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Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Ordinary 11th Hour Preacher Party (First of Many Edition)

It's here.

The season we've been waiting for.

Ordinary Time!!!! Yay!!!! Send up the green balloons!!!!

We enter the long green, embark on the David cycle, wander through Mark and then John all summer, tell the Deacons not to worry about changing the paraments and wonder how to keep things interesting in and around people's vacations.

What's up in your green world today?

Share your thoughts in the comments and share a cup of virtual coffee or tea. And how about some blueberry muffins? I'm making them from scratch. Let the Ordinary Party begin!


  1. Oh my goodness. I've never been first before (even WITH the time difference)
    Here in Gloucestershire UK it's a beautiful morning, so I'm none too keen on the dual tasks of tidying the study & writing a sermon. Let me put the kettle on. I've some interesting yogi tea (liquorice & choc)and,if it's not too early, some yummy orange cake. I've a sermon to prepare for a baptism, on a Sunday when the diocese is inviting us all to reflect on what the church represents locally...there's some helpful material but me, I've not done a word. Study floor first though...til you all wake up and get started ;-)

  2. It will be interesting. I am preaching my first sermons (4 services) at my CPE site, a retirement community with all levels of care. I'm using Ezekiel 17:22-24. which I've noticed is in the Lutheran lectionary and is an alternate in others.

    The passage will be doing triple duty for me, which I hope helps with the sermons--yesterday it was the basis of a devotional, a Bible study, and now for the sermons. Is anyone else using this passage?

    Peace. By the way, I have lots of coffee to share.

  3. Good morning Pals,

    Just wanted to let you know that last weeks final service went well. Thank you for all your prayers. They carried me through the service and sermon.

    Wish I were preaching today but I'm not. I'm going on vacation for a week and a half. Gonna hang out with the friends and family.

    Peace and love,

    ps. See you all when I do pulpit supply.

  4. I've just brewed a fresh pot of coffee and we've get teas from Constant Comment to Chai to green. What may I pour for you?
    Kathryn, how goes the tidying?
    Ivy, if you're getting triple use out of a text, someone it teaching you well. And God_guurrllll, enjoy the vacation time; may it be followed by opening doors.

  5. Greetings fellow preachers (and those who are on vacation, blessings to you God_Guurrll).
    I woke up far earlier than I wanted to after getting to bed late last night. And my brain is fuzzy. Today is WAY too busy of a day with momsoccer, pack car and pick up CSA share, get to Brown Eye's t-ball game late, leave early to take Freckleface to her softball game, and leave THAT early so I can drive out to church to do a renewal of vows service, then the Saturday night service. Then drive west another hour to get to the site for our Annual Conference where Starman and the girls will hopefully be settled into our cottage. Tomorrow, up at 6 to drive BACK to church, preach two services, go to a volunteer lunch, and then back to AC site where girls and I (without Starman) will be for the rest of the week. I am on the secretarial staff for AC so I have a dinner tomorrow nite and then have to work AC all week.
    I am feeling VERY stressed about all of this. More than I should be. But there you have it.
    Anyone have any good ideas for a children's moment for seeds and trees? I know if I had half a brain I could think of one.
    I am happy to share some good hot cocoa and my normal breakfast of oatmeal mixed with blueberries, strawberries, and yoghurt. I would appreciate any extra prayers you may have available sent my way for me to just CALM DOWN! and trust the Spirit will get me through all this.

  6. Ivy, I am preaching on Ezekiel and Psalm 92 - great texts for an older congregation. Sounds like you have a great handle on the text already! I love the idea of the sprig coming from the already-existing tree. Blessings on your preaching!

  7. I had a couple of requests this week to use the hymn text I wrote last summer about the Matthew mustard seed story (very similar), so if anyone is still looking for a hymn, the words are here. It's set to the familiar tune for Amazing Grace.
    This morning I'm hosting a discussion about possible groups/classes/opportunities for women at the newer of my two churches, as well as finishing work on a form for our youth mission trip. Later I'll make a trip to the other church for various purposes. Busy day!

  8. It's Salvation Army lunch day. We are doing pork bbq, cole slaw, watermelon and cake. Fortunately, we have a big crew coming in to cook and then to serve so it will go quickly. Then it's off to my favorite burger place for lunch and some shopping for the cupcake extravaganza I'm making with my great nephews for the 4th of July - a flag of cupcakes!
    I hope, then, the sermon will arise fully formed from somewhere. I still want to tell the Saul story but I am intrigued by Mark, too. Tying them together still seems like a stretch at best.
    I have Cheerios to offer. Always eat low cholesterol cereal when you are planning a high cholesterol lunch!
    Happy day to all of you!

  9. Good morning, all.
    I just downed the first cup of coffee and am about to get the second. For the rest of June I'm preaching on 2 Corinthians (only God knows why!) I think I'm focusing in on longing to be at home with God, and how we already are even in this life.
    I long to get this sermon finished in a timely manner and not be up at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning yet again.

  10. I'm sitting here contemplating making popovers for breakfast/brunch (anyone want to wager if this is going to downscale to toast and eggs?)...not preaching tomorrow, but I am assisting, so I'll be composing my Prayers of the Church. And - shockingly -- helping put up an electric fence around the garden! Ora pro nobis.

  11. Good morning - first Sunday back from vacation for me. I'm preaching the II Corinthians scripture and how this new creation really does change does not remove us from everything but it changes everything.

  12. Coffee time here! I'm trying to write early so I can enjoy part of the day before the church potluck tonight. I'm making minty brownies. If you need an easy reciepei I highly reccommend them. Ready:

    Make a box of brownies and put them in the oven to bake 5 minutes less than the time on the box.

    Unwrap enough York Peppermint Paties
    (the little ones) to cover the top of the brownies.

    When the brownies need abotu 5 mot minutes, put the peppermint patties on top and put it back in the oven.

    Remove from oven, spread the peppermint/chocolate goo over the top and WALK AWAY. Come back when completely cooled (I put them in the fridge sometimes) and cut.

    I'm preaching about seeds - -going green from last year, I think. It was also the text for graduation sunday.

  13. It appears I need more coffee beofre I try to type. Sorry!

  14. It's another chilly grey day here...where is summer? Honestly, a fire in the fireplace would be nice today.

    I'm preaching on Mark...I like the first parable about the seeds that grow, one "knows not how;" not sure where I'm going with it, but I think it reminds us that we are not always in control.

    I'm also pondering "the Kingdom of God is like..." Not sure where that is leading either. I hope inspiration hits soon!

    Tomorrow afternoon I'm doing something I've never done before--the invocation for the opening game for a local baseball league.

  15. Wondering if I can be brave enough tomorrow to just say, 'sow the seed and trust God'
    Wondering what reaction I would get.It might provoke more response than my usual 10-15 minutes.

  16. Ivy - I'm tying the Ezekiel text in with the gospel lesson about seeds and growth.

    KP - brownies sound very yummy!

    I've got fresh Rhubarb Crumble Cake on the counter (made with some rhubarb from a congregation member's garden).

    I'm off to church to do a memorial service.

    Back later.

  17. i cannot copy & paste on my computer... from word to internet or vice versa... it locks me up. arggghh!!

    will post sermon later.

    children's time... thinking of having cups over about 3-4 different seeds (onlh one of them is a green M&M) and asking the children which ones do they think would grow. oh i can't plant an M&M tree? nope b/c M&Ms aren't made to grow... but seeds are. and God has made us to grow as well... and yep each little hand will get one green M&M to remind them that they are likethe seed... meant to grow.

  18. HotCup -- that's a great idea! I'm thinking that I will bring in the pepper plants that I did not plant and talk about how they were seeds once. I'm also thinking about giving everyone sunflower seeds to plant and see what happens.

  19. knittin preacher... those brownies sound oh so YUMMY!

    tomorrow i'm asking "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" *sigh* strange, but true.

  20. Been busy around here. We had VBS this week, and for the first time I taught the Bible studies for all of the age groups. Yikes. What I learned? I love working with the fourth grade and up - much more relational. The little ones? I love 'em too, but I'm not gifted to work with them for sustained periods of time. Three hours of teaching pretty much wiped me out for anything else. God bless all the childrens ministers.

    We leave tomorrow, as soon as I get home and packed, for a week in California for my niece's graduation and visiting with my folks. Yesterday was filled with all of the little and time-consuming errands that have to happen before leaving. We're driving, with our energetic 7-month old boxer puppy, 800 miles - 1/2 Sunday, 1/2 Monday, so it should be interesting.

    Yesterday was filled with all of the small but time-consuming errands & chores that have to happen before leaving. I love the point where we're actually leaving for a trip, but everything that leads up to it? Ugh. At least we come home to a clean house!

    So this morning, I'll do the bulletin for next week, one load of laundry, and then the sermon this afternoon, when hubby is home and can be on full puppy duty. For the summer I'm experimenting with a sermon series on topics that the congregation has suggested. Tomorrow is Psalm 121, coupled with Romans 8:31-39 and the Matthew passage about not worrying. Guess I shouldn't worry about everything I have to do between now and tomorrow afternoon!

  21. WE are doing our annual camp service, which this year was prepared by another member of our cmp planning team. SO All I have to do is read the reflection she wrote and use the slideshow.

  22. Hello all!

    Cool and rainy here, unfortunately, because today is the day of the community yard sale and the church has a table there!

    Already been there to help set up and staff for a while, now back home to finish up notes for tomorrow and put together the membership class materials foe tomorrow.

    I'm feeling ambivalent about things...will blog about it as a warm-up to those notes.

    It's house church here tomorrow, so no sermon per se, but I do need some good notes and conversation starters!

    I have homemade doughnuts (cinnamon!) from the yard sale...

  23. A busy week here -- with unexpected funeral so I am participating in earnest with this Preacher Party. Thankfully tomorrow's service is already cram-packed: communion & recognition for retiring youth pastor. So, I'm aiming at 15 minutes on Sabbath. Relying HEAVILY on St. Marva(Dawn)and Mark 2-3, of course.

    Sabbath is not simply saying "no," it is making room to say "yes."

    Looking very much forward to Sunday post-sermon & Monday when I go on a roadtrip to celebrate Susan's ordination!

  24. I'm going green this week and recycling, which is proving harder than just going back to the drawing board - -I have some new stuff to add in and making it all fit. Writing looks like puzzle solving today.

  25. KnittinPreacher, I think your fingers and brain just got all mixed up in the excitement about those fabulous sounding brownies! ;-) And RP, those homemade cinnamon donuts sound excellent as well. I have cherries, cantalope, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, apples, and plums to offer...fruit salad, anyone?

    Once SB got me back on track with the lessons--I had jumped ahead a week--I discovered that my brain appears to be empty for these ones. It has been a long and busy week, and there's just nothing there! I'll keep reading here, and I'm sure something will come.

    Plus, we are announcing the call of a new rector tomorrow at all services; that's after the sermon and most people know it's coming, so I think they will be more focused on that. Shouldn't diminish my motivation for preaching, but it does.

  26. I just got done with a small group leaders meeting.

    And it's beautiful weather here, which should inspire me to finish my sermon, called "What's Love Got to Do with it" and about 2 Corinthians.

    after today, I'm not preaching for a month, which feels weird. weird. weird. part of it is vacation, though.

    and I'd as your prayers for a woman in my congregation I visited with yesterday. She was having severe lower back pain and went in, was just diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

  27. Good morning R-G-friends, Does anyone know why there are different strains of the lectionary? I'm preaching 1 Samuel and David's anointing. We have a wonderful group of drama folks who ran with my suggestion that the story come alive.
    Hot Cup, I want to be a M&M tree. I love the children's idea and hope to borrow it another day.
    Children will get 2 boxes to unwrap per Clergy Journal's idea. One pretty on outside but junk inside, the other plain but full of candy. Pretty lame but daughter left for Rome this morning and last 2 days have been filled with packing and getting everything right for the tiny suitcase for a month in ROMA. Airlines called at 3:30 am to tell her 1st leg of flight to NYC was delayed so staying up to work on sermon, now doesn't seem to have been profitable. At least my fuzzy brain has a little to go on.
    Best wishes to all.

  28. I am here to hope one of you have written a sermon on the mustard seed that I can beg for so I don't have to write mine. I am just not in the mood to do it.
    So any one? Sermon Fairy?

    Hope all the rest of you are doing okay.
    I bring lovely green tea.

  29. My draft is up. Feels strange to be done before I usually start! I would appreciate feedback. I can tell it is cobbled together form last year's sermon and this month's newsletter article, but that may be just me.

    Here is the draft.

  30. Just returned from a fabulous day out with youth church to a nearby farm park. Fortunately, tomorrow is sorted. It's youth church promotion so gospel idea of seeds is ideal for sending them on their way for summer. Thanks to an idea posted here a couple of weeks ago, I'm popping corn early on in the service to illustrate surprising growth and nurture. Then, later on in the service the young folks will write down things they've been grateful for in this years session of youth church activities and we'll stick them onto a watering can to remind us we have to nurture these things - we'll also use them in a prayer of thanks. This is the first of our summer all age services, so hoping for lots of fun ideas to celebrate the gospel from now until end of August. Wondering if that will be any easier than sermon writing?

  31. Tea and popcorn cake with M&M's at my place...yum!

    I'm planning on doing a sermon series through the rest of June and July on the marks of discipleship, starting with the introduction this Sunday. I'm going to make use of the imagery of seeds and trees and growth, especially Jesus' surprising and odd choice of the mustard seed. Hopefully it comes together coherently!

  32. I'm back after trips to both churches and to visit someone in stroke rehab. We had a great meeting brainstorming possible programs for women, and I am excited to begin planning for the fall.
    Abi, I'll try to get Antonio to drop by and see you.

  33. Isn't interesting that (at least according to some commentators) the mustard plant was a weed that no one would've planted intentionally?

  34. Yes, according to some commentaries, the mustard plant was not kosher, and something you didn't want growing in your garden. But apparently they can be quite a pernicious weed.

  35. And it would never grow into a tree. So this is really about the unexpected, isn't it? (Just as David is the unexpected chosen one.)

  36. And unexpectedly, the sun came out; however briefly it sticks around, it's wonderful to see.

    Sermon is done! After I shower and get dressed I'll edit and then it's off to preach at 5:00.

  37. Oh dear. NOT a good day. It's now 7.20, the study is markedly more tidy but in the process I've discovered assorted things undone that I should have done, and also realised that I don't know where one or two moderately important things are - which I thought were in one place, but no.....
    So it is that I'm only NOW about to engage with the sermon(s). Botherit.
    Quite QUITE hopeless...

  38. I am abandoning the lectionary to talk about this ordinary post-Pentecost time, post-Pentecost season, "what do we do until the Messiah comes."
    And I am gong to batten shamelessly upon last week's Royal visit to talk about the changing "weather" of waiting...first we were all excited and ambitious and then we got tired and bad-tempered with each other, and then the Princess came and everybody forgave everybody and had a good time.
    AND...the prep work we took on we could not have done without outside prevenient grace (ie large cheque), and our joy would have been less if we hadn't made the efforts we did.
    End of sermon, we should all be more aware of the things that trip us up whilst we wait his coming again in glory.

  39. I have some lovely lunch items for those who missed it (like I did) or are in other time zones. Homemade pizza (including the dough) with onions and grape tomatoes, Diet Vernors (the store FNALLY got it back in stock), and for added inspiration a preview of the minty brownies!

    We were hoping to pot-luck outside today, but the grey skies that threaten to open up and rain are still here.

  40. DONE with renewal of vows service! This was only my second wedding experience ever, and I was way more nervous than I should have been. The couple were married 50 years ago TODAY and he and she both cried when they said their vows again. It was so, so sweet.

    Now to get ready for the 5:30 service, and then off to annual conference cottage for the night. Somehow it doesn't seem so stressful any more.

    I'm here at the church, an hour from my house, so pickings are slim, but I will share my dark chocolate Dove bites with anyone who needs a late afternoon...or whatever time it is where you are...pick-me-up. Of course, after knittinpreacher's brownies, who would need anything?!

    Since I have some time, I'll post my sermon over at my place. RevAbi and anyone, if it inspires you, go for it! Kathryn, prayers for you as it is getting late over there.

    Diane, prayers for your parishioner, my aunt is going through chemo right now for MM.

    Off to finish writing prayers for tonight. Blessings to all.

  41. Mumpastor, how sweet!
    I am home from VBS, full of hot dogs and s'mores!
    I am taking a nap and then working on sermon.
    This week I am usinng the gospel seed text and the news story of the shooting at the holocaust museum in DC.
    Gonnna talk about the need for seeds to be planted now and in the future and remeber those(ie Anne Frank) who planted seeds in the past.
    Or something like that. Not sure where I am heading yet
    Was going to use the apple for kids, but like the green M and Ms.
    Yup, nap time, fix green bean salad and pralines for picnic tomorrow.
    In less than 36 hours I will be on the big VaCay!!!!

  42. Wow, VBS already? Our kids are still in school!

  43. RevAbi... don't we all have those weeks? Another RGBP bailed me out once... the 1st half or actually 2/3 of a mustard-seedish sermon is here use what you can!

  44. After posting here earlier about feeling like the announcement of our new rector (after a 2 year search process) will overshadow everything else tomorrow, I hit on the perfect solution: I'll ask the wardens to do the rector call piece at the beginning of the sermon, rather than later in the announcement time, and then I can reflect in the sermon on discernment and new growth. How convenient that the 1st lesson and gospel fit just right with that...thanks, Holy Spirit! For a variety of reasons, this arrangement feels perfect; I love when that happens. Of course, now I have to actually write the sermon ;-)

    MumPastor, how touching about the couple crying.

    Diane, prayers for your parishioner; what a shock to have that come out of the blue. My dad was just dx'd with lymphoma this week, so I am in that spot of trying to even wrap my heart and mind around it.

  45. Betsy, that sounds like a plan that will work well for everyone. Blessings to the congregation as it begins a new chapter!
    We are eating bring home food from Whole Foods and planning to watch a little No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Sushi, anyone?

  46. Betsey, thanks for the prayers. I'll be praying for you and your dad, as well.

    whoever said about VBS? Ours starts Monday, too.

    I preached the early edition. got away from my manuscript for part of it. I miss the precision of language, but a few apt phrases just occurred to me, and that felt pretty cool.

  47. What a quiet day we've had! Anyone out there working?

  48. I'm still here, on and off. Phone calls, dinner, bits and pieces of housework, and finding solitaire more interesting than sermonizing are all slowing down the process.

    Anyone else? I'm going to make popcorn in a bit for my sons and a friend; I'd be glad to save out a bowl for any of you!

  49. I"m done and barely awake. looking for the energy to get up and go to bed. best wishes to the finishers. God bless

  50. Popcorn sounds great! I'd love some, thanks!

  51. hi, big day tomorrow as it is one of the Sundays that my husband and his band play all of the services at his church. so we'll all be up and running around early.

    re-reading sermon a couple of times before I go to bed. I want to be up and out of here before husband and stepson get up and start frantically getting their things ready.

  52. Checking in for the late shift. I've been thinking and pondering the seeds all this week, so hopefully it's about to bear some fruit or grow into something...

    Perhaps a bit of dinner and browsing a few other sermons will get the words flowing.

  53. Big bowl of popcorn on the kitchen yourself!

  54. I am having some of the popcorn in exchange for some pecan pralines I made for picnic tomorrow.
    I was gonna do a green bean and pine nut salad, but am tired. Maybe in the AM and maybe not.
    Children's sermon is done and the "other" sermon is almost done.
    Did I mention that I will be on vacation soon? :)

  55. 1-4, I hope you're long done.

    I fell asleep and am writing now. Relying mostly on some good stories and hopefully that can carry much of it, but need to weave them together, and fairly soon!

    Any early birds out there yet working?

  56. I've just finished. It's a bit longer than I would like, but has two good stories and that will keep people engaged, I think. And it mostly makes sense. Bonus!

    Just in time to start getting ready for the day, too. Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day.

  57. Good morning! I'm pulling together a few last pieces, mostly for a meeting after church to do final permissions and preparations for a youth trip leaving next Sunday.
    Meanwhile, let me offer you a cup of coffee for the road!


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