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Saturday, May 17, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: "Which Came First?" Edition

"So, which came first," I asked my husband yesterday, "the chicken or the egg?"

"The egg," he intoned, "but what laid it...was not a chicken."

Will this be the beginning of my sermon on Genesis 1:1-2:4a?

Only those in attendance tomorrow will know for sure.

But meanwhile, pull up a chair, have some coffee, share a muffin or a bowl of cereal, and tell us what you're preaching about, how you're handling the children's message or what you have on for today.

And if even that is too much for you, enjoy a little Sesame Street, first!


  1. heehee, sesame street!

    When my alarm went off this morning I had a brief little panic thinking it was Sunday (the only day my alarm goes off at 6 rather than me waking up by kitty-licking at 6.12). Thankfully, it's not.

    I'm off this morning to a breakfast with speaker Elias Chacour, archbishop of Galilee. The breakfast is an hour away, so had to get up early! I'll bring back as many treats as I can stuff in my purse! In the meantime...

    SP is preaching on the Great Commission, it's Confirmation Sunday, and I'm supposed to come up with a children's message about how even though we as Christians are called to do things that look crazy to the world, Jesus is with us. Or something. How do I explain that to a 4 year old? Plus I'm the only one who knows the big secret right now, so I have to keep it off my face during worship. Awesome.

    Hope you have a good party here today, friends! I'll let you know what kind of treats I can smuggle out of the Chicago Presbytery's Middle East Task Force b-fast (you know they'll be good...).


  2. That sounds like a great way to begin the day, Teri! Let me drink some coffee and give some thought to your children's message plight.

  3. Not having had little Sesame types at home and not being especially agriculturally minded--are we trying to figure out which came first--the Father, the Son or the HS? Are we dealing with a new image of God--the Holy EGG? Hmmm that even beats Bishop Spong! I am quite limited in the mornings--virtual coffee--even fair trade--doesn't do much for the thinking apparatus.

    I have the last of my "spring planting"--the final internment for the funerals I have done this winter. I am off to the office and perhaps will get something done on Trinity Sunday sermon later during the day. Since the office is 40 miles away, I need to get cracking.

    I think I may preach on the great commission too. But this is the first Trinity Sunday in this congregation. I don't expect too many since we had confirmation last week. It will depend upon the weather. I really dislike preaching on theological/political concepts.

  4. I'm up and about this morning. No food to offer, but I make good coffee. I am off-Lectionary tomorrow because we are baptizing four of our fifth and sixth graders. I've been excited about it, and I guess I still am, but I leave for a week's vacation on Tuesday so motivation is SEVERELY lacking!

  5. Lawn giys showed up at 7:45, so sleep time is over. Thanks for the gentle start with Sesame Street!

    Fair trade coffee here, the only baked goods are brownies, but there is yummy cereal with soy milk. For lunch when you get there, or of those of you in other time zones, leftover chicken picatta.

    Sermon? Oh yeah. we will have 2 baptisms (twins!) so that's where the sermon is headed.

  6. The egg. I'm sure of it

    I'm not usually on this end of the party, but last night I was looking for the Friday night funeral sermon writing party, and it just doesn't exist anywhere. Poo.

    Thanks for the Sesame Street clip. It bought me a few minutes to sit here with my 3 year old. We did a little bargaining. She got to watch the video and I get to type for 2 minutes.

    My big funeral is in a couple of hours, so I'm trying to get kids and myself fed and then find a few minutes to fix the sermon that was not where I wanted it to be when I went to bed last night. I had some good tweaks just come to me, so I wrote them down. If I can get the kids attached to a movie after breakfast I'll have time to fix it. Of course my husband is off at church for the men's breakfast. This would have been a wonderful morning for him to skip it and help me out a little, but he has no other social outlets in this town yet so I couldn't ask him to do that. It only meets twice a month. I had hoped he would have the idea himself. Ho hum.

    I changed my plan for tomorrow mid-week. I'm going more with Genesis and the image of God stuff. Well, that and a mix with Matthew - - we are created in the image of God (which is Trinitarian) to be in community with God and one another. The Matthew piece can come in with something about going out to be in community with others in the name of that Trinitarian God, making disciples, baptizing, teaching. It's formed better in my head, but my time is short right now.

    I'll be back later tonight for sure!!!

    Oh - and the egg? Evolutionary speaking there were eggs long before chickens. (Hope I don't stir things up with the "e" word!)

  7. Elias Chacour!!! I am sinfully jealous!!!!

  8. About the biggest reference my people will get to Trinity Sunday is the first hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy." I am going in the direction of God being first no matter how else you interpret the creation story and asking them to put God first as we re-create the church during the transition time of the Interim. I'm using the Great Commission, too, but only noddingly.

    I think it's time for another post of coffee. Is it right to drink something called "Midnight Satin Blend" in the morning? Because it's really good.

  9. I'm off early to church for Grounds Clean Up Day. I'm going to show up with my gardening gloves and kneeling cushion and do whatever somebody who knows what they're doing tells me to do for a while, then back home and back at it.

    We're baptizing a little boy tomorrow who was born at 29 weeks, and is now a robust chubby-cheeked five-month-old. I think there's a message from Genesis in that.

    No children's time tomorrow,since the kids spend the entire church hour down the street at the park for last day of Sunday School. I don't really get that tradition, but oh well.

    My title is "Big Love", and I have about 400 words begun from Thursday, but I don't really remember what they are so I might be starting over from scratch.

  10. Tmorrow is confirmation for us, too, and another member of the teaching team is preaching about the Great Commission. We, too, have a baptism. A fun, full day of thinking about the Trinity that empowers all to serve at any point in one's faith journey. I think that's our theme. No, I'm sure it is.
    I have a 7 mile walk to complete today in training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in a couple of weeks.
    First, I have cinnamon tea and granola muffins to share.

  11. We have clean-up day, too, part of which is re-build pastor's office day. I'm almost afraid to go over there, but will be leaving soon.

  12. Repentence: My husband just walked in the door an hour before the breakfast is over. He stayed long enough to bring and eat breakfast, but came home before the program to be with the kids while I get ready. Love it.

  13. I'm doing Genesis 1. I have a draft with the theme God is in control. I'm not sure I'm going with that one, though. It is really preachy. There are folks in the congregation who just want to give up and they are driving me nuts. Their voices tend to shut down those who see another vision. The other thing that drives me nuts is that the same people tell me that I shouldn't try to do any sort of disciple-ship program (of course, I had planned one despite their advice and then got really sick--what does that say?) Oh, enough kevetching.

    My back up is an old sermon on evolution. Being a chemistry major, I find it offensive to say that one cannot believe in God and be a scientist. There is no reason that evolution and God cannot coexist. Boy, I am full of venom this morning. Not a good sign for writing a sermon.

  14. After being up late blogging due to neglecting to journal lately and much to process and too long a nap yesterday... I drag myself back out of bed. I bring Blackberries and Cheerios, and a large mug of coffee.

    I'm trying to make it to a priesthood ordination about an hour away today to a place I've never been. If I'm going I need to leave in the next half-hour. I want to go both to be supportive and to continue to meet folks here. Also hoping to mull over the sermon as I drive. Hoping to be home by 3pm-ish.

    Not only is it Trinity Sunday, but our parish is Trinity, so it's our feast day. I'm not sure where I'm going with my sermon. The Matthew text is one I chose for *my* priesthood ordination gospel reading. I seem to have some energy around making disciples. I may bring in some of the history that I know about the parish, whatever I do.

    Songbird... I just want to thank you, because now that Sesame Street song is going to be in my head all day, I just know it. "a which came furrrst, th' chik-n or th' egggg?" Hah! :)

  15. For the children's message, I found a movie clip at from the movie, Horton Hears a Who - the clip is called "Faithful 100%." Horton's "mission" was to take care of the universe that lived on the clover and he was 100% faithful, even when threated by the Evil Vlad. Our mission is to love God and share that love with others so they can know and love God, too. Can we be 100% faithful to our mission like Horton?

    We will have the Genesis reading and the Gospel; I'm leaning towards the Great Commission in my sermon. I like the "GO" command because my congregation tends to think everyone should come as opposed to them go-ing. I also want to wrestle with what it means to be a disciple and a disciple-maker.

    Goodness, I have no baked goods to offer only fair-trade hazelnut coffee. Am off to a wedding this afternoon and will try to snag some goodies from the reception to go with Teri's stash!

    I have no blog...any encouraging words on how to go about setting one up would be quite welcome!

  16. i'm supply preaching tomorrow, and will be using the great commission to talk about discipleship.

    will be doing the ice/water/steam children's moment

    gotta get back to writing.....

  17. revsiswhatnot- the best advice I have for you is just do it. I don't blog very often, but I think I should have a little more time now, and I hope that I will be a more consistent blogger.

    This has been a busy week. I graduated from Saint Paul school of Theology yesterday with my M.Div! I was very surprised when almost the entire congregation (The core members) of my smaller congregation showed up, as well as several former coworkers from my secular career. I was really surprised by a couple of them.

    Today I don't feel like doing much of anything, but I am preaching tomorrow, so I have to find a some time to prepare.

    I missed you all last week. My internet was down all weekend, and it drove both me and my daughter a little crazy. Nice to be back among the wired wireless!

    Recycling, Angel Food pick-up and bulletin printing this morning and a friend's grad party/husband's surprise birthday party this afternoon. Sometime I have to put a sermon together.

    Not much food to share, but I might get something good in the Angel Food package. I'll bring some by later.

  18. 1st time caller, long-time lurker. Thanks yall for great quotes and children's ideas that have helped so many saturdays. I only have coffee to share this morning.

    Loved Sesame Street!

    I'm preaching through Genesis this summer, and have decided not to address Trinity Sunday. I dealt with enough mystery at Ascension and Pentecost and don't want to try explaining why perichoresis, dancing around a circle, is what the Trinity is. So...I'm relying heavily on Brueggemann's Genesis commentary and talking about the background of the Gen 1-2 story. It being addressed to the Israelites in exiles, and is not making a scientific statement, but a powerful faith statement. The God they worship IS powerful and covenantal despite what the powers the be are trying to tell them. My interpretation is, it's saying WHY God created, not HOW. And when you're pastoring to people in exile, you don't comfort them by reading to them from a science textbook. You remind them their God created the heavens and the earth and is still powerful and cares for them despite what the immediate historical situation tells them. Not word one written though.

  19. Congratulations Kim! And what a wonderful congregation to come be with you.
    I'm going to talk about how we know God. Probably beginning with that most basic of Sunday school lessons, Genesis 1. Then talking about the bishop who blew it out of the water when I was six or seven by telling me that creation didn't happen in 6 days and I was supposed to ask questions and listen for God to answer. Teen prayer/chat time most nights before sleep when I realized I couldn't earn my way into heaven. Children and the ups and downs of that - my 32-year old daughter just announced pierced nose and navel! - and how God was present then. EFM and lessons on the Trinity that caused an image of God laughing up God's sleeve to firmly settle itself in my brain. My first real discovery of the Holy Spirit in liturgical clowning and her most recent manifestation in my installation last Sunday. And always in the Eucharist. Reading Monday's book has brought that all back for me.
    We are singing entirely from the African American hymnal supplement tomorrow - Precious Lord, In the Garden and two others I don't even know! - and I will talk about needing to leave our comfort zone every once in awhile because God is often found at the edges, just a step over that boundary we have set for ourselves that God tries to tear down.
    Wow! I guess the sermon is more formed than I thought! Thanks be to God!!
    And now back to Sara Miles. :-)

  20. I have a long list of things to do, plus sermon, but the sun is shining and the outdoors is calling me....

  21. Kim, thanks for the nudge and congratulations! How wonderful to have your congregation there to affirm and support you! And doesn't it feel mah-velous to be done?!!!

    I just graduated from Brite at TCU with my M.Div. last week. Like you, I am hoping to have time to blog. I did update my's a start anyway!

  22. Well my sermon poured out of me the other day. But then it's a teaching sermon using the Trinity to launch my summer worship - which will use inclusive language...I attempt to explain why and also that we will have slight variations to our worship each season of the year - to help ground us in the mystery of God and how God is expressing Godself in the world and in and through us, as God chooses....anyway. It's written. I'll continue to nuance right up until I preach it tomorrow.

    In the meantime. Not much on my plate today. And that is a relief. I'm going to sit by the pool and read Sara Miles' book so I am ready for the bookclub discussion on Monday.

    I do have coffee, not much else...

  23. Not preaching tomorrow as I am in Northern California for my brother-in-law's memorial service. As The Husband and I drove up here we celebrated that this would be one service I attended as family instead of as clergy. Late last night my sister-in-law asked me to preside over her husband's service, which will be held in the backyard of their son's home. Good thing I brought my laptop with me so I could quickly put something together and email it to my nephew to be printed before the service! The meditation is handwritten and ready to go as well.

    Thanks to those who prayed for Baby Lucy yesterday. She is now almost 36 hours old and has been breathing on her own for almost 24 hours. Since she came a month early she remains in NICU, but the outlook is better today.

  24. "Which came first, the chicken..." Am I going to sing that song all day? :-)
    Why is it that my blog musings on the sermon text of 2 Corin 13 Final Exam seem so much better than the 1800 words I wrote last night?

    Can you tell me why that is?
    Orange Juice and a little added punch to begin the day, anyone? that is IF you are ready for Brunch and the sermon is done.

  25. Here I am again, Saturday and no sermon. Ah well, I am halfway through what is becoming a "You are created in the image of a creative God" sermon. Which isn't going with Holy, Holy, Holy very much, but so be it. And why am I surprised, every week about this time, that I need a children's sermon? I've done more of those than "grown up" sermons; you'd think it would come easier by now.

    Rev Maria, we'll certainly pray for little Lucy and her parents. I'm sitting here with our 29-weeker in my lap, now seven months old. It's a hard road, but the prayers help immensely.

    Food is pretty limited, but we do have some leftover chicken fajitas for lunch.

  26. Tomorrow is a pretty jam-packed worship service. Teacher recognition, the 5th graders receive their Bibles, plus confirmation, including two baptisms. The family of one of the youth being baptized is a common combination around here. Mom is really active and teaches Sunday School. Dad is non-active LDS, but his family is *very* active LDS. They are likely going to be uniting with our church, but this delightful young woman will be the first to unite fully and be baptized.

    For the sermon, I have way too many ideas going through my head, so hopefully when I sit down to write a thread will emerge. Right now, I'm kind of thinking along the lines of the Creation story - that God's power made visible in Creation, God's power given to Jesus, is the same power that is still present today, and for all days. There will be some baptismal language in there because I can't stay away from the language in the baptismal liturgy - "God has claimed you in the waters of baptism and marked you as Christ's own forever." I can never get through that without getting emotional. Then probably a few words just for the confirmation students. So how many sermons do I have going on? I'm also planning on it being more of a homily, since there is so much going on. This is the first beautiful weekend we've had in a while and let me tell you, people are ready to be outdoors enjoying the warm sunshine. I'm sure people will not have a problem if they end up getting out a few minutes early.

    Then it's home to pack for FOH. Any way I can lose 50 lbs between now and Monday?

  27. ah, can't get your sesame street here at church.

    I'm not preaching tomorrow. It's a big sunday though, with confirmation for 20 young people tomorrow. Actually, I like to preach on confirmation. I like to be able to address the students. oh, well.

    We have a baptism at 10:00, and the service of confirmation at 11:11. no children's message to prepare. too much else! lots of music tomorrow too!

    And.... confirmation rehearsal in a few minutes! all the young people take part in the liturgy tomorrow: carrying the cross, reading, helping with communion, saying prayers, etc. It's a pretty big deal.

    (big sigh...) see you later!

  28. oh, and congratulations, kim! what a congregation!

  29. Good morning, friends. I'm making omelets to share, trying to use up the carton of eggs before I leave for a week in Minneapolis.

    I'm going to talk about the Trinity in the "big kids" sermon tomorrow. I will start by acknowledging that it IS a mystery beyond our comprehension, and will probably use these two quotes:

    "To try to deny the Trinity endangers your salvation, to try to comprehend the Trinity endangers your sanity." Martin Luther.

    "Bring me a worm that can comprehend a human being, and then I will show you a human being that can comprehend the Triune God!" John Wesley

    The point I want to make, I think, is that even though we will never understand the Trinity, we can rejoice in the work of each person of the Trinity that leads to our salvation.

    I am completely ducking the challenge of explaining the Trinity in my children's sermon. I don't think I could use the water/ice/steam thing without groaning, so I'm just not going to go there. Instead, I will read a book. I really love pop-up books, and I have a beautiful one on Creation, so I'll use that for the children's sermon.

    In between the buzzers from the laundry room and the meeting with next week's cat-sitter, I hope to get at least a start on next Sunday's sermon. I don't want to get home Saturday afternoon and have to start from scratch. On the other hand, that might be exacty what happens...

  30. We did Pentecost for the kids last Sunday, so taking the opportunity to preach Pentecost agsin for the adults using lots of good stuff from last week's preacher party. My mind is focussed more on a service of remembrance for parents who've experienced pregnancy loss that happens tomorrow. This will be the 10th year I have offered this, arising from my days in hospital chaplaincy. It will be the last time I do it here and there isn't an obvious successor to take on this service. IT covers the whole district (as does the hospital) So tomorrow will be one of my first "laying down" tasks before I move on. No doubt the first of many.
    No wine in this manse tonight - not if I want that new image I have promosed myself before moving to the new parish! So I'm just off to prepare a weight watchers no point tomato and rocket salad.
    I'll check back later:)

  31. well, I'm back. Elias Chacour was, as always, excellent. He is a passionate man with an amazing vision and an ability to bring people into the vision.

    The host church turned it sort of into a prayer breakfast, which was a little disturbing, and was complete with an African American woman singing praise songs to entertain us (who were all white churchgoers...) which made me cringe.

    The food, though: I brought home grapes and strawberries and danishes and also little cups of m&ms that were at every place setting! :-)

    I also brought home a serious need for our men's group to get aprons that say "have you hugged a Presbyterian today?" before they grill for the church picnic in a month.

    For children's sermon ideas, still nothing. Also no prayers of the people and no scripture chosen for the Confirmation Ritual part of the service (normally I would use the great commission--can I do that if SP just preached on it two minutes before?). And now it looks like I'm going to a Christian Youth Theater production of the Jungle Book musical tonight (two of our kids are in it, one plays a lead)--the mom called and offered me free tickets, which means I'd better show up. OY. For trying to stay away from church people so I won't accidentally spill SP's secret, I'm not doing a very good job!

    I also stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home and bring you French Brie and Everything-Pretzel-Slims, four-cheese pizza, sparkling french berry lemonade, and dark-chocolate covered roasted edamame. OMG--yum. Help yourselves!

  32. PS--I am still singing that sesame street song, even after this whole long morning!

  33. Well, since it was in my head, I wanted to share it!

  34. House church tomorrow, which means discussion rather than preaching...and a good thing too, as I have spent the last couple of days at the hospital with Strong Heart, who had some surgery. She's now here with me, letting me repay (as if I ever could) some of what she gave me recently--support, help, and care.

    Lots of goodies, as we decided it was comfort food time--frappacinos, anyone?

  35. Praying for your preachers... We started the morning with a round of fasting bloodwork for #1 daughter. Something is SERIOUSLY wrong with the world when you arrive at the lab at 7 a.m. and are #17 in line!

    I have a class this week in Feminist Theology and feel incredibly OUT of my league!!!


  36. A large Environmentalist/Water Advocacy group asked me to officiate a "Give Thanks for/to Water" ceremony this afternoon.

    HS Graduate Recognition at the Baptist Church and my dad's bringing me along. I was notified recently that I'm doing supply on June 15 for two churchs in the local UCC parish, so I'm working on those sermons.

    The sun is shining outside and its about 70. It's amazing! God is good!

    Have a beautiful weekend, you all!

    God is Love,


  37. Still with half a sermon, as the sweet baby has needed to be high-maintenance today, as has her father. Whew. I'm finally sitting down as she's settling down for a (hopefully long) nap. Thanks to several for some comments on the creation story that are getting me moving.

    And Teri, now I'M dying to know the secret and I don't even know you or SP. Hope you can keep your lips sealed successfully.

  38. Well the laundry is done, the grocery shopping is done, the birthday cake is baking, the Christmas lights are taken down (but not yet put away as they needed to dry first) I guess sermon is the next task.

    Creation and Evolution and how they do not have to be exclusive...

    Let there be Light!

  39. It's 3 p.m. Eastern time, preachers! What do we need? Iced coffee, Diet Coke? Ice cream bars? Strawberries?

    Or maybe a nap.

    Just a little one...

  40. Chick-fil-A lunch and shake in my tummy (thanks hubby), I now need a transition into an ending...need the ending too. And a children's sermon about creation. Anyone have one? I promised I'd be done by 3...51 minutes from now.

    Looking forward to meeting those of you going to the festival of homiletics!

  41. thanks, Songbird, I will take all of the above, as long as the caffeine is virtual. And a double nap, please.

  42. I'm back after a long hiatus away from the preacher party. For Trinity Sunday, my three-fold ministerial staff had the brilliant idea that we should do a group sermon. For my portion, I am still trying to come up with a brief story of people working together to serve the world (being made in the image of God means that we serve in community).

    I'm also on for the children's sermon, which is in a similar vein. I have the basic idea - we can't go it alone; even God doesn't. I need to find something that the kids won't be able to do alone, but will be able to do together. Any ideas are welcome!

  43. In the Godly Play curriculum, the story of creation is told with six or seven tiles/images of the days. One of the questions I love is "I wonder if creation had to happen in this order?" And then rearranging the images. If the animals were created before the dry land, where would they stand? Or before the green growing things, what would they eat? If the night and day came last, how would the animals know when to sleep and when to get up?
    I don't have a children's sermon until 6/1 but hope this helps.
    As for the regular sermon, reading Take This Bread has given me some good ideas about God at work in our lives. I'm almost ready to suggest that, while theologically important to us, the Trinity probably doesn't "happen" to us in our daily relationship with God. We usually pray to God or Lord or Father. We often talk about the Spirit moving in our lives and, at least for me, there are times when Jesus is very real. But most of the time, God is just God. Not particularly Father, Son nor Spirit but definitely companion, guide and helper.

  44. goodness ME, is everybody 'baptizing two' tomorrow? My sermon is written (I'm ignoring the muffled barking) and I have to turn my focus now toward a wedding liturgy this afternoon...and then back into Jeremy Taylor with some ambition...I am so not prepared for the retreat I'm leading in ten days.

  45. Stacey--

    A few weeks ago, I did a little tug-of-war demonstration with the kids. I had one child try to pull me, and I was easily able to stand still. THen I invited them to work together, and they succeeded. Although to illustrate working in community, it might be nicer to have a more "constructive" project for them to cooperate on than one focused on "winning."

    I can't help thinking of the news clip I saw in the last coupleof days about the cadets at the Naval acadamy who, upon completing their first year, had to scale a tower that was coated with lard, remove the first-year cap that was on top of the tower, and replace it with an upper class cap. The way they succeeded was to form sort of a human pyramid for one of their class to climb up and replace the cap.

  46. Nutella! I'm pretty sure we know each other!!!

    Let's see...the Stinking Rose...a shared dorm room in the middle of a corn field...what do those two things have in common??????

    As you can tell by my jovial disposition, I have a draft done. It's a little shorter than usual, but with the baptism liturgy and teacher thank-yous, I think we'll still run about an hour.

    Then a quick session meeting after worship, my spouse's final semi-professional chorus concert, then ACK!! packing for Fiesta de Homies. How did I forget to make my packing list?

  47. Well, I finally have a sermon and it is even on the Trinity! Amazing especially when I was about to ditch the whole concept of the Trinity in my personal theology--as usual, God got me. check it out at

    Revsis, you have spent the last 3 years in my home town. Congrats onf graduation. Where will you go now? I will get back there sometime next month to visit family.

  48. I love the idea of a group sermon on Trinity Sunday! I may have to remember that for next year. Also the example of the naval class working together to overcome the lard covered tower. Barbara, great Martin Luther and John Wesley quotes, thanks for sharing.

    I'm back from the ordination. I was really glad I went. I got some sermon ideas on the way home, but then it's tough to write a few cryptic notes as you drive so you don't forget your ideas.

    I think the main idea at the base of everything I'm thinking is what someone said was at their heart of their service tomorrow, "the Trinity that empowers all to serve at any point in one's faith journey."

    The two main ideas I'm brainstorming with have to do with the Matthew text, about "going" and about "making disciples." The drive back had me thinking about travel metaphors - needing a guide, needing directions and other various supplies for a roadtrip, facing obstacles, getting lost along the way, eventually making your destination. Also it's hard to go, you don't get very far if you stand still, if you stay at home.

    The other idea I'm playing with is how does one "make" a disciple? Do we make one like we make a cake, like we make a lawyer or a mechanic? What are the main ingredients, or how do we get the knowledge needed in order to be a certain thing and do a certain task?

    Heard a great story in the sermon today about a Bishop who was staying in a hotel and heard someone practicing violin. He was about to complain, thinking it was some student, when the maid came in and said isn't it wonderful? It turns out the person practicing scales was a virtuoso who was in town to give a concert. Thinking of this along the lines that as we make attempts at being disciples and making disciples that we're never done, there's always room to learn, always good to revisit and practice the basics.

    Anyway, that's the stuff rolling around in my head at the moment.

    Some kind of a break like dinner or a nap sounds tempting.

  49. Doing things together: How about giving kids (or everyone) a piece of wool as they enter - of the kind that can be pulled apart. Then, when you put a few together its not so easy - and finally when you put lots together, its impossible - everyone playing their part etc. I'm going to use that next week when I visit what I hope will be my new congregation - starting out with the message that it needs all of us to be church.
    Son has just returned from work with deep fried sausage and chips (fries), trying his best to demolish my resolve to lose 20 pounds. Aaaagh. Please share and save me from temptation.

  50. ok, now time to get serious about this writing thing. Back from baptism at the catholic church (which I am thinking will be the subject of a blog post), reception and wandering through the street fair. Now left on the list for today: laundry, sermon, dinner. Or nap? Hating that I am out of diet coke....

    If I could just get going, i know the sermon is there.

    Off to start a load of laundry.

  51. Muthah+, I really enjoyed your sermon; thanks for sharing it. There are a few choice phrases I'd like to pack away in my brain for another occasion: "curmudgeons in the face of change" and "botheration" were among my favorites. And I really need to remember the hamartia piece for my we've-never-done-it-that-way-before Norwegians!

  52. WOW! Some really fabulous ideas floating through this party! I wish I were preaching a more creative sermon, but alas, I acutally have to preach this "teaching"'s an ok sermon....but not creative like what you all are doing.

    Love the community sermon idea. Love the Godly Play questions. Oh, and so much more....

    I am using Rev Dave's joke that he posted on Tuesday....(thanks, I give credit to a colleague)....I mean, it fits right in with what I'm doing....oh, and William Safire's article from the NY Times last Sunday, "Wackadoodle"....but, who knows if anyone will laugh....

    Well, now off to take my son driving, he wants to practice before the official

  53. I have a sermon, but I have no idea whether it will preach in this setting. I'm finding it very hard to get my legs, so to speak, in the new place. I guess prayer is the best friend a gal has at a time like this, prayer that someone will hear something that God would like them to hear!
    How's it going out there in the dinner hour?

  54. Barbara! I am just back after a long absence and I want to say: I love pop up books, too!

    Trying to save my strength for confirmation tomorrow. It's a marathon....

  55. Wow. Lots going on here. I don't have anything, but after my funeral today I know there is a lot of grace in my congregation for me tomorrow. I am thankful.

    I skipped the funeral lunch this morning to come eat with my family. I haven't been home one night this week, so it was good to be with everyone today. After lunch we took a family trip to the nursey to buy some annuals for the garden. LadyPrincess and I planted as many as we could before it started sprinkling. She and I napped together for an hour at that point. I had to get up to take care of the baby, but she stayed asleep for a while. I think she still is. I'm still not ready to work, so I'm watching all my TV that I taped last week. Good stuff.

    I'll get started after the kid sgo to bed. This one won't be anything earth-shattering, but it will get the job done. I sitll ahve bulletins to write for the next to Sundays before I can consider myself "off" for the FOH and my vacation the week after that. Since I'm not preaching thsoe two weeks they will be pretty bland bulletins and litury. Can't stick to a theme that I don't know! Just need to knock them out.

    Anyway, I'll check in once everyone's asleep and hopefully knock this one out quickly. It's not going to be very long - - we're created in God's image. God's image is Triune. Trinity isn't something to be figured out, but something to be emulated. God exists in and for community, dynamic love (maybe a little perichoresis here) that overflows into creation. Therefore, we are called to dynamic, loving community, sent out to share our love with the world. Done.

    Sorry to be trite. I'm preaching whole-heartedly, but my preparation is an example of me just getting by. Last night was an up-all-night funeral sermon prep night. Pulling two of these in a row will be hard, so I hope I don't have to.

  56. Not that I'm procrastinating, but...

    I so want to buy this: Whoever would have thought of this? But I can't justify spending the money unless it has a "practical" purpose. Do you suppose there's a children's sermon in here somewhere??

  57. Well, I posted my sermon too...sigh...I think it is too long and keep going over it and cutting a word here and there and phrase here and some point I just have to decide on the necessity of the content or not...and then live with the consequences of giving too much info or not enough...sigh...

    Now. I am home alone for only the second time in 9 weeks, I'm going to read the other posted sermons and then go back to reading Sarah Miles, "Take This Bread."

  58. What a quiet party this has been! I hope I didn't scare people off with Sesame Street.
    I'm going to hit the sack early, friends. I'll leave the light on in case anyone is still around. See you for coffee in the morning!

  59. Oh, I'm still around...wondering if this Trinity sermon will ever get finished. Little over halfway there, though I may just throw in the towel and end with "it's all just a big mystery anyway!"

  60. Hello everyone! Lots going on!

    Was out of town at a meeting three hours away and got back about an hour ago...I did get a chance to write up some notes over lunch, but now need to start writing and am having a hard time getting started. The meeting gave me a TON of other work to do and it's proving hard to re-focus on the sermon...

    I'm taking a cue from hedwyg and talking about being created in the image of a God that is always relating to God's self...and how in all the readings we are given hints about what our own relating might look like. Relating to the earth...relating to God...relating to each other...relating to those outside. But right now, I'm lacking a good catalyst story or image to get the sermon started and fire up imagination.

  61. Oooh, presby babe, you may have just given me my story!

    From Shakespeare in Love...the theater owner...answering everything with... "I don't know; it's a mystery!"

  62. it's here

    and once again I can't remember how to link, so please cut and paste.

  63. Semfem -- glad my ramblings sparked an idea for you!

  64. Double oooh! muthah+'s post "The Good of the Group" back in April has given me another great illustration.

    What would we do without the interweb?! (or, what would I do on Saturday night!?)

  65. I'm dropping in to read the comments while the SportsQueen showers (after 5 softball games today) before going to her dad's. I'll be back for the actual writing part later. If I'm lucky, it'll be more sooner than later.

  66. Thank you, Muthah! This is home for me, too -- at least, it has been for the past 14 years. I've been serving in this congregation since September and will likely stay there for a few years before the Bishop and Cabinet move me. I know how busy things get when you go home to family...send me an email if you need a family break and maybe we can grap a cup of coffee.

    Yikes, it's almost 9pm! Back to the sermon...blessings all!

  67. Checking back in to encourage the late-nighters. I "finished" a few hours ago in a burst of energy. Not sure how it will turn out tomorrow--that's up to the Spirit.

    Going to feed the baby one more time and head to bed, hopefully for the night.

  68. Just wandered in to see how things are going for y'all. I've got a sermon but not much enthusiasm. I will change it around tomorrow morning probably.

    Hope you all rest well.

    Glad to have you as companions on the journey.

  69. pastor barbara, I totally want that stapler. I don't even staple very often, but I want it anyway. how to justify that as an office expense....

    I'm back from the musical production of the Jungle Book (entirely different from Disney). It was okay--it's a production of kids so in that sense it was good. Mowgli needed to practice his sense of pitch a little, but his movement was fun.

    Still no children's sermon. mmm...

  70. Back, but I'm still not ready to start writing. I'm going to regret this later, but I have got to finish my chilling out by watching the rest of Grey's Anatomy.

    Glad to see the late-nighters showing up!

  71. My food extravaganza from earlier today is not sitting well. I am going to go make a cup of tea to settle my stomach.

    And then I will sermonize. I got my introduction written now, thanks to muthah's post.

    (And I think I just discovered that she is serving in my synod, so I can thank her in person in a few weeks!)

  72. While completely procrastinating and wasting time on the internet, I came up with my "way in", or catalyst, as semfem calls it. I like that better!

    I'm obsessed with baby naming trends and went to check out the Social Security Administration website since they release the popularity rankings from the previous year on Mother's Day. Ding ding ding!

    What's in a name? Everything for some people. Then we've got the line in Matthew talking about baptizing in the "name" of the F, S, and HS. Then I get back to being created in God's image. My Trinity connection is already established, etc, etc.

    Who says procrastination is a bad thing?

  73. she-rev--I love it when stuff like that happens! YAY INTERNET!

  74. All right, we have a sermon...sort of. The ending is not quite there, but I'll worry about that in the morning. Still working on ideas for a Children's message. but for now, it's off to bed. Peace to all who are still hard at it.

  75. okay, so I'm sort of thinking of a very boring children's time about whether they understand/know everything there is to know, or whether they think some things are hard or confusing (what are some of those things?). Jesus tells us to share his good news anyway (what is the good news?), even if we are confused or even if it is hard, and that he will be with us all the time (how is he with us?) even when we are confused or when it's hard to share good news. Yes, lame. But as far as I've been able to think in this one. I'm totally checking my shelves (in the morning, since they're at the office) for interesting children's books, but this is my fall back.

    And now I'm going to bed....

  76. Teri--what about something like this...

    Do you know everything there is to know in the Bible? you remember everything Jesus ever said?

    Well, the disciples didn't either. But Jesus said that doesn't matter. He would be with them to remind them when they went to teach other people.
    And he reminds us, too.

    (Just one way of thinking about it that jumped into my head. Now...back to the sermon.)

  77. The key to the trinity, for me, is that it's about relationship - in the very divine being, God is showing us relationship. The piece about "name" from the great commission is good - thanks - several Bruce Springsteen songs talk about naming/identity. The command verb from Matthew is "make" - and how do we make disciples? Through our relationships, through loving as God loved us first.

    Or something like that.
    Off for some chocolate and then bed.

  78. I loved the Sesame St. song, SB. It took me back quite a few years, I can tell you that!

    It is almost eleven p.m. here and I am tired. Rough day, but I'm too pooped to type about it.

    Sermon is finally done, though not very inspired, and I must go pack my suitcase NOW. I'm heading for Minneapolis right after church tomorrow. Wooo Hooo! I'm so sleepy I probably will forget something critically important.

    Happy sermonizing, all!

  79. And thanks back to you Julie for tying it back to making disciples through relationships!

    I'm just going to finish up an outline tonight, then go to bed. I'll flesh it out when I get up at my traditional Sunday morning 4:30 a.m. alarm. That making disciples through relationships piece will bring me right back where I need to be! Cool deal

  80. Re: relationships--Amen.

    My unofficial title looks like it's going to be: "A God Who Loves Company." And what does it mean to be made in that God's image?

    1035 words, so I need to start wrapping it up...argh!

  81. I'm using Bruggemann's orientation, disorientation, reorientation (from the Psalms) to talk about Genesis. The idea came from a Lectionary group I'm in and a colleague even gave the bones some flesh. With that very helpful beginning, I'm almost finished.

  82. go Vicar! the end is in sight!

    I'm at the end of what I have to say, and now I need a big meaningful finish. Anybody seen one of those lying around?

  83. Never mind, I found one! (a snazzy ending, that is) So I am done, w00t!

    I'm off to shower, then read it through one last time and print the sermon out.

    Good luck Vicar and anybody else still working, as well as she-rev and the early morning crowd. And safe travels to all going to Festival of Homies.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day.

  84. Everything I need to do is done. I'm headed for bed. God be with you as you preach

  85. Am I the first of the early birds? Any one else out there? I had a headache that sent me to bed about 9:30, so I'm up again to get this thing pulled together. I had some insight just as I went to bed last night, and fortunately, I wrote it down. Now back to my notes and time to write. Blessing on the preachers, proclaimers, and people in the pews this beautiful morning.

  86. I was up and writing, Kim, but I didn't allow myself to come post until I had something down on paper. Got my catalyst going (I love that new word!), so I came to chime in. I slept so well last night, even if it was only for 5 hours! It was gorgeous!

  87. Blessings to all who preach this day, and a fresh pot of coffee for those in need!

  88. Hi all you preacher partiers,
    I am so sorry I missed the party yesterday, we had too many people and not enough time to join in the party. However, I join you today in the being in the pulpit, leading in worship and all the other duties as assigned and those not assigned. May the Holy Spirit cover us and blow through our churches with fresh wind and fire.

    And who knows maybe Sesame Street will show up this morning too. I'll be back though.


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