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Saturday, February 21, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Shining Edition


Rise and shine, gals and pals! We are coming up on the Last Sunday Before Lent, in some circles known as Transfiguration Sunday. There's a lot going on in my neck of the woods, as Sunday is our congregation's annual Mardi Gras Brunch and Basket Auction. We also have a cake walk, face painting and other fun things: and it's all to support our community organizing activities.

Other than that, I'm preaching. To begin with, there's a wonderful conversation here. I've been fascinated this past week by the Elijah/Elisha story. I love the tenacity of Elisha, who won't give up or go away, but continues to follow his master. But I love the 2nd lesson too: "the same God who said, 'Let there be light', also shines in our hearts". And there's always the mountain-top experience. What to do, what to do? What are you preaching on? And what other special things do you do for Transfiguration/Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday? Does your church have any special traditions?


I'm here with a good, hearty breakfast this morning, and hope you will join me. Pre-Lent, I'm going to feast on scrambled eggs with ham, orange juice and English muffins. Please feel free to add your items. We have to use them up before Wednesday, you know. The fair trade coffee is ready for you as well.


p.s. what are you giving up for Lent? Or do you not want to think about that... yet?

91 comments:

  1. Hi, I'm leading a kirk session conference today. Lots of lovely fresh fruit on the tables. Tomorrow we celebrate Girl Guiding's thinking day by focussing on Water Aid. But I love the 1Kings passage - it was instrumental in my call to full time ministry - giving up on that whole "lets not talk about it", elephant in the room stuff.
    I'm preparing for Ash Wednesday, writing some reflections, especially on how some of us reduce Lent to "what we give up" I'll post that later. MEantime, back to the conference - folk are making a collage of how the church community might feature some years from now. We've done the theory bit of change and transition. Now its down to dreaming and then, in the afternoon, fleshing out those dry bones.

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  2. Good morning preachers! It's VERY early here at O'Dark Thirty on day 2 of our 3-day Presbytery marathon. I'm going to start the IV caffeine any time now and then head over to the church for morning worship.

    As much as the long days are rough, I do like being able to worship every day and I'm even starting to enjoy the singing that gathers us back into session after lunches and breaks.

    Still - long day ahead. I'm not preaching tomorrow. We will be hearing from our Moderator! I can't wait to hear him preach.

    Enjoy your day. May you all be as inspired as you are inspiring to this tired, cold Presbyter week by week. Bless you all!

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  3. I got nothing! Seriously, this cold is the most productive I've been all week. I'm looking for serious inspiration from you all today.
    Meanwhile, there's an outing with the youth tonight and a called meeting of the vestry after church as well as class for the two confirmands between services.
    So, sermonizing friends, help!!

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  4. Liz - I can't wait to read your reflections on Lent. I keep forgetting that Ash Wednesday is THIS Wednesday!

    I am working on "where your treasure is, there your heart is also." Tomorrow, we take up a special offering to support our disaster relief mission, and that is their theme scripture.

    I spent all day yesterday in a clergy boundaries workshop. Lots of discussion about the dual nature of many of our relationships. Gave me lots to think about.

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  5. I'm up early to head out to a regional denominational meeting (aka presbytery and the big vote).

    My sermon is half done, so I plan on seeing all of you much later on in the day. For now, I'll be contemplating "What do you see?" as I make my drive to the meeting.

    What did the disciples see when they looked at Jesus? Not just shiny Jesus, but what do they see based on their journey with him so far. What do we see when we look at Jesus? How do we react?

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  6. welcome everyone! what yummy sounding fruit, Liz. Thanks! I can't wait for your Lenten reflection either. (I'm preaching Ash Wednesday as well.)

    I'm putting the Elijah and the Gospel readings together, focussing on "not letting Jesus out of our sight" (using Eugene Peterson's translation of the 2 Kings lesson.

    Good stuff, everyone!

    It's still early here. WE have new snow. I have a Bible study early this a.m. Dog is playing in the backyard now.

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  7. Homemade oatmeal-bread toast and amazing, huge oranges here. I am on my way to a morning worship workshop at church -- bootcamp for potential lectors, Communion assistants, sacristy helpers and assorted other worship-team folks -- and if all goes well we'll dodge the oncoming blizzard on the way home, where I need to sequester myself and write my sermon for tomorrow.

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  8. For Lent I am giving up my current church for the next church! Hee, hee... couldn't resist.

    Good luck to all preaching on Transfiguration. I think I gave up on that 3 years ago! Something about trying to make an annual event sound as amazing and 'awesome' as it really was just wore me out.

    Coffee brewing here and some cranberry bread for all...

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  9. welcome Kathryn and Lutheranchik. Join the feast.

    Kathryn I know how you feel, I think. So what did you preach on? inquiring minds want to know...

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  10. I've been thinking about Peter, et al, making the booths--responding in the same old way to something very much NOT the same old, same old. The call to us is to risk breaking old patterns to experience the new and transforming encounters that are possible. Those encounters may lead to the cross (Jesus' journey to Jerusalem), to our denials of what we know to be true (Peter denying Christ), to our fleeing from the perception of what threatens us (the disciples at the garden), to the pain of standing at the foot of the cross feeling helpless (the women). (Gosh, as I write all that it sounds rather icky and dreary!) In spite of our resistance God always triumphs by bringing us through all that pain into new life. Sort of a trailer for the Easter story. And like a trailer, I'm still editing ideas.

    Tuesday we're breaking the mold and forgetting about pancakes, instead having a mardi-gras party with potluck supper, games, etc. I want to hear more about Diane's basket auction to incorporate at another time!

    As for giving up, count me among those who haven't yet reached a conclusion.

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  11. Good morning!
    I'm headed out to a Weight Watchers meeting, and my sermon at the moment consists of a title and about three sentences. My son is home for an audition in Boston this weekend, and I am MUCH more interested in him than in T-Fig. But I'm sure I'll find a way to get "in the zone" later.
    Right?

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  12. Altar Ego -- I love your ideas!! There is nothing dreary about them..at least not to me. They sparked my thinking and made me look at Transfiguration Sunday in an entirely different way. Thank you so much!

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  13. Okay, my sister has put a thought into my head and I'm wondering if it just might work. We have had week after week of healing stories. What if we see the Transfiguration as a healing story? Who's healed is the first question and I think the answer is Jesus more than the disciples, athough I think the disciples also experienced a kind of healing. Isn't that what our own mountain top experiences do (I hate that phrase, btw)? We have our eyes or hearts opened, spiritual health and sometimes physical health restored so that we can come back down and do what God would have us do, even preach twice a year on the T-fig!
    Yeah, this just might work.
    I've got Echinacea Complete tea on tap for those wishing to heal those winter colds or avoid them altogether.

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  14. I'm working on a cold here, so in addition to (or after) the fair trade coffee, I'll take some tea.

    I'm preaching t-fig but possibly making the transition to Lent as well -- most of my folks do not come to the Ash Wednesday service.

    But first, breakfast...

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  15. I'm the queen of recycling. I had a dying parishioner and the music director in the hospital this week, plus a funeral for the dying parishioner. Then another parishioner went in the hospital and another has entered hospice. I'm doing my taxes this morning and then off to visit the family of the hospiced member. (She's having hospice at home.) I found a nice sermon I did at another church for Transfiguration that I'll do tomorrow. (Why am I doing my taxes now? Well, it's almost Lent which is almost always busy. I'm taking one weekend off to travel the Natchez Trace at the end of March. I planned to do them last weekend. Oh, did I mention that Easter is the weekend before April 15? There are things I really hate about being a pastor. And actually, doing taxes is relaxing for me. yeah, I know. I'm really playing on my computer.)

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  16. So I'm working on my sermon now (and found a new way to procrastinate - stop in the middle and make comment here...)

    I hear the struggle with trying to say something "new" when the same story comes up year after year - that's why I'm looking a little closer at the Kings text.

    It may be thee old same old to you - but not to the folks you are preaching to. Even if you've been there 10 years...you are wrapped up in these texts, thinking about them all week. They think about other stuff. And they have maybe 10-20 minutes of hearing your telling of the story. It's not the same old same old to them.

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  17. Altar Ego, I love those ideas!

    However, I'm not preaching tomorrow, still recovering from my LAST CHEMO treatment!! Whoo hoo!
    It's on to radiation in a few weeks, so I'm not done yet, but the worst, I think, is over.

    I'm at my Mom's to recover and write a reflection for Ash Wednesday (been feeling guilty that the everyone else has been covering for me for so long, plus realised I don't have a recent sermon on tape, which may be needed soon, ahem).

    Anyway, for AW I'm doing my usual about Lent not being about "what a terrible sinner I am," but "how do I get closer to God?"

    Today I have Polish paczki to offer--get them now before Tuesday night arrives and they vanish for a year! I have apple, blueberry, poppy, lemon and something else I can't remember.

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  18. I finished my Transfiguration sermon late last night; hopefully it makes sense since I need it this evening. I try to say that in this experience, the disciples catch a glimpse of Jesus that is more full and complete than they had before (like perhaps now seeing his divinity where before they only saw his humanity) and only as they continue to learn/experience more does their relationship grow.

    So...now it's on to prayers for this evening's service, children's time for Sunday, funeral sermon for Monday (my day off-ha!), Ash Wednesday sermon, finding a babysitter for Baby Girl for Monday, plus household chores.

    Children's time ideas especially needed!

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  19. Joelle, like your thoughts.

    transitioning from epiphany to lent... perhaps a bit more of an introdcutory and woo-hoo lent is coming type sermon... but it's not finished. must remove sucketh factor and write a whang-do conclusion.

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  20. I am not preaching tomorrow, for which I am very grateful, because there is A Lot To Do in the next few weeks.

    I am preparing to teach, though, a session for adults and youth on "Keeping a Holy Lent" -- some history/traditions/customs, but also ideas for entering into the spirit of the season. Plus some resources for prayer, for those who might take on a spiritual discipline.

    Blessings for the preachers out there!

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  21. oh ordinary girl... wish i could be in your class!

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  22. tomorrow we have elijah being taken up and the epistle. I have absolutely NO IDEA where the interim will take that, and there's no hint in the bulletin since all the liturgy and the hymns are about transformation and the whole going-up-the-mountain-turning-shiny gospel text. I'm completely confused. Should I do a children's time about the T-Fig story? Should I do it about Elijah? Should I make up some generic children's time that's not really related to the day or the scripture? I'm at a loss.

    I'm also trying to re-work last year's Ash Wednesday sermon, since I didn't get to use it due to blizzard, and to do a little editing of the bulletin from last year (again, not used) so it will work for this Wednesday, and I'm looking ahead to next Sunday since my dad is coming to visit (arrives Thursday) so I won't have time to work on the bulletin or to write a sermon on Saturday...I don't know how this is going to work, writing Sunday's sermon before Wednesday's is preached, but whatever!

    I have tea and McVities digestives, and that's about it. No inspiring food to be had here today, and I'm certainly not going out in the snowstorm to get it (though the snow doesn't seem to be as bad as predicted, hallelujah!) (getting those hallelujah's out before wednesday!).

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  23. ok, I lost my whole last comment.

    wanted to welcome ordinary girl and others, and speak to the chaos that is my life.

    broken coffee pot with coffee all over. no plows out on my street, church street and church parking lot.

    headache coming on.

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  24. Good morning! Not preaching but I'll be trying to get some more work done on a book revision.
    That's in between taking Ladybug to her dance class (and scoping out the nearby worlds-best-donut shop--taking orders if anyone's interested) and picking up FiestaBoy from his youth group hike.

    Still sorting out Lent in terms of personal spiritual practice but on the service end I'm giving an Ignatian retreat and helping lead a post-abortion healing group. Nervous but excited about both.

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  25. Rainbow Pastor, hooray on the end of chemo; that is quite a milestone.

    Teri, I'll put in a vote for telling some part of the Elijah story to the kids; it is full of mystery and excitement and that's just what they love. Can you tell I've been on a storytelling kick lately (which was the theme of a sabbatical two years ago, so it's nice to see it's taking root)?

    I'm starting with the opening from Star Wars, "Long ago..." because I feel like the T'fig story is a bit like that, with familiar elements woven in with bits that are pretty wild/unexpected. The direction I'm heading is to explore how we re-enter the world after a major experience when we are changed but the rest of the world isn't. At least that's what I'm thinking now; I have the drive to and from a graveside service to ponder it!

    I have the makings for some pupmpkin cream cheese cookies, so when I get them done later, I'll put them out for you all.

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  26. Thanks to you all and my sister, the sermon is done!! Now I can sniffle in peace. I posted it on my blog if anyone is interested. It is really short but when I read it out loud, I didn't manage to get but halfway before I had a coughing fit so short is better than long. It will be a "have a glass of water handy" Sunday for sure.

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  27. I have no Greek things at home so I'm asking here: what is the Greek word used for transfigured? and, has it been translated as something else in a different Biblical passage?

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  28. I suspect that the word "transfiguration" doesn't come up in many other places in the NT. But I could be wrong about that.

    In the Greek, I believe it's "metamorphe" or something like that.

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  29. Diane is right. I just looked at it, metemorphothe, Verb indicative passive, of course.
    will see what else I can find.

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  30. One lexicon references Mt17:2 of course and Romans 12:2

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  31. Silent - What I suggest for children's time is just tell the bible story in a simple way about the transfiguration.

    I know pastors LOVE to tell these "this is like this...the trinity is like a bycicle" examples to children. But if you know anything about how a child's mind works - they are LITERAL. They cannot make the abstract connection as to how faith is like a guitar (well actually I have trouble with that myself) until they are too old to come down for the children's sermon. Those examples may be cute and amusing for the adults listening in - but they are lost on the children.

    Just tell the story.

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  32. Back from the workshop -- sadly, mostly attended by our "frequent fliers," with only a couple new recruits -- and lunch (patty melts at the diner down the road from church). The blizzard bearing down on Michigan reached the diner just as we were finishing up...we're now safely at home, and I'm trying to settle down and get the sermon started...even though Mollie the cat has decided (perhaps because of all the interesting little birds bellying up to our feeders in the middle of the snowstorm) that this is a great time to act out: "I can haz fat birdie pleez? Pleez?"

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  35. Third time's a charm and then I'm giving up - Here's what I came up with
    Sermon

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  36. on my way to the hospital, the sermon is done, and I may post it when I get back.

    does anyone need refreshments? I need medicine for my headache.

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  37. I am goign with the Elijah/Elisha passage and mixign in a little T-fig (nobody here knows what that is or that we ahve a Transfiguration Sudnay). WTF?
    So, educational tiem is in order.
    I am tired, Mugsy had a breathign episode and I worried all night. I had already doen a emergency vet trip tuesday night and now he is resting, but still wheezing. Litte guy worries me a lot.

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  38. What a relief to be done with Chemo, Rainbow Pastor! How are you feeling?

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  39. sophia, Ignatian retreat and post abortion healing - both sound amazing but so get your nervous excitement.
    Our office bearers conference went well and I'm now watching Hoodwinked with the family.
    However, I did manage to finish up a couple of reflections for Lent. Posted them here
    Not preaching this week - involved in two all age services - will take it hard next week, having to come up with two Lenten communion sermons - but that's for next week's preacher's party.
    Look forward to checking out your offerings on tfig and Elijah/Elisha.

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  40. Not preaching this weekend, but I'm at work finishing up the March newsletter and making sure we're read for the onslaught of Lenten activities that begin this week.

    I'm telling the Transfiguration story tomorrow at our monthly children's service. The youth will act out the gospel and I have a new sheep puppet to use in telling the story--my first time doing that, so we'll see how it goes! Which reminds me that I need to find a spot light to shine on Jesus!

    I actually like having the Transfiguration for Last Epiphany--I like that we get that last glimpse of Jesus' glory to hold onto before we plunge into the darkness of Lent...

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  41. Rock on, Rainbow Pastor.

    Teri - I feel your pain. Really, really do.

    Sermon, well, two things in my brain which may or may not hit the page. First, something which came up in my Bible study on Monday: did the disciples see Jesus transfigured or did they just finally see who he really was? Second, perhaps one of the big things to glean from this passage is that God came down the mountain, didn't stay up there to have a shrine built.

    Yep, we'll see what actually gets written. Right now, just a bunch of this and that. No actually flow or form.

    Hopefully this raspberry iced chai latte will infuse me with brilliance. I brought some to share.

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  42. And for Shrove Tuesday we're eschewing pancakes in favor of a "Delectable Dishes and Decadent Desserts" potluck--does the same thing--empties our pantry of all the rich foods we (theoretically) won't be eating during Lent. And we'll put away the alleluias and burn last year's palms to make ashes for our Ash Wednesday liturgies. And we'll make Lenten symbols for our "Alleluia Tree"--a new 'tradition' I completely made up for this year! At the Easter vigil and Easter day, we'll take off the Lenten symbols and put up alleluias (all this on the large bare branch that was our Jesse Tree in Advent).

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  43. Going with the Tfig, ruminating on the differences between being "on the go" with Jesus and Peter's compulsion to build the booths. Eh. It's ok, so far. In need of a children's time, as usual. And an uncharacteristically grumpy baby has made for a long day, already. Everyone's ideas are sounding good. Keep up the good work.

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  44. I'm trying to write a sermon on the Sermon on the Mount. Seems so pretentious. I don't have to write it on the WHOLE thing, but have to pick part of it. Maybe coffee will help.

    I don't serve in a liturgical church right now but will be helping a friend with her Ash Wednesday service. She said that she'll make me a Lutheran yet. ;)

    Rainbow Pastor - YAY!!! Congrats on the end of the chemo cycle. What a relief. :)

    For Lent, I am giving up desserts. My waistline needs me to get serious about it. This means, of course, that everyone in the office will be bringing in home-made goodies. Get thee behind me! I have enough on my behind!

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  45. I have the first paragraph, which means of course it is naptime!

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  46. I'm most of the way there, with a 4 p.m. deadline, as my children (including home for the weekend Snowman) come back from their dad's house then. I do not have a strong conclusion. I am planning a break in the middle for discussion, which is not like me, but as we have a snowstorm predicted, I like the idea of being a little informal if possible. My whole sermon revolves around a phrase from the refrain of Dishwalla's "Counting Blue Cars," which goes "Tell me all your thoughts on God." I hope it goes somewhere!

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  47. I'm late joining the party. Busy week (2 funerals) and of course I haven't really started yet.
    According to the bulletin, I'm preaching on the 2 Corinthians passage with the title, "If we change, is it better?". Wonder what I meant by that?
    Thinking about transfiguration as change, so will retell perhaps a bit of both Elijah and the gospel. No clue where I'm going from there...I'll be around later, though!

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  48. songbird -- Dishwalla? I am soooo behind on popular culture. Here I thought I was doing well by using Eugene Peterson's "The Message" and Elisha's phrase, "I'm not letting you out of my sight!"

    anyway, I'm grateful for imitrex, as my headache is, I think....., gone.

    I'm getting ready to practice what I have. Hope it's ok. I haven't done this for awhile, but i'll be back with a link.

    oh, and I just found out that a beloved saint of our church died. really really really good guy.

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  49. Thanks all--I'm feeling relieved, more than anything. I still have to go through the two week's recovery from this last treatment, but then I will be done. Strong Heart and I are celebrating with champagne and a good dinner with friends.

    Radiation will be easier--still tired and some skin problems, most likely, but nothing like chemo!

    Thanks for continued prayers and good wishes!

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  50. Phew! I finished just before the kids returned, gave it a buffing, and now it is posted Time to have a fun evening with Snowman and Light Princess!

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  51. Glad for you, Rainbow Pastor!
    And Diane, the Dishwalla song goes back to the mid-90s, when I was commuting to seminary and listening to the radio!

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  52. Ok, I am going to bite the bullet and link to my sermon here

    It might change for tomorrow, comments welcome. (although it won't change in the next hour.)

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  53. I've serious sermon block going. I don't even like the title.

    I know where I want to go, but can't figure how to get there.

    How's this for a title "Oooo! Shiny!"?

    eh, don't think that will work either.

    Praying for inspiration.

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  54. Diane, I love it!

    Mine has morphed into a discussion of thin places (someone here mentioned that, which got me thinking...), which I am interpreting a bit more broadly than usual. And then I got to thinking--but not yet writing--about "thin people," those folks in whom the holy and extraordinary seems very close to ordinary us. I have an amazing and personal Desmond Tutu story that I might use...

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  55. reverend mommy, two years ago my t-fig sermon was titled "shiny"...though it was the year in the lectionary when the story was paired with moses' shining face, so that sort of worked.

    I have still very few ideas about anything, and my motivation is...umm...nonexistent, since I no longer hold out any hope for a sermon that I can match in children's message. Plus I'm mildly stressing about how the admin team had a "meeting" with the interim that is now leading to one-on-one meetings between her and all the staff, and mine will be on monday. (sigh)

    storytelling it is!

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  56. Teri - prayers for your meeting on Monday.

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  57. Betsy -- thank you!

    Rainbow Pastor -- blessings on your continued treatment. and strength for the journey.

    Teri -- praying for you, tomorrow, and Monday.

    for all, praying for inspiration. I'm packing up the laptop and going home. May do some tweaking, but not before dinner.

    My headache is gone, I'm tired and hungry! (and relieved, the first service is done.)

    what would you like? hamburgers?

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  58. Here is my offering for tomorrow- -I may tweak the end a bit in the AM but we'll see.

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  59. No preaching for me tomorrow. Just finished the meeting part of our PResbytery meeting--and even outed myself as a heretic! (I'll blog about that over at my place in a bit)

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  60. Gord -- hmmm, heretic? that sounds provocative.

    knittin' preacher, glad you're done!

    It seems strangely quiet? Is everybody done? How is it going? what do you need?

    I could use a glass of wine, myself.

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  61. Not so exciting really. In the UCCan the easiest way to be heretical is to challenge political correctness. No one really cares mych if you challenge doctrine.

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  62. Great sermon, Songbird; I really like the way you explored both the T'fig and the "keep it quiet" themes. I am thinking that you may have been the one who put thin places in my mind earlier in the day. And that image of Abraham Lincoln is magnificent; where did you find it?

    I will definitely take one of those hamburgers. I still haven't gotten the pumpkin cream cheese cookies made, but maybe in time for the late night gang (of which I clearly will be one).

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  63. Chocolate bear claw ice cream with hot fudge, anyone?

    Sermon's done. As we say in Scrabble, CBU -- cheap but useable.

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  64. Thanks, Betsy. I found the art images via Textweek, which has great links.
    I think that idea was around earlier in the week. I must refer to it every T-fig!

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  65. It's getting late... at least for me... too much yard work today. But... I come bearing gifts... cream cheese pound cake... homemade pizza (with the works)... beer... Milano cookies (double chocolate)... salsa and chips... did I mention beer? Oh... and some tea and diet pepsi. My sermon is done. It is... what it is...

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  66. Ohhhhh---I'm so avoiding writing tonight. Don't know why. I've got a general plan, and now I just need to pound it out.

    I'm running with 2 Kings and focusing on how Elisha receives the blessing and call out of the whirlwind. We don't have a big transition or anything to relate to (other than my being here for just a year), but I think the passing from Elijah to Elisha and Elijah's death/ascension can be related to worshipers as stress in general. How do we carry on through stress, transition, grief? Looking into the whirlwind (focusing on God's presence) as we receive God's blessing and God's call to service/ministry.

    Doesn't make our feelings go away (Elisha still rips his clothes after he receives the mantle), but gives us purpose and something outside of selves on which to focus.

    We'll see. Not sure where it's wrapping up, but the general idea is going.

    I'll catch up on the day's events around here and pop in again soon!

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  67. Friends, I'm heading to bed. Children's-sermon-less and all. Telling the story is sounding good for now. I'm expecting Inquisitive Boy to show up, so he'll keep things moving, I'm sure.

    Blessings to the late-night crew!

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  68. I'm going with the "plank in yer eye" story. I think. SO much to write with judgmentalism woven so deeply into politics and polity.

    We'll see if it flows tomorrow. I spent the evening filling out revisions on FAFSA and CSS forms (if you have kids in college, you know what I'm doing) and then writing my own scholarship essay. "Just give me the money so I can graduate, already."

    Praying for all of you preachers.:)

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  69. things seem to be quiet on the western front here.

    How are all the preachers? Anybody need anything?

    Are we done yet?

    I'm only hearing a few peeps, but I'll leave the tea on and keep praying and check back again in a little while.

    I was hoping for a little more pre-Lenten whooping it up, but sometimes the inspiration's just not there!

    Hope everyone is either writing furiously or all done and sleeping.

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  70. writing, not sleeping. I've been back and forth to the hospital since I have an older church member who is dying. wish the sermon was as done as I feel

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  71. So sorry Vicar. I knwo that is a feeling of gret frustration.
    Prayers appreciatedhere for my little guy Mugsy. His breathign problems have returned this week.Pry that his meds will soon take effect and we won't ahve to do antoehr emergency trip to vet for shots or IV.
    Feline Asthma sucks!

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  72. Was a busy week coming off vacation & ash wednesday/lent preparations. Spent much of afternoon on parochial report (done, yay!), but progressing at snail's pace since on sermon. still up & mulling over a focus for tomorrow. Still need to review a chapter for class discussion group before the service before I leave in the morning too.

    Vicar - prayers your way as you minister to your parishioner.

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  73. 1-4 Grace, I'll be praying for your Mugsy here.

    I do miss cats. (my husband and one of his sons are allergic.)

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  74. 1-4 Grace: sorry to hear your Mugsy is having asthma problems. I had to take one of my kitties to the vet the other week (seems back to normal now), so I know what it's like to be worried. Prayer your way.

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  75. I have tootsie roll pops and water with lemon to offer. I came across a quote by Helen Keller when asked what would be worse than going blind she replied losing one's vision. Awesome relates to thee transfiguration, relates to transforming power of God. You know those toy transformers that turned into all sorts of things. That's like this the unseen unexpected journey from Epiphany to transfiguration to lent to holy week to EastI f we don't try to see something anew we will see the same old same old. Jesus wanted to go off the mountain. Ok Guys you have seen the show, know what has to be done, so lets go do it. Anyway maybe a big old mess

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  76. Revie, I like the Helen Keller quote. And with that, I am going to bed.

    I'll just let that percolate.

    I have 3 services tomorrow....

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  77. Anybody still around? I am finally here, not to write a whole sermon thankfully, but to write a short reflection to introduce our guest speaker. That doesn't mean I won't take just as long to write it as I would take for a full sermon...

    I am feeling whiny, but will try to refrain here.

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  78. I'm here semfem and things are not going well. I mean, the basic outline is here all except for a way to start this silly thing. I wish I could just jump in the middle and then come back to it, but for some reason that isn't even working tonight. Oh poo.

    The rest of it is ready to go, I just need a way to start!

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  79. I'm getting ready to print and trusting the holy spirit for the delivery. sorry to bail on the late night party but I'm just too wiped tonight. blessings on your sunday

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  80. I'm still around, glad for a few companions. The last couple of sentences just do not want to come. I thought that maybe watching episode 6 of John Adams with my husband might let me come back inspired, but all I am is tired (up at 5:00 this a.m. to get son off to a ski trip). I don't dare go to bed with it unfinished, as I need to be out of the house by 7:00.

    For those who'd like savory at this hour, I have some garlic herb tortilla chips and salsa!

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  81. Holy cow. It was more than a longtime coming, but I got a start! Whew! 500 words, so I'm ready to snooze. I'll be back at 4:00 a.m. central to finish this one. Many thanks to Diane for that image of the dog at travel time! That idea got me rolling where I needed to go!

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  82. I think I'm finished too--too tired to really write efficiently, but I've got a few pages of reflection on how mountaintop experiences change the way we see life in the valleys...and that will be sufficient for tomorrow's game plan.

    May the Spirit be with the early morning crew, and blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today!

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  83. I'm back. Time to finish this sermon!

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  84. good morning SheRev!

    I haven't been around in WEEKS! I was preaching a series on the Lord's Prayer off lectionary and i just got out of the habit... but I'm back!

    I'm preaching this morning on Transfigured Transitions... about how we need to take time to hold things in the light and really come to understand them for what they are, but that we can never stay there - that we have to get back down off the mountaintop and get to the hard work of being a disciple. Jesus really is the paradigm for us in that he takes the time for the affirmation and to rest in the glory of God, but then he has to move, in order for the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ to shine on us.

    (and btw - I love that Paul uses such crazy phrases).

    I have missed all of you terribly! And I'm rejoicing with many of you this morning and praying with those of you who are having a rough time also!!!

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  85. good morning, everyone. just getting ready to take the dog for a winter walk in the dark.

    hoping the sermon goes ok.

    well, praying, that the holy spirit has my back.

    and yours, too.

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  86. Wrapping things up here and I like the way it's turning out. Grinning also as I listen to the kiddos on the monitor babble back and forth in the across-the-hall rooms. Wonder when my peacefully sleeping husband will hear the same cute noises and go start feeding them?

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  87. Good morning! I'm reading over my manuscript while Sam licks the oatmeal bowl at my feet.
    Weather forecast is for snow, but looks like it won't hit this area until after church, thankfully. I hope we can keep the Council meeting to a reasonable length and get people home safely.
    Blessings to you as you preach this day!

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  88. I have been thinking of giving up judgment. I know, I know we aren't suppose to judge. And I try not to, but we all do it. It is almost our national past time. Recently I read "you cannot judge and love at the same time". So I want to be more aware of when I am judgmental and replace that with love.

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