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Saturday, November 22, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Royal Edition

For some of us, tomorrow is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the Church year. It's also the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and I hear some of us will be preaching a Thanksgiving sermon on this day. I'm also thinking: yikes! We're traveling to Chicago to visit relatives this week, and by this time next Saturday, I will be deeply contemplating the mysteries of Advent: waiting, watching, wondering, worshiping.

Somehow, this week, I can't get the images of a local artist out of my mind. Her name is Kristie Bretzke, and she has painted portraits of homeless men, women, and children, and donated the proceeds earned to charity. I also can't get the words of local poet Julia Dinsmore out of my mind:

My Name is Not "Those People"
My name is not "Those People."
I am a loving woman, a mother in pain, giving birth
to the future, where my babies have the same chance
to thrive as anyone.

I don't know why, but I keep seeing these faces, and I keep hearing these words.

What about you? What are you hearing and seeing today?

I have cinnamon apple muffins, fair trade coffee, and tea. Also, some bagels and cream cheese. What about you?


  1. Thank you for the links songbird those pictures are extreemly moving.

    I can't get pictures of the folk in the Congo out of my mind... the BBC has been telling individual stories, I believe that this shocks us out of our complacency.

    I am going to use a number of projected images for our time of intercession this week accompanied by the Taize chant O Lord hear my prayer.

    I've posted my sermon here and would welcome comments, I always get nervous when I sense that the message is hard hitting!

  2. oops sorry Diane- I called you Songbird, I still love those links though!

  3. It's almost 7 am here and I've been up for half an hour after taking the youth group and friends to Fun Expedition for a church lock in from midnight to 3. We had fun mostly but I don't recommend laser tag at 2 for the weak of heart or eyelids!
    I did some reflecting on what I'll say before last night knowing that reflection wouldn't be high on my list of things to do today. Since I don't write my sermons out, this is as close as I'll come to a text. Comments, as always, are welcome.
    As soon as the oven warms up, I'll have some sausage strata to share (one of the other advisors stayed here and cooked while the other four of us played). And if anyone has a virtual cough drop, I'd love one. No caffeine, though. That might disturb my plans to go right back to bed as soon as the dogs are through loving me when I get home.

  4. Not preaching, but thinking about Christ the King here.

  5. Diane, I'm glad you posted the poem here, too.
    I'm preaching on having new eyes to see. It's commitment Sunday for us along with Christ the King. Sermon's not done, but it will be and I'll post later.
    Thanks! (I have green tea and healthy oatmeal to share....)

  6. Hi everybody. I'm glad you're here. My sermon's almost done,but I'm not sure if I'll post it or not. (again).

    I have a meeting this morning: an "issues" forum for our church-based organizing. I'm bringing a couple of people from my church. A couple of the issues we'll talk about/strategize on are: health care. Education.

    In the meantime, welcome! I feel a little lonely this morning, so I'm glad you are here.

  7. "The world is in need of a Church that assumes God's existence and not its own" That's a line from the sermon I'm working through this morning. I'll post the manuscript on the blog later on. Right now I have oatmeal to share. Cranberries, anyone?

  8. wow, Tripp, great line!!!!

    yeah, cranberries...

  9. Posted a sermon here… and as always... comments and concerns are welcomed.

  10. I love it, Tripp. And everyone's oatmeal sounds good on a chilly morning (even here). I think I'll go make some myself.

    I have a mish mash of Thanksgiving and Christ the King, leaning toward king. I think. It needs to make up its mind soon. But I can do a Thanksgiving children's sermon, right?

    I would LOVE to get started on next week's sermon too (hee, hee, I crack myself up) as we're going out of town for the holiday most of next week.

  11. Tripp- this is wonderful! Thanks.

  12. It was suggested to me Tuesday morning by a preacher friend at our usual meeting that perhaps I'd want to go with The Reign of Christ instead of Christ the King.

    Since my tradition claims that one of the great ends of the church is to demonstrate that reign in the world, focusing in that direction is more true for me to the responsibility of discipleship.

    I actually began my sermon last night, which is almost unheard of. I'm about 800 words in, which is where the rubber hits the road.

    I've got fair trade coffee, and Frosted Mini-Wheats to share.

  13. Wow, Diane, Powerful images and words. Makes me wish I was preaching tomorrow.

    How is everybody doing with the sermon writing?

    Any body need anything? Not that I am headed out anywhere yet, but I'll be glad to get you something from the fridge, put on a new pot of coffee or hot water. Back massage ladies and gents?

    Thinking of you all. I am not preaching tomorrow and I am missing it.

  14. Hi folks,
    I've only had a chance to quickly glance through comments, but will be back later. I have session 8 of my Structural Integration and I will be walking there through a lovely light and peaceful snowfall. (Son is driving me home - home is UPHILL, thanyouverymuch).

    Anyway, Cheese, funny you should mention the name of the celebration. I was asked a few years ago to keep the "imperialistic" language out of the final Sunday of the church year (this IS the UCCan after all) so we compromised and call it "Realm of Jesus" Sunday. Honestly, sometimes I'm sure I'm the most conservative person in our congregation....

    Tripp - I love that quote. I may use it, as well as the poem that Diane posted. Will give due credit to both.

    My theme so far is that throughout the church year, we've been hearing the stories that remind us of the uniqueness and glory of Jesus. As we end the church year and begin a new one, we need to remember that we are always the sequel - the next part of the story.

    I'm starting with Sam and Frodo at the end of "Fellowship of the Rings" when Frodo says (paraphrasing) "I don't suppose we'll see them again." Sam replies, "We may just Mr. Frodo, we may just."

    The story doesn't end with the church calendar year, or the cross, or at the end of the fiscal year - it continues on in each of us.

    that's all I got.

    Now - out into the snow for my walk, then the deep massage/SI.

    Catch you all later!

  15. I cant get picture of homeless man here out of my head. It has been very cold here and he pushes a grocery cart with his blanket over the top and a stockign cap pulled down over his head.
    I also cant get pictures of workers at GM (on CNN today) as they face job loss on dec 23 and the execs are flying in private jets to meetigns. A new twist on matt text, " I was about to lose my job and you flew a private jet...
    I was freezing in the cold weather with one blanket and you thugth of putting another one on yur bed..."
    And today i will be away as I plan a funeral and get ready for a thanksgivng sunday evenign service.
    Help yourself to poptarts, cokes, and ritz wit cheese

  16. What great thoughts you all have!

    I'm getting used to a bald head this morning. My hair's been falling out all week and I had my Sinead O'Connor party last night to shave it all off. I actually had a good time and it was a good way to do it! I also celebrated afterwards with Indian food, since I have my next treatment next week (day before T'giving, can you believe it?) and no spiciness for a while!

    I'm of two minds about where I'm going with the sermon. I like the idea of Christ the Ruler--who is also the "least of these." But I've also got thoughts about us being shoats and one is totally good or totally bad, so how does that sorting get done? THat's where grace comes in, but also the demands of discipleship. Not sure where that is headed, either.

    I have waffles for a late breakfast and cheese and pepperoni left from the party for early lunch snackies. One last cup of coffee would be great!

  17. Good morning all,
    Back preaching this week after a way too long six week break. I was so eager I "read ahead" as we used to say in school and actually had my sermon done on Thursday. Unheard of me with the day job, but I had a cancellation or two and it just kind of "fell out" done. Good thing too as there's lots going on and writing today would have been a stretch. Wanted to say,TLL was a great help as it so often is. Prayers to all who are writing, I am off to choir and then a road trip with a new friend. Will be back later to read all yours and post mine. Blessings to all, especially Rainbow Pastor!

  18. I've just made some hot tea- anyone want one?

    been reading sermons and notes- there is some good stuff around thei ring!

  19. Well, it's 4.00 and I'm only now getting down to it. Spent this morning with Hattie Gandhi in Cardiff, as her student house has a real problem with damp and she wanted to send her musical instruments and some other precious things home before they were affected. Managed to leave her viola there, but otherwise all well...
    Now have to write fast.
    Short of clarity...a fair range of things I could say but which? Will I EVER cease to be an 11th hour preacher?
    Not that I don't love you all, but I do despair of myself sometimes...

  20. What's wrong with being an 11th hour sermon writer? My guess is you have done all your research its pulling the thoughts together now Kathryn. Sometimes that is the hardest for me, but when I come here and read other's thoughts and ideas, it is inspiring.

    I too am not preachingbut thinking.

    I wrote this at the beginning of the week just didn't get it posted. so here it is, hope it helps.

  21. Well, I don;t know how it happened, but somehow I rallied and finished the sermon by 10:35 am here in the heartland.

    I can't remember the last time this happened. I hope that's not a bad sign. Maybe I'll be back later crying that all I have is a mangy mutt of a sermon and starting over.

    I hope not.

  22. Good morning everyone! I am not preaching this week...good thing too since I am feeling a bit under the weather and flu-like...sigh

    Some really fabulous ideas going around here...almost makes the preacher in me want to write a sermon....

  23. walk it proud, cheese :) and enjoy the rest of your saturday.

    i'm just starting and chose thanksgiving texts since we dont have a service on Weds night or anything as part of this congregation's tradition. which i'm both grateful for, and miss.
    i'm looking at an article in yes magazine (do you all get that? such great sermon stories) which is a little survey called "think you're thankful?" so I'm doing something with that, something with teh best way to show thanks is to give back....

    i'm at a hotel (spent one night here for hubby's work) so there's anything you'd want to eat via the magic of room service. I'm anticipating a big lunch, though, and sticking to oatmeal..

  24. First time commenting - I went with surprise! it's about how we see - with a nod to anxiety and the fact that these days the easy way - a gift from extra cash will take care of the charitable needs of others - isn't there any more. It's here

  25. Oh, you don't know how much your comments are helping this morning! The imaginative well has just seemed unendingly dry these days, and its just so discouraging. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  26. hey! glad to be back, all. great meeting. brought along a member of my congregation. sad to say until recently I had not thought of her in a way that she would be interested/capable of doing this work.

    turns out she has a lot of gifts/capabilities.

    there's a lesson there, too.

    tomorrow is also our annual meeting (I know, weird time) and am worried as we have a significant, and I mean significant budget shortfall.

    don't know how it will turn out.

    but I MUST get the last paragraph done.

    It's almost lunch time here. how about pizza?

  27. mmm, I'm just making a homemad pizza for supper ( dinner) this evening....

    sermon now done, but then it is 6pm... now down to some reading for seminar's next week....

    sometimes I really dislike words!

  28. This week my assignment was to pull together an Advent to Alelluia worship service (a re-cap of the entire liturgical year in one hour -- Yes, she can!) This afternoon I'll be writing up a brief meditation on Romans 12:1-2, about how keeping time with the Church calendar is a part of not conforming to the patterns of this world. So, I'm using a lot of Tom Long and Stanley Hauerwas to frame my thoughts, along the lines of:

    "The interesting thing about 'the Way,' the Christian way of life, is that it is composed of things that all human beings do, but all of them are illuminated and reenvisioned by our relationship to Jesus Christ"

    And "For Christians, the church is. . .the place where the experience of God, which permeates all of life, is given a vocabulary and workable categories. ..the church is the 'language schoo' of God, the place where we learn how to speak faithfully in the whole of our lives."

  29. Such a beautiful piece of poetry and art. I am new to Rev Gal Pals, and I'm in the application process to start seminary, but I love this blog!
    I am also working on starting up a non-profit to benefit the homeless during the winter months and I always wonder how others see them, you know? How we as Christians are trained to walk by them without so much as a second glance.
    I will be thankful for a heart of grace, and such strong women to lead the church into it's future!

  30. I have a baptism tomorrow, and I want to talk about the baptismal water beginning the slow process of washing away all that is not our truest, royal, priestly selves...exemplified by feeding the hungry etc. etc. and I want to point out that the parable in Matthew is Jesus' "last words" before the Passion = "if they don't get it now, they're not going to get it."
    and that's about as far as I've managed to get this morning!

  31. Hi Sermonizers,

    I'm preaching on thankfulness, and I have a few thoughts and a few scriptures. That's it. Yikes!

    And I am frozen! It is COLD here this a.m. and I'm in my church office which just does not seem to want to warm up. Gathering some notes and heading home for some hot cider and settling in for sermon writing.

    I am writing a series of devotions for Advent through New Years, and it is done. I've written at least two dozen devotions in the last two weeks (the rest my dauther wrote) and my spiritual well is dry!

    Back later, from a different computer in a hopefully warmer room!

  32. Hi, I'm back from my interview in another state!
    Diane, what a wonderful and hard poem to spur our thinking.
    Remember last week I told you someone was coming to record my sermon, and I had worked really hard on it to be sure it was something representative as well as really good? Well, he didn't come, he was sick.
    A young church member recorded the service for me on his laptop, but has yet to contact me with/about the recording.
    Sound Guy is coming tomorrow instead, hopefully.
    But I? have no sermon yet. This week was soooo busy, there was no time to work ahead on it.

  33. just checking back in everybody. sermon is done, anyway enough done for tonight. not postable, I don't think, but will suffice.

    juniper, I curious about "yes" magazine. I do not get that one.

    Singing Owl, the apple cider sounds GREAT. It's cold here, too.

  34. I'm back from my structural integration session and just watched the last half hour of "The Princess Bride" while I enjoyed a late lunch.

    Now, a mineral salt bath and then back to the sermon.

  35. Well I got some hospital visits in, and a visit to the wife of the one patient who is dying.

    Now I need to figure out a sermon..

    Mind you now there is a complication for the week. I am set to be out of town WEd-Fri so I can go to an interview (the interview is Thursday night but the reality of living where we do is that travel adds lots of time to go anywhere...). But se aobve about dying patient in hospital. HE could go tonight or Wednesday or next Saturday.

    Not a good time to be going out of town.

    Well, back to sermon. How Shall we Live?

  36. Oh and SB, how was the interview?

  37. I had to put this with World Hunger Sunday. It works pretty well. I still have trouble with sheep and goats--its being a Texan, I think. I can't get into being either one.

    Will post tomorrow afternoon.

  38. Gord that sounds like a busy and hard day...

    Sogbird I hope the interviews went well.

  39. I guess you could say it was a learning experience.
    I learned:
    1) I was not prepared to answer a question about how I prioritize, although later I thought I should have answered, "I do whatever the heck I feel like doing!" (not really)
    2) My answers are way too anecdotal, as if I'm preaching the illustration before I get to the point.
    3) I have no idea what it would be like to pastor a church twice the size of the largest one I've served so far.
    4) I want to be a settled pastor again, very much.
    5) You can learn a lot about how you feel by standing in the pulpit.
    Possibly some other things, too, but those will do for now. Thanks for asking!

  40. RP - I'll be thinking of you as you get your next treatment. I'm glad you celebrated The Sinead Look with your loved ones.

    Gord - Yikes. Anyone in the area who can cover for you while you're away? I hope the interview goes well...

    Back to it. Now I'm all mellowed out and don't feel like finishing the sermon, but I really must nail my butt to this chair until it's done.

  41. SB, good interview reflections! you never know, anyway. let us know how it comes out.

    Gord, prayers for your journey and all. Sounds like a lot, actually.

    Now I'm off to practice "the thing."

    Funny, the annual meeting and budget shortfall is making me worry less about whether the sermon is "all right."

  42. sounds tough SB, but lots of self awareness stuff in there...

  43. Not preaching tomorrow, but wanted to pop in and say hi! I got some Preacher Party Diet coke at Target (the real stuff will wait till monday - -it's on sale at the grocery store) and am getting ready to make old fashioned popcorn on the stove with melted butter and salt. It may even be dinner! There is also soup in the fridge made from the last of the organic farm veggies of the season, and some homemade from scratch chocolate chip cookies. Help yourselves.

    Prayers for those of you still writing.

  44. Back from the wedding. It went well, I am pleased to say. The kids have been playing together pretty good. Thinking about the rest of you.

    RB got you in my prayers.

    SB I agree sounds like a tough one, hang in there.

    Cheesehead walk it proud.

    Hope all the rest of you are doing okay with your writing.

  45. Well, my sermon is pretty much a wedding outfit...something old, something new, something borrowed, something...
    You get the picture.
    But it's gone 10 and I'm on at 8.00 tomorrow so I think it's probably a question of letting go those things I've not yet done and trusing to God for the rest.
    Night night

  46. good night Kathryn! off to preach, now...

  47. sleep well Kathyrn- I'm not on til 10 am tomorrow, just watching CSI, then bed.... zzzz

  48. G'nite Kathryn, blessings on you.

    Can I just say - Arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!

    I've had our worship bulletin on the dining room table all weekend and just before supper took a closer look at it.

    Our secretary has left out half of the baptism liturgy. The part with the congregational pledge of support and the closing prayer which the congregation says together. As well as the actual part where the baby gets baptized.

    Crappity crap crap crap.

    Tomorrow is going to be a VERY early morning for me. Our secretary also works as a night nurse at one of the local homes for the aged and doesn't get home from work until 7:30 a.m. - she will get to the church in time for choir practice at 10:00 (which I recognize is practically heroic of her).

    I'm on my own here. I need to create a new insert for the bulletin, run it off, remove the old ones and replace them with the new ones.

    This ain't in my job description folks. I'm on limited duty, partial return, and this DOESN'T FEEL LIKE THAT.


  49. Hello Pals,

    I'm going to be giving the children's sermon and then taking them down to the basement for Sunday school. I hope I survive :)

    I will do the children's sermon on seeing Christ in everyday people and how at church we are kind to everyone who comes because they are all Christ to us, especially those folk who need food, clothes and company.


  50. Looks like everyone is cranking along. These annual Sundays are always the hardest for me; at least it's not Transfiguration!

    Keep plugging!

  51. I'll second that WS. "At least it's not Transfiguration." Words to live by.... :)

  52. Yes, ws. That's right up there with Antonio bringing the sermon.

  53. As ever, lots of helpful and generous sharing here - of sermons and of life. its almost Sunday in UK but I think I'm nearly there with the sermon - doesn't feel as though it has very much substance but trying to tie in Christ the King with a baptism. Will post soonhere
    I've managed to put together lots of other services for advent and things today - so that has to be good. Thanks, Diane for hosting and everyone for nourishment.

  54. I just had a little shudder at the mention of Transfiguration.

    OK, here's what I've come up with. I'm using the Ezekiel shepherd passage...and I've written a job description for a shepherd of God's people. It may not work, but it got me somewhere.

  55. so, some of us have gone to bed. others... what are you up to? I'm trying to figure out supper. maybe picking up some chicken at the store.


  56. Well, I have a draft up, and now my daughter and I are going to watch "Kiki's Delivery Service."

  57. Praying for you, Songbird.

    My sermon is done, such as it is. Not that it will matter much since this is the first weekend of deer hunting and the congregation will be composed of a smattering of "hunting widows" and the one or two guys who don't hunt. It's like a state holiday.

    In the afternoon I will be preaching three (argh) sermons at the prison chapel. I have a couple of other ones I pulled out of the "old but still good" sermon hat.

    I'm still freezing. I guess I got chilled at the church office and just never got really warm. I am full of my daughter's lasagna, so I'm off to take a hot shower and warm up.

  58. Pizza's ready! Would anyone like any.

  59. Pizza! my favorite.

    songbird, I will read yours later, when I "get over" how I feel about mine.

    how can you be looking for antonio banderas, and then suddenly, you have a draft?

    inquiring minds want to know.

  60. I polished up my sermon a little, and have posted it here.

  61. Evening everyone!

    If anyone sees Antonio, please send him my way. Getting back from vacation late last night, combined with the head cold I picked up on vacation, combined with not getting enough sleep last night, means I have no sermon (and a shortage of sermon prep thoughts) yet desperately need sleep.

    I'm interested in pursuing the sense that there is more to people than we see, and that following Jesus as our king means that we see things and people differently than the rest of the world. That's about all I have right now.

    However, I am about to make a quick pizza and chocolate run. Will be back more tonight. Mostly just looking forward to having tomorrow over with.

  62. I am just in...not preaching in the morning because of Youth Sunday. But the kids who were doing powerpoint didn't get done, so I'm finishing that up. It's taking forever, of course, because I am a mac user and powerpoint is, frankly, inferior to keynote and not terribly intuitive. Plus, there's a lot of work to be done.

    I am preaching tomorrow evening for the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service....I haven't even started. All I have so far is a quote I heard on Worldview (from Chicago Public Radio) on Monday: "Each of our faiths was not designed to serve the faithful, they were designed to empower the faithful to serve humanity." Since the theme of the service will be "giving thanks--sharing the blessing" I think this is a good seed. Too bad it has yet to germinate, and I have less than 24 hours to go (with some sleep and many hours of regular morning church in between)....

    If I ever get a powerpoint done, I'll come back to hand with you all!

  63. semfem, I'll put a pot of tea on for you.

    I was just about to ask if everyone was done early.

    Does anyone else need anything?

    doughnuts? ideas?

  64. Teri -- i just have to say that I LOVE that quote about empowering the faithful to serve humanity. yeah. that's it.

  65. Hitting the sack here. I'll finalize thoughts for the children's word in the morning. Hope everyone gets some sleep!

  66. T-fig Sunday is a great Sunday for a vacation for all Revgals and Pals!
    GodGurl, will hold you up in prayer tomorrow!
    I am remebering that Barth stated we should write our sermons with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other...I freequently have the news on as I write.
    Appropriate stories aboudn to go along with texts.

  67. Luckily I have often been away at a Presbytery meeting on T-fig Sunday. ANd at least once I have simply ignored it and pretended it was the next Sunday after Epiphany instead.

    However I like Reign of Christ. Especially in Year A. This is a "role/mission of the church" reading. Why do we exist? What is our purpose?

  68. Thank you for the tea, Diane. It's just what I need right now!

    I ditched the pizza idea (too cold and icy to go out tonight) and had bean and bacon soup. Mmmm.

    And I'm totally breaking into the mint MnMs that were supposed to be strictly off limits until after Thanksgiving.

    Off to browse through comments and blogs, hoping a spark of inspiration strikes me soon. Glad a few others are still here as well!

  69. I am done and headed for a shower, then finish funeral service and go to bed. My nose is stuffy and I have a sinus headache.
    Here is my 1726 words (long, but done)

  70. Oh, pumpkin bread and PNB brownies are by stove.
    Please dont eat the crown shaped cookies on the counter. The yare for the children tomorrow!

  71. I'm back for a little while, just reworking one little paragraph, checking in on people, but will probably go to bed soon.

    I will check in at least once more.

    glad the tea helped.

    anyone else out there?

  72. Just getting started, here. The week was packed, and got called at 3:30 PM yesterday to do a funeral today at noon. Called the daughter of the deceased to get a little more info than the obit offered, and she said "I told the man at the funeral home everything." So much for conscientious eulogy writing. I used a traditional liturgy, drew the obit out as long as I could, and preached a little gospel. The man was a square dance caller for many years, so I used "The Lord of the Dance" and talked about the patterns of the dance working much better when the dancers listened to the instructions of the One who calls. Sure, toes still get stepped on, and people might stumble or fall, but you can get up and join back in. And it has to be done together. I thought it went well for the twelve people that were there. With no music planned for the funeral (family's wishes)and no graveside service, in and out in 15 minutes. Just a little strange. At least I got paid like a real funeral.

    Then tonight my daughter had an appointment with a college rep that was in town. Lost 2-1/2 hours...30 minutes each way and 1-1/2 hours visiting. Back home at 9, and finally getting started. If anyone sees Antonio...

  73. Looks like we're at the same stage, Kim.

    I got back late Monday night from a week in the Keys, and with Personnel reviews everyday of the week and general catching up. I'm at zero for my sermon. Well, I shouldn't say that. A good long conversation with a friend who is overseas this fall got me an outline on Thursday which is usually what I'm hoping for about now, 10:00 p.m. So, I guess I have something, but certainly not a sermon. That's what I wish I had since my throat is getting sorer and sorer as the day goes on. My sinus headaches and plugged ears from that last two days are gone, but I'd take those over a sore throat on a Sunday anytime.

    I've got Christ the King who doesn't look like a normal king, an idea of "holy ignorance" among the nations that are both sheep and goats, and this picture of the realm/reign of Christ that tells us how to move toward "sheep-dom."

    OK, so it's a little more thought out than that, but it's a complex one so it's hard to summarize quickly, and I fear will be way too long.

    Maybe I should just start writing it instead of worrying about it.

  74. I'm new here but thought I'd post anyway...
    I'm about halfway done... but it's been a busy week too - I just got back from a 10 day intensive class out of town, and had presbytery meeting all day today.
    Thank goodness I got some great inspiration from a couple stories I heard at presbytery, but I'm none too sure where to go with them.

  75. hey guys, I'm just stopping in one last time with prayers, good wishes and tea if you want (chamomile, if that won't put you to sleep). or perhaps you want some pie (apple)?

    anyway, i'll leave the light on for you here, and check back in the morning.

    I hope I can sleep.

    We have an annual meeting tomorrow, and this big big budget shortfall.

    we're supposed to have a balanced budget.

    I don't think any axes will fall tomorrow, but if we have to cut $100,000, well, something will have to give.

    if you have time between paragraphs, pray for us.

  76. Diane, prayers are ascending for your congregation. I can't even imagine having annual meeting at this time of year, but I'm already thinking ahead to it with a little stress.

    On to the sermon: anyone using the book "Good Goats"? I don't own it but now I wish I did.

  77. Prayers for diane and congregaiton.
    Prayers for all who write, rewrite, wait for Antonio and walk dogs...
    Holy Spirit is with you.
    And as an extra treat, I offer Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash.
    It is really good and the burps you get from it will make all the teen boys jealous!

  78. Prayer being said, Diane.

    I'm giving it 20 more minutes then off to bed for 4 hours sleep!

  79. Ahhh - poo. I'm a third of the way done with a good idea of where I'm going. I'm going to bed now. I'm tired.

    See the early risers in a few hours!

  80. okay, I have two completed powerpoints for three services. I have 0 words of the interfaith thanksgiving sermon. I think I'm going to have to leave that for the afternoon tomorrow....cutting it much closer than I'm used to, alas. But I should be able to get out of church by 1, grab a quick bite to eat and maybe a catnap, and then have something (it only needs to be about 8-10 minutes) by 6. right?

    In an effort not to be crabby enough to kill any teenagers tomorrow, I'm going to bed now. Have to be at church in less than 8 hours. (sigh)

    For those still working--I have tea, I have ice cream. help yourselves! (mmm, vanilla tea...fried ice cream...yum!)

  81. Okay, I took a quick head-down-on-the-table nap in an attempt to get rid of my headache. Now it's time to write write write!

    Maybe I can give them an early Christmas present and preach a really short sermon this week.

  82. Anybody up? I gave up last night, and got to bed about 11 after sitting with my hubby for half an hour to watch a little SNL. 4 AM now, so time to get this thing written.

  83. I'm here, Kim. Wish I could get your hang of actually going to bed and getting up early to write. It would certainly be more restful than the head-on-table method!

    I THINK I am just finishing up, however. I hope. 1364 words and hopefully I have a point now.

    [Cool word verification: creatio]

  84. Just sat down, too, Kim. Happy writing!

    (Drinking my Airbourne water and swallowing to Advil to kill this horribly sore throat.)

  85. I knew I could count on both of you, SheRev and semfem! Nice to see you both this morning. Sorry to hear about your sore throat SheRev. Sinus drainage and a naggy cough seem to be the order of the day in our household.

    Write and preach well this day, and may you find time for the sacred mid afternoon nap.

  86. Working well here, but with an EIGHT MINUTE OFFERTORY (don't even get me started) I have to be really careful about my length to accommodate. I like where I'm going, though, and wish I had more time (in the service) to do it. Sigh. Can't go past the holy 60 minutes, though. The lay folks who filled in for me last week did it, and I don't want to rock the boat two weeks in a row!

    Besides, the people love me when I come back from a trip and get them out "on time" after a visitor ran "over." Can't help but want to gather their good graces when it's such an easy way to do it!

  87. *distributes Vicks vitamin C cough drops* Getting over something here, too. bleah.

    Okay, now I manage to have 1600 words which is WAY too many. Ack! I can't figure out what to cut! and I need to start getting ready for church!

    I will be so glad when this day (two services, Advent decorating after, special covenanting service in afternoon, and Thanksgiving meal and service in evening) is finished and I can sleep.

    Hope it's going better for you, Kim and she-rev!

  88. 1600 is what I'm shooting for because it's a good 200-400 less than usual. I only have about 300 left to go, but it feels like I have about 600 left to say. UGH! I need to get rid of some of my parallelism, but that's my FAVORITE writing technique!

  89. I'm up but would love to go back to bed. The comments about Christ the King have helped but I don't know if they will make the sermon. I'm still concentrating on surprise and what it would take to change my life so that answering the needs of others is a natural thing to do rather than something I have to plan because it's all about money. Given the economy, we don't have to look very far for those who hunger and thirst, etc.
    It's shower time, I think. Maybe that will wash away the cobwebs that have become my brain.
    Have a blessed day everyone!

  90. Okay, I have cut mine down a little and I think it's as good as it's going to get right now.

    Off to shower and print. Good luck to those still writing. And blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today.

  91. Margaret, where I end up is that it shouldn't be about planning in the end. It should be natural. In the realm of God (reign of Christ), in the ideal toward which we are all striving, it comes naturally to us. Our faith, our discipleship, our following Christ is so internalized and a part of who we are, that it just flows from us without us even being aware.

    But, the reality is, we aren't there yet. We have a picture of what it is like, but we're not their yet. So right now, it might not be so natural. It might not be so internalized. So right now, because of who we are (fallen human beings) and where we are (living in a fallen world) we do have to try. We have to actively try to change the way we have a tendency to act - individualistic, controlled by money instead of controlling money ourselves, self-preservers instead of other-servers. Maybe in paying attention, we will internalize it, and someday we won't have to pay as much attention. Maybe in paying attention, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, and visiting those in prison will be a part of our own holy ignorance.

    (Dang! I think I may have just written my final paragraph. One more move to put just before that and the rest and I think I'm done!)

  92. hey, I'm up with some coffee, and prayers for the Holy Spirit, too.

    hoping for a new "last paragraph" too....


    take care everyone

  93. 1763...I think I have something that will preach, and another hour in which to go back to bed! Blessings on all bringing and hearing the Word this morning.

  94. Another hour to sleep sounds great! My holy nap will be eliminated by vampires; my 13-year-old has asked we go see "Twilight," and since my 18-year-old flies in later this afternoon, we need to go right after church.
    I made a few "additions and corrections" to my text; I just have to trust and go with it, though I fear it stinks, since it's being recorded. Aargh!
    Preach well, friends!

  95. Okay...something like a sermon is written and posted on my blog. I am finishing some final touches on it, but I think the posted version is pretty close.

    Have a great Thanksgiving, all! My wife and I are off to the homeland (Virginia) today. Be well. Preach 'em into the Kingdom!


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