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Saturday, September 27, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: STOMP Edition

It's been one of those weeks, hasn't it? The news has been tough, the politics have been rough, and the texts from the lectionary? Well, they have a little "stomp" to them, too.

We may want to side against the Israelites in Exodus 17:3--
The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?"

But aren't there people in our congregations feeling similar stress?

We listen to stories about who is going to be where, doing what important work, and we make our own judgments about them, and then we read this in Matthew 21:31--
"Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you."

Yikes! We're reading this to the faithful?

It's not often I turn to the epistle for the Good News, but I'm stomping over in the direction of Philippians 2 this week--
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Although, darn it! That's a major challenge in most churches!!

Yes, it's tough stuff this week. How can we help each other? Who disagrees with me and thinks these passages are easy-peasy? And what can you bring to our shared table? I've got good Fairly Traded coffee, and I'll offer up some apple muffins, too.

Join us in the comments, tell us what you're up to today.

My daughter is going to see Stomp tonight with her cousin, and thus the picture and the theme. Here they are via YouTube, for your stomping pleasure.


  1. Whew! All that stomping looks exhausting. I thought I had some good ideas for preaching on the epistle earlier in the week - I jotted them down in moments of boredom at a church conference I attended. But now they don't seem very helpful. I've also been very hurt by a colleague this week and that's acting like a block to my creativity. I'm trying hard to find forgiveness for him but really struggling. How can I preach about "having the mind of Christ" when there is this ball of hurt crushing me? However its 7:30am - on a Satirday when there's nothing else in the diary, so I can, hopefully work through some of this "stuff" and emerge with soemthing to preach that doesn't make me too hypocritical. I bring some Scottish breakfast tea and hot buttered toast with ginger preserve. Look forward to sharing the party.
    Thank the Lord for RGBP.

  2. Even by my standards, this weekend is making me nervous Today we have "Messy Harvest" workshops for 25 assorted (and largely unknown) children and their parents - and I still have a couple of activities to dream up and organise. Any bright ideas much appreciated.Tomorrow we have Harvest Festival in the valley (sermon required) and an ordinary lectionary Sunday up the hill (quite different sermon required) THEN I'm taking Hugger Steward to Cambridge and leaving him there...
    Liz...why not use your experience (without being specific) to think about exactly what you are struggling with. I'm quite certain that each and every member of your congregation has been in a similar place...The trick is, I guess, not to walk away?
    Meanwhile, there's some Fair Trade muesli on the table. The ginger preserve is yummy.

  3. It's 5 a.m. my time, have been up for an hour with wide awake baby hoping to coax her back to sleep, gave up on that since I need a sermon in 12 hours (or less) and have virtually nothing. Baby Girl is playing on the floor right now--she may be wide awake but at least she's happy. Thinking about authority and Jesus' conversation with the religious leaders. Also need to tie in a little the start of our fall stewardship emphasis theme--Walk with Jesus. Should be an interesting day. I offer bagels to the mix.

  4. Up early to work on that sermon. I think I'll do the Friday Five (a bit late) to warm up the writing fingers.

    I'm diving deep into Philippians for a congregation that has recently had some serious disagreements and pain.

    I set some freshly brewed coffee over on the counter. Help yourself!

  5. mamaS, thanks! You beat me to it!
    liz, so sorry to hear of your hurt; I do agree with Kathryn, sometimes the best thing we can do is say we find the challenge in the scripture to be awfully tough ourselves.
    Kathryn, it sounds like too much weekend!!!
    And Silent, when I saw your name, I thought "awake baby!"
    I have some appointments this morning, and then I'll be home in the afternoon to write. I'll try to check in mid-morning from the office, if possible.
    My sermon, at this point, is a title and a vague notion about telling the Israelites's story, bringing in the critical times in which we find ourselves and lifting up the idea that we have a choice in how we treat each other, even when we're afraid, even when we're in disagreement. That's hard work for people at any time. We get there by prayer and intention and, since I have no Calvinist anything to worry about, maybe even by working out our salvation, though those words may sound creepy and scary to Congregational UCC people!!!

  6. Good morning, everyone. I will be preaching the Matthew text, the sermon is entitled
    Holy Compassion=Wholeness.

    There is a beautiful rabbinic blessing that goes, “May your leaders be those broken by compassion.” Which is more representative of our actions - the Pharisees, who led by worrying about what others might say or like Jesus, who never excluded the least, the last and the lost? Where does your heart break?

    I believe that my wonderful hubby is making chocolate chip pancakes, making our 3-year-old squeal with delight! I'll have him make a few extra.

  7. One of those weeks?! Ended badly for me last night when there were MICE in my bedroom-you can read more about it on my blog. But Yikes. And EWWWWWW. So I didn't sleep well and now I must sermonize. Makes me wish I drank coffee with caffeine.

    I started writing a modern fable based on Matthew yesterday, but at this point I'm not sure I'll use it. But I will be working on something using Matthew and Philippians. Now if the rodents will just stay away....

  8. A way to work through your hurt so you can lay it aside - first -forgiveness for now can just mean that you accept this happened and the past cannot be changed. Second write it all out including your worst thoughts about your colleague and how you are feeling from your experience of his actions. Burn that paper and offer it all to God. "trying" to forgive when one is angry will block you every time - move into it for a half hour or so - then set it aside and do something good for you - whatever pampers your body, mind and spirit.
    Go back to the texts and pick out the sentence that stand out for you - brainstorm around it and see if your sermon juices are running again. Prayers for this difficult time -acknowledge the hurt to yourself and the fear it arouses.

  9. Good morning preachers. As always, it sounds like the texts are not the only challenge (though they surely would be sufficient). Yes, Liz, sorry to hear about the hurtful situtation, but agree in wondering if maybe there is something there that might be preachable. Kathryn you do have a plateful....two sermons...yipes! I am not preaching this weekend but heading off an hour or so south to see my jail guy, where I'm sure there will be Gospel for me. I thought I'd just stop by on my way out to say that my prayers are with you all as you prepare and make your way through the day.

  10. Good Morning all! I, too, am sorry to hear about the hurts and stresses that are going around today. I have a stress of my own - an all night youth lock-in this evening, with a sermon to be preached at worship the next morning. I don't know quite why I do this to myself! I guess I foolishly think I'm still young enough to handle it.

    I do however have a fairly clear vision for the sermon - I think with all of the crap going on in the world, we need some comfort... and I think the Christ Hymn from Philippians brings that comfort. That Christ did not remain with God, but gave everything up to come down and be born among us, to walk with us and talk with us and that his death was an expression of power-in-vulnerability.

    I'm also thinking of doing something in my sermon like taking off my stole and robe and moving down from the pulpit and sitting in the midst of everyone.

  11. Oh Liz, I hear you. :-( My thoughts and prayers are with you as I get ready to head off to several church things. I am struggling with my own not good heart feelings towards a couple in the congregation who are causing division--and they just refuse to listen or be teachable, even as they complain that no one likes them. Sigh. And I have to work with him on a project this a.m. and don't even want to see him, much less collaborate.

    This stuff sure makes life interesting--that quotidian grace is so needed by this grumpy pastor.

    I have hazlenut coffee with hazlenut creamer, and (LOL) some apple crisp. I could not resist after reading all your recipes yesterday. That was an interesting F.F. And not just the recipes.

    Back later this evening to tidy up the sermon. Today is the last warm day before a chill arrives, so I'm going to enjoy the sun as much as I can.

  12. P.S. Songbird, thanks for the video. I LOVE Stomp!

  13. Hello
    I am studying church history and reading about Athanasius and trying to form a 1000 word essay which explains what 2000 years of church history has argued over. Yeah. Riiiiiight!

    Younger daughter is on a middle school retreat this weekend, so you will have to settle for Weight Watcher Breakfast Bars... OK, so they don't match up to fresh chocolate chip pancakes, but they are only two points! :)


  14. FT and I have both been felled by The Latest Bug...our appointment with church tomorrow morning is not looking too good at this point. I finally shuffled off to the kitchen to make eggs -- sunnyside up for FT, omeletted for me -- but I'm thinkin' none of you want to share any food exposed to our exhalations.

    I'm not preaching again until mid-October, but if I were tomorrow I might tackle the Philippians passage. As our congregation grows and changes the inevitable conflicts and turf wars and muddling toward the unknown in our future is, I think, making folks anxious..."having the mind of Christ" in such times is a real challenge.

  15. morning...well, afternoon for some! Last night's debate party ended well after the debate did, so I slept in this morning. SO THANKFUL today for a member of my congregation who once was a Commissioned Lay Pastor and who is preaching this weekend. I'm not sure I could have done it--all the stress just collided this week somehow and created a day or two of meltdown.
    We are finishing up the September Exodus Series with the water-from-a-rock story. I am in need of a children's sermon that isn't long and isn't last week's manna story substituting "thirsty" and "water" for "hungry" and "bread." Any ideas?

    I went to Whole Foods yesterday (so exciting, it's like a pilgrimage!) so I have all kinds of yumminess to offer, especially around lunchtime. amazing cheese and really good crackers which require no work, and a plan to make potato leek soup later this afternoon. :-)
    Liz--sending up prayers for you! I know that feeling well..

  16. Baby Girl has been back to bed, up again and playful, and now napping on my chest. Can manage to type this one-handed, but can't mange to wrap up sermon. Am not sure how to tie things together.

    Need that and a children's time on either Matthew or Philippians. Any ideas out there.

  17. I'm here, trying to get something done on Exodus before heading off to distribute Angel Food this afternoon. I have a few notes, but that's it. Oh, and I'm also crafting a baptismal liturgy combined with a blessing of a baptism in preparation for October 5.

    It's been a long exhausting week, so I am looking forward to having this over and having a day off--and then having a massage next week.

    Go go gadget preachers!

  18. Katie! I totally had a vision of me standing in the pulpit and de-vesting as I preached... There's something so wonky-feeling about me, a so-called religious authority, preaching a text about religious authoriy. I'm working on wrapping my brain around the great (ordained) paradox of having authority when we realized that we have no authority.

    Crap. I think I might need a muffin. I'm not making any sense.

  19. Hi all. I have been working on this sermon for 2 weeks to no avail. I need to cleanse my soul of some grumpiness towards my congregation before I can trust myself to not aim and fire the Matthew passage.

    That never works anyway... always hits the innocent 'victim' behind the target.

    Sigh... more coffee is in order.

  20. Well, remarkably for me I finished writing just before noon, and I did use my fable. The theme roughly is that we can't just say yes to God, we have to also do God's work in the world. And I pull in Philippians as well--we need to be of the same mind as Christ, God works within us, enabling us to do God's work. I hope I said it better than that though :)

    I'm superstitious about posting sermons before they are preached, but I might post it tomorrow afternoon.

    Now it's off to buy mouse deterrents.

  21. Good afternoon! I come bearing hazelnut/chocolate/orange pastry snails and nummy pumpkin coffee.

    Katie Z - really intrigued by the coming down idea... you'd have to be really careful about placing yourself in the God position, though. Love to hear how that idea manifests!

    Currently working on the Ezekiel passage. I've got two-thirds of it done - well, I've got two pages of random thoughts written and need to find some sort of narrative flow. I'm preaching at Not My Church and talking about the current economic situation... Should be really interesting how it goes.

    Turn and live, turn and live - this is what keeps running through my head.

  22. WS, you are so wise. I wish I had the foresight sometimes to say "that never works anyway...always hits the innocent victim behind the target." sounds like something I need to remember!

  23. Well, I was away from the computer for a few hours this morning, then turned it on only to find out that Paul Newman died.

    So, I'm mourning him and doing my to do list over at my place.

    I'm adapting Tuesday's sermon for tomorrow.

  24. wendy and amy - I'm with you!

    I think part of my sermon will talk about none of us can ever give up what God gave up. None of us ever had so much as God - and that my sitting among them is really the sign that we are the same - we are all sinners and yet we are all called in this priesthood of all believers.

    I'm super struggling with this whole ordained/set-apart thing, in part b/c i don't believe I'm any better than anyone else in my congregation, not any more worthy of a calling. I have recieved one tho. I have been called out. But they all have too. In many ways, Christ came down to us in order to bring us with him... but in the end, it will be us, ALL of us who bow down and declare Christ as Lord.

    We put on the mind of Christ, exemplifying humility and compassion not because we believe that we too will be exaulted, not for the end, but because we know the truth that he is the Lord and we want to follow him.

  25. I am exhausted...from all the stomping I've been doing and all that going on around me...sigh...but thankfully I don't have to preach this week.

    IF I were preaching I'd be tempted to tell funny stories and a few appropriate jokes so we all could take a break and laugh....(well, I would be tempted, might not work out that way)....Instead I am making a round hospital visits and preparing stewardship materials....

    many prayers and blessings for those of you are preparing to preach.

  26. Amid drought conditions here and mandatory water restricitons beginning on Monday (why are we waiting???), I am here...preching on Exodus and trying to decide where I am heading yet.
    Oh, I picked up some shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with orange sugars...they are shaped as spider webs and pumpkins!
    And fair trade of course!

  27. Hi, I'm home! I'm eating veggie chili for lunch, and I'll read your comments and catch up with you soon!

  28. LIZ!!!!!
    Your idea jsut so rocks. I lvoe it! Go for it.
    So sorry for the many hurts mentioned and prayers for healing from illness. Happy Studies to Deb!
    I also worry about hitting the innocent victim who is behind so sad!
    I am mornign with CH over Paul's death. His wife is from very near here.
    Oh and I am watching ball games as I write thsi week

  29. Well I'm back from the Messy Harvest - which was a huge success, with 35 assorted children engaged in messy crafts all over the church. Among many other things, they produced a really wonderful harvest loaf, which I will use for the Eucharist tomorrow.
    If only I could have got them to write the sermons too.
    It's half six here and I have not a word on either topic. Aaargh

  30. Anyone feel like they just can't ignore this week's economic news? I'm thinking we were all of one mind - in building an economic system that's both unjust and unsustainable - instead of the mind of Christ, sort of a misused authority problem. We concluded Jesus had authority from God based on his actions, and the same kind of judgment can be made about us.

    Or maybe I'll completely change my mind by the time I am done typing...I am a bit distracted by the thought of a leaky roof in fellowship hall and the torrential rains that are falling on it. I might have been able to get somewhere easily with Noah as this week's lectionary!

    For the children's sermon I'm using Riddle Me This found on Text Week. I'm blessed a gaggle of under 5 children, so every week the children's message is a tremendous challenge for me. Anyone have wisdom or resources to share?!

    There is nothing yummy at my house yet today, so I'm thinking I'd like to help myself to some toast and ginger preserves. I'll offer up a hot mug of New England's Best Coffee (my preferred brand, not a testament to my brewing technique!)to all those needing a bit of extra energy this afternoon.

  31. Hi, all. I'm a week behind, preaching Matt 20:1-16, so I don't have any sermon help to add. :(
    But I have read several of last week's sermons you linked to, and thanks!
    I'm halfway done and temporarily stuck. I'm in freeze-mode: too much to do and not enough time to do it. But I'm determined to push through, not least because my husband took my car today to his all-day event, along with my wallet (no $, no ID in the house). So I'm stuck here. And, because we've had major rain here thanks to what should have been Tropical Storm Laura, we have bugs--fleas, to be specific. Even in stuck-mode, writing a sermon is better than being frustrated because we have a few fleas and no way to do anything about them until Ben comes home!
    I'll check in later, but in the meantime there's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and I'm about to put on a pot of chili. Come one, come all--but bring your (virtual) insect repellant!

  32. hi all. I am just sitting down, recovering from bronchitis and needing to write a sermon. the cough is good, but I am soooo tired.
    and it feels like a really important Sunday, too. Shift Worker, I am with you...I am definitely going to work the economic situarion in, but not exactly sure. I am preaching Exodus, and my title is "Thirst" and that is all I got for now!

    I've got fresh afternoon coffee to share...and some lovely seltzer water.

  33. Everybody sounds busy today! I am going off lectionary and preaching I Corinthians 12...Body of Christ. We are going through some transitions mainly brought about by the fact that people are actually coming to church now! So, a reminder that we are all the Body and that God isn't trying to irritate us by making us grow might be a good thing.

  34. shift worker,

    I do feel the pull to preach on the economic climate right now, but this close to the election anything I say will be heard as partisan EVEN when politics had nothing to do with it.

    4 years ago I pissed off BOTH sides when I preached that Jesus would never be elected and I'm just not sure I have the energy to fire back any more. At least not here.

    The Boy is napping and the dog did the "service" of waking me up so I am going to hunker in the kitchen with some coffee brewing and my paperwork and see if I can at least get an outline to go on.

    In the real world I am going to defrost a bagel, but in preacher party world Please pass me the chocolate chip pancakes!!!

  35. will smama, I love that you preached on Jesus would never get elected. you go girl!
    I once preached a sermon "On loving Kojak and George W."
    (Kojak was a completely unloveable cat...and GW, well..)
    anyway, I riffed off Anne Lamott...I think it was her latest book....or the one before the latest...fortunately, the only one worried about the sermon was my colleague!

  36. The Angel Food truck is very late, which means the distribution time keeps getting pushed back later and later...which is actually good news for my sermonizing! Maybe I can get a draft done before we start handing the food out at 6.

    The economy is certainly influencing my thoughts preach on God's providing for us (i.e. water from the rock) without at least referring to the anxiety we are all feeling would miss the mark for my people, I think. Hmmm. That may be a good opening.

    I'm also pondering the rocks that weigh us down in life, and how God breaks those rocks open (sometimes painfully) in order to give us water.

  37. The bishop is coming! The bishop is coming! Whee I don't have to preach on authority!!!! Then of course they also began diggin up the parking lot of the church and now it is raining. Murphy's Law!

  38. Say hi to her for me, muthah+. :)

    (just kidding. I don't want her to know I blog!)

  39. Now I'm really distracted.
    Duke is beating UVa. As a good Duke alum, I'm thrilled. As a W&M undergrad alum, I'm thrilled and a little mean about it. As a person who lives in the real world, I have to say, "What????"
    And I can only keep up with it by refreshing the live stats page...which means little sermon-writing is happening. Oh, and if you want a cookie, better hurry.
    On another note, I'm not preaching on the economy. I just can't do it. And it's not comforting to say things like, the stock market's not actually down that much historically. And even where it's been this week, that's still significantly up over time...and yet that doesn't address people like my brother-in-law, who has lost his job, or my mother-in-law, who will have to leave the lovely independent living facility he's been paying for, and move into a subsidized apartment complex. I'm too close to it all right now, and to avoid dragging myself too much into the sermon, I'm going to let it go. Eric can get it next week.

  40. I've posted parts of my sermon here. I'm not 100% done with the re-write, but you can see what direction I'm headed.

    I have tortilla chips and salsa fresca to share, plus no-sugar-added pomegranate juice.

  41. Had to take a break as I was once again stearing into Judgy McJudgerson territory. If I point the finger at me too can I still do it?

    Deep cleansing breaths... prayers ascending for guidance... more coffee.

  42. RevAnne, *I'm* a William and Mary alum! Did I know that about you already?
    I've been lying on the couch with a hotpad on my sore arm, so I've done nothing but scroll with my left hand and read debate spin and polls. This has not helped with my sermon. I'm going to do an outline and see if that helps.

  43. I've posted my closing snippet here. This Body of Christ business is work!

  44. I'm making Hungry Girl blueberry muffins, they are just about out of the oven. Plenty to share!

    I love the de-vesting idea. I think people in the pews tend to forget that y'all are people, first, and in the pulpit, second. Make sense?

    Katie, in my experience, once I started saying about youth events, "I might be too old for this," I was. As in, day long trip to Six Flags. YMMV; maybe you love Six Flags. Just a thought.

  45. Songbird, I do not think we knew that about one another. Yay us!
    And Duke did win. I'm speechless. Seriously.
    Also sermon-less.

  46. Class of '82 over here!
    Okay, that makes me old.
    Outlining got me started writing, so progress is taking place. Go me!
    Who needs something? Is it time for Diet Coke?

  47. I did read Fred Craddock on Phillipians this morning, though I dozed a little bit. Since then, I've had lunch with a friend and wandered around a craft fair and been nice to someone who really, really rubs me the wrong way. The problem is that he and I *are* of like mind and do try to live in Christ. I don't even object to the way he does it. For all that, he drives me nuts and I am not upset if I don't see him for three or four months at a time.
    So that encounter just may play into the sermon for me. We have several people in my parish that think being of like mind means that everything we think,do,say has to be the same and, of course, that just isn't the case. If it were, we would end up like the Pharisees and have to answer Jesus' question the same way.
    Hey! Wait a minute! This is beginning to sound like a sermon! Thanks all for starting my day thinking along sermon lines.
    And Kathryn, I think I'd preach on your messy harvest, how much doing lots of wild crazy things all in the name of Jesus/the church is exactly what Paul was talking about. Surely, more than one kid was necessary to make the bread?
    Okay, now I think I'll cuddle my puppy who was just spayed. I'd give her a pain pill but the other dog ate three of them! Naturally, she is not the worse for wear. Her best day was a paxil she stole from my sister's train case. Dogs, you either love 'em or don't have any.

  48. Guys, thanks for all your good advice - and loving vibes. We all went for a cleansing walk today, had a picnic and then I spent some time with my hurt. It still feels like a punch in the stomach, but its certainly shifting to a different place, starting to be processed. That feels a bit healthier - and, yes, it was useful in the preaching task - or at least I think it was. Would value your opinion if you head on over
    Off to pour myself a "ginger grouse" - malt whisky, ginger and lime - anyone else?

  49. Gotta love when the passage re-hash takes 2/3 of the word/page allotment. I'll just keep going and cut later I guess... always a better place to be in than churning away at empty space.

    For you Thomas Long disciples, here is what I've got:

    The Bad news: Grace is for all.
    The Good news: Grace is for all.

    Stir the pot. Challenge the faithful. Assure the repentant.

    Also, try not to come off like an ass!

  50. Ginger grouse, eh, Liz? I suppose I could try won't hurt my sermon, will it?

  51. If you're feeling old, SB, then I won't mention which class I was in. Suffice it to say I was there for the tercentennial*. Have you been back recently? So much has changed, in W'burg and on campus.

    *Beaufort, NC, the town I live in, is celebrating its tercentennial this year. I sort of feel like, whatever, I did that years ago.

  52. I'm worn out from stomping out a sermon from the Matthew text. It's sorta strange... because it's a preview of a congregation meeting that we are having tomorrow night. I posted it here.

    Since I'm serving up a sermon that's probably sorta strange... I figured I would invite you to supper... homemade spaghetti. Huge pot is simmering now... so come on over... we'll have a beer... while the pasta's cooking.

  53. Songbird - it definitely won't hurt the sermon and I'm sure it will act like a whole body heat pad. Wish I'd had some before I finished up! Feeling a lot better now - about everything!

  54. I've made some progress, but there are reasons I am not finished.

  55. And liz, pass me a glass, or a mug, or however it comes!

  56. I am back to the drawing board. A take-no-prisoners sermon in the midst of a hurricane seems somehow inappropriate...

  57. I'm literally out of gas -- and figuratively as well. We passed multiple gas stations today w/out a drop of gas to be had. I have a 150 mile commute to do tomorrow on 4 gallons of gas. We will be putting the gas from both cars into the tank and draining the lawn mower...

    The worry about getting to church tomorrow has drained my sermon tank dry.

    Here's to hoping the Spirit will provide.

  58. Songbird-
    The Harpist has William and Mary on her top three colleges. She is sure they won't even look twice at her. Any advice? :)

    As far as the "thirst" idea goes - didn't we (as in our country "we" -- not us) get into this economic mess because we were thinking that "things" would satisfy a spiritual thirst??

    just musing... this is MUCH more interesting than Athanasius!!


  59. Oh no...not another hurricane. Songbird, that's a bitch.
    I've done 2 sermons, neither of which I'm thrilled with (though I've posted the slightly better one)...I'm sniffling gently about Hugger Steward's imminent departure to uni on the morrow...and I don't think I can stay awake to do the funeral address I'll need on Monday morning.
    I'll just have to pray for an extra hour to emerge miraculously from nowhere. 3 services and a harvest lunch before I even set off for Cambridge.
    Blessings on all of you as you write...Wish I could spend more time here.

  60. All. If you need a moment of levity, please go visit Songbird's place. Seriously.

    Thank you Songbird--I needed the endorphins!

    prayers for finishing up sermons!

    mind is done enough to relax for the rest of the evening. will be back early morning crowd as I do minor (I hope) edits.

  61. Deb, my guidance counselor swore to me I'd never get in, but I had no trouble at all. Great school.
    I spent a few hours with one of my college roommates last month, and we decided that it was such a wonderful place for us because it was the first time we were really around people like us (we were both among the smarter kids we knew, as I'm sure the Harpist is too. Among my friends were people from all over the globe, all over the cultural map, and with a wide range of extracurriculars and even SAT scores (I dated a guy who had a 1050 and got in with no trouble)--they looked at the whole admissions package and seemed to really value more than numbers. Good luck to her! It's been a few years but I'd be glad to talk to her about email's in my blog profile.

    ps--Songbird, my sympathies. We've had our share of wet & stormy here, too. Be safe!

  62. Oh, sorry about the gas situation, RM. My sister is in the same predicament, but she is not a pastor who must be at church on time. SB, I hope the arm is better.

    The third sermon in a series on marriage is DONE and posted, bulletin inserts for it are done and stuffed, a video for tomorrow is done. And I managed to be civil to the guy I don't want to be civil to, even tho he verbally poked me twice (I think on purpose but who knows). I went on a shopping trip for a few things and now must bake two cakes. We are having a spaghetti dinner fund raiser tomorrow and I signed up for the cakes. I just want to put my feet up! But I am making both the chocolate and the vanilla almond versions of the Grace Cake. So I will think of the RGBPs while I measure and mix.

  63. I've got a draft. It's longish, but I'm worried that I'll cut what matters instead of what's fluff, so I'm going to sleep on it.
    How's it going out there? Anyone ready for a piece of Grace Cake? I think it's just about cool enough to cut.

  64. Back to the sermon circus after homemade pizza, visitors, bath (him) and bed (him).

    I think I will have a beer to take off my judgmental edge.

    Hurricane? Healthy pizza?
    Ginger grouse... how long was I gone?

  65. WEll I have spent the last 2 days at Presbytery (chairing actually so I even had to pay attention and sound like I knew what was going on), got back to the motel and took the girls for a swim. NOw time to relax and focus on tomorrow's sermon to Presbyters and the host congregation.

    Mind you the sermon will be an adaptation of what I gave at home last week. ANd I got a reat exercise about the uncomfortable nature of change to use -- likely as an opener.

  66. How about a hat, Teri? I'm sitting here knitting the one I owe you!

  67. I mean, you can't it eat, but...

  68. I have a draft! And it's not even midnight! This gives me hope that I can finish the next two early, since I've got plans both weeks.

  69. I didn't get a draft done before leaving for Angel Food. So now it's time to write, whether I like it or not. This may just be one of those weeks where I just start writing and hope to end up with something that makes sense.

    Gas shortages and hurricanes...was I really gone from reality that long? My goodness. Prayers.

  70. reverend mommy, thinking of you--is there a chance of filling up once you get there?

  71. Getting into William and Mary is a whole different ballgame from out of state, I guess, but anything that makes a young person seem unique should help. And playing the harp is special. I imagine emphasizing the harp would help. #1 Son got in from out of state, though he didn't go there. He wrote an essay about a scene in which he acted, but it wasn't clear at the beginning that it wasn't an actual experience. It was pretty inventive and worked well for him.

  72. Weird day and weirder week. It started with the freezer going out late last Monday night, and sorta went downhill from there. Feeling a definite need for respite.

    8:30 here and just getting started. Fortunately I had a lectionary study early in the week, but haven't looked at anything since. I've thought about it a lot, though, does that count?

    So now that I've read the comments up to this point, I think I will disappear for a while and get to writin'. But maybe first I should load the dishwasher...and get something to drink... and put together the accompaniment CD, and .... Well, you know the drill.

  73. hat! I'm so excited. I got a new scarf in scotland so I do hope all will go beautifully together!

    I still have no children's sermon on water-from-a-rock. any ideas? Granted, I'm not trying very hard: i'm watching the A&E Pride and Prejudice and am about to put my laundry in the washer (so it can be dried in the morning). I didn't do a single bit of housework today, nor did I read anything beyond about 5 pages of my book before sleeping the day away. Guess that means I'll be writing prayers of the people in the morning as well as making up the children's time!

    I have popsicles and tea if anyone's looking for non-cake dessert (though I don't know why you would do that...)

  74. My sermon has turned into a five minute ramble on water conservation issues, timly I might add as our denomination will host a water mission tyoe event to discuss issues surronding ht global crisis.
    But, I need to get tied back to the Israleites who were quarellign and testing the Lord and also tie in the phillippians verses to Christ...
    Oh me and I ahve about 700 words to do it in!
    Good News, all my stuff for the installation service is if I can just remember to put my robe in the car before I hit the road to be at service at 3PM.
    Somebody please remind me at the end of service tomorrow to put the robe in the car!

  75. Preachers, I am going to hit the sack. Please help yourselves to cake, and I will see you with coffee in the morning!

  76. Songbird,

    I sure hope so. Otherwise, we may have an unexpected "vacation."


    Sermon, done.
    Bulletins, done.
    Hot bath -- waiting.

  77. Oh, my second trial of communion bread for next week went yurself to some Challah bread. This time the first rise went well and it is all light and fluffy as it should be.
    Now question for next week,...
    We are havign multiple types of bread for World Communion Sunday. I know we will have some leftover as we are small group. Is it okay to send it home with folks? Can leftover bread be givne to a shelter (if we cut off the pinched off parts)? WHat do we do?

  78. is a little after midnight in my neck of the woods. I am almost done with my sermon for tomorrow. It is a tad bit shorter than I would like, but I was only given two days (one of which was homecoming and I had prior commitments.)I have some stuff that I will fill the time with.

    I included a time for meditation at the fountain (I'm talking on water and the physical and spiritual attributes thereof.) I plan to invite the congregation to the front, where I will have the Baptismal font out and water poured. There will be time for silent meditation and/or a simple blessing from me. That should fill some time. I haven't had the chance to warn the organist, but I'm sure she'll be fine with playing during it.

    I hope you all have restful nights. Pray for me in the morning, please, and I will do the same!

  79. Is anybody else out there still up and working? I took an accidental nap and now am trying to finish up. I have a good first page, but that's it at this point.

  80. 1221 words, and I'm done! Whew! It was not supposed to take this long, but at least it's finished. Off to shower, do a final readthrough, and print.

    Blessings on everyone's pondering, preaching and proclamation.

  81. I'm still working... or in some ways only getting started again. Silly youth lock-ins.

    I started getting the final arrangements made at 3pm with the kids due at 7, and they just never finished. The two hours I thought i would have never surfaced. So now, it's 3:45 am and the kids are watching Space Balls and I'm working on my sermon.

  82. Good morning!
    Hope those of you working last managed at least some sleep. For some reason I never sleep much on Saturday nights.
    Hope everyone has a great day!

  83. There's a lovely smell of coffee at my house this morning. Anyone up and looking for a cup?
    It sounds like the hurricane is tracking away from us; we will get the edge of tropical storm force winds this afternoon and evening. I guess I will still be picking up some bottled water on the way home from church.

  84. 1-4 Grace,
    The bread is meant to be eaten. I would think either of those would work. But the bread should be eaten. In seminary we always gathered around the table after the meal and ate heartily, or we took it down to the common room and it supplemented our lunches.

  85. Gord,
    we also gathered around the table and ate the bread (it was always good!!!).
    We are having a luncheon afterwards so I have thougth of having it served as well. I really prefer teh idea of giving it to soemone in need.
    Our denomination does a special offering and so this would be in keeping with thinking of others at a time when we have had our fill.
    blessings to all this AM (or PM). May you find some rest in ths day

  86. Thinking of you this a.m. and praying for youk Future Rev Cody!


    I'm heading off to church with a pan of grace cake that has one square missing. I couldn't stop myself.

    Preach it, brothers and sisters1!

    Songbird, thanks for hosting the party.

  87. Well...the coffee is brewed and the station wagon is being packed (my robe is to heavy to use, so I'm using another, lighter, one (even though it is uglier.)

    Blessings and prayers to you all!

    Thanks, Owl!

  88. Hope everyone had a good day, anyone still waiting to preach?
    It's raining cats and dogs here, but I am home and tucked up for a holy nap. See you all again next time!


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