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Saturday, April 19, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: "Stones or Scones?" Edition

Good morning, preaching gals and pals!

Are you under way with your sermon?

Wondering how to write while squeezing in church or personal commitments?

Need a place to stop for support, inspiration, a shoulder chuck or a napkin placed graciously in your lap?

Thank goodness you've found the Preacher Party, your one stop preaching preparation event. Whether you are puzzling over finding the Good News in stoning or just hoping there will be scones, you are welcome here.

Coffee is on, and so is hot water. Have a banana while we wait for the scones to come out of the oven, okay?

(And if your work is complete, try not to sound TOO pleased at least until this afternoon!)

122 comments:

  1. Dogs, Weight Watchers, lunch with a ladies group at church, hoped-for time in the sunshine--that's the day I have in store.
    Oh.
    And a sermon.
    I'm on part two of my Henri Nouwen series, this week is "Blessed," which I am working in with Psalm 31.
    Time to feed the pups, back in a while to refresh the coffee!

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  2. Good morning everybody!

    I bring rhubarb muffins to this fine party.

    I haven't started on my sermon yet but I have been thinking about it quite a bit. I've always had problems with how John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one goes to the father except through me." has been misinterpreted to mean christian exclusivism. I want to talk about its original intent, a celebration of the particulurism of Jesus' relationship with God.

    I have to get my ideas to congeal on paper because they are quite scattered in my head.

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  3. I bear bagels and cream cheese... cereal... homemade trail mix... fat free yogurt... fresh fruit...and lots of coffee. (Can you tell I went grocery shopping????)

    I'm preaching on 1 Peter 2:2-10 text this week. Last week we talked about what it means to be the church... in light of Acts 2: 42-47... and the 1 Peter text seems to be in the same vein. I'm looking at what it means to be a living stone (as opposed to a rock in a pew???). Probably won't go there... but close.

    During a congregation meeting last week we talked about our dreams for the church... and they were asked how each of them could make the dreams come true. Not a single person stepped up and said... I'm willing to do X to make Y happen. Ah... sounds a like a lot of rocks in the pews... not living stones.

    May the words of God flow easily for each of you today...

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  4. Those are big ideas for so early in the morning, g_g, I'm sure time and nourishment will assist you!
    PK, I love the idea of living stones, reminds me of the singing stones of Luke's Palm Sunday story.

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  5. Woo hoo!! I've got my first preaching break since I started here at this call January 1. I'm pretty excited. We're dedicating the new stained glass windows in our building that's only 3 years old, so the artist who designed and made them is "preaching". I think it will be very interesting, but might go a little "long". I think people will love it because he is really interesting.

    Anyway, all I'm working on for tomorrow is the prayer dedicating the windows which I'm going to base on the 6 designs in the window. I've got an outline constructed for that and will fill in the words sometime.

    In the meantime, I'm filling in with a high school string orchestra run by one of our members since his bass player had to drop out of the concert at the last minute. It's this afternoon. Then LadyPrincess (the almost 3 year old) and I are going to work on a baking project for a mission fundraiser tomorrow at church. I'll check in sometimes today for support!

    Happy preparing!

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  6. I have some crescent rolls with chocoloate chips stuffed inside...nothing says "wake up" like sugar and coffee!

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  7. something to ponder. in light of the acts reading in our lectionary, is the way of Jesus just another excuse to get stoned. something to think about....

    :)

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  8. I'm working my way through a sermon mini-series on Being Church.

    Week 1: Belonging One to Another (The call of Christ is one to mutual love and forbearance.)
    Week 2: All Things In Common (It's not an affinity group, peeps!)
    Week 3: Chosen and Precious (We are the elect not for our specialness, but for a purpose!)

    Tomorrow is that last one.

    I bring really, really good, really, really strong shade grown organic fair trade coffee.

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  9. I've broken half the bones in my right - of course - hand, and dislocated the rest so will be preaching from a bare bones (you have permission to groan) outline on John 14. Should be interesting. Prayers would be much appreciated;)

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  10. Oh, pastornines, you make me glad I didn't mention my inflamed wrist tendon sheaths...
    Blessings to you as you prepare for tomorrow. I can only imagine there will be great compassion for you!

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  11. blessings all. i just posted my sermon on the 1 peter text my way. i drafted it on wednesday anticipating a full thursday and friday and knowing i yet had a funeral meditation to write- which got written at 6 a.m. this morning.

    running out the door now to a string of commitments, including that funeral all day long.

    feel free to help yourself to yogurt, fresh fruit, saltines : ), and other tummy friendly fare in my kitchen.

    pastor nines, OUCH.

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  12. and yes, a prayer for you pastor nines as i run out the door.

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  13. Pastornines, Yowza! That sounds very painful and most inconvenient.

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  14. pastor nines, prayers of healing!

    am so grateful for this preacher party...I am SUPPOSED to be leaving today with our youth to do home repair in Appalachia, but my colleague was hospitalized on Thursday to await major heart surgery on Monday (poor thing)...so after spending most of yesterday day trying to get a chaperone to replace me, notifying congregants, preparing for the wedding tonight,getting things ready for baptism on Sunday, last minute hand-off details for mission trip, I am just sitting down to read these texts for the sermon I will get to write tonight after said wedding. prayers for my colleague, prayers for the mission trip, and writing muse blessings for the service Sunday. You all are part of the muse!

    If any one is tying these texts to a baptismal service....well...let me know! I see some connections....

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  15. oh, I have got fresh strawberries, kashi seven grain cereal, organic soymilk, and equal exchange "Love Buzz" blend coffee to share...

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  16. unfortunately, I'm sick today. I'm missing our Synod Assembly even now. I am hoping to lay low and be well enough to preside tomorrow a.m. I am looking forward to the 10:00 baptism.

    then we are going on a short trip out of town.

    Feed the dog and then back to bed.

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  17. pastornines - YOWCH! Diane, feel better.

    I have a sermon based on Acts brewing and a paper to write for a lectionary study group stewing. First... I am seriously thinking a 20 minute cat nap might be in order.

    Is that wrong?

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  18. Karlajean, pastornines,diane!! Time to get out the prayer shawl!

    G_g, thanks for the tip. I am preaching on the misuse of that passage. I am the way--NOT the ONLY way.

    A little piece I wrote for American Bible Society got picked up by Textweek.com. If it can help.
    http://www.bibles.com/content/pdf/EBulletin_04_20_08__6_1_8167.pdf

    Meanwhile virtual scones sound better than my real Grapenuts and Splenda.

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  19. Should be a quiet day...son is off to a robotics competition two hours away, hubby went to work, daughter is doing homework (or surfing the net - does one really ever know?) so I am faced with working on my paper or working on my sermon ... hmmm?

    I thought I would be speaking about my trip to Haiti and the section of the Gospel when Jesus says if you've seen Jesus you've seen God, then linking it to Matthew 25 "When did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked or in prison?" BUT my trip to Haiti got canceled because of the violence there, so I don't have that experience to draw on, yet, God does provide and it has been a week full of sick people and hungry people, and even my first ever visit of a person in jail. Now we're trying to find him a good attorney. I've been proud of my church. They have rallied around the family.

    Prayers for pastornines and others with challenges, struggles and busy schedules. The Midwest Express chocolate cookies just came out of the oven. Anybody want one?

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  20. WS, a nap is almost never wrong (unless it's during your own sermon on Sunday morning...). :-)

    After last week's nightmare, I am blessedly free this week. I am taking our confirmation class on a field trip to a Coptic Orthodox Church in the morning (it's Orthodox Palm Sunday...the average service is nearly 4 hours....it's in Arabic, Coptic, and English at different points...awesome) and to the 2nd night Seder at the synagogue next door to us in the evening. A full day, but no responsibility on my part except to keep track of some teenagers. It's a beautiful thing.

    I have pancakes...and cinnamon life cereal (I'd forgotten how good that is) and lots and lots of local organic fat free milk! Help me out here, people--I had to buy a gallon b/c they were out of skim half gallons. I'll have to be creative to drink that much milk.

    I picked up a treat for later too: ben and jerry's Americone Dream. :-)

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  21. Oh my goodness...prayers to pastornines, Diane, Karlajean and Songbird! You all are up and off I see. Me too, I come bearing the donuts this morning...we have diocesan regional meeting at my place...woo-hoo...till two, then after that I have to buckle down to prep a service and sermon for the local nursing home for tomorrow. I love doing it but it's a little out of my comfort zone as they are not "my" folks and I never feel like I know quite what to say. Right now I'm noodling around with "conversion can never come too late, and that little bit about it was Saul/Paul in there stoning Peter. Oops...voices in the hall. Gotta hostess....back later!

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  22. Ow, broken hand. Prayers for you Pastornines, and also for Karlajean and Diane.

    I'm sick too, with a severe sinus/ear infection. So I'm really glad for the Plan A ideas from Tuesday lectionary leanings on the Acts passage - my brain doesn't work well with all the medications I'm taking.

    I have grapes, nectarines and pears to share. Could someone pass me one of those rhubarb muffins?

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  23. Hi-ho, hi-ho.. back to work, blah, blah, blah.

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  24. writing early (for me) today as mom is here doing her Bible study and then we want to go play!!! I am hoping a certain green purse may be at the store in Kohl since it is gone online...

    I am looking at acts and forgiveness. it is pulpit exchange week here, so I am not preaching to my people, and as the lectionary is not being used in my church today, i may get 2 for one, and re-preach in my church next week! (is that awful?)..

    so Acts, forgiveness, and the book "amish grace" by Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt and David Weaver-Zercher, which offers some really good insights.

    from page xiv "in telling the Amish story it is important to distinguish forgiveness from both pardon and reconciliation. Whereas in forgiveness the victim forgoes the right to vengeance, pardon releases an offender from punishment altogether. In many cases pardon can be granted, not by the victim, but only by a person or institution with disciplinary authority over the offender (such as the judicial system). Reconciliation is the restoration of a relationship, or the creation of a new one, between the victim and the offender. Reconciliation is not necessary for forgiveness to take place, and of course it does not always happen, because it requires the establishment of trust between two willing parties. In many situations however, reconciliation between victim and offender constitutes the ultimate goal, and forgiveness is a crucial step in that process."

    That'll preach...

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  25. Teri - -two words for you and the milk -- instant pudding.

    I bring green tea (not organic, sorry!) and leftover pasta from last night, as we are nearing the lunch hour.

    Ok, ok, off to work...

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  26. ooh, instant pudding...that sounds so good! I shall have to raid my pantry and see if there's anything good in there. If not, I might be making a second trip to the grocery store (I've already been there this morning since I couldn't eat breakfast without milk...). Thanks!

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  27. knittinpreacher, that is *NOT* awful. That is Grace with a capital "G." :-)

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  28. Oooh, better pray for folks before I do anything else! :-(

    I was going to preach on baptism this Sunday, but now I am wondering (long story) if I need to postpone it a bit.

    Next week I start a five-week series that I'll be posting on my blog, but for now I am at a loss.

    Last Sunday another long-time leadership couple announced their departure. It was a mix--I love and will miss them--but they NEEDED to go. Sigh. But not sure how much more we can take and still pay the mortgage. Lots of thoughts, anger, disappointment, hope, banging around inside me and that is not helping me get inspired.

    Songbird, you have convinced me to do one thing. I am going to the store for some real life scones.

    Back later.

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  29. So, what are the chances the ladies lunch will be anything I can easily count on Weight Watchers?

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  30. More seriously, for those who are working with the way, truth, life stuff, here's a quote from 12th century Muslim mystic and philosopher Ibn al-Arabi, as excerpted in Karen Armstrong's "The Spiral Staircase":

    Do not attach yourself to any particular creed exclusively, so that you may disbelieve all the rest; otherwise you will lose much good, nay, you will fail to recognize the real truth of the matter. God, the omnipresent and omnipotent, is not confined to any one creed, for, he says, "Wheresoever ye turn, there is the face of Allah." Everyone praises what he believes; his god is his own creature, and in praising it he praises himself. Consequently he blames the beliefs of others, which he would not do if he were just, but his dislike is based on ignorance.

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  31. as someone who quits weight watchers quite regularly, I ask you this - -have you tried the non-counting plan? makes eating out easier. you can do it for a week then go back to the other. I also used to take weigh in day off... (but as someone who quit ww a lot, this may not be the best plan. I would weigh in the afternoon, so it was really just dinner i got to splurge on)

    so here's a sermon question -- looking at the acts reading and wondering about the significance of the crowd doing the stoning laying their cloaks at the feet of Saul. Also noticing for the first time that it is a crowd throwing rocks, not just saul. what about the rest of them -were they eventually converted as well?

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  32. Hey All,
    Have a wedding today - meditation half written (ok, so all i really ahve is "life is like a journey..." oh dear), small groups meeting tonight, all important TBall and MUST have some quality time with hubby -- when does a sermon get written in all that? Not at all sure. I'm afraid hubby time is going to be the thing to go once again. Sigh.

    I've got an idea from Seasons of the Spirit curriculum for prayer time (take a stone, write sometthing on it, let it go....) and I'm planning to preach on 1 Peter and John -- something about how cornerstones are just the beginning, and we need to keep building up, adding and knowing that we can bear all the weight of those additions, we wont be crushed by it. We have increased our worshipping number recently, and are starting to feel it, so it migh be the right time for this.

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  33. Oh, and I forgot to mention, we have pancakes. Chocoloate chip or blueberry, depending on your preference :)

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  34. I'm now feeling the need to nap. For what it's worth, my offering on 1 Peter is done and dusted.

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  35. wish i could say i was shocked that there's even debate over whether jesus is the way or a way...
    but i can say i'm saddened by what i read here.

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  36. Greetings, y'all, y'all. Safely back in the UK after two weeks in Virginia and Indy. For the first time in my six years here I've managed to fix it that I'm not preaching the day after I return from a break. Really glad about that - after a 26 hour day(!) what with flights and all. Can offer some delicious raisin and pecan scones all the way from Indianapolis. Blessings on all you preachers tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy listening to my student and then catching up with everyone in a more leisurely fashion at coffee time.

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  37. Songbird, thanks for that quote from Karen Armstrong. That's my favorite book of hers. It gives me just the right thing I need to broach this rather sensitive topic.

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  38. I'm not preaching tomorrow and need the time for other projects. But of course, I am visiting the Preacher Party instead of finishing the projects. Here's my thought about living stone. It's more of a memory with a picture I inserted. Good luck to all writers and healing to the injured and hurting.

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  39. Not preaching this week...but next week I have two sermons ( a funeral and Sunday) and a lectionary reflection for the FT blog to write...and my SIL will be here so it all has to be done before Friday...yup.

    In the meantime, I have a nice warm sunny patio and a pool for anyone who wants to write their sermon here. I'll have iced T, coffee, diet or regular soft drinks, and a variety of snacks...stop by, I'll be around!

    prayers of healing for those in need...

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  40. Okay, I'm about 800 words in. As a preaching mentor of mine says, "That's a big enough front porch on that house, Cheesehead. Start building some rooms!"

    ~~hammer, hammer, nail, nail~~

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  41. Oops! That should say "500" words, not 800. Drat!

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  42. Well the youth took my money and washed my van rather than wrote my sermon or my paper which I thought was the agreement. Oh well...

    Virtual chinese food anyone?

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  43. I'll take some virtual hot and sour soup, WS. I'm feeling a scratchy throat and sniffles coming on.

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  44. You know, I don't mind the points for church-related meals, if the food is good. But I do my best to guess-timate the points. Let's just say in this case the damage was not worth the pointage.
    Diet Cokes all around?

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  45. So, over here working with 2 quotes. Number 1 related to the John passge - "the Way is broad, but it does have kerbstones", I'll be trying to explore what defines us without excluding others.

    And in relation to I Peter, an anecdote from a teenage preacher about how as far as his non/ir religious schoolmates are concerned he is Jesus. Question to the congregation - how are you a living stone and/or royal priesthood ?

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  46. WonderGirl came home from State Forensics Finals over in Hippy-Dippy Capital City with a perfect score!!! Don't know her ranking yet, until all the other finalists in her category finish rounds.

    Woo Hoo! I'm a little distracted now, though.

    As you were...

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  47. knittinpreacher --

    My commentary of choice (LT Johnson's Sacra Pagina volume on Acts) says that that verse may be connected to his use of it in 4:35, 37, and 5:1 (actually 5:2 in the NRSV), signifying that the crowd recognizes Saul as the leader of the people opposed to Stephen.

    Definitely prayers for all who are hurting or ailing. I spent all week traveling -- six states in four days -- but managed to stay healthy besides a migraine Monday night.

    I've gone over and over ideas for tomorrow's homily for the last week and a half -- this is my first time preaching at a nearby friendly TEC parish I've been going to since our parish plant here failed. I couldn't come up with anything worthwhile until I walked around outside talking to myself last night. Now I'm basically done. Bizarrely, all four texts contributed in some way without me trying to pull that off. (I usually focus on one or two texts and ignore the others.)

    Prayers and virtual Chinese food for all those still laboring in the garden!

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  48. Oh my life!
    It's now 9.00, I have about half of an inferior sermon and no real sense of where it's going...but I have to preside at 8.00 and preach at 9.30 so it has to be done tonight. The internet has been down all afternoon, which has added to my fun...BUT I do have some lime tortilla chips and (if it won't spoil your concentration) the Longsuffering Clockmaker has just opened a bottle of red wine...which I'm hoping may inspire creativity.
    Anyone any ideas about how to avoid disaster in preaching on "Whatever you ask in my name..."
    Why did I think that was a good passage to engage with???

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  49. 3:00 here and I am just getting a chance to think seriously about sermon after being at the District UCW rally.

    On Tuesday as I wrote my early thought on the church blog I couldn't help but notice how early, and how preliminary, and how useless they seemed. Unfortunately I am not much farther ahead (having been out of town from Tuesday noon till Fridy noon might have something to do with that).

    Earth DAy is the topic. THe plan, such as it is, is a brief meditation of eco-theological-babble and then invite them to discuss amongst themselves what it means to live/walk/be on holy ground.

    Luckily I got an e-mail today from the national office on just that topic

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  50. UK solidarity to Kathryn re the minefields in the John passage. Here's hoping that as the sands of time run out on this side of the atlantic the red wine helps !

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  51. It's just going to have to...

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  52. It's been a while since I've visited the party. I forgot how much fun y'all have! After an unpredictable week and a morning migraine I'm sitting down at the computer in front of a blank screen. I'm thinking of everyone in your various stages of sermon writing... pray for me that inspiration comes quickly... and pass the red wine (I hear that's good for migraines :>)

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  53. Well papers done... ish, headed to shower trying to gulp down the fear as the realization that all things must be done and printed and all living things must be packed by 9am tomorrow.

    GULP!

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  54. Aaahhh Kathryn, but will we be saying that in the morning ?

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  55. will smama, your efforts have been heroic, and I feel sure the outcome will be fine.
    Congratulations to Wonder Girl!
    I have diddled away a good bit of the afternoon admiring my garden and kibbutzing with friends working in theirs. After I feel the dogs I had better get to work. But the sunshine is so tempting....

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  56. feeling the dogs. tee hee.

    remember, but I am twelve.

    Just had a nap, hitting the sermon once again. 928 words so far.

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  57. songbird,
    I wish I had a puppy to feel this afternoon. hee hee.

    Ok,
    Tball done (got there when it was almost over due to a Round of Stupidness), wedding sermon done and preached (compliments from young photographer, so it must not have totally sucked). I now have to sign everyone up for swim lessons.

    No sermon yet, but that quote from songbird is helping ALOT.

    Also, what should I have for lunch?

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  58. Back from the Diocesan Fronts. All guests are entertained, fed and sent on their way. I have leftover tuna salad and lemonade to share. I see you have all been hard at it! YAY WonderGirl! Having been all social, I now need an introversion break, so I'm off to run some errands and do some house stuff.

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  59. I need a conclusion....has anyone seen one lying about that they don't want.
    It might relate to prayer...otoh, the sermon is such a poor creature that the conclusion might just relate to the stock market, the state of oppressed donkeys in Albania or the whereabouts of Winnie the Pooh. You tell me. Was I REALLY called to preach?!?!

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  60. Yes, you were! And I want to hear the sermons about Winnie the Pooh. And donkeys in Albania.

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  61. Off to random church event... sigh.

    My dog is feeling anxious thanks to gun shots in the area. Knuckleheads...

    I'll be back, please finish my sermon for me while I'm gone!

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  62. Thanks for the congrats on WonderGirl's behalf. She is now celebrating by bossing around...erm...I mean entertaining the boyfriend.

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  63. It's 11pm and I'm still a long way off!
    I'm focusing on us being living stones... i) requiring togetherness if we're to be that spiritual house and not a scattered pile of stones and ii) thinking about what a living stone looks like day-to-day with a couple of stories of how people have lived it out with their particular gifts, circumstances and interests.

    Do you reckon that'll preach?

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  64. Course it will , Chelley...WHY didn't you warn me about the quantum leap from curacy to incumbency? Oh...yeah..I know..cos I would have jumped ship. Ah well...Time for tea?
    My menfolk say print and preach just as it is, and though I'm unconvinced I might just do that. After all, it wouldn't be honest to let them believe they have a stellar preacher here, would it? If only... :-(

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  65. Kathryn, I've been thinking of you recently. Yes it does feel like a quantum leap, eh!
    I've got used to things a bit more now - though the weight of preaching etc still means that I'm here at stupid o'clock on a Saturday night a fair bit. At least the homesickness has worn off now - I'm not expecting you to feel all the same things as me, but I'm praying for you anyway!
    (And I reckon they're extremely blessed to have you there).

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  66. almost done...working on conclusion...suddenly hungry. must eat chocolate.

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  67. Just popping in to say hello. Prayers for all of you dealing with injury and illness!!

    I'm not up to preach tomorrow but am still feeling under a lot of pressure this week and this weekend. I've been juggling too many balls this week and have dropped a few here and there but am still pressing ahead. What do you do when you know you are trying to do too much but don't see much of an alternative? The only places to cut back are the places I am totally unwilling to cut back on - the things that feel most important to my own soul. But I mostly feel like I am never doing enough or good enough in any arena.

    Wow, I didn't mean to come by the preacher party to unload all that. it just spilled out - I figure you folks of anyone understand.

    Blessings on all your sermon prep. I'm off to make dinner, get a couple of boys to bed, and then clean house. Oh yeah - fun Saturday night.

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  68. No preaching from this end of the woods tomorrow. Which is good since my hubby had hand surgery yesterday. I am trying to be a kind and gentle nursemaid. As long as we keep him sedated he's not grouchy at all. ;-)

    Good luck with the good words, all!

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  69. earthchick, this *is* the right place for it!
    I am struggling to connect with the folk in my new setting and have no idea whether I'm headed in the right direction for tomorrow. I took a walk, and now I'm going to have some pad thai, and then I will buckle down and try to make something out of the difference between blasting and blessing.

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  70. earthchick, I feel you on the dropped balls. I'll be praying...

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  71. My CPE supervisor, an annoyingly clever woman, told me once that I seemed like I was in a swimming pool trying to keep all these balls under the water. Splashing around and not able to do the job. Her question, "What would happen if you just let a few of them float?"

    Sometimes you have to let them float. Prayers for you Earthchick

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  72. earthchick, I just stopped by as I am finally up and around, and I know exactly what you are talking about, and I think it's part of the reason I got sick.

    I know that something has to change. too much to do. too much grief. not enough people to do it.

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  73. I was coaching a field hockey tournament all day .... and Is till have to write :-/... Strawberry short cake anyone

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  74. Greetings y'all! Its 8pm here. I just got back from an all day childbirth class after a full week of visitation at the various local hospitals. Hubbie is leading a youth retreat this weekend, babygirl is visiting my folks so I am here alone with my thoughts. However as my thoughts have very little to do with the sermon and very much to do with upcomming stressful congregational meeting they are not good company tonight. Not looking forward to an unprotected morning at church, sad really, that I feel like I need body gaurds to enter the worship space. sigh.

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  75. Prayers surrounding you tomorrow cp!

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  76. From me, too, cpc.

    Now what can I get for you, preachers? I feel I have been a hosting derelict. Who needs a Diet Coke? Weight Watchers Giant Latte bar? Popcorn?

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  77. Oh, cpclergymama, hugs to you - and prayers for you.

    Thanks, y'all, for your understanding words about too much to do and the stress of it. My current problems with letting balls drop (or float - thanks revhrod) is that eventually they have to be dealt with. It's like I really don't have too much problem letting things go at the time. But then they catch up to me - sometimes several things at a time - and that's the part that's hard for me.

    This week it's not even work-related, for the most part (though there is always plenty of that, for sure). It's the house. The finances. Work related to my sons' co-op preschool. Family obligations. Writing obligations (one that I'm under contract for that is - as of this week - 3 months overdue). But mostly, right now, it's the house and the finances that have me particularly down and stressed.

    Okay, enough venting for tonight. Thanks for listening! - and for getting it!!

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  78. earthchick, that's a lot! And there always seems to be so much to juggle. I've worked hard over the past year to figure out which balls to take out of the rotation. But that is harder when there are very young children in the family. (((earthchick)))

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  79. It's possible I had too much in mind when I wrote myself the following note in my sermon outline:
    "Deconstruct prosperity gospel as simpletonian"

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  80. earthchick--my oh my you have a lot of...umm...balls. ;-) Here's hoping and praying for a few to float a little longer.

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  81. songbird, maybe you wrote that while you were feeling your dogs.

    yes, i am twelve.

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  82. (earthchick), (cpc) you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  83. It's time for this twelve year old to go to bed. I've printed my sermon, found a pastoral prayer to share with the community. I haven't written a children's sermon yet. hoping a good nights sleep will give me inspiration.

    Good night and good luck to you all as you finish your sermons.

    Peace and love

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  84. hello, just checking in. I am a regular lurker, just finally got around to taking the 3.7 seconds to get a google account this week so I could comment.

    Wrote the sermon on Wednesday (I know, I know, but it is very out of character, if that helps) and haven't looked at it since. It's a first person narrative on Stephen, going through the whole story. If you've ever read Acts, I'm afraid it will be a bit boring.

    We've had a roller coaster of a week at our house and are currently in the bottom of that drop off, where your stomach has yet to catch up. Blech.

    Prayers for all those who are injured in body or spirit. And happy and swift writing to all.

    And I'd love a diet Coke, thanks. With caffeine, since it's virtual.

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  85. Oh no. Children's sermon. For Stephen, not exactly a child-friendly story. Ideas anyone?

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  86. Prayers to Earthchick and all who are feeling that push of too many and too much. I have been erranding and cleaning my front porch. Um, yeah....since the last time I was here. I was encouraged to do a little self-care and "repurpose" a former sermon for the nursing home tomorrow, since I can pretty much preach on anything I want, rather than reinvent the wheel. So since cleaning has been kind of therapeutic, that seemed rather appealing and I went with it. Still have to do an order of service and tweak the sermon to fit a bit, but I just may skip church (GASP) in the morning and do it then. This self-care stuff could make me downright slothful if I am not careful. But I'm sure the guilt I'm feeling would stop me before I got too far. I think I may be going to bed with my guilt before too long...though I am shocking myseslf. Blessings on all your writing and preaching.

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  87. Teri, you made me grin. From now on, I would like to think of it that way. Maybe when someone asks me to do something, I'll just decide to say no, because I have balls. ;)

    Welcome, esperanza!

    SB, I love the note from your sermon outline! Though my all-time fave is still will smama's "sweet salve of nurture"!!

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  88. Well I'm finally getting down to writing here. I did get a lot done on my paper, even though it's not due for another week and a half. The day turned out lovely after all. I don't expect to be up too late or too early. The sermon has been forming itself the whole week, I just have to capture it.

    Prayers for the jugglers and floaters. I was feeling some of that Thursday and Friday, but it has settled down now.

    Apple pie anyone? It was in the Angel Food order today and looks scrumptious!

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  89. It's just possible I'm rolling, sort of.

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  90. Friends, i am nodding over my laptop. I'll see you in the morning, with coffee. Last one out, get the lights?

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  91. Yeah, my papers are done and I was just about to celebrate when SWEET SALVE OF SALVATION! I realized that my sermon still isn't done.

    oops.

    Esperanza, I plan on throwing rocks at the kids while I ask them if they love Jesus... no?

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  92. i'm here for the late night edition. prom 'round these parts tonight, so exchange students have had me running all day (hair, flowers, pictures, etc. etc.).
    No clue what I'm going to say in the morning, though...but many in my congregation are going to be dead on their feet, so I really could get away with most anything. :-)

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  93. will smama: Children's message: TOO FUNNY. Thanks, I needed that.

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  94. OK.

    Back from dinner with parishioners and tidying my closet and ready to finish up sermon writing here. But you all are cracking me up, making being productive sort of difficult.

    "Deconstruct prosperity gospel as simpletonian"

    Songbird, this is so great! Typical of me also to try and do in one sermon what is probably the work of, you know, a lifetime :)

    Also: "simpletonian" is my new favorite word.

    RE childrens time: I usually do these in advance. I have a note in my worship plan which says "Building blocks from MAM, p. 330" I did this a while ago - I"m assuming that's my clever abbreviation for a book, but which one? Anyone have any ideas?

    And. My word verification (bukzfhhh) is making me laugh. Evidently I'm also 12.

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  95. Diane and CPCM, I am so sorry, and so been there, and partly am there, and praying for you. And me. And all!

    My sermon is done, thanks to inspiration from Chilly Fingers.

    I had a pile of things to do
    today, all involving studying and writing and computer-ing, and I SO wanted to be outside in the semi warm weather raking up the mucky leaves in my yard.

    BUT I am done, and I am actually excited about the sermon, and I am off to bed.

    I will be up early getting ready for company, so I'll turn the lights on and bring coffee for the early risers unless someone is here first. ;-)

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  96. "dwtaf" someone needs to get some coffee to the word verification system. when it asks us to type "sweet salve of something" we'll know who's gotten into the machine. 'nite all, someone will have the coffee on early?

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  97. I'm so glad I'm not the only one still trying to figure out what I'm saying tomorrow around 11pm. I've been sitting with the texts for days but drawing more of a blank than normal. Thanks for the ideas!

    Probably due to the fact that I moved here a week ago and have been unpacking and settling in all week. Also maybe I'm putting pressure on myself because of it only being my second Sunday with my new parish and I hope to come up with something that connects.

    I pray for inspiration and some sleep tonight. Reminding myself that at the end of the day after I'm done wrestling with what to say that God always seems to show up and communicate with the folks, and for that I give grateful praise.

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  98. hee hee, thanks will smama. I'm off to gather up some rocks!

    Unfortunately the sweet baboo seems to have scheduled a fiesta tonight. No sleeping around here. Daddy and I are both exhausted. Bratty preacher's kid.

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  99. Ooh, the comment about throwing stones at the children actually made me think about talking about stones or using stones, as I have a bowl of riverstones as a livingroom decoration.

    Somewhere I have a small clump of magnetized hematite stones a colleague gave me. When you put them near each other they click together like magnets. Can use this as an illustration of being the living stones, being church. I remember seeing them when unpacking earlier this week... now where did I put them is the question, and could I flesh it out enough to preach 10+ minutes?

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  100. Yes, bythesea, yes you can.

    I owe Listing Straight HUGE... now if she would just pack for me.

    Off to put some Sweet Salve of Nurture on my face and go to bed... actually I am probably going to pack but I had to use the SSON line one more time.

    Maybe we could deliver some SSON in the TTOJ?

    Ok. Enough.
    You all are doing great!

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  101. I had a lot of fun with the wedding sermon earlier today. And let me just say Cheesehead rocks! Read the story here

    I just wish I had a "rock" sermon that rocks too

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  102. Hi ladies. It's usually my "job" to chime in here late in the night, but I'm not preaching tomorrow so I've been absent. Just read all the notes, though, and wanted to say Hi and blessings! I'm about to write my prayer to dedicate the new stained glass windows and then hit the hay. Woo hoo! I don't even have to set my alarm for 4:00 a.m. I might not even set it at all since I can usually count on a kids to wake me up in time. Do I dare?!?!?!

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  103. ah sherev that sounds heavenly.
    i'm hitting the hay myself, but setting an early alarm.

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  104. I'm turning off the lights, good night

    God bless your Sunday

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  105. I'm up again/still...had a decent nap, then sweet baboo wanted a snack. She's peacefully asleep, but I still have no children's sermon...not likely to happen tonight, however. I am off to bed. Coffee pot is ready to go for you early risers.

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  106. ack! Vicar, I was so quiet, you turned the lights off on me.
    But the good news is that I wrote a sermon. one that was longer than I've written in a long time...guess I'll give the tired folks in church something to snooze about after all.
    :-)
    blessings to the early risers. save some of that coffee for me, would ya? I'm going to need it.

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  107. I'm here now. I packed it in last night because the boys of the house ( husband and son)were having a traveling tickle fight/wrestling match, and I could not concentrate. The house is quiet now. I had set an alarm for 4:30, but a beautiful full moon decided to shine in the bedroom window at about 4, so there was no sleeping with that. Of course I still lay in bed until the alarm was about to go off.
    The lights and coffee are back on, and the party is ready to continue. Swing on by and say hello if you're still around.

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  108. The coffee is on, and I am fleshing out a few more sermon bits, bless them.
    No, really, please bless them.

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  109. Good morning! I'm up, writing (trying to write) my prayer. I always tell myself to do that Saturday night but I almost always wait till Sunday morning. Because let's be honest, coffee helps.

    Blessings on all who preach and lead and worship this morning.

    [p.s. Lest I only ever sound like a whining grump - a couple in our congregation got us tix to see the Dalai Lama today, so we are going straight there from church! How cool is that?!]

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  110. good morning everybody!

    I still don't have a kids sermon although I LOVE willsmama's idea of throwing rocks at the kids and asking them if they love Jesus.

    Then all the kiddo's can go back to school and tell their friends that they got stoned at church. How's that for evangelism!

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  111. bythesea, just catching up on the comments that came in after my bedtime. you will have my prayers this morning. Several of us are in the same boat, on our second or third Sundays in new calls. As I said to will smama last night, when I go to my next Interim, will someone please remind me that the first month is a perfect time to use a few good sermons from the file?

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  112. SB, I'll remind you next time! In fact, I'll argue that the entire first three years is a great time to use old sermons! ;) [which, in intentional interim ministry likely means you'd never have to write a new one!]

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  113. From the mouths of Matriarchs...

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  114. Amazingly, I do have a sermon. Apparently my times *are* in God's hands...

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  115. good morning everybody!

    back up again and ready to roll....

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  116. I wasn't up as early as I thought, so thanks for the coffee! Todd Agnew is blasting from the cd player, and the sun is shining and I have a great sense of hope.

    It is a beautiful day here --finally!

    I'm off to the shower, and while there I'll pray for my fellow preachers.

    Ever note that the shower is a good place to pray! :-)

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  117. T minus 30 minutes and I think I finally have a children's sermon idea. I think I'm going to go with a "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" kind of thing. Stephen was hurt by stones for following Jesus; we may be hurt by words. I guess it works...better than my sometimes T minus 30 seconds ideas...blessings to all this morning.

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  118. nice to know I'm not alone.

    I stayed up until around 3am ruminating and jotting more notes. Got up early to see if it would gel somehow. Ended up preaching off a less detailed outline than normal, and handwritten rather than typed.

    I did talk about being the living stones and christian community. I even found my magnetic hematite stones to use as a prop. Even though I felt less organized or prepared as I'd like (and I forgot to put on my microphone so just had to talk loudly) people seemed to get something out of it. Hopefully this next week will go smoother, have more of a schedule/rhythm.

    I hope everyone's Sunday and sermons went well.

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  119. You folks seemed to have a good late night party last night. I'll be back next week I'm sure. Some Holy Spirit action and Confirmation Sunday. Heck, can I start the party for next week now? I guess that's not so 11th hour.

    Bythesea - - I was writing that post about a new call about 3 months ago. I survived! You will, too.

    See you guys here next week, if not somewhere else before!

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