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Saturday, July 19, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: RevGalBlogPals Anniversary Edition!!

Huzzah! Hurray! Yippee!

It's Saturday, and it's time for the Preacher Party!


it's also July 19th, the third birthday of the RevGalBlogPals!!!

Yes, it all started with a brief post by St. Casserole, wondering if the growing community of clergywomen and friends who commented on each other's blogs might not need a t-shirt! Within hours we had a Cafe Press store (thanks to reverendmother) and a webring (thanks to reverend mommy) and a blog (first managed by reverend mommy and Songbird). Go read the thread to see who was in at the beginning! The first person to click "join" at Ringsurf was Emily at Hazelnut Reflections.

In 2008 we sponsored our first Big Event, and we expect to have details for the BE 2.0 very soon. Ring members have met informally at the Festival of Homiletics for the past three years, as well as at denominational meetings and just in person, too.

Whether or not you're preaching today, I hope you'll stop in and share a memory from the past three years.

And if you are preaching, let us know what your topic is, and whether we can help!

I'll keep the coffee, the Diet Coke and any other necessary beverages flowing!!!

Happy Birthday to Us!
Happy Birthday to Us!
Happy Birthday, RevGalBlogPals,
Happy Birthday to Us!!!!


  1. Yay! First post! and Yay, Yay!!!
    Happy Birthday to RGBPs!!! I am so glad and thankful y'all are here, there, and everywhere.
    So, I am struggling with this text a bunch...trying to stay true to it and eyt balance the need for wheat and weeds and decide the purpsoe of it all.
    Still liking the MLKjr quote, also remeberign a qote from BBT in her book on sin...somethign to the effecttaht if it were not for sin we woudl nto have needed redemption..Uh, does anybody have that book handy?
    So, I am thinking on wheat and weeds and leaving the weeds alone, getting the wheat to grow and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO FOR KIDS MESSAGE?????
    Oh there is one "no-bake" chocolate/oatmeal cookie left!
    Got my hair colored was the color of rather old wheat with a splash of grey! Anyhow, my sermon may suck, but my hair will look goood!
    Inspiring story about my new hair lady to follow on frogblog!

  2. Happy birthday RGBP. I'm a very recent joinee. Loving the humour and sometimes profound postings. And also marvelling that I've met, to my knowledge one RGBPer and almost met another until Scotland proved bigger than we thought! But feel really supported by whole encounter of RGBP - and have a T shirt to take into my new pulpit!
    Not preaching this week - busy packing to move home but used texts to help me begin to process last 7 years of ministry. Its here if its of any use sparking ideas.
    I feel there's a lot more processing on the way but, first I'd better get back to sorting out the junk from that which will be moved to new manse.
    No doubt I'll be needing frequent breaks - so I'll check back later to pitch in my tuppence worth.

  3. wowzers we look good for our b-day! RGBP saved me from one lonely existence in boonieville... i was beginning to think in my spare time i could buy a tractor and join the tractor pulling circuit. (which would still be way cool if only i had a jet engine for the bad boy...)

    anyoo happy preaching! i'm headed to bed...

  4. Happy Birthday and God bless you all for being on the internet.

    You all are a lifeline for me. I'm new in ministry and this group has helped me sort out some of the trickier aspects of my job.

    The BE was a transformative event for me. You all can read all about it on my blog.

    I'm not preaching tommorrow. But I've brought fresh baked blueberry muffins for inspiration.

    Peace and love,

  5. Happy happy RGBP's!
    I'm relatively new - blogging 7-8 months and a member for 3. I first found out about RGBP through sermon preparation that led me to the 11th hour Preacher's party. Although my sermon needs to be to the illustrators by Friday at 5 pm, I enjoy reading and sharing when I can. I became much more at home in the blogosphere after BE 1.0.

    I've been away doing some lectionary sermon writing for publication (we'll see if they measure up to publisher's expectations lol). It feels good to be back.

    We are on vacation in the Sleeping Bear Dunes region of N. Michigan, (Are you here too, Lutheranchik?)
    Socked in with clouds this am and everyone else is asleep. I am not preaching, but hoping to find a church with some good preaching tomorrow.

    There's Cafe Glen Arbor coffee, fresh blueberries, and whole grain toast. Enjoy

  6. Happy Birthday!

    I was up early to see our youth off on mission trip. I was up late for part of Walk to Emmaus last night. I am tired now so I'm taking a nap before beginning the journey to the service of consecration for Bishops. I'll check back later, probably, a lot later :)

    oh, yeah, I'm preaching Genesis 28 with a focus on "surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it"

  7. Good morning, everyone! Thanks for the kind words about RevGals. I know I was feeling lonely as a pastor/mom, living in a community where the few female pastors with children didn't seem willing to admit it could be challenging to do both. I found friends on the Internet who would talk about it! It meant a lot to me then and still does now, although my kids are older and my growing edges have changed.
    Hot, fairly traded coffee is on! I have to slip out this morning to Weight Watchers and then meet with a family to plan a memorial service, but I'll be back this afternoon.
    1-4 Grace, do you have a garden of any kind where you live, that has both something you want to have growing there and a weed or two? We have a baptism tomorrow, so that is taking the place of a children's word. But if I were doing one, I would dig up something from the garden and pot it, I think, the weed right alongside the flower, and use that as a jumping off place to talk about the things in a child's life that could be called wheat or weeds. It could be something about how they are spending their time on summer vacation, perhaps.
    (Now I'm sorry I'm not doing one...)

  8. I have a baptism tomorrow. It is a good way to celebrate our birthday. A colleague suggested that I write a baptismal letter to the child using the theme of the gospel reading. The epistle would be better

    This is not my strong suit, but I am going to try it.

  9. I'm just doing the children's message tomorrow... another cry for ANY IDEAS, ANYONE???

  10. A children's idea if you are using Psalm 139 is to read the book Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown--just like the mommy bunny never leaves the baby bunny, God is there wherever we are.

    If you are going with the weeds/wheat, I'm no help. I'm not doing one.

  11. Happy Anniversary to the RGBPs!

    I'm preaching on the gospel and want to say something about how we can't always tell the weeds from the wheat--but that's okay because the judging is up to God. And weeds are just the plants we decide we don't like (in many cases). Apt I think given the current climate in the Anglican Communion where some would like to root others out for being weeds.

    That's the idea any way--now I have to write it. PLUS I have another homily for Evensong tomorrow afternoon. Yikes.

  12. Happy Birthday!

    I wrote my sermon at the Honda dealership awaiting my $3400 estimate for repairing my ac. There a couple of things I need to fix. I have to clean up the kitchen from last night's dinner to discuss "Can This Church Live?" and then go to the hospital to see a parishioner. Then run errands.

    I haven't checked the site for this week, cause I don't have to do children's sermons--the youth director is doing them, but I've found helpful.

  13. Home-made breakfast tacos, anyone? I've got huevos con papas plus bacon with me.

    It's my first time at the Preacher Party and my first time to preach. Since the pastor who asked me to his church suggested I preach about presbytery's vision which is: growing congregations that passionately engage their communities to make disciples.

    So I had to come up with my own scriptures, though I did look at the lectionary first.

    I'm going with the passage from Nehemiah where Ezra the priest reads the law to the returned exiles and Luke 9:1-6 where Jesus sends his disciples out to make disciples.

    The points I plan to make are that in every generation we must read and teach the bible (as Ezra did) in order to equip ourselves for disciple-making and that Jesus first developed a relationship with the disciples and then sent them out into the community (rather than waiting for people to come to them) to tell the good news.

    I'm working in references to Take this Bread by Sara Miles and Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels .

    Of course I'm also telling the congregation about presbytery's programs that equip and support congregations in evangelism.

    Whew. Makes me really appreciate those of you who preach every week!

    May God bless your preaching according to his purposes this Sunday!

  14. Happy Birthday, RGBP's!!!! I,too, am very thankful for all of you. This online community is definitely helpful to those of us isolated in "boonieville". I am fairly new to church ministry, and very new to blogging...trying to get the hang of both of them and usually feeling more like the round peg trying to fit into the square hole. :-)
    Rev. Honey---how wonderful to be at Sleeping Bear Dunes! I am originally from Michigan, and miss it especially in the summertime.
    Oh, yeah, am supposed to be thinking about the text and sermons, right? I'm working on Jacob and wheat and weeds...a couple of points I'm pondering right now, is--how are we all weeds...or don't we all have some weedy parts within us? and like Jacob, God comes to us anyway and uses us. (thanks be to God) and then, what does this parable say to those of us in denominations that continue to fight about who is "in" and who is "out"????
    Unformed thoughts...more later. Again, thanks to all of you for being here and for sharing.

  15. Happy Birthday ladies!! No big memories to share since I've been more regular around here just since January, but I greatly appreciate the community. I had a blast meeting up with folks at the Festival this year. Looking forward to a long ministry together!

    I can't even believe I have a sermon to write for tomorrow. It seems so far away and there's much to do in the meantime. I have a memorial service at noon. I still have the message to write for that.

    I have a session retreat to plan for pretty much immediately after worship. I thought I had made good progress on it, but then sort of hit a brick wall yesterday and couldn't remember why what I was planning fit in with what I wanted to do. I let it go for a little bit, and hopefully it will all come together during afternoon naps.

    That will leave me to start the sermon from scratch after we return from an evening at the county fair.

    BUSY DAY!!!!

    I made some banana bread during the week, but apparently I didn't use enough "healthy" substitutes because a SKINNY slice is still 3 WW points. What's up with that???? I offer it to you all since I really don't want to find myself eating it all.

    I'll check in later!

  16. 1-4 grace - - Last week with this week's texts I worked with the Psalm for my children's time and played hide-and-go seek. I hid myself before the service and had another adult start the children's sermon with the task of finding me.

    Then I talked about playing HAGS (ha!), particularly what it feels like when we find the BEST spot and no one comes to find us - - how it gets lonely, etc. The psalm tells us that even when we think we've hidden away so no one can find us and we're lonely and sad, God searches for us and knows where we are.

    That fit also with my general theme with weeds and wheat because I wrapped it up with how we have weeds and wheat in our own lives and sometimes just knowing that we're known is enough for now.

    For any who desire - - here's my sermon from last week. I know some found it on Tuesday already. Thanks for reading!

  17. muthah - - I don't know if you meant the letter to the child as the sermon, but that's how I read that and I LOVED it. I think I'll tuck that idea away. I've got two baptisms scheduled in the next few months for babies who aren't even born yet. A little bizarre, but I've got nothing against planning ahead. It also gives me a jumping off point because "before you were even here we were planning to tell you about Jesus."

  18. Happy 3rd birthday revgals- I guess I've been a member for around 2 1/2 years now and I've enjoyed the discussion and the challenges, through this ring I've found people who listen, care laugh, pray together through cyber space! I'd never have thought it possible if I hadn't been priviliged to be a part of it all. Thank you for your support and friendship.

  19. I thought that this baptimal letter would be hard. But it has come rather easily. I posted it at

    Now I can enjoy the whole day. Happy Birthday, Revgals!

  20. Happy Birthday RVGBPs! I've been a member since September 2006 and I hope to never forget the warm welcome and all the help I got from Songbird on setting up my blog. Haven't been as active lately, and I find I really miss the community I've experienced here. It has been such a blessing to find my struggles shared by so many others. And then to meet other RevGals, like Mother Laura when she showed up at my church one Sunday morning. I promise to be more diligent in showing up - I need you all!

    I'm using the Jacob's ladder text today with emphasis on his epiphany that "The Lord is present here and I didn't know it!" I'll get to the actual writing sometime this afternoon after I get back from a meeting and some errands.

    My doctor made me change my evil ways when my last cholesterol test was 210 (no more McDonald's twice a day!) So I have lots of fresh fruit and whole grain cereals to share.

  21. Happy Birthday to YOOUUUUUUU!!!!

    Some of my closest friends are folks I met through this group. I thank you all for your friendship and love.

  22. Happy Birthday, RevGalBlogPals! I'm not sure how long I've been hanging around here, but I think it's been at least two years.

    I'm still thinking along the same lines as when I commented Tuesday. I need to reread the short story, and just get to writing, or at least outlining.

    I had hoped to get some of this done yesterday (On my supposed day off, BTW), but got a call early in the day about a parishioner in hospice (who no one knew was sick), and then at noon that my mother-in-law, six hours away, had been taken to the hospital with an apparent stroke. Tests, CT, & MRI later showed a 3 cm tumor on her left temporal lobe. They are doing surgery this morning, and have offered a good prognosis. Husband is headed there this afternoon, and plans to come back tomorrow. His brother is nearby.

    With all this, I've been more than a little distracted from sermon writing, and I have a vow renewal service at my organist's home this evening. Fortunately, she put together that whole service based on what I gave her from the Book of Worship. I've looked it over, and it is good to go.

    Please pray for my mother-in-law, Jeannine.

  23. Breakfast tacos? YUM! Yes, please!

    Three years ago today,
    RevGals was on it's way
    The preachin' gals
    and then their pals
    Made history that day!

    The blogs are fun to do,
    The preachers party too,
    And Friday Five and all that jive,
    Give us a place to play!

    We gripe and pray and blog,
    And sometimes go whole hog
    With cyber parties, real ones too,
    There's always something new!

    So Happy Birthday, Gals,
    And Happy Birthday, Pals,
    Three years today--HIp hip hurray,
    It is a party day!

    Ahem. No sermon for me tomorrow. Someone in our congregation who is studying for the ministry has to give her first sermon. Yay! But I am doing seven baptisms in a lake. It will be a great day!

  24. Happy Birthday to us! What a party; Preacher party and third anniversary! Happy Birthday or Anniversary! And congrats 1-4 congrats on being the first again this week.

    Thank goodness it is a lighter Saturday for us. But I wrote my rough draft earlier this week. I wrote on the weeds and wheat. I am not sure about it all though, so I'll be editing it. I am on call today and have to check on some people in the hospital as well.

    Hope everyone else is doing okay.

    1-4 have you checked out the links at text this week for a children's sermon?

  25. I've posted a brief Birthday message here sermon yet though, I have brain freeze!

  26. Kim in kc:Prayers for your MIL. That would indeed be a distraction.

    SO: What a great poem!

    I am going with Romans and with Psalm 139, which is one of my favorite Psalms. That is as far as I've gotten. Oy.

    Fair Trade coffee to share.

    Yay for RGBP! I'm happy to say that I was there that fateful day, when it all began. It has changed my life for the better.

  27. Happy Blessed Birthday RGBP! What a gift this blog is to so many of us, me included. I've blogged a lot about it so I won't go on here except to say: YAY!!! and Thank you! And - here's to many more years and birthdays.

    My sermon...I'm using the theme of the weed and wheat being a metaphor for our spiritual lives, not about one person or another. I am using the image of a garden in one of my houses that had been abandoned for four years before I moved there. I thought I'd clean it up and replant but it was completely root-bound in weeds and the few plants and flowers were being strangled. I had to hire professionals to bring in a small bulldozer to dig it up and three men to smooth it over with fresh soil. I then decided, since it was in the middle of our yard, to plant grass over it and blend it in. But the next spring, to my great surprise, tulips popped up in the middle of the grass. The bulbs apparently were deeper than the bulldozer and the rootbound weeds....And every year thereafter tulips bloomed. So, caring for our spiritual lives produces wheat, (a few weeds will always be there).. and sometimes even tulips?.....

  28. Happy Birthday RGBP!

    What a blessing all of you are to me! RGBP was a lifeline when my church went wibbly wobbly for a bit. And now I get more scripture learnin' and spirit food here then I did before.

    I brought a three tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting!

    Happy sermonizing y'all.

  29. Hippo birdie two ewes!

    No sermon for me today, but I had to check on the birthday celebration!

    Blessings to all and prayers for Jeannine.

  30. Silent,I am liking Runaway Bunny idea...i am using Psalm as first reading...
    also the plant and weed idea is good, but one kids sermon online talked about the how the weed wouuld do something bad and then "angels throwing the weeds into a firey furnace"
    okay, so all kids do bad stuff, dont wont any of them to worry over getting burned up if they are bad.
    Otherwise good stuff going...also have a members' granddaughter visiting. Shw has been a missionary to Russis through a program of her denomination.
    She is goinng to read Psalm in Russian! Very cool.
    And it was not all that long ago that we (as a nation) considered all Russians to be bad.
    Remember the Pepsi commerical?
    Amazing how sterotypes can harm our view and make us think that is the way it is...hmmmm.....
    Glad we (US) suddenly decide they were all weeds and needed to go
    Way too muchbeauty, culture, faith, and strength their to simply wipe it off the planet.

  31. Also, the idea of wiping out a nation jsut because we see a weed is a little more than upsetting, but the whole mindset is prevelant all over...
    so sad

  32. Woo hoo! Happy Birthday to us, indeed!

    Just stopping by very briefly to drop off munchies from the trip--party mix, licorice, and cheese and crackers--and to let you know the good news:

    Strong Heart is now Rev. Strong Heart!!!

    So now it's off to River City's Pride festival for the next 18 hours, including our special worship tomorrow morning, for which I have a pretty darn good sermon, if I do say so myself.

    Blessings to you all, writing, preaching, or off this Sunday!

  33. I have a million things to do today...posted a draft of sermon here: Weeding Out Our Spiritual Lives. It's a little longer than I like to preach, could probably use a little editing...(comments welcome)

    I'm gonna let it simmer a bit and then see what I think. Now, off to walk dogs, clean house, exercise, etc etc etc...

  34. Happy Birthday, RGBP! I've been a member going on 2 years and, like many of you have said, it has changed my life.

    Prayers for you and your MIL, Kim.

    Can I freak for a moment? 5 minutes ago I got a call from a member of a Pastor Nominating Committee (pastor search committee) saying, "Hi, two of us will be coming to your church tomorrow to hear you preach. Just wanted to let you know."


    I am only about 1/8 done with my sermon, but wasn't feeling too stressed about it. Now, I am afraid that I will obsess. I almost wish they hadn't told me they were coming.

  35. hot cup Lutheran, I could see you driving that tractor now in a tractor pull. I was ready to buy one of them big 4x4's with lifters to go mud riding in my days in the boonies. And yes, RGBPs has been special to me for those days and these days too.

    How's everybody doing?

    Happy Vacation Time Rev Honey.

    Yea for the Baptisms! I had one last week and it was so beautiful.

    I like your ideas rev Dr mom, mine are very similiar.

    Ooh Rev Maria, you take care of that high cholestoral. None of us needs that or the High blood pressure thing.

    Kim in kc:Prayers for your MIL. That would indeed be a distraction.

  36. Thanks revabi. I think just not going to McDonald's twice a day ought to do it :-) but I am following dr's orders and eating healthy now. Cereal and fruit at home instead of McSkillet burrito and carry my lunch instead of Big Mac meal. Really!

    Haven't written any words on the sermon yet, but did blog about my lack of blogging here
    if anyone wants to procrastinate some more.

  37. Checking in this morning (barely, here). Baby and I spent the week at the grandparents' house. You'd think I would have had lots of extra time to write a sermon. Hmm. It was drafted before I left, but upon re-reading, it doesn't seem particularly inspired or inspiring.

    Company's coming this evening, so I'd better get cracking. Anyone seen a nap anywhere?

  38. Happy Birthday RGBPs! When I first began reading blogs I wasn't so sure about the blogging thing, even bordering on skeptical. Was I ever surprised! I'm not officially a member (and me thinks it's time to change *that*), but what a lovely, gracious, community that's been such a blessing.

    Cheese, I'm right with you on Psalm 139 and Romans 8, with the emphasis on the Psalm. I'm reading v. 1-18 and the last two. Haven't preached on a psalm in a while, and I've missed it. Not sure where I'm headed - probably just reaffirming the presence of God always with each and every one of us. I've been taken with the personal nature of the psalm - as Patrick Miller says in his Psalms book, "the 'I' and 'thou' that runs through the entire psalm." As we experience anxiety in our personal lives over the economy, gas prices, personal struggles in body, mind, and spirit, and some anxiety over what God is calling our particular congregation to be and do, the assurance that God is always with us, never forsakes us no matter what, is what empowers us and gives us the confidence to step out in faith.

    I don't know - as I write it I know it's been done before, and I hope as I write it comes out better than that. Maybe this is one of those times that we need to be reminded of God's presence?

    She Rev - love the children's sermon idea! I think I'll ask our awesome children's director if she'll do that with me!

  39. Help I really need som objective comments, as I said I have brain freeze and am not at all happy with this....all comments gratefully recieved!

  40. adding to my last comment that I am just starting back at work again after a long period of being signed of with depression and I am rather nervous!

  41. YES! Happy Birthday to us!

    A group that made me realize I was not some religious deviant, but a woman on a trek with God!

    A group that has helped me cry, moan, complain, celebrate, praise, shout and laugh.

    And a group that has been formational in the truest sense!

    THANKS THANKS THANKS to the visionary starters and dreamers of the bunch. YOU ROCK!


  42. Well the laundry is done. ANd the prep that I needed to do at the church is largely done. Now just a wedding in a bit and then focus on the sermon...

    I am going with running away and the futlility of attemting to do so. You can't run away from the consequences of your actions (Jacob tries but in the end still has to make nice with Esau). You can't run away from God (JAcob and the psalm). And you can't run away from the realities of change (something many of our communities seems to do incessantly).

    In the end all our running does is eat up time.

    Maybe for children't time we will run around the sanctuary a couple of times????

  43. Hello, all! I'm back, with fresh-picked raspberries from a farm stand I passed on the way home. They are delicious, but I will share, I promise.
    After I left you earlier, I noticed the books and papers from my glove compartment on the car floor. My husband said his car had the same "symptom" this morning, and we realized we had been robbed. We think of this neighborhood as completely safe, which is probably silly. He lost his cell phone, and I eventually remembered my iPod had been in the car. Not so much anymore. Forgive me if I take a few minutes to mourn my foolishness. I've lived here ten years and never locked my car. We don't even lock the house during the day unless we're out of town. I guess I need to shift my paradigm--which, coincidentally, is my approach to Genesis and Matthew for tomorrow... I wondered what my personal story would be, and now i have one, whether I like it or not.

  44. Songbird, so sorry that happened to you!

  45. Happy Birthday Dear Gals!

    Oh, Songbird what a bummer - getting robbed seems like a pretty hard way to get your sermon illustration. I know what you mean about locking doors - I'm bad at it too.

    I went to the farmers mkt this morning, now I have veggie soup (2 kinds) to share. And eat up, please, as I'm the only one here that will eat vegetables, even in this delectable soup :)

    RE Kids time ideas: Am I the only one who kind of get the creeps from the Runaway Bunny book? Every time I read it, I'm all "Let the kid GO, helicopter mom. It's part of the process..." Yeah, I'm probably the only one.

    I'm off lectionary, preaching on sower from last week and Jacob wrestling (from next week I think?) on a stewardship theme. I really should get going on that, I guess, now that I have all this soup made.

    So glad you all are here, esp on Saturdays!

  46. Yay for the anniversary. Though I will just be starting seminary next month, I have already come to appreciate the tremendous resources, fun, and friends I have found through RGBP. Many blessings. Love you guys.

  47. Songbird, how terrible for you. It's a long time since I've lived anywhere that I didn't have to always have all the doors locked - including the church office even during office hours! - but I mourn with you for the passing of innocence in your life.

  48. Grace Eagle, I don't know what denomination you are, but Martin Luther wrote of Christians as all being simultaneously saints and sinners--which in this case would be wheat and weeds.

  49. Happy Birthday RGBP! You all have been great help to me in my roller coaster journey. See my blog for the latest installment.

  50. Juniper, I get that a little from Runaway Bunny, but even more from I Love You, Forever. Ick. Can you say enmeshment?

  51. Actually, Juniper, I once talked to a therapist who said Runaway Bunny is traumatic for people/children with abusive mothers. So you're not the only one who gets a red flag.
    Having procrastinated with Friday Fives and spent time on the phone with the police, I'm now going to work on my sermon.
    No, really.

  52. okay, I have a plan on how to finish this sermon. Still feeling freaked out about the sudden announcement that I am going to have visitors from a Pastor Nominating Committee tomorrow, but I'm not writing to please them, am I?

    Sorry you got robbed, Songbird.

    God bless you, Sally. (((Sally)))

  53. Songbird, My heart goes out to you. Had my car robbed once while in Seminary. Hope you can settle to write the sermon.

    Thoughts out to you Iris, hope you too can calm down to write sermon.

    Just back from a WalMart School shopping adventure. As usual ran into several of our members. Nice people.

    I really don't look forward to the weeds sermon and the final judgement part. Hope I can get this to work. I read it awhile ago and told Bob, it is a rough sermon.

    I Heart RGBPS. Have been a member for about 21/2 yrs and love it. This post is one of my favorites. And if you aren't one of our posters, I sure hope you consider becoming one.

  54. Posted before I read. Songbird, I'm sorry for the robbery, but I'm more sorry that you find yourself making that paradigm shift. That is something to mourn.

    Iris, if it was me, I'd be telling myself to breathe. Breathe the spirit in, and me out. In....... Out.....

    KCK - praying for your mil and your traveling hubby.

    Hope all of you have the Spirit and a little mojo blow through your minds and hearts as you write.

    I'm not preaching for the next few weeks at a church, but I do still have two Tuesday communion services to lead at the Conference Office. This Tuesday, I'm going out on a limb and preaching joy. For the passing of the peace time, we will step out of the chapel door to the fountain/garden area and blow bubbles. This could get interesting if all the men who wear suits are there that day.

  55. Well, I managed to procrastinate the morning away,but am now buckling down to it. I'm at that 1200 word mark when I know that I need to find my point and make it.

    If only I knew what it was...

  56. Thanks, y'all.
    I'm just getting through all that happened in my absence. KiminKCK, my prayers for your mother-in-law. Iris, whoa! You'll probably be glad in the end that you knew, but it would have been nice to have more notice!!
    Sermon-wise, I have an outline, which is not like me, and I almost think it's one I could preach from without writing a full text, which is REALLY not like me! I have a funeral to write (for tomorrow at 2, just met with the family today, thus the time squeeze) so I think I'll finish that, then come back to the sermon. Oh, and drive my son to work. And fix dinner. You get the picture.

  57. As always, lots going on here. Sending love and prayers to Kim in KCK, to Iris and to Songbird and Sally - and anyone else who specially needs them Its the least I can do since I don't have to preach tomorrow.
    Have had a good day making trips to the dump - clearing out loads - physically and metaphorically before I move on to new ministry. Exciting times. just about to put on some fresh coffee so that I can stay awake and do some indoor work now. (10pm in Scotland) Blessings on all your preparation - share out that Spirit.

  58. Happy Birthday to all of the RGBP folks! To a great group of folks. I am honored to be a part of the group. Blessings to each and every one of you.

  59. I was introduced to the RevGals by Marilyn Lovell. I frequented a forum called BaptistLife at the time, and she knew that I was a young woman preacher who might need the encouragement from this group of blogger.

    Sadly, Marilyn passed away a couple of years ago. But I always remember her for sending me here (and giving me a gmail invite).

    Happy birthday, RGBPs!

  60. I'm back earlier than usual. I ended up sleeping through the bishop's consecration but I think they managed without me.

    meanwhile I've written nothing but there's a story that might work for folks preaching Matthew on my blog. Scroll down to "A Pam Tinnin story."

  61. thank you for all of your encouragement

  62. ((((Songbird, that is a horrible thing to happen))))))

  63. Sally, I don't read sermons until mine is finished, but I'm sending you hopes and hugs, too!

  64. Okay, I have a draft up. I don't like the ending, but I'll work on it later tonight or tomorrow morning.

  65. Happy Birthday to RGBPs!
    You mean joy, laughter and hope to me!

    I was wandering around lonely for clergywomen friends and we found each other.

    Here's to many more years of friendship!

  66. Taking a break from the whirlwind of getting ready to leave town to say Happy Birthday, RGBP!!!

  67. Oh, Songbird, I'm sorry. :-( It is the same here--meaning we are not so great about locking stuff. Which is silly, as you noted. Sigh. Crime is everywhere.

  68. Okay, who is ready for a 1 point latte bar or a 2 point English Toffee Crunch bar? After all, it is a party!

  69. I did post a draft on -- it will probably get modified overnight -- does anybody else out there preach in her sleep on Saturday nights?
    And TBTG for RGBP and all their works and ways...

  70. Mmmm, a latte bar please! I'm enjoying reading drafts and sermons...

    I'm making pasta with pattypan squash and onions on top. Been to the farmers market.

    SB, I sure hate to hear that. Ugh!

  71. It's after Supper here. Anyone up for Lasagna? The kids are off to take their baths, that will mean some quiet time in a little bit. How is everyone doing?

    I helped son clean out his room and folded laundry earlier.

    crimson rambler, I preach in my sleep.

    cheesehead, glad you found your point. I hate my ending too.

    Liz I hope your move to your new ministry goes well.

    Thoughts going out for you Sally getting back in the pulpit after a time away. I hope it goes well.

    Maybe, I'll be able to clean up the sermon and the weeds some. I'll take some of the latte.

  72. Revabi, I'd love some lasagna. Since it's virtual it won't have any evil cholesterol in it. sigh.

    Crimson Rambler I ALWAYS preach in my sleep. That's how the silly thing gets onto paper in the morning. These days I usually spend Saturdays putting down lots of ideas and at least 2 endings. Sunday from 4 - 6 a.m. the ideas get polished and arranged.

  73. Y'all, my funeral is written, my baptism liturgy is repaired, and on most Saturday nights i would be saying, someone else get the lights, but there is one small problem-o...
    I have no sermon. I have 8-10 bullet points, but no sermon. This is not like me. All ten are things I could simply just talk about, but that's not my style!! I'm the writer!!! I could teach them, but not preach them, if that makes any sense.

  74. Well, I'm back after a long day of housework, animal care (we have lots and lots of critters...some people take in foster kids...some of us take in foster critters) writing liturgy, typing and printing the bulletin, errands, and now, finally, I am sitting down to actually begin writing a sermon. Thanks, Ivy, for the input...I love Martin Luther!
    I always "preach" in my sleep...I used to stay up almost all night agonizing until I figured out that when I get to a certain stuck point, I need to sleep and get up early in the am to finish writing. Of course, I usually have help with all the chores in the morning, but am currently, albeit temporarily,on my own. So, will have to be closer to finished before sleep tonight. Yikes!!! Prayers to all of you...KCK mil and family, Sally...coming back from depression is tough, I know, Iris...scary, but I know the HS will have your back,and everyone still working and fretting. I have chicken salad to share if anyone wants a late supper. Blessings all!

  75. Oh, you mean our sermons are suppossed to have point?
    Oh my, time to do some filing down and refininf...where is that point I am trying to make?

  76. And by "my" funeral, I do mean one I will conduct, not my own...

  77. I think it is time for an evening snack, pennsylvania dutch style - ice cream & pretzels - YUMMY, especially in celebration of RGBPs' birthday! Though I have only recently entered the blogging world, it means so much to me to have a thoughtful, humorous place to visit as I begin my journey! Thank you one and all!

    A sermon...oh yeah, I think I better sit down and put my thoughts down. I'm using the Gospel text, "Wheat Among Weeds". We had a busy week in my new parish, with VBS concluding last night - what great fun!, and a tour earlier this week of Opportunity House in Reading, PA, which my church serves meals at monthly, and have been for the last 20 years! How cool is that!?! I think I will tie both in. I also love 1-4 grace's posting of the MLKjr quote, so I will definitely incorporate that!

    I'm off for my snack and to write! :)

  78. I'm back with 2 of my 3 weekend things taken care of. My memorial service is done. My plans for the session retreat tomorrow afternoon are done. Now I need a sermon. I have nothing yet. I mean, I have done NOTHING since I picked this scripture back in May. I'm a week ahead and I'm not excited about the string of 4 or 5 parables. I can't decided whether to pick one or two and focus on that or try to find a way to look at the whole. it doesn't help that I'm already mentally gone on my next trip and it's one week and two sermons away!!!

    LadyPrincess is asleep, but Godzilla is living up to his name playing around here in the family room. I can't get started until he falls asleep, but he just isn't tired yet. Fantastic. he was palying very sweetly with his Fisher Price Noah's Ark for a while. Ahhhh...destruction of the sinful world turned into a cute baby toy. Lovely!

    Back later when I'm trying to procrastinate.

  79. ANyone "run away" as a child?

    I have no memoory of doing so, but it is a common thing form many children. If you did, HOw did that go for you?

    Or, for those with grown children, did your children ever "run away" for real or in a pique of anger, only to go a block or so...

  80. Okay, I'm Iris cottontail, hopping down the bunny trails...

    1-4 Grace, if you've found your point, does it have a sister?

  81. Gord, I ran away. I was going to run to church (yes, yes, foreshadowing) which was three city blocks from home, but when I got to the last street, it looked too big to cross by myself, so I went to my godmother's house instead, which was near that corner. I squeezed between her front door and storm door and tried to make myself invisible, because I could see my mother coming after me!

  82. I'm finished with the sermon (Kill Weeds or Grow Wheat?) and am still pondering the children's moment. I think I'll take in a fake "gold" necklace and a read necklace and ask them if they can tell them apart ... so it is with Wheat and Tares -- it's hard for us to tell them apart unless you are the expert. A jeweler is the expert for the necklaces, a farmer for the wheat and tare and God for the good and bad.

    I hope it will fly....

  83. gord - - I sort of threatened to. My parents were divorced and I lived with my mom. I was 7 and we had recently moved from Maryland to FL (my dad lived in Virginia, about an hour from where we had lived in Maryland). Anyway, I have no idea what the fight was about anymore, but I was TICKED OFF at my mom and said I wanted to go live with dad. I started throwing clothes out of my dresser on the floor. My mom? She got the suitcase for me!

    It totally threw me and I quit.

    With some of the doosies I have with my 3 year old I can imagine getting to that point and helping her pack the bag, too!

    (Maybe that's not the kind of story you're looking for!)

  84. she rev - yikes, tough love.

    songbird - it's the runaway bunny theme all day, whether we want it or got found, I'm assuming.
    Also, so interested in the difference between preaching and teaching. Can you teach it from the pulpit? Taking questions and etc? I'm curious about how it turns out for you.

    Gord - ran away. came back so soon no one noticed. In other kiddie lit: what about My Side of the Mountain? That's a "good" running away story, so might not be the point. Although, if I remember from a year's back reading, his parents DO find him in the end.

    Maybe I'll give up the stewardship theme I was so excited about and preach instead on: "

    As for me: I'm giving up my stewardship theme and, based on how much time I've wasted there today, preaching instead about FAcebook is a Tool of Satan.

  85. I can't remember who said it, Maria maybe?, but whoever mentioned Martin Luther's take on both sinner and saint, thanks - it may end up in my sermon as it fits with where it seems like I'm going.

  86. Y'all, I have a sermon, I think. It's over here. It feels like a hodge-podge. Somehow it seemed the right idea, early in the week, to use both Jacob and the gospel, so there we are.
    I am hitting the sack here on the Eastern Seaboard, where we really ought to be on Atlantic time, except that would mean getting everywhere an hour earlier. I hope you all party until you're through!! I'll be up early with coffee.

  87. it's 11pm here, had hoped to be done by now - maybe if I pretend it's 6am I can just knock it out *grin*. The main ideas seem to be in my head it's more the order and a little fleshing out that needs to be done. Has taken me a while to get back in sermon mode after getting home from a fun official "welcome" dinner held for me by the parish tonight.

    Anyone else still out there?

  88. Don't give up your stewardship theme, Juniper, I want to hear how it goes for you. My whole screwing around with the lectionary this month was based on the plan of using this week's Genesis text for next week's sermon. It will be my first of monthly stewardship emphasis sermons between now and November. This is the only one that will be stewardship of finances, though.

    Facebook - - It's my own little time-sucker! And my problem isn't even the social networking part. It's the stupid games and quizzes and junk. The Big Brain Academy knock off is my person favorite. I scored an all-time high for me an hour or so ago, so I am trying to keep it off limits for the rest of the night!

  89. Juniper, I'm a little worried that I'm up late enough to be talking to you!
    Yes, Runaway Bunny Songbird was found by her Mother and taken home. I don't like that book much, either.

  90. I'm still here, but it's only 8 where I am. thought it would be a genius idea to go back and read jacob's backstory, but now I only have a gazillion more questions, like: why did rachel take the gods? can someone explain again about the spotted, striped, black and white livestock? and more, which are only rabbit trails I CANNOT go down on Saturday night. Oh! for a day earlier in the week for sermon prep!!

  91. she rev - I was yust yoking (as they say out your way.

    Hi Songbird! Yeah, if we're here at the same time it means either I'm up wicked early, or you're up too late :)

  92. Happy Anniversary RevGals!

    Hey, it's my birthday too! How cool is that????

    Blessings to you all.

  93. She Rev & Juniper - I spent a lot of time on Facebook the last couple days too. I'm still relatively new to it. I think I'm addicted to Scramble, which is like Boggle if you haven't played.

    1-4: oh yeah a point, hmmm if you find one (or some sort of conclusion) maybe you can suggest it pay me a visit. :)

    Hmmm I was going to go back reread Jacob at one point since we also have him the next couple weeks, I think I'm glad I didn't do that yet given Juniper's experience. In chronological time, did we not get to him working for his uncle and dealing with the goats yet, so maybe you can lay that question aside until next week?

  94. oh, rev mommy - i really like your kids time, btw

  95. so much happening in so many peoples lives!!! a huge heartfelt prayer is going up for you all tonight!

    I've been around here for a few months now - been in my church for 6 months - so I guess about that long =) And it has been FANTASTIC to have all of your love and support! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    I have been SO busy this week. And tomorrow, immediately after the service ends, I'm heading out of town for vacation. We have a long drive ahead of us and want to get to the cabins (northern wisconsin) by 6 or 7... so it'll be a rush tomorrow.

    But because of all the packing and preparing and planning, my sermon hasn't been touched. heck, I can't even call it a sermon yet! And She Rev - I'm preaching a week ahead too!

    I also found out on Wednesday that my parents, my aunt, an uncle and my grandpa are joining me for church tomorrow morning - and because of my quick departure after the service, they came over early and took my hubby and i out to dinner tonight. Which means it's 10:49 and I have no sermon to preach to them!

    ideas for the 5 parables (and maybe this will help some of you next week too!): I had a colleague talk about how in all of these parables, things remain hidden until the end. And many of these hidden things are growing, and he said that it brought to mind the way a child begins to grow and develop in the womb - hidden at first, and then even while there are signs of growth - the baby isn't seen until it is time. Likewise, the kingdom of heaven grows quietly and hiddenly in us and in the world until it is time for it to be birthed. It was an amazing connection for me! All of the earthiness of the parables, the land being like the womb, even the pearl comes out of a clam. Stuff for thought.

    This is my last week of my Wesley series on the Three Simple Rules... this week: Stay in Love with God. And so I am also thinking about what our response to those parables might be... how do we respond to God's love for us? And all of that talk about letters made me think that maybe I could write a love letter from God to the congregation. I'm going to bed at one, sermon or no sermon... and then I'll get up at 5 and see what I have left to do. Don't turn the light off yet!

  96. I'm still around, too, Katie, and that hiddenness piece is the best thing I'm finding, too. Barbara Brown Taylor's sermon in her Seeds of Heaven book (all Matthew sermons) touches on this as a unifying theme.

    I'm seeing a kaleidoscope image come to mind about the whole passage. I can't remember for sure, but I think I called my sermon (with no idea what I was really going to do with it) "Glimpses of Heaven" or flashes or something like that. The passage just seemed to be a bunch of images in quick succession. I felt so smart when BBT had something similar in her sermon.

    Anyway, it reminds me of a kaleidoscope where you see a different picture as you turn it. Each parable is a dynamic image of the kingdom of God, pieces are moving, settling together in a different way, giving us different perspectivees of the little pieces of glass in the end of the tube, but looking into that little eye whole we're looking at the same heaven no matter how the pieces fall.

    Anyway, that talks about the diversity of images and multiple parables. I think from there I'll do a tiny bit about each one, then go into the hiddenness piece.

    My basic layout ends up similar to BBT's, but oh well. It wasn't intentional. I am starting with a little description of my struggle with how to approach this text (split them up and focus on one or two or try to address everything as one), and in that I am also talking a little about RGBP, but not by name or anything - - just talking about the support preachers can get from preparing sermons in community with others.

    I think I'm getting somewhere.

  97. I'm tuckered and I'm frustrated, so it's best to call it a day, I think. Good night, everyone.

    Blessings on your services tomorrow.

  98. Songbird said "I don't read sermons until mine is finished." I occasionally surf "Sermons that Work" or something for ideas, but usually folks are doing something slightly (or sometimes very) different from thoughts that are coming together for me, so to avoid rabbit trails, I typically stay away from other sermons while mine is germinating. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

    Also... Iris, eek, I'm sorry they gave you such short notice on coming to hear you preach. But I think you're right, stay focused on the good news, your message and how to preach it to your particular congregation. I think it will be more authentic if you treat it as a "typical" Sunday, but it seems normal to be a bit nervous, I'm sure I would be.

    Lifting you, Songbird and others who've posted in prayer.

    Katie - the 1am rule sounds good, I've tried doing something similar in recent months to make sure I at least get some sleep. Otherwise I could keep reading and thinking of different anglesapproaches forever. If it's not done, some sleep usually results in the pieces coming together easier than the night before (but some anxiety trying to cobble the rest together before leaving for the parish).

  99. it was a rule that I learned in my last two semesters of divinity school - sometimes those papers just would not write themselves, no matter how long I worked and worked on them... someone on here earlier today talked about preaching in their sleep - and I too get good inspiration and the peices just seem to fit better after a few hours of rest.

    I'm looking forward to sleeping on my long drive tomorrow - it will make the hours go by faster anyways!

  100. (100 maybe) - - I hope you're not the driver Katie!

  101. One of the things I discovered in seminary is that I cannot get up early and work. If it's gonna be done, it has to be done before I go to sleep.

    And, btw, mine is done. Now for the prayers

  102. hi, anyone else still up? I"m finally making some actual progress. I had to go for a walk and have a very stern talk with myself and now am on the way. Will work for another hour or so, then head to bed. Hope you all are sleeping peacefully.....

  103. Hi Juniper! I was just checking back in to say I, too, finally have something that's making sense. I have about 400-500 words that are superfluous to the real sermon, but they are what got me finally moving so they served a purpose. They will be deleted in the morning when I will inevitably find that I have gone WAY OVER, but that's OK. I think I'm at a point where I can go catch a little sleep, but I'm going to have to come back on the early side this morning, to be sure it gets done. Or maybe I'll try for 4:00 like usual, but actually get my rear end all the way UP at 4:00. That would be a start.

    Anyway, good night, and good luck!

  104. I've got roughly 3 pages of thoughts (about half of them connected) down on paper... I'll piece them together in the morning, but for now - its off to bed.

    Prayers for inspiration for you all!!!

  105. goodnight Katie! goodnight sherev! I'm turning in too (and turning out the lights?) If anyone else is still at the party, may your words be blessed and blessing.

    See you over breakfast.

  106. I'm still up.

    I've got a bad cold brewing and can't sleep -- I've edited enough, though and am just going to print it out try to get some sleep....

  107. Dammit. Internet issues AND puppy so I missed the party...but wanted to send birthday hugs to everyone and my grateful thanks. I was part of the early excitement and continue to be delighted by the love, creativity and sheer inspiration that revgalblogpals brings.
    I never imagined I would cross the Atlantic to meet a group of people I had largely never met...but then, I never imagined I would have so many wonderful women walking beside me through this strange world of ministry. Much love and grateful thanks...and no, I'm NOT preaching today. Hallelujah!

  108. Thanks for such a welcoming and affirming cyber place to hang out. I've been around almost from the start and am grateful to have friends like you gals :)

  109. back up - and the lights are back on... literally.

    This is the first morning in a long time that I've had to had the lights on at 5am - all thanks to clouds and the days becoming shorter yet again.

    just now tackling the puzzle that is my sermon paragraphs!

  110. oh - and i've got a pot of earl grey on (for all of you other GERD sufferers and tea addicts alike!)

  111. I've been back for a while, but didn't pop in until now. I'm dragging through this one and just need to be done with it. Not my favorite and I don't plan to post it. It's just too much an amalgamation of things I'm sure I read elsewhere this week, but not that I can remember from where. Not my best offering, but not a complete bomb or anything. Oh well. It'll preach. (When it's done, that is.)

  112. Sorry I'm so late with the coffee this morning!
    I've printed out all my various papers, done a little revising to my sermon, wondered whether I should dump it all together, and not really made up my mind.
    How's that for uncertainty?

  113. prayers for both of you!!!

    It is quite strange to be preaching for/to my family this morning. Knowing that so many people who have known me since I was a baby will be there, watching, listening - definately has changed what I'm going to say!!! I haven't decided yet if its made it easier or harder =)

    I too am working on ways to connect very separate and distinct parts. I'm afraid my decision to swap this and next week's texts for the purposes of my series didn't work out quite as well as I had hoped.

  114. Katie Z, it's my prayer that your prior choice will prove to have been just right for this day. Usually when we don't know why we did it, the Spirit has room to work!
    (Okay, that's my prayer for me, too, from a slightly different angle.)

  115. Praying for all of you as you prepare and proclaim.

    The Holy Breath didn't give you those words last night for them to be the wrong ones today...courage!

    (and thanks for thoughts about those children's books. I Love you Forever...agh!)

  116. alright, I think I'm finished. It's a bit long, but I'm including a quick summary of the previous two weeks. And one of our hymns is short =)

    How are the rest of you doing?

  117. so sorry you are feeling poorly revmommy. Hope others who are battlign colds, allergy, headaches, etc will have strength to endure unti lthe sermon, funeral, church dinner and whatever is over...then we can all take a nap in teh car (like Katie) or in bed or own teh sofa...your pick. Here's a prayer taht puppies, children, and spouses will give you a naptime...It is the thing that got me up this day...How sad is tht? I get up because I knwo I can nap later?

  118. lol - and about changing what I was saying - i think more than anything it helped me to realize what its like for strangers to come into the congregation at the end of a sermon series! It's making me aware of how visitors are clued in to what is happening in the service.

  119. good morning! I'm still writing away - I've got anohter hour or so of work. pray with me that my boys will sleep so I can finish :)

  120. Sleep did a world of good. I found my point and I feel good about the message I will be bringing this morning. Thanks be to God!

    Thanks for your prayers and support. I'm not so preoccupied with the visitors I will have in worship anymore.

    May you all have a very keen sense of God's presence and you lead and preach this morning!


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