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Saturday, September 20, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party:
be not anxious edition

Subbing for Songbird - here is your last minute site for sermon ideas and thoughts. Readings for RCL are here. Is the economic news hitting members of the church you serve? Are you preaching on this subject? The Episcopal Church prayer for this Sunday is:
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Seems old prayers show us that others have been through this before.

From Tuesday's Lectionary discussion I hear:

Exodus has grumbling Israelites, Jonah is mad at God for forgiving the Ninevites: "I knew you would be like this, God - that's why I don't like working for you - how about a little fire and brimstone instead of all this forgiving, merciful attitude?" (my paraphrase of Jonah sulking under the shriveled vine).

Paul tells the Philippians: live your life in a manner worthy of the Gospel. Always good advice for Christians - hard to do always.

The Gospel is a challenge for those of us who cry "not fair" - "I worked all day and now you are paying those slackers the same as you are paying me?" But if we look at it through the eyes of a day laborer - one who stands at the job corner waiting to be called to go work, maybe we can see how it could be better than fair. Imagine you are standing with the others waiting for the landowner to call you for work today. Who gets called first? The fit, the strong, the young? You wait knowing your family can't eat tonight if you don't get this job but you have many strikes against you - you aren't all the strong, you are not young, you are whatever the landowner does not see as attributes of a good worker. Still you wait in hope - noon comes and still no work. Mid afternoon - nope - not called this time either. Finally, the last hour and joy of joy you are called - even if it is a few cents it will be better than nothing to take home to the family.

What will you preach tomorrow?
What is your favorite fuel for sermon writing?
I think graham crackers and milk or maybe an Oreo or 2.


  1. I get to preach Saturday night, so it's a late Friday night for me! For a children's sermon, I'm going to have the children help me reinact the story of Jonah (the parts they all know from their story books), having two of the bigger kids play the whale engulfing one of the smaller kids. I think they, and we all, will have a blast with it!

    Then, for the "adult" sermon, I'll transition by talking about how in our first lesson we get to hear about the part of the story we usually skip, the part we don't teach the kids. I'm going to get pretty dramatic with Jonah's complaints, and God's conversation back and forth with him. From there, bringing in the Gospel text, I'll talk about God's will and priorities compared to ours, and how our growing in faith can cause some rather uncomfortable self and community reflection!

    It's not fully fleshed out, and I'm not sure how I'll conclude it, but I think it's a good start. I'll have tomorrow morning to work on it too, but then I have a birthday party for a 90 year old parishioner, a meeting with a family to plan Monday's funeral, and then the evening service.

    And breathing. Must remember to breathe!

  2. I do like it when the party starts this early...because already I am starting to get nervous about finishing in time. I have a long to-do list of stuff that has to get done tomorrow in addition to the sermon, so I can leave after church for a week of continuing ed.

    I'm almost certainly preaching on Exodus, although I have always loved the parable of the workers in the vineyard. I'm pondering the complaining of Israel, and how the known is almost always more appealing than the unknown, even if it also enslaves us.

  3. Its the most beautiful morning in the UK..golden, with just a hint of chill in the air...and I've got a wedding to do shortly. Just finishing the address (they opted for Song of Songs, which I've not preached on before)and tidying up some prayers, as we're also blessing their 3 year old daughter during the service.
    Later, I need to produce a short homily on St Matthew for the 8.00 as tomorrow is our Patronal Festival in the valley - so we've a special Eucharist, at which I'm presiding but not preaching. Very nervous that it may be a damp squib. They haven't celebrated their patronals for years in these churches, and I think they need a party - but what if nobody comes? We've advertised celebration nibbles and cake there may be an awful lot of cake to offer round tomorrow. For today, there's a bowl of apples that seem perfect for the day. Happy writing, friends.

  4. Ann, thanks for stepping in! I'm off for an anniversary day trip with my husband (and dogs). I will preach tomorrow; I'm planning to adapt an old sermon on the Exodus and Matthew passages, although some new ideas came to me yesterday in the dentist's chair. We'll see how much time is left to me after we return later...

  5. I'm preaching Exodus and using some of Barbara Brown Taylor's ideas in "Bread of Angels." It's been a tough week so my creative juices have not been flowing very much.

    In any event, I'm drinking some coffee before heading out to our first ever Blessing of the Animals.

  6. I'm preaching St. Matthew's day. Anyone with children's sermon ideas for that?

  7. I'm in Cleveland, getting ready to return to Memphis. (I saw my oncologist. All is well.) I'm pretty much recycling the sermon I did three years ago with the Exodus text. I'm beeffing up the Matthew part of the sermon. I need to rework again the application part, to pull in the ecnomic crisis more clearly. (Amazingly three years ago, I preached about the high natural gas prices and the suffering it would bring to the poor in our village in MI--they were much closer to poor (and were poorer themselves) than my current congregation.)

    Basically, the theme of the sermon is enough. What I want to fix is to talk about God's plan for the world as being enough to go around with a glance at laws requiring farmers to leave parts of their fields for gleaning, the prophets railing against taking advantage of the poor and the orphans.

  8. I am not preaching this week, but I bring supplies to nourish the rest of you:

    Homemade chocolate chip pancakes topped with Nutella
    Awesome coffee and some fruit.

    Blessings on the writing!

  9. I am up and at 'em and share grape nuts and nectarines with all. I am not sure where I want to go with the Jonah and Matthew readings today.

    What does it mean when we can very well meet Hitler or Osama ben Laden in heaven? Tough readings to preach.

  10. Hoping that you will ALL remember to breathe today! Kathryn, hope you get lots of attendees. Sounds lovely. Songbird, have a great time! Joan Calvin, HOORAY! for the good report.

    I have good old bacon and fried eggs. If you prefer a lower fat alternative, I've got Cheerios with nectarines to go on top.

    And lots, lots, lots of coffee. (My Ike evacuees are back as of late last night.)

    Though the pancakes with Nutella are sounding awfully tempting...

  11. Tomorrow our congregation is participating in the US Congregational Life Survey as one of the randomly selected congregations. This will eat up about 20 minutes, which is about the length of my sermon, so I will just be making some very brief remarks.

    This morning, if I can get the WG out of bed, we are going shoe shopping for her.

  12. The economic issues are certainly relevant to the gospel but I'm having a hard time figuring out how/what to do about that since my head is firmly in the place of metaphors for grace and kingdom. I talked with a woman Thursday night whose entire retirement is tied up in AIG. She is in a state of panic as you can imagine. I don't think anything I could say about tomorrow's gospel is going to make her feel any better. When you still aren't sure if your means of support is there or not, it is hard to hear a message about setting our minds on things heavenly rather than earthly.
    So I've posted the sermon from three years ago and will likely say some of these things again this time round.
    I'd offer good things to eat but I'm avoiding most of them as I attempt to lose a pound or two. Turkey bacon is not much of a draw. ;-)

  13. cool mornings, sweetly singing birds, hot chocoltae cherry coffee.
    I'm preaching Exodus. God often doesnlt give us what we want but always enough of what we need.

    Sorry to admit it's rare when I think it's ever enough. Enough ssleep, enough exercise, enough pastorla care, enough blogging, enough sermon. You get the idea.
    Ok ENOUGH of living iut of scarcity-heading to local seminary library where I can be inspired and reminded why i was called. (and releived I'm over those damn ords!)

  14. thank you ann, I am actually taking a vacation day today. but I'm thinking about a lot of things, including the economy.

    Our new organist/music director is installed tomorrow. no sermon, a mini-hymn sing instead.

  15. OK... I cheated. I didn't make any muffins... or anything like that. I bought a couple of dozen Dunkin Donuts... lots of variety. Hubbabhubba made a giant pot of coffee... and it's strong. We have fat free creamer (hey... gotta do something to offset calories)... and half-n-half.

    Sermon is posted here. Comments... concerns... are always welcome.

  16. last night our church hosted a fundraiser for a local organization that helps women and children get out of domestic violence situations. One of our youth organized the whole thing--with three local bands, food, publicity (on the radio and the front page of the paper!), a speaker from the organization, etc. It was a great event but I didn't leave the church until 11.30!! So I slept in a bunch this morning and now have only a few hours in which to work, since tonight is the kickoff of a new fellowship event and I promised I'd make an's at 6.30 and I have to go to the store before I go, so I have to be done by about 4.30 in time to shower/go to store/get there. sigh...

    I'm working on Exodus and something about being formed as God's people, learning reliance on God, looking forward rather than back, etc etc etc. In other words, I currently have only the vaguest of sermon title is "whiners to bakers."

    I have no food except toast...did I mention I need to go to the store? ;-) I have tea, though! help yourself!

  17. I'm balancing the works/grace issue of Pelagius and Augustine. Slowly. Painfully. Cluelessly.

    Praying for those of you preaching.


  18. Well I think I have a handle on the sermon. But there is another piece of work on the plate.

    We (Beloved and I) have realized that for a variety of reasons (life stage of the kids, finances of the congregation) it is time to look at moving. SO I have been looking at needs assesment reports..

    Then yesterday I get an e-mail, from a place I was really considering applying inviting me to apply. I think there is a message there somewhere. BUt now I really have to finish up putting together an application package and trying to decide on possible references. THat is the hardest part -- especially when I really don't want it widely known that I am looking.

  19. Oh.. I forgot
    Reedy Girl is making cinnamon rolls. There's going to be a few left over, so I'll bring them by later. :)

    There. I know you will be inspired!

  20. Be not anxious?! I think I've succeeded in deleting from my computer Microsoft word and excell so that I can't do anything but look at all my documents and can't write a sermon...and my husband went off to get breakfast so I have no idea how to fix my blasted computer...and of course Microsoft has online support M-F.

    Cheesehead, our congregation is participating in the Congregational Life survey in October.

    I'll have donuts to share as soon as husband returns and hopefully fixes my computer. oh, and maybe I'll preach on something tomorrow related to generosity and grace and workers and Jonah...must fix computer first.

  21. Writing children's sermon for tomorrow, seminary class sermon for Thursday, and a theology of evangelism paper for Tuesday.

    I offer to share the noise of the three boys playing rock band in the next room, and halloween candy already bought that will not make it to Halloween: Junior Mints and mini Reese's cups

    SB - Happy Anniversary!!
    Nutella - I would be more than anxious - I hate computer problems!

  22. My title is "Murmuring, Mumbling, Griping, and Grumbling", and right now that's about all I've got. I'm looking at how we sometimes spend so much time complaining we forget to see the benefits we receive because of God's bountiful providence and grace, using both Exodus and Matthew.

    The little church participated in a small town parade this morning with a float that said "Let there be peace on earth". I walked and ran and handed out candy and said "God Bless You" in the parade for half an hour, and came home and caught a nap. About time for lunch. Spaghetti squash anyone?

  23. Oh yeah - I actually got on here to tell you all that the 11th Hour Preaching Party got a mention in my Preaching class last week - and not by me - it was fun to hear someone else say how much he liked it - and the Tuesday Lectionary Leanings!

  24. Nutella...Word quit working on me a couple of weeks ago. Go to for freeware openoffice, and download it. I was able to open all my word and excel files with it and it worked great. Funny thing, I think Word got jealous, and started working again a few days later.

  25. i have not done any work. facebook is sucking my life away. And of course now I'm hungry. (sigh) (end whine)

    can i use my own whining as a sermon opening? hmmm....

  26. I'll second the suggestion to use openoffice. We use it because all we have in the office is MS Works and we couldn't open email attachments at all. The formatting doesn't always come thru perfectly but hey - it's way better than nothing! It's also free, my favorite price.

    I've finished the sermon for today's worship. Now I get to work on Matthew "Hearing the Dispossessed" for tomorrow - stealing the title from Rita Nakashima Brock in DisciplesWorld magazine.

    The image of men standing around waiting all day for a day's work is easy for my folks to see - because we do see it every day in local parking lots. Mostly undocumented aliens just waiting for someone, anyone to give them even a couple of hours work.

    I've listed all the dispossessed peoples I can think of, the ones who our churches and our nation typically relegated to the balcony, or told "there's a church for people like you up the street where you might be more comfortable." Now to fill out that theme. . .

    First though I think I'd better clean the bunny cage and bird cage. They're both unhappy with me!

  27. Nutella,
    Hope hubby gets the word "reloaded"
    Mine is bunked up on old computer, but writing sermons on laptop is fun...I jsut dont like the newest version of Word! I want my old version back (from pre-2000).
    Gord, Picking refs is so hard and the trick is gettign reallly good ones that want talk. I had good refs, but knew they would chat to others and the ones who would nto talk were okay, but not the best!
    Happy anniversary, birthdya, shoe shopping and such to all!
    I am on exodus, my title (pleae dont laugh!)
    It's Raining Bread, Hallelujah!"
    and after a visit to a massive quilt show yesterday, I want to work in the idea of how a quilt for the Israleites would tell thier story...
    Some of my favorite quilts told stories or used scraps from years goen by and told a story of a family or used heirlooms from teh family..
    so, howwould the Isralites quilt look, esp on a day when the bread coems from ehaven and they say, " What is it?"
    They have quail in the evenign and bread flakes from the sky...
    the quilt would tell the story by...

  28. I love the title, 1-4!
    I haven't started yet, but I'm about to write, right now. I swear....

    maybe I'll shower now and an idea will come...or maybe I'll shower now and then go to the store so I don't have to leave the house until 6.15 instead of 4.30. hmmm...will an idea come at the store? Can you buy those at Jewel or Target?

  29. I have printed a version and am letting it sit so that I can read it with fresh eyes. Now. Church history. Pick up kids from fencing. Retrieve car tire which picked up a nail (BLAST). Dinner is in the crockpot. First of fall soups... squash! mmmm
    Tastes great with day-old bagels. Please help yourself!


  30. Ugh, one of those weeks/days. Have not written one word on the sermon, and I'm solo-ing with the baby today. I squandered this morning's nap time with one of my own, which was sorely needed. Apparently, it's still going to be Sunday tomorrow, though.

    Working on the parable this week. Like rev maria, the Day Labor parking lot is a familiar sight around here, so the image doesn't need much translation. Which doesn't give me any words on the page.

    Murmur, grumble, grump. Maybe I'll get a brilliant idea soon. We have leftover pizza to share.

  31. I'm back after working until about 5 am and then sleeping until's going to be interesting to see how everything gets done. Assuming it does.

    I'm madly working and checking off my to-do list, but that's unfortunately not writing the sermon. Maybe it's time for a lunch break and then a turning of the mind to the sermon alone.

    I do have a striking mental image that fits well with the parable, if anyone could use it...from when I was in Mexico City: the day laborers stand in the plaza around the capital building with signs advertising their skills, and they hang items from the sign that make it clear what they do (to get around the language barriers, Nahuatl/Spanish etc.). So the electrician had a light bulb hanging from his sign. The carpenter had a hammer. Et cetera.

    1-4, I'm not usually one for sermon titles, but yours may just change my mind. :)

  32. I feel so out of rhythm and I only missed last Sunday - - somewhat unexpected. My grandfather died so I had an unscheduled week "off". Instead of lose all the work I had done on the bulletin by last Thursday I decided to save it for this week and skip the manna and quails. I'm on the parting of the waters for tomorrow.

    All writing will have to wait until after the Florida-Tennessee game, though. I've got priorities. (Go Gators! Just scored the second TD!)

    Anyway, I'm hoping this one will go smoothly when I get to it tonight. I'll skim through what the rest of you did last week during the game, though!

  33. Sherev,
    So sorry for your loss. I still really miss my grandparents. It is a loss you eventually expect, but still doesnt make you miss them any less.
    I am watching the game with you and enjoying it. :)

  34. well, I wrote something. I'm not a fan of it because I'm not sure it says anything...or at least, it doesn't explicitly address my context (the in-between-pastors context) and I can't decide whether it should or not. I may re-write tonight, but for now I'm going to take a shower and go shopping and hope to find words of wisdom when I get back (but before going to the dinner party/fellowship event thing, hopefully, so I can think about it then the place where there will be food everywhere!). Stop over! Also, since I'll be out--anyone need anything?

  35. Thanks, 1-4. It's something I hestitate mentioning since it's one of those REALLY bizarre family situations. I only met him like 3 times in my life because at some point his 2nd wife talked him into "disowning" my mother, but not her other 3 siblings. So, no majoring mourning or hurt for me personally, but it was good being with my family while they were mourning, especially my mom while she was going through who knows what kinds of feelings. She had seen him a few times in the last few years and spent one night with him at the hospital in the week of his death. I don't know that there was official "reconciliation," but you get what you get in our family. Anyway, family dynamics aside I had a great little trip to Florida!!!

    My sister and I sort of got "jipped" in the grandparent department. If you consider that including step-parents we had the possibility of 8 grandparents (more actually because several of them were divorced and remarried themselves), that fact that we only knew 2 grandmothers at all kind of stinks. The one with whom we were closest died when we were in 8th and 11th grades.

    Oh well. I live through my husband's experiences and his last living grandmother and several great aunts and uncles.

    If I mourned anything last week it was that he died when I was 31, but I never knew him because he couldn't get past his pride or something to meet his grandkids.

  36. Oh my! Did none of you preach Exodus last week??? :)

  37. I'm back from blessing many dogs and one horse! What a great morning - spent the afternoon looking over some stuff for our Romans Bible study, and now, I need to go to the grocery store before I study up on the Sunday School...hmmm, I think I might a nerd.

  38. I confess to serious anxiety about my "sermon" (I'm not quite ready to just let it be yet...) but I must go to the store. I promise to bring back sustenance!

  39. Thanks everyone for the stuff. I'll see if that works for me. I'm especially hopeful that maybe my Word will also get jealous...but I think if Word has ceased to exist, I'm not sure if non-beings can have feelings.

    So I succeeded in borrowing my husband's computer and writing a sermon. PRoblem is, I'm pretty sure I don't know what I'm saying, and after reading it to my husband, he's also not sure he knows what I'm saying...we both think it has potential if I find a punchline and add it...but we're not sure what the punchline is. but then, parables are like that aren't they? Still, I think it needs to be less parable-ish and more tie-in-with-said-parable-ish.

    She-rev, so sorry to hear about your grandfather and the surrounding dynamics. Prayers for you and your mom especially.

  40. 898 words. Afternoon nap is now over. Hmm. Need more words, as well as something to say, as well as time in which to say it.

  41. Just read a BBT sermon on the workers in the vinyard and have decided she should preach tomorrow instead of me b/c she's brilliant and I can't figure out what my sermon is saying. unfortunately, clueless is preaching tomorrow, not BBT unless I want to be a plagiarizing sermon-stealer, which I don't.

    yes, definitely feeling like the workers waiting for God to give them work to do at 5pm...literally.

  42. Re: BBT and sermons -- she takes weeks to write hers. I know because she was visiting our church and I asked her to preach the next day - she said she could not possibly do a sermon in less than a week. YIKES - no wonder parish ministry did not work out for her. She is a great one tho.

  43. Its 11:15pm here. So I've decided to go with a rehash from 3 years ago. Not thrilled about it but this is a solo pastorate. It will have to do. And maybe the Spirit appreciates those days when we're not so happy with our work and rely more heavily on her. Just off to find some chocolate for supper. I have weightwatchers mint crisp bars - 1.5 points. Should hit the spot.
    Sermon posted here

  44. What a crowd of busy bees...sounds like great things are happening.
    I've had a busy busy day, but am just putting together a semi reflection on the experience of preaching the call of Matthew 6 years ago...Huge thanks to Songbird, who thought there might be a homily in the story. I sure hope so, as it's late and I'm weary and know the puppy will rise with the lark, come what may!

  45. bless you ann for that story about BBT. needed that. I've definitely been feeling like my congregation deserves a lot better than my preaching, but I was the one who agreed to "show up" when the Spirit called. Perhaps I should have kept my mouth shut and someone more talented would have raised her hand. But enough whining and pity party...must find a way through the dark of this passage and my crap sermon to give the Spirit something to work with tomorrow.

  46. nutella, my former senior pastor used to just start off the sermon (or pretty close to the beginning) by saying "barbara brown taylor says this better than I do She says....." and then he would quote all or most of a sermon sometimes. The trick seems to be to acknowledge up front and then go with it. He also was the king of never-tell-them-when-the-quote-ends, so it was possible for him to preach a whole sermon that was in quotation marks from the third or fourth sentence to the end.

  47. okay, after the shopping (cereal, milk, toothbrush...chips for tonight's gathering (salsa to be brought by my partner in cooking)...and new gym shoes) and the re-reading of the sermon, I've decided to keep only the last two paragraphs and to do a rewrite later tonight.
    but for now I have to content myself with just thinking about it because it's time for RCLPC Cafe--a new fellowship thing at someone's house that I definitely have to make an appearance at. There will be an abundance of appetizers and desserts so I'll bring back loads of yummies for the late-night writing crew!

    FYI: I do have a children's sermon on the exodus text. In confirmation class I use kettle korn to talk about manna--how when you step on it in the dark (or blindfolded) you don't know what it is, but when you taste it it's yummy and filling. I plan to tell the kids the story of the Israelites complaining about being hungry and how God said "I'll provide what you need--not more for some and not less for anyone." Then we'll have some kettle korn and talk about how manna was sweet like honeycake and how the Israelites ate it every day for 40 years, and there was always enough. There might be something about how God's providing is both good and good for us, or possibly something about not knowing what it is (it looks like something else--like regular popcorn, or like dew, or whatever) but having it turn out good. or something.

  48. Hey, y'all! I'm home after a gorgeous day out!! I retooled the old sermon and posted it at my place.
    Now I'm going to watch "Firefly" with my daughter. I'll check back later!

  49. Oh, Teri, popcorn is brilliant! I need something to distribute but have a little girl with gluten issues, so crackers are "out." I'm doing a thing where I'm going to pass out however many pieces match each child's age, then will ask them to compare what they have and suggest other ways of dividing all we have. Something like that.

  50. Well the garden is dug now...

    ANd teh laundry has been done for a while...

    But my profile stuff is no closer to being done. THe sermon, she is fairly good shape. Besides if I blow it tomorrow I have a second chance -- preaching the same sermon next week. Yes in a different place.

  51. I finally had to go somewhere else to focus on the now I have plenty to say about manna and quails and murmuring and complaining. Among other things.

    The unfortunate thing is that my outline starts with "intro story I don't have yet" and "concluding story I don't have yet".

    Checking a few things off the list, then some dinner, and then SERMON.

  52. 1617. I think I'm done. I have no idea if it makes any sense or not. The baby is unimpressed.

  53. FL-TN is over, but now LSU-Auburn is on. It will prove to be an even more exciting game, I'm sure. One more kid to put in bed, then sermon thinking while football watching and Scripture memorizing (almost done). THEN it will be a late night!

    I'll see the late partiers later!

  54. For all of you still struggling, I am hanging right there with you. For some reason this past Monday, I thought it would be a great idea to begin a four week series on Philippians following the lectionary. What was I thinking? Ackkkkk!

    Great idea with the kettle corn, aka manna -- am gonna use that with the kiddoes.

  55. Essay sucks. pure and simple. But the cinnamon rolls Reedy Girl made? oh my. Any way to email one to my prof?


  56. Y'all, this has been a quiet day. Did the sermons come so easily? I am headed off to bed, grateful to find we *DO* have some microwave popcorn I can press into action for the children's word tomorrow. Blessings to all who will preach and especially those who are still preparing. May a delectable film star of your choice appear at your door with a completed manuscript, immediately, if not sooner!

  57. I have returned from RCLPC Cafe with an assignment to host as well as lots of chips and salsa (fresh from gardens--yum!) and some amazing apple pie with a crumble top instead of more pie crust. Heavenly.

    Unfortunately I've also returned with no sermon, so I'm off to stare at a blank screen until words appear. Back later (sooner?? she hopes...).

  58. My sermon is not coming easily. I'm on Antonio watch as we speak.

    At least I finally thought of something to take the place of "intro story I don't have yet."

  59. I'm not thrilled others are still here with me, but I'm thrilled others are still here with me.

    KWIM? Sorry you're not done, but I'm glad I'm not alone.

    Still not one thing, but this football game is riveting. Thankfully it'll be over by 10:00 p.m. and I can get something started.

  60. I'm not done, but I am a lot closer than I was. I am about ready to pack it in and finish up in the morning. Perhaps the HS will give me a great conclusion as I sleep. That's my prayer, anyway.

  61. Game's over. No more excuses. TV is going off and I better write something!

  62. okay, I re-wrote. I'm still not thrilled but I *think* it'll preach...not sure. feedback coveted!

  63. I had a coke at the party tonight.

    That was a bad idea.

    So now I am refining my children's sermon idea (the one with the kettle corn) and possibly editing the sermon too.


    I'm also petting kitties. I can do pet therapy on behalf of anyone! And don't forget--I brought home goodies from they party and they're in the kitchen! The apple pie is to die for...local apples, heirloom recipe, yum!

  64. Sherev,
    so sorry for your family situation. Everyone should have at least one cool grandparent or grandparent type...I hope you will come across somebody like that one day in your ministry.
    Oh, and i did preach Exodus last week!
    You are wonderful! Blessings on your are funny...
    And Teri,
    You are cracking me up with the sermon that is almost entirely a quote!
    Also, I have struggle with the childrens sermon,...great idea!
    I hope the little mom and pop store up the road will have kettle corn, as I am not up to a trip to Publix.
    ANyhow, I am trying to get to my closing part in 500 words or so...
    Does anybody out there ever feel like they dont know what there doing(Grey's Anatomy quote), raise your hand?

  65. I think I might be on to something, but I really don't want to plug away at it now. I'm going to finish my Scripture prep, and go to bed at midnight (30 minutes). 3:00 a.m. - - here I come! (Maybe 4:00 a.m. if the Scripture prep goes really well!!!

  66. Sermon is done! Was chugging right along, then hit a few bumps, but I think I'm finished now.

    There are still some things on my to-do list, but I think I may just take a shower, print the sermon and fall into bed. That sounds lovely.

    Blessings on all early-morning writers and all preaching, proclamation and pondering this day.

  67. This has never happend befoe, but I have 1783.
    So, I guess I will go with it and see how long it goes tomorrow. Maybe it will be done by noon(ish).
    I got a wee bit into soem timely stuff and I got a wee bit into the song which title I borrowed and a wee bit into my weekend of quilt viewing.
    ANd yes, stuck to my text.
    I am off to write an prayer and then take a shower and to bed.
    Blessings everyone!
    Happy Sunday!
    Happy Fall!
    Happy ?
    Should i get the lights?

  68. Hey! Turn those lights back on.

    Antonia watch...heh heh heh...


    What a long day, and a long week, and a long month...ahem. I am almost finished, I think. I'm not on the lectionary. I am doing a series on marriage.

    It is 1:50 where I am! WOW! I feel like semfem--except this week she beat me!


  69. I'm back. 4 AM here, but I think the HS helped me out when I was trying to sleep. I think I've got something, but now I have to write it. SheRev, you up?

  70. Thanks, Kim. I'm here!

    Got up 20 minutes ago - - well, I accidentally hit the snooze button so it's more like 11. Then I ran through my Scripture story-telling and did it all without my script. Great. Now I need to write.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, I had this idea last night before going to sleep to sort of rearrange the middle of the service. My readings are the Exodus parting of the sea and the songs of Moses and Miriam in the following chapter. My plan was to preach about how the communal salvific act brought the people of Israel together as God's people and that is marked by their worship as a community. Sort of "the family that prays together..." So, this is a mark of the people of God - - the celebratory worship of God when we experience the salvation of God in our lives together (and as individuals). Well, instead of just talking about this, I think we should do it in the service, which I had sort of planned to do with the children's time, but frankly, I don't want to give away my sermonic "punchline" in the children's sermon before I get to it in the main sermon. I think I'll tell the story of Exodus 14 (the memorized story - maybe with the kids up front for a front row seat), then preach most of the sermon - - getting to the Exodus 15 part about worship. Then I'll invite the kids back up while Exodus 15 is read (question about whether to call the lay reader back up to read this as she is scheduled to do), and talk to them and the adults about giving praise to God for the great work God does for us. I want to make up some refrain (preferably from the song) and have the kids repeat it while waving streamers and shaking tambourines, etc, as we move among the congregation getting prayers of celebration and praise.

    Whew. I like it! I hope I can pull it off seamlessly. It may not be worth it to have the kids up front during my story-telling. Too much up and down and back and forth. But that might just get decided in the moment. The only other decision to make is about the lay reader reading the story. I think I'll do it, so that I can lead the kids in waving streamers during that time. We can talk about how it's OK (more than OK, biblically "approved" or mandated even?) to worship with our whole bodies.

    Why the restructuring at the 11th hour??? Really!!!

    The sermon it's OK. I didn't come up with this to be a distraction, but it might be that. I need to finish writing and see if it turns into that or if it truly adds to the service. I like the idea of actually worshiping and praising God instead ot talking about worshiping and praising God. That's where this came from. That and the idea of blessing/giving permission for kids to worship bodily/squirmingly - permission to the kids and grown-ups who are lovingly in the pews with them!

    OK. Back to work to see if it's all going to make sense and not be distracting, disrupting, choppy. We'll see.

  71. good morning all!!!

    I've been staying away from the preacher party lately,and I miss you!!!

    I completely wasted away my Saturday - well, not wasted, I spent most of the day with some good friends... sleeping in after we all stayed up until 4am together talking and I finally convinved them to just spend the night.

    But it means I wasn't able to be around for the preacher party!

    I'm still doing the daily bread thing from Tuesday - and I LOVE the kettle corn idea for a children's sermon.

    Hope all is coming together well for you this morning sherev and kim!

    Sometimes I am a bit ashamed by the fact my sermon isn't done on Sunday mornings yet... but knowing others are here with me... well, i agree, it doesn't make me feel better, but it does.

  72. Morning all, I'm back up and at it as well. Gotta put an end on this sermon, because I also just realized I forgot to prepare for the Sunday School lesson. Ouch! Guess I'll be winging that. Oh, and kettle corn to pop....

    Peace to you as you proclaim the word today!

  73. It's coming together. Kettle corn sounds good, but I'd already planned for monkey bread, thanks to sermons4kids. Besides, I'm hungry for it myself!

    Sherev, I like the idea of really worshiping rather than just talking about it. So what if it's a distraction from what is probably a wonderful sermon (why do we always sell our gifts and abilities short?) Isn't worship what we're supposed to be doing in church anyway?

    Well I'd better finish this puppy up. I'd hoped to go back to bed for an hour or so, but not sure it will happen.

    Happy preaching, all.

  74. grr. I'm trying to make my sermon more about grace than economics, but with the economic crisis it is becoming more and more and more difficult.

  75. Katie, I think if the sermon I hear today does NOT mention economics (particularly as we are in the midst of our stewardship campaign) - it will be loss of a huge opportunity.

    Humbly spoken, as a hearer of the sermon rather than as a preacher: you gotta put it where the people are.

    Blessings on all who proclaim, preach, lead worship, and share music to God's glory this day!

  76. Mary Beth, thank you for that imperative; I was just looking over my sermon and thinking I needed to add something more specific about the economy to it.

  77. hmm, i was thinking that too. I do say "saying God will provide sounds cliche and naive in times like ours, and I suspect it did to the Israelites too." Then I go on to talk a little about how the Israelites learned that they literally had to depend on God for everything, including daily bread. We think we're independent but what we also need to learn is reliance and trust. I wonder if that's explicit enough?

    Once again I wish I was preaching on the would be so much clearer. but the exodus series continues.....

  78. I'm leaving the economic stuff to my prayers of the people, but then I'm doing the parting of the sea from last week so it seems, at least to me, a little less obvious. Also, I have a three week mini-series coming up on justice-type issues, so I think I'll hold more of my preaching on these subject 'til then.

  79. I finished up about 2 p.m. and now I'm back up to print it. And my printer is out of ink! Argh!

    I'm mailing it to my computer at church and hoping. That doesn't always work in anything like a speedy manner.

    Blessings on your proclaiming and your day!

  80. teri,
    reliance and trust...i like that.
    I ended up with an extra couple of hundred word as i brought in the economy and gas prices issue to tie in...
    now, uh, thanks teri!!!!
    I have two more words to an already kinda long sermon.
    Anyhow, once again the lectionary proves itself to be quite valid in our times today.
    okay, I got a last mintue prep before Sunday School
    Break a leg everybody (except for KP!!!!, she's already done that!)
    We need a good catch phrase for revgals and pals who are gonna preach...


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