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Saturday, September 06, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party -- "Where Two or Three are Gathered" Edition

At the end of a tough week for more than one of our ring members, I could tell you how much this community means to me and how much I value the Preacher Party in particular, but for today, I believe I will let the picture speak for me. It's good to know we're not alone, isn't it?

Join us in the comments, and let us know what lies ahead of you this Saturday: challenges, commitments, children's sermon ideas, theological bafflements, even amusements.

Share a cyber-snack, and I'll keep the coffee and tea coming, until we're ready to switch to Diet Coke.

And remember, "where two or three 11th Hour Preachers are gathered, I am there among them." (Matthew 18:20, RevGals Standard Version)


  1. ooh ooh, I might get to be first!

    It's still Friday night here, but I am contemplating many things, all worship related. I'm preaching on the ten commandments (stolen from the Oct. 5 lectionary, since we'll be off that day) and the Romans 8 "love fulfills the law" text. Our theme for September is something about being formed as God's people, woven into God's community...and I've been thinking about our own community's 10 commandments. Does "love" fulfill all of those? What are the 10? My sermon title is, shockingly, "10?"

    I also have my first baptism (of a two year old!) at the middle service, as well as being on my own for communion for only the second time ever. And our big kick-off Sunday ministry fair is happening, and needs to be set up/organized by me at precisely 3.15pm this afternoon (well, tomorrow afternoon for me right now, but you get the gist...).

    For the children's time we're doing a blessing of the backpacks. Anyone have any good stuff for that?

    I'll leave the many boxes of cereal and the local dairy skim milk for the early risers...and lots of tea in the teabox, friends!

  2. Wow, you were quick, teri!

    I am up late after falling asleep on the couch listening to Larry King interview Michael Moore. You would think having a wedding tomorrow as well as the sermon to write would motivate me to sleep, but the mind just would not agree.

    I have a notion about what I'm going to preach, and I have until 3 p.m. to finish. Then I meet with a couple about a November wedding, after which the wedding party for tomorrow, I mean today, will arrive.

    I am trying to scare myself to sleep. Hope it works.

  3. I'm up late which will soon be early writing on Mt 18. what You can read my early thoughts here.
    My key image is crowds leading to how Jesus valued smaller numbers; 2 or 3 so that we could value each other and live in Christian community. I'm tying Conflict resolution to the valuing the individual. If I stay awake long enough to finish this draft. Have only water to offer at this point but it's nice, cold, well water and i'm counting on it to have "living" qualities. See you in the a.m. before I leave for a wedding down state.

  4. I'm also here, up late, but getting ready to head bed-ward soon. Just wanted to say hi to the early morning people for tomorrow (yes, technically for me it is today, but my personal rule is that it doesn't become the next day until you fall asleep, or it hits 5:43 am)!

    I have a bunch of notes on Passover, and just a few on Romans and Matthew, so I guess I'm preaching on Exodus. It will hopefully fit well since we are having our annual combined service and picnic/potluck on Sunday.

    I also want to start doing children's sermons on a regular basis, instead of just on Easter and whenever I feel like it, so who knows, maybe I will debut that this week. Depends on what I can come up with!

  5. hey semfem, it seems like Sat night already ... but I'm glad it's not 'cause I'm not staying up to write a sermon tonight.

    We just got home from the football game. The best part was watching the planes headed for a landing at the very nearby airport.

    I'm preaching the "conflict" part of Matt 18. From conversations with church members who work for big companies, they get this speech/training regularly. I think Matt 18 is a great opportunity to say "it's Biblical" not just an HR mandate/guideline/rule/instruction/whatever

    Y'all have a great Saturday. I'll try to be back before this time tomorrow.

  6. It's 2 here, I'm going to try sleeping again. I'll be up with the dogs and get the coffee started.

  7. what a LOVELY picture. Thanks Songbird -made my morning.

    I too am grateful for this community!

  8. Instead of a sermon SP and I will be performing a skit tommorrow that is kid oriented. I get to be God!

    Today I am teaching a workshop on technology in the church setting which is three hours long. I am so nervous. It's so much easier delivering a sermon than it is to teach a workshop. Keep me in your prayers.

  9. I'm awake at last after a lie in- it is almost mid-day here.... so far procrastination strikes, I 've done the dishes and the laundry, surfed the net, checked out face book, made some phonecalls, but the sermon beckons!!!

    I have a title at least:

    Love and wisdom- Conflict resolution the Jesus way...

    and a wisdom story!

    it is going to be very short at this rate

  10. Life is panicky today. Lost 2 days away from the parish this week, am supposed to be launching a new all age communion tomorrow, need to finish and print the liturgy, write a talk (with visual aids) for that and a sermon for the afteroon (different readings)
    I spent most of yesterday asleep, thanks to some little local difficult, but energy levels are improving praise be. Still not sure how it will all get done, though. Aaargh

  11. Praying for you Kathyrn, for energy and for creativity, and for time...

  12. I hope to tie MT and Romans together. I need to do some surfing for stuff on Tutu's reconciliation commission. I have an old sermon to fall back on as it is still relevant. The 10:30 service will be children's homily only. I plan to say about the same stuff just on a slightly different level and not as in depth.
    Today is a quiet one for me. My mother and sister are here. I do have a great dinner with friends tonight. Other than eating, we are getting together to sing!

  13. ... not sure how this will go down, but I think I'm done short of a bit of polishing here and there... I'd be grateful for your comments

  14. Good morning, everyone!

    Tomorrow I will be preaching my last sermon for a long time. This year, my husband and I are redistributing our responsibilities between ourselves (with the church's blessing) so that he will do the full-time pastoral work and I will do only the very part-time (1/4-time or less) campus ministry work. It's my sons' last year at home before kindergarten, and I want to spend as much of it with them as I can.

    So anyway, tomorrow is the last sermon for awhile. You'd think I'd be more prepared for it. But here I sit, with little idea for an opening, middle, or closing. I'm preaching Romans with a little focus on Matthew. Title is "What We Owe." And that's all I've got.

    Well, that and coffee.

  15. Hanna is blowing through our town this morning - high winds and rain - a perfect morning for staying in and drinking hot coffee! I'm preaching Matthew tomorrow, but perhaps the thing that has worrier flag up is that I begin teaching the middle schoolers tomorrow. No one volunteered to do it this fall, and we've just baptized these children, so I will do it for a while. Haven't worked a lot with kids, so I'm a bit nervous. But, we'll see how it goes!

  16. Hey there, I'm back. I wish I could say I've been asleep all this time, but I had a good conversation with a neighbor in between rain showers. I'm not sure if we're on the edge of a big storm or just having rain, but it is supposed to get heavier today and into the night. I'm sorry for my bride, who is a sweetheart.
    Meanwhile, it's time for coffee. Who needs a cup?

  17. Mornin'preachers! I have actually managed not to procrastinate too badly this morning and get here at a reasonable hour. I have been waiting all week for the texts to speak and I think perhaps the Spirit worked in the night...I woke up with some vague notion of what I want to say about Matthew and Romans and our instuctions about being the church to one another with love and what that means. So it's a start. We have our quarterly Saturday clergy gathering in the town about 45 minutes from here, so the goal is a rough draft before I go. We shall see. It is good to have company on the journey.

  18. Hope there is a break in the clouds for the bride Songbird... I'm off for a walk now, though a large part of me simply wants to go back to bed...

  19. Hello I have had a couple of weeks off back to the first Sunday of our Methodist New Year, so happy new year to you all!

    I am looking to preach on Romans and Matt. Wake up will be my theme I remember how it felt when I was in the army and the day came to go home after a tour in N Ireland during the troubles. We used to have what we called chuff charts a calendar we started on the first day our tour we marked off a day at a time getting more chuffed (happy) as the day draw near...

    Also looked at BBT's sermon on the Matt passage from her book the seeds of heaven she reminded me of a book on my shelf from CS Lewis 'The Great Divorce' where hell, a dull drizzly grey town is full of empty streets only inhabited on its outer edges because everyone who once lived in them has quarreled with their neighbours and moved again and again. Well worth a read.

    Back to an extra church to look after as no minister so now three churches and three communion services tomorrow nothing like getting going with a bang! hope it all comes together today and for you all.

  20. songbird, you have hit on the reason why, if I ever manage to get married, I am a) buying a dress off the rack in the formal-wear section rather than a "wedding dress" and b) having a destination wedding. Granted, I'd like to get married at a ruined castle in Scotland, so the weather really is an issue, but still...

    I slept in this morning--woke up at 7 but refused to actually get out of bed. Bad idea, as I ended up just having anxiety dreams for those two hours anyway. So now I'm up at and it--tea, anyone? british blend...plenty of milk and sugar to go around, too!

  21. Good morning. I'm doing Matthew and reconciliation. I've done a draft, but probably need to rewrite and make it better. Ugh, I'd like to write once and be done. I bought Bruggemann's Prayers for a Privileged People. There are some great prayers in there. My big problem is some sort of filing system for prayers, sermon ideas and illustrations etc. I've tried paper files; I've tried computer files. I find lovely things and then either don't remember them when the time comes or do and can't find them.

  22. Hi Joan I use Microsoft OneNote which is brilliant for filing away ideas, illustrations etc all colour coded search able and very easy to find its part of MS Office 2007 student edition.

  23. I'm reading church history, writing an essay on inclusivism vs universalism and taking time to watch the OSU game -- if the weather doesn't mess with our reception...

    I have fresh peach cobbler... white peaches are in!

    who apologizes if I am not supposed to post because I am not "preaching"

  24. i'm with deb- just settling in for lots of studying this day... no preaching prep. but i wanted to let you all know i'm sending you good preaching vibes. there's some leftover artichoke cheese pie from my birthday if anyone's interested...

  25. I'm beginning something I've never done before - the practice of lectio continua, and preaching through a book of the Bible. I've chosen Acts - it's a book that I love and needs more attention than the seven Sundays or so it gets following Easter. The two or three commentaries I've read have said that it's better titled "Acts of the Holy Spirit". So I'm focusing on that, and that it's the discovery of what God has done and is doing in and through the church to reach the world. We've just revised our committee structures and we are looking at ways that we can reach out into our community. So hopefully some of the sermon themes will fit well with our encouraging people to discern their gifts and where God is calling them to give them in the church's ministry.

    Thus far, I've really enjoyed my preparations. I got a map of Peter's and Paul's journeys so that we can track our progress. I'll be using readings from the Epistles as well. I'm really excited about it, and I hope that it carries over into the sermons!

    So tomorrow is 1:1-14 - "why are you standing here looking up into heaven?" and the disciples and the women worshiping and praying together.

  26. my sermon is written because it's a conversation with my colleague for homecoming.

    but i wanted to say that that picture is so cute. is that a young songbird? hee hee.

  27. Is artichoke cheese pie soft enough for somebody with a dental bone graft to eat? If so, dish me up some, please! YUM!

    I'm getting a late start this morning, because I slept in, because I woke up a couple of times in the night to dose myself with what I'm sure is a level of ibuprofen that will prove toxic to my liver some day down the road. (The dentist told me it was okay, though.)

    I am procrastinating here. Don't go there if you are avoiding gentle ribbing of a political nature.

    I have about 500 words from early Thursday on which to build, but I think I'm just going to put it aside for a while. We have communion, and a minute for Peacemaking, so I can go a little shorter this week.

  28. I'm off lectionary this week (first time ever) since we didn't want to do the conflict text for Rally Sunday. SP and I are starting the sermon with a dialog b/w him and the puppets, so that will be fun. The puppet part is done, but I don't have much of an idea where I'm going after that. We're using the Great Commission, so discipleship will be in there. Now, to make one word into a whole sermon! I'm also doing my first wedding today. That sermon is done, but I had major anxiety dreams about the wedding last night. Hopefully the reality will be much much better than the dreams.

  29. Wow, lots of busy folks as always. Kathryn, hope the panic settles, Cheese... dental bonegraft...that sounds rather intense, hope it's not too painful.
    I actually made my goal and have a draft and am now getting ready to head out to clericus. Will be back to check in, read sermons and will post mine later after the festivities down the road.

  30. back from my walk and having read through the posted draft I'm unsure abt a few things, time for polishing, hope the study is going well Deb & morecowstp....
    that is next on my list!

  31. Non-preachers are always welcome, as long as they don't gloat about having a free day!!! If you're writing papers or studying, that's hardly a day off.
    I'm back from a successful writing session at a Starbucks where the Wi-Fi did NOT work. This perhaps should be a sign unto me, because I had a sermon draft and a wedding homily in a fairly short amount of time.
    It's a tough-talking sermon, so I'm going to look it over before I press "print."

  32. better late than never...I am doing Passover and hopefully having good segway (how do you spell that word???) to communion.
    Hope Chilly Fingers is staying dry!
    I am sendign the litany I used...not sure which you are doing, but our dedication was for backpacks for "needy" children. I know some churches do backpacks ded. for the children in congrgations' backpacks...maybe you can adapt it.
    Blesings on the "newness" and time with the little one, Earthchick!
    Hope all is well...I ahve carmel brownies to share and home canned apple butter...
    And for the brave, I also ahve home canned salsa!

  33. That would be "segue," but I adore the thought of you riding a Segway from the the pulpit to the Communion table...

  34. Why is it when I have my clothes for Sunday ironed it's almost a bigger weight lifted than when the sermon is done?

    Ah, well, enough procrastinating, for now, anyway. Time to grab a diet cherry coke and get to it...

  35. I'm about ready to start my third sermon of the week - it has been a long one with two funerals!

    I gave myself permission to sleep in this morning and my hubby let me sleep until 11:30, and then have friends coming over late this afternoon... BUT - it means I want to try to get all of this done in the next couple of hours

    I'm going with Matthew and Romans also. I'm doing an alphabetical sermon series... last week "A for Accepting Christ", this week "B for Bound Together"

    I'm going to talk about the only way that we can truly practice the kind of conflict management talked about in Matthew, the only way to really hold one another accountable, is if we understand that we are bound together as a family, as the body of Christ. And then tying in Romans with the "rules of the household" - rules of the Christian family.

  36. It's afternoon already. I'm not preaching yet, but will spend today doing reading for Worship, Early Church and its Creeds, and Foundations of Homiletical Theory, as well as writing a short paper for Worship.

    The 14th will be my first Sunday at my teaching parish and I'll find out this week where that is. Bless you all as you bring God's word to God's people. Peace.

  37. Thanks, 1-4!

    I am not doing well over here. I am just not able to get into my usual sermon-writing rhythm, am not feeling any focus or energy. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing, or what I'm going to say. Bleh.

  38. prayers for energy inspiration and enthusiasm earthchick

  39. Good morning everyone! I slept late, worked on my sermon, took the dogs for a long walk, came home worked on sermon some more....and am going to take a break and fix something for breakfast, or since its almost 11am here, brunch.

    A draft of the sermon is here. Comments, critiques, welcome.

    I'll be back later to read yours!

    Blessings, all!

  40. I come to the party with a freshly baked sour cream pound cake. I didn't make it... but a fabulous cook at church did... and I snagged it our annual yard sale. I have sweet tea... and diet Pepsi... and sausage pizza... to cover all of the food groups.

    I posted a sermon... that speaks to all 4 of our texts tomorrow here. As always... I appreciate feedback... even if means I need to re-write it.

    May your worship be filled with praise... and your hearts burning with desire to be the people of God... in the world... and for the world. Peace.

  41. Y'all, I have to head out to the church for the appointment and the wedding, but I have posted a draft of my sermon, which is of the Come to Jesus, take no prisoners variety. I would adore your feedback, here or at my blog. I'll be back later, in between things or after the wedding. Meanwhile, help yourselves to Diet Coke!

  42. OK, I've made it to 300 AD and stopped for lunch. My kids graciously removed the carrot cake for me so that I am not wearing it on my hips.

    It's pouring rain and I find it hard to withstand a nap, so I'm sharing some fresh-brewed coffee... because I needed a high-test kick in the pants.

    Back to reading...


  43. I am hoping Jesus himself will show up with a sermon in the next 45 minutes, because after that I have to grab snacks for the ministry fair, balloons for the ministry fair, and then GO to church to set up the tables so people can set up their teams' booths for the ministry fair. I think i'll be home around 4...and I'll still have a sermon (unless Jesus shows--i don't even have time for antonio or george today...) AND a baptism liturgy AND a communion liturgy AND a blessing of the backpacks to deal with. *sigh*

    (end whine, begin dr. pepper consumption...)

  44. Teri, I think Questing Parson did a blessing of the backpacks last year. I'll shoot him an email.

  45. Checking in with a partially finished sermon on the Matthew text. Something along the lines of the community being the highest value and how counter cultural that is. I've been very dissatisfied with my sermons of late--I feel like I'm in a Bible Study rut and not proclaiming much of anything. This too shall pass, right? Sigh.

    The baby kept me up late, got up in the middle of the night, and woke up early. Why was I on duty for all of these, you ask? Because it's hubby's birthday today. He's off procuring his birthday dinner, the cake is waiting, and I am HUNGRY.

    If I could just concentrate, I know I could get this done and say something worth saying.

  46. Busy day for all with studying and semonating and weddings, and ministry-fair-ing, and dental surgery recovering! Prayers especially for Kathryn & Teri as you juggle all those tasks today/tonight.

    I'm smiling with Rev. Kim because I too feel better if I know I have clothes that have been ironed or do not need ironing, and at the image of someone riding a Segway around the worship space. :)

    We are changing our service time tomorrow to an hour later and I'm leading a class that's an overview of spiritual disciplines during the time when we used to have the service. So I have to juggle what I'm going to say/do with them for about 45 min tomorrow along with a sermon today.

    I also had my first real experience with some conflict in my new parish this week, and so I'm torn about what to do re: the readings. In some ways the MT reading feels a little too close to home. But is going with Exodus whimping out? Going with MT could continue to build on some of my discussion of being community from last week.

    I realized that I have been neglecting my journaling/blogging as I think about disciplines, so I made the time today to blog about my classmate's death. Later I may blog about the week's challenges. I'm trying to figure out why I'm not blogging like I used to, is there a fear of being discovered? Part of the character of a blog is putting it out there to the world, but I guess there are some in the world you might want to keep some boundaries with. I don't know.

  47. antonio or george OR Jesus yet. Maybe after I get back? ;-)

    While I'm out getting snacks and balloons, anyone want anything? i'll snag some extra donut holes and a fruit tray and drop them off on my way to church...

  48. Love the picture ... and can't wait to read the sermon drafts mentioned so far. Since I don't have to write a sermon, posted a story inspired by some of your posts instead.

  49. Songbird, I just read your draft sermon and found myself wishing I had written it, profound, challenging and I thought really good.

    Hope you don't mind me pinching a thought or two in quotes of course love, 'in case of emergency break bread together' brilliant and so true.

  50. Okay, after sleeping to an ungodly hour (let's just say it had a low first digit and a "PM" after it!) I am back and trying to focus.

    I've been preaching all summer on what it means to be the people of God, and this is a perfect time to sum that up, so there will be a little bit of summarizing from the whole summer, I think.

    And then moving into how meals like Passover and Eucharist bind us together into that people of God, and what that means for our life together. Those shared meals are (or should be) stronger than anything that can come between us. I also love the idea that Jesus' instructions are not designed to give us the tools to kick people out, but to love them back in.

    Or, you know, something like that. There are plenty of procrastination opportunities at hand, including making food for the potluck and making a sign for St. Larger saying that worship will be at St. Smaller. And using these tomatoes to make fresh tomato soup...mmm!

  51. RevSteve, that's why we share ideas!
    I'm finished with my pre-wedding counseling couple and now there is a brief lull in the action before today's groom and best man arrive in my office to be held against their will--I mean, to wait for the service to start. I think I'll sneak over to Starbucks for an iced coffee. Anyone need anything?

  52. OK...The liturgy is written and printed and I have located a large cardboard box to use as a visual aid
    (prayer as a slot machine) for the All Age tomorrow...I need, of course, to make the darned thing and to work out what I'm going to say about it...but plan not to use a full script for that talk. If no children, just toooo bad!
    Does anyone, anywhere, have a good sermon on James 1 16ff...the woman who sorts the readings at Church on the Hill has plainly taken leave of her lectionary, and the readers are all set with a decidedly odd selection...but I'd better preach on them nonetheless.
    I do, fwiw, have some Sainsbury's own brand Fair Trade choc, which is pretty blissful really....and some fresh apple juice that is gloriously chilled. It doesn't seem to be helping me much, but if you think it will work for you, please help yourself!

  53. RevKim, I love that idea! I'm sure the themes in the book of Acts will be really helpful for the congregation. It's one of my favourites too.

  54. I'm taking a church vacation tomorrow -- FT, our friend Mel and I are headed to the Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, MI (, one of the best folk/blues/bluegrass/traditional music festivals in the state...great art fair and vendors too. (Tickets to Wheatland were a birthday present to FT, whose birthday was yesterday.) Worship will consist of the very freewheeling gospel sing late Sunday morning. We're looking forward to seeing Cheryl Wheeler, one of our favorite singers, and soaking in the overall mellow vibe with our 14,000 or so fellow festivalgoers. Happy Wheatland, all!

  55. Done.

    Juicy snippet on my blog--the bit that might get me tarred and feathered.

    Might post the whole thing later, but for now I'm going to rest,

  56. Segueway...okay.
    Hmmm, still like the other myself.
    So anyhow, not much done yet...far more intersting to watch footbasll. Pass my some pound cake and ice tea...
    Hope all are well with y'all.
    I am having trouble wrestling with the notion of the pain nad suffering present within the text (OT) and thinking of how it might have felt to be sitting there waiting, trusting, wondering....will this be enough, will God see it, is God going to do what God said, what if...
    So, that is where I am and Melech thinks he lives in another time zone and is asking for supper!

  57. Well I left the house at 8:00 this morning and got back at 3:00 (2 hours ago, I am in Central this part of the year)

    Now what about the sermon you say? Well I am roughly where I was on Tuesday...

    For a week just back from holidays this has been a full one

  58. I've got clean clothes for tomorrow, that's something. I'm about to have a snack and get back to my mulling over of things related to class & sermon. It's only a little after 6pm, so I'm not stressed/panicked, and hope to keep it that way. :) Will probably check back in later.

    Cheesehead - I loved your juicy snippet. It spoke to me. Being relatively new in my parish, I'm not sure I'm in a place where I've earned enough of their trust to go there yet.

  59. I was almost done with a sermon that I found totally pathetic. So now here it is 6:30, and I have scrapped everything and started over. Pass the coffee, please?

  60. Well,I have finished the final tweaks and have printed and posted .

    I've been reading everyone's sermons and parts thereof. What an amazing group of preachers you all are. You and your congregations will be in my prayers tomorrow that those fabulous messages are taken in by open hearts.

  61. I'm back with my weekly question: children's sermon, anyone? Something on the Matthew text would be nice. But I'd go for off-topic at this point. Thanks be to God, we are having children on a regular basis now (I mean "having children come to worship," not "birthing children"--you know what I mean). However, this is straining the creative limits of my brain. Every week, as you well know.

  62. Here I am again!
    I think I've done the sermon for Evensong...not great, but possibly adequate.
    I also have a prayer machine, thanks to LCM, - just need to print some labels for it and think of a couple of prayers to post in it
    I have tea spoons (we're looking at models of prayer at the All Age...teaspoons do Thankyou, Sorry, please as their abbreviation in recipes is tsp)...I don't have a sun lamp but will extemporise in the morning
    So, all (ALL?) I need are prayer for Evensong and for the morn...and a baptism address...but I think I need sleep even more. Dare I post the not great sermon...ummmm...guess I'd better

  63. It's been a busy week, so I'm just NOW getting to sermon prep. Spent all afternoon at a safe & sacred spaces instructor training, and before I left learned of the death of a parishioner. During the training I received two more phone calls, one making sure I knew about it, and another from the family checking my schedule, which I truly appreciated, since the week is already packed full.

    Anyway, I'm just getting started here, but the family is calling for dinner. It could be a late night or early morning, but since I woke up this morning at 3:15 unable to breath, and stayed up for an hour & 1/2, that might not be an issue. I'll sure be glad when allergy season passes!

  64. Wow. It's after 7 pm, and...

    Potluck item for tomorrow: check (almost--just needs icing).
    Sign for door at St. Larger: check.

    Dinner: no check.
    Extra hurricane intercession: no check.
    Sermon: definitely no check. Sigh.

    Okay, accountability time. I will not check in again here until I at least have an outline, and if at all possible, one page written.

  65. I'm back. I should've finished the sermon before my mother arrived but I didn't.

    Comprehensive exams for my PhD start 9/9 and I cannot believe I was stupid enough not to get someone else to preach this week. The next two weeks are covered but not this week. WHAT was I thinking???

    I was thinking Matt 18 but I really want to preach on that ... stupid me, it'll come again in 3 years!

    so here I am working on a sermon distracted by more things than usual.

    It's sermon writing days like this when I miss the facebook version of scrabulous the most ... because I need one more thing to help me procrastinate

  66. I'm still unconvinced, but too weary to do more now. So the uncorrected draft is here for comments if you've time...and I'll leave the rest of the Fair Trade chocolate out on the table. Excuse my leaving the party so early, but the puppy is relentless in her enthusiasm for each new day!

  67. well, I'm back from the errands and the setting up for kick-off sunday and the ministry fair. the sanctuary looks awesome, thankfully! brown wilderness/mountains across the chancel, woven paper table decorations. the fellowship hall doesn't look too bad either, with balloons and many tables soon to be filled with info about our many ministries.

    however, my sermon is nowhere to be seen. none of my knights in shining armor (or softly flowing robes, either) seem to have dropped it off in my absence. So now I'm slightly sore from moving all those tables and chairs alone, slightly hungry, and no farther along than I was five hours ago. *sigh*...getting to work, I promise...

  68. thanks to a really long story by Will Willimon, the sermon is done! and before supper!

    but i'll probably be back later just for the party

  69. I'm back! The rain didn't start until after the wedding, thankfully, but it's surely pouring now. I always wonder what effect really bad weather will have on attendance. We've had recent flooding, so I know there are areas of the town that are prone to it. We have flash flood warnings in effect and a new, rather elderly organist starting tomorrow. Oy!
    I picked up sushi on the way home, anyone hungry?

  70. so I'm contemplating making mashed potatoes for dinner. I know they wouldn't be ready for an hour, but I don't even care--I love mashed potatoes! I'm worried though about the carb coma given that I still have 0 words written....

    ...but I have read all about the huge CERN particle accelerator/collider in europe, which is finally ready to be fired up. Wednesday is the big day--if the scientists there are right, it will be one of the most exciting days in science, ever. If the scientists who are not involved in the project are right, we're all going to get sucked into a black hole or turned into strange matter, so....that could also be considered an exciting day in science, just in a different way...

    How can I work THAT into a sermon? "listen up, people, cuz we could all be dead by Wednesday morning!" ha!

    I clearly need to eat dinner, then write. I'm punchy from all the dr. pepper on an empty stomach...

  71. Mashed potatoes, black holes, and sermons...Oh MY!!!!!!

  72. Yeah Vicar! will be thinking of you this week.

    Courage to all who are still writing and preparing. I have Hain's diet soda (peach and root beer) to share 'round.

    Birds were singing at my house today.

  73. Teri, you can use it with Romans: Romans 13:11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers;

    Not to be alarmist, but we don't know when the end will come. :)

    Doesn't help me, though.

    Kids are leaving, I actually may get something done tonight!

  74. kim--LOL! I could do that. except that, sadly, earlier in the week i decided that part wasn't helping further my 10 commandments of community theme, so i cut the reading off at verse 10....


    I'm working, for real. i swear.

  75. I'm not preaching regularly now but am trying to keep a regular discipline of staying close to the lectionary. What I'm thinking about this week is here: Blessings to all of you preparing to preach in the morning! I offer you my best preaching prayer -- May God tranform your words into those that the people most need to hear.

  76. Well its 1.45am here and I am off to bed I have printed the sermon but its not setting anything on fire in me so pity the folk later today.

    I looked at the readings early and read many commentaries, been inspired here thought good thoughts... I imagined it wouldn't take long just to pull it all together but hey ho, hope the Spirit can get around me.

    Isn't it always the way today I have three services one in a new church sigh!!!!

  77. Aaaarrrgh! WORD is not letting me open my document. Keeps saying "an error has occurred and Word will now close. Guess maybe I'm supposed to preach without a manuscript. Either that or time to switch to the laptop or OpenOffice (but I'm afraid I'll lose my formatting)!

  78. No words written. Way fewer than usual needed. No Scripture memorized. Big football game on. GO GATORS!!!

    I don't anticipate getting going on this for another 2.5-3 hours. Hopefully by then the AWESOME beer I had with dinner will have worn off. Right now I'm just sleepy and excited to be sitting down without a child of some sort clinging to me. Great day, but a lot of 3 year old time. That's exhausting.

  79. Maybe it could be - I'd rather be sucked into a black hole than keep staring at this non-sermon in front of me:) We had 4 deaths this week (and now 4 funerals next week) and SP is away for the month - so life has been full. And then a vestry retreat this weekend. So the sermon - trying to look at our call into relationship in Matthew 18 - is going to be really really dependent on that Holy Spirit. But glad to hear I'm not alone in the struggle this week. Sigh...

  80. okay, I have something. It almost resembles a sermon. Pretty please tell me what you think!!!

    I am seriously going to go eat something now, then work on the whole baptism-and-communion business...

  81. went to supper with mom and then on the way home in the car had to forcefully tell her, "WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT POLITICS" gag.

    stupid me for having NPR on instead of "pretty music" (that's what my kids call classical. it's the left over name from toddler years)

    now I'm wishing that I hadn't told her the sermon was done 'cause that's a great excuse to hole up with the computer.


  82. Never got back to studying... T. Storm took out our power, then minor crises requiring my attention. I had a plan and it tanked. :P


  83. Y'all, I'm sorry for the temporary disappearance. I got a call from my son with the news that he is First Clarinet in the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra!!! We've been over here rejoicing!!!

    Who would like a celebratory Ben and Jerry's or 1 point Latte bar?

  84. Teri--I really love your almost-sermon (sure looks like a sermon to me)! In fact, I have made a note to myself to go back and revisit your post when I preach on the commandments next month.

    Update from my end:

    Sermon: 1043 words, so I'm in the home stretch!
    Dinner: in the oven, a bit late
    Hurricane intercession: not written

    So, progress! Whew!

    One note that may help those of us preaching on know how questions are expected at Passover? I once asked the question, "did God rejoice at the killing of the Egyptians?" The answer was, "We (Israel) did. God didn't, because even the Egyptians were God's children."

    One tiny bit of unexpected good news in the middle of the violent part of the story.

  85. Ugh. I'm still thrashing around over here. I scrapped my entire first draft and started fresh (using some chunks of the latter portions of the draft). Made quick work until about two hours ago, when I made it to the end but couldn't find an ending. I am still wrestling with it. Bleh. Blehbleh. I hate that I am feeling extra pressure b/c of it being my last sermon for awhile. I think that has actually caused some of my problems today.

    SB, congrats on your son's good news!!

  86. earthchick, I'm sure the extra pressure has made it extra difficult. I always find it to be so--when I'm expecting friends or family, or when it's a "big" Sunday, I have a way more difficult time. Sorry it's that way for you, and I hope the ending comes soon, and easily.

    Songbird, congrats to your son! Yippee!

    I'm off to bed after one last snack for the baby and for me. I'll check in later.

  87. SB, That is terrific news! Way to go, Snowman!

    Even though it is considerably before my bedtime (especially for a Sat night), I am going to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  88. Phew! Finally done and posted . Now a little DVD action, a bit of knitting, and then bed.

    Blessings to everyone still writing - and a good night's sleep to all!

  89. Teri--

    I did a Blessing of the Backpacks last week. I sent it to the email link on your Blogger profile. Hope it helps.

  90. Preachers, I'm going to turn in, but don't let that stop the party!
    I'll check back in the morning with a fresh pot of coffee.
    Good night!

  91. thanks semfem! I'll try to remember this when Oct 5 comes around, too, since I'll be floundering off lectionary I might as well share the already-doneness of the commandments then.

    and pastorbarbara--thanks for the heads up on backpacks!

    I have a communion prayer, a sort-of-backpack plan (to be solidified the next 10 hours or so...). Still no baptism plan, though. time to pull out the book, I think, to make sure I don't forget anything...

    for late-night workers: i have dr. pepper and skinny cow ice cream sandwiches (mint!!). anyone want one?

  92. Ugh, I have fallen victim to the dreaded LACK OF MOMENTUM! New accountability point: I will not check back in here or anywhere else until I have the sermon done, possibly needing some editing, but finished to the last Amen.

    Glad to see other are finishing up! And congrats to your son, Songbird!

    Anybody else still working? she rev?

  93. Teri, I'll take one of each, please!

  94. dp and skinny cow, coming right up!!

  95. blech... I am really struggling today - the Holy Spirit inspired me all week and now seems to be missing.

    I got the crazy idea of using a movie clip to illustrate how we can confront others when they upset the balance of our communities - when they hurt us or others, and thought if I did so, I would have a few less minutes of preaching to prepare... but of course, i'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find the right one.

    One idea is from Spanglish - where the mom hides in the bushes and then confronts her daughter about sneaking out and cheating on her husband. It's a kind of funny clip, and I think it would work.

    I think I want to talk about how there are some things only your mother could say to you... but in reality, if the church is doing it's job and being the church - then all of us have the responsibility to watch out for one another, all of us have the responsibility to hold one another accountable to the commitments we have made.

    so far, I only have a few paragraphs... eek!

  96. katie, the clip from Mean Girls where Cady's first friends confront her at the party (driving around outside) comes to mind too. Though I can't remember if there's a language issue there. In any case, Janice and ____ (the guy whose name I can't remember) are able to confront Cady because of their friendship, but it's almost the end of the friendship because Cady can't hear it. Ultimately, though, she figures it out AND her friends forgive her. Speaks to how hard it can be to be the recipient of the confrontation, as well as how difficult it can be to let someone who has hurt you back into your community....

  97. OK.
    The football game is over.
    Much of the Scripture is memorized.
    Teeth are brushed.
    Three year old has been taken for mid-sleep pee.

    Guess it's time to start this sermon-ette. It needn't be long, so it shouldn't take long to write, right? HA!

    We'll see. Gotta read the comments that have been posted since I last left. Then I'll get to work (maybe after one game of Spider).

  98. I love Skinny Cows!!!!
    I have apple butter if anybody wants some on a biscuit.
    I had to type up a brief summary of one of the inserts for World Communion Offering. My denomianiton does a special Peacemaking Offering for WCS. For each Sunday this month, we are having a Moment for Mission explaining how funds to the offering are used. The guy reading tomorrow is older and would have trobule reading the small print on insert, so I did it for him in 14 pt.
    Now to finish a sermon that is blood and guts and kinda gross...

  99. well friends, I think I'm giving up on revising and on baptism liturgy for tonight. There's skinny cow in the freezer--help yourselves! I also have plenty of tea (more than one person could possibly drink)--both caf and decaf, black and herbal varieties...again, help yourself! If anyone else wants to check out my "sermon", please do. I'll be revising in the morning as I'm not convinced it's quite preachable yet (some of that is "can I actually get all those words out in that order without tripping over myself?").

    Good work, friends! and, in case anyone needs the permission to sleep tonight, here are some of my favorite words of will smama: don't sacrifice yourself on the altar of a perfect sermon.
    (this is me, preaching to myself...)

    night, friends! remember, tea, ice cream, and dp are yours for the taking!

  100. 98 comments posted. Will I be 99 or 100?

    Open Office writer took over where I left off in my malfunctioning version of WORD. I have 1802 words, and I think it's a sermon! Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight after all. I'll still probably be up about 5 or 6 to reread and print, but I think I can rest easy if my allergies will allow.

    Now for some mint chip ice cream and off to bed. Anybody want some?

  101. the sermon is flowing - after some distractions on facebook and responding to a relative's politically charged email. This election is making me very feisty!

    I just had an energy charged squirt - so i'll be here a while longer... anyone else still going?

  102. I'm still here, Katie. I just spent (wasted) time on Facebook, too, but things still aren't flowing. Keeping it short and sweet is harder for me because there's no time to develop things. Seems harder to be creative. Could also be harder because I'm not really work on it as much as working around it. Guess I should take some responsibility here.

  103. Finally getting moving a little.

  104. good to hear she rev!

    I feel like i'm taking a million sidetracks in my sermon. So far I've mentioned my movie clip from Spanglish (altho the suggestion from Mean Girls is good too!), the applebee's commercial with the talking apple, and now the Rule of St. Benedict.

    Somehow I got to the place where the people we eat with (in our families, or at the communion table) are the ones we are bound to - and so we have to live by certain rules together and we have to hold one another accountable to those rules

  105. Okay, after a delightful hour-long phone conversation with a friend (high-quality procrastination!), I'm finally finished!

    It needs some reading out loud and polishing, but at least it's finished and it's mostly coherent. I wandered away for a while and blabbed about suffering...then came to my senses and cut most of that part. Left some suffering in, just didn't belabor the point.

    So...I think I am off to take a shower and then edit and print this bad boy. Or maybe I will edit and print in the morning.

    Kim, I'm glad OpenOffice saved the day! she rev and katie z, I hope things continue to come together for both of you.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation!

  106. I liked my start, but now that I'm trying to pull some of our Scottish/Presbyterian history stuff in for our Scottish Heritage Festival tomorrow I'm finding myself boring. Hmmm...I think I better sleep and finish later in the morning.

  107. Finished!

    longer than i was thinking it would be, but I like where it went. I had a bit of a bite to the end, but softened it up a bit...

    many thanks to semfem and "the idea that Jesus' instructions are not designed to give us the tools to kick people out, but to love them back in."

  108. Alright. I stayed up 'til it was done, and now I'm going to bed. The end.

  109. Am I the first one up this morning? I'm up if not exactly awake. I'll take some virtual caffeine, if anyone's got some.

    Blessings to all as you preach and pray this morning.

  110. I'm back to look it over and add some prayers, amazed that the alarm had to go off to wake me. I usually beat it.

    Blessings on all with preaching, proclamation, listening, learning, communing, baptizing, and anything else on your agendas today.

    May the Spirit have your back throughout the day.

  111. I'm here! Coffee is brewed!!

    Many thanks for all the congratulations! I have one happy child, which is a good feeling.

    I'm already thinking of the Holy Nap to come, but that has more to do with the Church Council meeting after church than with worship itself.

  112. Good Morning Preachers! I forgot about the doggone Prayers of the People...
    whatzamatta with me?


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