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Saturday, June 20, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Dark and Stormy Night Edition

In a week of storms both literal and figurative, many of us prepare today to preach about a storm calmed by Jesus, while some may be telling the story of a boy who felled a giant.

What other unlikely goals will we try to accomplish today?

Chime in below by leaving a comment. Tell us what you're preaching, share your idea for a children's story, or report on the challenges of a June Saturday, whatever they may be.

I'll keep the coffee coming!

(Painting by He Qi)


  1. Checking in before I hit the sheets. I actually have some notes and a rough outline and an idea what I think I'll say and how I might say it. YAY! Now all I have to do is write it, in between a VBS meeting and a surprise party.

    But for now, I am going to sleep and leaving the snacks for the breakfast crew.

  2. My effort was posted earlier in the week.... not sure about the 'bookending' of inflatable lobsters and teeth, but thought it a useful way of bringing us all back up out of the storm and into the calm!!
    stormy weather

  3. I will have a cup of really, strong, reallly black coffee.
    Nothing but poptarts here.
    Muffins will come later, but they will be for Fathers Day Bfast.
    Since it is virtual though, have a blueberry or raspberry-apple muffin!
    I am going to talk about storms and the way we are affected by them( literal and figurtive).
    Using the story of the family in Omaha as news event.
    Plan to discuss are lack of faith in the storms of our own lives.
    Look for a post later this week on my 12hrs home from vacation. :)

  4. My husband, who left for a series of jobs on February 15th, is on his way home! He spent the night in Buffalo, NY, so he has about 9 hours of driving to get here today. I'm not sure how early he'll start (he's been on Pacific time for the past couple of months, not to mention on nights for work), but I think I'd better finish my sermon EARLY for once!!!
    I do have an outline, I've picked out the illustrations and know what needs to be said to the church, so it ought to come together relatively simply.
    (Please say yes.)
    Meanwhile, 1-4, I would take a pop-tart or whatever else is handy!

  5. I'm off to take a walk with Sam, I'll bring back treats as an incentive for us all!!

  6. SB, here's to quick sermon writing and a wonderful reunion with Pure Luck!!!

    "Why are we afraid?" is the theme; beyond that, not sure yet.

    I will have a happy announcement later this weekend so stay tuned!!

  7. Can't wait for more news, RDM!
    I decided to make coffee cake, and it's in the oven. I'll let you know when it's ready to share!!

  8. just popping by today, not preaching, but have a lot of processing to do after this week's Annual Conference. And some other work type stuff to do. And a lot of house type stuff to do after a week away. But t ball and softball games have been canceled and I am enjoying being able to breathe in a figurative way.

    SB, YAY for your reunion today, praying for a quick safe journey for PureLuck. 1-4, welcome back from vacation, can't wait to hear about it!

    I'll share some just made hot cocoa (tastes more like coffee, using hershey's special dark) and later some hummus and whatever we get from our CSA share. Blessings on you all as you prepare and preach the Word.

  9. SB - hooray for reunions!
    1-4 Grace - what Omaha family story?

    oh sermon's together but she's not pretty folks. not at all... but it's a sunny saturday and i feel like playin' and so i will be... after coffee & toast... playing with mochajava.

  10. SB, have a wonderful reunion :-) 1-4, that does not sound like the ideal end to a vacation.

    Vacation last week and next for me, so I am feeling exceptionally leisurely. Trying to decide if it's worth giving the dog a bath today in prep for company tonight, when we know we are taking him to the dog beach tomorrow. That's about as weighty as it gets for me!

    I mentioned that my dad has been dx'd with lymphoma and we were waiting for test results. Got the great news yesterday that although it has spread quite a bit, it is low grade; for now, it will be treated as a slowly progressing chronic condition, and no chemo or radiation! Praise God, and thanks for your prayers!

  11. Good morning preachers! I'd love some pop tarts, 1-4, and the hot cocoa sounds great!

    Earlier this week I decided david and goliath sounded like a good way to go, not sure what I was thinking now. I'm praying for inspiration and a quick sermon.

    I have coffee and stilton cheese, though they don't necessarily go together, but if someone has something they can do with the cheese, you're welcome to it!

  12. prayers for your father Betsy!

  13. Betsy, you have my prayers, too.
    Who wants some coffee cake? It's warm from the oven.

  14. I'm not preaching at the main Parish Eucharist in either church, but need to produce a thought for the day for the 8.00...and have no enthusiasm whatsoever at the moment. I loved having my darling daughter home last night, but went to bed too late as a result and am thus weary & worn when I should be full of joy and inspiration!
    I do, though, have some Fair Trade seedless grapes, which make things substantially better. Help yourselves..

  15. I am with you all on this dark and stormy night edition. It was very dark night last night here with no power. Oh and a hot night, but bearable. Not stormy though. This morning, I am working in my office at church, monitoring a ministerial candidate while he takes psych tests and using the time to write sermon. I have a lot of thoughts floating at sea I am trying to pull together, like the rest of you.

    It is a beautiful day and I would rather be swiming. If I get ti done, i can og do that and not worry.

    Blessings to you all, I bring fruit and diet cokes to the scene. Anybody need anything else?

  16. I need a conclusion!

    But diet coke would work, too :)

  17. Coming up on Sunday 2 of 2 straight Sundays off. Was totally out of town last week at the beginning of my vacation. Tomorrow is a continuing ed Sunday the day before the start of the trip, so I didn't have to go in and out of town. I lead worship the Sunday after my conference, but will be designing worship without a sermon as we dedicate our NEW outdoor labyrinth that's going in this week. Woo hoo!

    Today I'm home recovering from vacation and getting ready for the mommy-vacation that is continuing ed. I'm also thinking about the funeral going on at our church just a mile down the road. Someone's filling in for me since I'm on vacation, for which I am hugely grateful, but it does feel strange. We just got back after 9:00 p.m. last night.

    Praying for them as they worship!

    Plan to pop in here again when the kids nap. I think I'll finish organizing worship for next week today. At least that's the thought. We'll see if it comes close to happening. I'd also just like to finish this vacation with ZERO work completed, so I may wait until tomorrow's nap.

  18. Hot Cup,
    Story of a family in Omaha that huddled together during a major twister. House was torn apart, but they are all alive.

  19. I need an idea! but a sermon would work too!

  20. I'd love some of that warm coffee cake, Songbird! I have odds and ends to offer at the party...things to use up before I go out of town tomorrow afternoon...let's see, there's some tofu, some half and half, some mushrooms...okay, so there's not much, but if you can use it you're welcome to it.

    I'm thinking along the lines of the church being like a boat (preaching on Mark) and also thinking about being on a cruise last fall where the whole boat was seasick the last day. Even though it was a huge ship, it was still susceptible to the rocky seas. Being a bigger church is not what's going to save us--Jesus is who's going to save us.

    Or something like that! Lots of other stuff to do before I can leave, so the plate is full.

  21. Have a great reunion SB. Betsy, so sorry about your father's diagnosis. You are all in my prayers.

    I'm preaching David and Goliath. At first, I thought I was going with the standard "God is enough" message and the profound trust shown by David. While all of that is in there, I ended up using some of the United Church for Peace material - talking about how we hail David as a hero in the story because that is what we've always been taught.

    However David, hero or not, returned violence with violence - not exactly a UCCan message, nor a UCCan theology. So I ended up talking about how unsettling these new perspectives can be. Frightening even.

    "But David's always been the hero!" starts to sound a lot like "But we've always done it this way!"

    It probably doesn't fit for most of you, but we're in amalgamation/church sharing talks with another congregation, so I think it will preach. Or at least, I'm hoping.

  22. semfem, good to hear you have notes and outline, hope it comes together.

    Nik thanks for sharing.

    I-4 good thoughts to pull together.

    Songbird, knowing you , it will be done and you will be ready to welcome hubby home. Hope its a great time.

    Rev. Dr. Kate, can't wait to hear your happy announcement. So why are we afraid?

    Sorry, I'll come back later. I have to stop and take care of the candidate.

  23. I too need a sermon. I thought i was doing a brilliant thing and preaching the texts about David this summer. I turn to Feasting on the word for help, and nothing. Did I miss something?

    Had a migraine last night and am laying low today. I have given myself until 2:30 to play. In the cold rain here today, that looks a lot like finally finally finishing my sweater! What's left is to seam the left side, add a buttonhole and once I decide where I want the buttons to go, add the buttons and give it another bath. The kitties laid down on it this morning and so it is COVERED in cat hair.

    I have diet coke and white chicken chili if anyone is interested.

  24. The RCL gives the option of using the David arc or another set of readings, but I did notice that in the two aids I use (New Proclamation series and Feasting on the Word), the David arc is being ignored. Do y'all not have the same option to use either?

  25. RDM, I definitely have the David option, just not going there this time. Though I do have fond memories of my husband's portrayal of Goliath in dramatic readings 3 and 6 years ago.

  26. And I would love a Diet Coke. I have already taken a nap and could use the boost!

  27. We have the option of using either, but awareness of the semi-continuous option (i.e. the David/Israel story) is semi-new in the ELCA. It's presented as [other reading...Job this week] being the norm and 1 Samuel etc. as an alternative.

    That's just us...I always had the impression it was us catching up to the ecumenical curve, so I'm surprised to hear it's not in Feasting on the Word.

  28. knittinpreacher - sorry to hear about the migraine. As for the kittehs and the sweater - any wool that is out in plain view is considered kitteh territory around here.

    In fact, it's a beautiful day here, but both of our cats have claimed the deck chair (which is indoors to keep out of the rain) because I mistakenly put a prayer shawl on it.

    *sigh* Yes, they own me.

  29. Songbird, I am so happy for you. And I know you will have everything done and ready when Pure Luck finally arrives home.

    How odd that Feasting on the Word is only using the Job passage this week. Wonder if their editors said "you get to write on 4 passages for each week, period." and had to make a choice where there is more than one option listed in RCL?

    I went to see Star Trek with The Husband last night and the whole concept behind the Kobiyashi Maru exercise goes so well with Jesus' question to the disciples, "Why are you afraid?" that I can see there will be much Star Trek in my sermon.

    I'd love some of that coffee cake if there's any left. For a healthy alternative I have a big bowlful of mandarin oranges to share.

    Now - on to the writing part.

  30. Mmmmm, it's later in the day, but I'm bringing on some fabulous flapjacks/pancakes/griddlecakes/whatever you call them in your neck of the woods.

    I'm with those of you doing a take on "Why are you afraid": Sermon title = "Out of Control-->Into Faith". I hate not having control over things like storms and wars and my cats' antics.... it makes me "fearful" when I can't control all of it! And I find it interesting that the disciples' first comment is about how Jesus CAN control what they're fearful of. So here's to letting go of control, and grabbing on to faith!

  31. awww craaaaapppp i think i'm using a story i've used before in the intro... oh well! it's gonna be what it is...

    sangria in these parts... anyone?

  32. KP - I ran into that a few weeks ago, when I went with an alternative text. I used for some help/thoughts/starters. You can search by text for articles.

    I had to make myself put down the knitting - it's been such perfect weather for knitting with our dreary, rainy days - but the baby blanket is really starting to take shape!

    Now to see my sermon take shape on paper ...

  33. I broke down and bought a Pepsi. hot cup, at my house that's the rough equivalent of Sangria.
    I have an outline, I know my illustrations, I've written my conclusion. Wait, didn't I say all that earlier today? My husband will be home in approximately four hours. I must get this done!!!

  34. dreary rainy days sound luxurious down here in the land of 2 weeks straight of over 100 degrees. So I'm staying inside writing a crappy sermon. Goliath is still winning hte fight at this point. Not sure if David will show up this week.

    I've brewed some fresh coffee to stay awake through the afternoon push to finish. Help yourself!

  35. Nutella, we can't have that! Go David!!!

  36. Songbird, I thought of you when I picked up diet coke this week.

    Nutella -- hang in there. Pretend we''re at the library. Is there a good west wing or princess bride quote you can use?

    We do have the option to pick the texts, and I did not realize the David readings were the "alternative" ones. I am off to check out sermon brainwave and I've been thinking about them this week, but not like I usually do.

    Really, I want to finish the sweater - so close... just need a buttonhole band, buttons, and a final block to see if I can make it longer while I wash off the cat hair.

    If you see me over at Spacehook send me back to work.

  37. Okay, I'm really writing now. I realized the reason I had trouble getting started: I haven't preached for four weeks! I've forgotten how to do this. But I'm getting it together now.

  38. I'm done! (With an hour or so to spare--he is due sometime around 7.)
    Supper is made other than tossing a salad. Maybe I'll do a little knitting to pass the time.
    How's it going out there for the rest of you?

  39. It was sad to discover that FOTW is going with the gospel-related track rather than giving us both options. Ah well, I'm using Brueggemann's commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel from the Inspiration series.
    David went out to fight Goliath just as he was. The disciples put Jesus in the boat just as he was. In both stories, it is the confidence in God that stands out as the "just as" that the others lacked or forgot. Saul and the others must have had a similar reaction as the disciples did at the end of the story.
    All too often, we behave like the disciples and the Israelites/Saul. Sure, we know God is there for us but our confidence is misplaced, relying on ourselves. We really do have to trust God, wrap ourselves in the love of God and go into the world just as we are.

    And the pound cake is due out of the oven any minute. It ought to be cool enough for dessert or late night snacking. Y'all come. Happy reunion, SB! Nutella, many of us would be happy to send you a few dreary rainy days. This is the second day without rain and we rejoice in that. I think it has rained steadily since Christmas. When the storms are really hard, trees in the softened earth are toppling over everywhere. But, as we always say, it is good for the farmers.
    I believe I'll have a glass of wine now.

  40. Rev. Maria, say more about how you are using ST in your sermon. I love ST references but have to be careful not to use them too much. keep me posted.

  41. Who is hungry? I'm finally on a writing roll and taking a break for supper. On the menu tonight is pasta with chicken sausage and arugula with some awesome focaccia bread. I won't have any wine, as I have a feeling more headache meds are in my future, but there is a bottle of white in the fridge if you want some. I also will keep the Diet Coke flowing.

  42. Who is hungry? I'm finally on a writing roll and taking a break for supper. On the menu tonight is pasta with chicken sausage and arugula with some awesome focaccia bread. I won't have any wine, as I have a feeling more headache meds are in my future, but there is a bottle of white in the fridge if you want some. I also will keep the Diet Coke flowing.

  43. It may be a dog , but it's mine!
    What with craft projects, domestic dithering and all things Kathryn-esque, my thought for the day might as well have been a full scale sermon. Still, it is what it is, and now I can sleep.
    Help yourselves to the evil hard gums lurking on my desk, may words flow and the Spirit bless your toils.
    Night night, all.

  44. I have spent too much time on Facebook and not "enough" on the sermon. But since I seem to get the best work done shortly before God wakes the birds on Sunday morning that's not really much of a surprise. And I did make a group for our church so maybe people will see it . . .

    Rev. Nancy Fitz, like you I have to remember not everyone in the pews is as fond of Star Trek as I am. At this point the kernel of what I have is . . .

    The Kobayashi Maru was a test designed to instill fear in the face of impossible odds - a way to teach cadets not to allow their fear paralyze them in action. No one had ever won. Everyone was afraid. The only way to "win" this no-win situation was to change the rules (aka cheat) which is what Cadet James Tiberius Kirk did. Jesus could ask the disciples "why are you afraid?" because he knew the rules didn't apply to him. With Jesus in the boat/our lives we don't have to let fear paralyze us because we know that the rules we are used to don't bind God. Whatever happens, we will be ok.

    Or something like that. . .

  45. Iced Latte anyone?
    Raspberry muffins are on the way in 8 minutes.
    Blueberry to follow.
    No major breakthroughs on the sermon, my head is still at the lake.

  46. Back from parishioner's surprise birthday party, off to make a few phone calls, and then. The Sermon. In earnest. Although now I'm sleepy and full of good picnic food. And still need to pack, and do dishes, etc.

    Glad to see people finishing up! I made a quick ice cream stop on the way home and am glad to share...

  47. Rev. Maria, oh yes! I love it. hmmm and it will fit with what i've already written, hmmm but spouse says he'll walk out if I use another ST reference.
    Too many "Make it so!" benedictions, i guess. :-)

  48. Rev Nancy Fitz, maybe you should start using Live Long and Prosper instead? :-)

  49. I am thinking of storms and jesus ledaing us into storms and the "wisdom" of cutting across a lake known to be prone to storms instead of creeping along the shore and don't be afraid.

    SO why shouldn't we be afraid? I always think the disciples get a raw deal in this story.

    But sometimes we need to weather the storm----right? Batten sails and ride it out???

  50. Sorry, one furls sails and battens hatches, you don't batten sails!!!

    Am I from a prairie province by chance???

  51. Gord, another ST reference would work there too - when Kirk is marooned on an ice planet he takes off to find the federation outpost knowing there would be danger instead of waiting in his escape pod for help to come. His need to move forward (and save the federation) was greater than his fear of danger just as is the need for Christians to move forward to spread the good news, preach justice, etc greater than our fear of persecution, prejudice, ridicule, etc. . . ..(it was really a good movie.)

  52. So say we all.


    My husband has returned, and I will see you all in the a.m. Happy writing!

  53. Sermon is printing.

    Did someone mention sangria earlier ... I'd talk a glass of that!

    Prayers for all who continue to write and ponder!

  54. Or rather, I'd TAKE a glass of that ...

  55. is 9:40 on saturday night a bad time to figure out I don't have a point?

    Maybe I do need some sangria to finish. Pass the pitcher and a glass, please.

  56. I'm rambling, but I hope to ramble with sincerity. that should help, right?

  57. Rambling with sincerity works for me. I hunch I do that far too often.

    ANyway, as I think more about fear in the midst of the storm and trust in the midst of chaos I was reminded of a piece from the end of a musical version of The Hobbit I was in when I was 12.

    In the play, Thorin returns to Bag End to give Bilbo his reward and thank him for his help (which should show how well the play sticks to the book) and says--actually written to be sung but Thorin in this case couldn't sing (and I still can't):
    A fool never cares if he's risking his life,
    for excitement or thrills or for fame.
    And if he survives other fools call him brave,
    to the wise he's a fool all the same.
    The wise man knows fear when there's danger to face.
    So he's serious, thoughtful and grave.
    He'll do what he must, in the best way he can,
    and this is the one who is brave...

    MAybe there is wisdom here in faithfully proceeding through the storm into which God calls us??

  58. I'm not preaching tomorrow, but I have been thinking through Psalm 74...the writer talks about how the sanctuary was destoryed and the people cant worship God now. Reminded me of the hurt that some experience by parents or other trusted folks (pastors, teachers, many others) that makes it hard to worship God.

  59. I have loads to offer for late night workers: orange chicken, cashew shrimp, rice, noodles, and ice cream galore (mint chip, cookies & cream, rainbow sherbet, Swiss orange sherbet), as well as many varieties of drink. It's all in the fridge; help yourself and gain strength of body and soul for whatever writing remains!

  60. Thanks Betsy, I'll take a drink or two...I fell asleep for a brief nap at the desk, so now it's really time to work and write. Ugh.

    At least it isn't as late as it usually is when I do the nap-and-write thing.

  61. Gord,
    I'd love to see a picture of you in your Hobbit costume at age 12.
    It sounds just too cute

  62. Thinking about you late night folks! Not with you tonight since it's my Continuing Ed Sunday for the trip I'm taking on Monday. I'll read around tomorrow when folks are posted!

  63. I was wondering where you were Sherev!!! So glad we don't have to send out the posse for you. Enjoy your Coned.
    How is everyone else coming?
    I have a decent beginning and a good ending, but nothing in the middle.

  64. Two hours of writing and YouTubing later, and baby, we have a sermon! 1380 words, YEAH!

    Okay, now to race around and do other stuff to get ready for tomorrow. But at least the sermon is DONE, woohoo!

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today. (SheRev, I think you got off easy. :P)

  65. Good morning crew!
    Looks like we have a short sermon today, not a total dog,but also, not one that will be printed in any preaching journals!
    I have Brazillain Fair Trade and muffins, plus Orange Pine-banana juice and a leftover poptart.
    Busy week ahead for me, so I will be napping this afternoon.

  66. I've been up trying to get my daughter ready for a week-long youth trip, but I think I also have the sermon ready. Blessings to all who proclaim the Good News this day!


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