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Saturday, October 04, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Vineyard Edition


Good morning, gals and pals! This morning we're bearing fruit (or not), sharing what we've grown (or not), becoming the people God has called us to be (or not). In my neck of the woods, the chill of autumn has begun, the leaves are beginning to turn, and apples call to be plucked from local orchards. I'm just about expecting to see some plump pumpkins, too.

This weekend's readings are here. There are images of vineyards and fruit; sweet and bitter grapes; there's a building block rejected and an upward call. Where are the stories and the images taking you today? Are you already putting the finishing touches on this week's message? (If not, don't gloat too much!) Or are you staring at a blank page? What else is going on in your church this weekend?

I have my usual fair trade coffee (toffee caramel today) or Good Earth tea, plus huge apple crumb muffins (guaranteed no calories). I have some plums and bananas as well. And tables and chairs, and napkins and placemats. Stop in for awhile. The door is always open.

P.S. As yesterday's Friday Five mentioned, today is October 4, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. A special welcome to any dog, cat, bird, fish, horse, etc. friends who stop in today.

120 comments:

  1. huh. nobody at the party yet. hope I don't have to eat all the muffins myself!

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  2. well I'm here now... I'll take a cup og that coffee with a serious dose of inspiration...please!!!

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  3. great! I thought I was going to have to spend the day alone with my sermon..

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  4. are you preaching on Matthew Diane?

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  5. yes, on the vineyard, although I have a little over a page, and I'm not happy with it.

    I want to call my sermon "The Center for Changing Lives" after a building that Lutheran Social Service is building in my city.

    The building will host a number of different social services for families, children, youth, refugees, etc. and a congregation will worship there, too.

    Think of it as a vineyard.

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  6. what are you preaching on, Sally?

    My problem is that I have too many thoughts swirling around in my head, and they aren't organized?

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  7. Molly and Sam appreciate the mention of St. Francis! They are out for a final walk with my husband before he leaves for six weeks or so to work out of state. I am working on a sermon using Philippians with a glancing reference to Exodus. I'm to reflect on the series of cottage meeting held over the past three months, and I am happy to have these texts, which happen to fit well. But the sermon will of necessity be fierce, or fierce by my standards, and I must admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable with preaching that way.

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  8. My kitty says hello.

    I'm up and at em' with the sermon. I think I'll preach on the ten commandments. My cat wants to help but she has issues with the first commandment. She thinks she's God.

    Anyone up for some omelets.

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  9. Hello. I offer corn on the cob with lashings of butter and home made bread. It is past lunch time here. I'm preaching on 'Christ is our cornerstone' and am taking a HUGE risk with the children's talk/slot which is likely to get me in big trouble. I've bought some lottery scratch cards, (someone is bound to accuse me of teaching the children to gamble, or that the cards are evil)to help us think about making choices- the ticket is a worthless piece of card unless we send it in to get our winnings. The advertising slogan over here is 'you've got to be in it to win it.' God has a great gift which he longs for us to enjoy. He wants us to be winners but unless we choose to turn to God, make Jesus our cornerstone and take him up on his offer and do something about it we will have no chance of winning. BUT we have to choose good instead of evil etc.....
    I've made some home made cards with our baptismal promises on them; Do you turn to Christ? Do you turn your back on evil?
    I'm not sure what I'll do if one of the cards is a big win but then maybe God has a great sense of humour.

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  10. I am preaching on Matthew, and have a rough draft here, I've looked at both St Francis and World Communion Sunday too, not sure if I've stretched things too far...


    Molly and Sam be blessed tomorrow.

    Thanks to everyone who have prayed for my son Paul btw, it looks like he'll be OK!

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  11. Brave indeed Sarah, but it makes a point, do we pray for no big wins....

    that corn on the cob sounds great!!!

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  12. Libby the puppy here
    My mum isn't preaching tomorrow because I AM!
    I'm coming to church and I get to stand at the front and wag my tail and show them what unconditional love looks like...I don't know if I'll get to lick everyone at the church door because my mum says she will have to leave in a hurry because FabBishop is coming to see me as well.
    I'm very excited...I've been bouncing around in my mum's study and making my mark on the white scrunchy things on the floor and my mum says she despairs...but she's laughing so I guess I can just lick it better.
    Would you like some licks too?
    They are great for preachers.

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  13. Tanner is upstairs lying in front of the bedroom door waiting for Mister to come out and play.

    I am heading out the door to be the presenter at the PW fall gathering, then coming home to write (Matthew), then helping WG get ready for Homecoming, then collapsing. Hopefully in that order.

    I'll be back in a few hours!

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  14. so is Libby preaching Kathyrn????

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  15. I mean't what on??? obviously love, how could I be so dim???

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  16. Chase the golden retriever says "Good morning!"
    Great ideas are flowing here!
    I have apple sinnamon mufins and Zen Tazo tea to share.

    Seminary president preaching where I serve tomorrow, so no sermon for me. However, a communion preparation class for the littles, and some last-minute touches on the leadership breakfast we're having for everyone who has ever been ordained will keep me hopping today.
    Blessings, two- and more- footed creatures and preachers!

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  17. Josie and Boudreaux dictate: We just had baths so we would be beautiful for the Blessing of the Animals later today.

    We don't remember St. Francis giving anyone any baths, except maybe lepers. We are not lepers!

    We have FAKE BACON DOG TREATS to share! Mom has some Café Justo coffee she will pour also, if you like that sort of thing. And apple crumble she made for Dad.

    Go, preachers!

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  18. I have some strawberries to offer. Not very PC, since they traveled from California to Tennessee. I'm doing the 10 Commandments: as liberation. I thought I was being original, but then I found a piece by Tom Long on with the same idea. So much for orginality. Draft is done. I'm off to swim this morning.

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  19. Great stuff everyone! what a spread! it's cold here! no heat on yet....

    still struggling with my sermon, but hoping to get at it soon. I also want to bring in a big worship and public meeting we are invited too next week, and that's part of the challenge. how not to make that sound like a commercial.

    and also, thinking a lot about the Natural Church Development assessment that what we are lowest in as a congregation is "passionate spirituality." egad.

    what does this say about us???

    thinking what songbird said about being fierce.

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  20. joan -- I do think that the fact you thought of it before you saw Tom Long counts for SOMETHING

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  21. diane, I am also stuck with too many thoughts about direction and nothing really on paper. I've also been sick all week and have no inspiration or items to offer except some Lemsip and honey...and my dog would love for someone to play ball:)
    Sunday is our Stewardship Sunday where people present their pledges on the altar - this is the first time I have preached such a day - and I'm trying to figure out how to connect the gospel (bear fruit or be cast out of the kingdom, you wretched people) with giving out of gratitude from the gifts we have been given....

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  22. I'm still stuck and staring at a blank page.

    I have been planning on using Matthew, but I also really want to focus on it being World Communion Sunday and making those connections has been frustrating for me.

    Are any of you making that connection? In what ways?

    Oh, and my kitties Tiki and Turbo say hello.

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  23. In honor of St. Francis' Feast Day, I greet you all with the names of the four-legged ones who keep me company ( along with all you revgals...thank you!) every Saturday as I struggle to write a sermon: Callie, Doogie,Rio,Harley,Vida,PoohBear, Bandit,Bailey,CJ, Brutus,Scottie,Micah,Zeke,Leah,Rachel,Olive,Sadie, and Georgie!!! Can you guess that I am an animal rescue person? It seems that the "least of these" that God puts in my path are usually of the 4-legged variety. (anybody want a kitten?) As for a sermon, ugh, very busy week,and while I will most likly preach on the Matthew text, I am uncomfortable with all that violence etc. in the vineyard.

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  24. In case you need a brak from sermonizing, don't forget the RevGals Trivia Contest! Today's questions are on the easy side. ANd apparently breastfeeding is technology...

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  25. texasrancher - one piece I read this week talked about stewardship in relation to the vineyard. As the tenants, we are expected to care for the vineyard and to bear fruit. I would think that would mean that we have to make the investment into the care of the ground and things to make the vineyard grow even better.

    Not much direction here as of yet. I'd planned on just using Exodus, but, based on the Bible study earlier this week, the folks are counting on a sermon on the gospel. So I'm here trying to tie together the 10 C's, the vineyard, and World Communion Sunday, with a side of righteousness a la Paul.

    I should have had all this done by now, but family illness intervened on Thursday.

    Our usual Saturday morning biscuits and gravy to share if anyone wants some.

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  26. Newman the Catahoula says hi to all of the revgal dog pals. We will be doing a blessing of the animalas for the first time, but to do alot of stuff going on tomorrow at church I decided we'd have it Oct. 29 - Reformation Sunday.

    Well, other than editing and tightening, my sermon is done. I'm preaching through Acts, and tomorrow is Acts 3 - the healing of the lame man outside the Temple.

    But no gloating here. I leave tomorrow afternoon for a week of reading ordination exams and a few days of study leave, so today is cleaning, laundry, ironing, packing, making the Texas Sheet Cake (aka Grace Cake), and finishing preparing for our ministry area kick-off tomorrow. Lots to do between now and tomorrow morning! And for some reason, I always get nervous and tense before I leave for a trip, so there's that too.

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  27. I finally stopped procrastinating about getting out of bed. My kitties were ready to play a long time ago and are very disappointed that I got up and put the computer on my lap instead of them. sigh.

    Anyway, I borrowed the 10 commandments a month ago for kick off Sunday (also a communion Sunday) so if anyone needs that, it's here. I won't claim it as inspiration, but there you go. I too found the Tom Long thing and ended up sticking in a little bit of a paraphrase.

    This week, though, I'm full on World-Communion Sunday and am preaching on Isaiah 55 (borrowed from a day in July, when I went with the gospel so I could save this...). I don't have the slightest idea where this is going. not even a little. Do I go with "come everyone...why do you spend your money for that which is not bread?" or "my thoughts are higher than your thoughts" or "you shall go out with joy" or some other part? Unknown...sigh. Dear Holy Spirit: please speak sooner rather than later. I also need to clean my house and do laundry today, as I'm leaving town for a few days after the CROP walk (after worship tomorrow) and someone will likely need to come in and feed the kitties.

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  28. Good morning preachers and pals,

    I'm way off lectionary with Deuteronomy 6--its the first day of Sunday School. I reminding the congregation of the promises they make the baptism of a child that they are to assist in raising them in the faith. I need to come up with a good children's sermon as there should be more kids than usual.

    It is COLD here in Ruralville. Hard frost last night. I went running this morning with a guest at the retreat center and my nose got most chilly. But it is so crisp and beautiful. I love fall.

    I'll be checking in and writing later in the day.

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  29. Still exegeting.

    That sounded disgusting now didn't it. :)

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  30. Momcat and Daughtercat send their best St. Francis greetings!

    I'm looking at Phillipians nad Exodus, with a glance at World Communion Sunday...pretty ambitious, considering I don't have a word on the page--er, screen.

    I'm trying to get a start here at SH's, then back to River City for tea with a friend...oh, and I still have to put the bulletin together for tomorrow...

    Good thing I slept 12 hours last night, because it's not happening tonight!

    I have everything bagels and cream cheese to offer...

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  31. I can't get much going today. I may be force to speak extemp tomorrow. I am doing Isaiah and Matt, but not sure what to do with it.

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  32. putting my fingers to the keys NOW. need to have something by five.

    such a good idea. why can't I make it work????

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  33. Truffle and Ouzo here. Best wishes to all of the "Friends of St. Frank" out there. Four-footed, finned, or winged, you are all loved.

    Our Mom is taking it easy today, but next week she will be visiting all of you for LOTS of help and advice. She will be getting ready to preach for the first time in six long months. We're not sure, but we hear that is a long time. We think it is a long time from breakfast until Greenie time (in the afternoon).

    Peace of the paw to all of you.

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  34. Tiria sends a yawn, Henry is sharing his catnip mouse, and Polgara watches all from the snuggly blanket on the couch. We don't have the heat on yet, and her "old bones" like warm places!

    I am working on a 2 page (only) essay on the ways that the Rule of St. Benedict might be informative into present church culture...

    Reedy Girl is making brownies and fresh cinnamon rolls for a newcomer reception, and says she will send over a plate. Beloved Bearded Spouse just made organic green tea with fresh mint from the back yard.

    Enjoy!

    Deb

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  35. I think what I'm stuck on is whether I tackle the difficulty of the Matthew text and talk about bearing fruit... or if I talk about the decalogue and talk about how these are supposed to help us live together and be faithful and so we need to remember them in this global community.

    hmm...

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  36. The kitties here send their hellos and annoyances that much like at Teri's, I have a laptop in my lap and not a kitty. I preach for the first time today since my injury, so it is 10 commandments, welcome back, death of a patriarch (since someone else was asked to do the funeral), and world communion all rolled into one "how long can she stand" sermon. But the scripture is on the top of the page, and i have leftover spaghetti squash with chili on it to share (mmmm...., I promise!), and since I don't see Songbird here yet, I'll offer up the first round of Diet Coke.

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  37. The kitties here send their hellos and annoyances that much like at Teri's, I have a laptop in my lap and not a kitty. I preach for the first time today since my injury, so it is 10 commandments, welcome back, death of a patriarch (since someone else was asked to do the funeral), and world communion all rolled into one "how long can she stand" sermon. But the scripture is on the top of the page, and i have leftover spaghetti squash with chili on it to share (mmmm...., I promise!), and since it is now lunchtime, I'l offer the first round of Diet Coke.

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  38. welcome to you, your kitty and your diet coke, Knittinpreacher. thanks for the refreshments.

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  39. Just got back from a BBQ picnic, here's a bunch of ribs for you all. Also brought some beans, thought we could have some music to follow. ;)

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  40. Okay... I've been inspired to completely change some things around.

    I'm going with the 10 Commandments using an idea from Karl Barth via David Gill that “the law is the form of the Gospel, and the Gospel of grace is the content of the law.”

    He uses the example of a coffee cup (the law) without the coffee (the grace) being empty. But I'm going to use the communion cup and the juice that fills it.

    I'm also going to be pulling in for the form of the service Dean McIntyre's Hymn Festival for Holy Communion. Lucky for me, bulletins haven't been printed yet and my organist hasn't yet recieved hymn suggestions... i gave her a list, but said i didn't yet know what direction we would be taking... and her response "I've played all of these.. we're good."

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  41. If you are looking for backgroud on the tenants, try this link I found thru textweek. It's been very helpful to me, now for a conclusion I can stomach.

    http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=28

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  42. What? You Kittiehs don't know how to get between the laptop and your Momma? You nudge right on in.
    Melech
    Did somebody say Catnip? We love St. Francis!!!
    Mugsy
    I am working on Gospel text...just last night I discovered the article in Xian Century (9/23) about text...nice thought on the vineyard being under new mangagement and the need for us to take role as steward seriously (in world where owning is so valued).
    Funny story...my mom has a garden statue of Saint F of A,
    the head broke off and is now held in the bird seed holder/ plate.
    He is renamed John the B!

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  43. For all of you chilly preachers, we'll share the 90+ degrees we're expecting here today. We've had it all week, so there's plenty to go around.

    Some leftover fish (I just made some tacos, yum); other than that the cupboard is bare around here.

    Oh, sermon. Right. Ten Commandments, and like several others, I'm trying to talk about how they are liberating rather than restricting. I've gotten stuck on the "no murder, no adultery, no stealing" set. And, as usual, stuck on the children's sermon.

    No animals to greet St. Francis today, sadly. We have some lizards in the back yard and lots of butterflies, though. Does that count?

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  44. okay, I've had a nap during which I meditated on both "delight yourselves in rich food" and "why do you spend your money for that which is not bread?" I still have no ideas but I know they must be in there somewhere.

    And I have Quorn "Chik'n Nuggets" (not chicken...also not soy...and not for anyone with wheat allergies, but super good!) with homemade honey mustard dipping sauce.

    Wishing I had dr. pepper....

    after lunch I'm vacuuming while meditating further on "you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you." That sounds appropriate for vacuuming, right? hmm...

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  45. gord, your breastfeeding teaser is enough to get me over there. In my experience it can take a bit of technology. I should turn in my nursing mother badge if I get that one wrong. I've used just about everything you can use to do it!

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  46. For a variety of reasons, I've never had anything to share with all of you...but...today I do! I've posted my service of "Blessing of the Animals"on my blog if anyone is working on that and wants to use any of it,help yourselves.
    I've also got WW 7-point veggie/turkey casserole and iced tea to share for lunch.

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  47. 1-4 - - I'm so glad you mentioned that Christian Century. It is the only issue I haven't been able to find around here, and of course the lectionary aids are for today. I'm looking for SOMETHING to help me with my Exo stuff. You have calmed my crisis by telling me there isn't help for me there anyway!

    Katie z - the Karl Barth/David Gill piece is PERFECT for me. LOVE it. VERY MUCH LOVE the move to the communion cup. Might I borrow your brilliance?

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  48. Checking in while The Boy naps... although I think a shower for me may be next, rather than actually putting words to paper.

    Earlier in the week I read next week's Philippians (Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice... etc...) and I immediately thought of those words as the backdrop for this past week's news.

    So the sermon title is: God's Bailout Plan and we will end with the ultimate sweetner to the package - Dinner at the Lord's Table.

    Yes. I got out of the vineyard.
    I considered the mistaken reading to be a sign from God... my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Is there a muffin left over?

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  49. What a lovely gathering of preachers and animals! Patches is stretched out in the sun on the kitchen floor, having heard me say that this is likely to be the last sunny day for a while.

    Diane, "passionate spirituality" was our lowest too! Not good.

    Libby gets to come to church! Cool!

    It is beautiful here today. I'm soaking it up while I can.

    I had six ladies over for breakfast this a.m. It was a lovely start to the day. Then I headed over to church for some tweaking of sermon and other odds and ends. For once, I'm done early, and it is posted here.

    It is too long, and I don't know what to do. Comments and suggestions always welcome.

    I am spending the afternoon cleaning. I'll be back later to cheer you all on.

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  50. Aha! I think I have found the beginning of my sermon. In celebration I bring Frostys from Wendy's - a good ole comfort bad for you fast food treat.

    I'm connecting the 10 commandments with the Lord's Supper - both being community forming and marking. And I've got that always challenging beginning:

    “Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheynu melech ha’olam, kidshanu b’mitzvotav”

    At the Passover, we begin with prayers praising God who made the people holy via the commandments. There's something in that for my sermon!

    Thank goodness because otherwise, it could have gotten ugly!

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  51. well, I'm just about to go and practice a sermon I DO NOT LIKE, and that is disheartening. I really thought I had a good premise, (still do), the Center for Changing Lives, but somehow something is missing, not pushing through.

    HELP! after all these years, you'd think I'd be better at this....

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  52. I'm back from P-Dubs. It was lovely, and the bonus was jello salad at lunch. LOL! (There's always room for jello.)

    We lost a saint of the church today, which I learned when I checked my voice mail after lunch, so my week is now officially fakakta. No, that's not the f-word.

    Words written=0.

    I have a gaggle of girls in my house preparing for the dance, so I'm a little distracted from sermonating. And it's World Comm Sunday, and the EP will be there, and if I don't at least hit a single I will be known forever by him as a one trick pony.

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  53. cheesehead, I really like the word fakakta - have no idea what it means - but just saying it aloud seems to embody much.

    I think I finally have a direction (thanks for the helpful hint kim in kck). I'm thinking of contrasting the 3-G's that cause us to get in the way of bearing fruits to God: Greed (the need to own things and not be tenants), Guilt, and Grumblings (plenty of those this week) - with the 3-G's that lead us to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God: Grace (the vineyard was not destroyed and we still have the chance to be faithful), Gratitude, and Generosity (the response to the first two that reminds us who and whose we are). We'll see if I can actually get it to make sense on paper and preach in less than 12 minutes!

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  54. I'm feeling a bit stuck in the vineyard this week. I'm toying with the question in the parable, "What will he (the vineyard owner) do to those tenants?" There's some grace there, I'm sure, just need to find it.

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  55. You are very welcome, texasrancher, happy to help. As a matter of fact, your 3-G's may have gotten me over a hump in mine as well.

    Cornbread and milk (one of my favorite comfort foods!) anyone?

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  56. Update...
    My Gamecocks are winning...
    bread is baking for tomorrow in the bread machine(pumpernockel)...
    Bahian shrimp has been cooked for international luncheon tomorrow and no, my communion meditation is not done!
    Oh, and I cannot find teh rice I bought for the shrimp this week,...
    looks like i will be running to the grocery today!
    I will try to post a picture of the table and communion set up for tomorrow. It should be cool

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  57. Bother...I'd forgotten taht as well as the Pet Service (guest preacher Ms Libby Fleming) and the Church on the Hill's Harvest Festival (guest preacher, FabBishop himself) there is the small matter of the 8.00 Eucharist...guest preacher? Alas, no guests available so it's me, the vicar herself.
    And I'd not thought about it at all
    Philippians I guess...the losses of the week...Do we put our faith where we claim to? Would we have the courage to consign all the things we've struggled to achieve into one black bin bag?
    Time is pressing here, so there are some choc chip brownies from the Fair Trade stall to inspire creativity...but goodness, today has been a struggle!

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  58. I started writing my sermon, hated it. Saved it on the 'puter and took a nap. Nothing came. My kitteh is sitting on my desk glaring at my open bible.

    sigh....

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  59. The Boy is up and so sermon and computer shall be docked until after bedtime.

    Hope everyone is feeling the spirit. My hope is to finish post bedtime, pre-SNL opening.

    Peace, friends.

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  60. I'm late to the party this week. But, in honour of St Francis, I've been engaged in some rescue work. check it out Tomorrow, we're off lectionary in order to celebrate harvest thanksgiving. Have coffee and some home made gingerbread that my organist made - a man of many talents!

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  61. Here is the setup for tomorrow. I really love the juice trays
    http://wwwfrogblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/world-communion-sunday.html
    Peace to all,
    1-4 G

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  62. no sermon here. I have a few words, and was going to start by asking the congregation to name the 10 commandments, but then can't get from the gimmick to sermon. too many events on the same day - -1st day back, word communion, death of a saint (funeral monday), town festival.

    I'll go contemplate some more. Anyone who wants to clean can come here!

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  63. KP,
    There is a video...maybe on youtube where folks aren't able to name all ten...most remember the adultrey one.

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  64. okay, I vacuumed. I still need to clean bathrooms and kitchen but first I need to at least pretend like I'm writing a sermon! here I go...no, for real...no, really...

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  65. I have chili bubbling in the crock pot, along with chopped jalapenos, chopped onion, grated cheese, and sour cream to add as you wish (I could even cook some spaghetti for those who want Cincinnati style). Help yourself, or I'll be eating chili for the next week and a half.

    Russell and Liza (cats) and Sadie (10-week old puppy) wish that they could go to church tomorrow! In the meantime, they're plotting to swipe the sour cream and grated cheese to offer to the furry crowd.

    As to sermon ideas... well... oh, look! A bird!

    The thing that has been playing in my mind all week is the contrast between removing the hedge and letting the vineyard go back to brier and thorns (Isaiah 5) vs. our Herculean efforts to "bail out" our economic system. That's made more vivid because the book I've just begun to read is The World Without Us, a study of what would happen to the things we've built if humans were suddenly no longer here.

    Now as to what all that has to do with a sermon... oh, look! Another bird!

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  66. Ok, I think I have a good beginning. 737 words thus far

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  67. okay seriously. I am about to clean bathrooms instead of write. and I'm getting hungry so I need to cook dinner, so I might as well clean the kitchen too.

    And I posted photos of our journey through exodus sanctuary art (promised a long time ago, I know I know).

    Writing? Not so much. sigh. the cubs game (which I can't watch because I don't have TV) starts in just over 3 hours. I can't imagine I'll be getting lots of work done then either, checking the game online every 10 minutes.

    food calls...

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  68. oh, right, if you too want to procrastinate by seeing what we did with our worship environment through exodus, check it out.

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  69. The fall festival at camp was today, so that's where I spent the afternoon. What a beautiful day!

    I should be preaching on vineyards, because there are vineyards all over the place here...and now that it's almost time to harvest the grapes, it smells FABULOUS everywhere.

    But no, I'm forging ahead through Exodus. I remember reading Teri's sermon a month ago and making a mental note to come back to it today, so that's next. But it's definitely time to get going on something before it's too late.

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  70. hi, I'm back. one down, three to go. might need some revision. no really.

    I like your title Will Smama. God's bailout. wish I was doing that.

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  71. oh, and Barbara, I'd like some of that chili, please.

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  72. Hmm, actually done. Anyone interested in reading (it's not my best, but it's done so that counts for something) I've done gone and posted it.

    Teri, excellent distracting techniques. I've been watching mindless tv at a friend's - nothing as productive as yours!

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  73. I put the text on the page. Does that count as starting?

    I'm having a very hard time getting started here. I know that once I have a first paragraph the rest will come, but for some reason that first paragraph doesn't want to come out onto the screen. I've now vacuumed, made dinner (it's in the oven, and no it's not frozen pizza), and started the laundry. I haven't even contemplated what I might pack for three days with my grandparents yet...I may leave late tomorrow in order to pack post CROP walk. sigh.

    Did anyone preach on Isaiah 55 when it came up this summer? I need a spark.

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  74. Hi Gals,
    I'm here. Back from a workshop, and trying to figure out a day that has too many things in it tomorrow:
    class before church
    church
    meeting after church
    pick up dear lady
    go to nursing home for worship
    return dear lady
    drive half an hour to an ordination
    ordination and festivities
    attend friend's concert

    Hmm, something is going to have to give I think. But in the meantime, contemplating my schedule is a MAJOR distraction from the business of trying to sermon write.

    Off to make some phone calls....

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  75. Well I got sermon titles and hymns set from now until Reign of Christ...

    Sermon, well luckily I was in good shape on TUesday. Luckily it needs to be short. Unluckily I am in roughly the same place I was on Tuesday.

    Maybe a nice warm bath will help focus my thoughts.

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  76. Hey, does anyone know anythign about
    Roger B Nichols (I think Episcopalian) who wrote a book called Dare We Obey: A Contemporary Look at the 10 Commandments in 1968 which ROCKS. Found it this week cleaning out the church library....

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  77. Boy in bed, meditation coming along well enough not to panic.
    Would love some chili... but really want the cornbread.

    Next week is my high school reunion and then I can eat again - YEAH!!!

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  78. Katie Z I love it! Not only does it tie the Exodus reading with World Communion Sunday, but I can also use it to bring in the birthday of my denomination (because law without grace is used against the marginalised) and the Phillipians passge--it is through grace that we leave behind the old regrets etc. ad press on the goal...or something like that.
    Had a great time over coffee with my friend this afternoon--and just as we were thinking of leaving, two more of our friends showed up and allowed us to procrastinate even longer!
    But trying to at least get an out line down on paper now...if I have to I can write it tomorrow...the benefit of a 1:30 service!
    Beef pot roast anyone?

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  79. LOL about your reunion diet, WS. I did NOT do that, and looking at the pix I really wished I had. So it will be worth it :)

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  80. Great pictures Teri!
    So totally cool amd impressive work from the worship committee ( I presume).

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  81. so I am watching CSI:MIami (with a camei by Misty May and Keri Walsh - ugh!) and posting what I have for tomorrow. Not sure I like it, not sure about the ending, but it is done. I figure if it starts to go really badly I can pretend to fall down on my ankle or something :)

    http://knittinpreacher.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/its-been-a-while/

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  82. Thanks Juniper. The good news for me was that it was more of a Reunion Don't Blow it than a Reunion Diet. i just had to maintain adn with illness and life keeping me from the gym that meant downscaling on basically anything yummy.

    I plan to eat my weight in appetizers one week from right now!!!

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  83. Well, I hit a burst of energy late afternoon/early evening.

    Here it is.

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  84. cheese - send some of that energy this way, please

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  85. Hey, y'all~
    I wrote my sermon last night, since I wanted today free to spend with my husband (who left at 5:15 p.m.). I'm not going to post this one, as it is very particular to the church I'm serving. It's very, very direct. I pray it will be received and heard.
    Bless all of you as you preach tomorrow.

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  86. Blessings and prayers on the direct sermon, SB! May go as God designs...

    I've got the special liturgy for World Communion SUnday done, prayers etc. together, and a bunch of notes.

    No sermon, but with eyes and brain both fuzzing, I think it's a better idea to fold the laundry and then crawl into bed with The Golden Compass--I have tons of notes and a clear direction now.

    Blessings on all preaching and leading worship tomorrow!

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  87. Oh Songbird! I'll be praying for you tomorrow.

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  88. Songbird, I'll be thinking of you and praying for you and the church in the a.m. G'night all. I'm turning in early and getting up early to try to shorten the sermon a bit.

    See you in the morning.

    There sure is a lot of pet hair in the room this evening.

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  89. hey. I'm back. i'll be praying for you songbird. in your fierceness.

    I feel like I need to tweak a couple of places in the sermon, which I feel had the potential to be very powerful, but didn't quite make it.

    however, I'm very tired.

    part of it is to be an invitation to a big event, ecumenical social justice event next week. the organization is one that is pretty controversial. we've gotten people to go in the past, and I've always liked it, but the others in the congregation have had mixed feelings.

    I also don't want to make it sound like, this is the only thing to do if you want to be a Christian. argh.

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  90. she rev - you can totally borrow my idea!!!

    sorry I didn't get back to you sooner - I had a family wedding to go to this afternoon and now I'm back to the grindstone.

    tasks left to complete:
    1) liturgy for tomorrow, and bulletin creation
    2) sermon

    then tomorrow morning
    1) print bulletins
    2) teach confirmation
    3) worship
    4) new member class
    5) family get together.

    ack! so little time...

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  91. kz - I hear ya!

    hey, I'm half way done. I like where I"m heading, although I'm taking a turn that is not going to lead me at all to the ending I originally had in mind.

    Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing yourself out of the woods...

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  92. ok, gotta go again for a while, boys are home from their haircuts and we have a yahtzee appointment.

    back later.....

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  93. Well in the tub I started getting some ideas for a sermon -- next week's sermon

    I am wanting to write verses to Dayenu for Thanksgiving. ANy ideas about what to write please feel free to comment at my place

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  94. I'm going to bed. I just can't stand to look at it or fix it right now. Hoping for inspiration in the A.M. early enough.

    oh, yes please pray that it doesn't rain for the Animal blessing tomorrow.

    Also, I will have a funeral next week.

    I will be back once more to check in before bed.

    more coffee? tea? wine? whine?

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  95. Um. Having trouble moving from outline to actually writing. Ugh.

    Tempting to give in to multiple procrastination options, including those that feel productive such as working on next Sunday's bulletin.

    Katie Z and Teri, I'm finding what you both brought to the table to be very helpful indeed. So thank you!

    I have those fudgy no-bake cookies handy if anyone needs a snack.

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  96. there is just whining right now... from my husband who wanted to spend the evening with me - instead of having me stuck behind this computer. must finish sooner!!!

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  97. Putting the finishing touches on my sermon. Then off to bed. Good night fellow preachers.

    Peace and love,

    ps. my kitteh is sitting on my mousepad, taking up enough room to not let me use my mouse.

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  98. SB-
    Prayers for the direct sermon to go well...
    prayers for all who teach, preach, lead, etc.
    Katie Z-
    I am just guessing this was not a Big Redneck Wedding...if you have not seen this show on CMT, you so need to watch it.
    And much as I hate to admit it, my first wedding/reaffirmation of vows, was pretty close to the one tonight...minus the mud bogging and the rebel flag groom's cake.
    These are real folks, y'all!
    My sermonette is not there yet...of course, I haven't stayed on it today and the afternoon nap did nto help.
    Okay, soon to be done, SNL will be on before long.

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  99. good night and blessings, preachers!

    there's some crackers and cheese around here for those of you who are still up.

    just don't let the dogs get 'em, ok?

    (my dog ate 1 1/2 donuts tonight in honor of st. Francis)

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  100. okay, I wrote something.

    The Cubs are behind 2-0 in the bottom of the 3rd. If they lose tonight, I may need to do a complete re-write because if I don't mention them, I'll probably lose my job. If they hang on to play another day, then I can probably get away with what I have now.

    I have popsicles in case anyone needs one. And tea. I'm having both--you know, cold and hot. it goes along with the rich feast theme of my "sermon"!!

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  101. Teri, hope your wrote an addendum for tomorrow, it doesn't look good in the 5th.
    I'm done the sermon, jr hi ss, worship pieces, and outline for youth worship tomorrow evening. Have only my main topic for sr high tomorrow night to do during tomorrow's football game after church with friends coming over.
    off to bed, night all, i'll put coffee on for tomorrow.

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  102. I just got home from a long day of church women meetings, a home visit with a dying parishioner, and a BIG fall church BBQ and western swing band dance....

    thankfully in between all of these events I stopped home long and wrote my tiny little homily (all 446 words) - yeah...

    it's tiny because we are having a blessing of the animals in church at both services and, well, I know that when the lovely pets are there worship is a version of holy chaos, ergo the shorter the sermon the better...

    blessings on all of you...

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  103. bulletin and liturgy are done!

    which means I only have the sermonette to finish writing.

    and I'm so glad that some of you are finding my many rambling searchings this morning to be helpful!!!

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  104. I haven't been posting much today, but I've been reading right along with the rest of you.

    It's a hopping party tonight!! Fall is here, isn't it?

    We celebrated in our family with a WONDERFUL trip to an orchard - - pick our own 20 lb bag of apples, and 3 little pumpkins to paint (the kids are too small to carve). After naps we hit the local toy store to spend LadyPrincess's $50 gift card she won as 1st prize in their scarecrow making contest. Some things for her, some things for her soon-to-be 5 year old cousin's birthday, some left on the card to spend on her Christmas present (what she doesn't know, won't hurt her). The evening was spent at the German Heritage Society's barn dance, held in the barn of church members. Fun!

    I've watched football - - GREAT JOB VANDY! - - the start of SNL, messed around on Facebook, and mostly written a sermon (teri, with hers from last week, katie z, and amy - - we are all on a wavelength together!!! I believe 3 of the 4 of us shared seminary professors and a good friend).

    I haven't done anything on my Adult Ed offering for tomorrow, but I'm feeling that one more as a wing it discussion facilitating instead of a lecture-y teaching time. The topic: Why is it important for Christians to learn about world religions? I think I'll open it up for input and vamp on a few I have already thought about myself as we get the discussion going. Not too hard.

    Anyway, I think I'm signing off tonight. I might even beat my husband to bed on a Saturday night, and just wake up at 5:00 a.m. instead of the usual 3:30 or 4:00. Woo hoo!!!!

    Oh yeah - - my husband "put up" some apple pie filling tonight. We've got more to make and applesauce to start tomorrow. Remind me at next week's party because I know I'll forget to share!

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  105. mompriest, you are busy. it sounds like a spiritually full day.

    I finally started writing...am borrowing heavily from Dan Erlander's retelling of Exodus in Manna and Mercy. But at least I'm writing something!

    Like Teri, I also made tea for those of us still working.

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  106. okay, I've stayed up so late (obsessively checking to see if there are comments on my sermon and to see the Cubs score) that now I'm hungry again. (sigh)

    I'm making a snack of some kind...probably tea and toast. Anyone else who's up too late want some?

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  107. yes, please on the tea and toast offer. teri - i'm waiting to check yours til i'm done with mine....soon, i hope :)

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  108. the cubs lost. oh dear. I am in need of some sermon words for this heartbreak...looks like I'm not off to bed quite yet. Or maybe I should think about them while I sleep and edit in the morning. In any case--tea and toast to go around! I have different kinds of jam too--boysenberry, raspberry, blackberry...I have honey, I have butter and cinnamon sugar...anything you like!

    I'm having vanilla caramel tea and cinnamon raisin toast. yum. comfort in the midst of the loss. And then going to bed to obsessively check comments in the morning.

    (sigh) poor cubbies and fans...we had such an exciting season!

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  109. I know many many hearts that are breaking tonight for the same reason... although some of my cubbie friend fans are also my vanderbilt divinity fans who are still in shock over the 'dores win tonight... so I guess they might be okay.

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  110. Tea and toast sounds delightful, Teri! And yikes...how do you preach words of comfort for matters of community like the Cubs losing? I'd be tempted to relegate it to the announcements, but maybe that won't fly in your neck of the woods.

    Despite the caffeine in my tea here, I am starting to fade, and I'm out of items on my outline. The only problem is that the sermon still doesn't seem to be finished. *yawn*

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  111. I think I'm finished... I'll go over it all again with a fine toothed comb in the morning.

    My prayers are with you all - both as you finish up this evening and for those of you who will be rising again soon!

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  112. I think I'm finished... I'll go over it all again with a fine toothed comb in the morning.

    My prayers are with you all - both as you finish up this evening and for those of you who will be rising again soon!

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  113. I think I'm finished too...a little rambly at the end, but it'll do.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation tomorrow!

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  114. Back to finish this puppy up. (Hee hee, my only St. Francis reference so far!)

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  115. You are not alone, SheRev. I had set the alarm for 5:45, but woke up at 4:45. Debated sleeping on in until the alarm, but couldn't get back to sleep. I just need to tie it all together at this point. I still may be able to go back to bed for a few minutes.
    Back to work, now.

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  116. I'm up, I'm up, I am putting my sermon in manuscript form and wrote the children's sermon on the ten commandments this morning.

    Can anyone tell me how I can explain adultery to the little childrens.

    I bring coffee to this early morning party.

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  117. I never did get back to the party yesterday. Life got in the way, but it was good. It was also a late night of sermon writing.

    preach God's word faithfully everyone!

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  118. the Cubs in the announcements?????? Oh no, that won't fly here at all. If there were joys and concerns today, I could potentially leave them there, but since it's a communion Sunday we don't share joys and concerns (bizarre, I know, but has to do with time). So they have to get a mention. It's practically a national tragedy, we had so much communal hope and expectation. 100 years!!!

    Now how to fit that in...

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  119. so sad about the cubs :(
    praying for all of your sundays.

    breath of the holy dove to all of you...

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