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Saturday, April 05, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Round Trip Edition

Buechner says it was an escape, but it was also a journey home. Either way, in the end it was a round trip they took, those walkers to Emmaus who turned around and went back to Jerusalem, a lot of walking for one already emotional day.

Where are you headed this Saturday, preachers? (Bonus points if you are an international geocacher...)

I hope you'll share your journey and any surprises you may find along the way. How are you handling the children's message? We always like to share those around here.

Join us, and you may be sure of finding a friend to walk with you. Bring some food to share, and I'll keep the coffee and Diet Coke flowing!

Caravaggio, “Supper at Emmaus”, painted 1601-02.


  1. Posted early for preachers across the pond! Going to bed and will see you in the morning.

  2. And coincidentally, night-owl preachers on this side of the pond!

    I just couldn't resist commenting. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow, as I have the whole sermon to write and I am going to the school musical tomorrow night.

    It's Emmaus; shouldn't that be an easy one? I think I want to say something about how Emmaus gives us a pattern for worship. We journey along, worried by our world, we read from Scripture and our hearts burn as Jesus opens it up to us, and then we recognize him in the breaking of the bread, and then we journey forth in joy. (Works for us since we have Communion every week.)

    But for now, I'm going to wind down from contra dancing and head to bed. See you in the morning!

  3. I am way out west, about 4 hours earlier than SB....and just stopped by before bed. I have my sermon written...will check and tweek and review tomorrow...but I also have a FULL day, which is all to common at BIG church...a brunch with parishioners, a CPR class, then a funeral planning meeting, will be gone from 10:30am until 3:30 or I wish you all a fruitfull day of partying and writing and unpacking the Word....

  4. The basic beginning of my sermon is here

    I'll finish up tomorrow night after an all day class session for Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

    extra extra points if you are an international geocacher on your first cache

  5. I'm off to an all day meeting 2.5 hours away. Message is in hand, but still have the newsletter and bulletin to copy and collate. Have a good day y'all...QP

  6. I am off to Part 2 of the Xian Funeral with Tom Long (way cool!)and then will finish up the sermon.
    I am going to try somehtign simple with the children by just going through the story and acting out motions, walking, being sad, suprised, happpy about Jesus, running back to Emmaus.
    Remmeber the Going On A Bearhunt from your childhood? :)
    iamy not be back online until late...keep the coffee brewing! Fair Trade, please!

  7. I am hijacking the comments briefly to remind you all of upcoming books for book discussions for April and May:

    April's book The Testament of Gideon Mack led by Quotidian Grace and Presbyterian Gal.

    May's book Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion

    Place April 28 and May 19 on your calendar to join in the discussions.

    Back to our regularly scheduled Preacher Party.

  8. I'm not preaching, but I wish I were. this is my favorite story! we had a great Bible study on it on Wednesday.

    We have a family from India worshiping with us, and their baby is being baptized tomorrow, which means I don't even have to do a children's message.

    I'm kind of bummed because it would normally be my baptism to do, but they said they wanted the sr. pastor to do it. Not sure why.
    Not sure if it's because they prefer a male pastor.

    I'm off to walk the dog. I'll check back.

  9. I'm up! I'm up!
    I'll be preaching for the first time at First Parish Freeport. I arrived to discover that last week's guest preacher used

    wait for it

    this week's texts.


    Yes, not only the gospel, but the epistle and the Psalm, too.

    I'm preaching the gospel anyway. It's such a great story, and especially appropriate for beginning the Interim journey. We will walk together, and we will talk things over, and when we least expect it, we WILL see Jesus!!


    Meanwhile, debating whether to email the colleague who preached last week and suggest that she consider not going ahead of the lectionary when she is doing supply. It was definitely not a friendly gesture.

  10. Diane, I hope that's not the reason. Some people just relate to the senior person, regardless of gender, as the 'real' pastor, for better or worse. I know I was guilty of that as a layperson.

    Wow, mompriest, sounds like you will need to lock the study door earlier in the week and write. No more counting on quiet Saturdays!

    1-4, it's always Fair Trade around these parts. Have another cup anyone?

  11. songbird, I hope that's not the reason either. And I know that this happens with sr/ associate, but it's one of the things I still can't get used to about being associate pastor.

  12. oh diane... you're great. they (the family) are just being silly.

  13. Not preaching tomorrow in celebration of my birthday...

    But nonetheless an exciting Sunday--attending worship at Strong Heart's church in Sister CIty. Our first "public appearance" as a couple. She's not the pastor there (finishing up training and seminary), but of course still has a semi-pastoral role...should be interesting.

    Hey I've never dated a pastor before!

    Anyway, I brought some cinnamon rolls and coffee to fortify these early workers in the vineyard--I'm housecleaning and then visiting a local greenhouse to remind myself that spring WILL come.

  14. A quick peek before I head off for my day. I have 4.5 hours of meeting to moderate--actually three different meetings back-to-back in one room! And my sermon is only an expanded idea. Where did the week go? Oh yeah, I spent Monday standing in a very long line, eatinglunch at Emeril's, and then flying home.

    I'm beginning a short lectionary-based sermon series on Being Church Together. Tomorrow is 1Peter: Belonging One To Another.

    For my children's message, I will be showing the kids a photograph of 21 fabulous women who gathered on a marble staircase to have their picture taken, and talking about how strangers became friends.

    No blog names will be used; in fact, the word "blog" will not be uttered in church tomorrow.

    Okay, 3 minutes until my self-imposed deadline. Gotta go shower!

  15. I'm working on a sermon on lamentations 3 for homiletics class. so laboring in that vinyard with you but I'm trimming the hedge roses -- the ones with thorns.

  16. Oh my an early post, lots of coffee and diet coke. Great we are out of diet coke.
    I am trying to wake up but not having much luck except that the kids just got into a major fight and I had to wake up to be able to deal with them.

    I have two ball games later today. No sermon written. Some thoughts rambling around in my head.

    No food to offer yet, but I'll come up with somthing I am sure.

    How are the rest of you all on this wild round trip?

    Songbird, anything else that Buechner has to say that would be helpful to the sermon? Wouldn't you know it that the last week guest preacher did that. Oh but what a rich passage to preach from for your beginning there. Preach the gospel, girl.

    Cheesehead you are great. I love your children's sermon idea, in fact I saw a similar idea posted somewhere else, and was thinking of using it. So thanks.

  17. Abi, I'm going away from Buechner, since I am looking at the walk as a way of getting centered rather than a way of escaping. But I think either direction works, depending on the context.

  18. cheesehead, I'm totally using that idea for the children, thanks! Especially good since we'll be meeting for the first time.

  19. Resurrection does not mean resuscitation. THat's about what I have in concrete thus far.

    SOme disuccion about how people had trouble recognizing the Risen Christ, some discussion about butterflies, some discussion about the transformation of the disciples will help flesh that out I think. Oh and some discussion of how Easter calls us to be transformed and resurrected too.

    THis is an economically down time for this region of the province. ANd I hunch that what people really want is resuscitation, a return to what was rather that resurrection, new life anf promise...

  20. Gord, I think you are really onto something. People, most of them, want things to be the way they were, rather than looking for what might be and how God might be working (and walking) differently among us. Thanks for this insight!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Gord, I too thank you for the nugget. I'm preaching from Luke, but so far have the passge, a small reading, and a picture. That is it. Lots to do before I can get back and settle down to sermonizing.

    But the sun is shining and it is supposed to be all the way up to....60 DEGREES sometime today.

    I'll be back later. Meanwhile, here are some orange-cranberry scones. They are yummy.

  23. I had to run dianostics on my laptop this morning so I am getting a late start.

    Since I didn't get to talk on Eucharist on Maundy Thurs. I am going to preach on the take,bless, break and give liturgy of this passage. But to be quite frank I am not feeling much energy around the topic.

  24. Happy Birthday RP!

    I love this text. I try to preach it every year at this time, even when it's not on lectionary. It says so much about how we live as a faith community.

    After tomorrow, I will be on medical leave for an unspecified period of time. It has been a very difficult process of reaching the conclusion that I need time to heal. But first, one more worship.

    The ministry & personnel committee will announce at the beginning of the service that I will be away for awhile (it seemed less jarring than telling them before the benediction).

    Children's story: I'm going to talk about how the two on the road to Emmaus didn't know it was Jesus by his driver's licence or his passport i.d. - they knew it in their hearts. I'm going to cut out a small heart with construction paper and give one to each child to remind them that Jesus has a special way of speaking to our hearts.

    The sermon: NOT going to mention my leave. I'm there to preach the good news, not to fill in all the blanks in their minds about why I'm going to be off. I will focus on what the gospel can teach us about living with one another in community - especially how the two not only shared the story but also practiced holy hospitality to the stranger. I'll translate that to our congregation's mission of inclusiveness and exploring scripture.

  25. I'm preaching from Acts all season, and this week is a nice, straightforward reminder to "repent" - we're going there tomorrow, with the idea that all of us want to change but are terrified to do so. (using a little summary from the new kid movie "Nim's Island" to illustrate.) And for those of you in Emmaus, this wonderful quote I found this week from Dorothy Day's "The Long Loneliness":
    "We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone any more. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship."

  26. 1-4 grace - Jealous of you going to Tom Long's Xian funeral workshop! I wanted to go but already had all my study leave scheduled.

    Songbird - love the painting! One of my lectionary study group colleagues brought it up on Tuesday.

    I'm going with the Emmaus story, which is one of my favorites - and the topic of my very first NT exegesis paper in seminary! I'm going along the same lines as semfem with the worship motif. I'm no Greek scholar, but in translating this text where it says that after the breaking of the bread the disciples "got up" - the word used in the Greek is also the one used for arise, risen, as in resurrection, new life. Along the roads of life, even in the "had hoped" moments, worshiping together & Word & Sacrament gives us new life.

    I have french toast that hubby made from leftover croissants, real maple syrup, and a Heath Bar cheesecake that I made last night.

  27. Real Life Songbird: eating Fiber One

    Virtual Songbird: enjoying Heath Bar Cheesecake

    Which would you want to be?


  28. Oh yeah, I'm running to the store, as there's only one Diet Cherry Coke in the house and that will not cut it on a sermon-writing day. Can I get anyone anything while I'm out?

  29. this preacher from across the pond has been out for the day and is only now thinking about a sermon ( 5:30 pm!)

  30. Rainbow Pastor, how did I miss your exciting weekend? Happy Birthday, and enjoy the service!

  31. We will walk together, and we will talk things over, and when we least expect it, we WILL see Jesus!!

    SongBird, may I quote you? That is so much better than what I was straining to write.

  32. You certainly may!
    (And maybe I ought to cut and paste that right into my own sermon...)

  33. Back from morning session meeting where a few of my leaders had tears at how much better I looked, talked and in their words 'bounced'. And yet I still hesitate to get too personal in my 'When Jesus is a Stranger' sermon tomorrow as I have been slapped before by one for talking too personally about myself.

    I hate that 'one' changes everything, but it does.

    Also, wondering just how long out of sermon time I want to take to explain what 'geocacher' means.

    Virtual bag of salt and vinegar chips for me and anyone out there who was on the boat, are you still 'rocking' or do I need to call the doctor?

  34. Hi all. Not preaching this week, but I preached this text for the Sunday before Thanksgiving in 2006 here.
    Perhaps it will be helpful to someone.
    Grace and peace to you...and sugar-free fudge pies; I'm baking today.

  35. Just a little swimmy at times, will smama. Hope it's not too bad for you!

    Preachers, anyone ready for Diet Coke? Or would you prefer another pot of coffee?

    I have about half a sermon, with the rest outlined, and I'm going to push on before I go up to the church at 3 to check out the rented sound system and search for the box containing my robe and stoles.

    How's it going out there?

  36. Hey there, everyone. I hope that you are all well. I brought some early spring strawberries. Enjoy.

    Last night was a busy one with a memorial service and concert. So, to keep myself sane, I actually finished the sermon for Sunday on Thursday. Here's a link for you.

    Blessings on everyone.

  37. Okay, up from nappage, grabbing diet coke and aiming to put in a good hour of uninterrupted... hey! a squirrel!

  38. Mmmmmm.....nappage. Sounds good ws. I may need to have some nappage myself. Soon.

  39. Back from the ball game, where we nearly froze to death and the girls lost. Oh well.

    So how is it going? I have pop corn for those who want it, not much else, sorry.

    And sadly I have no sermon. I have an old sermon on this passage, but it doesn't fit this church. I have thought about focusing on their eyes were open when Jesus broke the bread. I plan to make a connect to Holy Communion since it is the Sunday for it.

    How are the rest of you doing with your sermons and day?

  40. Here are my sermon thoughts although I am not preaching tomorrow. Old habits die hard.

  41. Your friendly seminarian checking in here...
    I spent the morning finding paperwork to get money back from our old cellular phone service (grr grr grr) and then when I called them, they would not talk to me because I am not "primary" on the account (grr grr grr)

    NOW I am back to writing a paper on a "strategic plan for missions and outreach in a local church" -- totally bogus assignment because I get to make up the church, its budget and demographics.

    I'd rather be preaching. :)

  42. hey all... happy birthday, rp!

    sitting in my stunningly clean and orderly house- it is amazing what happens when you get ready to move. sigh.

    sermon drafted and posted here. short and sweet and done four hours before first preaching. not so bad.

    i supposedly meet with senior highs on the first saturday of the month at 4 p.m., but i forgot to advertise and... i'm hoping nobody shows. sleepy.

    great visit with a young couple who started worshipping with us out of the blue a few weeks ago. sigh. the things that happen just before we leave.

    vicar of hogsmeade- my, my, my on that class you're taking. basic quant methods was bad enough for me.

    some good children's sermon ideas out there, any others- especially communion focused?

    blessings, all.

  43. Brrr, rev abi. My fingers tingle just thinking of those early April ballgames and ALWAYS hitting the ball off the end of the metal bat - BEES!!!

    2/3's done will have to do for now. It is time to let the final 1/3 percolate while I run a couple of errands and pick up The Boy. This means I will see you all MUCH later.

    Keep it going!
    Happy birthday RP! I hope the new relationship continues to thrive.

  44. I'm only lacking a conclusion at this point, but I'm also in the unusual position of having to cut - I'm at 2200 words, which is waaay long, especially when we're celebrating communion. Perhaps a slice of Heath Bar cheesecake will help me get rid of any rabbit trails?

  45. Happy birthday, RP! Mine's next Wednesday :)

    I have done some necessary shopping and have some beginning notes sketched out, but that's about it. I like my worship link idea, but I feel like that's not quite...piercing enough.

    I do really like the Dorothy Day quote mentioned earlier, as well as the resuscitation vs. resurrection complex. My people are definitely stuck in resuscitation mode and maybe it would be good to call them on it. (I am starting to get REALLY tired of how any adult ed discussion ends up with "fifty years ago we..." or "that church down the street does...")

    Oh well. Guess I should get something else down before I need to head to the school musical tonight.

  46. Hi friends, just getting started. Had many, many hours of draining but productive Presby stuff this morning that I moderated.

    I think this is the latest I have ever begun. Ack!!!

  47. Sermon moving along like a snail. This one is harder than I thought it would be. I'm not an emotional preacher - I can't think of a time when I've become verklempt in the pulpit. Tomorrow I may not be able to pull off the cool demeanour. I'm kind of freaking out about it.

    I know, I know, it's just medical leave. It's not like I'm leaving forever (I'm definitely not) - it's just a few months. But still..

    Any suggestions??

  48. Sue, the Spirit has got your back. Whether you tear up or not, God is watching out for you and for your congregation.

    In many ways this leave you are taking could be a gift to them, in that you are modeling the ability to stop and take care of ourselves. I find that my peeps have far too few models for that kind of care.


  49. Sue, quit freaking, be who you are, and let Christ be present in you and through you. No telling who else out there needs Christ in you. But I also know how you feel.

    Happy Bday RP, hope all goes well with the relationship.

    Man you all who are through and have clean homes need to come write our sermons and clean our homes. Anybody for some suckers? I sure have been sucking on them.

  50. Abi, right on!
    Also, anyone cooking can feel free to send dinner over here. We've been eating salad out of a bag and Ethnic Gourmet frozen dinners all week. May have something to do with starting a new job, in our case.
    Who out there needs some encouragement? A catered meal? A quick manicure before tomorrow?
    That last one would be me...

  51. I'm a long-time RevGals lurker, joining y'all for Preacher Party because I've been out of the preaching rotation for a long time and have been working on some practice homilies to get back up to speed. Preaching again for real in two weeks and may be preaching more this summer.

    I'm writing on the Acts lesson and comparing Peter's (justified) righteous anger with the Spirit's descent on the people there. I've already written a section talking about how the crowd's instant repentance is hard to believe — unless you realize that just over Peter's shoulder is a loving Spirit offering the promise of reconciliation.

    I used a little childhood story, talking about how as kids we often hid a little fib with lie and lie when we face an angry parent, but if we see a loving, disappointed face over their shoulder, often that's all it takes for us to fess up.

    Right now I'm struggling to make it less "Jesus-and-me", as a friend described it, talking about the social implications of the question "what, then, shall we do?"

    Blessings to all — hope you're making progress!

  52. christ t., WELCOME! "Jesus and me" is a GREAT way of describing what I am trying to avoid as well.
    One of the commentaries reminded me not to talk about my experience, but rather the God we experience.

    that's easier said than done.

    Count me in on having cleaners and writers show up at my place!

  53. Although, as always, I would welcome Antonio Banderas with a completed sermon.

  54. Happy Birthday, RP! And I would LOVE a manicure...oh would I ever.
    I had a busy day. Visited mom in nursing home (who was very depressed) but two new blouses went a long ways toward cheering her up. Then went shopping for some items that are going into a box to ship to one of our young women who is present ministering in Zambia. Then home and a small amount of cleaning. It needs major cleaning, but time is passing. Now I have some garlicky chicken in the oven which is smelling divine, rolls made (dh will be a happy man), salad together, and ack--a splitting headache. And only the barest bones of a sermon idea. I did not expect this text to be difficult, but it isn't coming together in my mind. Well, off to find the Tylenol and then try to at least get started while dinner cooks.

    And Sue, you might find it will be your best sermon ever! Praying for you, however. (((sue)))

  55. so I did sermon late fri afternoon after the week of funerals with uhm... words fail me. suffice it to say there was no liquor during worship; or country songs played on cd; or anythign resembling open mic night.

    so... i'm a bit freaky. my sermon sucks. sucks. sucks. but i have this addiction to bball right now... memphis is kickin' ucla's behind ever so slightly.

    so i'm lurking for ideas... talkin' bout roads we've never been on and how even if we don't know the direction of them... Jesus is there with us. *sigh*

    cold beer, chicken strips, fried potatoes & cherry cobbler i can share.

  56. Singing Owl, I'm afraid the best I can do is taking off the Big Event nail polish, which is making me sad.
    But I still have my painted-on tattoo!!!!

  57. I think I'm done with my revisions. I had to cut a big chunk of my ending and rework my conclusion to get my last point in (ended up bringing in the Gospel text — I've never really been able to work in a second text successfully before). I feel like I have faced three of my biggest problems with this homily — bringing in stories/illustrations, trying not to stay so close to the text that I'm just retelling, and writing sermons that are way too short!

    Here is a link for anyone who feels like giving feedback or borrowing ideas! :-)

  58. I want a manicure too. (sigh)

    back from... meeting with 5 year olds, meeting with couple getting married, visiting in psychiatric ward, and short afternoon visit to nearby pretty small town. it's 60 here. might snow tomorrow.

    How is everyone doing?

    we are starting our survey process for Natural church Development tomorrow.

    I love this text. Our Bible study group really focussed on "their eyes were kept from recognizing him" and the whole stranger aspect. Someone also noticed the detail about Jesus seeming to go on without them, until they invited "Stay with us."

    oh well...

    great party, Songbird!

  59. Just getting here and checking in before running off to copy bulletins.

    I'm using Luke, but my title is "Haven't you heard?" I thought it was interesting how they were able to tell Jesus all about what was going on. Why can't we be more willing to tell people about Jesus? Does it have to just be the rumors that keep us interested - the sensational? I have to be careful that I don't pull in the way the prayer chain phone tree is used to spread gossip as much as prayer requests.

    We've had a key person very ill this week, and the hospital thought she would only last a few days. Now the meds have stabilized her to the point that she may go home on Monday. I was in a panic because I'm leaving on a mission to Haiti Thursday, and one more funeral can't fit my schedule for the next few days. I invited a former pastor who is close to the woman- as a just in case, but she feels that she is TOO close. So I had my friend who is filling in for me on alert. But God is good, and it looks like the panic was for naught.

    Off to run bulletins, and I'll check in later.

  60. WOW, miss the whole day and party and there's a lot of catching up to do....Happy Birthday, prayers for healing, welcoming of newcomers...I really need to sit down and re-read my sermon and see what I need to do to get it ready! Off to sit outside in the late afternoon, amongst the blooming rose bushes, with an iced tea and dark chocolate....join me!

    I'm talking about "movement" in my sermon...physical movement (walking to get from point A to B), spiritual movement (healing that comes from sharing stories), divine movement (the recognizing of Jesus in the offering of hospitality)....and I use yoga as an intro - how practicing yoga has brought me physical and spiritual movement....hmmm, now, does it actually hang together...

  61. Oh, Antonio! Thank you!! My sermon is complete! (Please don't let it be a stinker!)

  62. Oh, and I'm taking a gps to Haiti with me to find wells and latrines...does that count as international geocaching?

  63. Sounds like it should to me, Kim!

  64. Songbird, thanks for posting so early. But today, I am on your side of the pond. Yipeee!. I'm having a ball in virginia, preaching tomorrow in Headwaters chapel and McDowell Presbyterian church in Highland.Preaching on the Walk to Emmaus and breaking bread with the congregation, some of whom I met today. Its sooo good to be here. I just hope they will think so too.I hope they can interpret my Scottish accent.We have wine flowing and chicken noodle soup for supper.

  65. Liz, I'm sure they will eat you up with a spoon! Just ask Kathryn if we had trouble understanding *her* accent at the Big Event!

  66. Ok, well, here is where I am with the sermon at this point in time: Finding Wholeness...

    now, off to read what others are saying....

  67. Okay, I'm done. It's really a very "teachy" kind of sermon, because I have to introduce a new structure for the deacon's responsibilities, so it is not blog-friendly for that reason.

    But, hey, "1400 words that don't make me want to jump off a bridge", as I like to say.

    I'll keep 'em.

  68. I don't know if it will preach... but it's what I needed to hear and feel. I'm looking forward to worship tomorrow... because I need to taste and see... really see Jesus. I posted a draft... here.

    If you are hungry... hubbahubba just made brownies with walnuts... and we have vanilla ice cream. If you want... I can also dish up some fettuccine alfredo.

    Going to eat a brownie and then go to bed. Peace

  69. Presbytery met today. I led worship and presided over the sacrament of holy communion. It was wonderful, and I feel blessed.
    Prayers for all of you as you prepare to preach, may God's words abound!
    I'm having a hard time figuring out what to say to a congregation that doesn't want me to say anything right now. Please pray for healing or another call.

  70. cpc, you have my prayers.

    Friends, what do you need? Tea? Moxie? Popcorn?

    Let me know, I am ready to serve.

    will smama, where are you?

  71. Showing up at 9:15est to hopefully do a swift and sure final 1/3rd. We shall see...

    I think that does count as geocaching, but be VERY careful of what treasure you take.

  72. I love reading your ideas on Emmaus and having a late dinner with y'all. I'm taking the artist route tomorrow and will have Caravaggio's 2nd Supper at Emmaus painting at the back of sanctuary to be seen as people enter and leave. After I tell the story, I'll talk about his painting and work my way to our living as brush strokes on a canvas. I'll put up a blank canvas mid-way thru sermon and hope it is helpful - not distracting.
    I'm inviting the kids to recall a birthday meal and tell me about it. Then ask about pictures as way to tell the story of something special happening. Gotta wind that up better, but it will come.
    thanks to all!
    1-4 grace I AM jealous of your hearing Tom Long. He spoke here 4 years ago when he will still working on his funeral stuff. I suggested he include HBO's 6 Feet Under for fun.
    diane- i can so relate to you and I don't like to even remember how it feels when I am not the 'chosen one'.

  73. It's 8:25 p.m. and I'm finally joining the party. I had a WONDERFUL morning with a parent/child class about communion. We had had a lot of parents asking about letting their kids take communion so I put together a workshop to help parents and kids better participate. It was AWESOME!!!

    Anyway, since we don't do an official "first communion", but since we do want to honor the new deeper understandings, tomorrow I'm really focusing on communion in my sermon. Works WONDERFULLY that this week's gospel is what it is. It also works WONDERFULLY that this week the folks from the presbytery camp are coming to do some advertising, etc. I'm going to set the disciples revelatory meal with Jesus as a campfire. I don't think it's too much of a stretch. S'mores - - now that's a stretch...literally. MMMMMM....S'MORES!!!

    Anyone want some? I might have to make a grocery run!

  74. revanne - - I love your previous sermon. I really love it. I am sure that having read it pieces will inform my preaching in ways I won't be able to identify, but that I will greatly appreciate.

  75. CPCM, I'm sorry. Praying for you, and the church.

    After the rolls, I used the dough for communion bread for tomorrow. Usually someone else does, but this week I did. The house smells wonderful. And the sermon is done. I don't love it, but it is done. It is about sharing the good news and sharing Christ.

    Jesus began his revealation to the two on the road by finding them, not just expecting them to come to him, walking with them, engaging them in conversation, asking questions and listening...and only then sharing scripture...and still they did not "see" him till he sat at the table and broke bread with them. We think we just need to hit people with some Bible verses, and presto chango, it is done, or we give up. Well, WE don't think that...oh, you know what I mean. I hope it preaches better than it looks on paper.

    Now I have to put together some notes for a training mtg. with our new small group leaders---and I totally forgot about it till now. Well, at least I am remembering now and not tomorrow at church.

    The headache is gone. Whew! I'll check in on you all after a while.

    Have a roll if you like! :-)

  76. I just had another thought...(in our house, the common to that phrase is "Uh oh."

    I was reading some notes I wrote last week or earlier this week, and saw the words "familiar stranger," and it made me think about how many of us claim being familiar with Jesus, but in many cases he really remains a our choice, not his.

  77. Back from the boy's ball game. It got colder as the sun went down. But they played so much better, and Zach got some hits. Way to go little guy! Its the first game he got to play after having his surgery and boy was he happy.

    I still have no sermon but further a long. I have been listening to lovely music by the Westminster Cathedral and then St Paul choirs. They have uplifted my soul. Found them on You tube while searching for something else. Perhaps they will help me finish up.

    How's everyone else doing?
    I have frozen fruit bars for sharing.

    Wow so many of you are done, and written some really good sermons. Such talented folks.

    Maybe one day they'll make a gps for finding sermons.

  78. a geocache full of sermons!!! what a great idea!

  79. Homiletical Geocaching?

    I'm there!

    And so is Antonio.

  80. Now Abi, THAT was funny. I actually think I heard the Vicar squeal!

  81. so true!

    btw, the best part of class today was the lunch break when I found 3 of the 11 geocaches that have been hidden on campus recently :)

  82. What do you do when the sermon you wrote,(ahem, I wrote) and liked, while in the midst of a terrible head cold, no longer seems substantial enough, now that the head is clearing...oh my...suggestions welcome if you have the energy to drop on by, I left the link above....

    diane, I've been in your shoes. I hope you can trust, to the core of your being, that you are fabulous, no matter what.

    CPCM - so good to hear you on this blog, prayers continue in abundance....

  83. Y'all, I must repair to bed, as I have a full day at my new church, as follows:

    Communion for developmentally disabled adults,
    followed by church service with Communion,
    followed by a reception,
    followed by a Church Council meeting.

    Followed by a collapse.

    When you're all finished, get the lights! I'll put on a fresh pot of coffee as soon as I get up in the morning.

    Night, all!

  84. mompriest, you walk the dog proud. Don't worry, Jesus will come again and some of my worst. sermons. ever. have been redeemed by the Holy Spirit.

    Taking a break to watch the end of the NC/Kansas game. Listing Straight needs all the help she can get to keep people in her parish happy and going to church!

  85. Just got back from the church auction (15 minutes ago or so) and am somewhat exhausted with a headache. (Gee I wish the youngest 2 would go back to not waking up in the middle of the night. Every. Single Night.) MMy thoughtson transformation will have to finish perking overnight.

    ANd since I often wake up on Sunday thinking I got nothing,my preaching career is a testament to the redemptive power of the HS.

  86. Well, my notes for small group leaders meeting are done, complete with cute clip art. I'm happier with the group notes than the sermon. Sure hope it looks better in the a.m. but I'll do my best to walk it proud in any case. Praying for all preachers tomorrow. I am off to bed. Good night. zzzzzzzzzzz

  87. CPCM - so sorry. Prayers going up here too...

    Diane - what Mompriest said. You are fabulous!

    I'm off to bed. Not sure how much sleeping will happen. I'm relying very heavily on the Holy Spirit tomorrow. Thankfully, her power is abundant and overflowing with blessing.

    'nite everyone.

  88. Hugs to all the exhausted and discouraged folks out there...

    I'm back from the school musical, having watched one of our youth be Pharoah in Joseph and the ATDC...two other youth were on stage crew.

    So while that was full of awesome, now I have to figure out some kind of sermon from my page of scrambled notes. Conference assembly tomorrow, so I can't get a holy nap tomorrow afternoon either.

    Whine whine whine. Maybe I should try writing for a while!

  89. Here's my last suggestion for the evening.

    I saw it in Italy and it remains a late night inspiration. he he

  90. I think I need to know about how to get delivery from there ... not tonight .. but for the future

  91. I am done-ish. Done because it is; 'ish' because I know if I had one more day to play with it, it could be richer.

    I guess that is why the lectionary comes 'round every 3 years.

    G'night and good luck!

    Sue, prayers ascending. May the courage you showed in making this decision be equalled and more by the grace and rest you receive.

  92. Just wanted to let folks know I'm still out here! Things are going fairly well. I hope to be done by midnight my time (55 more minutes), but I'll be OK if I'm just at a stopping point by then and have to wake up at 4:00 a.m. or so. We're taking two cars to church in the morning, so I'll have some peace in my office before worship since the kids will be home with my husband and FIL instead of messing with my things while I try to edit my sermon. That will be helpful!

    I'll check in again before I turn my light out here.

    Blessings on all who are sleeping and all who are still writing!!!

  93. we're almost to 100 but I'm to tired to stay up any more

    blessings for worship

  94. Well, I lied. I'm going to hit the hay now, 20 minutes to midnight. I've made enough progress and know where I'm going to end up well enough that I'd rather just go to bed now. I'll be able to finish this bad boy up in a couple of hours easily in the morning. I'm ready to snooze!

    Someone else gets to be #100 tonight. I'll leave things hanging at 99!

  95. I'm here! I might even be 100!

    And I haven't even started writing yet! (Unless you count the opening prayer.)

    What is wrong with me? I'm not even tired yet!

  96. hey, for once I'm sitting here at 1am, almost done...perhaps it's because I haven't checked in here before now, perhaps it's because the holy spirit decided to flow early tonight. the world may never know. :-)
    semfem, you still out there?
    Good luck writing tonight...I'll send some of my inspiration your way. :-)

  97. semfem,
    i'm done and out of here.
    blessings on your journey tonight!

  98. Leanne--hello, good night, and thank you!

    I don't suppose anybody else is out there...?

    I trucked along rapidly for a page and a half. Now I'm momentarily stalled.

  99. la la la la la...sermon, oh please, won't you be finished?

    I'm THISCLOSE to finishing, but it just seems to fade out at the end.

    Seems like somebody (she rev?) should be up soon and working on finishing...

  100. Okay, I think I am DONE! It's longer than I would like, but at least it's finished.

    Off now to take a shower and grab a few hours of sleep. I'll put a fresh pot of coffee on for the early birds who will be arriving soon.

    Blessings on all preaching, pondering, and proclamation!

  101. I'm back up semfem. It's a good thing I was feeling so confident last night because the night was even shorter than it should have been. The toothless wonder was up much of the night teething and it took until 1:40 a.m. for him to finally calm down with the help of a little drugging. Ugh. That made 4:15 a.m. come way too soon.

    Guess I getter see how I can finish this sucker up as quickly as possible so I can head back to bed for as long as possible. I say that every time and NEVER get to go back to sleep. Maybe this week!

  102. SheRev, you are not alone. I'm back now. I had some good notes last night, and I think I can finish up this morning, then I'm off until the 20th! No sermon next week because I'll be far away!

    How's it coming?

  103. Good morning! Good morning! Thanks to a cat who thinks I am a mattress, I was up earlier than I would have liked. I've hung up/put away a load of laundry, changed the printer cartridge and caught up with all of you. Now it's time to print the sermon and prayer, go downstairs, let the dogs out and put on the coffee. Anyone ready for a cup?

  104. Coffee here, please! I'm off to be Vestryperson of the day...meaning open & close the doors and MAKE the coffee.

    Blessings on all...

  105. I'm finished and will get to snooze another 30 minutes or so until I need to get up and get moving - pump some milk for the baby to have while I'm working and get myself and him fed and dressed. The blessing this morning is the my husband and FIL will be driving separate this morning (usually the family and I go in together and it STRESSES ME OUT) so I don't have to be as concerned with getting everyone ready. Woo hoo!!

    Blessings on everyone today!

  106. Blessings SB as you bring the Word to your new Call!

  107. hotcup, shall I make that a mocha? I have the Ghirardelli's handy!

  108. Thanks, will smama!

    May all who preach and all who listen be blessed this morning!

    And a blessing for those who drift off, too, because, really, God loves everyone.

  109. Still adjusting to US time, so I've been up for a while. Enjoyed dutch apple bagels with hazelnut cream cheese. I never eat breakfast at home on a Sunday.
    Just reading over bulletin etc. Think I'm set to go. Blessings on all you hard working, fun lovin preachers.

  110. Okay honestly, I still have no written sermon. Its all upstairs. that is good and bad. Due to too many distractions, games, children etc, I just could not get it written and fell asleep when all went silent. So do i go ahead and go with the old sermon, or wing it with all these thoughts....toin coss....Holy Spirit....Arrgh.

  111. Okay went back and reread original sermon. It is what I am going to use. It contains the elements i was going to write for this sermon, I may though find another beginning and another ending.

    What a busy day you have sb, hope all goes well with your new beginning.
    Prayers for all the tired, the unsure, the finished sermons, for all of us, may Jesus be revealed to us and to the pew sitters today. May our eyes be opened. May our hearts be burning....

  112. Diane, thinking of you as you start your NCD process. Will be interested in hearing from you how that goes.

    cpcm, I am with you, and I think that is part of my struggle with my sermon writing these days. I am such a lame duck. quack quack quack. Prayers for you cpcm. You got my support. you say what the Holy Spirit wants you to say is what I have found.

    singingowl, thinking of you as you deal with your mom's up and down and the increasing downs and deeper downs. It makes for difficult sermon writing. Hope the headache is eased.

    hot cup lutheran, all those funerals can be such a drain. Prayers as the holy spirit's winds blow into you energizing you and through you.

    cheeshead, teachy is sometimes what the congregation needs.

    Liz, I wish I was there listening to you, and really I was listening to all of you, instead of where I am, but until then....

    Did I cover everybody? If not you have my prayers, and the Holy Spirit has your back side. Gord what a wonderful thought; "the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit."

    I just love partying with you all...

  113. Came in about an hour ago to discover that today is the first Sunday of April and the sermon I have been thinking of preaching for adults now has to be downsized for children. Good thing I'm reading Looking Around for God by James A. Autry. He's got a great story about his autistic son's first track meet that will tie in nicely with my question, "where/when do we see Jesus on our own roads?"
    Now if I could just decide what to do with the senior high Sunday school class....

  114. Thanks for letting me worry about this Sunday's sermon and preaching.
    God is good, I found a new beginning talking about Sunday dinners, dinners with my family, and then used the majority of what I originally wrote about how Jesus revealed himself then and now. People liked it especially about the food. We always like food. And it led right into communion.

    So thanks you all.

  115. "We always like food." Smiling at you, Abi. Spoken like a church lady! Glad ot wemt well.

  116. Monday Morning here, 4 a.m.-ish.

    Reading all the comments here reminds me of how much I need and appreciate the RevGals and the preacher party!

    Adorable! You are all adorable!


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