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Saturday, October 11, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Banquet Table Edition

In a week in which economic and election news donimate, in a week in which fear and scarcity seem to be the Truth, I invite you to consider God's banquet table: the one on the mountain, where all the nations will be invited, and where death will be swallowed up. Or, how about the wedding banquet given by a rich and generous king, by any stretch of the imagination an elaborate affair, but one the guests don't seem interested in going to? Or, how about the banquet of rejoicing in Paul's letter to the Philippians? "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice," he encourages us today.

So, how are you preaching this weekend? How will you deal with the economic and election news? (Is this going to come up in your preaching?) Is there a banquet table being prepared for your congregation? If so, what will it be?

This morning I invite you to sample my famous homemade apple-cinnamon oatmeal, along with fair trade coffee and tea, or course. Bring along anything else you would like to share, as well. And as we share our real ideas and our real hopes and our virtual goodies, I hope we catch a glimpse of the abundance of God.

91 comments:

  1. Hello preachers and non-preachers alike!

    I'm up late writing a wedding sermon for Saturday afternoon, but for Sunday I'm preaching on Israel worshiping the golden calf (and condensing some of the following story into the reading as well). So the economy might actually fit very well into the whole theme--what do we grasp for when things seem insecure? And...how many times do we have to learn the lesson?!

    Don't really have much beyond that yet, but I'm hoping for a productive Saturday. Well, not just hoping, but relying on the prospect of a productive Saturday.

    Blessings on the morning.

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  2. We're finishing up a series called "Life in Balance". No irony intended. This week, the final week, I'm talking about kairos and faith -- that God's time requires both waiting and pouncing, and that neither is achieved without attentiveness and openness. Unfortunately, the possibilities of overlap are endless.

    Next week we begin "How Would Jesus Vote" and a study of Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw's "Jesus for President".

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  3. hey there - my sermon is not done, but it's friday night and determined to Sabbath tomorrow, so it will be up early on Sunday for me.

    Blessings all of you on your Saturday writing and preparing. And prayers for those of you heading into your fall stewardship drives - it should be interesting!

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  5. Sorry abt the deletion- bit of a brain glitch!!!

    I don't think that we can or should avoid talk of the financial crisis- the elections don't impact so much in the UK, and I try to steer clear of politics from the pulpit but would certainly speak on issuses of truth and integrity.

    I had a I don't think that we can or should avoid talk of the financial crisis- the elections don't impact so much in the UK, and I try to steer clear of politics from the pulpit but would certainly speak on issuses of truth and integrity.

    I had a few thoughts on the financial crisis earlier this week and may think of expanding them. Thanks for the banquet suggestions Diane they provide a perfect counter to my thinking!!!

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  6. Revgals I could use your prayers this day. Some of you may see this after the fact, but I believe God and our prayers are not necessarily bounded by chronological time as we live it.

    I had a parishioner commit suicide this week, not only is there now the widow but also his sister in my congregation. The funeral is at 11am. I'm trying to finish piecing together my sermon from the notes I've been jotting the last few days. If the visitation yesterday was any indication, there will be a lot of people there, so there is some nervousness and a sense of "wanting to do a good job for everyone."

    This will be my first funeral in this parish (unfortunately not being held onsite due to space concerns), my first funeral completely on my own, and only the 2nd I have preached (Rector or other clergy who knew the families tended to preach most of the services in my last parish).

    I pray that this service will be what it needs to be for folks and that I will be given the words so people hear what they need to hear at this time.

    As for tomorrow...I had originally thought I would go with the golden calf and had several possible directions, one of which being how the people of israel are anxious because Moses hasn't returned yet and they feel abandoned, which is why they pressure Aaron to make the calf - how do we react when we are anxious or are feeling left alone? As this seems to dovetail some with the current life of parish I may go there, but Phillipians has some nice words too. At this point I anticipate staying away from the wedding parable.

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  7. Praying for you bythesea...may God strengthen you and bring you peace.

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  8. thank you for the prayers sally. I've just blogged some about the week and think that has helped clear some things out so I can focus.

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  9. we're all praying for you, by the sea.

    I like the "how would Jesus vote" title for next week. intriguing.

    lots of good stuff here.

    I'm fighting a migraine right now, but will be back in a little while to ask about refills.

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  10. Prayers for you bythesea, and the rest of you preachers this day. I have nothing thus far...not an idea, not an inkling, not even an old sermon on this golden calf to rework. I got up early to get some work done before my love gets up so I can spend the day with him rather than writing a sermon...to no avail. WE're putting in an offer on a house today, so I'm also preoccupied with other, more fun thoughts than writing a sermon.

    So my love is brewing a fresh pot of coffee, and I'm happy to share with the rest of you who are grasping at golden calves and wedding garments.

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  11. Prayers for you bythesea! And for you Nutella -- CONGRATS!

    I am preaching on the golden calf - -here is where I got stuck on wednesday:
    I read this in the new Discipleship Study Bible -- I am not sure who the author is (it's in the study notes), but Nancy Bowen write the intro to exodus:


    “The people ask for a symbol of God’s presence in the same way as the ark (ex. 25:10). The failure of the Golden calf is not the attempt to worship other gods, but to maintain the tension of God’s immanence and transcendence. In the dangerous terrain of the wilderness, the people wanted assurance of God’s presence, and sought to reduce God to manageable proportion. This sin confronts us daily. When life seems out of control, we cope by reducing God to a manageable proportion. Whether it’s a golden calf or a narrow view of God, it’s still idolatry.”

    And I am stuck - -what does it look like when we try to reduce God to manageable proportions? What happens when we are in crisis and try to make God manageable so we can feel the presence of God? Thoughts?

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  12. Hey, everyone! I'm in Michigan for Parents Weekend at Interlochen, where the weather is gorgeous, and so are the kids! My only regret: I really liked these texts, and I'm sorry not to be working with them.
    On the subject of joyful garments, I got a new dress to wear to last night's concert. I didn't need to dress up, and really this wasn't an elaborate dress, but putting on something new felt like a representation of joy, and I suddenly felt closer to the story of the wedding banquet.
    God's blessings to you on this weekend. May your church folk find comfort in the economic and political storm.

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  13. bythesea, just read your post, I will be praying for you.

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  14. Bythesea: prayers for you and your people.
    And knittinpreacher: interesting question. I am moving ahead a week in the lectionary for tomorrow and preaching from Ex 33:12-23, where God covers Moses in the cleft of the rock, and shows Moses God's backside. Moses had asked to see God's glory...all of God...and it was God who chose to show a manageable portion instead. Somehow that small portion of God was enough for Moses. Not sure where else I am going with it, since I am tossing the perfect illustration I had from Nouwen because I worry that it will be too emotionally charged for one family....who might not even show up.....peace to all.

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  15. Someone at biblestudy came up with the missing garment as the cloak of rightousness. I may elaborate on that. Then again I may center on the Philippians reading.

    Prayers bythesea. Suicide is so hard to address except as a mental illness.

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  16. Knittinpreacher -- good thoughts....

    Nutella -- congrats!

    I'm not preaching this Sunday, but it's stewardship time here. not a good time to do that.

    but, when is it?

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  17. I swapped the gospel from last week and this week, as I'm doing All Parables All the Time this fall, and wanted the banquet last week to go with World Communion. Anyway, that leaves me with wicked tenants today. I will present the typical allegory, the way in which that allegory has been abused to fuel anti-semitism, and then invite people to consider how each of us might be a wicked tenant. That's the plan, anyway. And meanwhile I need some exercise! and PS to bythesea, I am praying for you, I'm sure the SPirit will not fail you today.

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  18. Semfem, I like that golden calf/grasping idea. That seems spot on to me.

    Bythesea, praying for you this day.

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  19. I forgot! I have homemade chocolate banana bread and fair trade coffee if there are any takers...

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  20. praying for you, bythesea. And diane, hope your headache gets better!

    This week I have been given a reprieve by a retired pastor in our congregation--and in addition to preaching, he's offered to do the children's sermon and the prayers of the people as well, so all I have to do are announcements, stewardship kickoff, new members and a baptism, and moderate two sessions of a congregational meeting, all before youth group.

    Hallelujah!

    So today I am going apple picking with church members, and then baking yummies with the apples after lunch. Any apple requests or appley-baked-goody requests? I'll be happy to bring some back, around 4 or 5 my time. Just in time for a pre-dinner snack! :-)

    blessings on all of you who are working...

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  21. Hello preachers,

    I'm not preaching this week, praise the Lord! I am nursing a wicked cold and decided to spend the day in bed. It's only 10:00 am and I am going stir crazy with boredom. Can't wait for partner to come home from work so she'll entertain me. :)

    I did preach last week and it was a dud. Know how I can tell, I never heard so many comments about how nice I looked or about the weather in the pastor line after service. I never felt so pretty or well informed about the weather in my whole life. Hope your sermons go better for you this week.

    bythesea...i'm praying for you right now.

    peace and love everybody,

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  22. By the Sea prayers to you!!!

    My sermon is done on the wedding banquet... but I have a fear that the personal illustration/story I'm using is one I've told before... ack! does it matter? will anyone remember? or will they think crazy pastor hotcup, the divorce is sure hard on her... augh.

    taking the track that the schmuck refused the wedding garment offered is akin to how we sometimes knowingly and unkowingly refuse to clothe ourselves in God's grace... so in good lutheran fashion it's emphaszing our baptismal call to die to sin each day, and clothe ourselves in the goodness of Christ.

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  23. bythesea, you and your congregation are in my prayers this morning.

    I'm preaching on the wedding banquet. I'll be talking about some of the things I heard Rita Nakishima Brock say last week about paradise and the wedding robe being a baptismal robe. What does baptism mean? I'll seg to the crisis and how Christians should react and how we should begin addressing the fall out.

    So far, I see fear for those whose retirement accounts have been devasted (me included). But in a recession, the poor will be the hardest hit. Jobs are drying up, costs are going up, it will get harder and harder for the poor to manage.

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  24. I think I'm going to play with the banquet being like a pot luck and everyone brings something of him or herself to the table to share. That's what makes it a feast, especially in these times when people have lost so much and need to come together.

    My 87 year old mother (hardly sick a day in her life,still very healthy) found out yesterday that her health insurance (funded by Ford Motor Co.) is being terminated due to FMC tanking.

    It's a potluck, bring what you have and there will be more than enough to share.

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  25. Bythesea: May God bless you with just the right words to share with the grieving family. There is so much stigma around suicide. May you offer those who struggle to understand a message of comfort and peace.

    I'm home from a walk this morning and off to Oktoberfest at a local winery this afternoon. In the meantime I hope to get a good start on this sermon. Yes, I said "start". I'm challenged by the the whole wedding garment piece, so I have more research to do.

    Next week, though I'm off the hook. Going to Mt. Sequoyah in Arkansas for a week of New Church Leadership Institute, and leaving it up to the Laity to come up with the service next week. I will be in attendance but not preaching.

    Blessings to all this beautiful fall day!

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  26. many prayers for you and your church this morning by the sea!

    I'm working on Matthew and Philippians. and Wesley. gotta love Wesley.

    I'm working with the presumption that the king would have provided wedding garments to each of the guests and that this particular person didn't wear his. Refused to put it on.

    And I'm going to talk about Wesley's three types of grace - prevenient grace that sends out the invitations, justifying grace that comes when we accept and show up and are welcomed at the door, and sanctifying grace which is the coat of holiness that God clothes us with if only we will wear it.

    How we wear it is through practice, through doing, through trying it on and making it fit, which is where Paul and Philippians comes back in.

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  27. oh... and hopefully I'll get to the sermon sometime late this afternoon. I'm heading to my parents to watch the football game. Go Hawkeyes!

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  28. I am about half-2/3 done. I think.

    It has been so long since I wrote out a text before preaching it that I am not sure how long I want it...

    THanksgiving up here and I am interweaving spoken text with sung verses of Dayeinu (the verse in question are on my blog). I'll post it when it is done.

    Of course I have yet to read what I wrote yesterday so it may all get a rewrite yet. ANd there is an 80th birthday party to attend this afternoon.

    But supper is well started! (making a pot of pasta sauce which will simmmer all day)

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  29. bythesea,
    that is tough (to make a huge understatment). prayers arising

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  30. oh... blessings bythesea... lifting you up.

    i'm working not on a sermon, but on a thirty minute lecture on the first five chapters of Bonhoeffer's Discipleship (formerly known as The Cost of Discipleship . my first such lecture in my new (academic) context.

    not much to offer food wise, though hubby seems to have some food prep up his sleeves.

    it is nice to be working alongside you all again this week. i'm hoping to get the major work on this done by 1:30 so i can go to a new knitting circle at church, for the second time. it is a good motivator.

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  31. Well, I have a lot of words on a page, that looking back on them, only succeed in retelling the story. I'm sure there's plenty of justification for that, but right now, it just feels like I'm circling around the story with no idea what I'm trying to say.

    For those of you preaching about wedding garments, I commend to you an essay by Anna Carter Florence (my favorite preacher) on Lectionary Homiletics. Go to www.goodpreacher.org, Lectionary Homilectis, Share It!, and Free samples. She talks about how we often show up in God's celebration forgetting that this is a celebration. WE clothe ourselves in fear and gloom and forget this is actually GOOD NEWS! It would be very helpful for me, if I were not preaching on a golden calf instead.

    We have some leftover banana muffins my love made.

    For anyone preaching on Philippians "whatever is true, noble, right, lovely...think about such things." I have this story to share. I had an amazing conversation yesterday with a man who is dying of neck cancer. He's been homeless for the past 10-15 years and has come to stay at a catholic charities house. He says it's restored his hope in humanity. He loves opera so we've been talking about opera, and shakespeare, and art, and literature. And he said yesterday, "When I get to heaven, and God asks me, 'what did you like the best?' I'll say, 'Thank you for the art!'" For one, I was hard hit by the question he expected God to ask him...no "what do you have to say for yourself?" but "what did you like the best?" And I was then struck by the answer: thank you for all the art. If anything is excellent or worhty of praise, think about these things.

    ....unless they're a golden calf.

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  32. Prayers in abundance for you bythesea, and for the surviving family, and for your congregation.

    nutella - Yay!! I hope the house offer is accepted.

    This is my first sermon in six months. Nervous much???? I'm more than a bit anxious, but I'm almost done.

    It's Canadian Thanksgiving, so I'm preaching about gratitude (duh!) using Barbara Kingsolver's "Small Wonders" - about being thankful for small acts of kindness toward one another and how that creates church.

    Another part of her (wonderful) book is about hope. She says "when hopelessness bangs like a door in a hurricane, that we should be the ones to bang and bang on the door of hope and refuse to let anyone suggest that no one is home."

    She goes on to say, "What I can find is this and so it has to be: conquering my own despair by doing what little I can. Stealing thunder, tucking it in my pocket to save for the long drought. Dreaming in the color green..."

    She concludes: "Small changes, small wonders. These are the currency of my endurance and my life. It is a workable economy."

    I love that last sentence. Small changes. Small wonders.

    On a Thanksgiving that I really doubted I would ever be able to preach - those small wonders are more like miracles. My greatest thanksgiving is simply to be there. It won't be the best sermon ever written, but I'll be there.

    That's enough.

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  33. back from yard/bake sale and I have brownies to share...I got there too late to buy the cheese buttons...my fav!!!
    Anyhow, I am here for a while to sermonize and rest up before rreturning for pack up at 130.
    Prayers for you bythesea as yiu are in midst of funeral now. My
    fingers are crossed for Nutella and Love.
    LOL Goggurl...weather and your looks. oh...
    but then again, it could have challenged them to point of not being able to discuss!!
    Okay, I gotta do something on sermon...
    Oh, good thoughts KP!!!!
    Why dont you just come down here and preach???

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  34. Happy Thanksgiving Sue!!!
    One day you should blog about the Canadian rituals and traditions...I bet it is different than our football games, turkey w/ dressing, pumpkin pie, parades all day and leading into Black friday!
    I am still thinking on exodus, the golden calf and the economy!

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  35. hi, I'm back briefly before I have a small group leaders meeting. I just did a small group with first graders on the Lord's prayer. I'm doing it because the Children's Ministry Coordinator is on maternity leave. Can't wait till she gets back.

    I like the Anna Carter Florence Thoughts.

    It's a nice day, but I'm tired.

    Good to hear from many of you!

    I'm concerned about the economy, too.

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  36. Still going crazy. Spent the morning watching "Prince and Me" "Legally Blonde" and now I'm watching "Clueless"

    How many chick flicks can chick watch before she flips.

    peace and love,

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  37. Prayers for you and your people, bythesea.

    Thanks for your encouragement, Mary Beth. I've also found some good things at goodpreacher.com and workingpreacher.org that will hopefully open this up a little bit more.

    But for now, it's off to the wedding--not homiletically, but literally. How funny that there would be an actual wedding on the weekend of this reading!

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  38. Thank you all for your prayers! Having an entire text written out has been rare since I began preaching every week, but I believe the fruit of all who were praying was that I was able to have the entire text written and not worry about forgetting what I wanted to say. There were about 300 people there. The service seemed to comfort folks and be what they needed it to be. I've come by the parish to drop of vestments and am on my way to the family's house for some food/family time. For someone who posted on my blog, yes I was honest and named the reason we were gathered (which people did say they appreciated), but tried to also move people beyond it.

    At some point later I'll figure out what I'm doing for tomorrow.

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  39. I've just stopped by my house for a second, but I am headed back to the "Pumpkin Festival." This is a community event, and our church has a booth there - we're selling our brand new cookbooks.

    Anyway, I'm preaching Matthew tomorrow. Looks like everyone has some good ideas!

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  40. Well such as it is I have a draft posted

    I am open for comments (and even better, I have time to edit after the birthday party).

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  41. back briefly then out again to a nursing home. Still searching the highways and the byways for more people to come to our Rally tomorrow afternoon.

    one just cancelled.

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  42. Checking in, but now that I've read everything I don't know if I'll have time to work too much on a sermon that doesn't exist until after the kids go to bed. Such is life.

    I know I'm going with Philippians. I changed my plan mid-week, and usually avoid Paul like the plague. I'm just not good when there's not an explicit story/narrative to work with. I'll keep working on this.

    I like the insight I found on workingpreacher.org that talks about the comment to the women as "positive reinforcment" instead of a reprimand. I don't see any other scholars who agree with that idea, so I don't know whether to run with it or not, but it jives with the comment at the end of the section that tells them to "keep on." I'm DYING to use a youtube clip of the Brady Brunch. I'm sure a more sane head will prevail, but I SO want the courage and talent to be able to use it without losing all credibility and integrity.

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  43. Checking in with all of you in the midst of the Texas-OU game and watching the baby. The sermon? Well, I'm working on the Exodus text, the idea that we place our security in that which is not secure rather than in God. Nothing revolutionary, and I'm just not sure what to say (other than that) about the economy.

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  44. Watching it too, esperanza. Good game!

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  45. How Would Jesus Vote?

    You are braver than I!

    I'm doing part five of the marriage series. How long do you think I can keep this up? ;-)

    Right now I'm about to move furniture. Back tonight to join the late night sermon writers.

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  46. Hi there!
    I got back from vacation a few hours ago and have yet to start the laundry or the sermon. Well, that's not entirely true as I have been thinking about the MT text for ten days.
    I feel like the hapless wedding guest is who we are when we are happy to come to church but don't want to do anything else especially taking our churched selves into the world as changed beings.
    My great-nephew is having a hard time making the transition from kindergarten to first grade. As he gets better at the school part, my niece says he seems to be building a school persona that is different from who he is the rest of the time and that coming home in the afternoon means shifting from one to the other. The transition is apparently taking its toll on the whole family.
    So do we have a church persona and then a work one or school one? If so, do we rush into church without taking the time to change into our church selves? Getting caught would then leave us speechless for it would mean that God knows we are trying to be two people and we are shortchanging the Christian one.
    And my favorite line of the whole story is that both good and bad were invited. We know God wants us all there and we have no idea whether it is one of what we call good people or bad people that gets caught dishonoring God.
    Well, perhaps I had best do laundry, watch a little football and think some more about the sermon.

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  47. back from the nursing home. it's a beautiful day here,but I need to make more phone calls.

    hope I can get out a little.

    after all, walks are still free.

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  48. Ha, Diane! I had the same thought trudging around the neighborhood this morning--"hey, this is free!"

    Focus. Sermon. Focus.

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  49. Not preaching or publicly praying tomorrow...I do get to tell the congregation about the Project Christmas family we'll be sponsoring in the coming weeks -- I had the task of picking a family out of our local DHS's bulging needy-family binder, which was a sobering experience.

    I'll also be thanking our parish for their enthusiastic participation in our Local Food Exchange project -- many pounds of produce exchanged this growing season. This was a church project with minimal overhead or supervision that took awhile to "click" with the people, but then took off.

    Today I am battling a stubborn upper respiratory infection that just won't go away, and -- how can I explain this without TMI? -- a bout of middle-aged-female hormone hijinks that's literally giving me a headache. Nontheless, I lift up my large bar of fair trade Equal Exchange Very Dark Chocolate (that's actually the name) to all of you on deck tomorrrow. And now I need to do my Letter to the Romans homework for our adult class!

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  50. I'm back home from the family's house and have been unwinding a bit. I'm an extrovert, but feeling kind of drained. It is a beautiful day out here so... walk? nap? walk then nap? Then evening sermonizing I suppose since it's already after 4pm here.

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  51. Well.... I have a paper half done on Buddhism. The Buckeyes are on so first things first. I will be back later to finish this paper.

    I have home made cookies thanks to Reedy Girl -- fresh from the oven. YUMMMM...

    GO BUCKS

    deb

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  52. so ,much going on here....prayers for those who need them...loved the brady bunch clip - do you think my congregation, average age of 80, would get it? nah...

    My sermon is coming along....I'm taking the approach of talking about anxiety and how we respond. We can respond like the Israelites and "react" to our anxiety. (Reacting being emotional-based reactivity) or we can respond - taking time to pray, think, wait, responding from a centered place - which I suggest is what Moses does with God and the people - he responds and thus calms everything down. I don't usually incorporate several readings into my sermon but this week I am tying this theme into Philippians and Matt....

    well, back to reading and tweeking...I'll post it in a little while.

    many blessings, all...

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  53. Sherev,
    Love the clip!!!
    I do wish I had one of those running suits/costumes!
    Okay, so I am in deep thought process and watching a few fotball games...My Gamecocks won, so got another one down...
    Thoughts and prayrs for all who work, preach, pray and ponder texts today and tomorrow.
    Oh, I bave leftover cookies (sugar stars with yellow sugar crystals) from bake sale...very yummy with a glass of milk!

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  54. Still procrastinating. Found a great sweater pattern to start...

    The plan? I get to play for another hour, then when it it is time to put dinner in the oven, I have to come finish while it bakes.

    Oh, any good children's sermons about the golden calf? If not, I'll talk about rules, which fits for last week's lectionary, but we talked about communion.

    I'm making squash and pork tenderloin. How many shall I cook for?

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  55. Thanksgiving for your words bythesea. here here are my initial sermon thoughts.

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  56. Ok, I posted my sermon react in fear respond in love

    Comments welcome!

    Now for a walk (if the wind doesn't blow us away....)...and then back to read other sermons! (If you all post 'em)....

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  57. I am posted at http://knittinpreacher.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/looking-for-gold/

    Mompriest - -thanks for getting me unstuck.

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  58. I'm back from apple picking and baking with lots of goodies to share! I have several varieties of apples, I have pie and crisp and crumb cake and caramel apples. mmmm....

    I'm going to be eating apple-based things for the next 6 months, I think.

    That's all I have to share...I'm going to make mashed potatoes for dinner, so I'll make some extras. :-)

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  59. HEY! we are going out for burgers. Maybe not a good idea given the economy, but ....

    does anyone want one?

    also, took a long walk around the lake.

    It's october and it's 75 degrees here.

    Listening to Lou Dobbs. So depressing.

    AAAAHHHH!

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  60. Teri - do you know about Fall Apple Dip. I don't have the recipe readily available, but it's cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla. Ends up tasting kind of like caramel.

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  61. Well, the people are wed, and now the sermon must be written for tomorrow. But first, some pizza for dinner. (There is plenty extra if anybody needs food!)

    Nothing new on the golden calf from me...mompriest, I like what you have in your sermon. Hmm. Maybe food will help me think of a good illustration.

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  62. I love the apple dip! I might need to mix up a ton and take it to church with me every day with my bushel of apples in the trunk.

    Well, okay, I got half a bushel (about 26-ish pounds) and I used some to bake...but I still have plenty with which to make apple sauce and apple crisp and to eat. From now until Easter. maybe some will go into a butternut squash/apple soup when the squash come in.

    Thank god for refrigerators.

    mashed potatoes coming up in about half an hour!

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  63. I'm on the final (hopefully) edit of a sermon on Phill 4, except that instead of focusing on the heart of the text, i'm tying it to workcamp sunday and the experience of being firm in the faith which takes us out into the world for the experience of service. or something like that.

    too many things this weekend and more to come, but then I should live in the present moment, right?

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  64. thunderstorm comimg here...

    anyone want hot apple cider?

    how is it coming along?

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  65. oh, and someone tell me: is there something wrong with me?

    We were just at a new store, "The Container Store," just because my husband wanted to stop in, and I just can't stop thinking -- why are people still shopping? (of course I'm there). I can't help thinking: our lives really are going to change, but I'm not sure how exactly yet.

    does anyone else think so?

    Or am I just weird?

    but don't stop working on your sermons or anything.

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  66. Teri,
    If you really want to go countr, you can make apple butter...it is quite yummy. I am thinking of going out to buy apples while they are still a good buy here...
    simple recipe amd then you can it in cute little jars...if you really want to go over the top, add the little piece of calico cloth and a nice little ribbon...
    is anyone watching FLA/LSU, we just got a report on Urban Myer almost tossing his cookies...complete with camera angle...cookies are staying still and urban is drinking Gatorade!
    I am really wanting to go to sleep for good...long day with yard sale and clean up...
    sorry y'all could not make it, it was a good one.

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  67. Diane,
    This is why I figured more folks would be buying at yard sales, have I mentioned my love of goodwill stores??
    Anyhow, I figured everyone should be at yard sales to buy Christmas decor and maybe gifts...
    Owell, we did a nice donation to local Goodwill and our homeless place now has a nice supply of clothing.

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  68. Thunderstorm here. I'll take the cider.

    And the shopping? Well, with all respect and prayers for those who have been hit hard, because of where we are in our lives (fairly young) and investments (not much) the immediate effects of recent events are not strong in our household. We are keeping things a little tight since we've had a house on the market for 11 months now while living in our new one for 10, but, well, by the grace of God and what must be some great budgeting by my husband, we're doing OK - not putting anything extra away, but not dipping into savings or emergency funds except to pay for our Christmas plane tickets.

    So, yeah, we go shopping a little. Not a LOT (because of the house thing, and because, well, we don't need much), but we aren't holed up inside yet. Maybe the major effects of this will trickle down to us some time (no understanding of real economics implied, even though my husband is an economist), but RIGHT NOW we feel OK.

    I think that's part of my ambivalence toward this sermon this week. I'm trying to get inside of some of this crisis feeling, but it's hard for me. OK. Philippians. Speak to me, Spirit; I'm listening!!!!

    (Particularly during the Gator half-time, please.)

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  69. If I gave my sermons titles, I think I would call this one "The Gold Party." Because I think that's the illustration I'm going to start with--the popularity of gold parties. And how this is one gold party God is NOT attending.

    Of course, that would require that:
    a. I gave my sermons titles
    b. I had a sermon finished

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  70. I have finished a draft of the Buddhism paper (actually an interview with a Shambhala Center director) and it's not due until midnight TOMORROW! YEA. I can chill in peace.

    Praying for you preachers... may it be exactly God's Words and no more.

    peace
    Deb

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  71. Okay, exodus people, this is pretty good...late I know, but pretty good stuff.
    In resources for preaching and worship, Jim Wallis is quoted from Agenda for Biblical People as follows:
    "The worship of idols takes on many forms...They may be things, ideas, persons, institutions exalted and worshiped as gods....people come to serve and worship them as objects of ultimate concern allowing them to be a substitute for God..
    Idoloatry denies God as giver of life and author of salvation, it denies God and dehumanizes people by making them pay homage to objects not deserving of worship...
    the preseence of these idols is felt in economic and politcal systems affecting the way we relate to one another."
    Lengthy, but too good not to share, esp in light of our economic concerns.
    Peace to all,

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  72. whine whine whine

    nothing's coming tonight

    whine whine whine

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  73. sherev, I'm praying for you, that the Holy Spirit comes through.

    How is everyone else?

    I'm beat, myself.

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  74. I am 2/3 done, but kind want to tie in Phill. as the message of hope part...
    ugh...trying to watch them gators Sherev..loving it!
    A win will pull them up and take steam out of LSU for the Gamecocks...okay, glad Urban is not puking on sideline!
    This touchdown should about wrap it up for the,m!

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  75. 1-4...I don't can. I probably should, but I freeze instead because I have an extra fridge/freezer downstairs in the garage. My friend Sarah cans, though, and she makes apple butter. I am thinking of trying to con her into giving me some of hers...or possibly trading freezer applesauce for canned apple butter. we'll see. maybe i'll suck it up and can the apple sauce since it's water bath and not pressure canned, but we'll see. the buying of jars and lids might be too much, esp. when i have a zillion ziploc freezer containers in the cupboard...

    anyone need anything? I have apple stuff for dessert, complete with "homemade" whipped cream (as in, I whipped it with a whisk...).

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  76. I'll take some apple stuff, thanks Teri! I have a beginning, and I think I have enough for a whole sermon...now it's just a matter of putting it together in a way that makes sense. Hard to get in the groove for some reason though.

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  77. Yeah - it definitely feels wrapped up at this point. 41-14 I can handle that. And maybe the beginning of a breakthough for me. Sometimes, I just have to start writing and see what comes out. Then I know where it will go.

    I think I'm a little "gun shy" after a comment about my sermons being idealistic lately. Can't help it if the view of kingdom of God in Scripture seems idealistic from our viewpoint. In a way - - it is! Philippians is no help this week.

    Is the answer aim high by doing the good in what you're doing?

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  78. hey everyone, I'm going to go to bed now.

    the Holy Spirit has got our backs,
    thank goodness.

    I'll leave the lights and the tea on for you all.

    hope all goes well.

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  79. she-rev: I can imagine how gunshy you must be feeling. Perhaps your commenter is bogged down in despair and just can't see hope in the kingdom of God right now?

    (I tried many ways to say that, but this is the most charitable.)

    Slow going here, but I'm at 619 words and inching forward.

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  80. Thanks semfem. Everyone - - y'all have been extremely gracious to my b&*#@ing this week.

    It's moving toward late, and I'm finally getting ready to put some words down on paper. Hopefully this will come quickly as I do. And come with the full force of the Holy Spirit behind it!

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  81. Speaking of apple stuff, I made the apple cake that is posted at my Owl's Kitchen blog, and it is yummy. I will leave the remains of it here for you late-night preparers. My sermon took much longer than it should have to get done, but it finally is, and posted. I'm praying for you all as I head off to bed. I'm a tired Rev Gal, having had my son in law and grandchild here for several days getting ready for them to move in! (Gasp.) More about that later. For now, I'm toasted. G'night, all and preach well in the a.m.--or whenever!

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  82. 1160 words, and let's see if I can write a good conclusion now!

    *yawn* Tired. Coke is not helping. Maybe some of singing owl's cake will do the trick!

    Is it just me and she-rev left?

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  83. It's at least us, semfem, and I think I'll be here a while, but hopefully a much happier and productive while now!

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  84. Okay she-rev...good luck to you as you write...amazingly, I think I'm finished! At least finished enough to pack it in for the night. 1450 words, so it'd be good if I could cut a few, but we'll see.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation tomorrow!

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  85. she-rev....some one said your sermons were "idealistic"???? Might that also mean, "hopeful"??? and couldn't we all use some hope - at least all of us who aren't yet totally cynical...

    everyone else, I am up later than usual..but about to hit the hay...many blessings on you all...and, since it looks like I'm that last one up, I'll get the lights....that is unless she-rev still needs 'em?

    OH, one last thought - today has really made me miss the Midwest and apple picking...sigh...all your baked goods sound delic...

    now, 'night....

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  86. Don't worry about the lights. I can get 'em or I can work in the dark. The glow of the computer screen is all I need. I think I'm getting somewhere.

    Guess I also need to prepare my quick thoughts on "Sanctuary" the theme of our stewardship campaign this year (including an additional capital campaign to help pay down our mortgage). I'm supposed to give a little "blip" to kick things off during the dinner after worship. Ahhhhh....

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  87. I'm still around... I was at my parents for a good chunk of the day and then my husband dragged me to a friend's house for dinner - which kept us there until about 11pm. I think he is once again reminding me of our deal that I ave the sermon done by friday, so that we can enjoy our time with one another and our family and our friends on my "day off." I really do need to figure out a better respect for boundaries!!!

    Anywho, I'm happily working along on this sermon about weddings and the wedding garment. I think another half an hour and I should be about done.

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  88. I can relate, katie. I appreciate what it's like for me and my husband when things are done before Saturday, but unfortunately I don't always remember how much during the week. It's 1:23 am, and after a long struggle with this sermon, I have more than enough to go to bed with. Uhhh...go to bed with it written I guess I mean. It's not in complete sentences yet, but my "outline" has 741 words, so I think it's time to call it quits, sleep for a couple hours, then fill in the blanks. It's shaping up pretty well, I think. Thanks be to God. I feel like the Spirit and I have been wrestling over this one, and I love the blessing that delivers every time, even if it means no sleep!!!!

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  89. Back and just about done. I think, for once, I might actually get to go back to bed like I always say I will. Even just for 30 minutes if I can retype my super-fleshed-out outline really quickly!

    Good morning! Happy preaching!

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  90. Good morning everyone! as it is said, let's get up and walk those dogs!

    prayers for your day...

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  91. Done. Posted. It's more than a little long, but I like it, so it's staying that way. I'll pray short. Life will go on.

    Preach on, friends.

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