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Saturday, August 09, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: RevGalBlogPal Meet-up Edition

It's Saturday morning; do you know where my sermon is?

Seriously. Because I am in the midst of a major RGBP meet-up weekend.

I have Mary Beth sitting on my couch with her laptop, and we spent yesterday with Ruby, and we got to meet Rev. Dr. Mom and The Kid for lunch, and today we're having brunch with God_Guurrlll and tomorrow we're going to Auntie Knickers' birthday party. Everyone got to meet Molly, the blogging dog.

People also met lobster. Pictures later, as soon as Mary Beth's suitcase is delivered and she has the cable for her camera. She is a major good sport. We finally got her a toothbrush, because, really, a person needs one eventually.

We're expecting the bag to be delivered this morning, only 36 hours late. (I am not kidding about what a good sport she is.)

As you might imagine, we really need to visit the yarn store today.

We will also attend the bean supper at church tonight.

There is also the small matter of a garden wedding at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

What stands between you and preaching?

I'm starting with a big cup of coffee; let me pour some for you, too.


  1. A brief interruption for the procrastinators in this comment section. Take a look at Revgals next book for our discussion in August. It's about 100 or so pages, so not too long. It might be a good discussion for a women's group in your congregation.

    The Friendship of Women: The Hidden Tradition of the Bible

    OK, I am virtually in Songbird's lving room since I would so want to be there with those folks. And I would love to go to Auntie Knickers' birthday party. Sounds like so much fun.

    BTW, it's in the 60s this morning in south Georgia - unheard of in August!

  2. Songbird, I'd much rather do what you are doing than what I'm doing today: two weddings.

    ok, one is a small small wedding in a back yard with just a few people, and I'm ok with that one. They don't even want me to preach really, just "say a few words", and include the serenity prayer with the prayers.

    The other one is at the church; nice young couple but I don't really know them because they are only having their wedding at our church because their reception is just down the street.

    two questions: has anybody here ever seen the "tradition" where the groom hugs all the groomsmen as they walk down the aisle with the bridesmaids?

    and: what would you say if one of the readers came in and said, he also wants to "say a few words," at the time he is doing the reading. (the bride didn't ask him to do this.) because, I thought of a few not very nice things I wanted to say then.

    sorry to (briefly) coopt this party.

    songbird, I want to run away to yours.

    so, what are you going to preach on?

  3. Cathy, I have the book!
    Diane, I'm going with the gospel, working on the idea that although Peter was comfortable with the water, he was frightened by the wind; how do we keep going when we are called out of our element? We've had major flooding here this week, especially in the town where I'm serving, with roads washed out and people losing their water service. I'm going to share a book about Hurricane Katrina with the children. It's artwork done by kids who went through the storm.
    I've got some work done, but I had really hoped to have this finished before Mary Beth got here. Unfortunately, since I will be away for two weeks starting after church tomorrow, I had a lot of other things to finish up, too.

  4. oh, songbird, I know how THAT is. traveling mercies to you, too.

  5. Hey, Sounds like a good party - good to be invited to be part of an RGBP meet - even virtually. I'm not preaching tomorrow - we have this wonderful tradition of being "preached in " when you take up a new charge, so a long time friend is preaching for me tomorrow. The spooky thing is that he was a student with my new church 30 years ago - so he is as excited as I am.
    Not sure how I'll cope next week - it will be around 8 weeks since I've preached. But I'm not going to worry about that now. I'm just going to enjoy the party. Thanks for having us songbird!

  6. Cathy, I'll ordere the book along with another I have to have for a diocesan commitment.
    Diane, spare me weddings! The hug thing is a little strange but far more acceptable than saying a few words. Tell him that's what receptions are for. We generally won't do weddings for anyone other than members of the parish and we require six hours of premarital counseling first. That used to discourage folks but TN decided to reduce the cost of a license for couples who have the counseling. So now it's a good way to save money! don't you just love it when church and state walk hand in hand? NOT!
    As for the sermon, I am thinking that it is time to pay some attention to the OT and Joseph. At the same time, I think Joseph and Peter can be linked together. Each is a man of faith but both misuse their faith. We'll see how that goes as the day progresses.
    And now I'm off to the Salvation Army to make lunch after which I need to wave good-bye to the youth group as they go rafting. I'll wave hello when they return and be there for the pizza party.
    Have a good party, y'all. I'll check back in later.

  7. I'm with Margaret - tell the reader that receptions are for those "few words." I recently officiated for a wedding where the groom's father wanted to say a few words, and I foolished said 'great'...big mistake. His words were words like "submit." The good news is that I'm going to the beach - don't have to preach tomorrow! But, I will be in a boat...not walking on water.

  8. Just a quick note of encouragement to all the preachers, from Songbird's sofa. Blogging together is like double solitaire - individual yet companionable.

    The dogs are resting, #1 Son is consulting, the SUN IS SHINING, and I have my suitcase. Life is so good. Brunch with GG coming up!

  9. Wow sb! The activities and people sound amazing and fun. The 'to do' list... pre-church garden wedding, sermon... well that stresses me out just reading it.

    mb, you ARE a good sport.

    I have friends coming in for lunch and a worship space to set up. Please pass the coffee!
    (and the lobster, what the heck!)

  10. There is much keeping me from sermons this morning. But in Upstate NY it is cool and beautiful. What is keeping me from sermon--blurry eyes. It is time to get the caterack thing done. ARG!

    I am thinking of doing Elijah. Songbird, I thought of "God was not in the flood"--I wonder if you can take that kind of licence with Scripture.

  11. Well, my SP is gone and this is the first Sunday without him. One of the retired pastors in the congregation is preaching this week so that we can make something of a clean break, and then I'm on for the next four weeks in a row--the first time I'll ever preach more than two in a row! After that, hopefully we'll have an interim. If not, I've asked the search committee and worship committee to organize guest preachers every other week until we find an interim. Here's hoping we don't get that far...

    Anyway, our guest retired pastor is preaching on the walking on water scene. I don't have any idea where he's going with the whole thing, I only know that there are more words in the bulletin than ever before b/c the call to worship and prayer of confession are very long call-and-response things. I had trouble fitting the bulletin into the standard size (four pages).

    I'm on children's-time-duty....I can't decide if I want to go with the Peter-was-so-brave-and-faithful aspect or with the isn't-Jesus-awesome aspect. Ideas?

    when it's lunchtime, I'm your girl with loads of farm-fresh veggies...but for breakfast, umm, please pass the coffee.

  12. Hey, where's my invite to the revgal meet up. I mean seriously, okay I am in a virtual world of the meetup. What fun. Mary Beth you are such a good sport about it all.

    Well, I also have a virtual sermon. It has been a week of meetings, crisies, work, hospital, so I really have a virtual sermon. I am taking a leap of faith to get out of this boat this morning and join the rest of you trying to walk on water.

    I bring coffee, waffles, eggs. Anybody need anything else?

  13. I need some coffee and a bagel in a bad way!
    I am working with the Elijah passage and the gospel passage. Trying to focuse on the aspects of God in the silence and rexamining why we are here and putting it into action

  14. I got to hang out last night with my five bestest friends from high school... think sisterhood of the traveling pants in real life. We were all together at my wedding last year, but I don't think we've been all together since, or for a long time before that! It was great - and I definately enjoyed my wine last night! (and i'm not feeling too bad this morning either!)

    So that kept me busy yesterday, although I did get some sermon work done. For some reason, the first third of my sermon seems like an announcement/advertisement for what is going on at the church this fall. I'm planning this whole "back to the basics" thing and want to let people know about it and kind of thought Paul fit in well with that. Paul sums up everything by saying that you need to believe in your heart and speak it with your mouth... then you'll be justified and saved. That seems pretty back to the basics to mee after 11 chapters of theology.

    So I've got that piece (that may just get cut out completely) and then I'm working on Matthew and getting out of the boat, because Jesus is out of the boat. And we need to go be where Jesus is.

    We've talked about Peter having little faith for getting out in the first place, but I'm going to go with the direction that he saw something out there, couldn't believe Jesus would really be out there in the storms of life, but if it was, he wanted to be there too! So Peter went out there, and he got so worried for himself that he started to sink. I'm going to talk about ministering to those outside the church and how we can truly minister out there, rather than just serving with selfish interests or bailing out when the going gets tough.

    I've got tea brewing for all of you who can't drink coffee (but I might be the only one!)

  15. katie z. how much fun!

    My sermon is similar to yours, I talk about the vision Peter had. I also talk about getting out of the boat to be able to walk on water. And I use the idea that Jesus is calling us to step out of our comfort zone to what is maybe uncomfortable to us.

    Well, I wrote the complete sermon. I am going to let it sit and gel and then come back and polish.

    The girls started school at a new school and the dress code calls for skirts and shorts down to the knee. Do we have that? No. So it is off to shop for new clotes. Fun. Fun. Fun.

  16. oh! I completely forgot that I also have my very first wedding, doing the blessing at the reception and then going to my best friend's little sister's wedding reception ahead of me (the reason all my lovely women are in town).

    I'm working on the wedding meditation now - since it's my first one i'm kind of nervous!!!

  17. Good morning all! Oh wow, that meetup sounds fun...hi to all of you fabulous people there. Sorry to hear about the flooding, though, Songbird. Diane, I'd go with the hugging before the remarking I think. It seems somehow less likely to get out of hand, especially in our part of the world! I'm doing a service and preaching at the nursing home tomorrow...a little "out of my boat" so going with Peter...the Tuesday discussion was so helpful to get the juices flowing. I'm thinking about the folks that were in the boat as well as Peter, so will, I think, try for something about both kinds of faith...yes, it's a "both/and." Katie, I like your thought too about the importance of taking it out to the world. Since I'm doing a little getting out of my own comfortable boat today, I've already been pushing my morning with sprucing my house for tomorrow's company and sprucing me for my coffee date (!) this afternoon, so I'd better get cracking and go write. something!

  18. SB - I so wish I was there with all of you. Send blessings to all and prayers for luggage return (36 hours!). Have a wonderful day.

  19. I'm on week two of a sermon series, but I'm tying in the gospel. The topic is Intentional Faith Development. For children's time I think I'll have them tell me why people go to church, beyond "my parents make me come." How about all those people who are here that aren't here because of their parents, why do they come?

    The small church that gets it is having a fundraiser dinner tonight - burgers and brats - and I hope to get the sermon done before I go to that to free up my evening after I get home. I've started a fairly challenging knitting project (for pay - I do test knitting for a pattern designer) and I'm in the obsessed stage since I finally got the instructions to work.

    Buy some yarn for me when you make that trip to the yarn store.

    I have fresh blueberries and some vanilla yogurt - anybody want some?

  20. Diane - - I wouldn't say I knew it was a "tradition", but I have seen grooms get a handshake, hug, or something in the middle from their groomsmen as they walk to their places.

    About the reader - - I think I'd tell him that you planned to run anything by the bride and groom since they helped you design the service (true or not I'd say it - In my case it would be true). Could he give you a little more information about at least the general content of what was going to be said.

    If it turned out to be theological/biblical, I'd do what I could to nix it if it was going to be in direct contrast to what I was going to say. May sound selfish, but hey, that's life. (Guess that is rude). If it's livable and the couple is OK with it I'd let it go.

    If it's more related to the couple and better suited for the reception I would advise him in that direction. If they didn't ask him to speak at the worship service before this point it may have been for a reason.

  21. Head Cold fogginess stands between me and preaching, and the fact that I didn't do much sermon prep since I had family visiting and we did a 3 day trip together. Hoping this list plus commentaries will spark something and I can make it through without needing a kleenex or having a coughing fit.

    Since last week I've been pretty sure I was going with the Gospel, what exactly that will look like remains to be seen.

  22. OK. I've caught up on all the comments.

    I have done next to nothing for tomorrow. Ugh. It's so hard coming back even though I was only gone for a week.

    I took a biblical storytelling class at Synod School that I LOVED, so I plan to finish memorizing the feeding of the 5000 so I can try that out in worship tomorrow. Then I need to write a sermon for it. Hmmmm...Glad to be a week behind you all after a month of being a week in front. I have much I can learn from reading your discussions from last week.

    First, though, I'm off to an artshow ( with some church folks, then a lunch discussion of it afterwards (about images the media sends to girls about body image, etc.).

    Unfortunately I think I'll return home post-nap time so I see a late night ahead of me.

    Anyone have a recipe for a "salad" that's made with chopped up Snickers bars, apples, and Cool Whip? I remember it from potlucks at my previous church and want to make it for a church pool party tomorrow. LOVE anything called "salad" with Snickers in it!

  23. thanks for all the wedding tips, by the way. One wrinkle: I'm not preaching. The bride's pastor is coming down and will do the message. so it's a "co-officiant" sort of thing.

  24. Ha! Found it on-line. I know you want it:

    3 large apples (cored and chopped)
    3 full size Snickers bars (frozen and smashed in chunks, not to small)
    1 8 oz Cool Whip container

    Fold it all together and refrigerate before serving.

    Easy and yummy. I like Granny Smith apples in it, but might do 2 Granny Smith and 1 red delicious for color.

  25. Busy, busy folks today! For those who get to party, we salute you! I have a weding today, so until that's over, I just can't think super clearly about tomorrow's sermon. Elijah, Paul, and Peter all have good possibilities, and I find myself not able to zero in a focus on one theme yet. Which is not good on Saturday. So, late night for me! Who's with me???

  26. Well, I ended up using both Elijah and walking on water to talk about the miracle of presence.

  27. AHH!! Preaching for the first time tomorrow morning as I lead a city congregation through a lay led service of MP. Given plenty of youth reflections in the RC church, but somehow it's not quite the same. I have to get it written by the time I head out for my best friends wedding shower tonight, but not even sure where to start... too many ideas floating around in my head!! Going to try working through them as I clean my room...

    ... I'm sure I'll find the divine inspiration under the pile of laundry.

  28. Wow, what a lot of neat things y'all are doing!

    We have "house church" tomorrow, so no sermon, really--I'm just gathering thoughts, comments, questions, etc to insert into the discussion of Jesus and the water (was Peter a hero or no?).

    And I have that all done, so SH and I are running errands and then taking the rest of the day off--"Mamma Mia" figures prominently in our plans!

    Blessings on you all!

  29. I found the Tuesday discussion very thought-provoking, also. I think I'm going along the same lines as revdrkate, talking about the need for balance (both within ourselves and within a congregation) for two kinds of faith: the leap-before-you look kind of Peter and the stay-put-in-the-boat kind of the others.

    The baby and I are off soon for a surprise 80th birthday party at the church. Do people not consider the heart attack potential when planning such a thing? Should be nice, and we shouldn't have to stay too long. Daddy's gone all day at a meeting.

    Walking on water children's time, anyone?

  30. Help! No sermon to prepare, but am teaching kids tomorrow (k-5) and am starting to plan the lesson. It's noon on Sat.

    pray for me.

  31. No sermon for me! I'm sitting on the family room floor of my parents' house watching the Olympics and laughing at my kids, and watching the dogs (Tanner and Maggie my parents' Springer Spaniel) get to know each other.

    Party on, y'all!

  32. I think this is like some world's record in sermon writing. Not rubbing this in...actually would not have minded it taking longer as I was liking the distraction. I now have time on my hands to get nervous before the coffee thingy. But it's done and posted and hopefully will finish printing before my printer gives up entirely. I'm on the third try here. There is now an hour and fifteen minutes in which I have nothing to do but make copies of the worship service and ruminate. Oh wait, I think I see somone coming across the water....could it be???? Back later to read what y'all are up to!

  33. Surprise 80th birthday party, egads. I had one surprise party when I was 22 and will never have another, I hope!!

  34. no luggage, head colds,wedding discounts, no SP, wow...
    Uh, sounds like a life of a revgal(all over).
    Teri, I am just starting to see you get into canning and freezing of veggies. Those from the south will all tell you that down here we "put up" some squash, corn, tomatoes, etc.
    Put up means you froze or canned a big mess. Maybe you ahve a sermon ilustation there for future use.
    I am in the boat with peter and disciples and trying to figure how brave we are to stay in rather than try to tempt fate and God by gettign out and doing stuff on our own or daring to keep asking God to prove God's self. Also, watchign the olympics (uh, how much sand do hey get in those bikinis?) and getting ready for a wedding where the bride has choosen (I am not kidding now) Nora Jone's Come Away With Me mxing of the sands part!). No, I am not officant, this is distant relatives and my SIL will sing Nora's part.

  35. oh, FYI, mixing of sand is the "new thing" to do instead of unity candle part.
    This tiem sands are red and blue...not sure if we will ahve purple sand or jsut red nd blue mixed am I sure of symbolism.

  36. Since we are still tossing in a few wedding quirks, I'll tell you a few that I have encountered and liked enough to suggest to others.

    The Portuguese parents escort the groom down the aisle. Since I like the idea of the whole wedding party coming down the aisle, this works for me - and the last wedding I did. If the bride is not wearing a train that is very long (like hardly any at all) and the couple is comfortable doing so, I have had bride and groom administer the chalice for the Eucharist. Very cool, especially for small weddings where both of them know all the guests.

  37. oh, don't worry, 1-4G--we "put up" up here. I've already frozen broccoli and sauteed spinach. I'm making mashed garlic squash right now (yellow squash cooked with lots of garlic...), some of which will probably go into quesadillas today (yum!) and some which will be frozen. I think I'm holding out on the eggplant so far, waiting to see if I get more next week because then I can roast it and freeze it all at once, to be made into baba ganouj this winter. mmm....

    Still got nothin' on the children's sermon, though. The ones I've seen online don't work for me. I might be making it up tomorrow morning, we'll see...

  38. apples, snickers, and cool whip ... can you count that as a fruit for WW even if you "forget" to count the points?

  39. After serving in my current "semi-retired," part-time position as Pastor of Congregational Care for 14 months, I get to preach my first sermon here tomorrow. I've posted it here

  40. I have done every kind of procrastinating you can possibly imagine:
    check the UCC employment listings and read them to Mary Beth
    plan Children's Sermon
    eat Texas Sheet Cake
    check out Sock Cubes at Etsy after realizing I did not win the one with squirrel fabric in earthchick's raffle
    Finish preparing wedding for tomorrow
    Talk to Mary Beth a lot

    But the hard truth is, we're leaving for the bean supper in no more than an hour and I don't have anything more written than I had on Wednesday.


    Maybe I need to do laundry?

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. The weather here is absolutely wonderful, about 75 with a few puffy clouds in a blazing blue sky! Ken and I went out for breakfast and then we went seed pod hunting. We have a creek behind our house that is surrounded by mostly weeds and tall grass and nettles (very steep slope and not really able to be mowed all the way down) so we are trying to have a few more wildflowers come up there next year. We had a good time.

    Now I'm home, but today is our church's annual golf outing. I'm not golfing, but I did agree to come and take pictures. WHY DID I SAY SUCH A DUMB THING? So we are heading over there in a bit. Then we'll share a buffet dinner with church folks, and then back here for sermon writing.

    Tomorrow we join 7 other congregations for an ecumenical church service in the park which will be a money raiser for our "Good Samaritan Fund" and we'll also collect items for the local food pantry. I'm preaaching on the feeding of the 5,000 and trying to tie that in to the idea of us, all of us, being the church together--and have a very rough idea of what I'm saying but not one thing written down.

    Back later to join the night bunch. Wish I was with the Rev Gals eating lobster and partying. MB, glad the suitcase finally came. WOW!

  43. Mark this day! It is 3:00 PM CDT, and I have finished the sermon! This has never happened before! I don't intend to gloat, I'm just so amazed that I actually have it done even with the Olympics on TV! I'm off now to the grocery store and on to the church dinner. Can I bring you back a burger or brat from the dinner?

    Oh yeah, Don't tell my congregation I'm done. Having a sermon to write is always my excuse to slip out early after the dinner.

  44. crap! Laundry! I had forgotten. I guess I'd better do that or I won't have any clothes to wear to church tomorrow...

    Can I just say, I know we aren't supposed to watch the Olympics because China's doing such horrible things, but I really want to watch gymnastics. The problem is that NBC has exclusive rights, including internet video, in the US. Which means that I can only see what they want me to see, which isn't much until we get to the finals and then only the ones they consider top contenders and even then only on a serious delay. EXCEPT that I don't have TV, and they aren't showing gymnastics online at all except for the occasional replay snippet. GRRRRRRRR. I am looking into other ways....if anyone finds one, let me know. ;-)

    Right..laundry and some kind of children's time about walking on water.

  45. hey all... haven't been by the party in so long because i haven't preached in... months now. wow.

    just finished baking some naturally sweetened oatmeal /chocolate chip cookies. anyone want some? mmm....

    blessings in the midst of all your joys and struggles and preparations (which can be both joy and struggle) this day. two weddings, diane? blech. have a cookie.

  46. Teri, I have boycotted the boycott on Olympics b/c I feel we owe it to atheltes(even for thsoe who are from countries with whom with disagree) who have worked hard and been so dedicated...ANd I too love Gymnastics. Poopoo on NBC for not showing us stuff early on. Go Nat! Go Shannon!

    Anyhow, even if we disagree with China's governament, policies and treatment of others, you gotta love the atheltes.
    I was in hopes that the Chinese gymnaist who feel and broke neck might show up for part of torch relay. She was i n Godwill games about ten eyrs back. Heartbeakinng, but she is true winner.
    No sermon finsihed and no kids message...and off to wedding as soon as my folsk get here.
    M and m ahve had early supper and are both washign up.

  47. my first wedding was a success! The music didn't work as well as we wanted it to - for some reason it was really quiet for some songs and not for others, even though we tested EVERYTHING before the service. These things just happen though.

    Now I'm waiting to head over to the reception and maybe sometime late tonight I'll be back to finish the sermon. If not, I'll see you tomorrow morning!

  48. Actually the Snicker salad isn't TOO bad points-wise since Cool Whip isn't bad and apples aren't bad. I'd guess it's about half a Snickers bar in a serving. Not horrendous as tasty treats go.

    While I was gone at the art show the baby decided to get a fever and my head decided to start hurting. So, I'm trying to get him to nap with me, but it isn't working. Now I've just baby-proofed this area of the family room, plopped him in the middle, and I am going to snooze on and off for a little. DH took the girl to go shopping a buy a new book or something. Anything to get them gone, her out of the house for a little, and something to keep her entertained the rest of teh day since took early naps. Not too thrilled about teaching her retail therapy so young, but we needed it more than she did. Off to my short but necessary nap with swimming on in the background.

  49. I'm joining hte party late...but I'm enjoying the wedding stuff. I had a flower girl ditch the ring bearer halfway down...the ring bearer just kept coming, just like I told him to. sermon. started one, but wrote myself into a corner. So, must start again and still no inkling what I want to say about Joseph and his brothers, all of them stupid boys. What I'm trying desperately NOT to say is the cliche that God has a plan for us, which means God causes suffering like this to occur, or that God will make everything work out, which is easier to live with, but still extremely insensitive to people who are suffering. problem is, I don't know where TO go, now that I've decided where I DON'T want to go.

    And I need a children's message. Something other than, "don't throw your brother into a waterless pit and sell him to slave traders."

  50. I'm on my own again at church tomorrow. It has seriously been a while since I've had to preach two weeks in a row, and I am not used to it anymore. This week has been so insane that I have about a page of a sermon that I started on Tuesday and haven't looked at since. Guess what? I have no idea where I was going with it. So, I'm going to try to recover it now. Wahoo.

  51. I'm back from coffee. It was really quite painless. Fun actually! Now five pm here, quite frighteningly caught up and wish I could do something for someone....write a children's sermon (never done one of those), do some virtual laundry, umm, let's see.....I'm truly not used to this! Will be going to jail in an hour or so when dinner hour is over, but kind of loose endish till then....and feeling bad for all who are laboring on with no end (literally) in been there!

  52. OK... I didn't preach on Matthew or Romans... or 1 Kings... I kinda (hopefully) tied them all together here.

    Comments and concerns are welcome tonight!!!!

  53. I'm gonna go get some wings... and raw fries... anybody want a to-go order?

  54. Nutella, Mompriest has used the phrase "God's dreams" for us opened some things up for me....maybe it will be helpful in your thinking.

  55. Have returned from the 80th surprise birthday party, and no one had a heart attack. It was fun.

    I think I've finished up the sermon for tomorrow. But I still need a children's sermon, no surprise there.

    And a question: is it crass to write a funeral sermon before the person in question is actually dead?

  56. oooo... count me in - the extra spicy ones without the ranch sauce please!

    SB, totally found the divine at the bottom of the laundry - something about the underwire as a reminder of just how much support our faith can give us. Probably won't actually talk about an underwire bra in my first sermon as I'm not too sure how that will go over. But, really got the mind going. Peter didn't really remain faithful - he allowed the fright of the wind to scare him and caused him to think about something OTHER than what he should have been focussed upon... Jesus standing on the water.

    AND, one short stone further, it is our responsibility as a community (whether in a boat or gathered in a church Sunday morning) to remain faithful... to remain focussed ahead of us to the image of Christ in all that we do, become, and grow through, otherwise... we too, might (like Peter) end up drowning from a simple wind.

    Now I just need to actually write it!

  57. Passing around the BLTs -- that wonderful entree of August, especially with vine-ripened Michigan 'maters, red romaine lettuce and toasted oatmeal bread -- as I procrastinate finishing the sermon I wrote 2/3 of in a blinding flash of inspiration on Sunday evening. Dontcha hate it when that happens?

  58. Well, Esperanza, my vote means nothing, but if you know someone is going, I think that starting the funeral sermon is a fine plan. Maybe don't tell them about it though.

    In fact...we are all going you could start on mine now.

    Songbird has finished her sermon and will just revise on it a little bit. So we are still here at the preacher party...

    Can I get anyone a diet Coke? or, we have five kinds of Weight Watchers dessert items on offer as well!

    Off to read some sermons...back later to see what's up!!

  59. young seeker... 1 dozen cajun (won't blister your mouth... but HOT)... are in the take out box on the counter. 1 ice cold beer to wet your whistle... in the frig... bottom drawer.

  60. First, thanks to Mary Beth for offering goodies while I finished my work! I've posted my sermon over here.
    We're going to play a game and I will check back in later.

  61. Nutella, I love your Joseph joke!!

  62. I'm back, trying to not watch the Olympics and get down to work. I boycotted the boycott for the same reason, 14Grace. Me not watching is not going to change China's policies. I admit I was angry, and I still am, that they were picked, and I have asked our church folks to use the TV coverage as a reminder to pray for the Chineese church, others of faith, etc.


  63. esperanza - - I asked that same question a few months ago, and answered for myself "no", and I'm glad for it. It found it a less stressful time to write. My head was clearer. I had more time to devote to the family. I certainly didn't tell THEM I had done it, but what they didn't know didn't hurt them.

  64. back from wedding, it was basic dinner at recpt, which menas no cool wedding foods to share! Sorry.
    What happend to cheese straws chic. salad in a pastry cup and fruit and veggies with dip?
    Oh, i was wrong on was orange and purple to represnt the local "team" colors.
    The pastor ahd an opening prayer that began,"Lord, I really don't know how J and L met,but they did and what started at an interst, got to be freindship..."
    So, ya dont know how they met? I guess you did little in way of pre-mart, stuff?
    Anyhow, SIL did good with song and the overall wedding was pretty....sunset on the lake!
    back to sermon and then soem swimming. Oh, does anyone have a good story where you were in a boat on rough waters or bumpy sea ride> I need a story to put in, but all I got is when we went on Dolphin Cruise and it was choppy... not really scary, just a little nauseating!
    Story, story, anyone ,anyone?

  65. Thanks for the approval, Mary Beth and sherev...of course I won't let the family know, and of course it will be open to revision. Hospice says it will be sometime this week. Somehow I've been in ministry for 8 years and this will be my first solo funeral. Long story not to be shared here, but I'd like to do it well.

  66. Well I'm taking a break watching the olympics, volleyball and gym. No ending to my sermon yet and I seriously hope what I wrote still sounds decent tomorrow morning when I finish it. My sermons have a tendency to sour overnight. Since I married someone who is Chinese, I'm enjoying seeing more of this ancient and beautiful culture showcased in everything they've done so far in the olympics. the opening ceremonies were stunning. We're both hopeful that their willingness to host the games offers a chance for more dialogue and openness.

    ooh, michael phelps is going for his first gold. must go.

    still need something to say to kids about Joseph. seriously, what do you say to 4 year olds about this story? ooh, just thought of something. 2 girls will be moving b/c they're parents are divorcing: God goes with us everywhere we go. No matter what.

  67. 1-4grace - - I have a sailing story. We had a small sailboat growing up - maybe 20 feet, I think? Anyway, we were switching marinas at which to dock the boat, and due to rental agreements and contracts and all that we had no choice on the day to move the boat. It was horrendous weather - - pitch black skies, thunder, lightning, sheets of rain. Well, it turned that way while we were halfway down the river. It was just completely black when we left the first slip. Anyway, I was a pretty confident helper on the boat, but that day was AWFUL!!! I was FREAKED OUT. When the weather got really really yucky and the wind was just ripping across the water the boat tipped past any degree I had ever seen. The gauge on the boat only went to 45 degrees, but we were way past that. We took in water in the sterm seating area, the sails were dipping in the water. Actually, we were forced to take the sails down finally and just use the motor because they were otherwise going to be ripped off. Miserable!!

    We made it, but it took me YEARS to set foot on that boat again, and days to forgive my father for making me go with him! And I don't scare easily! I've jumped out of planes!

  68. Preachers, MB and I are hitting the hay. I have a wedding, I kid you not, at 8:30 a.m. in someone's garden. Please help yourselves to whatever you need, and I will put on a pot of coffee early, early in the a.m.

  69. OK. Now it's time to get down to business - - the baby is closer to sleep. He took an evening nap since he's been running a fever all day, but it left him wide awake tonight. I think my husband has him down now.

    Anyway, he's down, I've watch some Olympics (no spoilers here). It's time to get beyond some scratched notes on a legal pad. I'm aiming for a decent outline before midnight, then a final memorization of the text for my first story-telling venture, then bed. I'll get up at 0-dark-early to type the sermon.

    Who's with me?!?!?!

  70. Wow. I am envious! :)

    I had a leadership meeting all morning, errands all afternoon, and then cleaning and prep for lunch for 12 here tomorrow -- my first "ministry" lunch as a pastor. OY.


  71. Oh, Cathy, I just got the book for my Fem. Theology class last semester, and wanted to re-read it. Hmmmm... will it be a good beach read?? Cuz that's where we are headed...


  72. I'm about 500 words short of a usable sermon, and still plugging away. It would probably be helpful if I weren't exhausted and half brain-dead.

  73. I am done, and I actually kind of like my sermon. I'm off to bed. The weather forecast is good for tomorrow--this ecumenical service in the park is a first and we hope we can make it an annual thing.

  74. A story, a story...I ahve a story.Thanks She Rev.
    I am still here, plugging away. Allergies/sinus, astham ahve been bad sicne returnig from wedding. Not sure if it was stuff blooming, all the flames, or somethign else.
    iam seriously ready to go to allergist in town. Hihgly recommended.
    Anyhow, great story to use and so now I ahve something for visualization. Thanks for sharing.

  75. Glad I can help someone because I'm drowning here and not even using that passage yet this week. Oi.

    Just. Wish. I. Could. Focus.

  76. I so resemble that "wish I could focus"


    it's not that I have nothing. it's just that I have too much stuff that doesn't go together. but that's better than nothing ... i think

  77. OK. I'm done for tonight way earlier than usual, and earlier that I'd like. I just can't keep my mind on my sermon even though I have a pretty good idea of where I want it to go and how to get there. I think I'm just going to go get some sleep and get up at the usual 4:00 a.m. and pound this one out. That will HOPEFULLY still give me time to polish up my memorization of the story. I'm THRILLED to be making my story-telling debut in worship tomorrow. I'll see the early morning crew later!


  78. nutella - - 2 year anniversary for the Marshalls. Think about dropping them a note or prayer (or both) if you get the chance.

  79. I, unfortunately, am still up. Baby has decided that Saturday night equals party time. Preachers kids. Sigh. She took a late evening nap, too, sherev. Only she hasn't gotten back to sleep yet. Rather, she'll sleep while I'm holding her and then when I lay her down, open her eyes and grin real big. Cute. Daddy's also a preacher, and it's my turn this week.

    I'm sure this is motivational to all of you who are still working. Blessings to all.

  80. Hi, I am a methodist Minister in Wales UK. I don't have a blog but I did feel I wanted to thank you all for the help and inspiration I have gained (lurking here every week, hope that's Ok).

    I am moved by the thought of ministers divided by such great distance yet united by a common call to preach, and using the same readings it tickles me to think of everyone preaching all so different and yet with one Lord and calling in common.

    I also like the feast provided each week if only the real food in the larder was so kind to the waistline!!

    Does me good too to see that others struggle late into the night and sometimes very early in the morning I thought I was alone in this till I stumbled on this blog some weeks ago courtesy of The Text This Week.

    Really Just trying this out (got to brave the winds and waves sometime) and seeing if its OK with you all. Then maybe I may even post the odd (hopefully not too odd) thought.

    But whatever thanks for the ministry you all have.

  81. Rev Steve, welcome to the party! As John Wesley said, "If your heart is as my heart, take my hand."

    I'm guessing it's now Sunday during the day for you while I'm just now heading toward bed in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

    Glad you're here. It's a good place to be.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  82. Thanks Vicar of hogsmead.

    Yes the night is far gone and the day is at hand and in just a couple of hours I hope I don't dream I am preaching and wake up and find that I am!

    Sleep well :-)

  83. Welcome Rev Steve!

    I'm back grateful for the sleep I got and the brainstorm (pardon the pun for you all, but not me since I'm a week behind) that rolled in as I was settling down last night. I've got a way to start and somewhere to go, so this should move quickly!

  84. This sermon woke me up twice. When I went down to another church to welcome my rafters back to terra firma, I had a chat with the rector there and he, too, was still working on the sermon at 8:30 so we talked about it and he really wanted to hang onto the fact that in Gen 15, God says that the people will end up in Egypt so Joseph has to go there to make it all work out. But I have this notion that the redacters had more to do with Gen 15 than God did.
    So I came home and watched a little Olympics - caught Phelps, what a genuinely nice guy! - before hitting the hay. And Josephe and his brothers invaded my dreams twice!
    I woke up early realizing that, despite my objections to Gen 15, this story is - duh! - very much about God, how God works through our machinations and mistakes in ways we cannot begin to imagine. Peter, too, is about God and not primarily about Peter or those who stayed in the boat.
    Now if my mind, sleep deprived as it is, can hang onto that!

  85. I'm so glad someone has turned the lights back on already.

    I didn't even attempt to come back last night. Got home from the wedding reception at 10 and watched a movie in bed with my dh... only, he watched and I fell asleep.

    I have to reread what I have written, I honestly can't even remember now!

  86. ahhhh i keep distracting myself with facebook... evil evil invention!

  87. Morning all, Welcome Steve! Boy did I wake up to a mess. and not of the clean sermon variety, cat poop, pee, and puke, all in the wrong places. IT's way too early to be cleaning up cat poop.

    Sherev, thanks for the reminder about the aniversary.

    Margaret, boy I wish God had invaded your dreams the night before last. *sigh* what great thoughts.

    ok, off to inspect the sermon.

    I have fresh coffee brewed. and pumpkin spice bread! help yourselves!

  88. Wow. It's done.

    I like it.

    A few memorizing touch ups to do, then I'm off to proclaim and preside.

    Have a blessed day!

  89. Katie - - we need to connect on Facebook so at least I can share in my sinfulness!!! I was messing around there too much this morning myself.

    Sorry about the cat stuff, nutella!

  90. Good morning, all!
    Can you smell the coffee? It's delicious, have a cup, please.
    I'm off to conduct a small, family wedding, then my husband is driving Mary Beth and assorted others to church.
    Blessings to all as you preach and teach!

  91. She's off! to the wedding. ("who gets married on Sunday morning!?" I said to Songbird...well, these folks, apparently. :) And it does occur to me that I got married on a Monday afternoon at a Renaissance festival...)

    Molly and I are sitting in the front room, windows are open, and it's cool and misty out. I feel like I'm in England.

    Welcome, Rev Steve! Glad to have you here. All are welcome.

    I'm off to read a few sermons before church...many blessings on you all as you proclaim the Good News on this day.

  92. Welcome to steve and good morning/afternoon to all.
    Anyone need coffee? My cats are in need of snoorgles this morning.
    I will take some pumnkin' bread Nutella.
    Yuke about cat stuff! My little one still enjoys scattering poop and litter in the air and then letting it fall where it may.
    I msut leave in a few...just wanted to say hi
    Blessigns to all...

  93. Welcome, Steve! Church in the park was SO GOOD! :-) I'll blog about it, most likely. Now I need sleep.


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