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Saturday, July 18, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: You Can't Always Get What You Want Edition

Hello, preachers! It's Saturday. Do you know where your sermon is?

If you're looking for inspiration and you're a lectionary preacher, check out the texts here and our Tuesday discussion here. And if you are not, tell us what you're thinking about for this week.

The gospel finds Jesus seeking a bit of rest and not succeeding, while one of the Hebrew Bible lessons shows Nathan giving David some disappointing news. How do we handle it when we want to do something and don't get the opportunity?

Here in Maine the weather is threatening outdoor activities. How are things where you are? Is summer a quieter time or does it bring unusual activity?

I'll keep the coffee coming and I believe the forecast here is "Cloudy with a Chance of Coffee Cake." Let us know what's going on in your world by leaving a comment below. We'll be here all day -- and some of us all night!


  1. I'm staring at a cursor for a sermon that looks at Mark and Psalm 23. It's something about sheep, but that's all I know so far.

    I need to go to the grocery.
    All I have to offer up is Coke Zero and orange tic tacs.

  2. My day started with a decision not to attend an event I love, the annual Bernese Mountain Dog picnic. The weather is iffy and the ground is damp and I have my last sermon to preach at Freeport tomorrow. I need a voice!
    I hate being so self-protective. I would like to have the ability to be everywhere and do everything. But this feels the wiser choice for today.

  3. sko3, those orange tic tacs might come in handy.

  4. Good Morning! Blueberry pancakes(freshly picked berries) up soon here, and of course, lots of fair-trade coffee to fuel sleepy brain cells. I am going with the David text and focusing on the question of where is God's "house"...well, in Christ, we are God's house...which maybe will lead into ?what makes for "good building materials" etc. We'll see, it is really very early for me to have even that much of an idea! Songbird---don't you just hate having to make those "grown-up" decisions??? Weather here in the deep south is being called a temporary cool front as it may not get up to 90 today!!! Maine sounds great!

  5. Things are early where I am. Well, they aren't AS early as they were when I woke up, but they're early just the same. I got up to see off the ecumencial youth mission and back-packing trip. I learned we have one youth actually going on the trip when I got there, but I didn't know that until this morning. (Apparently no one thought it important to let our church know that one of our kids was going - - the kid, his parents, or the youth ministry director). Oh well. VERY glad he gets to go. They do a whole week of Habitat then a whole week of backpacking out in Montana. Very cool.

    Came home to breakfast with the kids while my husband is at men's breakfast at church. We'll meet him there for the final workday on the NEW outdoor labyrinth. It's GORGEOUS and one of these days I'll get around to updating my blog and putting pictures of it there. Today is just grass seeding in the area that was cleared of brush.

    After that it's off to the gym for me (I'm in the middle of a "lazyman triathlon.) to get some swimming in. Taking the daughter to a friend's house where there will be pony riding in the afternoon.

    Sermon writing will definitely be a late night activity for me. I make it sound like that's unusual. It will be hard today, though since I got up at 5:15 a.m. Ugh.

    So - - fresh bagels to share today. I think there are still chocolate chip, blueberry, harvest wheat, and Swiss cheese left. Very berry and veggie lite cream cheese!

  6. I have some orange-chocolate chip muffins to share today. And Beloved is making pancakes as I type.

    Later I have a wedding. ANd I need to pack for the week of camp coming up (I leave directly after worship tomorrow to drive to the camp). This year for theme we are looking at prayer.

    ANd yeah, somewhere in ther I need to work on some more sermon details....

  7. Okay, I'm NOT preaching this Sunday, but last night I dreamed I was... and found myself in the pulpit without the lectionary readings, just some random passage from Ezekiel, and no script or notes for a sermon.

    May all your real Sunday sermons turn out BETTER! Blessings to all who will preach, and the grown-up decisions that help you prepare and get there!

  8. Ezekiel?!?!! That IS a nightmare!!!

  9. Done - and possibly the dullest sermon I've ever written.
    No, no, it works, I'm sure it does...
    Looking at the Ephesians text 'he is our peace who has broken down every wall' and with a wee nod to Ps 23. All I need is an all-age address that will work without kids as I think tomorrow they are all away.

    Really focusing on walls and cracks in the walls - was thinking about the prayer notes in the cracks in the Wailing Wall... and then thought about the West Bank barrier... and then thought about walls being all over the place. And that Christ breaks down the walls and reconciles us to him, us to ourselves, us to each other... and that peace is a noisy business: it's the sound of walls falling down, rubble being cleared away and doors flung wide open. The congregation are a great lot and very supportive of all sorts of projects as well as being a generally inclusive bunch, so I reference that in the midst of our task as reconcilers as Jesus reconciled. And the Ps 23 ref: wantonly stole from Thomas a Kempis - 'First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others'

    Mmmm bagels... and mmmm to blueberry pancakes! I am just about to have some of the leftover chicken/ coriander/ lime curry for lunch, that friend made last night. I've got coriander naan and piles of steaming rice to go with it as well... pull up a chair and enjoy. :)

    SB hope all goes well tomorrow on your last preach.

    And that about finishes the stream of consciousness passing for a post. Have fun sermonising folks!

  10. I love the preacher party if only to see how crazy everyone's day can be. My sermon title has been planned awhile "Expecto Patronum" but I haven't made it to the new movie yet. I'm using the Eph text about all the amazing things God can do but plan to contrast magic and faith.
    I love taking on difficult topics when I'm planning, its the reality of writing the sermon that tougher. I hope someone is there to hear it!- summer....

  11. i'm taking the day off. the forecast here is "backache from moving bookcase by yourself up a long flight of stairs"... shoulda known better.

    so... cherry juice; yogurt; coffee; ibuprofen... that's breakfast.

    sermon had begun & i opted for an easy way out and quoted a famous author for several paragraphs - a story of theirs. but hey it's done... now excuse me while i go find a comfy chair.

    SB - blessings for voice & spirit!

  12. Hello preaching and non-preaching friends! I just got back from a wet and not very well attended momsoccer game (only 5 of us) and now will head on to Brown Eyes' last t-ball game and "fun day" (=pizza and a trophy). Freckleface's softball game was canceled due to wet fields and she is bummed but I am not since I still have things to get ready for tonight's service. I am also preaching tomorrow at HomeChurch so I have some sermon tweaking to do as well. And Starman got the bright idea that our whole family should sing "Down to the River to Pray" for special music. Fine for all of them but me - I have NEVER sung in public! Help!
    I could use some of those blueberry pancakes, grace eagle. Songbird, I am sorry you can't go to the picnic. I imagine it would have been hard without Molly, but also healing as well to see so many of your dog-friends. Sigh. Hope your sermon comes pouring out!
    sermon, Make Yourself At Home, is about what God's house might look like, and "holy particularities" from Dwight and Linda Vogel's book Sacramental Living - what are the "holy particularities" that make your house a home? What would God's "holy particularities" be?
    Sorry for the long post, off to shower!

  13. This quote came on one of the e-lists I am a part of. It is going in the sermon for Sunday. Possibly as the intro?

    from: 'Dying Church - Living God', by Chuck Meyers pg. 37-39
    Sometime in the early 1970s, the president of AT&T called all his managers into a large room for an emergency meeting. Attendance was mandatory. Speculation ran high as to what announcement would be made. Perhaps a breakthrough in technology. Perhaps a downsizing. Perhaps ...... They could tell by the grim look on his face that something extremely serious was about to be revealed. When all were seated, the president went to the podium and said, "The telephone as you know it no longer exists." Muffled giggles rippled through the room. What game was this? They all knew he was wrong. They had used phones that morning. He continued: "Anyone who does not believe that state-ment can leave this room right now and pick up your final paycheck on the way out of the building." Sober silence prevailed. No one left. They all just stared. "Your job today is to invent one."

    He broke the group up into small teams and they spent the rest of the time coming up with a new phone. Some people wanted one with no cord...... in the car, or to carry around.... to know when another call was coming be able to forward calls to another number, to see the person on the other end, to send other kinds of messages on it. About 60 items that distinguished the telephone they invented. Many are now the features that we take for granted, from call-waiting to individual digital phones, and the list has not yet completed.

    In the same manner, at the beginning of the third mil-lennium, we come to church one morning for the Sunday service and, much to our shocked dismay, we find a vacant lot with a little note tacked on a piece of tattered plaster out front. It is written in Hebrew and it is the same note left on every vacant lot of every former church building in the world, from cathedral to clapboard. Translated, it says, "The church you have always known no longer exists; it is gone - walls, pews, altar, and assumptions." The tomb is empty. "How can this be?" we ask in abject puzzlement. In the background, we hear God's laughter saying, "Given the world the way it is, given the devastating problems and the incredible possibilities opening up for the first time in history, given what you now know to be true in the world, the real question is, 'How can it NOT be?' " Then God looks us right in the eye and says, "Make a new one."

  14. Ah Gord, I see the 'Midrash' infiltration is happening... :)
    Posted that up in my blog the other day and wondered about using it or not: it's a great story, eh?

  15. sermon is 2/3s done. I'm preaching four out of the next 5 Sundays, so decided to do a mini-series on Ephesians.

    Sr. Pastor is gone; question is, will the mice play?

  16. Gord, what a great quote!

    MumPastor, I am right there with you on the singing. I have a funeral this a.m. for a long-time choir member, and somewhere along the way the idea firmly planted itself in my brain that I should sing the final verse of Wondrous Love ("And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on, I'll sing on...") as the conclusion to the sermon. It's perfect, but I don't do public solo singing except in the liturgy, and even then I'm quaking. May the Spirit give us both voice!

    SheRev, doesn't it drive you nuts when folks don't let you know important, exciting things?

    A family service sermon tomorrow and I've had the basic idea in mind for a while; I'm building on Jesus and the apostles trying to rest awhile and being disturbed by the crowds. The kids will love that I'm inviting them to lie down on the pews as if napping, while the adults pester them! So hard for all of us to balance rest and distraction.

    Blueberry pancakes sound perfect to me :-) I have a few peaches from the neighbor's tree to offer; they are sweet and juicy, perfect refreshment when you've worked up a sweat laboring over a sermon!

  17. Thought you might recognize that one Nik. (and it seems possible that there are other ring members who also subscribe to Midrash and/or e-talk). I just posted on my blog about what I might do in conjunction with this story.

  18. sko3: You can never have too many of you favorite one calorie breath mint.

    I have a wedding couple coming in today for a counseling session, so I am writing this from the office. Then apparently it is Sunday tomorrow, although with my wacky week so far it feels as though it should only be about Thursday. So I guess I'll write a sermon.

    I have coffee--strong coffee--in the thermos on my desk, Anybody need a cup?

  19. sko3 - "staring at a cursor" - I think that is the singular most accurate statement about sermon-writing I've ever heard. Really. I've stared down the darn cursor for hours before any words actually appear. Good times.

    Anywho - I'm going with Nathan and David. The sermon is pretty much finished. It's my last until I return from holidays the first Sunday in September.

    Next week is a no sermon week. Then - holidays.

    My last sermon before the holidays start has historically been awful. This one isn't toooo bad, but I haven't the energy or time today to fix it, so it will have to be what it is.

    Tomorrow the fambly will circle the wagons here at Chez Oz to celebrate my 50th.

    Virtual birthday cake for everyone!

  20. Wow Gord - that's awesome. Thanks. I'll tuck that away for an upcoming workshop in the fall...

    Thinking of you tomorrow SB.

    I love the idea of the crumbling walls too Nik....that'll preach.

  21. Good morning! I thawed some white whole wheat bread I made a few weeks ago--will use it both for communion and dinner when some dear friends come over tonight-- and it is still marvelous toasted.

    Informal preaching for the home Eucharist so everyone's reflections are a good jump start. Lots of moving prep today, combining cleaning the place up with decluttering and maybe some packing. Writing time today in between will be spent on starting to create syllabi, especially for the Torah/Pentateuch class, and/or ongoing revision of the feminist Liturgy of the Hours book. Hope all this early work doesn't jinx the offer expected on Monday but since we'd be leaving two weeks later I kinda have to assume it's happening and jump in....

  22. I'm snarly this morning. Very snarly. The day started out well, what with me getting up early, going to get the car maintained (to the tune of$200!!) and other errands done. BUT...

    The check that was supposed to be here so I could get to the bank by noon is not here yet. I spoke to the treasurer this week and he promised it would be here - -it is substantial (3 months of mileage and reimbursements) and I was counting on it for my apartment deposit next week. I leave for vaca tomorrow.

    Oh, and apparently today is the day to come hang out in my backyard and eavesdrop on me while I am in the kitchen. My impossibly long week (I told the church this week I am leaving) just. won't. end.

    I am going to take a deep breath, relocate upstairs, check the office again for the check, and come up with plan B.

    All I have is blueberries, diet coke, string cheese and goldfish crackers but I am willing to share!

    I'm preaching David this week.

  23. Not preaching this week, but already thinking about next week (John's feeding of the crowds) which will be my last sermon and last Sunday at my present church. I didn't think I was going to preach at the main service, but (somewhat by popular demand) now I am.

    And today it is cloudy and damp and dark--it must be all of New England--and I need to get motivated and do some cleaning and organizing. Six weeks til the move actually but two of those weeks are vacation away, and I'm a little freaked by all that needs to be done. Moving boxes will be delivered on Monday.

    On top of all that, yesterday I was offered the opportunity to acquire a golden doodle puppy--something I've been thinking about, but I'm not sure if this is the right time--but it's a great opportunity. Argh!

    Happy preaching!

  24. (((kp)))

    Sorry about your long week. Ditto here. July continues to be, for me, the Longest Month Ever.

    Deep breaths kp - one more sleep - then holidays...

  25. Hello lovely people...I'm back from a rather posh baptism, which took up an inordinate amount of the day, what with writing the address, sorting out everything in advance (forgot that church on the hill has no oil or baptism shell of its own,so had to stage emergency dash to church in the valley ) and really want to spend time thinking about the baptism boom that seems to have hit the parishes this summer, what it means and what I can do to help families keep their promises...BUT I have nothing sermon-like completed so had better try & engage. Last night was late, so I need not to be writing into the small hours of tomorrow if I can possibly avoid it.
    We had both PCCs for drinks & nibbles last night, so there are some interesting left overs. Lumpfish caviar anyone? or smoked salmon offcuts?
    I'll see if there are any more baby blinis in the freezer...

  26. no check and the bank is closed for today. I did find a branch of the bank with a drive through that is open sunday and not too far out of my way. So Plan B is made.

    Now for my sermon...

  27. Still sitting here wondering on earth I have to put together 'all-age' address when no kids will be there tomorrow. Sigh.... Roll on, inspiration. Still, the rest of the service is all done.

    On the other hand, no funerals this last week, after the previous wee run!!

  28. For children's time tomorrow, I'm going to take in an insulated coffe cup (full) and sit on the chancel steps and exaggerate the pleasure of drinking a hot cuppa - emphasising that sometimes we just don't get that luxury - leading into the story of Jesus and his disciples not having a moment to themselves.
    For the adults, I have a Godincidence that happened recently when I was sitting in a coffee shop miles from anywhere (on vacation) and saw a former colleague walk past the window. I rushed out and nabbed him to come back and have coffee with me - we had a great catch up- some interruptions are just meant to be but so is space and rest. I also want to congregation to participate by sharing with each other their favourite "time out" moments. That's it so far.

    kp - one year into this move, I'm intrigued by your story. It is possible to escape some of the crap that passes as church politics. While there is a different kind of crap that goes on here, its more manageable or survivable or maybe I'm just more realistic and a tiny bit more grown up? Prayers for your transition - always a time of mixed and fraught emotions.

  29. Unusually for a Saturday, my daughter has been around all morning and though she has now gone, I am left behind with the crisis of confidence only a 14-year-old can induce in her mother. Maybe I'll have lunch, and then write.
    Shall we break out the Diet Cokes?

  30. (kp)

    praying for you in your longest week.

  31. Thanks everyone!

    Yes to the diet cokes. First round is on me.

    The sermon is being stubborn, so I think I am going to go pack for vacation and come back to it.

  32. kp, I'm sorry things are like that. Shoot.

  33. I'm off lectionary preaching a sermon series suggested by The Green Bible "Creation Care as Justice." Today I'm working on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, sermon titled "Freed to love."

    Thought I'd just drop in with prayers for sermons that get heard. Peace.

  34. I really would like to have a sermon in a preachable state within the next 2 1/2 hrs because I'd like to do something fun with my kids tonight. They're with the youth group right now so, of course, the quite contagious blinking-cursor-syndrome has found me.

    Gord, I love that story. I think it was in one of the preaching journal/mags several years ago before it hit Midrash 3 years ago. I think that Fr Jerry Fuller might have had it in one of his sermons on PRCL. It's in (at least) one of my sermons written between 1998-2001.

    Good stories are worth retelling

  35. I love this summer all age worship - it means I only have to write a brief reflection on the gospel and, the rest of the time, have fun with any children who are present at worship or fun with the adults too. That means that I'm done for this week and can enjoy Saturday evening with my family - though I do have to go grocery shopping before we can eat!

  36. Well, back from the work day on the labyrinth that took more time than I thought it would. So, no gym for me today. When am I going to get this swimming done???

    So, now I need to scrape my tired body out of this chair and take the daughter to the store to buy a present for the girl who is lending us some pony riding time.

    Ugh. It's going to be a rough night.

    Nothing for the sermon yet at all. I'm a week behind in the lectionary, so I'm doing JTB and the beheading. I'm looking forward to it, but would be more excited if I hadn't woken up at 5:15 a.m.

  37. I've been off task. Please someone tell me to get to work!

  38. I am completely and totally amazed, my sermon is done! and I still have about an hour before the girls are home from a youth thing.

    We can do whatever we want tonight for fun! Whoo Hoo!

  39. You should be inspiring me, Vicar. Why am I watching Say Yes to the Dress staff searching for coordinating pantsuits for their first lesbian couple?

  40. Songbird, It's probably because you are suffering post teenager stress syndrome, while mine have been gone long enough that the effects are currently minimal for me.

  41. We interrupt this sermon discussion to bring you this important distraction:

    I was in charge of buying flowers to present, during worship, to the two lovely people who will become church members tomorrow. I ran to the florist on my lunch discover they had just closed.

    Question: Is it terribly bad form to present HOMEGROWN flowers in worship? I'm sure I could come up with some very nice roses from my garden or my neighbor's garden, and I even have the little water-holders to slip on the base of the stems.

    If y'all think this is a bad idea, I'll go buy some from the grocery floral case when I get off work this evening. Just thought I'd ask all you masters of church decorum!

  42. songbird, get another diet coke and go back to work!

    Ok, so it is 3/4 time here. I am 3/4 done with the sermon and 3/4 packed. Not bad. Now to shower, wrap a present and go to a birthday party for a church member's child. She turns 1! The bonus - -I don;t have to cook tonight!

    I just sent the sermon fairy to visit those of you who need her. I asked her to leave me some fairy dust for when I come back.

  43. MaineCelt, I think that sounds lovely. We go to the florist to make things "easier." The important thing is to show them welcome.
    (Yes, I'm going to be showing them welcome, too!)

  44. MaineCelt,
    I have known congregations that ONLY use homegrown flowers during the summer.

    Wedding is done. But halfway through I realized that my only other wedding for this summer (end of August so 6 weeks apart) is the niece of today's groom. Which of course means largely the same people present. ANd I have one wedding liturgy that I use. Think anyone will notice?

  45. argh. starting over. While I sweat this out, if anyone has a good children's story for tomorrow, I'm all ears. I hate doing the children's story. And i especially hate it when the sermon is late in birthing. Sigh. At least I have an idea where I'm headed now---a trip to the pool provided that. Here's to chlorine infused sermons!

  46. Thanks, Vicar of H! I also have plenty of etch-a-sketch lines at the ready, and a line or two with the word "shenanigans" in it.

    Of course there's always Women Now. Because they help women. Now.

    (We are probably the only ones having this convo, right?)

  47. so it is 4 in the afternoon, and nary a word for my sermon. KP, prayers for you--things sound stressful! Congrats, Vicar, on finishing. Maine Celt--ABSOLUTELY fresh flowers from Maine gardens, please. So much more personal, beautiful, and caring for the earth!
    Songbird, get thee to work.

    My tummy hurts because I ate avocados in my salad. I love avocados,but I am allergic to them, but I am stooopid enough to think that maybe this one time maybe they won't bother me.

  48. I guess the trouble is not knowing what I want to say. After all, it's a sermon, not a farewell address. Where is the Good News for these particular people in this particular time and place as expressed in these particular texts?
    The kinds of little stories I use as the "hook" all took place in the life of the other church I'm serving this week, and that perhaps describes the entire quandary in which I find myself. I am already gone.

  49. oh, Songbird. So hard. thoughts for the sermon fairy to visit and do her work of helping you weave your gorgeous words together.

    me? 296 words in. Good shape. Now for a nap. It is unbearably hot in my attic office.

  50. Is it just me, or is anyone else going to be a tomorrow?

  51. MaineCelt, I think the flowers from your garden sound lovely!

    SheRev, last Sunday as I was reading the gospel about JTB's beheading in church, I was suddenly struck wondering, when it says his disciples took his body, if they got his head as well? Not sure if there's a starter to a sermon in there, but maybe a hook to get their attention?

    SB, depending on your relationship with the congregation, you might consider giving them the opportunity during the sermon to offer you advice and Good News. I have done this on two last Sundays in healthy and beloved congregations, and paired along with some reflections of my own, it has worked well.

    Note to self: water restriction before a service to prevent the need to go to the bathroom is not a good idea when it is 100 degrees out :-o I wasn't passing out, but my mouth was way too dry for comfort!

  52. Prayers for all who preach tomorrow - especially SB & KP - I'll be in the pews.
    CH & VoH are cracking me up!!
    as you were... hopefully the cursor is being kinder by this hour...

  53. Cheesehead, I prefer to call it "showing them Jesus"

  54. Songbird, It it is "Say yes to the dress," why are they looking at pantsuits?

  55. For tonight fun with the girls = minor league baseball game with fireworks following.

    See you later, alligator

  56. Is there a prize for posting 3 or more comments in a row that contain more than one word?

  57. Got me there, Vicar. But one of them did not want a dress under any circumstances. She ended up with a silk pantsuit. The other one found a ballgown with a jacket. It was totally sweet. The Pantsuit Gal saw her intended in the wedding dress and got this incredibly sweet and loving look on her face. Magical.

  58. all of which is to say that SB is still watching the show!

  59. And I'm still trolling facebook. Sigh.

  60. I'd like to mention I've changed my avatar twice today, too. So productive.

  61. Well, mine's done and it is a little preachy.

    My title? HGTV. Although I don't think I've ever used an acronym in a sermon before, this time it stands for Hospitality, Generosity, Thanksgiving, and Vitality. It's also a play on the "house" and "home" in the Ephesians text and in the 2 Samuel text for tomorrow.

  62. SB, do they call it a pantsuit? when I was in second grade, and girls could only wear dresses or newfangled "pantsuits" which were little tunic tops over pants. usually polyester. haven't heard the term since then.
    am sure the silk bridal pantsuit was more becoming.

    back to work. had nap, walk dogs, and now a little beverage for happy hour. should finish in NO TIME.

  63. They did call it a pantsuit! The designer came by and showed the pantsuit she was wearing herself and did a sketch of something very similar (silk with flowing pant-ages), to be made in some sort of heavy champagne-colored silk. Sounded lovely.
    At first they both wanted pantsuits, but they went off with two different consultants, and one convinced her bride to try a dress. They were matter-of-fact about wanting the brides to look and feel beautiful whether there would be one bride or two, which I thought was fairly awesome.

  64. Main sermon done now (will post tomorrow) I just have to produce an intro to congregational questionaire we're circulating at valley church in the morning.
    just as well as it's nearly midnight here. I LOVE that your churches welcome new members with flowers - and I think home grown are nicest of all. Definite advantages to being a US Christian at the moment...

  65. I love the homegrown flowers idea!
    Cheese - I'm not being really preachy tomorrow, and am not sure why.
    SB - I totally understand being gone but not.

    I bring yummy burgers (turkey and beef and veggie) from the party along with a yummy vanilla blueberry-strawberry ice cream and cupcakes. I have iced tea in the fridge.

    Ever have one of those sermons where you know what you are trying to say but can't get it out? I'm playing with the ideas about what God was building when God told David she would build him a house, but can't articulate it much past that.

  66. Sounds delicious, kp. But what I really want, I am ashamed to say, is a bowl of Lucky Charms. My guilty pleasure. Not that we have them in the house. But they might have them at 7-11.

  67. I love the homegrown flowers idea!
    Cheese - I'm not being really preachy tomorrow, and am not sure why.
    SB - I totally understand being gone but not.

    I bring yummy burgers (turkey and beef and veggie) from the party along with a yummy vanilla blueberry-strawberry ice cream and cupcakes. I have iced tea in the fridge.

    Ever have one of those sermons where you know what you are trying to say but can't get it out? I'm playing with the ideas about what God was building when God told David she would build him a house, but can't articulate it much past that.

  68. no idea why that posted twice! sorry.
    I have not had lucky charms in ages!! I loved them - especially the marshmellows.

    do they still make alphabits?

  69. I settled for some kind of Kashi stuff we had on hand. I have a sore place on my tongue--great timing, huh?--and didn't feel pizza would be kind to it, but also didn't want to spoil my husband's fun.

  70. All of my seminarian facebook friends are struggling with their sermons. And I am SO with them! The thing is almost done, but it just doesn't turn me on. I am going to look at your draft Songbird with the hope that I see the end in sight! Sigh...

  71. I'm still trying to figure out why SYTTD even had the premise of coordinating pantsuits. They are lesbians, not three year olds, right?

    KP, sorry for this ickness. MumPastor, blessings on your vocal offering!

    SB, glad you shook that teen voice. Reminds me of the lyrics to "Smells Like Teen Spirit":
    'over-bored and self-assured.' Of course there's so much else under.

    I have fresh, not frozen, veggieburgers from Costco! Of course, since they are from there, there are a dozen, and so I will have to freeze them after tonight (going out of town). May I make one for anybody? Large amounts of guacamole also available, but none for Karla!

  72. MB, that's what the couple came in asking for, because neither of them imagined herself in a dress. It turned out the only thing they had in the store with pants was a women's tuxedo, and that was not what they had in mind.

  73. Hello sisters
    It is not as much tomorrow's sermon, Mark passage as it is that it has to be the precursor to the Monday morning funeral for a 25 year old man dear to the community and to the church. Sigh.
    Interestingly enough I have been in introvert mode while home all week... perhaps this scripture gave me the permission to be so...
    I covet your prayer for the service tomorrow. thanks in advance

  74. Hi all. After going to a friend's ordination/installation near State College, PA (2.5 hours away), I am putting the finishing touches on my sermon which will be preached in 4 different variations at my CPE site, a retirement community. I'm using the Ephesians text, focusing on BUT NOW, comparing the former and the latter conditions. I'll begin with the shortest version in skilled nursing, a little longer one in assisted living, then the last 2 will be nearly identical and the longest in independent living.

    Blessings to all.

  75. just need the last paragraph. Since it is hiding, I am going to go finish packing!

    anyone need a diet coke or some wine? I'm headed towards the kitchen.

  76. I'm done, I think. Unless I add a second ending. I've ended up getting super weird on them. I don't usually do weird with pulpit supply, but nothing else was working. My sermon is about sheep. About a shepherd I met and about what he thinks sheep are like. It's about 80% that story and about 20% the Bible. Sort of subtle. Could be great. could flop. now the children's sermon. I wish I had a shepherd's crook.

  77. SB, you are in luck: I have wonderfully delicious Lucky Charms in the pantry! They are one of my little vices, a response to my mom's refusal to buy them, ever. I was surprised to see that they recently shrank the marshmallows; I guess the economic downturn has hit even the leprechauns. I watched the Dress show last night; I also found that particular segment rather touching.

    And yes, AlphaBits are still available.

  78. A little boy in conversation with a priest in the movie they're showing on PBS here:
    "I don't think I could work for someone I never met and not get paid for it."

  79. omg, now i want lucky charms. i don't think those marshmallows are vegetarian, and i don't even care.

    My own personal vice is Cinnamon Toast Crunch--I even had my dad bring a suitcase full when he visited me in Egypt! good thing I don't have any right now...

    I'm not preaching tomorrow because I decided to focus on Nathan and David listening for God's word rather than imposing their own we are having Taize. I'm very excited--I love Taize. I just hope other people love it too....
    I still have to write the prayer of confession, but I'll do that in the morning. For now, I'm reading "Never Call Them Jerks" and playing farmtown on facebook. that's right, i'm playing a virtual farming game instead of being around real people. there's a reason I need to read that book...

    hope y'all have good nights and great mornings! much love!

  80. Waking Ned Devine - - that's the movie.

  81. I have a copy of that book--never call them jerks--but never read it. Someone gave it to me. After you read it, let me know if I should.

    Do you think I can twist a clothes hanger into a shepherd's crook shape and fool kids at a wealthy fancypants church?

  82. They definitely aren't, Teri. My 14-year-old vegetarian niece told me so!
    I didn't go out for them, but I still wish I had. Maybe tomorrow.
    Re the sermon, I am calling it done. I hope it meets the need. I certainly struggled faithfully over what to say.
    Now, anyone need late night ice cream or Diet Coke or hot tea?

  83. Y'all, I'm going to hit the sack. I'll be back in the morning with fresh coffee, but meanwhile, help yourselves to Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream, it's right over there in the freezer!!!

  84. songbird, I'll take a diet coke if it is caffeine free. I had tea earlier and, well, I would like to sleep tonight.

    I'm having the internal debate - try one more time for the end or get up even earlier tomorrow. I'll take one more try.

  85. Cheese, I am trying to justify "preachy" by calling it "prophetic". Will it work? Meh. Who knows? The worst they can do is run me out of the place - but then they would feel really awful about that (surprise) birthday cake they have for me. Heheheheh

    Gord - no one will remember the wedding liturgy. Enjoy your holidays and leave it as it is.

  86. I've been here for the last two or three hours, trying to gather stuff for a sermon on resting or a sermon on David, and it's going slowly. It's time to decide which way I'm going to go, because I really need to sleep tonight!

    Or perhaps I will nap now (did not get anywhere near enough sleep last night) and then write...see, that works with a sermon on resting!

  87. I'm here with you, semfem, in several ways. Not a word written. I don't have two directions I'm choosing between, I just have no motivation to pursue the one I've chosen. Also, I NEED sleep - - not nearly enough last night after seeing a fine production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and then wine and dessert with my husband, and then staying up too late on Facebook before waking up at 5:15 a.m. to see the youth group kids off on their mission/backpacking trip. Would love to go to bed now, but I don't have a thing yet.

    Not that some of that is too abnormal for me....

  88. I am officially "off staff" but we are doing a trial attendance as "just folks" to see if I can stomach it. Reedy Girl has best buds in the church, and I hate to pull her away.

    At the very least, I will be pulpit hopping once a month to get in my hours for my homiletics class. Not that I would have gotten this at Contempo Church. (Your see, ...they just didn't think about me...)

    Ah well. My desire is to be kind, to remember even though I was not treated well all the time that they are children of God, to serve as God asks, and to be freed up to go visit and learn wherever I can. Any of you in the Metro DC (Maryland) area? I may pop in and watch and learn some Sunday. :)

    Now, instead of preaching, I am writing a position paper on baptism. For some reason, the prof wants more than "I'm for it." LOL...

    SB, praying for you in your last week at Freeport... and for God's grace to leave with your heart full and whole. It's hard. I know whereof I speak...

    peace all-

  89. We're home from the game. The home team won and the fireworks were great!

    Even better, it's still earlier than normal for bedtime on a Saturday.

    However, by the discussion I'm overhearing between my children, I may be running to the 24 hr "get-everything-here" store.

    If it's not one thing, it's another.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  90. Ahhh...I will miss you here tonight, Vicar, but I'm thrilled you are spending your time in a wonderful way! Well, maybe not the store-choice, but the family-time, I mean.

    I am thrilled with my progress and direction. I'm trying to get the stamina to just go for it and be done by 1:00 a.m. my time with little to know work to do tomorrow. I even took my shower tonight to, hopefully, allow for a little more sleeping in tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

    First, though, I need to go unburden myself of the 3 glasses of water I drank in the last hour. Yikes!

  91. A barking dog woke me--my own dog, so I can't complain to anyone else--and I am back and have a head full of non-sleepy thoughts.
    Deb, I read the piece you linked to, and it makes me sad (the comments even moreso). I hope your next ministry experience will be more inclusive.

  92. Lots done. Going to bed, and waking at 5:45 a.m. to finish up. Sleep well, my friends. Guess I should probably say, continue sleeping well, since I think I'm one of the last ones up!

  93. Go She Rev go! I've just woken up from a little nap in the recliner and now it's time to figure out what I'm really doing and get something on paper. I never like this writing at the last minute, but I guess I really did need to sleep.

    So now, do I:
    1. write a sermon about self-care and how even Jesus wasn't very good at it, or
    2. write a sermon about God not needing a building in which to dwell

    Hopefully nobody else is up with me still making these decisions!

  94. Finished! And running late, I think.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today.

  95. And just because I'm here: 100.

  96. Wondering which one semfem chose....

    Back to finish up. I expect the pitter patter of little feet here with me in the next 30 minutes unless she's getting the good long sleep she actually needs. Hopeing for the latter since I hate finishing my sermons with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as backgroung noise.


  97. indeed, which one did semfem choose?
    I am back, too, SheRev, with some editing, and of course reading all the comments I missed last night.

    I had no idea marshmallows were not vegetarian!

    The things you learn at the PreacherParty. wow.

    Time to get meditative with God, now....

  98. Whew. It's Tigger and Pooh at this hour. They aren't nearly as annoying.

  99. I love that as many of you are just waking, my sunday worship is done and dusted (10am in summer). Congregation really enjoyed sgaring with each other their favourite idea of retreat - and it added a good 7 or 8 mins to sermon time! I love these people. Hope lots of you feel energised by worship today - and Songbird, love your "parting words". Wish I'd had the wisdom to share just some of that as I left my last church, but I'm afraid I was too bitter. I hope its a blessing for you and them. Thanks for hosting PP this week.

  100. Thanks, liz. Despite various frustrations (which they would be able to name themselves), I have loved them. That will be more explicit in the children's word, but I hope it's apparent in the sermon, too.
    Okay, strong coffee, anyone? A sliver of leftover coffee cake? OJ?

  101. Getting ready to head for one of my bagels that were fresh yesterday and good enough for today. There are harvest wheat and chocolate chip yet. And way too much cream cheese. Why do I always do that? I don't know.

    Any good random recipes for using veggie or berry cream cheese? I mean, I know I could just buy more bagels, but doing something more creative sounds more fun to me. Wish I needed a cheese ball for something this week.

    But I digress from my last paragraph....

  102. I chose #2, just in case anybody is burning with curiosity. :)


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