sign- good description whoever it was that offered that. i think i'll be adding that to my standard letting the alleluia out of the box with balloons children's sermon. and i'm tempted to give them bells too... hmmm... do i have to to go get bells... dunno...

    blessings all.

  77. {{{Earthchick}}} So sorry to hear of your loss.

    Semfem: My title is "Fear & Joy." That's just what jumped out at me when I read the scripture. I thought I may not have time to preach, but my accompanist thought I should.

    We have a sunrise service that is all on me, and I haven't hardly planned anything yet. I hope I can still find last year's to borrow from. The two regular services I'm doing a sort of lessons and carols thing, then premiering a communion liturgy I developed for a class. The liturgy is set to the tunes of familiar hymns. Hopefully I won't break into another sinus drainage coughing fit like I did last Sunday. Must remember to take Claritin-D in the morning. Wish me luck!

    But I still have to come up with at least a few words for a sermon. I sure don't want to run over too much or I'll have trouble getting to the second church. Maybe I'll start according to my watch instead of the church clock. The usual stragglers should have already been there for breakfast.

    Blessings on all as we prepare!

  78. Thanks, MCTP.

    And SEMFEM!! Wow. It's like a sign of the apocalypse or something! Brava.

  79. Going to go prepare supper now.

    Homemade beef veggie and black-eyed pea soup anyone? The latter is vegetarian. Bread and salad too.

    Party on, friends, party on!

  80. I'm also thinking that story about the child in Target might work as a Children's story, sort of a "What's wrong with this picture" kind of thing.
    And I could still give out those chocolate eggs at the end.
    Meanwhile, I have a draft, and if reading it sounds like it might be helpful, come on over and take a look.
    For those still working, anyone need a Diet Coke? Want me to order some pizza?

  81. Well, while you all have been faithfully working and finishing your sermons, I have been going from store to store. Wally World was out of Softball gloves and lillies. Arrgh. Finally found some. I am tired, and still got a sermon to write. Congrats to you all who are done and ahead of the curve. Dona, I think I'll take some chocolate so I can get done.

  82. Well, my sermon is posted here.

    Blessings, all!

  83. Abi--you are brave. I went to WM earlier and snuck in and out through the garden department--no lines or crowds there, thank goodness! But it was scary inside.

    Kim--I love the "fear and joy" element of the text. I used that a bit as well and had to keep myself from going on and on about it because it speaks so powerfully to me.

    earthchick--Indeed, it must be the Apocalypse! Jesus is probably getting a little frosty down there in hell right now. And four guys just rode past me on horses.

    I'm off to do the not-funeral thing and the vigil thing at another church. I'll be back later tonight, I think, when I do the final polishing.

  84. It's posted. I redacted out one story that gave away some identifying info, but otherwise it's there.

  85. songbird, it's a story told to me by Coptic Orthodox Christians while I was living in Egypt. They use it to explain the origins of the Easter Egg. I have no idea whether it's authentic (I haven't been able to precisely verify it either--the closest I've come is something about red eggs in windows symbolizing the blood of Jesus or something), but I know that Copts around the country identify very strongly with it (as a still-oppressed minority). They love to tell it as though it's established fact, which I realize is what I did here! LOL. sorry for not giving any context first.

    I ran it by SP (something I pretty much never do) and he said it would work fine with whatever's happening tomorrow and promised not to let on that it might not be completely historically accurate. ;-)

    Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be running over to church to get a crayon. Lame.

  86. Prayers earthchick!
    Songbird- DIet Coke would be a blessing!
    We had our egg hunt this morning. 60 in attendance. We made caterpillars, read the easter story, hunted, snacked, gave out prizes. The kids had a great time. Although my 3 yr old babygirl is now walking around yelling "Happy Easter Egg!" to everyone! I'm just now sitting down to work on the sermon for Sunrise service. Hubbie has the 11 am service. We planned on having the sunrise service outside, but it looks like it might be too cold and we will move indoors. If we do that then we have to vest the sanctuary, remove the decorations during breakfast, and re-vest for the 11 am service. Not ideal.
    There is alot of tension at little church on the hill and it looks like this might be our second and last Easter here. I'm trying not to focus on all of the stress and pain, but its very hard.

  87. Oh HEAVENS
    Just back from teh 2 hours worth of Vigil...Exsultet and all....and have not really got anywhere with sermon for tomorrow evening and have farewell do tomorrow pm, so HAVE to do it now...and ....oh help....panic...waaaaah

  88. I have returned from a run to church with a crayon and am now in the process of using onion skins and berries and whatnot to turn white eggs pretty colors. Good times.

    Also picked up bulletin and discovered that I am in need of an opening prayer and a communion prayer too...awesome.

    Think I'll eat thoroughly unhealthy (though organic!) macaroni and cheese first, then deal with that...

  89. NO ONE came for my easter vigil/mural project. I am beyond disappointed, which is not a way to go into writing a sermon about the resurrection. But, my church now says "CHRIST IS ALIVE" on the side in three foot tall chalk letters. After I finished, I thought "hmmm... should I have gone with "risen?" instead of alive?", but I didn't have room.

    Songbird - -if you have any pizza left, please send some this way.

    Is it over yet? I need to sleep for a week..

  90. Oh, KnittinPreacher, I am sorry!
    Yes, please have some pizza. As always at my house, there's a veggie pizza AND a pepperoni.
    Gals and pals, we have a long way to go to equal last year's party; it had 160 comments!
    Let us know how it's going!!

  91. mmm... songbird, I'll take both! Thanks.

    I have some peanut butter cups to share with anyone who wants some.

  92. Okay, Children's message.
    I'm going to tell KP's story of the child whose mother warns that the Bunny will not come and then explain that's not how Easter works, that Jesus came not because we were good, but to show God's love for us even when we're not so good. Then I will explain (or try to) that we have all these Easter symbols of bunnies and chicks to represent the new life of the Resurrection. (As my husband says, "everything turns to candy.")
    Finally, I'll give out a chocolate egg to each child and say, "When you're good AND when you're bad, Jesus loves you."
    Or something like that.

  93. Well the projector is set up but an issue arose when testing the PP...

    On one slide I inserted a video clip (moderator's message) and for some reason both when I start the clip and when I advance to the next slide after it the projector goes through the "searching for a signal" bit. ANy ideas as to why and how to avoid this?

  94. Thinking of you cpclergywomen, it is hard to prepare and preach when there is tension or problems. I know. So thinking of you.

    knittinpreacher that's hard.

    I thought I had an outline somewhere and now I can't find it.

    And Kathryn this too shall come.

  95. I've made some progress on the sunrise service, although still no sermon.

    I'm finding that the regular services are really gonna be long...How can I cut now that the bulletins are printed?

    Dear son asked if he could get on the computer "for just a second" to look something up about Pokemon. I snarled and said "Use the laptop!"

    And I just snapped at my dear daughter who kept asking about calling dad at the hardware store to find out when he would be home, when I knew he had left here fuming because the part he had bought for the bathroom faucet didn't work, and I knew better than to bother him.

    Guess it's time to take a break and go make pizza.

  96. And my offspring are a. crying and b. snarling, in the kitchen while dying eggs together. Ahhh....Easter joy.

  97. ((((((((((Earthchick, knittinpreacher and cpclergymama)))))

    The sanctuary is set up for tomorrow, and looks sparsely beautiful, somehow. No flowers except lilies this year. Sermon is outlined, now time to make supper. I'll be back to work on the sermon later.

  98. Resurrection blessings one and all...I am off to bed, it is late here!
    Praying that the snow will not hinder tomorrows rejoicing!
    Peace and joy be with you all

  99. There is sesame chicken with green beans and lo-mein to go with songbird's pizza.

    Oh, I just checked on my bracket progress for march madness. OUCH!

    must stop procrastinating...

  100. There will be folks at our church in the morning that we will not see again for a year or so. I've been thinking about them as I have prepared my sermon. How do I speak a word to them that will sustain them somehow for a whole year? How do I proclaim the Word to those who know it and try to live it everyday ...and to those who only dip into the church on occasion? And which group is it that I should pay most attention to in the morning? Well, I'm thinking about these things but only in the abstract since the sermon is pretty much written at this point. I'll probably do some tinkering in the morning but the heart of it is as it is. I'm going to focus on expectations: the disciples' expectations of Jesus, his of them, God's expectations of all of us, and what we can expect of Jesus. Whatever you expect of yourself tomorrow, I pray that your words will be blessed, that your Easter will be joyful, and that your people will be renewed and enlivened and even resurrected!

  101. There will be folks at our church in the morning that we will not see again for a year or so. I've been thinking about them as I have prepared my sermon. How do I speak a word to them that will sustain them somehow for a whole year? How do I proclaim the Word to those who know it and try to live it everyday ...and to those who only dip into the church on occasion? And which group is it that I should pay most attention to in the morning? Well, I'm thinking about these things but only in the abstract since the sermon is pretty much written at this point. I'll probably do some tinkering in the morning but the heart of it is as it is. I'm going to focus on expectations: the disciples' expectations of Jesus, his of them, God's expectations of all of us, and what we can expect of Jesus. Whatever you expect of yourself tomorrow, I pray that your words will be blessed, that your Easter will be joyful, and that your people will be renewed and enlivened and even resurrected!tmo

  102. I once gave our children a stone - as in the stone that was rolled away. It was very effective in the moment, but then there was the sound of rocks dropping on the wood floors all through the service! I haven't done that since.....

  103. Sorry Gord, I'm no help at all in the techie department.

    Sermon done and printed. Everything compiled and ready to take to very cold outdoor sunrise service in the wee hours. At least this year we aren't likely to have snow.

    No bed time until after Son the Younger gets through with his shift at work. He wants to bring me our vehicle (which he has had for the weekend) around 11:00 pm so that he doesn't have to get up so early in the morning tomorrow.

    Headache status: surprisingly average. Only at about 7 out of 10, which isn't bad for this time of night. Still painful, but for a high-stress weekend like this one, as good as I can hope for.

  104. food eaten: 2 burgers. 2
    sermon: done-ish
    laundry: drying
    stress: ignoring it
    marriage: mmm better. hubhc's headed to family tomorrow and i'm stayin' put workin' preachin' and then just bein'... aaaah

    in the meantime sippin' some native american tea to r-e-l-a-x me before i clean bathtub and soak in said tub.

    carry on pals...

  105. Pastormartha, if this is any help at all, it is IMPOSSIBLE to sustain someone for a whole year. Don't even try. Not even Jesus himself could have done that.

    You can try, and hope and pray, that they will somehow "get it" enough to want to return before next year. That's all you can do for those folks.

    Focus on the others. And you might take a look at Cheesehead's sermon. I really like the way she will speak to the C and E folks.

    Now, supper is over, dishes are stacked....sigh....time for serious sermon work.

  106. That's good Sue. I hope it stays low.

    I found my outline and am putting it together.

    And Gord I have no idea what is going on either, unless the plug isn't fitting all the way, or the graphics isn't right. Hope it gets worked out.

  107. I try to remind myself that it might not be Jesus they are avoiding when they come only twice a year. It might be "Church" in all its worst forms. They're attracted to the mystery, and I try to inhabit it with them, with everyone, and trust the Spirit to do the rest.

  108. I have a draft here but as I preach at 7:30am it might well be the final! I'm off to soak in the tub and take my blood sugar again. Blessing y'all, may God's word be heard!

  109. Whoa! It must be Easter! We passed 100 and I'm just coming back at 8:20 p.m. CST.

    I've got a lot of reading to do since I left this morning when there were only 40 posts or so!

  110. Friends, I'm going to turn in rather than tidying the house for company. Yes, sleep can be a procrastination tool, if you are artful about it. Blessings on your continuing sermon preparations. Someone get the light before the sunrise services start, okay?

  111. Still chugging away over here. I figure if I crank out a few more paragraphs I can then head to bed and come up with a marvelous conclusion in the morning prior to the sunrise service. Thanks for all the good ideas today, friends. Peace to you all.

  112. OK. Finally caught up with all the reading.

    CPClergymama, we are so on the same page with this one. I've got pretty much your sermon in notes. Now I just need to put it in sentences.

    First a bowl of (real) ice cream. Husband and I are both battling the beginnings of colds and when he offered to run out for ice cream tonight I thought nothing could help the battle more!

    Both kiddos were in bed before 8:00 p.m. No naps today worked in my favor afterall! Hopefully no one wakes up, but the teething one is bound to.

  113. 8:50 in teh Evening on Easter Saturday and what do I see when letting the dog out?

    Snow. Falling from the sky.

    Luckily it won't amount to much (I think).

    But still. Snow. [walks off humming I'm dreaming of a white easter...

  114. Well, I'm finally down to finishing one sermon (really probably a homily) for the sunrise service. I knew if I logged in too early, I'd be "toast" sermonically speaking.

    I love the story about Mary and the red egg. I also like the secret service joke and the Target story about the bunny not coming. None of them made the regular Easter sermon (but Harry Potter did). I'm thinkin' Mary may make it for the sunrise.

    I'll probably figure out someway to talk about Target and the larger point that Christ is risen regardless of what we do.

    Now to go scrounge for some food that is low in WW points since I ate WAY too many crescent rolls (probably 72 points but I refuse to look 'cause I know it'll be bad) but I'm hungry.

  115. Just dropped by to say "hey".

    I love reading everyone's comments.

    Prayers to all of you with troubles.

    Glad to be a part of the group here.

  116. never before have I been hoping desperately for the Sunday prayer...I need a communion prayer that is nowhere near as long as the ones from the books...I'm hoping to mine the Sun. Prayer for's cold and snowy and all my consolation is this: it's raining in Florida, where a bunch of our people have gone in search of the sun.

  117. I am not finished, but I am headed for bed. I have no more words to put on paper, so I will pray for them to come while I sleep. Blessings to those of you finishing, and on us all tomorrow!

  118. I found a site with info about the red egg tradition. I have been to a Russian Orthodox Easter Vigil that included a red egg tradition after worship. We all went around knocking our eggs together (that sounds dirty) in pairs. When you do that one egg will break and one (usually) will remain intact. The one with the whole egg finds another competitor until there is just one egg left. That person has good luck or wins or something. (I don't remember the "prize" since it wasn't me, but I remember being in it until almost the end!)

    (Sorry if I offended above)

  119. Oh yeah - - forgot the link.

  120. Hmmm...I see I can't do it that way. So here it is.

  121. just got back from our Vigil. Wow! look at the Party!
    now I'm going to scrub floors, go to bed, get up early.

    I hope husband's boys really come for dinner tomorrow. and don't blow us off.

  122. I hope all your preaching goes well. My ham is defrosting in the frig. The house has been dusted and polished. Tomorrow I just do a little liturgy. But you will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

  123. Okay, here's a bit more procrastination for you: Did you know that you can sing two of the best known Charles Wesley hymns, Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Christmas) and Christ the Lord is Risen Today (Easter) to each other's tunes. Try it. It will mess with your brain and kill at least another ten to fifteen minutes.

    Okay, break's over. Back to work.:-)

  124. Kim, that is so cool. I can't believe I didn't already know that. I'm thinking it might get more than 15 minutes, especially after I tell the SportsQueen.

  125. Ya. Spoke to soon on the clear weather for sunrise service.

    'Tis snowing.

  126. Good night ya'll, may your Easter preaching be blessed. I don't know who all is up, but if you are turn off the light whenyour done oh and the coffee pot too.
    It is going to be an early morning tomorrow.

  127. okay, so I have checked on my eggs (it takes longer if you use natural dyes)...
    The ones wrapped in onion skins are pretty and marbled but the writing on them all washed away.
    The one simply soaked in the water after the boiled onion skins were dumped out is a beautiful golden color and clearly says "Alleluia!"
    The one plunked in the grape juice is a wonderful blueish-purplish color and also clearly says alleluia.
    The's pretty but again, no writing.

    The moral of the story? If you follow directions that involve putting the uncooked egg in with the stuff and boiling it all together, don't plan to write on the egg first as the wax will all melt off. (I suspected this which is why there were backup plans!)

    Communion prayer, check. ice cream with caramel sauce, check. children's time, check. note put on door to remind me not to forget eggs...check.

    It's only 10. I know I should go to bed because I'll be up in less than 8 hours, but I'm strangely not tired. Help! I need to go to sleep!

    Here's some virtual claritin for those who'll need it tomorrow...and happy easter, friends!

  128. Hi,
    Just checking to see who-all is still up. thanks DQ for the still dark quote - that helps the whole thing fall together.

    Things I did to procrastinate today: made a long overdue pastoral visit, sorted through my clothes to figure out What To Wear, lost and found the debit card, made cute lil bags of candy for the rest of the church staff....probably time to stop that now and get down to business, yes?

  129. Sermon done, printed, highlighted, bulletin insert inserted...I'm off to bed. Blessings all, as you prepare and preach.

    Hallelujah! He is risen!

  130. Ugh - I'm still up - and only just returning to writing after obligatory visit to the in-laws. But the still-dark thing helped to coalesce some things in my head on the drive - thinking about starting with Mary Mag and her grief and wondering if she looked at the stars on her way to the tomb- did they make her feel even more alone, like they often do? Her focus on where that body went to - and how she couldn't see Jesus for who he was - and then moving into her transformation from grief and confusion to the first witness and apostle - and model for us - or something. that we stay on Good Friday too sometimes - I know I have some in my congregation who are very stuck in Good Friday right now personally. And somehow then move into the world turning totally and completely upside down. Okay, thanks for letting me blather - I'm on west coast so it ain't as bad as it seems, but it soon will be!

  131. I now have sunrise as done as it will get. I'm finishing up so I can get to bed. Easter blessings on y'all

  132. it's 10:30 here, and I'm just starting. Whew, it's been a loooong holy week. In addition to everything normal, we buried a 96 year old pillar of the community this morning.
    And so, today, I took some time off, and went in search of Easter goodies for the exchange students staying with me so they feel a little more at home.
    And so, at the end of the night, I'm here, just starting the sermon...anyone else still up?

  133. My sister called. She never calls, and now she chose to return my call on a Saturday night. The Saturday before Easter. My family has not one clue what I do for a living and how I do it. How did we end up together?

    So we talked for 45 minutes. Now I'm getting down to business. Really. I promise myself.

  134. she rev,
    i have that happen with friends all the time.
    "so, are you going home for Christmas?"
    "are you going to your sister's for Easter?"
    my reaction is always the same...", it's kinda one of the big ones, I have to work."
    There's always a moment of silence as they digest this and then say, "oh, yeah. well, that makes sense."
    gotta love it!

  135. Sunrise service is printed.

    Regular service is close enough to finish in the morning.

    The dog is barking at shadows in the yard. Time to get him in the house and myself off to shower and bed.

    This is the closest I've ever been to done this early. Thanks be to God! Amen! (Blessings and Goodnight, all.)

  136. okay, I didn't really go to bed yet. I think I may have had a wee bit too much caffeine. ugh.

    I hear you for those who don't "get it." For me, it's my mom. On Maundy Thursday, she asked if I was relaxing during Spring Break ... uh, no, it's HOLY WEEK! (banging phone...)

  137. I'm still up and trying not to be too disracted. But HONESTLY this is the world's most boring easter sermon so far. I'm trying to remember my dear friend's advice today -- that people come to EAster jsut open to the loveliness of the day, so " any thing you say will be heard beautifully."

    and I'm sending lvoe to all of you dealing with family stuff this holiday weekend.

    (and my word verification is "ecoil")

  138. vicar - I know that's maddening, but it made me laugh really hard....

  139. juniper ... anything for a laugh

    as for the sermon, I agree with the other comment, and make it short ... then they really won't care 'cause they can get to lunch

  140. Yes, everyone will be glad for something short since they will have been at church for HOURS (breakfast, egg hunt, choir rehearsal, worship) and at a small church like ours, everyone does everything....

    At least we have no sunrise service - this year at least :)

    Hey, we're real close to 150 comments. What say you? Can we hit the mark?

  141. we have sunrise service here but it is inside so we don't have to freeze

  142. More of my family that doesn't get it - - -

    I was talking to my mom on Wednesday this week, and I was more than a little ticked off to be finding out JUST THEN that there were like 3 MORE music groups in the congregation planning to provide music in worship. Now I'm new here and all, but I have never heard of groups just telling me when they will be playing - - - at least not when it's just a few days before and it's Easter! So anyway, I made some comment to my mother about how we had at last 35 minutes of music, and I didn't know if I would have time to preach more than 5 minutes.

    My mother, my blessed mother, says, "Well, that sounds good. I wish I could come to your church so I didn't have to sit through much of a sermon."

    Thanks. Love ya!

  143. Last week was the "big" Sunday for the church stuff. Yep, the theology and chronology got thrown out the window. But, that's not a fight I would've won so I didn't even try.

    I did eat the pancakes though

  144. It WILL be cold early, but at least we dont have snow. Brrr.

  145. she rev I'm sorry I'm laughing so hard ...

  146. Good night everyone ... since I had an emergency pastoral intervention this evening, I have only just now checked back. I'm tired and I'm going to bed, happy that my service doesn't start until 4:30 pm tomorrow.

  147. I have learned to have low expectations for my mom, and they still aren't met.

    She has slept through more than one of my sermons

    and she lives 10 hours away so it's not like she hears me every week

  148. do I, do I really get to be 150? yippee!

  149. we made 150 without needing to resort to one word posts!

    Rev DQ, I'm sorry for that kind of timing. It's hard enough when it happens on a "regular" Saturday. I hope everything comes together tomorrow

  150. Oh Vicar, we SO should talk. I hear yah!

    and yeah, for 150! Now 200 is only 47 comments away....go, go, go!

  151. a bit of Easter humor for you all...
    I saw an Easter card in the store a couple of weeks ago. On the front was a preacher with his arms open wide, and the caption read: "The Sermon Title for Easter Sunday will be..."
    and on the inside:
    "Where have you all been since Christmas?"

    It's funny 'cause it's true...but on the other hand, it's a good reminder for me that, quite frankly, yes, people will love the Easter Service simply because it's the beauty of the day.

  152. speaking of my mother, she still hasn't figured out that when she is sharing "personal" stories about me or my kids with church members that she is actually telling those stories to my "bosses"

    boundaries, she thinks that about where you can put the fence posts

  153. but then again, she is traveling all that way to stay with those kids while I am cruising on the big event

  154. vicar - yes, it is so much more complicated than you'd think.....

  155. So, to procrastinate even more - - does this big event happen every year? I'm sad I began participating here too late to consider going (and too early in my new call - - "Hi I've been here 2 1/2 months. Can I go on a cruise?")

    Anyway, just curious. I'm DYING to go next year!!

  156. (And we can totally get this to 200 before those morning people show up again.)

  157. she rev - ditto on all that. but we're hooking up somehow a Preacherpalooza, right?

  158. this is the first ever big event

    I'm certainly hoping we'll have more to come. The cruise happened because of cost and accessibility (much better pricing than landlubber costs)

    and since I'm all for meeting new folks, I'm in for preacherpalooza

  159. ok, I"ve kind of said all I have to say and I have 987 words. Um, I just dont think that's going to do it, even if I AM trying to keep it short.

    Dear Jesus, please send 300 good words to my computer. thank you. amen.

  160. hey vicar, are you really going to be at the festival of homiletics in may? I think Diane (diane? are you still up?) is maybe going to suggest someplace we can meet for breakfast or something...

  161. speaking of "palooza" type things (while aiming for 200)

    the other day I noticed that Target had some underwear I like on clearance. bummer is they didn't have my size in the exact style. However, because of Mindy and her pantypalooza I bought a couple of packs to be donated to the homeless shelter

    amazing how we influence each other through cyberspace

  162. oh, sorry, I didn't get the connection. May is bad timing for me so I won't be at festival of homies.


  163. Awesome about the panties. My mom (God bless her, I really do love her!) bought me some underwear for Christmas that SHOCKINGLY was too big. I wasn't even offended because I would have bought that size, too! Anyway, I shouldn't have taken all the tags off before I tried one pair because now I've got some totally new underwear that I'll never wear and I can't even give it away. That would have been a good idea.

  164. I'm not Jesus but what kind of 300 words do you want

    which scripture are you using? what kind of focus?

  165. A Poem for the Vicar

    I was talking in code
    no way you coulda knowed
    An apology is due
    it's coming now to you.

  166. okay, now you really are procrastinating

  167. I'm trying to keep things short here by keeping my usual word count, but including the reading of scripture (at the least the John gospel part) in my count. That cuts me down a little at least.

    Gotta keep room for the musical variety show we're having in worship tomorrow. (Trying not to be bitter. I'm sure it will be lovely.)

  168. Oh, John.
    And gadzooks, Colassions! I forgot to say anything about it! I paragraph about Aspiring to Higher Things might do the trick...

  169. she rev, if you have a local place, you could call and explain what happened. maybe if they knew they were new, they'd take them without tags

  170. Yes - - there is May. I should still be at that and will look forward to meeting people in person.

  171. for colossians, I got nothing

    but give me a minute, I think I saw something on another list that I can get to you with attribution

  172. juniper, I just emailed you a big chunk of a sermon (to the email on your blog)

    I'm looking for another story that I have in mind, too

  173. okay, so checking back every few minutes or so just to see how we're progressing towards that 200 mark is killing my personal progress on the sermon front. :-)

    Must. Write. Sermon. Now.

  174. I hear you leanne. If I were typing this much on my sermon I would have been in bed 30 minutes ago!

  175. juniper (and anyone else who wants them) I just dumped "pirates," "3 pennies," and another one I forgot the title of, on my blog that may have a glimmer of something you can use.

  176. Doh! Tried to be the first one to play the new trivia game, but it said I couldn't. It's compiling scores or something. I'll try again before bed.

  177. oh yeah, "the ordinary that is more than enough"

    I took all 3 from sermons I have preached but I didn't edit the posts, I just copy-pasted

  178. Vicar, thanks so much -- that 3 pennies will be just the ticket.

    What aobut your sermon? Is it done and you are just up while It Is Still Dark ministering to all the writing wretches?

  179. too much caffeine

    can't get settled

    and then someone mentioned the comment count

    besides, if I have a story you can use, then we are the body of Christ together

    but don't be fooled, if I could sleep, I would, and you'd be on your own

  180. well, then, sending you a virtual cup of chamomile tea (or warm milk if that's more your style). and a nice hot water bottle. and thanks for the help...

  181. Don't do it yet! We can do it without the one word posts! :)

  182. 12:30 am. Last day of a week of my parents' visit (During most of which, in-laws were here too). Funeral and bishop's visit over. Wrote and rehearsed Easter Sermon. Pitched it. Re-wrote it. Trying to fine tune now.

  183. Ah!!! We've sucked a new person in. We can do it with real posts with new, fresh, tired blood!


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